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tv   U.S. House Debates National Defense Authorization Act  CSPAN  July 13, 2017 3:32pm-5:01pm EDT

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approached by the chairman of the board, amtrak board, tony koshev from the new york-new jersey area, they asked me about doing it, they said no. then i made a mistake, i said, i'd be happy to help. they ran a search which didn't really work very well and tony came back to me and finally convinced me to my wife's utter disgust, do it. for a little while. a little while was defined as a fairly short period of time and tony put it so eloquently the other day, i have not adhered to my contract. i'm now overrunning my allotted time. fortunately, contract adherence doesn't really matter to me because i'm not drawing any salary so there's very little to claw back. why did i do it? three reasons. as you heard, i've been in this industry a long time and i've been remarkably -- >> all of this online at c-span dirg. just search future of amtrak.
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the house is gaveling back in for more work on the defense authorization bill. will the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, kindly resume the chair. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of the bill, h.r. 2810, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018, for military activities of the department of defense, and for military construction. to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes. the chair: when the committee of the whole rose earlier today, amendment number 14 printed in part b of house -212 offered by the
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gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, had been disposed of. pursuant to house resolution 440, no further amendment to the bill as amended shall be in order except those printed in house report 115-217, and amendments en bloc described in section 3. each further amendment printed in the report shall be considered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. it shall be in order to offer amendments en bloc consisting of amendments printed in the report not earlier disposed of. amendments en bloc shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 20 minutes equally divide and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on armed services, or their designees. shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for ivision of the question.
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in house report 115-217. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. garamendi: i have amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: -- the clerk: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 offered by mr. garamendi of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 440, the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. garamendi: mr. chair, i yield to myself as much time as i might consume. this amendment facilitates the construction of badly needed icebreakers. the united states does not have any heavy icebreakers that are available all year round. we only have one. and that's used in the antarctic and therefore unavailable in the summer in
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the north. joining me on this amendment is the ranking member and others from the coast guard maritime subcommittee of the transportation infrastructure committee. we need icebreakers. in fact, we need six icebreakers. we need to build the first one immediately and get it under way. language in the underlying bill provides a mechanism for us to fund those -- to fund that icebreaker, using the authorities of the department of navy, specifically one of their sections. this amendment, which clarifies the language and makes it clear that the navy can act as the fiscal agent to carry out the icebreaker task that does not require in any way that the navy ship building account be used in any way to pay for the icebreaker. the money for the icebreaker will have to come from other sources. but it makes it clear that the navy can expend money as a fiscal agent, using the special
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account that was designated -- that has been in existence for some time. i can go into great length about why we need icebreakers. but the very short story is that russia has over 40 icebreakers, probably closer to 50. many of them heavy icebreakers capable of operating in very thick ice in the arctic. the united states really has none. we have some light icebreakers but they will not suffice during the arctic spring and winter. and therefore we have to get with it. we do know that in the future, well, today and this year, this summer, the northwest passage will be open for shipping. and the east passage, which is along the russian coast, is also open. so the arctic is a navigable ocean. the u.s. a navy cannot operate there without an icebreaker. we cannot conduct the civil and maritime, as well as military, exercises without a heavy icebreaker.
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this allows us to do that. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in opposition to the amendment to strike a critical provision of this year's ndaa. i do share my colleague's concern for the current state of our u.s. coast guard icebreaker fleet. and do i believe there are ways we can address that issue. but i disagree with their proposed solution. to be clear, the national defense authorization act authorizes funds for the department of defense. the u.s. coast guard falls under the department of homeland security. this amendment seeks to take millions of dollars away from the navy in the long term and shift it to the coast guard for their expenditures. mr. wittman: make no mistake about it, if this amendment passes, there's no stopping the department of homeland security
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or any other agency from poaching enormous sums of our defense department budget in the future. today it's coast guard icebreakers. next year it may be the national oceanic and atmospheric administration research and survey vessels. and the possibilities are endless. unfortunately the funds are not. i would urge my colleagues to vote no on this amendment, to ensure that our navy and department of defense funds are used only by the navy and the department of defense. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. garamendi: i yield one minute to my friend from the state of washington. the chair: the gentleman from washington state is recognized for one minute. >> thank you. and i rise in support of the garamendi-hunter amendment. because i know how important a strong icebreaker fleet is to national security. the committee recognizes this reality, as elsewhere in the bill we give the d.o.d. some important authorities to support icebreaker procurement. however, this section, 123, prohibits d.o.d. funding for
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icebreaker procurement. this amendment strikes this provision because flexibility will be essential to funding new icebreakers. coast guard ship building budgets are insufficient for icebreaker procurement, absent radical cuts elsewhere. as co-chair of the arctic working group, i know that the united states needs icebreakers. mr. larson: these shifts protect -- mr. larsen: these ships protect economic interests in the region. the importance of icebreakers will only grow and urge my colleagues to support the garamendi-hunter amendment. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. wittman: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield one minute to my friend and colleague, the gentleman rom nebraska, mr. bacon. the chair: the gentleman from . braska is recognized mr. bacon: -- mr. bacon: thank you, mr. speaker. these are indispensable tools
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to assure the safe and rabbit -- rapid movement of waters. however, the responsibility and accountability for constructing and operating america's icebreakers must rest solely where the congress has assigned it. department of homeland security and the u.s. coast guard. the questions we are debating today is not whether we need icebreakers, but whether how to appropriate the funds and who should build them. as important as ice breaksers are, they are not warships. we must not allow funding legitimately appropriate for our combat fleet to be diverted for nondefense needs. i acknowledge the temptation to raid defense accounts for a worthy cause, we must be mindful of how deep in the hole we are with our air, land, sea, space and cyberforces. we need to keepure oioop the ball. and rebuilding our military's readiness and modernization. i urge a no vote against this amendment understand i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. garamendi: how much time do i have remaining? the chair: the gentleman from california has 1 1/2 minutes remaining.
