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tv   U.S. House Meets for Legislative Business  CSPAN  February 6, 2017 6:30pm-9:03pm EST

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we can do all this and more without raising the gas tax or the vehicle registration fee. [applause] i will keep my promise that i made to the voters in the last election. whether you agree with me or not, i hope you can respect that i'll keep my word. i believe firmly that we were not sent here by the people of wisconsin to raise taxes. those that are listening -- at our listening sessions told us they wanted to us keep the tax burden doil down, while finding unique ways to -- [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] committee on filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: resolution providing for krgs of the joint resolution, house joint resolution 44, disapproving the rule submitted by the department
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of interior relating to the bureau of land management regulations to prepare, revise or amend land use plans pursuant to the land use management act of 1976, providing for consideration of the joint resolution, house joint resolution 57, providing for condition gregsal disapproval of chapter 8 of title 5 of the united states code under rules under the department of education under the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 and providing for consideration of the joint resolution, house joint resolution 5 , providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5 of united states code of the rules regarding department of education relating to teacher preparation issues. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 8 roof owl tissue of rule 20, votes will be taken in the following order,
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hmpt r. 689 by the yeas and nays, h.r. 337 by the yeas and nays. the first vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as a five-minute vote. the title ill report of the bill. the clerk: a bill to ensure adequate utes and access to the existing bolts ditch headgate in the holy cross wilderness in eagle county, colorado, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill? members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 409, the nays are one. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from colorado, mr. lamborn, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 337 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 337, a bill to transfer administrative jurisdiction over certain bureau of land management lands from the secretary of the interior to the secretary of veterans affairs for inclusion in the plaque hills national cemetery and for other purposes -- black hills national
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cemetery and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 407, the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the able. the chair would ask all members to please take their onversations from the floor. the chair would ask all members to please take their onversations from the floor.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from mississippi seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on house administration be discharged from further consideration of house concurrent resolution 18 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of they have concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 18, concurrent resolutioning per --res. collusion permitting the use of ae rotunda of the capitol for ceremony for the days of remembrance of the victims of the holocaust. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the concurrent resolution? without objection the concurrent resolution is agreed to and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the chair lays before the house the following communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, i, joaquin
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castro, am submit my resignation from the house armed services committee effective immediately. it has been an honor to serve on this committee. please do not hesitate to contact my office with my any questions or concerned. sinned, sincerely, joaquin castro. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resignation is ccepted. he house will be in order. the house will be in order. members and staff please take your conversations off the floor.
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members and staff please take your conversations off the floor. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlewoman seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. this saturday night is israel bonds -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman will suspends. the house will be in order. members and staff please take your conversations off the floor. ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker this saturday night is israel
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playa, noche en la night on the beach in miami beach. i've had the honor of participating in many israel bonds programs and the work they do is vital in expanding and growing israel's economy and has helped israel become a global leader and innovator in so many sectors. with all the threats now facing the jewish state, the work of israel bonds is more important now than ever, mr. speaker. the guest speaker will be none other than the israeli ambassador to the united states, my good friend and miami beach native ron dermer. the event will also serve as a commemorative tribute to isaac and nieves olenberg, who were dear friends who did so much for the florida community, for the cuban american community and for
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israel herself. their memories will forever live on through their kindness and compassion. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized. mr. slang vin: the house is not -- mr. langevin: the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. mr. langevin: never stop believing. those words, mr. speaker, are going to be on the front page of the "providence journal" tomorrow morning. like all true toves faith, last night's super bowl wasn't easy going. and there were times i have to say i was tempted to throw up my hands and go to bed. but i followed the words of our quarterback and oh, boy, was i rewarded. what a game. what a game. if there were any doubts, mr.
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speaker, about who the greatest quarterback of all time is, tom brady answered them last night. if there were any who questioned whether bill belichick is the best coach on the planet, this morning they are silent. and i'm sure they would all admonish me if i didn't say it that football is a team sport. so for those who haven't yet been satisfied at the amazing strength and successes my new england patriots put together makes them america's finest team, super bowl li speaks for itself. mr. speaker, it was truly a team heartfelt i offer my congratulations to bob kraft and the entire patriots franchise. congratulations, patriots, and to patriots nation, i yield back the balance of my time. spripe for what purpose does the gentleman -- the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york -- >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise to congratulate syracuse university basketball coach jim boeheim on the occasion of his 1,000th win this past saturday over the virginia cavaliers. coach boeheim has dedicated over 40 years of his life to syracuse university and he and his wife are known for their outstanding generosity and philanthropy. while they celebrated their win, it was 1,000th not recognized by the ncaa ollowing unnecessarily harsh sanctions. while we cannot stand for impropriety in collegiate athletics, we must have transparency, consistency from the ncaa, an agency charged with pr moting higher education opportunities and protecting the welfare of students. that's why i'll continue to champion bipartisan legislation in the house to reform the ncaa
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and bring accountability and due process to this organization. there's no denying jim boeheim was a coach for 1,000 basketball wins at syracuse and the ncaa should recognize that fact. our community celebrates the coach on his tremendous achievement and it is my high honor to recognize him here today. congratulations, coach, go orange! i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, i know this nation's values, many of us study it in the constitution and as a senior member of the judiciary committee, we review that document on many occasions. we are a nation that stands for principles of democracy.
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so i'm very disturbed with an interview that was given by the white house this weekend that defended putin, the man who invades to dominate, to kill, a man who supports a despot in syria, who gassed his own people and compared that to any act that the men and women in the united states military or the united states may have done. comparable or even equal or even anywhere near the kind of despotism of russia under putin. i am offended and i apologize to the american people for any comparison and i would believe it appropriate for the white house to clarify and apologize to suggest that our values and the efforts we do to protect people that may encounter efforts of war can in any way be compared to putin who is, in fact, someone who kills and kills to dominate. not to help. america is a defender, not an
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offender, and i stand here proudly supporting the values of the united states of america, a country that believes in the blessings of god and democracy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. during the weekend i had a chance to go out in the district and look at the conditions of our flood control system in northern california which i'm sure is reflective of a lot of systems across this country. mr. lamalfa: one particular area where i was shown has had 10 feet of levee eaten away since the end of december. this points out that we still aren't, by any means, close with recent legislation that's been passed, good legislation, to fulfill our infrastructure needs. our flood control systems all over the country, my own district in northern california, need immediate results.
