Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  April 21, 2016 9:00am-3:01pm EDT

9:00 am
gaveling in early, so we will bring you there live coverage on c-span. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. father conroy: let us pray. merciful god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. bless the members of the people's house. there are many important issues to be considered with multiple interests and priorities dividing the house in its deliberations. may the inertia of habit that has solidified various blocks of opinion be stirred to productive action and grant that a new light might shine on creative solutions to
9:01 am
long-standing and vexing disagreement. the benefit of so many americans depends on the creativity and intentions of those who serve here. may their hopes and prayers for constructive legislation be satisfied through your divine grace and the good will of all in this chamber. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from california, mr. takano. mr. takano: join me in the pledge to our nation's flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
9:02 am
the speaker: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. lamalfa: thank you, mr. speaker. i represent a rural district, northern california, where many of my constituents can only access the internet through dial-up or low-speed d.s.l. lack of access to broadband in rural areas is a drag on our mic growth and affects small businesses schools and f.c.c. cannot regulate the charge for internet access by passing h.r. 2666. there is no regulatory scheme the f.c.c. can create that will magically solve the challenge of expanding broadband access in high-cost areas. instead, likely it will be a hindrens as it -- hindrance as it creates more barriers to that access. expanding broadband in rural
9:03 am
areas requires an understanding of the economic realities, recognize the need for greater access, and removing the regulatory uncertainty. adoption of h.r. 2666 will encourage investment by letting internet service providers know they will not have to face the threat of federal regulations on the rates they charge and continue the push for broadband access and investment in rural areas which will be very helpful for people that travel long distance for education and the telemedicine that's so critical in rural areas. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman virginia tech for one minute. mr. at that caciano: -- mr. at that caco: mr. speaker -- mr. takano: i rise to encourage president obama to become the first sitting american president to visit hi roshea, japan. a visit is not an apology on america's behalf, it is a signal that the commander in chief of the world's largest
9:04 am
arsenal of nuclear weapons appreciates their power and it sets an example for other world leaders to follow. i did not fully grasp the horror of hiroshima until i traveled there for the first time in 2002. only then did i develop a personal and lasting connection to the incredible destruction caused by nuclear weapons. every leader who has the capacity to use these weapons should have that same experience and feel that same connection. one of america's greatest strengths is the power to lead by example. the president should use that power to lead the world to hiroshima and away from nuclear weapons. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. > thank you.
9:05 am
mr. olson: mr. speaker, i come from texas. the world thinks that texans take care of texans and texans always brag about texas. we do. bob shultz, i work for bob. bob lives in richmond, texas. he's 51 years old. bob was given a death sentence, pancreatic cancer. after 19 rounds of chemotherapy, tons of radiation, and endless surgery, bob beat his cancer. bob recovered by volunteering almost daily at the hospital in ugarland to make sure the lids are prepared for the 6:00 a.m. opening of that great facility.
9:06 am
mr. speaker, i'm going to close with seven words of texas pride, god bless a true texan, bob shultz. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. whether you are a mayor, city councilmember, or member of congress, it's the job of all elected officials to be problem solvers for the families we serve. for almost 25 years the city of galesburg has had a problem. the majority of water levels have had -- lead content exceeding what the federal government says it should. mrs. bustos: in the most recent health report shows that more than 14% of children tested had high lead levels in their small bodies. when there's a problem, especially a serious problem like this, leaders come together to solve it. they don't poin fingers and
9:07 am
they certainly do not deny facts. government officials at all levels have the responsibility to work constructively to solve the problem and protect our children. that is why i have assigned a watchdog task force within my office to investigate lead contamination throughout my congressional district and develop comprehensive solutions to overcome this challenge. we need to work together to solve this problem because that's what leaders do. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from missouri seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for ne minute. mrs. hartzler: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize heroes in our communities who ask for no recognition, too often receive none, and every day are deserving of it.
9:08 am
our law enforcement officers. their mission is simple, keep our communities safe. they are often overlooked, yet they are the first ones we call when we need help. it is a dangerous job. each day these selfless servants put on a badge symbolic of their unique position to ensure the safety of their families and individuals in their communities and they go do their duty. we enjoy the fruits of their labor without knowing of the tireless dedication that makes it happen. whether they are encouraging a child to make wise decisions, patrolling the neighborhood, or stopping a crime, their tireless dedication is often taken for granted. they sacrifice so we don't have to. so, mr. speaker, to our law enforcement officers around the country and to their families whose sacrifices are not forgotten, i rise to say thank you. thank you for protecting us. thank you for defending us, for being ever vigilant, ever ready, and ever courageous. we appreciate you and stand
9:09 am
with you as you service the guardians of our communities. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? >> i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. . >> mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulate an outstanding group of students in my district from highlands high school in fort thomas. these students are members of the we the people team at their high school. they recently won the state championship and will compete in the national level program here in washington, d.c., this weekend, representing the state of kentucky. this is the 12th consecutive year this team has won this competition in kentucky. we the people is a civics education program that promotes teaching and learning about our nation's history, the constitution, and the bill of rights. mr. guthrie: each year the program hosts a national competition in washington, d.c., in which individuals state level winning teams compete and participated in
9:10 am
simulated congressional hearings. i'm so proud of these students in my district. their parents, their teachers, and the administration of the highlands high school for their hard work and dedication. mr. massie: congratulations again and i wesh you-all the best in the national finals. i yield back. the spear pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the many accomplishments of the honorable james roddy, a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather, successful businessman, public servant, and united states marine. jim, a native of north carolina, found opportunity where generations of americans have, western pennsylvania. mr. rothfus: last month, jim stepped down as chairman of the allegheny county republican committee. his tenure was the latest act in a career that included his
9:11 am
historic election as allegheny county's first ever county executive in 1999. throughout his successful business career, he applied his acuemen and heart of service to the community development and nonprofit sector. he developed many of the values he applied in his career from his marine corps days where he reached the rank of cap tifpblet jim's peers and colleagues admire him for his ability to get the job done. he created a lasting impact on western pennsylvania. i wish him as well as his wife of more than 60 years, ellen, all the best in their future endeavors. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from south dakota seek recognition? mrs. noem: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 688, i call up the bill, h.r. 3724, the ensuring integrity in the i.r.s. work force act of 2015 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the
9:12 am
clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 382, h.r. 3724, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to prohibit the commissioner of the internal revenue service from rehiring any employee of the internal revenue service who was involuntarily separated from service for misconduct. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 688 in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means, printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 114-48 is adopted and the bill as amended is considered as read. the gentlelady fromed ised is, miss glome, and the gentleman from new york, mr. crowley, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from south dakota. mrs. noem: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and tend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 3724. currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mrs. noem: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of my
9:13 am
bipartisan bill, h.r. 3724, the ensuring integrity in the i.r.s. work force act. with tax day just behind us, most americans have finished their tax returns. they filled out form after form giving the i.r.s. some of the most sensitive information possible, including their social security numbers, their birth dates, wage data, and more. in 2014, the inspector general for the i.r.s. released a report that raised serious questions about whose hands this information falls into once it arrives at the i.r.s. more specifically, an audit of the agency's hiring practices found that the i.r.s. rehired hundreds of former employees the i.r.s. had previously fired because of conduct problems. we are not talking about small infractions. the i.r.s. rehired employees who had falsified documents. they failed to pay their own taxes. they access sensitive taxpayer information without permission. to think that someone could inappropriately access tax information, get fired for doing so, and then be rehired just a few months later is
9:14 am
completely unacceptable. but it's happened and it's happened more than once. these stories border on the absurd, one employee had been absent for leave without -- without leave for a total of eight weeks' worth of work. as a result, that employee was fired as the words, do not rehire, were stamped on their personnel file. still, the i.r.s. rehired this person. i.r.s. leadership has failed to acknowledge its mistakes or change its processes. instead, they stuck their heads in the sand. according to the inspector general, the i.r.s.' response to the report believed its current process was good nufment i don't buy t if the i.r.s. leadership thinks their current processes are protecting taxpayers, they need a reality check. the ensuring integrity in the i.r.s. work force act is a simple bipartisan fix to a serious problem. the bill does what the i.r.s. bureaucracy in washington won't. it stops the i.r.s. from rehiring former employees who had been fired for cause. my staff and i have met with
9:15 am
numerous frontline i.r.s. employees from south dakota who are sincere and hardworking individuals. my bill is not named at them. this legislation is aimed at the i.r.s. bureaucracy in washington and it's intended to address a very real problem they have refused to fix. there is no reason that i.r.s. leadership in washington shouldn't be held to the same standard to which it holds you, the taxpayers. with this legislation we can hold the i.r.s. accountable to us and to hiring practices that ensure a high quality work force for the agency. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense bill and i reserve the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. >> -- mr. crowley: we know that they face consumer challenges and needs to be more responsive to the american taxpayer, but this bill is not a serious attempt at oversight of the i.r.s. in fact, this -- with respect to making the i.r.s. more
9:16 am
responsive to taxpayers, this bill is a move in the wrong direction, but the fact that republicans are moving in the wrong direction on tax policy really shouldn't be a surprise to any of us. they are not only starving our entire government of resources that it needs to operate efficiently for the american public but they are deliberately standing in the y of actual productive policies. forget real tax reform that would bring positive benefits. they aren't doing anything that's broken in the system today. they refuse to crack down on large corporations that seek to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. simply by changing their mailing address from the united states to a low tax foreign country. we see the stories on tv all the time. corporations renouncing their
9:17 am
american citizenship to not have to pay any, any u.s. taxes. but congressional republicans have refused to take any action to stop these corporate tax dodgers and the resulting offshoring of american jobs. in fact, the republicans who run congress have protected these companies, not only through their refusal to act to stop these tax inversions but by also refusing to repeal the tax break that incentivizing u.s. companies to ship jobs overseas. yes, american companies can claim a tax break for firing american workers and moving their jobs overseas, and my republican colleagues are doing nothing about that. the real-world effect of the republicans' refusal to go after these corporations who
9:18 am
invert themselves to avoid paying their share of taxes is a heavier tax burden on the rest of our honest constituents who are playing by the rules. to address this problem, the treasury department recently issued new rules to stop large corporations from simply changing their post office box to avoid paying u.s. taxes. could my constituents imagine simply changing their post office box address to eliminate their federal taxes? of course not. because they can't. but somehow multinational companies who seem to have more rights than american citizens can. now, you would think the american congress would support the efforts of the american president to stop american companies from not paying the taxes here in america, but, mr.
9:19 am
speaker, you would be wrong. the majority is threatening to stop the treasury from advancing these types of commonsense rules to make multinational corporations pay their fair share of u.s. taxes just like everyone else. wouldn't time be better spent and served if my republican colleagues held hearings and pass bills to stop companies from removing their jobs and profits overseas? democrats stand ready to work with them to enact policies, commonsense policies to close the loopholes in our tax code that encourage companies to send their profits and their jobs overseas. unfortunately we'll have to wait for another day before the majority is seriously considering working together to make our tax system fairer for working people. but let me be clear, america
9:20 am
will not wait any longer. they demand that we act to close these loopholes to ensure that american corporations don't cheat the system to try to avoid paying their fair share of taxes here in the united states, to let the little guy have the greater burden in their absence. and with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from south dakota is recognized. mrs. noem: mr. speaker, i'm proud to have a gentleman here to speak on behalf of my bill that's been a strong leader in bringing integrity to the i.r.s., so i yield two minutes to the gentleman from nebraska, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nebraska is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. we are at a crossroads with our tax system, our tax code is outdated, it's overly complicated and the i.r.s. has proven its -- in and of itself is in need of serious reform. here's an opportunity for us to
9:21 am
work together. the opening remarks from my colleague across the aisle, i'm not sure if that's an attitude of cooperation but certainly this is a bill we can work together on, i would hope. you know, our tax code was last updated in 1986, a generation ago. it is increasingly burdensome in this global 21st century economy. american taxpayers need a simpler code that they can easily comply with, and finally, they deserve an accountable and consistent i.r.s. which provides exceptional taxpayer customer service. it is long past time for the status quo to change on these problems. we need the tax reform. this is why i stand in support of my colleague's bill, the ensuring integrity in the i.r.s. work force act, the legislation would prohibit the i.r.s. from rehiring any individual who was previously hired by the i.r.s. but fired by cause.
9:22 am
this is unacceptable by an agency which requires the highest standard of tax compliance from taxpayers. the i.r.s. should apply the same rigorous standard inside the agency itself. i wish we didn't need an act of congress such as this, but apparently we do. i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady reserves. mrs. noem: the gentlelady reserves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. crowley: continue to reserve the balance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from south dakota is recognized. mrs. noem: mr. speaker, i have a friend and colleague here today who's fought daily for years for hardworking taxpayers across america and for his home district. i'm proud to yield four minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for four minutes. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i want to thank the gentlewoman from hanlin county, south dakota, very dear friend, not only of every member of congress but in particular a great representative of south
9:23 am
dakota at a time when south dakota not only needs strong representation but a strong voice. i want to thank the young congresswoman for bringing this legislation to the floor today. mr. speaker, today it's quite simple. the united states congress has a say in the matter about how our government is run and the conduct of the government. the internal revenue service has for quite some time been at odds i believe not only with their mission statement but also at odds with their duty to publicly serve, to provide information and to do the things that enable taxpayers who want to follow the law and need to follow the law to comply respectfully. the internal revenue service over the last few years has run afoul, i believe, of the american people because their commonsense obligations that they have have not been met. today, we are here on the floor
9:24 am
with congresswoman noem to talk about h.r. 3794, that prohibits the commissioner of the i.r.s. from rehiring any employee who was involuntarily -- that means forced out -- involuntarily separated from service for misconduct at the internal revenue service. the treasury inspector general for tax administration reported in february, 2015, that the i.r.s. had rehired those employees that had been fired from the service for misconduct . hundreds of former employees who were terminated for well-documented conduct or performance issues. n fact, the i.r.s. rehired 141 former employees who had substantial tax issues. that means they were not paying their own tax bills. well, mr. speaker, if we were going to hire a person in our
9:25 am
office, we would attempt to gain information about that employee. yesterday, as we were talking about this on the rule, a fellow colleague said, well, what about your own employees? do you make sure they pay their taxes? i said, that would be a good question. no, i don't ask that question, but i would not have any idea what the real answer was, the truth if an employee did not tell me the truth. the i.r.s. does have the answer and they know who is paying their taxes and they know why they fired an employee, mr. speaker, and we are here saying that the internal revenue service should not rehire these employees who were unfaithful. unfaithful to their job and unfaithful to the american taxpayer. 141 employees who substantially did not pay their taxes represents 60% of all terminated for misconduct. and i think i know why. because the internal revenue service at the highest levels allows this to go on, and then
9:26 am
they rehire the employees who didn't even follow the law. mr. speaker, that's not just misconduct, that is another level giving them an opportunity that a normal taxpayer would not have to get away with not paying their own taxes. other misconduct issues of rehiring employees include assessing taxpayer information improperly without authorization, falsification of official forms, unacceptable behavior and performance and abuse of i.r.s. while on public time. mr. speaker, congresswoman noem is doing the right thing and so is the house of representatives, and i would like to see this be a bipartisan issue, not a partisan issue. we need the i.r.s. we need them to do a good job, but if this were at the federal
9:27 am
bureau of investigation, would we allow that to happen? if this was at the c.i.a., would we allow that to happen? if this was at the department of justice, would we allow this to happen? why isn't this a bipartisan issue? why can't we get together and say, mr. koskinen, you are the commissioner of the i.r.s., we would respectfully like you to correct what you're doing, we are not on a witch-hunt, we have the facts of the case and we believe the right thing to do is to offer some remedy? that's why republicans are on the floor today. that's why our young congresswoman is leading this charge. i stand behind her. i voted for the rule. i'm going to vote for this. it does the right thing. i thank the gentlewoman for the time. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady reserves? mrs. noem: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. crowley: i allow myself 30 second. the speaker pro tempore: the
9:28 am
gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. crowley: i would add maybe to that list for the gentleman from texas, if it were congress, would we allow this to happen? i yield back -- i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from south dakota is recognized. mrs. noem: mr. speaker, we have another colleague here on the floor today that serves on the ways and means committee and has diligently worked on i.r.s. issues and has been a leader on bringing some clarity to the situations that we deal with in trying to bring integrity to the i.r.s. i would like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. renacci. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. renacci: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in strong support of h.r. 3724, the ensuring integrity in the i.r.s. work orce act of 2015, a bill sponsored by my good friend and colleague, representative kristi noem of south dakota. as my previous colleague said, this should be a bipartisan issue. this is an american issue.
9:29 am
i spent most of my life in the business world. i've owned and operated over 60 different businesses, employed over 3,000 people and created thousands of new jobs. throughout my 30-year business career, i've had the privilege of hiring many new talented individuals. when it comes to hiring, the i.r.s. -- in the i.r.s., the treasury inspector general stated, selecting the best candidates for employment is essential in providing the best service to america's taxpayers, maintaining the public trust in tax administration and safeguarding taxpayer right and privacy. however, the i.g. report from december, 2014, found that the i.r.s. fell short of that standard. last year, the i.r.s. hired hundreds of employees who were terminated for misconduct. those serious offenses included willful failure to file tax reforms, falsification of official forms and abuse of i.r.s. leave and property
9:30 am
policies. as a businessman, but more importantly as a representative of the american taxpayer, i find this i.g. report inexcusable. it seems obvious to me but not once did i rehire someone in the real world, in the real world who i previously fired for misconduct. the i.r.s. needs to earn the trust of hardworking american taxpayers. rehiring employees who were fired for these serious offenses further erodes that trust. h.r. 3724 directly addresses this issue. it prohibits the i.r.s. from rehiring employees that were fired for misconduct. this is common sense. as a former business owner, i know it is very difficult decision to let someone go, but rehiring an individual who was asked to leave due to gross misconduct would be insulting to other employees who have faithfully served the business and would present a significant
9:31 am
risk to the health of the organization and its customers. the i.g. report found the i.r.s. doesn't take those risks seriously. in fact, the i.r.s. officials stated the prior conduct and performance issues do not play a significant role in deciding the candidates who are best qualified for hiring. because the i.r.s. hasn't taken those risks seriously, this straightforward, commonsense legislation is needed to restore accountability and trust in the i.r.s. i would like to commend mrs. noem for her leadership on this legislation and i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in support. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. crowley: it appears that america will have to continue to wait for action to stop companies from shifting american jobs overseas and stopping corporate tax dodgers. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
9:32 am
gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from south dakota is recognized. mrs. noem: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. kelly: i thank the gentlelady. i rise in strong support of h.r. 3724. i would think as we look around country right now, the integrity of what our government is and how our voters are represented, our citizens are represented is really the case here. and i think the gentlelady -- thank the gentlelady for bringing such a commonsense piece of legislation forward because we know in this town there's nothing less common than common sense. the faith and trust of the american people is based in their belief that the people who work for them are acting in their best interest. always acting in their best interest. the interest of the american people. not in their personal interest, but in the interest of the american people. so when we find out that there
9:33 am
are folks who are working on behalf of the american people but they have somehow betrayed that faith and that trust, and the folks have lost confidence in their government. they lost confidence because of things that happened, not things that were imagined. not some whimsical idea that somehow we can get at somebody for doing this. there's no agency that's feared more in this country than the i.r.s. the question is why would they be so feared? because they can completely shut you down. they can freeze your bang account. they can make you stay up late at night worrying about what's going to happen so when you get that letter from the i.r.s., the next thing you do is contact an attorney to represent you because you don't want to make a mistake. you just don't want to do it. if you find out that within the i.r.s. people working for that agency, but more importantly working for the people of the
9:34 am
united states, have violated that trust. these are substaniated results. this is not somebody's idea or way of getting back at somebody. this is removing bad apples and saying you have violated, you have betrayed the trust of the american people. you are going to leave the agency, but more importantly, you're never coming back in. this isn't any way to somehow get back at a political party or get back at anybody. this is a fact that if we cannot restore the confidence the american people have in us, their faith and trust, why are we here? why do we go through elections? i don't come here to represent my ideas and my beliefs, i come here to represent the values and beliefs of pennsylvania's third congressional district. that's 705,687 americans. not republicans, not democrats, not libertarians, not independents, but americans. this piece of legislation takes
9:35 am
into account that these are wrongdoers. these are not people who we want to associate ourselves with. these are people who have used the power of their office, of their position to somehow work against the very people who employ them. and i would just say at this moment in time, at this moment in our history -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. kelly: i thank the gentlelady for standing up for every hardworking american taxpayer and doing the best we can to restore faith and confidence of the american people that they can trust who it is that they elect to represent them and they can trust us to make sure that wrongdoers and punished. once they are asked to leave are not allowed to come back in. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from south dakota reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. crowley: i would inquire, mr. speaker, how much time is on both sides. the speaker pro tempore: 24 1/2 for the gentleman from new york. 15 1/2 for the gentlelady from
9:36 am
south dakota. mr. crowley: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from south dakota is recognized. mrs. noem: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to have a colleague come and speak on behalf of this bill today. i yield four minutes to the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. chaffetz: thank you. i appreciate mrs. noem and her drive to address this very important issue. i believe that the overwhelming majority of people that work at the i.r.s., they are good hardworking, patriotic people who want to do the right thing. i have a serious problem with management. i have a serious problem with the head of the i.r.s. but on this issue, this is just unbelievable that we can't come to a conclusive and absolute, 100% agreement. all we are asking for is that the bad apples, the people who will disturb what is going on in the workplace, who aren't going to act in the best interest of the united states
9:37 am
of america, that they be excluded from participation. one of the things that's fascinating, mr. speaker, as we look at this is in response to the independent review that was done of the i.r.s. and their hiring practices, one of their responses, the question here is, should we go back and review the personnel employment file prior to rehiring somebody? this is what they said. quote, additionally, while they did find that a review of performance and conduct issues could be accomplished earlier in the process, treasury, o.p.m., office of personnel management, and the internal revenue service felt it was not feasible to remove the review of those issues earlier in the hiring process this. action would greatly increase the cost of hiring, likely increasing cycle time beyond the presidential mandate of 80 days requiring additional resources and would not likely yield -- come on. come on. are you kidding me?
