tv U.S. House Meets for Legislative Business CSPAN September 26, 2017 3:14pm-6:03pm EDT
a ividuals and give them platform rather than being cast o wind and have a chance to earn a living. for it.aying the price from our democrat's line, from florida, joseph, go ahead. caller: good morning, congresswoman. guest: hi, how are you? caller: okay. caught my g that attention was your use of the of chaddle, i'm going to stretch this a bit. vietnam-era veteran. guest: thank you. council veterans as they return from vietnam and currently adjunct professor at a state college. to students about puerto rico and i emphasize three things, puerto ricans are american citizens, which many people don't know. ricans serve in the military and are subject to the draft. number three, this is a
mind-boggling statistic, i know, n vietnam, proportionately speaking, more puerto 18, the declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the urther consideration of h.r. 2824. will the gentleman from tennessee, mr. duncan, kindly ake the chair. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the further consideration of h.r. 2824, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill-to-mend title 5 of the social security act to extend the maternal, infant, and literal childhood home visiting program. the chair: when the committee of the whole rose earlier today, amendment number 4 printed in ouse report 115-331 offered by
the gentlewoman from florida, mrs. murphy, had been disposed f. -- nfinished business pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote on amendment number 2 printed in house report 115-331, by the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report number 115-331, offered by mr. pascrell of new jersey. the chair: recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes
by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
in the nature of a substitute as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is dronted. -- adopted. coral under the rule the committee rises. -- accordingly under the rule the committee rises. mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union has had under consideration h.r. 2824. pursuant to house resolution 533, i report the bill back to the house for an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. the speaker pro tempore: the committee of the whole house on the state of the union report the committee has had under consideration h.r. 2824, pursuant to house resolution 533, reports the bill back to the house with an adopted in the
committee of the whole. under the rule the previous question is ordered. is there a separate demanded on any amendment to the amendment reported from the committee of the whole? if not, the question is on adoption of the amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. those in favor will vote aye, those opposed, no. the aye vs. t the amendment is agreed to. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor will vote aye, those opposed, no. the aye vs. t third reading. the clerk: a bill to attend title 5 of the social security act to extend the maternal, infant, and early childhood program. the house will be in order. please take conversations off the floor, out of the aisles, off the back aisle, out of the ell. both sides of the aisle the house will come to order and cannot proceedlogical until the house is in order -- proceed until the house is in order. for what purpose does the gentlelady from washington seek
recognition? >> i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentlelady opposed to the bill? >> in its current form. the speaker pro tempore: the entlelady qualifies. the clerk: ms.delbene of washington moves to recommit the bill h.r. 2824 to the committee on ways and means with instructions to report the same back to the house forth with with the following amendment. strike sections 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. the clerk: ms.delbene of washington moves to recommit the bill h.r. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes but will hold for a econd. the house will come to order. please take conversations out of the aisle on both sides and across the back aisle. the who is cannot proceed until the house -- house cannot proceed until the house is in order. the gentlelady is recognized.
ms.delbene: mr. speaker, this is the final amendment to the bill not kill the bill or send it back to committee. if adopted the bill will immediately proceed to final passage as amended. like all my colleagues on this side of the aisle, i strongly support re-authorization of the home visiting program before it expires on september 30. we know it has an incredible track record of success not kil send it back to committee. if improving child and family outcomes in our most vulnerable communities. we also support a timely re-authorization of the program before its expiration to ensure families across the country who are benefiting from home visiting do not face the disruption in services. unfortunately republicans have put forward a partisan bill with reckless policy changes that are not supported by experts and with only three legislative days remaining. it's incredibly disappointing, mr. speaker. earlier this summer i got to see firsthand how impactful this program can be.
the families who choose to participate receive regular home visits from nurses and social workers, often from the same neighborhoods, who help to create healthy and supportive home environments for children and parents alike. parents like jessie from my home state of washington who struggled before she got connected with home visiting. jessie says, quote, home visiting changed my life. and helped me break the cycle of poor parenting, end quote. the results can't be denied. it's been shown to resist the likelihood of child abuse and neglect by 50%, while at the same time reducing domestic violence, improving children's school readiness and increasing parents' self-sufficiency and economic well-being. it is precisely the kind of evidence-based model that we know gives us a great return. unfortunately there are huge
unmet needs for home visiting services across the country. last year more than 29,000 eligible families were unserved in washington state alone. that's why i'm so disappointed this legislation fails to make the meaningful investments we need to lift more families out of poverty and into the middle class. the chair: the gentlelady will suspend. the gentleman -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady will suspend. the gentleman is correct. the house will come to order. the louis not continue and the gentlelady will not continue ntil the house comes to order. the gentlelady will continue. ms. delbene: democrats even offered a proposal to double funding over five years, which was fully paid for, but the majority refused to allow a vote. instead they have included objectionable policy changes that are not supported by
experts who have said the bill's matching requirement for states is the single greatest threat to home visiting. we should not be taking steps that undermine the program or that reduce the number of states and communities that are working to help families thrive. we should also not have waited to consider this issue until days before the program expires. like we've done with the children's health insurance program or chip, the community health center fund, the national health services corps, and so many other programs that are essential foye the children and families that -- for the children and families that we represent. it's unaccept thabble so many programs are at risk due to congressional inaction. we need to do a better job of providing family, states and providers the long-term stability that they need. my amendment is a step in the right direction. it eliminates the bill's dangerous policy changes and instead provides a clean five-year re-authorization of
the home visiting program. giving states, counties and tribes the tools and visibility they need to help more children and families succeed. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote yes. home visiting has a long history of bipartisan support and i hope we can come together to take the program forward, not backward. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek recognition? mr. smith: mr. speaker, i seek time in opposition to the motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. but the gentleman will suspend. he house will come to order. the gentleman from nebraska. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the motion to recommit. this bill is a result of an open process. in fact, several amendments were agreed to. in fact, one sponsored by my
colleague who just spoke. and so i think we should reject this procedural motion so we can move on to pass a good underlying bill with modest reforms. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on the motion to recommit. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the gentlelady from washington. ms. delbene: i ask for a record vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a record vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20rks this is a five-minute vote on the motion to recommit, will be followed by a five-minute vote on passage of the bill if order. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois -- recorded vote? a recorded vote is requested. those in favor of a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the clerk: mr. matt salmon, of mesa, arizona. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the house is not in order. please take your conversations out.
