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tv   U.S. House Morning Hour  CSPAN  January 12, 2017 10:00am-10:58am EST

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phone. you weren't interested in politics until 2008? caller: yes, that is right. host: why is that? caller: the economy crashed and times and rough tough i listened to a lot of what goes on. seems like one side wants complete control and not to work with the other side between republicans and democrats. host: james we'll have to end there. the house fwetifweting -- getti in for the day on capitol hill. we'll be back tomorrow morning 4 a.m. . eastern, pacific in the meantime, have a great day. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., january 12, 2017.
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i hereby appoint the honorable david g. valadao to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 3, 2017, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties. all time shall be equally allocated between the parties and in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip shall be limited to five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. recently in sacramento, california, uber driver keith aviellea picked up two passengers, they were two women and what looked like to be a very young girl about 12 years
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of age. the ride would be short. the total fare was only $8. the young girl sitting in the front seat with him was dressed inappropriately in such a short skirt. here's what he said about her. you could see all of her legs and it struck me as odd because she was so very young. what happened next was even more disturbing to him. one of the women passengers in the vehicle said to the young girl in a controlling coaching voice, first thing you do, you ask this question -- do you have any weapons? when you're hugging him just ask, do you have any weapons? pat him down. pat him down while you're hugging on him. get the money first. before you start touching him go in there, get the money first. avila, father himself, knew something was not right about that conversation. the two older women talking to a girl inappropriately dressed to a hotel talking about
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exchanging money did not make sense to him. this had the hallmark of sex trafficking. he said, i was 100% sure i knew what was happening, he later said to police. so avila dropped off the three individuals at the holiday inn express and immediately called the police even though he didn't have to. he alerted them there was a sex traffic occurring right under their noses. the two alleged women traffickers were later identified as 25-year-old destiny pettway and 31-year-old maria wesley. they now had been charged with pimping and threatening a minor. the the byer was charged with by e -- buyer was charged police. mr. speaker, this girl was 16 years of age but her life was saved because of this individual, mr. avila.
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they said he could have done nothing, went on his way, collected that far and then that child victim would have been victimized by however many different people over the next days, weeks or even months. mr. speaker, america cannot ignore sex trafficking in this country. individuals, citizens, no matter who they are, need to be able to recognize what's taking place amongst sex trafficking. what happened in sacramento with this child is not an isolated incident. this incident just happened to inwell because someone saw something and said something. last congress we took the historic step of passing comprehensive bipartisan sex trafficking legislation supported by most members of the house of representatives and the senate. one of those bills was my own and carolyn maloney, the victims of sex trafficking act. those bills went after the root problem, the demand, the
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customer that buys minors on the marketplace of sex trafficking. the bill did a lot of other things to help promote the enforcement of the sex trafficking laws in america. the justice for victims of trafficking act also went after the trafficker as well as rescuing the victim and, of course, it prosecuted the buyers. the bill also set up a fund to pay for grants to help the victims and victim shelters and to educate police. and the fund is funded by money that goes into that fund by fees ordered by federal judges. in other words, let the criminals pay the rent on the courthouse and pay for the system that they have created and help fund shelters and police training to recognize the trafficking that takes place. so the enforcement of the bill is taking place throughout the country. going after human sex trafficking is something that this country needs to recognize, and we need to be
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able to recognize it when we see it as individuals, law enforcement and members of the house of representatives as well. sex trafficking takes place not only on the individual basis but at big events such as the super bowl and the final four. just this week the department of homeland security had a briefing for members of the texas delegation on the super bowl, talking about the security that will be implemented. it was quite impressive, but during that briefing for members of congress, and i see two of them here, mr. green and farenthold that were at that briefing, they talked about how sex trafficking will be at that location probably and how they're going to try to prevent it. quite impressive, the blue campaign that's taking place by the department of homeland security. we're going to be ready for those people who will want to promote sex trafficking in houston because of the super bowl. making sure they're not going to be sex trafficking in our town, in our country and that children are not for sale.
