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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  May 18, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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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%. his taxpayer money would go to
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its core budget. my amendment prevents these hardworking taxpayer dollars going to those who are working to implement the a.t.t. i thank the chairman and the ranking member and i urge my colleagues to stand support and vote in support of this amendment to renew the annual ban of the funding of the armed rade treaty. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> my amendment would exempt reimbursement for medical expenses from the department of veterans' affairs calculation of annual income when determining pension eligible for veterans. mr. hastings: this is a version of the veterans pension protection act, bipartisan legislation endorsed by the vietnam veterans of america, the veterans of foreign wars, and others.
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a few years ago a disabled veteran and a constituent of mine was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. after receiving insurance compensation for his injuries he, lost his pension. this is because under current law, compensation for medical expenses including insurance settlement payments, are reim-- or reimbursements, are considered income by the v.a. we effectively punish our veterans when they receive these types of compensation after suffering medical emergencies like this one. i just -- like this one i just outlined. this is quite simply wrong my amendment will rectify this. i ask the house to support this amendment and yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves, the gentleman from texas is recognized, mr. thornberry. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield an additional minute to the gentleman from texas, mr.
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farenthold, to discuss an additional amendment he has. mr. farenthold: i rise today in support of an amendment that direct ours service academies to notify members of congress of acceptees at least 48 hours before publishing the acceptance or letting the acceptee know. as most members of the body know, we are the interviewing source for the service academies. young men and women seeking to serve this country apply for nomination through their member of congress, most often go through a vetting process and we develop a relationship with the young men and women. historically the academies have allowed us to call them and tell them you're accepted and congratulate them. in some instances they've quit doing that a long-standing practice. i believe it's appropriate that those who interview and work so hard to get those young men and women into our service academy should be the ones delivering the news to them rather them reading it on a website or in a piece of meal.
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i urge my colleagues to support this amendment when it comes before the house. the chair: the gentleman from texas reyields back the gentleman from texas reserves, the gentleman from texas is regular niced. >> i yield one minute to the gentleman, mr. hines. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. this is a small step in a larger, very, very important effort that chairman westmoreland and i have been working on for some period of time now to try to bring some clarity to what is today kind of the wild west in the cyber rem. in the kinetic rem we understand what an act of war is. we understand our doctrine for responding as such. in the cyber rem we don't know exactly when the crime becomes an act of wark how to deal with
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an asymmetric actor versus a nation state and it's terribly important we begin the process with other nations around the world to establishing some clarity on these points. that won't help our adversaries by will remove uncertainty from the system in this new and very, very important rem system of again, i thank the leadership of the house armed services committee and hope this amendment will be supported. the chair: the gentleman yields back, the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. >> i yield one minute to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. polis: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank the committee for inlewding en bloc my amendment number 59 to look at cost saving proposals the united states navy offered earlier this year that could save as much as $900 million by consolidating
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carrier air force wings from 10 to 9. in the fiscal 2017 budget request, the navy asked congress to reallocate their 10th carrier wing into their nine existing wings which they feel would boost readiness and save money. i understand there's reluctance to make what i believe is a strategic, kansas effective move. that's why i directed them to offer congress a study on this issue. schumacher said this is operational use. the study will serve as an important step and realize a more efficient, capable, cost effective navy. i'm encouraged that the committee was willing to eninclude this en bloc and see this as an important first step toward increasing readiness as well as cost savings. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. does the gentleman continue to reserve?
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he gentleman reserves. >> mr. chairman, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy in permitting me to speak on the en bloc amendment and appreciate the committee having accepted the amendment dealing with cost accountability for the b-21 bomber. his is a new weapon that has both conventional and nuclear weapons capability. we're in a situation now where there is tremendous stress on the -- on our defense department budget with a whole range of weaponry. i think it's more important now than ever that we're able to
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understand exactly what we're getting into. how much is this going to cost? there's about a $1.4 billion already into this. we ought to be able to know what the total commitment that's being made to be able to have appropriate decisions made by congress. i'm deeply concerned that the defense department to this point has resisted giving an appraisal of what the total cost is going to be. somehow, fearing that this would, at the -- if the total budget were available that would give too much information to our adversaries about the weight, size, and range of the plane. i think not. i think the real danger here is that the american public and congress would know what the costs are. this is not an acceptable approach as we deal with these critical questions. is important, mr. chairman,
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that we have full transparency about what the costs are going to be for these massive, expensive, and in some cases questionable, weapons systems. this is not an argument for or against it. it is an argument for transparency and being able to know what we're getting into. the worst of all possible worlds is making commitments and then finding five and 10 years down the line that we can't follow through on them or to result in cannibalizing other important priorities. i would think that this is one area we could all agree we need to have this transparency and have this information available. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. blumenauer: this needs to be a priority for us going forward, given the experience we've had with cost overruns an given how many elements that this
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committee is trying to juggle. the demands on the committee, i think, are remarkable. it's not a job that i envy. these are hard decisions being made. the department of defense can do a favor to themselves and to us by being fully transparent so we know what we should be budgeting for in the future and that they can be held accountable for performance. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman continue to reserve? the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman from texas is recognized. >> i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back. mr. thornberry: i yield myself the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i want to speak about one of the amendments that is in this en bloc package offered by the gentleman from south carolina, mr. mulvaney. my understanding of that amendment is that it tries to
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have a clearer process by which we fund the military. and that is a goal with which i have enormous sympathy. we clearly need to have more predictable funding for the military. that's true on behalf of our military commanders and all the troops, it's true on behalf of industry, it's true on behalf of budgeting and the government. i personally also agree we need to do away with the art official caps that have caused such difficulty for the military in recent years. i also believe that it would be beneficial if administrations did not play political budgetary games, for example, in this year's budget, the president requests a very low number for israeli missile defense, knowing full well that the congress, on a bipartisan basis, is not going to let that go through. we're going to be more responsible system of they're counting on us to have to cut
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oir programs so we can do what they should have done to begin. with there's always -- there's all sorts of tactics that are used in developing budgets. there's got to be a better way. apparently, some administration political appointees are -- have been urging members of the house to call the approach in this bill a gimmick and actually i've heard that term used a few times on the floor over the last couple of days. well, one question i have is, was it a gimmick in 2008 when under democratic majorities this house used exactly the same approach in fully funding the base requirements for the year and then having a bridge fund that allows the new president to evaluate deployments and the funding and make adjustments, which president obama took advantage of. that's what it was intended for. now why was it ok then but it's a gimmick now?
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seems to me, mr. chairman, some would consider that a double standard. would members rather that we continue to cannibalize ire craft, deny pilots the training, the minimum amount of training they're supposed to get, would members -- are members content to have class a mishaps continue to go up in service after service? or is the desire to score political points so strong that members would rather let those trends continue rather than deal with them here in this bill before us. mr. chairman, my point is, aa-- i agree there's got to be a better way but i also believe we have a choice before us today and that is whether we fund the train, the maintenance, the end strength, the modernization that starts to fix the problems that i've talked about, or we stick with name calling, we look for excuses to vote no, and allow
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those problems to get worse. lives are at stake. so while i don't know that i agree with all the particulars of the gentleman from south carolina's amendment, i think he raises important issues. and therefore i urge members to support that amendment as part of this en bloc package and the -- and to resolve to try to put partisanship and excuses aside and think about the men and women who serve and what's in their best interests. i yield back the balance of my time and urge adoption of the en bloc. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back. all time for debate having expired, the question is on the amendments en bloc offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the en bloc amendments are agreed to. >> mr. chairman. the chair: it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 plinted in house report 114-5 1.
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for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? ms. lee: i have an amendment at the desk, lee 81. the chair: clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in house report 114-571, offered by ms. lee of california. the chair: the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. . ms. lee: thank you for making this amendment in order. my amendment is very straightforward. it would after 90 days of enactment of this bill repeal the 2001 authorization to use military force which congress passed into law september 14, 2001. and when we repealed this 2001 authorization to use military force, congress would finally be forced to debate and vote on a specific aumf to address the isil threat. now, i voted against the 2001
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authorization because i believed it opened the door for any president to wage endless war without a congressional debate or a vote. and i believe, quite frankly, that history has borne that out. in fact, i have a new report from the congressional research service, and i would ask, mr. chairman, unanimous consent to insert it into the record. the chair: the gentlewoman's request will be covered by general leave. ms. lee: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to encourage my colleagues to read this report, and it shows this authorization has in fact become that blank check for war. in the more than 14 years since this passage, -- its passage it has been used in 14 countries to wage war with little or no congressional oversight. it's been used by 18 times by president bush and 19 times by president obama. and this report only looks at unclassified incidents. how many other times has it been used without the knowledge of congress or the american people?
