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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Morning Hour  CSPAN  September 13, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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i think you would be in action vice president. i have lived in arkansas for 30 years and i know what the clintons did to arkansas and they did not help us a bit. i do not have any affiliation with him, but i'm no desire to have hillary back in for bill because they were very corrupt in the state. host: thanks, charles. i appreciate the calls and everyone who called this morning on this edition of "washington journal." now we will take you to the house of representatives. zz (202) 748-800 2016, i hereby appoint the honorable daniel webster to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2016, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority leader and
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minority leaders for morning hour debate. the share will alternate recognition between the parties and each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, last month the nation watched as our friends in louisiana were inundated by record rainfall and unprecedented flooding. more than seven trillion gallons of water fell in louisiana and mississippi over eight days. 13 lives have been lost. more than 7,000 people were forced into 37 shelters across louisiana. there has been an estimated $110 million in agricultural losses, and 40,000 homes have been damaged. just a few weeks before the
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devastating floods in the south in ellicott city, maryland, not too far away from here, nearly six inches of rain felf in less than two hours. result -- fell in less than two hours. resulting in a torrential flood the likes of which happens just once ever 1,000 years. officials say 90 businesses and 107 homes were damaged and that infrastructure repairs are estimated to cost at least $22 million. these statistics are devastating, and if we fail to better prepare ourselves for the severe impacts of man-made climate change, we'll only see more disasters like this. first responders and emergency professionals deserve our utmost praise and admiration, as do the kind citizens on their streets who help their neighbors escape the rushing waters. people all over the country who contribute what they can to help put broken cities back together.
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but we must stop putting our heroes in harm's way. the science clear and it is conclusive and it is settled. these natural disasters aren't always natural. it is imperative we work to limit our impact on the climate. we must also prepare for the climate impacts that are now inevitable. prioritizing disaster preparedness by being thoughtful about where and how we construct homes, businesses, and/or vital infrastructure will save lives -- and other vital infrastructure will save lives, homes, and money. devastating weather events are occurring with greater frequency than ever before. today the northeast, midwest, and upper great plains regions see 30% more heavy rainfall than they did in the first half of the 20th century. and man-made climate change is already impacting the lives of every single american. even if you are not one of the millions who have suffered from
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extreme heat, widespread drought, or catastrophic flooding, your tax dollars have gone to help those who have. acting before disasters strike is the only way to reduce the strain on local, state, and federal emergency response systems. especially as they gear up to handle the predictable and unpredictable changes that climate change will bring. i'm proud to say that my hometown of chicago is among the 20% of global cities that have an adaptation plan to deal with the increased heat, urban flooding, and severe storms that climate change will bring. but it is vital that cities and towns across america also prepare. responding to climate change demands urgent and decisive action. this is not a coastal issue and it is not a paragraph zahn issue. rising seas and severe storms don't care if you are a democrat or republican. all americans are in this together and all americans, including members of congress,
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must be prepared to deal with climate impacts such as severe flooding. together we must act to hasten the transition to a low-carbon future that protects our communities from the impacts of climate change. the cost of not doing so in lives, trillions of dollars, and in changes the way of our life are too great. thank you, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, for five minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. since july 14, 2015, the iranian regime has conducted four ballistic missile tests with not so subtle warnings to our ally and best friend, the democratic jewish state of israel, that its goal was to wipe israel off the map. also since that date we learned that there have been side agreements between iran and the international atomic energy agency, the iaea and they were
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not submitted to congress for our review. the iaea released a report on the possible military dimension known as p.m.d., of iran's nuclear program, that proved that iran lied about its nuclear program in the past and continued to stone wall investigations into outstanding as well as that re-- remain. yet the remaining nuclear deal the jcpoa was allowed to move forward in spite of that. also the obama administration purchased 32 metric tons of heavy water from iran. what makes this so egregious, mr. speaker, is that this purchase was arranged in order to prevent iran from violating the very terms of the iranian nuclear deal the jcpoa. as if that were not bad enough, while the administration
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reselling the purchased water, heavy water to domestic and commercial buyers, well, that makes the u.s. a proliferator of iran nuclear materials all while legitimatizing iran as a nuclear slier. outrageous. -- supplier. outrageous. iran has renewed its interest and increased its presence in latin-m america and throughout the hemisphere. iran's row hani will be visiting cuba in the upcoming weeks. we learned the administration allowed the north korea, syria nonprolive nonproliferation sanctions against iran to sit on the specific during to provide these reports to congress every six months. that was the law, it was ignored. also russia announced it has
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resumed the sale of s-300 to iran. and just last month iran announced that it deployed what are the s-300's? russian surface to air missiles around its nuclear site to safeguard it from attack. and the administration announced a $1.7 billion settlement on a 35-year dispute with iran conveniently the day after sanctions were lifted on its central bank. what a coincidence. we learned that iran plans to use this ransom money for its military budget and for the iranian revolutionary guard corps, irgc, meaning the u.s. taxpayers not only are on the hook for a ransom payment to iran, but we are also subsidizing its nefarious activities. where has this transparency been?
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when it comes to iran and the nuclear deal, the jcpoa, there is an overwhelming sense that we are only beginning to scratch the surface of just how bad this deal really is. we need only look back at what has happened with new york to understand the depth and breadth of this failed iranian policy. because as i keep repeating, mr. speaker, iran has been following the north korea playbook by the page, by the letter, and what have we just witness add few days ago? well, north korea just conducted its second nuclear detonation since the jcpoa, the iran nuclear deal, was made. and it is the fifth in that nation in the last 10 years. mr. speaker, the jcpoa has been a foreign policy disaster already, but the real ramifications are yet to come. so congress must take action. first, we must hold the
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administration accountable and we must get the full truth behind the details of this jcpoa, the iran nuclear deal, and the administration's iranpolicy. the supposed most transparent administration in history has been anything but. going out of its wayle to stone wall and misdirect congress and our oversight responsibilities on this flawed and dangerous nuclear deal. second, mr. speaker, we must hold iran accountable and that means extending sanctions, expanding sanctions, renewing sanctions, and preventing iran from being able to continue down this dangerous path. these are the actions we must take in congress, mr. speaker. and i stand ready to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to find the right way forward because iran has not changed its stripes. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman
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from illinois, mr. gutierrez, for five minutes. mr. speaker, it is almost as if the majority would prefer going into the final stretch of the election season with fresh reminders how dysfunctional things have become. no action on commonsense gun control measure, no actions on immigration or climate change, no action on the zika virus that's taken a huge toll in the united states and puerto rico, and its foes take an even bigger one. congress is still a denial that zika is a threat. and the next generation of children could be exposed to a disease with debilitating birth defects. it is hard for me to articulate this out loud. the first group of children born with the problems associated with the disease will be born in puerto rico. we are looking at more than 15,000 cases in puerto rico and more than 2,000 pregnant women.
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and at the current pace, zika will infect a quarter of the island in the next year. this is the first mosquito-borne disease that successfully infects children in the womb through the placenta. t can be sexually transmitted. humans give zika to mosquitos and go on to infect other humans. congress has the same response it has almost to everything. nothing. in this case nothing with little partisan posturing over abortion in an election year. the issue for some people seem to be we can fund research prevention and treatment as long as one of the most important proven and effect yeff health care delivery mechanisms for women is expluded because planned parenthood is on the republican hit list. no matter the funding of planned parenthood or puerto rico or anywhere else would be the prudent use of political funds if our goal is to prevent the spread of disease, that is prevent not terminate, unwanted pregnancies during this crisis.
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politics in elections always seem to trump good sensible policy. so nothing yet from congress despite the pleas from the obama administration, the c.d.c., and the american people. but congress is not the only place in denial about zika. having spent time talking to people on the island of puerto rico. the people are also complacent about this disease and impact it will have. many suspect it's all from washington yet another crisis to give the united states more control over the island of puerto rico. given the island's history the point of view is not unreasonable that congress disappointed an un-elected control board to take control of the island's government and finances. for decades the united states used puerto rico and especially the island of vie yea kiss, for target practice for our military. for more than a decade the united states has been denied the health and environmental impact of that bombing, including cancer and other diseases that people on the island know are real because their relatives are dying.
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and back to my mother's day in the 50's and 60's, the family planning at that came to the united states was forced sterilization. i understand why people are skeptical when so far it has been hard to demonstrate the consequences of the zika virus and how we could make life any worse than it already is. but again in just a few weeks when we see children born with mental and physical impairment, it will become clear that zika is real. puerto rico must rise to the challenge presented by zika and bridge the deep ocean of distrust between the puerto rican people and the united states. that's why i spend a lot of my time over the past month meeting with public health experts, doctors, scientists, and every one of them was puerto rican, not people sent from the u.s. puerto rico needs an integrated comprehensive mosquito investigator control sent ter that puerto ricans are coming together to discuss that can be created quickry. this is the mosquito tracking eradication at that has deployed of the diseases
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detected so resources can be concentrated on the neighborhoods or cities if an infectious disease like zika is present. you saw it work in miami. puerto rico does not have access to contraception that you would expect in the 21st century. puerto rican doctors, gynecologists, scientists, and experts are strategizing how to make modern, effective, reversible family planning more widely available so women can delay pregnancies. but while puerto ricans can drive the process of addressing puerto rico on puerto rico and this can lead to much greater acceptance of those strategies and greater success in the long run, that does not get congress off the hook. puerto rico like the united states needs this congress to fund the president's request for funding and also for the federal government to do its job. in puerto rico this includes the e.p.a. addressing toxic landfills that dot the island which are breeding grounds for mosquitos. .