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we expect a great amount of rain, i know we complain about drought in california, feast or famine, but that we need to continue to shore up these systems here because it places communities in danger from the high floods we could be getting. with much rain forecast for the near future and our lakes getting full, there won't be any place to put that water. we need this infrastructure, we need army corps and everybody to be on board with fully developing and permitting these projects and getting the money going. so urgency is needed. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman and fellow freshman from virginia seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman s recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, in our country, political enemies do not disappear in the dark of night
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or become mysteriously fatally ill. in our country, mr. speaker, the press is separate from the government and journalists don't find themselves jailed or out of business for writing articles with which the government disagrees. while journalists are not made to write accolades whether they agree or not. i stand here to discuss the words of the president that suggest our country is comparable with russia. in our country, laws and the constitution are supreme, not one person. the courts rule on our constitution, not one lawyer. in our country, lawyers, advocates and citizens are free to challenge the government in its leadership without fear of reprisals. our country has been a beacon of freedom, democracy and hope for people around the tpwhrobe and i suggest to the white house that it stop squandering that reputation with idle comments and dangerous actions. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for
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what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to honor colonel biren biel, chief of the joint staff tennessee national guard who will be retiring this week after 32 years of dedicated service. throughout his career, byron has held numerous leadership roles with a wide range of responsibilities, whether it be his command of the joint counter drug task force or his current position as chief of the joint a work 's exemplified ethic that's second to none. he had two deployments, in 2001 to bosnia and 2005 in afghanistan. he's received numerous commendations including the bronze star an tennessee national guard distinguished service medal, among a long list of many others. it's important to mention that
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mary -- that his wife, mary deal, who he introduces as the better deal, serves the national guard as well. byron has been an invaluable source for me and my staff. while i'm sorry tennessee is losing such a high caliber officer, i extend him a hearty thanks and wish him well in his reteerment. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: candidate donald trump promised to drain the swamp. the american people believed him. instead of draining the swamp, it's become clear he's driving his own pylon deeply into the swamp. trump incorporated is making profits off the president's tradition. our mother used to ask about the super rich, do they ever fill up? in fact "the new york times" editorial board wrote a scathing indictment of the trump
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incorporated, i ask unanimous consent to place that article in the record and it bodes ill for our beloved republic. trump incorporated appears to milk the presidency and with his enhanced international profile. the trump organization is looking to expand domestic branded hotels in the 26 largest metropolitan areas, up from five. as mar-a-lago club, the president dubbed the winter white house, it sees $200,000. they hosted parties at the trump international hotel and the staff in the west wing sound like salesmen endorsing that hotel. all this with the backdrop of trump refusing to divest hils from the companies or release tax returns. questions about the emoluments clause linger. it's time for him to fess up. yield back my remaining time.
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the speaker pro tempore: members are refrained to engage in personalities towards the president. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: permission to address the house for one minute and revise and stepped my remarks. mr. thompson: i rise today on the start of national school counseling week to recognize the tremendous impact. they encourage students to explore their strengths, talents. national school counseling week is sponsored by the american counselor association and has observed during the first full weeg of february. this week's theme is school counseling helping students realize their potential. what we know is that school counselors are integral.
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they help students reach their academic goals but help with social and personal development. many parents also benefit from the assistance of school counselors as they encounter the challenges of raising children today. i salute these professionals throughout the united states for their dedication in preparing our students to become productive members of society in this ever-changing world. thank you, counselors, to help educate our students. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> permission to revise and extend. without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. tonko: the energy world was saddened with the passing of dr. rossen felled. i rise today to pay tribute to
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his extraordinary life and countless contribution. known as the godfather of energy efficiency, his efforts brought awareness to the benefits of efficiency. he became interested inefficiency during the 1973 oil embargo and began pushing energy standards for california and eventually for the entire nation. he worked for the department of energy and served on the california energy commission. a group that dr. rossen felled built ound, gains have large power plants since 1990. e.p.a. has estimated between 992 and 2014, this energy star program, a program built on his shoulders has helped over $350 billion while reducing
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greenhouse gas emissions. this is the cleanest and cheapest kill o'what the hour that one could take advantage of. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> permission to address the house. without objection. >> i rise today on behalf of the millions of americans who received the devastating news of a devastating illness. for too many families, treatments will come too late, if at a all. it is time for this body to come with federal regulators and industry leader to clear the path forward and take care of the brave americans. the bill introduced by myself and congressman bigs will offer a chance to extend their lights.
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the right to try add act to ensure that patients and pharmaceutical manufacturers will have the right to have investigative treatments where there is no alternatives. this is the law of the land in 33 states of our nation. for patients and their doctors, it affords them the opportunity with the benefits jouth weigh the risks. a brave child leaving with m.s., all those fighting for their lives deserve a right to live. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new hampshire seek recognition. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. mr. kustoff: the drive for five is complete. i want to join new england in
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congratulating our new england patriots in their incredible victory in super bowl li. fans agree that super bowl 51 will go down in history as one of the most amazing comebacks d sements the legacy of bill brady and bill bell chick as the greatest duo ever. the game was remarkable for team efforts. after finding themselves by 25 points, the patriots did not fall victim to despair. they instead showed true resolve and peservarns as the offense held drive after drive. whether it was a record 14 catches by james white, the record 466 passing yards by toll brady, first fumble by hightour
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everyone y edelman, did their part. let me say thanks for doing your job to the new england patriots. congratulations pats. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. mr. cicilline: a lot of history was made last night and i join my new england colleagues to say congratulations to the extraordinary victory at the super bowl li. this was the greatest comeback where our team was down by 25 points in the third quarter to come on to victory. the only team to win in super bowl history in overtime and incredible display of extraordinary talent of tom brady, only quab in history to win five super bowls and he is
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the greatest quab ever. the new atlations to england patriots organization. this was a great and wonderful night. and really an important example and display of determination and persistence. truly a legson for us to never stop fighting and the young people, the victory last night by the new england patriots raised the spirits of our entire nation. congratulations to the pats and thank you for a great victory last night. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman s recognized for one minute. mr. payne: mr. speaker, earlier
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today, i joined members of my community to discuss the impact and esident's trump muslim refugee ban. i want to read from a statement given by one of my constituents who participated in the discussion today. her name is nari. she wrote, i have always been grateful for being an american nd the sacrifices my parents afforded to me. and yet, every day, since the republican nominee for president was announced, i have feared for my safety and the safety of my little children. i hold my breath every day praying that the day will not come that i need to flee my home for fear of retribution or
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worse, because of my faith. mr. speaker, nari is an american who realizes the american dream. she is not a threat to this nation, nor are her young children a threat to this nation. president trump wants to shut the door to the american dream and tearing apart the fabric of this nation before our eyes. i urge my republican colleagues to remember her words to oppose the president's unconstitutional ban. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. jeffries for today and mr. poe of texas for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. he requests are granted.
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under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus, is recognized for 0 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. rothfus: i thank the speaker. i rise here tonight to raise a very serious and consequential issue that is taking place in our nation capital. washington, d.c., our federal city, the second hometown of every american is just weeks away from implementing a deadly assisted suicide program. the d.c. city council recently passed a so-called death with dignity act and adults diagnosed with a terminal disease and have six months or less to live can
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receive a prescription from their doctor to end their life. california, oregon, vr already headed down this dangerous path. i raise this issue, tonight, mr. speaker, because our founders gave congress the power in the constitution to quote exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such districts that will become the seat. this congress has the opportunity to stop this law. i'm grateful that my colleagues are here tonight to join me. dr. wenstrup, dr. harris, dr. hartzler, dr. marshall and joining me to speak in defense of patients who deserve protection dealing with the unimaginable difficulty of a
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termal disease. they are deeply troubled that a ity that is a beam that this policy is about to be put in place, jeopardizing the lives of the most vulnerable among us. mr. speaker, washington, d.c., is indeed a remarkable city. i still remember coming to this special place as a 10-year-old coming down the george washington parkway in virginia. with excitement to see our nationalmon youments and the capitol in which i now speak. we americans approach this city with awe. as we know how washington is intertwined with this nation's history and this city guards the declaration of independence and the constitution and hosts the very government that our constitution envisioned. those founding documents frame a
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republicic grounded in the sovereignty of the people, subject to the protection of alienable rights such as right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. nowhere is the view of this city more beautiful than from the hills of arlington, virginia, where is the resting place of john f. kennedy. one cannot think of president kennedy of his inaugural address which is a call to action for a new generation of americans. that call was grounded in the exceptional nature of our land. yet, president kennedy said, the same revolutionary beliefs are still at issue around the globe. the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity
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of the states, but from the hand of god. .c.'s assisted suicide law threatens the rights of vulnerable citizens. it tears at the tapes try of our ation's founding but contradicts the hypocrite at off and i shudder to think of the lives that will be lost that suicide is the best option for them. . in similar to this have europe have led to people being asked to end their lives, or for insurance paying for suicide but ot other care. they may find themselves with
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fewer options when they have a new diagnosis. death may become the only affordable option. proponents of physician-assisted suicide point to real and tragic store roifs suffering in individuals at the end of their lives. however, according to a report by the national institutes of health, pain is not the primary factor motivating patients to seek a lethal dose of medication. more commonly, such motivations include depression, hopelessness and the loss of control or autonomy. allowing physicians to prescribe lethal medication to these patients would mean we're abandoning our nation's most vulnerable citizens and instead succumb to a culture that is worse than the disease. instead of death and despair that are the underlying principles of assisted suicide, our law should reflect a culture that promotes life and hope, even in our suffering, even in our illness, and even in our weakness.
