tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN May 18, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
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
believe in. it runs contrary to the idea we treat everyone with equal respect. and it runs contrary to what the majority said it wants, a transparent process. allowing the house to work its rule. this rule blocks an amendment offered by my republican colleague, charlie dent, to strip this discriminatory provision from even being considered. as we approach memorial darkse our focus should be on providing our service members with the proper tools to carry out their missions, not pushing forward provision that is target lgbt americans. let's vote down this rule. let's strip this harmful policy from the ndaa so we remain committed to equal rights and get back to debating how to best support our troops. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the gentleman's comment. this is something that we had some significant discussion about last night in rules. let's make sure that the facts are straight. there is not one single thing in
this bill that discriminates against anybody. in fact, in the provision he's talking about, there is not one single mention of lgbt. what is in that provision is a clear application by this law of protections of religious liberties that people have enjoyed in this country since the passage of the 1964 civil rights act. one of the hallmarks of legislative achievements of this body. an act, i believe, everybody in this body supports today. because what it says is is that the religious protections in that law that we are all so proud of should be enjoyed by people who have federal contracts. private parties that contract with the government should enjoy religious freedom. that's not discrimination. that's protecting rights of american people. sometimes we get confused around
here about that. and we are getting confused in a military bill about that, and that's very troublesome. let's talk about the first amendment. the first amendment says that the government can't do anything to restrict the expression of religion, the practice of religion, the belief of religion by anybody in this contry. it's called the free exercise clause. we have forgotten the free exercise clause in this body and country. we need to go back to it. about 20 years ago this body passed the religious freedom restoration act. it was so popular that it passed by a voice vote. it had just a handful of people that voted against it in the senate. it specifically requires that we do exactly what's in this bill. we are being inconsistent -- we are being consistent with that lieu law by putting this provision in there. what do we do with this particular provision? we say that the provisions of title 7 in the 1964 act and the
provisions that regard this in the americans with disability act apply to private contractors with the federal government. that's not discrimination. by anybody's definition that's not discrimination. to try to turn it into that is doing something on a bill that's talking about the defense of this country that's just not appropriate. so it is absolutely appropriate that the rules committee rejected that amendment. and if the people on the other side of the aisle or our side of the aisle who want to have this debate want to have this debate, there are other forms and other times to do it. we are talking about the defense of this contry, it's not the right time. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, in the dead of night in the armed services committee house republicans added what we believe in discriminatory language to the ndaa that would effectively overturn president
obama's historic executive order protecting lgbt workers in federal contracts. therefore enabling discrimination with taxpayer funds. that is what we believe. we had a very vigorous debate in the rules committee last night and the gentleman defended his position quite ferociously. but we believe it is discrimination, plain and simple, and an amendment was offered by a republican member to strike that discriminatory language from the bill, and it was germane. and the rules committee decided on its own to not make it in order. the rules committee shouldn't be about making decisions on issues that i think the entire congress has an interest in debating and voting on, but unilaterally the republicans in the rules committee last night said, no, we are not going to make a republican amendment in order that would have struck what we believe is discriminatory language. that's not an open and transparent process. that's shugget the process down
in a way that i think demeans this house. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from maryland, distinguished democratic whip, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer, is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman from massachusetts for yielding. i rise in opposition to this rule. this is not consistent with what the speaker and other leaders of the republican party have said they were going to do. it is inconsistent with how they said they were going to manage this house. it is inconsistent with the rights of the american people to have their representatives vote on issues of great importance, which, of course, is what the speaker and mr. mccarthy and mr. kanter said in this book, "young guns." i'm going to read from this
book, paragraph, this is in the section that paul ryan under his heading, the speaker of the house of representatives. this new washington way, speaking about what was, apparently, the stuff he didn't ike, isn't open debate broadcast on c-span. it is closed door, backroom deals. the washington way doesn't seek input from both sides of the issue, it muscles through bills on strict one-party votes and the washington way, speaking clearly of the way that the majority of democrats were leading, isn't interested in honest up or down votes on transformational programs. it rigs the process. it rigs the process. he said, to produce the outcome it desires through any means necessary.
that's exactly what's happening in this rule. exactly. and paul ryan and the young guns promised transparency, openness, and the house being allowed to work its will. so what has happened in the rules committee? exactly the opposite. no transparency. muzzling of the members of the house of representatives. simply ing a vote but unilaterally in the dead of night pocketing an amendment that was adopted in the committee. saying that women would be treated just like men. now, i know that's a revolutionary concept on some sides of the aisle here. and i know you certainly didn't
want your members to vote on that extraordinarily controversial issue. so in the dead of night without any debate, without a vote in the rules committee, it was simply put in the chairman's pocket. and 434 of us were ripped out of the process. the young guns said that wouldn't happen. now, the young guns, by the way, so we all understand, are the speak earn the majority leader now. -- speaker and the majority leader now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland venged for one minute. mr. hoyer: i reject this rule, the american people ought to reject this rule, and the american people ought to say bring the issues to the floor and let the house work its l that's why they elected us. not to have the chairman of the rules committee say, sorry, you don't get to vote. he queanlt elected dictator.
