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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  May 19, 2016 9:00am-3:01pm EDT

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[captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. gracious and merciful god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. this house gathers once again to consider matters of great importance to america's
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citizens and many beyond our borders as well. we recall the international religious freedom act of 1998 by which we committed ourselves to advocate and act where possible on behalf of any who are persecuted worldwide for their add heeshes -- adherence to religious faith. bless the members today and their resolve to act consistently with this policy and empower them to faithfully protect people of faith in danger of persecution. bless also america's ambassador at-large for international religious freedom within the department of state, the commission on international religious freedom, and the special advisor on international religious freedom within the national security council as they labor to secure religious freedoms at home and around the world. may all that is done this day
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be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have of it the journal stands approved. mr. collins: mr. speaker. the speaker: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. collins: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order a quorum is not present. the speaker: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentlewoman from indiana, mrs. walorski. mrs. walorski: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america plouge indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. -- i pledge allegiance to the
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flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentlelady from tennessee seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. rend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection -- revise and extend my remarks. smoke, the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. black: mr. speaker, today i rise in honor of national police week and the courageous law enforcement personnel who serve tennessee day in and day out. police week occurs every year, but this year demands special attention because recently we have seen some corners of society offer a negative portrayal of our police. we have heard instances of strained relationships between communities and police officers that patrol them. and we have seen activists and agitators who cast our police as villains when they should be lifted up every day as heroes.
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so, mr. speaker, let us in congress speak clearly on this issue today. we honor and respect the brave men and women of our police force. we pray for their safety and the safety of their families and we reject the angry voices who seek to tarnish the most noble of professions. mr. speaker, on national police week and throughout the year, let us remember police lives matter. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize an owe no had a police officers whose heroic actions while putting his life on the line saved the lives of countless innocent bystanders. i'm honored to note that officer coral walk is the recient of the us us justice department's public safety officer medal of valor.
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on june 15, 2013, officer walker was on patrol when a 9-1-1 call alerted him that a gunman was randomly shooting people. two died and two others were critically bounded. when he pulled up on the scene, officer walker ordered the shooter to stop and drop his weapon, a .45 caliber handgun. ignoring officer walker, the gunman opened fire on the brave patrolman. as several shots were fired, two hitting his car, he fired back, killing the man and protecting those nearby. mr. ashford: officer walker's selfless actions came as other innocent lives stood in the balance. the gunman in the country illegally and carrying two additional loaded magazines was walking toward a busy business area when officer walker stepped in. only officer walker's exceptional courage, disregarding his own safety, brought this deadly shooting spree to an end.
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the omaha community, the state of nebraska, and our nation is grateful for their heroic action of officer coral walker. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to remember a minnesota legend, glenn nelson, who passed away this last week. mr. olson: he was a medical pioneer who transformed the lives of many thousands of people. from performing surgeries to creating medical devices to leegged several health care companies, glenn did it all. health care was his career. and that's because he recognized the power of medicine and innovation, how it could be used to make a difference in the lives of his neighbors. he put it best when he said as a urgeon you save one live at a time but with medical devices you know you are saving so many more. mr. paulsen: glenn did what he did not to make money or gain fame. he was a leegged doctor, inventor, philanthropist, and
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great family man because he cared about people and valued giving back to others. mr. speaker, the loss of glenn nelson is something all of minnesota is feeling. our state and our country and our medical community are better off because of the leadership and passion and spirit of glenn nelson. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. deutch: mr. speaker, my home state of florida has some of the absolute worst gun laws in the contry. much like congress, florida's legislature has done nothing to prevent violent criminals from getting guns. according to a report in the south florida sun sentinal, in just one year florida granted permits to 1,400 people who played guilty or no contest to crimes including homicide, assault, and child molestation. there are members of this congress who want to burden the entire country with florida's shamefully weak gun laws in a
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race to the bottom for gun permit standards. even the current reciprocity agreements by states are strained by how easy florida makes it to get a permit. in 2010, it was found that 2,500 pennsylvanians applied for gun permits in florida. nonresidents apply for florida permits to take advantage of florida's shocking failure to protect its own residents from gun violence. this congress must reject legislation that would force states across the country to abide by florida's or any other state's weak gun safety standards. passing this reckless legislation would, unfortunately, make gun violence florida's most shameful export. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. miss ma lore i ask: thank -- mrs. walorski: i rise today to honor the service and sacrifice of the brave police officers who put their lives on the line each day to keep our communities safe. this week is national police week and communities all across america are showing their
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appreciation for the law enforcement officers who dedicate themselves to serving and protect the public and bringing criminals to justice. we also remember the heroes who gave their lives in the line of duty and think of the families they left behind. it is our duty to make sure that those who made the ultimate sacrifice and service to their communities will never be forgotten. mr. speaker, i urge all americans to take the time this week to simply say thank you to a police officer in your city or town. we are grateful for their service. we are humbled by their courage. and we are indebted to them for their splice. -- sacrifice, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. kelly: i rise in recognition of national infrastructure week. our national infrastructure is in dire need of repair. the american society of civil engineers' most recent report card gave american infrastructure a d-plus. many of us here are parents. if your child came home with a
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d-plus, you would work with them on their homework, find a tutor, maybe punish them. yet our response to a near failing infrastructure grade is negligent. -- neglect. in the short-term investments in our infrastructure creates jobs. in the long-term they help communities grow and expand opportunity. i recently met with transportation secretary fox to discuss the proposed airport. with the national spotlight on the long lines at o'hare and midway, it is clear that the chicago region needs an investment in a new airport to exspant the region's air traffic capacity. investing in infrastructure is a win in both the short-term and the long-term. so this week i urge my colleagues to stand with me and work together to invest in our future by improving and strengthening our nation's infrastructure. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. speaker,
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yesterday the california high speed rail authority admitted it needs an additional four years to build its first segment of track. despite claiming the project was shovel ready back in 2010, in order to receive federal funds, the rail authority has only recently started minor construction. and now the obama administration has extended the lifeline four more years to use up the so-called stimulus dollars. the project's costs now more than double what the rail authority claimed in the beginning. as a funding gap of over $55 billion, has changed its route repeatedly and still hasn't settled on a route, failed to attract a single private investment, and fails to comply with state and federal law on the prescription of its construction. mr. speaker, the california high speed rail authority has broken every promise made to the people of california. it's time to pull the plug on a project that will not only never be completed but diverting billions of dollars from other infrastructure needs
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that people want such as highways and needed water stories for california. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor our nation's incredible law enforcement officers. during national police week, we are reminded of the important work our local law enforcement officers do each and every day. they put their lives on the line to keep us safe. they are incredible. i'm especially grateful for the tarpin service of police officer conduct who made the ultimate sacrifice on december 21, 2014, protecting the citizens and hillsborough county depp spute sheriff who we tragically lost earlier this year. let us never forget the
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sacrifices of these local officers, they are terrific. and others who have fallen in the line of duty and let us be thankful for those who keep our community safe. they are true american heroes, mr. speaker. thank you to all who protect us. god bless you-all. god bless the officers. and god bless america. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. dent: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and tend their remarks and include extraneous material on further consideration of h.r. 4974, and that i may include tabular material on the same. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. pursuant to house resolution 736 and rule 18, the chair
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declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the further consideration of h.r. 4974. will the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, kindly esume the chair. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on state of the union for further consideration of h.r. 4974. the clerk: a bill making appropriations for military construction at department sfares and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2017, and for other purposes. the chair: when the committee of the whole rose earlier today, the amendment offered by the gentleman from florida, mr. grayson, had been disclose posted of and the bill had been ead through page 71, line 6. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. heck of washington. at the end of the bill -- mr. heck: i ask unanimous
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consent that the amendment be considered as read. the chair: any objection? the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. dent: i reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman reserves a point of order. the clerk will continue to read. the clerk: upon acceptance by secretary of veterans affairs of the newly constructed holes 10 through 18 at the golf course on a person of joint base louis mccord key signed by jack nicklaus on a pro bono basis, it shall be designated at nichlas and. the chair: the gentleman from washington and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes gentleman from washington. mr. heck: i plan on withdrawing my amendment. would like to make my colleagues aware of some ams.ing work being done in my district on behalf of veterans and wounded warriors. . mr. speaker, millions of people watch the u.s. open in washington's 10th congressional district last june.
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it showcased the frankly irreplaceable beauty of golf in the pacific northwest. but just a 10-minute drive from chambers bay you will find yourself at beautiful american lake, and at american lake, that is where veterans recover and heal from injuries at the v.a. facility which is located near joint base louis mccord. and a big part of that recuperation is a bit of t.l.c. from an additional golf course. since 1965, nine holes of golf at the american lake golf course is where south sound veterans could escape the stresses of their daily lives and engage in some healthy competition. and let's be honest, it's hard to look forward to a visit at the doctor but looking forward to a round of golf with your buddies is something entirely different. it's become a great way for older vets to connect with
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younger vets from more recent conflicts. currently, american lake veterans golf course -- it's important you hear this -- is the nation's only golf course designed specifically for the rehabilitation for wounded and disabled veterans. almost all of the dedicated volunteers there are veterans as well. well, except one. and his name is jack nicklaus. yes, that jack nicklaus, the golden bear, widely regarded perhaps as the greatest golfer of our time who now spends his time actually designing golf courses and he is the one who helped design and expand the american lake golf course to include a back nine. it went from nine holes to 18. the back nine is now in place and the course is waiting for v.a. secretary mcdonald to sign the necessary paperwork to formally accept the course's improvements. the course exists because of the determination of
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hardworking volunteers. really, angels among us, and now it's time to honor one of those committed volunteers for his commitment to our veterans and wounded warriors and officially designate holes 10-18 as the nicklaus nine. with the nicklaus nine, we will ow have an 18-hole, 100% a.d.a. accessible golf course to accommodate returning troops and our local combat veterans. with the nicklaus nine, we will have doubled the accessibility and green to offer our veterans who have given so much. now, i'm going to tell you a story and i guarantee it's going to stay with you. i guarantee you're going to remember this story. there is a program in american lake golf course that teaches blind veterans how to play golf. blind veterans how to play golf. and one day we had ray reed who
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was sent to the national blind golf tournament in iowa. ray reed, blind, wounded warrior. you know what he did at that national golf tournament? he scored a hole in one. yes, blind veterans can golf, and they learn how to do that at american lake. it's incredible and they're an inspiration to all of us. mr. speaker, to avoid a point of order on my amendment i would like to withdraw at this time but i hope i can cork with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle -- i can work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this done. i strongly believe it to be appropriate to honor and bestow on he who has changed the name of golf, the golden bear, this honor for changing the lives of wounded warriors and i hope this will encourage the design and development of more golf courses around the u.s. devoted to our veterans and our wounded
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warriors. with that, mr. speaker, i thank my colleagues and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. without objection, the amendment is withdrawn. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk, mr. speaker. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. gibson of new york. at the end of the bill before the short title insert the following -- section. none of the funds may be available by this act will be used by the department of veterans affairs to preclude the territorial seas of the republic of vietnam for the meaning of republic of vietnam under the agent orange act of 1991, public law 102- 4, and amendments made by that act. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 736. the gentleman from new york, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. dent: mr. speaker, i reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman reserves a point of order. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. gibson: i'm here to bring forward an amendment that is for our sailors who fought in
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the vietnam war. this is about ensuring they get the health care and the benefits that they have earned through their service in vietnam. but in a broader sense this is eally about justice. this is about veterans who went forward and fought that war, a deeply unpopular war that divided our nation. they never asked -- they were never asked about their political leanings and their views on the war. they went forward. they gave forward. they gave their very best effort to serve us. and in the process of that war, we used agent orange to defoiliate and in the case of these sailors serving just off-shore in vietnam, you know, we had ships that were involved in resupply operations at the ports and at the harbor and they were vulnerable. they were vulnerable because there were vegetation near the ports and the harbors. and as our countermeasure to that we defoiliated to give
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standoff for those ships to protect them. but what we have learned over time, mr. speaker, is that that was poisoning our sailors and anyone that was in close in fact and now and in 1991, this body, along with the senate and the president of the united states of america, enacted into law the agent orange act of 1991 that ensured our veterans who were exposed to agent orange had access to the health care and the benefits they had earned. regrettably in 2002, executive overreach led to a rule that narrowed the interpretation of our law, and now it is so that you will have to have served on the ground in vietnam or in the navy to get access to this law and these benefits. mr. speaker, the people's representatives never spoke on that. this is an issue we've dealt with time and again in this chamber, both sides of the
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aisle, fighting back, fighting for our article 1 prerogatives. and this is very clear here. this body spoke. we said we had to try to make right what was wrong, and so now we have about 90,000 sailors that don't have access to the health care. mr. speaker, be advised and be assured that members of this body fight every day for these veterans in a case-by-case basis and we do win some of these but we don't win all of them and it's just -- it's just flatly wrong. mr. speaker, what this amendment does is really ensure that our article 1 prerogatives are secured, that we go back to the original language, that we passed and the president signed, and i would ask for all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this amendment. with that i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. dent: thank you, mr. chairman. i did make a point of order
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against this amendment and although it's very well-intended amendment and i am very sympathetic what he wants to do and i think there might be a way, if the gentleman withdraws and tries to perfect it, it might be made in order. because it proposes existing law and institutes legislation in an appropriations bill and therefore violates clause 2 of rule 21, the rule states in pertinent part an amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law, the amendment gives affirmative direction to that effect and so i ask for a ruling from the chair and, again, i'd ask my colleague just to consider withdrawing and seeing if he could perfect that amendment so it could be made in order. we'll work with him. the chair: does anyone wish to be heard on the point of order? mr. gibson: well, mr. speaker, can i speak on the point of order? the chair: yes. mr. gibson: i will say i have the deepest respect for the chairman. dear colleague and friend. but i have to say i'm astounded
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that we would talk about a point of order here when we're talking about our language. this is what we passed. and what we saw is that the executive branch with fiat changed what it is that we passed. so i don't know how it is we're legislating to their executive overreach. this is merely an amendment that goes back to our language. and it's not just me standing here today. 320 of our colleagues in the united states house of representatives, both sides of the aisle, believes this needs to get done and nearly half of the senate, an exact companion, also believes that. now, because of our friendship and because of the way we worked together, i just want to enter into a colloquy and get clarification from the chairman what i think i heard him say moments ago if i withdraw he will work with us so that we can reassert our article 1 powers and ensure we have justice for these vietnam veterans who deserve these benefits. can i get that clarification from the chairman? the chair: we're still debating
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the point of order. the gentleman from new york still has the time. mr. gibson: mr. speaker, i'll yield to the chairman. mr. dent: on the point of order, the point i'm trying to make is this, if the amendment is withdrawn, it can be reworked so it would be in order. we believe that there is a way to do that, even today. that's the offer i'm making to you. if the -- if the amendment is withdrawn, this -- there is a possibility this amendment could be made in order but it does have to be perfected. i'm a co-sponsor of the underlying legislation so i support it. at the moment, in our view, it does institute legislation in an appropriations bill and therefore it violates clause 2 of rule 21. i pledge to work with him to try to work -- the best of our ability to make it in order even today if possible. mr. gibson: reclaiming my time. given the pledge of my dear friend from pennsylvania to work to make sure we have justice and that we can move forward and help these
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veterans, i hereby withdraw my amendment. the chair: without objection, he amendment is withdrawn. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. gosar: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. gosar of arizona. insert the following. section. none of the funds made available by this act may be used for the veterans experience office. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 736, the gentleman from arizona, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. gosar: thank you, mr. chairman. i offer a simple amendment that will prevent wasteful spending within the general administration account and ensure scarce resources that are not diverted away from the priorities that need the most. my amendment will strengthen
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the position of this committee tone sure none of the mundsfunds made available by this act may be used by the administration's bureaucracy quagmire called the veterans experience office. while the name may make this proposal new nationwide office sound like a good idea, this roposal would unleash a new kadre between the office and the veterans. repeating their terrifying nine words, i'm here from the federal government, i'm here to help. we all share the goal of improving each and every veteran's experience with the v.a. however, we shouldn't create a new program that would stivene off $72 million away from the programs and offices prioritized by this committee as those most in need of support. i commend the committee for identifying this wasteful proposal and nair report stating and i quote, while the committee supports the secretary's efforts to improve the way v.a. interacts with veterans, it has doubts about the wisdom of establishing a large new office with the
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regional staffing at this late date in this administration, end of quote. while the position of the committee is clear, my amendment is necessary to ensure that the administration is prohibited from transferring limited funds within the general administration account to fund this unwise and due plicktuss proposal. this administration is notorious for ignoring the will of congress and seeking out loopholes to advance the executive branch agenda. this track behavior of rogue behavior is why this amendment is so necessary in order to carry out the committee's recommendation and to -- the proper care of our veterans. the v.a. doesn't need more money to hire more people pushers to create an even larger bureaucracy between the veterans and their benefits. instead, let's ensure resources are sell indicated where they have the most effective and efficient benefit for those that have given their country so much. i ask my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment. i thank chairman dent and ranking member bishop for their time and with that i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves. any member wishing to seek time in opposition?
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the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. dent: mr. chairman, i seek time in opposition to the amendment though i am not opposed. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dent: i understand the gentleman's concerns about starting this new office at the v.a. as you can see from our report, we cut the request by general administration by $81.3 million largely because of our concerns about funding this large office. so i think we already achieved what the gentleman's looking to accomplish. it's hard to imagine v.a. could find $81 million in another account to backfill -- backfill for this office. but i will not oppose the gentleman's amendment. i will tell you, however, this will inevitably become a conference issue because the senate supports the creation of the office so with that i do not object to the amendment. . the chair: the gentleman from georgia moves to strike the last word. the gentleman is recognized. >> the bulk of the request for the increase of the administration was intended for the establishment of the veteran experience office. up until now the veteran
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experience office activities have been funded through the office of enterprise integration. mr. beneficiaryon: -- mr. bishop: however the stand alone afters within the administration and requested a $72.6 million in funding and 204 full-time equivalent via direct budget authority. while we support the efforts to improve the v.a. interacts with veterans, we had doubts about the wisdom of establishing a large new office with regional staffing at this late date in the administration. so it was decided not to include this funding. however, there is nothing in this bill that prevents the secretary from continuing to fund the office the way he did in the previous fiscal year. conversely, the amendment before us will prevent this office from being funded, period. i believe the amendment is a bridge too far. while i don't support making it a freestanding office, i also
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don't support taking the secretary's flexibility away, either. i believe the bill is the right approach. i urge members to oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman yield back. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. gosar: i want to rebut. this president and his agencies have shown time and again it's eager to leave the will of congress behind. this is a necessary reminder that the v.a. is hardly a vestibule of good behavior. and i think that we need to make them concentrate on doing their procedures right that they currently cannot do rifmente i would move everybody except my amendment. with that i yield being the chair: all time for debate having closed. the question is on the amendment offer by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor will vote aye, those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have t the amendment is adopted. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk.
