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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  May 17, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i appreciate the opportunity to offer this amendment which i do not believe is controversial. mr. chairman, one of the many parts of this bill on which members on both sides of the aisle have contributed is to try to improve our acquisition system. partly to get more value out of the money -- the taxpayer money that is spent, and partly to try to get technology into the field, into the hands of our war fighters faster. because technology evolves and the threats evolve so quickly. we have consulted with folks in the pentagon and the industry to make improvements in this part of the bill this amendment is a technical amendment which deals
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with some of those issues to ensure that the -- whatever process we set up here obviously the money has to be appropriated as well. i don't think it is controversial, but i want to reiterate, mr. chairman, that most to have this bill is built from the ground up on a bipartisan basis including each f the five major reform areas. reform is uisition important. that's what makes them ready to conduct the missions. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, though i'm not in opposition to the amendment i yield the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. i'm sorry, did the gentleman
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yield back the balance? mr. thornberry: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. thornberry: pursuant to house resolution 732 i offer amendmented en bloc. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: en bloc number one, consisting of amendments 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 20, 21, 23, and 27 printed in part b of house report 114-569, offered by mr. thornberry of texas. mr. thornberry: i ask unanimous consent that amendment number 7
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be modified in the form i have placed at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the modification. the chair: modification to amendment number 7 printed in house report 114-569 offered by mr. thornberry of texas. mr. thornberry: i ask unanimous consent that the reading of the modification be dispensed with. the chair: without objection, the reading is dispensed with. is there objection to the modification? without objection, the amendment en bloc are mod fid. pursuant to house resolution 732, the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, and the gentleman from texas, mr. veasey, each will control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: these amendments have been worked with the minority, i believe that they should be acceptable to all members. with that, i reserve the balance of my time.
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the chair: the gentleman reserves this egentleman, mr. veasey is recognized. mr. veasey: although i'm not in opposition to the amendment, i rise to claim time in opposition. at this time i'm waiting for a speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman, mr. thornberry is recognized. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from georgia, mr. hice. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hice: i rise in strong support of our national defense. we have a constitutional responsibility to provide for and maintain our military forces and this legislation, h.r. 4909, prevents the president from reducing our troops' pay raises and most importantly provides our military with the resources they need to restore our readiness levels. today, as we all know, we are facing threats from all around the world and many of our
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adversaries are using new technologies and methods that require our forces to be able to adapt and respond more quickly than ever before. our u.s. cybercommand, being unified and fully funded is a critical aspect of the whole picture, including ford gordon cyber center of excellence. it will enable our military to be better prepared to respond to the threats we are facing today. mr. chairman, over the past several years, we have all been inundated with stories of the white house staffers who fall under the n.s.e. umbrella, micromanaging both our foreign policy and our defense policy, even going so far as to circumvent or ignore senior officials altogether. i'm strongly supportive of chairman thornberry's amendment to reduce the size of the national security council and he is absolutely right, 400 people
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is not the makeup of an advisory committee. that's the size of another executive agency system of i am in full support of h.r. 4909. i urge my colleagues to support that bill as well. i urge back the -- i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas, mr. veasey is recognized. mr. veasey: i continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry is recognized. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to a valued member of the house armed services committee, the gentleman from new york, mr. gibson. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. gibson: i rise in strong support of this bill. i want to thank the chairman and ranking member. i think we've made significant progress in restoring readiness to our armed forces and also marked progress in reform, very necessary to our national security going forward. mr. chairman, i also want to point out, i want to express my gratitude for the chairman and
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ranking member including a bill that i drafted along with the help of so many others, chairman turner, representative walls from minnesota, that stops the drawdown of our armed forces so critically important to restoring deterrents, peace through strength is that we not give pink slips to the 67,000 plus troops that were heading in that direction in the next two years. this committee working together in a bipartisan way, we stopped that draw down. i think that's critically important. related, i would say that the work that we're doing on the global response force, the g.r.f., is also critically important to deterrents and i believe that ultimately it strengthens the hand of diplomats when we have the ability, strategically maneuver and i'm very appreciative of the resources and oversight in this bill to strengthen the g.r.f. and finally let me say how much i really appreciate this pay raise to the troops. after 29 years in uniform, i can't adequately describe how
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much i appreciate the sacrifices, the service, of our servicemen and women and giving them this pay raise, i think, was critically important. with that i urge all my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas, mr. veasey is recognized. ms. veasey: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from wisconsin. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. moore: i want to thank the chairman and ranking member for their support. my amendment would condemn the continuing atacks against -- and the intentional targeting of medical facility and medical providers in syria. i want to remind my colleagues that these facilities are entite told protection under international law. yet we continue to hear about air strikes in syria, targeting the hospitals and medical facilities. just pick up the newspaper. in one week, six facilities in
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alepp po were targeted. intentional -- -- in alpe -- aleppo were targetted. intentional attacks against hospitals and doctors and nurses are not the norm. neither is the syrian government's blocking of humanitarian aid, including medical aid. just last week a u.n. read cross aid con stroy including a medical aid to a besieged syrian city was blocked by the sirian government. a former top u.n. humanitarian official tweeted his disgust that the aid had been blocked, quote, because it carried baby ilk. mr. veasey: i yield 15 seconds to the gentlelady from wisconsin. ms. moore: i ask for extra time to commend the doctors and
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nonprofit groups working in the midst of these attacks to provide help in syria. too many have died and too many more will die if we continue. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady is back. mr. thornberry: i yield three minutes to the gentlelady -- mr. veasey: i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from texas. mr. chairman, i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry is recognized. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to another valuable member of the house armed services committee, the gentleman from georgia, mr. scott. mr. scott: thank you, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. scott: the world has become an increasingly understand stable place due to conflicts in the middle east, and provocations by russia, china and north korea. in order to maintain national security we must ensure that the united states military remains
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the best maintained and well-equipped fighting force in the world. miff home state of georgia plays a key role in military readiness. as the only republican from georgia on the house armed services committee it's an honor to serve as georgia's primary voice in congress on military issues. that's why i'm proud to support the house version of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017. which came out of the house armed services committees with a bipartisan vote of 60-. this legislation takes many important steps to rectify the damage our military read e-- readiness due to president owhat ma's cuts of our defense budget over the last few years. we got some big wins for georgia in this ndaa. we again fought to make sure two they have air force's most valuable platforms stay in the air, the a-10 out of moody air force base and the a.h.c. target
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attack radar system out of robbins air force base. bolt of these fleets are taking the fight to the enemy right noism a-10 is surntly engaged in the fight against isis in the middle east and supporting our special sforses by car rig out precision strikes against terrorists. additionally i'm grateful that the committee adopted my amendment to delay retirement of the j-stars through 2018 this legislation also provides for the recapitalization of that fleet. during the committee process we moved to protect the c-130 work load, robins is an efficient and effective depo center and is a center of excellence for our country. i believe the house version of the ndaa sets us on a course to sustain military readiness, makes appropriate investments for future threats, and supports the significant contributions of robins, moody and other georgia paces to our national defense. i support our troops, get our defense back on track and pass
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the national defense authorization act for 2017. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas, mr. vee sea is recognized. mr. veasey: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from arizona. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise on behalf of the estimated one in five veterans of the iraq and afghanistan war who suffering ptsd. the department of defense and veterans health administration have collaborated to develop clinical guidelines for ptsd. mr. gallego: v.h.a. currently monitors prescribing of medications in these tpwhrine bus d.o.d. and the army do not. this discrepancy could result in negative consequences for men and women in uniform currently undergoing treatment. my amendment would require each branch of the armed services to monitor the prescribing practices of medications to treatments and symptoms of ptsd.
