tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN May 18, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
they are gaveling in to continue work on the 2017 defense authorization bill. with a possible 120 amendments to consider. also today they'll debate a bill that would fund efforts to combat the zika virus at home and abroad. and they are expected to begin work on a spending bill for military construction and v.a. projects. live house coverage on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend dr. pa trishes venegas without spot or wrinkle ministries, laverne, california. the chaplain: heavenly father, we come before your thrown today, by unmerited favor. we thank you for this great nation. our forefathers faced many
trials and tribulations in their days. they relied on you as they sought your guidance for america. knowing they could not do it without you. today in this room we humble ourselves before you and paws. -- and pause. asking you once again for your guidance and perfect will for our nation as we pray your kingdom come and your will be done in america. i also pray for every representative who shoulders the immense responsibility to make decisions for the people they represent. give each one wisdom, knowledge, understanding, discernment on every decision they make. i pray you will bless them and their families for the sacrifice they make for the
american people. in your holy name, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from california, mr. bera. mr. bera: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to -- without objection, the gentlewoman from california, mrs. napolitano, is recognized for one minute. mrs. napolitano: thank you, mr. speaker. so pleased to welcome dr. patricia venegas without spot and wrinkles ministries international and i thank her and her husband to come from la
verne, one of my cities. she started the church in 1998 with her husband, reverend benjamin vargas, who is up in the gallery somewhere. she served as chaplain to the police department. ordained as a minister of gospel in december, 2006, published one book "bright of christ without spot or wrinkle," develops curriculum from conferences and seminars. and thanks for the work, reverend, that you do to spread the gospel and throughout the san gabriel valley and beyond. may god bless you and may god bless our country. the speaker pro tempore: the hair will entertain up to 15 further one-minute requests on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
i rise today in honor of the incredibly brave men and women in blue who serve and protect our communities. for example, sergeant p.j. wilson of the charlotte police department is a third shift supervisor. he and his teamwork the wee hours of the morning to make sure we can sleep in peace. another officer works every weekend and most holidays because he knows that criminals don't always work business hours. . pitenger: one calmed and reassured an you a tastic people. and mr. speaker, these are just four of the thousands of police officers who should be recognized for their important work. today and every day, we should take time to say thank you to the police officers we encounter in our communities. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the
gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i rise to ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. mr. bera: i rise to recognize dr. williams, pastor in sacramento. pastor williams has epitomized the importance of community and faith for the past 45 years. this past sunday, my wife and i had a chance to worship with pastor williams in his congregation. he'll be retiring this coming sunday, but his legacy of service and leadership will live on through his congregation, which has grown from 100 worshipers to over 3,500. pastor williams has led the efforts to finance and build an edifice and family life center which now serves the surrounding community. his church offers employment fairs, financial literacy courses and much more to the community. pastor williams also serves as a mentor and advisor to younger pastors and has helped develop the next generation of leaders
in our faith community. on behalf of the sacramento community and the region, i thank him for his 45 years of work and service which has made our community a much better place to live in. thank you, pastor williams. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulate the 2016 graduating class of the elite youth outreach program in peoria, illinois. elite is a wonderful program that teaches at-risk youth in our local communities in central illinois on how to gain employment, communicate effectively, behave responsibly and dress appropriately. the program was founded by a peoria native, who served our country as a military officer and drillic instructor. mr. lahood: now he's inspiring youth to overcome barriers to success as he did himself. in 2013, carl came and received
the f.b.i. director's community leadership award, and this week f.b.i. director james comey will travel from washington, d.c., to peoria to address this year's elite graduating class. i would like to commend carl cannon and his staff for their dedication to these students and recognize the transformative effect his program has had on youth in our peoria area. i'd also like to thank f.b.i. director comey for supporting this worthy program and his presence this week in peoria. and finally, i'd like to congratulate the students who will have completed this program. you should feel proud of your accomplishments. you have a community and national and local leaders who believe in you and we support you. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, i rise in support of infrastructure week, which is a joint effort by business and labor to highlight the dangerous conditions of
america's roads and bridges. there are currently 69,000 structurally deficient bridges in america. every second of every day, seven cars drive on a bridge that is structurally deficient. congress said we couldn't afford to rebuild the roads and bridges of america, so we only spent $50 billion a year in the last decade to rebuild america's roads and bridges. pathetically weak. we were told we couldn't afford it but american taxpayers spent $87 billion rebuilding the roads and bridges of afghanistan. we spent $73 billion rebuilding the roads and bridges of iraq. off budget and unpaid for. congress needs to get its priorities straight. we need to put american workers back to work, invest in our infrastructure to unleash the great potential of american businesses to grow the american
economy. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. hulthult -- mr. hultgren: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to congratulate the prairie grove school district, number 46, in crystal grove, illinois, for being a finalist for the 2016 secretary of defense freedom award, the first ever from illinois. this is the department of defense's highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their national guard and reserve employees. this year more than 2,400 nominations were submitted by national guard and reserve service members. prairie grove is one of only nine public sector employer finalists. among service members at the school district who support the nomination is lieutenant colonel patty klop, a marine reservist, a physical education teacher and a part-time teacher for students with disabilities.
she speaks highly of district 46 when she says, it's been a real source of stability and comfort for me over the years. i've been on several deployments and district 46 has always been there. prairie grove is invited to the freedom award ceremony this august at the pentagon, and i look forward to the school district representing illinois well as an exceptional employer of service members. congratulations, prairie grove. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the 51st anniversary of the creation of head start. in my home state of rhode island, head start services serves 2,500 children, including 100 homeless children and 500 children with special needs. head start is proven and effective. young people who participate in head start have increased graduation rates, are less likely to become pregnant as teens, have improved economic opportunities and are less
likely to be involved in crime. every dollar veverted in head starts saves -- invested in head start saves up to $7 in cost. we had the highest graduation rates around the world. today we rank 12th in graduation and 24th for schools for 4-year-olds. if we need to be successful and compete in a global economy, it's critical that we significantly increase our investments in head start. congratulations to head start on your 51st anniversary. thank you for all that you do and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rothfus: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize beaver falls chief of police charles r. jones on his retirement after decades of outstanding service to his community and to our nation. after serving his country in the air force, which included
time at the 9/11 air wing in pittsburgh, chief jones embarked upon his career in law enforcement. he's a graduate of both municipality police officers training academy and the deputy sheriff's training in carlisle. he started with the city of beaver falls police department in 1994 and by 2008 he was chief of police. in october, 2011, the pittsburgh f.b.i. field office chose chief jones to join with other u.s. and international law enfoement leaders at the f.b.i. national academy in quantico, virginia, for professional studies. a recipient of numerous awards, a man of faith and a true leader, i thank chief jones for his service. in thanking the chief, i'd remiss in not recognizing his wife, regina, who's also been a great advocate for her community. although chief is retiring, i fully expect he will continue his serve to his community in multiple endeavors to come.
i thank the speaker and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from connecticut eek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. esty: thank you, mr. speaker. i come to the floor with a simple message for the leaders of this house. do your job. the majority has refused to even vote on a budget, our most basic duty, and has failed to address over $3 trillion of needed infrastructure across the country. this is national infrastructure week. 41% of the roads in my home state of connecticut are rated in poor condition. bad roads cost the average connecticut driver over $660 per year in unnecessary repairs and expenses. a great nation does not respond to crises with conduct tape. a great nation -- with duct
tape. a great nation does not tell 110 pregnant citizens, those pregnant with the zika virus they should make due with 1/3 of the necessary funding. for our infrastructure, for flint, for the supreme court, for zika patients, for gun violence victims, the call to this body, the leaders of this body is clear. it is time to lead. do your job. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. well, the ninth circuit is on a role this week, the ninth circuit court. mr. lamalfa: now they uphold gun vites in california and tossing out another frivolous lawsuit on salvage operations for forestry after a fire. operations in western county on what is known as the west side
fire, a fire that occurred mountain summer and fall of 2014, are now finally proceeding where the value of that wood can be still perhaps hopefully salvaged almost a year and a half later. though it's only a scant 4% that they're going after in this harvest project here, you would think with the amount of frivolous lawsuits and wailing over the project that we were causing an environmental disaster, yet the disaster has already occurred with the devastating fire. so i'm glad to see that the court ruled that some of the salvage operation can occur because now the forest can actually recover and it can have an economic base to do so instead of merely coming out of the u.s. treasury and the people in the area can be employed in doing it in this forest fire recovery. it will be a positive for the habitat, positive for the spotted owl. and this is what we need in the long term to do is salvage is an important part of forestry after a fire and not reinventing the wheel every single time we need to do the salvage and have lawsuits over
it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. . for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. like everyone who knew him, i was shocked and am still very saddened by the sudden passing of eric bradley. eric was so many things to so many people. he was a colleague, a friend, a mentor. mr. lowenthal: a son, a husband, a father. for me, eric was a dear friend. who help me in so many ways -- helped me in so many ways over the years, just as he helped so many others. but that was eric. self to everyone that he met -- himself to everyone he met. whether it be insight, advice,
knowledge or simple kindness. and behind all his hard work, behind all his efforts, there was a genuine passion for making life better for others. just like anyone who crossed his all too brief time with us, i am better for having known him. i will miss my friend. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i thank the distinguished speaker for granting me the time and, mr. speaker, today i want to acknowledge that this is the 100th -- this year is the 100th anniversary of the easter rising on dublin island. mr. king: since that time, the united states and ireland have an an extremely close relationship. both trade, business, so many other issues we worked together on. and probably none more important than the good friday agreement which was achieved 18 years ago this year. it's working today, after centuries of fighting and strife, there's now a peace
process in northern ireland which has succeeded, is succeeding, is going forward. i just want to acknowledge this today. the 100th anniversary of the easter rising, also acknowledge that the prime minister of ireland is in washington today to help us commemorate this and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today with great news about the city of galesburg, illinois. about a month ago i spoke on this floor and urged the city to apply for low-interest, federally funded loans through the drinking water state fund. mrs. bustos: i worked with the city as well as the u.s. and the illinois e.p.a. to see if those loans could be forgiven. so today i am so proud to announce that i have received assurances that up to $4 million in federal funding will
be forgiven. that will happen as soon as the city completes its application and receives formal approval. mr. speaker, all communities face challenges. what separates the great ones from the rest is whether communities can come together and solve these challenges. we still have work to do to protect children from lead exposure. but galesburg is a great city. and i am proud that we're taking this important step together. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> cedar bluffs, alabama, 2015. soviet duffy, 71 years old. clara edwards, 68. amela o'shale, 28 years old. tennessee colony, texas. arl johnson, 77 years old.
