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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  February 10, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

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capitol hill next. the u.s. gaveling in for legislative work. they'll take up a bill requiring water companies to notify their customers if the e.p.a. finds elevated levels of lead in their water systems. it's being introduced by dan ildee, who represents flint, michigan. also today, a bill that deals with federal funding for scientific research. live coverage now of the u.s. house on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. god of mercy, we give you thanks for giving us another day. may your special blessings be upon the members of this
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assembly as results from another primary election reverberate through our political landscape. give them wisdom and charity, that they might work together with needed focus for the common good. as the candidates now move on to other contests, may all americans hear the call to responsible citizenship, learning the substance of candidates' positions and plans for the future of our nation. may we all do our homework so that our experiment in representative democracy might flourish and all would take pride in the government to be constructed from other votes. may all that is done this day in the people's house be for your greater honor and glory, men. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof.
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pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from california, mr. peters. mr. peters: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, e nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will enterin up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose doesthe gentleman from texas rise? without objection, the gentleman from texas is ecognized mr. joson: mr. speaker, new reports from the department of homeland security show a surge in illegal immigration. 30%, actually.
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last friday, i returned to macallen, texas, to see our security challenges firsthand, something president obama has refused to do. let me be clear, our border is not secure. obama's amnesty is devastating for texas, particularly its border cities. but the prlems far exceed our boer. this affects the whole country. it undermines the safety of all amerans and hurts law-abiding taxpayers. my most sacred duty is to protect our homeland and every citizen in it. i spent 29 years as a fighter pilot and seven as a p.o.w. doing just that. st assured i will continue to fight to keep america safe. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i
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ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, last sunday five people were killed and 25 injured in four mass shootings in new york, florida, illnois and mississippi. and yet congress has done nothing to reduce gun violence in america. and while this is happening, opponents to commonsense responsible gun safy legislation are spreading misinformation and sharing myths, myths such as criminals don't exploit loopholes to buy guns. there is no gun show loophole. assault weapons ban tt was previously in place didn't work and strong gun laws don't reduce gun crimes. it's time to stop calling out these myths and start correcting the records in the facts. i will be doing that on my website and social media for getting responsible gun safety legislation. after all, mr. speaker, facts should guide us in doing our work and doing all we can to reduce gun violence in america and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from rhode island yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to acknowledge and honor pastor michael moore. for his many years of service to the community after 29 years at crossroads grace community church, pastor mike is retiring as role as senior leader. almost 50 years ago, pastor mike married the love of his life, grace, and together they started a church where everyone could feel welcome, and in 1987, crossroads grace community began with a bible study group led by pastor mike, made up of 17 members. mr. denham: the church grew to encompass pastor mike and grace's mission of a casual atmosphere, practical and relevant teachings with contemporary worship. pastor mike led the congregation and working with local churches to establish the hope family shelter and provide housing to the homeless families.
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the church also established a medical mobile clinic to provide free medical service for those in need and have sent teams respond to global disasters such as hurricane katrina, the tsunami in asia and the oklahoma tornadoes. the church has also sent missionaries to many corners around the globe. mr. speaker, please join me in recognizing pastor michael moore and his unwavering leadership in our community and many accomplishments around the globe. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. spanish fork, utah, jan 16, 2014. kelly born, 32, joshua boren, 7 years old, haley boren, 5. holly hill, south carolina,
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july 15, 2015. jerome butler, 50 years old. crystal huto, 28 years old. chamique sanders, 17. tamara perry, 14. saco, maine, july 26, 2014. heather smith, 35. jason money tezz, 14 years old. noah money tezz, 7, lily smith, -- montez, 7, lily smith, 4 years old. culpepper, virginia, august 3, 2014. shawna washington, 35 years old. oneshia washington, 13. onya washington, 6. livia washington, 4. callison, south carolina, october 29, 2013. richard fields, 51 years old. melissa fields, 49. shandra fields, 26. illiam robertson, 9 years old.
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tirique robertson, 9 years old. platte, south dakota, september 17, 2015. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. peters: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, last week i was grateful to chair the emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee hearing to receive outside views on biodefense for the department of defense and review the bipartisan report of the blue ribbon study panel on biodefense. chaired by former senator joe lieberman and former governor and secretary of homeland security tom ridge, the panel evaluated the status of prevention, deterrence, preparedness, detection, response, recovery and mitigation of our nation's biodefense. the report was clear -- our nation faces a complex threat from both biological weapons and naturally occurring diseases.
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for example, the recent response to the ebola outbreak demonstrates the importance of the department of defense's biodefense contributions to broader government and global efforts. i am grateful that the former attorney general ken weinstein and dr. gerald parker, both members of the panel, were there testifying before the subcommittee, and i look forward to working with the department of defense to implement the findings and recommendations. in conclusion, god bless our troops and may the president by his actions never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. y hometown is flint, michigan. we leave here at the end of every week i fly home to flint. this is a very proud community. it's the birthplace of general motors. it's where the u.a.w. workers sat down in 1936 to get the
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first u.a.w. contract to help build the middle class. the last few decades have been tough for my community. we've taken a lot of hits, a lot of poverty, high unemployment. but we've always been able to get back up again as a community because there are strong people in flint, michigan. but what's happened now in flint is because of careless actions by state officials who put dollars and cents ahead of the health of people, ahead of the health of 9,000 children. we can get back up again in flint, but we need a state response far more robust than what's been recommended by michigan's governor. and we need help from the federal government. these people are american citizens. the state won't act to make it right for the people of flint. we need our federal government to do everything in its power to help these people and help flint get back up again. with that, mr. speaker, i yield
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back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. well, it's budget season in washington, d.c., and one of the things that should be in the budget is infrastructure and i'm glad to hear that the president has included $8.5 million of funding to replace the badly degraded levee on the sacramento river near hamilton city, california. mr. la mall far: it forced a -- mr. lamalfa: it forced an evacuation. it offers 10-year flood protection when it should be 200-year flood event frokse. working with local residents who have contributed their own money in the projerkts we secured over $12 million in federal funding so far. mr. speaker, this year's additional funding will allow progress that will protect the mes of over 12,000 residents
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finally giving hamilton city a peace of mind. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? mr. higgins: i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. higgins: the budget the president sent to congress yesterday contained a number of proposals, more cancer research funding, more treatment for prescription painkiller and heroin addiction and making permanent the solar investment tax credit and the new market tax credit. while these initiatives generated headlines, one small and simple provision could have a significant impact on the economy of western new york. beginning this year at the peace bridge in buffalo, customs and border protection will automate the collection of user fees for commercial vehicles. currently they're collected manually which creates congestion and deterse canadians from traveling to western new york. i called for the implementation of this policy last year, and i'm happy to see the department of homeland security move so quickly on it. by automating fee collection
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and hiring more customs and border officers, this budget will benefit the western new york economy that is dependent on commerce via the peace bridge. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. as february's recognized as heart month, i rise on behalf of the nearly 40,000 babies born each year with congenital heart defects, c.h.d. c.h.d. is the most common birth defect and the number one cause of birth defect related deaths. a few decades ago, babies born with c.h.d. were not living until adulthood. now, due to continued investment and research and a series of medical breakthroughs, 90% of babies born with c.h.d. are living into adulthood. let's make it 100%. there is still work to be done,
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and we must ensure these efforts to improve the lives of those with c.h.d. continue. this is why i introduced the congenital heart futures re-authorization act, to expand c.h.d. research, raise awareness of the importance of specialized care and ensuring important research continues. we must advance this legislation for the millions of americans who need our help. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. green: mr. speaker, i rise to highlight the success of the affordable care act. the numbers are in and once again millions of americans signed up for quality, affordable health coverage. more than 12.7 million americans selected plans through the health insurance marketplace. four million or 42% were new customers this year. people want coverage and thanks to the a.c.a., millions are now having the security of knowing
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they won't be going bankrupt if they get sick or have an accident. and they can't be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition and have access to preventative and primary care service with little or no out-of-pocket costs. in the 29th district that i'm proud to represent, 55,000 residents fall into the expansion gap with no insurance because states have not expanded medicaid. it's time for texas and other states to do the right thing and recognize that health care is essential for some of our poorest families and expand medicaid. the affordable care act is here to stay and i hope congress will make move past repeal attempts and start talking about how we can make the affordable care act work even better for the american people. i stand ready to work with my colleagues on this critical issue, and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? mr. hultgren: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hultgren: thank you, mr. speaker, i rise today yet again
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on bringing the world's attention to the plight of foo. four years today this advocate was unjustly sentenced to the chinese government seven years behind bars. his tireless advocacy for democratic rights, freedom of speech and the rule of law is worthy of praise, yet, the chinese government has harassed and jailed him numerous times on faulty charges. he's in poor health. he's not able to stand without support and he has coronary heart disease and a coronary artery tumor in addition to other ailments. yet, chinese authorities refuse to provide him with medical care or medication. further, they have forced him to do hard labor and have caused the job losses of his family members. . this saturday he turned 63 years old. the least the chinese government could do is provide him with proper medical treatment, improve his living conditions and leave his family alone. if china is serious about demonstrating any legitimate leadership, it should release