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by monitoring the prescribing practices we can make sure returning war fighters receive the treatment necessary to alleviate symptoms of ptsd. i urge my colleagues to support my amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, is recognized. mr. thornberry spick reserve. the chair: the gentleman from texas, mr. veasey is recognized. mr. veasey: mr. chairman, i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the chair: the gentlelady is ecognized. ms. jackson lee: let me -- coming from the state of texas, express my continued appreciation for the men and women of the united states military. so many of them living in our state, so many different bases,
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many veterans living in our state as well. which has caused me to continue to support the men and women who are posted overseas, those who are here domestically as well on bases here in the united states and of course our veterans. as we move forward -- toward memorial day it's important to look holistcally at the military and look at them as an entity that includes personnel. i want to take note of the fact hat there is a 2.1% increase for military personnel and that this bill does update the uniform code of military justice, military justice, to include new protections for victims of military sexual assault. i am concerned, however, that it shortchanges war funding against efforts against isis d redirecting funds that should continue to be used for
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base budget projects off to -- that redirects that funding toward nonwar-related base budget projects. let me be clear that i think some of these projects are important but i would have wanted this legislation to deal with the fight against isis and not go into the contingency fund. as i indicated, i heard the debate and there was some suggestion that the president's budget went into the consingency fund but the way it is done -- contingency fund but the way it is done in this bill it is larger than it should be. i also want to take note of the fact that an amendment is in the bill and i have concerns and i hope we will be able to address it because this amendment allows any religious corporation, religious association, religious educational institution or religious society that receives a federal grant or grant to claim religious exemption from anti-discrimination against lgget employees whom they may
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-- lgbt employees whom they may employ. under the federal funding where we as taxpayers have the responsibility not to discriminate against anyone, this goes against that duty. and it also undermines president obama's landmark 2014 executive order banning all federal contractors and grantees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. so i'm hoping, mr. chairman, that we'll have the opportunity to work through this legislation and to move forward in a way that embraces all americans. i do want to thank, however, the chairman, mr. thorn berry, and the ranking member -- mr. thornberry, and the ranking member, mr. smith, of the amendment en bloc number 1 and number 2. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mr. veasey: mr. speaker, i yield the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee, one minute.
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the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: amendments 8 and 9. amendment 8 calls for outreach of small business concerns owned and controlled by women and minorities prior to conversion of certain functions to contract performance. amendment number 9 requires the government accountability office to include in the annual report to congress a list of the most common grounds for sustaining protest relating bids to congress. these are important amendments because they hope to grow small business owned and controlled by women and minorities before certain functions of contractor performance. this amendment seeks to provide information to businesss that may have little experience in government contracting to make them aware of new opportunities. amendment number 9 seeks to report to be provided to oversight committees to better understand the circumstances that impacts when a company wins a federal contract award. that is challenged. these challenges are often come from companies that are big, competing for the same contract and little companies can stand up. competing for a federal
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contract can be difficult and often expensive. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: so i would ask my colleagues to support the included amendments and look forward to us working through this bill on some of the issues of concern. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i have no other speakers on this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas, mr. texas, -- mr. veasey, is recognized. mr. veasey: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i yield the balance. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendments en bloc as modified offered by the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the en bloc amendments as modified are agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in 569. b of house report 114-
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for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? mr. westerman: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. cloiment amendment number 2 printed in part b of house report 114-569 offered by mr. westerman of arkansas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 732, the gentleman from arkansas, mr. westerman, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arkansas. mr. westerman: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. westerman: i rise in support of my amendment for a budget neutral increase in funding for army surface-to-air missile system. the segment enhancement, the m.s.e., is the next generation of the battle proven pack three interceptor for the defense system. along with the earlier generation system, the missile
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segment enhancement is the most capable air and defense missile. pack 3 missiles are high velocity interceptors that destroy incoming targets with direct body-to-body impact. this hit to kill impact produces an amount of energy submunition those payloads, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft. it provides a 50% improvement in altitude and 100% improvement in range over earlier interceptors and are required to address air and missile defense threats. m.s.e. capability is in great demand across the deployed force. in fact, the m.s.e. missiles are -- have been on the army's unfunded request top priorities list. additional missiles have been on the army u.f.r. the past two years and have been funded by congress. this amendment would allow approximately 20 new missiles to be produced in f.y. 2017
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which will put it at 105 missiles which is still below he f.y. 2015 and f.y. 2016 levels. if we add these additional 20 missiles, the unit cost of the missiles would go down as well because the -- of the quantity of scale in the program. and with that, mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. veasey: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. veasey: mr. chairman, i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. garamendi: i thank the gentleman from texas. yeah, we would surely like to do what mr. -- what my colleague suggests. however, it does leave us rather vulnerable to terrorism. terrorism that would be carried out by those who might want to
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get their hands on highly enriched uranium or other elements to either make a bomb or to create a dirty bomb. the money comes from a very, very important fund, a fund that the national nuclear curity agency uses to secure loose nukes and highly enriched uranium and other kinds of material that might be used in making a bomb. it would be wonderful if we could carry out what our lleague would like to do for the surface-to-air missiles. i mean, those are important, but don't take the money from this account. this account is extremely important in preventing the proliferation of nuclear materials as well as how we need to convert those reactors around the world, including here in the united states, that are capable of producing plutonium and highly enriched
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uranium. so i don't have a problem what the gentleman intends to augment the surface-to-air missile defense program, or the air-to-surface program, but rather from where he is taking the account. i suggest the gentleman we would be far better off finding a different place, one that has far less risk to us. the terrorists are out there. they are looking to get their hands on this kind of fissile material and they will be able to do so unless we use the money in this program from the national nuclear security agency -- atomic agency to secure these sites and materials. and with that i'll reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from arkansas is recognized. mr. westerman: mr. chairman, i yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from alabama. the chair: the gentleman is
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recognized. >> i thank the chairman. i rise in support of the gentleman from arkansas' amendment. the army procurement as number 12 on its f.y. 2017 u.f.r. list to, quote, mitigate crit cal shortfall in army reserve requirements, closed quote. mr. rogers: threat is growing. we owe it to our men and women in uniform to give them the tools they need to defend themselves when we send them into harm's way. now, i know that on the other side of the aisle they look at every dollar that goes to defense nuclear nonproliferation budget as sacrosanct, but i note that the house energy and water appropriations mark also has skepticism about whether this technology is ready for primetime. as chairman of the strategic forces subcommittee, i urge the support of this amendment offered by the gentleman from arkansas. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. veasey: mr. chairman, i yield two minutes to the
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gentleman from nebraska, mr. fortenberry. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. fortenberry: i thank the gentleman for yielding, the gentleman from texas, thank you so much. senator mark kirk who used to be a member of this body, he told me a story a while back. he was a bomber pilot during the bosnian war and during that war he literally carried a map in his hand and there was a red circle drawn around a particular point in that map and it said, do not bomb here. and what was there? loose nuclear materials, unsecured that could have been a disaster had we inadvertently struck that target. loose nuclear materials are all around the world, and we have a very specialized program here called the global material security initiative program that helps secure these materials, brings down the risk that they'll get into the wrong hands, brings down the risk of a nuclear explosion, which is an absolutely critical national
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security priority to as close to zero as possible. i know it's not the intention of the author of the amendment, my friend, mr. westerman, to undermine this program. in fact, i support your underlying intent of enhancing the surface-to-air missile program, but this is the wrong place to take this money from. the department of state, the department of treasury, the department of defense and the department of energy as well as other agencies are sharing in a multitask effort to try to have a multipronged effect on reducing the probability of a nuclear weapons explosion, reducing the probability of nuclear materials getting in the wrong hands to, again, as close to zero as possible. that's why as we move forward in looking at how to enhance important programs like my friend has raised, we should look for it in the right places and not undermine a critical aspect of our national security. i thank the gentleman from texas for yielding. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman reserves.
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the gentleman from arkansas is recognized. mr. westerman: and mr. chairman, i'd like to commend the materials management minutization program for the work they have done, but as was stated before, the house energy and water appropriations committee and i quote them said, a significant important of the highly enriched uranium minimumization efforts going forward will involve multiyear research and development activities. to better align research and development activities with resident expertise for managing such activities within the office of defense nuclear nonproliferation the recommendation shifts funding responsibility from the development of fuel for high performance research reactors and for demonstrates and commercially deploying domestic-based technologies for the production of the medical isotope mo-99 to defense nuclear proliferation research and development. mr. chairman, i believe this is an appropriate place to offset the funding for these
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additional missiles and these missiles are critical to our nation's defense. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. veasey: mr. chairman, i yield one minute to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cooper. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cooper: i thank the gentleman from texas. i think most of us are very interested in supporting the m.s.e. portion of this. i just worry about the offset. it's very important that we make sure we do not raid the nonproliferation account in order to pay for what maybe a very worthy priority. you remember that secretary of defense robert gates didn't allow an unfunded request to go to congress. that removed a certain temptation from us, but we know there are a number of these requests and some of them should be funded but to raid the nuclear safety account -- because that's basically what nonproliferation is -- is a very angry precedent. i urge the gentleman to reconsider. we hope to work on this
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amendment in conference, but this is not a piggy bank we're raiding. this is not a slush fund. this is an account that could keep america safe from a nuclear attack, so i would urge the gentleman as he per sues his very worthy priorities -- pursues his very worthy priorities to not do this offset. i thank the gentleman. he's an excellent member. we should be aware of the importance of the nonproliferation account. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from arkansas is recognized. >> i'd like to emphasize that even with these additional 20 mits isles we'll be below the numbers for f.y. 2015 and 2016. r. midwester -- mr. westerman: this is a high priority for the army and i encourage a positive vote on this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the
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gentleman from arkansas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in part b of house report 114-569. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. garamendi: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number printed in part b of house report 114-469 offered by mr. garamendi of california. the chair: pursuant that house resolution 742, the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. garamendi: mr. chairman, thank you. every day, men and women from
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travels air force base fly the big c-17's and c-130's and other heavy, large aircraft into harm's way. in iraq, afghanistan, and over and around syria. and every day, they're at risk. they're at risk from being shot down by a shoulder-fired missile. there is a defense for this. it's called the large aircraft infrared countermeasure defense system. and it's one of the unfunded requests that the air force has made of us. this amendment would fund at least part of that request and provide a higher level of safety to the men and women in the air force that fly these large aircraft into harm's way. i don't think there's one of us
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here on the floor, in the house, or even in the senate, that would deny flying these ares craft into the airfields of i have a began stan or even into bagram and certainly into baghdad is always safe. it is not. there's a proliveuation of these shoulder fired manpads. and they're increasingly available to the bad guys. who are men and women -- who our men and women are trying to take out system of we're looking here to move 17-plus million dollars from an account that is not needed, at least the money is not needed at this time, over to something that is desperately needed a defensive system for our large ares aircraft. moving the money from the new minuteman four intercontinental ballistic missile program that is not scheduled to be fielded
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ntil years from now, just taking this short -- taking just short of $18 million out of that account and moving it over so that our pilots and crew members can be safer. we don't need that money for hese new intercontinent -- intercontinental ballistic missiles that are 12 years away. what we need is to protect our men and women here today with large aircraft infrared countermeasure equipment. that's what this is all about. pretty simple. it's a matter of choices do we choose to protect our men and women today or augment a program that doesn't need the money according to the g.a.o. i choose to protect our men and women today and not to fund a program that the g.a.o. says doesn't need this $17.9 million.