9:38 am
how long could it possibly take to actually go back and review somebody's performance reviews, look back at their employment history, and see if they have been acting in the bets interest of the united states of america -- best interest of the united states of america. because clearly in the examples that were there, there are people that willfully don't even file their own tax returns. there are people that are doing some bad stupid stuff. they don't think they have the time and resources to look at it in advance? we have to actually pass a piece of legislation requiring this? that seems entirely reasonable. it's not overly burdensome. and here you have an organization, the i.r.s., that can actually destroy somebody's lives by the mere letter showing up in your mailbox. and they can't even look -- take the time looking at somebody's employment history, that somebody that's already worked at the i.r.s. that's how absurd this organization is. that's why this piece of
9:39 am
legislation is so easy to understand. it's so easy to vote for it. it is not a partisan issue. this is just saying, you know what, for all the good people that work at the i.r.s., let's make sure that the new people that come on or the rehires that come on in this case, are actually addressed and we look at their information prior to hiring. it's that simple. that's why i'm in favor of this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mrs. noem: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. crowley: i yield myself 10 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. crowley: still waiting for a bill to keep american jobs in america and not export them overseas to the tax code. we'll continue to wait for that bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from south dakota is recognized. mrs. noem: mr. speaker, today we are talking about a bill that will bring integrity to the i.r.s. which will better serve our taxpayers into the future. i'm thrilled to yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. scalise.
9:40 am
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. scalise: thank you, mr. speaker. really want to thank the gentlelady from south dakota for her leadership in bringing this bill forward. because, mr. speaker, this bill is about restoring trust. this bill is about holding the i.r.s. accountable. here we are in a week where americans had to file their tax returns. so often just the words, the letters, i.r.s., send a chilling effect through people when they hear those letters. and yet when you look at the arrogance over at the i.r.s., just the attitude they have and the disdain they have towards the very people that pay their bills, the taxpayers, here you have a case where people who have been fired by the i.r.s. for abusing their positions are actually being rehired back to the i.r.s. again, this is the kind of disdain that disgusts people as they fear the i.r.s. the i.r.s. ought to have the same fear towards the people
9:41 am
that pay their salaries as people get when they get that letter from the i.r.s. we have had inspector general reports, mr. speaker, in the treasury department, the inspector general found over 140 i.r.s. agents aren't even accurate in their taxes. there are people who are responsible for auditing american citizens, that aren't even paying their own taxes. this is the kind of disregard for the american people that many we are seeing over at the i.r.s. it's time to rein it in. it's time to bring some accountability and transparency back to the i.r.s. who is afraid of that? what's so wrong with saying if somebody's been fired for cause over at the i.r.s., with the access they have to such sensitive, personal information of taxpayers, why should they be rehired back? it's just basic commence that if somebody has abused their position at the i.r.s., enough is enough. they shouldn't be able to
9:42 am
return and have access to that sensitive information anymore. i want to applaud again the gentlelady from south dakota for bringing this commonsense bill forward. i would urge adoption later on when we have this vote on the house floor. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. crowley: can i inquire of the majority how many more speakers they have? mrs. noem: we think we have two more. mr. crowley: i'm the last speaker on our side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from south dakota virginia tech. mrs. noem: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. bishop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. bishop: i want to begin by thanking my friend from south dakota for her leadership in holding the i.r.s. accountable for what we are seeing today. i rise today in strong support of h.r. 3724, the ensuring integrity to the i.r.s. work force act. to join in the outrage of them
9:43 am
with my colleagues today on what we are seeing at the i.r.s. with tax day hitting earlier this week, this is an ideal time to highlight the need for continued oversight. and perhaps ramped up oversight of the internal revenue service. last february the treasury inspector general for tax administration reported the .r.s. had a tendency to rehire former employees with serious misconduct and performance issues. in their review, they found more than 100 former employees were rehired by the i.r.s. despite having significant performance and misconduct problems. like willfully filing to file tax returns. -- failing to file tax returns. a rather important thing for most of us but apparently not for i.r.s. employees. mr. speaker, the families in my district and i are 100% fed up
9:44 am
with adhering to a standard that the i.r.s. doesn't even hold their own employees to. we simply will not tolerate the rehiring of incompetent individuals who fail to do their job in the first place. it's time to put a leash on the i.r.s. and prevent taxpayers from further double standards and further abuse. i strongly urge my colleagues to join me in voting for h.r. 3724. again, i thank my colleague from south dakota for her excellent leadership on this and i look forward to open debate and voting on this matter as soon as possible. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. crowley: mr. speaker, just yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 second. mr. crowley: no disrespect to the sponsor of this bill whatsoever. i have great admiration for her, but i believe this bill could have been taken up on a consent calendar, quite
9:45 am
frankly. all this discussion about support on both sides. the reality is, though, we are using freshes time here on the floor on an issue that could have been on a consent calendar and we are not addressing the real issues of concern to the american people. and that is the continuing loss of jobs here in america because of our tax code that we refuse to fix, that is shifting jobs and companies. yield myself an additional 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. crowley: that are shifting american corporations overseas to inversion and shifting american jobs overseas because of those inversions. we are not having a hearing on this. we are not doing anything here on the floor to address this issue. instead we take up issues that quite frankly could have been on a consent calendar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mrs. noem: we are finished with speakers and ready to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves.
9:46 am
the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. crowley: mr. speaker, i believe it should be the beginning and not the end of he discussion on how to best fill the giant corporate loopholes which allow them to skip out on paying the taxes that all of our constituents have to pay. this is one of the many major issues this congress should undertake but instead we are all too busy governing by press releases. this congress has done nothing to address the zika virus that could be a threat to all women who are pregnant or looking to become pregnant. but we have this consent bill here on the floor for debate. this congress has done nothing to address the crisis of lead in our drinking water, a crisis vividly on display in flint but one that lurks in the pipes of hundreds of thousands of cities and towns across our great land. yet we have this consent bill here on the calendar for debate.
9:47 am
this congress hasn't even attempted to pass a budget for our country. the majority has not proposed a budget for our country, which is one of the most basic functions we can do as an institution to ensure we make the necessary investments possible while also getting our economic house in order. yet, we have what i would consider a consent bill on the floor today, taking up an hour's debate. but we will always have time for message bills. sure, they don't create a job for an unemployed person in new houston or t or l.a. or increase the take-home pay of any underpaid worker or make college more affordable for middle-class kids or strengthen social security for our seniors of today and
9:48 am
tomorrow. but they sound great on talk radio today and the weekend, this bill is advertised as the republicans' idea of tax reform. it does not reform the tax code , but way, shape or form that's what they portray it as. let me explain something about the tax code to my republican colleagues. our tax code is inefficient. you see that when large corporations are paying less tax than the employees who work for them. it's overly complicated. you see that when multinational corporations avoid paying the same taxes our constituents back home have to pay simply by hiring expensive lawyers that our constituents quite frankly
9:49 am
cannot afford. it's unfair. you see that when corporations can donell paying their fair share of tax -- can dodge paying their fair share of taxes by switching their post office box to a foreign country, something our neighbors back home if they attempted to do that would be arrested for tax evasion, but not corporations. individuals, if you do that, you're arrested for tax evasion, but not an american corporation. and yet my republican colleagues continue to refuse to address this issue. and it does not, and maybe more importantly than anything else, it does not promote job growth here in the united states. you see this when congress refuses to repeal the tax break for companies to fire their workers here, they get a tax break for firing american workers and moving their jobs overseas. this congress must tackle these
9:50 am
serious issues, but we're not today. we continue to wait for legislation, for a hearing on these important issues. democrats stand ready to work with you all, my republican colleagues, on commonsense legislation to plug the corporate tax loopholes that are literally draining the funds our country needs to function properly. and democrats stand ready to work with you to fix the tax code that is not only inefficient, not only complicated, not only unfair but one that does not promote job growth here in the united states. that is something we want to work with you in a bipartisan way. unfortunately, we'll have to continue to wait for another day before the majority is serious about working together in a bipartisan way to make our tax system fairer for all working men and women in the
9:51 am
united states. but let me be clear once again, the american people will not wait any longer. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from south dakota is recognized. mrs. noem: mr. speaker, we've heard repeatedly from my colleague on the other side of the aisle about why we should not be spending time on this topic today, why we shouldn't have dedicated an hour's worth of debate to making sure that we talk about h.r. 3724, ensuring integrity in the i.r.s. work force act, but i think he's forgotten about what kind of information the people of this country turn over to the i.r.s. they turn over their social security numbers, their financial information. a lot of the security they have for their families, their homes and their businesses they completely trust the i.r.s. to take care of it, to protect it and to make sure that they use it in the correct manner so that they might abide by the law and pay their taxes like
9:52 am
honest, hardworking americans do. to say we shouldn't spend time making sure that criminals and people fired for misconduct don't have access to that information to me is silly. that's exactly what our job is. mr. speaker, the i.r.s. needs integrity, and we're here to bring it today. the white house has issued a veto threat against this bill. they said that the i.r.s. will be forced to fire people because of this bill if it were signed into law. well, i read the white house's statement of administration policy on my bill. and the statement says it's unnecessary because current i.r.s. processes already ensure that the agency does not rehire former employees with significant conduct issues. well, i guess the white house didn't read the report. the inspector general expressed concerns that the i.r.s. continues to hire individuals with significant prior conduct and performance issues even after the agency supposedly made upgrades to its hiring practices. i'll remind you, meesh, that the inspector general's -- mr.
9:53 am
speaker, that the inspector general's review for those fired and then rehired included employees with a history of fraud, falsification of documents, workplace disruption, absence and an unauthorized accessing of taxpayer information. mr. speaker, the inspector general identified approximately 140 individuals who are currently today with the i.r.s. who had been previously fired for cause. we're talking about an agency that employs 80,000 people. surely they can find 140 people who vice president committed fraud or -- who committed fraud or falsified documents. we ask that we determine what part of the process it should fully vet candidates in terms of prior performance. in fact, the i.r.s. has given an opportunity to fully respond to the inspector general's report. in its response, the agency insisted its processes were sufficient.
9:54 am
but mr. speaker, the agency still only begins to vet the candidates for employment only after the entire hiring process is completed and after a formal offer of employment has been extended. so regardless of any changes, the i.r.s. has made to its hiring practices, the inspector general said he remains very concerned because i.r.s. independent documents indicate it is hiring individuals with significant prior conduct and performance issues. mr. speaker, because the i.r.s. hasn't taken action is why we are here today. this bill is simple. it just says that the i.r.s. cannot rehire employees who have been fired for misconduct. it's something the i.r.s. should have taken on it. because they didn't that's why we're here today. it's our job to protect the taxpayers, make sure their information is safe with the agency that they by law need to turn over to the i.r.s., and i urge my colleagues to support the bill. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 688, the previous question is ordered on the bill, as
9:55 am
amended. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: the clerk: a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to prohibit the commissioner of the internal revenue service from rehiring any employee of the internal revenue service who was involuntarily separated from service for misconduct. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mrs. noem: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
9:56 am
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. meehan: mr. speaker, i seek recognition to call up 4890, but before doing so, i request general leave. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks include extraneous materials on h.r. 4890, which will be under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 688 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on for ate of the union
9:57 am
consideration of h.r. 4890. the chair appoints the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, to preside over the committee of the whole. the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 4890 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to impose a ban on the payment of bonuses to employees of the internal revenue service until the secretary of the treasury develops and implements a comprehensive customer service . rategy the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. meehan, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. meehan: i thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i am before the house today really before the nation on behalf of all of
9:58 am
those frustrated taxpayers who have spent a great part of the last month, if not months before, preparing their taxes and what is an increasingly complex code. while we got a mission to simplify that code, the fact of the matter is they have to deal with the challenges they face today. and so one of the agencies that they interact with or hope to interact with when they have questions is something called the internal revenue service. i want to focus on that third word, service, because the idea here is we don't have some oversight agency. we don't have some agency whose obligation and purpose in life is to make it harder on the average hardworking taxpayer who's supporting the government with the money that they earn. it is to be a service to use their resources to help the hardworking americans who must y taxes, to simplify the
9:59 am
process and if they have questions in a very complex code and the complex questions that are being put on each and every one of them. so when we talk about service, what we need to see is a pattern and what we see is a pattern which unfortunately the service by the i.r.s. is deteriorating rapidly. let me give you the facts. and i'm talking about what they call the answer time. when an individual gets on the telephone because they're frustrated and they call the i.r.s. and say, i have a estion, this year the i.r.s. estimated they will receive 38.4 million calls asking for assistance. you know how many they'll answer? 16 million. that means that 32 million taxpayers will call the service
10:00 am
and their call will go unanswered. what kind of private entity could survive in this day and age if that was the kind of service that they were providing? and what we are seeing is that this is going in a backwards fashion. the wait times, if you are able to get through and finally talk to somebody, wait times a few years ago were 18.7 minutes. well, how many people who are working at home, have other jobs that are doing things have 18.7 minutes just to wait for a phone call to be answered on an issue that they already have anxiety about? well, those were the good old days, mr. speaker. 18.7 minutes. because today it's 34.4 minutes. if you're one of the lucky 30% who even gets their call answered, you wait 34.4 minutes. but it even gets better because what the i.r.s. has implemented
10:01 am
is a program called a courtesy disconnect. well, if that isn't the most oxymoronic thing that i have heard is called a courtesy disconnect. nornede, we're going to tell you -- in other words, we're going to tell you ahead of time we're going to disconnect your call right away because we're going to tell you, you won't be able to get through in time so don't waste your time trying to contact the i.r.s. now, this is -- that exemplifies the level of frustration. what do we do about it? what's the solution? well, let me tell you, mr. speaker, this isn't something that republicans on this side of the aisle have sat and said, oh, let's just go get the i.r.s. mr. speaker, the g.a.o. who has overlooked this agency for now three straight years has been calling on the i.r.s. to do something very simple. and what they say is create a strategy and a plan to do a better job of answering those
10:02 am
calls, of being responsive to those very taxpayers that your service requires you to do so. just create a plan. that simple. the g.a.o. said they need to issue recommendations to the i.r.s. that they first outline a strategy that defines appropriate levels of telephone and correspondent service and wait time lists and give specific steps based on the assessment of time frames, demand capabilities, and resource. tell us how you can do it better. number two, direct the appropriate officials to compare its telephone service to the best in business to identify gaps between actual and desired performance. in other words, see how it's being done in other places. and aspire to do it as well. you can imagine as i said again, go back to the private sector. i imimagine people around
10:03 am
making 60% of the people they call they don't answer it. and lastly, just improve taxpayer service. by requiring the secretary of the treasury to develop a comprehensive customer service strategy. that is what the g.a.o. asks them to do. this recommendation has been repeated year after year. nfortunately, the g.a.o. response of the i.r.s. to the g.a.o. was that their existing efforts were sufficient. they have yet to devise this plan. mr. speaker, you tell me when 60% of the calls are unanswered , and those that are calling have wait times of over 35 minutes, tell me where that's sufficient. and therein lies the heart of the problem. the complete unwillingness to do a simple issue and to be
10:04 am
responsive. now, there are other reasons, perhaps, that the i.r.s. and they are diverting the very resources that have been put in by this congress to support taxpayer services. in fact, the commitment to those taxpayer services has gone down dramatically each and every year. in 2013, they put $190 million in to assuring that there were appropriate taxpayer services. n 2014, they decreased it to 18 --$183 million to assure there were appropriate taxpayer services. $45 n 2015, they put million into it. so at a time when the g.a.o. is telling them to do better, they are speaking with their own specific acts to say we think
10:05 am
it's sufficient. not only do we think it's sufficient, we are pulling resources away from relations to the very taxpayers that we are obligation to service. mr. speaker, the bill is really quite simple, and it's in response to that continuing nresponsiveness of those who manage the i.r.s. and it's simply saying do what you have been requested to do. now, despite three g.a.o. reports and continuing oversight by congress, the refusal to be responsive to that we looked and said a very simple thing. it says, do not pay bonuses to the employees until you have fulfilled the very simple requirement of coming up with this plan. somebody might say to me, well,
10:06 am
that's outrageous. put new obligations on the i.r.s. they have not done it in three years. guess who has? the department of labor does it. the department of agriculture does it. the department of education does it. office of management and budget does it. each and every one of them, and i would suggest to you, mr. speaker, probably a lot less interaction with everyday americans, they have taken the time to put together that plan. so there's a template. we are not asking a whole lot. it's been specific. laid out in the g.a.o. report simply do that. so we are asking very simply in the bill, do your job and until you have done that job, which other agencies are very capable of doing, no bonuses get paid. it doesn't say no bonuses get paid at all. in fact, this is not
10:07 am
anti-worker. in fact, hardworking people at the i.r.s., and there are many, they can get rewarded for appropriate work that they do. but don't pay those bonuses until you management, you answer to them why you won't do the service agreement or service plan. you tell your employees why you won't do it. don't go blaming it on somebody else. and that's the very simple request that we have. make the plan before you write the bonuses. mr. speaker, that is not asking for much. it's certainly not asking for much on behalf of the frustrated taxpayers of the united states who are seeing a demonstrated inability to communicate with the very agency that is responsible for helping them solve the questions that they have with respect to complexities of the
10:08 am
tax code. mr. speaker, i look forward to continuing to debate this issue and at the moment i will reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: i yield myself such time as i shall consume. the chair: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. levin: what we are facing today is the worst kind of democrat godgery -- demagoguery. and it descends to propaganda. look, the reason the phones aren't being answered is because the republican majority has failed to answer to its responsibilities. the appropriations have been going down. the last five years the budget cut for i.r.s. has been close
10:09 am
to $1 billion. and so you try to hide from your failure. and you point the fingers every place except where it belongs. yourselves. you want to say no bonuses to the 80,000 people? because this house majority has failed to meet its basic responsibility and that is to fund so that there can be adequate resources to answer the phones. you're the ones who shut it off. so the problem is not a lack of strategy, it's a lack of resources. the house republicans are trying to pass the buck because they are not providing the bucks necessary for adequate
10:10 am
taxpayer services. we had this chart yesterday. here it is again. this shows in the yellow the amount of resources. and the blue the average time to answer the phone. as the resources have gone down , the time it takes has gone up. that's a simple fact. the only time that changed was when this institution provided some adequate resources. and so the time to answer the phones went down. now you're back at it again diminishing the resources and you're essentially blaming the 80,000 people who don't get the adequate resources to do their job. now you say let's have a plan.
10:11 am
there's already a system but you don't provide the resources to carry it out. and you're saying, come up with a plan that will be looked at and approved by the inspector general. it doesn't have that responsibility. so that's why the white house says in opposition, and i read, legislation constraining the i.r.s.'s ability to retain and recruit highly qualified employees is not needed and could be counterproductive to the services -- service's mission. i'm going to point out other things you haven't done. and -- mr. crowley laid them out very, very well. this place under your leadership has been bankrupt. in terms of addressing the critical needs of budget. the problems in flint. the problems faced by puerto rico.
10:12 am
the problems faced by thousands of people because of zika. you come here and you say, well, the i.r.s. isn't doing its job. you're not doing your job. don't go after an agency for not being able to answer the telephone when you essentially are cutting the lines of resources. it's outrageous. it's outrageous. and i think the people will know. so i say this to my nstituents, when you call up and it takes hours, call up your local member of congress, especially if he or she is a
10:13 am
member of the majority here. call them up. if they don't answer the phone, try email. if there's no response, call one of us who are working to provide the adequate resources for the i.r.s. to answer the phones and we'll try to find a way for you to communicate with your member if that person has failed to meet its responsibilities. the blame is on your doorstep. don't try to shift it. we reserve the balance of our time. and i ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, can control the remainder of our time. the chair: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from michigan reserves his time. members of the house are reminded to address their comments to the chair and not to each other.