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not only has this authorization been used to justify military action thousands of miles away, it's also been used much closer to home to allow warrantless surveillance and wiretaps, indefinite detention practices at gitmo and targeted killing by drones, including of american citizens. and it's also been cited as the authority for the nearly two-year-long war against isil, a war that congress has never debated, voted on or specifically authorized. mr. chairman, our brave service men and women continue to be deployed around the world. they're in combat zones, whether they're combat troops or not, they're in combat zones, they're risking their lives. don't we at least owe them our representation in terms of our job to debate on the cost and consequence of the war? if we agree that isil must be dismantle, why is congress missing in action?
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we lost three brave servicemen. we spent more than $9.6 billion, and we spend an additional $615,000 per hour. i know that while we may not share a common position on what the shape of any new aumf to address isil might look like, i know that many of us do agree that the overly broad and almost 15 years old aumf represents a major and very concerning deterioration of congressional oversight. that means a lack of the involvement and input and voice of the american people. let's repeal this blank check and finally 90 days later debate and vote on an aumf to address the isil threat. mr. chairman, i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. thorningthorning i yield to the gentleman from california, --
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mr. thornberry: i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. royce. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. royce: i would oppose this amendment which would unilaterally end the fight against isis and al qaeda. mr. speaker, isis grew out of al qaeda in iraq. the president has determined that the 2001 aumf allows the united states to target isis. both the secretary of defense and chairman of the joint chief agree that they have full legal authority to combat isis, and congress has supported that view by appropriating funds. many members want to enact a new aumf to renew the authority to fight isis and support our troops, but this amendment fails to do so. we must understand that a new aumf cannot give president obama any more authority to fight isis than he currently claims. it could give him less. the president asked for less in his proposal. it's clear many want an aumf that limits the authority of this president and the next
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president. the administration still does not have the broad overafternooning strategy needed to defeat -- overarching strategy needed to defeat these islamist terrorists. this house can have an informed debate over an aumf but this amendment would leave us with in strategy and majority. thank you. the chair: the gentleman from texas reserves. ms. lee: let me make one comment before yielding two minutes to my colleague from minnesota. first off, the president has sent over an aumf. he sent this over 15 months ago. the speaker yet has to take this authorization to use military force up. the president has asked for it. why don't we do our job? we could at least either bring the one he sent over or we need to put ours -- our own on the floor. so let me yield two minutes to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. the chair: the gentlelady has has 11/4 minutes.
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mr. ellison: i rise in support of the gentlelady's amendment. the gentleman from california is absolutely wrong when he said there would be an ilateral ending of the struggle against dashe -- da'ish or isil. we need to bring up a new aumf to take on that battle. what we need to do is take on our constitutional responsibility. we cannot advocate it with this out-of-date aumf. we have a responsibility under the constitution, article 1, section 8, to debate and vote up or down use of force. we should do that. we should do it now and there's nothing to prevent us from passing a new one or crafting our own or passing the president's unless we and
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indicate that responsibility. this allows us to criticize anything the president does and yet not take responsibility for passing our own aumf adaptive for the moment we are in. that's not right and i support the gentlelady's amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady reserve? ms. lee: i'll just close by saying my amendment is enacted 90 days after signing of this law. that means we have 90 days to debate and vote upon an isil-specific authorization to use military force. we need to do our job. we have a constitutional responsibility to do our job. unfortunately, congress is missing in action, and we need to do exactly what the american people sent us to do. thank you. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for the balance of the time. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, no one has -- can contest the gentlelady from california's sincerity on this issue.
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on september 14, 2001, when this house passed the authorization for the use of military force that she's talking about, three days after 3,000 americans had been murdered on 9/11, the vote in this house was 420-1. and the one person who voted was the s aumf gentlelady from california who offered this amendment. so she -- her sincerity cannot be questioned. i also, by the way, agree to her that we need to update this aumf. as a matter of fact, this house passed twice provisions that i had authored to update the 2001 aumf. we passed it in 2011. we passed it in 2012. unfortunately, the administration says, no, we're opposed to that. the one we got is just fine and the senate took that position and so it did not get passed into law.
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but to say now to unilaterally repeal the 2001 aumf on which the administration is relying for all its counterterrorism activities -- not only against al qaeda but against isis and others -- to repeal it now i believe would be a mistake. there are still real dangers in the world from terrorists, and i don't think i need to remind members of paris, of brussels, of san bernardino and just today of baghdad. the other point i want to make, mr. chairman, is i think we all understatement -- underestimate the catastrophes that have been avoided. in other words, the terrorist plots, what they wanted to do, what they tried to do that were thwarted. now, sometimes they were thwarted just because we were lucky, but a lot of times they were thwarted because of the work of the men and women in the military, the men and women in the intelligence community,
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the men and women in law enforcement doing a lot of hard work, sacrificing. some of them losing their lives to make sure that we did not have a repeat of the 3,000 people murdered on 9/11. and we owe them, mr. chairman, more than just a thank you. we owe them whatever preparation, whatever equipment, whatever support they need to continue to battle terrorists today, and that's what this bill tries to do, to make sure we don't send people out in the middle east to conduct -- to bomb terrorists on airplanes that cannot fly, that cannot be maintained, that we don't wear our pilots and our mechanics out. that's readiness. that's what we're talking about in this bill, and that's what we have an obligation in this house to do for them who do so
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much for us. so i oppose the gentlelady's amendment. i, as i say, have tremendous respect for her views and the sincerity with which she holds them. i think it results in a more dangerous world. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from yields back. all time for debate having expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. ms. lee: mr. chairman, i'd like to ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from california will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 6 printed in house report 114-571. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seebling recognition? mr. polis: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 114-571 offered by mr. polis of colorado. the chair: pursuant to house
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resolution 735, the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, this is a very simple amendment. when we look at our country's national security, it's important to make sure that we don't mortgage our national security because fissile security is an important part of protecting our country. my amendment would give authority to the president of the united states and the secretary of defense to reduce the overall amount of money authorized by this bill by 1%. it simply cuts defense spending by 1%. as you know, we spend as much as the rest of the world combined on defense. we want to have a strong defense, but, of course, as you know this current authorization exceeds the levels of the budget control act. even with this 1% reduction,
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which is really a compromise. it only reduces it by $5.5 billion. in fact, continues to authorize at a level more than $10 million more than the bipartisan budget control act. in a bill in which we overfunded multiple accounts and weapons systems above the request level of the military, i think 1% is a very reasonable request. it's about $5.5 billion. it's certainly possible to find these cuts. in fact, they're very likely to occur because, again, if we conform to the budget control act, there would actually be a larger cut than even this humble one that we're offering before you today. as an example, the bill authorizes $9.5 billion in nuclear weapons activities alone. we could pass my amendment, even if we allocated the entire cuts to nuclear weapons, we would still be spending $4 billion on nuclear weapons.
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i think the estimate is we would then have enough to destroy the entire world and wipe out life as we know it three times instead of six times. how much is enough? there are plenty of other programs that we could look at, and, of course, it should not be congress making those decisions in a political manner. it should be the military and the executive. i would imagine they would start with the accounts that congress has chosen to overfund. but at some point we have to stand up for fiscal security and realize that mortgaging our future and our children's future to saudi arabia and china does not enhance our national security. it detracts from it. my amendment is a small first step towards taking a stand against a military budget that we simply cannot afford. we need to reduce our budget deficit. this is a very small and simple way to start. we can make the strategic cuts and of course still fully protect our national security and even enhance it. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on my amendment and take this modest step towards fiscal
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responsibility as a compromise between the budget control act levels and the committee authorization levels and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, this cuts defense before the president's request, below last year's funding and below what the last chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says was the lower ragged edge what it takes to defend this country. let's put it in a little bit of context here. this bill, counting o.c.o. and everything, is a whooping 1/2 of 1% what we spent last year. now, inflation is inflation is supposed to be 2.1% so this bill in real dollars is a cut even as it is. now this bill is 23% less than we were spending on defense in eal terms in 2010.