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mr. garamendi: thank you. just a couple of thing. first of all, there's a thing called the national sea lift fund, which has been in existence for a lightning time. that's been used to build nonnavy ships -- non-navy ships. that's exactly what we intend to do here. to use the national sea lift fund. not the navy ship building fund. secondly, you may notice, or you may want to know that the u.s. coast guard is in fact a defense as well as a civilian vessel. has both obligations. we also need to understand that we're not stealing money from the navy. this is simply a mechanism in which the navy acts as a fiscal agent to carry out the task. the coast guard is not well suited to build ships of this type. we're looking for the most efficient and effective way to carry out the task and the use of the national sea lift fund together with the u.s. navy as the fiscal agent is the best way to accomplish that. and i would end by simply saying the u.s. navy is toothless, useless in the
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arctic unless it has an icebreaker. if you care about the arctic ocean and the role of the u.s. navy in carrying out our national defense functions in the arctic, then you must help us find way to build these icebreakers. we will do so without in any way taking funds away from the u.s. navy ship building. indeed, it will be up to the appropriators to appropriate money, quite hopefully, from the department of homeland security for this purpose. putting the money into this national sea lift fund. so that it can then be used to build the icebreaker with the navy acting as the fiscal agent. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. wittman: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield one minute to my friend and colleague, the gentleman from ohio, mr. turner. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. michael turner mr. chairman, i want to -- mr. turner: mr. chairman, i want to join with chairman wittman in expressing opposition to this amendment. the navy has no indication that
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they have a military requirement for icebreakers. right now we're trying to reverse the effects of sequestration. we're fighting against budget cuts. when you use money for something other than it was intended for, it is a budget cut. and that's what this would be. no one's talking about raising the top line of the overall defense budget. but they are talking about using the funds otherwise for something that's nondefense. i want to join with everyone who is speaking on this issue of the importance of the coast guard and certainly its impact nd certainly the issues of ice breaking. but ship building for the navy and for our military should be concentrated on our military. and certainly the funds that we are appropriating to the department of defense should remain in the department of defense. i rise in support of the opposition with chairman wittman. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from virginia. mr. wittman: i reserve. i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman has the only remaining time. mr. wittman: thank you, mr.
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chairman. in closing i want to say that going to admiral richardson's words, admiral richardson clearly states that the mission of icebreak something a coast guard mission -- icebreaking is a coast guard mission. the disagreement is using resources that are within the defense budget in order to do that. if you're going to put the responsibility for building icebreakers and maintaining and operating them with the coast guard, yet you're going to put the money in the department of defense budget, where there's no control, no oversight, that is a catastrophe waiting to happen. it if this is to happen, it should happen within the department of homeland security budget, or there needs to be a debate about whether where ultimately the coast guard needs to be located. but to put money in one area of the budget and expect that the going to be managed properly and applied properly someplace where there's not even jurisdiction i think is problematic. again, it's clear where the missions are, it's clear where the responsibility lies, between the homeland security department and the coast guard and the navy and the department of defense. i want to make sure we're
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building more cutters and icebreakers, but if we're going to do that, let's make sure we do it in the proper way. i think there's ways to construct language to make that happen. but this is not the way to do it. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time being expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. . . in the opinion of the chair, the ins have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. garamendi: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in ouse report 115-217. for what purpose does the -- it
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is no now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in house report 115-217, for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. buck: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will dez egg nate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in house report 115-217, offered by mr. buck of colorado. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 440, the gentleman from colorado, mr. buck, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: thank you, mr. chairman. for the opportunity to speak about my amendment to the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2018. our military is the greatest fighting force in the world. i applaud the department of defense's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. however, with our limited resources, we must ensure that these resources are being put to use in the best possible way. every penny spent by the department of defense must be used to advance our military's mission and support our troops.
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incorporating higher cost fuel sources into the department's energy acquisition process is money lost to repair planes, buy ammunition, and defeat the enemy. moreover, congress must ensure we are being good stewards of the american people's money. with our debt soaring toward $20 trillion, it is irresponsible to ask american families to subsidize with their tax dollars fuel sources that have not yet been proven cost effective. of course the department of defense would still be allowed to research alternative sources of energy. my amendment ensures that the department of defense can conduct research on alternative fuels to ensure these energy sources can be cost competitive in the future. my commonsense amendment is simple. it provides a framework for ensuring the department of defense is engaging in responsible energy acquisition practices. it prohibits renewable energy mandates placed on the department of defense and ensures that every unit of energy our military purchases is the most cost effective option
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available while still maintaining the ability to research new sources of energy. i urge my colleagues to support my amendment and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? >> i claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. langevin: mr. chairman, this amendment is a blatant attack on use of alternative energy by the department of defense. so we have existing contracts right now for renewable energy, both liquid fuels and electricity at the department of defense and this amendment puts the brakes on those policies and bury them in a web of unnecessary requirements. requiring procurement managers to track all federal subsidies and cackstet -- tax credits would be a burden to the government and requiring suppliers to provide such information would be onerous,
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expensive and may in fact actually drive them away. also, this would result in less competition for contracts and higher costs to the department of defense and ultimately it's going to be higher cost then for the taxpayer somple most alarmingly, this amendment does not include any waivers for times of emergency when time sensitive purchase of readily available alternatives fight be imperative to completing the mission even if it's at a price point higher then the usual market cost. mr. chairman, it also does not provide consideration for renewable energy projects for military installations that, though they may not reduce costs do have other quantity final benefit, increase combat effectiveness or enhance mission resiliency. this amendment is also redundant for bulk purchases of which the d.o.d. has many current -- already prohibits the department
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from alternative fuel purchase unless fully burdened cost is cost competitive with traditional fuels. burying suppliers in these requirements is an unnecessary compliance burden and could disincentivize some suppliers from doing business with the d.o.d. finally this amendment is opposed by the department of defense. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this amendment and reserve the balance of my timele the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from rhode island. mr. langevin: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. peters. chip the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. peters: i am opposed to this amendment which would unnecessarily tie the hands of our military as it seeks to diversify its energy supply. -- supply. the pentagon is pursuing alternative energy not because they're some kind of tree
