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tv   U.S. House Meets for Legislative Business  CSPAN  September 25, 2017 3:04pm-6:30pm EDT

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is not their car, it is their life. and the idea is that the insurance industry is making a good bit of money and they agree to the pre-existing conditions part of the law. host: from california, kurt. caller: a couple of things. first of all, obamacare was broken since day one. for those of us in the middle class, who saw our premiums raised her medically, our out-of-pocket costs raised dramatically, politicians don't get it. they have never had to pay extensively for their health care. one of the things that i admire trump for doing is really considering the middle class in all of his policies. yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs >> all of thisob on cspan.org. the house will resume proceedings on postponed questions at a later time.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2061 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. h.r. 2061, a bill authorize authorize -- a bill to re-authorize the north korean human rights act of 2004 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, will each control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, the chair of the committee, mr. royce. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include any extraneous material into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. royce: mr. speaker, thanks. and let me point out that the
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world is rightly focused on the threat that north korea poses to global security. the detonations, the missile launches, the forward-deploit artillery that we have seen across from the border in south korea and i've been once into north korea. i know my colleague here, eliot engel, has been twice to the capital there, but going along the eastern coast, the eastern seaboard into north korea, you can see the threat. you can see the artillery, the tanks, the rockets, the how itzers lined up and you can see where they're aimed. maybe ink we have to point out that the provocations underscore a simple jarring back and that is that kim jong
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un wants to pose a mortal threat, and not just to the united states, but to our democratic treaty allies, to south korea and to japan. but i think as we face that reality, we cannot afford to forget that the regime's greatest victim are the people of north korea themselves. that's the longest held hostage here, and remembering that this is not just a moral imperative but also it's a strategic one, too, because if kim jong un had to answer to the north korean people, he would pose far less a danger to us, to south korea, to japan. maybe would pose no danger whatsoever if he really had to answer to his own people, and the truth is that kim jong un's his own t enemy is
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citizens if they were to be empowered. the regime should be forced to confront the dismal reality as it has inflicted on its own population of obsessed, not just with self-preservation, but also with his concept of reunification of the peninsula based on the words he uses under his own leadership. he and his father and his father's father have been willing to inflict starvation nd stunting -- i asked the former minister of propaganda, myself and one of my colleagues here had asked him and said that two million people had starved, had been starved by the regime. he said the real number was 1.9 million. 1.9 million people and he said
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you have to understand, we put all the resources into the weapons program, into the icbm program, into the nuclear capability. people fend for themselves basically. that's the system there. and when he defected the prop -- defected, the propaganda minister shared that with us. in the meantime, you'll notice that there's one man in that system that feasts on imported luxuries and liquor that's and the deity himself, that's kim jong un. the bonds of public affection for kim certainly are strong in the capital, but in the countryside, those who have defected, tell me they are so fragile, that they can only be maintained with public executions, purges, with deadly prison camps. it's no wonder then that the regime's harshest critics are escaped north koreans who have
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seen through the wall of misinformation that kim jong un works so hard to maintain. we have heard time and again from north korean refugees about the indelible impact of real information from the outside world whether it be defected broadcasts or pirated south korean tv dramas set in the affluent bustling metropolis of seoul. just last month i was discussing these issues in seoul with the highest ranking north korean defector. he's the former -- the minister is the former ambassador to the u.k. many of you read about his defection there. in britain. he's now in seoul. he emphasized that such knowledge undermines the lie that north korea is a worker's paradise and that it is the envy of the world. increasingly, he says, for $30-some, a village or a family can purchase a device that
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plays these dramas from south korea that come in from the border with china and as a result of that, as a result of that they learn more. frankly, i will say, as a result of the two different organizations of defectors from north korea who broadcast on short wave, people are learning more as well. our problem is that it needs to be broadcast beyond just the area around the border. we need to figure out how to help others hear the truth. so today harnessing the power of information and public expectations inside north korea is more important than ever. along with enhanced sanctions on the regime's enablers, this is critical. it's a critical nonmilitary tool because it confronts the growing north korean threat to our safety with a very different methodology by educating and empowering north koreans themselves. this bill, h.r. 2061, does not
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merely re-authorize activities under the north korean human rights act. it enacts important updates of freedom of information to reflect technological advances beyond radio broadcasting, including u.s. b drives, mobile devices and other very promising tools and it also renews the obligations of the special envoy for north korean human rights. finally, the bill enhances congressional oversight tools to help ensure that our investments stand the best chance of paying dividends and freedom for north korea. the greater security for the rest of the world will be the result of this. i want to thank the chairman emeritus of the foreign affairs committee, ileana ros-lehtinen, for authoring this bill. i also want to thank our ranking member, eliot engel, issue, and on this the chair and the subcommittee
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ranking member. the gentlelady from florida is tireless in her defense of human rights and has been a legislative leader on north korea for more than a decade. i'm a proud co-sponsor of this excellent bill which deserves our unanimous support, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman of the foreign affairs committee reserves the balance of his time. for what reason does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. engel: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this measure, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. first, let me thank our chairman who always conducts himself in such a bipartisan fashion. i want to thank him for including everyone and thank him for the work that he does. i also want to thank the bill's author, our former chair of the foreign affairs committee, ms. ros-lehtinen of florida. i am pleased to join her as the lead democratic co-sponsor of this legislation. she authored an earlier version of this bill which is a
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testament to how long she's been working to shine a light on the daily horror of so many living in north korea and to bring american leadership to bear to each their suffering. we've been focused on north korea a great deal lately because of the kim regime's increasingly provocative behavior and our own administration's inconsistent and irresponsible rhetoric. north korea poses a grave threat to our national security and the security of our friends and allies. we need a smart, coherent approach that combines diplomacy, pressure and deterrence to halt north korea's progress in developing nuclear weapons. at the same time we cannot lose sight over what the north korean people are enduring. this is a country where people don't have rights, and anyone who dares speak his or her mind may find themselves subjected to beatings, torture, brutal imprisonment or even death. the united states commission of inquiry found that kim jong
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un's regime is very likely committing crimes against humanity. mr. speaker, i visited north korea twice, and when i was there with a few of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, our north korean mind is very careful to make sure we only saw what we saw what we were supposed to see but we could sense beneath the surface something was terribly, terribly wrong. first of all, they wouldn't let us go out of pyongyang. just out of sight it was amazing there were so many people living under the most brutal conditions imaginable and that no one dared shatter the illusion that the north korean authority had just created. when you go to north korea, it feels like you're stepping back into 1953 berlin. everything was gray and dark and drab and you could just see something was wrong. we know better. . we've seen stories from defectors, we haven't forgotten them.
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the law that we're re-authorizing today first became law in 2004. this legislation will preserve funding for american assistance to north korean refugees, humanitarian assistance inside the country as well as information earths -- effort business our government. and to try every means possible to get the message out to regular north korean people that we are not their enemy. i will say that i am greatly concerned that the latest iteration of the president's travel ban, which now includes north korea, sends exactly the wrong message to defectors from that country. by closing our door to them, rereinforce the paranoia that the regime perpetrates. we have to be careful not to get caught in the middle of that. an earlier version of the law created a senior state department position to focus on human rights in north korea. it's a big job, mr. speaker, and in recent years there's been someone to do this important work full-time. but it's been reported that the
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administration plans to combine this position with the undersecretary for democracy. i think that would be a mistake. the undersecretary position already oversees the bureaus and offices that deal with a huge range of issues from counterterrorism to refugees to narcotics, to human traffic. it's a pretty full agenda. yet the administration on the one hand says north korean human rights should be combined with that job and on the other hand has not yet nominated anyone to fill the position. i think there's a lot of work to be done on both sides. that's what we're doing on the foreign affairs committee. we're working together. this re-authorization reaffirms congress' view that we should have a senior full-time diplomat dealing with north korean human rights. i ask that this provision be included once again and i'm grateful to chairman royce and chairman emeritus ross let than congress will continue to speak out -- ros-lehtinen that congress will continue to speak out on the importance of this
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row. it's aye also my view that we need to stop -- role. it's also my view that we need to stop neglecting diplomacy and get these positions filled. we can't deal with the state -- expect the state department to deal with these programs -- problems. without leadership in place. i'm glad that congress is continuing to do its job in helping to promote human rights for the north koreans. i'm again grateful to my friend from florida and the chairman and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition in? mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. yoho. he's chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on asia and the pacific and among a number of amendments that he has contributed to this bill, there's one in particular that i think's very important and that is increasing the number of tools that can be used here to include new technologies to north korea, like u.s. b-drives. a lot easier for people to watch on u.s.b. drives.
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as well of course, mobile phones and d.v.d.'s. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california -- florida is recognized for three minutes. mr. yoho: i thank you, mr. speaker. mr. chairman, i thank you. i rise in support of h.r. 2061, the north korean human rights re-authorization act of 2017. i commend the chairman, chairman emeritus, ros-lehtinen, for leading this re-authorization effort and chairman royce and my colleagues on the foreign affairs committee for their support of this legislation. the horrific human rights abuses committed by kim jong un are an integral part of his power structure. countering these unspeakable crimes, however, -- however we can, is both a moral imperative and a sound strategy. as amended, h.r. 2061 includes my distribution and promotion of rights and knowledge act, which will improve u.s. efforts to broadcast outside information into north korea.
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weakening kim jong un's regime by eroding his strangle hold on information -- stranglehold on information. it will provide light to the north koreans, not just light to read by, but shine light on those innate basic beliefs of liberty and freedom. specifically this language updates the means in which information can be disseminated, helping to find new ways to end the kim regime's monopoly on information. the two bills are natural partners and together they can meaningfully advance human rights and flow of information in north korea and i thank the chairman and thank you, sir. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? the gentleman from new york reserves. does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: i'll -- i have no further speakers. i'll reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman is prepared to close. is the gentleman from new york
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prepared to close? mr. engel: yes. i'll close now. i'll close briefly. . i want to say thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the kim regime poses a grave threat to global security. and it's critical that the united states moves ahead with a coherent strategy to help meet this challenge. at the same time the kim regime's treatment of its own people represents one of the worst human rights situations in the entire world. we cannot lose sight of that human suffering that's going on every day. for years the united states has made it a priority to do what we can to help those living under this brutal dictatorship. and to assist those who have escaped it. this legislation will ensure the united states continues this important work in the years ahead. i want to just say that chairman oyce has made it a mark of his to travel the region, to speak with south korea, to speak with
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the leaders in asia. and i'm pleased that we're well represented when he goes there and let's the regimes know that -- lets the regimes know that we in the congress have a lot of things to say and that we want let nd by our allies and north korea understand that they can not push anybody around. so i want to thank the chairman for having visited korea with him and for all the things he does in asia. i think the committee is united in supporting this legislation. we have to speak out. we have to protect the north korean people who have no protection from a brutal dictator and a regime that treats them like they're worthless and i urge members to support this bill. and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the chairman of the foreign affairs committee. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank our ranking
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member, mr. eliot engel. also for his work on the original bill. for a number of years, we have been focused in a bipartisan way . those of us who are concerned about human rights in north korea. and this original measure, and this is the re-authorization, but the original measure to promote human rights and free information inside north korea, and to focus on the protection of north koreans who fled the country and face a hinetted risk of exploitation and human trafficking, we've been able to work on enforcement, but now with re-authorization there's a chance to update it. and those updates in this h.r. 2061, not only re-authorize the north korean human rights act, but there's these promising new technological advances to pierce the information darkness, as mr. ted yoho mentioned. that darnings is maintained intention -- darkness is maintained intentionally by kim jong un's regime and confronted
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by a rapidly nuclearizing north korea, these tools are more important than ever. rather than putting all of his energy into menacing the world, as he does with his nuclear program, kim jong un must be confronted with the urgent needs, with the legitimate aspirations of the people of north korea. there are 120 thouff his people that are -- 120,000 of his people that are in what we call these gulags across north korea. and without reforms, these individuals are never going to seat light of day -- seat light of day. they're -- see the light of day. they're never going to be released to freedom. so this critical bipartisan bill deserves our unanimous support and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 2061. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 -- mr. royce: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: i'll call the question first. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, -- the gentleman from california. mr. royce: on that i request the yeas and nays, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman requests the yeas and ays. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are order. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the chairman of the foreign affair committees seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass house resolution 311 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the
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clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 311. resolution recognizing that for 50 years the association of southeast asian nations, asean, has worked toward stability, prosperity and peace in southeast asia. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: i would ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include any extraneous material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i want to recognize congressman castro and congresswoman wagner for authorizing this timely measure. this is an important but, frankly, often overlooked part of the world. this is southeast asia.
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and, mr. speaker, southeast asian nations came together 50 years ago to promote regional cooperation. their goal was to achieve greater stability and peace and prosperity by creating the association of southeast asian nations, we know this as asean today. this year marks their 50th anniversary. the 40th anniversary of relations between the united states and asean. this year president trump will visit the region for the first time in november. for the east asia and asean summits in the philippines. d the local leadership are going to be meeting in vietnam. today asean is a force for peace and prosperity in the world and the relationship the haws has -- the u.s. has with asean has benefited both sides diplomatically, economically and in global security. asean is the fourth largest goods export market for the united states.
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fourth largest. and we are asean's fourth largest trading partner. as the second fastest growing economy in asia, with a combined economy of $2.5 trillion, the importance of the asean market for the united states is considerable. mr. speaker, we're working with asean to address security challenges and threats, especially in the fight against terrorism. with the recognition now of the emergence of isis fighting forces in the region. last month secretary of state tillerson voiced support for increased cooperation on border security, information sharing to and finding uals the source of terror financing networks, finding their save havens. with -- safe havens. with so many challenges in the region today, as we look at the democratic backsliding in cambodia, the polite of the rohingya in burma, it is more important than ever that we engage southeast asian nations
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in the asean grouping to solve regional problems. we must also cooperate with asean on the threat of north korea and have better coordination on maritime activities with regard to security, environmental impact and border and fishing regulations. for all of these reasons today, the house of representatives reaffirms the importance of the u.s.-asean partnership and recommits to continuing engagement and cooperation. passage of this resolution demonstrates our support for asean as an institution, and the united states' strategic relationship with southeast asian nations. so i urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this measure, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, the ranking member of the foreign affairs committee. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this measure and i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. engel: let me start by thanking the authors of this resolution, two valued members of the foreign affairs committee, mr. cass trofe texas, and mrs. wagner -- mr. castro of texas, and mrs. wagner of missouri. these two lawmakers established the first ever congressional asean cawculls. so i'm grateful for their -- caucus. so i'm grateful for their leadership, helping to vabs american interests in the asian -- advance america's interest in the asian-pacific. part of that is our work with asean. the association of southeast asian nations. this organization has worked to promote stability, prosperity and peace among the countries of southeast asia. it's in our only strategic -- own strategic interest to see stronger countries, closer partnerships, healthier economies, so our own success in asia is closely tied to the success of asean and its members. this resolution underscores the accomplishments of asean as it marks its 50th anniversary. .