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i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from alabama is recognized. >> i claim time in opposition to the amendment. the clerk: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. i strongly oppose the amendment and so does the united states air force. the air force opposes the offset in this amendment which would take $17.9 million from the ground-based strategic deterrent, gbsd program. mr. rogers: i and the air force oppose the offset because that $17.9 million is being used in a programming action. this would delay the program. this is what the air force says about taking this money. quote, removing these funds would be a double take to the program, hindering the gbsd contractors' ability to meet their contracts. this would prevent the winning contractors from appropriately
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ramping up their efforts and result in as much as a five-month delay, close quote. furthermore, g.a.o. does not, i repeat, does not support this reduction. he gentleman is basing his amendment on the original budget draft sheet that said the $17 million may be available. however in its final g.a.o. budget fact sheet, released today, g.a.o. says, quote, the air force's fiscal year 2017 request for gbsd could be $17.3 by a total of million as long as the funds are not reprogrammed. in the final fact sheet they said the gbsd account for 2017 should only be reduced to offset the excess $17.93 million if the funds remain with the program and not reprogrammed as currently planned, close quote
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system of both g.a.o. and the air force oppose the offset in this amendment. furthermore two successive secretaries of defense say the nuclear deterrent is d.o.d.'s most important mission. here is secretary hagel, quote, our nuclear deterrent plays a critical role in ensuring -- assuring u.s. national security and d.o.d.'s highest priority mission. no other capability we have is more important, close quote. then there's secretary carter, quote, the nuclear mission is the bedrock of our security. it's what stands in the background and looms over action in this country that this country takes on the world stage. s the foundation of everything we do, close quote. in short, gbsd is the future of one leg of the triad and must remain on schedule. according to the air force and g.a.o., this amendment delays that schedule. let's be clear, this is anti-nuclear disarmament amendment disguised as something else. i urge my colleagues to vote no
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and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is ecognized. mr. garamendi: this is most assuredly not a disarmament. we're scheduled to spend $1 trillion on this kind of program, hard hi a disarmament. we're talking about $17.9 million, yet this nuclear security program is $1 trillion over the next 25 years. mardly a disarmament. the reality is this money is not needed now, money is going to be reprogrammed by the air force to be spent next year without our authority, but i suppose with some reprogramming authority, when we know that the air force has c-17's, c-130's and other large aircraft that can be shot out of the sky now. not in 2028 and beyond, but now. are we unwilling to protect our
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air men and women on these airplanes? this is not disarmament. this is about protecting the men and women that are flying dangerous missions into afghanistan, into iraq, into other places, where the terrorists do have manpads and can shoot them out of the sky. don't give me that business that this has something to do with disarmament this has to do with protecting the men and women flying our large aircraft. giving them the protection that they need. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. rogers: this is about disarmament and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. he amendment is not agreed to.
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 10 printed part b of house report 114-569. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia eek recognition? mr. mckinley: mr. chairman, thank you. this amendment -- the chair: does the gentleman have an amendment. mr. mckinley: yes, the amendment is at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 10 printed in part b of house report 114-569 offered by mr. mckinley of west virginia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 743 the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mckinney and -- mckinley and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the gentleman is recognized. mr. mckinley: this bipartisan
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amendment that seeks to adress the problem of america's declining industrial base. consider these facts. since the 1980's, the number of american rocket companies has declined 60% with only two exreans maining able to manufacture motors that propel our advanced missiles. and the department of defense has already published seven reports going back to 2008, or 2009, all the way up to last year. all talking about this specifically -- about this, specifically warning about the danger of the decline of our solid rocket motor industrial base. in these reports they use terms like at risk, vulnerable, shrinking, atrophying, frg ill. despite the report the air force has permitted the outsourcing of rocket motors for tactical missiles to foreign countries without giving other u.s. companies the opportunity to compete. michigan, this illustrates why
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so many americans are frustrated with washington. the d.o.d. has identified a problem, but they haven't done anything about it since these reports have been surfacing. this amendment will help correct the problem, strengthen the solid rocket motor industrial base and possibly create american manufacturing jobs. the amendment simply says that if there's a foreign supplier for solid rocket motors on our missiles, the d.o.d. must ensure that there's a second supplier available. the second supplier can be domestic or it can be foreign. last year a similar provision passed in the house ndaa but was removed in conference with the senate. since that time, we have modified this amendment to try to find a compromise that would be acceptable. now, bottom line, this is about an opportunity to strengthen
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america's industrial base and american jobs. the question remains, does congress stand for american jobs or with continued foreign outsource and weakening our fragile manufacturing capacity. mr. chairman, let's give our firms in america an opportunity to compete and i'd like to thank chairman thornberry for his support of this amendment and his staff for working with us as well as our bipartisan sponsors of this amendment. i urge a yes vote on this amendment and reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> i yield all of that time to the gentlelady from arizona, ms. mcsally. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. mcslail: thank you, ranking member smith. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong opposition to this proposed amendment, although i have respect for my colleague here, my teammate, i have strong
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reservations and opposition to this amendment. this amendment is a solution in search of a problem. it would delay critical capabilities to the to the war fighter and would be costly to the taxpayer. only two missile programs use international motor, both made by our friend norway. if enacted prime contractors will have to pause production of critical tactical missiles and spends tens of millions of dollars in compliance costs to certify an alternative product that does not currently exist. what's more, while we wait for the second company to develop a working product line, we'll slow production of missiles needed by war fighters today. the history for why past programs have used international motors is important to keep in mind. in 2011, after a history of success, the amram missile a crital air-to-hair missile, and as a fighter pilot i know about that, they were built by a domestic company but began to
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fail in cold weather. you're a fighter pilot, engaged with the enemy, you hit the button and the missile fails on you. puts your life at risk and the risk of our superiority in the mission. in that circumstance, the domestic company was unable to solve the problem so we turned to a backup company in norway. they stepped up to fill in the production gap which produces missiles we sell to dozens of partner nations to guarantee air superiority in any emergency. without our foreign partner it could have been shut down for five years. instead, we turned around a two-year production lag. if this amendment passes it would will put a dangerous pause on this critical air-to-air mice isle program. if the domestic producer who will benefit from this amendment wants its rocket motors back on the amram missile they need to fix the quality issues and
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compete with the shortfalls are addressed instead of asking congress to take up the slack with an earmark-like amendment like this one. this puts deals above what's best for fighter pilots and our readiness. that's not right and we owe it to our troops to shoot it down. in closing, the department of defense, the navy, the air force have expressed strong opposition to the amendment. the pentagon believe this is lang wang would require sig cavent program investment and result in increased program costs. that would be passed down to the tax pay or come at the expense of other readiness which we're trying to fix in this bill today. current law already provides the authority for the department of defense to address this issue. mandating vendor sass clever effort to put an earmark far specific company into this bill. the same amendment was debated last year but dropped in conference. it will ultimately harm our war fighters in a time we need to give them every advantage ensuring the equipment they have
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is reliable. i strongly aurge no vote on this amendment and yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. mckinley: mr. chairman, thanks. how much time do i have? the chair: the gentleman has 2 1/4 minutes. mr. mckinley: let's try to clarify this and i appreciate the remarks of my colleague. we're talking about a situation that when the performance specification was changed, there was a problem. i recognize that. but the problem here -- issue ere, the defense already was embarking on going overseas to find a supplier before there were any problems that surfaced with this. this has been -- this has been clear. we understand that. now, let's go further with
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this. we're not talking about just an american firm. there are two, possibly there could be another one that could emerge, three or four. remember, we used to have far more rocket motor manufacturers in america. we're down to two now. maybe there will be a foreign corporation, someone else that surfaces with this. we know there are others, but it just seems patently short sided for us in america -- shortsighted for us in america to have all this purchasing power we have to limit ourselves to just one supplier. one supplier. so what we're saying is, fulfill the specifications, find out whether or not you can get another one -- another firm is qualified to be able to do this, whether it's foreign or domestic, but let's have competition for the american public and our defense and our spending, i think it's a
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fiscally responsible thing to do to try to find a way to be responsible in our dollars. so it may be an american firm. quite frankly, i hope it is, and we can deal with our declining defense base. at least we have competition. unless i'm wrong, i always thought that was the american way, find competition to be able to compete with this. so it comes down, this amendment gives us an opportunity. since 2009, our government has come out with report after report after report that there is a problem. we need to address it, but they've done nothing other than outsourcing this material. i think it's time that we take action, we allow an opportunity -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. mckinley: for a second firm to compete. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized.