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but have been overlooked by the e.p.a. congress, a generation of children in puerto rico and all over the united states is counting on the u.s. congress to protect them from the zika virus, and i hope this congress puts politics aside and rises to the occasion. they are american citizens on the island of puerto rico. they will be coming to the united states when they need the health care. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the op-ed piece i wrote for "the hill" newspaper on zika and puerto rico be included in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the chair recognizes the for eman from pennsylvania five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. "the denver end, post" supported h.r. 2646. their endorsement joins 72 other papers, including "the
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wall street journal," "the washington post" and "the national review." mr. murphy: i thank my colleagues, mike coffman and mike tipton, were co-sponsors of h.r. 2646. their state, unfortunately, is all too familiar with the realities of mental illness and the tragedies that come along when there is no treatment for those that suffer from it. in colorado, every eight hours one person dies by suicide. their suicide rate is one of the highest in the country. sadly, colorado has also witnessed more mentally troubled mass killers than most, including james holmes o in 2012 took 12 innocent lives in a movie theater in aurora, colorado. and two that went on to take their own lives in columbine high school in 1999. mental health and the tragedies that occur before treatment are not restricted to one state, however. "the denver post" recognized this when they report that more
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than 11 million adults suffer from a mental illness, and almost half of them do not seek treatment or cannot find it. mr. speaker, since the facts make it clear that major mental health reform is needed for our entire nation, reform must be a priority for all elected members of congress on both sides of the capitol for we represent the entire nation. the house heard the american people when we passed h.r. 2646 in july with overwhelming, near unanimous bipartisan support. if the senate won't listen to the house or me, maybe they should listen to "the denver post" editorial board. they write, one of the best attempts to improve mental health crisis in decades will stall if the u.s. senate does not get its act together before it goes on another month-long break. freshly back from vacation, senators should pass the helping families in mental health crisis act. the bill sailed through the house with overwhelming bipartisan support.
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its prospects in the senate is murky, says "the post." it will address the mentally ill. it should not fall victim to the hyperpartisan gun debate, end quote. mr. speaker, if the senate won't listen to "the denver post," or "the wall street journal" or "the washington post," will they listen to the voices of the american people? if we have a daily addition of 118 lives lost to suicide, since september 1, it's been 1,400. and since the house passed, over 8,000 lost their lives. total since we passed the bill is 65,212 since we passed h.r. 2646. more lives will be lost if we do not fix this broken mental health system that is so desperately in need of repair.
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it's time that the senate listens to the voices of the millions who are crying out for help, and for today's new total of 959 more lives, tomorrow is too late. millions of americans are pleading with the senate, do not go home at the end of this month without passing a bill that the house can also pass and get signed into law, the helping families in mental health crisis act is just that law. we need the senate to vote this week, not another day, because where there is help there is hope. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. o'rourke, for five minutes. mr. o'rourke: thank you, mr. speaker. discuss our to national lands and monuments
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and some of our future opportunities. as you know, the antiquities act was passed 110 years ago. 10 years later in 1916, the national parks system was created. and since then, there have been 151 national monuments created, 84 of them by republican presidents, the majority of those by republican presidents showing that this act and its impact is truly bipartisan and american in every sense. i'd also like to call your attention to the accomplishments of our current president, barack obama, whom historian douglas brinkley calls a theodore roosevelt for the 21st century, owing to his commitment to preserving our national heritage, protecting our public places and ensuring that whether it's of importance because of its value or wilderness, cultural or historical impact that we're ensuring all americans have a chance to enjoy and appreciate our heritage.
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and i also rise today, mr. speaker, to suggest a way that the president can continue this legacy and set the stage for the next 100 years. pastor range, pictured behind me in el paso, texas, is 7,000 acres in the heart of the chihuahuan desert, rising into rocky mountain peaks that start at the southern end of that national mountain chain with rare plant and animal species that distinguish it as a place worthy of preservation. ending in 1966, castor range was used as a bombing range, but in the 50 years since then, it has been preserved in its natural state. this is an incredible opportunity to ensure that we pass on the range and all that it means to us as a country to not just this generation but the generations that follow.
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castor range, beyond the rare plants and animals species, has 10,000 years of recorded human history. there are petroglyphs dating back 8,000 years ago, literally showing the impressions that this land made on the first americans who were neither u.s. citizens or mexican citizens or really had any citizenship at all. and that is particularly poignant given the fact that castor range is part of the world's largest binational community. el paso with the sister city of ciudad juarez in northern mexico, two traditions, two languages to become one at this point. furthermore, el paso, texas, is 85% mexican american and happens to be one of the poorest communities in it our country. this is a chance for this president to open up public lands to ensure that we have access and participation by everyone in this country and to ensure our national monuments
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visitors reflect the communities and the growing changing demographics in this country. i also think that it's important to know that this community is unified in ensuring we protect, preserve and pass on castor range to future generations. 27,000 el pasoans have signed letters to the president. despite the relative poverty, $1.5 million have been raised to complement whatever federal investment is necessary. and the largest school district has made a commitment to ensure that every fourth grader has access to castor range should it be preserved, that it's part of their curriculum and they have a travel there to explore and appreciate its wonder. lastly, mr. speaker, here are some larger themes that the preservation of castor range could tie into it. it is a cold war relic. it's also a former artillery site, and following the president's recent travel to laos, which saw more armaments
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rained down on it than any other part of the world, we have a chance to develop the model of how to turn former conflict sites into places of public use, into examples of piece, into standards for preservation. that could happen here in the united states where we can set the world standard and it could happen here at castor range. there are a few national monument ideas that i think make a lot of sense. there's the expansion of the grand canyon. there's bears ears, there's gold butte and there's castor range. i think paying attention to these areas, the ability to offer access to more americans to ensure everyone has a chance to access our national parks and national monuments and to set the standard for preservation and the future of american cities is too good of an opportunity for this president to pass up. and with that, mr. speaker, i ield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from alabama, mr. brooks, for five minutes. mr. speaker, i have
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given numerous house speeches warning of american insolvency and bankruptcy. in order to drive home the dangers, i have cited greece why young adult unemployment nears 50%. overall unemployment is the worst america suffered during the great depression and public pensions have been slashed by almost 50%. i have cited venezuela where inflation last year was 275%, estimated at 720% this year and deadly street and food riots are common. i have cited puerto rico's default on $70 billion in debt, credit rating cut to junk bond status, abysmal labor participation rate of less than 40% and closure of over 100 schools.
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while house republicans can boast they help cut the $1.3 trillion deficit that we inherited in 2011 to $439 billion in 2015, that boast now rings hallow. according to the nonpartisan congressional budget office, the fiscal year 2016 deficit is allooning by $151 billion to $590 billion. absent correction, the c.b.o. warns that in 2024, america will embark or an unending string of trillion-dollar a year deficit. absent correction, the c.b.o. warns that america's dead service cost will increase billion decade by $464 per year to roughly $712 billion per year. more than what america spends on national defense which begs the question -- where will the
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money or $720 billion a year annual debt service payment come from? mr. speaker, america's financially irresponsible conduct has caused both america's comptroller general and the congressional budget office to repeatedly warn in writing that america's financial path is, quote, unsustainible, end quote. i agree with the comptroller general and c.b.o. warnings and am convinced that absent major changes in the economic understanding and backbone of washington's elected officials, a debilitating american insolvency and bankruptcy is a certainty within three decades, a probability within two decades and a dangerous risk over the next 10 years. all of this brings us to the continuing resolution spending bill that congress will soon vote on.
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according to the c.b.o., this continuing resolution spending bill plus so-called mandatory spending increases federal government spending by $150 billion and blows fiscal year 2017 federal government spending to the $4 trillion mark, a new record high amount of spending. this c.r. spending bill ignores economic reality and fails, fails to prudently restrain federal government spending to reflect america's tax revenue. this c.r. spending bill reflects washington and special interest greed and shortsightedness and continues the worst generational theft in american history by again breaking into our kids' piggy banks and stealing money we don't have and will never pay back, callously letting our children suffer the consequences. mr. speaker, economic principles don't care if you are a family, a business or a
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country. if you borrow more money than you can pay back, you go bankrupt. americans are rightfully angry at washington elected officials o are all too willing to sacrifice america's future for today's special interest campaign contribution. mr. speaker, i can't speak for anyone else but as for me, mo brooks sacrifice america's from alabam congressional district, i vote for financial responsibility and prosperity and against a debilitating american bankruptcy, insolvency and resulting economic debregs. as such, and al-- economic depression. as such, although this continuing resolution spends money on lots of good things, i will vote against it because it is financially irresponsible. i will not vote for a debilitating, insolvency and bankruptcy of america that will damage so many americans for so many years to come. mr. speaker, i yield back. .