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it sends a signal to our partners in south asia, southeast asia, that the united states is committed to peace and prosperity in the region and it puts congress on record saying, in this challenging time, the united states must remain engaged around the world, particularly in the asia pacific. the administration's budget proposed a 46% cut to assistance in east asia and the pacific. i think this would be a grave mistake. what kind of impact would that have on american mcbacked initiatives to having a positive impact? what message does it send to the countries that we depend on as partners? rather than drawing back, america should be more engaged in the asia -- in the asian pacific. this measure reaffirms our commitment to america's leadership in the region. i want to end by thanking the authors, and i want to compliment chairman royce, who
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knows more about this region of the world than virtually anybody in congress and has been to the world -- that part of the world. i have gone with him many times. the united states congress has shown the ability to work with countries for the betterment of their people, for the betterment of our relationship with them. so this measure reaffirms our commitment to america's leadership in the region. i thank the authors. i thank chairman royce and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. what reason does -- the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield four minutes to the gentlelady from missouri, ms. ann wagner, an esteemed member of the committee on foreign affairs and the primary co-sponsor of this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from missouri is recognized for four minutes. mrs. wagner: thank you, mr. chairman, for your leadership and support. mr. speaker, i rise today to -- in support of house resolution 311, the resolution i was
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honored to introduce with my colleague, representative castro, to commemorate the association of south east asian nations' 50th anniversary, and the 40th anniversary of u.s.-asean relations. we intend for this resolution to raise awareness within and outside of congress about southeast asia's critical role in the global order. southeast asia has tremendous cultural, political, historical and religious diversity. as orgsesorgse, known asean -- association of south east asian nations, known as sean, was formed 50 years ago. today's asean's goals have evolved and the region has experienced tremendous growth. it includes 10 major countries in southeast asia which together have established a
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major regional economic integration agenda. asean is our fourth largest goods exports market. $102 billion of u.s. goods and services are exported to asean, meaning this market rivals our $113 billion market in china. according to the asean matters of america report, 20 u.s. states send over $1 billion in goods exports to asean annually and over half of the u.s. congressional districts export over $100 million to asean each year. these numbers are astounding, and they will only grow, mr. speaker. in january, i co-founded the bipartisan congressional caucus on asean, along with my partner, representative castro. the caucus acknowledges america's strategic partnership with asean and attests that america must be the foremost
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trade and defense partner for asean countries. house resolution 311 was one of the caucus' first initiatives. the resolution encourages the enhancement of economic and defense cooperation with asean. it reaffirms the u.s. commitment to continued joint efforts with asean to halt human smuggling and human trafficking and urges asean to improve assistance to refugees and my grants. -- migrants, standing alongside our asean peers are important this fall given the aggression in the china sea. the ethnic cleansing to those in burma. engaging asean leaders on our north korea efforts. the typhoon and flooding ffecting the region. the investment improvements. i am grateful the speaker and chairman, chairman royce, support our efforts to engage asean and i look forward to
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watching house resolution 311 pass the u.s. house of representatives. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the ranking member, mr. engel of new york. mr. engel: mr. speaker, it's now my pleasure to yield to the gentleman from texas, mr. castro, who is the author of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: how much time? mr. engel: three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. castro, is recognized for three minutes. mr. castro: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, ranking member eliot engel, for yielding me this time. and also to chairman royce for all of his work in this region of the world. representative wagner and i cao founded the congressional caucus on a-- and i co-founded the congressional caucus on asean, association of south east asian nations, earlier this year to deepen the united states and congress' relationship with southeast asian. house resolution 311, the resolution we are considering here today, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the founding of asean. it also marks 40 years of
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relations between the united states and asean. this measure highlights the work asean has done towards improving stability, prosperity and peace in southeast asia, and it also speaks to the importance of continued security cooperation, economic partnership and cultural engagement between the united states and asean. asean serves as an example successful regional cooperation. the nations of southeast asia, despite distinct histories, cultures and religions, have placed their faith and cooperation rather than conflict. u.s. security interests in southeast asia are wide ranging and supported by many regional partners. members of asean have worked closely with the united states to address our mutual concerns. the member states of asean also hold economic promise and our economic relationship underpins much of the u.s. engagement in the region. my home state of texas, edge for example, exports over -- texas, for example, exports millions of goods to asean
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countries every year. these support over 70,000 texas jobs and over 500,000 jobs across the united states. the u.s.-asean relationship is also built on history and cultural exchange. many can trace their family roots to countries of asean, including 400,000 texans. language, literature, food and music link our cultures across the ocean, set roots and enrich both our societies. for these reasons and many more, it's important that we recognize and commemorate the impact of asean across the years. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. the chair recognizes the chairman from the foreign affairs committee, the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. yoho, the chairman of the subcommittee on asia and the pacific. the speaker pro tempore: subcommittee chairman yoho is recognized for three minutes. mr. yoho: thank you.
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i want to echo chairman royce's support of h.r. 311 and i want to thank the ranking member, mr. engel, my colleagues, mr. castro, mrs. wagner, for bringing this resolution up. recognizing the 50th anniversary of the association of south east asian nations and the 40th anniversary of u.s.-asean ties, as chairman of the asia pacific subcommittee on foreign affairs, the block of 10 asean members we had a meeting earlier in the year. they said the primary reason asean is successful is because of the u.s. involvement. i think that speaks highly of u.s. foreign policy. the 10 members of asean are some of the most dynamic nations in the world. southeast asia's economic and strategic importance grows every day. as the chairman noted, asean is our fourth largest trading partner and is the second fastest growing in asia. with a combined population of over 600 million people and an economy of $2.5 trillion, the
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opportunity for u.s. industry is immense. as a security partner, asean is also invaluable. recognizing that for the 50 years the association of south east asian nations, asean, has worked towards stability, prosperity and peace in southeast asia. the grouping is strategically low indicated astride some of the world's most critical sea -- and shares the u.s. this resolution rightly highlights the enduring u.s. interest in southeast asia and conveys our commitment to stay engaged. again, i thank representative wagner and castro for introducing this measure. as the founding members of the asean caucus, their work on this bill underscores the centrality of asean to congress, foreign policy for asia, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
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does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. engel: yes. i am prepared to close if there are no other speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized to close. mr. engel: this presents the perfect case what might happens if the united states -- what might happen if the united states withdraws from the world. in recent years, our focus there, especially working with asean and its members, has really helped to promote growth and stability in that region of the world to enhance human rights and the rule of law. it's important for us to stay engaged. if we draw back it's pretty clear that china will happily fill the void and i tell you the values we find critical to democracy, justice and equality will not be part of the agenda in beijing. so we need to stay engaged in asia and around the world. we need to demonstrate that american leadership is a sure thing. the resolution before us today will provide much-needed aare
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reassurance to our partners in southeast asia. even vietnam works with us. i remember and others here remember when we had the vietnam war. now we have so many vietnam americans in our country, and they help to really be good citizens and really help to show why it's important for us to keep engaged in that part of the world. we will underscore the important role asean stands to play. just as it has in the last 50 years. again, it's important to reassure our partners and friends in southeast asia. i mentioned vietnam. but all the other countries that belong to asean. so i'm pleased to support this measure. i thank chairman royce. i urge all members to support it, 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 distinguished chairman of the foreign affairs committee, mr. royce of california, to close the debate. mr. royce: well, thank you, mr. speaker. first point i want to make, i
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thank our ranking member, mr. eliot -- i think our ranking member, mr. eliot engel, raises a strong point about engagement. u.s.-asean engagement has trended up in recent years. i think it remains strong. i think it has a bright outlook. in 2015, the u.s.-asean relationship was elevated to a strategic partnership. the important point, important step by the u.s. in 2016 marked two important firsts. the first u.s.-asean summit and the first-ever visit of a sitting u.s. president to laos. as an important economic and security partner, asean shares the u.s. pursuit of regional stability through rules, through order, through the peaceful dispute settlement process, as our ranking member pointed out. and this resolution signals our resolve to maintain and deepen our collaboration with our friends and allies in southeast
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asia. i therefore urge all of our colleagues here to join us in support of this resolution. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time has expired. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to the house resolution 311, as amended. hose in favor say aye. those owes posed say no. -- though opposed say no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. royce: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the distinguished gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and
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pass senate bill 1141. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 1141, a bill to ensure that the united states promotes the meaningful participation of women in meetation and negotiation processes seeking to prevent, mitigate or resolve violent conflict. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: i would ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and to heir remarks include any extraneous material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i rise in support of s. 1141. this is the women, peace and security act. this is the senate campaign onto the bill 2484, that the house passed earlier this session.
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that bill was authored by representatives noem and schakowsky, and want to thank them, and i of course want to thank also our ranking member engel. i want to thank them collectively for their leadership on this important issue. i also want to thank senators corker and kardon, shaheen and capito for working so well with us in the senate. i want to thank our assistant staff director, jessica kelch. i want to thank her for her essential work on this important legislation. and i am happy to say that the house passage today with this, this legislation will go to the president's desk. as i noted when this bill passed the house in june, this moment is really a culmination of years of bipartisan work by members of congress.
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including jan schakowsky and christie noem. it is also the work of prior and current administration officials and the many advocates who want to siebert, more sustainable solutions to ending wars, to combating terrorism, to improving human rights around the world. and what we are saying today is that women's participation is essential to confronting these fundamental challenges. last congress the foreign affairs committee held a hearing , part of its series of women in foreign affairs, where we heard powerful testimony about the importance of including women in the peace processes around the world. it's an obvious point that many are aware of, that without the participation of women these would not have -- peace would not have come to northern ireland in these discussions, for this would the peace have held -- nor would the peace have held. now it may seem obvious that
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women should have the opportunity to represent their communities as a matter of right. they make up half the population , and what negotiation or fwreement can claim to represent women -- agreement can claim to represent women if their very participation is barred? but our hearing also emphasized why women's participation in the peace processes is important if we care about the likelihood of the success of that process. simply put, when women are at the negotiation table, peace is more likely. compelling research shows that peace agreements are likely to be reached and are likely to last when women's groups are meaningfully involved. women peace makers often press warring parties to move beyond mere power sharing agreements, which benefit only a small percentage of fighters. to more comprehensive and longer term accords, which benefit the civilian population as a whole, which benefits the next
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generation of that country. we have seen this play out. we saw it play out as i said in ireland. we saw it play out in northern ireland. we saw it play out in colombia. we saw it in rwanda. we saw it in sri lanka. where women's groups have pushed for practical solutions to de-escalate and resolve the conflict. in fact, later today i will be speaking with liberia's president who i am proud to call a friend of many, many years. of course she and the women of liberia represent what can be accomplished when women become involved in ending conflict. after many failed attempts by politicians, combatants and the international community, it was the women of liberia who forged an end to one of west africa's longest running and most brutal conflicts. we must learn from history. efforts to keep the peace through policing and
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peacekeeping missions also benefit from women's participation. which leads to better crime reporting and higher level of trust within the communities they serve. and women are essential to confronting one of the greatest national security threats of our time. that is the spread of violent extremism around the world. when we look at who confronts jihadists and who teaches their children, if they have access toadcation, they can teach their children -- to education, they can teach their children, women are truly on the front lines of this fight. they often possess unique insights into their families and communities. and are capable of gathering information that many cannot. yet their input is frequently overlooked. we must acknowledge women as partners in this fight and that is why the legislation before us today recognizes that it is in our national interest to promote women's participation in resolving violence and conflict. this concept has been building support for some time.
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the bush administration pressed hard for women's participation in peace negotiations and the political process in iraq, in afghanistan and elsewhere. the obama administration expanded on these programs to require a government-wide approach to women's inclusion in conflict resolutions overseas. and the current administration has said that the state department's office of global women's issues will continue to focus on these issues. i am eager to see an ambassador nominated to lead that office. the bipartisan legislation before us today builds on these efforts. it will continue to require a government-wide strategy to promote women's participation, along with specific goals and benchmarks and reporting to congress in order to gauge progress. and it also requires that appropriate state, usaid and defense department personnel receive training in how to facilitate women's participation in conflict resolution, security initiatives, and efforts to
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protect civilians from violence and from exploitation. so i urge all members to support this passage today and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. engel. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this measure and i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm glad we're taking up this bill from our colleagues in the other body. and i want to thank our colleagues who have worked so hard on the house version of this bill. representative jan schakowsky, representative noem. jan schakowsky has brought forward a version of this bill for the last few congresses. the house passed a version of this bill last year. i'm glad we're finally moving a version of this forward. one of the hallmarks of the obama administration foreign policy was the national action
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plan on women. -- women, peace and security. it was based on a wealth of research that showed very clearly, as the chairman said, getting women involved in conflict prevention and resolution leads to more successful outcomes. since the launch of this plan, the united states has promoted efforts to enchance the physical and economic security of women around the world. we have sought to breakthrough the barriers that have stopped women from being full participants in peace, -- peace processes. this bill would make these policies permanent. it would build on the obama administration's achievements, making sure state department, usaid and the pentagon personnel fully understand just how important it is to get women involved in conflict prevention and resolution. it would also require annual reporting so congress can stay apprised of these efforts. now, we've been working a few years to get this legislation across the finish line. and frankly, i don't think we
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can wait another moment. the administration's budget proposal would slash funding for diplomacy and development to dangerous levels and a current redesign effort at the state department might strip out initiatives like women, peace and security. i hope that won't happen. i have assurances -- i got assurances today that that won't happen. i hope that's right. but we have to still fight for this. congress has a role to play in the foreign policy. and by passing this bill, it will be clear that we support efforts to expand opportunity and participation for women around the world. i'm pleased to support this measure. as always, chairman royce has been a bull water for helping to push this -- bullwater for helping to push this -- bullwart for helping to push this through. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: he reserves. does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. engel: yes, mr. speaker. i yield five minutes to the
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gentlewoman from illinois, a leader on this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois is recognized for five minutes. shaquille o'neal i want to thank you -- ms. schakowsky: i want to thank you, ranking member engel, for yielding to me. and rise in strong support of the women, peace and security act. i first want to thank my republican co-lead on this bill, kristi noem for her hard work. and i want to express my gratitude to chairman royce and ranking member engforl their robust support for this legislation. i want to thank senator shaheen, senator capito for their work in the senate on this. as well as senators corker and cardin. i want to thank the staff who has put in a lot of hours on this last session, this session, including my staff, can sandra. around the world, women are disproportionately affected by conflict and violence. at the same time women are acting as some of the most effective advocates is or -- advocates for peace.
