tv U.S. House Re-elects Paul Ryan as Speaker 239-189 Approves Rules Package CSPAN January 3, 2017 4:00pm-6:01pm EST
-- lewoman, minority leader the one minute to the gentlewoman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. >> there are strong concerns with house resolution 5 that permits the sernlt at arms to punish members of the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. clark: i have a question for the majority in the house today. why would you choose to open this session of this democrati . dy
many say it's outraged at the sit-ins. the sit-in was one demonstration from the carnage going unanswered by the house majority. a plea to take a vote on two commonsense, bipartisan bills. is that so threatening that in response we have these draconian measures? the stunning silence of republicans in this house in face of the public health crisis of gun violence is now met with these unprecedented rules. we can uphold our constitution and give voice to the american people, these rules should be rescinded and that's what we should do. . mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i continue to recession my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i am pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute.
mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to -- in strong opposition to h.res. 5, house rule 17, as amended, will add section 9-a, which prohibits members of congress from committing, quote, disorderly or disruptive conduct and defines that conduct as intentionally or obstructing or impeding the passage of others in the chamber. it seeks to prohibit john lewis from leading a sit-in on the house floor, but this language is overbroad and it's also lacking in sufficient definiteness or specificity and is thus unconstitutionally void for vagueness. a democrat confined to a wheelchair could be found guilty of violating this rule. a vague rule that's incapable of enabling a person of ordinary intelligence know not how to violate the rule is arbitrarily and
discriminatoryly enforced and this rule will not have a victim whose passage in the house chamber is obstructed or impeded. this body is better than this rule change, and i ask that the members vote no on h.res. 5. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas continues to reserve. he gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. lewis, to discuss our motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. speaker, i want
to thank my friend, not just my colleague but my classmate. we came to the congress together in 1987. i want to thank you for your leadership. i want to thank you for never giving up or giving in or for keeping the faith. now, i don't come to the well that often, but i come because i remember reading someplace that ben gentleman miffer franklin, a founder of this nation, once said it is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority, and he made sure the right to dissent is protected by the first amendment to the constitution. so today i rise to question the
right of house republicans to institute fines which may violate the first amendment and have a chilling effect on members who disagree with the proceeding of this body. and house leadership denied the will of the people to bring strong gun violence legislation to the floor as the last result. here in the t-in well to give voice to the mandate. as members of congress we have a sworn duty to speak up, to speak out if we do not believe the action of this body represents the will of all americans. we should never, ever give up the right to protest but what is right, what is good and what
is necessary. we were elected to stand on the courage of our conviction. we were not sent here to run and hide. we must use our votes, our voices and the power vested in us by the people of this nation speak the truth as we see it regardless of the punitive. i am not afraid -- ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, let me yield the gentleman another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the ntleman is recognized for another minute. mr. lewis: i am not afraid of fines. i've been fined before. many of us have been fined before. i was arrested and jailed and left bloody and unconscious on the march from selma to montgomery. ut no congress, nobody, no committee has the power to tell
us that we cannot stand up, speak up and speak truth to power. we have a right to dissent. we have a right to protest for at is right regardless of the rule or no rule. we cannot and will not be silenced. in this debate, i will offer a motion to strike the section that silence calls for gun violence prevention. thank you for yielding me time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i continue to reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves his time. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen. the spker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for one minute. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. i also oppose this rule as an infringement on members' rights to express themselves and the rule says if you take a
photograph, that the sergeant at arms can dock your pay and find you guilty without a hearing. well, that's wrong. the next step is you can't take a sketch of what's happening and publish that sketch. and the next thing after that is you can't take notes and repeat what is spoken in this house. this proposal is a direct response to john lewis. mr. lewis is an american hero. he is the most heroic person to serve in this house maybe ever and don't forget this is an attack on him for doing what he calls good trouble. when the civil rights law said african-americans couldn't vote, he went to selma and he marched and he was beaten and he was arrested. and he led his democrats on the floor when we tried to find a way to get a vote through regular ord on no fly, no buy if you were a terrorist on the terrorist list, you could not get a gun. john lewis is trying to protect america once again and taking
to the floor of this house in protest. this is wrong. i support john lewis. i applaud you for taking your ethics proposal and ditching it. it was the wrong option and the wrong things to do. this is too. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves? mr. sessions: continue to, thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, the democrat leader of which we extraordinarily are proud, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlewoman for yielding and i thank our colleague, mr. lewis, in praising her leadership as ranking member, formerly chair of the rules committee. it is an honor to serve in this house. we have been sent here by our constituents to represent, as i said earlier, their hopes and their hurt. to serve with john lewis is something beyond a privilege.