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huggers but because diversity of options improves mission capabilities an saves lives. just because the price of oil is low today doesn't mean it won't spike tomorrow and force military leaders to divert resources away from mission priorities. in some cases this has meant turning ships around and cutting their voyages short because of shortage of fuel. this is a concern as we face isis while pivoting toward the pacific. the pacific ocean is 64 million miles and includes hot spots including the south china sea whose recent actions threaten our national security. as we ask our leaders to respond at a moment's notice they these the flexibility that comes with alternative sources. that's not just me, that's the opinion of general mattis. my colleagues will say about choosing the most cost effective option but this would place an undue burden on d.o.d. procurement managers to track
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all subsidies with fuel that doesn't include a waiver for national security considerations or increasing combat ffectiveness and would inhibit hings that can save lives. we cannot be powered solely by the energy sources of yesterday. i urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: i don't believe that asking the department of defense to make a cost effective decision in any purchase is an unnecessary burden. and i disagree with my colleagues and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from rhode island. mr. langevin: thank you, mr. chairman. as i said, i believe this amendment would significantly hinder the department of defense's ability to procure energy and i urge its defeat and as i stated previously this amendment is opposed by the
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department of defense. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from rhode island yields back. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: thank you, mr. chairman. the united states military is the greatest fighting force in the world. our troops need to be focused on the mission at hand and have every tool at their disposal to complete that mission my amendment ensures that we practice fiscal discipline in the department of defense's energy acquisition process by ensuring that we are buying the most cost effective source of energy. i thank the chairman and urge my colleagues to support my amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. all time being expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from colorado. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed. to mr. langevin: i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, fourth proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from colorado will be postponed. it is now in order to consider
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amendment number 4 printed in house report 115-217. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speakering, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in house report 115-217, offered by mr. perry of pennsylvania. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 440, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. perry, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. perry: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd also like to thank the chairman of the committee for his hard work and his defense of those who wear the uniform and take on that tough task and in these tough and troubling times especially, in financial austerity where he stood up and let everybody know how the military in actual dollars over the last eight years has been cut significantly and the impact on our security, our national
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security. in that veen, my goal in this -- in that veen my goal in this is to focus on those resources that pose an immediate and direct threat to our national security. this amendment would strike section 336 of the ndaa, which triblings the requirement for the secretary of defense to submit a report on the vulnerability to military installations in combatant commander requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years. i'm not here to debate climate change, whether it's real or whether it's not, how it's created, how we fix it, all that stuff, that's for another day. my point is that this shouldn't be the priority of combatant commanders an our military. the united states military is currently operating in a very complex threat environment in which our country must be ready to face our adversaries. our country is facing direct threats from a myriad of sources including islamist extremists, isis, al qaeda, the taliban, abu
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sayyaf, the alphabet soup of names in that regard is continuous and unrelenting. north korea, china, iran, russia, even in space. over the past eight year, our military strength and readiness has suffered as a result of the underfunding and neglect from the previous administration and their support of sequestration. through the ndaa we must, simply must prioritize, decide what's most important, and be for that and let our war fighters know where we stand. these things will strengthen the rebuilding of our armed forces and resolve their focus on what they need to pay attention to. litanies, literally litanies of other federal agencies deal with environmental issues including climate change. all this amendment does is say, the federal mandate detracts if the essential mission, the essential mission of securing our nation from enemies for the department of defense and is best left to the agencies best suited, best suited to deal with
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this -- these issues. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from rhode island is recognized. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek reck anything -- recognition? mr. langevin: i claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: without objection the gentleman is recognized. mr. langevin: i yield myself one minute and 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. langevin: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, this amendment would strike a provision that we have already thoroughly debated and approved in a bipartisan fashion within the armed services committee. ection 336 acknowledges what secretary mattis has already himself said and what we already know. that a changing climate will affect our military readiness and alter the threat landscape for years to come and we must study these impacts to prepare for them. i cannot see the harm in gathering information and doing an assessment. we already see the strategic
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implications of new ceilings being cut in the melting arctic where countries are seeking an economic advantage. as we speak, along our coast, rising seas are affecting our naval installations including naval station norfolk, the home of the atlantic fleet. the report requires in section 336 is not about causes of climate change, nor do we discuss specific emissions targets or green energy goals. instead, this amendment is very -- the section is very factual, focuses squarely on the readiness of our armed forces to combat the coming and existing climate threat starting with a study of the 10 most vulnerable bases in each service and report on how a change in climate will affect combat commanders' strategic battle plan. as secretary mattis said, the effects of a changing climate such as rising sea levels and
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desertification among others impact our national security. we need to support our leaders in the military and intelligence communities in addressing these concerns so i urge and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman's time has expire. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. perry: may i inquire how much time is remaining? the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania has 2 1/2 minutes and the gentleman from rhode island has 3 1/2 minutes. mr. perry: mr. speaker, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from rhode island. mr. langevin: i yield one minute to the gentlelady, my good friend from new york, the chair of my subcommittee, emerging threats and capabilities on armed services. ms stefanik: i rise in opposition to mr. perry's amendment which would strike language to compile a report on the vullnerkts and requirements
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resulting from climate change. as we heard earlier, this language passed by voice vote on a bipartisan basis during our markup in committee. increased maritime access to the arctic, rising sea levels, increases in natural disasters, damage to infrastructure and other effects of climate change are drivers and degrade the security of the united states. we would be remiss in our efforts to protect our national security to not fully account for the risk climate changes poses to the bases, readiness and armed forces' mission. let's get the information. this is why we had bipartisan support within the committee. we must incorporate environmental factors in our contingency planning to ensure the long-term operation viability of our mission and the safety of our men and women in uniform and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields
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back. mr. perry: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from rhode island. mr. langevin: i yield one minute to ms. ros-lehtinen. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much. and i thank the gentleman for yielding and i rise in opposition to this perry amendment, which will strip vital language regarding the impact of department of defense activities associated with climate change. the defense department does so many vital things for the safety and security of the united states and the american people. we owe the brave men and women who wear the nation's uniform a debt of gratitude. we must be cognizant of all the impacts that d.o.d. activities has across the globe. the defense department has a large footprint and the amount of military construction and other activity that it undertakes year round impacts our environment.