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again and again women have proven their ability to advance peace making efforts where others have failed. look at syria. n the town of zabadia -- zabadani, there we go, women have been leading efforts to save their city from violence. over 470 women signed a public petition calling for a ceasefire. their town had been under siege, experiencing daily shelling and barrel bombing. as the formal negotiations between the rebel-controlled local council and the assad government constantly broke down, the war prevented the town from planting crops. a group of women peace activists came together to found a group called dama. and they facilitated negotiations between the local council, the free syrian army and the islamic brigades.
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when the traditional actors had failed, these women moved through five rounds of negotiations, ultimately achieving a ceasefire. now the ceasefire only lasted 40 days, but those 40 days gave the town critical time to plant crops and address its food short and. the power of women to advance peace and aid in postconflict reconciliation is not limited to syria. women in liberia played a the l role in bringing negotiating table. when the government of the philippines and the moro islamic liberation front signed a major peace agreement in 2004, women ade up 50% of the government's negotiating team and 25% of the significant in a i.r.s. to. in ireland women helped ensure
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-- signatories. in ireland, women helped ensure the good friday agreement, including compensation for victims of violence. women around the world are actively working to advance peace talks and ensure successful transformation from conflict to peace. passing the women, peace and security act will ensure that the united states actively supports these incredible women as we work toward ending conflict around the world. when women act -- when women are involved in peace, it is -- when women are involved in this negotiation, peace is more likely to last. in fact, the international peace institute found that with each 5% increase in women's participation in the political process, a nation is five times less likely to use violence when faced with international crisis
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or conflict. despite the strong evidence in favor of women's political participation, women remain under-represented in conflict prevention. con nict resolution and -- conflict resolution and postconflict peace building efforts around the world. we need to change that. this legislation establishes women's participation as a critical element of u.s. foreign policy. it would encourage the united states to assist women mediaters and negotiators by addressing barriers to their equal and secure participation in peace processes. it would institute comprehensive on the models protection, rights and specific needs of women in conflict. and require the administration
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to evaluate the impact of u.s. assistance on women's meaningful participation. in addition, women peace -- the women, peace and security act would require the administration to report to congress its strategy to promote women's thank you. n -- women's -- to promote women's participation in con nict prevention and resolution -- conflict prevention and resolution and it would empower congress to exercise oversight of that strategy's implementation. as countries around the world are struggling with conflict, the united states should be empowering anyone and everyone who can help achieve lasting peace. i encourage all of my colleagues to support the women, peace and security act, and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from new york rembs. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i reserve the right
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to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i'll close now since there are no further speakers on either side. i want to thank our chairman, ed royce, for all his hard work and collaboration to work with us as well as representatives schakowsky and noem who worked very closely together. really hard work. really good work. mr. speaker, one of the reasons i always support a strong investment in development and diplomacy is that we get such a good bang for our buck. diplomacy and development efforts help to build stability. they diffuse crises, they prevent conflicts, they help lay the groundwork for a more secure and prosperous world. history has shown us when women are involved in these processes, they work better. it's smart policy. it's not a matter of being condescending. it's a matter of smart policy.
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think about the alternatives, about what we don't have diplomacy -- when we don't have diplomacy to help spread peace. conflicts grow into wars. sometimes wars that american men and women will be required to fight. populations are driven from their homes triggering humanitarian crisis, and the cost of this is higher than the cost of development and diplomacy right now. now this isn't the whole thing but it's an important piece, it's an important part of making sure that american diplomacy can succeed and i'm glad to support this bill. i urge a yes vote. i thank chairman royce, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, whether we're talking about liberia or northern ireland or anywhere
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else where this world is in conflict, we have watched women play pivotal roles in advocating before governments or before combatants or in front of politicians to bring an end to conflict. in recent years, we've seen armed conflicts flair around the world, producing the largest number of refugees that we have ever seen on record. efforts to negotiate an end to these conflicts are more important than they have ever been. we know that when women are included in these discussions we are more likely to see an enduring peace as a result. as a witness at our hearing on women's participation explain to us, including women is not only the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do. the legislation before us today will strengthen u.s. efforts to promote the inclusion of women
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in peace negotiations in order to create more sustainable agreements and more stable partners for the united states and for our allies and i, again, want to thank representatives noem and schakowsky and the senate sponsors for their bipartisan work on this measure and as always ranking member engel for his leadership, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 1141 those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1235, to require the secretary of the treasury to mint coins in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. it 1235, a bill to require the secretary of the treasury to mint coins in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from kentucky, mr.
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barr, and the gentleman from texas, mr. gonzalez, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. barr: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks include extraneous material on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barr: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. barr: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise in support of h.r. 1235, the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame commemorative coin act. basketball was invented in springfield, massachusetts, by dr. james naismith, in 1891. i have the privilege of representing the sixth congressional district of kentucky, home of the university of kentucky wildcats . we affectionately know the kentucky wildcats basketball team as the greatest tradition in the history of college
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basketball, the winningest program in college basketball. eight national championships and, of course, the greatest fans in the history of college basketball. we call them the big blue nation. while it may be to the surprise of many that a kansas jayhawk and not a kentucky wildcat invented the game, there's no doubt this sport has helped many americans learn the value of teamwork, sacrifice and hard work. today, by some estimates basketball is considered the fastest growing sport in the world, and with current megastars like lebron james, teph curry, candace parker and brittney griner, we don't have to wonder why we are in the golden age of basketball again. and while the sport is wildly successful today with rising stars like former kentucky players john wall, anthony davis, devan booker and karl is in towns, the future
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good hands. i could talk about the upcoming ncaap season, i want to -- ncaa season, i want to talk about the basketball hall of fame. they have honored players, coaches, referees and other basketball icons for their contributions to this great american sport. from larry bird and bob coozy, charles barkley, bill russell, john west, patrick ewing, bill walton, yao ming, shaq, t-mac, a.i., the millers, coach summit, coach calipari, magic hnson, dr. j, wilt chamberlain, the basketball hall of fame allows fans, young and old, to reminisce or even discover the rich history of the game they love. to the basketball lohr of chamberlain -- lohr of
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chamberlain scoring 100 points n a game, to michael jordan, to lisa leslie's dunk, to curry and company revolutionizing the game with a constant barrage of three-pointers, the hall of fame is helping fans relive the greatest moments in basketball history while teaching important life lessons to youngsters through educational programs. to honor 60 years of excellence in 2020 by the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame, it is with great pleasure that i am on the house floor today encouraging my colleagues to support the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame commemorative coin act. this legislation requires the u.s. mint to produce commemorative coins for fans to collect and enjoy in celebration of this momentus occasion in denominations of $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins and half dollar clad coins. importantly, these coins would be produced at no cost to the
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taxpayer and surcharges on the sale of these coins would go to support programs at the hall of fame after raising matching funds from the private sector. i want to thank especially congressman richard neal of massachusetts, home to the springfield location of the hall of fame, and majority leader kevin mccarthy from california, for their hard work on this legislation. i urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation honoring this great american sport. go, cats, go, big blue, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. gonzalez: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 1235, the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame commemorative coin. but first, mr. speaker, i'd like to read into the record a letter written by president and c.e.o. of naismith memorial basketball hall of fame, in
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support of what we are doing here today. he says, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame in 2019, the house of representatives has introduced a bill to mint the exclusive commemorative coin. this bill is sponsored by congressman richard e. neal and thomas rooney, senators elizabeth warren and john mccain, support the venture by sponsoring the same legislation in senate s. 2598. i'm respectfully requesting your support of the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame commemorative coin act. this endeavor is the legislation of deep interest to me because of my professional career. primarily the last 16 years has been fully embedded in promoting basketball as president and c.e.o. of the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame. it has been an honor to help the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame provide a home for the greatness of the
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game's past and exciting present day and brilliant future that continues to touch all parts of the globe. the game's immortal through their stories and achievements are contained here in their legacy as players, coaches, teams, officials and legendary contributors to the game. more than six million visitors have educated themselves through the enjoyment of exploring the rich history. my passion for this sport is not solely rooted in the game itself or its traditions but rather for the love of basketball and its ability to develop character. one example is the outreach of the hall of fame's m.v.p.'s of character program, an initiative that has involved thousands of youths in the cities across the country like new york city, washington, d.c., lawrence, kansas. the program centers on the belief that teaching youth about good character, both on and off the court, helps them understand the impact of it and their lives. character traits like honesty,
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respect, responsibility, integrity and cooperation create a foundation for success. support of the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame commemorative coin bill has no taxpayer costs. it is an opportunity to help grow the game of basketball and the educational and outreach programs that are provided by the basketball hall of fame. mr. speaker, today as i rise on 1235, h.r. 1235, the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame commemorative coin act, a bill to require the secretary of treasury to mint and issue a commemorative coin in on of the 60th anniversary of the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame, located in the birthplace of basketball. the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame is entrusted with recording and disseminating the history of
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this great american pastime and recognizing and honoring the achievements of the sport's greatest players, coaches and contributors. with the ability to reach millions of americans through its educational programs, events, exhibits, online presence, the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame plays an important role in celebrating and promoting the positive core values demonstrated by the game's heroes who have inspired americans from all corners. passage of the legislation also provides an opportunity to highlight the creative ways in which the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame has leveraged america's love of the game, to develop basketball-related educational programs that teach our youth about a wide range of topics such as financial literacy, math, civil rights, leadership of character, women's and men's history and geography, in addition to raising awareness of its important work and
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honoring its 60th history, surcharges associated with the sale of the unique basketball-themed coin provided in the bill will also enable the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame to increase its operations and educational programming all at no cost to taxpayers. mr. speaker, basketball is one of the games that unite all american, across party lirningse across racial line, across geographic lines. that's who we are. the bipartisan legislation before us already has the support of more than 2/3 of the house and i hope all members will join me in supporting this bill to honor and support the importance -- the important work of naismith basketball hall of fame. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the
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entleman from texas. mr. gonzalez: mr. speaker, i'd like to read into the record a letter from kareem abdul-jabbar to the house of representatives. after 20 years as a player in the national basketball association, with the milwaukee bucks and the los angeles lakers, which included winning six nba championships as well as an equal number of most valuable player awards, i had the honor to be inducted into the 1995 naismith memorial basketball hall of fame. to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the naismith memorial hall of fame, congressman richard neal, andy barr and mike kelly have sponsored legislation to authorize the u.s. noint issue a limited edition commemorative coin for sale to the public in 2019.
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proceeds from this coin's sale will go to help continue the impressive and educational efforts of the basketball hall of fame of years to come, all at no cost to taxpayers. the basketball hall of fame preserves the history of the game and celebrates the very best of the sport at all levels it is played. the museum in springfield, massachusetts, honors men and women who have achieved greatness. exemplary coaches, referees, and other major contributors to the sport. it attracts six million visitors a year to see hundreds of thousands of historic artifacts and memorabilia spanning the last 125 years of basketball. as a hall of famer, i am very passionate about the work they do to not only preserve and honor, but also to grow the game of basketball. it is because of this i am respectfully requesting your support and co-sponsorship of the naismith memorial basketball
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hall of fame commemorative coin, h.r. 1235. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. barr: i thank my friend, the gentleman from texas. as i said before, the gentleman from massachusetts, for their advocacy for this bipartisan piece of legislation, again, honoring a great american tradition, the great sport of basketball. whether at the high school level thork collegiate level or the professional level, it's true, the gentleman from texas is absolutely right this great sport unite ours country and there's friendly competition, sometimes vigorous competition in the rivalries that we see, whether it's kentucky versus louisville or north carolina vs. duke or if it's the lakers and the celtics from the 1980's. or the pistons and the bulls and those great games in the 1990's. what i would just say as well is, there's a lot of people behind this legislation that deserve thanks and appreciation.
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i want to thank in particular jim host who is credited for coining the phrase "the final four." coach calipari of the university of kentucky has been a tireless champion of this effort. without his leadership, i don't think this would have happened. i want to also thank all the members of the hall of fame who have come to washington to talk to us. jay bilas came down and talked to the ways and means committee and talked about this. many of the other former players. and you've got to thank the players. the hall of fame recognizes their amazing skills and talents. if it wasn't for their advocacy this wouldn't have happened as wem. finally, and probably most importantly of all, the hall of fame and the commemorative coin act we're enacting here today, it's in honor of the fans who make this great sport possible. the american people who have fallen in love with this great american sport. we have to thank the fans for creating such excitement.
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whether in the mcdonald's all american basketball game at the high school level or if it's the final four and the national title in the ncaa, both men's and women's basketball. or game seven of the nba finals, there's nothing more electric than this sport at crunch time. so again, i urge my colleagues to come together and support the naismith basketball hall of fame and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1235 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. barr: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2519, the american
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legion 110th anniversary commemorative coin act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2519 a bill to require the secretary of the treasury to mint commemorative coins in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the american legion. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from kentucky, mr. barr, and the gentleman from texas, mr. gonzalez, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. barr: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barr: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. barr: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 2519, the american legion 100th anniversary commemorative coin act which would require the department of treasure tri--- treasury to mint and issue commemorative coins in
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recognition and celebration of the 100th anniversary of the american legion. for nearly 100 years, the american legion, formed for veterans and by veterans with the support of congress has helped provide services to wartime veterans and the communities in which they live across the united states and the global. on march 27, 1919, theodore roosevelt sent a telegram to mr. william marshall bullet of louisville, kentucky, and many more respected military wartime leaders across the country which announced that, quote a conference will be held at st. louis about may 1 for the purpose of organizing an association composed of those who have been in the land and naval forces of the united states in this war. a convention held in france has already organized forces there in an association called the american legion. and will have its representatives at this convention. shortly after this first national gathering of unified
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veterans held in st. louis, missouri, the united states congress officially chartered the american legion on september 16, 1919. since this charter, the american legion has grown to be one of the most influential, nonpartisan, nonprofit and the largest veterans' service organization in the united states with a standing membership of over 2.4 million veterans in 14,000 posts worldwide. the legion annually raises millions of dollars in donations at the local, state and national levels to help veterans and their families during times of need and to provide college scholarships and other opportunities for deserving students. even in the sixth congressional district of kentucky which i proudly represent, the american legion continues to be a strong and aggressive advocate for wartime veterans centered issues. just yesterday, i met with many of the american legion
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nicholasville post veterans right there serving and honoring the gold star families at camp nelson in kentucky. the american legion's department of kentucky has established 139 posts three areas, and 11 districts in our commonwealth of 120 counties. the american legion continues to strive to achee what has always been held as a sacred duty to -- sacred duty to every good american since general george washington's vision to promote the importance of providing provisions for the adequate care of war disabled veterans and their families. now, mr. speaker, i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 2519, legislation that calls for the issuance of commemorative coin in honor of the 100th
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anniversary of the american legion. a distinguished organization that works tirelessly in communities across the nation to serve our veterans and those still in the armed forces. mr. gonzalez: since being chartered by congress following the first world war, the american legion has played a pivotal role in the lives of so many service members and their families, always stepping up and lending a hand to those who need it most. for example, the american legion provides key services such as health care, claims assistance for veterans, job fairs, they support targeted efforts to meet the needs of homeless veterans. the american legion also supports military personnel and their families through the provisional financial -- provision of financial assistance and comfort items for hospitalized veterans and dedicated funds to support the needs of those at risk. over its history, the american legion also advocated and played
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a leading role in securing passage of key laws that support our service members, such as the landmark g.i. bill and the veterans reassurance act and the post-9/11 veterans educational act. in addition to honoring and raising awareness of the importance and -- important work of the american legion, the legislation before us will also help raise small sums ta that will help it carry out its tremendous work and advance american values. specifically, surcharges -- surcharge proceeds raise through the sale of the coin provided for in this bill will allow the american legion to advance the interests of those who have served in uniform, ensure they receive proper health care and disability benefits, earned through military service. pr mote the importance of and caring for those who are still serving in the armed forces, promote the patriotic values, morals, culture, and citizenship of the united states.
