tv House Rules Package Debate for 115th Congress CSPAN January 3, 2017 8:24pm-9:52pm EST
persons who stream video from the house floor. the fines would be got from the salaries of offending lawmakers. house gop reverses course on gutting ethics panel, following criticism from donald trump. republicans reversed course on a proposal to gut their own ethics watchdog. kevin mccarthy called an emergency conference around noon to scrap a proposed house rule that would have effectively declawed the office of congressional ethics. republicans, which approved wednesday night, would e -- to five the -- d now is here house debate on that package for the new congress. day. brand new 115th congress.
and here in the house of representatives, we have new members of congress who are bringing their families, people coming to washington with a sense of exuberance. but mostly of what i believe is respect for the american people who sent them here, respect for the people who elected each of us with the thoughts and ideas from our districts back home, all the way to the election of the president-elect of the united states of america, donald trump. so, we do this every two years. we reorganize the house of representatives. we start anew. we start fresh. we start with the best ideas that are brought forth and we try and bring the teams together. that's what republicans have done, that is what democrats are doing. we gather together and add up literally the amount of teams and who's on each side and that's how we determine who's
elected the speaker of the house. it's from the majority party. in this case, today, we elected mr. ryan, the gentleman from wisconsin, a great young leader for not just our party, but for our country. so today, what we do is we show up and we exercise our constitutional rights, our duties, our views. the ideas that we have. he ideas that we were sent here to exercise. and the ideas of our majorities. the bodies, the groups that we represent. so, today those men and women who gathered together with their ideas and plans, they're going to help project, move or country forward over the next two years -- our country forward over the next two years. and i think that what we're saying today is important and that is, we're trying to change the direction that this country least two ing for at years, and some could argue,
for eight years. we're going to change that direction because the american people have given republicans an opportunity to lead in the united states house of representatives, the united states senate, and to the presidency of the united states. i believe that we are looking at those elected officials, including the newly elected esident, the is next generation of people who will take our places soon, people who we need to leave a better america for, people who are yes, as the to, saying goes, make america great again. and to live up to the challenges of our job, the challenges that the american people have said, we expect you to go to washington and make tough decisions, not easy decisions, but to do things that are in our best interests, rather than the best interests of a government. well, that's what this experiment's about. this experiment takes place
every four years with the election of a presidency, and perhaps every two years with a new congress. mr. speaker, during the first seven years of the obama administration, they had an opportunity, the house, the senate, the presidency, to forge a path, forge a path that they felt like would be best for the american people. perhaps based upon a calling or the things that they heard. what happened is the federal regulations added up to an average of 81 new major regulations per year for a total of 556 regulations, at least 220 of which contained new burdens on individuals and businesses with an annual cost of $108 billion. we see things differently. that's why you're going to see not only in the rules package, but you're going to see by the way that we do business here in the house of representatives, that we look at regulations differently.
that we work and try and work based upon the law, the intent of the law, not the intent of a regulator, a regulator who would, as i would suggest, see things perhaps differently than others would see them. so, while it sounds like these are staggering numbers and they do a lot of damage on our country, it's not too late to change that. it's not too late to reevaluate the way things have been done and -- re-evaluate the way that things have been done and the way that things should be done. so we have a lot of work to do, not just about rules and regulations, but about the day to day business, the progression of g.d.p. and the growth of jobs and job creation in this country. but for the first time in a long time, we will have a president-elect, yes, donald trump, who will, i believe, work with the united states congress and find the avenues
of consensus between the house of representatives, between the united states senate, to push this body. i met with mr. trump earlier in the year when he was just a candidate for presidency and he told me point blank, he said, the not so much that i'm opposed to what you guys are -- it's not so much that i'm opposed to what you guys are doing in congress, i think it's more to -- i think you ought to be forced to making more tough decisions. he said, i think congress gets away from doing the tough things. they do the easy lift rather than the things that will be better for the american people. because proud people send us up here. that's the standard that i believe we should adopt, to have and be prepared for in these next two years. tough, straightforward, honest work that is meaningful, that can move our country forward, that will propel a generation to believe not only in hard
work and a hard day's pay -- a great day's pay and a hard day's work, but more importantly, leading to something that will make our country stronger. stronger the next day with the heartbeat from a nation and a people who deeply believe that america's greatest days are in our future and they're willing to give that to the next generation. and that is why we are here. we have a lot of new members. we have a lot of new members who bring ideas, mr. speaker. they come here to washington full, brimming with ideas about who -- about things they would like to see happen. what we're going to do is make sure that we're ready to do business with them. that we're open and prepared for them. so you will see that this package carries forward many of the rules from the previous congress and builds on house republicans' efforts to streamline health -- house processes. increased trans-- increase transparency and improve accountability.