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how could it not? we are talking about possible implications, such as contributions to sea level rise which is particularly important to my constituents in south florida, that it would be irresponsible for us to ignore. i have a coast guard base in my district, coast guard miami located right there in miami beach and we know the impact of sea level rise in that area. as a member of the climate solution caucus, i urge my colleagues to oppose this perry amendment. we have to be clear-eyed about possible impacts of our military activities and that includes the impact that we place on our environment. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. perry: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from rhode island. mr. langevin: i yield one minute to my good friend, mr. peters from california. mr. peters: last year the pentagon released a directive stating that the department of defense must be able to adapt to
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climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient u.s. military. general mattis, now secretary mattis said that, quote, climate change is affecting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today. end quote. and bases in the region i represent in san diego, which is the largest concentration of military, for years the most dedicated leaders have been telling us that climate change is a national security threat. congress cannot afford to make this debate about politics or ideology and we don't have to agree what causes climate change but only agree with our military leaders that the effects of climate change are facing threats. i oppose this amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. perry: how much time is remaining? the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania has 2 1/2 minutes.
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the gentleman from rhode island has 30 seconds. mr. perry: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from rhode island. mr. langevin: as we noted in our committee markup, there would be nothing controversial about studying this threat and being prepared to mitigate the risks. in fact, that is our responsibility. the support for this climate language is truly bipartisan and send a strong message of support to the servicemen and women who will have to lead by opposing this language. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. perry: seems to me the secretary of dens doesn't need congress to tell him what the threats are. he knows what the threats are. and as a person who has been privileged for over 30 years to wear the military's uniform and as a person who is privileged to lead troops in combat in the middle east, i didn't need
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congress to tell me who the enemy is or was. we know that. and we don't need congress to tell us to report the issues that we might have in defending the nation to the congress or to the commander. we know our duty and we will have our duty. whether it's sea level rise or the enemy has a new weapon or we can't feed our troops, we'll report it and resolve it. we don't need people in washington, d.c., telling us how to run the war. that's our job. that's the military's job. this amendment says we ought to prioritize that. we ought to let combatant commanders and let the men and women who defend our country focus on the enemy. and if the enemy is climate change, then they'll focus on that as well and will submit information so we can make decisions. the point is, should all of us in this uniform in washington, d.c., be telling the fine men
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and women in uniform across the globe defending our country that we know better? that's what i'm trying to avoid here. little by little, drip by drip, we have watched our military's focus eroded. and believe me, i have filled out the reports. as an fer i filled out reports on a regular basis that have nothing to do with completing the mission with securing our nation and defeating the enemy. nothing to do with it. this is just one in the long line of them. my only goal is to send this where it needs to be, the agencies best adapted to deal with it and take it out of the agencies that shouldn't be dealing with it and should be securing our nation and fighting the enemy. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. and i ask my colleagues to support the amendment. the chair: all time having been expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania. those in favor say aye.
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, those opposed, no. in the opinion the ayes have it. mr. langevin: a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in house report 115, 217. mr. gosar: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in house report 115-2178 offered by mr. gosar of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 440, the gentleman from arizona and a member opposed each will control five minutes. mr. gosar: i rise today to offer a commonsense amendment to determine the prevailing wage for the department of defense contracts. my amendment would require the calculation of wages for contractors on all defense projects be based on actual statistics calculated by the bureau of labor statistics as opposed to the current process
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which determines those rates based on flawed surveys within the wage and hour division of the department of labor. this amendment is needed. a 2008 department of labor inspector general report found that quote one or more errors existed in 100% of the wage reports, end of quote. the congressional budget office estimates that upwards of $13 billion could be wasted over 10 years if davis-bacon is left unreformed. we have an obligation to spend taxpayer money wisely. this amendment addresses that very need. additionally, this amendment doesn't remove funds from the defense budget. the money that is saved will be kept within the department of defense budget to be used for other department of defense priorities. in a fiscal environment where every dollar counts, this amendment presents a welcomed opportunity to make our defense dollars go further. this amendment isn't an an
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attempt to repeal davis-bacon. it asks that the wage determination for the department of defense be made with statistically sampled information with the bureau of labor statistics so we are able to spend dollars in a more efficient manner. it has proven time and time again they are the only agency capable of accurately determining these wages. a fair wage for a fair job is fair to the american taxpayer. i thank the chairman and ranking member for their continued work on the committee and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves. for what purpose does -- does the gentleman seek recognition? the gentleman opposed to the amendment? >> yes, i am. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> we come here today to speak
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in opposition to the amendment. while it will hurt the local economy and devalue workers' pay and take an important tool out of the tool box for republicans, democrats and americans. almost 100 years ago, two republican congressman, james davis and robert bacon realized there was a problem with federal contracts. those contracts were unfair to the local economies. so in 1931, congress unanimously, unanimously approved davis-bake con prevailing wage ensuring that our construction workers are paid the same as construction workers in that local community. it is based on local wages and benefits, not whether there is a union or not. it keeps the community vibrant and takes into account things that happen in that local community. if it ain't broke, don't fix it, this is a classic example.
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at the are talking about surveys and methodologies. this system has worked for over 80 years. talking about technicalities, but this is cutting wages in a local community. why would you want to go back and say, i will hurt the people i represent, but apparently that is what we are doing. so we want to make sure that local workers are paid a fair wage. the system has worked fine for so many years and make sure those men and women who work hard each and every day are properly compensated. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. gosar: i reserve. >> i recognize the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mckinley. mr. mckinley: i thank mr. norcross, the co-chair to be
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able to discuss this. i rise in opposition to this amendment offered by my friend from arizona. his amendment would change dramatically the methodology used to determine wage rates paid to construction workers across america. while this may appear to be reasonable at first blush, it would depart from the current practice and will result in massive pay cuts for working families. unlike the current system, the methodology would not take into consideration the total value of all wages and benefits into account. it excludes the cost of pensions, health care and vite -- vital training we need to have. what we are trying to say, the full benefit must be considered and it's not in this amendment. mr. speaker, as someone who began in the construction industry in 1965, after 52 years in this business, i understand
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w this davis-bacon act works across the country. these wage protections are not just for union workers but for all construction workers and ensures that the local workers can make a fair living on projects in their community and this amendment unfortunately as well intended as it might be would undermine that. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia yields back. mr. gosar: this is not anti- davis-bacon. the wage and hour division have calculated wages are 75% higher than the actual prevailing wage. in other areas, they are below minimum wage and only 33% of the actual prevailing wage. what's fair is fair. when you start looking at the figures that are used for calculation, they haven't been updated since 1970. give me a break.