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gosar 213. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. gosar of as as. at the end of the bill before the short tight insert the following. section none of the funds made available by this act may be used to, one, carry out the memorandum from the veterans benefit administration known as fast letter 13-10, issued on may 20, 2013, or two, create or maintain any patient record keeping system other than those currently approved by the department of veterans' affairs' central office in washington, d.c. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 736, the gentleman from arizona and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. gosar: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise to off an amendment. i have offered similar amendments the last two years and they have passed each time. i had hoped it would not be necessary to offer this amendment again this year. unfortunately, an investigation from the government accountability office released last month found that the v.a. schedulers are still manipulating appointment wait times and understatementing how long veterans have to wait.
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g.a.o.'s most recent audit found the schedulers change dates and shorten weight times for 15% to 20% of the cases reviewed. "usa today" claimed to have studied more than 70 investigative reports and found these manipulations were being performed at the behest of the supervisors. last year a different inspector general investigation uncovered an actual memo from v.a. leadership encouraging this type of behavior. the memo i speak of is known as the fast 1310, handed down directly from the office of the veteran benefit administration to the philadelphia v.a. regional office. i was appalled but not totally surprised to learn of this memo. the need for my amendment first surfaced two years ago as a response to explosive allegations about the phoenix v.a. keeping secondary unofficial records of claims in appointment record requests. my commonsense amendment simply prohibits the v.a. from keeping unofficial record keeping system and manipulating wait times. i have said this before, but it
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is sad that we have to pass amendments to prevent this type of behavior. when government bureaucrats don't use good judgment or common sense, congress must address these issues. we must have one consistent patient record keeping system within the v.a. in order to provide a accountability, uniformity, and prevent employee manipulation. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. i thank chairman dent and ranking member bishop for their time. with that i i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. any member wishing to seek time in opposition? mr. dent: mr. chairman, i seek to claim time in opposition but not opposed. the chair: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. dent: this is familiar to us since he offered it last year. i'm not sure it's necessary to repeat the language this year since we know v.a. has rescinded the fast letter guidance. after all the i.g. investigation in the dual scheduling systems, it doesn't seem likely the v.a. is maintaining record keeping systems not approved by headquarters. i'm not going to object to the amendment. i yield back.
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the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. gosar: i thank the gentleman. we want to reward good behavior. that's why the amendment is going forward. i abbreviate the chairman's support and with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from arizona yields back. all time for debate having desists, those in favor will vote aye, those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. who claims time? any member wishing to claim time? for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. e clerk: amendment number 7, printed in the across-the-board, offered by mr. -- congressional record, offered by mr. micah of florida. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 736, the gentleman from florida and a member opposed each will croif fine minutes -- will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. micah: this is a simple amendment. i get to chair subcommittee
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called transportation and public assets oversight. we get to oversee in the public assets portion all of the various properties around the united states that are public assets that are sitting idle. r example, we have in some states, we have v.a. properties -- we have many v.a. properties medical from hospitals, from nursing homes sitting idle. some of them are vacant. some of them are closed. in order to put them into productive use for our veterans , i have tried to craft an amendment that, of course, doesn't apply to all of the facilities, and i would like to do, that but this is fairly limited. it says we have a nursing home that has been vacated or a nursing home that is not being used, and some of them several
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years have sat vacant. this allows the secretary discretion and also sets aside a small amount of funds to help bring that property into a condition that it can be transferred to the state. and you have these in pennsylvania, mr. chairman. you have these across the russ belt. we have them in -- -- rust belt. we have them even in florida. what we don't have is the authority for v.a. to move forward with these properties and the transfer and get the property into condition and make the little bit of changes in that property to transfer it to the state. the states -- this will apply to 49 states. they all have -- 49 states have state v.a.'s. many of them run nursing homes. in my state, for example, we run seven nursing homes. we do it more cost-effectively.
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we can do it bet faster. we can take those idle assets and put them into use. in someplaces in the rust belt you need to consolidate some of the facilities. and this will allow us to do that, too. and run them cheaper, get better services to our veterans, not spread out the limited number of even staffers that we have and administrators. think of what you can save just on that. so this is an amendment to try to move that process forward. we are not trying to get ahead of anybody. but we are trying -- what we are trying to do -- who is in line for any kind of a v.a. facility. what we are trying to do is, again, tell the v.a. secretary that it can move forward, put a little bit of money aside that will make a big, big difference with these facilities that are sitting vacant or half empty across the country.
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and it does apply to 49 states. reserving the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania seek time in opposition? mr. dent: i am not opposed to the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. dent: i understand there is a great demand throughout our nation for state veterans' hometown homes, i wish we had the allocation to provide more for this program than we d do i want to raise concern with the language that it might, i say might, not saying definitely, might favor some states rather than increasing funding for the entire state home program. i was pleased to hear that the gentleman state that he's not trying to jump ahead of other states that may be in line. this is an issue we are going to have to discuss at the conference committee. with that i'm not going to object to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back. gentleman from florida. mr. micah: i think if there are differences in language we tried to work with the parliamentarian and the
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committee. i know you-all are busy trying to get a very important piece of legislation out. but this small amendment can make a big difference. in rust belt states, even in growing states like florida, and there's no more cost to the federal taxpayer in the operation. in fact, we will save money in the operation because the states take these over. if the state takes them over, it's one less burden on v.a. we have seen how difficult it is, sometimes, to get services from v.a. to have these facilities come online. this is to nursing home folks. listen to this, this is to nursing homes. we have a tremendously expanding aging veterans population. we can't keep up with it all. the federal government sometimes does it the least efficiently. and this allows us, again, to take those empty or half empty or partially used facilities, get them to the state,
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sometimes consolidate the operations, save money on administration, operation, and expedite and get that service to our vetance as soon as possible. i urge your support of this amendment. i will be glad to work with the chairman, with the ranking member, and others and craft this in any way that they feel comfortable. but the objective is very important at this stage. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from florida yields back. all time for debate having expired, the question sont amendment offered by the gentleman from florida. those in favor will vote aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. gosar 214. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. gosar of arizona, tend of the bill before the short title, insert the following, section, none of the funds made available by this act may be used in contravention of of ons 575.106 or 575.206
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title 5 code of regulations. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 736, the gentleman from arizona and a member opposed each will control five minutes of the the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. gosar: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, in a 2015 report from the v.a. office of the inspector general, it was discovered or reported that two senior staff members used their positions of power to financially and personally benefit from unethical behavior. diana and kimberly not only coerced two v.a. managers to leave their positions against their will, they then manufactured circumstances that allowed for them to take the positions in question. to make matters worse, mr. chairman, these women then took advantage of the v.a.'s relocation expense frame. we location bonuses may be given to current employees if an open position will be difficult to fill without such a incentive. in both these instances, this clearly was not the case. in total, these women walked away with more than $400,000 in taxpayer funds.
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it as if these actions weren't heinous enough, when the v.a. did attempt to hold them accountable, the v.a. was subsequently overturned because they failed to discipline the other employees involved in this case. i am appalled but ultimately again not surprised to hear of the story. the v.a. has been riddled with scandal and plagued with lawlessness for years now. chairman miller said it best in the days that followed the reversal of the v.a.'s decisions stating, i quote, every objective observer knows that the federal civil service system coddles and protects misbehaving employees instead of facilitating fair and efficient discipline. until v.a. and the obama administration leaders acknowledge this problem and work with congress to solve it, it will never be fixed, end of quote. mr. chairman, my amendment is a commonsense approach that simply reaffirms the requirements in code of federal regulations for employee incentives and relocation
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expenses. had the v.a. followed these regulations, diana and kimberly would have -- wouldn't have been able to force two managers to leave and then get reimbursed for moving across the country to take their spots. i have said this before, but it is sad that we have to pass amendment to prevent this type of behavior. when government bureaucrats fail to serve the american people through the use of common sense, congress must address these issues personally. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. does any member wish to claim time in opposition? mr. dent: mr. speaker, i rise to speak in opposition to the amendment though i am not opposed. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. -- ent: no one shares the v.a. has since reformed its policies and i hope we will
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never hear again about egregious staff misconduct and inappropriate reimbursements. however, i do think the relocation incentive can be an important tool in some circumstances. and though i have no objection to the gentleman's amendment, i think we may need to -- may need to be refined a bit in conference to reflect the usefulness of the tool when used appropriately. as i said, there was egregious misconduct in philadelphia as the gentleman points out, no question. in fact, many of us went and visited the philadelphia regional office at about that time for hearing both republicans and democrats, authorizers and appropriators to discuss the challenges at that particular office. that said i have no objection to the amendment. i yield to mr. bishop. mr. bishop: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i have the deepest respect for the gentleman from pennsylvania and for the gentleman who is offering the amendment, but i think we may be just going a little bit too far here. mr. chairman, this amendment will restrict the ability of
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the v.a. and the departments and related agencies funded in this act to use incentives to get experience, talented and capable individuals to take on difficult to fill positions. in other departments, they call these hardship posts. these are the jobs no one wants to do but are vital to the function of government. i think we can all agree that there are times when we need to provide incentives to those individuals who we are asking to fill difficult jobs. there are times we need to take action to make a job more appealing and sometimes we need to provide incentives to compete with the salaries that are typically paid outside the federal government for some of the positions. i'm concerned that this amendment will decrease availability and quality of candidates possessing the competencies that are required for filling the hard-to-fill posts. we would not run a fortune 500 company this way. why are we limiting the ability
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of the u.s. government to recruit and hire the best and the brightest? i respectfully urge my colleagues to vote no, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back to the gentleman from pennsylvania mr. dent: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. gosar: i thank the gentleman. it is very notable that the v.a. has lost the trust of congress and the american people, and more importantly, our veterans. until we get this right, until they can actually earn the respect and do the due diligence they are expected to do for our veterans, it is a requirement of us to make sure, like a dog on the bone, to hold them accountable. i hope everyone will vote for this amendment and i yield back. the chair: all time for debate having expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. any member wishing to seek time?
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the gentleman from arizona. mr. gosar: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. gosar 215. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. gosar of arizona. at the end of the bill before the short title insert the following. section. none of the funds made available by this act may be used to implement -- mr. gosar: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read. the chair: without objection. the clerk will suspend. the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. mr. gosar: thank you, mr. chairman. recently a veteran receiving care from the v.a. can contact -- contacted my office to express his concern about pro-union fliers being posted in facilities. the vet sent me a picture as reference right here. as you can see it is an attempt to recruit union activists. another praises the agenda of the afl-cio. the veteran who contacted me was appalled he was barraged by these pro-union advertisements during his visits to the v.a.
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i couldn't agree more. they shouldn't be blatantly getting advertisements while receiving care at v.a. facilities. my staff investigated this issue and while solicitations law, union d by lobbyists were able to carve out a special exemption that allows solicitation of labor organization membership or dues in v.a. facilities. this is a blatant abuse of law, taxpayer-funded facilities for the purpose of pushing a pro-union agenda. given the obvious political nature of these groups, they should not be allowed to advertise in the v.a. facilities. furthermore, the fact that v.a. employees are engaging in union activities while on the clock is unacceptable given the current state of the v.a. anytime these employees spend time doing union activities is time they cannot spend treating our veterans. with the massive backlog of cases and the fact that veterans have literally died waiting for care, this abuse of taxpayer money and our veterans must be put to an end.
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for that reason i introduced the amendment currently at the desk. my amendment will prohibit the funds to implement, administer or enforce the current union loophole. defunding this exemption that allows union to solicit members and dues at v.a. facilities uld place unions under the same regulatory framework as other 501-c's. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. i thank the distinguished chair and ranking member and with that i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves. the gentleman from georgia seek time in opposition? mr. bishop: yes, i do. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. bishop: thank you. this is just another attack on organized labor and working people. it's consistent, the conduct that the gentleman wishes to prohibit is consistent with an -- with the national relations act. it's freedom of speech. i think it ought to be allowed. i certainly object to this and i think the working people ought to have an opportunity to express themselves and utilize
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fully the first amendment even in our v.a. facilities. and i just never -- i couldn't imagine that people who support the constitution would want to muzzle our working people and limit their ability to seek associations with like-minded people. so with that i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: does the gentleman reserve or yield back? reserves. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. gosar: once again, my amendment is critical to ensuring our veterans receive the care they deserve in a nonpoliticized environment. again, this amendment -- amendment idea came from a veteran who was outraged about the v.a. being littered with union recruitment flyers. they shouldn't be there in a taxpayer funded building. we should all agree that v.a. employees should be spending their taxpayer funded time treating veterans, not posting
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union flyers and negotiating for higher wages, especially given the v.a. claims and the backlog of appeals that exist. i encourage my adoption. i also want to make sure that people understand that this is -- with this amendment, it would create the unions to be treated as any 501-c. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from arizona. mr. gosar: i continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: yes, again, this -- i have the right to close? the chair: you have the right to close. mr. bishop: i reserve. mr. gosar: well, once again, we want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly about this. as you can see the blatant attempt here about recruit within the unions within our .a. is an -- is outright disgusting. we want to make sure that everybody is treated fairly and an opportunity for free speech
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but this gives a hand up to the unions. with that i ask my colleagues to vote for this amendment, and with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from arizona yields back. mr. bishop: again, this is another nasty rider. this is unnecessary and inappropriate for this bill. it violates the constitution. it certainly limits the rights of people in veterans' facilities to be able to have freedom of speech, freedom of association. it's a bad proposition. i urge my colleagues to oppose it and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from georgia yields back. all time for debate having closed, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition?