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so it's important that we recognize it when we see it and it's because of the awareness of the citizens of mr. avila that america is turning the tide and making sure we enforce our sex trafficking laws and that's just the way it is. i will yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. it's heartening that a few of our republican colleagues are urging cautious on the reckless approach to repeal the affordable care act. they're acknowledging that the only reasonable way to proceed, f that is the objective, is to at the same time they repeal they provide the american people with a replacement, a replacement that meets their criteria. one reason they have not done so is that republicans don't
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really agree -- don't really know how to do that. the new president promises that a repeal and replace program will be better, it will have lower costs, better coverage. a tall order and we've seen no details. the troubling fact for the republicans bent on repealing the affordable care act is that the a.c.a. is working, and most of the major provisions are wildly popular. no lifetime limits on health care, no denial for pre-existing condition to almost 130 million americans who would otherwise have their health care at risk, allowing children to stay on their parents' health insurance until they're aged 25. not charging women higher premium than men simply because
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of their chromosome. these elements are absolutely essential going forward, and the american public wants this to continue. sadly, even if they do slow down and try to do it right, there is much damage that is being done with the uncertainty in the air. they've unsettled 18% of our economy, over $3 trillion of annual expenses, disrupting the six years of progress in making the system work better. i've been talking to people in my community finding out about some of the damage that is being done, their concerns and apprehensions. the largest employer in the city of portland is oregon health science university. they already have felt compelled to have a hiring freeze, dial back some of their programming, trying to recon figure preparing for the worst.
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the local government partnering with the private sector to treat the poor and the elderly, people with mental health issues, are having their important reforms put at risk and they're scrambling to try and figure out how to do it. the state of oregon, not unlike many states around the country, is facing some budget challenges and there is a $1.7 billion question dealing with the uncertainty going forward with medicaid. rural hospitals are especially vulnerable, and they will explain it to any congressman who chooses to ask. most important for many of them is the fact that this approach that is being pursued on capitol hill with this question mark puts at risk one of the greatest achievements of the affordable care act, the vast amounts of money spent on
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uncompensated care, charity care, has been dramatically reduced. people are getting their health care earlier, and it's being paid for and those uncompensated care levels are falling dramatically. they're getting better care, more timely. the health providers in my community are concerned they're still going to have to provide the care but it will be done later, in an emergency room, not in a clinic setting, and they'll be left holding the bag financially. it's not hard to find out how damaging this approach has been. certainly the affordable care act could use refinement and improvement. we've been trying to do that for the last six years. the local medical associations, community clinics, hospitals, health plans are all willing to say how that could be done, but at the same time they'll explain what's at risk and why we owe it to them and the people we serve to understand the damages being done and try and minimize it.
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the course that is being followed will make america sick again, and that's not the way to start a new administration, a new congress. we should be doing what we have -- we should do what we should have been doing for the last six years, working together cooperatively to build upon, refine and improve the affordable care act and give the american public the health care they deserve. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. -- mr. , for five thompson, for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, before i was elected to serve in the house of representatives, i spent nearly 30 years in the nonprofit health care field, assisting those individuals who were facing life-changing disease and disability. additionally, as a member of my home community, i volunteered for decades as an emergency
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medical technician, serving my ighbors in their trauma or medical emergency needs. i'm acutely aware of the challenges many face when it comes to obtaining reasonably priced health care. it is especially critical for rural america, like much of the fifth congressional district of pennsylvania. we're facing a health care crisis in our nation's rural areas. these often disadvantaged populations are still struggling to access affordable quality care. many remain uninsured. many find themselves newly uninsured as a result of the pressures and the demands and the mandates of the affordable care act. most are underinsured, however, access to quality care really does remain the largest challenge. even when people gain access to health insurance or coverage, it does not equal access to care. rural hospitals across the country are closing, leaving patients without access to the
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emergency rooms and long-term care facilities. when you close a hospital in a rural area, what you do is have a commute which may mean life and death. one in three rural hospitals are financially vulnerable. at the current closure rate, more than 25% of rural hospitals will close in less than a decade. as this congress examines ways to improve our nation's health care system, we must not forget that rural health care is unique and requires different programs to succeed. in addition to hospital closures, a work force shortage plagues rural areas. in the ral counties united states have a shortage in health care professionals. primary care physicians is an ongoing challenge. mr. speaker, no matter how you pay for health care, if there are not qualified and trained
