Skip to main content

tv   US House of Representatives Special Orders  CSPAN  May 23, 2016 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT

7:00 pm
7:01 pm
7:02 pm
7:03 pm
7:04 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 389, the nays are 2. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
7:05 pm
without objection the title is amended. the unfinished business is the question on suspending the rules and passing h r. 4671 as amended which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: h.r. 4671, a bill to require multiline telephone ystems to have a default configuration allowing a person to dial 911 without dialing any prefix, code or other numbers. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection the title amended. the unfinished business is the question on suspending the rules and passing h.r. 2589 as amended which the clerk will report by
7:06 pm
title. the clerk: union calendar number 451, a bill to amend the communications act of 1934 to require the federal communications commission to publish on its internet website changes to the rules of the commission not later than 2440urs after -- 24 hours after adoption. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended this the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection the title amended. the chair lays before the house n enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 2814, an act to rename the department of veterans' affairs outpatient .linic in tennessee
7:07 pm
the speaker pro tempore: any record votes on postponed questions will be taken later.
7:08 pm
7:09 pm
7:10 pm
7:11 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. will staff please carry your conversations off the floor. lear the well, please. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3969 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3969, a bill to designate the department of veterans' affairs community-based outpatient clinic in laughlin, nevada, as the master chief petty officer jesse dean department of veterans' affairs community-based outpatient clinic. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the
7:12 pm
gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, this bill is sponsored by congressman joe heck from nevada and i thank him for introducing this piece of legislation. master chief petty officer jesse dean was born on august 11, 1947, and enlisted in the united states navy when he was just 17 years old. throughout his time in the navy, master chief petty officer dean served on numerous ships and on several overseas assignments and earned several awards and commendations. he served our nation both in and out of uniform. his service to fellow veterans and neighbors in nevada. it is entirely fitting that with
7:13 pm
the passage of h.r. 3969 as amended today we name the v.a. community based outpatient clinic in laughlinning the master chief petty officer jesse dean v.a. clinic. thank you and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. brown: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 3969 as amended which would designate the department of veterans' affairs community-based outpatient clinic in laughlin, nevada, as the master chief petty officer jesse dean department of veterans' affairs community based outpatient clinic. master chief petty officer dean, who passed away in 2014, was a highly decorated vietnam veteran
7:14 pm
who served 27 years in the navy before retiring in 1992. he joined the american -- settled in laughlin and joined the american leon where he was revered by fellow members for his selfless service. he was an exemplary sailor and beloved citizen, husband, and father. i understand that when congressman heck asked his constituents to recommend a veteran to name this clinic after, officer dean was the only name mentioned. mr. speaker, master chief petty officer dean was dedicated to -- dedication to his community, his country is in keeping with the finest idea of service and giving, making him the ideal name sake for the new veterans clinic in laughlin, nevada. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
7:15 pm
gentlewoman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: thank you. i recognize the gentleman from nevada for such time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. heck: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i come to the floor to urge the house to adopt h.r. 3969, legislation i introduced, to name the department of veterans' affairs community 46 based outpatient clinic in laughlin, nevada, the master chief petty officer jesse dean department of veterans' affairs community-based outpatient clinic. i helped cut the ribbon when the clinic open and shortly after that, the members of the v.f.w. post came to me with an idea -- that it should be named for a veteran -- veteran. one name stood out among the rest, jesse dean from the time
7:16 pm
he was young he only wanted to do one thing, serve his country as a member of the united states military. at the age of 17 he enlisted in the navy. he served 27 years, achieving the highest grade for an enlisted sailor, that of master chief petty officer. his first assignment was above the u.s.s. hornet and during vietnam he served as part of the brown water navy. over his 27-year career he earned numerous awards and commend cases -- commendations including three navy commendation medals, two medals, a vietnam service medal and overseas service ribbon. upon his retirement in 1992 he moved to laughlin and joined american legion post 60. as a member of the legion he was revered by fellow members for his selfless service and dedication to his post and his fellow veterans. he even donated a trailer he
7:17 pm
owned to be used as a shelter. jesse did all of these things and more but never accepted compensation for his work. i did not have the privilege of knowing him but clear from speaking with community members that naming the new v.a. clinic in his honor is a fitting tribute. he was called to his final tribute station. repay to hance to american legion post 60 and the unions navy by naming the clinic in his honor. i thank all of the members of nevada and the american legion for working with us on this bill. i urge my colleagues to support to rename it in chief
7:18 pm
petty officer jesse dean. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman yield. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker, as he enter into the memorial day celebration, i want to point out that petty officer , n, many vietnam veterans this country did not return and thank them for their service. i want to point out out of the 22 veterans that commit suicide every day, only three of them are part of the v.a. system and i would like for all of us to reach out to the vietnam veterans and all of us to thank them for their service and all of us soldier up and man up and ask them to let them know we love them and appreciate them
7:19 pm
and appreciate their service. and with that, i would urge my colleagues to join me by supporting h.r. 3969 as amended and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. >> the gentlewomanville additional speakers? ms. brown: i yield back. mr. bilirakis: this bill satisfies the naming criteria and as dr. heck, supports the entire delegation as well as the american lige and v.f.w. and i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3969 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3
7:20 pm
in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and the motion to reconsider is laid on the tail. without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? mr. walker: i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. eugene mccarthy post office. the clerk: h.r. 4425, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service at power house road as the eugene mccarthy post office.