specifically, it preserves the important reforms that were made in three previous congresses. it also adds a perfecting amendment in order to help us further advance the ideas and goals of transparency. we think this is important. we think the ideas that are within this package will help propel not only us in better decision making, but the american people will buy into what we are doing. fairness is important for all of us. and as chairman of the rules committee, it is my hope that i will continue to be open, that the rules committee will be open to hearing from every single member. we will welcome them. they will know that they're in the right place to not only share their ideas, but one where they can receive feedback on those ideas and help participate in what we do. so, mr. speaker, that's what we're here toad to do, to do a rules package for -- today to
do, to do a rules package for the 115th congress. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. hoyer: i thank very much the gentleman from texas. there's a provision in the rules that are proposed which are not in the rules of the last congress, which give us great pause because we think it tends to put members in a difficult place from a constitutional perspective and from a freedom of speech perspective. the rule, of course, of which i speak is the rule that relates to the empowering the sergeant at arms to levy fines. can i ask the gentleman, first, is -- did the rules committee find that there was any precedent for such a provision in rules historically? i yield to my friend or -- my friend has the time. mr. sessions: i thank the gentleman very much. i'd like to refer to something which i believe has been made available, but if not, i will be very pleased to do it.
the house has delegated fining authority in the past, section 1103 of the manual, where the house incorporated -- incorporates by reference, title 1 of the ethics and government act. under this section, financial disclosure is filed late, the filer is subject to a $200 filing fee. it's a fine by another name that is administered by the house ethics committee. so what i'm suggesting to you is, we have seen where there have been the backup of rules the have been backed up by end result of a fine. i think that's what the gentleman is seeking. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. would the gentleman yield for another question? mr. sessions: i do yield. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman from texas. he refers to a fee that was levied apparently for late filing of a financial disclosure statement that is required under the rules.
we are we are troubled by the fact that this is not a fee in the sense, it is a penalty for taking an action which is obviously directed toward proscribing that action, we see it as speech and transparency to the american people. but one of the things that concerns us most, mr. chairman, is that there's -- there appears to be no due process. that is to say, that the sergeant at arms can make an individual determineation as to whether or not the rule has been violated without any opportunity given to the member to explain or deny the allegations that are made on which the fine would be based. yield to my friend. mr. sessions: we believe this may have been addressed yesterday by the gentleman from
north carolina, mr. meadows, who specifically in our conference brought this issue up. my understanding as i further consult my person who is well briefed on this that the meadows amendment allows a process which allows an appeal to the ethics committee that would be outside of the person who originally made the fine present would go to the ethics committee for them to assess that challenge as necessary. mr. hoyer: that was -- if i might, that was adopted last night? mr. sessions: i believe that's correct. mr. hoyer: it's not in the rules as disclosed. mr. sessions: it would be in this package that i believe we have today. it was not in what was originally brought forth, publicly available, and then changed last night.
when that was posted on the rules committee website. my website. yes, sir. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that response. one additional question. we looked at what might be precedents and frankly the only one we could come up with was the gag rule adopted in the 19th century which precluded the introduction of legislation which would abolish slavery in the various states. that rule was in place for a number of years until ultimately repealed. this rule, we believe, mr. chairman, seeks to gag members of the house of representatives, seeks to undermine transparency to the extent that it relates to communications devices which can , at a point in time the grievance, from if your perspective or curred, we were in recess as the gentleman understands.
