tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN September 27, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
>> the u.s. house is about to gavel in for the day. members have five bills on the agenda, including one that would make changes to the nation's health care law's individual mandate. there's another measure they would consider that would authorize 27 federal water projects across the country. negotiations continue behind the scenes on federal spending for next year. and later, the house could take up the bill that would override president obama's veto of a measure allowing u.s. terrorism victims to sue saudi arabia and other countries. and now to live coverage of the u.s. house here on c-span. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend greg young, united church of christ, round deer, wisconsin. >> o, god, all that is good, true and beautiful, we gather together today to give you
thanks, thanks for the privilege of living in this great nation and for the privilege of serving its people. as we journey into this new gift of today, i ask that you bless these who represent our great nation and all who support them, grant them inspired thought and action that transcends ideology, inspire those here today with creative deliberation and mobility of purpose. grant, god, that these walls resolve with the call with freedom and justice for all which stands as a bed rom of our nation. we ask god that you guide the collective wisdom and discourse of these representatives and may god bless this house and all who serve. god bless the president. may god bless the united states of america. amen. speaker speaker the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the
gentleman from nebraska, mr. ashford. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and ustice for all. the speaker: without objection, the gentlewoman from wisconsin, ms. moore, is recognized for one minute. ms. moore: thank you so much, mr. speaker. it is really truly a pleasure to have welcomed greg young here as our guest chaplain. i just want to note that i met him on an airplane during the time of great, great distress. illness in my family. and he prayed for me. and he's here today at another time when i am experiencing some family illness. it just goes to demonstrate that no matter what your race, creed, color, gender, there's always somebody out there who can touch you, someone out
there who can bring the spiritual resources to you if you just open up your heart and your mind. thank god for greg young, and thank you for visiting us today and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair will entertain up to 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. yesterday, monday, september 26, the village of palmetto bay, the municipality located in my congressional district, held a groundbreaking scenario for its veterans park, a park solely dedicated to honor the brave men and women who have proudly served our wonderful nation. it was a collaboration of a south florida business, local officials and the american
legion marlon moore post 133 who joined me in support of this noble cause and made this park a reality. the miami-dade military affairs board and other veterans' affairs group will fill the park with memorials and historical data to honor veterans from every conflict in which our great nation has participated in order to protect our freedoms. residents and visitors alike will be able to learn and reflect on the sacrifices that so many courageous service plebs have made and continue to -- members have made and continue to make today. congratulations to the members of palmetto bay. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom illinois seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. quigley: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the each woman act to ensure that every woman receiving care or
insurance through the federal government be covered for abortion services. i am glad to join leaders in the fight for reproductive rights here on the floor today. whether a woman has private or government funded health insurance, she should have coverage for the full range of pregnancy related care, including abortion. for 40 years the hyde amendment has interfered with a woman's health decision simply because she is poor. research shows that restriction -- restricting medicaid coverage of abortion, as the hyde amendment requires, forces one in four poor women seeking abortion to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. women have the right to determine when and if they have children. that is a right protected under the constitution for all women, not just those who can afford private health insurance. i am proud to co-sponsor the each woman act, and i call on my colleagues to be bold, end hyde. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to
address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hultgren: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor the 175th anniversary of kendall county, illinois. favorable conditions back in 1830's persuaded hundreds of immigrants to load their wagons and head west stotele on the illinois prairie. they became the seeds of kendall county, a thriving 320-square mile area west of chicago that's home to friendly people, rich farmland and a strong base of manufacturing and small businesses. for -- the legislation creating kendall county was passed into law on february 19, 1841. it was named kendall in honor of the u.s. postmaster general amos kendall who served under president andrew jackson. the county has stood the test of time and continues to prosper today. they boast 140,000 residents and holds the record as the fastest growing county in the united states with an impressive rate of more than
110% growth. i'm proud to call kendall county my home and celebrate its 175th year of history and prosperity. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> north charleston, south carolina, june 29, 2013, maurice hory 41 years old. carlos davis, 39. theodore, 36. waco, texas, may 17, 2015. jose delgado rodriguez, 65 combreers old. richard vincent kershner, 47. charles wayne russell, 46. danielle raymond foyette, 44. wayne lee campbell, 43. manuel isaac rodriguez, 40. jacob lee rine, 49.
richard matthew jordan, 31 years old. matthew mark smith, 27. mr. peters: manchester, illinois, april 24, 2013. jo ann st. clair, 64 years old. roy ralston, 29. brittany, 22. nolan ralston, 5 years old. brantley ralston, 1-year-old. olympia, washington, june 22, 2016. gerald m. berky, 36 years old. terin r. mcgrath, 31. jackson eden, 26 years old. new orleans, louisiana, august 10, 2014. terrence mcbride, 33. jasmine anderson, 16. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize september as veteran
suicide prevention month. mr. benishek: america has a veteran suicide epidemic. in 2014, 20 veterans a day committed suicide. only six of these were users of v.a. services. i know that the challenges of military life do not end once our service men and women return home from active duty. a veteran in northern michigan pointed out to me when calling an v.a. center, an automaticed voice directed those in a mental health crisis to hang up and dial a long 1-800 number. this made no sense. i'm pleased that the v.a. has taken steps to address this. now when a veteran calls the iron mountain v.a. hospital, he or she can be directed to a mental health crisis line. i hope this feature will be rolled out to every v.a. medical facility as soon as possible. all veterans struggling with whether to take your life, know there is no shame in asking for help. thank you to those who have
served our country, for your immeasurable service and sacrifice. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the 2016 texas superintendent of the ar, dr. marcelo cavaso, representing the arlington independent school district. his parents encouraged him and his five siblings to focus on their education, the great equalizer of opportunity. he believes that all children must have someone to advocate for them in order to succeed. with his -- with this belief in mind, he began his career as an english teacher in the mission consolidated school district in 1990. he also worked in the t.e.a., the texas education agency, and their school finance -- in
their school finance department before joining arlington i.s.d. in 1999. he was named deputy superintendent of arlington i.s.d. in 2009 and became the superintendent in november, 2012. under his leadership, the arlington independent school district has opened two fine arts duo language communities, expanded community-based prekindergarten offerings and signed agreements with the university of texas at arlington and the university of north texas and t.c.c. to give ids greater access to dual credit and early admissions possible. he made it his life mission to open the doors to opportunity for all of our children. congratulations on reaching this prestigious award. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom arkansas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. september is national rice month and for those of us in the agriculture community there are two numbers that stick out.
one is 2050. and the other is nine billion. by the year 2050 we expect the population will be beyond nine billion. and beyond all the concerns, among those concerns is how will we feed that many people? i believe that wholesome grains like arkansas rice will be the answer to that important question. mr. crawford: it contains over 15 vitamins and minerals including folic acid, zink it is a staple for kitchens around the world. in an age over the concern of healthy, affordable foods, rice, a half cup costs less than 10 cents and provides complex carbs that fuel the human body. here in the united states congress, one of the problems i run into is people didn't know we grow rice in the united states. but i do what i can to spread the word about rice production including sending members rice crispy treats on their birthdays. if we want to solve the world
for solving with cheap, affordable food, i can't think of that more important than feeding the world. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute 1. the speaker pro tempore: -- >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> as we celebrate hispanic heritage month, i rise to recognize a woman who has left a mark on the nebraska district. r. ashford: dr. lordess is the founding director of the office of latino -- latin american studies at the university of nebraska at omaha. for over 25 years with her leadership and knowledge, she has worked to provide educational institutions, government agencies and the private sector with relevant, culturally competent and socially responsible research and analysis of nebraska's vibrant latino population. she has directed work that details the economic, social and political opportunities and challenges facing both the
urban and rural sectors of the state. dr. cavella has done that with the impact that integration, social justice. all this has come full circle as her former sfuents and others she has mentored fill a variety of highly meaningful roles in nebraska and across the country. this ensures that her legacy symbolized by the programs she has created and nurtured over the past quarter century will continue to serve nebraska and its citizens long into the future. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. carter: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor mr. harold charles murray jr. of savannah, georgia, who passed away on sunday, september 18. mr. murray was an outstanding individual who dedicated his life to his family, his church, his community and his country.
he served this country during world war ii as a member of the united states coast guard where he served on a patrol boat guarding the southeastern coast from attack and attempted espionage. after the war, he joined the family's business, savannah lumber and supply company. he was loyal to his family's company, working there until his retirement. with any additional time he contributed to the savannah community. a few of his many examples of service include participated in the lion's club, mentoring young men at the local ymca, and donating gallons of blood to the american red cross. a life-long member of wesley united methodist monumental church in georgia, he worked to bettering the church and the congregation. the church even gave him a special award for his work. mr. murray's life and work is to be commended. he will certainly be missed. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. .