7:21 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina, mr. walker and mrs. lawrence each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. walker: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to resize and extend their remarks including ex trabeyouse material. rise in support introduced by represent tiffer from minnesota. and he served his country as a code breaker for the army. after leaving the army he continued to serving in the public sector as a representative in the house and then for the democratic former labor party. senator mkt carty had a post office nailed after him. that post office has been closed and we will hear from senator mccarthy. i urge members to support this
7:22 pm
bill in remembrance of eugene a. mccarthy and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the chair -- the gentleman reserves. mrs. lawrence: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to join my colleagues in the consideration of h.r. 4425 a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service in minnesota as the ugene j. mccarthy post office. mr. mccarthy had many successes. he served as a politician. he served in the military. he taught and was an educator. he was one of our colleagues in the u.s. house of representatives and later in the nate and ultimately, mr. chairman, entered to run as the president in the presidential race to become president of the
7:23 pm
united states and although he did not win that nomination, i feel strongly that today, i would urge the passage of h.r. 4425 and i would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. walker: i yield five minutes to mr. emers. mr. emmer: mr. speaker, i want to thank eugene mccarthy's lipped and dr. matthew strom at the college of st. benedict for their help in making this dedication. the staff and students provide valuable events, lectures and discussions that engage the entire community. i rise today to honor senator mc
7:24 pm
cargetty and being a driving force behind this driving force. in the year which would have en his 100th birthday i have the full support for dedicateing the post a office at st. johns university where he grew up, studied and taught. if recent years in politics have taught us anything is that the american people are tired of the status quo and honest plain spoken leaders. he was a patriotic american and not afraid to speak out when he believed our nation was headed down the wrong path. he was a code breaker in the military intelligence division of the war department. serving in the army gave mccarthy a piers perfecttive on the level of dedication and
7:25 pm
sacrifice our service members give. he is best known for ending the political career of his parties' present sumtive nominee. people tired of watching their sons dying, he challenged lyndon johnson. n a party, mccarthy garnered a substantial causing a severe blow to president johnson's prospects and opening the door to robert kennedy to challenge the sitting president. johnson ended his campaign. although nixon won the election, he injected public comment. he revived the idea that those committed to self-government to participate the process to correct injustice a and improve
7:26 pm
lives around minnesota. he severed as a representative and senator from our great state from 1949 to 1971. he returned to his life as a reluctant minnesota leader. authored 20 books on public policy and economics. mccarthy continued to strongly influence minnesota politics. mccarthy was critical of jimmy carter and supported reagan's strategic's initiative. and his father once said, quote, gene is a good boy but he is in the wrong party. in minnesota we pride ourselves to disagree. we pride ourselves on working together from different perspectives toward common goals. personally i don't like the term
7:27 pm
bipartisan. an issue he we make about our different points of view instead about the fact that we want the same things. for instance, we all want clean air, clean water, good schools, safe communities and a better life for our communities. the list goes on and on. we all want the same things. sometimes we have different perspectives on how best to achieve these things. senator mccarthy wasn't afraid to work with that. and in my book, that's not just called independence, that's called leadership. naming a post office is a worthy dedication for a man who shook the foundation of the political establishment at a national
7:28 pm
level. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from michigan. mrs. lawrence: mr. chairman, post we have named offices after some great individuals, public servants, members of our military, politicians, community leaders and we have do it in the name of respecting their legacy in honoring them soy that their families are honored as well. want to go through the names, cginnis, brown, fussell, , ney, gamble, nelson, lacey mccarthy. plrm speaker, i urge the passage
7:29 pm
of h.r. 425 and i do that saying and it has been said earlier that post offices are our gathering place in our community. i gave 30 years of service to the united states postal service in various levels of service and i know that the postal service is a place where people trust that their mail will be handled, that the commercial of our country rests in those post offices and in small rural post offices, it is the center. and it is a great thing and we have done it bipartisan. and i hear that word and i side -- sigh a breath of relief knowing that the members of congress can come together and we have come together to recognize people not because of their party, but because they are americans and have served
7:30 pm
this great country and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. mr. walker: i thank congresswoman lawrence for her time and work on this this evening. i urge adoption of the bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4425. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and the motion to econsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4465 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4465 a bill to
7:31 pm
decrease the deficit by consolidating and selling federal buildings and other civilian real property and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta, and the gentleman from indiana, mr. carson, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 4465 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barletta: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. barletta: h.r. 4465 includes reforms that will reduce the deficit through the consolidation and selling of federal buildings and management of federal real property. i'm pleased to be a co-sponsor of this legislation and i want to recognize the tireless work of the gentleman and former chair of the public building subcommittee, mr. denham, for his leadership on this issue
7:32 pm
along with the chairman of the committee on oversight and government reform, mr. chaffetz. this bipartisan legislation incorporates critical provisions crafted by both committees to address decades-old problems related to federal real property. h.r. 4465, as amended, establishing a pilot program that includes an independent review of the federal real property inventory and development of recommendations for the best disposition of vacant and underutilized properties. we have had hearings highlighting federal buildings sitting vacant, costing the taxpayer through maintenance cost and unrealized sale proceeds. these buildings are often eyesores and local communities can provide no local tax benefits. agencies have been slow in getting rid of unneeded properties. for example, the old georgetown heating plant in one of the most
7:33 pm
expensive areas of d.c. sat vacant for 11 years and was only sold after our committee held a hearing spotlighting the vacant property. the pilot included in this legislation will result in an independent look across agencies at opportunities to sell, redevelop, and consolidate federal properties. following the pilot, h.r. 4465 as amended would then allow agencies to retain a portion of the disposal proceeds to offset the upfront costs of property disposal. the legislation will also codify the federal real property database, providing for better congressional oversight of the real property inventory. if this bill works as intended, we can make significant strides in reducing the cost to the taxpayer and putting underused properties back on local tax rolls for redevelopment. i urge my colleagues to support passage of this important
7:34 pm
legislation. thank you and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana. mr. carson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 4487, the public buildings reform and savings act of 2016. this bill begins the process of reforming g.s.a., public building services, and i'd like o first of all recognize whole heartedly my very good friend who i had an opportunity to travel with, my colleague, mr. denham, for his work to breng this bill before the transportation committee and now the full house and also my colleague, chairman barletta. today's legislation, mr. speaker, really has the potential to be a valuable tool in right-sizing our federal footprint. it authorizes an independent board that could provide a source of revenue for the
7:35 pm
federal government to invest in its existing buildings and to better manage its real estate portfolio. the board would make recommendations to dispose of unneeded and underutilized real estate and make recommendations to consolidate federal real estate functions where appropriate. h.r. 4465 is consistent with several government-wide memoranda issued by the president that order agencies to reduce and freeze their real estate footprint. these directives represent the administration's sustained priority of improving the management of federal real estate. i believe h.r. 4465 dove tails well with the administration's priorities and begins to address the issue in very meaningful ways. both the transportation committee and the government accountability office, or g.a.o., have repeatedly raised concerns about the way federal real property has been managed. the proposed board would be highly instrumental in
7:36 pm
reconfiguring, located and realigning the federal real estate portfolio with best practices. though i believe the board can serve an important role in disposing of unneeded real estate, i urge the board to not sell real estate assets in a soft market or sell properties that ham spring the governments ability to house federal employees in the future. expert and specialized skill is still very necessary to dispose of underutilized real estate assets while avoiding selling property the government could need in the future. without this expertise, we could end up with transactions leading to future long-term leasing because of the haphazard disposal of underutilized real estate. it's important to note that today's legislation contains several checks and balances. as a result of the concerns expressed on my side of the aisle, there were several changes to the bill while negotiating the final version. instead of the bill requiring
7:37 pm
six annual recommendations as originally proposed, the board will make three sets of detailed recommendations over this year so congress can conduct oversight of the board's actions and properly gauge the alignment of the board's goals with congressional priorities. in addition, the aggregate value of transactions is capped at no more than $8 billion. each proten rble real estate action with a value above $20 million will provide an appropriation that will go to the normal g.s.a. perspectives approval process. now, mr. speaker, federal agencies will be required to coordinate construction and alteration project with g.s.a. and i appreciate that the sponsors of this important legislation are all willing to work with us to to address these concerns and we look forrd to continuing this great work as it's being implemend. in conclusion, mr. speaker, i support today's legislation. it creates an independent board to make recommendations on how to meet the goal of