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from florida, ms. wilson, for five minutes. mr. speaker, today at 12:30 p.m. i will be convenienting an emergency press conference from the u.s. capitol on zika. this is a bipartisan press conference of floridians, democrats and republicans, who are concerned about their state. please join us. we will send out a clarion call to our fellow members of congress to help floridians by passing a clean zika bill. no riders, no poison pills. just a clean zika bill.
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our governor, governor scott, will visit congress tomorrow and i hope he will urge congress to act. life is too precious and we should not be playing political football with unborn children and whatever else science will he reveal to us about zika. there is so much yet to be discovered. and we do know this. we are gambling with the developing brain of an unborn fetus. florida's 24th congressional district, which i proudly represent, is the epicenter of the zika epidemic in america. the district's community is where they discovered the first local mosquito-borne transmission. a travel advisory has been put in place against coming to this american neighborhood. this is the first time in a long time that an american city
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has received a travel advisory. it is hurting businesses. it has a huge economic impact that is devastating to this robust business district in miami. tourism is down. restaurants on the verge of closing. and the crowded tourist attractions are literally abandoned. this public health crisis has grown so serious that one of our florida's major newspapers, the "miami herald," has created a daily track to monitor the virus spread across our state. i have spent most of our seven c. week recess working to -- seven-week recess working to how to prevent this terrible virus. whip hoyer joined me on occasion. so miami is the epicenter. it has evolved into an open laboratory where the c.d.c. is working closely with local health officials and county
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officials. for weeks a c.d.c. response team has been on the ground in miami working to control, contain, and defeat the virus and educate the community on mosquito control. the c.d.c. is using miami to teach the nation how to cope with the zika virus. they have said to me, we have to use every tool in the toolbox and that requires adequate funding. they have said we cannot lose this battle. it is too dangerous. determining what works and what doesn't work requires adequate funding. it is sexually transmitted, but how long does the virus live in the semen? how long does the virus live in the blood? should we stop blood donations if affected areas? the zika virus has been found in tears and saliva. research shows that it causes blindness and brain disorder
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and could cause alzheimer's in adults. so many questions. we cannot afford to delay much needed scientific research, but that requires adequate funding. we need resources to help develop a vaccine, to develop medications to stymie the virus. we need resources to determine -- to find out how long it takes for a pregnant woman to get results from her zika test. they need to determine how long the zika virus lives in the body. the fever, chills we can deal with, but we can't gamble with the developing brain of an unborn fetus. the bottom line is threat of zika is grave to pregnant women. there are so many unanswered questions and it requires funding. we need a clean zika little. -- bill.
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poison bills -- pills. no riders. many people who live in florida are living in fear because there is so much more to be learned about the virus. it is my state now, my beautiful state of florida, there are 27 of us serving in the house, many of us have taken votes to help you when your state needed help. i ask you today, my colleagues, to help my state, my district. and please note this epidemic has already began to start in other states. we cannot pretend it does not exist. please bring a clean bill to the floor. the people of america are depending on each of us, the unborn children of america are depending on each of us. let's put our children's future
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first, mosquitos caring -- carrying zika must be dealt with now and that requires the political will to do the right thing. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mooney, for five minutes. mr. mooney: thank you, mr. speaker. one of the most meaningful things a member of congress does is nominate some of the best and brightest students from our congressional district to serve our nation's service academies. the u.s. service academy graduates receive a first rate undergraduate education with options to pursue advanced degrees. they spend a minimum of five years serving their country on active duty as a military officer, and are provided with an education and experience that will provide a world of career opportunities. the full four-year scholarship is valued at more than $350,000, which includes tuition, room and board,
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medical and dental care, and also a monthly salary. students learn discipline, moral ethics, and teamwork in a structured environment that fossers leadership and character development. last year i had the privilege of nominating 20 high school seniors for admission to one or more academies. half of the young men and women that i nominated received admission to at least one service academy. calling each phenomenonee in my district as i'm doing here to tell them they have been selected to these institutions was one of the most special moments of my freshman year in congress. i hope to make many more phone calls this year. this is a picture of me calling drew, last year, to tell him he he had been accepted to west point. if you are a highly motivated looking for a challenge in your life and want to serve your country, i hope you will consider attending a u.s. service academy. i will be hosting information
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sessions throughout my district this year. these sessions are a great opportunity for students to explore the possibility of attending one of several prominent academic institutions and meet with admissions representatives. i hope students and their families will attend these events throughout the second congressional district. if you're interested in a congressional nomination, please contact my office in -925-5964. t 30 or my office in martinsburg, 304-264-8810 and ask for the individual who oversees academy applications. thank you, mr. speaker, this past weekend i met with members of the syrian community in charleston, west virginia, to discuss ways that the federal government can help the ongoing humanitarian crisis in syria. this is us meeting. in particular, we discussed house resolution 5732, the
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syria civilian protection act of 2016. the bill would hold syrian human rights abusers accountable for their crimes. the bill would impose sanctions on individuals who do business with dictator al assad's brutal regime and require the president to publish a list of people who are complicit in the grave human rights violations that have occurred and continue to unfold in syria. despite promises and agreements to the contrary, chemical weapons are still being used regularly by the assad regime in syria. we cannot look the other way while innocent children are murdered. i'm a proud co-sponsor of this critical bill and thank my colleagues, congressman eliot engel and chairman ed roigs, for -- royce, for interduesing it. i encourage the leadership here in the house to bring the bill to the floor for a vote immediately. the innocent syrian people have
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suffered enough. the current civil war has resulted in four million refugees and nearly 500,000 killed. my mother fled castro's communist cuba after being unjustly thrown in jail by his communist regime. we must protect persecuted individuals who have no one to stand up for them. thank you, mr. speaker. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. ostello, for five minutes. mr. costello: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 3471, the veterans mobility safety act. a bill i am proud to co-sponsor. this legislation would set minimum standards for any individual or company installing or selling mobility products to veterans through a
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department of veterans affairs equipment program. these products are used by disabled veterans to increase their mobility and overall quality of life, but the v.a. does not currently require vendors who make or repair the products to make a certain level of certification. standards in this legislation would help guarantee safety, quality, and reliability. it is critical that our veterans, who have given so much for our country, have the best available equipment to accommodate any physical disability. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 5587, the strengthening career and technical education for the 21st century act. the bill i am proud to co-sponsor and i wish to recognize my colleague from pennsylvania, g.t. thompson, for his work on that bill. this bipartisan legislation would provide state and local educators with greater control and flexibility with respect to
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career and technical education programs. and it takes an important step in closing the skills gap faced by american employers and manufacturers. in order to succeed in the modern work force, students need to emerge with the skills that state and local businesses need, the strengthening career technical education for the 21st century act does just that. encouraging greater student involvement in work-based learning and in the classroom, emphasizing the development of employibility, skills, and importance of attaining credentials. as co-chair of the 21st century skills caucus, i have been working on legislation with similar goals. and i'm very proud to see provisions i have advocated for included in this bill. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 3595, the halt tax increases on the middle class and seniors act. this legislation would put taxpayers' hard-earned dollars
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back into their own pocket. it would lower the required percentage of income that must be spent to qualify for a tax deduction for medical costs. americans should be able to deduct high cost medical expenses and this legislation would reduce the required percentage from 10% to 7.5% of adjusted gross income. i urge my colleagues to support this bill, to provide middle class families and seniors with deserved tax relief. as they have already had to spend a signature amount of their encome on these expenses. mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulate richland borrow, lebanon county, of my district on 110 years of incorporation. on september 17, 1906, richland became its own municipality, breaking from middle creek township and gaining its name from the fertile soil in the area. richland is home to the inventors of the air pump used
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by henry ford on the model t and will celebrate this anti-rest of its impressive history this weekend. i wish to also recognize the daily news for a great article the history of richland borrough. gary althouse of the richland heritage society and many others have been organizing a series of events that will take place this upcoming saturday, a little more brief histories. . they held a public meeting on the subject of the advantages of a borough. on august 12 the plan was put in circulation and they had 50 signatures. then in 1906, he took the petition to the county courthouse and presented it before the court, and on september 17, the presiding judge granted the charter. on february 25, 1907, the first richland borough council meeting was organized at the union house, which then became the place of many meetings,
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including borough council meetings thereafter. congratulations to richland borough and all its residents. i'm very proud to represent you in the united states congress. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. jolly, for five minutes. mr. jolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to congratulate dr. bill hogart, part of our national marine fisheries service. he retired as florida institute of oceanography. not only do i recognize him on his retirement but also on two honors he recently received. first, the american fisheries society last month owned dean, as he's known to so many, with the carl r. sullivan award. one of the premiere award in
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sciences. he preserved some of the world's most threatened marine species. it recognizes his passionate advocacy for environmental protections and his role in leading florida's scientific response to the deepwater horizon oil spill in 2010. the second honor for dean hogart in early september was bestowed upon him by the university of south florida's board of trustees when it voted to name its newest research vessel in his namesake. to recognize dean's passionate pursuit of funding for a new boat to replace the university system's more than 40-year-old research vessel. for those of my colleagues who have had the opportunity to work with and mean dean over his long career, you know of his humble nature, his laugh and most notably his deep southern drawl. you also know of his spirited passion for all issues related to i shalleries and the oceans -- fisheries and the oceans. dean's first job was bioologist