to call him colleague is something that is an honor for all of us to call him friend as a joy in our lives. thank you, mr. lewis, for your leadership on so many issues but for speaking out so consistently on this public health issue of gun violence in our country. we could not be better served. when in fact the sit-in on the floor occurred under your leadership and with your inspiration, the leadership on the republican side said it's a publicity stunt and you replied, that's what they said the march on the selma bridge was, a publicity stunt. it's not a publicity stunt. it's about conveying truth to the american people, and that's exactly what the republican leadership does not want the american people to hear. the truth about obstacles through legislation coming to the floor that would reduce gun violence in our country. here with this rule, some
esoteric and may mean nothing at first glance to the american people but let me tell you a few things as to why you, as a person in our country, should be interested in what is happening on the floor today. you would expect that after an election that was so hard ught and so focused on the economic, security of america's families the first business would be how can we find a bipartisan path to greater economic growth that creates jobs, good-paying jobs, increases salaries and contributes to the financial stability to america's working families. giving them the confidence that they will be able to buy a home, again, address the aspiration of their children, whether it's college or other training for the work force and also to retire with dignity. but instead, we come to the floor with first a proposal
that was so outrageous that republicans even had to back off it. even a republican -- the president-elect donald trump criticized the first actions by the republicans in the house. and so they backed off that for the moment. for the moment they backed off , to harm pt to harm the way we deal with ethics violations in the congress. we should be draining the swamp. theye backing off. but i'm here because we're talking about again a big public health issue -- gun violence in our country -- and when members of congress spoke and the response from the public was so great, republicans decided in this rule today they would do something so outrageous it's a violation of freedom of speech on the house floor. it's an insult to the
intelligence of the american people that they should not be able to hear this. it violates the constitution by saying the sergeant at arms can take money out of your salary if he doesn't like your behavior on the floor. it's absolutely ridiculous. but our distinguished colleague from georgia, mr. lewis, has spoken, as have others have spoken to that point. i want to just go to another point, and it's a health issue as well, and that is what every family in america should be concerned about about what's happening in this rule package today. i recently heard over the weekend heard from my friend that a grandchild of that family was diagnosed with leukemia. 3 years old diagnosed with leukemia. what does that mean and what does this rule mean to that child's life?