7:38 pm
right-sidesing the federal rea estate portfolio and saving taxpayers millions of dollars. intend to conduct vigorous oversight of this board and the actions taken by g.s.a. in order to make it a success. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: i wish to yield five minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. denham. the speaker pro tempore: the wrelt is recognized for five minutes. mr. denham: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, i rise today support of legislation i have authored to help reduce e size of the fedel footprint. i would first like to thank chairman shuster and chairman barletta for their ongoing support in this effort as well asanking member defazio and ranking member carson and their help as well. this is truly a bipartisan bill. a bill that has garnered a lot of support because we've worked with both sides of the aisle as well as groups that have a vested interest in making sure that this happens correctly. i want to thank chairman chaffetz and ranking member
7:39 pm
cummings of the government oversight committee for working to bridge the differences between our two committees. given our trillion-dollar deficit and skyrocketing debt, we've got to examine every area of government, look for ways to continue to cut spending. this bill has taken five years, five years in the making, it was one of the first actions that i as a chair of the subcommittee initially, we held a hearing in the old post office. the january morning, freezing temperatu well, went in to show that the vacant building was sitng there and could be revitalized. now we're going to see that building not only reopen as a hotel and retail space but it's going to generate millions in profits for the federal government. we continue to hold hearings like this in abandoned buildings across the country, ones that were neglected, underutilized buildings, to highlight the failed state of federal property management. we were succssful in pressuring g.s.a. in selling the long-vant georgetown west
7:40 pm
heating plant that netted $20 million to the american taxpayer. sadly, this is -- this has got to be done across the entire country. every year since 2003, g.a.o., the government accountability oice, has found that the federal government fails to manage hundreds of thousands of buildings across the entire country. according to the g.a.o., the federal government continues to maintain too much excessnd underutilized property, rely taos heavily on costly lease space and maintains unreliable and misleading real property lists. g.a.o. agrees and has stated before this committee that legislation like the federal asset sales and transfer act would go a long way toward fixing the problems with federal real property. the psident has also continued to support reforms to the federal real estate since speaking on it in his 2011 state of the union. he's included in tissue it in his budget since then and i'm please to have had secured the
7:41 pm
commitment of this administration to advance legislation and work with myself and chairman chaffetz to see real ereform signed into law. additionally, both houses of congress have included this idea in their annual budget documents. i believe that we have the potential to save billions of dollars in real estate property. to be successful this with board -- this board will need to consolidate the federal footprint, house more federal employees in less overall space, reduce our reliance on costly lease space, sell or redevelop highly valued assets that are underutilized and dispose of surplus property much, much quicker. this bill creates an environment that will achieve these goals an creates a reliable and comprehensive real property database so the public can actually see government's progress. additionally, as i said, we worked with other groups. ne of those was dealing with mckinney-vento act to better access real property to serve
7:42 pm
our nation's homeless population. i'm glad we took the changes and this has led to the endorsement of this legislation by the national law center for the homeless and poverty. i'm pleased to have worked with the law center throughout this process and look forward to continuing to work with them to address our nation east most vulnerable citizens. this is a good bill. it's been done in a bipartisan fashion. and it's going to save billions of dollars for the taxpayer. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman reserve. the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana. mr. carson: i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> i wish to yield three minutes to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. duncan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. duncan: i thank chairman barletta for yielding me this time. i rise in support of h.r. 4465, the bill by chairman denham, and als h.r. 4487 by chairman
7:43 pm
barletta. we need to realize that private ownership of property is a very important, even vital, part of our freedom and prosperity. today the federal government observes almost 30% of the land in this nation and state and local governments and quasi-governmental agencies own almost 20% so that today, close to half of the land in this country is under some type of public governmental ownership. but you can never satisfy government's appetite for money or land. they always want more. i first became interested in this issue when i read in "usa today" several years ago that governments keep adding land equal to half the size of the state of new jersey each year through direct purchases or indirect purchases through land conservancies. then i read that the federal bureau of land management had about three million acres they didn't even want. i first introduced a bill on this subject in 2001 during the 107th congress tchailed federal lands improvement act.
7:44 pm
then i reintroduced it in the next congress, then in the 110th congress i introduced a similar bill with my colleague from the other side, dennis moore of kansas, in a similar bipartisan fashion, senator tom carper from quare and senator tom coburn from oklahoma introduced companion legislation in the senate. several years ago, the office of management and budget had found 21,000 federal properties that the federal government no longer wanted or needed worth at that ime $18 billion and $9 billion were real property assets that the federal government wanted to dispose of. the then-office of management and budget director wrote a letter endorsing what these bills are attempting to do here tonight he said to reach this objective, i believe we must improve and streamline the federal process, the federal agencies face in disposing of real property assets. some extremists never want the
7:45 pm
government to sell any property and government at all levels cants to acquire more and more land every year. but we keep shrinking the tax base, mr. speaker, if the time that schools and policemen and all these other government employees want and need more funding. this legislation as we've worked on this through the transportation and infrastructure committee on which i serve and the oversight an government reform committee on which i also serve, i want to commend, again, chairman barletta and chairman denham because with so many needs and so many good things that we can do for the american people, it simply makes no sense to force the government to keep property that it no longer needs or wants. we can and should put those assets to much better use. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from indiana has yielded the remainder of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania.
7:46 pm
mr. barletta: i wish to yield five minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. mica. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. mica: i have to thank mr. barletta for taking this measure so far and i thank mr. carson from indiana and i thank mr. denham and others for bringing this legislation forward. my involvement as a member of the transportation committee and former chair was, we had subcommittee that is entitled economic development, public buildings and emergency management which the distinguished gentleman chairs and we have the ranking member member from indiana and i have taken this proposal that we thought about for some time and
7:47 pm
we heard mr. dunk and's work for years and brought it forward to a great piece of legislation that can save billions of dollars. the federal government and the american people are the largest land owners of anyone, anywhere. we own more federal property than anyone. there are some problems, though, and we identified those when we were in the minority and had more time to do studies and reports. and there was a report called the federal government must stop sitting on its assets. one high roit lighted in the report, the old post office rpgs feet. there, 400 square
7:48 pm
the old building half empty costing the taxpayers in losses to underwrite the losses. it took us two hearings. the first hearing we held was in the empty ann emp x and we brought the committee down there degrees t so with 32 outside and made the bureaucrats shiver and for a year they didn't do anything and guess who won, the best hotels with carlton and marriott and they mr. trump and his organization won. he is turning that asset costing into rs from $6 million
7:49 pm
revenue plus a percentage. now that's what you do in turning government properties around. go throughout the district, behind the ritz-carlton in georgetown we did a hearing, they got it for sale and sold for $19 million to maintain empty. one of the greatest victories is ig going to occur on june 3, the federal court house in downtown miami, empty, deteriorating. we held a hearing in the empty courthouse and nothing happened and i heard from the president of the miami-dade community deledge and said i have written
7:50 pm
g.s.a. and on june 3 we will transfer that vacant property to miami-dade community college. up in mr. hoyer's district, we have thousands of distributes vacant, department of agriculture, and we have been private there for five years and acres,a hearing, 177,000 five times the size of manhattan and the air force sitting there with 00 buildings half of them empty. i need 400 acres from the air force to do a cargo port and you could ememploy people. we have assets across this nation sitting idle because no
7:51 pm
bureaucrat has it up here to make that into a producing asset. we haven't gotten into v.a. thousands of properties, buildings sitting idle. this bill starts the process. would you give it to the federal government. people look at me like i have been smoking marijuana. could i have another minute? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for another minute. mr. mica: would you consider giving your property to the federal government. no way, jose. this bill knows how to deal and at ge with real estate look the properties. but we'll get an inventory and
7:52 pm
recommendation and hopefully do something. bureaucrats will do nothing. they don't think. their brains are not wired to think. they are getting their paycheck and don't think. so this is the beginning of getting out of the dumb ages into the smart ages. taking the assets that a poor person out there who is trying to put food on the table and the government is sitting on assets. thank you for coming forward with this bill. let's get it done. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ,he gentleman from -- excuse me the gentleman has waived the rest of his time. >> i yield back.