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this isn't about davis-bacon but phony capitalism and this is from the jim crow he era. i yield back -- i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey. mr. norcross: i yield one minute to the gentleman from michigan plrks kildee. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kildee: i align myself with his remarks and mr. mckinley. there is bipartisan opposition to this amendment because we know what it would do. the net effect is to reduce wages for workers in the communities we represent. i come from flint, michigan and i represent folks who play by the rules and have a right after working in a trade, to get compensation that's equal to the quality of the work that they deliver. if we don't support that, all we're going to do is continue
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this race to the bottom. we all talk about the fact that wages have not kept up. and here's yet another effort that will undermine the ability of american workers who work hard every single day to be able to have a decent wage, take care of their families, put their kids through school, set something aside for retirement. this is the american dream. this is why back in the 1930's this legislation was first put in place and this amendment would undermine that promise. i urge a no vote. . mr. gosar: i ask how much time i have. the chair: the gentleman from arizona has 2 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from new jersey has one minute. mr. gosar: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. norcross: thank you. i want to just bring this back home. why in the world would you ever
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want to cut the wages of the men and women you represent? this is about fairness, leveling the playing field. it works and we want to continue it. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. mr. gosar: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona reserves. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. norcross: we yield back. the chair: the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. gosar: this isn't anti-davis-bacon. the statistics speak for themselves. the federal government is willing to pay the wages for our hardworking contractors and what they deserve. but as stewards of the taxpayer dollar, we must insist these wages are accurate, fair and transparent. the inspector general has stated there are fundamental problems with the current methodology. that should not be ignored. we owe it to the american taxpayer and to the contractors themselves to make sure funds are based upon accuracy and wages are being paid fairly. the opposition claims to be fighting in favor of davis-bacon, but if they really
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cared about its longevity and effectiveness, they would support this amendment and improve and strengthen it. this opposition would also believe that this amendment is an attack on the american worker. tell that to my contractors who've been put out of business in southern arizona with the military. please tell them that when they couldn't calculate the davis-bacon application and were put out of business by the department of labor. that couldn't be further from the truth. this provides certainty and clarity to the wages of hardworking trades men and women across the country who perform services for the government. we as a body should be for fiscal responsibility and for proper worker compensation. this amendment is an opportunity to act exactly on this. i urge my colleagues to support this good governance and commonsense approach and i ask my colleagues, do you support transparency and accuracy, support my amendment. do you support response use of taxpayer dollars, support my amendment. do you support the workers and fair compensation, then support my amendment. and do you support a fair wage
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for the hardworking contractors of the d.o.d., support my amendment. anything stays in the military budget. this is military specific. i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for their help and with that i urge everybody to vote for this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from arizona yields back. all time for amendment having ceased, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. norcross: i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. it's now in order to consider amendment number 6 printed in house report 115-217 from -- for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. rooney: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 115-217 offered by mr. thomas j. rooney of florida. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 440, the gentleman from florida, mr. rooney, and a
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member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: thank you, mr. chairman. on april 29, secretary mattis issued guidance requiring graduates from the air force academy, west point and the navy academy to have two years of active service before they can seek permission to seek a professional sports career while at the same time fulfilling their -- traditionally, the secretary may exercise discretion whether to permit the very few academy graduates with the talent jointly serve either in the reserve, active duty or a combination of both as part of heir -- and be part of a professional sports team. my amendment has the flexibility and discretion that's always been built in to the secretary of defense's discretion to determine on a case-by-case basis how to deal with his own personnel.
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section 541 of this year's ndaa replaces secretary mattis' guidance with a far more stringent, one-size-fits-all policy that allows for no exceptions without explanation. no one is saying graduates should not serve -- fulfill their service requirement. no one is saying that graduates shouldn't pay for their education. section 541 is a significant departure from the policy which allows the secretary of defense and the military branch's discretion and more specifically today it handcuffs our own secretary mattis from implementing the policy that he sees fit, just like secretaries of the past have always done. section 541 stipulates that academy graduates must fulfill, without exception, five years on active duty before they're able to address release to pursue an athletic career. this policy is overrigid and will make it nearly impossible for graduates of our service
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academies to pursue any professional athletic career. denying student athletes on a secretary approved case-by-case basis the opportunity to pursue a professional athletic career in conjunction with their military service is a mistake. the possibility, no matter how remote, of going pro, is a power recruiting tool that attract exceptional, diverse high school athletes to attend our academies. very few athletes are talented enough to play professionally. i played college football and i ended up here. most high school athletes dream and believe they can go pro. the truth is that most won't, but to kill that dream before a student chooses a college also ruins the chance of the academies from recruiting top athletes. why does this matter? because striking section 541 will maintain secretary mattis' policy, which was created to
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ensure preserving the option for our academy athletes we do so in a way that maintains the readiness and lethality of our military services. but it's also about morale at the academies. i taught at west point. i serve on their board today. i served on the navy board before. and i can tell you that if 541 is retained, we lose out, we lose out on the boost in morale afforded to the academies with competitive athletic departments and the recruitment benefit of the soldier- athletes' exposure with professional sports teams and their fans. if section 541 is retained, we will be sending a message if you are a highly talented high school athlete and want to go to the air force, you need to give up any aspirations after school. we will be doing ourselves a disservice by not recruiting the absolute best and brightest individuals who could be so versatile to be -- enough to
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play -- to be professional athletes and also serve their nation honorably. with that, mr. chairman, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from florida reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i claim time in opposition to the the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes in opposition to the amendment. >> mr. chairman, i recognize myself for two years. mr. chairman, i rise today in strong opposition to the gentleman from florida's amendment. this amendment strikes section 541 of the 2018 national defense authorization act act which ensures that graduates from military service academies fulfill their military service commitments without exception before participating in professional sports. current policy allows a cadet or mid shipman to be released from their five-year service obligation to participate in professional sports just 24 months after graduating from a military service academy. mr. coffman: as chairman of the military personnel subcommittee and marine combat veteran, i believe the service academies