well, this rule is a setup to overturn the affordable care act. what the affordable care act is doing that child is to say, you cannot be discriminated against because you have a pre existing medical condition, which -- pre-existing medical condition, which that child will have for life. you cannot be -- insurance companies cannot have limits on your annual or life-time limits on what kind of benefits you can receive. you're 3 years old. a whole lifetime of benefits. when you are -- up until you are 26 years old, you can be on your parents' policy. that would be eliminated as well. the issues go on and on and on thathat would affect that child, tt th child's grandparent is on medicare, that family is affected too because in this legislation there's a provision that would
harm medicare by changing from mandatory to discretionary. inside baseball, i know, but when you realize that the republican budget has a provision in it to take away the guarantee of medicare and say to seniors, you're on your own, you have a voucher, you're on your own. now this family is being assaulted at the earliest years, 3 years old, medicare in the meantime for grandparents. in between, it's important to note the following about the affordable care act -- while we talk a great deal and great proud about the fact that 20 million americans have received health benefits now, have health insurance now bause of the affordable care act, we're very proud of that. it's a wonderful thing, but it's only a part of the picture. 75% of the american people get
their health insurance through the workplace. 100% of them have increased benefits because of the affordable care act. 100% of them have the rate of growth of cost of health care greatly diminished, the lowest rate of increase in over 50 years they have measured the rates of increase. so the question of access, if it's a question of quality of care, if it's a question of cost, the affordable care act has been a magnificent success. can we do better? we always like to see implementation in how we can do better. we thought we could work in a bipartisan way to do that. but the fact is, either the republicans do not understand what this means in the lives of america's families, who do not care about what it -- or do not care what it means in that regard, they just want to repeal. they say repeal and replace. repeal and replace is one -- has
one thing going for it. alliteration. beyond that, it has nothing going for it. because they would never even be able to get the votes to repeal and replace the affordable care act. it's just not possible. that's why they don't have a replacement. want to know why they don't have a replacement? they don't have the votes for a replacement. then they say repeal and delay. delay? for how long? delay is probably one of the most cowardiced actions they could take because it says, we don't know but we know that it would harmful to our politics if people lose their benefits or their costs go up, so we'll just delay the impact of our irresponsible action of repealing. so we have before us the making, this bombshell of a rule, that undermines the health and economic security of america's working families in so many
respects. you'll certainly be hearing more from us about every aspect of it. lifetime limits, we're going to keep, no existing -- no pre-existing conditions. you are? at what cost and to whom? we'd like to see that proposal. so far, we haven't. so for many reasons that are, as i say, too inside baseball to go into, but think about your own life, you out there who said, keep government hands off my medicare, they want to put their hands not only on your medicare but to squeeze the guarantee right out of it. the lifeblood of what medicare is a guarantee. they want to block grant medicaid. you understand, if you have a senior in your family who is in need of long-term health care, whether it's because of one physical disability or another, some related to dementia and alzheimer's, at least 50% of the
benefits of medicaid go to long-term health care. so families who want them to overturn the affordable care act and all that that means for medicare and medicaid and their budget to boot, you're going to have mom and dad as richie neil says, living in your house. you're going to be taking care of them right then and there. that might be a welcome sense of community to you, or it may not. it may deprive you of opportunity that you want to provide for your children because of an ideological view of republicans that we should not have medicaid and medicare. which are pillars of economic security in our families. and the very idea that in this bill they want to take this mandatory money and turn it into money subjecting it to the will of the congress in terms of appropriations says that they have their eye on social security as well.
so be very, very vigilant. be very, very aware. i don't wa you to very, very scared but there is reason to b if the republicans work their will, based on the blueprints that they have both in this bill, this rules package they're bringing to the floor, as well what they have in their budget. even their nominee for president, donald trump, has disassociated himself in the campaign, anyway, from what they want to do to medicare and social security and the rest. we'll see how that holds up as we go forward. but you can be sure that the democrats will have a big, bright, relentless spotlight on what is happening here because of what it means to you out there and your families. whether it's a child who is sick, a worker who gets benefits in the workplace, which now will
be diminished, or a senior citizen who relies on medicare, medicaid and social security. there is a lot at stake. there's an ideological difference between democrats and republicans on these issues. i would hope that the issues would go away, that the public would weigh in in such a significant way that the republicans would back off, as they backed off this morning as they chickened out of their very bad proposal relating to ethics. in order for the american people to weigh in, they have to know which takes us back to, as mr. lewis was talk, they have to know. if it is the determination of this body that the sergeant at arms can effectively silence the voice of memrs on the floor deducting a penalty from their paycheck, which is totally unconstitutional, but i guess that doesn't matter to the