steny hoyer wasn't elected dictator. we were elected to be one of 435 people to make policies for this country and for our people. reject this rule. bring democracy back to the house of representatives. let the people's representative et policy in the light of day. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland yields back his time. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves his time. the gentleman from alabama, mr. byrne, is recognized. mr. byrne: i appreciate the comments of the gentleman from maryland. he wasn't on the floor when i spoke earlier. perhaps he didn't hear between the committee, the armed services committee and on this floor, 429 amendments have been made in order. 181 for this floor alone. that's an open process. and it's a far more open process than what this house saw when other people were in charge. so this is the process that the
american people have a right to expect and they are getting exactly what they were told they were going to get. mr. hoyer: will the gentleman yield? mr. byrne: the provision he's referring to, a provision regarding including women in the draft, was, in fact, offered in the middle of the night. without any hearings in the armed services committee. without any notice to the american people. and so there was inadequate hearing. there wasn't adequate opportunity for everybody to be heard. the decision was made that the better way to do it if we are going to consider t. and it probably is something we need to consider, is do it through a regular committee process where we notice it to the american people. where we have hearings. when people can be heard. and then we can have a full and honest debate with the american people having had a chance to weigh in. so i disagree with the gentleman from maryland. i think this is exactly the appropriate process. if we are going to take up something of that magnitude, we ought to do it right and not do it because of an amendment that
was offered as sort of a last-minute thing in the middle of the night when we were considering this bill. i have great respect for the gentleman from maryland. he wasn't there when it was offered. he wasn't there during the rules committee consideration last night. and he's probably not fully aware about the number of amendments that we have had both in the committee and on the floor today. 429 amendments. this is an open process. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield 10 seconds to the gentleman from maryland. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for protect us from ourselves. as i understand it i wasn't there, but it wouldn't have mattered whether i was in the rules committee because it wasn't done in open session of the rules committee. the armed services committee voted upon it. and apparently the majority of your side lost and they don't want us to consider it and they don't want us to subject your members to voting on it and letting the american people know where you stand. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
members would be advised -- are advised to address all remarks to the chair and not each other. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i'm happy to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from minnesota is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. ellison: i would like to thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, while millions of americans are struggling to get by, sustain their families, republicans are trying to make it easier for employers to steal their wages. right now we know that there are reports of at least $5 million in stolen wages and penalties from the u.s. contract companies. last month representative john kline, my colleague and friend, introduced an amendment to this bill to block the president's fair pay and safe workplaces executive order at the department of defense. the executive order that the president issued helps ensure companies with federal contracts are following federal labor laws like protections against wage theft. workplace safety rules and the
right for workers to organize. it is the result of years of advocacy by workers, labor rights activists, and members of the progressive caucus, and members of congress generally. this week i introduced an amendment to strike mr. kline's language, or have a debate about t let's at least debate whether or not workers should get protection from wage theft. well, i guess that was one of those amendments that didn't quite make it through the process. it's no surprise that the republicans led rules committee didn't give us a vote on our amendment because they don't want to have to debate this in front of the american people. the american people might like to know that there are companies that are stealing workers' wages but that the president's tried to protect those workers but now the republican majority is trying to stop the president from protecting those workers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is
recognized for 30 seconds. mr. ellison: the president's executive order isn't punitive. it helps companies to follow the rules. debarment is the last resort and it is the clear nuclear option for companies that refuse to correct their behavior. but republicans don't like it. instead of helping companies that are fair to workers, they want to make it easier for companies that steal workers' wages. workers aren't the only ones who should be outraged. this amendment gives a leg up to contractors who don't play by the rules, putting companies who are doing right at a disadvantage. please vote no. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. byrne: thank you, mr. speaker. i wasn't able to respond to the gentleman's comment. i want him to know and the house to know that during consideration of the rule we passed yesterday, an amendment was offered in the rules committee to strip out the
self-executing amendment. that was offered in the rules committee, rejected by the rules committee in an open vote. our meetings are on c-span. they are not behind closed doors. everybody can watch what we do. and then yesterday we came on this floor and that rule was offered on this floor and there was a full debate. i know i was here for it. i managed that rule as well. and after that full debate, this house voted and voted by a clear majority to adopt the rule. so we went through a democratic process. we went through an open and clear process. both to consider that particular issue and consider the rule itself and the house acted its will, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, give me a break. to insinuate this is somehow all on the level an open process, i take exception to that characterization. the amendment that the distinguished minority whip was referring to was put into the rule, self-executing amendment
so that the majority here did not have an opportunity to vote up or down on it on its own merits. instead, they were forced to vote up or down on a rule that made in order a whole bunch of amendments on a variety of issues where they can vote up or down on but not on this. to defend this process, a process that is indefensible, is getting a little tiring. with that i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. nadler: i thank the gentleman for yielding, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to this rule for a number of reasons because it doesn't make a proper aumf in order, because it fails to make in order an amendment i co-sponsored along with representative dent and smith and several others. the bill contains language adopted by the armed services committee at 1:00 in the morning the other day with no warning that would effectively overturn president obama's executive order, protecting lgbt workers for companies with
private contracts. in other words, private contractors using our federal tax dollars in any area, not just in the defense area, by the way, will be allowed to fire someone just because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. this is unacceptable, it is cruel and unnecessary. the distinguished gentleman said the language contains nothing referring to gay or lesbian people. it simply protects religious liberties. it says private contractors in the exercise of their religious liberty may discriminate. it disallows the president's executive order and so the effect is that private contractors may discriminate on or basis of sexual identity gender if that is their religious belief. no one has said for years on this floor but they used to say it's ok my religious belief says we shouldn't hire a black person or jewish person.