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mr. chairman, the world is not 23% safer now than it was six years ago. and yet the gentleman from colorado's amendment would cut that even further. this bill stays within the amount requested by the president, it meets the needs for base requirements and provides a bridge fund for deployment just like democratic majorities did for the last change of administration. and i think that is the most reasonable response. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: i'd like to yield a minute and a half to my co-sponsor of this amendment, the gentlewoman from the great state of california, ms. barbara lee. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for a minute and a half. ms. lee: i want to first thank congressman polis for yielding time and for your work to ensure that our nation is secure through this amendment. thank you again. it's an honor to co-sponsor this
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amendment with you. i want to thank our ranking member for guiding us through this very difficult bill to make sure we all know what is included in the bill and i just have to say, our amendment, i think, would take a modest step really in making this bill a heck of a lot better to help us rein in the over the top, quite frankly, pentagon spending while protecting the pay or health benefit accounts of our brave service men and women and their families. over the last 15 years, pentagon spending has ballooned by 50% in real terms and pentagon spending now consumes more than half of the federal discretionary budget. that's just outrageous. recently, the "new york times" made this case in their editorial, it's called a better, not fatter, defense budget. mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent to submit this article into the record. thank you. the article lists program after program, many of which are general -- our generals did not ask for, that has cost taxpayers
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billions without making us any safer. clearly we also need to audit the pentagon. that's why i'm pleased the house adopted the burgess-lee amendment yesterday to require report on auditability and keep moving toward auditing the pentagon. while we're working on that, we should take every opportunity to address pentagon spending this article in the "new york times" sets forth, it says the waste in budget games continue with the royce armed service committees approving a $583 billion authorization. the chair: the gentlelady is yieldsed for 30 seconds, the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee, mr. wittman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. wittman: i want to reiterate the importance of funding defense at the president's request. f.y. .-2017 request the
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2017 request is minimally adequate and we're taking high risk as an army and as a nation when the army is funded at this level. there's still risk there with this level of funding. as the chairman pointed out, we live in a more dangerous world today but we see our marine corps, our air force, having to go to aircraft that are museum exhibits to cannibalize parts to bring them in to have a minimally operational cadre of aircraft. we see too when we talk about only nine of the 20 b-1 bombers are available today because they are lacking parts. when we have 30% or less of our marine corps helicopters available because they are lacking parts. we see in a squadron of 14 jets, only three are available because they're lacking parts. it's irresponsible not to provide to the brave men and women who serve this nation the
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things they need. we ask them to go into harm's way, we're asking them to do tremendously difficult jobs, we're asking them to maintain safety, yet we're not providing them the resources necessary. this amendment would do even more to take away what's an already challenging situation for those brave men and women that are doing a tremendous job, that as their leaders have said are being stressed to the -- stretched to the breaking point because they do not have the resources, the basic resources, to keep aircraft fly, to keep ships on the water, to keep the systems necessary to be able to perform the job we asked them to do we ask those brave men and women to go into harm's way to support them. it's unconscionable when we don't do that when we have situations like 84% of our marine corps aircraft are in a nonready status based on a 10-year average system of when we talk about taking dollars away, what signal does that send to our brave men and women that are serving in the military. i think that this amendment cuts
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to the heart of what we must do as a nation, rebuild readiness, not degrade readiness. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: there are a number of program which is congress has forced spending on the military that even the military is not requesting. we blocked the navy from making a sound fiscal decision saving $900 knoll shut aerocarrier air wing. there's dozens more air hawk and apache helicopters than requested by the military. 500 s two extra ospreys, ore extra guided rockets, 75 extra side winder missiles. these are examples of some of the low hanging fruit we can use to restore military funding to a more fiscally responsible manner. i urge my colleagues to adopt this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expire thsmed egentleman
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from texas. mr. thornberry: i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: i appreciate the gentleman raising the issue he just raised because it gives me the opportunity to affirm that many of the programs he was just mentioning, black hawks, for example, have been requested by many of the members on his side f the aisle. and they were included in the unfunded requirements list from the army. so the way it works is we get all sorts of requests from members on both sides of the aisle, each of the services gives us a list of what they would like to have had in the budget request, but the administration took out. and then where the two match up, as member priorities and service priorities, that's what these fundings are. it's not that they weren't asked for from the military. s the military wanted them but o.m.b. took them out. and when you have members, many members, particularly on the blackhawk the b-22's, the l.c.s.
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a numb of the items he mentioned on his side of the aisle asking for them as well as the service, then that becomes part of the modernization priority. let me just make one other point. in the blackhawk case specifically, the -- these new blackhawks will replace helicopters that were built in 1979. for which we cannot get parts. which have very restricted flight envelopes because of all the restrictses, they can't be repaired, can't do everything the army wants them to do. so the administration did not ask for any, many members on the democratic side asked for some, we put them in here, and that's the way to fix readiness by replacing a 1979 helicopter with a 2016. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. all time for debate having ended, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from colorado. those in favor say aye. poe poe -- those opposed, no.
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the noes have it. mr. polis: i request a recorded vote. the chair: pusuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from colorado will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> pusuant to h.res. 735 i offer amendments en bloc. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendments. the clerk: en bloc amendment consisting of amendments eight, 25, 35, 38, 40, 41, 42 and 45 printed in house report number 114-571, offered by mr. thornberry of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 735, the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry and the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, each will control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. lamalfa. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lamalfa: thank you, and i
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appreciate mr. thornberry allowing me to present this amendment. u2, then support of the dragon lady, one of the most spy planes ever built. what many don't know is that it is not a cold war relic, it's still current, the most recent ones made in the late 19 os. they're currently fly manager hours today than any point since the end of the cold war and have been deployed in our ongoing efforts to defeat isis. flying 70,000 feet, they're able to reach heights other spy planes cannot. it's able to use high tech sensors to increase its ability to detect information. it can take high resolution, incredible photographs on 10,000 feet of wet film my amendment will prevent the air force from retiring the u2. it is absolutely essential to
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our ability to meet our high altitude surveillance and recondition sauns needs. in addition to aiding the fight against isis, jeb philip breedlove, head of u.s. forces in europe, called for the use of u2's in countering the activity by vladimir putin. mr. thornberry: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lamalfa: we need platforms like the u2 or others to assist collection requirements in the future i urge adoption of this amendment. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy. i listen to the frustration of the chairman describing the process and i sympathize with that. i have admitted that this committee has one of the most difficult tasks because as long as we are sort of unhinged here
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from the reality and the accountability of how they all work out, we will have people make requests for this and the administration will need something out there. and it is difficult for the committee to try and make sense of reality out of these conflicting requests. out of this, i think there's an elephant in the room of an unrealistic, unsustainable and unnecessary trillion dollar path we are on for the nuclear triad. the bombers, the land-based missiles, and the submarines. these are weapons that we have never used in 71 years. these are weapons that do not help us with the major challenges that vex this committee right now in terms of military read i -- readiness. the challenges dealing with isis, dealing with encroachment by the chinese. problems with the -- with russia. these are weapons that didn't
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stop russian aggression in the crimea or ukraine or chinese encroachment. these are weapons that don't deter the greatest nuclear threat we face which is nuclear materials falling in the hands of extremist elements from rogue nations like north korea or from some of our purported friends in pakistan. those are the threats we face in this muscle bound nuclear triad we're going to spend $1 trillion on does not help us. there's enough blame, i think, to go around. the administration made an agreement to upgrade and modernize all these nuclear weapons in their effort to get the nonproliferation treaty advanced. i think it was a foolish bargain, an expensive bhar gain. they're not going to be around to have to deliver on the trillion dollars.
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they're just nibbling around the edges and moving these things forward and leaving the big decisions for the future. and they've actually made it worse by not fighting aggressively for nonproliferation resources to help us keep these materials out of the hands of extremists and retire nuclear weapons that are floating around the world now. we have more nuclear weapons than we need, more nuclear weapons than we can use, more nuclear weapons than we can afford. we can defwite whether we have enough to destroy the world three times, five times, 10 times, what's ironic is we never have that debate on the floor of the house, on how the tradeoffs occur. what the threats to conventional military capacity is. and how they fit into an overall scheme of affairs. i would suggest that this is the -- may i have 30 additional
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seconds? mr. smith: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. mr. blumenauer: i think this is the least effective part of our overall defense inventory. i would hope that in the future when maybe we have a new administration willing to turn a page, when we've got a congress that's willing to entertain a broad and robust debate about this critical issue, that we can deal with an effort to rein in this trillion dollar spending folly that's going to have disastrous effects for our military readiness in the years ahead. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i yield myself 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: the reason these weapons haven't been used since 1945 is we have a credible nuclear deterrent, the fastest way to have a more dangerous destabilized world is for the credibility of that deterrent to erode and i worry about that.
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secondly if you look at what's planned with upgrading the weapons and the delivery systems, at no point does it become more than 11% of the u.s. defense budget. that's pretty good investment that's a pretty good investment to make sure it's not used and i think it's well worth the investment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from ohio, ms. kaptur. the chair: the gentlelady from ohio is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the amendment i offered today in cooperation with representative walter jones of north carolina requires a report simply from the secretary of defense dealing the quantity, comp significance and lost income -- composition and lost income of survivors offset to the survivor benefit program. it continues this body's crucial bipartisan effort to find a feasible solution for the disgraceful way we shortchange and penalize our
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military widows and widowers. this mandatory offset helps those who have given more to freedom than we will, the loss of a spouse. it hurts a person who contacted me. she's an afghan veteran herself, mother of three. tragically, she also is a gold star wife due to the death of her husband in iraq in 2004. as a young person who died, she is not eligible to receive the full amount of her benefits, making the burden of living without her spouse that much more difficult at a time of enormous adjustment for their family. what's more, if she were a federal civil service survivor she could receive both benefits. might i ask unanimous consent tore an additional 30 seconds? mr. smith: i grant 30 seconds. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. kaptur: if she were a civil service survivor she could receive both benefits. and if she were over the age of
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57 she could receive borte benefits. her husband gave his life for liberty. she is a veteran too. we must also their sacrifice as we honor the sacrifice of any other american who dies in service to our nation and find a way to fix this awkward offset. this report will help us better define the situation so we can find just solutions. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. i yield back my remaining time. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from montana, mr. zinke, a member of the committee. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. zinke: i rise in support of this amendment. the litigation provides the army and air force j.a.g. officers with trial and prosecutorial experience, that is absolutely critical. currently army and air force j.a.g.'s lack experience as multiple reports have said.