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janette hall of oregon was diagnosed with cancer in the year 2000. she was a supporter of her state's assisted suicide program and even voted for it. she considered taking her own life with the help of her physician when she learned he only had had six months to live. thankfully she had a life-affirming doctor who asked her how her son, who was attending the police academy, would feel about it. this made her stop and think. his question inspired her to opt for radiation and cheem therapy instead of suicide and other a decade a late -- over a decade later she is sharing her testimony. she is extremely happy to still be alive. i have no doubt that americans like janette with chronic illnesses, disabilities, or those struggling with mental -- will struggle
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under this law, perhaps being encouraged to commit suicide. precious lives have already met a premature end. mr. speaker, there is dignity in all human life. and the root meaning of dignity is worth. nothing. not illness, not weakness or despair, can decrease the worth of a human life. i cannot stand idly by and watch our laws corrupt our culture. and i am thankful to be joined by several of my colleagues who refuse to let this dark policy move forward unchecked. with that, i would like to introduce my colleague, dr. brad wenstrup, representative from ohio. dr. wenstrup is a physician. he has served our country in the army reserve, having deployed to iraq to treat our wounded
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service members. dr. wenstrup is the prime sponsor of h.j.res. 27, which will overturn this misguided legislation. with that, i yield to dr. wenstrup. mr. wenstrup: thank you, sir, i appreciate that, thank you for yielding and thank you for taking charge on this this evening to share this message. first, do no harm. do no harm. these are three short words but to physicians they represent a sacred charge. three short words that now hang in the balance here in the district of columbia. after the d.c. council passed the death with dignity act legalizing physician assisted suicide in the nation's capital. in authorizing doctors to violate the hippocratic oath do no harm, physician-assisted suicide undermines a key safeguard that protect ours nation's most vulnerable citizen the disable this esick, the poor. a key safeguard that helps to
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ensure our loved ones receive the best medical care when they need it most. instead of simply providing end of life comfort and a potential for cure, d.c.'s new law is poised to do more harm than good. this act leaves patience -- patients unprotected, doctors unaccountable, and our most vulnerable citizens at risk of having fewer medal options at their disposal rather than having more. it's too broad. this act alaas adults diagnosed with a terminal disease having less than six months to live to receive a prescription for medication to end their life, on their own, alone. there are concerns that the definition of terminal disease is too broad, since most doctors will admit accurately predicting life expectancy is almost impossible. and it is. there's many conditions such diabetes or h.i.v. that are considered incurable or
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irreversible and they're terminal if left untreated. there are many diseases that are terminal if left untreated. but curable if treated. this bill fails to adequately protect patients from coercion or abuse and despite the fact that depression is commonly associated with a patient seeking assisted suicide, d.c.'s legislation does not make screening for mental illness mandatory. it also has no safeguard against pressure that family members or heirs might exert on a patient to choose suicide. it leaves doctors unaccountable, compliance with the bill's limited safeguards difficult to track because the bill directs doctors not to place the actual cause and manner of death on the death certificate. it doesn't say, suicide. the report requirements in the bill are not subject to the freedom of information act.
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perhaps most concerning of all, once the prescription for lethal medication is filled, oversight is nonexistent. there's no requirement to ensure that the prescription was used as intended. this could limit care. under the new law, patient mace end up with fewer options, not more options. d.c. residents are not able to pay for health care out of pocket may find their options limited when faced with a new diagnosis, suffering a chronic illness, facing a disability or struggling with mental illness. for certain medical conditions, assisted suicide could become the cheapest option. ultimately, whatever its intentions, d.c.'s new law puts patients at risk and could limit their access to high quality health care. it could limit their access to cures. it prioritizes cost over compassion. ost over care.
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we've weighed this legislation, looked at'9" seriously and find it wanting. d.c. residents deserve better. 22 years ago, my sister was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. she had very little time to live. she was at one point given the option of a bone marrow transplant and her insurance company said, it's experimental, we don't cover it. we had to fight that and we were going to do it anyway. it's 22 years later, she survived, she's doing well, she's married and has two children. but somebody was telling her it's not worth it. this affects people with disabilities. this affects the poor. this attitude reminds me of a comment from the movie "it's a wonderful life wrts where mr. potter says to george bailey, george, you're worth more dead than alive. that's not who we are, folks. in this bill, there's no verification or validation that
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the prescription was taken as intended for the person intended or even taken at all. there's no witness necessary. no provider to address any complications that occur when taking the medication. no assurance that it's not misused or used on someone else. no actual cause of death is reported. in this, they say, actions taken in accordance with this act do not constitute suicide. assisted suicide, mercy killing, or homicide. oh, really? maybe they should look up the definition of those words. definition of homicide, the killing of one person by another, whether intended or not. the definition of suicide, act of taking one's own life, voluntarily and intentionally. this bill is bad for the people of d.c. this is bad for america.