can i just conclude, just one second. as the gentleman knows, i won't say thousands, hundreds of pictures were taken just an hour ago on this floor. hundreds. and we were in session, not in recession. mr. sessions: if i could address that. i want to do this very gingerly. i'm not trying to start a battle here. you and i both know that what caused this action was a deep, deep feeling that many members on your side had about a particular feeling. and it resulted in what might be seen, i saw it, as a protest. nd look, we're used to that in this body. people being upset. we are not used to people violating a rule and it already was a rule that you cannot use for recording purposes those
devices. we did not make this up. that was already a rule. and so it became an advent of a protest. we're simply trying to say, and i am not trying to get you to change your viewpoint at all, but i think it would be wise, i believe we will not always be in the majority. i believe someday there will be a chance where the democrats will be in the majority. and i would be for the same rule for the sake of the speaker and leadership and a person sitting in that chair. and i can look at many, many -- i can look at myself in a mirror because i was part of this thinking. how do we say to members, a gag order says you can't -- if you're willing to pay the fine and you want to do that, that's not a gag order. that's a violation of a rule. if you would like to participate in that, go for it all you want.
but i don't think it's the right thing. we tried to limit in my opinion, very carefully, to say, we're going to make this a fine. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that response. and i appreciate his feelings. and his -- i think intellectually honest feelings on this. mr. sessions: i take it that way, i know the gentleman very much does. that's why we're using mymy time right now, i assume you know that. mr. hoyer: let me close briefly by say, the gentleman talked about openness and transparency, and the speaker talked about this afternoon about respecting one another's views an hearing one another's views and considering one another's views. even though we disagree with them. i share the speaker's view on that very frankly, i think the gentleman is correct. it was a protest.
that gave rise to this rule, which i think is ill-advised by i understand. the protest was because, and as rules chairman you probably know this better than anyone, we asked for an amendment that we thought that 85% to 90% of the american people were for. and we didn't get transparency. we didn't get openness. and we did not get an opportunity to express our views. so that is why we're so concerned. because we think, frankly, this analogous to a gag rule, to shut us down, shut us out and shut us up. but i appreciate the gentleman's views. mr. sessions: the gentleman know what is i'm saying, and you do too, because if the shoo were -- shoe were on the other foot, i'd still be on this foot this shoe. i think the gentleman understands that because he's been in the position of not only responsibility of power and he did not misuse his power or his
judgment, i do not think we are but we are trying to lay out ahead of time what would be. i thank the gentleman very much for his feedback for me. i will add one more thing. i have always, during the year i was been rules committee chair, tried to make the committee open. to anybody that would choose to come up, speak as long as they would like to speak, as long as they move forward with their ideas, without commanding the committee to tell us what to do, and we -- i would hope we'll continue to do that. as i told the gentleman years ago, i'm open to his feedback. i thank the gentleman. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his patience and participating in this. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. he gentlelady from new york. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
ms. slaughter: i thank the gentleman. i want to physical low on to what my friend, mr. hoyer, was talking about. i have been concerned since we did what was a protest. last night in what i thought was moment of pique, the majority decided that they would put into the rules package, a gutting of the office of congressional ethics that was totally unconstitutional in the fact that they were not going to get rid of it but they took all -- everything it had from them and forbade them from having on their committee a person a speaker a person who talks to the press, and in fact, forbade them to talk to people. mr. speaker, that's -- that is a gag order. that is against the constitutional right that we have. you know, it was only an hour
ago that all of us raised our right hand and swore we were going to uphold the constitution. and now here, not an hour later, we're struggling to find it. this is not new for me. i have been very concerned about this since we were here in june had -- and had our protest. now, it is our job, and we all said we were going to protect the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, but we may have enemies right here in the room which is troubling to me, because of what happened last night. now, i appreciate that cooler heads prevailed and that part was taken out because it was such a hue and cry throughout the country, what the heck do they think they're doing now? so this whole change didn't last even 24 hours. but what -- in conjunction to that, i need to go back to what happened here on the house floor. we tried for years to try to do