>> permission to address the house for one minute. mr. higgins: western new york is experiencing a resurgence. reclaimed our waterfront and created jobs and larger supplier of solar panels. but there is much work to be done. buffalo street amtrak station in terms of functioning, the worst in the state and the worst in the entire nation. currently closed because of ceiling collapse. this is a station that is not in keeping of the city. it is on the rise. yesterday, i asked the new york state department of transportation to begin a new station at the bus lane canal side. if we act quickly to produce a plan for a new state of the art train station we will be in a position to position buffalo to benefit from a much needed
investment in infrastructure throughout the nation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, the journal of pediatrics, pre-teens are at risk. young children were incapable because of suicide because they didn't have an understanding about death. yet, in the united states, children as young as five years old die by suicide. according to the study, most of these suicide victims had a mental health problems. for younger children, it was associated with attention deficit disorder. they are treatable. for every 2,000 children with a mental health disorder, one child sigh ki terrorist is available. and 90% of psychiatric
i'm absolutely appalled by the continued resist tns of the republican leaders to include critical funding to help the families of flint. none of our communities are immune to aging infrastructure and we must provide the resources to address these challenges head on before pipes break, before bridges collapse or roads become impassable. for on most of us, that means rebuilding our infrastructure before the worst happened. it means providing emergency assistance to allow them to rebuild their lives and communities. either way, it is incumbent upon us to protect the health and safety of our constituents and the time to act is now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, on the commission of oversight and government reform, i submit a privileged report. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to recommend
resolution by in contempt of congress with refusal to comply with a subpoena. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? without objection, recognized for one minute. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i rise today to urge my colleagues in the senate to act on mental health reform legislation. back in july, the house passed h.r. 2646, representative murphy's bill, helping families with mental illness with strong bipartisan support but the senate has yet to take action on this vital piece of legislation. there could be no more delay. our nation has suffered the loss of over 70,000 lives as a result of mental illness, many of which could have been prevented.
mental illness deficient states our criminal justice system, our communities and our families. we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. i urge our senate colleagues to advance this bill so we can intervene before more americans lose their lives to this treatable disease. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> permission to dress the -- address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. lowenthal: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to recognize my constituent, mr. tony lamb. tony fled vietnam in 1975, during the fall of sigeon. he was a political target because of his work with the united states government. while in guam and camp peddle ton in california, he served as a leader for a community of
refugees. after settling in westminster, california, tony won a seat on the westminster city council in 1992 and becoming the first vietnamese american elected to public office in the united states. tony will turn 80 next week on october 4 and i want to take this opportunity to thank him for his many years of service to the vietnamese-american community and to the city of westminster. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> suicide is the second leading cause of death for young americans age 10 to 24. to put that in perspective for kids in the fourth grade to young adults just starting their careers.
mr. bucshon: as a father of four all in this age group, i can't tell you how heartbreaking that kids feel hopeless and feel that suicide is the only option. we know that many of these individuals experience suicidal thoughts suffer from some form of mental illness, but have not received proper treatment. we passed landmark legislation to overhaul our nation's treatment system to make sure these individuals have access to the care they need and we need to see it across the finish line. i'm here on the floor today to recognize national suicide prevention month and bring awareness to this tragic problem and recommit our efforts to help our fellow citizens struggling with mental illness. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virgin islands seek recognition? ms. plaskett: permission to dress the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. plaskett: i rise today to
call disfunction to this republican-led congress. at every turn this house has abandoned americans who are counting on strong actions from congress to protect families, whether it's flint, gun violence prevention or the zika virus, this congress has shown unness to tackle the real issues affecting the american people. mr. speaker, in the united states and its territories, there are more than 23,000 confirmed cases of zika. emergency request for supplemental resources to came to this house more than six months ago. in the three months since house democrats took to this floor to call for commonsense gun safety, there has not been a single vote. dire ongress' action have consequences including the 40 men and women who have lost their lives to gun violence in
the virgin islands. are they not important? the water crisis in flint is the very issue that this congress should take up. mr. speaker, i call on this congress to act now to fully fund the president's emergency request to fight zika, support the children and families in flint as well as vote on legislation to keep our communities safe from gun violence. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. newhouse: thank you, mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the moses lake chamber of commerce in the 4th congressional district as they prepare to celebrate their 75-year anniversary in october. moses lake is a vibrant community that has developed as a hub for diverse sectors including agriculture, aviation, manufacturing and technology.
the success is no accident. the commitment of hardworking entrepreneurs and local civic leaders has placed moses lake on the path of increasing opportunity for the residents of the city in grant county and the entire region. the growing engagement of moses lake businesses and trade and exporting american products overseas shows the importance of access to international markets for the local economy. moses lake businesses and leaders know the importance of keeping our ports open and supply chains operating smoothly. while moses lake's natural beauty, fresh water and cultural activities attract visitors from all over, its growing economy to support jobs, that attracts families to stay and call moses lake home. congratulations to moses lake on 75 years of fulfilling its mission to create and maintain a
prosperous economy and quality lifestyle. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> perge to address the house for one -- permission to address the house for one minute and revise and stepped. >> i rise today to encourage my colleagues to support the consumer co-op protection act which will vote on later today. mr. duncan: this will result in any one who had a plan under the obamacare. several have failed since 2015. community health alliance was one such co-op based in my district. when it failed last year, 27,000 were forced to find new plans. this year, they have been faced with more bad news. blue cross/blue shield of tennessee requested 62% i increase in premium rate.
yesterday, blue cross/blue shield said they can't offer plans in knocksville, nashville and memphis. this will affect my constituents who will have the option of one health care provider. congressman smith's bill will provide relief for people who lost their health insurance because of obamacare and i urge my colleagues' support of this very important legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. mr. paulsen: i praise minnesota being named as the second best place to live in america by "money" magazine. eden prarie has made the list several times and finished number one in 2010. eden prarie is a wonderful place for families and kids because of
excellent schools, parks and walking and biking trails and 17 lakes that add to our high quality of life. the city has a lot to offer through its economy as well. there are several great local and global brands that are head quartered in town or nearby. eden prayer yes residents have known this for a long period of time. great place to live, work and raise a family. i'm honored to represent such an outstanding community and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable, speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the united states house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on september 27, 2016 at 9:34 a.m. that the senate agreed to senate 1886, appointment, board of trustees of the barry gold water scholarship foundation.