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professionals in those communities, health care access does not exist. congress must act to stop cuts to rural hospitals and strengthen the health care work force in underserved areas. furthermore, the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation is leaving more of the population in need of crucial health services. adolescents and young adults living in rural areas are more vulnerable to opioid abuse than their urban counterparts. the prevalence of fatal overdoses have skyrocketed in rural areas. the result in prescriptions for opioid medications have contributed to this. . for this reason i again look forward to co-sponsoring the act in the 115th congress. we must ensure access to health care for americans living in rural areas. on average trauma victims in rural areas must travel twite as far to the closest hospital. as a result 60% of trauma deaths
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occur in rural areas, even though only 20% of americans live in rural areas. the affordable care act was supposed to help cut costs for health care, but that did not happen for everyone. american families have found out the hard way, with increased taxes, looming regulation, and a slew of broken promises from cost controls to limitations on consumer choice. we were told if you like your coverage, we could keep t. end quote. that wasn't even close to being true. i look forward to working with my colleagues to fix our claw flaued health care system. currently health care costs have gone up. premiums have increased by double digits, but choices have decreased. deductibles are so high that many americans, despite having, quote, coverage, cannot afford to seek care. under that comple. that's not right -- under that coverage. that's not right, that's not fair, and it's not feasible. there must be a better way and i know together we can work to find a stable transition to a 21st century health care system that works for everyone in
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america, particularly for those in rural regions where the need is great and the services are scarce. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. kennedy, for five minutes. mr. kennedy: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, tomorrow this body is set to vote on a budget resolution that would dramatically cut federal funding for planned parenthood. but today there is still time to reconsider that proposal and listen to the thousands if not millions of men, women, and children it that are urging us not to. because they understand the impact in our better than almost any of us here today. this isn't just about blocking a woman's constitutional right to her own health care options. although that would be bad
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enough. this is about getting medicaid reimbursements for preventive care and family planning. revoking every single dollar for 360,000 lifesaving breast exams and four million tests for sexually transmitted diseases. this congress is choosing political gamesmanship at the expense of americans' health. particularly those who cannot afford care otherwise. this is a tacticle strike on low-income women and families. in my home state of massachusetts, it would immediately deny access to care to nearly 10,000 patients covered by mass health. for these men, women, and children it is not as simple as walking to the nearest community health center because over 50% of planned parenthood centers across our country are found in medically underserved communities. for the elderly woman in need of
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cancer screening, there would be nowhere else to turn. to the young expectant mother in need of prenatal care, there would be no longer a community doctor she could trust. for the dad whose son is in need of strep throat treatment, the only option left may be an unaffordable trip to the emergency room. mr. speaker, if this is intended o be a warning shot at a constitutionally guaranteed right to have an aborks, or republican colleagues are missing their targets and instead they are aimed right at poor americans. i urge every member of this house to talk to their constituents who have received care at planned parenthood and their centers before voting on this bill. i ask them to listen and understand the life altering impact it will have on the families who can least afford t thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota, mr. lewis, for
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five minutes. you, mr. thank speaker. i rise today to say how incredibly proud i am to be representing minnesota's second district. it is an honor that i do not take lightly and i am excited to get to work for my constituents. here in the house we have hit the ground running. during my first two weeks in congress we took steps to jump-start our economy by addressing the massive web of regulation that is were issued by un-elected and unaccountable bureaucrats in the administration. 2016 was a record breaking year for federal agencies. unfortunately, the record they set is not a good one. 2016 alone there were 3,853 finalized rules and regulations amounting to 97,110 pages. that is more than any year in history. based on the page numbers alone, this amount of regulations may
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seem staggering. but the economic costs are even more damaging. in 2015, regulations cost american consumers and small businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in lost economic productivity and higher prices. many in washington have started to call federal regulations the fourth branch of government. un-elected branch of government, when it comes from the agencies. for too long these regulators have run rampant, hurting our small business, stifling job growth, and hampering our economy. in fact, we have had one of the slowest economic recoveries coming out of a severe recession in modern times. that is why last week i was proud to join my colleagues in passing the reins act and the midnight rules relief act. additionally this week we passed the regulatory accountability act. so today i am proud to introduce my first piece of legislation. the reforming executive guidance