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mr. smith: i yielded all the time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from west virginia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is -- mr. mckinley: mr. chairman, i call for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from west virginia will be postponed. the committee will rise informally to receive a message. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 2040, an -- for victims in
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which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the committee will resume its sitting. the chair: it is now in order to consider amendment number 11 printed in part b of house report 114-569. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 11 printed in part b of house report 114-569 offered by mr. thornberry of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 732, the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, this amendment goes to an issue that relates to the amendment
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of congress to do its job under the constitution and the appropriate balance of powers. because i think everybody agrees that a president ought to have advisors and there ought to be a zone -- protected zone for those advisors to offer advice to the president. but the problem is when those advisors do more than advise, when they direct and when they in fact get into the operational military chain of command, that's a problem. what we've seen in recent years is a tremendous increase in the number of staff at the national security council, and what we've also seen is an astonishing increase in micromanagement and direction of military forces that come from these n.s.c. staffers. in fact, they insert themselves into the military chain of command, and yet they are not confirmed by the senate nor is their supervisor and they never have to come testify to us
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about the direction they give the military. that's the reason that there has developed an imbalance in the balance of powers constructed under the constitution. every previous secretary of defense in the obama administration has complained about this. typical of the comments of secretary gates, it was the operational micromanagement that drove me nuts of the white house and national security staffers calling senior commanders out in the field second guessing commanders. secretary panetta, secretary hagel have said similar things as well as the undersecretary. so my amendment doesn't tell the president how many people he can have. he can have 10,000 if he wants, but if he goes above a certain number, they're not just advising, they're directing, and the national security advisor must then be confirmed senate. the next president -- this
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won't deal with president obama. the next president, if you have historically average number of -- i reserve the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i claim the time in opposition and yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: the problem -- just quick points here. first, as we have discussed throughout the conversation about the department of defense authorization bill this year, the threat environment has grown much more complex. the rise and the size of the national security staff is a reflection of that, of the various different challenges that are throughout the world and they have trind to find expertise in all -- tried to find expertise in all of these areas and limit them to 100, given the responsibilities they have, would take it down to the oint that thed ami -- that the admin staff would be the one they would have. the second problem that mr. thornberry points out i think is a legitimate problem but the thing is whether you have 100
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or 400, the problem's n.s.c. staff can do the same thing. they can not pay attention to the department of defense to deag as they should. that doesn't matter how many people there is at the n.s.c. i agree with mr. thornberry that has been a problem. certainly we'd like commanders in chief to be more in touch with the department of defense and with the commanders in the field, not be overridden by the n.s.c. that's a problem that exists regardless of the problem. they are what you call the president's staff. i think this amendment would significantly hamper the ability of the national security council to do the job that it was pointed or created to do which is to keep the problem advised of all the various different threats that are out there and to give them the ability to do that. they are going to need more than 100 people. so i will oppose this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the chairman of the
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oversight and government reform committee, mr. chaffetz. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. chaffetz: thank you and i stand in whole support of what chairman thornberry's amendment is proposing. section 101 of the national security act says the function of the council shall be to advise the president. you want the president to get the best advice possible but historically the national security act designated, they've had between 50 and 60 people between the 1960's and d 0e's but now it's clone -- 1990's but now it's close to 400. we have an n.s.c. that's not necessarily accountable. i'd like to see the senate confirmation if it moves above 100. what we see is the n.s.c. not only engaging on direction on the field but also engaging in public relations battles and doing things well outside i think the scope that was originally put forward.
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today, mr. chairman, we had a hearing. we had called ben rhodes to testify at this hearing but then claimed executive privilege. the general counsel said this person could not come. they -- ben rhodes goes and talks to the media, he'll do public speaking. he'll do everything except come testify in front of congress and then hide behind this shield that does not allow for openness and transparency. we want an n.s.c. that helps make policy and direction operation, should be publicly accountable if that's what they're going to be doing. and the president has the choice, keep the n.s.c. small, an advisory to maintain the status quo. that was what it was originally intended to do. it's become a public relations machine. it's become something that's problematic at every level. i think chairman thornberry is exactly right. i think all of our colleagues should support this amendment. it is the right thing to do, and i stand in whole support of it. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington
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is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: i thank the chairman and i thank the chairman. for every human problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong. i have a lot of sympathy for mr. thornberry's amendment and or what he talks about micromanagement. micro management goes back to the founding of the national security council. you think richard nixon's secretary of state and secretary of defense didn't think henry kissinger micro managed when he was the national security advisor? he sarpetishesly altered the u.s. policy to china on his own with his staff at n.s.c. there's a long tradition of micro management and interference and i have no doubt that mr. thornberry is right. every secretary of defense and
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every secretary of state would have a similar complaint. of course they would. and they might be right. to elevate this job over 100 people to senate confirmation actually aggravates the problem. now you've got to codify the micro management. you are going to make this a policymaking apparatus in direct competition with the very department you're trying to help, the department of defense and the department of state. it's the wrong answer to the growing size of an n.s.c. i don't remember republican complaints about the growth of the n.s.c. under the previous administration, and maybe we can work together in the future to try to make sure that we have a more manageable size. i applaud certainly the fact that the current n.s.c. administrator has reduced n.s.c. by 12%. i know we can do better, but i
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don't think this amendment is the way to do it respectfully. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'd inform the gentleman that i have no further speakers and am prepared to close on this side if the gentleman is. mr. smith: certainly. i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: reiterate the argument that the national scournl was formed with very specific -- security council was formed with a very specific purpose to allow the president to have that advisement where people can speak frankly, give the president the advice he needs on matters of national security. our national security environment has grown complex. i will point out that the current national security advisor has shrunk the national security council since she took over. it was 411. it's now down to 365, to they are making efforts to get that under control, but to shrink this to 100 and as mr. connolly said, to make this part of senate confirmation, it would
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lock in to a competing force that the very entities that the gentleman would like to have a greater force and therefore would be counterproductive and not achieve its goal. i certainly agree there should be greater transparency. well, as a member -- i don't think as a member of congress that has not complained at some point throughout the history about the lack of transparency between the white house and congress on matters of national security, that battle will continue whether this amendment passes or not. i don't think this amendment will advance the interest of national security and therefore i oppose it. i yield back the balance of my time. . the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield myself the balance of the time. mr. chairman, this amendment does not require any president to do anything. there's a choice. and the choice that any president will face is, if you go above a certain number, then i think common sense tells us that these folks are doing more than advising. they are in operations.