with best wishes i am signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. woodall: by direction of the committee on rules i call up house resolution 892. he clerk: house resolution 892 resolved, that at any time after adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 5303, to provide for improvements to the rivers and harbors of the united states, to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on transportation and
infrastructure. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute ule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on transportation and infrastructure now printed in the bill, it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 14-65. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. all points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be
subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment pursuant to this resolution, the committee of the whole shall rise without motion. no further consideration of the bill shall be in order except pursuant to a subsequent order of the house. section 2, it shall be in order at any time on the legislative day of september 29, 2016, or september 30, 2016, for the speaker to entertain motions that the house suspend the rules as though under clause 1 of rule 15. the speaker or his designee shall consult with the minority leader or her designee on the designation of any matter for consideration pursuant to this section. section 3, the requirement of clause 6-a of rule 13 for a 2/3 vote to consider a report from the committee on rules on the same day it is presented to the house is waived with respect to
any resolution reported through the legislative day of september 30, 2016, relating to a measure making or continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending september 30, 017. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one hour. mr. woodall: i thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, during consideration of this resolution, call time is yielded for the purpose of debate only. i would like to yield the customary 30 minutes to my friend from florida, mr. hastings, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. woodall: mr. speaker, i'd also like to ask that all members who speak on the rule may have five legislative days tos revise and extend their -- legislative days to revise and extend and -- their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. woodall: the rule, h.res. 892, provides for a structured debate of h.r. 5303, the water
resources development act of 2016. now, for members who've been here for more than one term, you're thinking, didn't we just do a water resources development act of 2014? well, we absolutely did. we were supposed to and this is getting us back on track to congress after congress after congress focus on the water resources of our nation. in this rule today, we're going to make in order the general debate on the wrda bill, the water resources development act. i want to make clear that the rules committee is not done. when congressman hastings and i finish here on the floor, we will head back to the rules committee and we will make even more amendments in order for debate. there are 25 amendments, bipartisan amendments made in order by the rule that we're debating today and, again, we'll return to committee to make additional amendments in order this afternoon. it would no doubt have been easier to make all the amendments available in one package, but as so often
happens, mr. speaker, when you have a bill of this magnitude, of this importance as the water resources development act is, you have an abundance of interest from across this chamber. i believe the rules committee has received over 90 amendments to improve upon this legislation. members who have important issues that they would like to see debated. so that is why you see a two rules process for this particular bill today. for thokes that don't have a servicing on the t and i committee, mr. speaker, as you and i do, the wrda bill authorizes the army corps of engineers for all their activity across the spectrum, from construction to maintenance. it's the water infrastructure maintenance of harbors and locks and dams, of flood control projects, of water supply projects, across the nation coast to coast. the underlying bill continues the reforms that this congress
began, that the president 2014 in the wrda bill of by strongly asserting congress' authority over corps activities and, again, restoring the two-year wrda cycle that has been missing for far too 2014 by long. this return to regular order, mr. speaker, i would argue, is going to take the politicking out of these projects and return the wrda bill to being that bipartisan bill that focuses on congress' priorities , as spoken by our constituents back home rather than, as sometimes happen, the corps taking direction from unelected bureaucrats downtown. i believe that we get a better work product when we collaborate together, again, manifesting the will of our constituency back home. if you need to see what this return to regular order has meant, mr. speaker, just look at the 29 feasibility studies in this bill.
again, if you don't serve on t and i, reports and studies may not mean much to you but if you're involved in water infrastructure anywhere in this country, you know those reports are vital to moving your project forward. you know the feasibility report is critical in moving your project forward. each one of these has been reviewed by the transportation and infrastructure committee in a public hearings just as we had done in the wrda bill of 2014. mr. speaker, this kind of open and transparent process, i would argue, has given us a better work product in the underlying rule and will give us a better bill today. mr. speaker, when we talk about our waterways, i had the right -- i don't have the stats committed to mind but they're mind-boggling. 600 million tons of cargo moving on our waterways, mr. speaker. that's $230 billion in economic value moving on our inland
waterways each year. $1.4 trillion worth of goods moving in and out of our ports each year. $320 billion in federal, state and local revenue generated by those ports. over one quarter, over one quarter of the gross domestic product of the entire united states of america comes from international trade and 99% of cargo moves through the ports controlled by this legislation. mr. speaker, we're talking about over 40 million american jobs tied to international trade and, again, supported by this bill brought out of committee in a bipartisan and unanimous fashion. i'm very proud to support the underlying bill. this bill makes in order time for the chairman and ranking member of the t and i committee to debate this bill, and i'm very proud that the rules committee has seen fit to allow
those members who do not serve on t and i to make their voice heard as well. mr. speaker, this is a definition of how we should be doing things in this institution. i'm proud to bring this rule to the consideration of my colleagues today. i'm proud of the underlying bill that this rule supports. i hope all of my colleagues will join me in supporting the rule and the underlying bill, and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: i thank the gentleman, my friend from georgia, for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. mr. speaker, i rise today to debate the rule. is legislation has historically focused on the army corps of engineers infrastructure such as dams and levees such as updating corps
policies and focuses on individual corps studies and projects and modifications to ongoing projects. this legislation could not be more important for our country. specifically, my state, with its numerous army corps projects and water resources that florida's diverse environment, ecosystem and economy relies on. i was pleased to see that this legislation includes authorization for the dredging of port everglade. for ed with that request 18 years of my career here in congress. this is a project that has seen a long road to fruition and that will be an immense boost for south florida's economy. furthermore, as co-chair of the house everglades caucus, fellow
caucus members, relevant stakeholders and i for years worked tirelessly to make the goal of everglades restoration a reality. it is with this goal in mind that i support and applaud the inclusion of the central everglades planning project authorization in this bill. this authorization will mean almost $2 billion of federal and nonfederal money will be put towards vital restoration projects that will help juan one of the world's most diverse and unique ecosystems thrive once again. we still have a long way to go to bring the everglades back to the ecological prosperity and many challenges remain ahead, but by authorizing this project, we will be able to take a determined step in the
right direction, helping florida's environment and economy. but, mr. speaker, while i'm pleased this bill includes authorizations for critical water resource projects important to the state of florida and for many other states around the country, i'm dishardened to see a measure that was reported favorably out of the transportation and infrastructure committee with ipartisan support become shamefully transformed by republican leadership. der the guise of a budgetary point of order, the republican leadership stripped a provision that would have unlocked the harbor maintenance trust fund to ensure that revenues collected from shippers are ed to actually maintain u.s.