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>> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. would the gentleman please specify his amendment? >> amendment to h.r. 4974 as reporteded -- as reported by mr. perry of pennsylvania and mr. mulvaney. number 68. the chair: number 68? mr. perry: yes, sir. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. perry of pennsylvania. at the end of the bill before the short title, add the following new section. section, none of the funds made available by this act may be used to implement or enforce executive order 13502. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 736, the gentleman from pennsylvania and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. perry: thank you, mr. speaker. 2009, the president issued executive order 13502, which strongly encourages the use of federal agencies to require project labor agreements, or
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p.l.a.'s, on federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in cost. this amendment simply states, already read, none of the funds made available by this act may be used to implement or enforce this executive order. project labor agreements, mr. speaker, discourages what's called a marriage contract benefiting on -- contracts. let me be clear. that means if you don't have a union you can't even bid. and by the way, the vast majority of all work conducted in the united states private or government is conducted by nonunion contractors. it's not meant to disparage unions. there should be open competition for everybody. because it is a limited competition, it drives up the cost that each of us pay for the construction. somewhere between 12% and 18%. needlessly -- even if it's only 12%, why pay it? it results in fewer infrastructure improvements simply because there's just not as much money because we're
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paying for -- more for the ones we are doing. it is a project-specific collective bargaining agreements with multiple unions that's unique to the construction industry. it's done nowhere else, only in the construction industry. the nlra, the act permits construction employees to execute a p.l.a., a project labor agreement voluntarily, but when the p.l.a. is mandated, mandated by a government agency, construction contracts can be awarded only, only to contracts and subcontractors that agree to the terms and conditions of the p.l.a., essentially making them a union organization. typically, the contractors have to recognize union as their own representative of their employees. no longer is the -- is the private business the representative but only the union is the representative and they have to hire from the union hall. furthermore, the fringe benefits that go if you ever pay prevailing wage or the federal minimum wage for these
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kind of projects, there is a thing called the fringe benefits which include your medical, your dental, your retirement, those will be put into union benefits and pension programs. so even if you're a private employer that's not unionized, all that money, those fringe benefits go to those programs and you must obey the restrictive and sometimes inefficient rule of job classification. for instance, if you're an electrician you might want to wire something up but if you need conduit you can't do it you are not a laborer. you have to wait for the laborer to go do it. it's just inefficient. furthermore, p.l.a.'s force employees to pay union dues whether they're in a union or not and accept unwanted union representation and forfeit the benefits earned during the life of the project unless they join a union, become vested in union benefit plans. they lose all that. quite honestly, it's just simply a union recruiting plan at taxpayer expense. i don't have a problem with
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unions. i just don't think we should be paying for them. the p.l.a. requirements and preferences on taxpayer funded contracts expos procurement officials to -- expose procurement officials to intense political pressure because they're not negotiating normally. it's under the project labor agreement. not just a regular contract or you agree to do so much work, we agree to pay so much. you agree to do it at this time, we agree to accept that time frame. it disrupts local collective bargaining agreements already in place because it's contract-specific for the project at the time. and obviously because of that, it stiffles competition. you stifle competition, raises the cost. who is paying the extra cost? the american taxpayer. it creates or potentially contracts contracting and construction delays. we don't need any more delays at the v.a. i think we've been through that plenty of times. now, we just want to get the best price. we want everybody involved. we want everybody able to bid, able to bid and able to
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participate. let the government, let the taxpayer get the best job for the best rate. under this amendment, p.l.a.'s for military construction would not be forbidden. they're still not forbidden. they're just not mandated. again, this amendment simply allows none of the funds made by the executive order to be able to implement or enforce the executive order 13502. with that i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. . dent: mr. chairman, i -- the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington claim time? >> i rise in opposition. the chair: you will be recognized for as much time as you may consume. mr. kilmer: the d.o.d. does a lot of construction projects. this bill is certainly a testament to that. these are often complex projects. they build facilities used to repair ships, store munitions. usually when we read about large complex construction
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projects, it's off in the context of delays or cost overruns or concerns on the work force front. folks want to see local opportunities on local projects. a project labor agreement allows federal agencies to negotiate exclusively with the building trades to ensure both union and open shop contractors are able to participate on the project. the agreement establishes a quality work site conditions and works to ensure construction is finished on time and under budget. when executed properly, p.l.a.'s are flexible and encourage participation from a wide variety of prime and subcontractors. in fact, p.l.a.'s are used on big private projects. look at every significant hotel project, casino project, stadium project. i worked professional in economic development before i came here. these project labor agreements were vital to seeing projects happen. why? because they save money. and because they keep projects on schedule. and because they use local
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workers. you have seen the first project labeler agreement in navy history in my district. just one, mind you. what's the outcome? well, the project's going to be completed at a cost of $250 million below what was originally projected. with the contract that was worked out ahead of time meant that local workers were assigned on the front end. they brought in quality workers, local workers, that strengthens our local communities. by partnering with local trades and using apprenticeship programs, this is helping to grow the next generation of trades people, giving opportunities to veterans and to women and minority communities. so it means that we are not just building a wharf in my district, it means we are building the next generation of workers. we are building the middle class. so when you compare this with similar large complex projects, the project that we just had with a project labor agreement had fewer problems and will deliver more value for taxpayers. so i do not understand why we
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would take this valuable tool out of our toolbox. we should be encouraging these efforts. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. kent: -- mr. dent: i rise to striket last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. dent: i have no objection to the gentleman's amendment of the the department of defense has awarded one construction contract of explosive handling -- washington, i believe the gentleman's district, where the situation favored p.l.a.'s. the department of veterans affairs has not apardoned any contracts that have used p.l.a.'s and they currently have no solicitation that is favor p.l.a.'s. that said i am very sympathetic with the gentleman's amendment and you urge adoption even yield back. >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for five minutes. mr. bishop: i'm very disappointed that instead of seeking to pass the most bipartisan bill possible, my colleagues would prefer to weigh down the bill that funds
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veterans and military construction with a divisive ladder. p.l.a.'s can be an essential tool to allow large projects to be completed on time and on budget. they are a benefit to both employers and employees. a project labor agreement provides a single collective bargaining unit which allows for easier management of a project. they provide a reliable and uninterrupted supply of workers. they provide uniform wages. uniform benefits. overtime pay. a p.l.a. sets the terms and conditions of employment for all workers on site. including work conditions and the rules. in addition, a p.l.a. prohibits strikes and work stoppages. it's insulting that some would seek to prevent the use of p.l.a.'s on this bill when it's one of the best tools available to guarantee that veterans are hired as skilled construction workers. the use of a p.l.a. does not
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prevent nonunion small business from participating. they have to agree to the terms and sign on to the p.l.a. in addition the p.l.a. does not make the project union only. simply put, project labor agreements help both the government and the private sector increase the efficiency and the quality of its project by promoting a business model that employs our highly skilled work force. such a work force ensures that construction projects are built correctly the first time, on time, and as a result on budget. i urge a no vote on this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time noting that this house has repeatedly refused to adopt similar amendments on this bill. the chair: the gentleman from georgia yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. the gentleman has 30 seconds. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i want to reiterate this does
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not take this tool out of the toolbox. it doesn't require t mr. perry: with all due respect to those that say, well, it stops strikes from happening and makes sure it's on time and on budget, a simple contract that millions of americans sign every single day without a project labor agreement does that already. if project labor agreements are necessary, why are we not all doing it with the work on our home or businesses? the fact is it's not done everywhere because it's not necessary. the fact is that it discourages participation because you can participate if you want to join the union or de facto join a union because you are going to do everything by the union code. every single thing. all your employees, representation. i urge adoption of the amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. kilmer: may i inquire how much time we have? the chair: 2 1/2 minutes. mr. kilmer: i yield 2 1/2 minutes to mr. norcross of new jersey. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for the remainder of the time. mr. norcross: good morning. let's sort out by talking about facts because i hear some
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talking points from those who are trying to -- remove all workers' rights. there is nothing that currently is in place that mandates project labor agreements be used. if so, we would have thousands and thousands of them. it makes permissible when a large and complex job would benefit from a precontract agreement that's what we are talking about. we are not talking about building a house or renovating a bedroom. large, complex projects. that's what we are talking about. all it talks about is before you sign a contract, make sure that you spell out very specifically the issues that could come up germane to that job. i negotiated in my past life over 100 of these. why? because employers understand that this is to their benefit. there is a better cost ratio balance when they do the project labor agreement.
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they are public jobs, they are private jobs where nobody is mandating everything -- anything. so what we are saying here is that entering into a project labor agreement does one very important thing that nobody remembers here. how much do hardhats, taking our veterans who served our contry, giving them an opportunity to come home, put their uniform awarkse and go to work on a construction project. that alone is worth its weight in gold. that's what helmets to hardhats does under project labor agreement. it creates and allows that next generation of construction workers, the skilled craftsmen, to be part of that. not one dime of that comes from the government. this works and why does it work? because it saves money. the employer likes it because there's less headaches on the job. and it is probably the most important tool that could be in that workers' toolbox to make
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sure that they level the playing field for a quality job that comes in on time and under budget. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for debate having expired, the question sont amendment offered by gentleman from pennsylvania. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment -- pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. at the end of the bill before the short title insert the following, section, none of the funds made available by this act may be used by the secretary of veterans affairs in contravention of subchapter 3 of chapter 20 of title 38 united states code. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 736, the gentlewoman from texas, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair will now recognizes the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chairman very much.
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i rise to offer the jackson lee amendment that clearly recognizes the importance of r ose who have served and thei life after. my amendment says none of the funds made available by this act for the department of veterans may be used in contravention of title 38, part 2, chapter 20, chapter 2 and 3 of the u.s. code which refers to the benefits for homeless veterans and training and outreach programs. texas and florida and california happen to be one of the states that has the highest number of homeless veterans. these are individuals who put on the uniform unselfishly. now they are homeless for a variety of reasons. we hope that this amendment will reinforce and re-emphasize the importance of ensuring that the rate of homelessness among veterans in the united states does not increase. as well, my amendment will remind us of our obligation to provide our veterans the
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assistance needed to avoid homelessness which includes adequately funding for programs like the veterans administration supportive housing that provides case management services, adequate housing facilities, mental health support, and address other issues to contribute to veterans homelessness. i have on my staff a wounded warrior. we work a lot with homeless veterans. we visit their centers. we provide them with the sense that their commitment to this nation will never be forgot yefpblet today in our country there are approximately 107,000 veterans, male and female, who are homeless on any given night. perhaps twice as many, 200,000, experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year. i remember dealing with one of my nonprofits who was renting a space just to help three or four or five veterans. unfortunately, the landlord was not sensitive to the fact that he did not have all the moneys to pay his rent. he was ultimately evicted. but it wasn't just he that was
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evicted, trying to be the good samaritan, it was veterans who called that place home. many other veterans are considered near homeless or at risk because of their poverty, lack of support from their family. my hometown of houston, for example, we have had large numbers of homeless veterans but we began to work on it. i hope that this amendment will remind people of supportive service programs, rehabilitation programs, and h.u.d.-v.a. programs. i reserve. the chair: the jail reserves. any team member seeking time in opposition? -- the gentlelady reserves. any member seeking time in opposition? mr. dent: i claim time in opposition but do not oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. dent: the gentlelady has offered this amendment in previous years and we accepted t i have no objection to it being included. the chair: the gentlewoman from -- the gentleman from georgia. the gentleman strike the last word? thank you. the gentlelady from texas. how much time
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do i have? the chair: the gentlelady has 2 1/2 minutes. ms. jackson lee: the distinguished ranking member, mr. bishop. a strong supporter of veterans and leadership on the milcon bill. thank you. mr. bishop: i just wanted to let my voice be heard to congratulate the gentlelady on her amendment. it has been adopted previously by this house. i think it's a great amendment. we support our homeless veterans. i congratulate the lady for offering the amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: let me thank mr. dent and mr. bishop for their leadership and certainly the appropriators, full committee chairman, and ranking
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member on the task that they have before them. we are not going to end homeless veterans and homelessness for veterans if we do not invest in programs that will help them. my amendment is to ensure that we are reminded that these veterans can be rehabilitated, can be provided a new pathway in life. and it is simply a continuing way to say thank you. whenever i speak before veterans, whenever i speak before the united states military, i remind them, though they do not need to be reminded, that they unselfishly put on the uniform without question. they put on the uniform without question and they followed orders. they followed orders of the commander in chief. so now i hope that we as members of congress will follow orders and increase investment communities with the highest d numbers of homeless veterans. support the all council agencies to provide and give
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incentives to local coordination or plans and have our local communities own these plans so that they will bring down the cost of homelessness or the size of homelessness. to prevent or -- to provide, if you will, for the homeownership that is so very important that our veterans desire. but the most important point is why don't we stand and salute, stand and be at attention and say to our veterans we hear you, homelessness must not exist among our veterans. i ask my colleagues to support this amendment. reminds us of funding for veterans who are homeless as well as programs for veterans who are homeless. with that i yield back my time. . the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. gibson of new york. at the end of the bill before the short title insert the following, section. none of the funds made available in this act may be used to enforce v.a. adjudication procedure manual m-21-1 part 4 subpart 2, chapter 1, subject h related to developing claims based on service abroad ships, off-shore the r.v.n. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 736, the gentleman from new york and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. gibson: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank you and the parliamentarian and i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member. earlier this morning we were -- i offered this amendment and it needed to be perfected and i greatly appreciate the staff and the work of the team here form t we can get this in
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so it certainly meets muster. this is an important amendment. about a half century ago our nation was embroiled in a war in vietnam. it divided the nation, but for our young men and women who went forward and fought on our behalf, you know, their loyalties were never divided. they did everything that they could every day to serve our nation in a very difficult circumstance. and what developed over that time were soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who became sick, exposed to agent orange. this was part of that war. our nation had chosen to defoiliate as a means of protecting troops with agent orange, but what we learned over time is that there was a direct link between exposure to agent orange and nine maladies including cancers and dwibets and parkinson's -- diabetes and parkinsons. and this body in 1991 recognizing this came together with the president of the
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united states and enacted the agent orange act of 1991. and unfortunately in 2002 there was an overreach on the part of the executive that narrowed that interpretation and since that time we have been fighting, members here on both sides of the aisle have been fighting to ensure that our sailors who served just off-shore in vietnam get access to the health care that they desperately need. mr. speaker, over half of these sailors who were exposed are already in heaven. they're gone now, and for those that are left here, time is of the essence. it's an urgent matter that we get this passed. 320 of my colleagues agree with this on both sides of the aisle and about half the senate. and so today we offer this amendment to reassert our article 1 prerogatives to ensure that for every service man and woman who goes forward that they know that regardless of the difficulty of the fight and of the difficulty of the proposition and what it may mean more the politics here in
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america, we will never turn our back on our service men and women, and i ask my colleagues to support this amendment and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. as a reminder to the floor, all members and all staff asked to silent all phones. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. dent: i rise in opposition to the amendment though i am not opposed to it the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dent: we support the amendment. we appreciate the good work that mr. gibson has done to advocate on behalf of all veterans and particularly those who suffered from agent orange exposure as well as many other issues so we support the amendment. yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york. mr. gibson: i deeply appreciate the support of the chairman and the ranking member and i respectfully request the support of this house on this amendment and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the chair: all time for debate having closed, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
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does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? any member wishing to seek recognition of the chair? the gentleman from new york. >> mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. sean maloney of new york. insert the following, section. none of the funds made available by this act may be used in controvention of the executive order number 13672 of july 21, 2014, further amendments to executive order of 14478, equal employment opportunity in the federal government in executive order 11246, equal employment opportunity. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 736, the gentleman from new york and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. maloney: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, last night this house adopted a provision as part of the defense bill that rolls back anti-discrimination provisions contained in executive orders issued by the president in recent years. this is one of the ugliest
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episodes that i experienced in my three-plus years as member of this house. the inclusion of such hate-based language in a defense bill designed to support our military sends exactly the wrong message at a time when we should all be unified in supporting the efforts of our service members around the world. my father was a veteran. he was nearly killed in the service of his country. i've never voted begins the defense bill before. i never thought i would. almost a quarter of the constituents i represent in the hudson valley of new york come from families where a member is serving in the military or has served in the military. i represent the united states military academy at west point. we helped 800 veterans one at a time out of my district office in my three years in congress, and we passed legislation directly aimed at making their lives better. so it is not with an easy heart that i come to the house floor and oppose the defense bill, but this legislation snuck in
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the bill and kept in the bill despite a bipartisan effort to remove it sends exactly the wrong signal and it says that we are so concerned about discriminating against a group of lgbt americans that we are willing to destroy the bipartisan cooperation we should have on a defense bill. so my amendment today gives us another chance. it gives us a chance to correct some of the damage done last night by the misguided efforts of some members of this body. and what it would say is quite simple is that we shall not do anything in this bill that controw convenients the executive orders of the president. it's pretty simple. we should not be spending taxpayer dollars to promote hate and we should not be justifying that by some religious exemption when in fact the language in the defense bill simply rolls back the anti-discrimination provisions that the president put in executive order to those contained in the original civil rights act and the a.d.a. it is specifically designed to
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exclude lgbt americans, and in doing that, it aligns itself with the parallel efforts we see happening in states like north carolina. it's wrong and it doesn't have anything to do with our military. it doesn't have anything to do with fighting isis. it doesn't have anything to do with religious protections. it's about bigotry, plain and simple, and today we have another chance to do the right thing and to send the right message and to stick up for our military. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back. >> if the gentleman will yield? mr. maloney: yes, i will. mr. dent: i just want to state i support the amendment and oppose discrimination in any shape or form in this case as it relates to federal contracting. i yield back. mr. maloney: reclaiming my time. i want to thank the gentleman from pennsylvania and i want to acknowledge that it was the gentleman from pennsylvania, together with mr. hannah from new york, who craig -- mr.
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hanna from new york, who courageously supported it. i'm honored by the support and i'm honored by the position you've taken in this house over the past couple days. i yield back. the chair: any member claiming time in opposition? the gentleman from texas. >> i rise in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. sessions: mr. chairman, thank you very much. mr. chairman, i do respect the gentleman for his right to come and offer in an open rule in a different bill his objections to what occurred last night. last night, the house of representatives passed the bill and today the gentleman's offering a limiting amendment that would turn back that amendment that we made. mr. chairman, several days ago the house armed services committee handled this issue. it was not sneaking something in. it was a straight up vote. it was a vote that was held in the armed services committee, and then the -- and it passed
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nd then the final vote was 60-2. mr. chairman, that is a bipartisan vote. that is a vote from people who viewed who are on the committee that they were not going to let one issue or another get in the way of supporting the men and women of our united states military. they very clearly, all of them on the committee understood during this long markup exactly the implications and they lived with the decision. i am here today to say that the gentleman is fully entitled to do as he's doing. but the vote was held last night. the overwhelming viewpoint was, let's support the united states -- mr. maloney? mr. sessions: i will in just a second. let's support the united states military and let's get this
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done, not the next day come on the floor with spilled milk on your face and say i want to go back and i want to relit gait a decision we -- re litigate a decision we made here on the floor. i will yield to the gentleman. i admire the gentleman. mr. maloney: i appreciate the admiration. is it necessary to discriminate gays and lesbians to support our military? mr. sessions: let me say this, the issue was handled -- and the gentleman knows this -- in committee. mr. maloney: it was resolved last night in -- it was resolved last night in the affirmative. in other words, this house said that it will include in a defense bill a provision that will roll back basic employment protection for gays and lesbians. my question to my colleague, mr. speaker, if that's necessary for the promotion of national defense? is it necessary to discriminate against gays and lesbians and transgendered americans? mr. sessions: i will reclaim my
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time, mr. chairman. i appreciate the gentleman. i am not without an understanding that there are ople who do have ideas which override other bigger ideas. i am simply saying to you, mr. chairman, i stand in opposition to what the gentleman is attempting to do here the next day in a separate bill to limit what we did last night when this body did understand that many people have a strong viewpoint that supports the gentleman and many people have a viewpoint that's against that. that's not my point. my point is we need to transcend that as a body and we did last night and we spoke very clearly, we need to support the men and women of the united states military, and we do not believe this is a stumbling block because we don't view what the gentleman's saying is the critical and key issue. that is why -- mr. maloney: if the gentleman will yield? mr. sessions: i appreciate him
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and i would yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back. mr. maloney: i ask unanimous consent to reclaim my time? the chair: is there objection? mr. sessions: objection. the chair: objection is noted. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from -- mr. bishop: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman moves to strike the last word. cheese 5. mr. bishop: i'd like to yield my time to the gentleman. mr. maloney: i thank the gentleman. i'd like to again express my thanks for my colleague's admiration. it's nice to have admiration. it's better to have rights and it's better to be treated equaly and without conned sention and i would just -- and without condescension and i would just say, is it necessary to discriminate against gays and lesbians in federal contracting to support our troops? is it necessary to remove employment protections in employers covering 28 million americans so that we can fight the war on isis? is it necessary to protect ourselves in our houses of
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worship by discriminating in federal contracting in businesss that are in the business of commerce and in private contracting? it is a tired and old and false choice to suggest that we need to discriminate to keep ourselves self, to -- safe, to keep ourselves free, and people in earlier times made that argument, sir. the notion they did it last night, this house got a lot of things wrong for a lot of people for a lot of years and then finally slowly almost to spite ourselves we figured out that we can be safe and free and equal and in fact becoming more equal in some ways makes us safer because it is the promotion of our values, through our actions and our ideas and our words, not just our weapons that promote our values around the world. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: i yield back.