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exist to develop future officers to lead, enhance readiness and increase the effectiveness of the armed forces. this is not an issue of recruiting qualified and motivated applicants. each year in my district, my office receives applications from talented and qualified students who wish to serve their country than we can acome dade. for example, there were 17 -- accommodate. for example, there were 17,000 applications for 1,100 slots last year at the naval academy. all of our military service academies have similar numbers of applicants. we are a country very still much engaged in hostilities around the world, and we need these officers leading our troops and defending the country, not playing professional sports. i strongly urge my colleagues to support the provision in the overwhelming bipartisan house-passed f.y. 2018 national defense authorization act and oppose representative rooney's
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amendment. thank you and i yield back. the chair: does the gentleman yield or reserve? mr. coffman: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. rooney: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i would like to yield so much time as she may consume to my good friend from orlando, congresswoman murphy. the chair: the gentlelady from florida is recognized. mrs. murphy: thank you. i'm proud to co-lead this bipartisan amendment. it would strike section 541 of the bill, a provision that would make it nearly impossible for graduates of the military service academies to play professional football, basketball or any other sport. i serve on the board of visitors at west point and i believe section 541 would be detrimental to recruitment and morale at the service academies. it could undermine efforts to bridge the military-civilian divide through the use of sports ambassadors and could affect our corps. if the amendment is successful, the policy under which service
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academy graduates can play professional sports will be the guidance issued by secretary mattis earlier this unit. pursuant to secretary mattis' guidance, an academy graduate must complete two years of active commissioned service before he or she can seek approval to seek a professional sports opportunity. section 541 goes far beyond this existing guidance, requiring a graduate to serve five years on active duty before pursuing a professional sports opportunity. this is a functional equivalent of prohibiting a graduate from playing professional sports altogether. section 541 applies retroactively to current academy student athletes, not just perspectively to future student athletes which strikes me as unfair. moreover, it removes the flexibility and discretion built into secretary mattis' guidance, replacing to with a one-size-fits-all policy that allows for no exception. before congress takes such drastic action, we should carefully weigh the arguments for and against such action. that process has not -- the chair: the gentlelady's
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time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired. mrs. murphy: that process has not taken place and i ask my colleagues to support this amendment to allow the secretary's guidance -- we can examine this issue. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from colorado. mikko koivu thank you, mr. chairman. -- mr. coffman: i yield to my colleague, the gentlelady from california, ms. speier. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. speier: i am truly impressed with my colleague, mr. rooney, on any number of issues. this is not one of them. this is absurd. absolutely absurd. we have military academies to train the next leaders of this country. we are not running a training camp for the national football league. if you want to serve as a leader of the military, then you go to one of the military academies. if you decide you want to have a pro football career, then pay
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back the money, the $500,000 that the taxpayers of this country have paid for each and every one of these students. now, mr. rooney said yesterday in rules committee, he listed three names of examples of academy graduates continuing in professional sports after graduation. all of the names he mentioned, roger staubach, david robertson and alejandro villanueva served on active duty for at least two years. the model for how this should work is villanueva who served his five-year commitment, deployed three times to afghanistan, received a bronze star for valor and then pursued his professional football career. the chair: the gentlelady has 30 seconds. ms. speier: so i will say going pro, as mr. rooney has said, going pro is not the goal of our military academies. if we're concerned about morale because we want to make sure they can go out onto the football field and have great games against the army and the
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navy, fine. if in the end you want to go pro, then pay back the money and go pro. otherwise you're taking a very important slot from any number of talented young men and women who want to be trained and then serve as the leaders of our military. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. coffman: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from arizona, ms. mcsally. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for the final minute. . ms. mcsally: i rise in strong opposition as the only air force academy graduate in congress we train them to be leaders and war fighters for our military and not becoming pro athletes. you want to talk about morale, there is nothing worse than someone trying to get out of their commitment to play pro sports. i strongly support the
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underlying bill. we are at a time of military crisis and readiness crisis. we do not release people to go to a high-tech company and just pay it back. there are so many people trying to get in the academies so they can wear the uniform and lead america into battle. this is about war fighting and not about becoming a line backer. vote down this amendment and support the underlying bill. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from .olorado has one minute r. coffman: i reserve. roger staubach played for the dallas cowboys and graduated from the united states navy academy and served five years
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before he went to play professional sports. this does not eliminate somebody from playing professional sports. the fact is that we are a nation at war. and that is very competitive to and to these academies they are fulfilling their five-year obligation. if they want to play professional sports, there are a lot of schools they can go to outside our service academies. i yield back. the chair: all time for the debate is creased. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from florida. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. rooney: request a recorded vote. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from florida will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 7 printed in house report 115-217. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the
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desk. the clerk: amendment number 7 printed in house report 115-217 offered by mr. keating of massachusetts. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 440, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. keating and a member opposed each will control five minutes. mr. keating: i rise to offer an amendment that would authorize the secretary of defense to make existing funds available from the defense health program for collaboration with medical researchers and universities to address the growing number of tick-born diseases through research and testing. the army public health center has operated the basic tick-testing program for nearly 30 years. military personnel can assist tick identification services through military health care facilities at no charge. however, the tests provided by this program are limited to only six tick-borne diseases whereas the centers of disease control
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and the department of defense have now identified 16 of these tick borne diseases, some of which can be fatal. according to the centers for disease control, around 30,000 cases of lyme disease are reported each year. additionally c.d.c. research shows the actual number of diagnoses could be as high as 300,000. and alarmingly, nearly 20% of the people survade in high insidens of lyme disease was nt aware that the disease is a risk. this issue is a particular concern of my region. according to the massachusetts department of health, counties with the five highest rates, including barnstable county home of joint base cape cod.