the simplest kinds of things on gun control measures. background checks. closing loopholes. and coming up with absolutely nothing. we live in a country now where doctors are forbidden from asking their patients if there are guns in the home. doctors can ask if there are drugs in the home or any other thing that might cause great harm but they are not allow, by law, to ask if there are -- not allowed, by law, to ask if there are guns in the home. we have gone so far in the gun culture here that the 335 million americans own over 320 million guns. and that is life now in the united states. so what we were trying to do, what we thought made the most sense and i would almost guarantee that not a single american man, woman, or child, would object to it, we said if you are on the terrorist list and you can't fly on an
airplane, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun. no fly, no buy. there's such imminent sense in that. but because we are shut out. i know there's a lot of openness talk going on today but in rules committee there is none, we haven't had an open rule all year or this term. we don't get amendments, don't get to talk. we were desperate to try to do something about the carnage in this country and decided because it was overwhelming to us that something had to be done about letting terrorists have guns who couldn't get on the airplane. so we gathered, i think it was totally spontaneous, there was no great plan to do it new york vote to get here. and we sat here and talked, peacefully, we know that the microphones were all turned off. c-span was shut out because that means they couldn't hear what was going on. because of the times we live in,
some of our enterprising members took their iphones and streamed what was going on on the floor. and then facebook took it up, c-span got it from that stream. and the whole country saw what was going on here. basically for the first time. now, one of the things in the constitution that we all revere today is the right of peaceful assembly. there were no threats new york action, no violence, no anything. we just had -- we just said if we don't have no bill, we'll have no break. and everybody understood exactly what we were trying to do. so now, what we're getting to, again, which is totally unconstitutional, is to decide to fine members of congress for doing what we did. in other words, their free speech does not work on the floor of the house of representatives when we're the people who swear to uphold the
constitution. it was a really amazing sight, i'm sure, for people in america, to see that kind of thing going on here where we are so circumscribed in what we say and how long we have to say it. so the rules of the house that you have done today said you're going to punish a sitting member but not in the way the constitution says you can do that. if you're going to punish a member of the house, the whole house has to vote on it but there's in provision in there to allow anybody other than the lead over this -- leader of this house to fine a member. and think idea of you doing that so that people can have due process is ridiculous. if you are brought up on ethics charges, you have lawyers. so it was simply to get at us. saying to the minority, keep your place over there, you know where you belong. i have talked to numerous lawyers and constitutional experts and i know that that was unconstitutional. so i think i've said enough
about it, but i think we'll have a lot of this another day. so i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: if i could ask how much time remains on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas has 12 1/2 minutes remaining this gentlelady from new york has 24 minutes remaining. mr. sessions: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentlelady from new york. . ms. slaughter: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for two minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentlelady. again, i want to thank the gentleman from texas for being generous with his time. mr. speaker, i'm deeply concerned by a number of controversial provisions included by the majority in the rules they have proposed for the 115th congress. first, reinstating the rule would make it easier for the majority to circumvent the current legislative process in
order to fire or cut the pay of federal employees. it undermines civil service protections. it goes back to the 19th century. republicans have consistently made our hardworking federal employees scapegoats, in my opinion, for lack of performance of the federal government itself. and this rule changes will enable them to make short-sighted and ideologically driven changes to our nation's civil service. secondly, i'm deeply concerned by the rules change regarding decorum in this house. the chairman was generous enough to have that discussion with me. when the cameras were turned off, in this house, there was no way to communicate with the american people. other than by -- something that i didn't know existed, and that was the streaming of the debate that was going on. as the chair of the ranking member of the rules committee pointed out, it was peaceful,
it was honest, and it was deeply held. now, you seek to impose fines and ethics charges against any member who broadcasts to the american people what takes place in the people's house while the in reelse is. and deny americans access to their congress. thirdly, and i'm very concerned about this, mr. chairman, i will talk to you further about it at some point in time, these rules continue the republican policy of denying a voice to the people of the district of columbia, puerto rico, guam, northern mariana islands and the u.s. virgin islands. when i was majority leader, we allowed them to vote in the committee of the whole. it showed them respect, it gave them a reason to come to the floor, it gave them an opportunity to have their constituents see how they felt on a particular issue by putting their name up on the board. may i have one additional minute? ms. slaughter: i'm sorry, mr. hoyer, every minute's taken.