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this is not who we are. this is not who we are as a compassionate, caring, group of americans, especially care givers, especially doctors. we can do better. and we all need to stand up against this. with that, i yield back. mr. rothfus: dr. wenstrup, i thank you for introducing this legislation. and for having the courage to live the life you've lived in serving our armed forces overseas. i'm going to yield to jody hice, representative of georgia, who co-chairs our action team. mr. hice. mr. hice: i thank my friend and colleague for leading this special order and for taking the leadership on this very important issue. mr. speaker, really, i'm here to try to implore our leadership to
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bring h.j.res. 27 to the floor nd hopefully to enable us, members of this people's house, to strike down this deeply flawed and deceptively written death with dignity act that has been passed in the district of columbia. this is not a bill about the elderly. it's not a bill about the sick and dying. as has been stated here, this is a bill that legalizes suicide. it actually attempts to normalize euthanasia. as you know, mr. speaker, this bill applies to individuals with, quote, terminal disease. we all know that could be applied to almost anyone. we could have someone with diabetes, for example, who is able to live a perfectly normal life with -- in spite of the
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fact of having an insulin dependency. but without the insulin, it could be terminal. they would be. and so this bill applies to individuals who also may have been misdiagnosed. y friend -- i appreciate mr. rothfus mentioning janette hall. what a powerful story that is. someone who actually voted for this bill in oregon and then a few years later comes to find out she herself has cancer, she tries to have her doctor help her end her life, the doctor urges her to fight, to have treatments, she does so. and now 16 years later, she's alive and healthy. this bill, there's no reason for us to have this bill. and you look at the suicide rate
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in oregon since that bill was passed in that state in 1997. they have 42% above the national average of suicide. in that state. but i appreciate dr. wenstrup too, the flaws that he identified that this bill has is alarming. the fact that it more than likely will, certainly the potential is there, to lead to elder abuse, the bill has no requirement that the death certificate list the real cause of death. it will just be required to say natural causes, when in fact there was a lethal drug injected and the drug itself is not required to be disclosed. the bill does not require a medical professional to be present to administer the lethal
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drug. furthermore, as was alluded to a moment ago, the bill bars -- bars law enforcement and arguably courts from reviewing medical records at the department of health, effectively potentially preventing them from doing their jobs in cases where there may have been foul play. mr. speaker, please know that this does not simply apply to d.c. residents but to those who reside in d.c., which would include everyone in this house. so i urge my colleagues to join in co-sponsoring h.j.res. 27. i urge our leadership to bring this to the floor for a vote. again, i thank the gentleman for giving me the opportunity to speak and with that, i yield back. mr. rothfus: thank you, representative hice. this law, you know, the point about what's going on the death
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certificate. we had a debate in our country about alternative facts. here we have a law that says you can't say on the death certificate what the cause of death was. it's going to be poison. i mean, some administered drug that is not supposed to be used as it was intended as it was authorized by the f.d.a. to be used but for a whole other purpose. o end the life of somebody. that's a very serious concern. and i think again, this is at war with truth and at war with logic. with that, i'm going to yield time to representative hartzler from missouri. she co-chairs our values ethics team with mr. hice. mr. hartzler: thank you, rothfus. i appreciate your leadership,
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bringing this very, very necessary bill to the floor and time is of the essence and literally lives are at stake. sometimes you hear that discussed here. well, this bill is going to impact life. this one truly does. this is a life or death matter with just a time limit. the way that this works is that -- the constitution gives congress authority over the district of columbia. and while they can't have their own council and can make their laws, we have ultimate oversight as legitimated representatives of this country over what happens here. hey allowed a bill to pass assisted-death-assisted suicide we have the obligation to say no, this is as you said, this is the people's town. this is representative of our entire country here and this
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does not represent what we stand for, that if someone has an awful diagnosis, that they are encouraged and enabled to take their own lives without any oversight in this, we have to reject this and that's why we are here tonight. the statistics are staggering. suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the spectrum of ages. nearly 43,000 individuals took their own lives in 2014. now that's a heartwrenching number of people seemingly without hope and to end traumatic life situations, clinical depression, was to take their own lives. but another, more sinister layer to this suicide crisis rises when agents of healing become
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distributors of lethal doseages. five states and the district of columbia have legalized physician-assisted suicide. the taking of a life is a criminal act, yet a few regions have embraced the tragic idea hat it's better to prescribe death than life-sustaining care and those sworn who are to take care of people, they've tasked them with carrying out this deed. you go to your doctor on one hand and you are asking or expecting the doctor to look out for your best interest and to present subscribe medicine to get better and the next day the physician, you are asking him to kill your relative and prescribe
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death medicine. i mean, this is wrong. here is another sobering fact. is can lead to increase in overall suicide rate. this is what happened in oregon, 40% suicide rate. if you are concerned about suicide prevention, you should be concerned with efforts to normalize doctors prescribing a bottle of pills. physician-assisted suicide plays on the sick and the elderly. the frail are the most vulnerable to rising health care costs, elder abuse and physician-assisted suicide. there is no accountability. should a medical provider determine that a paret is too old or too sick to continue living, any doctor can write a
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prescription. it sheds human dignity by distinguishing between a life worth living and a life better off dead. the focus should be on improving health care options, and end of-of life care, not killing those who are suffering from sickness or disease. i call on my fellow members of congress to disapprove and reject d.c.'s dangerous policy and ensure that all americans including those here in the district of columbia are granted the basic right to life. and i yield back my time. mr. rothfus: i thank representative hartzler for coming to the floor tonight to speak on this bill. it's interesting, legalizing assisted suicide can lead to an increase of suicide.
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we spend hundreds of millions of dollars in our country on suicide prevention. it would seem laws that such that the district of columbia has passed goes against that public policy we have in this country saying no to suicide. it is a real privilege to introduce another physician, dr. andy harris, also having served in our nation's military and i yield to him such time as he may consume. mr. harris: i want to thank the gentleman from pennsylvania for yielding me the time. the gentleman brought up an interesting point and it's true in the netherlands, when they reviewed their experience, they found that just legalizing physician-assisted suicide ncreases the amount of non-physician-assisted suicides.
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i want to thank the good doctor from ohio for introducing this bill. certainly the nation's capital is one that we should be careful ere the constitution has entrusted us. it behoofs congress to look at a law like this. the so-called death with dignity act. now that's striking because most people don't associate suicide with dignity in any way, shape or form with good reason and i'll get to that. there are a lot of myths. assisted suicide offers patients more choices. it actually doesn't. it sends a strong message that regardless of the many types of disease you might have and the many types of treatment that may be available, there is one common pathway that the district
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would say is perfectly accessible. it's legal. it's actually go to a physician and participate in your suicide. that doesn't lead to more choice but leads to less choice. but the use of the word dignity is striking to me because the number one group of individuals, if we would collectively look at how we would describe those individuals to whom this applies is individuals with some kind of disability. perhaps with a disease or disability that according to the law, two physicians would have to agree, knowing how imperfect lifespan is redict that that could result in death in six months. associating that kind of problem with the ultimate outcome of death by suicide i think removes
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dignity and doesn't add dignity to anyone's life. worse than that, what we are seeing in terms of the functional reduction of choice is that according to many of the new payment systems for health care in this country, actually align the incentives of the patients' health care from top to bottom. what do i mean by that? . over half of the physicians no longer they are employed. these entities share the same financial risks as the ysicians in terms of their being driven to save money. that's it. there are numerous incentives to save it. in fact, it should be noted that in the netherlands where assisted suicide has been legal for years, the average age for
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women is 65 who participate. for men it's 62. that means, mr. speaker, almost half the individuals are medicare patients. there are powerful incentives built into medicare to save money. accountable health care organizations, where the physicians happens to work for the same health care system that shares in financial incentives if money is saved. mr. speaker, i would proffer and i think we should -- any proponent against this legislation should stipulate that clearly it saves money to give someone a $00 prescription for medicine rather than pay for xpensive cancer therapy or expensive therapy that might cure a patient. that doesn't add to their
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dignity. what it does, at this time now places the patient in the situation if they truly understand the financial incentives in the system to actually question whether their physician is doing the right thing for them. in fact, the consulting physician under the death with dignity act doesn't have to belong to a financial entity. a physician working for this health care entity that actually sambs money can send the patient across the hall to a doctor to agree and that is part of the same accountable health care organization. that's wrong. but that's the situation that are patients will question whether their physician as a financial incentive to write that lethal prescription. the other strawman and if you look at the study that asks people their opinion do you
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think we should allow death with dignity, they mention a patient with terminal disease with extreme pain. the data is 20% who seek this have pain as their primary reason. we are compassion nature. and every human being has suffered pain and not to understand how someone thinking of that patient knowing what pain is about how difficult it is to treat pain unless it is done with the most modern methods might say maybe dying is better. that is a strawman. 80% say it is something else and 92% say it is losing autonomy. our solution or being less able to make life enjoyable.
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90% of patients saying that. society's solution is to write a lethal prescription. i'm most troubled and i'll close i this, as a physician, went into medicine to actually help people, to help people get better. that's why people go into health care. my daughters became nurses and they helped people get better. that is true compassion. ut now to say that a physician against their oath shall prescribe a medication that knowingly kills a patient, let's not mince words, that's what the death with dignity act does, a licensed practicener with a license to heal now has a license to kill.