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>> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman from georgia can yield. mr. bishop: i'd be happy to yield to the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman. i thank the gentleman for his kindness. i want to briefly join in the gentleman's recounting of our history, and i want to remind people of the eloquent statement of the attorney general lynch who indicated that civil rights is a very large tent and it embraces all americans, whether it's religious freedom or religious rights or whether it is a civil rights issue dealing with the race and ethnicity of americans. we have always overcome, and i believe that the men and women of the united states military deserve better than to have the kind of poisonous amendments that undermine the very reason that they put on the uniform, for us to be free, to speak
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freely, to associate and to stand as who we are. i am saddened because my history is a reminder that i did not stand equal in this nation either as a woman or an african-american or even as an immigrant of which my grandparents were, and so i join in pleading with this house to not in any way strip us of civil rights and tear up the constitution of the 14th amendment, the fifth amendment of due process. that would be shame on us. i join the gentleman in his amendment and i ask that we consider those who we like and who we dislike. they are americans and they deserve the right to be respected under the law. i would ask that the gentleman's amendment be accepted, voted on, respected and let us be the americans
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that our constitution dictates and our flag says we are. i yield back. the chair: all time for debate having expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is -- pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the apped offered by the gentleman from ew york will be postponed. any member seeking time? any other member seeking time? pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. first amendment, mr. mulvaney,
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south carolina. second by mr. mulvaney of south carolina. third, mr. mulvaney of south carolina. fourth, mulvaney of arkansas. number number 3 by blumenauer of oregon. mr. fleming of louisiana. huffman of california. gosar, arizona. amendment by mr. perry, a. and amendment by mr. maloney of new york. the chair will reduce to two minutes the after the first vote in this amendment. the first amendment offered by the gentleman from south carolina, mr. mulvaney, on which further proceedings were postponed and noes prevailed by voice. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. mulvaney of being south carolina something. the chair: those m support of request for recorded vote, a sufficient number having arisen, members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 52. nays are e -- the 372. the request is the vote on
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amendment number 2 of mr. mulvaney, on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: eam an amendment offered by mr. mulvaney of south carolina. the chair: those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] -
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 5 . the nays are 371. the amendment is not acopted. the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote on third amendment by the gentleman from south carolina, mr. mulvaney, on which further proceedings were postponed on which noes prevailed by voice
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vote. the clerk redesignate the am. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. mulvaney of south carolina. the chair: recorded vote having been requested, those in request for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 56. the nays are 363. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote on the fourth amendment by the gentleman from south carolina, mr. mulvaney, on which further
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proceedings were postponed and which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. mulvaney of south carolina. the chair: recorded vote having been requested those in support of the request for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 64. the nays are 360. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote on amendment number 3 printed in the congressional record offered by the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, on which further proceedings were postponed and which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. blumenauer of oregon. the chair: recorded vote having been requested those in support of the request for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 233. the nays are 189. the amendment is don'ted. -- is acopted. the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from louisiana, mr. fleming, on which further proceedings were postponed and the noes sprow pro-veiled by vose vote. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. fleming of louisiana. the chair: recorded vote having been requested, those in support of request for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
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commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 219. the nays are 202. the amendment is adopted. the unfinished business is on the would request for recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california, mr. huffman, on which further proceedings were postponed and the no, sir prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number by mr. huffman of california. the chair: recorded vote having been requested, those in support of the request for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is order. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the
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u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 265, the nays are 159 with one voting present. he amendment is adopted. the unfinished business is the
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request for a recorded vote on on amendment offered by the mr. eman from arizona, gosar, on which further proceedings were postponed and which the ayes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. gosar of arizona. the chair: a recorded vote having been requested, those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 200, the nays are 225rk the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania on which further proceedings were postponed on which the ayes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. perry of pennsylvania. the chair: a recorded vote having been requested, those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 209, the nays are 216. he amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of amendment by the gentleman from new york, mr. maloney, on which further proceedings were postponed, on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. maloney of new york. the chair: a recorded vote having been requested, those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: the amendment is not adopted. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 71, line 7, this act may be cited as the military construction, veterans' affairs, and related gency appropriation act, 2017. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. dent: mr. chairman, i move the committee do now rise and report the bill back to the house with sundry amendments and with a recommendation that the amendments be agreed to and that this bill as amended do
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pass. the chair: the question is on the motion the committee rise. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have t the motion is adopted. accordingly, the committee rises. the chair: the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 497 directs me to report the same back to the house with sundry amendments and recommendation that the amendments agreed to nti-bill be amended do pass. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the cheat of the the clerk of the house: has had under consideration the bill h.r. 4974 and pursuant to house resolution 736 reports the bill back to the house with sundry amendments adew pointed in the
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whole committee ---in the committee of the whole. the previous question is -- under the rule, the previous question is ordered. he house will be in order. he house will be in order. the house will be in order. > mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. for what purpose does the minority whip seek recognition? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. hoyer: i want to raise a parliamentary inquiry initially with reference to the fact that mr. ryan, our speaker, has told us if people were in the well that the vote would be held open. i was standing in the well, no one came or no one had the courage to come into the well to change their vote, but notwithstanding that, the vote kept changing. mr. speaker, from a parliamentary perspective, how s that possible? the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for changes. mr. hoyer: i saw no one come to the desk to change their vote, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman have a parliamentary inquiry. mr. hoyer: the inquiry is how can the vote change when no one comes to the well to change heir vote?
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair had not yet announced request for changes. mr. hoyer: i didn't hear the chair request change, but i do know that from my personal observation not one of those members who apparently changed their vote because it kept changing on the board came to this well and had the courage to change from green to red or red to green. how is that possible, mr. speaker? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has not stated a parliamentary inquiry. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, let me raise another parliamentary inquirery. mr. speaker, let me raise a parliamentary inquirery. mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the chair will put them engross. the question on - - mr. hoyer: i ask for a recorded vote on the committee rising. mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: those
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in favor will vote aye, those opposed, no. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the ayes have it. hoyer: -- mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i did not hear and therefore was not able to ask for a recorded vote on the motion to rise. the speaker did not articulate that, so the house could hear it. and i suggest the -- i request a vote on the motion to rise. now, the speaker may tell me we are past that point, but the fact of the matter is, nobody on this house floor heard the speaker articulate the issue of whether the committee ought to ise. the speaker pro tempore: the house is definitely -- past that point. is the gentleman seeking a recorded volt on the -- mr. hoyer: on the motion to rise.
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the speaker pro tempore: on the adoption of the amendment? mr. hoyer: recorded vote on the adoption of the amendment. which amendment is the speaker talking about? -- 's talking about the the speaker pro tempore: the chair is putting the vote on the separate amendments. mr. hoyer: yes, i do. the speaker pro tempore: ecorded vote is requested. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker. i withdraw, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to withdraw my request for recorded vote.
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magically without anybody coming to the well to change their vote. but giving to the majority the right to have you do it without coming to the well and telling america that you were voting changes your vofmente i withdraw. -- changes your vote. i withdraw. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the speaker pro tempore: the ayes have t third reading. -- have it. third reading. >> i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: recorded vote is requested. those in favor of the recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered.
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members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] this 15-minute vote will be followed by a five-minute vote and passage of the journal.
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 241 and the nays are 183. third reading. the clerk: a bill making appropriations for military construction for the department of veterans affairs and represented agencies for fiscal year ending september 30, 2017, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill under clause 10 of rule 20. the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device.
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pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, this five-minute vote on passage will be followed by a five-minute on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal if ordered. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 295 and the nays are 129. the bill is passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the journal stands approved.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. hoyer: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the purpose of inquiring of the schedule for the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the gentleman's request? mr. hoyer: thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend for a moment while the house receives a message from the senate. the messenger: madam speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed h.r. 2814, an act to name the department of veterans affairs in centerville, tennessee, the danny h. carr veterans outpatient clinic. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank you, madam speaker.
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madam speaker, i saw the -- i thought i saw the whip. i'm prepared to yield to someone to tell us the schedule for the week to come pending someone telling me the schedule for the week to come, let me observe as someone who has served in this house for some extended period of time, some 36 years. i was here in the era not too long ago but long ago when if we had done to the republicans what was done to us, what was that switch votes so discrimination could prevail, there would be outrage expressed long into the night from our republican colleagues who would accuse us of undermining democracy,
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undermining this house and making the house less than it should be. 217 people stood up and said we ought not to discriminate, and then very frankly, madam speaker, the leadership on the republican side started its activity. i've been the majority leader, i've been the whip, i understand that process. and they reached out to people and said, no, let us be able to discriminate. let contractors be able to discriminate. >> if the gentleman will yield? mr. hoyer: not right now, thank you. and mr. speaker, seven people who had voted not to allow discrimination decided perhaps that principle was not as important as they thought just
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a minute or so before. i have a list of those names here. a lamentable list of people who did the right thing, who stood up for nondiscrimination and then were opportuned to change their vote and the record reflects, mr. speaker, sadly, that they changed their vote. i won't characterize those votes because that would not be in order on this floor, and they will have themselves to ook at tonight in the mirror and explain to themselves whether their first vote was a
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principled vote or whether they had a damascus road experience in the few minutes that transpired between their voting not to allow discrimination until they later, just a few minutes later, at the opportunity of some of their leaders voted to allow discrimination. . a sad day, mr. speaker, in the history of the house. i still see no leader unless mr. department, who i have great respect for, wants to tell us what the dead is -- schedule is for next week. i'd be glad to yield to him for that purpose. i want to say, mr. speaker, that the majority leader is not here. the majority leader has a very happy day today. and congratulate him. his son is graduating from georgiatown -- georgetown. and he obviously needs to be there. i was hoping someone else could
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tell us the schedule. at this point in time i'd be glad to yield to my friend, mr. sessions. the chairman of the rules committee. mr. sessions: appreciate it. i would like to politely offer viewpoint that i believe that we do not view that the issue was discrimination. that we view -- have the viewpoint that earlier in the week, we brought forth a bill in the sed 40-2 committee of armed services. and that bill was brought forth to the rules committee and we held hours and hours and hours and hours of hearing that republicans and democrats were not only welcome to attend but did attend. and that the debate on the issue that we had was very full and brought forth not only at the rules committee but also on
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this floor, and that a decision therein was made, and that the opportunity for our members to vote is exactly what they did. and i'm sure the gentleman would want every single member to vote and have time to think about that vote until the time that the vote closed. and that is exactly what happened. so the characterization that discrimination would not be fair or correct. i appreciate the gentleman allowing me a chance to amplify that every member of this body is entitled to their vote. and every member of this body, without questioning, in my opinion, that vote, should be afforded that opportunity. and so i stand on behalf of republicans to say that we
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followed processes, we're following procedures, and we're following the opportunity for a member of congress to vote as they choose and try not to impugn or detest that with a word -- of applying a word of discrimination which i feel like is not accurate under our intent. and so i thank the gentleman for allowing me time. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. and the gentleman will observe i have neither mentioned the names nor do i -- carefully did not impugn their integrity. or their motivation. what i said was, and what i will repeat, is initially they voted for an amendment that said there shall not be discrimination by contractors who get government money. that's what the amendment said. and they voted against discrimination and for that amendment.
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but in a short period of time, they changed that vote, resulting in not, not becoming law yet, but this house saying to the administration, you cannot require contractors not to discriminate. that was the effect of it. and characterizing the effect of a vote is what our debate is about. what our country's values are about. what our country's future is about. and the respect we have for every citizen in this country. endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. and we ought not preclude those through discrimination. that i can characterize without impugning motives. but the effect of the vote -- we had 217 people for nondiscrimination. right up until the last moment. and by the way, the last moment
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was far beyond what speaker ryan has said ought to be the end of votes. as a matter of fact, i talked to -- if i can just finish my sentence, i will certainly do that. i talked to the parliamentarians. interestingly, the presiding officer did not ask, does any member want to change his vote, because once that, as i understand it, is into ened, then the ability to change -- intoned, then the ability to change's one vote, except to come forward and be seen in changing your vote, was not stated. which i suggest to the gentleman, the chairman of the rules committee, who knows the rules very well, is unusual. perhaps not against the rules. but unusual. and the vote was an extended vote. speaker ryan has talked to us from the ross trum saying that we want to keep votes to a
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limited period of time. particularly, i would suggest, we all want to keep votes to a limited period of time when it is a so-called getaway day. but in this instance, that did not occur. n this instance, to change rom 217 to a lesser number that was a losing number, 215 to -- 215-214, i believe, was the final vote. excuse me, 212-215. so five votes were switched net. however one person voted late. again, seven people changed their vote. you're correct. they had a right to do that. but the consequences of that vote are subject to debate. and i raise for you, for this house, and for the american people that the changing of hose seven votes resulted in this house saying to the
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president of the united states, you cannot tell contractors that they cannot discriminate. that i think was unfortunate. i will yield to my friend. mr. sessions: thank you very much. first of all, let me state this, i am a republican, we do not discriminate. we attempt to follow the law and the gentleman knows that. we make laws and those laws can be subject to interpretations of what is and what is not. but we follow the law. and the gentleman knows that. and we follow the law and my party follows the law. secondly, the decision had previously been made the night before. we were not trying to do that today. it was once again allowed under the rules because the gentleman accurately -- whether it's appropriate or not, that's up to him -- brought forth under
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an open rule a limited amendment. but we had decided in the night before. and when people -- decided in the night before. and when people -- decided this the night before. and when people recognized this, that this was a vote that happened the night before, out of the armed services committee, that was 40-2, there were people who then recognized what they were doing. it is not unusual to have people who vote and do change their vote. i have done that also. but the rules were followed, -- different than procedural ways than the person in the chair. i will tell you -- i respect the gentleman, and you know me well. mr. hoyer: i do. mr. sessions: i would not stand up here if i were for fear of one second of not being able to understand you and you understand me. i understand you. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. mr. sessions: i thank the
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gentleman. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. let me make an observation on which the gentleman would stay in the well because he might want to respond. i did not accuse the republican party of discriminating. i will not at this point in time hazard an opinion on that fact. however, i want to recall to the gentleman that in the armed services committee, after due consideration, the armed services committee voted not to discriminate. not to discriminate against women. not to say to women, yes, you can serve, but you don't have to sign up for the draft. many of us felt that if you're going to ask young men to sign up for the draft, young men, women ought to be treated equally. we felt not to do so was discrimination. that amendment passed in the committee. and came to the rules committee , and my understanding, mr.
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chairman, is, without a vote, without discussion, the rule that was issued from the rules committee said that upon option of that rule, the adopted amendment in the armed services committee, without a singular vote on this floor of he house, would be defeated. that, i say to the gentleman, was neither regular orders, nor was it giving this ability to make a decision on that issue. and i believe -- i personally believe that it results in continuing discrimination against young men and young women. one of which has to sign up, the other whom does not. but they both have to serve or can serve voluntarily in the armed forces of the united states. so, we may have a difference of opinion on whether or not that was in fact discrimination.
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but i will tell the gentleman that i was not happy and i'm still not happy that we did not have a vote on the floor about what we perceive to be discrimination. and regret that the rules committee chose to hide in its rule the repeal of what the armed services committee adopted. if the gentleman wants to respond, i will yield to him. mr. sessions: i will concur hat i in fact did offer in the bill a self-executed portion. i would not try to take advantage of the gentleman, it had nothing to do with the draft. i will agree that i did take a this body, ve because a number of people who did vote for it in committee, , did ecame a voice vote
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wish to change their opinion. but it had nothing to do with the draft, sir. mr. hoyer: it seems what the gentleman's saying, reclaiming my time, that people vote not to discriminate and then sometime a little later on they have a new epiphany that perhaps discrimination is ok. perhaps that's what the gentleman was saying. mr. sessions: i would ask an indulgence. it had nothing to do with discrimination. it had to do with a new policy. and it is true that i did rule and put a self-executing rule in that did answer the question desire of the committee to handle this issue, and i did it accordingly. i thank the gentleman. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, it appears that no one is going to be able to tell me what the schedule is for the week to come. i will tell you that's unfortunate.
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i hope there is a schedule for the week to come. because there's a lot to be done. we haven't done -- we haven't finalized zika. we passed a bill here which we think was inadequate. we haven't dealt with flint. we need to pass puerto rico restructuring. i think they've made some progress on that. i congratulate the speaker. and the leader for facilitating that progress. we don't have a voting rights bill scheduled. we need to do that. there are a number of other serious pieces of legislation this house needs to consider. we're going to go out next week and we will have no colloquy next week, mr. speaker. there will be no opportunity to discuss the schedule for obviously the break, we will have no schedule, but for june or the weeks thereafter, to do some of the serious business that cronlts us and to help some of the people -- crobblets -- cronlts us and to help some of the people in this -- confronts us and to help some of the people in this country that needs help. it's clear that nobody on the other side is going to have any
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response and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise today to commend several communities in pennsylvania's fifth congressional district which are taking a stand in the battle against our nation's opioid abuse and heroin epidemic. last evening i chaired a hearing here on capitol hill on this epidemic and just this morning i learned of two town hall meetings, one held last night in titusville, and crawford county, and the other held tuesday evening in ridgeway, elk county. these communities, like
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countless others across pennsylvania and our nation, have witnessed firsthand the tragic impact of this epidemic. elk county is ranked ninth in pennsylvania in overdose deaths per population of 100,000 people. crawford county has seen its overdose deaths double in the past four years. i'm proud to see these communities come together to see what can be done to help turn the tide against the scourge of prescription drug abuse and heroin use. i'm also proud of the package passed last week, 18 bills here in the house, which will make grant funding available to state and local governments for the creation of opioid reduction programs, create a task force to review prescribing practices, and care for babies who are born opioid-dependent. in the future i look forward to further partnerships between federal, state and local officials, along with these communities, in winning this battle. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from nevada seek recognition? ms. titus: to address the house
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for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. today the ell, house did do one good thing and that was to take a major step forward with the historic passage of an amendment that removes the barriers for our veterans administration health professionals to discuss alternative treatments, specifically medical marijuana, with their patients in states like nevada where it's legal. this comes on the heels of action last week addressing the opioid epidemic that's plaguing r nation and the -- and it's especially heartbreaking in our veteran community where these are being prescribed for pain treatment and ptsd. the amendment passed today, which i was pleased to support and to offer, will provide additional tools for our medical professionals and the treatment of our veterans so they won't have to resort to
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opioids. i'm proud that this amendment did have bipartisan support but moving forward we must continue to reform our outdated policies and laws and bring congress into step with the state legislatures and over half of the states in the country that have move forward on this issue. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. carter: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize mr. greg parker, founder and president of parker's market in coastal georgia and south carolina. mr. speaker found his way to an immensely successful business through hard work and dedication. mr. parker's father ran a gas station in midway, georgia, allowing mr. parker to learn the business through pumping gas and cleaning customers' windshields. after graduation from the university of georgia, mr. parker began to work relentlessly in his father's gas station.