mr. hoyer: i regret that we were unable to continue that policy, mr. chairman. i will talk to you about it further. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: continues to reserve. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from south carolina, the assistant democrat leader, mr. clyburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from sks is recognized for one -- from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. clyburn: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady for yielding me this time. mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to the proposed changes to the rules of the house that are before us today. i have long maintained that the affordable care act is the civil rights act of the 21st century. repealing the affordable care act and putting discrimination back into health care is a step history will not forgive. while the majority has included a new rule limiting the consideration of legislation which increases direct spending
in excess of $5 billion, they have specifically exempted from this rule any spending that may flow from repeal of the affordable care act. they're admitting in their own rules that their proposal to repeal the affordable care act will be devastating to the federal deficit and the national debt. the nonpartisan congressional budget office has estimated that full repeal of the a.c.a. will increase the deficit by $ 137 billion. the rules committee has put before us, the house has put before us a rule that defies all those expectations. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas continues to reserve. mr. sessions: we continue to reserve. 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 gentleman from new york, the chairman of the democratic caucus, mr. crowley. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute.
mr. crowley: i thank the gentlelady for yielding me such time. while it is a new year, it's the same old games from our republican colleagues. this time they're using the official rules of the house to further their radical agenda and to gag members of the democratic caucus. but you all know that includes taking away health care coverage for millions of americans, putting insurance companies back in charge of health care decisions and raising costs for taxpayers in this country. among all the power grabs and cynical employs in this rule package -- ploys in this rules package, there's a telling sign in their priorities. they know their plan to repeal the affordable care act won't just create chaos for american families and their health care, it will also lower -- blow a huge deficit in our nation's budget, a huge deficit in our nation's budget. the height of irresponsible governing. so today the majority is giving themselves a pass.
they want -- they wrote a rule that allows them to ignore the huge financial impact of gutting our health care system. they're once again putting themselves above the law and crushing everyday americans under their shoes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i'll continue to reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california , the vice chair of the democratic caucus, ms. sanchez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognize fod -- is recognized for one minute. san joaquin san joaquin thank you, mr. speaker -- ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition of this. i had such high hopes that we could start off 2017 by working together on bipartisan reforms and improvements to the procedures that govern this body. but instead i'm disappointed, but not surprised, to find that house republicans would rather undermine the public trust and
integrity of this institution by the dangerous proposed changes in their rules package. changes that truly undermine the very foundation of our constitution. the american public deserves transparency and honesty in the way their elected officials govern themselves. instead, this rules package is a dangerous step toward silencing free speech and open debate in the very place that should be the shining example for the world. these rules changes frighten me, we can't stand by and allow the very core of our democracy to be shredded. i urge my colleagues to vote no on the rules package and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: he reserves. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one when minute to the gentlewoman from connecticut, the co-chair of the steering and policy committee, ms. delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from connecticut is recognized for one minute. ms. delauro: this rules package
sets a disturbing tone for our new session of congress. it requires authorizing committees to propose programs that should be moved from mandatory to discretionary. now what does that mean? mandatory programs must be funded. must. discretionary programs do not have to be funded. it is a calculated move to cut vital programs like social security, medicare, medicaid and pell grants. as a member of the appropriations committee, i know that we do not even have the discretionary money, the dollars to support the current programs in place. medical research at the national institutes of health has been cut by $7.5 billion. since 2003. these rules -- and also denying members freedom of speech. they institute potentially unconstitutional mechanisms to punish members for speaking their minds on the floor of this house. and delivering a message to
people. our constituents elect us to speak our minds on the floor of this house. it is wrong, it's a disgrace. it is the wrong way to start a new session. this represents the total denunciation of what our jobs are as members of congress. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from california, the co-chair of the steering and policy committee, mr. swal we will. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california -- mr. swalwell: today starts the efforts to end the guarantee of medicare, an earned benefit giving our seniors health care security. today also marks a united effort by house democrats to protect it. taking away this health care guarantee from our seniors hurts not just the senior, but
everyone in the family. it's a family matter. ending medicare will burden their children and families who have to shoulder the responsibility of picking up the costs of their parents' health care. many of those children are millennials, millions of whom now have health care thanks to the affordable care act. health security that is also under threat due to the incoming administration and this house republican house. these efforts will further jeopardize the health security of millennials that are paying into it and expecting to receive benefits when they get older. we are obligated to protect the health security of all americans, young and old. help hold the health and economic security of families together and vote against this resolution. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas continues to reserve. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from massachusetts, the ranking member of the committee on ways and means, mr. neal.