could we take our conversations out of the well. >> i rise today to recognize my veteran and university of pittsburgh engineer, he was worried -- while he was serving as a soldier he was injured in an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. ph.d.thfus: he earned his the spite this along with his team of researchers, dr. cooper is credited with 25 patents that have significantly advanced wheelchair technology and benefited tens of thousands of veterans. this week, dr. cooper will be presented with the samuel hayman service to america medal.
i would like to thank dr. cooper for his work and congratulate him on this achievement. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. 43 e years ago today, mexico from disappeared. mr. lowenthal: i recently traveled to mexico where i spoke with manufacture tissue many of the parents and family members of the disappeared students. he was humbled by the strength they showed. and after a three-year struggle, they have asked for answers to wo simple questions.
what happened that night when their children were taken? and where are they now? on this the third anniversary of their loss, i'm repeating my past calls to the mexican government to prioritize their search for the students, to bring justice to those responsible for their disappearance, and to investigate any obstruction of justice. the mexican government cannot do this. i urge them to allow the independent panel of experts to expand on their initial investigation. the students, their parents, and the mexican people deserve answers. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from washington rise? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for
one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. september is a time when students return back to school and is also marked attendance awareness month. absenteeism is a concern in my district in southwest washington state and across america in the 2013-2014 school year, more than 6. million students missed enough class to be considered chronically absent my state of washington has the second highest chronic absenteeism rate in the country work 25% of students being chronically absent. we can do better. ms. beutler: i met with several stupts in southwest washington and there are a myriad of issues these students are facing. we're trying to address some of these with h.r. 1864, the chronic absenteeism act, which i've introduced with my democratic colleague, tim ryan of ohio. this would empower them to
address the issue locally, partnering with local providers and implementing school-based mentoring programs. i'd urge my colleagues to co-sponsor this bill and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? without objection the gentleman s recognized for one minute. >> thank you. mr. speaker, we are right now witnessing a humanitarian crisis, not in some far-flung corner of the world, but right here at home. 3.5 million of our fellow americans in puerto rico, fellow u.s. citizens, are without water and without electricity. mr. boyle: cut off from the rest of the world. these are our fellow americans. puerto ricans are just as
american as we are. they have fought in every single of our american wars. they need our help now. this is what we do best as americans. when there is a crisis, we come together and help our fellow americans. we must act now, this should be the number one priority of congress and the white house this week, and we should not leave home until we've let the millions of people in puerto rico know that we will be there for them. with that, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, sunday marked a special kind of mother's day. gold star mother's day. since 1936, the nation has observed gold star mother's day on the last sunday in september. the president humbly proclaimed
gold star mother's and family's day this sunday, september 24. our gold star mothers should be honored and offered respect and gratitude for their personal sacrifice. other deas ais intended to remember those who have had a loss. they serve as a strength and inspiration of this country. they are part of an exclusive group, one that no one hopes to belong to. one can hardly imagine the deep pain and anguish that a mother experiences when losing a child, particularly in military action. may we always honor the gold star mothers of america for their courage, their strength and their sacrifice. they bear their cross with honor. their memory of their children lives on not only in their hearts but in the hearts of this nation. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio seek recognition? without objection, the
gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: yes, mr. speaker. during the august recess i organized a district field hearing to hear firsthand accounts from america's workers, my constituents on nafta's disastrous job impact. these voices must be heard and listened to as our nation renegotiates nafta. these real stories are the people who live the impacts of washington's agreement. i thank the local united auto workers chapter 1250 for graciously hosting us, a region that lost over 14,000 jobs after nafta's passage to mexico and to latin america. i would like to insert in the ecord the testimony of amy hanyoffer, donny blatt, mark payne of the united auto workers. they directly know the negative impacts of nafta. amy stressed the changing of manufacturing in ohio, making up one of eight drobs. donny said we lost 300,000
jobs. as well as the imperative of a new nafta agreement. and mark talked about a continental living wage and investment in american job growth. all three emphasized a deal that works for jobs here in america, america's workers and buy america provisions. i urge my colleagues in the administration to heed their testimony. we need to create jobs here in america and across this continent. living wage jobs. i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the entlewoman from new york rise? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized 1. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to salute deputy kurt d. wineman, united county sheriff's deputy who was killed in the line of duty in 2011 at only 24 years old.
ms. tenney: he served with distinction in iraq earning the campaign medal, sea services deployed ribbon, armed forces reserve medal and the navy and marine corps achievement medal. during his work he was named rookie of the year and won a medal twice. following his tragic death, there was a foundation created to honor his distinguish life of service to our community and our nation. through the foundation's efforts, the deputy kirk b. wineman memorial park was constructed as a resource for local families. each year an annual fall festival and a motorcycle ride are held at the park to honor his legacy. i'm honored to be joined by so many others who are grateful citizens by riding my own harley-davidson in this beautiful tribute to deputy wineman each year. please join me and our entire community today in celebrating the life for him who paid the ultimate sacrifice and service
to this community and this great nation. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, puerto rico is facing a humanitarian cry cis. mr. espaillat: hurricane maria, soon after hurricane irma, left a trail of destruction for wort reek's residents. currently, 3.5 million american citizens in puerto rico are without power. 20,000 people are on the waiting list to leave the island and about $85 million -- billion is needed in recovery funds. the island and its towns have been completely cut off by water flooding, broken bridges, lack of electricity and no cell phone service. as a result, there are displaced senior citizens and
children who cannot get basic goods and medical supplies. the people of puerto rico need supplemental funding, not next week -- today. the jones act must be waived, price gouging by airlines should not be allowed, clear water needs to be shipped to the island and hospitals need to be set up. it is our responsibility as members of congress and u.s. citizens to provide relief to puerto rico, the virgin islands and the small caribbean countries of that area. please, let's save puerto rico. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, as hurricane harvey's floodwaters crept close to their home, annie and gary became nervously anxious. you see, annie was pregnant and needed to get to the hospital. but the two-mile drive to the hospital was no longer possible
due to highrising water. so they called 911 but the lines were busy. both doctors in training, the smiths started repairing for a home delivery. finally a call to annie's school brought a rescue team to the door but the waters were still high and moving fast. isking their lives, numerous firefighters and neighbors passed annie along in the raging floodwaters to a high-water truck. a few hours later, annie brought new life, adrielle smith, into the world. that's the thing about texas, we help each other. that's what makes us texas strong. and congratulations to the smiths on the birth of their hurricane daughter adrielle, and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. deutch: mr. speaker, across the capitol senators decided to