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however, my region is not alone. these diseases can be found in all corners of the continental united states from massachusetts in the north to texas in the south, from pennsylvania in the east to california in the west. our service members are especially vulnerable as they frequently are exposed to heavily tick infested areas. is a ample, a virus erious tick-borne causes meningitis and even death. multiple cases of this virus have been reported in massachusetts, yet the d.o.d. tick-testing program does not even include a test for this virus in their regimen. mr. speaker, i realize there is a concern that amendments to this legislation might lead to a defense health program pushed
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beyond its capacity. that's not the case here. the military tick-testing program already exists. this amendment would necessarily help the department of defense modernize the existing program to meet new challenges in the feed of tick-borne disease. indeed the d.o.d.'s own website says emerging tick-borne diseases are being discovered all the time and and cases have been increasing steadily. we are fortunate that experts are working to combat the rise in tick-borne disease. my amendment would assist collaboration among these experts and d.o.d. to test more tick samples and meet the growing needs of our military and ultimately lead to better health care outcome. i want to thank my colleague from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for joining me as a co-sponsor in this amendment. pennsylvania is among the states
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experiencing drastic increases the incidents of tick-borne illnesses and by the secretary of defense in the next fiscal year will help save lives. thank you to chairman thornberry for your work on this legislation and i urge my colleagues to join me in support of this amendment. and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i have tremendous respect for the gentleman from massachusetts and he is exactly right. the department of defense medical research program is already spending money on tick borne-diseases and about $5 million this year and about $5 million last year. and as i understand the gentleman's amendment they would
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expand the number of diseases they would research. i rise to claim the time in opposition, however, to express concern about the direction of this program. mr. chairman, i have a chart that indicates the tremendous owth of dollars going into this congressionally-directed medical research program. it has increased tremendously in recent years. i would like to take a few moments to read some of the diseases that it is researching. .l.s., autism, bone marrow failure, breast cancer, ukemia, epilepsy, food llergies, lung cancer, m.s., there are a couple of here that i can't pronounce, so i won't
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ead, ovarian cancer, parkinson's, alzheimer's, cancer, prostate cancer, spinal ord injuries, tube you lar sclerosis and the list goes on. i certainly support chairman tom cole's attempts to increase funding for n.i.h. and other sorts of medical research through the n.i.h. increasingly d.o.d. dollars are disease and hing it's taking dollars away from the sorts of injuries and diseases that our military does confront. this is a trend that is getting worse and worse each year. so i don't necessarily oppose the gentleman's amendment.
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as he points out, there's research going on here, but it's a trend i do think we have to be cautious about. and for that reason, i want to at least raise a warning flag about the trend to add to the amount of money and the number of diseases which we are looking to the department of defense to help research, diseases which are not related necessarily to key functions of the department of defense. i appreciate the gentleman letting me express my concern. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. keating: the department of defense, the defense health program could be pushed beyond its capacity. it's very important to recognize what he recognized because if it gets too far, it can't accomplish the things that it's
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working to really address. in this instance, as he mentioned, i believe i did distinguish the fact this is a three-decade program and making sure its mission is modernized so it is dealing with what happens in the health care field within that area of tick-borne illnesses. i do appreciate the comments of the chairman and it's wise to point that out. i hope my colleagues support this amendment because i have been able to distinguish that from this trend. and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts has yielded back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 8 printed in 217. report 115-
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 10 printed in house report 115-217. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from missouri seek recognition? mrs. hartzler: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 10 printed in house report 115-217 offered by mrs. hartzler of missouri. the chair: the gentlewoman from missouri, ms. harrisler and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from missouri. mrs. hartzler: today north korea is plotting the next ballistic missile test. russia is threatening the nato alliance. china continues their expansion in the south china sea in defiance of international communities. our military has never been in such high demand and yet our readiness to confront these threats is at a dismal level.
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we must confront these challenges by ensuring our dollars maximize the military's eadiness and lethaly and prohibiting tax gender reassignment surgeries for members of the military and their dements. there are many problems but funding transition surgeries with tax dollars is problematic because the surgery is very costly. surgical recovery time decreases the deploy built of our soldiers and funding transition surgeries means diverting money from other defense priorities. surgical costs alone can top $1.3 billion. these resources could fund 13 f-35 aircraft to fight adversaries like china and
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russia. missions. our spending priorities must match our threat mitigation priorities. we must have soldiers who must e delide when called upon. similarly, regular hormone treatments renders individuals nondeployable into the future. we shouldn't create soldiers unable to fight and win our ation's wars and unfair to nontransitioned individuals who must leave their families. i offer this amendment as a responsible member of the house armed services committee who has studied the threat and heard from each service member for the need of increased funding.
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prohibiting transition funding the right policy for our budget and the american taxpayer. i ask my colleagues to support this amendment and i reserve. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. smith: i claim time in opposition. i yield myself one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. smith: we have for a long time people serving in the -- i'll go back over this. sorry about that. the chair: the gentleman is
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recognized for one minute. mr. smith: this amendment takes us in the wrong direction. for years we had people serving in the military who are openly gay, lesbian and transgendered and, you know, they have served and served this country well. for a lot of years we did not allow them to do so openly. we finally repealed that for lesbians and gays, and now just last year we had the department of defense say we were going to do the same for transgender. so the people who have been fighting and protecting our country will be allowed to do so openly. it does not harm readiness at all. these people have served in the military, served honorably and served it well. as far as the costs, the military pays for people who have addictions, who have alcoholism, who smoke. they pay for a lot of things that are contained within the military. this amendment would target one specific group and very unfairly and most unfairly. it wouldn't just, first of all, target transgender surgery. it would target some of the
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hormone drugs which costs $100 a year, costs virtually nothing to the military. but most importantly, this wouldn't just impact transgender -- i yield myself an additional 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. smith: this wouldn't impact transgender people, it would impact their children. would you now be cut off from this military service. all these other things, alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking, all different problems would be served but transgender people would be targeted to not be allowed to provide health care for their children. this isn't going to help readiness. this is a social agenda that has no business being in the defense bill. we didn't have it in committee. we shouldn't have it here on the floor. let's focus on the threat that mrs. hartzler talked about, not make this in a social agenda based on the ignorance of what transgender truly is. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady is recognized.