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and provide support for at-risk children and activities that nurture their development this overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation has support of more than 350 members of the house and has already received unanimous support of the united states senate where the legislation passed by a voice vote. for all these reasons i urge my colleagues to join me in passing this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the two minutes he was yielded by the gentleman from kentucky, the gentleman from kentucky now reserves and the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. gonzalez: i yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. neal. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. neal: thank you, mr. speaker. i stand in support of h.r. 1235, the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame commemorative coin act which i introduced along
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with my colleague, mr. barr. people in kentucky think they invented basketball, it was invented in massachusetts but i want to thank him personally as well as professionally for the good work he's done in helping to bring about this day. as the hall of fame celebrates its 125th anniversary of the invention of basketball this commemorative coin symbolizes all the sport has accomplished since its humble beginnings in a ymca gymnasium in massachusetts. this game continues to be played by men and women at every level and on every continent. in december of 1891, a physical education professor named dr. james naismith created a game with a simple objective. throw a round ball into a paetsch basket suspended 10 feet above the ground and while only one basket was made available during the first games, it would soon become quite popular with students. thanks to the network of ymca's through the country and the game's success on college campuses, it soon became a national phenomena. by 1894 it was being played
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around the nation and in dozens of countries around the world. in he 1920's an 1930's, teams like the celtics and renaissance brought basketball to the national consciousness for the first time. popularity lelled to the formation of the national basketball federation, pivotal in adding basketball to the summer olympic games in 1936. eventually the national basketball association was founded in 1946 and continues to enjoy great success. the basketball hall of fame inducted its first class in 1959 despite the lack of any physical structure. it would get their first home on the campus of springfield college in 1968, just a short way away from the game's first site. thousands of visitors came to the campus to see memorabilia and to be inspired by the stars of the sport's early days. as the game skyrocketed in popularity in 1980's with icons like larry bird, magic johnson and michael jordan, the mausm found the need to expand.
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as mayor of springfield at the time i helped secure location on the banks of the connecticut river and in 1985 the hall of fame reopened with a three-level museum with hundreds of pieces of memorabilia and displays. the hall was forced to expand in 2002 with a state-of-the-art structure that was steps away from the old facility. today the hall welcomes six million visitors annually. this year, the hall has inducted 365 of the greatest players, coaches and referees. ayers like wilt chamberlain, kareem abdul-jabbar and pat summit have been honored for their contributions to the sport. the commemorative coin is an ideal way for these great athletes and coaches to be remembered for decades to come. with no cost to the american taxpayer, the surcharges of these coins will go to further the museum's occuration efforts. the proceeds will go to educational programs that
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teaches respect on and off the court. mr. speaker, i worked with the hall of fame on multiple projects for more than 30 years. it's a terrific tax-exempt organization that works tirelessly to preserve the history and to educate people about this truly american game. i believe that basketball instills the virtues that this country was built upon and gives americans something to aspire to be. as former nba player and united states senator bill bradley and hall of famer put it, sports is a metaphor for overcoming obstacles and achieving against great odds. athletes we know in a time of difficulty can be important role models and for these reasons i urge my colleagues to support this bill. a special note of thanks for vincente gonzalez for keeping debate open so i can actually include my statement and i want to again, as i close and yield back the balance of my time, thank andy barr. he was terrific with his help on this. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts yields. the gentleman from texas reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. barr: once again, i
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appreciate my friend, the gentleman from massachusetts, in his leadership and we do recognize that the great game of basketball was in fact invented in massachusetts. that's ok. because massachusetts gave us coach calipari along the way. we really appreciate his leadership. this would not have happened without the leadership of the gentleman from massachusetts, and it's my honor to work with him on this bipartisan piece of legislation. on the american legion bill, we really appreciate all members of this body considering honoring the american legion and its 100th anniversary and commemorative coin bill as well. and with that, unless there's -- unless there's any other members over here, we'll continue to reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. gonzalez: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman -- mr. gonzalez: sorry.
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may i ask to the time back? i would like to yield to the gentlelady, ms. norton. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the entleman can reclaim his time. how much time? mr. gonzalez: as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. norton: i thank the gentleman for yielding, and i'm pleased to rise in honor of the first woman to be national commander of the american legion. her name is denise roja. she knows that this is a milestone and therefore she is erself very proud. to be named to this position. she says, to quote her, it's about time. from her perspective, women
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have always been leaders in the legion. i'm sure most of us didn't even know that. she says if you look back, women were postcommanders early on. we then in leadership -- we've been in leadership positions. if we weren't leading from the front, we were still there helping the organization along. she says she doesn't think of herself as a female legionaire. i want to be known as a great american legion leader who happens to be a woman. i've been working hard for the legion for more than 30 years and i am humbled that the legion chose me to be its national commander. it is an honor. she was elected as the legion's 99th -- at the legion's 99th
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national convention in reno, nevada, in august. she herself, of course, is an army veteran and the second national commander from wisconsin. she and her husband, mike, elong to post 385 if very owna and -- verona and i'm sure he had would want that known here and they have lived for 30 years there. members have supported ms. rohan for a long time and are excited to see her at the time. she's regarded as very capable, outgoing, friendly and able to .ring people to a consensus er parents, joe and dorothy, set a strong example for three
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daughters. both were volunteers and active in the local united church of christ. she first encountered the memorial girl at day services in a catholic cemetery near her home. he waited patiently to receive a shell casing from the honor whistle.use as a the town always had a parade that started at the cemetery, came down hail, went along a bridge and ended up at another -- came down a hill, went along a bridge and ended up at another cemetery. there was one parade. i remember going the other way when they brought home the body of someone killed in vietnam. it began at the high school, went up the hill. the memory stayed with me, end
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quote. still, the idea of serving in the military herself certainly didn't occur to ms. rohan until a high school friend asked her and another girl to accompany er to des moines for an army physical. her friend failed. they passed. and rohan had a choice. unsure what she wanted to do with her life and reluctant to ask her parents to put a third child through college, she joined under the buddy system in 1974. for a person who struggled with homesickness -- that's what she called it, homesickness -- she got along just fine. somehow my mother lived through me sobbing on the phone every
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single call for a couple of weeks. then i started realizing that i had another family of women in basic training with me. they had my back. they made sure i was taken care of and we became sisters. may i ask how much time i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is fine. ms. norton: in virginia, she completed quarter master school and was the outstanding graduate of her class. needing female instructors, the army sent ms. rohan to more training. that's where she met mike, who was working as a television production specialist. i have to have some time in the studio, she says, teasing him. my roommate at the time was a runner-up for miss west virginia the year before she joined the army. so here is this beautiful blond
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who probably did really good on camera because she was used to that kind of stuff. she doesn't recall meeting me that day. by mike's recollection, they met through a mutual friend a couple months later. he soon realized this girl had the qualities his mother told and seek in a woman more. she never once told me to look for someone who could shoot an m-16 or crawl under a barbed wire with the fire going or oing on a run two miles with a sack on her back but that's what i found, he said. denise all those abilities as a soldier, but is also a loving wife and mother. they started dating, fell in
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love and mike got orders to go to korea. about the same time rohan was up for re-enlistment, wanting to stay together, they were married by a justice of the peace during one of rohan's orning breaks. their reception was at mcdonald's. that's the romantic we go every place on may 21, she said. women are veterans too. in the end, the army couldn't guarantee rohan an assignment overseas so she left the service and became an army wife. of course, that would not be the case today. over the next few years, the couple lived in korea, texas and finally wisconsin.
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mike spent the first half of his career as enlisted and became a warrant officer in the national guard. meanwhile, rohan builds her own career at the university of wisconsin-madison, starting as a program assistant in the student a lot office. he managed a $120 million loan officer portfolio and helping develop a computerized system to manage it all. 29 etired in 2012 after years. she has missed a lot, say those who worked with her and under her. ms. rohan's american legion career has had a similar trajectory. she joined in 1984 when the new
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commander of post 333 in sun prairie -- friend of mike's recruited her to join so she could serve as adjunct. she last, when she recalls -- she laughs, when she recalls an older veteran, who was flusted at a woman's presence at the meetings. he was saying something and swore and then took his cap off and said, sorry, i didn't mean to be disrespectful. later, he did it again and said i just don't know how i am going to do this. i told him, hey, i was in the army, too. i've heard those words before. when ms. rohan really found her spot in the sun prairie post was when she was coordinating for two blood drives
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decades. each pint of blood could help three people and we collected hundreds at each drive, she says. the volunteers kept coming back. the donors kept coming back. it makes you feel like you're making a difference. from there, ms. rohan's reputation of hard work and willingness to serve opened door after door, district, adjunct and commander, department historian. she's a four-time winner of the national american legion historian contest. department commander on. on the national level she's a former chair of the veterans employment and education commission as well as the national membership and post activities committee. along the way she volunteered for dozens of smaller jobs that
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have cemented the legion's ace in her community, like chairing a boy scouts group, organizing children's christmas parties, assembling troop care packages. none of it would have happened if ms. rohan was the sort to hold grudges, however. en the couple lived in marshall, wisconsin, briefly a member of the local legion came to recruit mike. rohan identified herself as an eligible veteran, but the legion recruiter told her women could join the auxiliary only. years later, the marshall realized its mistake and hung a photo of ms. rohan. then district commander behind a sign that says, remember,
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women are veterans too. today the post is one of her biggest supporters. i promised they'd get one of my first national commander photos, to put in that frame she said. we can do that, is what rohan has become known for. her name is known in more than just legion circles. the wisconsin army national forward armory in madison, she denise husband are aunt and uncle mike. since 2006, they frequented their weekends so thauven young servicemen sometimes asume they're part of their unit. facing a rough situation with a soldier fresh off deployment and
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needing resources fast, staff sergeant van kelham was told to talk to the rohans at the legion that call led to an unbelievable amount of care for troops and their families. when soldiers needed satellite phone minutes to call home after a battle, the wisconsin legion family raised $50,000. a run for the 105th calvary -- onnaires feed near calvary, legionnaires fed nearly 5,000 people. -- i think r this much the served report on the first woman to head the american
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legion. we understand why the bill that comes before us is much deserved. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. barr: how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 14 minutes. the gentleman from texas is out of time. mr. barr: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognize. -- is recognized. mr. barr: mr. speaker, once again , in support of the american legion commemorative coin act, i want to share a story from just yesterday in nicholasville, kentucky, where the american legion was there, as they always are, supporting our veteran families. we were at camp nelson, which was a union, originally a union army cemetery, but since the civil war has become a final
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resting place for many of our heroes. we were there yesterday to honor many of the kentucky gold star families. who had lost loved ones, heroes, in the war on terror. the first one was a u.s. naval officer killed on september 11, 2001, in the pentagon and most recently captain matthew roland a captain in the united states air force, killed in action in august of 2015 in afghanistan. and the families of these falling heros were there, we were there to honor those fallen heroes and unveil a dedication, a pemoirl to those gold star families who had sacrificed so much, not only did those rerhee rows sacrifice everything for this country but the families sacrificed because they lost their loved ones, they're missing anniversaries and birthdays and their children growing up and walking down the
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aisle. but who was there to honor those gold star families? the american legion. and the american legion was there holding those american flags high and they were there to deliver the three volley salute in honor of those fallen heroes. the american legion is first and foremost a local organization. they pride thems on that. and that's what they were in kentucky, honoring those gold star families. yes they represent a country of heroes and service members and veterans but they are local and they showed that yesterday in the sixth congressional district of kentucky. but they show that all over this country. mr. would just note also, speaker, that when we think of how to honor our veterans, we have to remember what george washington, general george washington, who of course was the founder of our country and
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who of course was that famous general during the american revolution who arguably was the first veteran, and what general washington, president washington, famously said about our country and veterans was that the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly propoffingsal to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars and how they were treated and appreciated by our nation. so the american legion embodies that. they are a group of patriots, veterans who know it's critically important to instill in other americans the importance of patriotism, love of our country, love of the american flag so they help us and future generations rment our veterans and their service and their sacrifice. so we appreciate the fact that we have a piece of legislation
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before this body today that honors that great organization, the american legion, that provides that level of patriotism and support to our men and women in uniform and veterans who have served this country so heroically and patriotcally. with that, mr. speaker, i would like to yield time to the legislation's sponsor, the gentleman from minnesota. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walz: i thank the gentleman for yielding time and for his eloquent words. i thank him for his support. thank you for brin bringing the bill to the floor. the american legion 100th anniversary commemorative coin act to the floor today. for nearly a century the american legion has worked hard on behalf of the veterans and their families. as a veteran and legislator, i
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see firsthand the results they achieve for veterans on a daily basis. this bipartisan legislation as the support of over 370 of our peers, including the entire i have to the veterans affairs committee, the financial services committee and the majority and minority leaders. the senate has passed a similar piece of legislation and we look forward to continue working to get this to the president's desk. these commemorative coins are just a small token of thanks to -- thanks to show the millions of american legion members for our veterans our national security and in full disclosure, mr. speaker, as a longtime member of the american hei'm proud to stand here sponsoring this piece of legislation, look forward to it being signed into law and look forward to americans getting a piece of this history that we should all be proud of. with that, i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. barr: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2519 as amended.