cancel a vote on a disastrous health bill that would cost 3.2 million floridians to lose coverage, increase premiums in my state by an average of $4,000 and destroy over 180,000 florida jobs. now, not only did this process threaten health and financial security of then 10s of millions of americans, it also delayed re-authorization of the children's health insurance program. chip expires at the end of this week, but renewing it has taken a backseat to a cruel health bill motivated by a political vendetta and the hope of unlocking billions from campaign megadonors. it's time for congress to get back to work on chip, a program that insures nearly nine million -- ensures nearly nine million kids get access to care. 300,000 of them in florida. it's become stronger since the passage of the affordable care act. i hope my colleagues in the majority will waste no time in joining me in supporting this
vital program. let's help our children. let's re-authorize chip and let's do it this week. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the honorable gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. harvey took a lot away from us but they couldn't take away who we were aztecsans. it's shown our resilience and brought our communities closer together as we rebuild. i'm very proud of our volunteers and first responders who supported our neighbors in need. mr. carter: when disaster struck texas and across the state, help from the communities helped rebuild the nation after this storm. in my district, central texas, set up an evacuation center. we donated clothing and
necessary supplies, and our soldiers at fort hood and local fire rescue teams headed southeast to assist in the lifesaving recovery missions. because that's what texans do. we come together to support one another and i know we will continue to work together as we rebuild after harvey and anything that comes our way. by the way, a great big texas thank you to all our neighbors from across the united states who also came to help. our hearts goes out to those recovering disaster areas in florida, puerto rico, the u.s. virgin islands and all other communities in need of help. let's do it together. god bless texas. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. engel: mr. speaker, the people of puerto rico are crying out for help, and these american citizens need
america's help. when ever there's a disaster anywhere in the country, we need to move fast and we move fast when there was a disaster in texas recently which we unanimously supported. we cannot afford to wait. people are dying. with every day it gets worse. there's lack of food, lack of water, lack of safety, lack of electricity. american citizens. we cannot just allow this to continue to happen. we must help the people of puerto rico and help the people in the u.s. virgin islands who are also american citizens as well as people in all of the islands. it is just a crisis of tremendous proportion, and we have to help not tomorrow, not next week but immediately. these people need our help. we need to save puerto rico, save the u.s. virgin islands and help and save as we have done so many times around the world the islands of the caribbean. let's do it now.
let's do it quick. people are waiting for us. we don't want to wait until people are dying. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal request. the clerk: leave of absence requested for ms. eddie bernice johnson of texas for today and the balance of the week. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request s granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. speaker, my colleagues in the house of representatives, most of whom are not here right now but perhaps they are back in their office listening, and really to the american public and folks
here in the chamber, it's been a most interesting week. well, actually last three weeks. the united states has been hit .ith three major hurricanes 500-year ey say was a storm. florida keys, the virgin slands, puerto rico. disasters beyond in many cases human understanding we've never seen 50 inches of rain in a matter of days. we've seen storms in the caribbean that have been vicious but i don't believe we've ever seen one that completely wiped out an island. leaving 3 1/2 people -- 3 1/2
million people without food and water. homes in the florida keys flattened. floods throughout most of florida. these are natural disasters, and we look to our neighbors in the south and we see mexico, mexico city, that great capital , once again laid bare with an earthquake. further south and west of that another community and yet just yesterday, the day before, another earthquake. these are natural disasters. and as members of congress representing 350 million-plus americans, we have an obligation. you heard a couple of our colleagues speak to this. i woke up -- i went to bed last night with visions and pictures
of puerto rico on the television screen. i woke up this morning, turned the television on and it was all about the president calling a couple of athletes a name that i should not repeat on the floor, and i'm going, what's going on here? ow could it be that two days after the devastation of puerto rico our president would decide that the appropriate thing for us to do or for him to do is to call out african-american hletes who are protesting -- protesting the death of african-americans at the hands f police? all of that was followed in just
experts who are saying that we are closer to nuclear war today than we have been since the cuban missile crisis in the 1960's. i'm going, what in the world is going on here? what is happening? why are we in this situation? why is it that we are not debating here on the floor of the house how to provide the , to to houston, florida puerto rico? and to the virgin islands? our own citizens. is there a debate going on in the house of representatives in any hearing? no there isn't. is there debate on the floor?
about the necessity to rebuild, find the money, to put back lives of people that are seriously at risk today? what are we doing? well, here's what we're doing. we've got a president that is in anothergrade brawl with leader you may as well be on a arguing rd somewhere about their mothers. that's what the president did other the weekend. how did that promote our humanity, our empathy? not a bit. how did it promote our division? it did a very good job of that. nfl stadium, fans booing the athletes. we see more division in our country.
we see natural disasters and our response, let's pass a bill that will create a humanitarian crisis for 30 million americans that will lose their health care over the next decade. that's what the senate did. ver these last few tais. a replication of what happened here on the floor of the house of representatives months ago. i think americans thought those days were over when we would see the senate and the house purposely harm people, purposely set out with throtion physically harm people by denying them the health insurance that they have been provided over the last few years. how can it be? how can it be that we would allow this to happen? but it is happening.
thankfully, four senators stood up to the president, stood up to the republican leadership in the senate and said, no, no. i'm not going to set out on a vote that's going to harm people. i thank them. they had courage. where were the others? where are my colleagues, on the floor who voted to do exactly the same thing months ago. millions of americans. purposely denied their health insurance. where's the outrage? it's out there. take a look at the polling. take a look at the disabled men and women that were in the senate chamber yesterday, physically dragged out of there. fine testament to america's democracy. where's the outrage? where's the outrage that there's not a bill on this floor this
week to take care of puerto rico, the virgin islands, the american citizens. i guess there's something more important to do. where is our president? what is his tweet today? tweet today who knows. i guess he's going to go to puerto rico next week. thankfully. maybe there'll be some humanity expressed and he'll put in motion the great power of this administration to bring relief, to ask the congress to appropriate the money that's going to be necessary. maybe. or maybe it'll be another tweet about a leader who has the fourth largest army in the world . third greaters on the school , bullying.
demeaning. and you expect somehow to go nywhere except into a brawl? there's a road that we could take, but it begins with reducing the rhetoric. there's a road we can take with north korea. it's called negotiations. and don't say it's not possible. it's far more possible and would have a far better outcome than all the bombast, all the rhetoric, all the threats. all of us have been in the third grade. we know what happens when two boys get to fighting on the school grounds. these boys have awesome weapons.
they have 25,000 u.s. military on the d.m.z. border. they're ready to fight. we have an awesome military. that should only be used with wisdom. that should not be put at risk unnecessarily. and there are tens of thousands of american service mebs, spouses, an children nearby. an millions of south koreans and north koreans. time for our president to speak softly. we know we have a big stick. speak softly. tone it down. move toward the negotiations. e far more fruitful.