7:53 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. ll the house suspend the rules. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are pus suspended and without objection, the the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i send to the desk two privileged report for filing under the rule. the clerk: report to acop house resolution 742, senate amendment for e bill h.r. 2576 and other purposes and providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 97 and the federal water
7:54 pm
pollution control act to clife congressional act in the use of pesticides and for other purposes. providing >> resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 5055 and related agencies for the fiscal year september 30, 2017 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. >> i move to suspend the rules as amended. reduce : h.r. 4487 to costs of building real estate. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentleman from pennsylvania and the gentleman from indiana will each control 20 minutes. mr. barletta: i ask unanimous
7:55 pm
consent that all members may have legislative days and include extraneous material as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barletta: i yield myself such time as i may consume. it includes reforms that will improve building security. i'm proud to be the spops sore of this. and our subcommittee ranking member carson for working with me. the public building subcommittee held a series of hearings to examine the general services administration's lease portfolio. what we found was half of all g.s.a. leases will expire. to give perspective on how much
7:56 pm
space that is 100 million square space or 1 2 trade centers in new york and the total real state is in commercial leased space costing the taxpayer more than $5.5 billion each year. how we replace these leases has a huge impact on the cost to the taxpayers. for larger leases requiring committee authorization we have taken steps to reduce the cost of real state to the taxpayer. the committee has worked with g.s.a. to reduce the federal footprint through the space. through those efforts we have saved the taxpayers more than $3 billion in avoided costs. en with reduce the space, it
7:57 pm
reduces the cost to the taxpayer and with the large number of cost we have the ripe opportunity to save even more to negotiate better rates and concessions. the public buildings reform and savings act establishes a pilot program. this will pilot program will allow g.s.a. to work through expiring leases more quickly and lock in good deals for the long-term of the legislation gives authority toll address oadblocks to reducing costs so space acquisition can be based n the best deal and reduce competition. the legislation could result in a 20% reduction in leased costs
7:58 pm
nd save taxpayers more than $5 million without reduction in space. the legislation includes language that will give g.s.a. to use public-private partnerships to tuesday space needs to offset costs. n addition to these reforms. it includes provisions that will improve building security by clarifying the training and accountability of the federal protective service. h.r. 4487 includes other provisions that will improve oversilingt of public building projects and stay within budget and on time. i urge my colleagues to support he passage of this important
7:59 pm
legislation. and i reserve. the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the entleman from indiana for 20 minutes. mr. carson: i rise in support of h.r. 4477. this bill begins the process, mr. speaker of reforming g.s.a. and the federal protective service. i would like to thank my colleagues in developing this important piece of legislation to improve the management of federal real estate. the g.a.o. has managed the federal property. address will concerns. the bill will direct g.s.a. to reform the leasing process.
8:00 pm
the certaintier piece of this legislation is a five-year pilot program to streamline the processes biff raising the hreshold by simplified ack which situations and will be abled and focus their staff on the larger leases that can provide more savings to taxpayers. . the pilot program and the g.a.o. reports authorized by this bill, expected to provide the transportation committee with definitive data by the most -- first way to lease federal office space. the interim report on the pilot program, the effectiveness of g.s.a.'s use of commercial brokers, will be instructive as to which new authorities congress should let expire in five years and which ones we should keep. i'm also pleased that today's
8:01 pm
bill includes several reforms authored in h.r. 1850. the federal protective service improvement act of 2015. you know, mr. speaker, in the aftermath of the 1995 building bombing in oklahoma city, the department of justice or d.o.j. -- d.o.j. assessed the vulnerability of federal buildings in the united states, particularly related to the acts of terrorism and other forms of violence. the department of justice made several recommendations, including upgrading the federal protective services and bringing each federal facility up to a higher minimum standard for security levels. the reforms in today's legislation, including creating a national framework for the 13,000 contract guards who protect federal buildings, employees and visitors each and every day, it mandates a minimum level of training for protective service officers or p.s.o.'s. while at the same time providing the authority for p.s.o.'s to carry firearms and detain suspects accused of a
8:02 pm
felony to on federal property. as a former police officer, i can't overstate the importance of a strong training standard for security personnel at every federal facility across our great nation. the bill also requires the secretary of the department of homeland security to study whether it has a sufficient number of law enforcement officers and inspectors necessary to regularly conduct security assessments of federal facilities. another provision requires a study of weather the fee structure is sufficient to fund the strong law enforcement presence needed today. i expect, mr. speaker, that when these reports are completed, they will help guide the committee's efforts to address long-term funding and staffing issues. i believe it's critically important, mr. speaker, that we do everything possible to protect the millions of federal workers and daily visitors to federal buildings. with increased oversight and additional legislative authority, i believe f.p.s. can fulfill its mission. i hope, in closing, that we can continue to work in a
8:03 pm
bipartisan manner on these matters. i thank the chair and running back member of the full committee -- ranking member of the full committee and chairman of the subcommittee who both co-sponsored and supported this important piece of legislation. together we can continue to put forward commonsense reforms that allow both g.s.a. and f.p.s. to be good stewards of our nation's buildings. with this, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana. mr. carson: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentlelady who is an american icon and a legend, the gentlelady who represents the district of columbia, the distinguished congresswoman, ms. norton. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from district of columbia for three minutes. ms. norton: i thank my good friend for overly -- his overly generous introduction.