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as a matter of fact, shocking 89% of military prosecutions -- prosecutors only have 10 or fewer contested cases. this inexperience is a disservice to those who seek justice under the code of military and anyone who's uffered a transgression, sexual assault quite frankly deserves the best. the navy has implemented this path and it's reaping great results. it's time for the air force and army to follow suit. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from montana yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he consumes. mr. smith: i want to make clear my opposition to the bill is not just based on the exclusion of the amendment that would have lifted the discrimination against the lgbt community. that was sort of the last straw. i was on the fence about this bill from the very beginning because understand this bill continues the pattern of the last few years of putting our
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defense on a fiscal path to nowhere. a fiscal path towards a cliff of not having the money to fund what needs to be funded. because the budget control act remains in place. now, the chairman repeatedly says that in 2008 we did this when a new administration was coming in. we only funded half of the overseas contingency fund knowing the supplemental was coming. there was no budget control act in 2008. the budget control act is in place. even if we get a supplemental in april. and in this congress, getting additional money is no guarantee. the budget control act remains in place, and this congress has shown a complete unwillingness to get rid of it. so what we're doing by funding all of these programs, as some of my colleagues have asserted, we are funding a defense we cannot sustain. the best example is the military wanted to cut the size of the marine and the army. now, the levels they wanted to cut them to were levels no one in the defense community wanted
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them to cut them too, but that was the amount of money that they have available under the budget control act. as soon as we repeal the budget control act, we will have a lot easier conversation about how to fund defense. but what we're doing to national security right now is we are creating a way they will not be able to absorb. when the budget control act kicks in next year, all of a sudden the army and marine corps will have to like that -- numbers may be off, 30,000 in the army, 10,000 in the marine corps -- you can't do that in any sort of reasonable way. it will be incredibly disruptive to the military, incredibly disruptive to readiness. i will agree with the chairman that a passionate case can be made by spending more in defense. heck, if we spent $1 trillion in defense a passionate case could be made for spending more than that when you look at the threat environment. but we have the money we have. he also cited that in 2010,
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numbers, we are now 23% below where we're at. that's true. we're 23% below where we're at because in the 2011 budget control act which, again, this house refuses to repeal. so instead of dealing with the amount of money that congress has forced the department of defense to deal with, we fantasize that more money will appear. and in that fantasy we put the military in an impossible situation. we start all of these programs. there is not the money to finish those programs. and maybe someone can tell me where this money's going to come from, how it's going to magically appear when we're $19 trillion in debt -- i forget what the deficit is. deficits as far as the eye can see. the caucus -- the freedom caucus on the republican side refusing to spend any more money. this money is not going to appear. and so what we're going to have is we're going to have a military that has to cut
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drasticically and irresponsibly in the blink of an eye because we re-- drastically and irresponsibly in the blink of an eye because we refuse to repeal this. one outlined what a devastating impact this defense bill will have on our national security when the bills that it is charging actually come due. now, that is the primary reason to oppose this bill. contemplating swallowing that and hoping that like last year we could fix that in conference but in addition to that, to have discriminatory provisions in it brings me back to 2009 when the republicans opposed the defense bill because it had an anti-hate crime piece of legislation attached to it. there are reasons to oppose the defense bill other than you just don't really like people who serve in the military, and that is a condescending and irresponsible argument to make against those who would oppose the bill. if we continue down this
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funding path, we are not serving the military. all of these readiness disasters that we keep hearing about have in part happened because of the way this committee and the appropriations committee has funded defense for the last three or four years. by taking from readiness to find a wide variety of programs, including the beginning of the trillion dollars that mr. blumenauer talked about for the nuclear -- for our nuclear deterrent. we're not making choices. we refuse to get rid of the a-10. we refuse to lay off 11 cruisers. we refuse to allow the military to shrink in size and instead we keep putting on the credit card and hoping that the money will appear. well, when that money doesn't appear and it's not going to -- i haven't seen money sort of burst out of nowhere in my lifetime. maybe it will be the first time, but it puts the defense department in an unten with us position. untenuous --
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position. six months from now, our troops serving in afghanistan and iraq will have no money. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. smith: and we hope that problem fixes itself. that is a national security reason for opposing this bill. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, parliamentary inquiry. how much time do i have remaining? the chair: the gentleman from texas has seven minutes. the gentleman from washington has zero. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for the time of the time. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i think i made clear a few moments ago that i believe we need to have a better way to fund defense. a more predictable way but, mr. chairman, i'm not willing to wait to support the military until that is done. i'm not willing to wait until we have tax reform and entitlement reform and all sorts of other things before i'm willing to stand up and support the military. there are lives at stake today,
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and we have enormous challenges in the future, there is no question, budgetary and otherwise, but i think it would be a mistake if i were to say we got all these challenges coming down the road, therefore, i'm not going to do -- i'm not going to fix this problem that's affecting pilots, mechanics, others today. we can do something about it today. as a matter of fact, the gentleman talks about the budget control act. we have made some alteration to the budget control act for each of the last four years because of this problem. we -- i think most people, at least on both sides of the aisle, realized that when you and fense 23% since 2010 the world is not 23% safer, we're not asking our military olks for 23% fewer deployments , that something's got to give. and so there has been -- it's been painful, it's been messy
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it's not been ideal but there has been some alterations to the budget control act. i said a while ago i'm for doing away with these artificial caps. the budget control act did not work i think as anyone intended. there was the never mandatory spending reform that was the goal, and who -- what bore the brunt of the cut? defense. 15% of the budget absorbed 50% of the cuts under the budget control act. that's wrong. now, i think if members on both sides of the aisle committed to working together to fix that we could. now, that would involve not having the president use the military as a hostage to try to force more domestic spending, which is what this president has done, that would mean we would focus on trying to fix defense and understand that all of us have other priorities that we need to also work on at the same time.
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but we're always going to have different budget laws and different circumstances. i still do not understand how a democratic majority in 2008 could take -- could use this approach to give the new president the benefit of the doubt, the benefit of a fresh look and when we try to do the same for the next president, who none of us know who it's going to be, when we use the same approach you can't do it, it's a gimmick, and all sorts of names. the gentleman mentioned that we are not making choices and mentioned specifically the a-10. mr. chairman, there are a lot of more things that i would like to have done in this bill, lots of additional programs i would like to have authorized. we had to make difficult choices, but just to take the a-10 for an example, the administration has proposed eliminating the a-10 for the past several years. this congress reached a different judgment on that. that's what the constitution, by the way, says we're supposed
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to do. it's our job to raise and support, building and maintain the armed forces of the united states. on the a-10 program we reached a different conclusion. we decided until you got something to take its place we shouldn't get rid of it. and you know what the secretary of defense has testified it has been devastating in its use against isis. today if we eliminated it wouldn't be there. so sometimes our judgment -- nd we got a long list of instances where congress majorities of both parties have exercised a different judgment from the administration and where we were proved right. so we make tough choices. sometimes our choices actually urn out to look pretty good in hindsight. but the bottom line, mr. chairman, is we could all wait to support a defense bill until some far-off condition were
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met. it's easy to vote no unless something happens or unless some condition is met, but for this, if only that, that's easy. but that does not fix the immediate problems that face the men and women who volunteer to defend our country, the problems that they are facing today. that's what we're trying to do with in bill. we don't actually fix them. we just start to turn them around. i don't think there's an excuse that justifies opposing doing what's right for them, and that's the reason i believe that this bill should be supported. i hope folks -- i hope members will support this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. . the chair: the question is on the amendments en bloc by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the en bloc amendments are agreed to.
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 7 printed in ouse report 114-571. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. ellison: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 7 printed in house report 114-571 offered by mr. ellison of minnesota. the chair: pursuant to the house resolution, the gentleman from minnesota and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota. els els thank you, mr. speaker. db mr. ellison: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, my amendment strikes language telling the president to expand our mission in afghanistan. language that tells the president to put more of our troops in harm's way, to go backwards, towards a combat mission in afghanistan. now, republicans may not say it, but the effect is exactly what they're pushing for. moving the united states military and the united states back toward a combat mission in afghanistan, not forward.