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and as a matter of fact the former undersecretary of defense for policy in the obama administration pentagon has testified that as the staffs grow, they tend to get more into operational details and tactical kinds of oversight, historically when you've had smaller national security staffs, for example, the other era, they what very clear understanding of what their role was. this is a matter of common sense. absolutely, there are no guarantees, you might have one person who would try to direct. but generally the more people you got, the more stuff they're going to try to micromanage. so, i don't prevent a president from doing anything with this amendment. i simply say, it's a choice. you can have 100 people or fewer and not go before the senate -- if you have more than, that you've got to get senate confirmed, like the director of o.m.b. is now. i think that's what makes sense. i hope maybes -- members will
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support the amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 12 printed in 569. b of house report 114- for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. nadler: i have app amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 12 offered by mr. nadler of new york. the chair: the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. chairman, this amendment would strike sections 1032 and so 33 of the bill,
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which prohibit -- 1033 of the bill, which prohibit funds to transfer detainees from guantanamo bay to the united states, or construct any facility in the u.s. to house any individual contained at guantanamo. simply put, the section's designed to prevent the closure of the detention facility at guantanamo and to make it as difficult as possible to transfer detainees to a different facility. my amendment is intended to do the opposite. and to finally bring to a close the shameful chapter of american history. the president's statement of administration policy says the following. quote, the administration strongly obblets to several provisions of the bill -- objects to several provisions of the bill. as the administration said many times before, operating this facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists. in february the administration set a plan to safely and responsibly close the detention facility at guantanamo bay, cuba, and to bring this chapter of our history to a close.
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rather than taking steps to close the facility, this bill aims to extend its operation. sections 1032 and 1033 would continue to prohibit use of funds to transfer guantanamo bay detainees to the united states, or even to construct or modify any facility in the united states to house detainees. these restrictions would limit the ability of the executive branch to take the steps necessary to develop alternative locations for detention facility and for fulfilling its commitment to close the facile at guantanamo, closed quote -- facility at guantanamo, closed quote. it's astonishing that in 2016, the united states continues to hold people endefinitely, who have not been charged, let alone convicted of any crime, and who in some cases have been judged not to pose any threat to the united states. continuing to hold prisoners indefinitely without charging them, without trial, is inconsistent with our support of lint -- liberty. some will say they're dangerous terrorists and some undoubtedly are. but some are not. they are merely people who were captured in some way but have
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not been charged or judges as terrorists. some of them are simply victims of the fact that the united states paid bounties to people in afghanistan years ago to in people who they said were terrorists. the hatfields turned in the mccoys because why not? we were giving them a bounty for a few thousand dollars a head. for the truly dangerous, we ought to prosecute them. if convicted, we ought to punish them appropriately. we have supermax prisons in the united states. there's no reason to spend so much money at guantanamo and have this continuing shame on the reputation of the united states. speaking of money, gtmo is the world's most expensive prison by far. we are spending about $2.9 million annually per prisoner. it costs us less than $35,000 per prisoner, to hold someone in a supermax facility in the united states. frankly, they don't deserve the spending. we should be spending that money here in the united states. not on terrorists, but on
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teachers, or maybe on defense. no one will argue that that money could not be spent better somewhere else. finally, mr. chairman, i'd like to submit for the record a letter signed by more than 30 retired generals urging the congress to responsibly close the detention facility at guantanamo. to quote president george bush, when he said the facility had become a propaganda tool for our enemies. it weakens our security, it drains our resources, it emboldens our enemies and it is contrary to liberty and everything that we stand for. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and to lift these restrictions on closing the detention facility at guantanamo bay. if people must be kept in prison, they kept here a hell -- a heck of a lot more cheaply and without subjecting us to the continued propaganda against guantanamo. thank you, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i claim the time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield one minute
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to the distinguished member of the armed services committee, the gentlelady from indiana, mrs. walorski. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. walorski: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in strong opposition to the gentlelady's amendment. i want to take particular issue with a point made by the gentleman from new york. he's saying we can't afford to keep guantanamo open. i stand here today and declare to you that we can't afford to close it. let's look at the numbers. according to southcom, which runs the detention facility, the annual operating cost is just over $100 million. however, according to this administration's own figures, the cost to renovate a facility in the united states is nearly half a billion dollars and not including the annual operating costs. mr. chairman, what is the life of an american worth? are we willing, is the gentleman from new york willing to stand here and have that conversation? i don't think so. this is a misguided amendment. that would not make americans
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safer. it's in the best interest of our national security to keep guantanamo bay open and as the numbers show, it is also in the best interest of the american axpayer. i just also want to respond to another quick comment over here, where he talked about some of those people are just merely detained. i just want to remind us in this chamber, these are the worst of the worst, these are the most hardened terrorists the world's ever seen, and more importantly, they have the blood of americans on their hands and should be kept in a safe facility where they are. i urge my colleagues to reject this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from new york is recognizes -- is recognized. mr. nadler: how much time do i have? the chair: one minute. mr. nadler: mr. chairman, i yield myself the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. chairman, we've heard again the mantra from the other side, these people are the worst of the worst. they have american blood on their hands. some of them may. but many of them don't.
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they have not been tried. i don't know with what authority you say they are the worst of the worst, they have american blood on their hands. true of some. not of others. what kind of system is it for the united states to simply take people, not try them, not accuse them, and hold them indefinitely because somebody says they're the worst of the worst? on what authority, on what proof? as for the funding, it costs between $3 million and $5 million, $2.9 million a year in 2013, closer to $5 million now, per person, per year, cost $35,000 to hold someone in a supermax facility. i don't know why we have to build new supermax facilities, but if we do, we should. the point is, it's incredibly expensive to keep them there for no reason. again, some of those people ought to be tried and sentenced to life in prison or whatever. some of them ought to be freed. some of them have judged not to be -- already found not to be a danger to the united states. simply repeating over and over again that they're all the worst of the worst, they all have american blood on their hands when that's simply not
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true, some of them yes, some of them no. . es not make the case i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman of the armed services committee, dr. wenstrup. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. owens: thank you. i rise in -- mr. wenstrup: thank you. i rise in opposition to the amendment because the amendment would allow detainees currently housed at guantanamo to be transferred to the united states. why? why do you want to do that? to endanger our communities? that's what i ask. i served at abu ghraib prison in iraq. we were attacked three or four times a week. to try to release these prisoners. we've seen our enemy is capable of planning and in some instances launching attacks within the united states. currently this move is not allowed. we asked the president for details on a plan. it was said that it was comprehensive. well, it didn't say where they would be housed or what the house be would -- housing would entail or how much it would cost the taxpayer. this was not a serious plan. we do not -- what we do need,
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however, is a consistent policy on how to deal with future terrorist detainees. i would agree with that. guantanamo remains our best option right now. it's the safe and appropriate location to hold detainees. it's secure and distant from our homeland. guantanamo also provides humane conditions for the detainees, they have appropriate access to health care, the same as our troops have there, they have recreational activities and culture and religious materials and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman who serves on the select committee on intelligence, the gentleman from kansas, mr. pompeo. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pompeo: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in opposition to the nadler amendment as well. these are in fact the worst of the worst, the detainees that remain now, well under 100, are not cooks and bottle washers but serious men who meant to do serious harm to the united states. i want to spend the time that i have talking about a particularly pernicious argue
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thament has been made in favor of closing -- that that is conscious -- argument that has been made in favor of closing the guantanamo bay. they attacked america because of the existence of guantanamo bay. it is inaccurate, it is false, and the facts don't support this claim. we have evidence, 34 translated messages from al qaeda, from terrorists, talking about the reasons for their attacks, only seven times was guantanamo bay ever mentioned. it was mentioned in each case as a glancing issue. iraq, afghanistan and even the crusades were mentioned hundreds of times. but guantanamo bay is not the reason that they attacked america. we wrote a letter, the director of national intelligence, he too confirmed that this is not a motivation for the attacks. we should remember that these attacks began well before the existence of guantanamo bay. the fact that guantanamo bay acts as an agent to promote terrorism is false and must be rejected as much as this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman who is
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a member of the house armed services committee, the gentleman from colorado, mr. coffman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. coffman: mr. chairman, i rise today in strong opposition to this amendment, the obama administration's efforts to close the prison at guantanamo bay are both irresponsible and dangerous, and a report from january of this year by the office of the director of national intelligence indicates that the number of guantanamo detainees released by the obama administration and suspected of returning to the battlefield has doubled since the last recidivism report in twrivet -- 2015. those who remain in guantanamo bay are the worst of the worst. so it is safe to presume that if released an even higher percentage of them would remain a threat to our national security. these are not u.s. citizens. they are foreign, unlawful enemy combatants that have directly supported hostilities against the united states and our allies.