mr. peters: thomas camp, austin camp, 21, kay johnson, 6 years old. clarksberg, west virginia, july 26, 2013. freddie donald swiger, 70 years old. fred swiger, 47. todd russell amos, -- amos, 29. christopher a hart, 26. springfield, missouri, november 15, 2014. lewis green, 44 years old. trevor fantroy, 43. danielle keys, 29. christopher freeman, 24. shreveport, louisiana, may 5, 2016. tyrone coaly, 37 years old. randy brown, 36. robert balkman, 30. joey caldwell, 29. richard baker, 29 years old.
platt, south dakota, september 17, 2015. nicole westerhues. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. mr. gallego: mr. speaker, the annual defense bill before the house today removes $18 about from the overseas war account to fund activities not related to war. it is unfortunate that the republican majority, which claims to be fiscally responsible, are raiding it in order to bypass bipartisan spending agreements. this budget gimmick would require an $18 billion supplemental next april, only halfway through the fiscal year, to restore overseas funding for america's troops overseas. there's no way -- this is no way to govern and the pentagon is doing a disservice, as well as congress, to our men and
women by pushing for this. defense secretary ash carter said removing overseas funding during war time is, quote, objectionable on the face of it. it is my hope and the hope of many others on the committee that funding for the overseas on the will be restored house floor before the bill is voted on. i urge my colleagues to oppose the defense bill until these funds are restored. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. sanchez: to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. speaker. today is the first -- 51st anniversary of head start. 51 years ago in 1965 president lyndon johnson announced the groundbreaking program. and that year, a shy little girl, the daughter of mexican immigrants, enrolled at head start. and it changed her life. that little girl was me.
in this chamber, when we fiercely debate funding education, we're sometimes too removed from the reality of the everyday struggles facing america's children. and just how wide that opportunity gap is. so even though i stand here before you as a congresswoman, i also stand before you as a child of head start. universal early childhood education is the best investment we can make to close that education gap. i know this because i'm living proof of it. head start wasn't merely something that helped me, it helped 32 million children and their parents to prepare for school. it prepared them for life. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek
recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, today and this week we will debate the national defense authorization. this is part of our most fundamental obligation as members of congress, to protect and defend the constitution of the united states of america. however, there is a provision that is inserted into this bill that doesn't protect and defend, it discriminates. mr. israel: a provision is in this bill that would effectively stop an executive order that says that federal contractors cannot discriminate against employees because they happen to be lgbt. i want to say this again. in the defense authorization, house republicans have inserted a provision to empower and enable the discrimination of lgbt employees. that is not protecting and defending. that is discrimination. that is divisive. it is disgusting. our job is to protect and defend the american people and not inject the defense budget
with ideologies that are based on protecting a political base, mr. speaker. it is a disservice to our troops, it is a disservice to our national security, to inject such poisonous language into a defense budget that is meant to protect and defend the constitutional rights of the american people. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. pascrell: good afternoon, mr. speaker. as chairman of the congressional fire services caucus, the largest caucus in the congress, i rise today in advance of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the national volunteer fire council on may 20 to recognize their hard work and dedication to protecting our communities. the brave men and women who
volunteer their time are professionals who put their lives on the line every day. nvfc came 976, the together in chicago to provide a unified voice for volunteer firefighters across our nation. with this guiding vision, the nvfc has grown their ranks to a board comprised of 49 state fire service associates, with a membership of nearly 20,000 individual and department members. today volunteers of a strong -- have a strong voice at the table when it comes to critical fire and emergency service issues thanks to the organization. the organization has been there to meet the challenges volunteers face and address critical issues every day. from groundbreaking programs to legislative regulatory advocacy, the nvfc continues to serve the volunteer in meaningful and significant ways. i look forward to continuing to work with them to advocate for
our volunteers and thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on foreign affairs be discharged from further consideration of house resolution 716 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 716. resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1916 easter rising, a seminal moment in ireland's journey to independence. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the consideration of the resolution for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have an amendment to the text at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk shall read the amendment to the text. the clerk: strike all after -- >> i ask unanimous consent the reading be dispensed with. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the read something dispensed with. without objection, the amendment is agreed to and the resolution is agreed to.
for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have an amendment to the preamble at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment to the preamble. the clerk: strike the preamble and insert the following -- >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous con sent that the reading be dispensed with. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the reading is dispensed with. without objection, the amendment to the preamble is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 4923, an act to establish a process for the submission and crucial of petitions for temporary duty suspensions and reductions, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 736 and ask
for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 116, house resolution 736, resolved that, a, at any time after adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of the bill h.r. 4909, to -- 4974, making appropriations for military construction, the department of veterans affairs and other agencies and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispenlsed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are wavened. general debate shall be confined -- waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the ranking and minority member of the committee on appropriations. after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. points of order against provisions in the bill for failure to comply with clause 2 of rule 21 are waived.
clause 2-e of rule 21 shall not apply during consideration of the bill. b, during consideration of the bill for amendment, 1, -- one, each amendment, other than amendments provided for in paff graduate -- paragraph 2, shall be debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and opponent. no pro forma amendment shall be in order except that the chair and ranking minority member or their respective disingnies may offer up to 10 pro forma point ts each at any for the purpose of debate. and, three, the chair of the committee of the whole may accord priority in recognition on the basis of whether the member offering an amendment has caused it to be printed in the portion of the congressional each at any point for the purpose of debate. and three, the chair of the committee of the whole may accord priority in recognition on the basis of whether the member offering an amendment has caused it to be printed in the portion of the congressional record designated for that purpose in clause 8 of rule 18. amendments so printed shall be considered as read. c, when the committee rises and reports the bill back to the house with a recommendation that the bill do pass, the
previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 2, upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h.r. 5243, making appropriations for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2016, to strengthen public health activities in response to the zika virus, and for other purposes. all points of order of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. clause 2-e of rule 21 shall not apply during consideration of the bill. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and on any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except, one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations, and two, one motion to ecommit. section 3, section 514 of h.r.