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him and the hundreds of others like him immediately. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. ellison: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, today marks one year since three young americans were killed and i believe it's for their faith. i think the evidence supported that. n february 10, 2015, dale, yusora and rosana were murdered in chapel hill, north carolina. they were shot and killed because of their faith. they were muslim. yusora is a graph north carolina state university -- graduate of north carolina state university and planned on enrolling in the school of dentistry where her husband was studying to become a dentist. her sister was a student at ncsu as well. she was only 19. these murders are heartbreaking and they should be
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heartbreaking to every american. they show us a stark reality. that bigotry is alive and well and that good people have to stand against it, the hate speech and scapegoating has real-life consequences. children are bullied in schools, houses of worship are vandalized and people are killed for the way they dress and how they pray. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. ellison: thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize and pay tribute to a champion of public health in my district as she moves to california to continue her work serving the public. as chief executive officer of hart city health center in elk heart, indiana, vernita todd has tirelessly advocated on behalf of others. she's led the center in achieving its mission to contribute to the health of our community by providing access to high-quality and accessible
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health care. mrs. walorski: she's received national attention and recognition in prioritizing advocacy as a crucial exobet to heart city's health center's mission. the impact of her work can surely be felt by thoices. on behalf of the people of indiana's second congressional district, i thank ms. todd for her contributions to improving thousands of lives throughout the northern indiana community and the country as a whole and i wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. 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 10, 2016, at 19 -- 9:25 a.m., that the senate passed senate 2109, that the senate passed with an amendment h.r. 1428.
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with best wished, i am, signed, sincerely, karen l. h.s.a. -- haas.
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on the motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote
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or the yeas and nays are ordered. or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. any recorded vote on the postponed question will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i would move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4470 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4470, a bill to amend the safe drinking water act with respect to the requirements related to lead in drinking water and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from michigan, mr. upton, and the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i'd ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material into the record.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i wish we weren't here today. i really wish we weren't. i wish this bill was not necessary. but it is. and our heart, all of us, go out to the folks of flint, michigan, the system let them down at every level. and that is frankly unacceptable. all folks want is the peace of mind that their governments are looking out for their best interest and their water is safe. this bill is the first step. imagine if you went to draw a cup of cold water from your kitchen faucet and suddenly to think about whether it's safe to drink or not. now put yourself into the shoes of a parent whose son or daughter has already take an drink from that faucet or made coffee or infant formula. what health risk has your child already been exposed to? what do we do now?
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how can we expect a family to live day to day without safe drinking water? after all those initial concerns, you begin asking yourself, how is that situation possible in the 21st century, in the united states of america? we've been looking, seeking answers to that question from e.p.a., from the state of michigan, and from others. but in the meantime, we know that part of the answer, certainly not the whole story, is that there was a terrible breakdown in communication at every level of government. it is sickening and it breaks your heart, with thousands of kids who indeed could be at risk. being poisoned from faucets that they thought were safe. government officials knew there was a serious cause for concern and failed to inform the people of flint. many of those officials did not
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even seem to be effectively communicating and sharing data among themselves. the e.p.a. regional office was not telling headquarters about everything. the state was not telling e.p.a. everything. and we don't know yet what the city of flint was telling the state or e.p.a. that's got to be fixed. and it's got to be fixed now. the safe drinking water act improved compliance -- improved compliance awareness act ensures the public learns of excessive lead levels in their drinking water by setting forth how and when states, e.p.a. and blic water utilities commune kate their findings. the bill also strengthens public notification rules when lead levels are exceeded, individual consumers will be told when their own house tests positive for lead problems, and if the community or states fail to notify the public, e.p.a. will step in and do so.
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they're required to do that. the bill also requires e.p.a. to create a strategic plan for handling and improving information flow among water utilities, the states, e.p.a. and affected drinking water consumers before there is an enforceable lead exceedance in drinking water. let me repeat that. before lead levels get too high. finally, this bipartisan bill requires consumer notification when water being transported in a lead pipe is so corrosive that in fact it could get into public drinking water. i want to thank all members of the house for their support, especially my michigan colleagues, every one of which, from both parties, signed as an original co-sponsor of this legislation. i want to particularly thank mr. kildee,. and i want to thank frank
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pallone, mr. shimkus, mr. tonko, for their collaboration and sport. i want to thank mccarthy. two mccarthys. kevin mccarthy, scheduling this at almost a moments notice, and the lead counsel on this legislation, dave mccarthy, who helped write and improve the bill as it was originally introduced. what is said on this floor today will not do anything to ease the mind of a parent in flint. the entire situation breaks your heart but it has a responsibility working together as republicans and democrats to fix the problem. this bill is an important step. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is ecognized. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of the safe drinking water act improved compliance awareness,
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introduced last week by our colleague, representative kildee, with the support of other members of the michigan delegation. this bill would strengthen requirements to have the e.p.a. notify the public when concentrations of lead exceed federal standards. that's notifying the public. while i support this legislation and urge my colleagues to support it, far more than this is needed to address the many failings that led to the tragic circumstances that are still being experienced by the residents of flint, michigan. a situation that has drawn the nation's attention and drawn compassion for children and their families. this should never have occurred in any city in our nation. as with any such tragic failure, there is an attempt to assess blame. while accountability is important, those who failed in their responsibility should be held accountable. but no one here has yet taken part, bility for our
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congress' part in this event. this congress as well as many previous congresses have failed to maintain federal support for the maintenance and improvements of our water infrastructure. we have been underfunding these systems for decades. the poor condition of the water treatment and distribution system in flint set the stage for this tragedy. we are doing this in an attempt to save money. well, in fact, we are wasting many millions of dollars more by allowing essential infrastructure to deteriorate to the extent where a constant stream of emergency responses and repairs are required to keep these systems working. finally, we need to do something for the people of flint. the state of michigan and president obama's administration have both begun to mobilize resources to deal with the immediate need for safe drinking water. and they are working to eliminate lead from the water distribution system. but we still don't know if essential corrosion control can
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be re-established and bottled water does not solve flint's problems. the residents of flint need a fully functioning public water system that delivers safe, clean water to their homes, to their schools and their businesses. we need to work with the state of michigan to make that happen, and we need to care for the people who were exposed to lead, especially our children who are most vulnerable to lead exposure. they need treatment and sustained assistance to deal with the health problems they may experience as a result of this man-made disaster. the conditions that enabled this crisis to happen are not unique to flint, and while this bill is a first step to help communities that may face these problems in the future, it cannot be our last step. we must embrace our responsibility to support federal investment in drinking water systems. the public health and future prosperity of the people of flint and thousands of other communities across our great
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nation are continuing to suffer the concerns and are counting on our progressive actions. i look forward to continuing this discussion, and with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield three minutes to the gentleman from michigan, a co-sponsor of the bill, mr. walberg. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for three minutes. mrs. walorski: thank you, mr. speaker. -- mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the chairman as well. i want to thank by thanking my friends, dan kildee and chairman upton for their work on this bipartisan legislation and ensuring a swift congressional response to the ongoing water crisis in flint, michigan. what have we learned and what will we do both now and in the future, mr. speaker, is the question. what happened in flint is not a natural disaster. it's a human disaster and a failure of government at every
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level. in my questioning at last week's oversight and government reform hearing it became very clear that individuals with the e.p.a. knew about the high levels of the -- lead levels in the drinking water for months but failed to communicate this information to the people of flint. even under repeated freedom of information act requests. the bill we are considering today takes important steps to strengthen federal requirements on the e.p.a. to notify the public when concentrations of lead in drinking water are above federal requirements. i'm glad the entire michigan delegation's backing this bill, and i'm committed to continuing to work together to get answers and help the families in flint who need clean water, and for that matter, mr. speaker, learning from this the families
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in the entire united states to make sure this doesn't happen to them as well. mr. speaker and america, in the 21st century children should not have to worry about safe and clean drinking water. the flint water crisis never should have happened, and we must take action to ensure it never happens again. making things right must be a cooperative effort at every level and this bill takes important steps to ensure proper coordination going forward. i offer all of my support, all of my assistance, all of my help and my votes to make sure this happens and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg, yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: yes, mr. speaker, i have a copy of the comments from representative frank pallone, ranker to the energy and commerce committee, and i ask unanimous consent that his statement be entered into the record. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's request is covered by general leave.