we can do this. i go back home, as i was this weekend, i do my community event. people come up to me and say, i'm scared. i'm frightened. what is our president doing? why is he acting this way? why is kim jong un acting this way? we don't need another crisis. got to deal with this. with wisdom. with plenty of strength. determination. god help us if we get into a war on the korean peninsula again. consider for a moment that the 1953 korean war never ended. it's an armistice. time for a peace treaty.
time to recognize there are two countries. ime to set until down. it's time for this congress to turn its attention to the reality of the crisis that faces americans. and yet we don't. instead, we've had more than two weeks of attention on legislation that would purposely, purposely harm millions upon millions of americans by taking away their ealth insurance. we've got to put that behind us. we've got to find ways to improve the affordable care act. we must do this. people are hurting. there are problems with the affordable care act.
we know where the fixes are. but we can't get our colleagues on the republican side to work with us. here in the house of representatives. will find past senator murphy and senator alexander to come back together again since it appears the ill-begotten graham-cassidy legislation is dead. maybe murray and alexander can come back together an work together. i would ask my republican colleagues to work with us on the democratic side, to work toward solutions to strengthen, provide the necessary changes and fixing to the affordable care act. while we're doing that, let us use the normal, natural empathy that resides in each one of us to reach out to those in puerto
, co, in florida, in houston the virgin islands, and use our innate compassion to provide the rebuild. for them to and then let's take it a step farther. instofede calling out mexico, instead of getting into a verbal and perhaps an economic conflic. with mexico, let us work with mexico, reach out to mexico city now. provide them with the assistance that this great country can do. there's so many things we must spend our time on. i want to ask my colleague from new york who spoke a few moments ago, ms.est callan tai, could escalante, could you join us here on the floor? mr. escalante: i too want to
echo the voice of the deep, troubling concern we shared this weekend when we saw our fwage in a fight, a childish almost type of fight with the nfl players. mr. espaillat: we know that football, baseball and many of our sports have been a level playing field where many people of different races, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, come together and cheer for a particular team from their hometown or their region. nd instead of concentrating on bringing health care to millions f americans, or retrieving a failed attempt to repeal and replace obamacare, the president chose to engage in another
activity. tweeting, insulting, americans across the country. instead of engaging in a real substantive discussion about the dream act and daca recipients, looking at the provisions of the bipartisan legislation that has been put forward and co-sponsored by close to 200 members of this house, led by congresswoman ileana ros-lehtinen a republican from florida, and lucille roybal-allard a democrat from california, instead of going through the provisions of that bill that could bring relief for 800,000 young people that otherwise will be potentially deported, they're larger than
any of the congressional districts that any one of us may represent in this house. instead of looking at the provisions for that and rolling up our sleeves and coming here today or this week to discuss how we bring relief to 800,000 young people that are work, going to school, and are members we chose to forces, engage in distraction. instead of looking at a real humanitarian crisis about to ensue in puerto rico, the virgin islands, some of our neighbors countries of barbuda, dominica, the dominican republic and the caribbean as well as the challenges in florida and houston, instead of taking a look at a potential humanitarian crisis that may ensue in puerto rico, and bringing about relief for those 3.5 million americans,
he chose to look the other way. we remember how another president hovered in his airplane over new orleans, over louisiana, as people drowned and people died, without getting the help they needed. this could be our modern day katrina. and yet our president chose to look the other way. he could have engaged in bringing about results, today i joined congresswoman velazquez and congressman atam smith in signing on to a letter asking the department of defense to step it up in puerto rico, we asked for a senior general to be appointed to work with fema to manage the crisis in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands, the same way it was done for katrina , we asked for department of defense engineers and aviation
assets to be deployed to puerto rico, as many of its municipalities up in the mountains are still cut off from the general population and haven't been heard from for nearly a week. we asked for technicians and experts to bring restoration of power and to work with telecommunications in the island because people are still disconnected from government, from hospitals, from the police department there is no service, there's no energy in the island and we ask for that as well. e asked in this letter for the usns comfort a medical -- an offshore medical treatment facility, to be deployed to the island of puerto rico. puerto rico only has two hospitals that have been able to restore power, and yesterday the president looked this weekend the other way.
so for three major pieces and issues that confront the american people, health care, as it pertains to close to 4:45 p.m. puerto rico only has two hospitals that have been able to restore power, and yesterday the president looked this weekend the other way. so for three major pieces and issues that confront the american people, health care, as it pertains to close to 4:45 p.m. puerto rico only has two hospitals that have been able to restore power, and yesterday the president looked this weekend the other way. so for three major pieces and issues that confront the american people, health care, as it pertains to close to 12k3w4r50eu6r7b8g9sdz our local athletes in an unprecedented manner.
he chose to turn our back on the american people. mr. garamendi: mr. espaillat, thank you for bringing to our attention the possibilities. he u.s. military is awesome. i'm very thankful that adam smith, the ranking member of the armed services -- house armed services committee, together with you and other colleagues, have called upon the president to deploy to puerto rico a military task force. the military is the most organized of all of our federal organizations. they have the ability, they have the resources and they certainly have the capability of addressing at least the immediate needs of puerto rico and the virgin islands and even other islands that have been
devastated in the caribbean. ultimately, the -- it falls to to of us who are elected represent the american people, the presidency, house of representatives or in the senate. and the question we must ask ourselves -- are we meeting our responsibilities? are we deploying the resources of this nation to assist in these devastated communities? are we providing the funding necessary to carry out these tasks? or, are we engaged in legislation that would create a health care disaster on top of the natural disasters?
well, thankfully it appears as though four senators have stopped a republican effort in the senate that is the repetition of an effort made here in the house of representatives months ago to stop the creation of the health care crisis in america. ere is more out there that will be brought forward. tomorrow, my colleagues on the publican side will meet to discuss tax reform. by all appearances it appears tax reform is likely to turn out -- at least their version of it -- is likely to turn out to be serious tax cuts for the super wealthy and for and ations with the hope
prayer someday that it might create jobs. there's precious little economic history to indicate that would happen. but there's a lot of economic history and studies that to cut you continue taxes for the super wealthy and we will have an even more serious inequality of wealth in the united states. that's a discussion for tomorrow and beyond. oday, now, the discussion must focus on our american citizens that are not in harm's way, they are being harmed. and so my plea to my colleagues here is to put aside these other issues, to focus the great power and empathy of the american people on meeting the needs of our american citizens
virgin on, florida, islands, puerto rico and then to reach out beyond to others that have been hurt, wherever they may be -- mexico city, ther islands in the caribbean. and finally, a plea to our president. mr. speaker, a plea to our president. tone it down. , for s not a schoolyard belligerent talk. this is extraordinarily serious. it has been said by people that have followed these issues over the decades, we're closer to nuclear war now than we have en since the cuban missile crisis. r. president, mr. speaker,
please tone it down. speak softly. tweet softly. don't worry about our big stick that we have. go to the negotiation tables. be humble. be firm. no nukes on the korean peninsula. we can do that. e can do it. thus is my prayer. ith that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities towards the president. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from texas, mr. weber, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. thank you, mr.