devotees of the constitution that what they're doing is unconstitutional, then how will the public know? there's a method to this madness. it's not just about the sit-in on guns. -- what other ways they will deprive us of communicating with the american people about what is at stake for them, america's working family, by actions take on -- taken on this floor. with that, i urge my colleagues, of course, to vote no, a thousand times, no, on this legislation. but also to continue the fight that will unfold if it becomes the new rules of the house. very unfortunate day, we should be starting with a big jobs package for america's working family, not threatening their financial stability by undermining what they have paid into, systems that they have
paid into, now being subjected to the whims of an ideological majority. with that, again, i urge a no. i thank, again, our colleague, mr. lewis, for his extraordinary leadership over time and up to the minute today and look forward to following this as we go -- his lead as we go forward. thank you, ranking member, for your leadership as well. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentlelady from new york with one minute remaining. ms. slaughter: may i ask if my colleague is ready to close. mr. sessions: in fact, i would be. ms. slaughter: all right, i shall close as well. mr. speaker, i want to yield to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for the purpose of a unanimous consent request. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i asknimous connt to enter into the record at this point my statemen opposing this rule because of what it does to federal employees and the rights
of the elected members of this body. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. slaughter: i ask unanimous consent to insert in the record a description of the many troubling republican rules changes in h.res. 5. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. slaughter: let me continue to close, we will continue to fight as our leader said, with all the tools we have. we will not be silenced, we may not be able to do much in congress until we get to court, but we will not be silenced. we invite you to bring regular order back to this house and to bring back the value of ideas. always remember that because you shut out a number of congresspersons from being part of what is happening here, that you are shutting out the voices of over half the american public. remember too that we did get a million more votes in the election previous to this one than you did. and we deserve to speak.
anyway, i want to make that as clearly as i can. i urge a no vote on the previous question. a no on the motion to commit. and a no on the resolution. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas with six minutes remaining. mr. sessions: thank you very much. i want to thank my colleagues, republicans and democrats, for showing up today, not only for expressing their views, the democrat majority certainly did show up and give us lots of things to think about which is good. the new year desers an opportunity for us to hear some of their thoughts and ideas. i will tell you that it went across the board. i would -- i'm still stunned that republicans are blamed for the failures of obamacare when in fact it's obamacare that we're going to amend and we are
going to change. many of the people who came to the floor of the house today know that hundreds, well, tens of hundreds of children's hospitals across the country won't take obamacare. stanford university medical school in california does not take obamacare. it's a discriminatory system. it is a system that does not work. it is a system where you might find a doctor, but no referrals. it is a system that is bleeding the life out of business and jobs in this country. yes, we do address that in the rules package. but what we really address in the rules package is an opportunity to streamline the procedures on rules and regutions and our ability to
effectively do the work with the consent of the american people. you heard three of my rules colleagues who very carefully and abeably -- ably worked through the i wantry kacies of the rules pkage but make no mistake about i mr. speaker, ery member of this body attempts to gain a voice and to be heard, it will be done in an open and fair way. but there will be decorum attached to that because decorum comes with avoiding chaos. and what has always allowed this body to be different from any other body in the world is, the discipline of rules and order and procedures. mutual respect for each other. the opportunity to hear and be heard. but really, the opportunity with
an open process a process that's given to the minority and one that's given to the majority. and any rule that has been promulgated in this body is not done on a partisan basis. because, see, my majority has people who disagree with necessarily some in our party too. we did not try and stop anybody from voicing what they would voice, but a rule of decorum has been placed upon that. and that is what separate this is body from any other bodies in the world. and that is what will continue to gain the administration of the -- the admiration of not only the american people around the world, not only here in the united states but around the world, but it is something i cherish and i believe must happen. i appreciate the gentleman, i will allow him in just a moment. so mr. speaker, what we're doing
here today, is we are presenting openly the package, give it an equal amount of time to democrats as we do with republicans. and our committee -- in our committee the rume committees, we open ourselves up and hear from democrats all the time. i know you heard we offer no amendmts, of course that's not tr as a matter of fact, on any given week, when we were in session, we offered more amendments in the rules committee than harry reid did in several years of being in the united states senate. to republicans. so we are a body that works and tries to work well and we try and be fair. so with everything that's been said today, i take it as a challenge on myself tory and work even better and closer with my colleagues to listen, and to allow them to be heard. and it's something we've tried to do for a number of years. evidently the gentleman from tennessee would wish to engage me. does the gentleman have a question? >> thank you, yes, sir, i do.