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he managed the convenient store, cooked food for customers and also pumped gas and cleaned windshields. now, parker's has 45 stores up and down the coast of georgia and south carolina with a total of 600 employees. furthermore, parker's market plans to build 17 new stores in the next 13 months. the savannah morning news even named him the 2013 entrepreneur of the year. mr. parker's service in the first congressional district of georgia, he generates each year to local schools and hospitals. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> request permission to speak for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. last night we voted on the national defense authorization act and today we voted on a military construction, veterans affairs bill. both contain provisions that
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are harmful to immigrants and america. i proposed two amendments to the ndaa and am disappointed they were not given a chance to be voted on. the ndaa bill that passed prohibits the use of unused military grounds to house unaccompanied immigrant children while their asylum case is being processed. mr. cardenas: my amendment would allow them to increase the shelter capacity by temporarily housing unaccompanied children in understand used d.o.d. facilities. i also offered an amendment that would have daca recipients to enlist in the military for as long as the program exists. to deny brave, dedicated men and women the opportunity to defend this great nation is just un-american. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the
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gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise to commend my colleagues for supporting and passing the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017. the ndaa reaffirms our commitment to supporting our men and women in uniform by enhancing pay and benefits for our service members and their families. providing not only for the country as a whole but also for back home in the 12th district of georgia. mr. allen: it authorizes full funding requested by the army for construction projects at fort gordon, projects that bring state-of-the-art technology and training to our troops and authorizes funding for the savannah river site so it can continue leading the globe in nuclear waste management. i am very pleased the committee adopted the allen amendment, expanding army cyber rotc programs for those universities already working with our nation's service academies, like augusta university in my
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district. simply put, the ndaa is a key piece to our national security and i was proud to wholeheartedly support it. our troops deserve it, our national security depends on it, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. veasey: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. r. veasey: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the great loss of a grammy-winning mexican american tejano and country star emilio navaira. he was born in san antonio in 1962 and found musical inspiration in not only traditional tejano legends but also country legends like willie nelson and george strait. his love and passion for music grew and grew and when he graduated in high school in 1980 he attended texas state university where he received a music scholarship and majored in that. although he planned to become a
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teacher, he ultimately followed his passion and became an award-winning singer, songwriter and performer in both the u.s. and mexico markets. started his career with the tejano band, david lee garza los musicals. and also hit the stage with selena. emilio, known as the garth ooks of tejano, he went to the mainstream. although we mourn the loss of this mexican american music legend, his memory will live on forever. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida -- texas -- excuse me -- seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: you may continue.
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ms. jackson lee: thank you. i rise, mr. speaker, to honor and i also rise to challenge. my honoring is to acknowledge the national law enforcement officers memorial and to honor those who have fallen in battle, to acknowledge the fact that an officer is killed in -- united states every 60 so i salute those who have fallen and offer my sympathy to their families but recognize it is important to honor them and we do honor them. that is why i rise today with sadness on what we did on the floor of the house where we actually said to those lgbt communities that serve in the united states military or by contracting work serve the united states government that you're not equal. how sad that is. and i'm looking forward to this house next week overturning that dastardly provision that
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says that one american who comes under the constitution is not equal. finally, let me say that we are suffering from the prediction -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: possibility of the zika virus and this house must fully fund the zika virus epidemic that is coming. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. wasserman schultz: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. wasserman schultz: i rise this afternoon to recognize the remarkable career of lauren shulman. she is retiring as the florida political director of the aipac, the largest pro-israel advocacy group in the country. lauren began her political career 26 years and served in a positions with many. lauren has mobilized and
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engaged florida's pro-israel community. she has built relationships with members of congress on both sides of the aisle, key to the success of the pro-israel movement. lauren has helped all floridians how, against all odds, israel has become a pros perg democracy whose groundbreaking contributions in technology, medicine and environmental innovations have benefited the world. lauren's commitment to our community and i'm proud to call her a good friend. i wish a harty mazeltov to lauren and thank her for her invaluable work. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. gohmert: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourns to meet on monday, may
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23, 2016, when it shall convene at noon for morning hour debate and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, and is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. gohmert: i appreciate you, mr. speaker. it's amazing sometimes the way in the heat of dispute, any of us ometimes can have it happen to us, people don't think clearly. i've been here for nearly 11 1/2 years in congress. it's a tremendous honor to get to be the servant for the people of east texas. but in that 11 1/2 years, four in hem the democrats were
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the majority and my friend from maryland, mr. hoyer, was the majority leader during those rules never the changed with regard to how the electronic voting worked. for the last 11 1/2 years, it's always been the same. and that is, we could take our voting card and as long -- and it has a rill little -- little computer chip in it. if the blue light on the box is lit, it means that box is open for voting. a most every other roll has voting slot on the back. and we put it whichever way. it recognizes the one of a kind computer chip that belongs to that one of 435 members, and
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then you can hit the green button for yea. the red button for nay. the yellow button for present. and the blue light is on there, it's next in order on the box but it can't be pushed. it just lets you know the box is open for voting. and toward the end of a vote, particularly a 15-minute vote, the speaker will not have gaveled the vote dead but oftentimes the box goes dead right before the gavel comes down, and even to that point you can still change your vote but it's just when the blue light goes out you can't do it at the box. you have to come down to the well. and what i've noticed every year for the last 11 1/2 years that i've been here, if we're and on a 15-minute vote
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all of us have probably done it at one time or another, if you need to change your vote, maybe you looked up and, for example, sometimes one person has multiple amendments and you see their name and it's their amendment and you're oh, i was not going to vote for that and you vote no and you need to change your vote to yes, you can still change your vote at the box but on a 15-minute vote, once you get past five minutes, you normally have to come down to the well and get a green card for yea, red card for nay or yellow card for present or abstaining and change your vote that way. but on a five-minute vote or a two-minute vote, if you need to ange your vote, you didn't understand the significance, constantly happens when people
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change their vote, to change your vote, if you have your voting card, you can -- you've been able to change it at the box on a five-minute vote or a two-minute vote. now, every now and then before the gavel comes down, the blue light will go off on the box so you can no longer change your vote or vote at that box and that's when you hear someone yelling one more, one more and they come rushing down the aisle to get the vote in before the gavel comes down. now, in my 11 1/2 years, only one time has there been a massive and gross violation of the rules the way we have followed them in bringing a vote to a conclusion and i can understand my friend from maryland being sensitive because this happened on his watch as majority leader but republicans were in the minority and yet there was a
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vote -- i don't even remember if it was a bill or amendment. i think it was an amendment, but the republicans voting against the amendment had enough democrats voting with us a we were bringing down democratic amendment or bill and it was left open for enough time that anybody that wanted to change could have changed and when the democrat in the chair felt that enough time had passed, no other changes were being made and the measure being voted on had failed, then the gavel came down. the rule's always been, when the gavel comes down there can be no further changing of the vote. perhaps majority leader at that
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time hoyer forget. but that was the time -- forgot. but that was the time they violated their own rule, subsequent investigation confirmed that. they violated the rules and allowed someone whose arm they were twisting to vote after the gavel came down, change the vote, change the outcome of the vote. that didn't happen here today. and the vote wasn't held open all that -- it wasn't held open very long at all after the end of the time running out. sometimes, whether it was democrats or republicans in the majority, it runs to zero. but if then in -- but if in the opinion of the chair or the speaker there is somebody wanting to change their vote or somebody that is making a good faith effort to get here to vote, they'll leave the vote open. sometimes, like when speeger pelosi was meeting with -- speaker pelosi was meeting with president obama at the white house, wasn't getting back in
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time, or majority leader hoyer, they weren't getting back in time, well, that vote would be held open to give them time well beyond the 0k00 so they could cast that vote. nobody objected because we knew they were making a good faith ffort to get here. but i understand sometimes we forget things that we've been doing for a number of years, especially in the heat of debate and the verbal battle here on the floor, people can forget what they've been doing for many, many years. but that's been the way the voting and the rules on voting have worked and been interpreted for many years. i was greatly surprised to hear the former majority leader challenging on the basis that people didn't come into the well to change their vote on a -- it was either a five-minute
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or two-minute vote. well, they've always been able to change their vote. voting boxes were open. so anyway, we all have those mental lapses where we forget things, we've been doing for years. we forget -- i mean, it just happens. especially here on the floor. and so there's nothing to be taken from former majority leader hoyer forgetting how the rules were when he was majority leader, and forgetting how they've been all these years since. so, no hard feelings. he just had a mental lapse and forgot how the rules have been ever since he's been here, the entire time. so, there has been a great deal wailing and t of gnashing of teeth about what i would term the iranian crisis,
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because it truly is a crisis that this administration has enabled iran to go ahead and develop nuclear weapons, to continue down that path. and even though they're supposed to be prohibited, they continued to develop missiles that eventually will be capable of delivering nuclear weapons onto the united states, they've got missiles to deliver them onto israel right now. but as prime minister netanyahu so ably has pointed out from this very rostrum right up here, those missiles they're developing now are not for israel. they can already reach israel. those are for the great satan. so it was deeply troubling to hear the confessions and
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admissions of the white house advisor, consultant, mouthpiece, ben rhodes, reveal that the administration, and i'm being careful, mr. parliamentarian, not to use any specific names, i'm addressing generally the administration, that the administration had to lie to the american people and had to lie to the house and how evil iran really was, and had to talk about how moderate they were. when actually the fact is, apparently, bless you, apparently under the so-called moderate president rouhani, there have been more people put to death than even under the former president, ahmadinejad.
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this man's no moderate. and though the american people were fed lies about the negotiations, they were having to negotiate either directly or indirectly with the ayatollah khomeini. they don't make big decisions ike a nuclear weapons deal , ess the religious leader the ayatollah khomeini, agreed. just like his successorer -- i mean, his predecessor, the ayatollah khamenei. so, just like with the revelations about obamacare, now that we've had someone working behind the scenes with the administration, who revealed, yes, you know, the reason obamacare passed was
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because people are such fools, they were able to fool them into voting for a bill that was really not anything like what was being represented, and yet along comes ben rhodes and he admits they did the same thing on obamacare. i mean, on obamacare, that they did on the iranian treaty. now, i understand the administration's never called it a treaty. and there are people in the senate who have not had the courage to call it a treaty. but it is a treaty. you can't change nuclear proliferation treaty with an executive agreement or an executive order. it can't be done. it has to be done with another treaty. clearly there are a number of things that made clear that the iranian deal was a treaty. it should have been brought to the floor of the senate, still should be, it's time.
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you can do it any time this year. could do it with 51 votes of the senators, setting aside cloture, and saying the iranian treaty is a treaty, it is going to allow iran to have nuclear weapons that will allow them to devastate both the little satan, in their opinion, israel, the great satan, the united states, and it needs to be stopped. so hopefully the courage will abound eventually in the senate, and we'll get that vote and therefore people could go to -- people with standing could go go to court and -- withstanding, could go to court and stop the flood of billions of dollars to iran. which is already said, with the billions of dollars in the first year this administration is going to make available, they're going to commit so much more to terrorism than they ever had. then we get this story, just a few days ago, from the
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washington free beacon, entitled, iran shows off third underground missile site. says, iran's military recentably publicized a third underground missile facility and showed the launch of a new ballistic missile through the top of a mountain. it was the third time since october that tehran showed off an extensive network of underground missile facilities. the new video, however, for the first time shows a missile launch from one of the country's underground launch facilities. disclosure of the new video comes as iran this week conducted the third launch of a ballistic missile since january , when the nuclear deal aimed at curbing iran's nuclear weapons development went into effect. and i would submit, that part
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of the story is inaccurate. it's being considered to have gone into effect, but it's a treaty that was never ratified by the u.s. senate, and it's an ineffective treaty. but both sides are -- no, i'm sorry. the obama administration is choosing to act as if the iranian agreement really is an effective treaty. iran has shown they have no intention of following that agreement, they have violated it a number of times, and the nly reason iran would have the gal to go forward and say, hey, look, we've got a third underground missile site, we're going to let you see a launch, we don't care that the world knows that we're violating this last agreement with obama and kerry, and wendy sherman, to
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help give north korea nuclear weapons under the clinton administration, we don't care that they know, because we have now seen that this administration will not stand up to us, they'll let us push them around, they'll even let us take their soldiers or their naval officers, their naval seamen captive, violate virtually every treaty on the , eatment of prisoners , miliate the american sailors , ce them to lie on camera and after all that's said and done, we'll get the secretary of state to come back and thank us. i mean, it's like from animal house. kevin bacon being beaten, saying, thank you, sir, may i
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have another? iran's figured out, they're the senior pledges and this administration will take a beating and keep asking, thank you, sir, may i have another? and iran is all that willing to give them another and another. the trouble is, this isn't a comedy movie. this is real life. christians and jews are being argeted, persecuted and killed in greater numbers than in any time in the history of the world. , e middle east is on fire except israel is a place of stability. but if this administration has its will, it will become a powder keg before long as well. libya had become more stable,
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and after the united states went into iraq, because saddam hussein continued to refuse to orders to abide by the of the u.n. that were passed by huge majorities, requiring them to disclose what they had, he wouldn't comply, most everybody was, including those who now say, i really wasn't for it, even though i voted against it -- or voted for it, i really wasn't for it, but at the time people thought, look, this guy must have something to hide, because he's certainly not letting us get in to see what weapons he has. other reports indicate that they had been taken from iraq and were no longer present. but either way. it scared gaddafi enough that, as some of the israeli leaders
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have told me, we were shocked when you provided the fire wer, the planes, the bombs that made possible to eliminate gaddafi, because, yeah, he had blood on his hands before 2003, but after 2003 he helped you more in fighting terrorism than anybody but us. . and looked what happened as a result. it turned egypt upside down. problems in albania, problems all over north africa, problems for the middle east, north africa, both. problems coming down, radical islamists in nigeria and more central flynn countries. they paid a heavy price for the improper leadership of this administration here in the united states.
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it's just tragic how many have lost their lives already. then we hear reports in nigeria and i heard it when i was in nigeria trying to help the nigerian families whose daughters had been abducted and we were hearing reports that this administration behind the scenes is saying look, we'll help you with the boko haram, the terrorism -- although they don't like to use that word, radical extremism that is occurring in nigeria if you will change your laws, violate your religious beliefs and allow same sex marriage and pay for abortion, then we'll help you. and as one nigerian catholic bishop said, our religious beliefs are not for sale, knots
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to the u.s. president, not to anybody. got an article that goes on about the situation with iran. also may 12, kerry's peculiar message about iran for union banks, says u.s. secretary of state john kerry met in london with a group of financial institutions for discussion about iranian banking matters. the meeting, which followed repeated complaints by iranian officials that they aren't getting the benefit of the bargain under the nuclear deal was made by the state department thatrsuade none-u.s. banks it is not only permitted after iran's sanctions, but actually encouraged. the irony will not be lost on these financial institutions.
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most of them were similarly gathered 10 years ago by the u.s. treasury secretary to discuss banking matters, but that discussion focused on protecting the integrity of the global financial system against the risk posed by iran. in the decade that follow, george bush and obama strayings, as well as the u.k. and other governments, the union union and united nations all imposed extensive sanctions targeting iran's illicit conduct. banks were briefed extensively and repeatedly by the u.s. treasury department on iran's conduct. the financial action task force, the global standard setting body for anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing warned about the financial crime risk posed by iran.
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as a result, iran has become a financial piraha. no one has claimed that iran has ceased to engage in much of the same conduct including actively supporting terrorism and building and testing ballistic missiles. but now, washington is pushing non-u.s. banks to do what is still illegal for american banks to do. this is a very odd position for the u.s. government to be taking. it is shocking that this administration continues to be complicit with the largest supporter of terrorism in the world. how many lives will be lost because of this? there was a time when america would not tolerate the kind of treatment of americans that
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occurred to our seamen when they were taken captive. not only did we not come to their defense, we praised iran and thanked them for being so gracious in the manner in which they abused our sailors. this article goes on and says, on the one hand, washington is continuing to prohibit american banks and companies from doing iran-related business. in february, the fatf, the financial action task force, reafffirmed its prior concerns about the serious threat iran poses to the international financial system. urging countries to apply effective countermeasures. the u.s. treasury department's designation of iran, including its central bank and financial institutions as a primary money laundering concern, also still
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stands. as part of that designation, treasury determined that the international financial system is increasingly vulnerable to the risk that otherwise responsible financial institutions will unwittingly participate in iran's illicit activities. mr. kerry wants non-u.s. banks to do business with iran without repudiation of its prior statements about the associated financial crime risks. there are no assurances as to how such activity would subsequently be viewed by the u.s. regulatory and law enforcement authorities, which might seek to take enforcement action against the banks that enter into the iranian market d run afoul of complicated u.s. restrictions. the state department doesn't play any meaningful role.
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washington has warned repeatedly that the islamic revolutionary guard corps controls broad swaths of the iranian economy. the r.g.c. remains sanctioned by both the united states and the union union because of the role it plays. when they remove sanctions from several hundred iranian banks and companies, there were no assurances that the conduct of those banks and companies had changed. this will present a challenge for union banks. hsbc is endeavoring to implement consistent and high standards across its global operations, designed to combat financial crime and prevent abuse by illicit actors. we have more work to do but achieving that objective is one of our highest priorities. this approach is rightly expected by regulators including in the u.k. and u.s.