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away from one. they're pushing for an expanded mission before the new commander on the ground finishes his review. that's right. congress is giving instructions to the president before the current commander has weighed in. this is a mistake. so, the opening line of the sense of congress tells the president to leave 9,800 troops in afghanistan next year. the current plan calls for 5,500. this sets the tone for what's next. unfortunately the amendment that strikes this language was not ruled in order. my amendment starts by striking the next provision. the republicans want our military to unilaterally strike the taliban. of course these people are absolutely bad news. but the state department does not recognize them as a terrorist organization at this time. this is a decision that should be based on military consideration. thus, our counterterrorism
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mission is allowed to strike and go after daiish and al qaeda, but the mission regarding the taliban is defensive in nature, and if that's going to be changed, it should be based on a military consideration, not just through a piece of legislation. in fact, the afghans are leading all missions against the taliban. and this has been happening well before we transitioned to a noncombat mission. so let's not -- transitioned to a noncombat mission, so let's not call to going backwards. when the commander has not asked for it. finally, i'd like to talk about a particular provision that is close to me, i'd like to address what i regard as actually a troubling piece of -- in the provision, which says that -- this is -- i'll quote from the proposed piece of legislation. the united states military person whole are tasked with the mission -- personnel who are tasked with the mission of combat, research and rescue
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support should not be counted as part of any force management level, limitation on the number of the united states ground forces in afghanistan. this is a mistake. i believe that our medical personnel and others should be considered boots on the ground, contrary to the language in the provision. you know, combat medics carry weapons. they take casualties. and they're killed. why shouldn't we count them? it doesn't seem to make sense to me. one of the closest people in this whole wide world to me is an active duty military combat medic. if they are in a war zone, i want them counted. so with that, i ask for my amendment to be approved and included and i ask that we listen to military people on the ground before we start trying to tell them what to do, and that we absolutely count
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combat medics and people who do rescue. i yield -- i -- i reserve for the moment. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. thornberry: i claim the time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, the chairman of the subcommittee on tactical and air land forces. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> i'm going to try to make some sense of this. we just had an amendment where we were debating the -- providing the authorization of use of military force to the president. and we wanted to make certain that the president had the authority. and this is the portion of our bill where we actually provide authority. the word authority is throughout these sections that are, by this amendment, being asked to be deleted. but as mr. ellison stated, we should look to the commanders on the ground, so let's look at what they have said. general campbell testifying about the network said that it remains the most capable threat to u.s. and coalition forces.
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what does threat mean? it means they're trying to kill us and our coalition forces. it is a state department designated terrorist organization which harborers al qaeda and is the most lethal actors on the battlefield. mr. turner: these relate to our ability to fight them. approximately 30% of district centers are under taliban control and influence, or are at such risk, such general campbell. general nicholson, who is currently the commander, is doing his review. that is correct. but what we're doing in these provisions is providing the status quo. we're not presuming that he's going to come back and say, let's cut, we can do this with less troops. we're allowing that he would have the same resources that general campbell had, so he would have an ability to defend our troops. basically, if you go down to these paragraphs that are being deleted this comes down to some fairly easy decisions. if you believe that isil is not a threat to our troops, vote for this amendment. if you believe that isil is not a threat to our allies in the middle east, vote for this amendment. if you believe that the
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killings that were directed and inspired by isil in brussels and paris are not a threat to our nation, or our nato allies, vote for this amendment. if you believe that it's ok for the taliban to control portions of afghan territory, even though al qaeda planned and directed 9/11 under taliban controlled afghanistan, vote for this amendment. if ubble that the u.s. and anywaysy -- if you believe that the u.s. and nato troops should be responsible for afghan security and not afghan security forces, vote for this amendment. if you believe, however, that we have a responsibility for our national security and to our troops, vote against this amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, how much time do i have remaining? the chair: the gentleman from minnesota has a minute and half. the gentleman from texas has three. mr. ellison: i will allocate a minute and a half to the gentlelady from california, barbara lee. the chair: the gentlelady from california has the rest of the time. one minute and a half.
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ms. lee: thank you, mr. chairman. first let me thank congressman ellison for yielding and his tremendous leadership. this amendment is triegesly important. today i rise to urge my colleagues to support this amendment and really allow our ground commanders to do their job. now, of course time and time again, congress has refused to do its job. from zika funding to confirming a new supreme court justice, we failed to do our job. instead of letting congress do its job, the majority only seems interested in congress doing other people's jobs. and that's including our military commanders. there's no way we should be allowing this to happen. make no mistake, republicans are trying to expand the u.s. mission in afghanistan and further expand america's longest war. for nearly 15 years, we've been fighting a war in afghanistan. our brave service men and women have gone way beyond the call of duty. they've done everything we have asked them to do. it's past time to bring them home to their families and to their children.
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but minimally, we should not be telling our military leaders what to do in a war zone. especially before they have completed their on the ground assessment. and so i hope that we vote yes on this commonsense amendment and, while our young men and women are in afghanistan, until we bring them home, let's use the best type of intelligence, the best information, and the best direction that the ground commanders have determined based on their ground assessment in this war. thank you. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, has all time expired for the gentleman? the chair: the gentleman -- mr. ellison's time has expired. your time is three minutes. mr. thornberry: i thank the chair. i yield myself the of -- the balance of the time. just to be clear, the underlying provisions which the gentleman's amendment would strike are sense of congress provisions. and basically it's a sense of
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congress that the ground commanders ought to make these decisions. unfortunately artificial troop caps and overly restrictive requirements on our military increase the danger that our military faces in afghanistan. so, if you draw down too low the number of people you have, for example, then you don't have enough to protect yourself. and that's part of what we're seeing in afghanistan. if you tie the military's hands and say, ok, you cannot go after this enemy, even though they may pose the most deadly threat to you, then you increase the danger to our military. and that's exactly what these provisions try to deal with. mr. chairman, the afghans are doing the fighting in afghanistan. they are advancing, getting more capable all the time. but they still need us to be there and to advise and assist them.
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just to look briefly at some of the provisions that the gentleman would strike. one says that the commander in afghanistan has the authority to strike the network. they are the ones that pose the biggest -- in many people's eyes, the biggest threat for big bombings and so forth in that region. why would they not -- we not allow our military commander, if he wants to, thinks it's right, to strike them? another provision the gentleman strikes is -- that says that we ought to have resources to go after isis. remember, mr. chairman, that it's not just al qaeda and the taliban that are growing in afghanistan, isis is growing .here too and this just says we ought to do something about that. the gentleman's amendment would strike that. on troop caps, part of what's happening in afghanistan is that we are artificially limiting the number of people there, as i mentioned, that increases the danger to the troops we do have there, otherwise we're bringing some people in on a temporary basis
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or hiring contractors to do the job. so these artificial troop caps mean that commanders and the administration have got to find all these ways around it, but they still increase the danger that the people we do have there face. that doesn't make sense. there are still dangers in afghanistan to our national security. the only -- these provisions the gentleman would strike just tries to untie the hands of our military so they can deal with it on a military basis, not a political basis. i oppose the amendment and urge members to do like weis and yield back -- likewise and yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment by the gentleman from minnesota. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. ellison: i would ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment by the gentleman from minnesota will e postponed. it is now in order to consider
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amendment number 9 printed in house report 114-571. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. ellison: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 9 printed in house report 114-571 offered by mr. ellison of minnesota. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from minnesota and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from minnesota. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, i rise to urge support for my amendment, number 200, h.r. 4909, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017. the overseas contingency operations account is supposed to provide emergency funding for wars and unexpected operations overseas. operations that cannot be planned for in this base budget. republicans are raiding this account, they're taking money from the missions designed to protect our nation from imminent threats to feed the military industrial complex. they argue that this makes our military stronger, that it improves our national security,
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but what it really does is the republicans have taken money from operations overseas and put it towards money for procurement, for nonwar needs. so much so that the operators would only be funded through 2017, in april, next year. my amendment putsed money back - puts the money back. secretary carter stated that this gimmick is gambling with, quote, war fighter money at a time of war. he said, quote, it would spend money taken from the war account on things that are not d.o.d.'s highest priorities across the joint force, unquote. my amendment takes $9.4 billion, taken for procurement on items like extra f-35's and a literal combat ship, which the pentagon did not prioritize, and puts the funds back in the o.c.o. operations and maintenance account.