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topping tonk thank you. with that -- mr. tonko: thank you. with that i yield five minutes of time to representative dan kildee who has carried the concern and the emotion of this situation as the representative in the house of flint, michigan . his energetic efforts, his determination, his obvious passion for getting this done, getting some relief, relief essential for flint done is tremendously moving. and so i yield five minutes to my colleague from michigan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee, is recognized for five minutes. mr. kilmer: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, tonko, for your comments and your support and leadership on this issue, and please extend my thanks to ranking member pallone for his effort and his support. i know he's dealing with a difficult time himself right now. and we extend our best wishes to him. and i want to thank all of my michigan colleagues for joining as original co-sponsors of this
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legislation. particularly thank chairman upton for his help, his guidance, his assistance and really collaboration on getting a piece of legislation put together that we think is very helpful in preventing another situation such as what has occurred in my hometown from ever happening again in the united states. so thank you, mr. upton, for your assistance and leadership on this. flint is my home. the people i represent are the people i grew up with in flint, michigan. it's a great community. it's been through some struggles for sure the last few decades, but we've never dealt with anything quite like this, something so fundamental as safe drinking water that we take for granted. turn on the faucet, as mr. upton said, you expect the water that comes out of that faucet to be safe for yourself, for your children, to make
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formula, to cook food, to drink. and because of a series of decisions that really are almost incomprehensible in their impact, people in flint, michigan, can't drink their water. 100,000 people can't drink the water. the thing that makes me most upset, sad, yes, but also angry is that this crisis, this situation which will last for decades on its impact was completely avoidable. unlike a lot of the other struggles that my hometown has faced as a result of big changes in the economy, development patterns, etc., this was a series of decisions that we could easily identify that could easily have been prevented with just more thought and more care, and in this case, a stronger set of requirements for disclosure when lead levels are elevated
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in a drinking water system. so this legislation is one step. it is not the total solution. we really have to deal and i hope my colleagues will also join in us putting together a response to the crisis being felt by the people in flint right now. this bill unfortunately is too late to help them, but it can elp the next flint, perhaps. this would require the e.p.a. to provide notice if the state agency, responsible for enforcement of the clean drinking water laws, does not act to provide notice to the citizens affected and to the water system. and let me just be clear on that. the state of michigan in the case of the flint situation had primacy in terms of
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enforcing law. they make sure that the clean water is enforced and to do sampling and provide remediation, provide intervention if in fact it's not the case. and so yes, there has been a failure of government, but i think we have to take care not to attempt to create some sort of false sense of equivalency of responsibility. for the city of flint, for example, which is the most local level of government and where the water system is operated, was under the control of an emergency manager a state official appointed to overtake operation of the city of flint. so to the extent that the city was responsible, the city was the state in this regard. and in terms of the federal role, there was apparent confusion or disagreement as to whether the e.p.a. had authority absent state
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notification to the public of the data that they had whether the e.p.a. had authority to go public, to make it clear that there was a problem. this legislation addresses that. this legislation strengthens the hand of those who work at the e.p.a. and actually requires them, not simply allows, but requires them to provide notice to the public and to a water system operator in the event that the state ails to do so. had that happened, it would not have prevented the bad decisions that led to this crisis, but it would have prevented them from going on for months and months and months with no action to protect the people in flint. this is important legislation. we need more. we need help for the people of flint, but this is a step in the right direction in preventing flint from -- what
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happened in flint from happening to another community with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan, mr. upton, is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i might inquire as to how much time i have remaining on my side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. upton, has 13 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from new york has 13 minutes. mr. upton: i yield to the gentleman from michigan, again, an original co-sponsor of the bill, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for three minutes. >> i thank the gentleman from flint, mr. kildee, for his leadership in this matter, for raising our attention to this and i'd also like to thank chairman upton for his leadership, for the michigan delegation and bringing us together and putting aside any partisan differences to address a need of our great state and also for the children and families across our country. mr. bishop: i have spent my entire life in the state of michigan. i was born here, raised there -- excuse me.
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many generations before me the same. born and raised in michigan. my family, my current family, my wife and my kids -- i have three kids who also live in michigan and will also, i'm sure, see to it that their children live here -- live there as well. . when i learned what happened in flint i was absolutely heartbroken and it frightens me to think that a failure of this magnitude could happen in the 21st century and in our state. can you imagine not being able to drink the water from your own tap? what if you weren't able to bathe or take a shower because of fear of what might be in the water? the anger and the frustration is palpable. and it should be. my district borders on congressman kildee's and i can tell you firsthand the crisis not only affects the impact --
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impacts of community of flint, but the entire great lakes state. for weeks i've seen local high schools, veterans groups, concerned citizens, you name it, people from all over michigan are rising to address the crisis and to help the residents, the families and children of flint. when it comes to local, state and federal leadership, we must do everything possible to help as well. every single one of us here today has a duty to ensure that families and children are safe and have access to the essentials. the most basic of which is clean drinking water from household faucets. sure, we can point the fingers and play the blame game. but when it comes down to fixing it, we must do so fast and we need more actions than words. we need solutions. what chairman upton and congressman kildee have proposed is a first-step solution to ensure this will not happen again. first and foremost, this
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legislation makes the e.p.a. -- makes sure the e.p.a. will step up and notify the public when they know concentrations of lead in drinking water are above federal requirements. it also streamlines communications between the utilities, the state, the e.p.a. and the affected customers. the entire delegation of the state of michigan in congress agrees, this is a crisis. but to be clear, this is not a democrat or republican issue. and i would say, shame on anyone who attempts to capitalize on this issue or use the families of flint in this crisis to further their own personal agenda. this is about commonsense -- common sense and delivering solutions to these children and families. so i ask my colleagues, on behalf of both sides of the aisle, to join michigan and help us take action. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield five minutes to another
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member of the michigan delegation, representative lawrence, who has shown great leadership in her role on the oversight and government reform committee and again has been a passionate voice to address the families of flint. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from michigan is recognized for five minutes. mrs. lawrence: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to say that the crisis in flint demands action. i ran for congress after serving as a mayor because i felt strongly that our government -- we have a responsibility and when you ask for a vote, you're asking for the trust in our government. and we betrayed the trust of our citizens when we did not provide a human need and that's clean water. but i stand here today encouraged. i ran on the premise that we need to work together as a government. and i can tell you that this crisis in flint is not a
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political issue. it's a moral issue. it's why each of us in congress sit here today on the vote of the people's trust, and that is to take care of this great country. it's a moral issue and it calls for all of us in congress to act. and today i'm standing here with a sense of hope being fulfilled, that we have eliminated the aisle and we're standing here together. so, mr. chairman, i rise in strong support of h.r. 447, the safe drinking water act improved compliance awareness. this bill will ensure that e.p.a. notifies communities of lead contamination, if state or local agencies fail to do so. and that clearly is what happened in flint. local water authorities will have to provide notification to the public when lead contamination is the result of lead from pipes and other infrastructure leaking into the
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water supply. this notice will have to be provided to affected residents, regardless of whether any drinking water standards are violated. if the operator does not notify the public, in this case it was the state e.p.a., state -- i'm sorry, michigan environmental quality, if they do not notify the public, then the e.p.a. must do so. this is precisely what happened in flint. state officials repeatedly ignored the pleas of the residents and those, what we're calling civic heroes, from outside, and experts about the lead levels. passing this bill today will ensure that the situation in flint -- and i'm joining with my republican colleagues and democratic -- that this never happens again in our united states. the decision to share the type of critical information should not be based on political