10:14 am
the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. meehan: mr. chairman, i am pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding and his work. mr. speaker, every year the american people pay their taxes. every year to do that they have to deal with an agency that is inept and increasingly unethical. you can't make this stuff up. the i.r.s. failed to answer eight million calls during tax season last year. yet over a short five-year period they handed out nearly $6 million in bonuses to themselves. just to make this clear, that means the i.r.s. can't take the taxpayer's phone call, but they
10:15 am
sure as heck can take the taxpayer money for their bonuses. how about this? the inspector general found 00 i.r.s. 1,6 employees willfully avoided paying their own taxes over a 10-year period. yet we trust these same people to collect taxes from their fellow citizens. . how is it that the agency charged with collecting taxes employs people who don't pay their own taxes and that agency does nothing about it? now, it doesn't stop there. the i.r.s. has a slush fund of money it collect from fees that it uses however it wants. no accountability, no transparency. meanwhile, about 500 i.r.s. employees have been fired for misconduct. everything from snooping on private taxpayers' information. yet, they've been hired back
10:16 am
again. the i.r.s. selectively targeted for sanction taxpayers who donated to romney, intimidated nonprofit citizen groups and sent out millions in approximate potentially fraudulent tax -- potentially fraudulent tax reforms in the last year alone. and you wonder why the american people don't trust their government. now, mr. chairman, i urge members to look at these bills on the floor. we're not trying to make some partisan statement here. we just want our government to work for the people and work well. but to do that, we can't leave the i.r.s. the way it has been. so we had bills on the floor by congressman jason smith and david rouzer that puts an end to the slush funds and makes sure people working at the i.r.s. actually paid their taxes. and today we're going to pass more bills by kristi noem and pat meehan, to stop the i.r.s. from hiring people who can't be
10:17 am
trusted and to fix the agency's absolutely terrible customer service. these are good bills. hey're smart bills and frankly they're bills make you wonder how any reasonable person can make you vote against them. but you know, i forgot how irrational some people could be. just a few days ago, the obama administration said they were against all four of these bills . really? they're against accountability? ey're against i.r.s. employees paying their taxes? they are against rehiring bad employees? i couldn't understand it, and frankly the administration statement didn't clear things up either. the office of management and budget actually said this, and i quote, these bills would impose unnecessary constraints on the internal revenue service
10:18 am
's operations. now, let me get one thing out of the way. the administration is worried about imposing constraints on the i.r.s., but it has no problem imposing constraints and regulations on small business, energy producers, manufacturers to the point that is driving them out of business. that shows you how backwards this administration's priorities are. the i.r.s. targets conservative groups, fails to pay -- fails at basic task and employs people who don't pay their own taxes. but the people who are trying to earn an honest living and power their homes and produce products right here in america, the administration thinks they're the problem. they think they need to be regulated. now, that's wrong. that's not what our country stands for, and it's not what this majority is going to stand for either. but there is another principle here. the house is not trying to
10:19 am
write some laws and impose some rules on the i.r.s. just because. we are trying to restrain government because unaccountable and unelected bureaucrats have shown they can't be trusted with the power they have been given. when you say i.r.s. i can assure you that the last words people think of are honest, fair, transparent or even trustworthy. that's not how our government should be, especially the arm of government entrusted with collecting our taxes. because when people can't trust their government, is treating them unfairly, they lose faith in politics. hey become cynical, and it's increasingly division within our country. now, good government shouldn't be one party issue. now, i love the debates about how small or how large government should be or how high or how low taxes should be, but we can and we should
10:20 am
agree that government should do its job well without abusing the trust of the american people. that should never be one-party argument. that's what these bills are about. that's what this debate is about. so the american people are watching, mr. chairman, and they want us to make our choice -- good government or bad. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, who will control the remaining time for the minority. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as e wishes to use. mr. pascrell: mr. speaker, i have to talk about his analysis which has been exposed during
10:21 am
this presidential election. we have selective memories. that's our problem. because how can you come before the american people, mr. chairman, and explain how x amount of i.r.s. workers have not paid their taxes. we all want everyone to pay their taxes because when not sufficient revenue is in the coffers, we can't pay our bills. but if the truth be known and we didn't have selective memory , when you point out how many people in the i.r.s. of the ,500 haven't ees, 1 paid their taxes or are in default of their taxes, he fails to mention that one of the culprits not paying their taxes are the house of representatives. my lord.
10:22 am
5% of the members are default on their taxes. now, what about -- what about -- he's leaving me. what about us in our responsibilities? we are the guardians. we are the guardians. we are the protectors of the taxpayers. beware, taxpayers, beware. i have a great deal of respect, and i hope i've proven it in the past of the gentleman who introduced this legislation, mr. meehan from the keystone state of pennsylvania. i just think we're off on the wrong foot on this one. and your support for the bill, h.r. 4890, you claim to be concerned about i.r.s. customer service. this bill would prohibit any
10:23 am
bonuses being paid to i.r.s. employees until the agency comes up with a customer service strategy approved by the treasury inspector general or the tax administration. , stomer service is critical but how can you come here and complain about customer service when you cut the i.r.s. budget $1 billion in the last five years? that's 13,000 fewer full-time employees, and at the same time there have been nine -- listen to this, mr. chairman. nine million more tax returns are being filed. think about that just for a second.
10:24 am
nine million more tax returns, 13,000 fewer employees, $1 billion less in appropriation. i mean, that's not rocket science. it's simply arithmetic. your budgets have consistently starved the i.r.s. of the resources we need to do its job. and true to form, this bill expressly forbids any additional appropriations to carry out this mandate. and here's the reality. the i.r.s. customer service didn't decline because of lazy employees. it declined because of significant budget cuts. this year, thanks to an extra $290 million in funding, it has rebounded to about mediocre. still a disservice to many americans that need help. so i agree with the ranking member when he says, look in the mirror and you'll see who's
10:25 am
responsible. instead of helping the struggling people of puerto rico or flint, michigan, or passing a budget, this congress is fiddling with weakening the i.r.s. you can't deny that all these attempts to harm the i.r.s. are really harming taxpayers. mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. thank you. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. meehan: mr. speaker, let me take a moment just to be responsive of a couple of things. point of fact, i don't think that i could have had a better setup for the real issues here than the very arguments that have been made by my colleagues . because in fact, when you look behind what is actually going on, you see the scheme that's
10:26 am
taking place here which has put the i.r.s. and the service that it gives to taxpayers right in the middle of the conflict. you see, what they've done is created a circumstance in which if you purposely starve the very thing that will relate to the taxpayers, you can get the taxpayers worked up to come back to scream for more money for the services. let's blame this on congress. but let's talk about what's actually going on here, mr. speaker. there may have been budget cuts, as there have been budget cuts all across the government. one of the budget cuts related to the $50 million that the i.r.s. has used for conferences. and so there was, just like every other agency in government, just like the 14% cut we've taken in our own offices, there have been cuts
10:27 am
at a time in which our government doesn't have money. but that's not the issue, because what has happened here has been the diverting of funding. what nobody's saying is, this ame agency has been hit with .7 billion of diverted expenditure to service the affordable care act, the health care law that was pushed on us and pushed on all america. $1.7 billion has been diverted, will be dedicated this year but never accounted for when that program was created. they never -- they put this responsibility, another unfunded mandate put on the agency by this law. so what they have done is divert the attention, take the
10:28 am
resources away and then use it s a way to compel, to see if we can force congress to get pulled into this debate. our thing is very, very simple. again, it's not a funding issue. it's a service issue. we're not getting into that with this particular bill. it's a very simple thing. it says, create a plan for how you do it, and i am glad that the gentleman from new jersey, who i respect enormously, has been able, mr. speaker, to touch on the very point that was also made. this idea that somehow we have been unresponsive and starved this agency, mr. speaker, $290 illion just sent purposely for this issue. $290 million. so in addition to saying, give us a plan, we're saying, here's $290 million of focused funding to say, this is behind the
10:29 am
plan. tell us how you're going to use it. this whole thing is a smokescreen on the part of the other side to create the tension when in fact we're asking for a very simple thing that we've already funded. mr. speaker, i have no other speakers at this time, and i'll so i'll yield to -- reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the committee will rise informally to receive a message. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam
10:30 am
secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 2012, an act cited as the energy innovation act of 2016 in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the committee will resume its sitting. the chair: the committee will be in order. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pascrell: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, just in response to my friend from the keystone state, the implementation of the affordable care act is not an i.r.s. slush fund. there are mandates within the affordable care act which necessitate, obviously, the involvement of the i.r.s. agentcy.
10:31 am
-- agency. so any attempts to make it or create a slush fund here in people's minds is totally, totally inaccurate. and that's not the issue. the issue is, we've got $5 billion. we restored this year, $290 million. again, do the math. and we have 13,000 less employees. so that means that a lot of those 13,000 less employees came to the end, perhaps, of their career but were never replaced. had nothing to do with the budget, beyond the budget even. or within the budget. so, mr. speaker, i'll reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. meehan: mr. speaker, i have no other speakers at this time. i'm prepared to yield to the ntleman to close if he would
10:32 am
-- the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pascrell: we have no further speakers. and i'll make the closing statement with your approval. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pascrell: seven former i.r.s. commissioners wrote this , we need to take a look at it because obviously they weren't all democrats and they weren't all republicans. but seven former i.r.s. commissioners have said, quote-unquote, over the last 50 years none of us have ever witnessed anything like what has happened to the i.r.s. appropriations over the last five years. and impact these appropriations reductions are having on our tax system. unquote. the percentage of callers able to reach a live person at the i.r.s. in the 2015 filing
10:33 am
season was just 43%. the average wait time was 28 minutes. at one point during the filing season, the taxpayer protection program line, which answers calls for victims of identity heft, a growing issue day by day, was not answering 90% of the calls. that's not acceptable to your side. it's certainly not acceptable to our side. but your solution is by no means the solution. if you were truly concerned about improving customer service at the i.r.s., you would fully fund the agency. and we would support that. all of this penalizing the i.r.s. is misguided and in the long run the consequence hurts
10:34 am
the taxpayer. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. quoip the gentleman yields back. members are -- the chair: the gentleman yields back. members are remeaned to direct their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. meehan: i have no other speakers at this time and i'm prepared to close. the chair: the gentleman virginia tech. mr. meehan: thank you, mr. speaker. n closing i want to once again actually appreciate the comments that were made by the other side in the entirety of this debate because they really speak to, in essence, what they are trying to do. i start again with this effectively unfunded mandate that was put on the i.r.s. by the other side. they talk about funding and gave them, you see $1.7 been of responsibility under the affordable care act but never intended to pay for t as my -- pay for it. as my parents used to say when
10:35 am
i was a kid, you should have thought about that when you did it. where was the recognition that these responsibilities that you're putting on them you have to pay for them? we have seen cost rise exponentially in so many different factors. but that is the essence of what's being done here. so we are not going to pay for it. but let's create tension and anxiety on the one place where the taxpayers will uprise because we'll stop talking to them. that's the essence of what's being done here. mr. speaker, once again we are not asking for anything radical in response. in fact, we have already responded quite appropriately by putting 290 million more dollars into the very issue that's at stake here. all we are saying is come up with a plan. show us how you're going to do it. show us how, when 48 million
10:36 am
ask for ll you and help with their taxes, at a time when they don't have 34 minutes to wait on a phone to be one of the lucky 30% that even get their phone call answered. do what a number of other agencies already do. give us a plan on how you're going to improve that. it's that simple. our purpose isn't to punish diligent i.r.s. employees but rather to compel management to finally put the taxpayers first and take the need to improve customer service experience, take it seriously. upon learning that this legislation was in development, the i.r.s. reported to the g.a.o. that they have established a team to consider its customer service recommendations. how about that? after three years, no response, the i.r.s. commissioner himself
10:37 am
says the service is abysmal and they say it's been satisfactory up to this point in time. but as soon as this legislation customer ced, we have service recommendations team being established. i don't think that's a coincidence. passing the bill into law will ensure the process continues in good faith. mr. chairman, congress has a duty to oversee the i.r.s. and ensure it's meeting the needs of the american taxpayers. when the i.r.s. fails to meet those needs, it's up to congress to act and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means printed in the bill, it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment
10:38 am
under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 114-49. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in house report 114-503. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, 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 demand for acquisition of the question. -- for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in house report 114-503. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. meehan: mr. speaker, i rise as the designee of mr. brady and i have an amendment at the desk made in order under the rule.
10:39 am
the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in house report number 114-503, offered by mr. meehan of pennsylvania. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 688, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. meehan, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes of the the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania for five minutes. mr. meehan: mr. speaker, this amendment's a technical amendment that clarifies section 2 of the bill. this section states that no additional funds are authorized or otherwise made available to carry out the requirements of this bill. the language in the amendment makes it abundantly clear we are not authorizing a new appropriation here. the i.r.s. needs to create a customer service agency. if they want to claim they don't have enough money in the budget to be serving the taxpayers with appropriate topnotch customer service strategy, then we are saying give us a plan to do so and withhold the bonuses to employees until you do so. very, very simple. this amendment makes a technical correction to make
10:40 am
our intentions here crystal clear. the i.r.s. doesn't need any additional funding to meet customer service, the top priority when it's already been given $290 million to do just this. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. mr. speaker, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. pascrell: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. pascrell: thank you very much. mr. speaker. once again my friends on the other side of the aisle are cutting off the nose to spite their face. more mandates on the i.r.s. with fewer resources. somehow expect them to improve services. as i have said, the i.r.s. is servicing nine million more people with $1 billion less. this amendment would only exacerbate that problem. in the words of the seven former i.r.s. commissioners ring out here. we, why don't we just cut
10:41 am
congressional office budgets by 17%, as we did with the i.r.s.? and then mandate that we improve constituent services or increase our work loads. that doesn't make any sense, either. i reserve. yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed upon. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 pripted in house report number 114-503, for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. sanford: i have an amendment at the desk.
10:42 am
the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2, printed in house report number 114-503, offered by mr. sanford of south carolina. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 688, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. sanford, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina. mr. sanford: i have a small but i think perfecting amendment that i think whether republican or democrat we could agree on because i think as republicans and democrats we may have different perspectives on this equation, but we would agree that money is power. and that the i.r.s. has an immense amount of power given the amount of money that it in essence is steward to and controls as money is moved from individuals across this country to the federal government. i think that we would agree that money without a plan is chaos. that's why in the military they have a five paragraph order. that's why you think about the business you have a business plan. you think about sports you have a game plan. you need to go through a
10:43 am
planning process to effectively use money. i think we would agree that government's role is to serve. i think it disturbs a lot of us that the lincoln memorial was closed back during the government shutdown. some people saw that as a way of maximizing inconvenience for folks as a way of highlighting some we agreed and disagreed on as opposed to staying focused. i applaud the overall work of this bill and what it's about. i think that there is a problem when wait times move up threefold over the last five years. i think that there is a problem with dropped calls and infinity holds and all the other things that people have seen come their way as a result of dysfunction at the i.r.s. we might see different remedies as to how we get there, but i think we would agree on those things. and so i applaud what is being done with this notion of saying, wait, let's hold on bonuses. let's actually come up with a
10:44 am
plan as we deal with how this additional $290 million is spent and used within the i.r.s. this amendment simply calls as you go in consultation with the treasury, as you go in consultation with the i.g., let's also include the national taxpayer advocate there at the i.r.s. because i think it's important you may deal with technology experts, you may deal with phone call experts, you may deal with taxation specialists, but to keep the bull's-eye the ultimate customer out there, and that's the taxpayer. too often the taxpayer is the forgotten man, forgotten woman in this equation. the ideal of consult ating with the national taxpayers union, as you formulate those plans, i think simply a perfecting amendment as you listen to the different constituencies that will be dealt with in coming up with this plan. i think that perspective is key in holding the taxpayers' viewpoint to be vital in the creation of this plan. that's all the amendment does.
10:45 am
i guess with that i yield back either to the gentleman from pennsylvania or -- mr. meehan: i thank the gentleman for yielding. let me just take a moment to say that the taxpayer advocate has a long history of not only working on behalf of taxpayers but working with the i.r.s. to improve customer service. . i think having a taxpayer advocate in this process will actually improve the outcome. i want to thank the gentleman for looking at this bill and finding a way to improve its implementation with that support. i support the addition. i urge others to vote yes on -- mendment and i reserve i yield back the balance of my time here to the gentleman from south carolina. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the
10:46 am
gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. pascrell: mr. chairman, i rise in strong opposition to this amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. pascrell: thank you very much. so let's get this amendment straight. this bill would have the i.r.s. work with the national taxpayer advocate. in addition to the treasury inspector general for tax administration, as i read it correctly, in coming up with a customer service plan. sounds good. however, you forget to mention one thing, mr. chairman. because the national taxpayer advocate and the treasury inspector general tax administrator have publicly stated for the record that the severe budget cuts enacted by the other side, mr. chairman,
10:47 am
in congress have forced the i.r.s. to reduce its work force, reduce training, reduce technology and that these steps have weakened the ability to enforce the nation's tax laws. is that what you're looking for? and serve taxpayers effectively. so they said it, i didn't. you can't make this stuff up. so instead of forcing the i.r.s. to work with the national taxpayer advocate, why don't we in congress listen to them and fund the i.r.s. so it can do its job? his is the height of misdirection. i'm only going by the words you have in this amendment. and i'll tell you, they made a statement very loud and clear to all of us. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the
10:48 am
gentleman from south carolina. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. the question is on the amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended. those in favor, please say aye. those opposed, please say no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. accordingly under the rule, the committee rises. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union has had
10:49 am
under consideration h.r. 4890 and pursuant to house resolution 688 i report the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration the bill h.r. 4890 and pursuant to house resolution 688 reports the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. under the rule the previous question is ordered. is there a separate vote demanded on any amendment to the amendment reported from the committee of the whole? if not, the question is on the amendment in the nature of a substitute, as adopted. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the gentleman is recognized. mr. pascrell: excuse me. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to impose a ban on the payment of bonuses to employees of the internal revenue service until the secretary of the treasury develops and implements a comprehensive customer service trategy.
10:50 am
the speaker pro tempore: the question is on pass ang of the bill. -- passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. mr. pascrell: mr. speaker, we ask for the yeas and nays. a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on passage of h.r. 4890 will be followed by five-minute vote on h.r. 3724. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
10:51 am
10:52 am
10:53 am
10:54 am
10:55 am
10:56 am
10:57 am
10:58 am
10:59 am
11:00 am
11:01 am
11:02 am
11:03 am
11:04 am
11:05 am
11:06 am
11:07 am
11:08 am
11:09 am
the chair: on this vote the eas are --
11:10 am
11:11 am
the chair: on this vote the yeas are 260. the nays are 158. the bill is passed. without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the unfinished business is the vote on passage of h.r. 3724 which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 382, h.r. 3724, a bill to amend the internal revenue service of 1986 to prohibit the commissioner of the internal revenue service there rehiring
11:12 am
any employee of the internal revenue service who is involuntarily separated from service for misconduct. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
11:13 am
11:14 am
11:15 am
11:16 am
11:17 am
11:18 am
11:19 am
11:20 am
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 345, the nays are 78. the bill is passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
11:21 am
11:22 am
11:23 am
11:24 am
11:25 am
11:26 am
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. please take your offeringses -- combingses off the floor. - conversations off the floor.
11:27 am
for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent -- the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. please proceed. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the if you weres of inquiring of the majority -- for the purposes of inquiring of the majority leader the schedule for the week to come. i'm pleased to yield to my friend, mr. mccarthy, the majority leader. such time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman will suspend. the house will be in order. please take your conversations off the floor.
11:28 am
the gentleman from california. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mccarthy: mr. speaker, on monday, no votes are expected in the house. on tuesday the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on wednesday and thursday you, the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business. on friday the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. mr. speaker, the house will consider a number of suspensions next week, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business tomorrow. mr. speaker, the house will also consider h.r. 4498, the helping angels lead our startups act, sponsored by representative chabot. this bill extends the role of
11:29 am
angel investing for startup businesses to grow, innovate and create jobs. the house will also consider h.r. 4901, the scholarship for opportunity and results re-authorization act, sponsored by representative jason chaffetz. this bill is essential to improving education, outcomes for low-income students in the district of columbia. mr. speaker, the house will consider h.j.res. 88, sponsored by representative roe, which disapproves of the rule submitted by the department of labor relating to the definition of the term judiciary. this ill-advised rule will result in thousands of individuals being dropped by their financial advisors and unable to receive sound i thank the gentleman and yield financial advice. back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information. as to the schedule. i'm sure he knows, we want to ask him some questions about things that are not yet scheduled. next week we will take a recess .
11:30 am
as the gentleman knows, the budget was passed out of the budget committee last month. we understand, of course, obviously the appropriations committee is proceeding to mark up bills, notwithstanding the fact that the budget has not been passed. we're not sure exactly what the allocations for each subcommittee are going to be, because apparently no 302-b allocation, which is the allocation by subcommittee, to the 12 subcommittees, it's going to be hard for us to tell exactly how much money is left, if in fact appropriation bills are brought to the floor. . first let me ask the gentleman does the gentleman expect the budget to be brought to the floor prior to the bringing to the floor of appropriation bills? i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the
11:31 am
gentleman for yielding. we will continue to work through the budget process and i will update the members once there is more information. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for the depth of that information. we do have a serious problem and i want to tell my friend the joel as someone who served on the appropriation committee for 23 years, obviously one of the important facts to know is how much will be allocated for each one of the 12 subcommittees so you can make judgments as bills come to the floor or full committee about whether the funding levels for those are appropriate or whether there ought to be other priorities that ought to be brought to the fore. i appreciate the gentleman's response. i know that the speaker has indicated that doing a budget is absolutely the responsible thing to do. that's the regular order to do. i know the budget has passed
11:32 am
out of committee. holding ndering what's the budget up, mr. leader? why aren't we considering it? yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding in asking again. but as of the schedule we are not scheduled for next week, we continue to work through. we think the budget is very important. when we have it scheduled i will notify. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman, i suppose, for that additional information. we of course goes without saying that it's not scheduled next week. and we still don't have the knowledge, i think is necessary for us to have before you bring the appropriation bills to the floor. having said that, i understand the gentleman's answer. there are three items that i brought up before, mr. leader, that we think are critical
11:33 am
identify tempts to be brought soon he -- items to be brought sooner rather than later that we need to deal with. first i want to reiterate what i said last week. i appreciate the majority leader, i appreciate the speaker's action, the chairman of the committee, mr. bishop, in working with treasury, with our side of the aisle, to try to get a bill that we can agree on that would enjoy bipartisan support that will address the crisis that confronts the american citizens who live in puerto rico. i also want to thank the gentleman, we had an office meeting, he and i shared the view we ought to have a bill that is simple and straightforward so that we can forge a bipartisan agreement and get this bill done. the speaker said may 1 as the deadline. it would appear we are not going to meet that deadline. and we did not meet the march 31 deadline.