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knowingly kill a patient put under their care. that is a step, mr. speaker, i would offer, as a society we should take a long and hard look at that before we ask our healers to effectively become killers. i yield back. mr. rothfus: thank you, dr. harris, taking a long hard look at what's going to happen here in the district of columbia if we do not bring hj ress 24 to the floor to block this misguided are legislation and dr. harris talked about compassion. certainly we all have family members. we all have friends who have had very difficult illnesses. and we grieve when people have
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passed. and to know that we have care that's available to help people in pain, to make sure that they are getting everything they can without having a doctor violate his or her oath to do know harm. and i really thank dr. harris for his words and to remind us how he was called to the healing arts and he has got family members engaged in the healing arts. and we have another representative that we are joined by this evening, newer member from kansas, the big one, i think it's called, dr. roger marshall served in the army reserve. he did not his do his physician's work in the army
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reserve, but he could be, but i don't know what the rules are with women service members giving birth. and i don't think they are overseas, although they may be. but i don't think they will be in war zone. but he has plenty of experience with the work and he has delivered 5,000 babies and has seen his shay of difficult cases with patients and good to have him to talk about this legislation. i yield such time as he may consume. . mr. marshall: i thank the gentleman from pennsylvania for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today are tonight with fellow physicians and other colleagues to speak out against the shameful act being allowed in some parts of this country, physician-assisted suicide. when i became a physician, i took an oath in which i promised to help the sick and to abstain from all intentional wrongdoing and harm. to help intentionally take the life of a patient is morally
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abhor ebt -- abhorrent. it is not only the beginning of a slippery slope that devals the sanctity of all human life, it is not only based on a subjective set of and ications lawyers lobbyists agree to, it is against the very oath that my fellow physicians swear to uphold. i encourage my colleagues to fight for these same beliefs, to treat life as sacred, and, first of all, to do no harm. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. rothfus: thank you, representative marshall. mr. speaker, it's simple. this congress has a responsibility. , this ders made us congress, the house, the senate , the stewards of this city, this beautiful federalal basketter city -- federal
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alibaster city. the founders entrufted in us the exclusive -- entrusted in us the exclusive power over the district of columbia. h.j.res. 27 which will blocked so-called d.c. death with dignity act is a bill that goes to the character of this congress. to the character of this district. to the character of this country. will this congress allow this law to go into effect? for vubblenerble, i hope not -- vulnerable, i hope not. for the physicians who are supposed to heal, i hope not. earlier in my remarks, i talked about how beautiful it is to look at this city from arlington. and to recollect our 35th president and the inspiring words he spoke on january 20,
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1961. he ended that address with these words -- with a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking his blessing and his help, but knowing that here on earth god's work must truly be our own. mr. speaker, let's lead the land we love. let this house move ahead with h.j.res. 27 and prevent this legislation, this d.c. death with dignity act, from staining our nation's capital. i yield back the balance of my ime.
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the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from texas, mr. o'rourke, is recognized for 60 minutes as the he is digny of the minority leader -- designee of the minority leader. mr. o'rourke: thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday our country and the community that i have the honor of representing, el paso, texas, lost one of our best. dr. joseph e. torres. who was 93 years old at the time of his death, still practicing dentistry in the community of el paso. and somebody who left a terrific legacy for his family, for our community, for this country and for all of posterity. dr. torres served in the u.s. army air corps from 1942 to
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1945. he first served as an infantryman and then later as a navigater for the b-17 aircraft. dr. torres flew 13 bombing missions over germany, one of the most difficult missions to be assigned to anybody, over the course of world war ii. he later joined and served as a lieutenant in the army air corps reserve, from 1945 to 1947. he later joined the air force dental reserves are we reached the rank of colonel. as i said, he was a practicing dentist in el paso, texas. after his time in uniform, he continued to serve his community, he continued to serve his fellow el pasoans, his fellow texans, and his fellow americans. and he never stopped being an advocate for service members, for veterans, and for this country. and so here today we mourn his loss. preceding him in death from
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that greatest generation not too long ago, in august of 2016, was maynard l. beamsdurfer, known as beamy to his friends and his fans. he was one of the original 350 path finders who were the first combat paratroopers to jump into normandy, france, before the d-day invasion in 1944. he was a member of the 501st parachute infantry regiment and the 101st airborne division. e died at the age of 92. the third gentleman that i want to introduce to you and who i'd like to talk about today and whose story i'd like to hair -- to share is someone i greatly admire, who i've had the privilege of meeting several times and being able to introduce my oldest son to. and that's lieutenant colonel, retired, robert e. chisholm. bob chisholm. who is a founding member of the
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82nd airborne association in el paso. someone who is very much still with us, full of vigor, strength and energy and inspiration, at a time that we so badly need him. and he's also the rarest of americans. he's a combat veteran of world war ii, he's a combat veteran of korea, and he's a combat veteran of vietnam. in fact, he's one of only 325 combat veterans in the history of the united states military, authorized to wear the triple combat infantryman badge for combat service in three separate wars. during wild card war ii, the first of -- world war ii, the first of those, he earned the legion of merit award, which can only be obtained after receiving direct approval from the president of the united states. he was also recognized by the french government more recently in 2012, at which time a french general awarded him the french legion of honor award and the status of knighthood.
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we're grateful for the service of these three amazing americans. these three outstanding el pasoans. these three great examples to each and every one of us of who we are when we're at our best, and what we're willing to do to serve this country, the cause of freedom, and the best interests of humanity. and it is these three men and others who join them in the greatest generation. men and women from throughout this country who endured and suffered through, survived and began to thrive through the great depression. and following that, proudly and gladly served our country in world war ii in a world away, whether it was in north africa, italy, europe, or the asia-pacific, these were men and women who fought for not
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just this country but who fought for and won a world order that has more or less sustained for the last 75 years , a world order that was won, that was fought for, that was sustained through enormous treasure, blood and sacrifice of this country. sustained, fought for and won by men like bob chisholm, by beamy, and by to else. i bring them -- dr. torres. i bring them up today so, one, we can pay honor to them and tribute to them. but, two, so that we can remember what's at stake today in 2017. seemingly a world away from when dr. torres first served in he army air corps in 1942.
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t.s.a. world where the united states is the sole superpower. where we guarantee -- it is a world where the united states is the sole superpower. where we guarantee the lanes of trade, the connections between countries, the viability of an entire continent in europe, and the benefits from the treasure and the blood and the sacrifice and our sustainment of these policies over the last 70 to 75 years, has accrued primarily to the united states, but also to our allies. and also, i would argue, to the rest of the world. we have largely seen in that time a time of peace. a time where we avoided major world wars. where we peacefully sustained and outlasted the soviet union and ushered in a new era of peace in eastern europe. when we think about the challenges that we face today, those countries who do not see a place in this world order
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that we won and that we have sustained, countries like russia, countries like china, countries like iran, countries like north korea, each of whom in their own way poses a threat not just to the united states, not just to their neighbors in their respective regions, but to the world and the order that we have bought at such a dear cost, when we think about what's going on today, it's critically important that we move forward very carefully and mindful of what it took to bring this world order about. and what could happen if this world order collapses. as general david petraeus told us last week in a house armed services committee meeting, this world order did not will itself into existence. it did not sustain itself. it did not win itself. all of that was done by americans. for americans. for our allies and for our interests, for our values
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around the world. and it's important that we be mindful of that, when all of that is at stake. when it is under threat, unlike any time since the collapse of the soviet union. and as we begin a new congress with a new administration, we have several choices before us. we can shore up that world order and the alliances and relationships that underpin them. an example is the north atlantic treaty organization or nato. our partnership with 28 european countries that has effectively kept the peace on that continent for more than 70 years. or we can refer to that arrangement and that treaty as obsolete. and we can ask the europeans to take care of their own business without assistance or alliance from the united states.
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perhaps that's in the best interests of this country. perhaps that reduces the burden on the united states taxpayer. perhaps that reduces the burden on the service member now deployed in europe, reassuring that continent. perhaps it's also better for russia. as they continue to probe the weaknesses in the western alliance, as they move in to ukraine, cease crimea, are active -- seize crimea, are active in the eastern part of that country, as they interfere in elections throughout the western world, most noitably our own in -- notably our own in 2016, but not limited solely to the united states. and where we fear they may be active again in interfering in other elections in the free world. perhaps this is good for russia , to think of nato as obsolete or to withdraw our commitment, because our allies are not poneying up their fair share of the burden. i think that's a real concern.