4974 shall be considered to be a spending reduction account for purposes of section. 3-d of house resolution 5. section 4, during consideration of h.r 4974 in the committee of the whole pursuant to this resolution, it shall not be in order to consider an amendment proposing both a decrease in an appropriation designated pursuant to section 251-b-2-a-ii of the balanced budget and emergency deficit control act of 1985 and an increase in an appropriation not so designated, or vice versa. section 5, during consideration of h.r. 4974 pursuant to this resolution, a, section 310 of house concurrent resolution 125, as reported in the house, shall have force and effect in the committee of the whole, and, b, section 3304 of senate concurrent resolution 11 shall not apply. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma is
recognized for one hour. mr. cole: mr. speaker, for the purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to my good friend, the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cole: all time yielded is for the purposes of debate only. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to evise and extend their remarks . the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cole: mr. speaker, yesterday the rules committee met and reported a rule for consideration of both h.r. 5243, the zika response appropriations act of 2016, and h.r. 4974, the military construction and veterans affairs and related agencies appropriations act for fiscal year 2017. the rule provides for consideration of h.r. 5243 under a closed rule with an hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the committee on appropriations.
along with a motion to recommit. in addition, the rule provides for an open rule for the consideration of the milcon-va appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017. it also provides for a motion to recommit. it includes three -- excuse me. a motion to recommit on the milcon-va bill. finally, mr. speaker, the rule includes three budget provisions which allow for the enforcement of the o.c.o. firewall, allows members to deposit savings from their amendments in a spending reduction account and provide limitations on advanced appropriations consistent with the budget resolution. mr. speaker, i'm pleased to present h.r. 5243 to the house for consideration. as i said in the rules committee yesterday, the debate over this legislation isn't about whether or not we provide resources for zika. it's about whether or not we pay for it through our existing resources or just add it to the national debt. i'm pleased that we've chosen
the former course. mr. speaker, h.r. 5243 provides an additional $622.1 million for bringing a total to $1.2 billion to fight the zika outbreak. h.r. 5243 provides additional money to the center for disease control for mosquito control and programs for prenatal care, delivery and postpartum care. in addition, we provide the n.i.h. with the resources needed to develop vaccines and diagnostic tests. in addition as opposed to the president's request, this legislation maintains important oversight restrictions on the use of these funds. understandably, they must be used solely for zika. the president's supplemental request, in addition to not being paid for, would allow the so-called emergency funds to be used for almost anything. importantly, mr. speaker, this legs is fully offset by use -- this legislation is fully
offset by used unused ebola funds and the unused health and human services administrative funding. in addition, mr. speaker, this reflects the emergency of this situation by making these funds available through the end of this fiscal year. yesterday, chairman rogers told the rules committee the stand-alone piece of legislation stands the best chance of becoming law. if we were to attach this measure as part of one of the f.y. 2017 appropriations bills, as the senate has done, there's no guarantee that it would be enacted swiftly. in my opinion, the best way to ensure its quick enactment is through stand-alone legislation, like h.r. 5243. in addition to the zika response appropriations bill, this rule allows for the consideration of the first appropriations bill considered by the house for f.y. 2017. the milcon-va appropriations bill. i'm pleased that the house is
once again going through regular order in considering appropriations bills under an open process. as a member of the appropriations committee, i'm always proud that we can bring these bills up under an open process where all members have the opportunity to bring their ideas for an up or down vote by the entire house. h.r. 4974 provides $7 .5 billion in dis-- $73.5 billion in discretionary spending for the veterans administration. an increase over f.y. 2016. in addition, it includes important oversight and good government provisions like preventing the closure of guantanamo bay, prohibiting bonuses for all v.a. senior executive serviceperson ell and increased oversight -- service personnel and increased oversight over construction projects to be managed by an outside entity so that mistakes like the denver v.a. health facility, now $1 billion over budget, will never be repeated. i'm encouraged of the hard work
of chairman rogers and ranking member lowey for their commitment to regular order and ensuring that the power of the purse is one that this house can continue to exercise. both the zika response appropriations act and the f.y. 2017 milcon-va bill demonstrate our commitment to that end. i urge support for the rule and the underlying legislation and with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: thank you. i thank my good friend, the gentleman from oklahoma, for yielding to me the customary 30 minutes for debate. mr. speaker, i rise today to 4974, the rule, military construction and veterans affairs and related agencies appropriations act, zika r. 5243, the
response appropriations act. there are many things to praise in the military construction and v.a. appropriations bill. this is the first of the f.y. 2017 appropriations bills to reach the floor. and i hope that we soon have the opportunity to vote on other important appropriations packages. the legislation, as pointed out by my good friend, $provides $81.6 billion in total discretionary funding for fiscal year 2017 to fund military construction projects and programs within the veterans affairs department. 242 ovides funding to hire new v.a. staff to help reduce the v.a.'s backlog in processing claims. as well as important funding
for mental health programs and suicide prevention outreach. certain v.a. medical services, including long-term care for veterans and support services for caregivers, are also included in this bill which increases health program funding by approximately 5% as compared to the last fiscal year. as co-chair of the congressional homelessness caucus, i also welcome the inclusion of the president's full fiscal year 2017 request homelessness outreach programs in this legislation. we made great progress in our work to end veteran homelessness, and these are programs that play a critical role in getting our veterans off the streets. however, despite these points,
the bill is not without criticism. the addition of language that indiscriminantly denies performance awards as well as the inclusion of other ideologically divisive provisions that are outside the scope of this legislation, to me, are problematical. because of these provisions, the president has indicated that he will veto this legislation in its current form. so it's my hope that we can work together to present a final package that will be able to become law, providing the important funding that our military service men and women, their spouses and our veterans need and rightly deserve. i will now turn to debate the
republican majority's so-called esponse to zika. despite any hope i had that the generally bipartisan effort crafting the military construction and v.a. appropriations bill may perhaps signal that my friends in the majority are suddenly able to govern responsibly, i'm beyond disappointed in the inadequate measure presented here today. nearly three months ago, the president requested congress provide $1.9 billion to combat the spread of the zika virus. this number was based on what our nation's top experts at the national institute of health, the center for disease control and elsewhere and scientists
believed is needed to meet the challenges of this impending public health emergency. dr. anthony falchi, the director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases at the national national institutes of health, our nation's top expert on infectious diseases has warned that if we don't provide funding at this level -- and i quote him -- that is going to have a very serious negative impact on our ability to get the job done, unquote. so naturally after these warnings and nearly three months after the administration's request, what have my friends in the republican majority presented today? a bill with funding level -- a funding level less than 1/3 of
the amount our nation's top doctors tell us is needed to win the fight against the zika virus. i fear that in trying to address the zika virus my republican colleagues are many days late and many dollars short. this decision risks worsening an already severe crisis. as of may 11, the center for disease control reports the following in the continental united states. there have been 503 reported ravel associated cases of zika in united states territories, including puerto rico, american samoa and the united states virgin islands. ere are 698 locally acquired
cases reported. while these numbers may seem small, we must take into account that we are not even in the summer months, and mosquito season has not even started. despite these troubling figures, if you want to learn what is most important to the majority in their response of this emergency, one need look no further than the summary of this bill prepared by the appropriations committee republicans. at the top of that summary, they noted for their members that the funding was, as i quote, entirely offset, unquote. . this statement was undermined, bolded and italicized. mr. speaker, we are facing a public health emergency. and apparently the most important thing to my friends
on the other side is that we address this emergency head-on with adequate and robust emergency funding, but rather that we make sure what little funding they're allocated doesn't cost new money to do so. i guess my republican friends will be at ease in the face of this looming public health emergency, knowing that their response to pay for it is, quote, offset, unquote. one would think that the duty to provide an appropriate level of funding to respond to a national health crisis would be enough to garner a yes vote from the republican majority. apparently not. i represent one of the states that everyone agrees will be virus. hit by the zika
ndeed, florida already reports 106 travel-related cases. 22 of the cases in florida are from palm beach and broward county, areas that i represent. when the summer months come, and this emergency worsens, i don't think my constituents will be at ease knowing that at least the money republicans approved of was an offset. later, mrs. lowey, the ranking member of the appropriations committee that is the subject matter for today, is going to make statements. i haven't had an opportunity to talk to her this morning. but yesterday in the rules committee i asked her whether or not when other emergencies have come up, has it been required that they be offset?
and her response was that it was not. she, like myself, have been here during a lot of emergencies that we must and rightly should address for the american citizenry. this happens to be one more and here we are haggling about offsets rather than addressing the seriousness of this public national health emergency. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. cole. mr. cole: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i care to consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. cole: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i want to begin by agreeing with my friend in terms of the appropriations process itself. he's right to celebrate the appearance of one of the bills down here under an open rule.
