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tv   U.S. House Meets for Morning Hour  CSPAN  March 8, 2017 10:00am-10:41am EST

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like that. lott of us, you know, eat a of meat and things, don't get bodies.iber in our what happens, that causes all bodies problems in our and we have problems. ost: alexander, the house is coming in for the day. we'll be back here tomorrow 7 a.m. coverage, live coverage of the house begins right now on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. march 8, 2017. i hereby appoint the honorable ileana ros-lehtinen to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 3, 2017, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for horning hour
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debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties . all time shall be equally allocated between the parties and in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip shall be limited to five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: madam speaker, thank you very much. for the past few years i have been on the floor from time to time on the loss of life and waste of money in afghanistan. i believe we have too many in congress who are not listening to our men and women in uniform. and i actually not even listen to the taxpayers who are paying the bill to be in afghanistan. from articles written about paying for ghost soldiers, that means they don't exist, to the of defense spending
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$6 million to buy nine goats, the stories just go on and on and on. there are so many examples of waste, fraud, and abuse it is time that we in congress realize that it is not in our best interest to stay there for 16 more years. we have already been there 16 years. and, you know, you get to a point that you just wonder, so many of our young men and women who have fought for our country in iraq and afghanistan are special heros to all of us. we know that. this is about the policy of the congress. not the military policy. recently i read an article that he former president of afghanistan, named karzai, has been meeting with the russians and asking the russians to come back to afghanistan and karzai was set up meetings with the taliban. sometimes you just wonder who
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in the world is watching this absolute wild, crazy world of afghanistan? this past week there was another article, i read the title of the article, madam speaker, chinese troops appear to be operating in afghanistan. and the pentagon is ok with it again i repeat myself. 16 years of war in afghanistan, hasn't the american soldier done enough? hasn't the american taxpayer paid enough for goats? paying ghost soldiers, 200,000 afghans who don't exist or are getting paid, that means the money ends in the hands of the taliban or the village leaders? if the chinese want to spend 16 years there in afghanistan, so be it. et them have it.
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i think of the history of afghanistan, mr. speaker. alexander the great was the first. then the brits went in there. mr. churchill was a young reporter when they were in afghanistan. he was very disillusioned with that world. then the russians went in for 10 years, then they left. and we have been there 16 years. afghanistan is a graveyard of empires. it is time for us to start looking at the sensibility of what we're doing there and does it make any sense is a better waive saying it. i think that -- berter way of -- better way of saying it. i think that afghanistan being the graveyard of empires there is probably a head stone that says russia after 16 years maybe there will be a head stone that says u.s.a. who knows if the chinese go and say 16 years there might be another head stone that says china. at that time maybe the ghost soldiers can take the $6
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million goats out to the graveyard and let them eat the grass or something. i don't know, madam speaker. it gets a little bit crazy. it does. it's time for this congress to debate whether our policy is to stay in afghanistan or to come home from afghanistan. and i close with this. these two little girls from my district, their daddy, kevin, was a sergeant from camp lejeune, in my district. he and colonel palmer from cherry point marine air station, which also is in my disstrict, why sent in afghanistan to train afghanistanis to be policemen. these two literal girls at the funeral of their daddy. their daddy emailed eemed his wife the day before he was shot and chilled. he said i don't trust them. i don't trust them. i don't trust any of them. so i say to these two little girls, your united states congress needs to debate whether we need to stay in
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afghanistan longer than the 16 years we have been there, or is it time to say we have done our job and it's time to come home? with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. barragan, for five minutes. ms. barragan: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. barragan: thank you, madam speaker. today i rise to stand in solidarity on a day without a woman. you will see women in red today and men with red ties. in honor of today. it's 2017 and we still need a day without a woman to remind this administration and republicans in congress that women deserve equal pay and access to affordable health care. just yesterday the assault on continued. with the g.o.p.'s plan to pay more for less in health care legislation that will restrict