that's not acceptable. we call religious ability the ability for them to refuse to hire them just because they are gay or lesbian. why not allow the house to vote on whether or not to include this type of hateful language in the defense bill? why not allow a vote on the dent-smith amendment? must we let this bigotry and intolerance win the day? we ought to defeat this rule and i for one will not vote for the entire bill if this is included in it. we must strip the toxic language in the ndaa. we should ensure no federal contractor has the ability to fire someone just because of who they are or who they love and because they profess there is -- their religious belief says they do so. we must continue to fight until all americans have the rights they deserve. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: thank you, mr. speaker. with regard to the amendment in question, it was considered late at night because of the
fair and open process we have in the committee, and it took us from that along from 10:00 in the morning until that time of the night to get to it but everybody knew it was coming because it was noticed and everybody had a copy of it well in advance. so it wasn't a surprise to anybody. everybody knew it was coming. now, the particular provision itself does not contain anything close to a word like discrimination, but just so we can make the record straight, i'm going to read it. any branch or agency of the federal government shall, with respect to any religious corporation, religious association, religious educational institution or religious society that is a recipient of or offer a federal contract, subcontract, grant, purchase order or cooperative agreement provide protections and exemptions consistent with section 702-a and 703-e-2 of the civil rights act of 1964 and section 103-d of the americans with disabilities act of 1990.
it doesn't provide discrimination. it provides protection for rights. and unfortunately people want to try to twist it around to be something it simply is not. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: well, mr. speaker, we -- many of us on this side including many republicans because a republican actually offered the amendment to strike this provision that the gentleman referred to because they thought it was discriminatory. we think it's discrimination. potential discrimination against members of the lgbt community, but here's the deal. i get you disagree with us, but what's wrong with allowing an amendment that's germane to debate it and vote on it? where does the rules committee get off saying, you can't have that debate, you can't have that vote? it's germane. now, we can disagree. we think it's discrimination. we ought to have that vote. and the rules committee denied us. another reason for republicans and democrats to vote down this
rule. with that, mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, ms. sanchez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california, ms. sanchez, is recognized for one minute. ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. speaker, and i thank the gentleman from massachusetts for the time. i rise today to express a deep disappointment in the rules committee's decision to throw out three of the amendments i put forward. by not doing those amendments you fail to provide to those serving our country the same mess health services that all of us get now guaranteed under a.c.a. you refuse steps to protect young athletes attending united states military academies, and you neglected to provide congressional oversight on over $1 trillion that this country plans to invest in our nuclear deterrence. we need to fix the current tricare system so we can ensure service members are provided the same access to preventive health services as those insured under the a.c.a.,
including gestational diabetes, smoking cessation, etc. and my second amendment was simple. it directed the secretary of defense to conduct a study on the effect of concussions on contact sports, including hockey, football, la crosse and soccer at our -- lacrosse and soccer at our united states service academies. we all know what concussions can do to people. and the third thing was to simply direct the department of defense to include a 25-year plan to look at our nuclear facilities and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. byrne: i was listening to my friend from massachusetts talk about what he considers to be discriminatory. i'm going to go through the list again. do we consider the first amendment to the constitution to be discriminatory? do we consider the relation freedom restoration -- religious freedom restoration act that passed this house by voice vote to be discriminatory? title 7 of the civil rights act
to be discriminatory? do we consider the americans with disabilities act to be discriminatory? because that and only those things are contained in this provision. and so we can call things discriminatory, but when you look at the actual text and understand what they actually are, they're protecting basic rights. and that's what we should be all about, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i appreciate the gentleman reciting the republican talking points of the republican leadership but that doesn't explain why the amendment to strike this provision was not made in order. with that i'd like to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from ohio is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: i thank ranking member mcgovern for yielding to you and rise in opposition of this rule and the underlying bill. our service chiefs and secretaries have asked for stability and predictability in the budget. instead of the hearing to their request, this bill actually creates a contentious
environment next april that causes even more harm to our military. the bill's full of contradiction. it authorizes funds for over 50,000 more troops but no money to send them anywhere after april. it authorizes much-needed equipment but not any money to employ it on the battlefield. it authorizes 9,800 troops in afghanistan, just not any money to keep them there during the actual fighting season. it sends the message to our allies we're only 60% committed to the mission to them and to our adversaries we're 60% committed to stopping them. it's like a basketball team who bought new uniforms, recruited highly skilled players and built a new facility and didn't have enough money to play the second half of the season. no team wins under those circumstances. it doesn't matter how state-of-the-art equipment you have, you can't win if you don't show up. general brieflove -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is not recognized. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from alabama is
recognized. mr. byrne: mr. speaker, with great respect to the gentlewoman, i'm sure she was not hear yesterday and listening when i said this. that provision she's referring to which gives the next president the opportunity to make changes into overseas contingens operation account is exactly -- contingency operation account is exactly what this house did in 2008 when we were about to change administrations. then senator obama voted for it. then senator biden voted for it. this is standard when you're changing administrations. nothing more, nothing less. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: may i inquire of the gentleman how many more speakers he has on his side? mr. byrne: i believe i'm the only speaker from my side. mr. mcgovern: then i'll close on our side, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote against this rule. most 200 amendments, germane
amendments, substantive amendments were not made in order. again, i'm used to as a democrat having the republicans shut me out every chance they get but to my republican colleagues who were shut out on their legitimate amendments, germane amendments, stand with us, send a signal to their leadership that this closed process is unacceptable. my colleague, mr. byrne, talks about this being an open process. we must have different definitions of openness because when almost 200 amendments are shut out, and by the way, on top of all that, really kind of unusual shenanigans in the rules committee about self-executing amendments so we don't have an opportunity to even vote up or down on them, that's not an open process. that's something we should try to move away from. finally, mr. speaker, i'm going to close as i began by saying to my colleagues, please vote against this rule because it does not make in order the opportunity for us to be able