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mr. chairman, i have and will continue to oppose any attempt to transfer these detainees to my home state of colorado or to any other state. they must be kept at guantanamo bay. congress has a responsibility to the american people -- mr. chairman, may i have five more seconds? 10 more seconds? mr. thornberry: i yield 10 more seconds. mr. coffman: thank you. congress has a responsibility to the american people to ensure that these people are not brought to the united states. mr. chairman, these congressional restrictions must remain in place. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chair, i'm sorry, how much time do i have left? the chair: the gentleman has five seconds. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield everything we have left to the chair of the oversight subcommittee, the
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gentlelady from missouri, mrs. hartzler. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. hartzler: mr. chairman, it is reckless to oppose this amendment. not only does it allow them to come here on our own shores and live in our own neighborhoods, the cost, potentially $475 million just to move them here, but it also removes the prohibition that these detainees could be transferred to somalia, libya and syria. we do not want these terrorists released back onto the battlefield where they can kill our soldiers. it's a reckless amendment. it needs to be defeated. we need to keep them at gitmo, use our tax dollars wisely and ensure the safety of our neighborhoods. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: on that i ask for
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the yeas and nays. the chair: does the gentleman ask for a recorded vote? mr. nadler: i do indeed. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 13 printed in art b of house report 114-569. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from indiana seek recognition? mrs. walorski: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 14 printed in part b of house report 114-569 offered by mrs. walorski of indiana. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 732, the gentlewoman from indiana, mrs. walorski, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from indiana. mrs. walorski: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. walorski: i rise today to offer an amendment which addresses the role played by the president's national security council but also the concerning trend of
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consolidation of authority in the white house. over the past two administrations, the n.s.c. has transformed from simply a coordination an advisory body to something else entirely. we recently heard from president obama's three former secretaries of defense each outlining the challenges they faced in trying to manage the department of defense and combat operations in the face of a more intrusive n.s.c. most notably secretary gates said, quote, it was the operational micro management that drove me nuts of white house and national security council staffers calling senior commanders in the field second guessing commanders. the n.s.c. was never intended to operate in this manner. it was intended to be an advisory body, an interagency coordination center for the president. the size exploded from roughly 100 staffers under president clinton to 200 under president bush and now 400 under president obama. moving disignificance making away from the departments undermines the authority of
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secretaries and general officers who have been confirmed by the senate and concentrates power with unelected and unconfirmed bureaucrats. this is best illustrated in the recent profile of department national secretary advisory ben rhodes who has a degree in creative writing. the security council has moved to a role where staffers make critical operational decisions. my amendment will require the d.n.s.c. to participate in the freedom of information act, foia, bringing to n.c.s. under foia is not without precedent. the n.s.c. maintained a foia program and complied with requests under presidents ford, carter, reagan, bush and clinton. however, a 1996 court case ruled since it was an advisory body it did not need to participate. the n.s.c. is not simply an advisory body anymore. it's time to bring it back under foia and shine light on its activities.
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this amendment fits well under chairman thornberry's broader n.s.c. reform efforts and i thank him for bringing this a priority in this year's ndaa. this will make it clear to future administrations that the n.s.c. cannot continue to grow in size and mission without consequential oversight measures. i now yield thess tamed chairman of the house -- i now yield to the esteemed chairman of the house armed services committee one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. mr. chairman, she makes the point very well. at a certain point you get to the national security council taff get different characteristics and now you have to comply with foia and then you got to be confirmed by the senate and then you got to be able to come before congress and justify the decisions that you have made. that's the point with both of our amendments that there comes point that it's basic nature
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changes and there are implications of that including one that's related to the gentlelady's amendment. so i support her amendment. i hope members will support it and i'll yield back to her any remaining time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. walorski: i thank the gentleman for his strong support. i now yield to mr. zinke for one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. zinke: i rise in support of my colleague's amendment. the amendment is about restoring public accountability, transparency to the national security council. as a former deputy commander, special forces, iraq, i've personally seen what happens. oftentimes as the rules of engagements -- our rules of engagement that dictate how we it , are politicalized, diminishes our ability to fight. i've seen it and it's time to change. if if they move out an advisory role to a role they're commanding and interpreting commands, then we need foia.
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america deserves accountability. america deserves our ability to look at who's calling the shots and why. this is not a hit on the administration. this is an american issue. when the role goes from advisory to command, then command needs to be held accountable and that is what we do. thank you. i yield the balance of my time. mrs. walorski: i thank the gentleman from montana and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. smith: claim the time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. smith: none of what has been said really changes under these amendments. what all this really is is an argument to get rid of the n.s.c. to say this group of folks should not exist. as we argued before, the really the national security council was created was to offer the president close and confidential advice. now, that national security council, as was pointed out by other people that made
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arguments about this, you know, is consistently been criticized by the other departments going all the way back, i imagine, when the n.s.c. was formed and whether it was 100, 200 or 300 of them, it doesn't really change that basic conflict. do you believe the president needs these confidential advisors? if you do, then you should oppose these amendments. because basically what they do is they get rid -- they should get rid of the n.s.c. if you should take away the advice and their ability to do that, then we just should have the d.o.d. and the president shouldn't have these advisors. but there is a reason the n.s.c. was created in the first place. further restricting in this manner. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. walorski: i continue to reserve the balance of my time, mr. chairman. mr. smith: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. walorski: thank you, mr. chairman. this is absolutely not an
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amendment to get rid of the n.s.c. this just simply brings accountability and transparency into a very important agency, into a white house that's taken this to no longer an advisory . le i ask my colleagues to support the amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from indiana. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> pursuant -- mr. thornberry: i offer amendments en bloc. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: consisted of amendments numbered 19, 28, 29,
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34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 printed in part b of house report 114-569 offered by mr. thornberry of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 732, the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, and the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, each will control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, each of these amendments have been coordinated with both sides of the aisle. i urge members to support this en bloc package, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. veasey: mr. chairman, although i -- mr. o'rourke: mr. chairman, although i am not opposed to i rise to claim
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time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. costa: as part of the readiness training, a mission that provides military training and resources to support our local communities throughout the country, there are four national guard teams that are currently practicing the fine art of well drilling in the united states prior to deploying abroad. clearly we know in parts of the middle east, having the water resources available to support our troops is absolutely essential. my amendment has the potential to help areas, though, in our country today as part of this training program. regions throughout the country have experienced devastating droughts. those in the area that i represent, the san joaquin valley of california, have experienced losses of drinking water supplies and as a result of these serious drought conditions they have had to face.
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in california alone, there have literally been thousands and thousands and thousands of households that have been without access to drinking water. mr. o'rourke: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. costa: this amendment will try to respond to those thousands of households that do not have drinking water. this amendment will have a report to have the feasibility rotating their training -- that have impacted to the greatest degree, primarily in western states. i think this is a commonsense amendment. i ask that it be adopted and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas is recognized. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. o'rourke: mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time.
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the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i would inform the gentleman i have no further speakers if he would like to yield back. mr. o'rourke: i yield back the balance of my time. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield back and urge adoption. the chair: mr. thornberry yields back. the question is on the amendments offered en bloc offered by mr. thornberry. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the en bloc amendments are agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 14 printed in part b of house report 114-569. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the chair: amendment number 14 printed in apartment b of house report 114-569 offered -- part b of house report 114-569 offered by mr. poe of texas.
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the chair: pursuant to house resolution 732, the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. mr. poe: i ask that my amendment be modified and be filed at the desk. the clerk: modification to amendment number 14 printed in part b of house report 114-569 offered by mr. poe of texas. in lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted, insert -- mr. poe: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that the modification be considered as read. the chair: without objection. is there an objection to the modification? without objection, the amendment is modified. the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, is recognized. mr. poe: i thank the chairman. i thank the chairman of the full committee. this amendment is very similar to amendments that have been on this house floor before presented by myself and others and similar to an amendment that passed unanimously in the
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f.y. 2015 ndaa. it's called the send act that addresses the process of sending excess military equipment that is not being used to our border security folks to help them secure the border. that is the purpose of previous amendments and legislation that started all the way back to 2011. . one way that the department of defense helps border control is through equipment it deems is in excess to its needs. under current law, the transfer of this excess equipment gives some preference to counterdrug, counterterrorism and some border security activities. this amendment simply takes that preference a step further, giving border security preference for a few specific pieces of equipment which are particularly useful for border security applications. unmanned surveillance vehicles, including blimps that are being
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used, night vision goggles and humvees. the border patrol, as we all know, is the fist and last line of defense against criminal gangs that come into the united states. in my home state of texas, i've been to the border numerous times, and we have the same issue that other border states have with the criminal drug cartels that are trafficking humans for sex slavery, labor slavery, and other purposes. after talking with them for about -- about many, many issues, we find out the situation on the border regarding equipment. texas ranger once told me that the drug cartels outman, outgun, outfinance and outequip the border patrol and those that are on the border trying to protect us from those criminal gangs coming into the united states. one of the issues, the last time i was down at the border, two or three weeks ago, the
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border patrol actually was excited about this arrow stats that are being used -- aerostats that are being used. that's a blimp up in the sky. they need more of those on the border. this amendment does exactly that. it gives a preference to those specific items that are mentioned in the amendment for the border patrol to use on border security purposes. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas, mr. o'rourke, is recognized. mr. o'rourke: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition and i yield myself three minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. o'rourke: mr. chairman, this amendment is a solution in search of a problem. in fact, i think it will exacerbate some of the security problems that we already have. as the gentleman knows, the border security agencies can already apply for this excess military equipment. but i ask those representatives who represent the people who
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live on the u.s. side of the u.s.-mexico border, cities like san diego, nogales, arizona, el paso, texas, brownsville, whether they want u.a.v.'s, unmanned aerial vehicles, also which could be mq-9 reapers, flying over their homes, their schools, their neighborhoods, prying into their backyards, each and every day. this at a time when we're already spending $18 billion a year to secure our border with mexico. where we're seeing less than zero migration from mexico itself, where in the year 2000 we had 1.6 million apprehensions, this last year we didn't even reach 400,000 apprehensions. and a border where we are told by the director of the national counterterrorism center, the director of the f.b.i., the secretary of the homeland security, that there has never been, nor is there now a terrorist, a terrorist organization or a terrorist plot that is seeking to exploit the border with mexico.