friend is sure my aware, the committee under mr. rogers and mrs. lowey's able leadership has actually produced a series of bills ready and lined up. so i have no doubt this is the first of many bills, i would hope all bills, that we eventually see on the floor, that every member has an opportunity to come down here and amend as they see fit. i also want to appreciate what my friend had to say about the v.a. construction -- or excuse me, the v.a. and military construction bill. i think he's absolutely correct. that's one of our very best subcommittees. chairman dent and congressman bishop, you know, both chair and ranking members, they worked together extremely well. i would expect, while i know my friend has some concerns with specific provisions of that, again, this is a process, as he knows, this is our opening process. we'll see what happens. but i think at the end of the day, that particular legislation will garner a great deal of bipartisan support, in
part because of the very points my good friend made in talking about the bill. now let's move to zika. and here we obviously have a different point of view. let me posit some things, mr. speaker, that perhaps those watching this debate and discussion aren't aware of. first, $600 million has already been deployed for zika. that was out of money set aside for both ebola and other diseases. that money, by the way, totaled over $5 billion originally, still close to $3 billion of it left. and it was to be spent over several years. so, the initial response, when the president made his request, from chairman rogers, was, spend this money now. don't wait on congress to afpblgt you've got available resources -- available -- to act, you've got available resources. so to this point, nothing has been left undone because of money. everything the federal government has wanted to do has
been fully funded. and indeed, in that fund, there's stillwell over $2 billion. so literally it can be done. so that's $600 million of the $1.9 million immediately available. this bill would provide nor $622 million. which is actually more money than the administration provides -- plans to spend in the next fiscal year. or excuse me, in this fiscal year. so, they will have more than enough resources. and in the bill there's actually money included for the national institutes of health that will not be spent until next year as they work through the process of developing vaccines and things. there's more than adequate funding here. finally, in the remainder of the year, when we get to the labor bill and the foreign ops bill, we will put in literally hundreds of millions of more money for fiscal year 2017. that $1.9 billion isn't to be used right now. it's to be used over a two-year
period. so you don't need all of it right now. the key difference is not the amount of money, the key difference is, number one, this is offset. my friend's correct about that. it's paid for. rather than saying, we're going to just immediately add $1.9 billion additional dollars to the national debt, say, look, we have money set aside, we've got money here we can offset through other unused funds, and we've got money in the regular appropriations process for next year, all of this can and should be paid for. it's not -- frankly, it's not like a hurricane sandy or a hurricane katrina, massive damage, immediate response required. this is actually smaller, more are eable, and these moneys spent over not a short period of time, but over a couple of years. so, this is actually the prudent way to actually move forward on this money. but, again, the important thing to know is everything that has needed to be done has been done. there hasn't been anything delayed. nothing's been set back. -- frankly, what mr. rogers
it will speed money to the process. the debate isn't about zika, it's about wloor you want to pay for the response. and -- whether or not you want to pay for the response. and that requires tough choices to be made. that means other things that aren't emergencies might not get as much funding. the administration, like anybody else, if they can have their cake and eat it too is delighted to do so. but the more prudent path is to actually pay for the emergency that you have, if you can. if you can't, then you move to something bigger. but in this case, we have the ability to do that, and i think we ought to do it. i would hope our friends work with us on this. we see that this is an emergency. we've provided money immediately, we're moving now prudently to provide additional money, more than is needed in the short term. and frankly, as the bill's roll out, you'll see there will be additional money yet to come. money that was not intended to be spent until next year anyway. there's no reason to spend it
all right now. with that, mr. speaker, i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma reserves his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question, i'm going to offer an amendment to the rule to bring up the democratic alternative zika bill that provides the administration its top $1.9 billion scientific and medical experts say is needed to mount a robust response to the zika crisis, without jeopardizing its ability to address other public health threats like ebola. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record, along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: to discuss our proposal, i'm very pleased to yield to my good friend from ew york, the distinguished
gentlewoman, the rank member of the appropriations committee, mrs. lowey, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for three minutes. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, the republican zika bill provides $622 million, about 1/3 of the $1.9 billion requested. the bill also steals more ebola funding as an offset, so instead of replenishing what was already redirected to zika. we don't offset spending to respond to emergencies, and we certainly don't steal from prior emergency response efforts still under way when a new emergency arises. let's just consider my friend's recent history. emergency funding was provided to response -- respond to both
ebola and h1n1. in last year's omnibus, congress used emergency funding without offsets to pay for wildland fire suppression, mostly in the west. congress also provided emergency funding to respond to two hurricanes and flooding in the carolinas and texas, again without offsets. when those disasters struck, we didn't steal money from prior disaster response like the emergency funding provided for hurricane damage in louisiana, mississippi, alabama and florida, or storms in west virginia, orator nadse in oklahoma and -- or tornadoes in oklahoma and kentucky. after the 2013 oklahoma or nadse, my friend, chairman
rogers -- tornadoes, my friend, chairman rogers, said, quote, i don't think disasters of this type should be offset. we have been obble -- we have an obligation to help these people. now that the zika public health emergency has rask anded brazil, spread to puerto rico, threatens an outbreak in the continental united states, suddenly republicans insist on short changing efforts to ensure the deadly ebola virus doesn't re-emerge to pay for zika response. and the money they would take from ebola isn't nearly enough to prevent the spread of the deadly zika virus. that especially endangers pregnant women and children who could be born with very severe disabilities. if the previous question is defeated, mr. hastings will amend the rule to offer my bill, h.r. 5044 as a
substitute, providing the full $1.9 billion the administration requested, without offsets, to ensure an adequate response to zika that doesn't rob our ebola response. i urge my colleagues to vote no on the previous question. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida reserves his time. the chair recognizes mr. cole, the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. cole: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i care to consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. cole: thank you so much, mr. speaker. let me begin by thanking my good friend for her wonderful work on our committee. she's had the opportunity to serve on her subcommittee when she was a subcommittee chairman, and now to work with her as ranking member, no better person than nita lowey on that committee. however, we're going to disagree a little bit here. first of all, when you say the bill only provides 1/3, of course -- you've already got 1/3. the first $600 million is the
first 1/3. that's already been deployed. it's being spent. this is the next 1/3. the remaining 1/3 is money that will be spent by the way not this year but next year, and it will be presented in the normal appropriations bills. i happen to chair one of those committees. the so-called labor h. committee on labor on health and human services and education. we will have hundreds of millions of dollars in that bill for next year's zika response. so to suggest that somebody's being short changed, the money is just being prudently laid out at an appropriate pace and paid for along the way. that's point number one. point number two, again, this isn't a debate about the disease. it was this committee, our chairman, who immediately responded and said, you have extra money left. by the way, the ebola money, if you go back and look at the legislation, is ebola and other infectious diseases. in other words, when congress appropriated that, they knew
they might be appropriating more than was needed for ebola, there might be other crises come up, so that money's being used exactly the way it's supposed to be used. the appropriations committee has assured both the c.d.c. and the n.i.h. and the administration that should additional money be required, and there's still almost $2 billion of ebola money, if you need more and you're going to spend it over the next several years, come back and we'll sit down and we'll work with you and get you the money. . my friends use a lot of rhetoric here, largely to hide the fact that while we've got plenty of available money both setaside in the normal appropriation process and certainly in this bill to pay for things, they just simply want to add it to the national debt. they don't want to use available resources. they don't want to operate within the normal appropriation committee. i guess because they want to
spend that money someplace else. but to suggest that anybody's disingenuous or shortchanging either zika or shortchanging ebola doesn't square with reality. it was congress, after all, republican majority, and house, a democratic majority in the senate, but frankly genuinely bipartisan effort, that voted the $5 billion-plus for ebola in the first place. last year the president asked for a billion dollars increase at the national institute of health. we gave him a $2 billion increase at the national -- last year, i can't remember the precise number, but i do remember we appropriated more for the septre for disease control than the president requested. so it's not as if these things are not a priority. i think they are priority on both sides of the aisle. we have proven that by bringing appropriations bills to the floor where we have gone beyond what the president requested. we'll continue to work here. we think the prudent thing to do is not just willy-nilly add $1.9
billion worth of debt on the american taxpayer, particularly when the money is at hand to pay for what we need right now and we have an appropriations bill coming up in june where the rest of it can be taken care of, and we can actually monitor this thing. the ebola crisis, we may well have appropriated more than we needed . to that's why the other infectious diseases, in fact if you look at the administration's budget proposal, they actually were taking $40 billion -- million dollars out of this same pot of money to spend in unrelated malaria suppression abroad. 9 -- not quarterlying with that, that's fine. it suggests even the administration thought maybe there is more money in here than we need for ebowla. we can count on congress to come back, which is true. if they need more money. this is all about trying to circumvent the appropriations process, trying to add debt when there's sufficient resources available. if there were not, then that would be another matter.