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$26 million of that money will go to preventing suicides amongst our military. as the president's request for this request was $26 million lower than the amount we proachted in 2016. this problem is -- we appropriated in 2016. this problem is not going down and it should not receive less support from us. in summary, we're putting money back where it belongs, we're supporting our troops on the ground, we're supporting those services overseas, we're supporting military readiness, we're supporting the priorities of the pentagon and the president, not those of the defense industry. and i will say, mr. speaker, that if i were to ask you who i got a call from and ask you to get, that get a call from the president's office or the pentagon or boeing, the answer would be number three, boeing. that's who called me and doesn't like this particular amendment. in fact, we didn't hear from the others. we heard from the industry, the special interests. and let me -- let's just say the republicans do push through extra funds next year. this would still be short
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changing domestic programs that will have to be cut to pay for the defense industry. . the republicans won't let us raise money and take on more debt. the republicans scheme to give the pentagon equipment and industry just more. and i oppose it and urge support for my amendment. and reserve. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. thornberry: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from ohio. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. >> we know that world is becoming a unsafe place. our arblete for the military respond is important. when you read the newspaper you understand that our military is at a critical juncture. mr. turner: the argument that mr. ellison is making about
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what pot of money funds come out of it is kind of irrelevant in that his amendment isn't pure and that he doesn't take all the money out of one pot and move it into another, it does a portion. the president does the same thing in this shell game. it's an issue of where do the dollars go. if you read this bill, the issue of where these go, which is what mr. ellison wants to stop, is moneys that go to readiness that go to the ability of our military to be prepared. the admiral vice chief of staff, general daniel allen, said to build readiness, quote, the army has been forced to cancel, restoration and modernization across our posts, camps and stations. they removed key installation services, individual training programs and modernization. in essence, readiness. this amendment strips away funding from critical programs that have been identified by our military services that were not fully funded by the president's budget request that go to readiness. we are currently in a readiness
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crisis. marine pilots are having to cannibalize museum parts to get deploy. 8's ready to on 46 strike aircraft can fly. marines are 84% above their 10-year average of accidents. and others are cannibalizing museum parts to get in the air. of the 22 bombers, only nine can fly due to parts shortfalls. our adversaries are becoming increasingly capable and technologically advanced. the air force vice chief of staff recently stated during congressional testimony that lower than planned funding levels have resulted in some of the smallest, oldest and least ready forces across full spectrum of operations in our history. voting for this amendment supports cutting our troops' strength, cutting training and maintenance, forcing our armed
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services to continue to rely on faulty and worn out equipment. it's not a money of how much goes in this pot, it's where it goes. i ask colleagues to vote against this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. ellison: mr. chairman, how much time do i have remaining? the chair: two minutes remaining. mr. ellison: i'd like to allocate 1 1/2 minutes to ms. barbara lee of california. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lee: thank you very much. let me thank the gentleman for yielding and for introducing this amendment and for your leadership to end waste, fraud and abuse at the pentagon. this amendment, which i'm proud to co-sponsor, would stop republicans from using the overseas contingency operation fund as a piggy bank for more wasteful pentagon spending. yes, it really does appear that christmas is coming in may for the military industrial complex. right now republicans have robbed critical programs like military suicide prevention and redirected that money to the
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o.c.o. fund where there is no accountability, no transparency or oversight. by funneling this money to the o.c.o. account, republicans are shortchanging life-saving programs to fund waste for programs like the f-35 and tanks rusted in the nevada desert. even the pentagon say they don't want these programs funded, yet, the republicans are jeopardizing our priorities to fully our military complex. our troops deserve better, mr. speaker. in is dangerous budgeting -- dangerous budgeting gimmick. this amendment would end the o.c.o. fraud and return the funds to the programs they were intended for. let's end this scheme and put the money back into where it belongs and that is protecting our troops and the american people. the chair: the gentlelady yields. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from minnesota.
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mr. ellison: mr. chairman, let me just conclude by saying that it is time to put resources where they're needed. among suicide prevention, for troops to be ready -- directed to our troops, not into simply more military industrial complex procurement stuff, not to help private business feed its profit bottom line but to help our soldiers, to help our military on the ground when needed. so i yield -- i urge support for my amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. chairman. just to be clear, the president in his budget request takes some of the o.c.o. dollars and uses it to meet base requirements. he does that in his budget. it's not a question of whether it is done or not. the question is how much. and even though the president
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uses o.c.o. dollars to help meet base shortfalls, his own comptroller in the defense budget review writes -- even though they do that, the president's budget request, the department will continue to experience gaps in training over the near term and have a reduced margin of error in dealing with the risk of uncertainty in this dynamic and shifting security environment. in other words, even the president's own budget documents say that it's not enough what he has done. so what we try to do is we try to do more. we're not going to do it all but we try to do more to make sure that training and maintenance that our troops are entitled to are provided. what that means is we should not send anyone out on a mission for which they are not fully prepared on fully supported. now, the problem is, as i
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mentioned while ago with the blackhawk example, some of those folks have to fly helicopters that were made in 1979. i myself saw a fighter plane that president reagan sent to in 1986 ar gaddafi and they couldn't find the parts for it. the pilot tried. he figured out how to take a part off a museum aircraft and ied to make it fit but the drills were in the wrong place and it didn't work. the only thing you can replace a helicopter that was made in 1979 or an airplane that was flown on a mission in 1986 is to get a new one. so that's what the procurement is. as i mentioned a few moments ago, we had a number of people from the democratic side of the aisle who have asked for -40's, mq-4's, blalkhawks, v-22's, f-18's, c-130's.
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now, they didn't just invent that. the reason that democratic members have asked for those things above and beyond what the president submitted is because there's a real need and because the only way we're going to fix some of these readiness problems in addition to more money for training and maintenance, more money for facilities, preventing further cuts is to replace some of this old equipment with new equipment. that's what we do. the gentleman would undo that. i think his amendment should be defeated. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. ellison: mr. chairman, we'd ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota will e postponed.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, pursuant to h.res. 735 i offer amendments en bloc. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment the amendments en bloc. the clerk: en bloc number 3 consisting of amendments number , offered by mr. thornberry of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 735, the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, and the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. moulton, will each control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the entleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i
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reserve the balance of the time at this point. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. moultmoult i -- mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the amendment although i am not opposed to the en bloc amendments. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i'd like to speak first about an amendment to be considered at a later en bloc regarding are the special immigrant feesas. i want to call attention to the urgent need to continue the special immigrant visa program for afghans who worked for u.s. forces. this bipartisan amendment backed by several veterans on the committee would review the unfortunate narrowing eligibility of requirements because their lives are at risk from even being considered for resettlement in the united states. the narrow of eligibility excludes hundreds of afghans who work for the state
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department, usaid and u.s. security contractors in a number of capacities, many of whom face well-documented death threats due to their work with our government, regardless that was with front line troops or on an american base. by narrowing the eligibility, it would erode the expectation of hundreds of afghan staff whose lives remain in danger because of the work to the mission and hire and retain qualified afghan staff in the future who are essential to achieving our diplomatic and assistance goals. the least we can do is offer them a chance to stay alive, to keep living, rather than abandoning them to the enemies they want to destroy. one of the things i was proud of an infantry officer, we never let our enemies -- i urge your support on the floor and falling through on our commitment -- following through on our commitment to our afghan partners. i also want to comment on the fact that the chairman of the committee and i worked to
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resolve some differences that we had on understanding the concerns of our diplomatic mission in afghanistan and i appreciate very much his work with me on that to support our troops and mission overseas. thank you and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield myself one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i appreciate the comments of the gentleman from massachusetts, and he is exactly right. he and other members are very concerned about this issue. he has talked to me about it a number of times. i have been concerned that there was abuse of this system and that was gathered from visits i made to afghanistan, including last year. but i very much appreciate the points that the gentleman from massachusetts has made. i think and others who have worked on this issue have come up with a good amendment. i support it. all of us agree that if someone
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has risked their lives or would be in danger for supporting the united states and our folks in afghanistan -- and that person needs protection. none of us want to see the program abused, but i'm convinced that the changes that the gentleman has been instrumental in working out are helpful. i support it and i thank him for his efforts on doing this. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from iowa, mr. young. the chair: the gentleman from iowa is recognized. young young thank you, mr. chairman -- mr. young: thank you, mr. chairman. according to the federal trade commission, our men and women defending our nation are twice as likely to fall victim to identity theft and fraud. because they protect us, we need to do more to protect them and their families from
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scammers taking advantage of their service. my amendment number 177 simply requires the department of defense to report to congress on their efforts to protect their information. i want to thank the chairman for working with me on this amendment and i look forward to continuing to work with the committee to better protect those who sacrificed so much to defend our nation. with that i also want to thank my co-chair of the bipartisan congressional task force to combat identity theft and fraud, the gentlelady from arizona, ms. sinema, for her great work. she's been a great partner in this to help protect taxpayers and now our service members from having their identity stolen. i yield back, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from massachusetts. . >> i yield one minute to ms. sinema from arizona. the chair: the gentlelady from arizona is recognized. sinn sinn thank you, chairman -- ms. sinema: thank you, chairman thornberry -- not ranking member smith, mr. moulden, for supporting the young and sinema amendment and thank you to congressman young for working
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with me and others to offer this bipartisan amendment, to protect members of the armed forces and their families from identity theft. my home state of arizona is one of the top 10 states affected by identity theft. military families are among those most targeted and most at risk for these crimes. our amendment improve the department of census efforts to protect military families' financial information from identity theft. i'm committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to combat identity theft and financial fraud. again, thank you to my friend, congressman young, for working with me on this important, commonsense amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'd yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, among the amendments in this enblock package is one that i have authored to establish a global engagement center. i want to just simply thank my co-sponsors of this amendment, mr. wilson, mr. langevin, the chair and ranking member of the
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emerging threats subcommittee, i also want to thank chairman royce, who has worked with us, included in this amendment are reforms of the broadcast board of governors that he and his ranking member have worked on for some time. mr. chairman, it's been a source of great frustration for me that our government has seen in seemed to be so inept the battle of ideas against the terrorists. i first introduced a bill on this topic in 2005. today there's a lot of talk not only of the so-called physical caliphate that isis claims, but the virtual caliphate. and unless and until we can be more effective at engaging in the battle of ideas, we will not succeed in defeating terrorism. but it's not just the terrorists we have to worry about. we have seen the russians lying, using the -- deception for military gain. we've seen similar sorts of tactics by the chinese, building these islands out of
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the sea in the south china sea. and elsewhere around the world. so this amendment requires secretary of state, secretary of defense and others to -- for the executive branch to get its act together, coordinate, and more effectively engaging in the battle of ideas. i hope it helps. as i say, this is a crucial battlefield and our country needs to do better in this field. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i have no further speakers at this point and reserve the balance. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to ms. waters from california. the chair: the gentlelady from alifornia is recognized.