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mrs. hartzler: first of all, this does not preclude service by transgender. this simply says we are not going to as taxpayers pay for this surgery and this is different than somebody going in and having a cold because this is a major surgery that requires a medical diagnosis that's going to render someone nondeemployable. just recovery from the surgery alone is 270 days and ongoing treatment precludes them from their ability to work overseas. we need to make sure we are addressing the threats and we are spending every dollar that we can to go after the threat. and so i now would like to yield one minute to army national guard brigadier general scott perry. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. perry: i thank mrs. hartzler, my good friend, for offering this amendment. mr. speaker, we're $20 trillion in debt. taxpayers, by my figures, are projected to pay $3.7 billion over the next 10 years for sex
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reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for those in the military that wish to transition from one sex to another. the total cost includes the manpower lost while the individual transitions which can take up to a year or longer, depending on complications. sex reassignment patients also require specialized medicine following the procedure, and i find that interesting in the face of -- i just had a young gentleman who came to my office and wanted to serve but can't because he has a peanut allergy. we can't have the medicine downrange, and that doesn't cost the taxpayers anything, but we're going to spend $3.7 billion over the next 10 years on sex reassignment surgery as opposed to buying aircraft and body armor and the things that war fighters need to be successful in defending the nation. it's really just a priority issue. with limited defense resources in the current state of our armed forces, we must prioritize in increasing our strength and readiness.
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the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: there is no study whatsoever that shows this will cost $3.7 billion and this amendment is not just about transgender surgery. it's about any treatment. let's keep that in mind. with that i yield one minute to the distinguished minority leader, ms. pelosi from california. the chair: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding, and i thank him for his extraordinary leadership as our ranking member on the armed services committee. i thank him for his leadership in trying to help define what our security mission is so we have the resources that are necessary to honor our oath of office to protect and defend. to mr. thornberry as well, thank you for your leadership in the defense of our country. the bipartisanship in defending our country is something that we value. any interference with that is
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unfortunate. it takes a special kind of person, my colleagues, who steps forward to serve in the u.s. military. they are men and women of courage, of strength and of patriotism who shoulder the burden of defending our liberties so that the rest of us can live in security and freedom. we owe these heroes an immense debt, a solemn responsibility to do everything we can to defend those who are risking and giving their lives for the united states of america. the defense bill before us today should be about honoring that responsibility, protecting those who protect our national security. instead, here we are considering a republican amendment to attack the health -- that attacks the health and dignity of thousands of men and women serving with honor and courage today. make no mistake, the effect and the intent of this unjust and mean-spirited amendment is to ban patriotic americans from serving our country. it is designed to get
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transgender service members out of the military. instead of protecting the men and women who risk their lives to defend our freedoms, they are fighting to rip away the health care of thousands of brave service members. the integration of openly transgender service members into our armed forces is the unfinished work of the bipartisan, bipartisan -- and i commend our colleagues' efforts to repeal the discriminatory "don't ask, don't tell" policy. i call on my republican colleagues to immediately withdraw this cruel, discriminatory and appalling amendment. i call upon all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to defeat this amendment, prevent this assault on transgender service members and get us back to the subject at hand which is the defense of our country which the distinguished chairman thornberry and ranking member that serve this country and congress so well in doing. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from
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california reserves. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. hartzler: i yield myself 15 seconds. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. hartzler: i just want to point out this amendment doesn't address any of the full health care that every soldier is entitled to. it says at this particular incident we are not going to pay for the gender reassignment surgeries and related hormone treatment. there's a high cost for it. there's a reason for doing it. that's why we are addressing it today. how much time do i have left? the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired and the gentlelady has 3/4 minutes total. i yield to the gentleman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> i did three tours as a u.s. marine. this is the silliest opposition to this amendment that i've ever heard. mr. hunter: you're joining the u.s. military. choose what gender you are before you join. we're not saying that transgender people can't serve but if you are going to take
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the big step of serving in the u.s. military, figure out whether you are a man or a woman before you join up. we're not stopping transgender people from joining. we're saying taxpayers in this country right now are not going to foot the bill for it. this is a silly thing. it's time to put this to bed. i support the gentlelady's amendment. let's make america great again. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you. i am pleased now to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from new york, mr. maloney. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute and a half. mr. maloney: i would note the gentleman from california, perhaps memory mebs of their family are suppose to decide on their future medical care. it relates to them. i stand in strong opposition to the hartzler amendment. no one in the pentagon has called for this. we know right know secretary of defense mat cisrunning a review of this issue. he doesn't need to be micro managed by members of this body
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to advance their own agendas. until last night all of us have worked in good faith across the aisle to keep this important defense bill free from political booby traps and land mines. but if you're feeling deja vu, well, don't worry, i am too. you may remember that i stood here last year and fought against a similar amendment. again, to the defense bill. that amendment would have allowed federal contractors to fire lgbt workers under the pretense of religious observance. i told you then my dad was a disabled veteran, he taught me to support and honor the military but also to speak the truth and know the difference between right and wrong. i told you that i never voted against the defense bill and i never imagined i would. and then after a lot of twists and turns, 43 of our republican colleagues joined with us to vote down that discriminatory amendment and i want to publicly thank them for their courage. well, here we go again. the hartzler amendment would single out and rob a small
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group of military service members and their families of their health care merely because these folks or members of their family experience gender a little differently. mr. speaker, it's that simple. we are talking about americans -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. maloney: we are talking about -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. maloney: we should not undermine their military service. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington reserves. both sides, the gentlelady from missouri has 15 seconds. the gentleman from washington has 3/4 minutes. the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. hartzler: i verve. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield the balance of the time to the distinguished minority whip, mr. hoyer from maryland. mr. hoyer: i'll use timewisely. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 3/4 of a minute.
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mr. hoyer: this amendment is not about defense. this amendment is about politics. nd i congratulate the chairman for encouraging this bill not be added in committee. we ought to defeat this amendment. it has one purpose and one purpose only -- to politically denigrate some of our fellow citizens, to treat them less equally than we would want to be treated. let us not do that. let us not sink to that level. we're better than that. all of presentives of the people. reject this amendment. get on with the defense of this country and its values. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington yields back.
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the gentlelady from missouri is recognized for 15 seconds. mrs. hartzler: mr. speaker, this is about addressing korea, russia, isis. we need every defense dollar to go to meeting those threats, not anything else, and we need to make sure our troops are ready and can be deployed. i ask my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. all time for debate having ended, the question is now on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from missouri. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is -- the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from missouri will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i move the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the committee rise. those in favor say aye.
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those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. accordingly, the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 28 10 directs me to report it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 2810 and has come to no resolution thereon. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house of less for a period than 15 minutes.
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that's the most ever. so we're expecting a late night in the house tonight. a final passage vote on the defense bill is expected tomorrow. live house coverage when they return here on c-span. the house should be back in in a few minutes to vote on

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