because i agree with my friends, the response is important. but in this case, because the response is spread out over two years, you have plenty of time, and this is a relatively modest amount of money, these not like $80 billion we had for hurricane sandy, we can do this in a thoughtful way and avoid the debt that's associated with emergency spending. we want to continue to work with the administration. we have demonstrated in the past, willing to fund n.i.h. and c.d.c. above administration recommended levels. responded quickly during the ebola emergency. we think this is the appropriate way to go. the senate is moving a vehicle as we all know. at some point if we pass this, i think we will, we'll sit down with our friends and we'll hammer out a common response, but again, do remember nothing is not being done for lack of money. everything the administration has wanted to do to date has had the resources 20 do -- to do and
we'll continue to make sure it does. at the end of the day we think they ought to be paid for since we have the ability to do that and that's what we are trying to accomplish. keep debt off the back of the american taxpayer if we possibly can. in this case we can and should. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma riffs his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much. mr. speaker, before yielding to my good friend from texas, i ask unanimous consent to include in the record a letter from the white house over the signature of sean donovan, the director of the office of management and budget, and susan rice, the national security advisor directed to the speaker of the house of representatives, paul ryan, on april 26, 2016. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. hastings: thank you very much. excerpting from that a portion of the first paragraph of the
second page, let me read what is said in partial response to my good friend from oklahoma. without significant additional appropriations this summer, the nation's efforts to comprehensively respond to the disease will be severely undermined. in particular, the administration may need to suspend crucial activities such as mosquito control and surveillance in the absence of emergency supplemental funding. state and local governments that manage mosquito control and response operations will not be able to hire needed responders to engage in mosquito mitigation efforts. additionally, the administration's ability to move to the next phase of vaccine velopment which requires multiyear commitment from the government to encourage the
private sector to prioritize the zika research and development could be jeopardized. without emergency supplemental funding, the development of faster and more accurate diagnostic testss are will be impeded. the administration may not be able to conduct follow-up of children born to pregnant women with zika to bert understand the range -- better understand the range of zika impacts needed to replenish particularly those health effects that are not evident at birth. the supplemental request is also needed to replenish the amounts that we are now spending from our ebola accounts to fund zika related activities. this will ensure we have sufficient contingency funds to address unanticipated needs related to both zika and ebola.
as we have seen with ebola and zika, there are still many unknowns about the science and scale of the outbreak and how it will impact mothers, babies, and health systems domestically and abroad. with that, mr. speaker, i'm very pleased at this time to yield two minutes to my good friend from texas, mr. green. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. green, is recognized for two minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the member from florida. i thank the member from oklahoma as well, mr. hastings, mr. cole. mr. speaker, i am concerned. i'm concerned about -- because while the mosquito is not the unbeatable foe, it is the deadliest living organism on the earth. the deadliest life form is the
mosquito. annually the mosquito kills one million humans, mostly from malaria, i must tell you. but i must also tell you that they kill by way of the west nile virus. in houston, texas, we have had people contract the west nile my vie russ, we have had people to difmente i would also mention that -- to die. i would also mention that they are the greatest survivors. they survived for 175 years. they survived the dinosaurs. we are dealing with a deadly foe, make no mistake. size should not in any way cause to you believe that this is something we can take as less than a deadly enemy that we have to confront. the world health organization has indicated that there may be as many as four million cases of zika, the zika virus, zika mosquitos in the americas. and as of february 1 we had seven confirmed cases in
houston, texas. it appears from what i have read that standing water activates them. it appears that rain can activate them. these mosquitos. if this is true in houston, texas, given we just had a flood, the so-called tax day flood, and because we are still being inundated with rain quite regularly, 80% chance of today in houston and 80% chance tomorrow, it appears that we have the makings of a special problem in houston, texas. so i am gravely concerned and i hope that we will do all that we can to make sure that we get the necessary equipment, the necessary funding so that this enemy can be confronted properly. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back his time. the gentleman from florida reserves his time of the the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. cole, is recognized. mr. cole: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. cole: thank you very much. i want to begin by actually agreeing with my friends, sort of my good frnd from texas, he's right about the danger that we are dealing with. my friend from florida certainly right about the severity of this. i think where they are wrong is the suggestion that nothing has been done. $600 million has been deployed. this bill is actually a response to the very letter that my good friend from florida read. this does provide the next third of the requested money by the administration. and frankly, if you are -- in the bill, this extends into next year to address the concerns my friend expressed about having a multiyear commitment. the money in here for the national institute of health, the lead agency in developing a vaccine and diagnostics, is fully funded for what they have asked to be funded for next year. so this actually does that. now, we'll have an additional bill through committee in june
where we will provide additional resources for the c.d.c. for next year. and whatever other things. the total spending here on both sides is about the same. it's being deployed right now. this is a response to some of the concerns. what concerns my friends, i think, is they would prefer not to pay for it. they would prefer to add it to the national debt. gosh, that's a great thing to do, but that's probably how we ended up with a deficit of almost -- over half a billion dollars for f.y. 2017 and the national debt of over $19 trillion. if this were something that we couldn't handle any other way, that we only had emergency, i would agree with my friends. i did that when we had the sandy relief. there was no other way for something that large. that's not the case here. this is $1.9 billion. most of that money is coming out of the labor-h bill which spends $163 billion a year.
you can't find $1.9 billion spaced over two years in a bill that provides in that period of time around $320 billion, you're just not trying. this is all about being able to spend someplace else. and again, not one thing has not been done. everything that anybody in the federal government has wanted to do they have been able to do. in addition, the ebola money is not just, quote, eat bowla money. it's ebola and other infectious disease. that's what it's there for. it was not just meant to be spent on ebola. and even after the $600 million, even after the money that is offset in this bill, which is oughly $350 million, that fund will still have almost $2 billion in it. it can be deployed in any way against infectious diseases the administration says it needs. it has the commitment of
appropriations which has been demonstrated again and again. if you run short in this area, we'll backfill. that's why we have appropriations bills moving now. but we can do it within the budget limits that we negotiated with the administration. that's prudent management of the money. so given the track record here, both in responding on ebola, both in putting more money in the n.i.h. and the center for disease control and the administration expected, and now moving quickly to be helpful here, i think we have either a misunderstanding or manufactured crisis. there is no crisis. there is a real challenge, money needs to move toward it now. that's exactly what we have done. that's exactly what we are doing in this bill. that's exactly what we'll do in the appropriations bills that will be presented in congress as the appropriations season progresses. with that i want to reassure my friend that the resources will be there. they have been there thus far. they will continue to be there. and i reserve the balance of my
time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma reserves his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to my good friend, gentleman from texas, mr. doggett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. doggett, is recognized for three minutes. mr. doggett: mr. speaker, the indifference by some in this congress to a looming public health crisis is truly stunning. this republican bill cuts the emergency funding request for the centers for disease control by 80%. that's four of every $5 they ask for that have been eliminated. the zika virus is a terrible virus. it eats away at the brain of a fetus. and it results in a family tragedy of a child who is born with very severe birth defects
and will require costly lifetime care. zika can be sexually transmitted, and it is spread to many parts of texas. we have texas tough mosquitos and the season is just beginning there. year on the cusp of a epidemic -- we are on the cusp of a epidemic spreading across our region and the republicans are refusing to provide the resources to prevent it. i appreciate the very reassuring words that we have been hearing here, but just this morning i sat down and met with the director of the centers for disease control and i asked him, what difference does it make that four out of every $5 you have asked for are being cut? . and he said in our discussion, if this republican bill is approved to deny this vital c.d.c. and n.i.h. funding, we will not be able to develop the tools to diagnose the virus,
combat the mosquitoes, and develop a safe and effective vaccine. he said, we cannot monitor all of those who are being infected, have already been infected, and the neighbors around them that another mosquito bite might transmit this problem to them. and he said, we cannot get back to texas and other states' general emergency preparedness funds that we've taken away in order to try to fight zika. to do the job effectively, this administration needs more than four months of temporary funding. it needs long-term contracting authority to get at this crisis and to prevent it. i think that disease control and prevention represents some of our best and most effective investments in health. we can save a lifetime of suffering to so many families, and we can save millions of dollars of public and private moneys that these children born
with severe birth defects will have. the gentleman is correct, that the republican senate is considering this matter. in fact, they not only considered it, but finally yesterday they approved legislation that offers almost twice as much in the way of resources to address this crisis as the bill the gentleman is promoting today included -- includes. i say, let's join together and reject this rule, reject it and demand that the republican leadership respond with the funding that is necessary to protect families across america from the emerging zika tragedy. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida reserves his time. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. cole: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to consume. mr. cole: thank you very much. i want to always recognize my good friend from texas who is really one of my good friends in this body. but i'm not surprised that the
senate bill, you know, is twice as much money, because it runs for twice the time. this bill runs to september 30, the senate bill runs until september 30 of 2017. so, they're not materially that different. what we've said is we would deal with next year's problem in the appropriations process for this year. again, i know my friend's concern is legitimate. i do. i don't have any doubt about it. but i point out one more time, $600 million has been appropriated. or been made available. this is an additional $600 million. this $1.2 billion for the time of this fiscal year is actually more than the administration had planned to spend in this period. it reaches into next year. but they'll have it available for this year, if they need it. they've got another almost $2 billion in ebola slash other infectious diseases money. and they have the assurance
that additional things are coming. the only difference here is, are you going to pay for it? or are you just going to add it to the national credit card, another $2 billion roughly on the national debt, when you have the resources and the time available to operate within the appropriations system? so, this debate, as i've said repeatedly, isn't about zika. it's about whether you pay to deal with zika or whether you just would like to do whatever you want to do and forget about paying for it. unfortunately we don't have that luxury indefinitely. so, this is a responsible, well-thought through measure. it's fully paid for. nobody's short of resources. nobody will be short of resources. the money is available to do whatever the administration wants to do. it's well aware of that fact. and this is additional resources deployed here, with the assurance of other resources that will be deployed during the course of the normal appropriations process. so, i fail to see when the amount of money is essentially
the same on both sides, over essentially the same period, why we keep going back and acting as if this $of00 million is all there is -- this $600 million is all there is. there's another $600 million there's already been spent. there's more coming. it's coming in a regular way. the only thing that upsets my friends on the other side is it's being paid for. i mean, how outrageous. we're actually going to pay for a government activity that's important for us to accomplish. with the assurance that if more is needed, more will be made available. that's the simple difference here, mr. speaker. despite all the discussion about the disease, about readiness, is who is willing to pay for what needs to be done, and who frankly would prefer to just put it on the national credit card with that i reserve the balance of my time -- credit card. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida has nine minutes remaining. and is recognizedment -- and is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i'm very pleased to yield two of those minutes to my very good friend, the gentleman from
texas, mr. green. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. gene green, is recognized for 20 minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. members, and i thank my colleague on the rules committee and my classmate for yielding to me. mr. speaker, i rise in strong pposition to the rule and h.r. 5243. the last three democratic speakers are from texas. the southeastern states are ground zero for zika and other diseases. it's the first known vector-borne disease to cause severe fetal brain defects. our knowledge of the disease and how it's transmitted and its complications have evolved rapidly since the epidemic began. but there's still a lot unknown. we do not have rapid dying notic tests or vaccines against this virus. the mosquito vecter is actively present in several -- vector is actively present in several parts of the united states.