speaker. in all my years i have seen a lot of storms, a lot of hurricanes, a lot of floods, a lot of tropical depressions, a lot of rain in texas. we have a whole variety of weather in texas and a lot of just about every calamity weather-wise you can think of. 've seen nothing come close to hurricane harvey. in 24 hours we went from tropical storm harvey to category four hurricane harvey. as with most hurricanes, there was no rhyme or reason for the destruction and ensuing devastation. rvey's bands of rains set on southeast texas with a in and for days on
the situation turned quickly from bad to worse. mr. speaker, we got 51 to 53 inches of rain in three to four days. that part of texas' annual rainfall is about 53 inches a year. we got a whole year's worth of rainfall in under a week's time. our great first responders, our volunteers risked their lives time and time again to save others. when the nation saw that we needed help, the boats and the people just kept coming. we got the cajun navy from louisiana. 100 guys with their own boats came to help us. they did things we didn't think were possible, so i coined a new phrase, cajuneering. they came in and really helped us. we saw neighbors and strangers alike to step us to help each other. that's the texas way. when the nation saw we needed
help, people came pouring in. more than that, it's not just a texas way. it is the american way. no matter our creed, our color, our religion or background, we are all united and we worked together. harvey may have brought the downpour, but texans and americans brought the outpour. texas 14 is arguably ground zero for flooding and devastation. the enormity and the severity of harvey sadly is on full display. entire neighborhoods were underwater. how do you recover from that, your family and your house is underwater, your cars are underwater, your furniture and sadly even their most prized and precious air looms, family -- heirlooms, family photos and album, how do you overcome that? i tell you, by working
together. everyone back home in our great state knows how -- knows someone who needs help, and everyone back home is doing their part to help that person in need. in all the devastation and destruction, the hope and determination shared among texans was absolutely remarkable. harvey may have deluged our state with rain and with water, but he certainly did not dampen our spirit. one month ago today, harvey aid landfall between -- made landfall between port aransa and they made landfall just west of cameron, louisiana. we literally had a three-day weather event. harvey came on-shore by rockport, corpus christi. we got the bands of rain from the hurricane coming on-shore.
he dumped rain on all our rivers and streams, upstream from us and our watersheds and then he came back down on southeast texas down the coast and worked, as i said, over into louisiana. then, after harvey came hurricane irma. after irma came jose. and after jose came maria. it's been a historic time. as of sunday, september 24, let his sink in. registered le are for disaster assistance. fema has distributed $502.6 million in housing assistance and $160.2 million in other assistance. in the one month since harvey, the first of the series of hurricanes, fema has completed
239,612 inspections. all -- almost 22,000 people are living in hotels because they have no home. to return to. that number doesn't even include those who are staying with family and friends. the small business administration has approved $509.4 million, homeowners have received to date $467.3 million in loans. businesses have received $42 million in loans. earlier this month, we passed out of this chamber overwhelming bipartisan support a $15 billion relief bill. two or three or more of those bills are expected at a minimum. the monetary damages are adding up to over $150 billion with a b. there are five recovery centers in texas.
there are 41 disaster recovery centers. over 30-something texas counties were named in the disaster declaration. folks, these are just numbers. they're mind-boggling. you can see the pictures here behind me. those numbers don't really tell the whole story. let me tell you. behind those numbers are people. behind those numbers are families. behind those numbers are homes, livelihoods, businesses, the lives of our great texans are behind those numbers. our people are hurting but they will not let a hurricane keep us down. wrapped up in all the devastation is a bunch of heroes and first responders. i've already talked about the cajun navy. i could talk about the states that sent firefighters and first
responders from all over this great country of ours. so behind the devastation is bauverage of hero, american heroes. behind that devastation is a bunch of love. people doing things for others that you just -- it just make yours heart feel good. behind that devastation is a bunch of hope that we really are one nation under god with liberty and justice, help and ercy, for all. behind that devastation is a bunch of americans. you know, hurricane harvey reminded us of our deepest, behind that truest american values. united, we can accomplish just about anything. well, mr. speaker, i'm going to open up the floor for some of my colleagues and as i said earlier, our great district, texas 14, is arguably ground
zero for flooding and devastation, but we have -- i have a lot more colleagues here on the floor with us that all have a story to tell. and so at this point, i would like to yield five minutes to the distinguished chairman, michael mccall as chairman of the house committee on homeland security, he's work closely with fema and many of our first responders. his district saw quite a bit of water as well. i appreciate his direct involvement and his willingness to be here. mr. mccaul: thank you, congressman weber, for holding this special order my condolences to the people in your district. i know beaumont, particularly, was hit the hardest. we were hit hard all around. but i know beaumont was hit very hard. pass a y we need to
supplemental in october to help the great people of the great state of texas. i'm chairman of the homeland security committee, one of my responsibilities is overseing the response efforts, fema, federal, state, and local, to see if this is working or not. i've seen what happened in katrina and rita and other disasters. i can tell you this was the most impressive response effort, federal, state and local. i commend the president for signing an advance declaration disaster at the request of my governor, governor abbott, who mobilized -- enabled us to mobilize in advance and preposition assets to have, i think, one of the best responses -- responses i've seen and one of the most tragic storms texas has weathered. my grandfather survived the 1900 galveston hurricane, they
rescued him from a tree top, he was years old. 10,000 people were killed in that tragic, tragic event. in this case, we saved almost 20,000 lives. thanks to the good work of the people in this picture that i had the great privethroge see right after the storm hit. it was one of the most compassionate, humanitarian responses i think i've ever witnessed this particular photo really, i think, captured what houston looked like at the time. first floor under water. most looks like the iwo jima of harvey. department of public safety, the american flag, a marine, coast forward, and national guard. -- coast guard and national guard. these people came together, but you know who else came together? the cajun navy came together from louisiana to help texans.