8:04 pm
and i thank my friend from pennsylvania, my friend from indiana, for this bill. this bill, which i strongly support, the public buildings reform and savings act of 2016, may seem quite technical to those who have heard it described, but i do want to congratulate my good friends, the chairman and the ranking member, for a bill that will have great substantive impact on the way in which g.s.a. does its business. and i particularly appreciate the bipartisan way in which formed them have always -- i thank them both for accepting my amendments. one, in keeping with both this bill and the prior bill, for a new smaller department of energy, then one that's not
8:05 pm
related to any of this, for lacktation space for visitors -- lactation space for visitors to federal buildings. i appreciate an amendment that allows the g.s.a. to sell or exchange department of energy complex. that's right in the heart of the mall area, at 100 to 0 independence avenue. in a-- 1000 independence avenue. in accordance with the district plan, which means it -- all the appropriate planning has been done, given where this location to nd how important it is official washington. the bill has two purposes. my amendment had two purposes. as the g.o.e. building is too big, results in wasteful spending, we now require smaller footprint, all of this will happen with a smaller bill, allows the annex closer
8:06 pm
to the department of energy on the mall to be sold. and gives the g.s.a. what a developer needs, and that's what g.s.a. -- it's a developer. the flexibility to develop this priceless land and ensures that development will occur soon. g.s.a. has to come back by june. we're almost there, with the process for disposing of the annex. i want to thank both gentlemen for agreing to my bill itch call it the motherhood bill -- bill, i call it the motherhood bill. g.s.a. already requires that employees be give lactation space. but we discovered that some employees at the smithsonian were not getting it, when i called the smithsonian, they immediately provided it. no new space, just space for a mother to pump or to nurse a baby. so i've simply added visitors and guests to federal
8:07 pm
facilities, to those who can use this space. this is a tourist mecca, the nation's capital. so there will be some nursing mothers. could i have another minute? mr. carson: mr. speaker, i yield jealingt an additional three minutes -- the gentlelady an additional three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for an additional three minutes. ms. norton: thank you, mr. speaker. the benefits of breastfeeding are well documented. that children's immune systems build up. studies have shown that even risks of asthma, diabetes and the like, are reduced from breast-fed babies. benefits to nursing mothers as well. risk of diabetes and cancer even reduced. so this bill is much related to the important substance of the underlying bill. but this relationship is clear enough. and i very much thank my two
8:08 pm
friends for accepting these two amendments to the underlying bill. and support the underlying bill strongly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the chair -- the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana. mr. carson: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 4487 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
8:09 pm
the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute peeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> request to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. fitzpatrick: mr. speaker, tonight my constituents back home in pennsylvania are garthing to celebrate the life of a wonderful citizen. judge edmond v. ludwig will be remembered for his contributions to the community and the courtroom and for his leadership as a jurist, as an educator, a mentor and a historian. judge ludwig died on may 17, 2016, at the age of 87.
8:10 pm
he'll also be remembered for his wit and wisdom. his legal accomplishments include leading the way to improving access to counsel for the poor, reformation of the juvenile justice system, and improvement to state services for the mentally ill. judge ludwig founded many organizations and served on several boards. his well known aphil finity for history -- afinity for history led to a historical society where he served as chairman until 2011. the former judge of the court was appointed in 1985 to the united states district court by president reagan. he was honored with the william j. brennan distinguished jurist award by the philadelphia bar association in 2005. judge ludwig's life of service is imprinted in the history of bucks county, pennsylvania. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, i ask to address the house for one minute and revise and
8:11 pm
extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, it is certainly time for congress to do its job. just last week we were briefed by the centers for disease control regarding the zika virus. earlier today in my congressional district in houston, one of the infectious disease specialists called houston and the gulf region the epicenter of the zika virus. it is well known that any child that is infected will cause $-- cost $10 million. frankly, the brain is literally destroyed by the virus and so the deformity is the fact that there is no brain that is functioning in this child. this map indicates the whole gulf region, that is clearly in the eye of the storm. and this map indicates that houston, among other big cities, are number ones as it relates to the zika virus. so, my call today is for us to fully fund the president's emergency supplemental. this is the mosquito that will
8:12 pm
be impacted. and we discussed today a task force, which i created in my district, and finally, just to leave this information, this is the mosquito, use deet. thanks serious matter. we need full funding for the zika virus, to combat it and save lives. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, last friday i visited penn state university for their annual energy days program, focused efforts in research and education involving america's energy sectors. as many people from pennsylvania know, the university was founded as one of our nation's first colleges of agricultural science. now under the leadership of penn state president eric barren, the university is take strides to become also known as the energy university.
8:13 pm
courses of study are already being offered to prepare students for careers in the shale industry. many of which are offering starting-wages that can -- starting wages that can support a family. i applaud the efforts of penn state in striving to meet the needs of our energy sector, combining expertise in energy-related research, teaching and service from contributions from leaders in the energy industries. the new initiative will greatly expand efforts in energy policy, fossil fuels, renewable energy systems and technology, and environmental impact. more importantly, those efforts will be expanded across the state universities -- university's 24 campuses. our energy industry, such as coal, natural gas and oil, are vital to our history, heritage and future of pennsylvania. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore:
8:14 pm
without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, last week isis terrorists came into the house of a christian family in iraq to collect the religious tax imposed on all nonmuslims -- non-muslims. isis told the mother of the home, quote, you have two choices. you are to leave now or you are to pay the tax. the mother pled, i will pay, but give me a few seconds because my daughter is in the shower. but the isis terrorists did not wait. instead they set fire to the house. the mother, clutching a small child, escaped, but the girl was trapped in the burning home. later she was found but had such severe burns that she died in her mother's harms -- arms. the last thing she said to her mother was, for give them. the girl's a better person than most of us. anyway, from beheadings to burning little christian girls alive, isis' evil genocide knows no bounleds. isis murders in the name of religious jihad and will we allow this evil to continue or
8:15 pm
shall all religions unite and hold isis accountable? we must stop isis' malicious murder of the innocent. because justice demands it and, mr. speaker, justice is what we're supposed to do. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: mr. al combreen of texas, mr. owe rourk of texas today and the balance of the peters. mr. peert -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the requests are granted. the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries is recognized for half of the remaining time until 10:00 p.m. of the majority leader. mr. jeffries: i ask unanimous consent that all members have