mr. neal: just the facts, ma'am. let's oppose house resolution 5 because this is a backdoor effort to move away from the affordable care act. the act works and it continues to work and the statistics bear it out. it has increased solvency of the medicare-social security trust fund by 10 years. $137 -- 137 million americans have now access to preventive care which saves us cost in the long run, and woe to those who decide that they're going to make fundamental alterations to this without explaining to the american people what they mean. medicaid, which at one time in johnson's vision was supposed to be for the poor, medicaid, because of long-term care, dimension yarks and alzheimer's disease, -- dementia, and alzheimer's disease, and nursing homes, has become a middle class benefit. early intervention saves costs in the long run. and that's precisely what the affordable care act has intended to do and it's been successful. when you look today at the
affordable care act and how it has worked, there are 20 million more americans who now have health insurance, remember this, medicare, social security -- ms. slaughter: i yield the gentleman another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 60 seconds. mr. neal: we mind mite remind ourselves of this today as well. this is also a sneaky effort to alter medicare and its guarantee and next it will be on to social security. what we want to understand here is that because of the affordable care act and the solvency of the trust funds, that medicare, social security, medicaid and the affordable care act have all now been wed. you can't change one without making alterations to the others. but here's another consideration. you could not hope, if you were in your 40's today, preparing children for college and simultaneously care for taking care of aged parents. so let me boldly assert that i think it bears up under scrutiny, reason that mom and
dad are not living in your attic, it's because of social security, medicare, medicaid and now the affordable care act. we've heard a lot of talk about repeal and repeal and repeal. i guarantee you, in an act warial sense, as an individual who paste a lot of attention to this you're going to have a great deal of difficulty. touching one of these entitlements without touching the others. i thank the gentlelady for extending the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: we'll continue to reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: reserves his time. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question , i will offer an amendment to the resolution that would establish a point of order against any legislation that would undo the reforms in the affordable care act that have provided millions of americans with ford a -- affordable access to quality health care. 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. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, the distinguished ranking member of the committee on energy and commerce, mr. pallone. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. today we are seeing just how far house republicans are willing to go to repeal the affordable care act. the party that claims to be fiscally responsible is now looking to change the rules of the house so that it can be fiscally reckless in its dangerous assault on the affordable care act. house republicans know that repealing the a.c.a. will increase direct spending and the deficit by $3 trillion and the cynical rules proposal shows that republicans want to hide the true costs of their repeal plans from the american people. repealing the a.c.a. would take away health care from about 20 million to 30 million people. it would increase health care costs for everyone else. premium growth for americans and employer-sponsored insurance plans has slowed since the a.c.a. became law. if the a.c.a. had not been
enacted, an average growth remained the same, job-based premiums would be a projected $3,600 higher today. repeal will also harm hospitals. the hospital industry has warned that repealing the a.c.a. could cost hospitals $165 billion and trigger a, quote, unprecedented public health crisis. since the a.c.a. was enacted, uncompensated care costs have declined for hospitals by approximately 21%. these costs triple -- cripple hospitals and are passed on to others in the form of higher prices. mr. speaker, repeal would also harm the 55 million seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in medicare, in to ensuring free preventive services for medicare, beneficiaries, and closing the prescription drug dough net hole, the a.c.a. lengthens the solvency of the medicare trust fund by 11 years. reforms in the a.c.a. helps slow the rate of health care costs growth in medicare, which means medicare seniors pay less today than they would have if the a.c.a. weren't enacted.
