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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 20, 2016 12:00am-12:24am EDT

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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. 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
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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. 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
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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. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote.
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[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 long ago but long ago when if we had done to the republicans what was done to us, what was that switch votes so
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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. and they reached out to people and said, no, let us be able to discriminate. let contractors be able to
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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 reflects, mr. speaker, sadly, that they changed their vote. i won't characterize those
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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. . 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 --
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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 committee of armed services. and that bill was brought forth to the rules committee and we
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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 discrimination would not be fair or correct. i appreciate the gentleman allowing me a chance to amplify
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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 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
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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. what our country's future is about. and the respect we have for every citizen in this country. endowed by their creator with
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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 change's one vote, except to come forward and be seen in changing your vote, was not stated. which i suggest to the
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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. excuse me, 212-215. so five votes were switched net. however one person voted late. again, seven people changed their vote. you're correct.
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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 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.
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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 their vote. i have done that also. but the rules were followed, -- different
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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 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.
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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 make a decision on that issue. and i believe -- i personally believe that it results in
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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. mr. sessions: i will concur hat i in fact did offer in the bill a self-executed portion.
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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 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
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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. 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
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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
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>> that came up with the motion to recommit. the defense authorization bill was shot down. passed and then again, they came up as an amendment. e democratic congressman maloney, what was he trying to do? >> plus night was the defense
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authorization. the mcgrath used a procedural maneuver that would have amended the defense to illuminate that republican provision that was framed as promoting religious freedom. however, maloney, who is openly gay, worried it was personal for him. this could open up discrimination against people like him. so, he was trying to in last night's maneuver and this morning, he was trying to from theany funds executive order president obama issued. >> the amendment came up for a vote. a viewer saw it on c-span and your headline captures some of in the house ins after gop votes down lgbt measure." why was that vote unusual? >> house republicans, after
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taking the majority in 2011, they brought back his procedure for considering spending bills. wanted torepublicans return to regular order and open process, it also means the opportunity for democrats to hijack the process and forth both on things the leadership would rather deny from happening. morley was denied a vote, which the leadership controls. he was able to force it on this spending bill that came up today. >> right. it seemed democrats were fairly raw in terms of that vote procedure. your tweet on the follow-up, you say they are calling out specific republicans who changed their votes on the lgbt measure, talking about jeff denham, david young, switching their vote. did

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