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for coornl power and light and served as director of marine fisheries. his national and international stature grew. in 1994 when he joined the national marine fisheries service where he rose from a regional leader to be pointed by president george w. bush to serve as the agency's director from 2001 to 2007. and recognizing his leadership on national and international fisheries issues at a most critical juncture for the commercial and recreational fishing industries, president bush appointed dean to represent our nation as u.s. commissioner and chairman of both the international whaling commission and the international commission for conservation of the atlantic. during his tenure as director of nemps he worked with this congress to update federal i allery -- fisheries laws and set them on a new and sustainable course. in 2007 he retired from federal service and joined the
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university of south florida in st. petersburg. recognizing his leadership skills, dr. hogart was appointed in january, 2011, as director of the florida institute of oceanography, a consortium of more than 30 scientific and educational institutions across florida. the u.s.f. president then call upon his leadership skills once again and asked him to assume a dual role, the job of regional chancellor of u.s.f. st. petersburg from august, 2012 to june, 2014. .s.f. and the institute of oceanography made news after the deepwater horizon explosion. he focused on the immediate aftermath of the spill, including the path of the oil plume both above the water and in the gulf's deepest reaches and currents. it focused also on the impact of the spill on fisheries and other wildlife and response to the community to address short
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and long-term environmental concerns. one of his final acts as director of institute of oceanography before his official retirement on july 31 was to work with the florida state legislature, our governor, the university and the city of st. petersburg to secure funding to replace a 40-year-old research vessel, bellos. this ship managed by the institute of oceanography is a great resource to faculty and students alike, giving them invaluable access to the gulf of mexico and other research waterways in pursuit of their studies. the new ship will now be named rightfully the r.v. william t. hogarth and continue to provide a path to sea for thousands of florida students and educators. dean hogarth will be known to me as an educator. it is personal to me because he serves as a key advisory on fisheries that is so critical to our state and to our community. i will always call him dean as will so many others and we look forward to his continued
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counsel in retirement. mr. speaker, i hope my colleagues will join me in thanking a most special person who has dedicated much of his career to one of the great interests of our nation, our fisheries, our marine sciences, our oceans. dr. hogarth is a national champion of our nation's critical asset, our oceans. it is an honor for me to recognize him today. i ask my colleagues to do the same. we wish him very well in retirement. we thank him for his service. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. weber, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, today marks eight years since hurricane ike made landfall over galveston, texas. this category 4 storm ripped through communities in the city of galveston and galveston county, making its way inland into the houston region. this storm caused over 100
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fatalities, washed away homes, flooded communities and shut down much of the region's energy production. in total, this hurricane cost $37.5 billion, with a b, dollars nationwide, making it the third costliest hurricane in united states history. even though hurricane ike caused extensive damage, we know it could have been much worse. the effects of another major hurricane on the houston region and our nation would absolutely be devastating. over six million people call this area home, and many of them work in critical economic sectors like health care and energy refining. the impact would be felt in every congressional district across the country. for example, according to reports published immediately after hurricane ike made
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landfall, gas prices spiked between 30 cents and 60 cents per gallon across many states due to the disruption in energy production in the houston region. we do not know, mr. speaker, when the next big storm will hit our shores, which is why it is of paramount importance for congress, the federal government and our state to prioritize funding for coastal protection along the texas coast. progress on a comprehensive federal evaluation of our coastal vulnerabilities is long overdue. i'm grateful, mr. speaker, that the texas general land office and the army corps of engineers are moving forward in partnership on the coastal texas protection and restoration study. once completed, this study will make the case for coastal infrastructure projects that would qualify for federal
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dollars and would protect our vulnerable coastal communities, our energy infrastructure, maritime industries and most importantly major population centers. i am doing everything i can, mr. speaker, to make sure a federal study of our coast is completed expeditiously. along with senator cornyn, i have introduced the coast act, which is actually the corps' obligation to assist in safeguarding texas. if enacted, this legislation would require the army corps to take into consideration existing studies and data already available to help expedite the federal government's work. this legislation would also immediately authorize any projects should they be justified. mr. speaker, i will continue to work with all relevant federal, state and local leaders to expedite federal work to
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protect the texas gulf coast from dangerous storms. this is a critical federal interest and should be a national priority. mr. speaker, you know that's right. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. mr. ompson: thank you, speaker. mr. speaker, earlier this summer i was proud to vote in favor of a package of bills intended to crack down on the epidemic of heroin use and opioid abuse across our nation. i was even happier to see that legislation pass the house and senate with broad participate support before being signed into law by the president. the comprehensive addiction recovery act will help make grant funding available to state and local governments, create a task force to review physician prescribing guidelines and make sure babies born opioid dependent receive quality care. while this is a step in the
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right direction, i continue to be impressed by the efforts of community members in my district to help turn the tide against this epidemic. town hall meetings have been held across pennsylvania's fifth congressional district in places such as bradford, mckeon county, and another meeting is planned for this evening in center county. these meetings, along with hearings held across the state by the pennsylvania house majority policy committee are great steps in the battle gainst drugs and saving lives. mr. speaker, later today on this house floor we will be considering what i would describe very accurately describe as an opportunity bill. you know, we hear the media talking about how in the middle of this campaign election season that congress really is not productive. i would argue to the contrary,
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and i point to this bill, it's a bill i'm very proud of. mr. speaker, we all know individuals in our communities, perhaps in our own families who are in need of opportunity. we probably know young people who as they go off this time of year to school, they're inspired. they go, maybe their heads are on their desk. they don't learn in the typical fashion that traditional education teaches of lecture and classrooms. but if you put them in an environment where they can use their hands and do applied academics, career and technical education, they're inspired. they look forward to getting out of bed in the morning and they excell. we probably all know people, perhaps related to some folks who find themselves this morning stuck in unemployment, that as we gather around the breakfast table they gathered around the breakfast table figuring out how to make end's
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meet. they need strategy to be able to get back on their feet. they need a strategy to be able to provide for their families and greater opportunities what they're taking. we probably know folks as well that certainly people that we serve and people in our communities that have been stuck in the web of poverty for generations. intergenerational poverty with no exit ramp, with no exit strategy. well, this opportunity bill today is one that i encourage all of my colleagues to support. the culture today has so much emphasis on the theory that students need a four-year degree, people need a four-year degree to be successful in this country. however, we have a huge gap of technical and vocational jobs that are good-paying jobs, family-sustaining jobs that aren't being filled. job seekers, job creators who cannot find individuals who are qualified and trained to be able to fill those positions. i call that the skills gap, and
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today we can take a tremendous step in closing the skills gap. i've introduced a bill, the strengthening career and technical education for the 21st century act, which incidentally is scheduled later today for a vote. this legislation re-authorizes and modernizes, more importantly, modernizes the c.d. perkins and technical education act to help provide more americans, help more americans enter the work force with the skills need to compete and succeed in high-wage, high-demand careers. mr. speaker, this is a good bill. it starts career awareness earlier, recognizing kids what they have access to with technology. this will begin to provide career and technical education awareness in middle schools. it brings business to the table. so when we do offer career and technical education, a job, at the end of the day, whether it's a certificate earned, a credential that's provided, training that's completed and
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it serves individuals of all ages. and so i just ask my -- encourage my colleagues to join me in supporting the strengthening career in technical education for the 21st century act on this house floor later today. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 1-a of rule 1, the chair decl >> republican congressman john fleming is the bill sponsor. he is expected to come to the house floor shortly after members gavel back in to inform them that his bill is coming up
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today. we spoke to him recently about that impeachment resolution. host: congressman fleming you are going to offer this resolution of personal privilege to impeach the i.r.s. commissioner, the resolution, the impeachment resolution, from earlier this year reads, impeaching john andrew koskinen, commissioner of the internal revenue service for high crimes and misdemeanors. what are those high crimes and misdemeanors? mr. fleming: i won't bore you with all the dates and times, but the basic thing is that right after john koskinen was confirmed by the senate to be the head of the i.r.s., he received a subpoena to protect and take in custody all information, all evidence that was involved with lois lerner who we found out targeted
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certain taxpayers. and for their political belief. within three weeks of receiving that subpoena he either destroyed or allowed to be destroyed 24,000 emails and 422 tapes. even after saying to congress, promising congress that he would protect them, then later after they were destroyed, he lied to congress and said that they were all protected and preserved. then he came back and said that, nope, whoops, something happened. they're gone when there were some that he didn't know about, apparently, that the inspector general found later. and he didn't tell us about that. we had to find that out on our own. the point is that it's clear that john koskinen lied to congress, was not responsive to subpoenas, and it was clear that either he destroyed evidence, or obstructed justice, or allowed
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it to happen on his watch. so as a result of that, we feel that he is not fit for duty and he should lose his job. john koskinen the head of the i.r.s. should be removed. host: this is the second time around four. you tried it back in the midsummer. the house didn't move forward. they had two days to move forward on your request. what are you expecting this time around? mr. fleming: we adjourned before the two legislative days expired. in this case that won't happen. we will be here for at least two legislative days. so leadership will be forced to bring this up for some type of vote. there are several possibilities how that could be done. but the bottom line is that once this privileged resolution is moved forward, there will have to be a vote on it within two legislative days. host: have you heard any signal from leadership from the house speaker, from leader mccarthy, on how they might move forward? mr. fleming: i have not.