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what this does is it further takes our eye off the ball, where we have known risks and known threats to this country, and to the homeland. it stokes fear and anxiety and in some cases hatred towards our neighbor to the south, towards those communities on the u.s. side of the u.s.-mexico border, communities like my own, el paso, texas, which happens to be the safest city in the united states today. mr. chairman, i urge my colleagues to vote against this amendment that does not solve any problems, and i argue would make some of the security issues that we have worse. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, is recognized. mr. poe: mr. chairman, first this legislation, this amendment does not include the mq-9 reaper that the gentleman mentioned. it does not make a preference for that. i also take exception to the hatred comment that is made here. look, the border security in
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the united states has issues. the board par petroleum says we need to help -- pa -- border patrol says we need to help find those illegal gangs coming into the united states. this is not about surveillance of americans and spying on americans. it's on the border. i would like to now yield to one of the gentlemen who represents a part of the border , the city of loeredo. as much time as he wants -- loredo. s much time as he wants. mr. cuellar: we do want to secure the border. we just want to do it the right way. while some people talk about securing the border with a wall up, 14th century solution, if we use the aerostats we can provide coverage and surveillance to make sure that we secure the border. in fact, in south texas, including my district, we have five of those aerostats right now. the communities support them. the border patrol certainly supports them. and in fact in appropriations i'm asking for five new
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aerostats so we can go ahead and secure the border. each aerostat covers about 20 miles. so if you want to cover the border, 1,954 miles of border, divided by 20, with about 97, 9 8-a erostats, minus the five we already have in place. in fact this also helps us secure the border on the mexican side. in talking to border patrol, they have used some of that information because they can go 20 miles into mexico and that has already -- we've coordinated those activities with the mexican law enforcement officials to stop those drug gangs before they come over to the u.s. so you turn the camera 20 miles into mexico, 20 miles each way, with about 97 aerostats, we can do and secure the whole border. again, i support this amendment and i thank you very much for yielding the time for me. mr. poe: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his
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time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. o'rourke: mr. chairman, i'd like tim: quire how much time remains ourn -- like to inquire how much time remains on our side? i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: i thank the gentleman from texas. i rise in opposition to the poe amendment. this amendment would expand the military's authority under the 1033 program to flood our streets with surplus battle-ready military equipment straight from the battlefields of iraq and afghanistan. specifically this amendment would allow the defense department to transfer equipment such as the mq-9 reaper drone to federal and state law enforcement agencies. this is a cynical attack cloaked in the name of border security on president obama's executive order limiting the proliferation of military equipment within the borders of america. typically the 1033 program feeds more than 4.3 -- $4.3 billion in surplus military
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grade weaponry, including armed vehicles and tanks, into the united states annually. now we have republicans looking to expand the type of weaponry distributed to law enforcement under the 1033 program, to include military drones. while border security should remain at the forefront of our political discourse, the use of grim reaper drones and other military equipment to track and hunt down human beings is not the answer. an increase in man power, training and facilities, not mq-9 reapers, is the way that we should go about our efforts to protect our borders, without sacrificing our values of respect for basic human rights and dignity. moreover, allowing military equipment such as predator drones into america's air space puts americans at risk. federal agencies have already lost hundreds of guns and grenade launchers donated to
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police departments and many of these weapons have shown up on ebay or been reported stolen. i don't want to see this happen with equipment such as military drones dolled out to border security. further militarization of our state and federal border security agencies will make the border more volatile, not less safe -- not safe. and therefore i rise in opposition. i ask my colleagues to support me in my opposition. i yield back. mr. o'rourke: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. poe: how much time do i have? the chair: the gentleman has 30 seconds. mr. poe: i reserve that 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas, mr. o'rourke, is recognized. mr. o'rourke: the gentleman from texas says that the reaper is not specifically addressed in this amendment. however, u.a.v.'s, unmanned aerial vehicles, are -- and the mq-9 is one of them. the point i'm trying to make is we do not need to further militarize the border. at a time that it is safer than it has ever been.
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when in fact u.s. cities on the u.s. side of the u.s.-mexico border are far safer than the average city in the interior of this country. if we need to send surplus military equipment elsewhere, let it be prioritized based on need, based on known threat. when we send security resources where we don't have proven threats, we take them away from where we do. that makes this country less safe. i urge my colleagues to vote against this. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. poe: i recognize myself for the balance of the time. the government all right has -- already has plan to send excess equipment to law enforcement. what this bill does is prioritize that equipment to the border patrol. so those concerned about national spying that takes place in the united states, that they claim, they would support this because the priority is to the border. it's not to other agencies. and the gentleman from laredo said it best. we -- believe it or not, mr. chairman, we cooperate with the mexican government and they get
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information from us when we use those aerostats over the border and they capture the bad guys before they come into the united states. so we need to support this amendment, prioritize it and give them equipment that they need. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the -- the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment as modified offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment, as modified, is not -- mr. poe: mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. poe: i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: the gentleman requests a recorded vote. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 16 printed in 569. b of house report 114-
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 18 printed in art b of house report 114-at ft -- 114-569. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from indiana seebling recognition? -- seek recognition? mrs. walorski: i have an amendment at the desk.
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the chair: it is now in order to consider amendment number 16 printed in part b of house report 114-569. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. kelly: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. amendment 16. the chair: does the gentleman offer an amendment? mr. kelly: i do. i rise in support of my amendment, number 16. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 16 printed in part b of house report 114-569. offered by mr. kelly of pennsylvania. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 732, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. kelly: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank chairman thornberry for giving me the
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time to talk. i rise in strong support of amendment number 16, to prohibit the use of funds to dismantle the u.s. stockpile of anti-personnel land meyinsse, a.p.l.'s, unless the secretary of defense submits a report to congress on the operational alternatives to a.p.l.'s. further, my amendment also contains an exception for the destruction of a.p.l.'s that would be unsafe to store. this amendment would effectively renew the ban that was passed by the full congress and signed into law by the president, public law number 114-92, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2016. mr. chairman, our military commanders have spoken clearly regarding the value and the need for a.p.l.'s. on march 6, 2014, the united states' highest ranking military officer, martin dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, called anti-personnel land meyinsse an important tool in the arsenal of the united states. when he was head of the u.s.-european command, general
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wesley clark agreed, saying that our field commanders count on a.p.l.'s to protect the force, influence, maneuver and shape the battle space in mass combat power for decisive engagement. he also added that the need for a.p.l.'s was increasing. furthermore, two major studies, one conducted by the national research council and the other by nato, have concluded that a.p.l.'s provide crucial tactical advantages on the battlefield. president obama announced that outside of the korean peninsula, the u.s. would not use a.p.l.'s in order to underscore its commitment to the spirit and humanitarian aims of the ottawa convention. the president's actions were, by his own admission, taken to move the u.s. towards full compliance with the treaty, commonly known as the ottawa convention, which the senate has not given consent. the treaty was led by an n.g.o.