current control efforts are uncoordinated and inadequate. cases of zika are being introduced frequently by returning travelers and mosquito season is rapidly approaching our communities. as of may 11, there were more than 1,200 confirmed zika cases in the continental u.s. and u.s. territories. robust action is required to prepare and protect americans and this bill follows dramatic -- falls dramatically short of the response this epidemic demanleds. this only provides 1/3 of the funds necessary to respond to zika outbreak, an even worse, a large portion of the funding is taken from money congress has appropriated to respond to the ebola crisis. we're taking money away, researching ebola curious, to put on zika. ebola will not go away. we cannot be robbing peter to day paul. my good friend from -- pay paul. my good friend from oklahoma, i know in 2003 we sent legislators up to your district. i hope in texas we don't send mosquitoes up to your district. because that could happen.
congress has a constitutional and moral duty to protect health and welfare of our country. i'm saddened to say this bill fails to uphold our responsibilities to the american people. crisis of this magnitude demand robust, multiyear investments in our public health infrastructure. vaccine diagnosic development and transmission control. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. green: thank you. funding to fight the zika virus must be treated as an emergency similar to the past emergencies like ebola and h1n1 viruses. it should not be offset or used previously appropriated funds for other public health priorities. doing so will only continue to -- the broken cycle of lurching from outbreak to outbreak. even worse, this bill only funds the department of health and human services' response until september 30. mosquitoes don't follow our fiscal year. this threat is real and immediate and grave. on behalf of american families and mothers and the next generation, we must do better. i urge my colleagues to vote
against this bill and bring meaningful legislation to the floor that adequately and responsibly funds our response to the zika virus and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. cole: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cole: my good friend, mr. green, and he is my good friend, you know, as i recall, those texas legislators were called the killer bees. if you want to compare them to mosquitoes, i'll leave you that luxury and that political risk. we just call texas legislators welcomed guests. they're welcome to come any time. in terms of the point, though, i think i agree with much of what you say, other than the last part, when you said about adequately responsibly funding. that's exactly what we're doing. the total amount of money a here we're talking about, my friends keep forgetting about the $600 million that's already been deployed. and they keep suggesting that this is like only ebola money.
that's not the way the legislation is written. it's written for ebola and other infectious diseases. in other words, we're using that money exactly the way we were supposed to use it. not short changing anybody. we need money later because this is money that was to be spent over multiple years. but that money, frankly, if it had not been available, there would not have been an immediate response possible. it was available. so it's being used in the appropriate way. this is the next 1/3. when we hear this talk about only 1/3 what have the administration requested, we've already done 1/3. we're getting ready to do the next 1/3. and we're telling you in bills that are coming to the floor, both state and foreign ops and labor-h, that there will be additional money that will essentially total about what the administration has asked to spend. look, we recognize that these things do develop, do change, we're understand -- our understanding of them changes over time. this is a thoughtful way to do this. the ashirnse has been made, if you need more -- assurance has
been made, if you need more money, you've got it. we'll work with you, we'll find a way to do it. our instistence is that if we can pay for it, we do pay for it. that's exactly what we do in this bill. we hear erroneous comparisons, you're only doing half as much as the republicans in the senate. no, we're doing it through september 30 of this year. they're doing it through september 30 of next year. the amounts are essentially about the same. the difference is also the same, with all due respect to my friends in the senate. we are offsetting and paying for this. and that just seems to us the prudent way to do it. not to put more debt on the back of the american taxpayer, when you don't have to. if we had some emergency that called for hundreds of billions of dollars or something of that nature, that would be different. that's not what we're dealing with here. i have a lot of respect for my friends' concerns, but the chairman of our committee actually led a delegation to south america, partially on this issue recently. i happened to have the privilege of going along with chairman rogers.
we stopped in peru where there's a naval research station we've operated for decades. normally focuses on tropical diseases. we have a lot of issues with that when our military's deployed in those areas. working around the clock on zika. doing some great work. and we went to brazil, which is really the epicenter of this outbreak. sat down and talked with the center for disease control people on the ground wirk we did. talked with the -- ground, which we did. talked with the brazilian government, which we did. brazil was deploying hundreds of thousands, 220,000 of its own military personnel, to go door to door. i think chairman rogers has as good a grasp as anybody in this body on what's being done, what needs to be done and how to proceed. every step along the way he's shown the resources are going to be made available. they have been. but they're being made available in a responsible, prudent way. with appropriate oversight in a timely manner, but in a manner which is offset and paid for.
that's why i think the american people -- that's what i think the american people want us to do. take care of what's important, do it right, do it responsibly, pay for it if you've got the funds available before you automatically add it to the credit card that our kids and grandkids are going to someday have to pay off. so we'll continue to work with our friends, we'll work with our colleagues in the senate, but to suggest for one minute that the federal government doesn't have the resources it needs, when it has much more than it's asked, sitting still unobligated, it's just simply not the case. it's got the money it needs. it's getting the resources in the right way. we're simply paying for them. i know that's hard for some of my friends to accept. but it's actually the appropriate way to succeed. we actually should do more of this in this body, rather than less. so with that, mr. speaker, i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, through you i will advise my good friend from
oklahoma that i have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close if he's prepared to close. mr. cole: i'm certainly prepared to close whenever my friend is. mr. hastings: thank you very much. mr. speaker, it's become clear that the republican leadership has either abdicated its authority to govern to the far right of its party, or never had the wherewithal to do so in the first place. either way, the american people are tired of this majority's inability to address the issues facing our country. during the 114th congress, republicans have brought to the floor bills with absolutely no hope of becoming law, strictly partisan measures that were more messaging bills than serious legislative proposals. we saw it a couple of weeks ago with a string of bills, attacking the internal revenue service, to score political
points during tax day. none of that is going to become law. we've seen it with bills to weaken environmental protections or to limit a woman's right to choose. now we see it with a bill that the president has threatened to veto, because republicans have , luded ideological riders the majority seems to be more focused on scoring political points than actually getting to the business of governing. . my friend on the other side of the aisle attempt to merely swat away the looming public health crisis posed by the zika virus. this approach is as lacking in leadership as it is callous. i can guarantee you that the mosquitos carrying the zika virus do not care if you are a
democrat or a republican. and they do not care if the money used to stop them is offset, but i can promise my republican friends pinching pennies on basic investments to address a public health emergency will inevitably heighten costs in dollars and lives down the road. i urge a no vote on the rule and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back the remainder of his time of the the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. cole: mr. speaker, in closing i want to thank as always my good friend from florida. he is truly a delight to work with. one of the really great members in this body. not surprisingly he will know i disagree with him on his characterization of the current congress because saying we haven't done anything is forgetting what's actually happened. congress, the first congress to pass a multiyear highway bill since 2005.
the first one to overhaul common education since 2002. last week we had opioid legislation on this floor that we all know is critical and is going to certainly come into law and it will be funded. first real human trafficking bill. overhaul of veterans administration. a budget agreement that meant we had no closures and no debt risis. more funding for the national institutes of health. it's been one of the central issues in this debate, than the president asked for last year. same thing for the center for disease control. i could actually argue it's been a productive congress in many ways. in terms of zika, though, let's again get back and just clarify things. if the president asked for $1.9 billion in emergency funding. the chairman of the appropriations committee immediately said, you've got plenty of money, use whatever you want. $600 million of that was used. if you need that replenished, we will replenish that in the normal course of appropriations.