coastal and great lakes harbors. so after working in a strong bipartisan fashion to craft the bill that all members could support and after reporting the bill by voice vote, the majority saw fit the sabotage, the good faith negotiating and hard work, and i underscore one member, a friend of mine from california, congresswoman hahn, who has worked on this the entirety of the time that she's been here in congress and i'm sure serves as a disappointment to her. she'll speak to that later. mr. speaker, later today, we will be debating a rule for a bill that once again attacks the affordable care act. that bill also had two points of order made against it. yet, the majority provided that
legislation with a waiver against those points of order. with these contrasting decisions, the majority has evealed its hypocrisy. working in a bipartisan fashion that gets favorably voted out of committee and leadership changes the bill and provides no waiver. attacks the affordable care act, a red meat political messaging bill for the extreme right, and leadership allows a waiver of the point of order so the bill may move forward. mr. speaker, i'm also disheartened to see this legislation does not have any funding to help the people of flint and that my good friend, the member who represents the city of flint in this house, congressman kildee, did not have his amendment which would have provided much-needed
relief to the citizens of flint made in order. i'm sure if time permits he will speak to the issue as well. congressman kildee sought this waiver of the rules so that his amendment could be made in order. this request was denied. mr. speaker, the majority grants waivers of points of order. i have been on the rules committee both in the majority, perhaps not often enough in my mind, but also in the minority. and this congress alone as in the majority when democrats were in charge, made waivers when they felt like doing so. my republican friends have
granted 249 waivers. yet, they denied a waiver to address a critical public health crisis. there's plenty of blame to go around as to the cause of this crisis. i said last night that i understand the implications of the state and the local governments' responsibilities, but i also feel when children are poisonned, that the federal government has an immense responsibility, to me, women, children and the elderly becoming ill because of lead-tainted water is an everybody problem and this body has the political and moral responsibility to help the people of flint right this wrong. simply put, if we can't get a waiver of the rules after this house works in a truly
bipartisan way to address the issues of our country or to help children who have been drinking poisonned water in their hometown, then when can we get a waiver? i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: i yield myself such time as i may consume. my friend from florida is very earnest in his comments and one of the reasons i enjoy working with him so much on the rules committee is that we get to work on issues that affect peoples' lives, that make a difference for folks back home. and even though we are debating the wrda bill, i would be remiss if i left the reference to the co-op bill coming later day as being an attack on obamacare or a waiver of the budget rules. if you had a chance to look at that, what you know is, when
u.s. citizens were forced out of the insurance policies that they liked into the obamacare system, when those obamacare policies they were forced into failed mid-year and they lost the insurance that they were forced into, having already lost the insurance they had chosen for themselves, the law said we are now going to come and tax you, penalize you once again because you have left your insurance policy lapse. the absurdity of losing an insurance policy and then the second policy collapses, then you the american taxpayer are on the hook. so the budget point of order, which is absolutely waived, absolutely waived, waives the absurd proposition that the federal government was entitled to tax american citizens, who
have been twice failed by obamacare because we were expecting them to pay a penalty for having lost their care mid-year. this is something that units us and not something that divides us. we have an opportunity in the next rule that comes up, the next bill that comes up, to step in for those american families, who again, lost the insurance they wanted, lost the insurance they were forced into and are now being faced with an i.r.s. penalty for their trouble. i think this is something that our constituents have september us here to do and i'm glad we are taking action on that later today. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield three minutes to my good friend, the gentleman from oregon, the distinguished ranking member of the committee on transportation and
infrastructure, mr. defazio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for three minutes. i thank the gentleman for yielding. he mentioned in his opening remarks, one of the greatest things. this bill came out of committee, unanimously, bipartisan in a very fiscally responsible manner, which is we levy a tax on all goods imported. every american pays more for any imported good they buy under the premise that that money will be used to maintain and construct our harbors and critical port facilities. unfortunately, the republicans have seen fit to divert every $500 million of that tax and spend it somewhere else. they present tend to reduce the deficit. meanwhile, our harbors are
silting in, our jetties are failing and many projects are delayed. we are going to authorize a bunch of projects. unfortunately the corps already has authorized and yet unconstructed and unfunded, $68 billion worth. yet they're saying, we can't use the tax dollars. we can't use the dollars that americans are paying a little bit more on their imported goods a little bit more for which it was intended. we have savannah, major project. and unfortunately, we are going to have a $15 million a year deficit in terms of maintaining that project once constructed. and then we also have the port of charleston, $5 million. that is $400 million not being diverted to other purposes, those projects and others around the country could be fully
funded. this provision i have been working on for 20 years, starting with bud shuster, the current chair. it came out of the committee unanimously with support on both sides, yet the rules committee stripped it out. they stripped it out because they want to keep playing with that money and diverting it away from critical needs. one other thing, we are talking about critical infrastructure, huge backlog, well, there is an earmark in this -- earmarks, they get around that $520 million earmark for a project that has had no cost benefit false, and has not been approved by the corps of engineers and will include critical infrastructure as a swimming pool, ball field, et cetera. harbor maintenance tax dollars will be spent on this project in a $520 million boondoggle that
never had a cost benefit analysis because one member managed to slip it into an appropriations bill and it was never authorized or evaluated, but if we tweak it and say we are moving it, then it's ok. this is not exactly on the up and up, folks. we are diverting precious tax dollars away from critical infrastructure to whatever kind of special things republicans have somewhere else that they want to fund and boondoggles to half a billion dollars. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional one minute. mr. defazio: other than that, it's a pretty good bill. you know, it is critical that we maintain our ports and our infrastructure. it is critical for our competition and the world economy. but we need to stop hoodwinking the american people.
if you are not going to spend the tax on the purpose for which it was collected, harbor maintain ains and construction, then lower the tax, because every american is paying that a little bit more for every imported good. besides that, they are paying a lot more because the ships are way out to sea in line because they can't access our ports because of deferred maintenance. we've got that money, we're collecting the tax, let's spend the tax in the way in which it is authorized under the law of the united states of america and stop playing games. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i want to say in broad terms, i support what the gentleman from oregon has said. i serve with him on the transportation and infrastructure committee. i was one of the folks that supported the bill that unanimously left committee. the great state of georgia is dependent on the port of
savannah that the gentleman from oregon has just laid out. the critical infrastructure need. but the question with the harbor maintenance trust fund i want to be clear is not one of diversion of those resources. we often talk about trust funds as if someone is dipping their hand in and taking money out of the trust funds and not a single person who works in a single port who believes that's true, because it's not. the trust fund still sits there. the gentleman's point is we should be spending the money in the trust fund and he is absolutely right about that. he is absolutely right about that. so correct any misunderstanding, no one is spending those resources elsewhere. they are still in the trust fund and ought to be being spent. the question then becomes for this chamber, are we going to delegate that authority as we do time and time again to the administration where the administration will spend that money any way the administration sees fit or will we utilizing
the constitutional powers not given to this body, but required of this body to spend those dollars as our constituents see fit. not by an elected bureaucrat but folks who stand for election every two years. these dollars need to go out the door. the port of savannah is critical because it's so big. the port of brunswick in georgia is more challenging by dredging that should have happened that isn't happening. the everglades, that's not a local project but of national significance. we all stand for the restoration that needs to happen in the ever glades, a national environmental and natural treasure. but we have failed in making those decisions. and if we delegate this authority in its entirety to the administration, i tell you that we will have failed our
constituents again. mr. speaker, you were with with me with the chairman in the rules committee, chairman shuster wants to solve this problem, chairman shuster wants what i want and what mr. defazio wants and we need to live up to our obligation to maintain america's critical waterway and port infrastructure. we can. we can. and we should and we will, but delegating it to the administration does none of those things. that we should not do. and we have an opportunity to do it the right way. with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker, for further explanation and clarity. i would yield three minutes to the distinguished the gentlewoman from california, my friend, mrs. hahn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for three minutes.
ms. hahn: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you to my colleagues, representative hastings, for yielding and thank you earlier for recognizing my work on this issue since i came to congress. i rise in opposition to the rule for this bill. my colleagues and i first of all, have been fighting for many-needed funding for the children that have been poisonned in flint, michigan, and this bill should have included help for them. these families have waited too long and its inexcuseable we have not passed legislation on their behalf. i'm opposing this bill because an important provision that would take the harbor maintenance trust fund off budget was stripped from this bill after we passed it out of committee unanimously with true bipartisan support. when i first came to congress five years ago, i didn't think
we were talking about our nation's ports enough. and i started the bipartisan congressional port caucus, which now has over 100 members, both democrats and republicans, some are in the caucus that don't even have a port that they represent, but together we brought new attention to the problems facing our nation's ports and the impact they have on our economy. one of our priorities in this caucus has been taking the harbor maintenance trust fund off budget so congress cannot use these funds for any other reason or keep them in a surplus that is not going to the purpose for which they were intended. shippers have been paying billions of dollars into this fund for the purpose of maintaining our ports so that we can continue to have goods movement and the international trade industry be at the core of our economy in this country.
we have a $9 billion surplus. we had at one point. that's criminal to have that money just sitting here not going back to our ports. over the last decade, less than 60% of the revenues that we've collected have been used to maintain and dredge our ports. this is unacceptable. money that is collected at our ports, for our ports should go back to our ports. e ellen darcy told me if she had the appropriate funding which means we should take the trust fund off budget, all of our ports in this country could be dredged in five years. not only would this create jobs but prepare ports in this country for the larger ships coming through the expanded panama canal. . .