to debate the issues of war and eace when it comes to iraq and syria. we have been involved in syria and, again, in iraq now for almost two years. by the way, we left iraq not because president obama wanted us to. we did because the iraqi parliament voted us to leave. that's a little bit of history my colleague left out. but the time to debate an aumf, an authorization for the use of military force, was before we commit ourselves into harm's way. any of us, democrats and republicans, pleaded with the leadership to let us have that opportunity, to work in a bipartisan way to see whether we can come together and time and time again we were denied that ability, that right. and now we're being told, well, you know, this is not the time. we don't have enough time to do it. maybe the foreign affairs committee should do it. maybe -- but this is not the
place to do it. when is? you waited for over two years. nothing. and i will say, these excuses, it's insulting to the american people. but more importantly and more significantly, it's insulting to the men and women who are in harm's way. they do their job. they do what we've asked them to do, but yet we don't have the guts to do what we're supposed to do? shame on all of us for allowing this to go on this long without debating these wars. the president of the united states submitted an aumf. i have problems with it. i think it's too broad. if you don't like it, fine. then come up with a new idea. but doing nothing is not an option. read the constitution. we have an obligation. we're not living up to it. and do what's right by the american people, by the men and women, you know, who risk their lives every day because we have put them into harm's way. it is absolutely unconscionable that we can't even have the ability to debate the amendment
that i offered to be able to say that we're not going to continue funding these wars unless congress does its job. that's the least we can do, and yet the rules committee said, no, it's germane, it's in order, there's no problem. because some majority in the rules committee says, no, we're not going to do it, everybody's denied that right? it's a bipartisan amendment. this is not just a democratic concern. there are a lot of republicans that share my views on this as well. let's do our job. stop being so chicken when it comes to debating issues of war and peace. we ought to -- this is the time when we ought to come together and do the right thing. vote no on this closed rule. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for the remainder of his time. mr. byrne: thank you, mr. speaker. i hold in my hand all the pages of the underlying bill and filled with the things that we need to do to defend the american people. and as interesting a debate as we just had has been, think of
how much of it had nothing to do with defending the american people. which is the single, most important thing that we do. my colleague talked about guts. the guts i care about are the guts of the fighting men and women of the united states. we have a solemn obligation to them to pass this bill. to make sure that we are doing everything to supply them, to train them, to make sure that they are ready. to make sure we have reformed the pentagon so that the pentagon is doing its job by them, so that we have a policy that will make sure we are defending the american people. that's what this law is all about. the rule itself makes in order 181 en yesterday and today amendments. hat's on top of over 200
amendment that were considered as part of this bill. this has been a completely open and transparent process and will continue to be as we consider it over the next several hours. mr. speaker, i again urge my colleagues to support h.res. 735 and the underlying bill and i yield back the balance of my time and move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: all time has expired. without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: on that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes y electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the 15-minute vote on adoption of the resolution will be followed by five-minute votes on
ordering the previous question on house resolution 736, and adoption of house resolution 736, if ordered, and this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 230. the nays are 175. the resolution is adopted. without objection, a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is on the vote of ordering the previous question on house resolution 736 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 116. house resolution 736, resolution providing for
consideration of the bill h.r. 4974, making appropriations for military construction, the department of veterans affairs and related agencies for fiscal year ending september 30, 2017, and for other purposes. providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 5243, making appropriations for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2015, to strengthen public health activities in response to the zika virus and for other purposes, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 240, the nays are 182. the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the resolution is adopted. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has asked for a recorded vote. a recorded vote is requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote.
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 241, the nays are 183. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair will receive a message. messager: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been
directed by the senate to inform the house that the nate has passed s. 1335, concurrence -- the of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 732 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for urther consideration of h.r. 4909. will the gentleman from georgia kindly take the chair. the clerk: the -- the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house for the state of the union for the further consideration of h.r. 4909. the clerk: a bill to authorize
appropriations for fiscal year 2017, for military activities for the department of defense, and for military construction. to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year and for other purposes. the clerk: when the committee of the whole house rose on tuesday, may 17, 2016, amendment number 60 printed in part b of house report 114-569, pursuant to hose resolution 732, had been disposed of. pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in part b of house report 114-569 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. amendment number 10, amendment number 12, modified amendment number 14. the chair will reduce to two minutes the time for fle electronic voith vote in this series sms -- for any electronic vote in this series. amendment number 10 by the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mckinley, on which further proceedings were postponed and the noes very veiled by voice
vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 10 offered by mr. mckinley of west virginia. the chair: a recorded vote having been request, those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. , a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the chair: on this vote the yeas are 211, the nays are 213. he amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the te on on amendment number 12 by the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler, on which further precedings were postponed and the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment number 12 printed in part b of house report 114-569 offered by mr. nadler of new york. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
the chair: on this vote, the eas are 163 and the nays are 259. the unfinished business is a request for a recorded vote by the gentleman from texas, mr. poe on which further proceedings were postponed and the noes prevailed. the clerk: amendment number 14 printed in part b offered by mr. poe of texas as modified. the chair: those in support of a request for a recorded will rise.
a sufficient number having arisen, members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: the committee having had under consideration directs me to report it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house of the state of the union has had under consideration h.r. 4909 and has come to no resolution thereon. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous remarks on h.r. 4909. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 735, rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house of the state of the union for further consideration of h.r. 4909.