if under the rule, if i took a still photograph of just an individual a friend, on the floor, would it not come under the rule that the sergeant at arms would then beirected to fine me $500 even though there was no question about decorum being in jeopardy? mr. sessions: i'd like to read you what is the statement the use of personal electronic footage not only breaches decorum but provides an avenue to exploit official business for political and personal gain. if that is personal gain, it would not be allowed. house video footage can be used news or public affairs programs, but is prohibited from being used for commeial or political purposes. so news or public i would encou would if this were a speeding violation or something else, we have lots of people who are members of the sergeant at arms.
i would go grab your favorite sergeant at arms and review with them the things which you believe would be in context of ow that member would come in. in as much as a picture would be taken, they may say not with a flash. ift were disruptive, then i would consider that a violation. if it were taken in the back when no one else is around, i can't tell you. i am not the officer in charge of that. but they are trained in this, and they've been trained very well. and so i do appreciate the gentleman asking. i would ask that you would ask that question based upon your own usage. mr. cohen: thank you. i appreciate your response. and i would submit the due process requires -- mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i ask my colleagues to support this package. i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the question is ordered. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, 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, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
members remove your conversations from the aisle, from the well. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia, mr. lewis, seek recognition? mr. lewis: mr. speaker, my dear to agues, i have a motion commit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the the motion. port the clerk: mr. lewis of georgia moves that house resolution 5 be committed to the select committee composed the of the majority leader and minority leader with instructions to report to the house with the following amendment, strike
ubsection a of section 2 and accordingly. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the previous question is ordered on the motion to commit. the question is on the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. he noes have it. mr. lewis: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in support of the votes by the yeas and nays. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
this vote the yeas are 193, the nays are 236. the motion is not adopted. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: 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, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. once again, 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.]
the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair will make a statement with respect to the recent change on the use of electronic equipment on the house floor. the chair would like to take this opportunity to call to the attention of all members the changes to rule 2 and rule 17 just adopted for the 115th congress. the sergeant at arms is charged with enforcement of clause -g rule 2, which prohibits the use of electronic devices or still photography or for audio or visual recording or broadcasting in contravention of clause 5, rule 17 and related policies. the chair understands that the sergeant at arms will enforce the prohibition with respect to violations observed firsthand on
the house floor as well as violations that become apparent at a later time such as through publication online or broadcast onelevision. in the case of violations observed on the floor, the sergeant at arms will hand the offending member a card and will send the member a written letter. in the case of other silingses, members will receive a written let are. the fine for the first offense is $500, the fine for each ubsequent offense is $2,500. the sergeant at arms will provide members a written warning. members may appeal to the committee on ethics. the chair appreciates the attention of all members to these efforts. the gentleman from new york will stateis inquiry. mr. crowley: the more money you
have, theore free speech you have, is that what you are indicating? the more money you have, the more free speech you have? the speaker pro tempore: will the gentleman from new york state a parliamentary inquiry. mr. crowley: the more money an individual has, the more fine he has. the speaker pro tempore: he has still not stated a parliamentary inquiry. mr. crowley: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from washington. mr. rogers: off a privileged -- mrs. mcmorris rodgers: the following named members be and hereby elected to the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the reading is spent.