however less than two months after that was passed, i was back here on the floor with my colleague, representative huizenga, fighting for the appropriation funding that matched what was set in our water bill, and we have had to keep fighting for that ever since. my colleagues -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady -- mr. hastings: an additional minute. ms. hahn: my colleagues and i in the transportation committee, both democrats and republicans, decided to address this injustice in may when we passed a bipartisan bill that included the provision to finally take the harbor maintenance trust fund off budget. however much to my shock and dismay, this provision was stripped out after we passed the bill out of committee. we cannot continue to negligent our port infrastructure and put at risk job growth, our economy, and global competitiveness. for these reasons i cannot support this rule and wrrda in
its current form and i encourage my colleagues to do the same. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, it has to be said, the yeal from california, is an amazing advocate for the harbor maintenance trust fund. mr. woodall: she represents a critically important port infrastructure, critically important not just for her, for the entire united states of american. i do the same on the eastern seaboard. the port in savannah, mr. speaker, is the fastest growing container port in the country. it is not a catalyst for growth in georgia. it's a catalyst for growth across the united states of america. particularly in the southeastern portion. the gentlelady is absolutely right. we made great progress in 2014. we came to an agreement that we need to do more. we have the ability to do more. and we need to do more. that's not the question today, mr. speaker. and you will not find any reference made by any member of the transportation
infrastructure committee suggesting that they don't want to do more. the question is, when we do, what we do so often, and that's to decide that congress cannot be trusted with these decisions and let's just punt to the administration. now, i'll tell you what that -- savannah since we saw what that means for savannah is while the corps of engineers says we can get this port fully operational for ships within 6 1/2 years providing taxpayers the maximum bang for their buck, the administration funded it not over 6 1/2 years, they didn't provide enough funding for it in 10 years, to get done in 20 years, the funding that was recommended by the administration stretched the construction out over two decades. who wins in that? who wins in that? i will tell you that an advocate for the port systems as my
friend from california is would not spend taxpayer dollars that way. i would not spend taxpayer dollars that way. and you would not spend taxpayer dollars that way. is this institution at fault for not maximizing the utility of the harbor maintenance trust fund? yes. yes. will this institution compound that fault? by delegating the authority away to the administration? the answer is yes. and i would say to my friends the nature of a trust fund is that it is there when we need it most. what my friend from california described is that the program going on over a decade recognized that. it recognized that there is going to be a rainy day here where we are going to need to dip in, where the revenues won't be what we expected. the nature of a trust fund is not to spend it to zero every year, the nature of a trust fund
is to have it there when you need it. we are working together to do more here, mr. speaker. ut when the objection is made, and i'll read it in part, it's section 108 is the provision we are talking about being stripped, allows the corps to use the funds available in the harbor maintenance trust fund without further appropriation by congress. mr. speaker, the 1960's, you look at the federal budget, about 1/3 of that federal budget was on auto pilot. going right out the door every year primarily for income support programs. 2/3 of that budget was investing in the united states of america, growing the united states of america, focused on our kids, ports, our schools, our parks, focused on innovation and infrastructure. today that same chart has been
flipped. 2/3 of the federal budget is on auto pilot. only 1/3 is left to the discretion of this institution. i say to my friends i think more of us as a body than to say we can't get this done. fair enough if folks want to look back at history say rob, we have been trying to get this done and haven't gotten it done right yet. i can see that. but we have come closer together than we have ever come before. more than 50% of this body has been here six years or less. more than 50% of this body does not know of the failures, they only know of their desire to succeed and that is why we have come closer than we have ever come before. let's not punt today. let's not concede failure today. let's not decide that the president whoever he or she may be next cycle is going to know bert than us tomorrow, better than our constituents tomorrow. let's just do the job that we were sent here to do. and we have never been closer to celebrating that success
together. i hope we'll get there. with that, mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i'm very pleased to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from florida, my very good friend, who also is an appropriator, congresswoman wasserman schultz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman from florida, who i concur, is my very good friend, to your leadership on he behalf of florida and particularly in protecting our beloved everglades. when i support the underlying bill because of the critical investments the army corps of engineers will make in the everglades and restoring it, i rise in opposition to the partisan fashion in which wrrda has been brought to this floor. i'm proud the project which was authorized by this bill will provide over $1 billion in
federal and nonfederal funds, continue the essential work of restoring the florida everglades. the everglades which we call affectionately the river of grass is home to thousands of rare species and the survival relies on flow of water and high standard of water quality throughout our state of florida. restoring the historic water flow is not only critical for the everglades and ecosystems, but also boosts critical fresh water supplies that are essential to the daily lives of millions of floridians. and the very future of a florida we call home. additionally i am proud that wrrda includes authorization for the port of everglades, not the same, the port harbor dredging project. this has been an almost astounding 20-year planning process. shouldn't have taken that long and we are thrilled we are finally here. the deepening and widening of the channels will allow south florida to receive cargo from ck ger ships, the post panama
ships coming from the widened panama canal. that will create jobs in south florida and over 29,000 jobs statewide through the new commerce coming through the port. however i also want to reflect on the majority's obstructionism. for months democrats led by mr. kildee have urged the majority to help flint and other communities that have been exposed to lead to fund the necessary repairs to water infrastructure wells we place that which has been corroded and allow lead to leech into the water system. i visited flint in march and spoke to families exposed to lead in their water and with children who may have been exposed. as the mother of three children myself, i am outraged for those mothers in flint who learned that the water their children have been drinking for months is dangerous and could have long-term effects on their children's development. as americans suffer, republican leadership's continued recklessness and specifically their refusal to include funding for flint in wrrda is
unconscionable. have you no heart or soul? do you not feel for someone else's children besides your own? the tone deafness is astounding. the majority has even withheld a vote on the matter. they won't even let us vote, mr. speaker. refusing to rule in order mr. kildee's amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. ms. wasserman schultz: the majority has even withheld a vote on the matter refusing to rule in order mr. kildee's amendment, the families of flint act. they have no conscience. if they did, they would allow a vote, vote no as i said many times on this floor. vote no. have the courage of your conviction. but let the democratic process work. trust this body as the gentleman has just said on the harbor maintenance trust fund, trust this body to make the decision together. you can't have it both ways. you either trust this body to cast their votes accordingly or you don't. can't pick and choose because
you're playing politics with the lives of children if you do. for this reason i urge a no vote on the rule and yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: it's my great pleasure to yield four minutes to the gentleman who represents the port of charleston that we saw on the map earlier, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. sanford. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for four minutes. mr. sanford: i thank the gentleman. i will not use all of them, i want to first commend the gentleman from georgia for what he's done on this bill. it would take the wisdom of solomon to get all the competing interests and all the competing views perfectly happy on this bill. but what i think he's done in the rules committee is to recognize that this is a bill that cannot wait. it's a bill whose time has come. that he he has absolutely the courage of his convictions. he's got a whole lot of heart and soul. and he's worked with other members to say this is a bill as best construct as we can get it and we got to move. the question on the underlying
bill that i think the ranking member defazio and chairman shuster have worked so hard on is one that is complex in nature but incredibly simple in what it produces. it produces a couple of things that i think are worth consideration. first, it produces something that has everything to do with what mr. woodall was just talking about on the way that our budget used to be configured. it used to be a budget in the united states built around what are we going to do, what are we going to invest in our country to make our country more competitive and we have gone on to a entitlement budget. both republican and democratic side would say doesn't work for a lot of folks out there. and is a financial train wreck. and what this bill does is, i thought it was fascinating, mario, head of the european central bank, said in brussels yesterday, i have a quote, he said, it's not enough to deliver real and sustained growth if we continue down this road of low
interest rates. in fact, he said, a continued path of low interest rates has harmful side effects. i think we have seen that with a lot of retirees out there. a lot of folks who have pension plans depending on what comes next in financial markets are being hurt with this financial -- what he said in short was, to be competitive in the world economy, you cannot continue to rest on this notion of financial engineering as a way to get you there. what this bill is ultimately about is to say, again, mr. woodall was just pointing out, we got to move from this world of central bank's financial engineering as the way where we are competitive and go back to the basics. back to the basics of where we are on tax policy. back to the basics of where we are on regulatory policy. back to the basics on spending, taxes. go down the list. but among the things on that list is this notion of investing in infrastructure. it's important not only in terms of making our economy more competitive, it's also important
if you care about the debt and deficit, the only way we can close that gap is not just by spending restraint but also by growing the economy. and that this is, in fact, a linchpin to throwing the economy. and therefore it cannot wait. i think he also recognizes what thomas friedman talks about in this so-called flat world we live in. it's an increasing competitive world. i thought it was interesting that hillary clinton mentioned last night in the debate that 95% of the folks in the world live out there and 5% live in the united states. we got to trade with them. and disproportionately the way in which we trade almost 90% of what we buy in markets around this country got here by container. and so we've got to go about this business of upgrading our port facilities, for instance. that's why i think that as debbie wasserman schultz was mentioning, it's important what's happening in port everglades, port miami, it's important what's happening in a port like charleston, not because of charleston do i have a hometown component to the fact
that i like charleston, south carolina? yes. but it has everything to do with the region based on the panama canal being widened and being on the ships coming to east coast, gulf coast, and west coast ports in this country. we need to be competitive have got to be continuing this process on a regular basis of upgrading our infrastructure. finally, this is about a change in process. if you look at the underlying bill, the founding fathers talked about e-pluribus une yum, from many one, too often we have gotten away from that. we have gotten to a balkanized look at the way districks work -- districts work -- mr. woodall: yield additional 60 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sanford: i thank the gentleman. we have to go about looking at the national needs of this country as opposed to just regional needs of the local needs.