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judgment. h.r. 4470 will ensure that resident as i quire the information they need about their drinking water systems and give e.p.a. the ability and responsibility to step in and notify residents if a state or water system fails to act. h.r. 4470 is just the first step in addressing our country's drinking water infrastructure issue. and i hope that we can continue to work together in a bipartisan manner to ensure that flint never happens again. and this is the first step in fixing our infrastructure in america. because other members of congress have talked about lead water crisis in their community. so this is a first step. and for me, this is a fulfilling day, to stand here and support with my colleagues, regardless of our political affiliation, and take care of the people of america. i yield back my time, thank you.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield two minutes to the gentleman from michigan, again, a co-sponsor of the bill, mr. kildee's bill, mr. moolenaar, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: jealt the gentleman is recognized for two minutes -- the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. moolenaar: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to join my michigan colleagues as a co-sponsor of this legislation and thank representative kildee and chairman upton for bringing this legislation forward. our hearts go out to the people of flint. who are enduring so much and persevering during this time. it's heartwarming to see the way people across the country have come together and supported the people of flint. the sad thing is that this situation could have been prevented. and should have been prevented. and the legislation we're discussing today here in the house of representatives is because of failures in local, state and federal government. the fact is that the officials
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at the e.p.a. knew last april, 10 months ago, that the flint utilities department was not using corrosion controls, putting water safety at risk. instead of alerting the public, the e.p.a. stayed silent. when an e.p.a. employee tried to speak out, he was silenced. the e.p.a. deferred to a state agency, the mdeq, which also failed to tell the public. last month the e.p.a. administratorer sent a memo creating a formal policy on the importance of assessing and responding to critical public health issues. that the administrator had to remind employees of the importance of public health speaks to the misplaced priority of the e.p.a. and its officials. so today we have to pass a law requiring the agency to notify the public when water quality is unsafe. and constitutes a public health
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threat. this legislation is a reminder to the e.p.a. that it needs to focus on its core responsibility, safe drinking water. using its authority rather than overreaching outside of its jurisdiction. this is not -- this is an example of one community who has been adversely affected. flint is not alone in this challenge. and this has ramifications all across our country. and i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: mr. speaker, i'm waiting for another individual to offer testimony. and so we'll move to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield to another original co-sponsor of the legislation, the gentleman from michigan, mr. trot, two minutes -- mr. trott, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. trott: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank everybody for
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the bipartisan work on this issue. i rise today in support of the safe drinking water improved compliance awareness act. the this bill is a step in the right direction -- this bill is a step in the right direction. the legislation requires the e.p.a. administrator to work with states and local water authorities to develop a strategic plan for addressing lead in drinking water. this important legislation will ensure that the complete failure to notify people of a health risk, which occurred in flint, does not happen again. this is an issue that many communities across our country will have to deal with as our water system infrastructure ages. we must ensure that the public is aware and our citizens are informed and our water authorities and agencies identify and take steps to prevent this level of failure from happening again. mr. speaker, on the federal level, it is unacceptable that the e.p.a., an agency with a budget over $8 billion, did not escalate its concerns over the presence of lead contaminants. this is an agency that is literally paid to protect the
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public health and environment and had failed and this failure may not happen again. all americans should feel safe drink water from their kitchen sink. this legislation is a commonsense solution and i urge its immediate passage. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york continues to reserve? mr. tonko: i'll continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield two minutes to the gentleman from south carolina, mr. sanford. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. sanford: i thank the chairman and rise in support of this act and thank you for your hard work and your committee's hard work on this bill. i'll be exceedingly brief. because certainly, as has been out-- as has been outlined, this is about a failure of government at a multitude of levels. state levels, federal levels, real failure and real consequences poot -- to the people of flint. it's also, i think, a reminder to all of us of the significance of bracket creep in government. wherein if everybody's
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involved, nobody's involved. if everybody's accountable, nobody's accountable. and that's true of a government, at a government level, it's true of a regulatory body. and the importance of clearly defined missions which i think is part of what the strategic plan really gets at in this act. i admire your work on that. i also want to just reference that this is also a reminder, a wake-up call, if you will, on the importance of watching out for unsustainable political promises. i say that because if you look at the general budget, the general fund, within flipt, basically 1/3 of their -- flint, basically 1/3 of their revenue goes to pay for retiree benefits. that is going to rise to essentially 40% by 2020. 40%. i bring up that simply because it is indeed a wakeup call to the unsustainability of our federal promises. as you look at the numbers going forward at the federal level. so, my heart goes out to the people of flint. i think that this is an important measure going forward. but it's also an important reminder, every one of us here at federal level, to watch out
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for the unsustainable promises here in washington. with that i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: mr. speaker, might i inquire how much time we have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan has 5 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from new york has eight minutes remaining. mr. tonko: with that i will yield three minutes to the gentleman from michigan, representative kildee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for three minutes. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank my friend for yielding. i appreciate all the comments and the support, especially the sympathy and really unity with the people of my hometown of flint. i do want to ensure, though, that we're properly characterizing the legislation and its reasoning and its impact. the legislation would actually not just require e.p.a. to provide notice, but would require the local jurisdiction, the state agency, provide them
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with the opportunity to do what they should do anyway and that is to provide notice. and absent their willingness to do so, the e.p.a. would then be required -- it's an important distinction. in this case, the state of michigan has primesy in enforcement of these rules. the e.p.a. in the case of flint did take action when they learned of the elevated lead levels. the action was to repeatedly reach out to the michigan department of environmental quality and insist that they enforce the lead and copper rule. and actually they went so far as to insist that they initiate corrosion control, which is the mechanism by which lead leaching would have been prevented. not only did the michigan department of environmental quality fail to act, they actually told the e.p.a. almost a year ago that they actually
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had initiated corrosion control when they had not. so, i think it's -- it would be a mistake to create some sort of equivalency between the role of the e.p.a. and the role of the state of michigan in this. it was the state of michigan that had prime responsibility, that failed. and the e.p.a., while i would have preferred they shout from the mountaintop that they were having this problem getting the lead agency to enforce the rule, there was at least confusion as to whether or not they had the authority to do so. and even today the state of michigan continues to push back on e.p.a. attempts to test water, to insist on enforcement. . it's an important distinction to make. regarding my friend, mr. sanford's comments, i appreciate his reflection on the financial situation within the city of flint. while that is a set of questions that clearly needs attention, the truth of the matter is had
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the michigan department of environmental quality insisted on the use of corrosion control in the flint water system as the law would require, the cost would have been $140 a day. all of this could have been prevented by the state simply requiring that $140 a day to be spent. this legislation is important in preventing this from happening again so that an agency of the state that refuses to enforce the law at least can't do so in the dark. it would require e.p.a., if the state won't give public notice, it would require the e.p.a. to do so. this is an important step. we crafted this legislation to make sure that each level of government is transparent when it comes to these issues. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. the gentleman from michigan, mr. upton, is recognized. mr. upton: i have no further members wishing to speak. i'm prepared to close. mr. tonko: mr. speaker, i believe we have no further
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witnesses that will appear. with that i might just offer my comments and then -- mr. upton: then i'll close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized with five minutes remaining. mr. tonko: let me again offer appreciation to chairman upton and our ranker, representative pallone, for their leadership on this issue in working a -- in the spirit of bipartisan to bring this measure to the floor. working with the michigan delegation and in particular representative kildee who has been directly impacted on behalf of flint, michigan, that he represents. i would also make certain that we remember that under the safe drinking water act as representative kildee indicated states have primacy. an important issue for members that frequently talk about
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empowering our state and local governments. it's the state's responsibility when that accept that role of primacy to run these systems and comply with federal standards. before we point fingers at the e.p.a., let's remember that congress has cut its budget year after year. we want them to do more with less. of achieving nt efficiency. we cut valuable staffing and programs. we can point to failures at all levels of government, but the public doesn't want to hear, they don't want to hear us blame anyone. they want and deserve real solutions and financial assistance to address the crisis at hand. the people of flint and better protect our public health going forward. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yield back the balance of his time of the the gentleman from michigan, mr. upton, is recognized for 5 1/2 minutes.