observation to the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york, mr. crowley seek recognition? mr. crowley: i offer a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: the following -- mr. crowley: i ask unanimous nsent that the resolution be read. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. observation without objection. the reading is waived and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york, mr. crowley, seek recognition? mr. crowley: i offer a resolution and unanimous consent for its immediate consideration. the clerk: house resolution 8, resolution providing for designation of certain minority employees. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the resolution? there objection to the
resolution? without objection the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions seek recognition? mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i offer a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate resolution. the clerk: house resolution , the hour of daily meeting of the house shall be 2:00 p.m. on mondays or 2 p.m. and noon on wednesdays and thursdays and 9:00 a.m. on all other days of the week. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas, mr. seeings seek recognition. mr. sessions: i offer a privileged resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 1, pursuant to clause , section , article 1 of the
constitution during the 115th congress, the speaker of the house and the majority leader of the senate or their respective designees acting jointly after consultation of the house and senate may notify the members of the house and senate to assemble at a place outside of the district of columbia if in their opinion the public interest should warrant it. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent that during the 115th congress, the speaker, the majority leader and minority leader be authorized to ccept designations and appointments. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. so ordered. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: during the 115th congress all members be permitted to extend their extend
their remarks and exclu extraneous material in the permitted limit in their record entitled extension of remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. . for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: during the first session of 115th congress, one, the legislative days of monday or tuesday when the house convenes pursuant to house resolution 9, the house shall convene two hours earlier otherwise established by the resolution for the purpose of conducting morning hour debate. two, the legislative days of wednesday or thursday when the house convenes pursuant to house resolution , the house shall convene two hours than the time for the purpose of conducting morning hour debate. three, when the house convenes pursuant to an order otherwise than house resolution 9, the house shall conduct morning
debate only as prescribed by such order. 4. the time for morning hour debate shall be allocated equally between the parties and may not continue 10 minutes before the hour apointed for the resumption of the house. and 5. the form of proceeding for morning hour debate shall be as follows. a, the prayer by the chaplain. the approval of the journal and the pledge of allegiance to the flag shall be postponed until resumption of the house. b, initial and subsequent recognition for the debate shall alternate between the parties. c, recognition shall be conferred by the speaker only pursuant to lists submitted by the majority leader and minority leader. d, no members may address the house for longer than five minutes except the majority leader, the minority leader or the minority whip. emp, no legislative business shall be in order except the
filing of privileged reports. and f. following morning hour debate, the chair shall declare a recess pursuant to clause 12-a rule 1 until the resumption of the house of the house and 6, the speaker may dispense with morning hour debate upon reset of the notification of 12-c or rule 1 or upon the change pursuant to clause 12-eastern and rule 1. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. . pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postponeproceedings. on which the votes will incur objection. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? mr. roe: i move to suspend the 07. s and pass h.r. 20
the clerk: to require the secretary of veterans affairs to retain a copy of the reprimand in the permanent record of the employee. the speaker pro tempore: purn to the rule, squasm tennessee, mr. rowe and the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, each will control 20 minutes. mr. roe: i askthat members have add and revise their remarks. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: i rise today in support of h.r. 2007, ensuring v.a. employee accountability act. one of my top priorities as the new chairman of the house committee of veteran affairs to ensure the next secretary to give the tools he or she will need to swiftly and effectively
poor performing employees at v.a. i believe all other needed reforms are destined to fail if we don't help them those that are trapped, do their job. mr. speaker, currently if a v.a. employee is reprimanded or admonished for their performance, all records of those administrative performance are removed from the employee personnel in three years and two years for admonishment. the removal of these personnel actions, there is no record of their poor performance or acts regardless of how many different jobs they hold in the v.a. or how long they remain a v.a. employee. mr. speaker, personnel employees and rules permit a culture at the department of veterans' affairs that allows the misdeeds of a few to overshadow the good work that is done by the vast majority of v.a. employees.
only the most ethical and qualified employees advance and retain advancements of trust to veterans. ne way is to require v.a is to require an entire history as h.r. 2007 would do. no one would say no one can't improve their performance, but managers should know the complete history of their staff a peonnel hires when theare determining to determine who is best qualified. this is a commonsense reform and i hope we can all support. as a reminder to my colleagues old and new, the bill before us today is identical to h.r. 103 which passed the house during the 114th congress. that bill, like this one, was introduced by my friend from pennsylvania, mr. costello, i want to thank him again for re-introducing -- re-introducing this needed legislation and thank the majority leader and others for
scheduling this important bill on the first day of the 115th congress. i think it send as message to our veterans that instilling a culture of accountability at v.a. is and will remain among our highest prioritieses. i urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 27 and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee reserves. the gentleman from california is now recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise in support of the ensuing v.a. employee accountability act of 2017. this bill requires v.a. to keep a permanent copy of an admonishment or rerp manned in a v.a. employee's personnel file. mr. takano: currently an informal admonishment remains on a v.a. employee's record for two years. while a more serious written reprimand stays in the file for more than three years. maintaining a comprehensive record of v.a. employees' personnel files will allow v.a.