at times our answer is to cede to the executive branch that deliberation. i think that what this bill correctly does is it pulls back to congress that which the congress vested to the congress in deliberations of these kinds of matters which makes it incredibly important and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: would you advise both of us how much time remains. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has 12 minutes remaining. the gentleman from georgia has 10 minutes remaining. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. if we defeat the previous question, i'm going to offer an amendment to the rule to bring up a desperately needed $220 million aid package for the people of flint, michigan, who have been without clean drinking water for the last two years.
mr. speaker, we have known about this manmade catastrophe for more than a year. d didn't get the waiver last night to mr. kildee's amendment. we have provisions to deal with manmade catastrophes dealing with a variety of issues, proposal nept among them when freight rail goes off the tracks that uses their freight may very well be harmed to a community to pollute that community. we act as we should have here. the republican majority continues to do nothing about this, hiding behind house rules to block funding and justify its
inaction. i really don't understand it. i said last night to all of our colleagues if it was any one of our communities, and i might add a footnote right there, there are other communities in the united states of america that do have problems with lead poisoning and it augers well that we should consider them as well. however, we all know the circumstances of flint, michigan. but, mr. speaker, american families are being poisonned by lead-contaminated water. when that happens, we have a moral responsibility to act now. we can't wait any longer. i have heard around here that it's a local and state responsibility. well, if that's the case, we
need to shut this institution down because everything then would be a local and a state responsibility and all of our infrastructure issues of consequence would be a state and a local issue as they are, but the federal government has responsibilities as well. and while there is enough blame to go around about flint, the simple fact of the matter is and i'm sure the next speaker will point it out, the united states senate has seen in its wisdom 95-3 they have voted, 95-3 to provide the $220 million, which is nothing more than a start to try and do what is necessary in order for people to be uplifted. this is an area of our country if we were talking 40 years ago
that was a driving engine of this country, that portion of michigan. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my amendment in the record along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: and mr. speaker, now to discuss our proposal, will yield four minutes the distinguished the gentleman from michigan, who has worked -- mr. kildee -- who has worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. and i find it shameful that he has to once again come here and ask for what we could have done in the rules committee last night by giving him the necessary waiver for his amendment to be put on the floor and at least voted on. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield to mr. kildee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for four minutes.
mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker and my friend, mr. hastings, thanks so much for your kind words and unyielding support for the people of my home community. i rise in opposition to the previous question so i can bring up something that i hoped i was going to be able to bring up through the amendment process or could have been inserted in this bill in the first place. and that's the relief for the people of flint that passed as my friend said, passed the united states senate 95-3, and yet at every turn, the republican leadership in this body finds a reason, some kind of an excuse, some kind of technicality to prevent us from providing help to a whole city that has been poisonned and continues to have water that is unsafe to drink. it's a water resources bill.
the speaker said that no, it shouldn't be in the continuing resolution, this help for flint. it should be in wrda. the majority leader, mr. mccarthy said, this should come up inwarda. so last night, i went to the rules committee, offered the amendment to put the language in wrda and on a party-line vote -- of course -- the answer was no. nothing for the people of flint. a city that is being poisonned by its water, the federal government has the opportunity o help, nothing. when the speaker said this is where the conversation should take place on flint, i assumed that that meant a conversation would take place and we could debate the merit of this
paid-for provision to help the people of flint. but the conversation, i suppose that the speaker anticipated went something like this. no, nothing for flint, end of conversation. that's shameful. what are we here for, for god's sake? why do we come to this place if not to do the work of the american people. we have waived the rules in this congress, not just since i have been here but in the 114th congress, to make way for legislation that needs to come to the floor because it was someone's priority 249 times, twice in this rule we waive the rules of the house of representatives in order to get legislation to the floor. let me ask a question, if there's ever a time when we ought to do everything we can, including waiving a point of
order, it would be to take up relief for a city that is drinking poison, relief that the senate has already passed, 95-3. but what do the people of flint get? lip service. nothing. excuses. it's a shame. this is the congress of the united states. let me give you a civics lesson for those of you who may be listening. the city of flint happens to be in the united states of america. we have an obligation to all americans. so when mr. hastings is confused, i share that confusion. what is it? why is it that the majority will do back flips to bend the rules, to break the rules, to amend the rules, to waive the rules to achieve whatever their particular goal might be. but, no, when it comes to the
people of flint, you are on your own. i will yield. mr. hastings: is the $220 million that the senate passed 95-3 paid for? mr. kildee: it is fully paid for. fully paid for. i thank the gentleman for the question. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kildee: we have a fully paid-for provision. there's no excuse. it will not increase the deficit. why, does beg the question or better way to put it, why not? and i have to admit, mr. speaker, i'm coming to a conclusion that i don't want to come to, that the leadership in this house when they think about flint or when they look at flint , they see something different.
they don't see american citizens, don't see people in need, but there's something about this poor community, this , minority ty community that exempts them from the kind of help that we have provided time and time again to people in crisis in this country. i hate to come to the conclusion that there's something about these people that causes this congress to decide they don't deserve that help. that is a shame. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: mr. speaker, i'm so incensed by that presentation. know my friend is passionate. if folks are watching this and want to know why we can't get things done, you can use this
presentation why we are divided. how dare you that folks don't care you about your community. how dare you suggest that race is the basis. how dare when i state on my committee working on this issue hour after hour and not one member brought this up. i reserve the balance of my time, mr. speaker. but we owe each other better than that. you all are better than that and this institution is better than that. i know the gentleman is passionate. but that is not going to get us to where we both want to get to. mr. hastings: i yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds. the gentleman is recognized. mr. kildee: i appreciate and understand the gentleman's comment. my point is this, prove me wrong. prove me wrong. you have it in your power to take up this legislation.