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only that the speaker made the comment a week or so ago that he would leave it to the will of congress. i think that's exactly what we should do. but exactly how this is going to be a direct vote on impeachment or whether it be a -- it will be a vote to table it or move to to committee, any vote other than moving forward with impeachment would be viewed by the public, and rightly so, as no on impeachment and removal from office. the reason for that is that this resolution in a very similar form has been in print for well over nine months. jason chaffetz put that in, the chairman of the committee. and then i put one in in july. leadership and the judiciary committee have failed to move forward on impeachment hearings. it's clear that nothing is going to happen unless someone like me , in this case me, unless i move forward with a privileged
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resolution to require a vote. then let every member answer to his or her constituent why we should allow high level officials the privilege of getting by with doing things that are unlawful, potentially criminal, and not being held accountable for their behavior. and i get asked all the time by my constituents, why is it that there are two standards? there's a standard for everyday americans. the average taxpayer. and then there's one for high-level officials like john koskinen, the head of the irgsers. apparently he doesn't have to respond to subpoenas and doesn't have to respond to the same sort of things that we as taxpayers do. and that applies to others like of course eric holder. host: what about -- you talked about a schedule. what about the standard of moving through the judiciary committee? we understand there koskinen's attorneys have filed a memo saying -- accusing some
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republicans of not going through the judiciary committee. you talked about the judiciary committee a moment ago, why not let that process play out? mr. fleming: we have let that process play out. and the judiciary committee and leadership has failed to begin that process. so they have had ample time, they have had months. there is no new information here. they have had everything they needed for many months. it's clear they are simply not going to act. and the american people believe that congress should act. and in fact many notable people, george will, just came out with an op-ed. jonathan turley, famous liberal constitutional attorney, said that we should move forward and there are many other notables that are saying that congress is going to become irrelevant if we don't do our jobs. which in this case is to hold high level officials in the executive branch accountable for their behavior. host: i understand the house
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republican conference meeting this week. do we have a bit of sales job to your colleagues? what's your argue in favor when you get a chance to do that? mr. fleming: the evidence is self-evident. i'm not going to try to persuade anyone to vote john koskinen out of office. this is a conscious vote. it could be the will of congress. the evidence is the evidence. they can read it as easily as i can. there's nobody whipping votes as far as i can tell. we simply should have the opportunity to vote and i would just say to every member of congress, certainly in the house where this will be voted on, you're going to have to go back and face your constituents. if you vote to protect a high level government official who's lied to congress and ignored subpoenas and who has allowed obstruction of justice, then you are going to have to answer to your constituents for that. certainly i know what i'm going to say to my constituents and that is i was there for them. host: lastly, congressman, the
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politico had a headline that said the i.r.s. chief tries to stave off impeachment with planned meetings with some members on the republican side. do you yourself plan to meet with the i.r.s. commissioner before any potential house floor vote? mr. fleming: i haven't met with him. he hasn't asked to meet with me. again i don't see what the relevance of meeting with john koskinen is. he has had plenty of opportunities to come on the hill, to be sworn in, and to give testimony under oath about these questions. he's not been willing to do that. coming up and having a conversation i don't think is adequate matters of this importance. host: does it matter to you that this could be the first ever sublevel government official impeached? subcabinet level official impeached? mr. fleming: it does bother me. here's why. i can't recall a time in the past where we have ever such
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blatant activity that ignores the will of the american people and congress itself which has the power to check on our branches of government. we wouldn't have to do this if the executive branch would take care of its own approximate. in this -- own problems. in this case, lois lerner, they admit this, was targeting people for their political beliefs, commissioner koskinen was brought in to clean that mess up. and instead of doing that, he only obstructed justice or at least allowed the justice to be obstructed, and she was retired with a fed pension and never had to answer to a judge or jury. she only pleaded the fifth. and now pleas apparently wanting to get by without having to answer for his activities as well. and there are many other officials. we've got of course hillary clinton and the email scandal. we've got eric holder in fast and furious.
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the american people are just very upset, over the top, with all the high level officials that seem to get by without even a slap on the wrist. so i think we have reached a new day when the executive branch we don't hear from the f.b.i., we don't hear from the attorney general's office, they are simply not willing to act on those who defy congress, who break laws, and defy the american people. host: congressman john fleming of louisiana, thanks for joining us. fun fun -- [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. -- [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> louisiana congressman billy long tweets out this picture of the nominee they podium. and "the washington post" scott wongtweets that the vice presidential nominee began hits remarks by saying, quote, will i always be a man of the house. according to mr. wong the indiana governor also said that trump is a good man and will be a great leader.
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and then asked house republicans for input on personnel and policy ideas. finally reporter billy house tweets out not all perfect inside room. congressman fortenberry told mike pence his young daughter was upset and told her dad trump hated women. the science committee looking into the security of the nation's voting machines. we join this hearing in progress. we'll show you as much as we can until the house gavels back into session at noon eastern. ms. lofgren: at all levels of both parties. about the effort of the russians . disrupt this election it's sad commentary on leaders of that party and it also is very chilling when you think about what could happen come this november. and i see that my time has expired. i yield back, mr. chairman. mr. smith: thank you, ms.
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lofgren. the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham, is recognized for his questions. mr. abraham:00 you, mr. chairman. we'll get back on track here. secretary mr. schedler -- secretary schedler, let's go to the security of the voting systems in all states, you being the past present of the secretaries of state. you have i think some knowledge of this subject. do you think it's good, bad? average? secretary schedler: congressman, i would say it's good. we did a survey before this hearing and got a response from 19 or 20 states to try to ascertain that. aside from my knowledge, and i don't profess to be an expert on every state system, but there is a lot of similarities, a lot of differences in the states. that's what makes it so unique. i feel very comfortable, again, in the representative from california who appears stepped
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out, keep in mind the democratic national convention the component that was hacked was the campaign side of it. each and every one of us like me is elected, all of you have used a campaign commercial list to determine a mail issue or walk list in a neighborhood or whatever it may be. those are readily accessible. i'll sell you mine if you knew me well enough, might give it to you. the point being that is vastly different than the registration component and certainly vastly different than the election day omponent of equipment. you have to understand the forget to get into the subject. there's no way of minimizing what happened in the democratic national convention. i know i haven't. that makes no difference if are you a red state, blue state, or purple state. but the bottom line is maybe it's just our knowledge of the system that gives us this
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feeling of somewhat not overconfidence because i think this is a good thing that we are going through. but we all remember the year 2000 when the world was going to end in one second after midnight. i'm still using batteries my wife bought for that event. that does not mean that we did not have reason to believe with studies, we should have been prepared. we went through that gyration. or when a ballgame, when the scoreboard goes out on a football game. if you're sitting in the stands you know what's going on and guess what? there's other people keeping track of those statistics at the same time. it's the same on an election system. if one component goes down, we have various components that come in, it may delay it some, but it doesn't create a nuclear war. i can't speak to what happens in the ukraine. can i only speak to what happens
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in the united states and ill tar heel you the election system in the united states, just like many other things in this country, in spite of maybe what we think, is the best system in the world, is it foolproof? absolutely not. and i'd also tell you there is no such thing as a perfect election. anybody that tells you that don't know what they are talking about. because any time you got 10,000 machines at play and 15,000 people from 65 to 90 years old, things are going to a it's how you handle that. it's how you document that and move forward. i'm very confident in it. with caution lights on. and there is no disrespect to anyone who believes otherwise. we are looking at it. it's forced us to do so. but i am deeply concerned, and i can speak to my democratic colleagues and my republican colleagues that have been on conference calls over the last several weeks with this issue. we are in unison. this is the worst situation we
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could be talking about as we enter this election. we are going through a chaotic convention process. where voters are more disgruntled than ever. we are adding to that participation. participation rate in a very negative fashion. and i feel very confident in saying that i speak for all of my colleagues that we are deeply concerned with the rhetoric that's gone on right now from the national press and we are not trying to deminimize it. we are double checking, but there's little that could be done in eight weeks. little. we just need to stay the course, have confidence in what we are doing. and again i'm very confident that on november 9 you are going to wake up and you're going to have unofficial results of who won the president of the united states. because keep in mind it's unofficial. we go through that audit in every county, every parish,
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every state post that election before it becomes official and you go to your electoral college. mr. smith: thank you, mr. identify bra ham. the gentlewoman from oregon, ms. bonamici, is recognized. ms. bonamici: mr. becker you said in your testimony you emphasized voters should feel confident in our voting system. we certainly have heard a lot of messages about the importance of that confidence here today and how it will meet this greater participation. that's good nor democratcy. i think just -- democratcy. i think just getting information out to the public that the voting machines themselves are not connected to the internet will help. i think there is a misconception about that. i'm from oregon, and we all vote by mail in oregon. we have done that for more than a decade. it's a very secure process. it also makes it very easy for oregonians to vow. the secretary of state's office mails paper ballots to each and every registered voter a couple weeks before the election along
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with a voters pamphlet with all the information about the candidates and initiatives on the ballots so oregonians have plenty of time to study the issues and fill out their ballots and get them back in to be tallied by the local election offices. there are privacy and security measures. i was a trained election observer years ago and it gave me confidence to see each step of the way and watch that tally. happen at the elections office. i wanteded to ask you a little bit about are there lessons to be learned from a state oregon that does use vote by mail with a paper ballot for everyone? what the vow cuss on the two different issues, there is a voter record and then there are actually what happens at the -- with the ballot and tally, voting machine. if you want to talk a little bit about the lessons that can be learned from that system. then i also want to ask dr. romine, i know this is mostly concentrated its work to date in standards development for the actual voting machines, but
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you're now, i understand, working to isis thames dealing with the voter registration system. -- working to dealing with the voter reg stration system. -- registration system. 's really easy in oregon for anybody to check whether they are still in the database. and getting the ballot early means that there would be an early notice maybe there was a problem. assuming that somebody did get through a very secure system. mr. becker? mr. becker: sure. thank you. of course oregon and washington have that long time success with mail balloting in their states. and there are lessons that other states are learning from that. not every state is the same. and other states have reached different decision abouts their population of that. and that's highly appropriate. but states like california and arizona and some other western states offer the option of becoming a permanent mail voter, which you have to check a box. after that you receive a ballot for every election.