managers to track their employees' improvement or lack thereof, related to the specific problem addressed in the original complaint. this approach will increase transparency, allow v.a. managers to address problematic performance, and give v.a. employees a chance to improve. although i support this bill, i want to address concerns raised by the american federation of government employees and ask to include this letter in the congressional record. i share these concerns and intend to work with my colleagues across the aisle and in the senate to ensure that if this bill passes into law, the change will not adversely impact whistleblower, the thousands of -- whistleblowers, the thousands of veterans employed by the v.a., and the v.a. employees who work hard every day, support the needs of our veterans -- of our nation's veterans. whistleblowers and employees who face unlawful retaliation
from managers should have the opportunity to clear their names before any proposed admonishment -- admonishments or repry mand ms. are made it -- reprimands are made permanent in their record. this bill should also not be used to eliminate the v.a.'s ability to enlter into clear record settlement agreements with employees or get in the way of resolving personal matters in an efficient manner. in our efforts to enhance personnel policies at the v.a., it is important that we remember that 1/3 of v.a. employees are veterans themselves and many more have immediate family members who are veterans. many of these employees are also hardworking doctors and nurses who want to provide quality care for their patients. these federal civil servants want to do a good job in order to provide veterans the best possible service and this bill should not be used by mana to intimidate or retaliate against these employees.
this bill simply requires v.a. to maintain a complete record of a v.a. employee's personnel file, a practice intended to increase transparency and ultimately improve outcomes for veteran. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i'd like to yield three minutes of time to a very active member of the veterans affairs committee, my good friend, ron costello from pennsylvania. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is ecognized for three minutes. mr. costello: thank you, mr. speaker. today starts a new opportunity to chart a path for our country. while many americans across the country remain very frustrated with what they feel is a giant, unresponsive bureaucracy that is not working for them, all americans want to see v.a. care and services implemented properly. last session, mr. speaker, this
congress did make some reasonable progress legislatively to bring about reform the -- reforming the v.a. but more needs to be done. some of our legislation, which passed the house, died in the senate. the bill i introduced had -- and rise in support of today, the ensuring v.a. employee accountability act, is important for the following reasons. the bill requires the department of veterans affairs to maintain tane an up to date foil -- maintain an up to date file of employees. under current v.a. policy, disciplinary actions remain in an employee's file for only three years before they are deleted. preventing poor performers within the v.a. from being tracked or held accountable over the long term. this bill will ensure a complete record is kept and evaluated when a v.a. employee is considered for bonuses, promotions or other career advancement. i also want to be clear about this. this bill is fair to all v.a.
employees. and a great many v.a. employees do very, very good work in caring for our veteran. this bill does not impose any new employee penalties or affect the existing due process rights for a v.a. employee to appeal a disciplinary action in any manner whatsoever. the goal is mply to ensure our veterans are receiving the best possible care from our government. and that these employees who do wrong are per -- or perform poorly do not have it swept under the rug and then disappear after a few years. to thank the ke staff on the veterans' affairs committee for their work on this bill. especially john clark and kelsey barren, and look forward to the leadership of chairman roe in this session of congress i ur my coeagues to support this bill and yield back the balance ofy time the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee reserves. the gentleman from california isecognized. mr. takano: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to ask unanimous consent to insert the
letter from afge into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: mr. speaker, i have no further speakers. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. once again, i encourage all members to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 27. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 28. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2, a bill to amend title 3 united states code, to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to adopt and implement a standard identification protocol for the use in tracking and procurement of biological implample -- implants for the department of veterans affairs and for other
purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, and the gentleman from california, mr. takano, each will control 20 minutes. the chair will now recognize the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of my bill, h.r. 28, the biological implant tracking and veterans safety act of 2017 two years ago this month -- 2017. two years ago this month, the government accountability office released a startling report detailing a failure on the part of the department of veterans affairs to follow requirements for documented open-market purchases of surgical implants and the lack of a standardized process for tracking biological tissue from a cadaver donor to living veteran recipients. currently there's no requirement for v.a. to