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maybe that's good for us, maybe that's good for europe. it's certainly going to be good for russia. and the consequence for that, my colleagues, may very well be that while we might save some in what we're spending in treasure and sacrifice and -- spending, in treasure and sacrifice and service in europe today, we may be called back again, as we were in the first world war and afterwards in the second world war. to defend that continent from tyranny, as extraordinary costs to our treasury, to the lives of those who serve, the lives that are lost, to the lives that are changed forever. hen we look at when we look to the south china sea and look to japan, the phillipines, increasingly vietnam, perhaps it's better
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that we allow china to decide what's best for that region and for those countries at the expense of those who today are our allies. certainly it would save the taxpayer the resources that we expend today to prop up and support our allies to ensure their defense and to ensure our interests. perhaps it would be good for those countries in that region, including taiwan. it would certainly be good for china. a growing competitor not just in the south china sea, not just in asia, but increasingly around the world. so we have a choice there to make as well. we retrench, withdraw, pose
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ourselves off from the rest of the world, the benefit has accrued to us as it has to our allies and the rest of the world or do we fix what's not working now, sustain, perhaps even grow that are commitment, meet the threats, address the fierce that that part of the world has? it comes at some costs and not a trivial one. but i would argue we cannot foresee the future where the united states is not involved in the south china sea, in east asia, with our allies in that region. we don't know for sure what will ppen, but we know that power abhores a vacuum. where the united states is not, other world powers will be, and they don't have the interests of our citizens, our values and our way of life at heart.
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when it comes to the middle east and the series of serious challenges that we face there libya, and syria and to our difficult relationship with saudi arabia who is the source of so much that threatens that region and ultimately the united states, certainly in the short-term, it would be cheaper to withdraw our commitments and our support, our resources and our service members, who are there at such great cost again to this country and to themselves and to their families, who bear the burden of the fight and sustain those injuries when they are incurred and mourn the losses of those service members who never make it back. it's easy to argue in the short-term that it could be good
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for the united states. but it's hard to argue in the long-term that without our leadership, without some level of involvement, including military involvement, but especially, diplomatic and with the people and interests in the middle east, it's hard to argue that without that, that our valuests, our goals, our ll be respected, accepted, honored and seen through. what's much more likely is that we will find ourselves there again responding to a great crisis at greater response of life and treasure for this country. and that story repeats throughout the world. whatever country, whatever region, whatever hemisphere, whatever continent, when the
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united states is not there, knitter are our interests, neither are we able to benefit and neither is the world able to depend on some level of peace, security, stability. , our new house president, those whom we represent, to think about what's at stake right now around the world, to understand how this international order was brought about, how it was fought for and won and sustained. and how tragic it would be after 75 years after the noble sacrifice of so many of the greatest generation and the generations who served in korea and vietnam and the first gulf war and who are serving after the attacks of 9/11, how terrible would it be for us to
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lose what we have fought so hard to gain in a span of one administration. it does not have to be that way. and i think working together across party lines with this administration, with congress, both houses, with the american people, certainly supporting our service members and honoring the sacrifices of our veterans, we can meet this challenge as we have met serious challenges in the past. we will need to correct our course and need to do so immediately. no longer can we mock allies and try to humiliate our neighbor to the south, mexico and no longer thate question the country withstood the test of time, the
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nato alliance. no longer can we threaten to withdraw from international obligations whether at the u.n., whether they are bilateral trade negotiations or multilateral trade agreements, no longer can we think that the united states can serve as a bunker against the rest of the world. it's too late for that. it was too late for that in world war ii when the three brave gentlemen that i began my speech with decided to serve this country and purchase the freedom and the world order that so many take for granted today. i think it is incumbent upon us to offer an alternative to the course that we are currently on, an alternative that i would say starts here at home and with those countries that border ours, that starts with
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acknowledging that mexico, for example, is far more an opportunity than it is a threat to the united states. yet today, we do hundreds of billions of dollars of trade with mexico, trade that is unique in its character, such that will when we export to mexico, certainly we win. those are u.s. jobs and u.s. products being exported to the country of mexico and proceeds flow back to the u.s. worker and to the owners and businesses. when we import, 40% of the value of our imports from that country were generated here in the united states, those same factory floor jobs in michigan, indiana, ohio, tennessee, in texas, produced products that are exported to mexico for final assembly and brought back to the united states.
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40% of the value of our imports. when we look at china, it's 4%. when we export to mexico, we win. when we win from mexico. jobs are dependent on u.s.-mexico trade. nearly half a million of those in the state of texas alone. each one of them jeopardized by the course this country has taken under this new administration. each one of those potentially lost if we cannot redevelop a positive relationship with the country of mexico. certainly one that our interests are most important to the united states. ere the u.s. worker is preimminent. but where nonetheless, we understand the larger picture and the longer game that our future, united states and mexico
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is a shared future, that the way we manufacture today is done together, both countries producing products that are made in north america along with canada. that's what is going on here today. we are linked in a way that cannot be junk linked without causing serious trauma, job less and insecurity for the united states because in the last 0 years as we have grown closer to mexico -- 30 years, we have grown closer to mexico that results in the hundreds of billions of dollars of trade that crosses our ports of entry every year. at the same time, we have grown ar stronger closer security elationship such that the most
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notorious mastermind in the history of the mexico was recently extradited to the united states. despite considerations of mexican sovereignty and perhaps the loss of pride it has entailed in sending that country's criminal who is responsible for countless deaths, drug production, drug transit and drugs that cross the united states, mexico did that precisely because of the strong security relationship that has grown between these two countries. shouldn't we pursue a path of humiliation? ould we build a 2,000-mile wall and seal that country off from ours? should we propose, impose a 20% tax on all goods coming in from mexico. which again, remember, will not just hurt the mexican worker but
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will hurt a u.s. worker as well. not only do we hurt ourselves economically, we will deeply damage the security bonds that exist today between those two countries, security bonds that keep us safe and secure and help us explain why today, despite the campaign rhetoric, the facts though that the border has never been more secure or more safe and never posed less of an immediate risk or hazard to americans. it has to do with the men and women in the united states border patrol and those who serve in sheriff's departments has to doff wiles and with the immigrant communities who are part of our safety because they are striving to get
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ahead and get out of trouble and contribute to, participate in and reap the benefits from the american dream. but we are also safe because the country of mexico has made a commitment to help keep us safe. when we are concerned about transnational criminal organizations coming from the countries, we have a partner in mexico who checks their answer at mexico's southern border and who ensures the greatest humanitarian crisis because of the violence we see, that mexico is our partner and helping to provide shelter, success tenance and aid to those frightened young children. still make their way to the
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united states and present themselves not trying to evade detection but present themselves to officials at our ports of entry. no wall could ever keep them out. but as many as are coming to our country, we have record low levels crossing the u.s. that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks mexico border. it was around 400,000 northbound apprehension. the number 16 years was 1.6 and we must ound keep that in mind, mexico, our relationship, partnership, part of that world order that we have fought for, worked soy hard for sustained at great costs, these are the dividends that world order is producing for the united states today, in jobs, in
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economic growth and security and safety of our communities and the people we represent. el paso, texas, in fact, is the safest city in the united states today. it was the safest city last year and the year before that and been among the safest cities in america for the last 15 years. and it's not an anomaly. the second safest is san diego, joined .s. large city with ti juana. . when we upend our relationships, when we bully, humiliate, threaten the countries with whom we've been allied and partnered for so many years now, not only will they suffer, which i can only assume is the intent of the president, but so will we.