8:16 pm
days to include. it's an honor and privilege to stand on the house of the house of representatives to anchor the special order hour, this hour of power where for the next 60 minutes, members of the congressional black caucus have the opportunity to speak to the american people on an issue of great significance. today's special order topic is democracy in crisis, the reckless republican assault on the right to vote in america. it is with great dismay that many of us come to the house floor today to speak to an issue of significance to the american people and our democracy. there is nothing more sacred to the integrity of the democratic
8:17 pm
process than the right to vote. and there are people throughout the years who have died trying to secure the ability to participate in the franchise to help execute upon that great american promise of a government of the people, by the people and for the people, to vote for those individuals who would represent them at the ti, state or federal level, regardless of race or religion, ethnicity or immigration status. and while we have made tremendous progress, clearly there has been an effort, led in part by people on the other side of the aisle to stop something as the unfettered right to participate in our democracy by
8:18 pm
voting. today, we are going to explore some of the history connected to e voting rights act of 1965, widely regarded as one of the most significant pieces of legislation ever enacted by this august body. we know in 2013 in the shelby county versus holder decision, the supreme court effectively gutted section 5 of the voting rights act widely known as the preclearance decision that has impacted the ability of voting rights advocates of people to participate without obstacle or obstruction. it's my honor as one of the anchors as this special order to join this that responsibility
8:19 pm
with my co-anchor who from the moment in which he arrived in the congress has been a tremendous force in the district she representses, someone who is force in her beliefs and willing to reach out and get things done and my honor and proifl to yield to ohio, representative joyce beatty. mrs. beatty: thank you, congressman jeffries. rise to stand with my classmate, the gentleman from from the 8th congressional district of new york. mr. jeffries, i look forward to tonight's special order hour. mr. speaker, congressman jeffries along with our colleagues from the congressional black caucus willville debate on how our
8:20 pm
debate is on crisis because of the right to vote in america. as we just heard from mr. jeffries and we will hear from others, voting is the voice of the people. the voting rights act of 1965 passed with bipartisan support, established strong federal protections with the freedom to vote and banning the discriminatory policies and practices of the jim crow south. combined with subsequent legislation such as the national voters registration act, which requires state agencies to provide opportunities for voter registration. the voter rights act helped our nation make significant practice other sting voting for
8:21 pm
marginalized groups. we find ourselves faced -- facing our first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the voting rights act. as mr. jeffries referenced in shelby, the supreme court decision reversed over 50 years of progress made to expand access to the voting booth and opened the p pathway to new ting laws that discriminated against african-american voters. 18 of the states, republican-led since 2010, making it harder for millions of americans to exercise their right to vote. the way states have been able to reduce the voting power and put
8:22 pm
in place new voting restrictions in an effort to make it harder for millions of americans to vote is appalling. voting rights are under assault. why would we want to make it harder for americans to vote. we should make it easier for america caps to go to the voting box. we need to put forth a vote on the voting rights act now. new laws range from strict i.d. equirmingtse to recommendation restriction. among these 16 states with new restrictions is my home state. in ohio, 201, lawmakers cut six
8:23 pm
ys of early voting and eliminated during which voters orm register and cast a ballot . ohio is not alone to make it harder for americans to vote. mr. speaker, the freedom to vote is one's -- is one of american's most constitutionally right to vote. that is why i'm honored this congress to serve as the deputy vice chair of the newly created the caucus dedicated to protecting our democracy by ensuring the right to vote is safeguarded for all americans. however, after a long standing
8:24 pm
tradition on protections, house republicans now refuse to bring either bill to the floor for a vote. 5 voting rights act of 19 has been re-authorized five times. congress has a duty to ensure elections are free and transparent so all eligible voters feel comfortable and welcome. i welcome president obama's february 13, 2013 statement on the voting rights act and let me quote. we must all do our part to make sure our god-given rights are protected. that includes one of the most fundamental rights of a democracy, the right to vote, mr. speaker. when any american no matter
8:25 pm
where they live or their party are denied that right, we are betraying our ideals, end of quote. there are 1 8 days until the presidential election and our democracy still has far too many missing voices particularly among though who are already at a disadvantage due to deeply routed and class barriers. we must that voter suppression is not the new normal. in order to have a truly vibrant democracy, the united states must take steps to reduce barriers to voting.
8:26 pm
i'm calling on our community and national leaders to join me in working to eliminate voter suppression and restore what so any people fought for, marched for, died for. that's the voting rights act. the naacp, the leadership conference on civil and human rights have been at the forefront of these issues along with members of the congressional black caucus, encouraging in training poll workers. it is up to all of us to protect the most at risk among us and to expand opportunity for all. thank you, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: i thank the --
8:27 pm
mr. jeffries: i thank you for the urgency of voting rights act. all we're asking for is for members of this house is to act on bipartisan legislation that has been introduced in this congress that would respond to he supreme court's decision, adoption a new coverage formula and in advance of this presidential election with a system that will fairly allow everyone who wants to vote the opportunity to vote. it is my honor and privilege to yield to the chairman of the congressional black caucus, someone who has a stwished cord as a injuryist on the ever, civil rights lawyer in north carolina and continued his
8:28 pm
fight here on the floofer of the house of representatives for the last 10 years on behalf of now yield to me congressman butterfield. pe mr. butterfield: thank you for yielding me time and thank you for your work and on behalf of e people i represent in that district in new york and the gentlelady from ohio and joyce eatty, you are an incredible leader and i thank the two of you for selecting the discussion. it is an appropriate topic. we are working on the 19 5 voting rights act and i will
8:29 pm
single out congressman lewis and ongresswoman sewell and swam jackson lee who have worked tirelessly to enforce the right to vote. mr. speaker, on august 6, 19 5 and i remember it well. it was a few days after i graduated from high school, this congress, this house of representatives where we are seated tonight and the senate together passed the the voting rights act. this act was signed by the president of the united states immediately and then it has had a profound impact for empowering african hifere americans to participate in the elect torl process. prior to the voting rights act, it was a sad state of affairs in
8:30 pm
north carolina and sourget carolina, it was a very sad state of affairs. in order to register to vote, one had to read and write. ut they had to satisfy a registrar. and it was a white registrar and they had to satisfy that in many cases disscrame natured that he or show was able to read or write and those voters were denied. . . redistricting schemes were drawn to disenfranchise. at-large elections and staggered terms and all of the rest. and so there was a necessity, necessity, congressman, for the voting rights act. it was just not a good idea.