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act. this will further increase transparency and ensure that regulatory agencies are held accountability for -- accountability gibble for their actions. my bill will ensure significant guidance documents, promulgated by the regulatory agencies, are subject to congressional review. these guidance documents are only meant to clarify regulations. however, over the years executive agencies have used these guidance documents more and more often to expand their power and make significant policy changes. we're the accountable branch to make those policy changes. these policy changes are negatively affecting our businesses and imposing these significant costs on our economy. my bill simply ensures that significant guidance documents are fully subject to the congressional review act and the administrative procedures act, notice and comment requirement. not only does this increase congressional oversight, it also
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increases transparency as the public will now have the ability to review these guidance documents before they are finalized. i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this straightforward, commonsense legislation. i look forward to working with my colleagues throughout the 115th congress as we address the major issues facing the american people. thank you. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. paine, for five minutes. -- payne, for five minutes. mr. speaker, one of my constituents, paul from montclair, new jersey, shared with my office his struggle with bladder cancer, h.i.v., and
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severe depression. he told us that he's scared like most people who rely on the affordable care act, because republicans are determined to gut this legislation. he told us that he depends on the a.c.a. for his medications and treatments without which he fears he will die. paul lives on an unstable income and it's only because of the a.c.a. that he's able to afford his treatment. the staffer in my office who spoke with paul told me that he could feel the fear in paul's voice as he listened to paul's story. paul is rightly concerned about whether he'll be able to afford his next urologist appointment
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and what will happen if he can no longer pay for his depression medication. now, paul told us that this was the first time that he publically announced his medical conditions because he wants people to seat human face on the problem the a.c.a. repeal. he wants people to know that the a.c.a. is keeping people alive. over 20 million people now depend on the a.c.a. they are not empty numbers. they are real people who deserve affordable, quality health coverage. a.c.a. repeal would strip them of this coverage and make it impossible for them to get the are they rightly need.
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so democrats will continue to stand our ground on the a.c.a., and we will continue to stand up for people who depend on the law like paul. we will refuse to make america sick again and create chaos in our nation's health care system. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. for the past several days, this morning during our morning hour debate, i have been listening to my colleagues across the aisle talking about the dire consequences the repeal of obamacare will have. i've got to tell you something, it's already having dire consequences. the law itself is having dire consequences.
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americans like my constituents, dotti leg from victoria, texas, wrote to my office with a desperate plea to get relief from the effects of obamacare. in 2012, dotti's coverage was around $400 a month. with a $2,500 deductible. in 2014, up to almost $600. 2015, $700 a month. that's coverage for just one person. in 2016 dotti's carer told her they could no longer cover her. she had to go somewhere else. she went to another carrier, and they only had an option that was lmost $700 a month and her deductible voted to $6,500. unaffordable for something called the affordable care act. i've got to till, back before obamacare, back before the affordable care act, a policy with a $6,500 deductible unaffo
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have been one of the least expensive policies you could have bought t would have been a catastrophic policy. we've got to fix this. you know, it gets even worse. we don't see what goes on in 2017. the company's pulling out. dotti can't find coverage at all. the affordable care act, it's not affordable. and it's full of broken promises. most of the promises made were broken with dotti. if you like your doctor you can keep them, she hadn't been able to keep her doctor. prices are going to go down. come on, if you like your policy, you're going to keep it. didn't happen. we have got to fix this. and republicans have a plan, we're going to work the plan, t's a, one of those new top level domains, we have to fix it because
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obamacare is nothing but, as we say on the internet, a big ole hash tag fail. it mr. speaker, i'd also like to talk about our military spouses. we often overlook the tremendous sacrifice our military spouses make to support their husbands and wives. they often move far from home and family to be with their spouse on military orders, but they give up their friends, the comfort of home, and even some of their second amendment rights. the gun control act of 1968 limits citizens' rights to purchase a handgun by requiring that only be bought in the state where they are considered residents. exceptions were made for active duty military members, but not their spouses. and that's why i have introduced .r. 256, the protect our military families right act. so they can purchase firearms in the state where they live under their spouse's military orders.