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mr. upton: i would just encourage all my colleagues to support this legislation. mr. tonko said this bill is not about a blame game. we are trying to fix a problem so it don't happen again any place. i just might note that the house was out two weeks. we had martin luther king week, we had the snowstorm, and couldn't come back. our committee held a number of briefings. i expanded it to include certainly all the members, republican and democrat, on the energy and commerce committee, but i also extended that out to all the members of the michigan delegation, both of our senators, wells the -- as well as the government reform it committee majority and minority staff. mr. kildee mentioned about mr. pallone not being here. his father died earlier this week. he's where he should be, but he cares deeply about this legislation as well.
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and i know when i sat down with my friend, mr. kildee, last week to talk about the intent of this legislation and where he was, we were able to, i think, make some important constructive changes that strengthen the bill that led to the immediate -- it was a no-brainer for us to get every member on both sides of the aisle from michigan to be an original co-sponsor. i congratulate him for that initiative. but i must say this is a first step. i know in the future our committee is going to be looking at how we can better expand flexibility, i think, of states as relates to their safe drinking water fund. state revolving fund as well. we are looking to hear from the states in terms of what we might be able to do on a federal response. nothing this again is a primacy at the state and local level. particularly when a state like we have seen here actually has been given an emergency declaration as our governor sought. encourage all my
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colleagues to support this bill. and i commend mr. kildee. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time having expired, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4470, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, -- the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlemn from texas seek recognition? mr. sessions: good afternoon, mr. speaker. by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 609 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker prtempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 89, house resolution 609, resolved, that at any time after adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule xviii, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill, h.r. 3442, to provide further means of accountability of the united states debt and promote fiscal responsibility. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. the bill sha be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. no amendment to the bill shall be in order except those printed in part a of the report of the
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committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the use or in the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of onsideration of the bill for amendment the committee sha rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may he been adopted. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion trecommit with or ithout instructions. sec. 2. at any time after adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule xviii, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on
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the state of the union for consideration of the bill, h.r. 3293, to provide for greater accountability in federal funding for scientific research, to promote the progress of science in the united states that serves that national interest. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not ceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on science, space, and technology. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. the bill shall be considered a read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. no amendment to the bill shall be in order except those printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified
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in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the previous question -- the gentleman from texas xas inia terom ch. virginia tech. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. mr. speaker, during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded for the purpose of debate only. we yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman, my friend from massachusetts, mr.
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mcgovern, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and . tend their remarks the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of a rule and underlying bills, both of which will enhance accountability and create better processes for our federal government. necessary legislation is what we are talking about today. legislation that will help the federal government not only its processes but will allow the american people to have confidence in what their government does, not only on their behalf, but for a better future for the american citizens, including our children and grandchildren. we are here today because this is an important -- these are important issues and we are addressing them. that is what speaker ryan wants this body to be doing. eaker ryan wants us to bring
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our best ideas to the floor, to make sure the american people understand what they are, to fully debate them, to have all the open processes that are necessary to make sure that we are bringing to the american people the best ideas of their elected representatives. that's why we are here today. i also want to point out that the rules committee, of which i am chairman, asked members to submit their ideas and amendments regarding these bills and 14 amendments were made in order. that means that the rules ommittee met, we looked at, we had discussions with members about the ideas that they had, and 14 were made in order last night by the rules committee. i'm proud of that. as a result, our resolution provides that h.r. 3442, the debt management and fiscal responsibility act of 2015, which was authored and supported by the gentleman from texas, marchant, and ny
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h.r. 3293, the scientific research in the national interest act, which was brought to the committee by the young chairman of the science committee, will mart smith from san antonio, texas, will both be considered today under a structured rule. mr. chairman -- mr. speaker, i would normally run through my opening dialogue that i would have about what's in these bills, why they are important, and what they would do, but because of time considerations today, one of our newest members of congress wants to come. he's got a meeting in a few minutes. and i would like to ask him if he would, at this time, take part in my opening statement. i would yield to the gentleman from windsor, colorado, mr. buck. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. buck: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman from texas. mr. speaker, for years our nation has limped along from debt crisis to debt crisis. every time we say to ourselves just a little more spending today and we'll fix this mess
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tomorrow. but tomorrow never seems to come, and the ocean of red ink gets deeper and deeper with each passing day. thanks to this spend now and save never mentality, the national debt has soared to $19 trillion and no end in sight. he we are also morally bankrupt. we need a solution to our constant budget busting. h.r. 3442 will help our nation address this fiscal crisis. by requiring the administration to testify before congress, we're requiring them to bring realistic, serious solutions to the table. we're calling on them to offer a plan for actually reducing our debt. and this is key, we're requiring these solutions before we reach the point of no return. what we have wrought in debt and deficit isn't merely a
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fiscal challenge or an economic problem. it is poisonous to our human potential. it's time for the federal government to start making the same tough choices that small businesses and folks in colorado are making every day. and this bill is a good start. thank you, and i yield back. >> thank you very much. and thank the gentleman. now i will regain my time. mr. speaker, the original intent also of a piece of legislation that we have goes back to 1950. mr. sessions: and the legislation that created the ational science foundation was at the time there to support science that was in the national interest. unfortunately the n.s.f. has funded too many wasteful projects under the ideas that have been presented to us by the science committee. too many wasteful projects whose purpose was probably nebulous at best, which would
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e the argument that chairman lamar smith made with us. and clearly not necessarily in the national interest. now, we heard testimony saying every single project that national science foundation handled was in the american h made people's best interest. we think that our discussion with members of congress today will show them that we need to change the wording, to where the national interest is obbletory to a proposal before a proposal is given, that this be part of why you have to prove it's in the national best interest american people's best to spend money. examples of such projects include $700,000 to create a climate changing musical. $38,000 to study prehistoric rabbit hunting. and perhaps my favorite of all,
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$605,000 to study why people around the world cheat on their taxes. mr. speaker, this is hard-earned money that was spent, that i do not believe was in the national interest. and in the interest of the nation means they need to be prioritized and they need to be somebody that -- something that would produce an outcome that would benefit from the national science foundation the american people. h.r. 3293 directly benefits the promoting ple by greater accountability. a mission statement, so to speak. in funding scientific research that not only -- search, not only at n.s.f., but also ensures that the research promo conducted is always in the national interest. this is, i i believe -- this is, i believe, a commonsense, bipartisan answer, and certainly lamar shigget, -- smith, as the chairman of the committee, brought forth the ideas on a bipartisan basis to
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we would do is not get in the way of any projects that are currently out there, but anything that is in its future would have to subscribe to the conditions of the national interest. wreckless and mandatory spending has placed our national finances and our economy, including our jobs, our infrastructure and our future, in peril. today the total debt is subject to the limit which includes treasury securities held by the federal trust funds and other accounts stands at over $19 trillion. additionally, the congressional budget office projects that the 2016 deficit will be $544 billion. so, you can see that we're not just at $19 trillion, but that we're adding to that. mr. speaker, you know and i know in just a matter of weeks
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the gentleman, mr. tom price, the chairman of the budget committee, will be bringing forth on this floor to talk that address what our year is going to look like in 2017. the president of the united states has a chance to do this. every year the president has submitted his budget, it is $1 trillion more a year spending. it is more government, it is more spending, it is more things that add to our debt. republicans since 2011 have -- since we've been in the majority -- have tried to submit budgets that held us in place. but by holding us in place, which is the best we can do, it did not mean that we were addressing creating a surplus, which would be required not to add to that debt. so, what we are is back to the american people again, with an opportunity for them to understand our processes.