would the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, kindly resume the chair. the speaker pro tempore: the house is in the committee of the whole house for the state of the union for further consideration of the bill h.r. 4909. the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2017 for military activities of the department of defense and for military construction to prescribe personnel strength for such fiscal year and for other purposes. the chair: amendment number 14 4114-469. part b of pursuant to house resolution 735, no further amendment to the bill as amended shall be in order except those printed in use report 114-571 and the amendments en bloc described in section 735. each amendment shall be considered only in the order in
the report and may be offered by a member and shall be considered as read and debatable equally divided and controlled by the pro opponent and opponent. shall be subject -- shall not be subject to amendment. it shall be in order any time for the chairman of the committee of armed services to offer amendments en bloc not earlier dissbosed of. amendments en bloc shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the ranking member of the committee on armed services and not be subject to amendment and not subject to demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 offered by mr. buck of colorado.
the chair: the committee will come to order. please take conversations off the floor. pursuant to house resolution 735, the gentleman from colorado, mr. buck and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: thank you for the opportunity to speak to this amendment. since taking office in 2009, president obama's administration has forced its green energy agenda on the american people despite the devastating costs. for our military it means a mandate to incorporate climate change in almost every aspect of training regardless of cost or efficiency. as you might imagine these mandates result in some absurd waste of money. every cent spent by the department of defense on the incorporation of the administration's climate change agenda is a cent loss for the defense of the american people.
the u.s. military should be focused on defendingally can citizens and not serving as a playground for the green energy movement. spending the american peoples' tax dollars is despicable. renewable energy should be free to compete. american families shouldn't be asked to subsidize uncompetitive green energy with their hard-earned tax dollars. my amendment ends this dangerous practice and prohibits renewable energy mandates placed on the department of defense and ensures that our military purchases are the most cost effective option. i ask for support and reserve. the chair: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i yield one minute to the the gentlewoman from from new york. ms stefanik: i stand opposed to this amendment as a
representative of fort drum an army outpoft is energy independent relying on biomass energy. this amendment would impede military facilities like drum from continuing to pursue solutions that enhance national security, training capabilities and operational flexibility. fort drum serve as models for operating government facilities where green energy and positively affects the army and created 300-plus jobs. providing our military with resilient energy ensures our service members remain able to respond to any threat at any time. d.o.d.'s use of can conduct combat operations, humanitarian response and protects our national security. i urge my colleagues to vote no, which would have detrimental effects on alternative energy technologies that make our troops safer and increase combat
effectiveness and severely cut programs at fort drum. the chair: the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: reserve. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield one minute to mr. peters. mr. peters: i'm opposed to this amendment. the d.o.d.'s employment of alternative energy is not about hugging trees but improving our mission capabilities and saving lives. the investments in alternative energy technologies not only make our troops safer, but reap energy sayings. it reduces our reliance on foreign oils and cuts down on refueling trips in the battlefield. 3,000 american soldiers were killed in afghanistan. military has adopted renewable energy technologies like solar panels and backpackses to
generate electricity. i was at a naval base when the navy signed the renewable energy purchase. the project will provide 210 megawatts of energy and sayings of $90 million. and since 2009, the department estimates they have saved over $1 billion through renewable energy projects. as we consider to allocate the limited resources we have to support our service members and keep americans safe it's counterproductive to prohibit the military of using funds and redirecting it towards mission priorities. the capability to counter new and dynamic threats cannot be powered by the energy of yesterday. i strongly oppose this amendment and i urge my colleagues to join me in opposition. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: i appreciate the
gentleman's support and not opposition. this amendment simply says that the military must determine the most effective method. it does not ban renewables at all. and with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield one minute to the gentleman from new york, mr. gibson. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. gibbs: i'm sure that the -- gibgib i'm sure the gentleman from colorado has the best intentions and it's problematic prohibiting the reduction of energy consumption. this is important not only in terms of savings itself but for saving lives. crib crib after four combat tours in iraq, we found any way possible to reduce the amount of convoys to go in our positions
and outposts, because every time we were on the road, we were at risk. i appreciate the effort to save money. and if the gentleman withdraws the amendment and works with the committee we could work forward. as was mentioned, the post at fort drum is reliant or benefiting from this biomass endeavor that's right there at fort drum. i thank mr. smith for yielding me time and i respect the gentleman who offered the amendment. the chair: the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: reserves. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield one minute to mr. walz. mr. walz: i join my colleagues, military leaders and america's energy producers in strong opposition to this amendment. the department of defense of alternative energy has accelerated and strengthened the ability to combat response and
homeland defense. it has improved the readiness. d.o.d. is the largest consumer of energy in the world. 117 million barrels of oil. every 25-cent increase costs $1 billion to the american taxpayers and $1 billion less to the troops. the costs went from 4.5 billion to $17.3 billion. an example of this, u.s. pacific fleet in 2012 faced a $200 million budget gap that had to be filled by taking money from elsewhere. this willingness to not look at all american home grown energy and security is simply wrong headed and the idea that it costs more to do this, it costs $83 billion to protect shipping lanes of oil coming from overseas. i ask my colleagues to resist this amendment.