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military spouses should not be denied their second amendment right because they choose to live with their husband or wife while they are deployed. spouses have the right to defend themselves and their families just like everyone else. i believe we must continue to push for things like constitutional carry, h.r. 256 is a good step in ensuring second amendment rights are suspected -- respected. . mr. speaker, on lighter note, i'd like to congratulate jason and the bobcats football team for winning their fourth texas state 2-a championship. the bobcats had a 15-1 record this school year and defeated crawford 23-20 with an impressive game-winning 15-yard field goal by kicker diego gonzalez with only eight seconds left. the quarterback was the game's m.v.p. and kobe harry was named defensive m.v.p. it was an impressive year for the whole team and winning is a
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bobcat tradition. congratulations, bobcats. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. roybal-allard, for five minutes. ms. roybal-allard: since the implementation in 1965, medicare has excluded coverage or hearing aids and audioology services, routine eye exams and eyeglasses despite the fact that large numbers of older americans need these essential items and services. today with the well over 100 original co-sponsors, i will be introducing the seniors will have the eyes, ears and teeth bill which will lift these restrictions on the population most in need of these services. we know that hearing loss affects more than 40% of a person aged 60 years old. more than 60% of those over 70 and almost 80% of those 80
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years of age. yet, sadly, only one in five seniors currently diagnosed with hearing issues, uses a hearing aid which can range in cost from $1,000 to $6,000. for the more than half of medicare beneficiaries who live incomes below $24,150 per year, these high, out-of-pocket expenses are out of their reach. we also know seniors account for approximately 80% of the 2.8 million americans with low vision. routine eye exams for these seniors can cost from $50 to $300 or more, and the average cost for a pair of prescription glasses is $196. mr. speaker, it is increasingly well documented that untreated vision and hearing loss not only diminishes quality of life but also increases the risk for
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costly health outcomes such as falls and resulting disability, depression and dementia. also tragic is that nearly 70% of older americans currently have no form of dental insurance. this lack of insurance has been identified as the major barrier to accessing dental care for seniors. it is a well-known fact that neglect of oral health can result in the deterioration of overall physical health and that the lack of access to even routine dental exams and cleengs can exacerbate -- cleanings can exacerbate overall health problems that increase with age. expanding medicare to cover vision, dental and hearing services is a cost-effective intervention because it will prevent health care costs due to accidents, falls, cognitive impairments and increases in
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chronic conditions and oral cancer. but most importantly, giving our seniors the gift of hearing, vision and oral health will go a long way toward helping our seniors enjoy their golden years free from depression and social isolation. mr. speaker, few bills are ever introduced with this overwhelming support. additionally, it has the strong support from the committee to preserve and protect social security and medicare, and without objection, i'd like to submit for the record their letter. thank you, mr. speaker. i invite my colleagues to join me and the over 100 original cosponsors of this legislation in supporting dental, vision and hearing care for our seniors. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. yoho, for five minutes. mr. ho: thank you,
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speaker. today i'll introduce the wing man act, a vital veterans bill which will expedite the claims process for veterans who come to our congressional office seeking assistance with their benefit claims. the current process leaves thousands of veterans and their families remaining in limbo, awaiting resolution on their claims. the status quo is unacceptable and it must change. no service member should have to wait to receive benefits they have more than earned. this ends with the passage of the wing man act, which removes the middle man and allows staff to access these records directly after attaining privacy release form without having to wait on the v.a. bureaucracy. i think if we just listen, this is about customer service. yes, they are constituents, but they're also customers. every member of this body, all 435 members, represents approximately 700 constituents and i like to think we're in
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the customer service business, as is the v.a. administration. and if we can't service our customers, where else can they go? last congress, wing man passed this house unanimously. it passed the v.a. committee unanimously but it was held up by one senator who thought he knew more than the 435 members of this body, knew more than the v.a. committee. fortunately, that senator from nevada is no longer here, and we are resubmitting this. i'm hopeful this congress, the members of this chamber will once again prioritizing veterans claims process and that our colleagues in the upper chamber will as well. before i close, i would also like to take a moment to recognize representatives rodney davis, krysten sinema, john delaney for being co-leads on this bill. all three of my colleagues have demonstrated their commitment to fighting for our veterans every day of every year that they have served in congress.