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a budget, an opportunity to get to where we do not add to the debt. but what we're here to do today is not the budget, but to address what do we do under a circumstance when we have a debt limit where we've met the constitutional constraints, the legal constraints, and what are we going to do moving forward? so, what we're doing is we're taking a bill that comes directly from a member of our ways and means committee who has spent a number of years thinking through how can we put a spotlight, how can we put the light of day on this issue, where we can talk about it, understand more about it, and do something about it? also the second
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bill, the national science foundation, what's in the national interest, and clearly looking at the debt. and if we're going to have a debt limit increase, how do we, as members of congress, under our constitutional powers, understand not just about the issue, but also the obligation that we have when we take votes to where we know what's at risk, what would the plan be, and perhaps more importantly, how can we work together with the administration, republicans and democrats, to make sure we get a better answer? now, one last point that needs to be made, and i think it was made yesterday in the committee, not just by the gentleman, mr. cole, not just by ms. foxx from north carolina, not just by myself, but that is, we don't know who the president's going to be next year. we don't know who the secretary of treasury is going to be next year. and the gentleman, the author of the bill, thinks that that is a prime reason why his legislation should be a
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bipartisan, commonsense piece of legislation to where we're saying, whoever it is has the authority but the responsibility to come to congress and give us the insight and let's work together so that we avoid debt, so that we avoid making a mistake, and mostly, so that we're on the same page together. that's why we're here today, mr. speaker. and i would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from texas, my good friend, the distinguished chairman of the rules committee, mr. sessions, for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to this rule. which provides for consideration of h.r. 3293, a bill to hamstring the national science foundation and its gold standard review process.
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and i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 3442, a misnamed debt management bill that provides congress with no new information about the debt limit and does nothing to actually prevent default. despite a promise from -- a promise from speaker ryan and house republican leadership for an open and deliberative process, this rule makes in order only 14 of the 47 amendments sup submitted to our committee on -- submitted to our committee on both pieces of legislation. only six amendments for the science committee's bill and eight for the debt limit bill. democrats in the rules committee offered an open rule so that both democratic and republican members could have an opportunity to make their views known on this bill. but as has become the custom, the democrats vote for an open process and every single republican voted against an open process. members should have the opportunity to offer their ideas on the house floor and we should be having a robust debate on these issues. and here's a crazy idea, mr. speaker.
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maybe if we actually opened up the process and allowed for a full debate, we could actually pass bipartisan legislation that would move through the legislative process and then to the president's desk where he would then sign it into law. but for the most part, my friends on the other side of the aisle don't seem interested in working with democrats to advance common goals that will actually help the american people. and the legislation before us today is no exception. h.r. 442 requires the secretary of the treasury to appear before the congress and submit a report on the administration's debt reduction proposals. well, i've got some good news for my friends. the treasury secretary already regularly meets with congress to discuss the debt limit. and the president offers proposals to address the debt and the deficit in his annual budget. i would say to my colleagues on the republican side, it's ok, you can ask questions. that's what hearings are for. and you can ask questions about
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reduction. deficit in fact, just yesterday president obama sent his fiscal year 2017 budget request to congress. $2.9 ncluded over trillion in deficit reduction over the coming decade. this on top of the $4 trillion to $5 trillion on deficit reduction already achieved since 2010. if my friends interested in hearing about these proposals to reduce the deficit, perhaps they should reconsider their unprecedented and insulting decision to ex clute o.m.b. from -- exclude o.m.b. from testifying on the budget proposal. such an attitude demeans congress and the american people. in addition to its annual budget, the administration also provides the information requested by h.r. 442 in the form of the midsession review. the daily treasury state -- statement, the monthly treasury statement, the monthly statement on public debt, the schedule of federal debt, and
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the financial report of the united states government. treasury manages our debt. but it is congress that holds the power of the purse. it is our responsibility to raise the debt limit when it is reached, and i would point out, it is the legislative decisions made by congress that determine the level of debt. and i say to my republican friends, you know, if you don't want to deal with the issue of raising the debt limit, then don't accumulate all these bills. all the debt limit debate is about is making sure we live up to our financial obligations. the obligations that this chamber agreed to. last night in the rules committee we had a debate about deficit reduction. and how to deal with the debt. members on both sides of the aisle offered suggestions on ways to reduce our deficit. that's an important discussion we should be having.
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because it is a big issue. but this bill is not about deficit reduction. it's not about trying to get our debt under control. and it's not a serious attempt to help us avoid future default. the republican majority has threatened default on at least three separate occasions. in 2011, when default was narrowly avoided with the budget control act. in 2013, when republican extremists -- extremism lead to a government -- led to a government shutdown, costing our fragile economy $24 billion and 120,000 private sector jobs. and this past fall, when democrats helped to pass the bipartisan budget agreement, despite opposition from 2/3 of the republicans in this congress. and i'd like to point out what's missing in this bill. that we're going to be talking about later on this week. the report required by this legislation would exclude the most important information congress needs when the debt limit is reached. that is an analysis of the
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catastrophic consequenceses of default. if this were a serious attempt to address our debt, i would think that the majority would want to know which bills treasury would need to stop paying if congress failed to raise the debt limit. would veterans stop receiving their benefitss? would made care providers stop being reimbursed? would students stop receiving pell grants? the chairman of the rules committee said in his opening statement, you know, the american people want us to do something. i agree. but this is not doing something. this is trying to point the finger somewhere else so that we can avoid responsibility for doing our job. if we were serious about this issue, maybe we ought to think about actually passing legislation that would help reduce our deficit and pay down our debt. maybe we ought to be talking about comprehensive immigration reform. c.b.o. says that we would save hundreds of billions of dollars for our national treasury if we actually did that, did something positive to resolve our immigration crisis and in
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doing so we would save all this money that could go to reducing our deficit. maybe one of the things we ought to be talking about here is actually not passing tax breaks for wealthy people that we don't pay for. because that adds to the bills that we accumulate here in congress. if you want to give donald trump another tax cut, pay for it, that's all. . maybe we should talk about the issue of these war costs. we can't even come together and debate and vote on an aumf as these new wars are propping up all over the world. if we did, maybe we could talk about the cost, which by the way a big chunk of these war costs aren't even paid for. the only people sacrificing in these wars are the men and women who we put in harm's way and their families. the rest of us do nothing. we don't ask the american people to pay for it. here's an idea, if people don't want to pay for the wars, maybe
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we ought not to go. just putting them on our credit card should not be an answer. those are the things we should be talking about here today if we were serious about getting our budget under control. simply put, mr. speaker, this legislation is duplicative, unnecessary, and a waste of time. it does nothing to prevent future republican threats of default. i strongly oppose this effort. this week also, mr. speaker, house republicans are bringing to the floor h.r. 3293, another anti-science piece of legislation. some might call this a thinly veiled attempt by the majority to dictate what the national science foundation spends their funding on, but there really -- veil a thin vail trying to cover up what this is. this is a plateant attempt -- plateant attempt to coerce the n.s.f. to only fund projects that fit into the republican political mess messaging agenda. the n.s.f. receives upwards of
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50,000 proposals a year. out of all these proposals, only about 20% end up receiving funding. the n.s.f. puts the applications through a rigorous process of peer review in order to determine which proposals they will fund. i would like to emphasize the fact that this is a peer review, not a congressional review. a peer review. congress does not review these applications because the vast majority of us are not scientists. i'm not a scientist. i don't think my -- many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are scientists. the n.s.f. review process is also designed to be confidential in order to protect against any internal or external bias. injecting congressional interference and disruption into a well functioning process will have a drastically negative effect. it should come as no surprise that a big part of the republican majority's argument is that the n.s.f. is focusing its funding on
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projects studying climate change. i tried to figure out what the hook was and i found that that is it. i said this here before and i will keep saying it until we stop debating these ridiculous bills. we know that climate change is real. we see it. we live it. and the scientific community overwhelmingly has verified it. climate change is not a theory. it is not a hoax. it is not some silly fantasy. the n.s.f. should be funding research that is directed towards understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change. the majority on the science committee has been on a crusade to inject itself into n.s.f.'s independent grant review process. the committee has demanded an explanation on how roughly 40 studies could possibly serve our national interest. we have seen time and time again that basic research leads to
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positive life changing outcomes never imagined by researchers. congress certainly does not have the experience or the knowledge to predetermine the future value of a research project. just because the title of a project doesn't sound particularly overwhelmingly impressive doesn't mean it isn't. and we have a gazillion examples of that in the research that has been done in the n.s.f. it is best to leave the scientific review process in the hands of our world class scientists who resoundingly oppose efforts to interfere with n.s.f.'s rigorous review process. i join them in strong opposition to this bill. once again, mr. speaker, we are on the floor debating two bills that are going nowhere. each bill has received a veto threat from the white house because this is not serious legislation. mr. speaker, this is just one more political -- this is just more political fodder for the right wing of the republican
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party, sound bites from my friends on the other side of the aisle to use while on the campaign trail to attempt to sound like they are dealing with issues in a serious manner when they are not. it doesn't matter what year it is, the american people elected us to solve problems not pad republicans' political talking points. ask my colleagues to join me in opposing this restrictive rule and the two partisan pieces of legislation. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, mr. speaker, yesterday in rules committee made order more amendment than senator harry reid did as majority leader over two years in just one day. just one day. more amendments made in order in the united states house of representatives. so i get it. i do. and i think i'd be on the defensive also if i were my colleagues, my friends that are democrats, because what they are doing to this country doesn't
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work. and they are defensive about it. so they view anything that republicans do that's really basis, but partisan doesn't fit their narrative as this is political. well, balancing the budget is in the best interest of the american people. presenting realistic budgets not trillion dollars more in spending, bigger government, is exactly the kind of policies that republicans do believe. by the way, if they were really serious about trying to fix this global warming, they would look in their own back beyond a reasonable doubt with home heating fuel, which is diesel fuel which they are putting all northeast to heat their homes. that is a huge contributor to global warming. as opposed to plain natural gas. you know, they can make their own decisions. but i would say back to them, i think you ought to measure three
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times and saw once. not just go accusing other people of things. yesterday he at the rules committee we had the gentleman from texas, kenny marchant, a great member of our ways and means committee, come and testify about this bill, about how we look at raising the debt limit. and he spoke very passionately and a lot of commonsense involved about how did we look at this issue and solve t i'd like to yield five minutes to the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. marchant: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for yielding to me and for your support on this issue. the rules committee and thank you for allowing the rules committee to spend over an hour on this issue yesterday. to hear the -- both sides of this issue as far as the debt ceiling goes.