. the gentleman is recognized. mr. buck: i agree with my colleagues, all of whom, two of whom -- mr. smith: i agree with my colleagues, all of whom, two of whom served in the military. this is an investment in alternatives. if we are tied to oil, tied to fossil fuels and have no alternative, now, right now, they're cheap. but then they go up in cost. they're also far more difficult to get into the field, as mr. gibson pointed out. this is an investment to give us the alternatives that we need. nothing is more important to the success of a military, past the people who serve, than the ability to get the fuel they need. whatever form it comes in. this is an investment in developing much-needed alternatives. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: thank you, mr. chairman. the fact that this amendment requires the military to choose the most cost effective energy source allows the military to
spend its money on those priorities other than energy. so i would ask my colleagues to support this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from colorado. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the gentleman from colorado. pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment of the gentleman from colorado will be postponed. the committee will rise inform aally to receive -- informally o receive a message. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will receive a message. the messager: mr. speaker, a message from the president of the united states. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i am directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: the committee will resume its sitting.
the chair: it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in house report 114- 571. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? mr. fleming: thank you, mr. chairman. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the gentleman will hold. the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report 114-571 offer by mr. indemnifying of louisiana -- fleming of louisiana. the chair: the gentleman from louisiana and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. mr. fleming: thank you, mr. chairman. my amendment prevents scarce defense dollars from being wasted to fund two of president obama's executive orders regarding climate change and green energy. these are dollars that should go to the readiness of our armed forces. a similar amendment has already been adopted by voice vote for the past two years during house floor consideration of defense
appropriations bills. my amendment is support by 28 outside organizations, including the competitive enterprise institute, americans for prosperity, council for citizens against government waste, and many others. these executive orders require the department of defense to squander, squander precious defense dollars by incorporating climate change bureaucracies into its acquisition in military operations, and to waste money on green energy projects. e.p.a. bureaucrats and other political appointees are directing our military commanders on how to run their installations and procure green weapons. which undermines ongoing acquisition reforms in the ndaa. these activities are simply not the mission of the u.s. military. regarding d.o.d.'s energy policy decisions by installation commanders and d.o.d. personnel need to be
driven by requirements for actual cost effectiveness, readiness and not arbitrary, inflexible, green quotas and co-2 bench marks. my amendment does not prevent the d.o.d. from considering renewable energy projects where it makes sense. but these decisions should not be driven by these mandates. take for example the navaltation, norfolk, where the solar array cost the navy $21 million, but only provided 2% of the base's electricity. according to the inspector general's office, it will take 447 years for the savings to pay the cost of the project. however, solar panels usually only last about 25 years. these mandates are diverted limited military resources to solyndra-style boondoggles while sacrificing our militaries a readiness, modernization and end strength.
in a time of declining defense budgets, we need to ensure that every dollar is spent, goes directly to support the lethality of our armed forces. again, my amendment is similar to repeated efforts by the house to prevent national security dollars being wasted to advance the president's onerous green energy and climate change requirements. so i ask that the house continue that opposition to this nondefense agenda by supporting my amendment. the chair: does the gentleman reserve? mr. fleming: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i claim time in opposition and yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. peters. the chair: the gentleman from washington is recognized for five minutes and he yields three minutes. mr. peters: thank you, mr. chairman. i oppose this amendment. in january this year the pentagon issued a directive stating, quote, that the department of defense must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change, in order to maintain an effective and efficient u.s. military.
end quote. this followed a d.o.d. report to congress released last july that said, quote, climate change is urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water, and the scope, scale and intensity of these impacts -- impacts are projected to increase, end quote. from 2006 to 2010, syria experienced overwhelming refugee flows that d.o.d. characterized as a climate-related security risk. creating negative effects on human security and requiring greater d.o.d. involvement in resources -- and resources. in 2014, the pentagon reported that the impacts of climate change may increase the frequency, the scale, complexity of future missions, while at the same time undermining the capacity of our domestic installation to support training activities. the readiness of our military depends on being able to train and equip the most advanced force in the world, but the threat of rising sea levels from escalating temperatures
and melting ice caps could put dozens of military installations at risk. san diego's home to the largest concentration of military forces in the world, with seven military installations in my district alone, rising sea levels, drought and finding reliable energy sources all pose challenges. so san diego military installations are investing in energy security, and increasing water and energy efficiency. we have to not undermine those efforts. this amendment is an attempt by top politicians to prevent the department of defense, which is tasked with maintaining a strong military, keeping all americans safe, and protecting our global interests, from addressing what they call an urgent and growing threat to our own national security. but national defense is not about politics or ideology. this is about security, readiness and continuing to feel -- field the most dynamic and effective military in the world. we cannot have that if we ignore science and the concerns of the brightest military minds in the united states of america. i oppose this reckless amendment and i ask my colleagues to do the same. i yield back the balance of my
time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. fleming: how much time do i have? the chair: the gentleman from louisiana has two minutes. the gentleman from washington has 2 3/4. mr. fleming: i would responds first of all by saying, i think we all see the reports, you hear the generals talk about how our readiness is in such dire straits that we can't responds to the challenges around the world. at a time like this, why would we want to pay five or 10 times the nominal amount for fuel? it makes no sense. my colleague who wants to order -- argue climate change, fine, we can argue that. but this is not the place to debate that. you see, in my amendment, it allows for the department of defense to do whatever's best for our armed forces. whether you agree with climate change or not, it doesn't matter. all we say is, let's free up the d.o.d., our armed forces, our generals to do the right thing. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from louisiana reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized.