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very interestingly, colorado has experimented with a model, put a model in place that california has passed a similar bill, that is a hybrid of sorts where every voter gets a mail ballot, but they can choose to mail that ballot in, drop that ballot off at a drop site, go in for early voth at vote centers, we can go to anyone within the county, or election day and vote anywhere in the county. they have seen strong initial successes there. ms. bonamici: in oregon, if somebody wants to vote at the elections office on elections day, they can do that. they can stand in a booth and vote. anybody can do that. most people don't because it's easier to mail it. mr. becker: i think the states are learning from that experience. they are trying to figure out what's best for their state based upon the successes that oregon and washington and colorado and other states have seen with their particular systems. i think also importantly you brought up the note between voter registration systems and the voting machines and calculation dries devices
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themselves. i think particularly with mail voting it's very important because the voter lists are the way to deliver a ballot system. one, because that's the list that generates the mailing to the voters. of course in states where they don't get ballots, it's not that voters don't receive something else. they are receiving a card that's a reminder to the question earlier about chaos, which is an important quefment there has been a lot of work and plans in place by states to avoid chaos just in the last 10 to 15 years. one thing that's true for a presidential election, it's going to be very hard to avoid information about when the election is and what's going on. i'm guessing a lot of people right now would like to get away from information about the election. whether it's the work that facebook's doing pushing information out about it's election day, click here to tind your polling place. or google the same way. the work of many other tech partners in states are partnering with those entities to make sure that information
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gets out, that's all a great protective measure to ensure that if a voter does experience a problem or might think they might experience a problem, they can in advance make sure they are getting -- ms. bonamici: if you could tell us what nist is doing with the voting machines? >> in your question about the delines for voting systems. the voluntary voting system on involve e work the votingcy tell themselves. dr. romine: we have a decades-long history of security as a management of risk exercise. i think the states have taken that very seriously. our interaction with the eac and election officials in the state suggest that is they are managing risk to the voting systems and the registration systems in a way that incorporates the best practices
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that nist has been promoting for. ms. bonamici: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. smith: thank you. the gentleman from georgia, mr. lauder milk, is recognized for his question. mr. loudermilk: thank you, mr. chairman. thank all the witnesses for being here today. ery important issue. rightly we should be concerned about the integrity of our election system. we are only as good as the integrity of the election system. after spending 30 years in the i.t. business, this is something that's very important to me. and an area i understand from the technological side. another area we have to be conscious of is the federal involvement because typically whatever we get involved with doesn't run as well as the state doing it themselves. we are conscious of whatever role the federal government plays is very limited to -- especially -- we understand we do have things we can do as far
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as setting recommended standards. recently secretary of homeland security has reported saying that d.h.s. is considering whether the state electoral apparatus should be designated as critical infrastructure. doing romine -- dr. romine, is this appropriate that in your opinion -- dr. romine: it's a policy decision that's way above my pay grade. i don't have any input that i can provide you for that. mr. loudermilk: do you have any idea what the disadvantages or benefits would be in declaring these as critical infrastructure? dr. romine: i can't speak to that. i know that nist provided a significant been fit in partnership with the private -- benefit in partnership with the private sector on the development of improving the cybersecurity infrastructure that's received a lot of attention and accolades. but that's not limited to critical infrastructures.
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any organization of any size in any sector is free to adopt that framework. mr. loudermilk: you are working with d.h.s. to help states understand the critical nature of their systems? dr. romine: we are partnering with d.h.s. and the department of justice on trying to understand how we can ensuring the widest dissemination of best practices to the states and municipalities. as was mentioned earlier, request to d.h.s. for assistance is not predicated solely on whether you are designated as a critical infrastructure that request can be made without that designation. mr. loudermilk: does this include sishe hygiene? dr. romine: my understanding it includes request to do scanning of systems. but only upon request. mr. loudermilk: like a stress test of their systems? are we applying lessons learned
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in -- from the presidential commission on enhancing national cybersecurity in making these recommendations for the states? dr. romine: the presidential commission on sishe security has not yet reached the stage of finalizing the recommendations. those are not being incorporated in these guidelines. i put it in the reverse in the sense that the commissioners are actually taking a look at best practices out in the field in discussions with the i.t. industry and with stakeholders around the country to try to develop the best possible recommendations for the benefit of this administration and the next. stance onmilk: nist's this is to work within the framework of the federal government to come up with recommendations that the states may or may not implement and reflect the ability to where
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they can be custom mized to the state's individual nedworks? dr. romine: yes. mr. loudermilk: secretary mr. schedler, how do you feel? secretary schedler: do i not think critical infrastructure is needed at aw. as was indicated by mr. romine, anddy earlier, we can go to homeland security now. we can get those tests by f.b.i. we have a committee, matter of fact secretary of state ron kemp has been very active in this whole process with several of us, it is one of the committee members that we have appointed from nist to serve on the homeland security committee. and to do best practices and the like. most states are cooperating with their local f.b.i. agents when needed. i don't mean again to be flippant, but do we really want to create a new t.s.a. for elections in this country or new postal service? i just don't think we need that. the constitution says very vividly it's up to the states
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for the time, place, and manner which we conduct elections. it is a constitutional issue. and i understand that from the rhetoric that's not the intent. but to go and put the national elections on par with the banking system and electrical grid in my position is way overreach, unnecessary. and we can accomplish the same goals, it's not that we don't want their support and assistance with when we need it, but we can accomplish that in a far less intrusive way if we just keep things on path now. again i think the answer is part of new equipment, new dollars, whatever it may be, to improve these systems. we are working on trying to get a system where you can vote anywhere in the state just like was represented earlier. critical infrastructure would be an absolute, i think i speak again for -- i don't know of any secretary of state that's voiced an opinion that they want to be part of that.
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mr. loudermilk: do you feel what nist is doing is beneficial to you? secretary schedler: yes. mr. loudermilk: do you feel in any way is the camel nose under the tent? secretary schedler: no. mr. loudermilk: i yield back. mr. smith: the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, is recognized. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. chair. welcome to the panelists. thank you for your information. mr. becker, the 2014 presidential commission on election administration recommended that audits of voting equipment be conducted after each election. as part of a comprehensive audit program. according to verified voting approximately 3/4 of voters in november will be using voth machines with paper record of their vote. and just share a concern perhaps about the potential for mishaps or fonings hacking for the voting machines with no paper trail.
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can you please describe the role audits play in elections and impact individual voters casting their vote? mr. becker: thank you. so in we -- auditability is very important. it's helpful when there is a permanent record created that should an account need to be reviewed for some reason -- there is a way to discover even if you're not sure the account needs to be recovered, you can discover that. that's what a good post election audit does. in 2014, about 32 states offered -- had a requirement for post election audit. i'll be honest, some are better than others. there's very good standard practices where states take random predinths across the state and check the paper count against the electronic count. there is even something called a risk limiting audit where you escalate the number of ballots you have to count to ensure the result and the election gets
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closer. these are practices put in place in many states. what we are seeing is that it is easier to audit a system when you have a permanent record, paper record, that the voter has reviewed. and more voters are going to be voting on paper than we have seen since it was enacted. states like maryland and florida which had used paperless direct recording electronic devices have switched. i believe this is -- i'm a maryland voter, this is the first presidential election since the passage of hava maryland has been using a paper ballot read in the optical scan. i recommended for years along with the presidential commission that post election audits are a good idea. and having a system that allows for full and transparent post election audit and paper right now appears to be one of the best systems for that. affords the best opportunity to ensure that the election results are -- do reflect the will of the people. mr. tonko: secretary mr. schedler, would you please
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describe what you have in place in louisiana in terms of post election auditing and how would you rate other states overall? secretary schedler: we do have a post audit function. we do not have a parpe ballot system after we are looking at that when we go out for r.f.p. next year for a new system, but we do, our screen -- after you complete vote, it pops up and gives you everything -- every person you voted for, position you voted for, they give you one more opportunity to rectify that if you want to change it or there was an error. we see a lot on highly sensitive machines is elderly person may be dragging their hand and inadvertently hits the button below or a liddy with long fingernails has a problem. you do have a way to rectify that. we audit on the end of each day in early voting to ascertain the correctness of the vote and balance the balance sheets.