8:31 pm
it was actually a necessity in order to enforce the right to vote. congress enacted this tool and it has been very effective. one of the most effective parts of the voting rights act, there are many parts of the voting rights act, section 2 is that that gives minority communities the right to bring lawsuits and that applies to every county in the united states. it is a permanent law. it's on the books permanently. it also eliminated the literacy test. there's another provision that kind of goes unnoticed from time to time. and it's called section 5. section 5 is an oversight provision. it gives the federal government the right to preclear election changes before they go into effect, to determine whether or not these changes would have a discriminatory result in their community. section 5, mr. speaker, does not apply to every county in america. section 5 only applies to
8:32 pm
certain states that had a long history of voter discrimination. and in my state, for example, north carolina, the whole state was not included under section 5. only 40 counties were included for preclearance. and so it has been a good law and it has worked quite well. as the previous speaker said, it has been extended from time to time. but, mr. speaker, on june 25, 2013, the supreme court ruled that section 5 -- first of all, the supreme court ruled that section 5 is a proper exercise of legislative authority. but the supreme court surprised us. it determined that the formula used to determine which counties or which states should be subject to section 5 is outdated. the court suggested that it needed fixing. and so the court called on us here in this congress to fix it. and the congressional plaque caucus has been fighting every -- black caucus has been fighting every day since that court decision to try to put
8:33 pm
together a bipartisan agreement to fix the formula. no one in this congress has worked harder than congresswoman terry sewell. her bill is now pending before this house. and we need to fix the formula, we need to do it now. when you look at the 2013 discriminatory election law changes and the 2011 legislative and congressional redistricting, you must conclude, anyone must conclude that there is a concerted effort in many parts of the country to disenfranchise particular groups of -- groups of voters from participating in the process. the absence of section 5 protection allows states, my state included, to pass discriminatory laws that disenfranchise african-american voters and other groups. we have seen these laws enacted in state after state, all across the country. on july jul 25, mr. jeff -- july 25, mr. jeffries, 2013, the north carolina general
8:34 pm
assembly passed -- now, remember, the supreme court decision was june 25, 2013. 30 days later, i don't know why they didn't do it 30 days earlier, well, i do know why, and that's because there was a section 5. but after section 5 was suspended by the supreme court, 0 days later the general assem -- 30 days later the general assembly passed a sweeping law that discriminates not only against african-americans but other minority groups. it discriminates against students and seniors. this law has also cut back on early voting. that's a big deal in our communities. cut back on early voting by a week and barred same-day voter registration. the law went into effect upon passage. and there's no oversight and no section 5 to protect us. this is disappointing, this law is regressive and absolutely disgusting. we have to let our state lawmakers know that our voices matter, and that all citizens, all citizens in this country should be able to participate
8:35 pm
in democracy through unfettered access to the ballot box. and so in closing, the congressional black caucus, of which i am honored to chair, vows to continue our fight to restore section 5 of the voting rights act, to stop the assault on access to the ballot box, because every citizen deserves the right to vote. i thank you for the time, i yield back. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished chairman of the congressional black caucus for his eloquent words and for explaining the practical realities of the supreme court's decision to strike down the coverage formula and effectively invalidate section 5, implications that has had on people all across the country, in north carolina and beyond. i also note that the voting rights act and section 5, and the coverage formula in section 4, upon passage in 1965, didn't
8:36 pm
just impact states in the south, but there are five counties in new york city that constitute the big apple and three of those counties, in the bronx, manhattan and brooklyn, were covered by section 5. because we recognized that there have been challenges all across this country with respect to the right to vote. and many of us, even beyond the south, have now lost that critical protection and that's why it's time for congress to act. i thank the chairman for his continued leadership. it is now my honor to yield to the distinguished gentlelady from the great state of alabama, she has been a tremendous proponent of the right to vote. we will all -- we are all in awe of her leadership -- we were all in awe of her leadership last year when we were in selma, alabama, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday.
8:37 pm
and thankful for all that she continues to do to uphold that great american tradition that sprung forth from that small city down in alabama, where the distinguished gentlelady hails from. she currently is a sponsor, the lead sponsorer of the voting rights advancement act, which would fix the problem that the supreme court created, and it's now my honor to yield to representative teri sewell. -- terri sewell. sewell sewell thank you, mr. speaker. i'd -- ms. sewell: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to commend my distinguished colleague from new york and my distinguished colleague, the gentlelady from ohio, for this wonderful hour of power on voting. it is my great honor to stand with them, to rise today and to join with my c.b.c. colleagues to discuss the reckless republican assault on the right to vote in america. we begin tonight by bringing attention to the ever-evolving crisis brewing in our democracy.
8:38 pm
since the supreme court in the shelby decision gutted the preclearance provision of the voting rights act of 1965, there has been nothing short of an assault often are -- on the right to vote. this most sake receipt right to vote. this 2016 election will be the -- most sake receipt -- most sacred right to vote. this 2016 election will be the first time we'll have a presidential election in which there will not be the full protections of the voting rights act of 1965. and as the gentleman so rightfully acknowledged, i welcomed in 2015 100 members of congress, both republican and democrat, to my hometown of selma, alabama, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the historic bloody sunday march from selma to montgomery, where people shed blood, tears, our own colleague, john lewis, bludgeoned on that bridge, the bridge, 50 some years ago. in order to have the right to vote for all americans. and on that day, republicans
8:39 pm
and democrats held hands as we crossed the bridge one more time, as john lewis likes to say. this time on the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday. we all had a kumbaya moment, if you will. but we came back to congress and did nothing to try to restore the voting rights act of 1965. i ask my colleagues, mr. speaker, have we really gone so far in the last 10 years? after all, the voting rights ct of 1965 was amended and re-authorized five times. most recently in 2006 under a republican president. president george bush. who was with us on that glorious day on the 50th anniversary of the selma to montgomery march, to make sure that his support for the voting rights act of 1965 was there. and so i say to you, in 10 years, since 2006, when we re-authorized voting rights act
8:40 pm
of 1965, overwhelmingly in both house of congress, overwhelmingly we re-authorized the voting rights act for 25 years, had it not been for the shelby decision, which gutted section 5, which provided that preclearance formula, and made the full protections of the voting rights act null and void we would still be living under a regime where, as the said, it so rightly was not only the deep south states that were part of the coverage formula, but new york was a part of the coverage formula as well. so you know, the supreme court in the shelby decision really issued a challenge to congress, to come up with a modern-day formula. the challenge was that we shouldn't hold alabama, states like alabama and the deep south, for past discriminations that were so far ago, back in the 1950's and the 1960's and the 1940's, but rather we should come up with a modern-day form lafment the voting rights advance -- formula. the voting rights advancement
8:41 pm
act does just that. i was privileged to introduce that bill along with my colleagues, linda sanchez and judy chu, and senator leahy on the senate side introduced that bill. and it has a look back, not since 1950's or 1960's, but it has a look back of 25 years. since 1990 going forward. and it says that if there had been five violations, state-wide violations, that a state would be then opted-in to preclearance, if it had five. do you know, mr. speaker, that not one, but 13 states have had violations of voting discrimination over the last 25 years. and those states include california, new york, arizona, alabama, mississippi, louisiana, texas, florida, 13 states would actually fall under this. i think that it's really telling that we in 2016 saw such long lines wrapped around
8:42 pm
measure copea county, arizona, most recently in march, during their primary, presidential election primary in march, and you know would? because maricopa county used to be covered under the coverage formula for the 1965 voting rights act, and since it no longer has any teeth and has been gutted, they could close down polling stations. it shouldn't surprise you, mr. speaker, that in 2008, maricopa county had 800 polling stations , that it was -- in 2012 it went down to 400 polling stations. and for 2016, 60 polling stations. and those 60 polling stations covered the whole county, maricopa county, phoenix, arizona, and it was clearly not enough to get all of the folks who wanted to vote to be able to vote. they could close down those polling stations without any
8:43 pm
advance notification. because there was no more voting rights act of 1965. my own state of alabama was one of those states that after the shelby decision decided to institute photo i.d. law. and so many of my constituents came up to me and said, well, you know, we need a photo i.d. to get on the plane these days, we need a photo i.d. to get a passport. why shouldn't we need a photo i.d. and how is that in some way discriminatory? i had to remind many of my constituents, that so many of our elderly, especially in the rural communities that i represent, many of whom were born by midwives, don't have birth certificates, can't actually readily prove a birth certificate in order to get a photo i.d. or some seniors and those who are disabled, like my father, who no longer drives, therefore doesn't have a driver's license, he was a nine-time stroke victim, actually a survivor, a stroke survivor, he's still with us today, but
8:44 pm
my dad was determined to get that photo i.d. in 2014, when alabama's law came into effect. he was highly motivated, mr. speaker, because his daughter's name was on a ballot. and he wanted to be able to vote. and i want you to know that it took my dad five hours to get a photo i.d. now, if that's not a barrier, you say to yourself, five hours, why would it take five hours? well, dallas county courthouse has been -- is a courthouse that actually was grandfathered into the a.d.a. laws and so did not have to have a ramp by which people who have wheelchairs can get readily into the courthouse. it has been grandfathered in. we were very blessed to have a gentleman help us get my dad up those seven stairs, into the courthouse. but when we got to the courthouse, because the voter registration was on the second floor, we had to take an elevator upstairs. lo and behold, that particular day the one elevator bank was, what? actually out of service. out of service. now, my mom, having been a former member of the city
8:45 pm
council in central sell ma and obviously a very -- in selma, and obviously a very well known member of the citizens of selma, she could go across the wall and talk and say, look, we're here today to get this photo i.d. this nondriving photo voter i.d., so that my husband can vote. it took an hour and a half, but they got someone to service that elevator. by the time that elevator was working and we got up to the and betold low hold, it was 11:30 and, guess what? lunch time. now, i say to you, mr. speaker, we no longer have to count how many marbles are in a jar. we no longer have to recite all 67 counties in the state of alabama in order to get a voter registration card. but we should not in america have to go through so many hoops in order to exercise the most fundamental right, the most sacred right of our democrat circumstance the right to vote. and i say to you, mr. speaker, that any denial of access to the ballot box, to me, it
8:46 pm
undermines the integrity of the electoral process. if one person can't stand in line because they have other obligations like children and day chair and jobs, then it's unfair, we are actually limiting access to the ballot box, which actually combs to the integrity of our electoral process. mr. speaker, my state of alabama has the gall, after having a photo. i d. requirement, to actually, during the state budgetary process, decide to close down offices.