11:34 am
i know we had a meeting yesterday with our staffs. it was a positive meeting. i hope it will lead to a productive meeting as well. but i would like to yield to my friend to see if the gentleman has any comments about where we stand on the moving forward on a bill to address the fiscal crisis in puerto rico. i yield. mr. mccarthy: i thank you for yielding. yes, the gentleman is correct. we have been working together, especially from the natural resources committee. working on a proposal. i appreciate the gentleman's commitment as well making sure that we produce a bill that has solid financial footing. and no financial bailout, which the work we are doing right now does not. as the gentleman knows, the discussions are ongoing and part of the challenge of finishing it is treasury department. treasury department still had some concerns of -- i know there were meetings this week and i know there were members on your side of the aisle that
11:35 am
did not feel comfortable moving forward until the treasury department had finished some of those negotiations, but we look forward to getting the bill finished and moving it forward on a bipartisan basis that has no bailout and for the need of what's going on in puerto rico. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. i would reiterate what we both rerated last week or stated, clearly this is not a bailout. there is no money contemplated going to puerto rico. there is no extension of u.s. credit backing from the united states to paperwork paperwork. -- to paperwork paperwork. what it is is -- to puerto rico what it is is setting up a process for prestructuring of the debt that everyone knows cannot be paid. there needs to be some sort of rational way that puerto rico can work itself to both repaying that which it can repay while at the same time maintaining absolutely essential services of
11:36 am
education, health care, and public safety for the american citizens who live in puerto rico. i would hope that we could continue to work on that. again, the majority leader staff and my staff, treasury, mr. bishop's staff, the leader staff, and mr. ryan's staff, we have all been working towards that end and i appreciate, that but i think we all feel a sense of urgency and to the extent even if we could work it out over the weekend or before we end next week, if we could bring it to the floor next week, if we had an agreement, i think that would be a good thing for us to do. i don't know whether it's possible. i hope it's possible but look forward to working with the majority leader towards that end. two other items, as you know, that i mentioned in the past. zika, there was a very compelling editorial in the "washington post" today about zika. administration asked for $1.9 billion to address that crisis.
11:37 am
which clearly almost every week c.d.c. says is a growing one. more exposure, more of the united states mainland being implicated is at risk. in addition to that, of course, ebola continues to be a continuing health challenge, both in africa and in this country, but mainly in africa. as you know we appropriated money. mr. rogers and the appropriations committee and yourself said, look, we can take some of that money and ve it over to the zika effort. the problem with that, mr. leader, as i think you have heard me say before, is that ebola continues to be a crisis. and is there any expectation that we could bring a supplemental appropriation bill for this emergency that confronts the health of our
11:38 am
people here in puerto rico and the caribbean and, frankly, in other parts of the world? is there any chance of bringing a supplemental to the floor to address both of those in adigs flint continues to be -- in addition, flint continues to be on bottled water because they have not yet been provided with a water system that works for their people. so those three items in addition to puerto rico, i think, are compelling timely issues for us to address. can the gentleman give me any additional information as to when that might occur? i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to take the opportunity to thank the gentleman for working with us on zika. as he knows, approached him early on to make sure we dealt with this in a bipartisan manner. any threat, we want to make sure it's not a partisan issue. as the gentleman knows there
11:39 am
was somewhere around $2 billion in unobligated ebola money. one of the ideas, especially when the administration had requested money and a time to go through and ask the question, many of those questions have not been answered yet, we want to make sure no funding problems would happen. we are proud of the administration to be able to take our idea, move almost $600 million into zika as we go forward. that will take us quite a ways into this fiscal year. we are continuing to look at and ask questions. i have a whole list here of questions that have been asked from a standpoint of update spending plan from h.h.s. that still hasn't been planned where they go, but what activities will the funds carry out, how much funding do the agencies anticipate needing in 2016? as the gentleman knows, never should we write a blank check, but never should we turn a blind eye to a problem. i'm proud of the fact that we have not. that we have responsibly made sure that close to $600 million
11:40 am
are used right now. we have asked the questions of what we need to go forward. i know the appropriation committee is continuing to work on that. we have an appropriation process going through. that would probably be the ideal time to deal with it. anything going further because we would have the questions answered and the ability to fund it. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. let me make a couple observations. i hear there's some discussion about the appropriations process. as the gentleman well knows, the appropriation process hasn't done too well lately. forgetting about who is to blame or who is not to blame, the appropriation process has not worked as the gentleman knows. of course last year as we had done the year before, we passed an omnibus and didn't pass the appropriation bills. my view is we have an emergency. it's doubtful that appropriation bills are going to get done in time. my own supposition is we'll have a c.r. in september. we have really 40 days left between now and the august
11:41 am
break, legislative days. it's going to be problematic at best to get appropriations bills done by october 1, much less responding to an emergency, which is why we believe that a supplemental is called for. we have two emergencies that are ongoing. a third in flint, michigan. we believe we ought to respond to those long before the possibility much less the probability of the appropriation bills passing this house, senate, and being signed by the president. does the gentleman have any thoughts on that? because if you're contemplating appropriation process, mr. leader, with all due respect, past history would tell us over the last few years, again, forgetting about who is to blame for t. the appropriation process does not get done in a timely fashion. i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding.
11:42 am
as the gentleman knows appropriation committee has already marked up three bills. having -- the gentleman having served on appropriations also understands that's where you get a lot of questions answered. that's where you get a lot of good information from both sides of the aisle. there's close to $600 million for zika right now. i would take the same concern that you have and that's why i'm asking the administration and the agencies, it would be very helpful if they answer the questions needed. where would this money go? there's so many from the prospect is ebola no longer a public health risk? you have $2 billion unobligated sitting in there that we could use. if we want to solve the steeka problem, i think we should--zika problem, i think we should all work together. i'm looking to the administration to answer some questions. that's the most responsible way to go about solving this problem. i haven't given up on the
11:43 am
approps process. i think it's a perfect opportunity and i would think members on both sides of the aisle maybe give them a little incentive knowing the challenge that are out there for the american public that this is the process that was created that we could all have input, one thing that we know since this majority has taken over, we have an open process in appropriations as well. so anybody can offer an amendment. i think that would be the best place to deal with this. i do have a very personal compassion talking about water. i know the situation that happened in flint. i have lived with water problems in california for quite some time. for the last three congresses i fought very hard to solve that for california. unfortunately, the other chambers have done nothing. i have people in the central valley, kids that do not have water. people who are on bottled water they bring in. people that have portable they have to come in and bring the tanks. we have lived this for quite some time.
11:44 am
you will find on this side of the aisle someone very compassionate about it and wants to deal with that water issue at the same time as well. i think it would be appropriate. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments and for his -- which i think is sincere. his concern by california. let me say to him i would certainly be open on this side of the aisle as i'm sure my members would be to working with him to address those issues. it's not a question of flint, per se, it is a question of some 6,000 to 9,000 children have been exposed, now they are not able to drink the water. they are drinking bottled water. my point is we ought not to address problems in california or frankly in maryland, ohio, florida, wherever else they may occur in league with the states and municipalities. obviously this is a partnership just not our responsibility. i would again reiterate there ebola are both
11:45 am
emergencies that need to be dealt with now. i think the gentleman's absolutely correct. we ought to know how much is needed. how it's going to be spent. what effect it will have. i will tell you that one of my members in the whip meeting this morning, mr. leader, said that her understanding from her local health department that their efforts with respect to ebola and other infectious diseases is being adversely affected by the fact that that $589 million, which didn't just come out of the air, it was transferred, as you pointed out, and as i pointed out, to zika, to the zika response, but it was money that was -- not obligated, planned to be spent in communities and in other areas to effect a solution to the challenge that confronts us. . it's not as if that money didn't have a purpose when we
11:46 am
originally appropriated it. the gentleman supported it and i supported it. we allocated that money. i know the appropriations committee supported it. and i presume, as the gentleman points out, they had hearings to know exactly the answers to the questions. but we'll work with you on getting answers to those questions from the administration. we would urge that within the next few weeks, that we have a supplemental on the floor, having those questions answered and being confident that the money's going to be spent, but knowing full well that people's health is at risk in this country and we have an empathy and concern about that and want to respond to it. i would hope that we could move it before the appropriations process, because i think, unfortunately, the experience is, under all the parties that have been control of this house over the years, that sometimes it happens slower than this emergency requires. if the gentleman wants to say anything further, i'll yield.
11:47 am
mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 11:30 a.m. on monday, april 25, 2016. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulate kenneth cain of pennsylvania's fifth congressional district who will be honored at a bank wet tomorrow night in state college, pennsylvania, as an outstanding alumnist of the penn state university school of forest resources. i have long been impressed by ken's broad knowledge on forestry policy and regarding our commonwealth's forests. kenneth served in a variety of positions for forestry organizations, including as chairman of the allegheny
11:48 am
society of american foresters, chairman of the penn chapter association of consulting foresters, northeast regional director of the association of consulting foresters of america, and as an advisor to various state-level planning committees, include the pennsylvania game commission, the pennsylvania -- including the pennsylvania game commission, the joint task force. when i look forward to draw on expertise regding pennsylvania forests, ken cain is one of the first people i turn to. in addition to that, i am proud to call him my friend. i congratulate him on this honor and i look forward to his future work on forestry policy. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california eek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. ms. sanchez: mr. speaker, i rise today to call attention to the rising cost of our nation's
11:49 am
nuclear forces budget. the congressional budget office estimates that between 2015 and 2024 the administration's plans for nuclear forces will cost us about $348 billion. that's about $35 billion a year on our nuclear enterprise. and according to the c.b.o., this is about 5% to 6% of the total cost of the administration's plans for our national defense for the next 10 years. next week the house armed services committee will mark up fiscal year 2017 national defense authorization act. our military bill, if you will. one of my main priorities in the committee has been to reduce, to reduce our nation's nuclear weapons spending, and to reduce our nuclear stockpile. unfortunately year after year the congress authorizes funding for more weapons, while capping
11:50 am
the funding that we use to dismantle nuclear weapons. i think it's a far safer world without these nuclear weapons. mr. speaker, rather than spend on the legacy of the cold war, we should be investing in our most important military asset, our men and women in uniform. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to commemorate earth day. as an eagle scout and a scout master for many years, i know firsthand why we must all work to strengthen conservation programs and other policies that promote public health, protect our environment and keep our air and waterways clean. i care deeply about protecting our environment and i am committed to preserving the outdoors.
11:51 am
the 10th congress of a drigget of illinois borders one of the nation's -- of the district of illinois borders one of the nation's greatest treasures, lake michigan. mr. dold: it's drinking water to millions of americans. that's why i'm a strong supporter of the great lakes restoration initiative and a co-sponsor of legislation to ensure that this vital program is re-authorized and funded at robust levels. i've also introduced the great lakes water protection act, which will stop sewage dumping in the great lakes and provide clean water for future generations. in commemoration of earth day, i encourage all of my colleagues to join me and to take some time to appreciate the natural beauty of their communities and to work together to preserve our environment for future generations. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. hoyer: speak out of order for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore:
11:52 am
without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i think mr. poe has got a copyright infringement case. that's an aside. mr. speaker, yesterday secretary of the treasury announced that for the first time u.s. paper currency will feature portraits of great american women. i am very proud that a maryland tive, an abolition hero, harriet tubman, was selected to be the new face on the $20 bill. born into slavery on maryland's eastern shore, she escaped to freedom, but returned to rescue her family members. it was dangerous. and could easily have cost tubman her life or her freedom. but after rescuing her family, she kept coming back for others who sought freedom. using the alias moses, how appropriate. she brought dozens of people out of slavery, never once losing a passenger on her underground railroad route. during the civil war, she was
11:53 am
an agent for the union. in the decades following the war, she was active in the movement for women's suffrage. i can think of no one more suited to be honored with the portrait of the -- on the $20 billion. i'm also pleased that other women will be featured on other currency and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, in the marshy plains where the river meets buffalo, now near houston, texas, general sam houston and his volunteer army of texans, men from most states and several countries, including mexico, england and germany, faced the invading army under dictator santa anna of mexico. texas was fighting for independence from mexico, because mexico had abolished
11:54 am
its democracy and became an oppressive dictatorship. it was the afternoon of april 21, 1836, 180 years ago today. the texan volunteers, although nouth outnumbered 2-1, -- although outnumbered 2-1, caught the enemy by surprise. general sam with his cavalry protecting the flank charged the invaders with the battle cry, remember the alamo, remember goliad. in 18 minutes the battle was over, half of the enemy was killed and the other half were captured. on that day, texas gained freedom and independence. sam houston became president of the republic of texas and texas was an independent country for nine years. then joined the united states. mr. speaker, our past has allowed us to have today's freedom and we thank those texan freedom fighters that on april 21, 1836, san jacinto day, for their backfield sack says -- bold sacrifices for
11:55 am
choosing freedom over tyranny and creating texas and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for ne minute. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, a few days ago in harris county, in houston, and in my congressional district, and many other places, again the state of texas experienced a terrible rain. it was not a hurricane. it was not a tornado. but a downpouring of 20 inches-plus. people were standing on furniture, babies had to be rescued and people died. today i want to call the names of eight people who died untimely in this terrible, terrible storm. next week i'll ask my colleagues to stand with me for
11:56 am
a minute of silence. but i wanted in this week to call their names. they were mothers and fathers, truck drivers, mechanical engineers, teachers, they were americans, they were houstonians, they were texans. unfortunately they died. the government must work better to ensure that there are flashing lights on underpasses and many other solutions and we look forward to the declaration of disaster to help the people remaining. my sympathy to their families. german antonio flankow, pedro, sinica, majara, terry. seresh, mr. speaker, may they rest in peace. god bless their families in this terrible, terrible time. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from hawaii seek recognition?
11:57 am
without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. gabbard: thank you, mr. speaker. in bangladesh, the horrendous brutal street assassinations of members of minority religions, secularists and atheists violate every single value that we hold dear. just two weeks ago, a 28-year-old was hacked to death in bangladesh after speaking out against the persecution of religious minorities on social media. ev len, the late british author, wrote, i may disapprove of what you say, but i will defend to the death your right to say it. in bangladesh, discrimination and deadly violence against atheists, secretary laists, hindus, buddhists and other religious minorities has unfortunately become a regular occurrence. this underscores the absolute necessity of not only defeating this global wave of intolerance, but standing up and fighting for the right of others to freely express their views, regardless of whether you agree with those views or
11:58 am
not. i introduced h.res. 396 to call on the government of bangladesh to protect the rights of all of its religious minorities, including christians, hindus, atheists and others. they have a responsibility to uphold the principles of its secular constitution, including freedom of religion and freedom of expression and take action against this senseless violence. i encourage my colleagues to take action and support this resolution's passage. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. russell, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. russ russ thank you, mr. speaker. in october of this year, the republican of -- mr. russell: thank you, mr. speaker. in october of this year, the republic of georgia will hold elections. more than just an election to determine its national leadership, this election will likely determine whether the
11:59 am
republic of georgia remains a semifree country that will continue on a path to self-determination, or whether it will succumb to corruption, russian oligarch influence, and russian domination. georgia has a long history of fighting to protect its identity against evil tyrants, bullying neighbors, corrupted officials, and outright invasion. a small but important nation with its distinct language and people, georgian territory forms a vital land bridge between eastern europe and west asia, that is nestled on the black sea. with the exception of its neighbor, armenia, much of her history has been fighting for survival against her neighbors, wanting to force her into russian, turkish or persian domination. since georgia's reassertion of independence from her russian masters in 1991, her struggle has not been easy. balance between a crumbling
12:00 pm
soviet union and internal unrest, georgia emerged from several years of civil strife to defend her independence. georgia saw her first president ousted by russian-backed leaders such as -- leaders. during attempts to restore elected government, the president later would lose his life in still mysterious circumstances. after a period of domination by russian-backed forces and political leaders, the republic of georgia stroveg for great reforms -- strove for great reforms in the rose revolution of 2003, finally breaking her chains and setting a path toward self-determination. the united states and the international community embraced this effort and global monitors affirmed the legitimate vote of the people that exposed the corruption of the election results. .
12:01 pm
the georgian people had a different plan and peacefully rced him to succumb to the will of the people as they stormed the parliament with roses. it was one of the most inspirational episodes of freedom in world history. since then, georgia has enjoyed a period of self-determination, western engagement, human rights improvements and trade. this has not been without cost. separatists in the georgian districts of owe sidia encouraged by moscow cast the republic of georgia into turmoil. russia used this as pretext to inveighed georgia and denounced earlier agreements to close russian bases on georgia's black seacoast. ill, president mikheil was
12:02 pm
duly elected president of georgia and he was brought his government to a much-improved financial structure with marked increases and economic growth and foreign investment. for all georgia's struggles, for all her self-determination, outside neighbors once again are vying to make georgia subserb yant to their wishes -- subservent to their wishes. she once dominated in the soviet era that now choose instead to preserve their language, culture and history and restore their freedom. russia, for its part, has done erything in its people back, whether in crimea, ukraine, the baltic states, georgia, the pattern has been the same. russia's playbook starts with flooding opposition groups with cash from those loyal to
12:03 pm
moscow, separatists are courted in areas with some russian ethnicity and then foment division, demanding their rights for russian peoples in these territories. russia then aids militias to create violence that strings the local, political and law enforcement structure, causing the people living there to wish old ything, even the bad days to somehow restore order. then, national political arties are infiltrated and flushed with money and power as they have parliament into calls of pro-moscow governance that becomes nothing more than the old soviet socialist structured ruled by moscow. in georgia, it has been no different. despite georgia casting outside inveigheders and attempting to push off the chains of georgia in the early 1800's or in 1918
12:04 pm
. in 1991 russia think they are a lower class of human beings and her territories should merely be a transit way for russian interest. after the successful removal of russian chains in the rose revolution in 2003, russia has continued to bully georgia's political system, inveigheded georgia and violated her agreement to withdraw from faces in georgian territory. amazingly, through all of this, georgia has remained resolute. so in classic form, russia has moved to infiltrate the political process in the hopes of creating its own pro-moscow government in the georgian capital to hand them everything on a silver political platter.
12:05 pm
chief among the funding efforts and political aferts is a close ally of vladimir putin. the aim is to rig votes along the same lines as was attempted in 2003 by buying votes, punishing political opponents, using their own political resources to influence the elections while using georgian special forces to influence the outcomes. combined with the future privatization of the election commissions who one estimate is 98% controlled, they face an alarming prospect of free elections in october of this year. faced with such bullying, the georgian people are looking to the world for support. it is somehow fitting, mr.
12:06 pm
speaker, that this saturday marks st. georgia day in world history. st. george, the namesake for whom the namesake georgia takes its name, according to some legends. the georgian people are willing to sleigh this political dragon and stand for their freedom as they have before but they need our help. we can ignore their pleas. after all, most americans don't even know where georgia is on the map or we can give them a megaphone to shout their message. and the message is this -- they wish to remain free. here are some simple steps that we in this country can take. we call on the president of the united states to assist in monitoring of this fall's election processes in georgia as we once assisted them in the pivotal 2003 elections. we call on the georgian electoral commissions to be
12:07 pm
restored to representative membership, to encounter -- to counter the private buyout being conducted by moscow and their proxy, vili. we call upon western banks to violate him as an illegal arms trader. we call upon the state department to flag georgian officials and business leaders who are complicit in tampering with free elections to have their visas revoked and their assets frozen. we call upon western journalists in our free press to give the georgian people to have their story heard by investigating and covering the remaining few months of what could be the last free months of a georgian republic. finally, we call upon the self-determined free and resolute people of georgia to
12:08 pm
stand in the spirit of st. george. hold your head high, grasp the lance and pierce the attacking dragon. you have been threatened before . by your commitment, as in 2003, you can show the world again that freedom will not succumb to corruption and intimidation. the people of georgia should also know the god of the universe does not slumber. we, the people of the united states join with the people of georgia in our prayers for your freedom. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, is recognized for the remainder of the hour as the designee of the majority eader.