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our decisions will be driven by the financial crime risks and the underlying conduct. for these reasons, hsbc has no intention of doing business involving iran. governments can lift sanctions, but the private sector still responsible for managing its own risk and no doubt will be held accountable when it falls short. may 12.s from and appears to be somebody that certainly knows the banking usiness. i would like to comment a bit about, again our illegal immigration problems and our pourest borders, because the
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administration continues to act as if all is well, all is well. when it's not well. previously may 19, deported illegal alien allegedly killed proposal teen. the man the houston police say was driving drunk and evading arrest and crashed into a car and killing a woman on her way home from a proposal and was listed as a previously deported illegal alien. a 27-year-old previously deported illegal alien from guatemala has had an immigration detainer placed on him after being processed into the harris county jail on one count of felony murder and one count of felony evading resulting in death or serious bodily injury.
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it's still going on. and with that going on, this administration continues to push for and has allies in congress pushing for what they're calling sentencing reform, when actually it won't be reform as much as it will be rather devastating. the pendulum on criminal justice swings back and forth. most history shows it's always been and probably will always be, whether totalitarian government or a democratic republic such as hours, my friend in the senate, senator jeff sessions has an article says senator 19, jeff sessions warns that congress must be careful to ensure that sentencing reduction bills pending before congress do
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not boost already rising crime rates and signed death warrants for innocent victims. the sentencing reform and correction acts which the alabama republican opposes goes to obama's anti-law agenda and could cause a aenormous toll. this is obama's policy and the attorney general, who he has apointed and eric holder before her, to basically cut people's sentence that have been imposed throughout this country and it's impacting public safety and will continue to do so in the future. the senator also highlighted many high profile cop killings as the obama administration makes police work more difficult. he said in the last year, we have lost 123 police officers, 35 in the first four months of
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2016. violent crimes and murders have increased across the country at alarming rates. let me just share with my colleagues some of the things we are seeing in violent crime. the major cities chiefs of police association called a meeting to deal with the numbers i'm going to share with you today. the numbers i quote represent the percentage increase in total murders in the first quarter of this year, 2016, over the first quarter of 2015. las vegas, 82% increase. this is murder increase. dallas, texas, 73% increase. chicago, 70% increase in murders. jacksonville, florida, 67% increase in murders. newark, new jersey, 60% increase. miami-dade, 38%.
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los angeles, 33%. these are substantial increases in crime, according to f.b.i. statistics released this year the number of violent crimes committed across the country was up in the first half of 2015 compared with 2014. so we are going up and up and 72%, 70% age is increase is even more dramatic than that when you go back two years. but sessions also quoted f.b.i. director comey's concern about the rise of crime. quote, i'm more worried because the numbers are not only going and continuing to go up faster in those cities. something's happening. i don't know what the answer is, but holy cow, do we have a problem. yes, we do have a problem.
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and one of the answers mentioned in this article, again from may entitled obama doesn't think rapists, drug dealers are criminals. i think i found -- according to obama, criminals should now be declared justice-involved individuals. the knee' or wellian comes to us from the bizarre flurry of last-minute dictates and bone-chilling threats collectively known to fan boys as obama's gorgeous good-byes. in a dear colleague letter sent to universities and colleges, obama said education secretary discouraged colleges from asking plibts whether they were
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convicted criminals. it used to be a matter of common sense, most america cans wanted to know and especially in dorms that have now become coed where you have men and women living among each other, it was considered valuable information to know if your daughter was going to be living in, around or with a convicted rapist. that was thought to be good nformation. apparently that's no longer considered by this administration important information. people have shown an interest in knowing whether there are child molesters where their children are growing up and children are playing around the area. they want to know if their child is at risk because they know
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there is a significant recidivism rate particularly among child molesters. and yet, this administration says it's time to quit calling criminals, criminals. but again, that's in keeping with the unwillingness to call radical islamists as muslim eader of egypt, our friend calls it, it is radical islamist he, had the courage to tell imams themselves, we have got to get control of islam and wrestle it back away from the radical islamists. and as my friend carolyn glick has pointed out in the "jerusalem post," by this administration's refusal to call
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radical islam, radical islam, it betrays our allies who are the president of egypt who are wanting muslims to stand up and say, these islamist should not be allowed to represent our religion because they know that they do. and when you have a man with multiple degrees in islamic saying that g -- yes radical islam is the ultimate islam and on the other hand you have a president that, yes, he did go to school in indonesia, muslim schools in elementary school, but he doesn't have any degrees in islamic studies like the world , well,in islamic studies
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one is president of the united states with no degrees in islamic studies and he says it's not islam but a man that studied islam his whole life has multiple degrees, including ph.d., he says not only is it islam, as head of isis as he is, this is islam the way it should be. we should be giving assistance to our allies, giving them cover by not going on with this facade where we -- this administration refuses to call radical islam, radical islam. to call radical islamic terrorism exactly what it is. they are not helping our friends around the world that are trying to stand up and do the right thing. and you can go back to libya, the attack on benghazi. we now know from what's been gathered from emails and
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information that secretary clinton basically told the president of libya, we know that this benghazi attack was not on a video, in essence, that it was a planned attack. she told her daughter. and yet she went out, as did susan rice, representing this administration, and told us all, oh, it was all about the video. telling victims' families, we're going to get the guy who did the video. victims' families from benghazi have told me personally, when secretary clinton said we're going to get the guys that did the videos, which she now says she didn't say, how tragic is that, so basically, calling these victims' families liars,
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but the families say when she said we'll get the guy that did the video, they were infuriated. they said, we didn't care about the guy that did some video. we wanted our government to get the guys that killed our loved one. and that was not the message. but you have to understand, there were a lot of things to do , there were promises to keep and miles to go before they slept but we don't know if they just went to bed and slept when they found out the ambassador, personal ambassador of secretary of state clinton and president obama was missing, did they just go to bed? they won't tell us. we know president obama had a very important engagement the next day, had to fly out early to las vegas for a big campaign speech. we know. we understand. hey, that was more pressing, we
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got that, we understand. to him that was more pressing. but what do you do? do you go to sleep when you get word that your personal ambassador is missing the first time since 1979, an ambassador ends up being killed? he wasn't given adequate protection, and now we're hearing more and more reports from people that the assets were there to go help, they could have saved at least two, maybe more, of the fur four, but they loued to go and -- allowed to go and save the american heroes. well, there's an article from nservative review entitled "busted: the 10 most dangerous myths about criminal justice reform," it's being pushed especially by this administration, and we d have
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some colleagues in the house and senate that are as well. myth number one, the prison population keeps growing even though crime is declining. inteligentsia c. argues our criminal justice system is in need of reform. many americans would agree that current laws are too lenient on criminals. and disregard the victim all too often. it was the tough reforms put in place during the reagan years and in the 1990's that produced the sharpest decline in violent crime on record. those reforms, coupled with more aggressive policing, led to the only positive social trend in public policy in recent memory that trend is now being reversed, precisely as incarceration rates decline and obama and his allies ratchet up the war against law enforcement. while correlation doesn't
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necessarily prove causeation, the correlation is indeed striking and in conjunction with the defanging of local police department, the release of tens of thousands of federal prisoners can only result in exacerbating this negative trajectory. now we know that from the information that the f.b.i. provided to senator session well, know that about, maybe less than 1% of federal inmates in federal prison are there for possession of a controlled substance. that most are there for more. 99% or so are there for more than that. but those that have been involved in the criminal justice system, both in the state side as i was and on the federal side, i mean, we work with each other, and we know the federal government never had interest, that i ever saw in simple
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possession cases. where they had interest is if a real bad guy, maybe he'd been involved in a shooting, a killing, a rob, possession, but his anted him to turn on boss so they could get the bigger fish, they had to offer something to get him to turn, and they would offer, i've seen we will -- we ok, can't have a plea agreement where we set a certain sentence, as they do in state court, but what we can do is agree to drop all the charges except this one possession so the sentence is not that great, whatever the judge does won't be that great, won't have the weapons charge in there even though he used a weapon, engaged in violent activity, if it will help us get mr. big.
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that happens. i've seen it happen. become in the early 1980's, i was court appointed in federal court, i had approaches like that. with regard to my clients. what can you help us, here's what we're willing not -- what charges we're willing to drop even though we know we can prove them. yet this administration acts like that never happens and that obviously all these people in prison because of drug charges are really nonviolent. that's garbage. that's why the crime rate keeps going up as this administration forces the release of more and more people. this article points out another myth, there are millions of people incarcerated in america's prison for no good reason. while there are approximately 1.5 million people incarcerated in american jails, prisons, and other institutions, only 195,900
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are federal inmates. which is a 10-year low. only 159,000 in federal system are housed in actual prisons. the rest are in privately managed facilities, home confinement, short-term detention, long-term boarders, residential re-entry centers, pretrial holding. at least 25% of the federal prison population are comprised of illegal aliens and possibly more who are noncitizens. we should save money by releasing those criminals and deporting them. but what good does it do to deport somebody now when the border is so wide open? myth number three. the incarceration costs so much money, criminal justice reform will save billions. well, without reading through the whole article i can tell you that's garbage as well. another myth, number four, this bill will only release low
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level, nonviolent drug offenders and as i pointed out, that's simply not the case. but it's a good article. myth five, we have a big government culture of over criminalization that threatens liberty. the biggest problem of over criminalization is when congress has passed a law that says you can go to prison for violating any of the regulations regarding this subject and then bureaucrats in some cubicle somewhere put some regulations in place under this administration, sometimes 80,000 page of new regulations a year, and people, as the heritage foundation has said before in one of their books, we're probably all violating three or four federal laws a day. one other thing i want to touch a because it's been debated,
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lot of allegations made, people trying to assert that republicans somehow are supportive of the old ways of slavery, so mr. speaker, i just want to read from the democratic party platform of 1856. of ays, quote, this is part the platform, this is the belief of the democratic party, the national party. congress has no power under the constitution to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several states and such states are the sole and proper judges of everything pertaining to their own affairs not prohibited by the constitution and all efforts of the abolitionists, that's those who wanted to end slavery, or others, made to induce congress to interfere with questions of slavery, are calculated to lead to the most
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alarming and dangerous consequences and that all such efforts, talking about to end slavery, have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the union and ought not to be countenanced by any friend of our political institutions. the democratic platform of 1856 also declares that new states to the union should be admitted with or without domestic slavery as the state may elect. platform that year also says that we recognize the right of the people of all the territories to form a constitution with or without domestic slavery. platform of 1860 of the national democratic party, in seeking to uphold the fugitive slave act, state that quote enactment of
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state legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the fugitive slave act are hostile in character, subversive of the constitution and revolutionary in their effect. the 14th amendment giving full citizenship to freed slaves 94% d in 1868 with republican support and zero percent democrat support in congress. the 15th amendment giving freed slaves the right to vote passed in 1870 with 100% republican support and zero% democratic support in congress. the constitution of 1902 in virginia disenfranchised the black men who voted at the beginning of the 20th century and nearly half of the white men. the number of eligible african-american voters fell
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10,000 000 in 1901 to by 1905. the measure was supported almost entirely by virginia state democrats. in 1924, the democratic national convention convened in new york at madison square garden. the convention is commonly known s the klan bake due to the overwhelmingly influence of the n. luxkla leading the democrats in their opposition to civil rights for african-americans was a member of the democratic party, senator robert byrd from west virginia who is known to be a recruiter. senator byrd spoke directly about the civil rights act in a
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14-hour filibuster proclaiming that men are not equal today and 1776. t created equal in men and races of men differ in mental capacity, creativity and vision. the democratic party identified itself as the quote, white man's party, unquote and demonized the republican party as being dominated by african-americans. so it's interesting to hear these rewritten parts of our history. and when you know the hearts and minds of the people on the republican side of the aisle, you find out there's nobody that wants slavery. we wished that slavery that held this nation back because daniel webster used to preach and john quincy adams used to preach how
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was a good god going to keep blessing america when we were treating brothers and sisters in christ, putting them in chains and bondage? america was harmed. t was devastating to african-american lives, be placed in slavery, the humiliation. and i'm grateful to be part of the party that stood up and made the change. but more than the republican judeo christian beliefs especially in the 1700's after the first great awakening in america, revival in america, where people turned to god, became christians, they understood travesties better by
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understanding the bible and they stood up and demanded equal rights for people and it led to a revolution. in the 1800's, there was a lot of debachery, but a second great awakening -- churches were behind the and litigationist movement. we should never be putting brothers and sisters in chains. that's an abomination. it held america back. it helped greatly prevent america from reaching the heights that it would once slavery was gone. but then even after slavery was gone as a result of the great republican father of our party, abraham lincoln as he is
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sometimes referred to, people were not treated equally. as i just read, even in virginia, the great state of virginia, democrats were determined to prevent african-americans from voting and they were successful in large degree. but, mr. speaker, i think the good way to finish today is to go back to the final argument, we have the entire final argument from john quincy adams did ed in 1824 and 1830 he an incredible thing, after being president, he ran for congress, for the house of representatives. didn't run for senate, but for the house of representatives. he believed god was calling as
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-- to bring an end to slavery, adams god was calling him back into government after being defeated as president, that he would lower himself to run for the house of representatives. got elected in 1830. speech after speech was against slavery. how can we expect god to bless america when we are putting chains on people. sermons were so powerful and he filed bills to end slavery to free slaves over and over, those sermons he preached on the floor of the house had a powerful impact on a homely guy named abraham lincoln. he overlapped briefly before the massive stroke that took adams out.
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adams, he knew when he died back in the speaker's suite that he had not done what god called him to do, in 1848. and we know and lincoln knew and said as much as steve mansfield, great book on lincoln's struggle with god, that those speeches on the house floor down the hall, they didn't end slavery, but they materially changed the attitude and affected that man med abe bra ham lincoln -- abraham lincoln, he would see that slavery ends. at the end of his argument he was afraid he did not prevail on behalf of africans who were taken captives by another african tribe, sold into slavery and taken to the african coast,
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t on a ship, put on a ship called the amistad. great movie. their position was, we aren't anybody's property. the spanish -- the africans took over the ship, landed accidentally in america. the spanish said these people are our property and this ship -- africans said we aren't anybody's property. that case was argued downstairs in the old supreme court chamber. adams knew if he didn't do an adequate job, the africans would leave in chains and he was scared to death that he would not have been up to the job and as a result there would be more suffering. we have his exact argument and he finished like this. this is after he has been president, he said little did i imagine that i should ever again
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appearing in the capacity as an officer of this court. i appear again to plead the cause of justice. now, of life and liberty on behalf of many of my fellow men before the same court, which in a former age, i would have dressed in rights of property. i stand again. i trust for the last time before this same court. he goes on to say, i stand before the same court but not before the same judges nor aided by the same associates nor resisted by the same opponents as i cast my eyes, he stood looking at the judges, along those seats of honor in the public trust, they seek in vein for one of the most honorable person whose indulgence listened then to my voice. marshall, curbing, chase, washington, johnson, living ton, todd, where is that learned
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lawyer who is my associate counsel in the management of that cause. robert goodlow harper. where is that lumeary, the pride of america. luther martin, where is the excellent clerk of that day whose names have been inscribed on the shores of africa as a monument to the opponents of the slave trade. where is the marshal, where are the crires of the court, where are the judges of the court? arbiters of life and death -- e whom i mens this commence this argument. where have they gone? gone. gone. which in their generation they rendered to their country from the excellent characters which they sustained in life so far as i had the means of knowing, i finally trust they have gone to receive the awards of the blessedness on high and taking
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my final leave of this bar, of this honorable court, i can only hope a fervent petition to heaven so that every member of it may go to his final account with little earthly frail ti and that you may, every one of you, after the close of a long career in this world be received at the portals of the next with the proving sentence. ell done good and faithful servant, enter now into the joy of the lord. we should all hope as such. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. gohmert: i move that we do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted.
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accordingly the house stands adjourned until noon on monday
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>> second, it's a step in the direction of unraveling the bipartisan budget agreement agreed to seven months ago and third, this provision threatens our readiness to respond to the challenges of a complex world. without the resources to sustain
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it tomorrow, it is not a path to increase readiness but a path to a force. secretary remains ready to work with congress and looks forward to working with congress on a path forward but he has indicated he would recommend a veto of this legislation in its current form. and i would like to highlight some continued progress in the counterisil fight. iraqi forces have entered a town and in the last day, they have expanded government control and cleared 80% of the town. its position on the root between jordan and central iraq. more than $1 billion in trade passed through the town and the opening of that root will have important benefits for the economy both in iraq and in the region. and in addition, this operation
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recaptures the final isil strong hold in southern iraq. the strategic significance of this town is significant. and with that, i would be happy o take your questions. >> can you talk about egyptair, what efforts the u.s. military is taking to identify any cause, are you looking at any silent imagery, whether you see a flash? it's hours old and has the u.s. been able to analyze something at this point? >> it's still early. as i said we will provide you any information that might be helpful, but at this point, there is nothing we can rule in or out. if there is information we can provide in the future, but this is still early in the investigation. the egyptians and the french are
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taking the lead. but we have nothing at this point that leads us to any conclusions. >> were you aware of any indications that isis was trying to talk to airliners? >> i'm not aware of any specific threat here, but i would refer you to my colleagues at the department of homeland security specifically on that question. but we are trying to do what we can to help with our resources in terms of the search effort with the p-3. that's our most immediate concern at the department of defense. >> what war ships were in the mediterranean and given that the u.s. is partnering, do you have any radar that is being looked at right now to see if there is an image as to what happened to this airplane? >> we have a variety of assets and personnel in the region and we have a host of capabilities
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and we will be reviewing everything possible that could be helpful in the course of this investigation, in terms of the immediate presence there, we did not have any ships immediately in the area, but we do have a presence in the region. and the most immediate thing we could do to be helpful in support of the search was the deployment of this aircraft and that aircraft is still right now conducting search operations. >> plan to send any u.s. ship to the area to help with recovery? >> i'm not aware at this point. again, we have offered assistance. any further support that we can employ, but at this point, it's just the aircraft that's involved. >> egyptair said they found some wreckage and wondering if the p-3 was part of that? any initial reports that they have seen anything? >> i don't have any initial
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reports that the p-3 has found any wreckage. i don't know that they haven't. i just know this was a mission that they were going to be up there for six hours. they have when on station for a while at this point. again, 3:00 p.m. local time they took off and that's local time in italy, this aircraft originated from. and so they are continuing their work, but i can't tell you if they played a role. >> when that p-3 is off station, will there be another aircraft to be able to replace it? >> again, we have significant resources in the region and we are going to do everything we can to support this effort. i'm not aware of a replacement that is teed up and ready to go, but i'm sure we will make arrangements. but we have other resources in the region.