the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chair much i yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. sarbanes. the chair: two minutes is recognized to the gentleman from maryland. mr. sarbanes: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the obama administration issued two critical executive orders directing federal agencies to take responsibility for anticipating and responding to the affects of climate change. this amendment that's being proposed would block the department of defense from undertaking that effort and the amendment is ill-advised. it doesn't protect and prepare the american people for the impacts of climate changes and -- climate change and it won't help our military operate in a new security environment created by climate change. climate change poses a significant security threat to the united states and the world at large. but don't take it from me. our nation's military leaders are saying, we need to prepare for this new threat. the proponents of this amendment should listen to the military experts, not the special interests polluters that benefit from climate denial and the status quo. as a member of the energy and
commerce committee, i've been frustrated that the republican majority has refused to hold serious hearings on the urgent problem of climate change. so democrats on that committee went to annapolis in my state to hold a climate change field forum. we heard testimony from vice admiral ted carter, the superintendent of the naval academy. he told that us -- he told us that our future military leaders are learning about the science of climate change and the national security consequences that stem from it. he testified that because the navyal kay -- academy sits on the waters of the chesapeake bay, they have several projects in motion to address sea level rise and the increased regularity of flooding. they are retrofitting older buildings and building new facilities that double as sea walls to protect the campus. vice admiral carter also told stories of sailing aircraft carriers in between two massive hurricanes and equipment that short circuited in waters with surface temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. certainly my colleagues on the republican side would not deny
that these are consequentialal problems. leaders like -- consequential problems. leaders like admiral carter cannot afford the luxury of ideological climate denial. he's taking the right steps to address climate change. we should support him and our other military leaders. unfortunately this amendment would do the opposite. and toer to -- and for that reason i urge its defeat and yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. fleming: again, mr. chairman, my amendment is not a debate about climate change, regardless of where you fall on that issue. all this does is free up d.o.d. to make the vital important decisions on that instead of handcuffing them. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you. actually it precisely does handcuff them by telling them how to make their decisions. saying they can't make a decision based on their belief that needs for alternatives to fossil fuels are important. if we don't wish to handcuff them, don't offer an amendment telling them that they have to
spend their money in a certain way. that's exactly what this amendment does. again, there's multiple reasons for making these investments in alternative energy. i'll return to one that was raised by mr. gibson. out in the field, you need multiple different sources of energy. if you can get a situation where you have properly developed solar power or thermal power, you can use that on the spot where you're at, instead of relying on trucks to bring in diesel or gasoline, you are saving lives. this is an investment in making our military more prepared. and what this amendment does is it restricts the ability of the department of defense to make that investment. if you don't want to restrict them, don't restrict them. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. fleming: how much time do i have? the chair: the gentleman has one minute. mr. fleming: again, mr. chairman, with all due respect to the ranking member, all my amendment does is hold the status quo before these two executive orders and that was the commanders in the field, the generals at the pentagon,
can do whatever is best for the military. whether or not it has to do with saving money or spending more money on alternative forms of energy. my amendment frees them up, it does not restrict them in any way. so with that i urge adoption of this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for debate having expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from louisiana. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from louisiana will e postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in house report 114-571. for what purpose does the gentleman from new mexico seek recognition? pearce pearce mr. chair -- mr. pearce: mr. chair, i have an amendment at the desk.
he clerk: amendment number 3 printed in house report 114-571 offered by mr. pearce of new mexico. the chair: the gentleman from new mexico and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new mexico. mr. pearce: mr. pearce: in january of 1993, the brac commission closed fort windgate in new mexico. it was destined and designated to go to two tribes divided between the navajo nation and the zunis. i have been involved in negotiations back and forth between the tribes. he lands were occupied by both trips in a long ongoing discussion between all the parties, we have signatures in the past from different members of the navajo government. we currently have a letter dated
may 16, 2016, in which it states while it's the opinion of the navajo nation that the land division and the terms developed tween the two tribes would a land division. we ask that the agreed-upon maps be distributed in accordance by the speaker of the navajo nation and the zunis. this is fairly simple distribution according to the provisions listed in the brac ruling of january, 1993 and would reserve. the chair: the gentleman from new mexico reserves. mr. smith: i yield five minutes to the gentlelady from minnesota. ms. mccollum: i rise to claim opposition to this amendment in its current form at this
particular time. this amendment as it has been pointed out directly impacts two federally recognized nations, the navajo and zunis and have been working with the department of the defense. they would receive the land in transfer and opposed to some of the language that is still occurring in this amendment. the pearce amendment unfortunately claims a provision that would require right of way to the navajo and the navajo agree, it's my understanding with working towards some of the land transfer, but would the gentleman yield are you aware that the navajo doesn't have perpetuity? in mr. pearce: that's a provision that i did not put into the
bill, it came from the resources committee. they insisted because it is prevailing language under the law. the objection in the letter from the navajo describes that and the language says that so far failed to acquire new right of way with the u.s. army and i have come to congress to address the error. the right of way has yielded and the language here was language that previously been set up by the committee in order to address this. it does not -- since it has -- ms. mccollum: reclaiming my time. thank you very much. as you can see there is some disagreement as to how this language should be structured. and so with that, i don't think we should be pushing something that people now the navajo nation now finds controversial and wasn't controversial working with the department of defense making sure they had access to
the land. but they are a sovereign nation and only 10 minutes of debate. there seems to be a little bit of uncertainty as to where the navajo nation is coming down on the particular language that the gentleman has. i do not fault the gentleman for bringing the language forward as the chairman bishop has changed from what the original conversation had been between the sovereign nations and the department of defense by putting that in it. we should respect the right of sovereignty of the tribe and at this time, we should defeat the amendment. i would like to work with the gentleman to come up with language that is acceptable both for the department of defense and the two tribal nations. i would like to make that happen. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new mexico. mr. pearce: those are the subjects that mr. lujan and myself agreed we would work on
in conference. we were more than willing to accommodate. this is the last vehicle this year. we are out of time. would gladly accept the gentlelady's help in the conference committee and i want to resolve this. i have been working on it for 12 years. we go and get the signatures and it's been arduous on parts of all and i understand the difficulty. but again, when i look at the language it's language that was previously established in the distribution and so the language is set in precedent and the committee explains to us there isn't much option there but more than willing to work. i yield. ms. mccollum: mr. chair, i look forward to working with you and i'm sure we could come up when
aaccommodation that will make everyone satisfied. mr. pearce: mr. chairman, what we are trying to do is put into the hands of two indian nages land that has been designated for them since 1993. i think all parties want it to be done in the right fashion. we are so close at this point, i would really appreciate the fact that we put it in this bill and include it and move it into the conference. i'm certain with the senators' input they will be listening to the same concerns. i appreciate the help of mr. young, mr. lujan and all of those parties, both the chairman, chairman thornberry and chairman bishop. with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from new mexico reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from new mexico. mr. pearce: i appreciate the consideration of the gentlelady. the chair: all time for debate is closed of the the question is
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new mexico. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. the -- for what purpose gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. thornberry: i offer amendments en bloc. the chair: pursuant to -- the clerk will designate the amendments. the clerk: number 4, 13, 15, 16, 29, 30 1, 22, 24, 26, and 31 printsed in house report 114-571 offered by mr. thornberry of texas. the chair: the gentleman from texas and the gentleman from washington each will control 10 minutes. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, mr.