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we have right now over 150 co-sponsors of this bill, and it is a privilege to have their support. i thank them for helping to lead the charge to enact this change and others that are so desperately needed to better assist veterans and their families. without their support, wing man would not have the broad support that it does now, the broad bipartisan support, and i urge the remainder of our colleagues to support wing man as well. let our nation's veterans know that we've got their six. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the ntleman from california, correa, for five minutes -- mr. correa, for five minutes. mr. correa: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to support affordable care act. i want you to support affordable care act like you
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did medicare way back in 1965. medicare covers over 65 million americans and is a staple for senior care. but let's go back to the time and remember what people were saying about medicare in 1965. the american medical association said, medicare is an invasion of the voluntary relationship between the patient and the physician. the then republican leadership said, the bill will cost too much. it will never cover enough seniors, and it will make taxes too high and we'll be broke within two years. those are some of the quotes from "the new york times," 1965. today, 52 years later, medicare is one of the most efficient health care systems in our country. why? because we gave it a chance to flourish. members, when we come together
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on behalf of the american people, we get things done. i ask my colleagues today, do not repeal the affordable care act. instead, let's move past the politics of repealing the a.c.a. let's learn from five decades of medicare. let's give americans the health care coverage they want and they deserve. because in 60 years it won't really matter whose name is on the program but what will matter is we came together and stopped the repeal. what will matter is that we fixed the a.c.a. and made it work for every american. the american people deserve good health care. if folks have issues with the a.c.a., let's fix those issues. let's make the a.c.a. better. but to rip coverage from 30 add $350 ople, to
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billion to our deficit is not a good thing. i ask my colleagues today, keep the a.c.a. mr. speaker, i yield the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick, for five minutes. mr. fitzpatrick: thank you, mr. speaker. and i rise today for the very first time in this chamber as a servant of pennsylvania's eighth district, the good people of bucks and montgomery counties, serving as their independent voice. and the weight of this responsibility should not be lost on any of us. and it is my sincere hope that each one of us here, regardless of where we come from, what our past experiences have been, or how long we've been here, we'll do what the american people are demanding of us at this time. work together as problem solvers, not work against each other as eyed logs. our founders -- ideologues.