a lot of texans saved texans in this storm but to see that process was really a shining light in a very dark time. there's so many untold stories of heroic bravery that took place. i call it operation dunkirk. i mean, many of us know about that battle, many have seen the movie, all the private boats that came out to save the british in that event, in that battle. we saw hundreds of private boats coming out working in unison with federal, state and local responders, saving lives, again 20,000 lives saved in the process. high xt -- this is katy school, katy is any my district. -- is in my district. you would think this high school would be the forward operating base for the texas guard and the
active duty service members and all the first responders. this was where they launched their efforts to the beaumont area. after they took care of all the crises and the flooding in the houston area. i saw these guys going out in boats and helicopters and saving lives. this is the best side of mankind and one of the dark -- in one of the darkest chapters that our state has really seen. i had the opportunity to bring the speaker down, chairman shuster of the transportation and infrastruck cher committee, remarkable story and again an awful time. we saw the resiliency of texans helping other texans. but i want to credit the entire nation for responding in a very compassionate way. i went to shelters and churches, i saw all the food coming in, people calling me from other states, what can i do to help?
firefighters i saw coming from nebraska and pennsylvania and ohio, all converging on the state and indeed the eyes of the nation were on the state of texas during this devastating hurricane that continued to rain for days. lastly, i know my time is limited but i want to talk about what we can do moving forward. this is a 1940 map, flood control plan, built by the conservation engineering corps, under president roosevelt, back in the 19409s. -- in the 1940's. you see here, the reservoirs built in the 1940's,s the buffalo bayou, this is downtown houston. but they had another plan at that time. it was on this the cypress creek, in my district. katy is where these guys were. this is where it all started. this is the third flood in two
years in this area, all starting at the cypress creek. this is all developed now. it's not rice fields anymore. it was a watershed event. into these reservoirs. that then had a controlled release at 1:00 in the morning into these neighborhoods below. flooding the buffalo bayou and then flooding houston. this is the kind of stuff, congressman, we need to look, as we look at the supplemental and other projects, this is the prevention that i think we could be doing in the congress that makes a lot of sense. to provide infrastructure at key points to stop this flooding from ever happening again. i know as texans we're all going to come together as a delegation but i know this, i think this entire congress will come together to not only save lives as we did, help with fema assistance, to get people back out on their feet, but then do
smart projects like this one to stop this kind of flooding from ever happening again. that's smart prevention. at the end of the day it's going to save money and save human lives, you know, in the process. in closing, i just want to say that i've never been prouder to call myself a texan. this is my seventh term, judge poe and i came in together, we've seen a lot in seven terms we've been in congress, i've never seen our state rally like this in a time of need and the nation rallying behind the state. thank you, thank all of those who made it possible in our great state and also in our great country, the united states of america. with that, i yield back. mr. weber: thank you, chairman mccaul, we appreciate you and your involvement. my next friend, our friend beto
o'rourke, from across the aisle, has seen plenty of texas action. we he had a road trip with will hurd, we got to watch that, even though his district may not have seen water as a result of harvey, we would have loved to have sent you some to el paso, quite frankly, he's a texan. and he gets it. and he's been there working with us every step of the way and with that, i want to yield to my good friend, beto o'rourke. mr. o'rourke: i want to thank congressman weber for bringing us together today and i want to extend my condolencers in loss of life, the devastation visited on the community he is represents. and i know he's doing his best to unite those communities in every way possible to ensure that they get back on their feet they rebuild and are bigger and better than ever. we join him, party difference doesn't mean anything at this
moment. it is all of us as texans. i join chairman mccall in agreeing that we could not have a better moment as a state. and i'm grateful to you for bringing us together today. as you said, i've had an opportunity to spend some time traveling texas and especially in southeast texas. starting around the time that harvey hit and i'll tell you congressman weber that in austin, texas, on the 25th of august, i was there as the first evacuees were leaving southeast texas, coming from victoria and corpus christi and other places that were under mandatory evacuation orders, and they were arriving at red cross shelters staffed both by professionals and also volunteers. i was told by the head of red cross in austin that they had never seen a greater turnout of volunteers on the first diof disasters. i met a young man, luis zamora
who hat the time was a rising junior at tarlton state, also a member of the national guard and so disppointed that his colleagues in the guard were called up but he was not. so he drove himself down to the red cross headquarters so he uld sign up, volunteer, and help staff one of the shelters, welcome those who were fleeing this storm and try to make their lives better. it reminded me of visiti some of the shelters in san antonio where i had a chance to see their great mayor, r nuremberg, in action, personally welcoming people coming from other parts of the state to every one of them. his message was we are so glad you're here, stay as long as you need to. we'll make things better for you, you focus on you, we'll do our best to take kear of you. that was the message we heard everywhere that we went. we found ourselveses in victoria, helping to transport some medical supplies to those hospitals. we met an extraordinary young woman named lisa price who had
been up for the last 72 hour, as many of the people working those hospital were, trying to coordinate carfor those in need and the evacuation of those who were no longer able to be cared for in hospitals that only had backup generator power, did not have reliable water, could not keep medicines and vaccines chilled. there were volunteer am balance corps from all over the state -- ambulance corps from all over the state of texas who volunteered to transport patients out. lisa and others were helping coordinate that. her husband, jason a department of public safety trooper, was out on the roads, trying to ensure safety of his fellow texans. two extraordinary heroes who exemplify the way that texas met this challenge. certainly spent soom time in houston where we heard tale of all the first responders, certainly folks who were working under the great fire chief there, chief pena, but also
first responders who came from across the state. el paso sent folks from the el paso police department, the peal sew fire department, they made over 100 rescue, not just in the houston area but also in the greater beaumont area, including rescuing a 1-month-o child from chest-high waters. again, we saw that both fro first responders and everyday citizens who risked thashe own lives to save the lives of fellow texans. we were in a parking lot in victoria, where we were picking up supplies to take to rockport. we knew, however that rockport was under a mandatory curfew enforced by d.p.s. so we i proached two d.p.s. cruisers that were in the parking lot at wal-mart, where we were going in to buy ice and water and dychers and other supplies that they might need in rockport and i wanted to ask these two d.p.s. officers if they would help us to get into rockport under the curfew.