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ms. waters: thank you very much. i'm appreciative to the gentleman from massachusetts r allowing me to speak on my amendment. mr. speaker and members, a lack of opportunity for federal contracting is one of the main factors of the widening racial wealth gap. as the nation's largest employer, the federal government has a critical responsibility to focus on increasing minority and female inclusion in the job market, yet only a fraction of federal contracts go to minority or female-owned businesses. this is partly why the wealth gap, and extreme disparities in racial incomes, continue. amendment 49 ensures that we meet important contracting goals by analyzing a five-year study by the g.a.o. on how the d.o.d. contracts with minority and women-owned businesses. while there's many ways the government can address the issue of more equity contracting, one important and more immediate impact, i believe, the federal government can have is by providing more opportunities for
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minority-owned businesses. the d.o.d. spends roughly $285 billion a year on contracting. more than all federal agencies combined. with such large purchasing power, it is imperative that these funds are used not only to provide the best services for the department of defense, but also to distribute fairly and wisely in all communities. the study proposed is a first step towards identifying where those opportunities lay for a greater inclusion. this amendment further emphasizes and underscores the importance of minorities in both our local and national communities. i thank you and i will yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i yield two minutes to ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: the gentlelady from texas is recognized.
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ms. jackson lee: i ask to address the house, revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the gentleman from massachusetts for yielding and also for his service to the nation. i thank the ranking member of the full committee, mr. smith, and the chairman of the full committee, mr. thornberry, and the rules committee for accepting this amendment and let me thank you doubly and tripley because you've been kind enough to accept this amendment on a regular basis. i'm going to persist because i believe it is important. let me make a big pronouncement or announcement or breaking news. there are women in the united states military. i want to say that again. there are women in the united states military. my amendment deals with triple negative breast cancer. and it calls for increased collaboration between the d.o.d. and the national institutes of health to combat
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triple negative breast cancer. it is in fact -- this amendment directs the department of defense to identify specific genetic and targets and bio markers. it's a term used to describe breast cancers -- breast cancer whose vells do not have recenters and do not have an excess of h.r.-2 protein on their cell, membrane or tumor cell. ice cube: not in the military, i've -- i'm not in the military. i've had many family members in the military. this is a case where you have battalions and you're on field and you've got a difficult enemy who keeps moving away from your sight and your target. though you've used overlapping forces, you can't seem to pinpoint the enemy. ultimately you're victorious, but that's because you collaborate and you work together. this makes commonly used tests and methods to detect breast cancer not as effective. meaning the ordinary style of fighting does not work for
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triple negative breast cancer. 70% of the women with triple negative breast cancer metastasizing does not live more than five years after being diagnosed. it is important to note the t nbc affects people over 50 years of age and makes up a lot of breast cancer diagnosis, particularly in african-american women. the collaboration between the department of defense and the n.i.h. to combat triple negative breast cancer can support the development of multiple targeted therapies with this devastating disease and help women in the united states military. those who are serving our country. triple negative breast cancer is a specific strain of breast cancer for which no targeted treatment is available. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. moulton: i yield an additional 30 seconds to the gentlewoman from texas. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for additional seconds. ms. jackson lee: thank you so very much. it is a disease that can however be conquered. triple negative breast cancer, tnbc, accounts for between 13% and 25% of all breast cancers
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in the united states. they are highered grade, they're onset at a younger age, that means these women are in the united states military. because it continues, there is a need for research funding for bio marker selection, early trials that will lead to early detection, to the development of therapies to treat this awful disease. my amendment would provide for that. coming from houston, texas, with anderson, i can tell you they're look at major research that thank could be helpful between n.i.h. and the department of defense. i hope my amendment will stay in this particular bill. and i hope it will go to the senate and signed by the president. i yield back. thank you very much. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. moulton: i want to thank the gentlelady from texas and yield one minute to mr. lipinski of illinois. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lipinski: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise in support of an amendment i offered that i joined along in offering, along are with mrs. comstock. it seems to expand the skill
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bridge diop training program by directing unit commanders to encourage participation by departing service members. it also directs the d.o.d. to form a comprehensive study so that they can evaluate and improve the program as needed. the skill bridge initiative helps returning veterans by providing them with job training and apprenticeship programs in areas that span every sector of the work force. this program has already trained around 4,500 service members, and the 18 skill bridge programs claim to have an employment success rate of 100%. encouraging participation will help more of our veterans find employment when they re-enter civilian life. sling we need to do all we can to promote. i thank chairman thornberry and ranking member smith for supporting this amendment in this block. i urge my colleagues to support the block and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i continue to reserve the balance of my time. i have no further speakers that i know of. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. moulton: mr. chairman, i'd like to discuss an amendment to come up in a future en bloc package. i joined a vast array of foreign policy experts and retired generals, and even israel's own nuclear commission, in supporting the nuclear deal with iran, because although it was an imperfect deal, nobody could articulate a better pathway to a better deal to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. the nuclear deal, however, is only that. a nuclear deal. as when president reagan was negotiating nuclear deals with the soviets, we make these agreements with our enemies. not our friends. and we must not forget that
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iran remains oppose toused in a vast array of other ways. as with the soviets, enforcement of the deal requires continued vigilance. my amendment would require the president to notify congress whenever iran conducts a ballistic missile launch. and inform congress as to the actions the president will take in response. including diplomatic efforts to pursue additional sanctions and the the passage of the united nations security council resolution. while we have been successful in deterring iran from building a nuclear weapon with the joint comprehensive plan of action, we must continue to apply pressure to deter further actions that destabilize this fragile region and threaten our allies. i urge a yes vote and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield the balance of my time. urge adoption of the en bloc package. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendments en bloc offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, ayes have it. the en bloc amendments are agreed to. now in order to consider amendment number 10 printed in house report 114-571. for what purpose does the gentleman from montana seek recognition? the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 10 printed in house report 114-571 offered by mr. zinke of montana. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 735, the gentleman from montana, mr. zinke, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from montana. mr. zinke: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. zinke: i rise today in support of this amendment, to highlight the importance of maintaining our nuclear
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deterrence. this amendment will ensure that our land-based nuclear icbm's are ready at a moment's notice and not placed at a reduced alert status. president reagan had a right. he championed a notion of peace through strength. these words still apply today, even greater. the harsh realities we live in an increasingly unstable international environment, nuclear deterrence is provided by a triad, has been the backbone of our national security posture for over half a century. just last fall the secretary of defense stated, and i quote, the nuclear deterrent is a must-have. it is the foundation, it is the bedrock and needs to remain healthy. montana's a proud defender of our triad and our troops are always ready. our icbm's should be too. as more nation states, including iran, begins to defy international laws and pursue nuclear and ballistic missiles, it is critical that we do not scale back our nuclear deterrence. i urge all of my colleagues to support this amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman
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reserves the balance of his ime. does any member seek time in opposition? mr. langevin: mr. chairman, i claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized. mr. langevin: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself three minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. . mr. langevin: having previously served as the chairman of the strategic subcommittee for many aware of the role that ycbm has on our national defense. this amendment is overreaching and lacks meaningful policy reform. the budget request for f.y. 2017 contains no funding for reducing the alert level or reducing the number of deployed ycbm's below 400, and there are no plans to do so in the
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future. furthermore, the statement of policy with regard to ycbm's, which is legally binding, significantly overreaches. it states that modernization of the ycbm's and retaining an alert ycbm force isen necessary to ensure robust nuclear deterrence by preventing any adversary from believing it can carry out a small surprise first attack on the united states. however, this disregards the crucial and fundamental role of submarines that provide assurance capability which would desuede an adversary from even thinking they could launch an you attack against the united states. if we include any legislation on icbm's, mr. chairman, we should increase accountability and ensure we're improving the morale and culture inside the air force with regard to nuclear weapons. seem of the serious and embarrassing problems in recent