systemically -- systemically, i mean, identifyify or track biological implants used in the v.a. medical facilities. due to this oversight, if a given biological implant was identified as potentially contaminated or made the subject of a recall, it would be impossible for v.a. to identify which patients received the impacted material and therefore take steps to inform at-risk patients and address contamination concerns. that same g.a.o. report also found that v.a. did not consistently ensure that the vendors -- the department purchases biological implants from are registered with the food and drug administration. and that v.a. did not maintain an inventory system to prevent expired tissue from remaining in storage alongside unexpired tissue. needless to say, each of these findings poses a serious and unacceptable risk to veterans' health and safety. veterans seeking care through the v.a. heament care system
deserve a quality -- health care system deserve a quality standard that is second to none, especially within a system which prides self on data collection and -- prides itself on data collection and health records. the biological implant tracking and veterans safety act would provide a high quality standard for surgical implants that is now sorely missing. by requiring v.a. to implement a standard identification tracking system for biological implants used in the v.a. medical facilities and requiring v.a. to procure biological implants only from approved vendors, h.r. 28 would address a deficiency g.a.o. identified and provide v.a. a necessary tool to ensure accountability and patient stay safety. mr. chairman, i would -- mr. speaker, i would say, the v.a. should do this for quality of care for patients. i urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting this important legislation. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i
may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for as much time as he may consume. tack tack i -- mr. takano: i thank the presiding officer. i rise today in support of the biological implant tracking and veteran safety act. this bill will require the v.a. to implement a standard identification system for biological implants that is consistent with the food and drug administration's uniquedy vice identification system. -- unique device identification system. will this will allow tracking of implants from don'ter to recipient. it will also require v.a. to require implants only from vendors using the system and only through competitive procurement processes. the g.a.o. has testified that the veterans health administration is one of the largest purchasers of surgical implants, which include biological implants such as skin and bone graphs, and nonbiological implants such as cardiac pace makers and artificial joinlts. the g.a.o. has ratesed concerns
regarding the v.a. medical center complying with v.h.a. requirements for documenting surge cam california implants purchased from the open market and v.h.a.'s ability to identify veterans who received an implant that is being recalled by the manufacturer or the foodnd dg nition. patient safety is our number one concern we a want to ensure that v.a. policies areully followed in this regard. the legislation will continue to protect veterans while they receive the best care available. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i have no further speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california ready to close? mr. takano: i am. i would like, before i close, to extend my public congratulations to my good friend, dr. phil roe, for being named by the majority as the chairman of the veterans' affairs committee. i can tell you that members on my side of the aisle are
looking very much forward to working with dr. roe. he has a splendid reputation. i don't want to ruin your reputation by saying that we absolutely embrace you, because that would make your side of the aisle, i think, a little worried. but the fact is, we believe that the chairman roe is someone that we can work with and who has a genuine sincere concern for veterans. he is a veteran himself. he's a medical doctor. and as we try to gain the trust of veterans and gain the trust of americans in v.a. health care and the veterans department, we are very much looking forward to working with you, sir. congratulations. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back his time. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate those kind words an certainly,r. speaker, this particular committee ia bipaisan committee. we typically check out for the veterans out there who are
watching this and for american citizens who are watching this, this is truly a committee where we check our political affiliations at the door and try to do what's right and best for america's heroes. that hasn't always been -- i'm not talking about the committee. i'm saying in the country. that hasn't always been done. i'm a vietnam era veteran. that wasn't done for my generation to begin with. there's a real commitment on both sides of the aisle, the staffs of both committees, and the members of both committees. i am excited to get to work with my friend, mr. takano, we've been to afghanistan together and have gotten to know each other very well and worked together on many issues together. i look forward to doing this and appreciate your kind comments and also your support for this bill and with that, mr. speaker, i encourage all members to support this legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 28. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the