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mr. tonko: there are -- the paper ballots that you're devising an audit process for. secretary schedler: that is correct. mr. tonko: what are. so factors in that audit you see essential? have you looked at other states and what they might be doing? secretary schedler: we have gone out to denver, the county of denver has a very similar situation that is now being used in california and other states. with the paper ballot where the majority of folks are actually want to bring that ballot in and put it into a box so to speak at a site. we have looked at that system. we have looked at the printing of the paper ballot instead of on the screen, it would go into a lock box. i would be personally against that voter taking that ballot out of the presidget -- precinct. just one state that does that. but overall to answer your question, i think the systems
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are sound but everyone has to remember every state is different. i think that's the uniqueness of the system. a lot of similarities, but each state is very unique in the way they do the elections. some may have a week of of early vote, some states don't have earl will i voting. that's the prerogative of that statement mr. tonko: mr. chair i yield back. mr. smith: thank you, mr. tonko. the gentleman from -- mr. davidson, is recognized. ohio, soarry. mr. davidson: thank you, mr. chairman. dr. wallach, your testimony addresses possibility of inserting mallway into the voting machines themselves. can you elaborate how mall wear could be voted on the machines and what it means that each and every single voting machine has to be manipulated? or is there a different way where you could hack one machine and that would transmit a bug o
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other machines in the precinct. even though they are not connected to the internet. dr. wallach: before we had an internet, we had computers with floppy drives. and there were computer virus that is could spread from one computer to another over the floppy. electronic voting machines, some of them use memory cards. some of them have these big battery packs. some have local area networks. studies conducted in 2007 by the state of california, state of ohio, state of florida found security vulnerabilities that could take advantage of these to engineer viruses where one compromised voting machine could then infect the entire fleet of machines for an entire county. mr. davidson: it's accurate to say just because something is not connected to the internet it does not have a vulnerability to cyberattack? dr. wallach: being disconnected from the internet helps. it's not a panacea.
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mr. davidson: ok. perhaps as secretary of state, mr. mr. schedler, you could talk about -- i spoke with our secretary of state, you said about their protocols, but perhaps you could elaborate on how would you -- who do your -- how do your procedures protect against that risk should something like that occur? secretary schedler: it's important to remember that each -- we never link machines together. i know there are some systems, new systems, being touted like a wifi, and have a multiple precinct site where you have a wifi. that's scarey. but -- scary. when you consider the concept of each individual machine has a coverage that's delivered by my office -- we are a top down system. not by county in louisiana. we are vastly different. days before, two or three days before, we literal deliver all the court ridges for all 10,000
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machines to the mareous parishes, counties. the clerk of court. the morning of the election -- when we deliver a secure laptop that is our equipment. it's not used to go shop on amazon or anything else. and the morning of the election a commissioner in charge for that precincts picks up those cartridges and puts them individually into the machine. turns the machine on and at the end of the night that cartridge is retrieved. it is driven back to the clerk of court with a sheriff's escort usually. and it's input food that laptop. it is on a closed circuit line sent to my office. it is a little bit different. to my knowledge no state interlocks machines. the concept of getting into one machine with one cartridge and you miraculously change you will 10,000 across the state is ridiculous because you have to go into each machine individually. you have to have the programming.
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mr. davidson: in your system you have one card. ohio system similar you have one card that goes to one machine. dr. wallach, you mention add case study in ohio. can you eleb brown-waite what that real vulnerability is? dr. wallach: the study in ohio was called everest. the similar study in california was top the bottom review. i was part of that review. each of these studies found ways that regular poll workers and election officials going through their standard procedures and standard operations could unwittingly be used to transmit virus from one machine to another. through the motion -- typically at the end of the election day you move a cart through each of the machines in the precinct and that's to collect the vote totals. that process can spread a virus. there are others, the details vary from machine to machine. mr. davidson: would a centralized voting structure increase or decrease that risk? dr. wallach: that depends how it
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was built. i have been working with travis county on trying to design something new where this wouldn't be a problem. the system that's los angeles county is working on this wouldn't be a problem. the reason why is because they generate paper ballots which could then be audited against any electronic results. mr. davidson: in ohio the machine itself has memberry, card has memory, it prints a roll tape that prints secure inside the machine. could you audit any one of those. it's a good system in ohio. in ohio will likely be front and certainty again in this election. romine, you dr. stated in your written testimony the nist voting programs partnered to develop science tools and standards to prove ackcracy, reliability, and security of voting equipment used in federal elections for both domestic and overseas voters. how do you measure these
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improvements? how do you quantify them? are they qual kayive, quan kayive measures? dr. romine: there are both. don't have the details on the measurement of those improvements. i would be happy to provide those to you. i think the issue to large extent has been listening to the accessibility community, the human factors, research that we have been able to do demonstrates certain kinds of changes that can be made to improve the accessibility and usability of electronic voting systems. we have documented those in various reports. i can give you pointers to those reports. for the way in which those sims -- systems have been improved. mr. davidson: aside from identity theft -- my time has expired. mr. smith: thank you. the gentlewoman from maryland, ms. edwards, is recognized. ms. edwards: thank you, mr.
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chairman. thank you to the witnesses. i apologize i had to step out for a bit. came back because this is a really important subject to me. i want to be clear yes or no answer from each of the witnesses would really help. is it your -- you would concur in the belief from the department of homeland security that it was russian state actors the cked into both illinois, attempted arizona and also the party hacking that occurred earlier in the year? dr. row mine? dr. romine: i have no other information on that other than the press. secretary schedler: the d.n.c. issue. i don't know if they ever determined where it came from in arizona or illinois. ms. edwards: mr. becker? mr. becker: i don't have any specific information. ms. edwards: you believe they are capable of making that determination based on the signature? mr. becker: i can't answer that without knowing the information
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they have. i don't have information to the contrary. dr. wallach: i only know what i read in the press. ms. edwards: dr. row mine -- dr. romine, in fiscal year 2016 nist received $1.5 million in appropriations that is down from your bunt of about $2 million to $3 million in the previous couple of fiscal years. do you think that that's sufficient for you to be able to provide the kinds of certifications you need of election systems? dr. romine: let me clarify by saying nist doesn't do certification of systems. we do provide support through the development of guidelines and partnership with the e.a.c. and provide assistance to the e.a.c. in the voluntary laboratory accreditation program. the testing laboratories that do est equipment for certain some states who choose to do that. the truism you can do more about
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more. but we believe that the current bunt that we are receiving is adequate for us to continue -- budget that we are receiving is adequate for to us continue to provide the security and interoperability for voting systems. ms. edwards: mr. becker, part of your testimony you indicated that the technology -- i think it was your testimony, that the technologies that we are using for these voting systems is now about a decade old for anfall lot of these systems. can you share with us what you believe, if you have analyzed it, what would need to be an updated version of hava that would enable us to keep -- to really keep track with the technology development? mr. becker: i think that might have been dr. wallach who made one of those points. there was a rash of purchasing new equipment right after halfa
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-- hava passed. we have already seen some states, like our state of maryland and florida, go to a second system after using the hava dollars. i think in talking with the states, there is a great desire to be able to leverage new technologies that will improve access as well as the integrity of the systems. that will also be cheaper to maintain. and that i don't have a specific dollar figure. if we were to replace all the systems nationwide, it's definitely in the billions. t to build -- to encourage systems that are more component based, they use more off-the-shelf components that are easier to swap in and out so you don't have a system that has a 10-year-old touch screen you can update the touch screen with just the touch screen as it happens. i think that would be a huge advantage to election officials.
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if they had resources to do that, i think you would find them doing some exciting things. ms. edwards: i apologize, it was your testimony. dr. wallach: no problem. i have been working with travis county for four years on trying to design better voting machine. very much our intent is to use off-the-shelf hardware with custom software to the extent we can for exactly that reason. when you buy a giant touch screen computer from hewlett-packard, dell, insert your favorite tech company, you can get cheaper warranty support. you can replace the machines whenever you need to. and that helps reduce your maintenance and ongoing support costs. ms. edwards: doesn't it increase your vulnerability? dr. wallach: not necessarily. the design of these systems first and foremost produces a printed and paper ballot. no matter what goes wrong with the computer you have these printed paper ballots that the voters can see and verify. everything else on top of that is gravey.