as they were rolling down the window and i began introducing myself they said, i know who you are. you're beto o'rourke, we're from el paso, we were among the first vol freers the department of public safety in peal sew to come to victoria, we've been working this community, cuero, rockport, lavaca, they wanted to be where the action was. it made me so extraordinarily proud of el paso and texas. it's like the 90 soldiers from fort bliss, from one of the aviation brigades, who were in southeast texas as well, trying to facilitate the rescue of their physical physical -- of their fellow texans, being where the need was at its moment of greatest importance. again making us so proud. but congressman weber, i'll conclude by telling you that as we came in to rockport and were able to successfully get in under curfew to make our delivery, we were blown away and inspired by the volunteer fire department 20 people strong,
eight of whom had lost their homes and literally everything in their homes, but had not lost a minute's service to their fellow community out of that rockport fire station. they were lives in the fire station because they had nowhere else to hi, responding to trim or quadruple the service call the rains had now ended, the fires had begun, there was some question about the viability of structures and they wanted to be there to save lives and that fire chief, steve simms, and the men and women who serve under him, are the absolute best of us as texans, i'm so glad that you and every one of our colleagues from texas, republican or democrat, house member or senator, are focused on making chief simms, the members of that fire department, and every texan affected by harvey whole again. we've got to use their inspiration and example to do the important work that's here before us. so i thank you once again for bringing us together, allowing me to join you and work with you
and our colleagues to make sure that texans fully recover from hurricane harvey, bigger and better than ever, thank you and i yield back. . mr. weber: happy birthday. mr. o'rourke: thank you. i couldn't think of beater way than spend it with you. mr. weber: at this time i'd like to recognize my good friend, dr. ryan babin. thank you very much. i'd like to thank my colleague and neighbor, randy weber. he also represents my hometown of beaumont, texas. want to thank him for this special order. i really appreciate that. it was about a month ago that hurricane harvey ban wreaking
havoc on southeast texas, dumping record amounts of rainfall in our region, upending the lives of our families, businesses and communities. and across our congressional district, the 36th district of texas, we saw anywhere between 20 and 50 inches of rain. setting a new record for the united states. in fact, unofficially ranchers in liberty county, which i also represent, measured over 60 inches of rain. our entire district from houston to the louisiana border turned into essentially one gigantic lake as thousands of homes that had never flooded before succumbed to harvey's floodwaters. the impact was devastating and widespread. no one was spared. people from all walks of life and socioeconomic situations with the majority never having been displaced before were baffled and desperate in their situations. each of the nine counties that
i have the privilege of representing have been declared federal disaster areas. the devastation is simply overwhelming and the vast lake now is a vast debris field. but in the midst of this devastation, there were and still continue to be incredible stories of goodness. let me share just a few examples. in orange, texas, a young couple cancelled their wedding to help their friends and neighbors clean up and begin the process of rebuilding. these newlyweds have now welcomed nearly a dozen family members into their nonflooded homes. a volunteer fire department became a big staging area. like many, many schools and volume untire fire departments all across this area. in cleveland, a constable organized a flotilla of boats to deliver supplies. dozens and dozens of churches immediately marshalling their congregation and good christian
people for food, supplies and shelter to be delivered. in deer park they began cooking and sharing meals with evacuees from houston. and a community shelter after the community's only other shelter was cut off by floodwaters. and rose city, a really good friend and neighbor rescued nearly everyone in his entire neighborhood on his air boat. even as his own home was flooded. his name was dennis landry. since the flood, neighbors have organized mucking crews where they help neighbors remove furniture and appliances, sheet rock, carpets from one another's flooded homes. this has happened all across the texas gulf coast and the stories go on and on, neighbors helping neighbors, communities helping communities, strangers helping strangers. churches, first responders, private businesses, people from
out of state are helping one another but that's what we do in east texas. when times get tough we pull together and we get to work. no one waits around to be told what to do. we're people of action and we act when we see a need. and quite frankly, this is what makes east texas so special. our communities are strong and through our faith in god we take care of one another in times of need regardless of our own means. it is our shared value for our fellow man that makes the difference. and in that same east texas spirit, our office has been doing everything possible that we can do to help. from the very start we have been working overtime to help people get back on their feet. we're blessed with the professional and dedicated staff that's second to none. and despite some of our own staff being flooded themselves, we have worked tirelessly to help our east texas neighbors and friends get the information and resources they need to recover and build. we are extremely grateful for
their service, and i would like to personally recognize some of my staff. lainie brown, lauren jones, rachel iglesias, sarah blackscheyer, beverly ferguson, will carter, jeannie cranz, joyce morgan, kelly waterman, eth barber, sarah reese, steve janiskowski these individuals have spent the past month doing everything they can to help the people of district 36. and these are often the unsung heroes who go the extra mile each and every day and lady on weekends and evenings to serve the needs of our constituents. it has not gone unnoticed. and as part of the incredible good that's come out of tragic hurricane. we are extremely proud and very grateful to them and their families and everyone who has pitched in. i'd also like to recognize our friends from louisiana and specifically my colleague, congressman garrett graves and
his staff, paul sawyer and david cavil. everywhere we went we saw folks from louisiana coming over and helping in the recovery and we would ask them or tell them thank you so much. they said, this is payback because of katrina. countless churches and individuals and neighbors from oureighboring state of louisiana came out to help. thank god for the cajun airlift, the care onnavy, the kay yun special forces and the cajun gravey. lastly, i'd like to thank our first responders. the death toll would have been higher if not for these brave men and women. and for our game wardens, our police departments, our d.p.s. officers, sheriff's deputies, all the way to our u.s. coast guard and texas and other states' national guardsmen, we thank you for everything that you did. and we remember those who gave their lives in the line of service, and as we push forward, we have a long road
ahead. people are still very much in need of assistance and resources as they work to put their lives back together. in fact, the fact that over 800 folks showed up for our disaster recovery town hall meetings over the past several days demonstrates there are still many in need. last thursday night in lumberton, texas, we had over 200 people out. in orange, texas, we saw where 77% of all homes in that county were impacted, we had over 500 people come out to meet with fema, state officials and my staff on a friday night, and that's big because that's football night in texas. it is our goal to help folks cut through the bureaucracy and the red tape to get answers and help that they need. we have been spreading -- we have been spreading staff out across our nine counties, setting up mobile offices to provide constituents with one-on-one assistance and applying for help and ensuring they access -- they have access to a computer or complete the
application. and this is not unusual. my colleagues and all of the other counties, up to 38 counties, i believe, were involved in this thing of doing the exact same thing. this will be a long road to our recovery, but together we will recover and we will rebuild and come back stronger than ever and i want to thank you, thank you and god bless. i yield back. mr. weber: well, i thank you, dr. babin. the enormity of this storm and the debt of gratitude we owe our first responders cannot be overly stated. my friend, judge ted poe, saw plenty in his district but he took it in stride as he always does with any challenge because he's a texan and he's a fighter. and judge, that's just the way it is. i yield to you. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman. i appreciate it, congressman weber, for the time you have allowed us to talk a little bit bout hurricane harvey and what
folks did down in the texas area. while it was still raining hard, i get a phone call and i looked at the area code ony cell phone and i said, i think that's massachusetts. and sure enough, it was representative kennedy from boston, massachusetts, call me saying he would do whatever he could to get bostonians' first responders down to texas to help out. and that's what happened, as already been mentioned by all of my colleagues tonight. both sides of members of congress working on this issue to help with harvey. beto o'rourke is from el paso. you're from beaumont. people may not realize that there's a sign in beaumont -- i used to represent beaumont. you drive in from louisiana, there's a sign that says el paso, texas, 876 miles away, and that's how far it is from beaumont to el paso.