medicare spending was $473 billion less from 2009 to 2014 compared with spending in pre-a.c.a. costs trends had continued. repeals would reverse these gains and shift costs to seniors who simply cannot afford it. mr. speaker, republicans say they're fiscally responsible and the government spending south of control. but today they'll vote to add 3ds trillion to the deficit with their a.c.a. repeal bill. their assault is not logical. i urge all members to vote against this hypocrisy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i yield three minutes to a distinguished member of the rules committee, the gentleman from alabama. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you. we've heard a lot about free speech. this doesn't violate our right
of free speech, but supports the right of spree speech. -- free speech. the rules of decorum are not new. as technology has proceeded in this world, our rules have kept up. mr. byrne: we have not created new sanctions we created ways for the sanctions to be effective. without effective sanctions we can't have free speech on this floor. every member in this house should be concerned about maintaining the decorum of the house. the package also captains important provisions such as removing outdated references to physical mobility, codifying that those members who cannot stand due to age, infirmity, or disability are not required to do so. the package provides that by december 3 -- by december 31 of 2017 each bill, joint resolution, or amendment in the nature of a substitute will have a searchable, comparative print that shows how the proposed
legislation will change curn law this will enhance transparency in our process, so member os they have general public will know what we're doing, the package contains a provision championed by the gentleman from virginia, mr. griffith, which restores the rule to the house. this provision, which lasted almost a century, until it was removed in 1983, will allow the congress to easily reform the federal government and cut down the bureaucracy. i was pleased the rules package also include an important effort to address unauthorized appropriations, an issue i championed as a member of the rules committee. i think it's very concerning for congress to appropriate money to any federal agency that's not gone through the authorization process or seen their authorization expire. thanks to provisions included in this package, it is my hope that each of our standing committees will make a better effort to address unauthorized programs and ensure that congress is providing diligent oversight of the federal bureaucracy. mr. speaker, the american people
sent us to this body to make real changes on their behalf. we must adopt these rules today so we can get about the people's business. i urge my colleagues to support these rules so the house can address the many important issues, so that we can all, each and every one of us, have real free speech. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from connecticut, mr. larson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. larson: i say to the gentleman from alabama, as much as i appreciate his enthusiasm, what you are proposing here and i say this to my dear friend from texas as well with respect to speech is both unprecedented, unconstitutional, and unnecessary. it's unprecedented and you heard representative hoyer review this earlier. the parliamentarian has researched this. shame on this house of representatives for imposing these kind of restrictions on
its members. unconstitutional because it directly violates article 1, section 6 of the constitution, where it specifically says with respect to speech and debate, the bill shouldn't be impeded in this house. and this rule does that. it also says with respect to one's salary which this rule specifically goes after, you tamper with the salary that can only be done through the law. it's in the constitution. that requires both chambers and the president to do that. this -- that rule is blatant. and what it does also is ignore hundreds of petitions from all across the country, from people who only asked for a vote and that's why this rule is unnecessary. all we've asked for is a vote. vote. mr. sessions: thank you very much.
the rules committee has a number of new members, one of them is a brand new member of our leadership, the gentleman from georgia, i yield for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. collins: i support these rules of the house. this benefited from thoughtful debate and strengthened the resolution. we adopted cogent amendments offered by members of the conference. as a member of the rule committees i've seen how strong, smart rules promote the effectiveness of this body as we work on behalf of 320 million americans. the rulers in 115th congress govern the house of representatives and this package reminds us of our priorities, our promises, and the hard work ahead of us. to that end, republicans have outlined a plan that embraces policies. regulatory reform that will strengthen our economy and get hard working men and women back to work. a glut of regulatory burdens have made it harder to make ends
meet. but we will work to reverse that trend and ensure that america remains the land where any person can turn their hopes, dreams and ambitions into reality. our hope is to make our policies reflect the values and voice of the american people. we achieve that by calling for robust oversight plans for our committees, increased transparency throughout government, therefore this legislation works to make legislation easier for everyday americans to access and understand. it updates outdated policies so our rules better reflect the policies of the day. i urge our cloges to support these rules. as we embark on a new congress, it's critical we begin under the guidance of documents that emphasize and improve our services to every american and move forward with a better future and brighter tomorrow as we look forward to the proper role of this body. when we look to the role of this body, people are watching. our voice is heard every day on this floor. and for anyone to say different is just making a political show
of a good set of rules. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, the distinguished ranking member of the committee on education and the work force, mr. scott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. scott: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to h.res. 5, this rules package contains a special provision exempting the affordable care act from normal budget rules given the republican -- giving the republicans an easier path to repealing the affordable care act without an alternative. the reason this exception is needed ba be -- is because the regular budget process in the rule provides that when legislation is passed which increases spending, it must be paid for to avoid increasing the deficit. obamacare actually saves money. under the normal rule, repealing it would have to be paid for. the exception in the rule will allow for the repeal without offsetting the cost of that repeal and costing billions,