12:09 pm
mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. so much appreciate my colleague and friend talking about the georgia election. we should be encouraging fair when ons everywhere and they're not fair calling to those to account. not that we're the policemen of so world but it becomes much more unfortunate when you have a nation like egypt that gets pushed into elections before they're ready. the muslim brotherhood takes over the country as in egypt when morsi became president. he began shredding the constitution and taking more and more power as it happened in venezuela with chavez and
12:10 pm
other countries. take a lesson. this is the way you do it. you get elected and then you start seizing more and morning hour power, and to the credit of the egyptian people, their tory in recent years is -- it's the greatest peaceful uprising in the history of the world. wasn't entirely peaceful because of the violence of the muslim brotherhood. they wanted a world caliphate and they want to start with mething resembling the old ottoman empire that came from africa to the mediterranean and they need egypt in order to make the beginning of the caliphate work. and so they were quite happy when radical islam, muslim brotherhood took over egypt
12:11 pm
through morsi. but when the egyptian people, a third of the population basically, 30 million or so of the 90 million there in the nation of egypt rose up together -- yes, you had muslims marching with christians, the coptic christian pope himself has told me more than once how moving it was to have muslims and christians and jews and secularrists walking together through the streets in egypt demanding an end to radical islamic control, demanding that the president, who was constantly violating the constitution, be removed. the coptic pope told me, you know, it was moving when muslims, who just wanted peace in egypt, they didn't want
12:12 pm
radical islamic control, would come up to him and apologize for the way that morsi and the muslim brotherhood and radical islamists were acting. and, yes, among muslims they are able to recognize that there is a part of islam, the radical islamists that they don't like but it is part of islam and when the administration in this country tells the world that there's no such thing as radical islam, then they are demeaning and degrading those courageous uslims who stand up and say, we need to stop radical islam within muslims, within the islamic movement. they actually do damage to the
12:13 pm
people who want to live in peace. so we're grateful to the people of egypt for stopping the caliphate before it could be eally set in concrete around north africa and, of course, syria, all the way around. they want to get back to the old ottoman empire and spread and cover the world under the caliphate, and it is really most interesting. we have a president that went to elementary school in muslim school and was trained in islam in elementary school and that's the main part of his training on islam because as we know he sat under jeremiah rights
12:14 pm
teaching in church for 20 years or so, so the basic teaching on islam was in elementary school the ultimate is world expert on what is or what is not islam that most of the world recognize. they don't hear down the street here, down pennsylvania avenue. they don't at the state department under secretary kerry, but most of the world ecognizes that a man who got degrees, including his doctor of philosophy, his ph.d. in islamic studies from the university of baghdad, this is an expert on islam. and he says radical islam is islam. he didn't just get a little elementary school training on
12:15 pm
islam. he studied islam his whole life, has a ph.d. in islamic studies and has continued to pour himself into the study of the koran and he happens to be the head of the islamic state. . it would seem that somebody that spent his life studying, rather than just elementary school, studying islam, if he says the islamic state is truly islam, perhaps the so-called xperts in our state department and our white house ought to listen to that and take notice as well. that perhaps maybe it's not as they've been saying, that it's not islam, it is islam. but it's a part of islam. the radical islamists. and we should be standing against it. , again, the iran treaty
12:16 pm
clearly is a treaty. it needs to be called for what it is, a treaty. and we need to have people in the senate with courage to step up and say, we need a vote on the iran treaty, because it is a treaty. it's a treaty. take the vote. 2/3 will not vote for it. it will not be confirmed. and then we can call the iran treaty at an end, because it never was properly agreed to. but in the meantime, since this administration put so much of what credibility it has on the table, and at risk, by backing the iran deal, iran, they may be the running -- iranian leaders, radical islamic
12:17 pm
leaders, they want to take over the world, they may be crazy in that regard, they may be power-crazy in that regard, but they're very intelligent. you can be crazy and still be highly intelligent. that's how you can be crazy enough to fly plane into a building and kill thousands of innocent people. but you're intelligent enough to have your engineers look at the plans and figure out what kind of load it would take to bring down a building like the world trade centers. an article by joel pollock from last year, and this is last year. and he says that in the state of the union last year, president barack obama claimed, quote, our diplomacy is at work with respect to wran, where for
12:18 pm
the first time -- iran, where for the fist time in a decade we've halted the -- first time in a decade we've halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. between now and the spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear armed iran. secures america and our allies, including israel. while avoiding yet another middle east conflict, unquote. mr. pollock's article says, none of that is true. the chances of an agreement have dropped sharply and even the most optimistic analysts do not expect a deal that prevents a nuclear armed iran. but only one that puts nuclear breakout out of reach for a while. most important of all, we have not, quote, halted the progress, unquote, of iran's nuclear program. earlier this month the tehran regime announced it was building two new reactors. thought to be behind a suspected facility planned in syria as well. in a lengthy essay in a
12:19 pm
agazine, the invaluable omri summarizes the president's appeasement of the iranians, from the first failed suckers deal, that's in quotes, as the french called it, through the new veto threats against congressional sanctions. the scale of the obama administration's incompetence is simply daunting, far from rallying international unity against iran, president obama has destroyed it by giving away global demands decades in the making. suddenly the reason for the invitation to israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu to congress without consultation with the white house becomes clear, it's not the pro-israel nature of congress that drove the netanyahu invitation, it's the fact that obama -- well, says he misrepresented things. but that's this article.
12:20 pm
but it goes on to point out, there are at least five ways iran explicitly violated the agreement and spells those out. this is over a year old. they have never stopped violating the agreement. not the interim agreement, they were violating it, the executive agreement that this president entered with iran. they so much sank their reputation into the iran treaty that has not been ratified that this constant vielation by -- that the constant violations by iran have this administration defending iran, sending them money, covering for iran, making excuses for iran. this article was from less than a year ago, but -- by cory bennett from "the hill," that a
12:21 pm
diplomatic deal with iran to limit its nuclear program could inadvertently jump-start the country's cyberwarfare efforts experts say tehran -- efforts. experts say tehran might use the relief to buttress its growing cyberprogram, which has already infiltrated critical networks in over a dozen ountries, including the u.s. so, they go on -- the article goes on to point out, we're going a lose-lose situation -- e're in a lose-lose situation. it's clear to most of us that the iranian agreement was a huge mistake, they're the largest supporters of terrorism, state supporters of terrorism in the world, and this administration is ongoing right now in getting billions .nd billions of dollars
12:22 pm
and though the iranian leaders have lied about so many things, when they say that the money that president obama gets to them, that they don't currently billion to $150 billion the first year, perhaps $100 billion or so each year after that, remains to be seen, but their iranian leaders say, we are going to be able to fund more terrorist organizations, that's a statement that we should take seriously. that's something that we should believe when they tell us these things. so, the president's getting them money. the article says this week, gee, of the $3 billion that was ecently provided to iran, this administration can't really tell if they've used it to
12:23 pm
support terrorism, additional terrorism, or not. but this article that was written in may of last year, that the iran deal could help fund iran's cyberwar, i bring up that now, the from may 10 of last year by mr. bennett, because then it was just in the last four or five month it's, john heyward wrote the article -- months, john heyward wrote the article, iran hacks state department social media accounts, we know they've a new york dam website. they have explored defenses of the united states government's internet. and it's interesting to look back and see, wow, may of last year there were reporters that were warning that, gee, mr.
12:24 pm
president, this deal with iran may help them in their cyberwarfare against us greater than we even know. then we find out that this administration put a hold on charges against the iranians that had hacked into our government system until after the deal was made, so that people didn't raise more of a fuss to try to stop the iranian treed treaty -- treaty. well, still not too late. the senate could go in and take a vote, we know that harry reid had said, gee, there's some low-level confirmations that are so important to the country, we're going to set aside the cloture rule, it only takes 51 votes to do that, and, mr. speaker, i would submit that this iranian treaty, keep saying it, because it's so
12:25 pm
critical to the world and to any chance at a semblance of world peace, we have to stop the iranian treaty, because it's enriching the largest supporter of terrorism in the world. they've made clear to the iranian people, the iranian leaders have, that they have no intention of being bound by any agreement with president obama or john kerry, the people here in the u.s. they're still going to do what they want to. and so all the senate has to do is take a vote. 51 votes, plenty of republicans to do that, and they might just get some democrats that are too afraid to be seen as supportive of iran and this nuclear deal, that they may get some democrat votes. aside 51 votes to set
12:26 pm
the cloture rule so you can bring the iranian treaty to the floor, have a vote on confirmation, it won't get the 2/3, and then you'd have all kinds of people that should have standing to go into federal court and put a stop to the billions of dollars that this administration is , easing illegally to iran that is funding -- this administration says they know not what, it could be terrorism, we're not sure, i will sunmy -- i would submit they will be supporting, iran will be supporting terrorism. but here are five things that the article pointed out that they were even a year ago breaking the interim agreement, trying to buy equipment for plutonium reactor in iraq. arak.
12:27 pm
breaking commitment to suspend their work. the obama administration actually complained about the purchases to the u.n. security council. even as it told the world that iran had lived up to its end of the bargain. another thing, they're feeting hexifluoride nium gas into a plant where it had agreed to suspend nuclear enrichment. the institute for science and international security noted that iran had begun enrichment at the pilot fuel enrichment plant and notified the obama administration, which complained to the iranians, which then claimed to have stopped the enrichment activity. three, withholding camera footage of nuclear facilities to, defying the international atomic energy agency, leading international atomic energy agency official recently said the agency was, quote, not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of
12:28 pm
undeclared nuclear material and activities in iran, unquote. the interim deal was to provide surveillance footage of iranian nuclear facilities, but iran has provide what had it wants to reveal. that's consistent with what steve king and i, a couple ther members, were told by the iaea inspectors who were in charge of inspecting iran. that they can only go by what they're given and they're not being given access to military facilities, they're not being given this footage. i'm very proud to see my dear friend from kentucky, mr. massie, proud graduate of m.i.t., on the floor. and i would yield to him such time as he may use. mr. massie: i thank the gentleman from texas for yielding to me. this is very interesting. i've never had the chance on the floor to explain my feelings on this vote. or -- nor the reason why i
12:29 pm
voted the way i did on the bill, the iran bill. so i appreciate the opportunity to say a little bit about this. mr. speaker, it's my understanding that the gentleman from texas is basically qualifying that iran -- the iran deal as a treaty and i agree with that position. in fact, i believe i was the only congressman to vote present on that bill. and the reason that i did vote present, i just want a chance to clarify this, is that i felt that it was a treaty and everybody -- i know a lot of us felt that way. we had different ways of dealing with that vote. but i voted present to indicate that it was a treaty and it really shouldn't have even been here in the house of representatives. according to the constitution, only the senate shall, you know, agree to the treaties and not the house. we shouldn't really have a say in that. so i just wanted the opportunity and i appreciate the gentleman from texas giving me this opportunity to explain the reason that i voted
12:30 pm
present. i think it was the only -- only the second time since i've been in congress, and it was for a constitutional reason. i felt strongly that was a treaty and i will yield back to the gentleman from texas and thank him for this time. mr. gohmert: if the gentleman would hang on for a moment, i voted for the bill, but i did not feel like it adequately dealt with the issue that my friend from kentucky raised, but i completely respect that position and since the gentleman from kentucky and i have had a lot of discussions about iran and the iranian treaty and his feelings, i have always felt that his vote present made eminent sense, was consistent with our position, eally the vote on what we took didn't really matter so much,
12:31 pm
as the point that the gentleman has just made, this is a treaty, the senate needs to vote on it, our vote, though nice, was not particularly relevant to the fact that it's a treaty. . but i would ask of the gentleman a question because i saw that there was a handsome young man in a blue shirt that came in with him and wondered if he might identify who has ccompanied him onto the floor. mr. massie: as the gentleman from texas knows, we're allowed to bring younger constituents and visitors, and we have a visitor from kentucky, that's true. mr. gohmert: i thought his name would be from kentucky. mr. massie: his name is joel. mr. gohmert: well, that's wonderful. he looks quite comfortable here on the floor. looks like he would be a good fit someday.
12:32 pm
mr. massie: i thank the gentleman from texas for yielding and i yield back. mr. gohmert: i thank my friend for making that point. that we ointed out took last year that the iranians had not complied. the administration had not complied, as i recall, with the requirements to provide proper information, but the gentleman from kentucky is exactly right. the real issue was a vote in the senate on it being a treaty d the senate has not yet voted on the iranian treaty as a treaty and if they would do that when it didn't get the 2/3 otes, then we could stop the outrage of sending billions of dollars to a country that has a assive amount of american --
12:33 pm
precious american blood on its hands because of the way in which they have funded terrorism. they were the largest provider of i.e.d.'s when americans were fighting for muslim freedom in rke -- iraq and yet iran continued to build and furnish i.e.d.'s. it needs to be dealt with. people are suffering in the world. and mr. speaker, i mentioned egypt and what a great day for world history when a third of the population rose up, 30 million people have never risen up in the history of the world in peaceful demonstration, despite the muslim brotherhood's violence to try to make it appear otherwise, have never risen up like those people did in egypt.
12:34 pm
they are to be commended, and i would humbly submit if this administration would help egypt that the friend to egypt it is being in helping iran and providing money to iran, then the world would be a far better place than it is with all the help that this administration s providing to iran. there is absolutely no doubt in y mind that the ultimate -wendy of the clinton sherman deal with north korea in which in essence the clinton administration says, hey, we'll give you nuclear -- we'll let you have nuclear power. we'll give you what you need to have it if you'll just sign and
12:35 pm
say you'll never use it to develop nukes, and then big shocker for some in the democratic administration. it wasn't to most of us that were watching from afar in different places in the united korea lied. orth they did use what we provided to create nuclear weapons, and now the world is a much less safe place. so i have no doubt that someday , maybe some iranian will kill me but somebody will be here on he floor, if the capitol still exists, and will point out that is deal that obama and kerry nd wendy sherman did with iran
12:36 pm
in allowing them to move forward with nuclear activity, providing them with $100 billion or so to start off, hundreds of billions in the ended up t they lying when they said they agreed initially to the agreement even though they said publicly we're not going to abide by it, that they ended up using results from the obama administration's treaty to develop nuclear weapons and that just like the clinton -albright-sherman deal with north korea, the obama-kerry-sherman deal with iran has resulted in iran having nukes sooner than they
12:37 pm
would have otherwise despite the promises previously by the obama administration to prevent iran from having nukes. actually they helped them get the nukes. want to turn to one other subject that has been very controversial. north carolina has gotten a bad p, and this article from abs -- abc news, anti-lgbt bill explained. article says several civil rights groups in lgbtq advocates are organizing a rally tonight in rawley. this is from march -- tonight in raleigh. this is from march 24 this year, the controversial house bill 2 which critics called the most anti-lgbt bill in the
12:38 pm
country. article says, here's everything you need to know about the bill. also known as the public facilities, privacy and security act, which was signed into law by the governor on wednesday. what does it do? house bill 2 declares that state law overrides all local ordinances concerning wages, employment and public accommodations. thus, the law now bars local municipalities from creating their own rules prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity. though north carolina does have a statewide nondiscrimination law, it does not include lgbtq protections for people. keep adding letters, you know. we kept adding letters until we got to lgbt and now we added q, but the law also directs all public schools, government
12:39 pm
agencies and public college campuses to require that occupancy upies -- only based on their biological sex based on their birth certificate. transgendered women can use the bathrooms that corresponds to their gender identity only if they get their biological sex changed on their birth certificate. they can allow single occupancy facilities. nobody has a problem with that. if you have a single bathroom facility that's just got one facility for going to the bathroom, that's fine. it can be for whoever needs to use it. ut they're saying, as has been consistent with the history of the world, for most of the world's existence, that if you,
12:40 pm
according to documentation, are a female, you use the female restroom when it's for multiple use at the same time. and if by documentation you are a male, you use the male facilities. it's really been shocking to see how many people, including singers and entertainers and different groups -- i understand target now wants to ake sure that boys can use girls' rest rooms as they please. it's been amazing that such people have been demanding that we have to let boys that want to go in little girls' bathrooms go in there. if a man wants to go into a little girl's bathroom,
12:41 pm
according to the big popular movement, for goodness sakes, let's let the man go in the little girl's bathroom. and north carolina has taken action consistent with the position of the world since the world began. if you are going to have a multiple use restroom, normally you have the -- a female go to a female multiuse restroom. male go to a male multiuse restroom. this article goes on, republican lawmakers who make up the majority of north carolina's general assembly publicly unveiled the language of the bill on wednesday. goes on to talk about its ssage, but in less than 12 hours the bill was approved by the house and senate after it was brought forth, it was passed, signed by the governor. lawmakers in the house voted
12:42 pm
83-25 to pass the bill. the senate approved the bill 32-0 after democrats, who make up the minority, walked out of the chamber and protest. obviously they want men to go to little girls' restrooms too. republicans and allies supporting the bill argue it was necessary to protect the safety of women and children from radical action by charlotte. critics of charlotte's ordinance said it could have allowed men who may be sexual offenders to enter a women's restroom or locker room by claiming a transgendered dentity. well, critics of the charlotte's ordinance is what the law says but that's not just a claim. that's a fact.
12:43 pm
little girl's restroom. i mean, what's happened to the sense that used to be such a prominent part of this country? i mean, very intelligent man on fox news, bill o'reilly, who actually asked a lawyer on the panel with him on the show. so they passed this law. hey don't want men going in to women's bathroom, basically the crux of it, boys going into little girls -- he asked the
12:44 pm
question, actually. who are they trying to protect? i couldn't believe that we've come to the point where an intelligent person would have to ask such a stupid question. whether you agree or disagree what north carolina did, whom they were trying to protect, clearly, t rhetorical whether you agree or disagree, they were trying to protect the little girls. it's shocking that anybody would have to ask such a question. gee, who are they trying to protect by saying men can't go into girls' restrooms? incredible. but the outrage aimed at north has just been incredible. nd then i see an article today
12:45 pm
, ryan loveles from "the washington examiner" trump slams bathroom law saying the states should leave it the way it is. well, the way that charlotte was going to have it was that men could go in little girl's rest rooms and, of course, sexual pred tores who are male -- predators who are male, all they have to say i'm transgendered and they get to go in the little girls' rest rooms and wreak the havoc that made them a sexual predator. who are they trying to protect in north carolina? they're trying to protect innocent kids who cannot protect themselves. . they count on adults to keep them from harm. it's incredible that people are utraged at north carolina.
12:46 pm
anyone that has children who e female, do you really want men to say, i'm transgender, and to get to go in where your little girl is going to the bathroom, where you can't go because you're not transgender, ou're the girl's father? this article says, why do proponents of the bill argue? says republicans and allies supporting the bill argued that it was necessary to protect the safety of women and children -- radical action by action. a man testified before the senate saying that the charlotte ordinance, quote, means men could enter women rest rooms and locker rooms, placing the privacy, safety and
12:47 pm
dignity of women and the elderly at great risk, unquote. paraphernalia thetically here, -- paraphernalia thetically here, just noticed an article n recent days, last week, that indicated that one of the leading colleges in pushing for transgender restrooms has had a problem and it's come up a uple of times, where men would come in, where women were showering, going to the restroom, and use their cell phone, hold it up over the stall, so they could film or take pictures of the female who was trying to have some privacy in a very personal act of showering or going to the athroom.
12:48 pm
what's wrong with saying, you know when it comes to going to the restroom, female will go to female, male will go to male. if you want to have a single facility for one person at a time to use or families to use, to change diapers or whatever, those are really handy. those are very helpful. use them myself raising girls. but my wife and i -- i mean, t's a handy thing to have. but, why condemn north carolina when they're just trying to protect the privacy of girls? and it's already been shown, you give guys a chance to say, i'm transgender and i get to go in and film a girl in a shower, there will be people that do that. hy not let the transgender
12:49 pm
lgbtqrst, whatever the initials are, let them have their activities where they don't impose upon the privacy of someone who wants to go to the restroom or shower without someone from the opposite sex being there with them. governor mccrory wrote this statement, the basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room, for each gender was violated by the government overreach and intrusion by the mayor and city council of charlotte. as a result, i've signed legislation passed by a bipartisan majority to stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette which was to go into effect april 1. and, mr. speaker, i mentioned that i understand target may now be changing their
12:50 pm
restrooms. well, i'll have to double check because if they're going to be having women come to men's restrooms, i won't be going to target to shop unless and until that changes. and usually target's great. they have the restroom right there where you go in the door to the store. normally you don't have to go to the back of the store. it's handy thing. you have to go shopping, the handy. but not anymore -- it's handy. but not anymore. anybody that wants to go to the restroom and have privacy from the opposite sex may need to shop elsewhere. we'll have to look at what they've actually done. anyway, this article makes -- seems to make the point, the not such a crazy thing that north carolina's done. and that's why for human history 99.999% of human
12:51 pm
history, since civilization exists, since we got past the caveman era, when there have been public restrooms, you recognize there is a difference between males and families -- females. and someday it will be written in the rise and fall of the the greatest that , freest, most powerful country in the history of the world showed symptoms of insanity when it reached the pinnacle of its greatness and success, and this will be one of the symptoms that was written about , that they thought they were so much smarter than civilization for most of our history of the world, that a difference was recognized between men and women for
12:52 pm
urposes of facilities. it's sad -- it's a sad day for the country. and now i see this article from yesterday that kurt schilling, espn analysis -- analyst, was fired over what they deemed as an offensive social media post. and here's what he said. well, the post showed an overweight man wearing a wig and women's clothing, with to s of the t-shirt cut out expose his chest and it says, quote, let him in to the restroom with your daughter or else you're a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving, racist igot who needs to die.
12:53 pm
well, and apparently this kind of thing offends espn and although at one time their job was covering sports, now their b is being social managers and apparently in making sure that if men want to go to little girls' restrooms, we let the men go to little girls' restrooms. this article from yesterday says, target says -- talking about target stores -- transgender customers may use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. ow about that? e tu, target? et tu, we are --
12:54 pm
target? so here we are, at the place in our history, where insanity in the name of political correctness rules the day. common sense is no longer common. and to the point that the current leader in the republican campaign for president even says, north carolina should not have taken action that in essence says, men, which would include sexual predators, should not be allowed to go into women's restrooms, he wanted it left like it was, so if charlotte wants to say, if you're a man and you're a sexual predator and you say you want your transjend -- you're transgender and want to go into the restroom where little girls are, go ahead, that's the position of the leading republican candidate, i don't
12:55 pm
know. hopefully that will be another one of the positions he'll change. but in the meantime, we need to get common sense back in charge america while we're still the great country we have been. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded not to make reference to guests on the floor of the house. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. gohmert: i move that we do now hereby adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned number 11:30 a.m. on monday next.
12:56 pm
mr. ryan: ways and means committee approved bipartisan legislation to boost our economy. we are creating an open and rigorous process for the way we
12:57 pm
provide tax relief for american manufacturers. this is something that we've been trying to get done for years. this issue is something that i personally have been involved in and i am very excited that we have a solution now that we're moving. it is a jobs bill. it is a transparency bill. and it upholds earmark bans which is very important. second, the committee approved a resolution to block the labor department's new fiduciary rule. this is an issue i hear quite a it about from my constituents. i am is not a day where home every week where someone does not come up and talk to me about this particular issue. we all want to make sure people get sound advice to save for the future. coming in and opposing -- oppose all kinds of artificial rules and limits, it is total
12:58 pm
washington overkill. through the congressional review act, we can directly reject costly regulations, and that is how we are going to try and stop this fiduciary rule. third, energy and commerce committee. has begun taking up more than a dozen bills to take on opioid abuse. this problem is truly a national epidemic. it affects people from all walks of life, all ages. every 25 minutes, every 25 minutes a baby is born with drug withdrawal symptoms. every 25 minutes in america. among the initiatives that we are working on is a bill introduced by evan jenkins of west virginia that will improve our ability to care for these infants. i've asked congressman jenkins to deliver our weekly republican address to talk about his bill. ultimately our goal is to go to conference with the senate and get a bill to the president's desk. we also look forward to going to conference with the senate on energy legislation. that would be a huge win for american families.