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we also do deep disservice and dishonor to those who have ught so hard, worked so long and done so much to whether up something today -- build up something today that we're the ucky heirs to. furthermore, our leadership position in the world is not sustained on blood and treasure and diplomacy alone. it is the values that we live out each and every day in our homes, in our communitieses, and, yes, here in our -- communitieses, and, yes, here in our -- communitieses, and, yes, here in our government -- communities, and, yes, here in our government, in the united states congress. after ensuring the security and safety to which the american -- they will come, and no one is vetted and screened more thoroughly than a refugee from
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another country trying to enter the united states. most will not be able to make it. even under previous administrations. but after that screening has taken place, when they come to this country, those refugees, those asylum seekers, and those ones who are the have helped to build this success story, this exceptional country. this indispensable nation, the united states. and when we turn off the lamp of liberty, when we no longer shine as a beacon to the refugees, thes a separational people around the world who are lookinged for a -- for a better life, who were called -- looking for a better life, who were called to our shores for our values and what we represent around the world and what we've always fought for and proved in actions beyond our words when that lamp goes
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out -- words, when that lamp goes out when we begin religious tests for the kinds of immigrants that we'll bring into this country, when we do things that are immediately politically popular but are not in the best traditions of this country, we lose that place of prominence around the world. not just to the countries and the decision makers within those countries, the kings and queens and presidents and prime ministers, we lose that place of prominence with the people around the world who have always looked to the united states for example and for leadership. so i ask my colleagues to join me in ensuring that as troubling as this course has been in the first few weeks of this administration, that we remember that we still have time to correct it. and that we have an obligation to offer an alternative. one that has served this country so well for so long and
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is the source of so much of our strength, our exceptionalism and our greatness. i call on my colleagues to move beyond presidential fiat, beyond executive order, beyond the whims of a new administration, and to set in law our values and our priorities. ultimately we must be able to reform our system of immigration laws, but short of that we must at least be able to honor the ones that are already on the books. we have to do more to ensure that those who need us most in the world can find a home in this country. not solely for their benefit, that's the moral imperative. that's the argument that can persuade us in our hearts. but also because the value and the benefit will accrue to this country economically, in our security, in our vibrancy, and in ensuring that the next
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generation is going to be the leaders, where it comes to the businesses that are created, the books and the art that is created, the leadership that is needed, the service that we demand in uniform throughout the world. certainly that comes from native-born u.s. citizens. but it also, as we know when we think about the history of this country, that comes from those who came to our shores. or, like most of the western hemisphere, whether you came from -- whether your family came from mexico or el salvador or argentina, there's a good chance that your ellis island was el paso, texas. that your family first set foot on u.s. soil in the community that i have the honor to represent today. in different
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neighborhoods or districts, el paso has been that first welcoming community to millions who have answered the promise and the potential and the opportunity and the beacon of hope that we have provided for the world. it's no accident and it's totally connected that el aso's safety is directly proportional to our connection to the westest -- to the rest of the world. to mexico, to these heam people that so many -- to mexico. to these people that so many of ur political leaders want to s ew near and anxiety and apprehension about. they want to vilify these people. call them rapists and thugs and criminals. when the facts bear out that they are the very reason that we are so secure and so safe.
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so imagine the ellis island of the western hemisphere, el paso, texas, building a wall that would forever separate and divide us from the rest of the hemisphere. from the place where we meet the rest of the world. that too will compromise our leadership position in the world. that too will dishonor the noble sacrifice that we have seen from countless service members from those who pursue u.s. -- members, from those who pursue u.s. policy from around the world, and to those who are now serving in more than 140 countries around the globe. think about another country and another wall at another time that proved american exceptionalism. when the soviets instructed the berlin wall, to keep in east germans from being able to flee
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to the west. those east germans who in some way were responding to the hope that i'm talking about, that we have so long represented around the world. it was the united states that overcame that wall. it was people like general james h. poke who ensured that the people a of east a berlin had hope. that the people of west berlin had hope. that we made every effort to fulfill our commitments, not just to americans on american soil but to american values wherever they may be represented around the world. while other governments were building walls, the united states was doing the right thing. and it was a president of the united states, ronald reagan, who challenged the soviet
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empire to tear down this wall. how far have we come that today in 2017 nrkt living lifetime of those who serve -- 2017, in the living lifetime of those who served with president reagan, who voted for president reagan, who lived in the america that president reagan was the president of, that we are contemplating building a wall that would keep people out, that would separate people who arc common n future history. and in place -- future, a common history. nd in places like el paso, people who have a common identity, nothing to be afraid of, nothing to be anxious bout, nothing to bed of. we -- nothing to be scared of. we, the united states, are at our best when weaver strong, confident, bold. we're at our worst when we're
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anxious and afraid and when e're scared. mr. speaker, i ask that we not make policy out of fear. that we not stoke anxiety. that we not lose the best, strongest traditions of who we are as americans. but instead follow those traditions. and when we do, we'll be able to change the course of this country -- that this country is now on. we'll be able to help this president to do the right thing, the right thing for this country and this country most importantly, but to do the right thing for this country when it means standing up for our values, our interests, our allies around the world. mr. speaker, for many in this country, and for many around the world, these are some of the darkest days in recent memory. but i have hope, because we've had far darker days in this
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country before. and the institutions such as the one that we're in today and the american people whose work we do, at whose pleasure we serve, who we represent in this chamber are a remarkable, resilient people. bring y will help to this body, this administration, this government and this country to its senses. and when we get there, i'm confident we're going to do the right thing. i'm confident that we're going to honor the best traditions of this country, we're going to honor the brave men and women who have served, who have helped to build what we have today, which so many people take for granted. mr. speaker, i'm confident that working together republicans, and -- republican and democrat -- together, republican and democrat, we're going to do what's best for the world and what's best for america. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the
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balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the chair recognizes the gentleman from nebraska, mr. fortenberry, for 30 minutes. mr. fortenberry: thank you, madam speaker. if the gentleman from texas would mind lingering in the chamber for just a moment. i want to make a couple of comments on what he said. because he began his talk with the commemoration of some extraordinary americans, world war ii veterans. as i was awaiting my turn to speak, i couldn't help but reflect upon perhaps one of the most extraordinary opportunities that i've been given as a member of the house of representatives. a bipartisan delegation went to the 70th anniversary of the d-day invasion. president obama, of course, spoke. dignitaries from around the world, including the queen of england, also made an appearance. but when we got to the area, to the cemetery area at omaha
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beach, we were meeting veterans who had fought there or in the vicinity and one of the first gentlemen i met, he had only a thumb and he was sitting in a wheelchair and just asked him, because it was such a celebratory atmosphere and everyone was so engaged by the heroism of these men and the opportunity to be back so many years later, i just asked him, i said, did that happen here? he said, yeah, right over there on the beach. his daughter was with him and she told me a moment later, she said, actually what happened was we think that he was shot on the hip and one of his grenades began to go off and he was throwing it away from himself. i looked at him and i said, how are you here me? said, i don't know. -- here? he said, i don't know. another man who had been a part of the paratroopers who dropped in behind enemy lines the night before, near a town. i asked him, i said, what was your -- what was your
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assignment? hill and some number. i said, where's that? he said, right over there. he said, guard the bridge. i said, that's the bridge. an old norm--- an old norman-style arched bridge, a car-length wide, one lane to get a horse and cart over it. he said, do not let the germans cross that bridge and that was our assignment and we held them. another man looked at me and said, i haven't been here in 70 years. much better reception this time. this great humor, this depth of character that these extraordinary men showed was so evident that day. and to continue the story a ittle bit more, captain luther sexton fortenberry, my grandfather, left his family in august of 1944. and he was initially in the hospital, he was a medical