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a woman's right to comprehensive health care coverage. the republican bill also defunds planned parenthood. women with nowhere else to turn will lose access to essential preventive care and affordable contraception. this is very personal for me. when i was growing up we were poor. i had a sister that got pregnant at 15. another one that got pregnant at 16. i myself had a condition that required me to get on contraception to deal with pain that i had. i had nowhere to tufrpblt i myself had to go to a clinic. that saw me on a sliding scale. otherwise i would have had nowhere to go. the fact that we're facing the threat of losing this today for women in preventive care is beyond uncomprehensible to me and scary. on this day today without a woman, i also think about women. women like rosa parks, the
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mothers, the daughters, grandchildren, that took part in the women's march on january 21. women at the forefront of every fight for equality. i stand today with women like my mother, theresa, an immigrant from mexico who raised a large family, who took care of my father when he was sick, and continues to support me today. i stand today to fight for equal pay for equal work. because women and latinas in particular are paid only 54 cents for every $1 paid to white men. i fight in congress for american families so that they have economic stability, can make ends meet, and set their kids off to a brighter future. i will continue to fight with my sisters in congress for health care, for immigration, and for human rights. all of these are women's
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rights. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, for five minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to encourage everyone in south florida to come out to zoo miami this sunday, march 12, for the families for fragile x monkey madness 5-k run-walk. fragile x syndrome is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability which results in a wide range of mental and physical impairments. it is also the most common known genetic cause of autism. through events like the upcoming 5-k run-walk, organizations like the national fragile x foundation, and the families for fragile x, are working to raise awareness and advance groundbreaking research. these events also bring together those impacted by fragile x in our community and
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provide them with the essential support and encouragement so that no one family hats to go through this journey alone. i ask everyone in south florida to join michelle and her son as well as hundreds of other patients, caregivers, and friends whose lives have been empacted by fragile x, this sunday for the monkey madness 5-k run-walk. you can register at families for fragile x dot-com. mr. speaker, i'd like to recognize the friendship circle of miami, a program provided by the habad of kendell and pine crest that offers much needed acceptance to children and young individuals with special needs by providing them with the skills to become our future leaders. since its inception, the friendship circle has provided these vulnerable members of our society the opportunity to participate in many programs like organized sports, visual
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and performing arts, all while building lasting friendships. the friendship circle has grown from a small organization that started in detroit to now having chapters all across our nation and around the world. i would like to offer a special congratulations to our miami chapter as it recently held its annual walk for friendship, raising awareness and support for the programs and services offered to our youth. mr. speaker, it is organizations like friendship circle that serve as the pillar of equality and celebrate each person's individual qualities that make them great. i ask south florida to join members of our community like the pardo family, angel, rosy, and andrew in bringing a smile to the faces of some very special children in our community. mr. speaker, march 1 marked the 56th anniversary of the peace corps, the peace corps' talented volunteers have
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accomplished a lot over the years. serving in over 140 countries across the globe. they have changed millions of lives, provided immeasurable technical assistance to communities in need, and helped create a better understanding between americans and people abroad. in 2011, i was proud to author a bill that helped protect peace corps volunteers. the senate companion to that bill became law as the kate pousi act. establishing policies that m prove volunteer safety and ensured that they would have the resources necessary to contend with emergencies. peace corps volunteers exemplify the extraordinary compassion and leadership of our great nation and their security is paramount as they carry out their mission abroad. i congratulate the peace corps on its 56th anniversary, and i wish it even greater success in the years ahead. mr. speaker, i'd like to
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recognize jonathan, a wonderful student at christopher columbus high school, whom i recently met for his efforts that are known as, no more. he started this organization, no more, and it's an organization founded to raise awareness about sexual assault on high school campuses in south florida. anyone regardless of age can become a victim of sexual assault. unfortunately, it is a crime that often goes unreported due to the detrimental scars felt by some victims. by joining together to create no more, jonathan and his friends have undertaken a noble effort to support victims, protect others from harm, and prepare high school students to make informed decision. thank you, jonathan, and christopher columbus high school, for your work and advocacy to combat this issue that affects so many in our community and across the nation. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the