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years unfortunately continues. such as the air force base in wyoming where 14 enlisted airmen in the forces were being investigated for drug use just several weeks ago. i see nothing in that amendment that addresss that problem, nor do i see anything in that bill that addresses the issue. if we're going to talk about keeping icbm's it should be a meaningful way instead of an annual amendment that seems like parochial interest in highlighting their role, particularly at the exclusion of other legs of the nuclear triad. while the committee tried to work with mrs. lummis, to avail the amendment of some of these concerns, bipartisan negotiations was seemingly reject. so, mr. chairman, i hope that we are able to make some of these adjustments as we conference with the senate, but i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment as offered and with that i thank you, mr. chairman, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from montana is recognized. mr. zinke: mr. chairman, i yield one minute to the
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gentleman from the great state of north dakota. the gentleman from north dakota is recognized. mr. cramer: reducing our icbm alertness is reducing our readiness. and this act is to ensure our military readiness. the icbm's have been a very effective deterrent enemy aggression for decades. this amendment is simply a deterrent to those who would try to reduce our readiness by reducing our alertness and reducing the number of icbm's. this would be a dangerous step, contrary to long-standing policies of our defense and certainly a bad posture. with that i would yield back and i thank the gentleman again. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from montana is recognized. mr. zinke: mr. chairman, i yield one minute to the gentleman from the great state of alabama. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rogers: i understand that the responsiveness and distributive nature of our
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icbm's are their most critical feature and their unique contribution to our nuclear triad. an adversary would only need to strike less than 10 targets to disarm our nuclear forces. with an icbm, they need to strike hundreds of targets in the homeland. that's a much more difficult proposition and the very heart of deterrence. this is not a parochial issue or a political issue. this is a profound national security issue. deterring our -- dealerting our icbm or unilaterally cutting their numbers is a terrible idea. i ask my colleagues to vote yes on this amendment, and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from montana is recognized. mr. zinke: mr. chairman, i yield the balance of my time until the minority closes. the chair: the gentleman reserves. mr. zinke: i reserve my time until the minority closes. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from rhode island is recognized. mr. langevin: thank you, mr. chairman. f.y. eviously stated,
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2017 budget contains no -- this bill contains no funding for reducing the alert level or the number of deployed icbm's below 400 and there are no plans to do so in the future. with that, mr. chairman, i yield the balance of our time to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. blumenauer: for how long, mr. speaker? the chair: two minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you very much. i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy and leadership on this. i think he laid it out very clearly. i mean, this is an imagine near problem, but it is -- imaginary problem but it is an area that needs to have some attention to. he referenced recent problems in terms of potential drug abuse. you know, they found the cheating earlier because they were investigating drug abuse when they found out there was cheating on the readiness test. i would advise my colleagues to read eric schloser's command and control, a fascinating
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study about the history of american nuclear weapons and problems that we have had. mistakes that were made, near misses. there are serious issues that we need to be thinking in terms of the readiness and how it goes forward. we need to think clearly about what we do in the future. what is the right level of deterrence and how are we going o adequately analyze it? 454 land base missiles are not necessarily a magic number that we should be freezing on a permanent basis. looking at what happens going forward with the trillion-dollar commitment with missiles that are on submarine base, we have our bombers, we have land base, being able to have a critical appraisal of how much deterrence is enough and look at problems, security lapses, drug problems, this is
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not a situation that we should just sort of happily freeze into -- freeze for the next go-around and maintain that any adjustment to this or even evaluating an adjustment is somehow a threat to national security. the real problems that we face dealing with international terrorism and the potential of nuclear weapons falling into rogue hands, those are very real problems that we need to be doing more, and this vast nuclear triad that we'll spend $1 trillion on will not help us with those challenges. rather than hallow out the military, we ought to be looking at potential changes going forward. this amendment is ill-advised, unnecessary and is the wrong direction we should be going. the chair: the gentleman from montana is recognized. mr. zinke: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment is about assuring that our nuclear deterrence that is protected
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over this country for over 70 years remains stroonged viable. yesterday, this body passed a measure to keep our nukes safe and it's now time to ensure they are ready at a moment's notice. there is no reason to have a nuclear force unless they are ready. to lower the alert posture of our land base icbm's would be a two-week delay before they can use. this would cripple our ability to respond quickly which is the point of having a nuclear triad. in the military you hope for the best but plans for the worse. i hope we don't use our nuclear weapons and indeed nobody in this body does. to lower i. icbm's would put us at risk. i ask members support this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from montana. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 11 printed in house report 114-571. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. lamborn: mr. chair, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 11 printed in house report 114-571 offered by mr. lamborn of colorado. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 735, the gentleman from colorado, mr. lamborn, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado. mr. lamborn: mr. chairman, i recognize myself for such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lamborn: i thank the gentleman from texas and committee staff for their willingness to work with me on this amendment. i fought long and hard to get this museum the recognition it deserves, and i'm very pleased
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we have a path forward where we can finally achieve that. my amendment simply recognizes this museum in colorado springs as the national museum of world war ii aviation. this amendment does not authorize any funds. the museum is not seeking federal funds and does not have plans to do so in the future. the national museum of world war ii aviation has taken great care to focus its storyline on an aspect of military history that has not been fully explored by other national military museums. the intent is to augment the tremendous work that is being done by those museums, not to dupe police indicate or re-- duplicate or replace it. it's the on museum to preserve and promote an understanding of the role of aviation tpwhing world war ii. it is -- to winning world war ii. it is to recognize the teamwork, patriotism and courage of the men and women who fought as well as those on the home front who mobilized
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and supported the national aviation effort. i yield to the gentleman from texas for the purpose of engaging in a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i thank the gentleman from colorado for yielding. the gentleman from colorado, mr. lamborn, has been a strong advocate for this museum, and i certainly appreciate him bringing it to the committee's attention and to the attention of the house. many members share the gentleman's commitment to the preservation of historic aircraft, and i will certainly work with him on this and related issues. i yield back to the gentleman. mr. lamborn: well, mr. chairman, based on that reassurance and on that pledge to work together, i would now ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment. the chair: without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
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the chair: it is now in order to consider amendment number 12 printed in house report 114- 571. for what purpose does the
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gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. sanford: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 12 printed in house report 114-571 offered by mr. sanford of south carolina. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 735, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. sanford, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina. mr. sanford: i thank the chairman. i rise with a very simple amendment. it would do nothing more than call for a g.a.o. report of the maritime security fleet. i do so because i think we would all acknowledge that knowledge is power and the ability to look very closely at what's happening within that fleet i think is important. i would also say as a believer defense is a core function of the federal government, we would want to have transparency in the way that we expend those funds in pursuit of our nation's defense. i think this is important in light of the fact that overall
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funding has risen by about $89 million here over the last, i guess last funding cycle. you have seen the stipend go from $3.5 million to $5.5 million. there has not been a study what's going on in that fleet of ships for more than 12 years and so, again, this is not in any way printive in nature as to what should or shouldn't happen or the merits or demerits of the program. it is saying, might we learn a little bit more what's happening within that fleet, and that's it. with that i'd retain the balance of my time, if i might. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. garamendi: claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. garamendi: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the gentleman from south carolina is correctly concerned about the expenditure of money. i would suggest to him that
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this study is the waste of expenditure of money by the g.a.o. and hence the taxpayers of the united states. studies about the m.s.p. have been available for many, many years. in fact, there is now in the office of management and budget a comprehensive study that was commissioned by the assistant secretary of the navy. the gentleman can certainly contact o.m.b. and get that study and quite probably get all the information he's going to request in this particular analysis. and furthermore, not have to waste taxpayer money in the process. i would point out to the gentleman a statement that was made on january 17 of this year concerning the m.s.p. program the commander of u.s. transcom. this is a man responsible for moving men, women and material around the world and he said our overwhelming success was due in large part to the 10,000 u.s. mariners who

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