farenthold. mr. farenthold: i rise today in support of my amendment that's included in here that encourages the department of defense to provide free wifi access to the internet for military personnel deployed overseas. in some instances they are required to pay twice as much for access. access to the internet is a way for our troops to keep their morale high by keeping in touch with their families using facetime and skype. doesn't require any expenditure by the military but struggets the military to make it available where possible and indicate that it should be a priority. doesn't cost anything, but is a great morale booster and should be great for our troops and i urge my colleagues to support this. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington.
mr. smith: i yield myself three minutes. i want to speak about the broader bill and unfortunately something happened in the rules committee yesterday that has been happening far too often and this was much debated over debate over the rule. there was an amendment added in committee that overturns an executive order by the president and the executive order basically said if you discrimation against the lgbt community you will not get a government contract. that executive order had an exception for religious organizations. the amendment that was added in committee, but my reading is is that it dramatically expands that exception and basically increases the ability of defense firms and subcontractors to discriminate against the lgbt community. why couldn't we vote on it? it puts our members in a position of voting for a defense bill that has what we believe to
be discriminatory language in it without even having the opportunity to have voted to remove that language. and this is something that has happened for the last three, four years on an increasing basis. it used to be that this was an open rule, that the defense bill basically offered an amendment, you got the debate and had a chance. now in the last couple of years, anything that is inconvenient for the majority to vote on or anything they think it will make it inconvenient for us to vote on the bill gets struck. that's not the way the rules committee is supposed to work. they are supposed to give us the opportunity to vote on these amendments and have crafted it down to the amendments that they like and having this discriminatory amendment in the defense bill, i'm going to oppose the bill which i did not want to do, but i hope in the future the rules committee will give us a chance to vote. and we had a robust debate about
the substance of this amendment. gean it's not the substance about the amendment but the opportunity for our members to have a vote. if we can go on record and vote against that amendment on the floor and do our best to strip it out. here, we are forced to vote for a defense bill that contains discriminatory language that we do not support. i hope in the future the rules committee will stop doing this and let the democratic process work. give us the opportunity to vote. and with that, i reserve the balance of our time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: my understanding is that the provision that the gentleman refers to is a restatement of religious liberties from the 1964 civil rights act. now what that tells me if he opposes the bill based on that is that there are members
looking for some excuse to vote against this bill. and you can always find one. i could find one myself. i don't think that's the right thing to do however for the men and women who serve our nation. i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from maine. the chair: the gentleman from maine is recognized. mr. poliquin: our brave men and women leave their homes and report for duty. each month they train on the ground in the air and on the sea such that they are ready at a moment's notice to fight for our freedom. our guardsmen and reserveists travel long distances to their training sites and travel costs often exceed their monthly training pay which forces them to buy gas, meals and sometimes hotel rooms out of pocket. today under existing law, if you
work for the i.r.s. or the e.p.a. or some other federal government agency, you are granted a tax deduction for out of pocket travel expenses if you travel beyond 50 miles of your home. if you are a guards man or woman or reserves, you need to travel more than 100 miles to receive the same benefit. now, mr. speaker, this is not air and this is not right. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. poliquin: i urge everybody to endorse and support my amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i yield one minute to the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee. mr. kildee: i thank my friend for yielding. for many years, the air force sed chemicals as fire fighting
foam. but in the past few years, very high levels of these p.f.c.'s have been discovered in the fish, near the air force base in my district. tests have revealed presence in the groundwater as well and people living near the air force base depend upon. they said it can be potentially harmful to people's health though there is not clear guidance as to what a safe level of exposure is, although there is great concern. i asked the air force as well as the state of michigan to provide bottled water to those identified individuals whose water may be contaminated by p.f.c.'s until more research is done on the safety of their water. my amendment would require the
department of defense to prevent further exposure. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i yield one minute to mr. kelly. mr. kelly: i rise in strong support of an amendment to renew the ban on the obama administration from using any department of defense funds to implement the united nations arms treaty a treaty which has never been ratified. t bans the use of funds to the body for effectively implementing the a.t.t. according to the treaty's supporters. the member nation organized a conference, a conference which we did not have a vote and american taxpayers are on the hook to pay 22%. this taxpayer money would go to