8:47 pm
which, is, as all of us know, the most popular form of photo on a citizen to have a se, so photo i.d. and close down parts . my state was really uncon mr. jeffries: a high number of decided t the state of to close. ms. sewell: those d.m.v. offices re mostly loathed in african-american states of america and she were in the rural parts. and those same areas have hard times having public transportation to get around in
8:48 pm
those areas and the reason they wereclosing down and there budgetary constraints and one of he consequences of those closures of those offices was to mit and get photo i.d.'s and therefore limiting their ability to vote. our governor opened those up and i say to you it is unacceptable limitations have and i ask those with john lewis pilgrimageses and if
8:49 pm
they are on the ballot box to make sure they have the right why would not make it easier for people to vote. should have e we the state of oregon have same-day registration and make it easier for every american to exercise that right to vote. i ask my colleagues on both sides of the i'll to join in the co-sponsors and join us in this fight to make sure that we since dern-day formula 990 to look at whether there have been discriminatory acts. i ask my colleagues to join us
8:50 pm
every tuesday, we declare it to be restoration tuesday and tuesdays are the day we go to the well of the interior. so i want to thank my colleagues and the gentleman from new york for leading us in this arge and resration is tuesday and talk about te modern-day example of people being denied ecause of people's inaket to get the credit detentionals. they don't have the ability to be able to drop everything to go and vote and stand in long lines if that. so i say this to say it's really imperative that we put real action behind our talks.
8:51 pm
with do a lot of talk and this isn opportunity for this august body to do something about it. my i want to quote one of republican colleagues who has ani think ght really best sums it up when he wrote in the op ed in azona, he wrote the following. wisconsin republican, representative mr. sensenbrenner: brener, is a ng that everyone can basic american ght, i would rather louis my jobs than to keep it. i would rather louis my job than
8:52 pm
suppress votes. my republican colleagues went on to say, it is on the fairness of our elections. it transsends our agenda and voting is the democratic way. i ask you to join us in our fight, this crisis we are in and we can fix in congress to come up with a formula. ngressn have and iffer introduced and there are several bills that will come up with the formula. i dare this body to actually act on one. the american people will be stronger and this republic will be stronger because of it.
8:53 pm
mr. jeffries: i thank you for a compelling and comprehensive and complete analysis of the situation we find ourselves in and the consequences of the supreme coordinate's decision and people in alabama and other parts of this great republic who are determined to elevate thimses to participate in the democratic process and that is a shame ap that it is time for our congress to act. i now yield to the distinguished gentleman from the lone star state.
8:54 pm
and voting rigse caucus here in the and a great member of the house of representatives and let me yield to representative veasey. mr. veasey: thank you to you for everything you are doing on raising this issue and it is timely on everything we are going through right now and when you think about the votings act and as it deals with individuals' rights to vote. but as you know, the supreme court regrets and sent us back and by combutting section 4 of the voting rights act and not only was it bad, but it was bad because of everything it did to propel rights to regressening
8:55 pm
and sending us back in the area of vieting rights act. and states and lolets that are passing laws to restrict the right to vote. seniors, disabled, people that move around and people who are transyept and people who don't have the money and congressman sewell talked about the fact that oftentimes in the sogget, eople were born by midwives. these things happened a long time ago. loot of beap boomers and born in other parts of the south that don't have the proper documentation that they need in order to be able to vote. i have met people since i have
8:56 pm
pations andd in cam legses and i have to tell you there are a lot of them out there. and my home state of particulars votingthe most egregious rights law. ction 4, they moved to -implement the law and thats sappointing that the voter i.d. was the worst. mr. jeffries: and as it relates they voter i.d. law if t a gun license, identification card and not able i.d.? with that
8:57 pm
r. jeffries: if you are issued law and that can be used to identify yourselves to other things you would need, it will not work for you to go and vote. f you have a concealed handgun license and you can't vote. used by are mostly white males and unfair that a allowed nt i.d. is not under texas laws and i became plaintiff in veasey ersus abbott and we got news
8:58 pm
that the fifth circuit court is going to take up our case and i'm going to work in congress and continue to work in texas .nd dallas-fort worth areas and i want to point out that you say we hear people have progressed that we don't need this law. can't sit think -- we back anymore and can't sit back and say we are doing a little bit better and these people, the transient, the students shall the ell people who don't have the birth documentation that other people may have, we can't sit back and say we are going to
8:59 pm
move on. we have to fight for those individuals. we must protect it. and 2016, i think we should make it easier for citizens to vote. we should be thinking about same-day registration and working together on ways to ease the lines when it comes to voting. we should be looking at waws to days.t where we have more we have scaling on early voting days and i think that is wrong. been, i want to thank you for you are your leadership and i have introduced the first voting rights coke cuss to help and aid and fight in the battle with other organizations that are here and in congress working hough issues and we need to do
9:00 pm
it in a bipartisan manner that we protect the right. and i thank i and the congresswoman from ohio on your work and passion on issue. . . mr. jeffries: i thank the gentleman for the work you've done herened in texas as the lawsuit toiff on the challenge the draconian requirements imposed by the state of texas. it should shock the conscience of every american that a state would impose a restriction that allows licensed gun owners to vote who disproportionately happen to be of a certain demographic, white male, but would deny the legitimacy of

24 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on