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gentlewoman from california, ms. speier, for five minutes. ms. speier: mr. speaker, thank you. four years ago i stood on this same floor and condemned the online bullying of u.s. marine corps servicewomen on a public facebook page. today i stand before you again incredulous, angry, and sad to say that absolutely nothing has changed. it this weekend news broke that the department of defense is, quote, investigating scores of enlisted marines for compiling thousands of naked photos of other marines. servicewomen. often surreptitiously and distributing them through facebook and google drive. the site in question is called, quote, marines united, unquote, claiming a membership of over
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30,000 people. the photos are being tightly held due to the ongoing investigation, but all indications are that they are just as repulsive as what we saw four years ago. the report contains samples of comments posted about female marines, which are too obscene to read on the house floor. . online commentators called for the rape of some of the marines portrayed in the photos. terrifying. giving many of the women identified by name and base. this is not about sex or fun or boys will be boys. this is about the marines deliberately trying to degrade, humiliate and threaten fellow marines. they encourage stalking, distributed stolen intimate photos and reduced their comrades to a collection of
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body parts. well, i'm here to say women marines will not be treated like sides of beef. they are warriors and should be treated as such. as one fellow marine who completed the once male only infantry training, quote, i am -- this o be able to cultural rot which is clearly regressed even further since 2013, harms our troops and our readiness. it's abundantly clear this is not a few bad marines. rather, it's another example of a culture rot. it is a blight that ineffects not just the ranks of the enlisted but also the officer corps. military leadership have utterly failed in their responsibility to protect their troops, punish those involved and uphold the professed values
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of the corps much that's why the survivors of this latest atrocity did not have the confidence to notify their superiors for fear of retribution. it took a marine veteran and blogger to blow the whistle, and for that he has been threatened with death and his wife has been threatened with rape. back in 2013, then commandant general amos wrote to me, quote, we share your indignation, unquote, regarding deplorable images on social media that denigrate women in the united states marine corps. they were words. just words. i fear that military leadership will say anything to placate congress and an outrage public but then do nothing. i recently had the opportunity to meet with sk of defense, mr. james mattis. i found him to be engaging, thoughtful and committed to our
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troops. secretary mattis is also a retired marine. secretary mattis, i hope you are deeply disturbed by what we are seeing within the corps. i hope you are listening to service women like the one whose private photos were posted in 2013 facebook group. one left the service in 2015 and says she knowing her pictures are still out there has silenced her. she said, quote, i want to be a positive influence on the community and this diminished me, it took away everything, unquote. secretary mattis, this must change now. i call on you to hold your leadership accountable for these failures to establish a culture of dramatic change and that means heads should roll. talk is cheap. action is what is needed for the integrity of the military. survivors must be supported and that will only happen if those bad marines are drummed out of
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the corps with no exceptions. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. mast, for five minutes. thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, i rise today because there have now recently been at least 100 threats made against more than 75 jewish community centers across the country. these threats and recent vandalism of jewish cemeteries are despicable, and i could probably find much more harsh language to use that we probably shouldn't use here on the house floor. communities centers of all faiths should be places where people can find peace and not feel targed for their beliefs. -- targeted for their beliefs. as a nation, we have to
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demonstrate that we will do everything within our power to prevent future threats and stop potential attacks. one of my first acts as a new member of congress was to join the bipartisan task force to combat anti-semitism. i'm sad we even have to do this, but our group works across the aisle to combat global anti-semitism, and i've also co-sponsored the combating european anti-semitism act which has the secretary of state to track anti-semitism in europe. but it's clear from these attacks, madam speaker, that we must also do far more here at home to combat anti-semitism. in the coming days, i will be working with my colleagues, both republicans and democrats, to determine the additional steps that we can take to combat anti-semitism in the united states and keep our communities safe. i would make this encouragement. i encourage all of my