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our founders envisioned legislators chosen by their peers to work on their behalf, to serve honorably with focus -- with a focus on solutions and then return home and live under the laws he had thepped passed with new ideas and a fresh perspective. unfortunately, mr. speaker, we as a nation have strayed from that vision. today, too many americans feel left out. they see a system that does more to preserve the status quo than it does solving our most pressing challenges. they see a class of career politicians and elite insiders. i wish i could tell my constituents, my bosses, that this problem is exager ated, that that -- exaggerated, that this mess does not affect them or their businesses. buzz as former anti-corruption f.b.i. special agent i've seen the broken system and i know the real-life impact that it has, which is both soft and hard corruption that tilts the
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legislative agenda towards special interests. electoral complacency that causes lawmakers to focus on accumulating power rather than serving their constituents. and an entrenched bipartisanship that grinds the gears of government to a halt. mr. speaker, this does not have to be the fate of this congress. it does not. the 115th congress can be remembered as the one that buried party labels for good and focused on fixing the system. to that end i introduced legislative proposals to begin that process. a constitutional amendment enacting term limits for all members of congress. a constitutional amendment preventing members of congress from being paid unless a budget is passed. this is not just withholding pay for a period of time. this is complete forfeiture. a balanced budget amendment so we are forced to stop kicking the can down the road and we will create a fiscal path that will allow the next generation to thrive, and a bill i call the citizen legislature anti-corruption reform act, the clean bill, an act that ends
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congressional pensions for life, require this body to debate and act on single issue legislation, codify that all laws passed by congress apply to all of its members and reform the broken gerrymandering process by removing all redistricting to independent, nonpartisan citizen commissions and to expand access to political party primaries to include both independents and nonaffiliated voters. is there anyone in this chamber that does not believe these measures will make our country a better place? is there anyone in this chamber that does not believe these measures will result in a healthier democracy, a system of government where people have more faith and trust in? is there anyone here who believes that more citizens serving in this body, more citizens participating in our government will not be a breath of fresh air for our nation? if you agree with these ideas, i urge you to join me, co-sponsor these measures, join the congressional citizen legislative caucus and advocate for these reforms. share your vision with your
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constituents because they need to know our nation is not resigned to the status quo. mr. speaker, washington needs fewer politicians and more independent voices focused on serving the american people. that's the reason we're here. let's not let them down. the time is now to answer their call to fix this system so we can start addressing the challenges that we face as a nation. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for five minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. i do ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to address the house for five minutes, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. r. green: mr. speaker, it is always an honor for me to stand here in the well of the house, to know that i am one of less than 450 people in the world who have been accorded the preeminent privilege of standing in the well of the congress of the united states
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of america. and it's an honor to stand here at this podium with a rostrum behind me, with the word . stice etched in it right behind me, justice is etched in the rostrum. you can't see it at home because it's low and it's beneath the view of the camera, but today i want to talk about justice, mr. speaker. i want to talk about justice and the justice department, and i do this, mr. speaker, because we have a president-elect who has said he will be a law and order president. . mr. speaker, i want to make a distinction between law and order and justice, and i want to attribute this to the justice department versus a law and order department. mr. speaker, you can have law
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and order in a dungeon. but you won't have justice. there is law and order in north korea, but you don't have justice. justice, mr. speaker, is what this department is all about. it is not the law and order department. one of the best ways to explain it is to harken back to something that was called to our attention yesterday at the hearing for the nominee to become the head of the justice department, when the honorable john lewis spoke. went back to 1965 and the crossing of the edmund pettus bridge. on that day george wallace, one of the great segregationists of his time and perhaps the greatest segregationist of his time, had paid it clear to his troops that if you maintain
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order, there will be law to protect you. and as a result, those troops beat the marchers all the way back to the church where they started. they were peaceful protestors. the honorable john lewis said he thought he might die. that was what law and order meant to a good many people in the south. law and order without justice is what took place on that day. but thank god there was a judge, the honorable frank m. johnson, the honorable frank m. johnson issued the order to allow those marchers to move from selma to montgomery, and he did it notwithstanding his classmate, george wallace, having said that they were banned from doing t --
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it. this was justice, not law and order alone. this is our fear that the justice department will go back to the hands of someone who may consider it a law and order department. a department where there is a belief that you can do anything to maintain the order and there will be law to support your actions and activities. mr. speaker, we must protect the notion of justice for all people in this country. this is why i was there yesterday to lend my support to senator booker when he spoke about justice and when he indicated that he could not support the nominee. i was honored to be there seated right near the honorable john lewis when he said he could not support the honoree -- nominee. and i was also honored to be
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there with the head of the congressional black caucus, when he indicated, cedric johnson, when he indicated that if this nominee is a civil rights advocate, why is the civil rights community so opposed to him? i think those were some very sage comments. i must tell you we in this country have come too far to allow the justice department to become the law and order department. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. ms. kaptur: mr. speaker, i come to the floor today as co-chair and founding member of the polish, hungarian, and ukrainian house caucuses. i'm also a strong defender of nato and its purpose in linking
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the free nations of europe and the united states through this historic, hard won aligns and security treaty among europe's sovereign nations who respect a rule of law and our shared passion for liberty. our nation and nato's members paid the ultimate price in the last century for our priceless gift of liberty. we won the cold war. and our most treasured democratic values of life, liberty, freedom of assembly, press, and religion are under siege today by a predatory and repressive russia. go no further than any major business in your district and ask them how many times they are hacked daily by russian predators to get a sense of what is going on. my purpose this morning is to remind our citizenry of the continuing and major real threat to our nato alliance and
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destabilization of europe by russia that necessitates our strengthening the alliance not weakening it to ward off putin's expansionist dreams. i must say i am concerned by our president-elect's loose talk about russia. his naive assumption that personal friendships with russia's owe lig arcs, some of whom are active members of russia's notorious mafia, can overcome strategic expansion imperatives that fill putin's mind are truly not in america's interest. so let's review some recent histry. domestically -- history. domestically, mr. putin has suppressed the basic freedoms of the russian people. his leadership has resulted in countless infringements of human rights, violations, and other actions that directly conflict with our foundational values in western democracies.