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mr. speaker, i can't go to a town hall meeting or even go to a gathering of just a few people, without the subject of the debt ceiling coming up. my constituents on a regular basis through emails, phone calls, letters ask me the question, what is congress doing about addressing the debt ceiling? why do you lurch from year to year to year about the debt ceiling? why don't you ever look at the debt ceiling in a comprehensive manner? the debt is too high. when i introduced this bill in september, the debt ceiling of the debt had reached $18.1 trillion. today it's over $19 trillion. it's -- if the current law remains unchanged, the
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congressional budget office predicts that the federal debt held by the public will exceed 100% of our g.d.p. in 25 years. this is unsustainable. the way to get a handle on the nation's debt -- window to get a handle on the nation's debt is closing quickly. we need to enact solutions to retire the debt before it's too late. that's what the debt management and fiscal responsibility act is all about. this bill creates a new debt limit framework that places greater attention on finding debt reduction solutions. it does so by injecting transparency, accountability, and timeliness in the debt limit process. the bill would allow congress and the administration to take comprehensive assessments of the debt in its driver well before the statutory debt limit is reached. each year since i have been in congress we pick up the
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newspaper one day and we find that the secretary of the treasury announces that we have reached our statutory debt limit. and usually proclaims a date. in this case, the statutory debt limit will be reached next march of 2017. at that point everybody seems to go about their business. there's no particular action taken. in fact, last month after that proclamation was made that we had reached our statutory debt ceiling, seven months went by. seven months went by without us reaching the debt ceiling. how did that happen? well, it happened because the secretary of the treasury has the ability to implement extraordinary measures. now, if any committees in ongress should know what those
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extraordinary measures that he's using are going to be or are, it's the ways and means committee and the senate finance committee. so this bill very simply lays after -- work where before the debt ceiling is reached and the secretary of the treasury knows that, he has a framework of up to 60 days to come and appear before the ways and means committee and the senate finance committee, and that could be a joint meeting, and lay out for us when the debt ceiling will be reached, not after we reached the debt ceiling, but before we reached the debt krein. -- ceiling. what extraordinary measures he will take once we reached that debt ceiling. and , when in fact, he thinks we will actually run out of money.
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in that report he will actually then lay out the administration's plan on addressing that debt in the short term, in the midterm, and in the future. plan.s a very commonsense it involves one very specific two g with these jurisdictional committees, with the secretary of treasury, and the whole focal point of that meeting will be talk about the debt ceiling. that does not happen now. yes we have dozens of reports that are online. we have dozens of discussions besides this, but never statutorily is the secretary of the treasury and the two jurisdictional committees required to meet and discuss this. this is the great think about this bill, the implementation of this bill. like so many americans, my constituents have watched with great concern as the debt has
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skyrocketed. it mr. sessions: yield an additional minute. mr. marchant: if we share these concerns at all, i know many of us do, we need to pass the debt management and fiscal responsibility act. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the rule. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, the gentleman asked a question about extraordinary measures that the secretary of treasury could potentially use to deal with the debt ceiling. i would just tell him they are defined in statute. we'll happily provide him a copy of the statute so that he can understand that. but i would go back to what i said in my opening statement, that if we are serious about dealing with our deficit and our debt, then maybe we ought to be thinking in these terms, about actually not accumulating all these bills that get us to the point where we have to raise the debt ceiling.
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we in congress, not the administration, but we in congress, we accumulate all these bills and all these financial obligations, and once you do that, you have to pay them. our constituents when they accumulate credit card debt, they have to pay t they just can't not pay it because they don't want to. so we have to start behaving like adults here and understand that we need to pay our bills. i would suggest to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that one way we might to save some money and not add up to the deficit or to our debt, stop giving donald trump tax cuts that you don't pay for. if you want to have tax cuts for wealthy individuals, fine. pay for them. don't not pay for them. stop subsidizing big oil companies in this country. maybe there was a time when we first started exploring for oil you could make the case that taxpayers ought to be
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subsidizing oil companies. not anymore. not with global warming. and certainly not when they are making zillions of dollars a year in profits. maybe we could take that money and put it toward deficit reduction. or maybe we can pay for these wars that everybody seems to want to commit our young men and women to. . if you want to go to war, you ought to pay for it. not just put it on our credit card. if you're not prepared to do that, then end these wars. but just putting in danger the lives of our brave men and women and just accumulating all this -- these massive bills, that there's no accountability there, i think is unconscionable. having said that, mr. speaker, i would now like to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from vermont, mr. welch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. welch: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i respect the motivation that underlying this bill. we've got a debt in this that's too large and
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we've got to address it. but this is a nonresponse. the job of addressing the debt belongs to congress. it can't be outsourced. the secretary of the treasury has no more authority to address the debt than the secretary of agriculture or education or the democratic national committee or the republican campaign committee. this is a job that has to be done. but it is our job to do it. asking the secretary of treasury to come in and talk about when that date certain will be on default, when we set that date, when we pass budgets, means that we are asking somebody else to do our job and asking somebody who actually doesn't even have the authority to do the job that belongs to congress. you know, every time we vote on
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either a tax cut or an appropriation bill, it has clear implications for how that will impact on the debt ceiling. and it's debatable because there's fluctuations as to when we'll hit that date. but it is absolutely certain that when we appropriate money or we pass tax cuts, in one case spend willing go up, in the other case, revenue will go down, and what we've done is gone along in a kind of la-la land where we think we can cut taxes, we can raise spending, and then we are astonished when a year or so later there's actually a bill that comes due. so, this is not the debt management bill, it's not the fiscal responsibility bill. it's the debt mismanagement and fiscal irresponsibility bill. you know, think about the things that we've done. mr. mcgovern's been talking about it. but we had a war in iraq, $1 trillion. nobody paid for that. we voted to spend $1 trillion
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on tax cuts. and we can have an argument about tax policy. but revenues went down. congress voted to spend $800 billion on the prescription drug program. something that had bipartisan support. not paid for. and then just a few weeks ago we passed tax extenders that are going to reduce revenues by $2 trillion. actions have consequences. and the consequences are ones that are inevitable and foreseeable as a result of the actions of this congress. and for this congress, instead of assuming its responsibility, tries to outsource it to somebody -- to someone else, is a dodge. that's all it is. it's us trying to fool the game of eople with a three-card monty where we are
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pretending that the problem that we're decrying had somehow mysteriously evolved out of nowhere. i respect the concern of the authors of this bill about our debt. what i don't respect is the failure of congress to address it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, the reason why we're doing this is because one day two years ago the president through the treasury wrote off $339 billion in one day. that's not responsible. it didn't happen in one day. they play games at treasury, the president of the united states plays games with this issue and now it sounds like my colleagues are also. this is an honest attempt to have a dialogue, regardless of who is going to be president or whoever's going to be treasury secretary next year. we want to know what kind of games or what kind of straightforward business they're going to operate. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield five minutes to one of the most exciting young members -- members of this congress from pennsylvania, the