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those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass senate bill 810. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 810, an act to
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facilitate construction of a bridge on certain property in christian county, missouri, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from gai, mr. ferguson, and the gentlewoman from the district of columbia, ms. norton, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the entleman from gai. mr. ferguson: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on senate bill 810. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. ferguson: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. ferguson: the bill senate 810 would allow the community to construct a bridge. after continued flooding, they purchased the land. fema prohibits the billing of any structure on the property. replacing the current one-lane bridge is essential and will alleviate traffic for families, maul business owners and emergency responders traveling
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in the region. i would like to thank the entire missouri delegation for their work on this legislation and urge my colleagues to support its passage. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from the district of columbia. ms. norton: i yeeled myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. norton: i rise in support of s. 810. this facilitates construction of a bridge on property required sunday section 404 of the stafford act. riverside bridge in christian county, missouri, is a 100--year-old, one-lane bridge that currently frequently closes due to flooding. local transportation officials have agreed on a plan to replace the existing one-lane bridge with a wider bridge that has a larger footprint. however, expanding the bridge involves building on land that has received fema disaster
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mitigation funds in the past. after repeated flooding, fema provided funding to christian county in 2009 to demolish a structure adjacent to the bridge, the riverside inn, and to purchase the land. as a condition of providing the funding, fema required that the land be maintained for open space, recreation or wetland management. unless congress removes the restriction on construction on that site, the county cannot replace riverside bridge. s. 810 provides that christian county must ensure the bridge replacement project does not result in flood damage, and is liable for any flood damage that occurs. no further disaster assistance from any federal source may be provided for the property or the structure.
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this bill provides a narrow exemption from existing fema rules that will allow christian county, missouri, to solve a transportation problem. i'm not aware of any opposition to this legislation, and mr. speaker, i urge its adoption. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from jorja. r. forget -- from georgia. mr. ferguson: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from d.c. ms. norton: i yield back. mr. ferguson: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 810. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the afirmtive, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3823, the disaster tax relief and airport and airway extension act of 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3823 a bill to amend title 49 united states code to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the airport and
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airway trust fund to provide disaster tax relief and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule the gentleman from florida, mr. curbelo, and the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. neal, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. cur bell he: i ask -- mr. curbelo: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to rhett rith their remark -- rares and include extraneous bill on -- material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. curbelo: i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, since hurricane irma hit florida earlier this month, my staff and i have been on the ground in the florida keys and south dade helping our district with immediate recovery effort and listening to what our constituents need going forward. in the lower and middle florida keys it's hard to find someone who hasn't been affected financially by this storm's deaf scation -- devastation.
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from restaurant workers who have been without a paycheck to fishermen whose boats or traps were damaged, small businesses and the families that depend on them are really struggling. in south dade, crops and agriculture structures critical to daily operations were devastated by wind. some small farms that were already struggling to make ends meet have exhausted their cash on hand to pay for cleanup, leaving them with little to pay workers or keep up their planting schedule. mr. speaker, my district my district and others need relief and this bill is a great start. through the business tax credit for wages, small business owners likeoen, a lobster -- like owen, a lobster fisherman will be able to claim a tax credit of 40% of employee wages. that is money owen can use to get his employees back to work as soon as possible.
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the bill will also allow taxpayers to refer to earned income from the immediately preceding year for purposes of determining the earned income tax credit. that's over 415,000 hurricane survivors in miami-dade and nearly 7,500 in monroe county who will be able to keep more of their paycheck when the time comes to pay taxes next year. we're also going to make it easier for individuals and businesses like farmers struggling in south dade and fishermen in the keys to deduct more of the cost from the extensive property damage these storms left behind. this legislation would also give anyone struggling with initial recovery immediate access to their retirement savings without penalties so they can make ends meet and take care of their families. lastly, this legislation will lift caps on charitable giving to hurricane relief organizations, encouraging more american businesses and
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individuals to continue generously supporting their fellow citizens. mr. speaker, americans in texas, florida, louisiana, the u.s. virgil green and puerto rico -- u.s. virgin islands and puerto rico need congress to. my constituents and other communities like my district don't have time to wait. they certainly don't have time to play political games. the disaster tax relief and airport and airway extension act of 2017 will give them the means to recover faster and rebuild their communities better and stronger than before. this tax relief package we're considering deserves bipartisan support from my colleagues. i want to thank chairman brady and the ways and means committee for allowing me to shape this legislation for the benefit of south florida residents, especially those in monroe county, who were hardest hit by hurricane irma. i how about we can get this done today. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. neal: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. neal: mr. speaker, i stand in opposition to 3823, the disaster tax relief and airport and airway tax extension act for one simple reason. this is an anemic response to these disasters, whether they occur on the mainland of the united states or the american possessions. this should have been done on friday afternoon with the two parties working together. instead, once again, this was put together by one party with minimal input from our side. these are all members of the american family that have been impacted by what's happened with this terrible weather. the chance here for us to work together to make this an expanded package, when we could be talking about a host of opportunities for these folks that have been put in such a precarious situation is now being missed. there are 90 members of this
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congress who actually voted against direct aid in the past for relief for members of the american family. where we should have taken the position here, clearly, let's try to figure out what we can do for a robust tax package, what we can do for immediate aid, highlight the role fema plays. and i certainly have expressed to mr. curbelo time and again i'm there, onboard. i just think there needs to be more, and i think that's the position we're offering today. furthermore, a partisan position had to be taken in terms of many priorities that we should have been consulted on and even those could have been turned into bipartisan moments. i just -- i support the disaster relief that's in this bill, but it's clear that the package is woefully inadequate. i'd hoped we could work together on these provisions. this disaster relief package included in this bill does not
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provide the relief that will drive investment and speed up recovery in the american communities that include texas, florida, the u.s. virgin islands and puerto rico. and the fix we want on this side, the lost revenue means money is lost that would otherwise be needed for normal operations in the response effort. it will take years to adequately respond to what has happened and the devastation that these folks are up against and we need to be sitting here, both parties, working together to say they are all members of the american family, let's get it done. i consider this a missed opportunity, and i hope we can do more in the next few days to get back on track to help them bounce back from these indeed tragedies. we should be sitting down here in the next 48 hours and putting together a massive package of relief for these states and for these possessions and making sure they have what is necessary rather than doing a piecemeal fix on what is sure to be a
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very tormented time for members of these communities and these states and these possessions. so with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. curbelo: thank you, mr. speaker. briefly, i want to first convey my gratitude to the gentleman from massachusetts because indeed the first day i returned after being back home helping my community recover, the gentleman expressed his disposition to work together and that really meant a lot to me and i know it meant a lot to all of our colleagues who represent areas that were hit hard by the storm. and we should work more closely together. we can always do better. however, let's not let the good or the perfect be the enemy of the good. the bottom line is that there are a lot of provisions in this legislation that are supported by members of both parties and that there are millions of americans who are suffering, especially in south florida, especially in puerto rico that was hit hard by maria just a
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few days, and they're counting on us to deliver something. we can always do more later, but this is a good package that will help people get back up on their feet. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the chairman of the house committee on transportation and infrastructure, mr. shuster of pennsylvania. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. speaker, and i thank the gentleman from florida for yielding. i rise today in support of the disaster tax relief and airport and airway extension act of 2017. this extension provides stability to our aviation system, it extends the funding to the f.a.a. over the next six months while congress continues to make progress on a full f.a.a. re-authorization bill. this extension is absolutely necessary to prevent a shutdown in f.a.a. programs, delays in airport construction projects and the possible furlough of thousands of f.a.a. employees across the country. i'll be the first to admit i am disappointed we have not passed a long-term bill yet. unfortunately, this is not a
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new problem for congress. between 2007 and 2012, congress passed 23 extensions before approving a full re-authorization. these short-term stopgaps, while necessary, create long-term budget instability and they contribute to the f.a.a.'s overall inability to effectively manage the modernization of our antiquated air traffic control system. congress has passed numerous piecemeal reforms over the years to help the f.a.a. act more like a business and efficiently modernize the system. these reforms have not worked. in passing the same kind of reforms again is not going to change the simple fact that the federal government is not an innovative, high-tech service business. it's time to face the truth, without transformational reform, the american people will not get the most modern and efficient air traffic control system that they've been promised and deserve. for too long we have been trying to manage the symptoms of the problem instead of finding a cure. thankfully we now have that cure. h.r. 2997, the 21st century air
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act, and progress is being made every day on this bill to provide long-term, overdue reform of the f.a.a. while this progress -- while we've made progress, i believe we'll move this bipartisan bill through the house in the next few weeks. in the meantime, we have to pass the extension today to provide six months worth of certainty and stability to the f.a.a., aviation community and flying public. without it, starting this sunday, the aviation program will shut down. thousands of f.a.a. employees will be furloughed. airport projects across the country will come to a halt, and approximately 40 million a day in aviation trust fund revenue will go uncollected. that's funding for air traffic control, airport development and other safety and modernization programs that will never be recovered. i want to remind my colleagues again that the very fact that we have passed this bill today is one of the many reasons we need a fundamental comprehensive f.a.a. reform. in order to ensure americans remain the world leader in aviation. i look forward to bringing the bipartisan 21st century air act to the floor in the coming weeks.
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until then, i urge my colleagues to support today's bill. i want to thank chairman brady and chairman hensarling for their work on this bill. i want to thank my friend for yielding, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. neal: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i'd like to yield four minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, a member of the ways and means committee, mr. pascrell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. pascrell: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, we have a problem here. my record is very, very clear on providing assistance to anyplace in this country. in fact, my record is 100%, so i have some credibility when i come to the floor to discuss this with my friend from florida. i hope you'll listen. my heart goes out to those impacted by hurricanes harvey, irma, and maria over the past several weeks. i'm committed to providing for
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federal response and recovery. i was pleased to support each of those affected by harvey and irma and will continue to do so. we urgently need to deliver relief and assistance to those currently impacted by hurricane maria in the u.s. virgin islands and puerto rico where the entire island has lost power and many are without water. however, this bill today does not provide that needed relief. let's be clear. we in new jersey are not some johnny e lately on -- come lately on disaster relief. this is not a question of you got yours and i want mine. we've been working on disaster tax issues since 2012. based in part of how we address helping victims of hurricane
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katrina more than a decade ago. let me remind you. hurricane sandy devastated the northeast united states in 2012. lost 233 lives. . using $75 billion in damages at the time it was the costliest storm after hurricane katrina. while congress, until then, had routinely provided tax relief to communities in the wake of our worst storms -- tax relief, i'm talking about -- katrina, rita, wilma, victims of hurricane sandry -- sandy did not receive the same treatment. in fact, we had to wait three months. we just did it in three days. e seem to have short memories.
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179 republicans in this body and 36 senators voted against aid to victims of hurricane .andy in 2013 that many. today those same members ask us to support not only aid for hurricanes harvey and irma but tax relief provisions which they never even considered after hurricane sandy. i was a yes vote the week fore last for your aid unequivocally. why should i take it out on your citizens the foolishness that happened in 2013? that would be wrong, and i think you feel the same way, through the chair. this whole debate smacks a certain hypocrisy and i know i am not the first to point it
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out. in the weeks after sandy, i worked in a bipartisan manner to draft a tax relief bill that would make permanent the most commonsense tax relief provisions, to take politics out of the equation when it comes to disaster relief and over the years i worked with many of my colleagues, both sides of the aisle and both chambers of the capitol. our bill, the national disaster tax relief act, led also by congressman tom reed of new thank you. . provides tax relief to victims of hurricane sandy and puts in place permanent provisions for all disaster areas going forward. i'm ready, waiting to debate these provisions, and go through regular order. let's have hearings. let's have a markup.
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let's have regular order on something that should be as noncontroversial as helping those in need. but instead of taking a bipartisan approach, some in the majority have chosen to sneak in a few provisions taken from our bill and tack them onto an unrelated aviation bill. and apply them only to this year's hurricane victims. leaving out all of the disaster victims that have been waiting for support from over the years. front page of the papers in new jersey today, people are still not back in their homes from sandy, 2013. that's not fair. it's not the american way. the specific provisions republican leadership put from our bill include bigger than usual property -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. >> 30 seconds, mr. speaker. mr. pascrell: thank you. bigger than usually property casualty loss deductions,
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penalty-free retirement withdrawals. you may smile, but think about those people who are out of their homes since 2013. that's no laughing. that's no laughing matter. mr. chairman. an increased threshold for charitable giving, a tax credit for impacted employers. and flexibility in applying for the earned income tax credit and child tax credit. i would note that puerto ricans, despite being american citizens, are ineligible for the earned income tax credit. i have a bill to correct this. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. >> mr. speaker, no one was laughing at anything that the gentleman said. we were listening intently. and the reason that we're here, that we're all here, is because the people of florida, the people of texas, the people of louisiana, the people of puerto rico, and the people of the u.s.
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virgin islands need our help. mr. curbelo: they were hit in the last few weeks and they need our help. there are people struggling in all of these communities. and is this bill perfect? no, i've never seen one. can we do more? yes, we must do more. but this is an important first step and now i'd like to yield four minutes to the distinguished chairman of the house financial services committee, mr. hensarling of texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for four minutes. mr. hensarling: i thank the gentleman from florida for yielding. mr. speaker, it's so obvious to all, as we have looked in horror on our television screens, to see the devastation of harvey, irma and maria. there have been lots of tragic stories, heroing tails of survival -- tales of survival. i've been to houston. i've met with a number of the victims. mr. speaker, let me tell you about one tragic story. one tragic story is that there are people who are living in
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homes that repeatedly flood. five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, even 20 times. something is fundamentally wrong in america and something is fundamentally dangerous in america when people are living in harm's way. many of these people are ready to move. mr. speaker, last week i made a comment about these repeatedly flooded properties that was clearly inartful. it was not meant to be taken literally. but it was. and i regret the comment because it diverted from a very important point that needs to be made. and the point is this -- if we care about our fellow citizens, if we wish to be compassionate, then federal aid and federal policy will help move these people to safer ground. it's time to either help mitigate these homes or to help move themes. for the small set of -- these homes. for the small set of properties we must help, otherwise i fear that the fatalities and the
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economic carnage will continue. if we simply rebuild the same properties in the same manner, in the same place, and expect a different result, we're not helping our fellow citizens. we're not helping our first responders. and we're certainly not helping the taxpayer. mr. speaker, another tragedy of these storms is how many people needed flood insurance but didn't have it. many of them had no idea that they actually needed it. and in houston, by some reports, 80% of the damaged homes didn't have flood insurance. why? one of the reasons, mr. speaker, is because we have a government monopoly in flood insurance. many people don't understand that flood is not included in their typical homeowners insurance policy. many people unfortunately took false security from living outside the government-designated 100-year flood plane. many have seen no options. but help is on the way.