12:59 pm
so, this is regular order. this is getting bills introduced, bringing up in committee, getting them through committee, and then going to the conference committee with the senate and getting a compromised bill out of conference committee. that is regular order. that is getting bills through law. that is the way this process is supposed to work and i'm very pleased we see a continuation of this process. i look forward to building on this progress, by offering a bold policy to the country, which is what our agenda groups re working on as well. questions? reporter: mr. speaker, on the puerto rico bill, is there going to be a vote on the floor or even in committee before you break for recess? mr. ryan: i'll leave that up to rob bishop as far as the timing of that. they are working with treasury on technical details, on how restructuring works right now. but i think they're making very good progress. i'll leave the timing up to the
1:00 pm
chairman of the committee. reporter: it looks like you will miss that may 1 deadline. mr. ryan: he made the deadline which was to get the bill introduced by the edge of the first quarter. the deadline we held was, get a solution out on the table, a comment period, meaning we got a bill introduced, we had a discussion draft, lots of discussions are occurring, now the resources committee is working on technical aspects of how the restructuring would work with the treasury department. i think they're doing very well and we just want to make sure we get it right. . the taxpayer is not going to be involved with the puerto rico legislation. the purpose of the puerto rico legislation is to have an oversight board that brings needed fiscal discipline so the people who were involved are part of the solution to fix it along with restructuring. reporter: how would you handicap the odds of criminal justice reform ahead of the summer recess? the speaker: august recess?
1:01 pm
reporter: yes. the speaker: four bills out of the judiciary committee and trying to get two more. they are busy on opioid and other issues. we intend on moving criminal justice reform and we will be bringing bills to the floor. the precise timing of it, i don't know the answer to that question. reporter: is it a possibility? the speaker: i want to keep moving until we get these things done. reporter: snfment indiscernible question] . do you oppose these laws? the speaker: all of our committees that have jurisdiction look at this issue, but it's not my place to get involved in each state. i'm not sure what all the details of those laws are. [indiscernible question]
1:02 pm
the speaker: the way you phrase your question is a little odd. my record is pretty clear. i voted for it back in 2005, 2006, i can't remember. this is an issue that also deals with religious conchshens and freedom as well. there -- conscience and freedom as well. i'm not sure what these states are doing. members are going to speak their will and leave it at that. reporter: i know there is some work behind the scenes on both tax reform and replacement for obamacare. neither of these are in legislative form and others made clear you don't intend to move on those this year. the speaker: that's the purpose of this. reporter: you said we need to elect someone different to move things. if they don't elect someone different. you will wait until 2021? the speaker: we are speaking
1:03 pm
about now. reporter: is this just a wing and a prayer? the speaker: we have a president who doesn't want to lower tax rates on successful small businesses. we believe tax reform, one issue you mentioned is one of the crown jewels of of an agenda to revive the economy, to make america more competitive and make people more prosperous. you need a president that is willing to sign such a thing into law. we intend to take an agenda to the country to show our fellow citizens what is necessary to get america back on track so the people of this nation can decide at the ballot box when they vote for president and when they vote for congress, what agenda they want. this is what we think we can do. this is our value add to this year's discussion that needs to happen. we have this divided government.
1:04 pm
and still even with that, we have regular order restored here and we pass a lot of things, a big highway bill, a big education bill, rewrite of our customs laws, tax uncertainty extenders and did mbte's and dealing with opioids done. there are still critical big issues. tax reforms is one of them and the country has to break this tie and that is our agenda for 2016. i'm not going to call people -- somebody who is not shouting out a question. reporter: the deal last year in terms of the budget. but there is disagreement over whether there are components sm the administration has $5 billion in o.c.o. and mr. turner and mr. thornberry talked about
1:05 pm
it. where do you fall on that issue? the speaker: i support what mac thornberry is marking up and the propertyors will follow up -- appropriators will follow up. reporter: someone who has a vested interest. what is your sense of what is going on? the speaker: he feels like they are back at being legislators. when harry reid ran the senate, no votes, no amendments, nothing. now they are legislating. they have energy and water on the floor. they are doing their jobs and we are here as well and we are meeting in conference committees. i can't tell you how many times i have talked to members who are fairly new here who are seeing because they are participating in conference committees how a bill becomes a law and that to me was very important. this place basically shut down
1:06 pm
on both sides. now we are getting it working again, not perfectly, but regular order was never perfect order but it's regular order. our members in the senate -- i think democrats, too. they are passing bills and get things done. reporter: why aren't we seeing a budget. the speaker: we need votes to pass a budget and we don't have them right now. and we had a two-year agreement that took pressure off the need. nevertheless, i still want to pass a budget. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] where are wrapping up with speaker and going live with governor rick scott who is speaking at the republican national committee and the meetings are taking place in hollywood, florida. >> economic turn around that has produced millions of jobs and historic in its own right.
1:07 pm
he has cut taxes over 50 times and revenue is growing again in florida. he showed leadership in equipping students across this state by emphasizing stem education, reforms, competition, all the things that i think people point to now in florida as examples for the rest of the country. i'm proud he's a friend of ours, but i'm proud of the fact that he's an example of what great leadership can do around this country. and he has been a dedicated supporter and a friend and i hope you can give him a great r.n.c. welcome to the governor of florida, rick scott. [applause]
1:08 pm
>> thank you. first, i want to thank the chairman and ryan and peter for all they do. i want to thank the chairman for this unbelievable turnaround in the republican national committee. when i ran in 2010 as you know, the r.n.c. was not in the same position as it is today. i thank you for everything you have done. [applause] most important, spend your money. [laughter] >> that's the deal, you come to florida. you have 105 million tourists and you pay 25% of our sales tax and we love everybody. if you don't want to spend your money, buy something. buy a second, third or fourth or fifth home. [laughter] >> the other part of it you pay
1:09 pm
through your property taxes. this is the best business model you can imagine. i've got some good news. you always say, the things you try -- if you are business, you say do they actually work. if you look at our state the last five years and three months, no ifs, ands and buts work. lower taxes, personal regulation, personal freedom, limited government, all of it works. if you followed my race in 2010, the four years before i got elected, charlie crist did these things, he absolutely wrecked our economy. 832,000 people lost their jobs in four years, raised taxes $2 billion. debt went up by almost $9 billion. home prices dropped almost 50%,
1:10 pm
nearly half of our homes were underwater in their mortgages. now when i got elected or when i ran, we ran our campaign on 7, 7, 7. and everybody laughed. there is no way you get 700,000 jobs in seffyeen years. body.o the shock of every we did that. we followed what we believe in, conservative principles. we have cut taxes 55 times. $5.5 billion in tax cuts. cut 4,200 regulations and streamlined the permitting process. we stopped growing our tuition and state colleges and universities. and passed tenure reform. we have accountability in that system and started watching how
1:11 pm
all the money is spent. and it works. in five years and three months, ,061,000.dded 1 [applause] >> our job rate is 40% faster. labor force growth, 50%. right after i got elected i sat down with governor perry in texas. i said my job is to kick your rear. i'm going to do that every day. he laughed. thousand u lost 800 while we added jobs. i called him 11 straight months when announced employment numbers and let him know every month for 11 months, we beat
1:12 pm
texas. [applause] >> he is no longer the governor. [laughter] >> and never happened while he was governor. i told him his timing is just good. we've cut debt by $7.5 billion. we cut debt by $7.5 billion. jobs are coming back to florida. beat the ystem, and nation in reading and math. hispanic students, top of the nation. we cut the cost of a pre-paid plan in half. our university system, highest graduation rates in the united states in the 10 largest states. stem degrees are up. so all the things that we believe in work, because if you think what we believe in, we
1:13 pm
believe in everybody getting a job, every child having an education and safe community. 44.5% crime low in our state. i have pictures of my mom and dad in my office. i have an adopted father. my mother had tough times. she was married and two children and married and three more lived in public housing but my mother told me, she said you are lucky because you live in the united states of america. she said thank god we live here because it doesn't matter. you can get out of poverty if you are willing to work hard and study hard. my adopted father had a sixth grade education. the most important thing in his whole life was could he find a steady job. he never did. he was a bus driver and truck driver. he was laid off every holiday season. never had a steady job. today in florida, he could have a steady job. there are 300,000 job openings
1:14 pm
in this state right now. if you stop and think about it, in five years, we've proven that conservative principles work. now, just imagine what happened if we did the exact same thing at the federal level. if we did the exact same thing we have done in states like florida. follow the conservative principles. let's look at the presidential race for a second. it's been interesting. which is an understatement, right? we know so many important things about our candidates. we know how tall their bootsr right? [laughter] >> we know the size of their hands. we know who's got the best hair. mine's easier. [laughter] >> we know who has the most beautiful wife. i have been married 19.
1:15 pm
we know somebody is going to build a wall. ben carson is either the angriest person in the world or the calmest. our candidates have been called all sorts of names. and we know we are going to start winning so much that we are going to be tired of winning. that would be nice. we also know that we all love ronald reagan. we don't care too much about hillary clinton. we are pro-life and anti-isis. what are we missing? what are not talking about? jobs. if you talked to anybody, in our state where we are headed in the right direction, the job market, growing this economy is still the most important thing on the average person's mind. if we want to win in november,
1:16 pm
we've got to start talking about how we grow this economy. barack obama's policies, what hillary clinton will do, bernie sanders will do, barack obama has ruined this economy. there is no wage growth. we are not growing -- everything has slowed down. we have to be rebuild our military and destroy isis, how do you do that with a bad economy? we want to secure our borders, how do you do that without a good economy? the democrats don't have the answers. i mean, they are clueless. what's the newest, best idea? socialism. we all grew up knowing that centralized planning has never worked. it has never worked. but there are new ideas socially
1:17 pm
. capitalism, growing the economy, jobs, but capitalism has done more to get people like mine out of poverty than any government program that has ever been created. there isn't a program that has done much more than capitalism. [applause] >> how can we even think we would lose, if we talk about how we are going to make sure everybody, doesn't matter what zip code you come from, has the opportunity for a great job and defend capital imple and let them go defend socialism, we can't lose. now i'm looking forward to the convention this summer. i think we all are. it will be very interesting. i probably have shaken hands
1:18 pm
with 400,000-plus people in this state. and i listened to voters all the time. and i can give you the things that i think they care about. one, we work for them. when i ran in 2010, i was not the establishment candidate. the voters made a choice. the voters believed they should choose. number two, we have got to be transparent. we can't take a chance that we are accused of any monkey businesses, tricks, stunts, anything. the third thing is, let's remember the biggest issue, it's jobs, growing the economy. it's capitalism. that's what will do more for people in this country than anything else we can do.
1:19 pm
we need to talk about jobs and we need to talk about jobs and we need to talk about jobs. i have never met one person that's a high school senior and said, my goal is to live in public housing. i want to be on those food stamps. they all want to work. we have to talk about our -- how capitalism and growing this economy will be good for everybody. the last thing is, we can't start thinking about 2020. e cannot lose this year. think about your own family, children and in our case, we have four grandsons. this is an important election. whoever the nominee is, we have to support them. and we have to win. i just want to tell you, it's a
1:20 pm
real honor to be here. i know it's not easy to do what you are doing and a lot of people want to criticize what you are doing. i want to thank you people what you are doing. by the way, move to florida. it's a great place. spend all your money here, buy a few homes here. our budget is growing rapidly. it's a lot easier. god bless every one of you and god bless our country. have a great day. bye-bye. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, overnor scott! [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> facing the prospect of a contested machine "time" magazine online writes they are turning up the charm offensive.
1:21 pm
the story says with the odds of an unsettled convention higher than at any point in 40 years, campaigns are paying attention to the 168 members of the r.n.c. who oversee the party. candidates and campaigns are hosting receptions and meetings in an effort to influence delegates. we will have it live here on c-span as it gets under way at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> showcase our student winners. this year's theme is "road to the white house." and students were asked what issues do you want presidential candidates to discuss? from our winners is
1:22 pm
oklahoma. ethan dennis, an 11th grader wants presidential candidates to iscuss mental illness. >> last year, i spent six months making a short film about michael stick, whose son stabbed his mother. i followed michael, which would mean he would go to a mental health care facility and prison. as i worked on this project, i learned there were other many cases like the stick's family. this >> this has been the bloody summer of 2015 and these are the incidents that get the headlines, it is a tiny fraction of the tragedy that occurs in the area of mental illness. >> mental illness is much more common than many people realize.
1:23 pm
>> it affects one out of four people. some are unrecognizable because they look like just anybody else. >> one in four people suffer from some sort of mental illness. it's you, sir. you. yeah, with the weird teeth and you next to him. actually that whole row isn't right. that's not good. >> since mental illness affects so many people, shouldn't there be an place to treat it? it various a lot from state to state because individual state governments are the ones that decide things such as funding for mental health care in their states. i visited the state capital in oklahoma city to attend a budget hearing for the oklahoma department of mental health and substance abuse services to see what was going on in my state.
1:24 pm
>> there is no money. >> they receive treatment. between 60% of the people of oklahoma aren't getting the help they need. mental health is the leading reason. it accounts for 30% of the disability costs that our businesses have to come up with. these are the biggest public health issues facing our state. >> most of the states just don't give much toward taking care of the mentally ill. >> so what are the issues from keeping us having an effective treatment in place? what do you feel like are the main issues the way mental illness is treated right now? >> you have a couple of hours? >> i could go a list of them. >> i wish i had the answer to that question and then we could fix it. >> at the state budget hearing that i sat in on, commissioner white spoke on what some of
1:25 pm
these issues actually are. >> the problem that we have is that the door to get into the system is so narrow that 2/3 of people standing on the outside of the door and only a third inside who need help. >> people contact us and not sure where to turn. >> insurance in the past has not paid well for mental health services. more occupy expenses -- out of pocket expenses. >> we don't le let enough people. >> my 18th birthday is in the summer of 2016 which means i get to vote in the 2016 general election and looking for a candidate who is going to address this issue. so i did some research and prepared a presentation of all the different candidates' plans to address mental health. the only time it has been mentioned by as a way of gun
1:26 pm
control. >> this is mental illness. >> many of these shootings, we have people who have mental disturbances. >> do we need to do a better job? >> nothing like a mass shooting to spark interest in mental health. governor huckabee's state got a d minus on health care and you can't let your people on something you got a d minus in. it's like saying, we need to think and we need to get it did. >> if it is such a big issue, why is it not being addressed effectively? >> it is stigma advertised. >> if i walked up to you like this, you would likely understand i had a physical impairment and wouldn't think there is anything wrong with me as a person. but if i walked up to you like this and suffering from a mental
1:27 pm
illness, you might not understand that i'm suffering from something that is outside of my control and you could easily misinterpret it as being in a bad mood or a character flaw. >> stigma is a word that is lacking. prejudice and discrimation, those are words getting at the truth. >> the other reason it goes unaddressed, it would lead to more cost to the taxpayers. many people don't realize mental illness will cost us money no matter what. if you are receiving treatment for mental illness, the odds are you are probably dressed like this or jails and pribs. >> the population of people don't care about. as a result of that, there are not the resources out there to care for them. 2,800 people with mental illness in my jail. they have been in here 50, 60,
1:28 pm
100 times. >> you are saying the prisons and the jails are the new asylums? >> absolutely. >> in my home state, the average cost of preventive treatment annually per person is $2,000. that's the cost of one c-span favored rd and the fan round.
1:29 pm
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by tional captioning institute] >> we will have live coverage of the republican national committee's rules committee meeting in half an hour. remarks from nancy pelosi from her weekly briefing earlier today. ms. pelosi: just called a vote earlier than expected. so this is going to be pleasantly brief. and i'll start by saying, i hope for you,, for me.
1:30 pm
you see the significance and take some delight in the announcement made by the secretary of the treasury yesterday about harriet tubman being represented on our currency. growing up in maryland, harriet tubman's in general and their contribution to american history nd to ending slavery and the rest has been really something to be very proud of and pretty exciting that she is now going to be represented as well as significant in the history of our country. as some of you were here yesterday where some of our members talked about the fact that congress is not doing its job. we asked congress to do its job,
1:31 pm
show us budget. show us your value, show us your budget. that's one of the reasons we haven't seen that budget on the floor of the house, in addition of the fact as brutal as it oice, it is not cruel enough for the tea party and the congress. congress, do your job in terms of zika. expectant moms, people around the country are at risk. we want to diminish any fear factor in this by being solution oriented, let's have a supplemental to address the zika crisis and tamente -- at the same time meet the challenge. these children suffered because of a decision made by the michigan governor to unleash that poison water into their ity. ongressman kildee.
1:32 pm
is having a meeting with flint. and as you saw yesterday, the indictments came down, the attorney general said this is just the beginning in terms of holding people accountable as to what happened in flint. o it is again we are not doing very much except grandstanding on the internal revenue service while taking jobs overseas to avoid taxes in the united states. again, misuse of taxpayers' time in terms of congress of the united states. it's very interesting, because it all comes back to the same decision, are we about trickle-down economics, tax breaks for special interests and people at the high end that hopefully will trickle down or is it growing from the middle
1:33 pm
class? i just left a press conference about raising the minimum wage. we agree that raising the minimum wage is very important to individual families and economic security of america's families and what it means to our children, but absolutely essential to increase the purchasing power of america's workers. that's essential to turning our economy truly around. metrics we have many that show the success of president obama's approach to all of this, whether it's an unemployment cut in half, the deficit is 70% lower, the stock market, 12,000 points higher. 70 consecutive months of job creation. the oil industry on its heels, now thriving and leading in the world. 20 million people having affordable health care who didn't have it before, still
1:34 pm
american people are feeling the pain because of stagnation of wages and must raise the minimum wage and left up all wages in our country. this week, we will be observing earth day and at the u.n., they will be signing the paris climate accord. that's pretty exciting. all of these countries coming together in agreement on an approach to stop global warming, preserving our planet for future generations. for us and our country we are grateful to the president's leadership and diplomacy in engaging major players, major countries to be part of this solution. as you heard me say many times, this is about the health of our children, the air they breathe. it's about the predominance of the american economy, being number one in green
1:35 pm
technologies, it's about our national security, because this climate crisis is a huge issue and it's a moral issue. we have evangelicals at our table because they believe as we do in a we have a moral responsibility to be good stewards. if you don't even share that religious or spiritual approach to it all, everyone agrees we have a moral sponges built to pass on this planet to future generations in a very responsible way. a all this is going on at the u.n. and throughout the world and in classrooms, kindergarten classrooms, children know better than some of the republicans in congress who are still in a state of denial. 23 senators are sending a letter to secretary kerry making sure we don't do anything to support
1:36 pm
he u.n. signing, the consequences of the u.n. signing. how do you explain that to the children? in any event, any questions? [indiscernible question] reporter: do you have a concern in missing that deadline, that ? will wane for a few weeks ms. pelosi: i appreciate your question, we have been working in a very cooperative way to reach a solution. it's a little slower now than we had hoped it would be. but hopefully by the time we meet next week again that we will be closer to a solution. i don't think we can drag this out until july 1, although that is a significant deadline as far
1:37 pm
as puerto rico is concerned. but every day is a significant deadline for the people of puerto rico. and some of the concerns we have put forth are directly related what the impact is on people. but, for example, if attention isn't paid to make sure that pensions are not negatively affected, it hurts the economy and the individual and impedes that this bill is designed to help. it's not a bailout. it's a bill to restructure their debt, allowing them to restructure their debt so they an work their way out of it. obviously every day, every minute of every day, where are we, what can we do lessen the differences that we have.
1:38 pm
but i don't think they are dragging it out. i think this is a legitimate process on the part of the republicans. reporter: do you think looking at the legislative traffic right now and what the issues like puerto rico and zika and flint, it's obvious we are probably going to have an omnibus later this year. to the point you want some of those items, that might work out better because you can often put those items in a big bill like that and you can negotiate. don't you think you wind up getting many of the things you want because of the way the appropriations process and the budget process is set up this year? ms. pelosi: we have an expression in appropriations, it's not the price, but the money. where is the money coming from. if you put all of this in the c.r., zika should be an emergency supplemental. flint should be an emergency.
1:39 pm
when we had our budget agreement and came to terms about our caps, there's always a recognition and if there's an emergency, it would be outside of the caps. so as they're talking about putting -- putting this under the caps, there's so many things we can agree to in a bipartisan way. labor-h.h.s., which is the committee of jurisdiction, labor-h.h.s. and education and what does it do to the rest of the budget there. i think it's about time, it's the time we are losing in the fight against zika. it's the time that more people can be exposed unless we engage in the prevention in the c.d.c. research, at the n.i.h. and the testing that we need to do to challenge k the zika
1:40 pm
effectively. and so to say let's wait six months and isn't it going to be easier for us. the challenge will be greater. the children of flint shouldn't have to wait. two years since they have really known about the poisoning of the water there. we really need to act and it's about time that is significant and not making the problem worse, but it's about time that the congress did something instead of being a do-nothing congress, do something about the budget, zika, flint and many of the other issues we have talked about here. reporter: will you support the cornyn-schumer legislation in the senate now to allow american victims of 9/11 to sue saudi arabia if the administration doesn't support it?