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gentleman, mr. kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for five minutes. kell kell i thank the gentleman -- mr. kelly: i thank the gentleman for referring to me as young and exciting. i'm going to phone my wife to let her know that's the case. mr. speaker, i come before you today because i'm in strong support of 3442. i think that sometimes we make this a democrat versus republican issue. responsibility is not a political issue. it is a moral issue. irresponsibility is the problem that we have. and i wish we could go away from making political talking points into making solid policy positions that say, ok, fine. if we're going to increase our debt ceiling, tell me why you're going to get there. i come from the private sector and there's many times in my life i've had to go to lenders and tell them, i need to borrow money. the first thing they would say is, give me your finances, let me see how you're running your company and what what you're doing and then we'll make a decision. then they'd come back to me aye and say, you definitely -- to me and say, you definitely need
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an injection of capital but what's your turn-around plan so you're not back here in six months or 12 months asking for more money on a failed model? in the people's house, the congress, it is made up of both republicans and democrats, but more importantly it is made up of americans. we are looking at a year when the tax revenues are the highest they've ever been. $2.5 trillion. yet we continue to spend $3.7 trillion to $3.8 trillion. people look at that and their eyes roll back in their head and they say, i have absolutely no idea what wrure talking about. we reduce -- you're talking about. we reduce it down to this. hardworking american couples sit down at the kitchen table, kitchen table economics, it's not all this other stuff, and the husband and the wife talk and say, honey, we had a great year. i was able to bring home $32,500. so what i want you to do is to go out and spend $37,500 or
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$38,000. and they would say, wait a minute, you told me you had a great year and you did. but you want me to spend even more money than you brought in. we constantly tell the american people that you're going to have to tighten your belts, you're going to have to live within your means. and then because we don't have to, we go out and borrow. and we raise the debt ceiling. think about that couple. that is increasing their debt load year after year after year. deficit spending. and we're crowing about the fact that we've cut our deficit spending by half a trillion dollars this year. aren't we doing well? my question is, so where does that deficit spending go? into your long-term debt. you're digging the hole so deep you'll never be able to climb out of it. but you're feeling good about it because you were able to satisfy whatever your needs were at that moment. that is not only irresponsible, it's unconscionable. and it is immoral. for people to sit in this house
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as representatives of the american people who have been given the authority to tax, but they've also been given the responsibility to spend that hardworking american tax pair's dollar. more importantly, once -- taxpayer's dollar. more importantly, once you have authority and responsibility, you have to be accountable. not just so that person -- to that person in the mirror, but in my case, the 705,000 people that i represent in western pennsylvania. they're not all republicans. they're not all democrats. they're not all libertarians. they're not all independents. but they are all hardworking american taxpayers. why do we have to reduce this down to a political talking point issue instead of talking about what is fundamentally sound economically? you cannot spend your way out of debt. you cannot continue to borrow irresponsibly and say, well, we had the power to do it, so we when we ask the secretary of the treasury, who else would you go to, if that's whose responsible for it, i don't care who's sitting in there, i don't care who's in the white
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house, i care about sound, fundamental, fiscal policy that protects this country going forward. not only those that are with us right now, but those that came before us and those that are going to come after us. we are putting ourselves in a position that is totally going to be unrecoverable. why would we knowingly sit here and think that if i can pin the blame on somebody else from the political opposite of me, that i will somehow win an election? is it really that important to win an election and lose a country? is it really that important to have a political talking point that makes you feel good about what you said so you can go back home and say, you saw what i did on the floor, right? and i would hope that the constituent would say, yes, i did, you just put me deeper in debt. you made it impossible for me to plan for my future and for us to remain one of the strongest countries in the world. because debt will eliminate you. i don't care if it's a person or a business, i don't care if it's a state or a country. we are quickly approaching the point of no return. and to sit here and try to make
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it a political battle instead of survival for the united states of america is totally irresponsible and, more importantly, it is immoral. this is not a political battle. this is a fight for the future of our country. this is a fight for sustainability. i do not think that any of us should ever turn our back on our responsibility because it just wasn't politically right for me. i thank you and i yield back. spoir the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman yields back the balance of his time -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: visit greatest respect for my colleague from pennsylvania. but the reason why we oppose this is because it does nothing. it attempts to pin the blame on the secretary of treasury. but the reality is, and want to repeat this for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, the congress' decisions on spending and revenue policies ultimately determine the level of debt and when the debt limit is reached. it is our responsibility. what we object to is that
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instead of debating concrete issues to reduce our deficit and reduce our debt, we're involved in this kind of debating a nonissue, a bill that does nothing, that will do nothing to reduce our deficit or debt, and is a complete waste of time. at this point i'd like to yield four minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my good friend from massachusetts for his leadership. i want to say to my friend, mr. kelly from pennsylvania, whom i respect and admire, this isn't ike a simple homespun, sit around the kitchen table and work this out and be responsible in paying our bills. i wish it were. but that homespun couple in pennsylvania or my district in virginia, they can't start a war that's unpaid for in iraq. they can't decide to give
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wealthy people a tax cut that's unpaid for. and they can't run the u.s. economy into the ground, that costs trillions of dollars in additional debt, because of policy choices made in this congress. not by the secretary of the treasury. and it was republican vice president mr. cheney who actually said in the midst of all that, debt's no longer -- debts no longer matterer. so we're glad to see the newfound religion here on the floor of the house. with our friends on the other side of the aisle. who are now once again concerned about debt. bt they helped accumulate to an obscene degree. i rise, mr. speaker, in opposition to not only that bill, but to the scientific research in the national interest act bill. it comes as no surprise to my constituents in virginia that the most anti-environmental congress the house majority is
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now attempting to tell the national science foundation how they ought to do and award federal research franlts -- grants. based on what congress deems worthy. the house majority has been open about its climate denialism. and candid about its outright political agenda against scientific fact. the very community, scientific community, that we should trust to understand and forecast the affects of manmade global climate change is substituted in this bill by the united states congress. a bunch of politicians. this is a solution, this bill, in search of a problem. and threatens the national science foundation's gold standard merit review process that has resulted in groundbreaking research over the years. including medical, technological, agricultural and public health advancements. even worse, how are we to explain the majority's decision to exclude climate change, one of the most pressing global challenges we face, as one of
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the bill's seven national interest criteria. not even in there. i offered an amendment that would have ensured climate change is deemed in the national interest. the republican majority would not even allow that amendment to come to this floor for debate. the n.s.f. is helping to lead research in global climate change. for example, it was an n.s.f. grant in my district that will help television weather casters better inform and explain to viewers how climate change will in fact -- will affect us and those communities. in 2013, mr. speaker, i visited a place called norway. this is the northern most research installation in the planet. in the arctic circle. it's the leading research and monitoring station that serves many of our international partners, including norway, italy, japan, china and the netherlands. i saw firsthand in that visit the rapid decline of arctic sea
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ice and rapidly retreating glaciers. the research n.s.f. funds there will have environmental and geopolitical benefits to us and we should be expanding not retracting on those commitments. i ask how is it that research is not in the national interest? this destructive bill will have a chilling effect on our research community, stifling ambitious research necessary to a 21st century future. sadly, once again, the republican majority insists on misinformation and belief over empirical evidence and science. i urge rejection of the bill. thank you. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i would like to yield five minutes to the gentleman, the chair of the sigh yepts committee, the gentleman from san antonio, texas, chairman lamar shoot.

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