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bipartisan help is on the way with the flood insurance market paritied a modernization act known as the ross-castor bill. it's a critical piece of legislation to give more people more options, more affordable options for flood insurance. in the small part of the national market where we have competition, particularly in pennsylvania and in florida, people are saving hundreds of dollars, if not thousands of dollars, in many cases, on their flood insurance premiums. the very respected firm of millman, which studies insurance matters, said that half of policy owners in florida, 2/3 in ouisiana, and 75% in texas, my native state, could all save with private flood insurance. think about it, mr. speaker. if we had a real competitive market with a multiple of companies advertising and selling multiple policies, more people would become educated about the need for flood
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insurance. and have that rolled into their normal home owners policy. this is vital. mr. speaker, last year this bill passed this house 419-0. you can't get any more bipartisan. it recently passed the financial services committee 58-0. if there's one thing that we need to do, and it's you urgent that we do it now -- and it's urgent that we do it now with a national flood insurance program that's in debt, as folks begin to rebuild, let's get them more affordable flood insurance policies. i appreciate the bill included in this package and for the sake of all the victims of the hurricanes, i urge its adoption. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i think there's a sufficient opportunity here going forward, as the previous gentleman has spoken, to discuss the whole issue of flood insurance. i just don't think this is the moment to be discussing the
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flood insurance initiatives. instead i think that that ought to be subject to a full-throttled debate in this institution. about getting those things done. mr. neal: this is not, i think, the appropriate forum for accomplishing that. with that i'd like to recognize the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazzyorks the ranking member of the infrastructure -- defazio, the ranking member of the infrastructure committee, four four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for -- for -- mr. neal: the ranking member of the infrastructure committee, for four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. defazio: this is reportedly a must, for the f.a.a. to continue to operate after october 1. unfortunately it has devolved into other issues because of -- because it's turned into a christmas tree on the republican side of the aisle. look, we need to re-authorize the federal aviation administration. the last time congress failed to do this, and the ticket tax, which is what pays for air traffic control in america expired, almost every airline in
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america raised their rates 7.5%, got a $400 million windfall, which the government lost, and -- with the exception of two i understand, alaska and spirit. so if we fail to re-authorize, we can expect that will happen again. actually their long-term plan is to privatize the f.a.a., do away with the ticket tax, reap a $10 billion windfall, and then impose a new per head fee to use our national air space. which, oh, by the way, congress will have nothing to say about that. there will be no elected official that will have any authority over what new fees they charge. that's extraordinary. and that came out of the republican side of the ways and means committee. what a bunch of losers. come on. give me a break. you're going to allow the airlines to have the authority, a private corporation to tax people in america? it's not a tax, it's a user fee. well, it sure feels like a tax to me and it's going to feel
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like that to your constituents but when they complain you're going to say, oh, go talk to the private corporation. that's why we're here today. because the chairman of the committee has stubbornly persisted in attempting to privatize the air traffic organization of the united states of america. the most complex, the most efficient, and the safest system in the world. yeah, there are a few reforms that are needed there. most of them have to do with us. congress sequesterers their money, even though there's enough money raised in the ticket tax and other taxes to pay for the system. we sequester their money. we shut them down. we do dumb things like that. so i introduced a bill to take care of those problems. to exempt them from sequestration. exempt them from budget shutdowns. and to require reforms in their personnel procedures, their policy procedures, in terms of acquisitions. and to enhance the role of their coordinating committee which has been to -- which has been doing a great job coordinating between the government and the airlines and all the people who use the system. not just the commercial
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airlines. and authorize funds to rebuild the -- some of the major air traffic control centers which are falling apart. instead, the chairman has insisted we must privatize, we must privatize, because can did did -- because canada did it, and then the airlines have this fake group called the citizens for on-time arrivals. we have to fly zig-zag routes which are world war ii radar. no, we have deployed a system where you can fly all the planes in america closer together with g.p.s., but the airlines haven't bought the equipment. so they're blaming the f.a.a.. that kind of stinks. so that's why we're here today. we have a bill that otherwise is totally agreed upon. if we were voting today on an f.a.a. bill to give them a six-year extension, without privatization, with the reforms we need, we would be pressuring the senate to get something done. now the senate's hung up over whether or not you should have 1,500 hours of experience to sit
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in the co-pilot's see the after the tragic incident, reforms were adopted that made these requirements. so they're hung up on that. on this side we're hung up on privatizing the system. , so it's sad that we've come to this point today. and my hope is that whether he move forward soon in the bipartisan tradition of my committee, and we will move an f.a.a. bill and any amendments that are allowed or any riders that are in it will have only to do with aviation. not to do with flood insurance or any of these other things being thrown in here today. we're here with the ways and means committee on a bill that should be a transportation bill. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. curbelo: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. graves: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i rise and want to make comments , actually echoing a lot of comments that were made already. the gentleman from massachusetts talked about this neat kneading to be a bipartisan bill -- this needing to be a bipartisan bill and i agree. the gentleman from new jersey talk talked about hurricane sandy relief act and i agree. that we respond quickly and appropriately in response to the devastating disasters that have affected florida and the state of texas. i also support the gentleman from pennsylvania's comments regarding a short-term re-authorization for the f.a.a. so we can continue to move forward on reform. but you may be wondering why, mr. speaker, groups like the association of state flood plane managers and the consumer federation of america have expressed opposition to this legislation. i ask unanimous consent that their letters be included in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. graves: extraneous provisions on flood insurance that should not be pasted into this legislation were included. these provisions actually undermined the very solvency of
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the program. they're establishing a private market at the time when the national flood insurance program, the federal program's, going to need the resources to pay claims. establishing a private market within 60 days is going to divert resources from the federal program to private insurers. going to divert these dollars to where they don't have the resources to make the payments. private insurance companies are already involved in flood insurance. and right now they're going to be -- if once we authorize them to step into these markets, they're going to be able to cherry-pick, low and moderate risk policies, leaving the national insurance flood program with only high policies and leaving them with the burden of the $26.4 billion debt. i don't understand how the program's going to have the resources to pay the claims. it undermines. next, one of the other big problems we have is look at this, mr. speaker. this shows floods in texas, floods in louisiana. i'm gutting homes in one and -- in louisiana here and in texas
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there. these are both 1,000-year flood events. i don't understand why we choose these folks get tax relief and these don't. we introduce nearly identical legislation to address this. we shouldn't be discriminating against folks in new jersey and new york and louisiana in exchange for the others. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. . mr. neal: we're ready to close, mr. speaker, so i am going to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. curbelo: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield a half a minute to mr. shuster of pennsylvania. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, mr. curbelo, for yielding. i just heard the ranking member get on the call and call me stubborn. i don't know. i am pretty committed, pretty committed to what we're doing here because this week will be the second-year anniversary of this quote by the ranking member on debate on the floor on h.r. 3614, the f.a.a. is the only agency in government worst at procurement to the pentagon. congress has tried to reform
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it. it didn't stick. we go to try something -- we got to try something different to get it more agile, to give utt the 21st century equipment and software we need -- us the 21st century equipment and software we need. we tried to get it modernized. we spent $40 billion, $50 billion to try to get it done. this is truly transformational. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts continues to reserve. mr. neal: is the gentleman prepared to close, mr. speaker? mr. curbelo: we have an additional speaker, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. curbelo: i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. denham. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. denham: thank you, mr. chairman. i support the 21st century air act, h.r. 2997. this is something that needs to get done. we need to of so our problems for america's airlines and our passengers that are traveling across the country.
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this is a short-term extension. but we got to get our job done. as well, we got to get our job done on teaching hospitals. you know, while we continue to debate the health care of this nation, we have areas like mine that we have a lack of access. if you can't see a doctor today, you have no health care. and so i think it's important that our teaching health center, graduate medical education program gets extended long term. we have a bill to do that. but just expanding it three months, if you're graduating from medical school right now, you want to be able to have the certainty that you're going to have a residency program long term. i support this extension, but we got to do a lot more. it is time for both houses to come together. more importantly, it's time for both parties to come together to solve our issues for the f.a.a., for modernization, making sure we have an aviation system that works. it's ridiculous i can look at the waze app on our phone but
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we have airlines that are getting stalled across the entire country. we can do better. we have to come together to do that. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. kneale -- mr. neal: thank you, mr. chairman. let we reassure the gentleman from california. for us in massachusetts we are for graduate medical education. be assure of that. we support re-authorization of the f.a.a. but what's happened here, again, is a breakdown in the conversation that used to meld this institution together. there was a chance on friday for republicans to consult with us in the minority, put together a partisan package of many very important provisiones that are important to mr. curbelo, -- provisions that are important to mr. curbelo, be important to the people of texas, the virgin islands and important to the people of puerto rico. now, let me give you a quick example of how this institution used to work. we used to call this the
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national principle, and the national principle essentially said if there was an earthquake in california, we all rose to the support of california. if there were forest fires in alabama, which there were, we would all come to the aid of the people of alabama. if there was a horrific downpour in texas we simply said, we don't ask if it's a red state or blue state or libertarians or socialists or democrats or republicans. we said they are members of the american family. and we said, do what has to be done and then send us a bill. we believe that there will be ample opportunity to debate and discuss the size of the portionality at that moment. so instead, where we had this opportunity right here to provide a robust package to the people of the virgin islands, puerto rico, florida and texas, we decide to come back with an anemic proposal.
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we are coming up short on our responsibility. we had a tornado in my hometown five years ago. those federal employees did a spectacular job everywhere in eight communities and nobody said too much government. they said, let's fix this for, again, the american family to get this straightened out. i have said to mr. curbelo and i will repeat it. we'll put up 195 democrats immediately for a bigger package for the people of florida, texas, the virgin islands and puerto rico, not to piecemeal together. and by the way, let me use the opportunity, mr. speaker, for those of us in the northeast, the idea that 90 members of this institution voted against direct relief just a couple weeks ago looking for a pay-for, i wonder if they're going to use that same application of consistency when we get to the tax proposals that are about to consume our time? we want to provide adequate
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relief to these families and the communities that need it and we could do this in the next 48 hours without any problem whatsoever. at this time, because this is not big enough and not supportive enough of the american family, i am going to ask my colleagues to oppose this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. curbelo: mr. speaker, i want to thank chairman brady and the ways and means committee staff for their work on this legislation. it has been a tough couple weeks in the state of florida, especially down in my community and, again, i want to thank my colleague from massachusetts, mr. neal, because as i said earlier, when i came back here, the first conversation we had was about helping south florida and he said he was willing and certainly able to do it. and here today we're trying to take that first step, to help the people of florida, to help the people of texas, of louisiana, of the virgin
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islands, of puerto rico. but as often happens in this house, if something isn't perfect, then we get nothing. and that's wrong. that's wrong because there are people out there who need the help, people who don't have a roof, people who don't have a home, people who have been without power. i visited the marathon emergency operation center, mr. speaker. it was replete with people buzzing, everyone working hard, full of energy even though they hadn't slept in days. and the emergency operations manager there told me that a third of the employees there who were helping their fellow residents in the florida keys had lost their homes. this is about them, and we can help improve their lives today and we can work together to do more later and we should, but why should the perfect be the enemy of the good? why, when we have the opportunity to help people
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because some think we should be doing more we're going to give them nothing? i think that's a major mistake and it sends the wrong message. throughout this debate we've seen everything from posturing to name calling and we wonder why so many americans reject this institution and are disappointed by it. we have to do better, and we can do better and it would send a strong message if we all voted for this legislation to take this first step to helping the people of the florida keys, of south florida, of texas, of louisiana, of the u.s. virgin islands, of puerto rico, help them get back up on their feet. mr. speaker, this is very important, and on behalf of my community and a lot of people who have quite frankly lost their lives, i ask all of my colleagues to join together and to support this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is will the house
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suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3823. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. neal: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. neal: on that matter i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3819. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3819, a bill to amend title 38, united states code, to extend certain expiring provisions of law administered by the secretary of veterans affairs, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bilirakis: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 3819, the department of veterans affairs expiring authorities act of
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2017. h.r. 3819 would extend a number of expiring authorities impacting veterans' benefits, health and homeless programs. swift passage of this legislation today would ensure that many programs that veterans, their caregivers, dependents and survivors rely on, we must continue these programs, mr. speaker. the programs include nursing home care, support services for caregivers, transportation, childcare assistance, adaptive sports programs and housing and home loan services, to name just a few. so important. again, these are not new programs, but they're so very important to our true heroes. the costs associated with them have been assumed in the house-passed appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 and 2019 advanced appropriations. one program that has been
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extended for just five additional months, until january 6, 2018, is the assisted living pilot program for veterans with traumatic brain injury. that short extension would allow extra time for the v.a. to fully transition the veterans currently participating in that program and to other existing programs more suitable for their ongoing support and rehabilitation. h.r. 3819 would also make a number of technical corrections o the harry w. pulmonary veterans educational assistance act of 2017. this bill was drafted by and has full bipartisan support of both the majority and the minority veterans' committee members of the house and senate. i urge all my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 3819 today and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walz: i rise today in support of h.r. 3819. i want to thank the gentleman from florida for his hard work on this as the entire did. h.r. 3819, as the gentleman said, makes sure that some of the vital programs we have in place to provide for our veterans continue past the end of the fiscal year and continue to help our veterans. included in this bill are provisions related to health care benefits, homeless veterans and other related issues. i'm pleased to support programs for caregivers, childcare for certain veterans receiving health care and the pilot program on counseling and retreat settings for women veterans newly separated from service. it extends the authority related to rehabilitation and vocational benefits to members of our armed services with severe injuries or illnesses. homeless veteran resbegation program.