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ms. edwards: as a conclusion, i want to thank secretary mr. schedler, i think in your testimony you indicated that the secretaries of state across the country have great confidence in this election. i think that's an important message to convey to voters so that we can make sure we don't with all this talk depress voter turnout. thank you very much. secretary schedler: i know i speak for all of them. we are very concerned about the rhetoric at this time. if i could just add on the cost issue, i do have just in louisiana, currently we have roughly 10,000 voting machines that cost roughly or did cost $5,200 each under hava. to replace those by today's dollars, if you could get the machine, which you can't, 152 million f we went to a system similar to what mr. becker just indicated to you, i'm overly simply filing an ipad concept whether it be proprietary or store bought, less than $300 each.
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you do need two to three per machine. the hardware costs for us in louisiana, $152 million under replacement if you could get it, roughly $50 million, $60 million a third of the cost. and 75% of it is in the programming cost. the hardware is only $10 million or $11 million. mr. smith: thank you. the gentleman from illinois, mr. la hod, is recognized. mr. lahood: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the witnesses for being here today. in my state of illinois we had a lot of changes in the last several years. we now have same day voting registration. 40 days of early voting. extended grace periods. absentee voting has a lengthy period of time. and couple that with some of the issues we have had, particularly in chicago over the years, with issues related to voting there. guess in terms of educating
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poll workers or training poll workers or election judges and looking at methods, particularly as relates to the integrity of voth on election day -- voting on election day, and as we look at potential hacking of machines, is there a good model out there that has worked in terms of how we educate folks that are there at the polls? i'll also mention in a prior life i was assistant state attorney in cook county. in chicago on election day we would be as prosecutors be there at the voting booth. a lot of times we didn't know what we were looking for or what we were supposed to be doing. secretary schedler, can you shed a little light on examples of what we need to be doing in terms of educating and working with our folks that are at the polls on election day? secretary schedler: training is
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paramount. that came out in the presidential commission. to all commissioners or poll workers, whatever you want to refer to them as. we do a strong education component at the clerk's level. we assist with that. we have a very unified videotape that we use so we have consistency across the state. but we do heavy training and certification and we require them to get certified annually. i think that's a huge benefit because the better trained, the better experience are you going to have on voting day. we also use people in voting lines, especially at larger precincts, for questions or promoting that go vote app where you could let individuals take a use at a mock ballot and that ballot on the vote to shorten lines and have a better experience in the voting booth. the other thing to me is a strength of poll workers and
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your voting boards in counties in regards to the subject we are talking about today, we all know our poll workers. they have been there a long time in most cases. great americans. they do it for love of contry, love of the experience. they don't do it for the money, that's for sure. if you could just think about the greatest deterrent, both democratic, republican poll workers together, do you realize if someone was going to affect an election they would have to go against that 80-year-old lady that's been there 30 years? i don't think that's going to happen. whether democrat or republican. to me that's one of the hidden jewels in our system whether you have the best state of the art equipment or whatever we have. you got people on the ground with two eyes. and they are looking at the process. they know the process. to me that's the strength of the american system at its core. it's really fundamental.
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it's the same way we did it 240 years ago. i just think that that's something we need to recognize in this debate. mr. lahood: a follow up on that. the level you go through in louisiana, are you confident that that type of education and training is consistent across the country? secretary schedler: that i couldn't speak to. i think it's dominant across the country, but i wouldn't say every state does it that way. mr. lahood: dr. wallach, with all these changes we have seen recently with voting and how we vote. i went through the litany there. what is the future of voting look like? dr. wallach: i think what we have learned today is all the 50 states will be voting differently. it's hard to make a broad brush statement. i think that there will be a lot of hand marked paper ballots scanned by machines. there will be a lot of computer assistive technologies avail
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ible. there will be some states voth by mail. that's ok. mr. lahood: thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i now recognize the gentleman from virginia, mr. beyer. mr. beyer: you, mr. chairman. mr. becker, i think in your comments you stated and wrote that there are 20 states in this electronic registration information center that you help found. why not 30? and how do we vote mate the other 30 to be part of it? is there any suggestion that we ever acquire that? mr. becker: i feel like i planted that question with you. the electronic registration certainty is the data certainty that they voluntarily choose to join and they share information so they can identify when a voter record is out ever date, so they can notify that voter, make sure they get the right information, and reach out to alt people eligible to vote but are not registered and direct them to the easiest way to
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rengsterd. it was founded in 2012 with seven states. it's only four years ole so 20 states plus d.c. are in it. at's pretty good for a pre-k 4-year-old. certainly we are working very hard with the states already in it, including virginia, who is one of the founding members, to see more states join. as the word gets out, states like virginia and louisiana and many other states are spreading the word this is helping them keep their voter rolls up to date. in turn what that's doing is reducing costs and increasing integrity because they are not sending mail out to people who are no longer there. the presidential commission on election administration did recommend that states state join systems like this and that has been a positive influence. i think by the time we get to the 2020 election we will be at more than 30 states' talk to other states around the country. . mr. beyer: in mr. beck's
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testimony he talked about the audit requirement that mandate states paper to digital is only 32 states doing this. you wrote, the mere possibility of a recount or audit of paper ballots acts as a deterrent, dot, dot, dot. what do we need to do with the other 18 states that don't have this post audit reconciliation of paper and electronics? mr. becker: i'm a big fan of recognizing papers. many of the states that's not an option because you don't -- don't you have paper records. dr. wallach: like for example the entire state of georgia votes entirely on electronic machines without a paper record. there is no way to do a meaningful audit. i would love to see the subsetting of those machines and replacing them with the next generation of machines that will have paper. mr. beyer: there was the mention we have $396 million of authorized but unappropriated hava money. is that enough to replace the old machines? the bad machines?
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dr. wallach: i'm not sure. if we could do it on a shoestring or we do bettory spend more money and do it properly. i don't have a good answer today. . mr. beyer: many of you wrote about how the machines aren't connected to the internet. secretary schedler, if they are not connected to the internet, yet dr. wallach pointed out they are at the time of initialization and tabulation, i think someone else pointed out they are usually connected to the voter databases, 365 days a year. is that actually a strength that we can talk about that we are not connected to the internet? secretary e holes -- schedler: i would think it's a strength because as i look -- when people -- the most common question asked of me s. secretary schedler, when are you we going to be able to vote on the internet? i say i hope never. because the world is evolving. the department of defense gets hacked into.
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everything gets hacked into. that's why i'm so adamantly one to keep it with the states, decentralize t. make it more difficult. but the day we go on the internet, all bets are off. as far as an election. i want a caveat, there are a couple of states that do allow a return of an overseas military ballot by the internet. i think four, i believe. alaska being one and i don't remember the other three. i want to clarify that. that's a small percentage of the overall vote, but they do allow the return of. but i'll say this in defense of that, although we don't do it. it is a secure -- our military, they have to get a p.i.n., you don't send it on email and here it is. they have to get access and ability to open that file up and do something with it. it is a little bit different. but certainly under the argument
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and discussion we are having today could be vulnerable. mr. beyer: quick quefment on this audit requirement of reconciling paper and digital, will this in this suggestion, his standard, or should it be? dr. romine: part of the voting system guidelines we worked is a strong recommendation there be an audit ability or capability and paper records provide a really robust way to do that. but it doesn't mandate specifically paper records. . mr. beyer: yield back. >> thank you. i now recognize myself for five minutes. second schedler, by wait i just spent two days in baton rouge. and my heart goes out to you and your state. secretary schedler: i came back with representative honeycutt, i came to washington yesterday with him with garrett graves and
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steve scalise flew with him. he had the same expression to me. >> unbelievable. i represent 36th district of texas right across the sabean. and we had -- in march we had -- i have never seen anything like that. secretary schedler: 30 inches of rain in some spots. >> and a population center like that. i would like to ask you a question. you say in your testimony that quote, i'm happy to report there's no evidence that ballot manipulation has ever occurred in the united states as a result of a cyberattack. and dr. wallach on the other hand states if our paperless electronic voting systems were attacked, we would be unlikely to see evidence of it in the voting machines or tally system. i just want to hear both of your opinions on this matter. not trying to start any problems. secretary schedler: you're not trying to start a war or anything. i'm a pretty simplistic kind of guy you can see in my deliverry.
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i'll just -- i asked a simple question and i do not profess to be an i.t. expert. but i come with the derivative of saying if you're not on the internet with voting, how do you ack into the machines? very simple. amplified. if you're not on the internet in the cloud, how do you hack? if there are individual machines with cartridges -- >> thank you. dr. wallach. dr. wallach: the example that i think we can look to to understand this was the stocksnet virus which was apparently -- >> we are going to leave this hearing at this point as the u.s. house is about to gavel in for legislative business. the hearing does continue online at members about to begin work on the day on the veterans' affairs accountability measure. middle class health care relate the tax deductions, and military
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assistance to slamplet also likely the introduction of legislation calling for the impeachment of i.r.s. commissioner john koskinen. live now to the house floor here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the -- the speaker: the house will be in order them prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend wayne lomax, the fountain of new life church, miami gardens, florida. the chaplain: let us pray together. god, we thank you for the men and women who serve as members of the united states congress. though we have many needs in our nation -- better schools, better


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