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colleagues to ask themselves one question. what if they were their own child's elementary school? what if it were their child's daycare? what if it were their child's after-school program that had the threat of a bomb just like the one that took my own legs? with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida -- from maryland, mr. brown, for five minutes. mr. brown: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. brown: madam speaker, i rise today to speak out against the proposal offered by the republican majority to replace the affordable care act. after nearly seven years of republicans house finally released their health care proposal on monday. simply stated, this proposal is bad for seniors, it's bad for
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the poor, and it's bad for the sick. it costs more and offers less. it raises costs on middle-class americans while giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy and to special interests. madam speaker, more than 12,000 of my constituents receive financial assistance to buy health insurance on the exchange in the commercial market, and almost all of them will get less health under the republican proposal. and why is that? because the proposed tax credits will vary by age and income which means premiums will unaffordable for the low to moderate-income families and seniors, and as premiums go up with health care costs over don't, se tax credits making insurance less affordable year after year. and regarding the individual mandate, while removing it may be politically popular, experts who have studied this expects premiums to increase 25% when the individual mandate is
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eliminated. and when the employer mandate is eliminated under the g.o.p. proposal, fewer employers will offer insurance to their employees. furthermore, madam speaker, i'm opposed to the g.o.p. proposal because it will significantly raise health care costs on individuals in their 50's and 60's. and why is that? because the plan will allow insurers to charge them five times more than younger policyholders. in fact, if you are 60 years or older and making an average income under the g.o.p. proposal, your insurance bill will go up by $3,200 each year while you lose $6,000 in tax credits and subsidies. madam speaker, nearly 30,000 men, women and children in my district are currently covered on the medicaid expansion provisions of the affordable care act, and each of them now stands to lose coverage if the republican congress eliminates
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maryland's medicaid expansion. even our republican governor understands that much. the g.o.p. plan to so-called modernize medicaid, essentially turns the program into a block grant program that shifts the costs to states and states simply cannot afford that. as a result, we will eventually see massive cuts to this cost-efficient program. this plan to turn medicaid into a block grant program would hurt the working poor, children, seniors and people with disabilities that rely on this program. this is wrong and disgraceful. and why the republicans want to cut medicaid, mr. speaker? i'm not sure, but what i do know, they are also proposing huge cuts for the wealthy. under monday's midnight proposal, we now see that the 400 wealthiest households in america will receive annual tax cuts of $7 million. the proposal also includes tax breaks for insurance companies that pay their c.e.o.'s half a
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million dollars a year. madam speaker, the republicans kept this proposal under lock and key for a reason. they scheduled a committee markup without a single hearing or even a c.b.o. score. the american people deserve to see the numbers and their representatives -- that means every member of this congress -- needs to hear from the congressional budget office. there are unanswered questions. how much will this cost taxpayers? how will it impact our hospitals and health centers and how many people will lose the health coverage they have right now? the american public demand and deserve to know. madam speaker, this is not regular order and this is not why i came to congress. when democrats introduced the affordable care act, whether you supported it or not, we held 79 hearings over two years, heard from 181 witnesses from both sides of the aisle. we posted the bill online 30 days before markup. the republicans have done none of these things. that's hypocritical and
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shameful. we will resist this dangerous repeal proposal, madam speaker. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, for five minutes. mr. johnson: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to discuss another glaring and scandalous drama involving president trump's conflict of interest that has been lost in the shuffle of the president's nightly tweets and the daily russian revelations. i'd like to talk about the old post office building down the street on pennsylvania avenue. the general services administration solicited proposals for redevelopment of the old post office building in 2011, selected the trump organization in 2012 and signed a 60-year lease in 2013 to redevelop the building.
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for the first time in u.s. history, a sitting president now operates and profits from a private business in a taxpayer-owned federal building. the old post office building lease agreement explicitly prohibits any elected official of the u.s. government from serving as a lessee or from profiting under the lease. before the president took office, korea officials and g.s.a. confirmed that the prohibition of elected officials benefiting from the lease is a ban on the president being a party to or benefiting from the lease. the prohibition not allowing elected officials to benefit from g.s.a. leases exists because of the outsized influence elected officials, especially the president, have over the funding and management of g.s.a.