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homeless veterans with children in providing housing assistance. also are programs to help disabled as well as authority that enter into the agreement with the national academy of science to review the research related to agent orange. both are critical in helping our aging vietnam veterans as well as we move forward. the final section contains, as the gentleman said, a technical fix to the foreever g.i. bill, bipartisanly crafted with the help of our veterans organizations and passed earlier this year. the correction will help v.a. implement the law correctly and all sides agree it must become law as quickly as possible. in short, this bill that both the majority and minority support, we all agree it must be signed into law as soon as possible and with that i urge my fellow members to support its passage. i reserve the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i'd like to give two minutes to the gentleman from florida, a true american ero, a combat veteran, mr. brian mast. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. mast: i want to thank my colleague from florida for the time. mr. speaker, without action from congress, the authority for the v.a. secretary to carry out many essential activity that are critical to helping our veterans will expire. i get my health care from the v.a. i get alongside a great number of my best friends in life and i can tell you my favorite part about going to the v.a. in west palm beach, florida, is when i meet one of my fellow veterans in the lobby and might be a veteran from world war ii, korea, vietnam, the gulf war, iraq, afghanistan, and the first thing that we do with one another, we jab at one another about the different branch that the other person served in. army, navy, marine, coast
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guard. but after that it gets back to the very serious work that we're all at the v.a. to have completed. the heroic men and women that i had the honor of fighting alongside, they have earned, they have earned -- that's the most important word -- they have earned the very best care that our country has to offer. but without this immediate action from congress, veterans could lose those benefits -- health care, support for the homeless and many other provisions, and this is absolutely unacceptable. this bill, the department of veterans affairs expiring authorities act of 2017, it does everything that was already mentioned which is extremely important. it extends the number of expiring authorities to include nursing home support, support for our caregivers, support for transportation, childcare assistance, adaptive sports programs, housing and home loan services. this legislation also makes some important technical changes that will aid the v.a.'s implementation of the foreever g.i. bill, a critical
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priority for ensuring that as many veterans as possible can use that important program. this is the definition of must-pass legislation. i urge my colleagues to pass this commonsense legislation. i thank you for the time and i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for his strong words, for his commitment and service to this country and appreciate his support on this piece of legislation. at this time i'd like to yield five minutes to my good friend, the vice ranking member of the full committee on veterans affairs, the gentleman from california, mr. takano. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. takano: mr. speaker, i rise today to support h.r. 3819, which re-authorizes several essential veterans programs that support the men and women who have served our nation. these programs include assistance and support services for caregivers who so often make profound sacrifices to support their loved ones.
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grants to our vital veteran service organizations so they can continue providing transportation for rural veterans to help connect them with the services they need. programs to reintegrate homeless veterans which offer opportunities for meenchingful employment and address the complex challenges they face. and this bill re-authorizes specialized counseling for women veterans. this is particularly important in the life of the stunning v.a. -- in light of the stunning v.a. report released this month which showed that female veterans are six times as likely to die by suicide than any other women. these programs are fundamental to the well-being of our veterans and their families and they are a reflection of our gratitude to those who serve. in addition, this legislation makes important technical changes that will allow us to follow through on the promises of the new g.i. bill which we
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passed unanimously earlier this year. specifically, h.r. 3819 allows us to correct the perverse incentives that discourage vest -- veterans from attending local community colleges and universities, which is a provision i worked on with my colleague, my republican colleague, congressman paul cook. it also allows for the restoration of benefits for veterans left stranded by the abrupt closure of for-profit colleges, which i championed with republican lukes mer. after the closures of --s mer -- lukes mer. after the closure of -- luke messer. after the closure of certain colleges, veterans were left with depleted benefits and none of the job opportunities that they were promised. by restoring their tuition and housing benefits, we are restoring a measure of justice for these veterans and restoring their opportunity to get the education they deserve. and earned.
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taken together, the re-authorization of vital programs and the technical fixes included in this bill should earn the support of every member. i want to thank chairman roe, ranking member walz and my colleagues on the veterans' affairs committee -- veterans' affairs committee for ensuring that veterans can continue to rely on these critical programs. i am once again grateful for the bipartisanship that has deeven ifed our work on behalf of american -- defined our work on behalf of america's veterans. in closing i want to note that yesterday was gold star mothers and families day. and while today we are taking action to support our veterans, we must also remember the men and women who never made it home. mr. speaker, i strongly encourage all of my colleagues to support this must-pass legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. higgins, who is also a member of our v.a. committee.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, i rise in support of the department of veterans affairs expiring authorities act. this much-needed legislation will drastically increase access to health care and support services for our veterans. most importantly, this bill will help ensure continued access to proven programs to address veterans' homelessness, health care and benefits. it also includes provisions to assist veteran care givers, husbands, wives, parents and children of veterans, who righteously dedicate themselves to the care of their loved ones. veterans and their families have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and we must uphold our promises to them. for too long congress has ignored the needs of today's veteran population. it is past time we focus on
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supporting our veterans no matter when they served. the department of veterans affairs expiring authorities act addresses the priorities of today's population and ensures that the money follows the veterans. as a member of the house veterans' affairs committee and a co-sponsor of several of the stand-alone bills, include -- bills included in this package, i am proud to see the committee and house of representatives come together on behalf of these patriotic americans who risked their lives for our safety. i thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida reserves. mr. walz: mr. speaker, we're prepared to close if the gentleman has no further speakers. mr. bilirakis: yes, i have no other speakers. please proceed. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from louisiana for his support and work on the committee. once again, the old saying is you shouldn't get a pat on the back for something you're supposed to do but around here
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it's harder than you might think. i'm increditably grateful and proud. i want to thank the majority staff for the work on this piece of legislation. always including the minority staff, always including us in decision. so that when we get to the floor, we bring a piece of bipartisan legislation that we can all support. it is must-pass legislation. that's why it will pass today. and i thank you for that. i thank the gentleman from florida for his continued leadership. we've been on this committee for over a decade together. and it seems like it's always that way. so i am grateful for that. grateful we're able to move this forward. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3819 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 florida. mr. bilirakis: i thank the gentleman from minnesota for his leadership and working in a bipartisan fashion always. we always put our veterans fist. so i appreciate so very much -- first. so i appreciate so very much. once again, mr. speaker, i urge all members to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the
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bill, h.r. 3819. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the house declares the house in res is until approximately programs. follow the house live here on c-span when members return at 6:30.
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tonight on "the communicators" comcast senior executive vice president david cohen talks about telecommunication development, competition and f.c.c. regulations. mr. cohen is interviewed by policy and politics senior editor, tony romm. tony: what's your take on the trump administration and competition? mr. cohen: i feel compelled to say this and brian roberts pointed this out at the golden sachs conference last week, we love our company. -at&t u know, post acquisition and universal acquisition, we review ourselves as essentially strategically complete. so we're not out there saying, oh, my god, to survive we have to find something else to buy. so i just want to make that clear. on the other hand, we have never viewed ourself as being foreclosed from the acquisition marketplace, either
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domestically or internationally. it has to be the right deal. it has to be something that we think enhances the quality of the company, enhances returns to shareholders, has enhanced shareholder value as a result of that. nd i think there's no secret overall this president and this administration is likely less hostile to horizontal growth or even vertical growth in the telecom space and elsewhere. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning -- michigan republican congressman paul mitchell discusses tax reform. and efforts to reform the nation's air traffic control system. and our c-span bus 50 states
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capitals tour continues in annapolis, maryland. lieutenant governor boyd rutherford will be our guest to talk about top public policy issues in maryland. then ohio democratic woman marcy kaptur on nafta reassociations and u.s. manufacturing. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern tuesday morning. join the discussion. >> republican senator tom tillis and james lankford held a news conference today. legal status of undocumented youth in the u.s. this is half an hour. >> good afternoon, everybody. i want to thank senator lankford for being with me today. we're here to introduce the succeed act and the succeed act i believe is a fair, compassionate, merit--based
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solution for children who came here through no fault of their own and find themselves uncertain about the future in tchun. surrounding their legal status for children. this act is about the children. it's completely merit-based. if you work hard, if you follow the law and you pay your taxes, you can stay here permanently. it ensures farrance. there's no skipping in line. we think it's very important that any person coming to this country that was already going through the process that we not implement a policy that would actually allow that line to be skipped but it also provides certainty and it prevents chain migration for future illegal immigration. here's just a brief statement on the eligibility requirements. the bill would cover most of the children who are available under the daca program. it covers undocumented minors so that would be someone who came to this country under the
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age of 16 and it really tracks to the daca administrative actions so that goes back to june 15 of 2012. that's the baseline that we used. that was the matter of the daca administrative action under the obama administration and continued for the next few months under the trump administration. there will be certain requirements. they have -- anyone applying for protected status would have to undergo a criminal background check. that includes consultation with interpol or country of origin so we can check the criminal past of the person applying for relief. they have to pay off any existing federal tax liability. they have to sign an acknowledgment they will not be eligible for any immigration benefit if they are convicted of a crime while in the protected status. so in other words, the requirements for getting the protected status would continue to be held and that could actually require -- that would result in the protected status being declined at some point in
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the future. the c.p.r. status the c.p.r. status has three pathways. one is maintain gainful employment. that's 48 out of 60 months. earn a postsecondary vocational degree. or serve honorably in the military. and the first c.p.r. term is for five years. after five years, if they've met their merit-based obligation, and they maintain a clean criminal record, and they pay their taxes, they would become eligible for a second five-year protected status. and once a participant has maintained c.p.r. for over 10 years and proven they are productive law-abiding members of society, they would be eligible to apply for a green card. what's referred to as l.p.r. legal protected. after that five-year period, the green card process, they can begin the process of naturalization. this bill, i believe, is a fair and orderly method for providing
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a permanent solution for the daca children. it will not allow chain migration. and it has fairly high standards for people to be able to actually be eligible for the program. rather than get into a lot of details, one thing i will leave you with, that i think is very important, is people ask, how -- first off, we're setting fairly high standards to become eligible for the program. we think hundreds of thousands, maybe more than mal, could be eligible under this program -- maybe more than a million, could be eligible under this program. but we also have to take a look at the future problem. we have to set a high bar and send a clear message that people wanting to come to this country should consider doing it legally. that includes people who come here on visas and overstay their visas. we have to do everything we can to prevent this from being another crisis that we have to deal with 10 to 15 years from now. we can get so some of the specifics of a that when we get to the bill. with that i'd like to turn it over to senator lankford, he and his staff have done a wonderful job working with my office and my staff in putting the bill together.
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let you make some opening comments and answer any questions you may have on this subject. mr. lankford: thanks for being here and being a part of this conversation. this is a national dialogue that's happened for a very long time. it's an unresolve issued that continues to get harder every single year as it's unresolved. dealing with the daca children have always been one of the most contentious areas. these are kids that literally do not have heefment anywhere. they don't remember a home country that they came from originally with their parents who came here illee he will. they don't have a connection there. so they're not considered home here. when we did this, we took into consideration a basic fact. we don't hold children accountable for the action of their patients. they're caught in between at this point. we don't want free throw mote illegal immigration, we don't want to say to adults, if you bring a child with you when you cross the border illegally, you get some sort of reward. but we want to be able to speak out on how do we handle an unresolve issued in america right now? today it's close to a million individuals that are here that
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have no place to call home and that they consider the united states their home because they've grown up here. so they were brought here by the illegal actions of their parents. now what do we do with that? the succeed solution is just that. it is a solution to try to be able to resolve this long-term issue that we have. daca was a temporary statement. it didn't allow for any permanency. it put many of those individuals in great turmoil and their family in great turmoil because it was a two-year extension and they could go away and it gave no recognized status. it only gave this rolling recognition that every two years there may be something or may not be something. that has to go away. when president trump said six months from now that program ends, there needs to be a legislative solution, i wholeheartedly agree. i made a public statement on that saying there needs to be a legislative solution to that. days after that president trump called me late at night, we had a long conversation about how to resolve this legislatively. and during the course of that conversation, as we shared what senator tillis and i were working on at that point, senator hatch is now fully
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onboard and others, i shared that concept with them, the president was fully engaged with that and was very supportive of the concept saying that's the right way to go. it also includes this caveat as well. we don't believe that this succeed act is a stand-alone bill. because there's so many issues when you deal with immigration. if you have a single stand-alone bill, and leave other areas unresolved, you're not solving the greater issues of immigration. so what i would like to see and what i heard clearly from the president, was we need to try to resolve the issues of immigration. we've had issues for 30 years. that have been unresolved. and there's been no moment to be able to resolve those. this is the moment to resolve things like border security, e-verify, how do we handle our visa program? do we have this 50,000 visa lottery program? so many unanswered questions or inappropriate or dated answers that are out there from decades ago that now need to be resolved. when we resolve this issue for daca, we should resolve the larger issue of immigration as well. so this individual piece is not
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designed to be a stand-alone. it's designed to fit into other pieces. we're not stating what those pieces are. we're saying that there need to be an alternative. one other issue i would bring up. the dream act has been floated around for a decade. congress in one way another has voted on it three times. each time it has failed to pass. we don't believe the dream act is a conservative solution how to be able to resolve this but we also don't want to leave this question unanswered. we don't feel the right to be able to say not the dream act, but not say what would work well. so we hope to be able to engage with members of both republican and democrat, with students that are in the daca program, which all of us have visited with before, with those families and individuals, and to say, how do we create a solution that will resthove issue for those daca kids, but then will also fix the long-term immigration questions that are coming as well? that's our goal and that's what we're working to be able to resolve in the next few months. mr. tillis: i also want to
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welcome senator hatch. many of you know he was one of the first people to try to move forward with a dream act many years ago. i think he grease with myself and senator lank -- agrees with myself and senator lankford and others that we want document up with a solution to the problem and we want to to get a large coalition of people who are willing to not necessarily look to the far right and to the far left, we've seen about as interested as keeping the problem going as solving it. this man here is somebody who i think probably has more depth of knowledge and experience with it than anybody on capitol hill and that's why we're so proud that he's signed on as an original co-sponsor. senator hatch. mr. hatch: thank you so much. listen, i'm tired of this problem. i think we have millions of brilliant, brilliant young people who can add a great deal to our country. and we need pearmnent solution to this problem. a permanent solution to this problem, not just keep kicking it down the road thifment we need a permanent solution to --
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since daca was rescinded. i committed to working quickly toward that permanent solution nd that legislation to fix the soblems that really exist in much legal uncertainty. frankly, these young people who -- these are young people who have a real ability to contribute to our society. in many cases, most cases, they're educated by us. in many cases they don't even know the former lands from which their parents came. they only know the united states of america. and frankly, this is a whole group of people, the dreamers, you know, have been incredibly powerful in their presentations of why they need this help. and i think we should give them this help. because the author of the original dream act, which was