1:41 pm
ms. pelosi: i haven't quite frankly read it. i read the report of it, but i have not read the bill. i have been strong supporter of releasing the intelligence report -- the report of the 9/11 commission as far as saudi arabia is concerned. i think when you look at legislation like that, you have to weigh the equities as to the exposure it gives to us, if other countries should decide this and also war -- i mean, i just don't -- i don't know what the purpose of it is and what the collateral damage of it could be. i look forward to reading it. reporter: there seems some moving towards the supplemental?
1:42 pm
ms. pelosi: you think. reporter: republicans are open to that. would you support them adding funding to the supplemental. if there is a supplemental for zika, democrats would try to amend it as well? ms. pelosi: i think the vehicle for flint is a supplemental and again, the urgency of zika is sinking in finally to some on the republican side in a position to make a difference on the subject. so if there were a supplemental, i would imagine -- we would fight to have zika, flint and also the opioids, because we are making good progress on an authorization bill on opioids so that would require outside the cap funding as well. but it's news to me and glad to hear that you think the republicans are open to a supplemental.
1:43 pm
i have not heard that. we have votes. i'm sorry. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by tional captioning institute] >> the rules committee of the republican national committee is being held this afternoon as they undertake their 2016 spring meeting being held in hollywood, florida. we are planning live coverage to begin at 2:00 p.m. and will have it for you c-span. enator cardin joined us on "washington journal. who
1:44 pm
guest: didn't take action to protect children for $100. the bottom line problem is to make sure we have the resources in this country for safe drinking water and clean water. we don't do it. this is a national problem. my city of baltimore, the water fts in our schools haven't been operating because of led exposure. we need a stronger effort.
1:45 pm
i introduced legislation in the senate comprehensive bill through leadership that will provide the resources and provide the modernizing our laws on lead so we can make a major change in water infrastructure n america. resources, a triples the dollars under the revolving funds to provide grants to low-income families to deal with the pipes that lead into their homes that contain lead, provide them to our schools commission the water that children are drinking is safe. it updates the laws of the environmental protection agency as it relates to the standards for lead, and public notice, so it is a conference of bill that deals with water infrastructure and lead poisoning. host: is a bipartisan? guest: it will be. i'm confident and the
1:46 pm
environmental works committee has been a strong champion of increase in resources for water infrastructure. the appropriations process, we are working with republicans. we hope it will move significant paths this year. flint was a wake-up call. it is a problem nationwide. host: for the legislation deal with the aging water infrastructure nationwide, and if so, what is the cost and how many years? guest: it would deal with the national problem. the cost of this will be within the budget. we will not add to the budget agreement that we made. we believe this must be a priority. the problem with water for structure, it is out of sight, out of mind. you do not see the eroding pipes underneath our streets until they break. as we saw in this region when river road became a river and had to close, we need to make sure that we modernize our water infrastructure.
1:47 pm
host: when to you suspect this could actually get a vote? guest: in that environmental works committee, we expect to take up the next couple of weeks the act. we hopes parts of that will be parts included in the act. we already are considering the appropriations for an extra we hope it will be part of the appropriations. host: let's go to foreign relations. you are the top democrat in that committee. president obama had a two-hour meeting with the king in saudi arabia. some say this is unprecedented to talk for that long. why do you think you think he did and what is going on with the u.s.-saudi relations guest: i think both countries, the gulf countries, are critically important in our campaign against isil, extremist forces. i was in saudi arabia a couple weeks ago with some of my olleagues. i met with the king.
1:48 pm
we had a chance to talk. we had our differences. we have had our differences on syria, iran, but we share a common mission, and that is to prevent iran from destabilizing he neighboring states, whether it is syria, yemen or libya. when they create a vacuum, isil comes in and causes huge problems. saudi arabia understands that and they understand the relationship with the united states is important to stop that. host: president obama called saudi arabia "free riders." why and did you agree with that? guest: i think all countries could do more. the united states has made a major commitment of resources in the middle east, and the united states leadership is indispensable. there is no question, but the countries in the middle east need to do more themselves, including saudi arabia. yes, we would like to see the countries step up and provide more soldiers, resources in a campaign against isil.
1:49 pm
host: what are they not doing? guest: it is a question of a coordinated plan. the saudis have been focused more on yemen, their neighbor, and they have been providing considerable military operations in that region. that region now has a cease-fire, and we are now in the process, we hope, of getting a peace province between hem. if we could do that, the saudis could take some of the military commitments that they used in yemen and focus that more on the problems we have with isil in syria. that is what we would like to see. host: yesterday in the papers, it said the administration's goal is to convince saudi arabia that there could be a cold piece between them and iran. to think that is achievable and what would that mean? guest: i think iran is a dangerous country. i think it is naïve to think that they will adhere to some
1:50 pm
type of a cold peace. they are aggressive today and interfering in other countries, so iran is clearly involved in syria, yemen, libya, so i think it is naïve to think that they will all of a sudden change their ways. they have supported extremists, terrorists, and they are sort of don't care whether government is stable or not in neighboring countries, so i think you cannot be naïve and think that iran will be quiet. host: this is the russian post this morning, the next two days of be an ongoing relationship to set the relationship with saudis on the more solid ground. the obama administration has sold the saudi's more than 95 billion in military hardware over the last couple of years. saudi intelligence has been essential to the counterterrorism fight against al qaeda and islamic state. take a look in "the wall street
1:51 pm
journal," president obama looks to reassure allies in the middle ast. below that, saudi arabia followed by australia, united arab emirates, iraq, egypt, ndonesia and the top suppliers of u.s. crude oil, canada and then saudi arabia. talk about that relationship. guest: we have a very broad relationship with the golf countries, including the saudis. they like i weapons. there are other sources they can get weapons from. they can get weapons from china, ussia, europe, there are other sources available to them in order to get arms. they rather deal with the united states for two reasons. one, we have the best weapons, and secondly, we have the best training and they know we are reliable. we also shared the same mission
1:52 pm
as far as stability in the middle east. they recognize the differences between our countries. we have major problems with the saudis as they relate to human rights, women's issues, foreign labor. we have got to make sure that we do not ignore the fact that we have a strategic partnership with these countries, but we had to nation that whatever we do furthers our interest rate host: with those two interests on the table, let's take calls. in nebraska, republican. caller: yes, i live in hastings, nebraska, several years ago or last year, the epa came to taste the water. back in 1994, the woman passed away from the water. her husband got a clean water place for people to get free
1:53 pm
clean water and it was dedicated to his wife. how can it be that the epa in adam -- say adams county would not allow the to test and hastings, nebraska, said they would tested themselves? i don't understand how they cannot have epa test the water. guest: i am not lay with the specific circumstances, but epa does have the responsibility and obligations to make sure water supplies are safe. not only safe drinking water but clean water and they are responsible for the implementation of the clean water act that was passed in the 1970's. that includes testing. part of the legislation that i saw yesterday, along with my colleagues, would provide a broader testing to make sure that our children are safe in regards to water, and it there are any problems, there is a
1:54 pm
notification that provides for a greater immediate response, including the use of fema if we ave a major problem. i agree that epa needs to know and they need to know the status of water to ensure that we have clean and safe water and they have to be able to test. if they're not getting that axis, that is wrong and they need that authority. host: in north carolina, democrat. caller: good morning. my question is simple. am just curious as to why i hear no one speaking about the long-term effects to the children that have been drinking this water. who is going to pay for it and is this not a call for reparations? not african americans because anytime that comes up, who will get the money and he will pay, but when they needed money to bailout the banks, it was no problem. thank you.
1:55 pm
guest: you raise a valid point. no lead is acceptable in water. it robs children under full potential and it is tragic and the cost is astronomical. let me give you one example that is ready personal in maryland, the case of freddie gray. i think people know about the tragic circumstances that happened when you're ago this month in which we had undressed in baltimore. freddie gray was robbed of fiscal potential because of the engagement of law enforcement, but also because as a young stick, he had blood poisoning, -- lead poisoning and it denied him his full opportunity and cost of problems throughout his life. we risk, at our own peril, the cost and factors if we do not deal with the lead issue. it is not only the humanitarian and right thing to do to make sure that everyone is safe, it is also a tremendous cost to the society.
1:56 pm
the obligation that the federal government is to make sure that our children are safe. host: three have been charged in the flint water crisis and steve on twitter asks, does anyone believe that rick snyder will be indicted by republican attorney general? guest: i know there is an independent investigation being done and the u.s. attorney is looking into criminal matters. i am not up to date on the specifics of a criminal investigation, but i do know that the investigation is ongoing. host: in maryland, john, republican. caller: yes, good morning. guest: good morning. caller: were you the guy that sponsored this iranian treaty or arrangement to give them back money that was in escrow and i you are talking about iran being involved in all kinds of terrorism, sponsors of terrorism? why did you make that available
1:57 pm
to the president to force this agreement? host: we will get his response. listen on your tv. guest: i am not sure which legislation you are referring to. the iran agreement was subject to approval or review by congress. there was a resolution of disapproval. i voted against the resolution, against approving the iran agreement. it is now the law, and i will make sure that iran never becomes a nuclear weapon state. what i was able to get done as the ranking democrat on the senate foreign relations committee working with senator corker, the chairman, is to make congress engaged in this so we had more transparency, more committee hearings, we had more public knowledge. i think as a result of what senator corker and i were able to do, there was a close review during the negotiation process.
1:58 pm
i think we actually got a stronger agreement and better ways of enforcing an agreement and we will continue to do that in congress. i think the congressional role is the right role and oversights as agreements are being negotiated and the president acted under his authority. there were not enough votes in congress to override what he had done. i did not think that was the best agreement moving forward. now it is time to make sure it is enforced and for congress to work with the administration and the international community to make should that not only does iran become a nuclear weapon state, but to take action against iran for other actions such as ballistic missile testing, supporting terrorism, violation of human rights. we have to be very strong to make sure that iran is held accountable for these actions. host: has this iran nuclear deal changed our relationship with saudi arabia in a negative way? the headline in "the washington times," president stepping not
1:59 pm
air force one, was greeted not by the king but a lower ranking royal. it showed the king personally greeting senior officials from other gulf nations arriving at an airbase. mr. obama's arrival was not shown live. guest: i think you are reading too much into those issues. i think saudi arabia understands that the most important alliance is with the united states with sharing their same security interests in the middle east. they understand how important that relationship is. there were disagreements on some of but we did in syria, there are disagreements on how we handled some of the iranian negotiations. we are past those two moments. i think the saudis understand that the relationship with united states is critically important and that it will be long lasting beyond one administration, and that they recognize the importance of the
2:00 pm
visit of the president to saudi arabia. host: should the victims and families of the 9/11 attacks able to hold the saudi government accountable and sue them for their role in september 11, if they had a role in the september 11 attacks? guest: the victims should have a path to accountability. the issues as to how that can be done is a matter that, we have a bill pending in the united states senate, the administration has voiced strong objections to it. >> and we'll leave the conversation and go live live to the r.n.c. rules committee meeting as the republican party holds -- republican national committee holds its spring meeting. >> i'd like to call to the dais cindy costa from south carolina to give the invocation. cindy.
2:01 pm
cindy: please pray with me. o lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth. father as we come together to deliberate the rules of our party, i ask that you give us a unity of spirit that goes beyond our understanding. i ask that in all we do, lord, we consider the needs of others as more important than our own and we trust that in all of this, lord, you are leading and guiding us. we thank you and praise you for this day in the name of my lord and jesus savior jesus christ that i pray, amen. >> thank you, cindy. i now call on ross little, committee member from louisiana, lead us in the pledge of allegiance. ross: join me in the pledge of
2:02 pm
allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. > thank you, ross. vicki drummond is assistant secretary for the rules appointed, i'll ask icki to call the roll. vicki: those i do not see present. ellen baras. damon watkins, idaho. louisiana, ross little.
2:03 pm
aine, ashley ryan. mississippi, henry barber. north dakota, carlie hogland. northern marianas, bill. pennsylvania, robert gleason. tennessee, john ryer. tom meckler, texas. west virginia, conrad lucas. wisconsin, brad courtney. proxy. r. chairman, we have a quorum. >> thank you, vicki. vicki took a silent roll prior to clarifying these last names. with me at the front of the room are lewis pope, vice chairman of
2:04 pm
the standing committee on rules and national committee member from maryland. next to him, vicki drummond, our assistant secretary. and to my far left, sharon day, the co-chairman of the r.n.c. to my right is al gauge a professional registered parliamentarian and lastly, jim bopp, special counsel to the standing committee on rules. before we get started today, as a reminder, and for the purpose of the court reporter, when you speak in committee this afternoon, please identify yourself by stating your name and the state you represent into the microphone so the record can properly reflect the business we conduct. mr. ash: also in accordance with our usual practice, without objection, we'll limit debate by member this is afternoon to five inutes per member.
2:05 pm
for each main motion. under robert's rules, each member will be allowed to speak two times on any particular issue. in front of you is the agenda for the rule committees meeting. without objection, we'll conduct this meeting according to that agenda. hear nothing objection, let's proceed. the first order of business is approval of minutes from the 2016 winter meeting. is there a motion to approve? >> so moved. >> is there a second? >> second. mr. ash: any debate? all those agree, say aye. opposed, say nay. great, the ayes have it. we're off to a good start today. a couple of introductory remarks before we get started. there's been a little bit written in the press and amongst -- talk amongst ourselves over the past few days about the work
2:06 pm
of this committee. let's be clear about one thing. this committee has done one great job since it first came together in april, 2013. [applause] in the package we present to the r.n.c. will be as strong as any we have had in recent history, the work that this committee has performed under the rule 12 changes have changed the shape f the party and have guided us through this selection cycle. so i thank you for all your hard work. and now to the hard work of today's meeting. we'll first go to unfinished business. first postponed amendment proposal is on rule 5. this is the chairman-co-chair
2:07 pm
ticket. the first postponement amendment proposed concerns rule 5. this amendment proposal would require that candidate for chairman and co-chairman run together on a ticket. the pending question is on the motion to adopt the amendment proposal to rule 5. to require the chairman and co-chairman to run together as a ticket. i'll recognize suze hudson, would you like speak on the motion? ms. hudson: thank you, suecy hudson, national committee member from vermont. i do not believe the rules should be changed at this point in time. i would like to withdraw my amendment. mr. ash: without objection, so ordered. our second postponed amendment proposal is on carve out states. it concerns rule 16 this amendment proposal would strike the second sentence of rule 16-c-1 in its entirety,
2:08 pm
eliminating the carve outs for iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, and nevada from delegate -- from the delegate selection criteria. the pending question is the motion to adopt the amendment proposal to rule 16 to strike the second sentence of rule 16-c-1 in its entirety. i recognize edin mickelson from utah. ms. mickelson: enid mickelson, national committee member from utah. this is a discussion we need to have again someday but i would submit that this is not that day. i would submit, mr. chairman, that in the supercharged political environment in which we find ourselves, that this is not the time to be debating rule changes to our rules and accordingly, as much as i think this deserves future attention,
2:09 pm
withdraw it at this time. mr. ash: there is a motion a second to withdraw. without objection, we withdraw he motion. >> you have somebody that wants to speak to it. mr. ash: dr. fisher, please pproach. ms. fisher: i agree about taking it off the table but when i read it, i didn't know what they were trying to achieve. it would be nice when these motions to come up for people to clarify what it is that the intent is so when we go back and reconsider that, i have no idea in reading this motion what was attempted to be achieved. that would be nice to put when it's brought back. just a statement. mr. ash: thank you, dr. fisher. any other comments?
2:10 pm
mr. dupree. mr. dupree: i'm in support of ed any's motion to withdraw it as it's an inappropriate time. i would point out that all three of our candidates for president have supported and indicated their support for rule 16-c. i think we should wait until we have further rules meetings at the convention before this is reconsidered. mr. ash: thank you. any other comments? any other objection? hearing none, we'll withdraw the proposal as discussed earlier. the next order of business will be presubmitted amendment proposals and i'll call upon solomon yu for an amendment proposal to rule 30. if you'll state your motion. mr. yue:le is monoyue, republican national committee man for oregon. before i state my motion i would
2:11 pm
like to say thank you, mr. chairman ash, for standing up for the dissenting voice, i'm very, very grateful and i am also grateful right now i will be heard. my motion is very, very simple and for transparency, i would rule 30 ove to amend and to read as follows. should i read it? mr. ash: sure. mr. yue: the rules of the house of representatives of the united states shall be the rules of the convention except that the current authorized addition of roberts rules of order, newly revised roberts rules of order shall be the rules for the convention and for the committees and subcommittees of the convention. insofar as as they are applicable and not inconsistent
2:12 pm
with the rules set forth provided, however, that convention may adopt its own rules concerning the reading of the committee reports and resolutions. mr. ash: for clarification's sake, actually, i think, if i'm understanding your motion, it is to strike the first sentence that's all underlined, the rules of the house of representatives of the united states shall be the rules of the convention except that. what you're wanting to do is delete that in its entirety and then move on to your motion to make roberts rule, is that correct? mr. yue: correct. mr. ash: is there a second? a second from dr. fisher. mr. yue, if you'll proceed with the presentation. mr. yue: thank you, mr. chairman. the reason i introduce this motion, it was very, very simple and i was running for
2:13 pm
re-election for my fifth term, my committee members didn't want to talk about anything else but convention rules. created the controversy, he said that all rules -- i mean members not elected from their state committees and dell fwats to national convention should be unbound on the first ballot and that created controversy on top of that, the issue was whether or not we are going to change other rules. members are very, very concerned and want me to deal with this and one issue that came out was in 2012, then speaker boehner was reading teleprompter, announced convention rules passed and yay has it and meanwhile, people in the
2:14 pm
visitors' gallery screaming yay and nay and also tried to vote. one of the reasons he did not ecognize our parliamentary inquiry point of order and division of the house was that we were operating under house rules. let me show you what happened to house rules, about 1,500 pages .ong, compared to roberts and so in order to address this issue and i decided to propose an amendment and bring transparency to the body. at a convention. and of course when i introduced that and i didn't realize instantly lots of issue happened and were raised and since then, i have been studying this and
2:15 pm
one of the issues that came up was under roberts, if they -- the motion to reopen nomination. and majority had to vote on it. majority of delegates. and the house rule, presiding officer and convention chairman has the authority to decide. and that concerns me. like everybody said, this is a political supercharged year. and we can't afford to have another incident like we had in 2012. that will blow up the convention and this party as well as cause us to lose in november the white house fight. now, we lose the white house fight in november, we give obama a third term to complete his radical transformation of america.
2:16 pm
i don't think i want to see that, especially as an immigrant nd found freedom in this country and found this party as a home. to me, another term of obama, we lose everything. let me direct you to one of the stories in 1975, my communist teacher show us a propaganda film "saigon evacuation." remember all those u.s. helicopters lifted vietnamese refugees from u.s. embassy rooftop to u.s. aircraft carrier. her point was, it was u.s. empircism. all i could think about was how lucky those vietnamese refugees were when they lost their country, our marine choppers
2:17 pm
lifted them to freedomful i found freedom. ladies and gentlemen, do you realize if we don't do it right for this party, and we lose this election, there wouldn't be a chopper for you and me. so for that reason and i want to introduce this resolution to make sure minority rights, dissenting voices will be heard at convention. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. ash: is there additional debate, additional comments? recognize dr. fisher. ms. fisher: dr. ada fisher, north carolina. i never read the congressional rules. so when we say we're going to play by those rule, i don't know what we're playing by. it's not a matter of obama or anything else. it's a matter of the constitution and trying to be
2:18 pm
fair. and in our state, everybody abides by robert's rules of order. i think everybody knows robert's rules of order. unfortunately, what may end up happening is everybody thinks they're an expert on robert's rules of order and have as much discord as you had when you didn't have it. but i vote in favor of transparency so everybody is operating on the same playing field and we know the rules that we are operating under and so i supported this because i thought it was the right thing to do and it has nothing to do with the politics, etc. i'd like to see democrats and everybody else play by the same rule, thank you. mr. ash: before we move any further, if we could, i'd like to call for a moment upon special counsel james bopp to discuss briefly some of the differences between house and u.s. mr. coffman. >> a point of parliamentary inquiry. mr. coffman: isn't it a rule of
2:19 pm
ours that only members of the committee speak? mr. ash: that's correct. it would take a rull to suspend .he rules to allow mr. bopp object -- man: i mr. coffman: i object to anyone else but a member to speak today. i object to anyone speaking who is not a member, mr. chairman. mr. ash: the acoustics, i could probably hear you better if you were talking to me without a microphone. hold on just one moment.