possibly hundreds of billions and adding billions, possibly hundreds of billionsing to the deficit. what do we get with a repeal? by the way, when they say repeal and replace, the only thing you can be sure of is the repeal part. because if there were a viable alternative, we would have seen what that alternative looked like sometime in the last six years but we have seen nothing. but we do know what repeal would look like. just some of the consequences, tens of millions of people lose insurance, employers will start dropping coverage, those with pre-existing conditions would lose coverage or be charged a lot more. loss of consumer protections. it would hurt the medicare trust fund. because the solvency of the trust fund was extended under the affordable care act that process would be reversed. billions added to the national dead. -- to the national debt and we
should not facilitate that debacle by granting this exception found in the rule which would add billions of deficit and jeopardize life-saving insurance for tens of millions of hardworking americans. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman dreeleds -- the gentleman yields back. mr. sessions: i would like to yield three minutes to a member of the rules committee, one of our bright, young members from washington. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. >> mr. speaker, this is a critically important undertaking to allow the new unified republican government to do the job the american people elected us to do. by adopting these rule, we can demonstrate that house republicans are committed to enacting an agenda that will install conservative free market
principles to grow our economy, restore prosperity and increase opportunities for all americans. mr. newhouse: h.res. 5 takes important steps toward achieving these goals and will provide increased transparency and enhanced accountability and will build on past efforts of house republicans to streamline the process. this is a fair package that will empower members and allow all voices to be heard regardless of status or seniority. the house should serve as a model for the rest of the country on the fair and equal treatment of all americans, and this package eliminates all rules to adequately address the physical needs of all members. further this package puts an impetus on congressional oversight, maintain decorum, slows the growth of unauthorized appropriations, ensures mechanisms are in place to ontrol spend, redeuces redundancy in the federal government and lowers the national debt.
now is the time to lead the country out of years of historic economic stagnation, to roll back years of job killing regulations, to return to a system of limited government and to reform the way congress works. as we begin this congress, i look forward to working with my house and senate colleagues, the incoming president, and the american people to rein in a federal bureaucracy, provide oversight to agencies and restore the proper separation of powers and re-establish a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york with 9 1/2 minutes remaining. ms. slaughter: 9 1/2? thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished gentlelady for yielding. for eight years, house republicans have governed under
the philosophy of -- philosophy obstruction today, obstruction tomorrow, obstruction forever. this irresponsible approach to governance has now resulted in a republican hostile takeover here in washington, d.c. the culture of obstruction has ended, but the culture of destruction is just getting started. house republicans plan to destroy social security, destroy medicare, destroy the affordable care act, destroy the social safety net, and destroy the ability of duly elected members of the house of representatives to vigorously engage in speech and debate in the people's house. this proposed set of rules is nfair, unjust, unacceptable, unconstitutional, and unconscionable. and every member who truly cares
about doing the people's business should vote it down. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will remeeve a message. the messenger: a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed to inform the house the approved s.j. 101 on which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i'm honored to yield one minute to the -- 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 democratic . 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 to 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 gentleman 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 what 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 speaker 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 order 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. they're 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 for 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 that that would affect that child, that that 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 because 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 be 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 want you to be very, very scared but there is reason to be. 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 members 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 ask unanimous consent to enter into the record at this point my statement 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 deserves 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 regulations 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 package but make no
mistake about it, mr. speaker, as every 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
amendments, of course that's not true. 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 to try 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 be directed 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 commercial 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. if it 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
judiciary committee. ms. peterson will also talk about wednesday's plan meeting between president obama and house and senate democrats. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal at 7 a.m. eastern wednesday. join the discussion. >> now here is the opening house session for the 115th congress. this includes the swearing in of members and paul ryan as house speaker.