he now brings to the floor a bill that carries the next third of the funding that the administration asked for, fully offset, money that's more than they expect to spend from now until september 30, and some of that money is available into next year. certainly the money at the n.i.h. would be for diagnostic and vaccine. and we'll bring to the floor the rest of it. the only thing that we really differ over is should we pay for this major effort or not when we have the resources? we have the resources, ours is paid for. the administration's proposal is not. it's just that simple. do you just want to add $1.9 billion, or do you want to responsibly work the problem? this committee, the appropriations committee, has been at the forefront of responding to this every step along the way. it will continue to do. we will work with our friends. in closing, mr. speaker, the constitution gives the congress the power of the press -- of the purse. article 1, section 9 gives that authority to congress.
while the president has every right and duty to submit a supplemental appropriations request, it's the duty of congress to examine that request to provide for the funds and conditions it feels appropriate to execute them. that is what we have done on zika. that's what we have done on nil con-v.a. w that in mind i would encourage my friend to support the rule and underlying legislation. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. both sides having yielded back their time the question is on organized the previous question on the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the aye vs. it. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote on the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? mr. byrne: mr. speaker, by direction of the house committee on rules i call up house resolution 735 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 115-house resolution 735. resolved, that at any time after adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of the bill h.r. 4909, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2017 for military activities of the department of defense and for military construction, to prescribe military personnel
strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes. section 2-a, no further amendment to the bill, as amended, shall be in order except those printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution and amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution. b, each further amendment printed in the report of the committee on rules shall be considered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. c, all points of order against the further amendments printed in the report of the committee on rules or amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution are waived. section 3, it shall be in order at any time for the chair of the committee on armed services or his designee to offer amendments en bloc consisting of amendments printed in the report of the
committee on rules accompanying this resolution not earlier disposed of. amendments en bloc offered pursuant to this section shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on armed services or their designees, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. section 4, at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment pursuant to this resolution the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such further amendments as may have been adopted. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for one hour. mr. byrne: mr. speaker, during consideration of this resolution all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. i now yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from
massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and . tend their remarks the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from alabama is recognized for as much time as he wishes to consume. byrne: thank you, mr. speaker. house resolution 735 provides for continued consideration of h.r. 4909, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017. the resolution provides for a structured -- structured rule and makes in order 120 amendments. these amendments are on top of the 61 amendments that were made in order by yesterday's rule. that's a combined 181 amendments on one bill. as i mentioned during yesterday's debate, the ndaa process has always been bipartisan. in fact, congress has successfully passed the ndaa for each of the last 54 years. that is a really impressive accomplishment. i hope this year is no
different. mr. speaker, i want to remind my colleagues that the ndaa passed out of the armed services committee by a vote of 60-2. that vote total is very, very impressive and demonstrates the bipartisan nature in which our committee, the armed services committee, operates. another thing i really appreciate about the ndaa process is how open it is and how so many different members are able to have an input in the final product. at the first round of debate yesterday, there was an example of a healthy debate on a wide range of amendments. you look around the country and so many of our communities are home to important military assets and programs. some communities are home to military bases where we are training our future fighters. other communities contribute to our military success with industry suppliers. and every single community across this country is home to service members whether active duty, guard, or reserve. each of these communities faces
unique challenges and offer different perspective. that is why i believe it is so important that we have such an open process to allow a wide range of views to be discussed and debated. during the armed services committee process, we considered 248 amendments. when you add up the amendments considered at the committee level to the amendments we will consider on the floor, it brings us to a huge total of 429 amendments on one bill. these amendments cover a range of important issues from national guard to cybersecurity to sexual assault to religious freedoms to military health care. looking at specific security threats we face, these amendments address issues relating to afghanistan, pakistan, iraq, syria, europe, russia, and many more places. i know my colleague from massachusetts is particularly interested in the authorization for use of military force or
aumf debate, as i am. although the foreign affairs committee, not the armed services committee, has jurisdiction over aumf's, i was pleased we were able to obtain the committee's approval for ms. lee's amendment to be made in order so the house can debate this issue on the floor. i know that doesn't go as far as my colleague from massachusetts would want it to go, and i hope that there is a time when this body after hearings in the appropriate committee of jurisdiction can have a full and informed debate on a new aumf. but we cannot do that under these circumstances today and give the american people the full and fair hearing that they deserve. a few of my colleagues have also expressed concerns about the way this ndaa is funded. well, this rule makes in order an amendment by mr. ellison that would cut money out of the overseas contingency operations account. while i think these concerns are misguided, this rule will allow that debate to take place.
the rule makes in order an amendment by rules committee colleague mr. polis which will put in place a 1% congressional record reduction in total spending -- across-the-board reduction in total spending in the ndaa. again i think 24 would be a grave error, but this rule provides for that important debate. we have heard bipartisan concerns about visa programs for certain at-risk populations in afghanistan. and this amendment makes in order a bipartisan amendment by mr. blumenauer to reform the special immigrant visa program. and the rule allows for debate on another bipartisan amendment that would require the department of defense to report on china's activities in the south china sea and their annual report on chinese military power. i think this is an issue that is particularly important. i hope this gets my point across that we have taken a comprehensive look at national security issues and allowed a wide range of members, both republicans and democrats, to bring their amendments forward. we hear a lot about the need for an open process. again, i'm very pleased that
between the armed services committee and the house floor, 429 amendments will be considered. given the large number of amendments, i want to thank our rules committee staff who put in very late hours to help sort through the amendments. i know it wasn't easy work, but we certainly appreciate all that they do and the extra hours they put in to help facilitate this debate. yesterday i outlined why the national defense authorization act is so critically important. i talked about the critical investment the bill makes to boost our military readiness. i discussed how the bill increases accountability and efficiency at the pentagon, and i highlighted some of the critical reforms included in the bill. i won't rehash these points. but i do want to re-emphasize one key point. every day we send our service members into dangerous situations. when we do so, we don't send them into battle as democrats or republicans. we send them into battle as americans.
so as we continue working through this bill, i want to again plead with my colleagues to avoid making this about politics. instead let's make this about america and about ensuring our service members have sound policy and the resources they need in order to keep our country safe. we shouldn't and quite frankly we can't let politics get in the way of passing this critical national security bill. our military men and women deserve nothing less. i urge my colleagues to support h.j.res. 735 and the underlying bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama reserves his time of the the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from alabama, my good friend, mr. byrne, for the customary 30 minutes. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for as much time as
he wishes to use. mr. mcgovern: i would like to thank the honorable chairman of the armed services theet committee, mr. thornberry, and the ranking member, mr. smith of washington, for once again working in a bipartisan manner to bring before this house h.r. 4909, the 2017 national defense authorization act. . i don't agree with everything in this bill. there's a lot of i -- i do disagree with. but i appreciate that the chair and ranking member always treat all members, submitting amendments, with respect. that's very much appreciated. but i must rise in very strong opposition to this structured rule, because there are very serious issues that merit the time and attention of this house, that were submitted to the rules committee by members from both sides of the aisle, which have not been included in this structured rule. almost 200 amendments were not made in order. and as a democrat, i'm used to being shut out by the republican majority.
but dozens of republican amendments were blocked as well. let me say to my republican friends, who do not have their amendment made in order, if you don't want this to be a pattern, then vote no on this rule. if you don't want this to be a precedent, vote no on this rule. send a message to your leadership that in fact you want a more open and transparent process. don't go along just to get along. don't be a cheap date when it comes to an open process in this house. the issues that are involved with the defense authorization act are too important to be just blocked with no debate, no deliberation, and no votes. my friend talks about an open process. open process, my foot. it's not an open process. almost 200 amendments were not made in order. that's just not right. mr. speaker, if there's one thing that disturbs me in particular about this
structured rule, it is how it fails the american people once again. in not allowing substantial debate about the issues of war and peace. mr. speaker, nothing is more critical than the issues of war and peace. and once again, the republicans of the rules committee have ensured that no amendment that deals with authorizing the current u.s. military engagements in iraq, syria or afghanistan was made in order. the only amendment made in order is the one offered by the gentlelady from california, congresswoman barbara lee, to repeal the 2001 aumf for afghanistan. an amendment that she's courageously offered for several years now. mr. speaker, one of the amendments not made in order was an amendment offered by me. and several colleagues. to prohibit the use of any u.s. funds after april 30, 2017, for the deployment of u.s. armed forces to iraq or syria and the fight against the islamic
state, if an aumf has not been enacted. this was a bipartisan amendment. offered by representatives jones, garamendi, yoho, lee of california, cicilline, and myself. and let me make one thing very clear, mr. speaker. this amendment is not an aumf. there is not one single syllable in this amendment that reflects the language of an aumf. the distinguished chairman of the armed services committee was very clear during the committee markup of the ndaa that aumf amendments were not the jurisdiction of his committee, but rather the foreign affairs committee. but this amendment is not an aumf. and it's germane, by the way. my amendment only prohibits the obligation and expenditure of funds after april 30, which is the chairman's chosen date for the cutoff of all o.c.o. funding, and then only for the deployment of u.s. armed forces to iraq and syria to combat
isis unless an authorization for that purpose has been enacted. quite simply, if you want the money to fight a war, then pass an aumf. this amendment doesn't care who writes it, it doesn't care when it's debated or approved. it just requires that an aumf be enacted by april 30. if not, no more funds for u.s. troops in the air, on the on the ground until an aumf is enacted. all this amendment asks is that congress do its job. we ask our men and women in the military to do their jobs. and heaven only knows, they carry out their duty with courage, honor and professionalism. i only ask that congress do the same. this should not be too much to ask. we have sent our uniformed men and women into harm's way in syria and iraq for nearly two years now.