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>> do you know if the secretary has had phone calls with his egyptian counterpart or is planning to do so? >> the secretary has been informed of what's been going on and our contributions to the search effort. i don't have any particular conversation to give out at this point. >> no contacts with egypt? >> to be honest, i haven't been with the secretary all day. if there is a call of some sort, we'll report that out. >> china is rejecting the u.s. claims that the plane flew in an unsafe manner. where is your review right now and do you believe that you guys were flying in a safe -- >> we believe our folks were flying in a safe manner for sure. >> they were flying. >> this incident is still under review, but certainly our air
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crew felt that this was not conducted in the safest and most professional way and we'll continue to review the facts in this case. and this is an area where we had not had really a significant number of issues like this since some confidence-building measures over the last few months and so obviously there is a concern that something like this would happen. we will go through the review process and determine what, if any, appropriate action is needed. >> can you walk us through the facts? >> we are still going through the review. but our aircraft was flying in international airspace and again, i can't walk you through every single detail but two chinese aircraft that approached and our air crew felt that the
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approach was not conducted in the safest -- safe and professional manner and that's the concern we have and that's what's being reviewed at this time. >> the claim that the u.s. is trying to violate their airspace or violate their sovereignty or something like this? >> my understanding is this happened over the south china sea and we have continued to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows and we feel confident our crew was conducting this, again, in an international airspace as allowed under international law. > american citizen, u.s. contractor is a suspect in the murder. can you comment? >> give me one second here. this is a very tragic situation in japan and we are shocked and
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dismayed to learn about this incident. and i assure you that the secretary at the department of defense will give cooperation to local authorities regarding this investigation. this is an appalling tragedy. secretary carter joins ambassador kennedy in expressing his sympathies to the victim's family and friends. and we extend our deepest sympathies to the people of japan and express our gratitude for the trust they place in our bilateral alliance and we will assist the investigation in any way we can. >> congressman gowdy of the benghazi committee has complained that the pentagon has not been responsive in requests to provide the names of drone pilots that might have been able to respond to the benghazi
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attack? >> we continue to work with all congressional inquiries into this matter and we had been cooperating with this committee in a range of ways. this particular request, my understanding that we have now provided the names of four drone pilots and four sensor operators who operated on that date, to the committee. that was provided in april and yesterday we offered to make four pilots available for interviews with the committee as soon as next week and we will work to identify additional pilots and operators again requested by the committee and will provide those names to the committee as well. >> you would dispute the idea that you haven't been fully responsive to the committee's request? >> again, we continue to work with this committee, responded this particular request for these individuals. my understanding is that some of
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these people are not still in the service at this point and one even may be deceased. so we continue to work closely in trying to provide the information to the committee that they've requested and we'll continue to do so. >> just on a different subject, former defense secretary robert gates was interviewed this morning and he made some sharply critical remarks about the way the pentagon and the administration has characterized the role of u.s. troops specifically in shying away from describing it as combat. see k he used the phrase mantic back flips were being deployed to describe this in a clear way. could you respond to that. >> i didn't see the form secretary's interview. certainly have great respect for secretary gates. so i would want to see exactly what it is he said. and i think you know when
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addressing questions here and the secretary as well during the course of his travels recently, we made very clear what american troops are now engaged in overseas and many cases they are in harm's way and there have been instances where they have been engaged in combat situations. the secretary has been clear about that and i have been clear about that as well. these folks are in harm's way and we have seen painfully through recent experience that evidences itself. so we are not engaging in see mantic back flips but americans at risk. it is important to show that american forces in iraq in iraq and afghanistan are providing in support roles to those local forces as they carry out the very important work in trying to secure their countries and it is
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a different role than those forces were in several years ago in both those countries. so there is a distinction there. but to be sure, american forces have found themselves as we saw most recently with charles keating in combat situations in which they are in harm's way. so we have made that clear. the secretary has been quite clear about that. >> the critics are pointing to that kind of terminology when you say the troops are in harm's way or in a combat situation as opposed to just flatly saying they're in combat. that's the thing that people are focusing in on as they see it as see man particulars. ? >> they have been in certain situations. they have found themselves under fire. that is combat. again, we're not -- i don't think we are disagreeing with you, jamie, but it is fair as
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well to say that the role of u.s. forces in iraq and afghanistan is different than previously when they were in the lead in terms of combat operations. they are not in the lead in combat operations now but they have found themselves in combat. yes, that's a fair statement. >> going to the war against isis in iraq, in december, top officials said that 40% of isis-held territory had been recaptured and now that number has moved to 45%. is secretary carter about the pace of operations. only a 5% difference from five months ago. >> the secretary has made clear he wants to accelerate the defeat of heist i will and until that happens -- isil and until that happens and their claims to a caliphate are eliminated that he won't be satisfied.
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he would like this to move faster. and i think he's made that clear from the start. >> does the secretary think that the recent bombings in baghdad that killed over 200 people, will slow down efforts to take most you will and other parts of the caliphate -- that the timing is going to be pushed away? >> i don't think the secretary feels that way. obviously, we are watching the situation in baghdad closely. certainly the violence that has been brought forward by isil is once again raises the question -- not the question but makes the point that the need to defeat isil, we need to accelerate that, eliminate the kind of threat it poses in baghdad and other parts of iraq. taking the fight to isil, maybe we could reduce the chances of attacks going forward.
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>> last year china and the united states came to an agreement on the rules for military encounters. the most recent intercept, how is that not a violation of that agreement? >> i don't know that it is or isn't. we are reviewing the information from this as i indicated earlier. that agreement, as you said, has reduced these instances, which they think is a good thing. the confidence hifere building measures has been productive and we will determine whether or not there needs to be an appropriate response. >> have you brought this up with the chinese and how it might go against the agreement? >> we are resuing it and use the diplomatic channels to register our concerns as appropriate once we have concluded ourselves what happened here and the circumstances. >> on tuesday -- >> we'll let you know and i
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don't have an exact deadline for you, but there are diplomatic channels to pursue and we will do so. how high the l us aircraft was when he was intercepted by the two chinese aircraft? >> i do >> i do not know that. >> will the ndaa seek to reduce the size of the council staff and does the secretary agree ith his predecessors that smst -- that that's something that needs to be done? >> i'm not going to get into the secretary's view he, expressed a view about the funding so again, i'm not going to get into every single aspect of the bill itself, other than particularly in the area of greatest concern
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for the secretary is the question about funds going forward. >> the house ndaa passed yesterday would cut funding for d.i.u. x and the strategic capabilities office. those are two of the secretary's biggest priorities. any thoughts on that? >> i'm not going to go into every single detail about the bill right now. he's expressed reservations about the funding part of it. those are two priority items for the secretary and i feel they're important and i'm sure he'll look forward to engaging with congress on why funds for those particular units are important at this moment in time. >> going back to iraq, can you talk about the defense official here talked about how this represents a shift in isis strategy from conventional fight to one of more, going back to terrorist roots i think is the phrase he used. as they look for ways to accelerate the fight can you talk about how he's planning to
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shift the u.s. strategy accordingly away from perhaps preparing for conventional battles and more toward preventing terrorist attacks like this one? >> i think this is something that we'll continue to work in conjunction with the iraqi government in support of their orces whether or not adjustments need to be made with regard to baghdad. this is something we'll continue to have a conversation with the iraqis about the threats they face, the threats our forces face in the region as well, of course force protection is critically important to us. and -- but in terms of the fight and the campaign plan for defeating isil, i don't know if we're going to see significant changes on that front because, again, that's moving forward, seing progress on the ground, the effort to isolate mosul, the raqa, in syria to isolate that will continue but of course there will be adjustments
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regarding the threats within iraq itself as isil does continue to adapt. i think you've heard general mcfarland and general votel talk about the need for us to adapt to the threats that isil poses. and we'll continue to do. so >> does this raise new concerns about the extent to which shia militia provide security in baghdad? >> again, i think that with regard to security in baghdad itself, these are questions that the iraqis have to deal with, we'll provide as much support as we can in terms of advice and assistance on adjustments that could be made but with regard in particular to individual forces, again, the security situation in baghdad is something that the people of iraq need to -- the government of iraq needs to confront and we'll do everything we can to support them them. >> in terms of american sprens there you have no concerns about that?
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>> in terms of the american presence in baghdad itself? we feel confident that we've taken the appropriate force protection measures to protect our people. >> one last question on the egypt airline, can you confirm it's still a search and rescue mission and hasn't transitioned to -- >> i'm going to leave that to investigators, to the authorities in egypt and france to characterize it. i've been able to share with you what we're doing at this moment o try to assist. >> on south korea, can you confirm whether the u.s. forces conducted any zika virus tests in south korea? >> i'll take that question, i'm not aware of any zika virus tests. i think this is a question that came up even last week. i'll take that question to double check but i'm not aware of any zika virus testing taking place in south korea. d.o.d. o.d. -- is
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perhaps helping the egyptian government in order to check the list of passengers of the egyptian plane to see if they any groups?s with >> just on behalf of the department of defense we'll provide whatever support we can to the investigation. i'll leave it to department of homeland security and other federal agencies that may be more direct communication with the egyptians about some of these issues but i think you've heard even from josh earnest already, the u.s. government stands ready to assist in whatever way we can with this investigation. >> last week, secretary carter ceremony mexico has become a problem for
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security on the continent and beyond. what was he referring to and what can the u.s. do? >> i think what the secretary was talking about is mexico's role, important role, as a regional defense leader, its activities in the inter-american defense board, the conference of defense ministers of the americas, its role as a regional player, its assistance, for example in responding to humanitarian and other disaster situations in the region and the role it's played in that regard. i think the secretary was again highlighting those positive contributions and the role that exico plays in the region. >> referring to security beyond , e borders of the continent how about the tchofingse president to send forces for
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peacekeeping operations? >> i think that was undoubtedly another factor in what the secretary in his characterization there, i think the secretary used it as a positive sign a positive role for mexico to play in peacekeeping operations and that was a significant decision from the president and one the sec retear certain he welcomes. i know the sec retear was pleased to have a chance to speak to of course mexican officials during that change of command ceremony. good moment for him to catch up on issues in the region. >> i wanted to, on the arrest in okinawa, i wanted to clarify a couple of points. you mentioned an offer to assist with the information. is that an outstanding offer or has there been cooperation or assistance already between military investigators and local authorities? >> i know that u.s. officials have been in contact with the japanese government over this.
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i don't want to characterize every aspect of it because i don't know in full but obviously we'd like to assist in any way we can. i think the ambassador expressed that and i'm sure the secretary feels the same way. >> about the person who was arrested, do you know if they were a civilian employee or a contractor? >> my understanding is the individual in question was a contractor, is not a civilian mployee. >> what about the incident in the south china sea. when you talk about possible responses, what's on the table, i guess? are you considering possible increased options in the region? increased i.s.r.? >> there are diplomatic channels in which to have appropriate conversation about these kinds
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of incidents, we're going to complete our review and determine what's the most popet next step. but i'm not going to get inty hypotheticals at this point. we've had these -- this has happened in the past and there are appropriate protocols to follow subsequently to try and again explain, or to engage in hose diplomatic conversations. >> the general briefed his counterparts on the recommendations for the next steps in afghanistan. the readout was sparse in terms of what those recommendations were. can you elaborate a little bit on what the general conveyed to general dunford and others in brussels? >> my understanding as to what jenny colson conveyed at that meeting in brussels was a situational update on what's happening on the ground in afghanistan at this moment in time. he spoke not just to u.s.
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colleague bus also to other nato colleagues from other countries who may be involved in the mission in afghanistan. it was more an operational update, it was not a set of recommendations for the future. it was, this is what's happening today. >> are those recommendations till on track, i think the end of june was the timeline for that? >> my understanding is jenny colson is still set to meet that 90-day window if you will and fully tends to meet that, following the chain of command in terms of reporting his recommendations up through the hain of command. >> the egyptair flight, it's my understanding that the plane went down within a safe area, considered not a threat, or not considered to be many threats to
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civilian aviation but given growing concern about the mediterranean region as a whole, has there been any discussion at this point about shifting resources between the u.s., nato, some of its other allies, to get a better view both on the mediterranean sea level and also perhaps air space from that area? >> this is -- there's a nigh toe mation -- nato mission there dealing with the migrant issue. and there are nato assets in the region for that reason. there's obviously the ugs has a presence there. other nato allies have a presence. i'm not aware of anything specific particularly to an aviation threat that requires the shifting of nato resources. i refer you to nato for that specifically. but we have a fairly significant presence in the region, as you know, and we were able to deploy an aircraft in this particular instance. but there's -- i'm not awear of any discussion of shifting u.s. assets to specifically deal with
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his kind of situation. >> a followup on jamie's question. you were saying there were situations in which u.s. troops in iraq find themselves in combat is that correct? >> yes. >> when they're not in combat situation, how does this department see their deployment? how does it define their deployment? is it defined as combat deployment whether they're in combat situations or not, and if not, how is it defined when they're not in combat situations? >> i think you've heard us describe in detail the training and advising and the assisting mission we've -- that our troops are engaged in in iraq, the support we're providing to iraqi forces. i think that's how we would describe that megs. they are still in harm's way, each and every one of those forces, and they may not find themselves in combat every single day. and -- but there have been instances in which they have. that's how we'd describe it.
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>> are you saying there's a distinction between being in harm's way and combating if i'm hearing you correctly. i'm just trying to understand the terminology. >> there are circumstances in which u.s. forces have found thems in combat and certainly there are circumstances in which they are not directly in combat, engaged in combat, in which they find themselves in harm's way. that's true every single day in iraq. we're pretty clear about that. we're going to continue to be. that there are situations in which u.s. soldiers are at risk. every single day. i think the secretary has been clear about that. >> what i'm trying to understand is how you define what situation is harm's way and what situation is combat. that's what i'm having trouble with. >> i think we've explained it multiple times. about the support role our folks are playing. the training that they're providing. the capacity building that we're conducting with iraqi security
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forces, trying to enable them to secure their country, and in the course of doing that given the situation with isil and the threat they pose, those u.s. forces find themselves in harm's way and there have within instances in which they found themselves in combat. and they, every member of the u.s. military there has a right to defend themselves if they find themselves in that situation as well. >> so what you're saying is, it's not continuing come bat, if i'm hearing you correctly? >> there are some u.s. forces that are right now not in combat in iraq, that's right. >> given the previous security concerns about charled de gaulle airport is d.o.d. considering issues an advisory to service members in europe not to travel to that -- through that airport? >> i'm not aware of any change in our current notification tosser vis members or civilians for that matter.
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>> the state department had a release today that designated isis bramplings in libya, yemen, and saudi arabia as terrorist organizations. i was rondering if that had any impact on the way the u.s. military pursues them or targets leaders. >> certainly we support the actions taken by our state and treasury colleagues and as you know, targeting the financing of isil leaders is one of the -- of isil overall has been an important component of our fight against isil and we've had success working with our colleagues in terms of targeting their financial network and in -- as you've seen from our direct air strikes, on their cash centers we've been able to have an impacten their finances. we think this is a step that could also prove productive in terms of targeting and further damaging their nnsrble network but there's no specific change
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for us as a result. >> back to the incident, does the secretary think the unsafer intercept by the chinese fighter jets was an us lited incident or does he think this is a pattern? >> as we've talked about in recent months, we've had confidence building measures in which these kinds of incidents have been rare and that's been a good thing. so i'm not sure we're prepared to conclude at this point whether this was an isolated incident but it's certainly not something we've seen a lot of recently and that's been a good thing, for all the reasons you would understand this is about safe and professional conduct in the air and particularly when our aircraft is in international air space. >> what's the sec retear's first reaction when you heard about the incident? >> lucas, i don't know what his first reaction was. i wasn't there when he learned about it. i'll be happy to ask him but again, the secretary would have concerns for the safety of our
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air crews anywhere in the world in which they run into a situation which they deem a counterpart to be conducting themselves in an unsafe manner. it's dangerous. >> just one question on the budget, you said earlier that taking the funding out of the house -- the plan to take funding out of wartime budget is not in our highest priorities. given the crash of the b-52 in guam, is there concern, the secretary has some concern that not enough money is going to funding pilots' hours, training and getting new aircraft given that so many of them frankly just can't fly right now, bombers, fighter jets and what not. >> there's significant investment in the budget plan we've submitted in new aircraft. f-35, for example. several -- there's several categories of aircraft in which there are new investments. there are new investments in this budget reflecting training and readiness for the air force, for the marine, for the navy.
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so the secretary believes that this budget represents an opportunity to vote invest in the future in terms of innovation, technology, aircraft, also invest in our people and provide them the kind of training, readiness skills they need to be able to conduct their missions and that follows a period of time in which because of the threat of sequester and budget cuts, it's been much marder to do those sorts of things and to some extent some of those issues we're facing now reflect decisions from the past and the budget uncertainty that we've seen the past few years effectively coming home to roost. and this represents, thanks to the budget eagreement, some certainty in terms of our plan, some certainty in our ability to try and address some of these readiness problems from the past, in a careful, planned, appropriate way, and to inject new uncertainty into the process now puts that at risk. we have a plan moving forward to improve readiness in terms of
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these investments and to put that in jeopardy, the secretary believes is not the right tep to stake -- not the right step to take. one more in the back then i've got to run. >> i want to go become to the okinawa issue. a u.s. presence in okinawa knuckleball knuckleball >> this is a tragic event. again, something that we're very concerned about. and this -- this is something we will obviously work closely with the japanese government to the extent we can but this is a shocking and dismaying incident and we certainly have great concerns about it. but at the same time we look forward to continuing to work with the people of japan, the government of japan, and continue to move forward. thanks very much, appreciate it.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> the u.s. house is den for the day and for the week. house lawmakers did approve the military construction v.a.