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doctor. and he was initially in the hospital in england and the records are a little bit unclear. but in november of 1944 he was killed. and he left his 8-year-old son, my father, behind. he was initially buried at a cemetery there. now he's re-interned in arlington national cemetery. one of guides had complete command and i was so impress dollars and i invited him to come to nebraska and he accepted. the summer, we posted -- hosted him in nebraska. columbus is actually where the place where andrew jackson higgins was born. the troop carrier that landed here in omaha, and president
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eisenhower said, he won the war for us. he is associated with louisiana, because that is where he spent his adulthood in ship building. he is from columbus, nebraska. and the front of columbus, nebraska, a small agricultural town, 25,000 people, they built n extraordinary world war ii memorial, this beautiful bronze sculpture. when the former british military officer who does tours and commentary on the battle, he said, jeff, this belongs on utah beach because there is nothing lying that anymore. make a long story short. members of the community who worked on that project heard that and said we could build
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another one. i was trying to tap down expectations, but the day before the 71 sttr anniversary, that new world war ii memorial was put in the breach. general roosevelt led our troops through right in the breach, memorial constructed by the good people now sits as a permanent display, a replica right next to the world war ii museum right there on utah beach. he is popular. and what it must have been like to be in that moment. the french even moved one of their own moments. hey moved their ownmon youments. followed the pathway into germany. i apoll guy for holding you up, but you talked about a number of
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things and we are going to have big important dates about the sensitive points you will talked about, but where there is no debate is the character of the men and women who served in world war ii. so thank you so much. madam speaker, i wanted to give this commentary as well on some of the dynamics of the moment. i would like to share with you, outside of my office hangs a framed copy of a piece of legislation. in fact, it was the first piece of legislation, one of the first pieces that i worked on. what the bill did was it increased the number of iraqi translators who could come to the united states. these persons, they served along side our troops, putting themselves and their families at great personal risk in service to our country. and among those who benefited
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from this expanded policy were members of the faith tradition, a peaceful, faith, that very sadly, isis has targeted as part of their ex termation campaign against christians and religious minorities including muslim communities. madam speaker, as we all know, america has long opened her arms to persons fleeing persecution, who wish to rebuild their lives and become good citizens here. when there is chaos and disorder at our board, where there is uncertainty in immigration policy and procedures, this
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problem undermines the ability of our country to be generous, but worst, it affects our safety. so there are two principles being held in the balance here, eeping america safe. president trump's executive rder protecting the entry of immigrants coming into the u.s. and it blocks all travelers from 90 days of seven countries, iraq, iran, somalia, syria and yemen which was created by the obama administration. travelers from these countries with a green card will be allowed. from my perspective it is reasonable to pause and review
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our policy from dangerous parts of the world. the implementation of the policy has caused confusion, difficulty and concern. but as an example there is a man named nalef who was one of those military translaters putting himself at great risk. he visited my office last monday night. requested help for his wife lala. o of his brothers live in in lincoln nebraska. a president of a university in iraq, he once told me of a student who had become class value difficult i don't remember and and he arrived in america just last year. following 18 months of vetting,
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his wife was awarded a special visa about a week and a half ago. but as he explaining to me both with great composure and sensitivity on our security concern, he told me that his ife was barred from entry. immigration and refugee policy, it involves difficult choice. the country has to consider its and sorpgs capacity. the possibilities of assimilation and the necessity of those coming to accept the values of the host country and a review of this policy, a review of what has happened in europe heds some light.
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for example, germany recklessly threw open its borders and young ngle men entered the country upticking violence and possible apply more terrorism attacks. confusion as to who is where. unwittingly created n backlash and political turmoil. immigration and refugee movement should always be a means of last resort. everyone can't come to the west. rather it is the responsibility of governments around the world to create the conditions where people can live securely and if that breaks down as a first order response, repositioning
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persons in nearby safe zones creates the possibility of a right of return and avoids the trauma of uprooting persons from their home and their culture. madam speaker, with all the situations, we are not dealing with statistics. we are not dealing with some remote geo political policy but dealing with the lives of real persons. last friday morning, lala arrived and with open arms and flowers, her husband welcomed er to america. madam speaker, given now that the executive order has been
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halted, put on a temporary halt as the administration goes through an appeal process, i would think it's appropriate to pause and speak about the broader issues at stake here, what it means to be a nation and what it means to have a binding narrative as a people. madam speaker, i'm quite sure our soldiers know this feeling all too well. i have experienced it, too. you are in a far-off place and no one familiar around you and you have that feeling of connection because you see it. you see an american flag. and at that moment, the flag is more than a piece of cloth with stars and stripes. it is an enduring symbol that speaks about who we are as a people and the ideals that unite s as a nation.
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if you ask most people what america means, they would say one word, freedom. yet i'm afraid that this word freedom is so overused that we have forgotten it's essential meaning. freedom is the ability to do what one ought, to take responsibility for oneself, one's family, one community. freedom is not a detachment from responsibility to do whatever you want. that is a self-destructive idea that erodes freedom resulting not only in the loss of oneself but in the degradation of an entire community and we reflect what it means to be an american when discussing immigration.
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america has long offered the hope for immigrants yes or noing to work for thems and to those tired core huddled masses yearning to be free. america has lifted its lamp beside the golden door. and impolicity in this worldwide welcome was a basic compact that those who came here, however ard dueous their journey must undertake the responsibilities of citizenship. and of course many people briefly do. but in fact, america's very survival as a beacon-handed land requires those to assimilate and adopt the propositions that makes our country unique in the history of the world. that includes respect for others, acceptance of law and der as a prerequisite of the
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functioning of society and to participate constructively as a citizen. those who refuse to assimilate or reject these time-honored values take advantage of generations of americans who have built and often died for what we cherish and what we share from people around the world. that is unfair and an abuse of the idea of freedom itself. madam speaker, freedom, individual freedom is achieved most fully in the context of community. and when the government or interest groups see freedom merely as a functional meeting of material needs alone, it undermines the social dimensions f freedom, which are rooted in
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authentic human relationship. conversely, the government well ordered provides protection and creates the guardrails for individuals to flourish together, generating meaning for persons and community. the right political approach in america can restore that golden mean. madam speaker, there is a story i would like to tell about a man telling his young son. you see that beautiful young lovely home on the hill. if it is your heart's desire and willing to work hard and be patient, if you do what's right, it -- maybe you could earn that home run one day. another man in a different country took a different approach and said see that big
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mansion on the hill there, you work hard enough and stay focused and position yourself right, one day you can get that guy. you see, madam speaker, our country is not based on the principle of envy but based on respect and responsibility, to make america flourish again, economically, politically and cult trally. this ideal is neice to create the condition of true and lasting freedom. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman have a motion in mr. fortenberry: i move that the house adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the estion is on the house adjourning. those in favor say aye.
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those opposed, no. the ayes have it. accordingly, the the house today to go that route of several bills. tomorrow, the leader a number of disapproval resolution of rules created during the obama administration. after that, the house will reset for the rest of the week. follow the house tomorrow for morning hours speeches and noon for legislative work. we will have live coverage of supreme court nominee neil gorsuch before the senate judiciary committee on the c-span networks. with dianneh met
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feinstein, the ranking democrat on the committee. after that, the briefly let reporters into the office for a photo op. senator feinstein: if anything makes one self-conscious, this is it. we can talk? thank you. the press guys were out there for two hours before. i'm serious. trump spoke donald at they dealt our first -- the dell air force florida. next s


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