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putin has an aggressive and very hostile foreign policy toward us, toward the united states, and our top ally. russia has invaded neighboring sovereign countries, including the republics of georgia and ukraine. russia has threatened and harassed u.s. military personnel and diplomats overseas, not in the last century, now. orchestrating an anti-american propaganda campaign, the largest since world war ii, both in our country and around the world, and is conducting cyberwarfare as i speak against our country, our government, our interests, as well as european government. against political institutes, against our think tanks, against our state voter data systems as our intelligence services have just informed us. against our cities and counties, journalists, and individuals. information about putin's aggressive behavior is well
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documented. and specifically highlighted in the intelligence briefings that our president-elect began to receive when he secured the republican party nomination last year. despite this, throughout his campaign and as president-elect, mr. trump continues to praise and support putin. he has even taken the foreign dictator's side over the leaders of our country he was elected to represent. here are examples. december 18, 2015, during an interview on morning joe, host joe scarborough, ask mr. trump about putin's alleged killing of journalists and political opponents, trump answered, he's running his country. at least he's a leader unlike what we have in this country. mr. speaker, i have a list that i'm going to submit to the record of dozens of journalists in russia that have been murdered in cold blood because
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they were reporting on corruption, on growing repression in that society, on what russia has executing around the world. the interview with mr. scarborough took place the day after mr. putin praised and prop began diesed mr. trump as quote, bright and talented and the absolute leader of the presidential race. that was about a year before our election. months later the president-elect asked the russian federation to hack hillary clinton's email. how about that? our president-elect. september 8, 2016, nbc's commander in chief forum, mr. trump praised putin saying, if putin says great things about me, i'm going to say great things about him. i have already said he's very much of a leader.
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the man has very strong control over his country. he's right about that. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. kaptur: if you speak against putin you can be murdered in russia. america, pay attention. pay attention. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house
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>> the nominee is retired general james mattis, his confirmation hearing is this morning before the senate armed services committee. you can see that hearing live right now on our companion network, c-span3. and on c-span2, the housing and urban development secretary confirmation hearing. the nominee to head that department is dr. ben carson, former neurosurgeon and 2016 republican presidential candidate. you can see that live on c-span2. early this morning the senate voted to begin the process of repealing the affordable care act. senators voted 51-48 on a budget resolution that would instruct congressional committees to write legislation that overturned the health care law,
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signed into law by president obama in 2010. the u.s. house is expected to take up that measure friday morning with live coverage here on c-span. right now on c-span, some of that senate debate from around 1:00 a.m. this morning. mr. schumer: tens of mr. schumer: whether they are in the exchange or not the a.c.a. -- i vote no. >> mr. schumer votes no. >> debate is not in order during a vote. the gentleman from illinois. it >> on behalf of the hospitals of illinois -- >> debate is not in order during a vote. >> mr.


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