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spending bill for fiscal year 2017. but the road to passage was not as smooth as members might have hoped as the process got hung up on what was described as an anti-discrimination amendment to the bill. next we'll show you how the amendment apreered on the way to approval in votes then it failed as members switched their tallies. the amendment went down 212-213, leading to protests on the house floor by house democrats. we'll have that for you in a minute. meanwhile, the house is back monday at noon eastern, legislative work under way at 2:00 p.m. eastern. now a look at what happened on the house floor today as members cast their votes on that anti-discrimination amendment to defense appropriations bill that was, it looked ready to pass then it failed leading to sustained voice disapproval by house democrats. we'll start with a look at the amendment as it was introduced. house adopted a provision as part of the defense bill that
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rolls back anti-discrimination provisions contained in executive orders issued by the president in recent years. this is one of the ugliest episodes that i experienced in my three-plus years as member of this house. the inclusion of such hate-based language in a defense bill designed to support our military sends exactly the wrong message at a time when we should all be unified in supporting the efforts of our service members around the world. my father was a veteran. he was nearly killed in the service of his country. i've never voted begins the defense bill before. i never thought i would. almost a quarter of the constituents i represent in the hudson valley of new york come from families where a member is serving in the military or has served in the military. i represent the united states military academy at west point. we helped 800 veterans one at a time out of my district office in my three years in congress, and we passed legislation directly aimed at making their lives better. so it is not with an easy heart
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that i come to the house floor and oppose the defense bill, but this legislation snuck in the bill and kept in the bill despite a bipartisan effort to remove it sends exactly the wrong signal and it says that we are so concerned about discriminating against a group of lgbt americans that we are willing to destroy the bipartisan cooperation we should have on a defense bill. so my amendment today gives us another chance. it gives us a chance to correct some of the damage done last night by the misguided efforts of some members of this body. and what it would say is quite simple is that we shall not do anything in this bill that controw convenients the executive orders of the president. it's pretty simple. we should not be spending taxpayer dollars to promote hate and we should not be justifying that by some religious exemption when in fact the language in the defense bill simply rolls back
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the anti-discrimination provisions that the president put in executive order to those contained in the original civil rights act and the a.d.a. it is specifically designed to exclude lgbt americans, and in doing that, it aligns itself with the parallel efforts we see happening in states like north carolina. it's wrong and it doesn't have anything to do with our military. it doesn't have anything to do with fighting isis. it doesn't have anything to do with religious protections. it's about bigotry, plain and simple, and today we have another chance to do the right thing and to send the right message and to stick up for our military. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back. >> if the gentleman will yield? mr. maloney: yes, i will. mr. dent: i just want to state i support the amendment and oppose discrimination in any shape or form in this case as it relates to federal contracting. i yield back. mr. maloney: reclaiming my time.
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i want to thank the gentleman from pennsylvania and i want to acknowledge that it was the gentleman from pennsylvania, together with mr. hannah from new york, who craig -- mr. hanna from new york, who courageously supported it. i'm honored by the support and i'm honored by the position you've taken in this house over the past couple days. i yield back. the chair: any member claiming time in opposition? the gentleman from texas. >> i rise in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. sessions: mr. chairman, thank you very much. mr. chairman, i do respect the gentleman for his right to come and offer in an open rule in a different bill his objections to what occurred last night. last night, the house of representatives passed the bill and today the gentleman's offering a limiting amendment that would turn back that amendment that we made. mr. chairman, several days ago the house armed services committee handled this issue. it was not sneaking something
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in. it was a straight up vote. it was a vote that was held in the armed services committee, and then the -- and it passed nd then the final vote was 60-2. mr. chairman, that is a bipartisan vote. that is a vote from people who viewed who are on the committee that they were not going to let one issue or another get in the way of supporting the men and women of our united states military. they very clearly, all of them on the committee understood during this long markup exactly the implications and they lived with the decision. i am here today to say that the gentleman is fully entitled to do as he's doing. but the vote was held last night. the overwhelming viewpoint was,
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let's support the united states -- mr. maloney? mr. sessions: i will in just a second. let's support the united states military and let's get this done, not the next day come on the floor with spilled milk on your face and say i want to go back and i want to relit gait a decision we -- re litigate a decision we made here on the floor. i will yield to the gentleman. i admire the gentleman. mr. maloney: i appreciate the admiration. is it necessary to discriminate gays and lesbians to support our military? mr. sessions: let me say this, the issue was handled -- and the gentleman knows this -- in committee. mr. maloney: it was resolved last night in -- it was resolved last night in the affirmative. in other words, this house said that it will include in a defense bill a provision that will roll back basic employment protection for gays and lesbians. my question to my colleague, mr. speaker, if that's
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necessary for the promotion of national defense? is it necessary to discriminate against gays and lesbians and transgendered americans? mr. sessions: i will reclaim my time, mr. chairman. i appreciate the gentleman. i am not without an understanding that there are ople who do have ideas which override other bigger ideas. i am simply saying to you, mr. chairman, i stand in opposition to what the gentleman is attempting to do here the next day in a separate bill to limit what we did last night when this body did understand that many people have a strong viewpoint that supports the gentleman and many people have a viewpoint that's against that. that's not my point. my point is we need to transcend that as a body and we did last night and we spoke very clearly, we need to support the men and women of the united states military, and we do not believe this is a stumbling block because we
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don't view what the gentleman's saying is the critical and key issue. that is why -- mr. maloney: if the gentleman will yield? mr. sessions: i appreciate him and i would yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back. mr. maloney: i ask unanimous consent to reclaim my time? the chair: is there objection? mr. sessions: objection. the chair: objection is noted. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from -- mr. bishop: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman moves to strike the last word. cheese 5. mr. bishop: i'd like to yield my time to the gentleman. mr. maloney: i thank the gentleman. i'd like to again express my thanks for my colleague's admiration. it's nice to have admiration. it's better to have rights and it's better to be treated equaly and without conned sention and i would just -- and without condescension and i would just say, is it necessary to discriminate against gays and lesbians in federal contracting to support our troops? is it necessary to remove
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employment protections in employers covering 28 million americans so that we can fight the war on isis? is it necessary to protect ourselves in our houses of worship by discriminating in federal contracting in businesss that are in the business of commerce and in private contracting? it is a tired and old and false choice to suggest that we need to discriminate to keep ourselves self, to -- safe, to keep ourselves free, and people in earlier times made that argument, sir. the notion they did it last night, this house got a lot of things wrong for a lot of people for a lot of years and then finally slowly almost to spite ourselves we figured out that we can be safe and free and equal and in fact becoming more equal in some ways makes us safer because it is the promotion of our values, through our actions and our ideas and our words, not just
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our weapons that promote our values around t >> that debate led to a 15-minute vote and members continued passing their votes as it appeared the amendment was about to past. with just a few minutes remaining, the tally started to change as yays became nays as members switched their votes to raised voices on the floor. here's what it looks like.
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>> boo!
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the speaker pro tempore: on this volt, the yeas are 212, the nays are 213, the amendment is not adopted. the clerk will read. erk: page 7 this act may be cited as the military construction, veterans' affairs, and related gency appropriation act, 2017. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. dent: mr. chairman, i move the committee do now rise and report the bill back to the house with sundry amendments and with a recommendation that the amendments be agreed to and that this bill as amended do
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pass. the chair: the question is on the motion the committee rise. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have t the motion is adopted. accordingly, the committee rises. the chair: the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 497 directs me to report the same back to the house with sundry amendments and recommendation that the amendments agreed to nti-bill be amended do pass. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the cheat of the the clerk of the house: has had under consideration the bill h.r. 4974 and pursuant to house resolution 736 reports the bill back to the house with sundry amendments adew pointed in the
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whole committee ---in the committee of the whole. the previous question is -- under the rule, the previous question is ordered. he house will be in order. he house will be in order. the house will be in order. > mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. for what purpose does the minority whip seek recognition? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order.
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the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: i want to raise a parliamentary inquiry initially with reference to the fact that mr. ryan, our speaker, has told us if people were in the well that the vote would be held open. i was standing in the well, no one came or no one had the courage to come into the well to change their vote, but notwithstanding that, the vote kept changing. mr. speaker, from a parliamentary perspective, how s that possible? the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for changes. mr. hoyer: i saw no one come to the desk to change their vote, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman have a parliamentary inquiry. mr. hoyer: the inquiry is how can the vote change when no one comes to the well to change heir vote?
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair had not yet announced request for changes. mr. hoyer: i didn't hear the chair request change, but i do know that from my personal observation not one of those members who apparently changed their vote because it kept changing on the board came to this well and had the courage to change from green to red or red to green. how is that possible, mr. speaker? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has not stated a parliamentary inquiry. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, let me raise another parliamentary inquirery. mr. speaker, let me raise a parliamentary inquirery. mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the chair will put them engross. the question on - - mr. hoyer: i ask for a recorded vote on the committee rising. mr. speaker --
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the speaker pro tempore: those in favor will vote aye, those opposed, no. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the ayes have it. hoyer: -- mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i did not hear and therefore was not able to ask for a recorded vote on the motion to rise. the speaker did not articulate that, so the house could hear it. and i suggest the -- i request a vote on the motion to rise. now, the speaker may tell me we are past that point, but the fact of the matter is, nobody on this house floor heard the speaker articulate the issue of whether the committee ought to ise. the speaker pro tempore: the house is definitely -- past that point. is the gentleman seeking a recorded volt on the -- mr. hoyer: on the motion to
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rise. the speaker pro tempore: on the adoption of the amendment? mr. hoyer: recorded vote on the adoption of the amendment. which amendment is the speaker talking about? -- 's talking about the the speaker pro tempore: the chair is putting the vote on the separate amendments. mr. hoyer: yes, i do. the speaker pro tempore: ecorded vote is requested. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker. i withdraw, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to withdraw my request for recorded vote.
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magically without anybody coming to the well to change their vote. but giving to the majority the right to have you do it without coming to the well and telling america that you were voting changes your vofmente i withdraw. -- changes your vote. i withdraw. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the speaker pro tempore: the ayes have t third reading. -- have it. third reading. >> i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: recorded vote is requested. those in favor of the recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered.
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members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperatio >> the final vote tally on the amendment was 212-213, as you saw. after that there was a rare procedural vote followed by final passage of the military construction v.a. bill, the vote on that was 25-129. when legislative business was done for the day, house minority whip steny hoyer continued his quest to understand how the vote could have changed as it did as he had a colloquy with house rules committee chair pete sessions. come, let me observe as someone who has served in this house for some extended period of time, some 36 years. i was here in the era not too
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long ago but long ago when if we had done to the republicans what was done to us, what was that switch votes so discrimination could prevail, there would be outrage expressed long into the night from our republican colleagues who would accuse us of undermining democracy, undermining this house and making the house less than it should be. 217 people stood up and said we ought not to discriminate, and then very frankly, madam speaker, the leadership on the republican side started its activity. i've been the majority leader, i've been the whip, i understand that process.
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and they reached out to people and said, no, let us be able to discriminate. let contractors be able to discriminate. >> if the gentleman will yield? mr. hoyer: not right now, thank you. and mr. speaker, seven people who had voted not to allow discrimination decided perhaps that principle was not as important as they thought just a minute or so before. i have a list of those names here. a lamentable list of people who did the right thing, who stood up for nondiscrimination and then were opportuned to change their vote and the record
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reflects, mr. speaker, sadly, that they changed their vote. i won't characterize those votes because that would not be in order on this floor, and they will have themselves to ook at tonight in the mirror and explain to themselves whether their first vote was a principled vote or whether they had a damascus road experience in the few minutes that transpired between their voting not to allow discrimination until they later, just a few minutes later, at the opportunity of some of their leaders voted to allow discrimination. .
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a sad day, mr. speaker, in the history of the house. i still see no leader unless mr. department, who i have great respect for, wants to tell us what the dead is -- schedule is for next week. i'd be glad to yield to him for that purpose. i want to say, mr. speaker, that the majority leader is not here. the majority leader has a very happy day today. and congratulate him. his son is graduating from georgiatown -- georgetown. and he obviously needs to be there. i was hoping someone else could tell us the schedule. at this point in time i'd be glad to yield to my friend, mr. sessions. the chairman of the rules committee. mr. sessions: appreciate it. i would like to politely offer viewpoint that i believe that we do not view that the issue was discrimination. that we view -- have the viewpoint that earlier in the week, we brought forth a bill in the sed 40-2
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committee of armed services. and that bill was brought forth to the rules committee and we held hours and hours and hours and hours of hearing that republicans and democrats were not only welcome to attend but did attend. and that the debate on the issue that we had was very full and brought forth not only at the rules committee but also on this floor, and that a decision therein was made, and that the opportunity for our members to vote is exactly what they did. and i'm sure the gentleman would want every single member to vote and have time to think about that vote until the time that the vote closed. and that is exactly what happened. so the characterization that
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discrimination would not be fair or correct. i appreciate the gentleman allowing me a chance to amplify that every member of this body is entitled to their vote. and every member of this body, without questioning, in my opinion, that vote, should be afforded that opportunity. and so i stand on behalf of republicans to say that we followed processes, we're following procedures, and we're following the opportunity for a member of congress to vote as they choose and try not to impugn or detest that with a word -- of applying a word of discrimination which i feel like is not accurate under our intent. and so i thank the gentleman for allowing me time. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. and the gentleman will observe
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i have neither mentioned the names nor do i -- carefully did not impugn their integrity. or their motivation. what i said was, and what i will repeat, is initially they voted for an amendment that said there shall not be discrimination by contractors who get government money. that's what the amendment said. and they voted against discrimination and for that amendment. but in a short period of time, they changed that vote, resulting in not, not becoming law yet, but this house saying to the administration, you cannot require contractors not to discriminate. that was the effect of it. and characterizing the effect of a vote is what our debate is about. what our country's values are about.
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what our country's future is about. and the respect we have for every citizen in this country. endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. and we ought not preclude those through discrimination. that i can characterize without impugning motives. but the effect of the vote -- we had 217 people for nondiscrimination. right up until the last moment. and by the way, the last moment was far beyond what speaker ryan has said ought to be the end of votes. as a matter of fact, i talked to -- if i can just finish my sentence, i will certainly do that. i talked to the parliamentarians. interestingly, the presiding officer did not ask, does any member want to change his vote, because once that, as i understand it, is into ened, then the ability to change -- intoned, then the ability to
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change's one vote, except to come forward and be seen in changing your vote, was not stated. which i suggest to the gentleman, the chairman of the rules committee, who knows the rules very well, is unusual. perhaps not against the rules. but unusual. and the vote was an extended vote. speaker ryan has talked to us from the ross trum saying that we want to keep votes to a limited period of time. particularly, i would suggest, we all want to keep votes to a limited period of time when it is a so-called getaway day. but in this instance, that did not occur. n this instance, to change rom 217 to a lesser number that was a losing number, 215 to -- 215-214, i believe, was the final vote.
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excuse me, 212-215. so five votes were switched net. however one person voted late. again, seven people changed their vote. you're correct. they had a right to do that. but the consequences of that vote are subject to debate. and i raise for you, for this house, and for the american people that the changing of hose seven votes resulted in this house saying to the president of the united states, you cannot tell contractors that they cannot discriminate. that i think was unfortunate. i will yield to my friend. mr. sessions: thank you very much. first of all, let me state this, i am a republican, we do not discriminate. we attempt to follow the law and the gentleman knows that. we make laws and those laws can
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be subject to interpretations of what is and what is not. but we follow the law. and the gentleman knows that. and we follow the law and my party follows the law. secondly, the decision had previously been made the night before. we were not trying to do that today. it was once again allowed under the rules because the gentleman accurately -- whether it's appropriate or not, that's up to him -- brought forth under an open rule a limited amendment. but we had decided in the night before. and when people -- decided in the night before. and when people -- decided this the night before. and when people recognized this, that this was a vote that happened the night before, out of the armed services committee, that was 40-2, there were people who then recognized what they were doing. it is not unusual to have people who vote and do change
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their vote. i have done that also. but the rules were followed, -- different than procedural ways than the person in the chair. i will tell you -- i respect the gentleman, and you know me well. mr. hoyer: i do. mr. sessions: i would not stand up here if i were for fear of one second of not being able to understand you and you understand me. i understand you. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. mr. sessions: i thank the gentleman. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. let me make an observation on which the gentleman would stay in the well because he might want to respond. i did not accuse the republican party of discriminating. i will not at this point in time hazard an opinion on that fact. however, i want to recall to the gentleman that in the armed services committee, after due consideration, the armed services committee voted not to
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discriminate. not to discriminate against women. not to say to women, yes, you can serve, but you don't have to sign up for the draft. many of us felt that if you're going to ask young men to sign up for the draft, young men, women ought to be treated equally. we felt not to do so was discrimination. that amendment passed in the committee. and came to the rules committee , and my understanding, mr. chairman, is, without a vote, without discussion, the rule that was issued from the rules committee said that upon option of that rule, the adopted amendment in the armed services committee, without a singular vote on this floor of he house, would be defeated. that, i say to the gentleman, was neither regular orders, nor was it giving this ability to
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make a decision on that issue. and i believe -- i personally believe that it results in continuing discrimination against young men and young women. one of which has to sign up, the other whom does not. but they both have to serve or can serve voluntarily in the armed forces of the united states. so, we may have a difference of opinion on whether or not that was in fact discrimination. but i will tell the gentleman that i was not happy and i'm still not happy that we did not have a vote on the floor about what we perceive to be discrimination. and regret that the rules committee chose to hide in its rule the repeal of what the armed services committee adopted. if the gentleman wants to respond, i will yield to him.
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mr. sessions: i will concur hat i in fact did offer in the bill a self-executed portion. i would not try to take advantage of the gentleman, it had nothing to do with the draft. i will agree that i did take a this body, ve because a number of people who did vote for it in committee, , did ecame a voice vote wish to change their opinion. but it had nothing to do with the draft, sir. mr. hoyer: it seems what the gentleman's saying, reclaiming my time, that people vote not to discriminate and then sometime a little later on they have a new epiphany that perhaps discrimination is ok. perhaps that's what the gentleman was saying. mr. sessions: i would ask an

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