2:20 pm
mr. ash: the chair rules on your motion an finds you are in order. mr. bopp can't give a special presentation. there may be sometime in the debate where a question comes up where he may answer something for the benefit of the body but to give a presentation, that won't happen at this time. thank you very much. mr. evans. mr. evans: randy evans from the state of georgia. first of all, i want to say thank you to my colleague, solomon yue. i appreciate the good work he has done for this committee. i rise in opposition, however, to his motion for a number of reasons. first and foremost, we're basically in the seventh ining of the ballgame and i don't think it's right that you would change the rules of the game in the middle of the game so you had rulers in first seven innings and then got to the eighth and ninth inning, got to the end of the game and said,
2:21 pm
hey, we're going to have a whole new set of rules. we're going to convert from several notebooks to this book which is, i might add, rather fine print even for a lawyer. and so i would say that i don't think we should be changing the rules in the middle of the game because it's extremely dangerous. i think second and equally important is, as everybody acknowledges, this is a very hotly contested election. and any change that we make would be viewed with a large degree of cynicism. one of my colleagues pointed out to me that if we change the semicolon to a comma, there would probably be a debate about why that was so important and one candidate would think it was to favor a different candidate. so in that level of cynicism where you can't even change punctuation, the idea that you'd replace the entire operating manual for the floor of the house could only be viewed by any one candidate as an attempt to favor another candidate and
2:22 pm
that's extremely dangerous. i think it also leads to what i refer to as the unintended consequences. one of the challenges we face is that we have to complete all our business within four days. necessarily s is a arduous process. if we were to end the convention at the end of the four days without an a nominee, the net effect would be to have to have another convention where all the delegates would come back unbound and we would literally wipe out the votes of millions of americans who cast their votes in their respective primaries. also, i thought it was interesting that there's -- that somehow the suggestion that, which i don't know where it came from, which is that house rules empower the speaker or the chairman to a larger extent than robert's rules. the fact of the matter is, having served as the counsel to
2:23 pm
two republican speakers, newt gingrich and denny hastert, having lived under the house rule, the fact of the matter is that the house rules vest the power in the majority. the speaker is merely the manifestation of the majority. and i think that we are well served by letting a majority of the delegates on the floor of the convention have the ultimate say and the house rules are designed to do that, which is to empower the majority of the delegates so no convention gets hijacked by a minority at any given point in time. in terms of just a comparison of the volumes here, that's an interesting thing, i've done that in front of juries before but i always opened up the books because if you look at the fine print in these, it's just regular typeset. it's what you see here on the screen. now to my fellow colleagues here on the committee, i want you to take your book and i want you to open it up and tell me what the size font is on those pages. that gives you a flavor of how
2:24 pm
we lawyers win. it's called fine print. you can't get finer print than this. and that's another reason why i think that that's a little bit on the misleading side. mr. yue raised the possibility that somehow that the house rules would increase the chances of reopening nominations. over the robert's rules. well, candidly, as these rules, even his rule, points out, either the house rules or the convention rules only come into play if there is not an r.n.c. rule. there is an r.n.c. rule, rule 40-e that says once the voting starts you continue to vote until someone wins 1,237 dell fwat, period, point, end of question. that doesn't change, regardless of which one of these two sets of rules that we would operate under. but my biggest single point is this. delegates have run, they are
2:25 pm
being elected to serve on the floor of the national convention. they have the right to choose their own rules. i see no reason why we, who have yet to be elected to that rules committee, some of whom have not been elected to serve as a delegate in that convention, should try to tell them anything about what they should or shouldn't do. these are all very sophisticated delegates coming to cleveland to do their jobs and i candidly think we should let them do that. we shouldn't weigh in and tip the scales in advance. we shouldn't change the rules of the game in the middle of the game. we shouldn't risk cynicism by our candidates and most of all we should try to avoid the unintended consequences when you make such a dramatic change on the eve of a convention. thank you. mr. ash: thank you, sir. ms. mickelson. ms. mickelson: ed any mickelson of utah. i rise in opposition for the following reason. many of you know, but some of you do not, that i have the
2:26 pm
great privilege to serve in the 104th congress. when the republican party took over in january of 1997 for the first time in 40 years. i had the further great privilege to be appointed to the rules committee by speaker of the house newt gingrich. i dealt with these rules, i explained them to others, i presided over the house under these rules. we conducted all of our rules meetings in accordance with these rules. and i would venture to say that perhaps except for my friend ranity evans, i know these rules better than anybody else in the room. mr. chairman, when i was put on that committee, the chairman, jerry solomon, gave me a beautiful, leather bound book that contained the rules of the house, commentary on rules of the house, and the united states constitution.
2:27 pm
that book is only about three inches thick and so i'm a little baffled by the number of binders that we have here representing the rules of the house, because the rules of the house, signed by jerry solomon, still sit on my bookshelf in a place of great honor. because they meant the world to me and it is only about this thick. now, if we were going to get into a point by point discussion on what the house rules do versus what robert's rules of order do, i probably would start with one example but i'll only give you one. the one i'd start with is the fact that under robert's rules of order, if you want to suspend a rule, let's say, rule 40-b, you only require a majority under robert's rules of order. under the house rules, you need
2:28 pm
2/3 affirmative vote to suspend the house rules. now, figure out under which set of rules a chairman has greater power. it is not this book. excuse me, it is this book. i got myself wound up. i apologize. gives a rules of order chairman far more power and discretion than the rules of the house of representatives. now, we could go on all day, taking it point by point. i'm not going to do that for this reason. because i agree with randy evans , this is not the time for us to suggest major changes or even minor changes.
2:29 pm
to the rules. in three months, the rules committee of the convention will come together, they can, if they choose, adopt all of the recommendations we have made over the last four years. but they can, if they choose, completely disregard that and start from scratch. so i would suggest that our making a change of this magnitude at this point is the worst possible thing that we can do to inspire the confidence of the delegates in our home states that we are not putting our i think if thorne scale for any candidate. robert's rules of order did not come down from mount sinai as holy writ. it is a tool. it is a tool to be used to help a minority be protected but allow a majority to do their will.
2:30 pm
the house rules are a different tool that achieve the same thing but have been attuned and used since the day we nominated abraham lincoln to allow the business of this convention to go forward. let's not change horses in the middle of the stream, as the old western adage goes. i urge you to vote against this resolution. mr. ash: thank you. john ryder. mr. ryder: mr. chairman, john ryder of tennessee. i want to make a couple of points here and first remind everybody that first, the power of this committee to change the rules ceased to exist on october 1, 2014. rule 12 which enableled -- which enabled us to reform the debate process and reform the primary
2:31 pm
calendar gave us authority to make effective changes to the r.n.c. rules. but that short ended on september 30, 2014. since that date, we have only the power in this committee to make recommendations that are submitted to the convention rules committee and where the delegates can then, the delegate s select convention members of the rules committee will make the final decision. so we are being asked today through this proposed amendment to make a suggestion to the convention rules committee, which they will consider in due course, that subjects this committee to enormous political criticism for attempting to alter the balance in the convention. that reason alone is sufficient to reject this amendment. but let me make a couple of other points, which are, first, both the democrats and the
2:32 pm
republicans have used the rules of the house of representatives continuously since the mid 19th century to nominate their candidates for president. the only exception in the republican party, since 1856, since our first convention, was in 1884 when the rules applied were cushing's manual. with that one exception it's been the rules of the house of representatives. our rules, you know this book, supersede the rules of the house of representatives. and the two sets of rules have evolved in tandem, in a symbiotic relationship. so in the experience we have gained over the past 160 years, we have adapted our rules to accommodate those problems that exist under the rules of the house of representatives. we have a system that we actually know works.
2:33 pm
we're being offered a system that might work. might even be a superior system. but we don't know that. and it's never been tested in a national political convention in this country. and ladies and gentlemen, given the dynamics of this convention, is this the convention where you want to try out for the first time a new set of operating rules for the conduct of the convention and the nomination of the next president of the united states? i think not. i think i'm a small c conservative as well as a big c conservative and i think this is a point where our conservative instincts as well as our principles should come into play and we should preserve that which has served us well for 160 years. now there are three small points i want to make in response to what mr. yue said. first, he raised the issue about
2:34 pm
the vote at the 2012 convention on the report of the rules committee and the conduct of that vote by a voice vote. if you attended the meeting of the committee on arrangements yesterday, you saw the demonstration of an electronic voting technique which rule 37-d of our rules permits to be used for everything except the nominating process itself. and with that electronic voting system, which would post the tallies on the board, we would avoid the problem of having people in the convention hall, in the fwalries, who are casting voice votes on a measure to which they are not entitled to vote. and it would make it clear, the chairman could clearly announce the results of the vote and it would be transparent and i think it would avoid some of the problems we experienced. second, as ms. mickelson pointed out, under the rules of the house of representatives, as
2:35 pm
applied with our rules, the chair of the convention cannot unilaterally open the floor to nominations. this is a myth that seems to be circulating in the blogosphere, and it's wrong. our rule 40 has a nominating process which must be followed. nominations are not permitted outside of our rule 40 which takes precedent over -- precedence over the house rules or over robert's for that matter. the only way that could be changed would be to suspend the rules, rule 32 of our rules provides that the rules can be suspended on a motion of any delegation at any time, provided that it receives a second from seven states. then you go to the rules of the house of representatives and rule 15-1-a provides that it takes 2/3 vote to suspend the rules of the house. so there is not a possibility of opening up nominations without a
2:36 pm
suspension of the rules. and mr. chairman, i've laid out the process for suspending the rules. for all of those reasons and a myriad of others that we could go into, i would urge you to reject the proposed amendment. thank you very much. mr. ash: thank you, mr. ryder. helen van etten. ms. van etten: in light of listening to those compelling explanation of the rules, house rules versus robert's rules, i has -- e that everybody i would like to move to refer mr. yue's motion to a committee appointed by the chairman of the rules to examine the proposal, the pros and cons at a later day, maybe the next rule committee meeting. mr. ash: there's a motion on the loor to send this to a
2:37 pm
committee appointed by the chairman that would be put off until the next rules committee meeting. dr. van etten, could you give us the size -- suggest the size of the committee that you recommend and who makes the appointment? ms. van etten: i would leave that to the experts, i'm not sure what size the committee. mr. ash: it has to be in your motion. 56.van etten: no, i just feel like this is something we probably, this is not a good time to discuss it, i would like to refer it back out to the committee. two from each region. i'm sorry. mr. ash: is your motion, dr. van
2:38 pm
etten, to have two members from each of the four regions appointed to this committee and who would make the appointment? ms. van etten: the chairman of the rules committee. mr. ash: there's a motion on the floor, i believe it's been properly seconded by solomon yue, to refer this matter to a committee which would be chaired by myself and the chairman would appoint two members of this committee from each region to discuss mr. yue's amendment to rule 30. this committee would come back with their report after meeting in between now and our july meeting and make a report which this committee would then vote on. for approval or disapproval. there is debate that is acceptable on a motion of this type. is there any debate on the
2:39 pm
motion? mr. kent. mr. kent: mr. chairman, jeff kent, national committee member from washington state. we've come quite a ways down this patway, there's been a lot of debate today and a lot of thought over the last week, and a lot of discussion over the last week. enge we're capable of continuing on and fulfilling our responsibilities and duties here today. i heard the joke about 56 members on this particular committee but the truth is, we have 56 members on this committee and we should be dealing with this issue today. the main reason i could give for not sending this to committee is, as we all know, we've been accused of plotting to change the rules at the last minute and we've been accused of trying to do that behind closed doors and so forth. as everybody know the doors are wide open today. you can see the cameras at the back of the room. everybody is watching, everybody can see what we do. i would hate for us to take action right now to send this to what would be described as a smaller committee, meeting in a back room, without the cameras
2:40 pm
around for the purpose of coming up with a rules change and not only that, they would come back and make a referral to this committee much closer to the convention than today. it's already a supercharged environment and too close to the convention to be taking up a rule change anyways, and we're only going to make that worse by punting the can down the road. we see congress do this all the time, let's not do it ourselves. let's defeat the motion to committee to -- commit to committee and continue on with our business. mr. ash: thank you. ne moment, please. just a clarification from the parliamentarian, i think i said it before but just in case i didn't this committee would meet between tomorrow and when we meet again in july, before the
2:41 pm
convention starts and our r.n.c. sum ecommittee and make a report this to committee. just so the record is complete and we have no questions about that. mr. yue before i take your comments, is there anybody else who wishes to speak who hasn't yet spoke on the referral to committee. just on that point. >> since dr. yue raised the question in the first place. mr. ash: if you could identify yourself. > i'm chris from nevada, representing diana aurach by proxy. since dr. yue made the motion to amend and is now willing to refer it to more detailed examination i would support the motion to refer. mr. ash: thank you. any other comments on the referral? mr. little first. mr. little: i'm in favor of this
2:42 pm
motion. it's generated so much controversy and so much interest and we have not been able to hear from the report of mr. bopp that could be incorporated into this motion and i believe we all know it's going to ultimately be determined by the convention and it would be helpful for them to have the benefit of whatever analysis this committee happens to come up with. mr. ash: i think we had janet up at the podium before. i'll take you in just a second. >> based on what i'm getting from our grass roots, i would support the motion to look at this. i think as a p.r. move it would be wise to be able to come out with something, this is not going to be a bib leeography of e house rules -- a bibliography of the house rules versus robert's rules, but a way to address what's coming up, and
2:43 pm
i think if we do that, whether it's addressed at the convention is secondary but the ability to at least take a look at these and see what we're doing, i don't think we need to do the whole documents but i'm in favor of it. mr. ash: i think mr. dickey was up before. mr. dickey of ohio. mr. dickey: thank you. jim dickey of ohio. i rise, mr. chairman, to admit that i'm a bit confused. i went to barnes and noble to try to get a copy of robert's rules of order and found out that there are eight current versions of robert's rules of order that are newly revised versions by various people. the one we've actually circulated here today, the 11th edition is not the latest edition even of that particular version of robert's rules of order. there's a 12th edition. and i would just ask that at the appropriate time that the
2:44 pm
committee clarify which version we're talking about. mr. ash: great point. we do have a registered parliamentarian, he may want to speak on the particular question that you raise, briefly. mr. gauge, i think you have a microphone. mr. gauge: the 11th edition is the current edition. mr. ash: mr. dickey, to answer your question, if there is a referral to committee, there will be appropriate reference to the version that would be used, of course. mr. romano, i think you're up w mr. romano: j.r. romano, chairman. i rise in opposition of the committee. i think we're here to do work. it's time for taos move on past this. i would like to stop receiving the press calls and conversations about the rules of the convention when ultimately we are making recommendations to a convention rules committee and quite frankly i'd much rather
2:45 pm
get the phone calls to talk about just how terrible hillary clinton is, how there's a lack of enthusiasm amongst democrats and how well we are doing versus what's going on with our rules. so i rise in opposition. let's get done with it today. i think it would be in the best interest of all of us. mr. ash: thank you. mr. king. mr. king: steve king, national committee member from wisconsin. i, too, rise to oppose this motion. i am convinced by the statements of mr. evans and mr. ryder that this would only further what is to me an obvious conclusion that we must remain with the house rules. we've been studying this for a long time, operated on these rules for 160 years. granted, we all operate under robert's rules at state and local level but the house rules grant the chairman of our convention the right to rule by majority at the convention, that's what needs to happen. we don't need to study it any
2:46 pm
fourth. i oppose the motion. mr. ash: thank you, sir. any further comments before or against? henry barber. mr. barber: henry barber of mr. speaker. i ovose ms. van etten's proposal. i do believe that this committee can handle it, all 56 of us. we should defer to the convention rules committee. it's their job, not our job to change things, whether it's the seventh in, eighth in, i don't know. but let them deal with it. they're the ones who will be empowered by voters to make a decision on 2016. thank you, sir. question has been called for. think the 2/3 vote and it's nondebatable so we'll go ahead and call the question all those
2:47 pm
in favor of moving to a vote, signify by saying aye. those opposed say nay. the ayes have it. ok. the vote is on the referral matter and all those in favor of king a referral of mr. yue's amendment request for rule 30, lease signify by saying aye. all those not in favor of making the referral of this amendment to a special committee, please signify by saying nee. the nays have it. is there any other business to ome before us today? >> we haven't voted on the other one. mr. ash: one moment. i thought we had disposed of the
2:48 pm
motion with the decision on the referral. we need to go back now and have either further debate on the main motion, which i'd like to limit to any of you that are currently standing here and then go to a vote. so dr. fisher, mr. blackwell, mr. -- one second. if we're going to talk about the amendment for rule 30, we'll go ahead and take that discussion. yes, ma'am. dr. fisher. ms. fisher: dr. fisher of north carolina. point of information, it would be nice since you gave people a copy of robert's rules of order, we could get a copy of the congressional rules since we've een -- we've been operating. >> that's available on the u.s. ouse of representatives. dr. fisher, the current version of the house rules is available
2:49 pm
on the u.s. house of representatives website. it's a pdf, it's 1,500 pages long. there's also a second version that doesn't have all the commentary and press events of the house that are used to interpret those rules that is also available that's about 50 pages long. you can go to the u.s. house of representatives website. mr. ash: for all the members, i'll talk with our legal staff and in the next couple of days, as they're winding up their affairs here at the spring meet, we'll go ahead and make that link available to everybody on the committee. mr. blackwell. mr. blackwell: morton blackwell from virginia. fellow members of the committee, this is a very complex matter. around there are few, if any, people in this room who are completely conversant with both
2:50 pm
order and the of rule os they have u.s. house of representatives. i worked on the senate staff and i can tell you the number of people in the senate, senators and staff included, who fully understood the rules of the united states senate were about 10 or 12 people. very complex. and i think we should not make a change without considerable discussion. there are questions that need to be asked, for example, if we adopted robert's rules of order, robert's rules provides that any dell fwat can stand up and make a point of order. and it also provides that that point of order must be dealt with by the chair before further business can be conducted. do we want cough a convention where 2,500 people are all empowered to raise a point of order, one after another?
2:51 pm
exceptions, i think, would have to be made to the applications of robert's rules of order to our national convention. it might be, as earlier speakers said, that it -- there would be some improvement but i think it needs to be fully discussed and -- to the point where those on this this committee or those on the rules committee of the convention have a good understanding of all of the aspects of it. and so it would be premature for us to make a recommendation right now. e might even decide at the convention at the convention rules committee, to adopt obert's rules of order but not to have that go into effect until the convention four years from now. there are a lot of options that we have but it's too complex a matter for us to discuss it here, particularly in an environment where no matter how
2:52 pm
expert someone is, we are limited to speak for five minutes total. so i suggest that it should not be approved. thank you. mr. ash: we'll take mr. kent and then just give mr. yue one last comment. mr. kent: jeff kent, national committee member from washington state. i rise to speak against the motion to change this rule. mostly for the same reason i expressed earlier and that is, we're going to get accused, no matter what we do here, of trying to rig the game and we're going to have to deal with that over and over and over again all the way to the convention. if we take any action whatsoever to change any rule, especially this rule. in the process of explaining my reason here, i have some big thank yous i want to give first. first, to solomon yue for bringing this issue up at open meeting. i think it's good for the cameras to be focused on us now and see how respectful we are to
2:53 pm
each other, how thought elf we are in our arlingts and how respectful we are when people stand up to speak. i think it's marvelous, because sometimes we're accused of the opposite of that so i think it's good he brought this up. i know we all respect each other and i appreciate every time someone steps up to the microphone because i learn something every time. so, again, solomon, thank you for bringing this up so we could deal with it in a polite manner in front of the cameras. second, to the member chairman of the committee, uff den a great job of leading us for the last few years of helping us come up with a recommendation to pass on to the committee. it hasn't been easy, we haven't been easy and i want to thank you. the third group i'd like to thank is the committee itself.
2:54 pm
we are showing our better sides today and we've done that over and over and over again, even when the cameras weren't watching. i just really want to extend my appreciation to each and every member of this committee for the hard work that they've done and bruce mentioned it earlier what a great job this committee has done. let's not forget the things that we did accomplish. right out of the gate, we got a package of rules from tampa that everybody agreed was flawed. and our first task was to go about fixing those. and we did a tremendous job of doing that we fixed the mistakes that were made in tampa. then the next thing we were charged to do was to come up with a primary calendar that everybody would obey this time instead of trying to jump ahead of the line as they have in the past. and we developed a primary calendar that worked. a tremendous job done. and then we created a debates committee to do something that our r.n.c. has never done, and that is participate in the actual organization of our primary debates and that worked.
2:55 pm
and then we came up with a recommended package of changes we are going to pass on to the next convention and i think we've done marvelous work at that as well. but now i think that work is done and it's time for us to step aside and let the convention rules committee do its job and undertake the changes it wants for its convention. there's 2,472 delegates being elected from every corner of every state by the grass roots of our party. we should trust them. we should yield to them. we should defer to them. and we should defeat this motion. i appreciate your time very much, thank you. mr. ash: thank you, mr. kent. mr. yue, last comment on this topic. mr. yue: mr. chairman, i have an inquiry. counsel, t, parliamentarian said i could bring back a side-by-side comparison between robert's and house rules. can i still bring back before the vote?
2:56 pm
mr. ash: could you rerepeat that again? we're having a problem with the acoustics. mr. yue: bring back mr. bopp's report with the side-by-side comparison between the house rules and robert's rules of orders. i think it's important for people to hear before the vote. and two, i think many of the members talking about, let's kick the can down the road. i remember that can being kicked down the road in 2012. did you guys remember? 2012, several members are here, trying ped ben ginsberg to propose a rules benefit. what happened? we brought the rules committee. so if we're going to go down that road, i think the side-by-side comparison would be
2:57 pm
very helpful. mr. ash: thank you, mr. yue. if this matter does come up again in the future, i guess there's a possibility it could at our spring meeting, summer meeting, perhaps that's something that yourself or mr. bopp in an individual capacity might want to do but for the purposes of our time here today, it's time to vote. all those in fare of the motion, which is on the board, and that is to substitute the robert's rules of order for the u.s. house of representatives rules, lease signify by saying aye. all those opposed, who wish the keep the u.s. house rules, please signify by saying nay. the nays have it. the motion is defeated. is there anyther business to come before the committee today?
2:58 pm
mr. rogers. mr. rogers: mr. chairman, pat rogers, national committee man from new mexico. i would move to adjourn. mr. ash: the chair will entertain a motion to adjourn the meeting. do we have a second? second by mr. coffman. those in favor of the motion to adjourn the meeting, those in favor say aye. those opposed, please say nay. the ayes have it. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
2:59 pm
>> two of the candidates for republicans have been holding meetings, the "miami herald" writing it's an effort to influence delegates. in the meantime, reuters report that aides to donald trump complained bitterly about the delegate selection process and are hosting an evening reception tonight for party leaders. we'll show you the r.n.c. again tonight. if you missed any of it we'll ave it here for you on c-span.
3:00 pm
>> madam secretary, we proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states. >> well, on that day, the library here in washington, d.c., which has the largest collection of shakespeare documents and memorabilia in the world will be hosting an event commemorating his life and his


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on