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mentioned here, i wanted to evelop a solution that would well recognize the positive contributions that the dreamers can make in our society. i'm really proud of these two gentlemen and others who are joining with us. we're willing to stand up and say, we've got to solve this problem. we can't just keep kicking it down the alley and hope that somebody else will come along and solve it. we node to solve it. we need to get these -- we need to solve it. we need to give these kids an opportunity. we need to make it clear that america is the open country in this world for these young people who have come here, got educated here, in many cases brought here by their parents without any knowledge of the rior land or were born here. we also need to focus on a bill
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that has a chance of passing. and that's why i think these two gentlemen behind me are right. this is a bill that literally could pass, could solve these problems, could end the screaming and shouting that we've seen in our country over some of these issues. and in the end i think provide a pathway for these really good people who deserve a pathway and who need a pathway and people who could help our country to do a better job than what we're doing today. so i'm happy to join with my two colleagues here and others in doing what we can to resolve these problems and to do so in a way that gives these young people an opportunity to be u.s. citizens, to get in line, to be able to really find their way and to be able to realize that this nation is a great nation, the greatest in the world. and that we have love for them and that we're going to help
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them. it's just that simple. buffalo bills thank you, senator hatch. questions -- buffalo bills thank you, senator hatch. questions -- mr. tillis: thank you, senator hatch. questions? reporter: you say the dream act has more -- [inaudible] -- it would have to wait for 10 years for a green card. in what other way do you see this is tougher or more difficult? mr. tillis: you go back to the conditions for getting the c.p.r. to begin with. the first five-year period requires gainful employment. it requires pursuing a degree. it requires service to our nation. in the armed forces. nd that condition is something that continues to be a requirement throughout the 10-year period. if those conditions are broken, then the person could potentially be subject to deportation. i don't know, james, or senator if you want tch,
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to add anything to, it but i think it's setting a timeline out there that's 15 years at the earliest to pursue naturalization. and unlike the dream act, we're very clear on chain migration and not allowing someone who has the conditional protected status , petitioning for any other family members, conveying to them some additional authority over the course of that period of time. reporter: but they would be able to do that in 10 or , 15 years. mr. tillis: when they become naturalized. prior to that process, before they become a u.s. citizen, obviously once they become a u.s. citizen, they are guaranteed the same rights as anyone else. after they've become naturalized, if they choose to become naturalized. reporter: on that chain migration issue, since the -- [inaudible] -- under current law can petition some family members like their spouse or what not, how do you kind of explain or rationalize taking that right away for the dreamers who get green card -- [inaudible] -- mr. tillis: the rationalization is pretty straightforward. the people who are moving through the green card process
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are people who have gone through the process legally over the period -- over a period of time. this is a special group of people that we want to provide a solution to. but not necessarily let them expedite the potential admission of other persons. reporter: these are people in a lot of cases who have been here for most of that life. probably more than 15 years in some cases. why set up this timeline that seems pretty long for people that have already been here for most of their life? mr. tillis: i think first and foremost, this goes to the prevention component -- what we are trying to avoid is having this discussion again 12 years from now. and so if we don't set a higher bar, then you're putting children at risk who may come across this country illegally. i continue to go back to something that i think is very important, when we get on the border security subject. 10,000 people lost their lives over 20 years crossing the border. over 20 years crossing the border. about 1,000 of them were
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children. so we're trying to do everything that we can to say, think this through, come across the border legally, go through the process legally to get a green card, and then have all the rights and privileges that come with having done it legally from the beginning point. mr. lankford: one thing i can add as well the you're talking about individuals during that 15-year time neard have access to work, that have access to school, access to travel. so they have those basic freedoms that are already built in place. those individuals that are on daca do not have right now. we want to create some permanency but put them in the line so they can go through the process. reporter: what do you say to people -- [inaudible] mr. tillis: i'll come back over here. reporter: i'm wondering, you said that having the chain migration provision make this a more conservative bill than the dream act. i'm wondering how you plan or whether you think that this bill can get eight democratic votes? whether democrats would sign on
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and, you know, they've drawn a and line on the dream act, and what -- mr. tillis: i think anybody that's drawn hard line -- here's the problem with the dream act. the dream act, with all due respect, has failed every single time. so why are people drawing hard lines around something that doesn't look like it has the votes to get out of the senate and if it did probably not out of the house? so at some point, if people -- and i take at face value the floor speeches where people have talked about this being about the children, providing them certainty. then i think they need to check some of their biases at the door against one bill or another. and actually join a conversation that i think is going to provide these children with certainty. and i just don't see a path to success for the baseline dream act. we're filing this bill, we're happy to work with anybody who would like to propose other provision. but on the whole, i think that we have a bigger base to draw on in the senate and a bigger base that's very important to draw on
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in the house to get this to the president's desk. reporter: what do you say to people, sperly american voters, who see this as amnesty and people who are against this bill, saying they're going to convince people -- these dreamers are going to compete with people for jobs? mr. tillis: the amnesty question, people have accused of me being for being for amnesty even before i was even in the senate. the reality is amnesty doesn't work. it failed famously back in 1986. this is a path that admittedly at some point allows someone to go through the naturalization process. but we think that it is a balanced resolution to a vexing problem that hasn't been solved for 30 years. and we'll have to take the hits, we'll take the hits on the far left, we're saying you're not getting them to citizenship soon enough. and you'll take it on the far right for saying you've ever given them an opportunity to pursue citizenship. after they've done all that's required for them to continue to have the protected status's in
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this bill. reporter: what about the jobs -- mr. lankford: i'm glad to be able to talk on both of those. the job issue is an interesting issue because those individuals are already in the job market. many of these daca students are daca young adults. they have access to the job market right now. because they've been given deferred action. so they're in higher education, they're in the job market, they're currently a part of our economy. currently. that continual competition in our economy doesn't hurt us, that continues to help us. it hurts us to pull those vids out of the economy. on -- individuals out of the economy. on the flip side of this, this isn't an amnesty bill where we say, we're going to give you a quick route to citizenship anding for this the realities of you coming in. we didn't want to ever be able to basically encourage future illegal activity and tell adult, bring children with you, and you get special recognition, you get a special path in. if you bring children with you when you commit an illegal act. i don't want to reward the adults for bringing a child with them when they did it. but i also want to recognize for
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those children, they were children. many of them 2 or 3 years old when they came. they've grown up in this country, they know their place -- they know no other place. it's a reasonable option for to us say, let's take those kids that are no other option, they came with adults who brought them illegally, put them in line. not force them to return back to home country, but put them in line here, the only country they've known, allow them to be able in that line and get there and almost identical length of time if they'd come from another country and they started the line there, it would take 15 to 18 years if they started there. we're just allowing them to start the line here on it. the interesting thing on it, i've had a few folks in my state that are very, very passionate, that are very conservative people. but on this issue, they see it how it really is. these are children that did not have a shot on it. we need to be able to make sure we're speaking out on our compassion for individuals, upholding the rule of law, where the rule of law is appropriate. and where we also are engaging with those children as well to
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say, how do we resthove permanent industry in mr. tillis: on the economics question, job impacts, we'd be happy to share with you information we have on that, specifics. mr. hatch: these are young people who are in limbo. it's not fair to them. many of them have proven themselves as decent, honorable people who would make great citizens in this country. we're providing a means whereby they can get there. they can get around what are today very difficult laws. and frankly in the process earn the right to citizenship. i think they would jump at this opportunity. and i for one want to get this problem solved. we're letting a number of people in our society stay here in this country really illegally under current laws. which are stupid laws in some ways. and it's a suspension that nobody should have to be in. many of whom are educated by our universities and our schools and
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just need a chance. and this is a way to solve this problem and i would hope that our friends on the democrat sippede side and even -- democrat side and everybody on the republican side will see this as somebody something that would really be a critical -- something that would really be a critical answer to what are the real problems surrounding immigration and surrounding these -- especially these dream act -- dreamer kids that literally just dreamed about being american citizens and want to be american citizens, who have lived like american citizens, would serve like american citizens, and of course would be in the end american citizens. reporter: -- [inaudible] -- health care hearings today. it seems like these sweeteners for particular states haven't had much of an impact yet. how do you view the bill's prospect that the point? if it fails then what? mr. tillis: off subject. next question. [laughter] reporter: my question is for senator lankford. you said you spoke to president
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trump. would you say you have his support on this bill and do you think you could get this in place by the time daca runs out? mr. lankford: yes. this could be in place by the time daca expires and the president says he's not going renew it at that moment. it could be in place but it's not a stand-alone. we have to resolve the other aspects. we have to continue to build the coalition around this and say this is a solution that we believe can actually pass and get into law. the president was very outspoken. when i walked him through the details of it, he said, that's exactly the kind of solution that i think would work. and will be a good option to be able to accomplish. so obviously he's not seeing the bill text because when we talked about it three weeks ago we were finalizing a lot of bill text. i was talking through the consents of it. but wanted to let him know, this is where we are and the direction we want to go. his statement was very clear as well. the samea as mine and senator till ills. this has to be a part of a larger package. it can't be a stand-alone. reporter: just a question about your colleagues on the house side.
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the last time congress was dealing with immigration, it was in their court. you have had any conversations with anybody about co-sponsoring the bill? mr. tillis:. we i should have mentioned earlier that congressman curbelo and i have been talking for probably about a year. they had the rack act. that was instructive. and to some of the drafting of this bill. and i also think that the speaker putting together the working group is also a very positive sign. another reason why we want to get this alternative bill into the narrative. because we bheeve that it will receive support. the rack act had a fairly good base of republicans for it and some democrats interested on the house side. so we'll have to work on some of the additional provisions that we've put in. i think that it's a good place to start that discussion. with our colleagues on the other side. i'm going to do a windshield wiper here. reporter: -- [inaudible] -- what is the next step from here? a lot of times bills do get introduced and they just lie
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there. you have spoke tonight leadership here in the senate -- spoken to the leadership here in the senate, you have spoken to democrats here in the senate? what would be the next step? mr. tillis: i have spoken with members in the democratic conference and members and leadership -- in leadership. and a number of other members who are interested in the bill. i think what's dinner about this bill, the president has made it very clear that president obama's daca, the administrative action, was an inappropriate way to deal with a problem that he wants solved. so we have a clock ticking out there. every day when these children that were covered under daca wake up, i know they're worried about their certainty and hopefully that pressure is going to pull forward this discussion and get something we can get to the house and ultimately to the president's desk. reporter: are you looking at any other particular bills, because you're saying it's not a stand-alone, it would have to be included -- mr. tillis: yeah, i think -- i think border security. a bill that i'm an original
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co-sponsor of is an important place to start. there are other bills out there and other proposals. what we're trying to do is be open to all ideas. on the one hand, it has to be a part of a broader bill but it also can't get so unyield that it becomes comprehensive immigration reform. because we know how that movie ends. what we need is something that is dealing with the daca population, dealing with border security and other elements we think are important. and a lot of that is in consultation with homeland security and people in the administration. reporter: following up on that. do you have a commit frment leader mcconnell to take it up on the floor or a commitment from chairman grassley -- [inaudible] mr. tillis: we've productive discussions with senator grassley. we're going to continue to have discussions about the path that it would take through committee or to the floor. but those are ongoing. because there's a lot of other things that we've got to try and get done this year too. we've got the year-end budget decision. we have a number of other bills
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that will consume a lot of chamber time. so trying to figure out those mechanics we'll work on as the bill moves forward. reporter: you talk about addressing visa overstays and that's one of the key things in your bill. could you expand on how you plan to do that? the federal government always has a really hard time tracking those down anyway. mr. tillis: first off, we've got to make it very clear that if someone -- 30% to 40% of the illegally present population here came through visa overstay, not through a border crossing. so we're talking about provisions that will tighten up the visa program and not allow pursuit of any sort of citizenship for people who abuse the program or not honor the spirit of it. that's with travel visas, work visas, the full list. if you'd like some more specifics about the mechanics, we can cover that offline. >> last question. reporter: senator tillis, senator lankford's office suggested one off topic question and it would be about the nfl and the president calling for a boy cost american companies.
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can i have both your thoughts on hat, please? mr. lankford: [inaudible] [laughter] it is offing to in. let me say this. obviously individual americans have the ability to be able to have free speech. individuals can protest as they choose to, can have free speech as they choose to. businesses can choose to be able to act and react on that. i do have an issue that i have to tell you. for whatever reason in america, if individual players kneel in protest as a football game, it's seen as free speech. we have high school coaches that have need in silent prayer and they've been fired. now, the first amendment's the first amendment. it goes start to finish. we can't say to one football coach, you're fired if you kneel in silent prayer at the end of the game, but to a player, if you kneel in protest of the game, you're celebrated. we have to be able to determine where we are as americans on that. if we're going to honor all free speech, and all free exercise of
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religion, we need to be able to honor that universally. mr. tillis: i couldn't do any better than. that thank you for -- reporter: i have a question about health care. mr. tillis: senator hatch is gone. [laughter] thank you all. reporter: i'd love your thoughts about the bill itself. mr. tillis: i'd be happy to speak with you online. the people have accused me of a lot of things, but being undisciplined is not one of them. i want to stay focused on providing a solution through the succeed act for these children. i want to make it very clear that we are willing to talk with anybody who is genuinely interested in providing certainty and a solution for these children. let politics get checked at the door. let's do something on a bipartisan basis, provide certainty to these children and young adults in this country. and i'm going to spend a lot of time remaining focused on that and then we'll deal with these other issues out in the hallway. thank you all for being here.
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> the c-span bus is traveling across the country on our 50 capitols tour. we recently stopped in harrisburg, pennsylvania. asking folks, what's the most important issue in their state. >> my name is larry and i'm from harrisburg. i'm concerned about the libraries. i feel that they are the hubs of small communities, resource senters to large cities -- centers to large cities and the knowledge base to the state. and i am here to make sure that they are able to get the funding that they need and the keystone
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grant is not taken away from them. >> i'm sue, state legislator for the 104th legislative district here in central pennsylvania. as i go door to door, the number one issue that people talk to me about is property taxi elimination. they just can't afford to pay those property taxes anymore. however, rightly i've been getting a lot of questions, a lot of talk about the opioid crisis in pennsylvania. which is something that we definitely have to correct and look into. and we will do that, we're working on legislation, we're putting more money into it. we plan to solve the problem. >> hello. my name is dana. the most important thing to me in the commonwealth of pennsylvania is continued support and creased support for our educational institutions and that's from early age, preschool, throughout college. and also support for the arts.
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and museums and libraries. >> most important issue facing pennsylvania in my opinion is the responsible energy production that is taking place across pennsylvania. not only because of the direct jobs impact we have seen. we have 200,000 people working today in the oil and gas industry in pennsylvania. but if we maximize our opportunity, we remain competitive, we can bring manufacturing back to pennsylvania, and brand new industries. and help make energy secure. >> voices from the state on -span. >> the u.s. house today back from their district work period. and back in now for votes, live coverage on c-span. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i send to the

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