it's not me who's olympicing this legislation. i don't want to come to this conclusion. it's very difficult to take time and time again this question to the floor of the house and wonder why flint is exempt. sympathy does not get anywhere. i understand this there is sympathy for the people of flint. well wishes. but when it comes to act, when it comes to actually do something for this community, nothing. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: i would say to my friend from florida, we do not have any further speakers and prepared to close. mr. hastings: i would agree with my friend from florida. i have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close if he's prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i was happy to see the transportation
and infrastructure committee in such a bipartisan way working to address the water infrastructure needs of our nation. i applaud the chairman and ranking member and all of the members on the committee for negotiating a measure that they were able to report favorably by voice vote. i'm also especially happy to see so many important projects from my state included in the measure. however, leadership has once again proved that they are unable to free themselves from the chains of partisanship and have therefore scuttled a bipartisan bill that came out of committee on voice vote and they did so at the last possible moment. the american people, many of them, are sickened by and tired
of the games that we play here in the house of representatives. all of the american people deserve better. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields. the gentleman from florida is recognized. . the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: this was an amazing work product that came out of the t.n.i. tweet. i love serving on the t&i committee. we have a lot of good women across the country there. we are able to come together and do things that other committees in this house could not come together and do. that doesn't happen on its own. i want to recognize all the folks not just the members on the committee, but folks like jeff bowman, folks like matt, who served as a staff role on that committee, bringing all this paperwork together so that
we can get about the people's business. mr. speaker, we talked about a lot of different things in this rule to deal with the wrrda bill. most of them don't have anything to do with the wrrda bill. folks don't know back home. my friend from florida is absolutely right. folks are sick and tired of the games they see going on in washington. as my friend knows, committee jurisdiction isn't a chame. it's the rules -- game. it's the rules we play by to get work done to make sure subject matter experts are working on individual pieces of legislation. i sit on t&i. i'm a subject matter expert on t&i, i have absolutely no jurisdiction over the e.p.a. or clean drinking water at all. i don't have any expertise over it. i don't have any expertise. when my friend from michigan asks why isn't more being done? i don't know. i look at the cnn article about my hometown of atlanta that says
our drinking water infrastructure is being delivered with pipes constructed in the 1800's. in the 1800's. i look at a report from cnn that says 4,500 drinking water facilities across this country are failing the e.p.a. lead test today. ,500. i don't -- 4,500. i don't know why the folks with jurisdiction over those issues are not at work on it. do i think the e.p.a. bears responsibility for letting folks, as the articles go on o to say, cheat with impunity? it just became a culture in local drinking waters you could misreport and the e.p.a. would wink and nod and go along with it. is there blame to go around, as my friend from florida said, of course there is. one of the great surprises, mr. speaker, of coming to serve in this body is the caliber of the
men and women i have gotten to serve with. i get to read the reports on tv about congress playing games about partisanship, about folks who don't care about one another. and i know it's not true. i get to read about folks who care only about feathering their own nest or pursuing their own career who don't care about serving men and women in their times of need. .nd i know that it's not true i hear about folks who would rather put party above people. nd i know that it is not true. because i know you and i know you and i know you right on down the line. this bill, mr. speaker, is not going to solve all of the ills
of it country. it's not even going to solve a large part of them. it's going to solve one little part as it deals with the critical water infrastructure of our ports and waterways on which so many millions of american jobs depend. i don't propose that we pass this rule and pass the underlying bill and absolve ourselves of any responsibility. i propose that we pass this rule and we pass this underlying bill so we can get about the rest of our responsibility. one issue at the time, mr. speaker, working together, member to member, community to community, we would amaze the american people with what we can get done. with that i urge all my colleagues to support this rule, support this underlying bill, i yield back the balance of my time. and i move the previous
question. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of had his time of the the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. hastings: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. 7
for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. burgess: mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules i call up house resolution 893 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 151. house resolution 893. resolved, that upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h.r. 954, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to exempt from the individual mandate certain individuals who had coverage under a terminated qualified health plan funded through the consumer operated and oriented plan, co-op, program. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means now printed in the bill shall be considered as adopted. the bill, as amended, shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill, as amended, are waived.
the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any further amendment thereto, to final passage without intervening motion except, one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means, and two, one motion to recommit with or without nstructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, for the purpose of debate only i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and . tend their remarks the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. burr ghost: house resolution 893 provides for consideration consumer 4, the co-op
protection act of 2016. the rule provides one our of debate equally divided among the majority and minority of the committee on ways and means. as is standard with all legislation pertaining to the tax code, the committee on rules made no further amendments in order. however, the rule affords the minority the customary motion to recommit. under the rule we'll be considering a bill to prevent a tax increase imposed on the american people by the affordable care act. and this will affect many americans through no fault of their own and due to circumstances beyond their control. the bill advanced the regular order -- the bill was advanced through regular order and reported favorably out of the committee on ways and means on a voice vote earlier this month. the affordable care act established a program to provide taxpayer funded loans for consumer oriented -- consumer operated and/orented plans, better known as the co-op program.
the septre for medicare and medicaid services funded 24 co-ops in 23 states. of those 24 co-ops, one failed before it ever enrolled a single individual. and just six remain open today. the 17 failed co-ops received over $1.8 million in taxpayer funds and to date none of those co-ops has paid back any of those loans. in addition to wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, the co-ops have created instability and hardship for hundreds of thousands of individuals who relied on co-ops for insurance coverage. under the affordable care act, individuals must be covered by a health plan that provides minimal essential coverage or pay a tax for failure to maintain coverage. thus the victims of failed co-ops were penalized despite their efforts, despite their efforts to be in compliance with the law. the magnitude of this problem
for affected individuals is significant. they are left without coverage for health care. they face increased financial burdenses. and they face tax penalties. h.r. 95 , the co-op consumer protection act of 2016 would provide targeted relief by creating an exemption from the individual health insurance mandate for individuals who have coverage under a co-op that failed. h.r. 954 would be effectively -- would be effective retroactively starting january 1, 2014, and would also protect consumers of the remaining six co-ops going forward. while the administration and some of my counterparts have noted that consumers affected by a closed co-op could have purchased new plans during a special enrollment period, this comes up short. those victims of failed co-ops had to start anew in paying deductibles for a new plan well into the coverage year. and the continuity of care could
be significantly disrupted based on changes to provider networks. h.r. 954 does not make these individuals whole, but it is the right thing to do. across america individuals do not even have the basic assurance that their insurance carrier will not simply vanish in the night. and we should all be able to agree that these individuals should also have been not face penalties under the individual mandate. h.r. 954 advanced through regular order favorably reported out of the committee on ways and means. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: i thank the gentleman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: here we are again, mr. speaker, discussing a bill that whatever its merits and noble intentions of course trying to hold harmless of the
victims of organizations to go out of business will meet a veto. the statement of administrative policy if the president were presented with this bill he would veto the bill. that's the strongest kind of veto message. sometimes they say his advisors say he might or will consider it. it's says he would veto it. here we are again in the precious little time that this body has before it sends everybody back to their districts when we could be addressing zika. when we could be addressing flint. when we could be addressing immigration reform. could pass a balanced budget amendment. any of those things that i hear from my constituents every day. and instead we are pursuing a bill that won't become law. this bill will not become law. the president has indicated he would veto it. we are taking up the time of this body to debate a bill that affects people in a few states. of course i understand iowa, nebraska, those two share one of the co-ops that went out of business. new york and oregon are the
others. i hail from a state where the co-op went out of business. i would add it went out of business with the actions of state regulators at the right time. meaning before the enrollment period. the question i brought in rules committee yesterday, and i think it's very important for anybody who supports this bill to answer, is why did the state regulators in the states allow those co-ops to fail mid period. why weren't they ahead of the curve in those states to make sure that they -- if they had to fail they did so in an orderly manner? it's irresponsible of state regulators to allow insolvent plans into the marketplace. and instead of discussing that and launching an investigation into that, instead of having a g.a.o. report on that, we are just doing a bill that effectively bails them out. another republican taxpayer bailout bill. that we have before us today. i have always been a big fan of the co-ops. consumer operated