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president trump has violated the very terms of the lease agreement that his company entered into with the united states government for the trump international hotel. the very moment he took the oath of office to become president of the united states of america. soon, president trump will appoint the administrator of the general services administration -- the general services administration who serves at the pleasure of the president. that same administrator will be responsible for administering and managing the lease where the guy who signs his paycheck is the guy who benefits from the lease. that, ladies and gentlemen, is a classic conflict of interest. to try to hide this conflict, president trump has announced a so-called divestment plan that has two of his adult children who is responsible for negotiating with the g.s.a. on behalf of daddy.
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if you think daddy's kids won't make sure that daddy is happy with the administrator and if you think the administrator won't make sure that the kids are happy with him, if you believe that, then you would be the one who would buy some ocean front property in chicago. essentially, the president controls the man exercising judgment on his lease. the transportation and infrastructure committee has repeatedly written to the g.s.a. trying to get more information about this glaring problem, but we've not received a substantial response. on march 7, 2017, ranking member peter defazio and i wrote to the g.s.a. inspector general requesting that they examine administration and management of this old post office building lease. congress needs an independent investigation to determine how
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and when g.s.a. plans to resolve this breach of the lease and eliminate this conflict of interest, how g.s.a. is shielding the officials working through this conflict and whether g.s.a. is receiving fair market value for any amendments to the lease. this lease has already been amended five times without any congressional oversight. . there is also the elephant in the room as to whether this trump hotel business is violating the u.s. constitution . it's unclear whether payments by foreign governments to the trump international hotel provide evidence of a violation of the emol ewe meant clause of the constitution. there are also serious allegations whether foreign diplomats are steering business toward the trump international hotel. could it be that putin has already made arrangements to rent the presidential penthouse suite in the trump hotel for $10 million a year for the next four years? or perhaps he's paid $100
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million for an option to lease the grand ballroom at the trump hotel over the next four years. the american people need and deserve answers to these very important questions. president trump and g.s.a. need to come clean and address these conflict of interest issues in a transparent fashion that protects the interest of the american taxpayers. with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold, for five minutes. mr. farenthold: thapping you, madam speaker. -- thank you, madam speaker. today i'm here to congratulation cal allen high school baseball coach on his recent induction into the texas high school baseball coaches hall of fame. coach chapman was born and raised in texas. after graduating from high school, he attended blen junior
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college and the university of mary harden baylor where he received a degree in education. after graduation, he began his coaching career at victoria astroman high school as an assistant coach. in 1983, he became head baseball coach at cal allen high school. in coach chapman's 33 years, his wildcats have won or shared 25 district championships and have been to the region 4 finals 19 times. the wildcats have reached the u.i.l. state tournament on 12 occasions, played in the state championship game eight times, and have won three state championships. coach chapman's overall record is 967 wins, 204 loss, and two ties. coach chapman's induction into the hall of fame is a testament to his hard work and the thousands of lives he's touched while coaching the wildcats, including my long time legislative director, blake.