and still congress refuses to do its duty and authorize their deployment. we've been bombing, we've got boots on the ground, and engaged in combat, and we've had troops killed in action. yet this congress can't seem to debate and vote on an aumf. i personally believe that endless wars, endless bombing and an ever-expanding military footprint in the middle east is not a substitute for efforts aimed at reconciliation and political solutions. the status quo will not make the world more secure. i know some of my colleagues differ with me. and that's fine. but let's have the debate. let's have clarity in what we are doing. and let's make sure that what we're doing works. dodging responsibility only means that these wars will remain on remote control. and that's sad. last night in the rules committee we heard lots and lots and lots of excuses. one of my favorite excuses that we heard last night was that 10
minutes would not be enough time to debate such a serious matter. as what my amendment proposes. mr. speaker, the rules committee can assign as much time as it wants to debate an amendment. that's what we're there for. two hours, three hours, three days, three weeks if it wishes. that's what the rules committee is supposed to do. provide serious time to debate serious issues. i heard that the foreign affairs committee should be and would be drafting an aumf. fine. terrific. if it comes out and is enacted before april 30, then it would fit right in with my amendment. but if this house continues to dawdle and wine and shirk its duties, then there should be no more money after april 30 for a war that hasn't been authorized by congress. i was told that the republican leadership doesn't like the aumf that the president sent to congress over a year ago. well, neither do i.
i think it's too broad. but, mr. speaker, if the majority or anyone here doesn't like the president's aumf, then it's the duty of congress to draft, debate and vote upon its own version of an aumf and send the bill back to the president for his signature or veto. that's how the system works. or at least that's how it would work if this house ever managed to do its job. i was told that the next president wouldn't have enough time to figure out an aumf for iraq and syria by april 30. but, mr. speaker, i didn't choose april 30 as a date when all funds for the overseas contingency operations account would be cut off. that date is built into the ndaa already. if april 30 isn't enough time for a new president and new congress to ask for more money for these wars, if it is enough time for a new president and a new congress to ask for more money for these wars in a supplemental, then it should be plenty of time for congress to
take up and debate an aumf. now, of course, this congress or the next one should and could take up an aumf any day it so desires. i remember in 2014, the speakerer -- that speaker boehner told us it would be better for the 114th congress to debate and pass an aumf. for iraq and syria. rather than the 113th congress. well, here we are, 16 1/2 months into the 114th congress, with no thought of taking up an aumf on battling the islamic state. i guess this congress is just too damn chicken to do its job when it comes to war. and we're going to kick the can into the 115th congress. or maybe the 116th congress. enough with the excuses. enough. in fact, i remember last year, speaker ryan said an aumf for iraq and syria, for the war against the islamic state, would be one of the first things this congress would take up this year. well, here we are, in the middlele ofly a. and there's no -- in the middle of may, and there's no aumf in
sight. just the same old tired excuses. the same cowards a, the same political posturing -- cowardace, the same political posturing. we hear it all the time on the house floor. let's be honest. that takes absolutely no courage at all. none of us are on the front lines in syria or iraq, we're all safe and sound in the u.s. capitol. but think for a minute, what must be going through the minds of our troops when they see a congress that doesn't even have the guts to debate these wars, while they have been put in harm's way? every single member of this house should be ashamed. our collective silence, our collective indifference is dismissive of our constitutional responsibility, this chamber is guilty of moral cowards i. -- cowardice. mr. speaker, there are nearly 200 reasons to oppose this rule theanlsd how many of the amendments submitted to the rules committee were not made in order under either the first rule to the ndaa or today's
rule. basically 50% of all amendments submitted are not being allowed a chance to be heard. i urge my colleagues to reject this rule. i urge my colleagues to show some backbone and demand that the majority leadership of this house carry out its constitutional duty to debate and vote on an aumf for iraq and syria. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from alabama, mr. byrne. mr. bryne: thank you, mr. speaker. my colleague from massachusetts raises some very important points. it would be appropriate for our foreign affairs committee to take up those points and consider them after we've had a lot of hearings, including an opportunity for notice to the american people, so the american people can be heard. but coming up with this sort of an idea that's just going to come through the rules committee without any hearing, and without any real expertise in the rules committee to consider it, and then putting it on the floor for limited
debate, it's not the way to do it. i must admit, i have some reservations about establishing a hard stop of april 30 of next year. saying that we're going to allow the next president to come forward with a new o.c.o. proposal before april 30 of next year, we which did eight ars ago, is not the same thing. what my colleague is proposing is a hard stop. that's exactly what the president did in iraq. a hard stop. and we pulled out and look what happened. absolute chaos. a nation that's gone from being a nation into being a nation in total disillusion. and we came close to doing the same thing in afghanistan, thankfully the president has pulled back from that. because when we telegraph to our enemies, hey, we're out of here after a certain date, they know when we're leaving. they know when we're stopping. and they know exactly how to time their activities against us. i don't think we should give that opportunity to our enemies. now, i completely agree with my
colleague from massachusetts that we need a new aumf. i have said that on multiple occasions. i have signed letters to that effect. nd i do believe that we have a situation in syria that's not authorized as it should be under the law. why are we in this situation? because we have yet to receive a strategy from the obama administration on how to prosecute that war. we had the gentlewoman from hawaii, ms. gabbard, before the committee last night. she has fought over there. she knows this better than just about anybody in this room. and she laid out clear deficiencies in the dministration's so-called plan . which they sent over to the armed services committee 45 days late and only after we had to brow beat the secretary of defense to meeting this statutory responsibility. and she laid out clearly what we need to do in terms of a strategy. we have yet to get that from the commander in chief of our armed forces.
if we would get that, if we would get a clear strategy for victory, not a clear strategy for some pie in the sky, we're going to arm some free syrian army that's not working, then i think we could have something to work on to bring to this floor. the problem is, we're having to put ourselves in the place of the commander in chief which is not what the constitution calls for, nor will it work. so, we're going to continue to struggle with this because of the failure of this administration. not because of the failure of this house. so i agree with the gentleman. i want to see a new aumf. i want to see it go through hearings. i want to see it debated on this floor so i can vote for it or against it. and everybody can vote for it or against it. but the proposal he makes is not the right way to do it that. and so i hope that we continue to reject it. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama reserves his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, with
respect to the gentleman, i don't think we agree with each other. the reason why we're doing this is because congress has failed to act. the time for an aumf is before you put troops in harm's way. and some of us tried before we entered into this latest iraqi war, i mean, the latest syrian war, to actually have a debate on an aumf. and we were denied that opportunity. we're re-engaged in iraq. we've asked, we asked before we did that, let's have an aumf. and we were denied that opportunity. we've been denied and denied and denied and denied. and so all we're saying is that we ought to do our job. the president submitted an aumf to congress. he did his job. you don't like it, i don't like what he submitted either, but he did his job. he doesn't control what we do here. we decide what to do. the foreign affairs committee two years ago could have taken this issue up. they didn't. they're not taking it up now. and here we are two years into these latest conflicts and
nothing. it is shameful. come on. we all ought to come together, even if we disagree on what our strategy should be, and debate this. we have no trouble sending our young men and women into harm's way, but yet when it comes to doing our job, all of a sudden we have 1,000 excuses why we can't do. it that's unacceptable. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from washington, mr. kilmer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for one minute. . mr. kilmer: the ndaa is about ensuring we have the best trained and equipped fighting force in the world. it's about honoring our commitment to the men and women who serve and to their families. it is not about targeting proud americans simply based on who they love. but this rule would effectively discriminate against lgbt men and women serving our nation as private contractors. this rule runs contrary to our values. it runs contrary to what we