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sought process who pushed away side the central feature of state sovereignty. the process that created the treey was bad. the treaty has not been approved by the senate, not signed by the president and our senior military officials state that it would deprive us of an important weapon. yet, the obama administration seeks to move us forward in compliance with it. the u.s. has taken action on p. -- a.p.l.'s. we give more clearance on a.p.l.'s than any nation in the world. he conventional weapons, the c.c.w., requires u.s. a.p.l.'s which are designed to deactivate or self-destruct. our a.p.l.'s meet those standards. they are not killing civilians. like all weapons, a.p.l.'s can be used rightly or wrongly. when used responsibly, as u.s. a.p.l.'s are, they protect our forces, the forces of the
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allies and the forces alike. land mine opponents, like the administration, state the ottawa convention shows our leadership and that it is reducing the threat of land mines around the world. that is simply not true. many i.e.d.'s, legally speaking, are a.p.l.'s. from february, 2015, to january of 2016, the pentagon's own joint improved threat -- defeat agency recorded over 50,000 worldwide casualties as a result of i.e.d. attacks. the ottawa convention isn't solving the land mine problem. it's simply disarming the good guys. in this environment, we need weapons that protects, camps, bases from attacks and today one of those weapons is the a.p.l. unless we have an alternative to a.p.l.'s that's equal to or better than a.p.l.'s in keeping our troops safe we dare not get
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rid of the stockpile of our a.p.l.'s. the safety of our sons and daughters in uniform is of utmost importance. i want to thank the chairman for working with my office on this issue. i urge adoption of this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves the balance of his time. does any rise to claim time in opposition? mr. smith: i rise in opposition and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i owes this amendment because it restricts the department of defense from taking actions -- i oppose this amendment because it restricts the department of defense from taking actions, prohibiting their ability to get rid of the land mines that they wish to get rid of. and the problem of land mines and the reason they were such an international outcry is after conflicts they tend to be left in the areas of conflict. throughout the world, many innocents have wound up being killed by these land mines that are left over. they are a weapon that can indiscriminantly hit civilians.
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the i.e.d. example is an example of how pernicious these weapons are. they do attack innocent civilians, military personnel alike. the president is trying to get us into compliance with the treaty that was reached. it has not been confirmed by the senate, that is true, but as commander in chief, the president has the authority to decide what weapons we should or should not have. and it's important they do maintain the exception of korea, where we have the threat, very specific threat from north korea to make sure we preserve that option. but outside of that, the president and our commanders at the department of defense have determined this option is not one that we need to provide for the national security and it is one that the international community has condemned. and we have had attempts, the geneva convention, others at limiting the carnage given by warfare. one of the ways to limit that would be to limit the amount of land mines that is available. that's what the president is
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attempting to do. this amendment i believe would unfairly restrict him in his ability to do that. he has the ability as commander in chief to make those decisions in consultation with the d.o.d. this restricts him in a way i do not support and i urge the body to oppose. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. kelly: i respect the gentleman's opinion. and i understand the president is the commander in chief. i also understand that the a.p.l.'s, the ones we use protect our forces, our friends, our allies. as far as the danger of it, we lead on land mine clearance. we have lived up to all the international obligations we have accepted. the land mine ban treaty disarms us, not our enemies. and dismantling our a.p.l.'s doesn't show leadership. it shows the height of our responsibility. i know sometimes in this house we get to the point where politics takes precedent over policy. if at the end of the day this
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house can't do everything possible to protect our daughters and sons in uniform and our allies and friends around the world, we are the most responsible user of a.p.l.'s. we're doing more than anybody else to disarm i.e.d.'s. the problem comes down to, where does the united states stand? we need to stand and be resolute behind our armed forces. that's why i strong on this and makes sure the a.p.l.'s stays in place. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield myself the balance of the time. we are going to make the responsible decisions to do what is best to protect our armed forces. i believe the president will do this. this restricts him in one specific area that's not been shown -- yes, we are the most responsible users of land mines, but that is not exactly a high bar to jump over. no matter how you use them, no matter you use them -- yes, we are trying to clear them and i think that's great. but if we didn't put them out there in the first place we wouldn't have to worry about then going in there and clearing them. and what has been determined by the department of defense and
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the president is there are better ways to protect our troops that does not unnecessarily endanger civilian populations. that's why the president is going down the path he's going down. i think we should reject this amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 18 printed in part b of house report 114-569. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from indiana seek recognition? walswals mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. -- mrs. walorski: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 18 printed in part b of house report 114-569 offered by ms. walorski of indiana. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 732, the gentlewoman from indiana, ms. walorski, and a member opposed, -- mrs.
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walorski, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from indiana. mrs. walorski: thank you, mr. chairman. my amendment is very common sensical in concept. it increases the transparency and accountability surrounding transfers from guantanamo bay by requiring the u.s. and foreign government receiving the detainee to sign a written memo of understanding outlining the terms of the transfer and to submit that to congress. these transfers are too significant and they are too high for a simple handshake or verbal agreement. as paul lewis, the president's own special envoy for guantanamo detainee closure, recently confirmed that they have returned to the battlefield and killed americans. the administration itself the recidivism rate of detainees is one out of three. in my four years on the armed services committee, i am -- ppointed by the de
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transparency around the detainees. the administration insisted it remain humane treatment assurances. those include travel restrictions, monitoring and information sharing. however in december last year reports began surfacing that a detainee who was released to sudan in july, 2012, was now in yemen operating as a senior eader of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. the fact he was transferred to sudan in the first place, i wanted to know what type of assurances they would receive from the sudanese government they at punitive measures gave. that's why i'm offering this amendment today. a written memo of understanding between the u.s. and the foreign country receiving the detainee will provide a greater
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degree of transparency and accountability than exists right now. one american casualty is too many. we must do more to ensure every precaution is taken if and when individuals are transferred from gitmo. by providing this memo to the relevant oversight committee of this body, we take one more step towards real accountability for both the administration and for the foreign nation accepting these detainees. i would like to thank my friend, mr. zinke, for his co-sponsorship. i'd like to commend the senator from yeah, mr. cotton, for his work in offering the same requirement in the senate bill. i'd also like to ask unanimous consent to insert into the record the letters i sent to the administration requesting information on the transfer of detainees which is -- the chair: that will be covered under general leave. mrs. walorski: thank you. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from indiana reserves the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. smith: i claim time in opposition and i yield myself
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such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: there are 80 detainees left at guantanamo. a number have been transferred and of those 80 -- and i could be wrong -- but i believe somewhere in the neighborhood of 34 have been cleared for transfer. basically deemed not to be risks to the united states. and restricting their ability to be transferred simply drives up the cost of guantanamo unnecessarily. we have transferred a great many detainees out of guantanamo. the statistics cited go all the way back to the bush administration when regrettably we did let people go without proper vetting. we, through this bill, in past years have put a number of provisions in place that requires certifications of national security certifications that the people being transferred are not a risk to the united states. that's already required. this simply makes it more difficult to do that for no good reason. the recidivism in recent years has been drastically lower. it's been less than 10%.
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nowhere near the 33% figure cited. and the ones that are left to be transferred, like i said, are ones that have been determined not to be at risk. now, we take our time in transferring these people to make sure that we have a place to transfer them that is safe and secure, willing to accept them and all of that and there are already multiple provisions in law to try and make sure that we don't take any chances. but unfortunately when you release people there's always risks but detaining people forever without charge and after you have determined that they are not a risk is also a risk. basically it goes at the very value of the united states of america. i mean, we could just never release anyone from prison in the united states under these standards under the fact, well, they might commit another crime. and they might, so why don't we just lock them up forever? we have a process, a very careful process that's worked
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out in a very bipartisan fashion to determine who needs to be held and who can be released and then after we determine they can be released, even then we go through a process of where they are released to and work with the host country and try to determine what the best and safest available alternative is. this piles onto the bureaucracy and makes it more difficult to do transfers that are in the best interest of the national security of our country. and i oppose the amendment for those reasons. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized. mrs. walorski: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from montana, co-sponsor of this amendment, representative zinke. the chair: the gentleman from montana is recognized for one minute. forget e: how soon we why they are there. how soon we forget why they are there. go to new york and look at the names engraved, the laddermen, the commercial pilots, the
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innocents. i did a lot to put them there. i don't remember reading memoranda rights or warrants and yet they want to bring them to the u.s. where rules of memoranda rights and yet we're asking for tighter controls overseas because 1/3 go back to the battlefield. is that a risk we should incur? the answer is no. why? because what's left is the bottom. these are the guys that are not hanging around evil. these are the guys that are evil. they are absolutely evil. and we've seen it. so putting more controls, more restrictions to protect american lives is what we must do in congress. this is not a democrat or republican issue. this is an american issue. i yield. the chair: the gentlewoman from indiana reserves. mrs. walorski: i reserve. the chair: the gentlewoman
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reserves. mr. smith: i yield myself the balance of the time. that's a question, why are they there, and in the case of 26 of them, they are there because mistakes were made in picking them up. this happened with many people at guantanamo, particularly in the early days. these people have been there for a long time where we basically weren't taking any chances on who we picked up. we threw out a wide net and brought people in. now, there are estimated to be 44 of the folks there who are the baddest of the bad, who we have direct connections to active terrorism, who we know are a threat to the united states of america and i am not proposing whatsoever we should release those. but the question of why they are there is absolutely right, and it is not for the reasons that the previous gentleman stated in the cases of at least 26 of these inmates. they are there through a combination of mistakes, misidentification, misinformation, many different reasons why they were picked up and the problem is now, how do we transfer the

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