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i offer my congratulations to coach chapman, his family, and everyone at cal allen. madam speaker, with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington mr. health care for -- mr. heck for five minutes. mr. heck: thank you, madam speaker. today i'd like to share a letter i receive from sherry, who lives back in my hometown of olympia, washington. sherry writes to me, my husband was a veteran. he worked as a civilian with high security clearance at white sands missile range and later as a paramedic and firefighter. when i met him i was working as a paramedic, also. we were crazy in love. but i lost him to cancer in 2009 at the age of 56. since the day my husband died, we lost his income. i had to figure out how to raise our son, who was then 6. i sold my business on the oregon coast, lost my house in
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newport, and moved to washington to be with my sister. i found olympia a year later and have been here since. i have qualified for food stamps for the last eight years. we have depended on the food bank on and off. when all this happened, that was before obamacare. and the $1,000 monthly premium for insurance, for my family, was simply not sustainable. at first i was able to keep my insurance through cobra, but after that ran out, we were left paying for some cut-rate insurance that provided very little coverage. when the affordable care act was enacted, i finally felt relief. i got cord through -- covered through the a.c.a. and that allowed me to direct some of the money i was paying to insurance to food, books, clothing, or tuition. my son is now 13 and 6'1", with a size 14 shoe. so we go through clothes and
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shoes for him like crazy. i still struggle. i still have medical bills and collections. i still struggle with food and clothes for both myself and my son. still go to the food bank in downtown owe limb peaa. but obamacare allows me to follow my health closely and helps me pay for the medical care for my son and that which i require. i have a spot on my lung and that needs constant monitoring. and obamacare has allowed me to go in for those routine m.r.i.'s. preventive services like mammograms are also paid for. since my husband died, i have been focused on raising my son and getting a higher education degree. i went to massage school and earned my degree at the everygreen state college. i'll graduate with a master's degree in psychology in august. not only will i be employable and able to help others in the field, i will also get to start
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whittling away at paying old medical bills and my student loans. although i will no longer need obamacare since i'll have health insurance through my employer, the a.c.a. has forever changed the insurance marketplace. the insurers can't charge me more for my pre-existing condition like they could before. if the a.c.a. had been in place when my husband died, i would have been able to keep my business on the oregon coast. if the a.c.a. had been in place when my husband died, i would have immediately qualified for insurance under the a.c.a. and i may have been able to keep our house. i want you to know i am not lazy. i am a determined, self-improving mom who is raising her son alone. before the a.c.a. i had to decide whether to pay for insurance or food. i depend on the a.c.a. that's the letter from sherry.
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madam speaker, this past saturday i had the opportunity to meet with more than 300 of my constituents who support accessible, affordable health care in our country. i heard from many but still a small portion of the 750,000 washingtonians who gained coverage through the a.c.a. the a.c.a. is working for many people across america. and congress should not reverse the progress we have made under it. that being said, i know there are parts of the a.c.a. that could be improved upon. we all know that. we can and should make improvements in order to make health care insurance more affordable and more accessible to more people across our nation. as we began this congress, i had hope that we could have a productive bipartisan discussion about the steps we could take to do just that. but i was saddened and frankly dismayed by the lack of serious
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policy efforts for my friends on the other side of the aisle. well, the majority finally released their proposed replacement for the a.c.a., the so-called american health care act, after weeks of hiding the secret bill behind closed doors. and frankly, i'm not impressed by the bill. this bill offers no attempts to improve health care coverage or insurance coverage. no attempts to reduce health care costs or the rate of inflation. this bill allows insurance to charge older people more while at the same time reducing the subsidies for many of those very same people. the bill was presented without any indication of how it will affect our budget or how many people will be kicked off their insurance under this plan. this bill does not address the barriers that prevent working class and middle class people from accessing and securing health insurance.
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in fact, the bill would likely put health insurance out of reach for millions of americans. who are working in middle class. madam speaker, to earn the label american, a bill had better be exceptional. the american health care act is a lot of things, but exceptional is not one of them. people like sherry are exceptional. let's put sherry and people in her circumstance first. thank you, madam speaker. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in lee sess -- recess until noon today.
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the markup session for the republican plan, the health care plan submitted by the republicans on tuesday. greg walden is chairman of the energy and commerce committee making an opening statement here. we'll show you this and remind you that the ways and means committee also marking up the bill and that is live over on c-span3, online at and you can listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> mr. pallone for a three-minute opening statement. >> can i have a unanimous consent request? mr. walden: i recognize the gentleman from new jersey for an opening statement. >> can i have a unanimous consent request? mr. pallone: the vice ranking member and i, i am not sure if i mentioned to the republican -- >> mr. chairman, i reserve the right to object.


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