and/orented plans are created -- and oriented plans are created for nonhealth options in the individual marketplace. they face add lot of challenges and we wouldn't even be dealing with the fact that 17 of them have gone out of business if the republicans hadn't put a provision in the omnibus of 2016, which i was proud to oppose for this reason among others, that defunded the health care co-ops. they already did an attack on the affordable care act by defunding the co-ops. now they are saying we want to bail them out. well, of course you want to bail them out now. you're responsible for letting them fail in the first place. look, there's a lot of questions to answer before this body were to move forward with this failed republican bailout bill. namely where were the state regulators? why did they let these fail mid cycle instead of as they did in my state before the enrollment period ended? number two, why did you defund them in the first place? can't you know you would
probably have to bail them out if you did? the third question i brought up in the rules committee is why are we talking about co-ops? what about a for-profit insurance company that goes out of business. are we going to bail out those consumers, too? i haven't seen that that's happened yet, look, these are private companies. it's only a matter of time until some company makes bad decisions and goes bankrupt and leaves its customers in the lurch. it's the job of state regulators to try to actuarially make sure those companies are sound and solvent, and if they are going to disqualify one, to do so before the enrollment period, not midterm, but let's be honest, bad things happen. and probably someday a company will go out of business in the middle of a term despite the best efforts of state regulators . . what about those customers and why would they be treated any differently. in the three states where the co-ops did close down because of the ineffectiveness of state
regulators, rather than proposing a republican taxpayer bailout, we should be pointing to alternative solutions. co-ops contacted customers to assist with the process of finding a new plan by email, mail and phone. in the event, the available premiums were too expensive, the affordable care act has a hardship exemption where families can avoid paying penalties. they can do it without this bill. in the three instances where co-op plans were terminated in the middle of the year, the set of circumstances that this republican taxpayer bailout bill is designed to address, it appears that people had time to find coverage even if their state regulators were asleep at the switch, it does not mean that the rest of us, that i have to go back to the people of colorado and say sorry, you have to bail out the republican congress and their failure to include in the omnibus a plan to
maintain the solvency of the co-ops. the financial penalty is one of the primary incentives of what we call romneycare. by circumventing the individual mandate, it undermines an essential component of what was known as the massachusetts plan, which is now the affordable care act. but as we know over 20 million americans have obtained health insurance, many for the first time. i'm proud to say in my home state where we have a number of issues with regard to the affordable care act, one positive indicator we can point to is the rate of individuals without insurance has dropped by half. it's now historically low .7% and never been that low. for colorado children, 2.5%. nationwide as we know, there are a lot of elements of the affordable care act that are very popular and important to maintain. no one should be denied coverage for having a pre-existing
condition. young adults can stay on their parents' plan. the individual mandate is the flip side of making sure that people aren't discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions. you can't have just a high-risk pool. you have to keep people in the pool. that's the fundamental model that went into romneycare and later adopted as a bipartisan concept. individuals have access to preventative services, affordable prescription drugs and no longer subject to lifetime caps that will leave them bankrupt. i have heard from a number of constituents that that is important. every law can use improvement. i was strongly against the language in the omnibus that led to these co-ops going out of business and led to this republican bailout package. and the affordable care act can be improved. instead of discussing ways to roll back the successes of the affordable care act or do
massive bailouts, we should be discussing ways to make the law work better and prevent the need for bailouts moving forward. to this end, i have been a long time supporter of establishing public health insurance plan option. it would go a long way to revitalizing the individual marketplace through increased competition. in 2010, i led an effort with representative chellie pingree to encourage senator reed to encourage the legislation that was being drafted and i call for a public option even after the affordable care act passed. it has been scored to reduce the deficit by over $200 billion and would help the constituents of my district particularly in our mountain areas by providing a more affordable option within the individual exchange. i'm proud to be a co-sponsor of representative schakowsky's bill to set up a public health insurance option. i point out this republican
bailout plan increases the deficit. small amount. small amount. i do have the figures, my friend from texas was $40 million. how much does this bill increase the deficit? $12 million. but still the wrong way. the plan i'm supporting would reduce the deficit by $212 billion. if republicans continue to go down this road, we are going to bupt this country. we are at $20 trillion and yes, every little bit matters and again, the amount is small of this republican bailout that increases the deficit, but we could be going another path which is fiscally responsible and brings down costs. furthermore, since this bill will be vetoed and will never become law, it's hardly worth the time to discuss. we should be talking about public health, health-related
bill. let's talk about the fact it's been over a year since flint administrators became aware of toxic levels of lead in the water that still exist. and the body has sat on its hands day after day, week after week exposure to lead is very harmful to children, who have significantly elevated risk of impaired development. but not only our crises for them and their families but will cost taxpayers moreover time. congress hasn't allocated any help to even replace the pipes in flint. while children in the community are still using bottled water to drink and bathe, a great expense, bottled water. r those of you who drink bottled it is more expensive. then of course we have the zika crisis, 19,000 americans have contracted the virus.
1,800 of those americans are pregnant women who have an elevated risk of associated consequences for their children, funding is essential to develop a method of testing, a vaccination and better ways to address this health crisis as it spreads across florida, south texas and the caribbean. instead of keeping the government open past friday which it runs out on friday or a balanced budget amendment or any of the other great ideas that have been brought forward in a bipartisan way, instead of doing that, this will be faced with a veto that cost taxpayers. we have a bill that won't become law. it's a part of a wider effort to increase the deficit and force taxpayers, hardworking taxpayers in colorado to bail out the
failures of state regulators in four states. mr. speaker, this bill adds to the deficit. it undermines the component of the affordable care act. it doesn't even address the failure of state regulators. it doesn't address the fact that a policy that republicans put in the 2016 omnibus has led to the need for this bailout. and simply put, this is not part of the solution. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: i ask if the gentleman has any further speakers? mr. polis: i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. polis: i will offer an amendment to the rule to bring up the no fly, no buy legislation and allow the attorney general to bar the sale of explosives and firlse to
those on the f.b.i.'s terrorist watch list. republicans refused to act on this commonsense legislation. some of you might have heard the debate yesterday. both presidential contenders from both parties support this legislation. it is common sense. if we don't let somebody fly on an airplane if they are on the terror watch list, why we would let them acquire an arsenal. we need to check them out. let's have a way -- if they have a legitimate reason -- not buying a gun is the leet of those inconveniences. and yet republicans continue to fail to act on this legislation despite being supported by donald trullp, by hoint and leaders of -- hillary clinton, if i could defeat the previous question with this vote to take action and close this glaring loophole that allows terrorists to buy firearms and explosives right now in this country.
mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record aalong of extraneous material previous to the vote. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: rather than have this republican bailout bill that increases the deficit, we could be discussing making it harder for terrorists to buy explosives and assemble an arsenal. ok. that's the choice we have in this vote and choice i'm willing to make and choice that every member will be called upon to make. when they vote yay and say let's do a bailout or vote nay and join me and say let's make it harder for terrorists to buy explosives and firlse, a policy supported by donald trump and hillary clinton. that's the choice we will have in moments and i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to think deeply about before they cast a yes vote or
no vote. we have three calendar days left and our limited legislative time is not being spent well. we could be voting to addressing zika, to making it harder for terrorists to assemble arsenals, to addressing the disaster in flint michigan, to stem the tide of opioid addiction across this country. but none of these public health crises will not be addressed if we don't consider a bill to keep the government open beyond september 30. we are considering another republican bailout that increases the deficit, unnecessary. let states' regulators off the hook. .r. 954 has an unnecessary uncalled exemption and distracts us from the conversations how to make health care more affordable and reduce our deficit. this is an irresponsible
process. i urge my colleagues to oppose this rule. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado yields. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: i yield myself the balance of our time. just to correct the record, i was asked about the budgetary effect of this bill and it is negative $4 million over the next 10 years. congress did not defund the co-ops. the risk porter program that was passed by this congress in 2010 associated with the affordable care act was never fully funded in the first place. this bill under our consideration today does not bail out anyone. does not bail out the co-ops. it eliminates a penalty, a penalty imposed on consumers who did everything they could to comply with the law known as the individual mandate under the affordable care act. look, if i ran the zoo, i would
get rid of the individual mandate tomorrow. these individuals -- under the individual mandate covered by insurance which they were forced to purchase and then goes bankrupt through no fault of their own, they are going to get penalized for not having coverage. nd state legislators have no control over the co-ops. control of the business model is completely centralized within the center for medicare and medicaid services. the co-op model was fundamentally unsound from the start. another example of this administration's pro pencity to conduct dangerous ex permits with nation's health care. it stands in the way of the flexibility that the co-ops actually need to become fiscally sustainable. today's rule provides for the consideration of this important
bill to provide relief for tax increase looming over americans who tried, tried and tried to follow the rules of the affordable care act and yet have been let down by this administration's failed policies. i certainly thank mr. smith on the ways and means committee for proposing this legislation and sheparding it through the committee process. i yield back the balance of my time and move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. polis: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 and clause
9 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on ordering the previous question will be followed by five-minute votes on adoption of h. ress 893, ordering the previous question on h. ress 92, adoption of h. ress 892 if ordered. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]