and yet beto o'rourke made his way, all the way to houston, galveston area to help out as well. but the whole state helped with what was taking place. and the magnitude of the devastation, not just the weather, but the devastation, if you take the state of new jersey and turn it on its side and set it down on the gulf coast, that's how much devastation there was in the state of texas. that was the area that was hit, where disaster occurred. and they got rain as far as dallas and san antonio. of course we know it went all the way up to kentucky, 1,000 miles away. still they were getting rain days later. but i want to talk about one of the people involved in the rescue. dr. babin talked about a lot of folks that helped out. here's another guy that helped out. you probably never heard of him.
he's steven perez, houston police officer. 34-year veteran of the houston police department. married, two kids. the rains are coming down. it's in the middle of the night. it's his time to go on shift at the houston police department. his wife is saying, don't go. it's too bad. and he said, i'm going to work. it's my duty. and he did and he left home. he couldn't get to the downtown houston police department. so he's headed to a different direction. my understanding up to kingwood where i represent, that's about 25 miles away from downtown houston where he was going to do what he could to help folks out there and he took a bad turn. gets under an underpass and his patrol car submerged and he drowned. but he was out doing what he wanted to do, to protect and serve. he's a symbol of all the first responders, of all the badges that they wear from all over the country who came down there to do their duty to help people
in need. and we -- we regret his loss and we are with his family and the prayers are with his family and wife and two kids for their future. at his funeral, of course, in houston, that i had the opportunity to attend, there were a lot of police officers from all over the country showing their respects to another first responder. this hurricane that came through the houston area, i have kind of an unusual district so i got hit several places. people got flooded. michael mccaul showed earlier a map of the houston area that there are two reservoirs that are supposed to protect the city from flooding. water filled up those reservoirs and people that i represent are on the downstream of that reservoir. they got flooded water came over it.
but i also represent people upstream and they got flooded because the reservoir overflowed up in the western, northwestern direction. and people also got flooded in the middle of the night after they thought the storm was over with because conroe and, mr. speaker, i know you don't know where that. that's just northwest of houston. that -- they have a lake up in lake conroe. they started letting water out of lake conroe. water started rushing down from the san jacinto, texas, cypress creek, all of it overflowed and people got flooded in that area as well. thousands of people. homes are devastated. two of people who lost their home, they're staying with us, friends of ours. we do take care of each other. one thing i want to mention is we need to get a regional plan to prevent these disasters in
the future. it would be a whole lot cheaper, in fact, to prevent these floods than try to continue to pay for the damage of these floods. no question about it, we have to do retvry now for the people who have lost everything they have, do what we can here in congress, we're going to do that in a bipartisan way. but we need to have a plan for the future as well. aye introduced legislation for the corps of engineers to come up, within 90 days of our legislation being signed by the president, to evaluate all the conditions in the floodpln area that was flooded and come up with a long-term plan. whether it's building one more reservoir two more reservoirs, making the ones we have bigger, desilting the channels of buffalo bayou, san jacinto, whatever it is. we need to come as a unite areda, from mr. weber's district up to mr. mccaul's district and everybody in between on what we're going to do to solve long-term flooding problems. because you see, september comes
around every september. mr. mccaul talked about the flood of 1900. that happened in september. almost to the same date. and here this flood happened at the end of august, near the beginning of september. so i hope we can do that. think we can. i do want to reiterate what's been said about people who just help each other. people -- they didn't know each other. it wasn't just neighbors helping neighbors, it was people who didn't know each other. some of them flooded out themselves, ding everything they can to help other people. and there were a lot of bass boats. they weren't all from louisiana but there were a lot from louisiana. i think it's every young boy's dream in texas to own two things. a pickup truck and a bass boat. and you saw all of those pickup trucks and bass boats on the road and in the water a lot of them are pretty high, rescuing
people. people they did not know, mr. speaker. and they were just looking to help other individuals. been s remarkable, i'v through a lot of hurricanes. i grew up in the houston area. i remember hurricane carl in 1961, before most of y'all were even around, you know. and we've had a lot of hurrines since then. nothing like harvey. it was therandddy of all of them. hammered the houston area, but we're using this as an opportunity to fix things. because this hurricane is not going to defeat the spirit of texas. it's not. and we will resolve t overcome whatever the difficulties are now and to fix things in the future so that we can have a response when the rains of september come. the rains have stopped, floodwaters hve gone down, the rainbow is out. kidsre playing in the parks again. but we're still at work, solving
the problems of what took place and moving on because as i said, harvey will not defeat the texas spir. and that's just the way it is. i yield back to mr. weber. mr. weber: i thank you, judge poe. you're exactly correct, harvey cannot dampen our spirit or those of our nghbors or first responder, those who came and helped. texas saw the first of four hurricanes this month. think about that puerto rico has seen the last two hurricanes. maria did a nmber on the island. they are in need of so many things. buone thing is certain that they're not in need of, they have a leader in washington, d.c. she's got their back. i'm proud to yield some time my goodriend, congrswoman gonzales. ms. gonzales: thank you.
i'm speaking about hurricanes. last week,urricane maria hit puerto rico. it is by far the worst hricane to do so in the last semplingry. and it came at a time when puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands, most of the caribbean, were beginning to recover from the impact of hurricane ia just 10 days earlier. keep in mind also that even before the winds and waves of irma and maria began to lashts shores, puerto rico was already in dire economic shape. we are still engaged in fe-saving operations, searching for and helping people who are in greatest danger. ria's snapped the island's communication towers and gathering information from communities has been nearly impossible, especially in the rural center of the island where winds were ferocious a landslides have ocrred. the hurricane has been a disaster of unprecedented
propors. the image youffs been seing on tv are dramatic but don't even begin to tell the magny tuesday of this catastrophe and the humanuffering that you can only tly experience be being on the ground. in every way, maria is from the same level as hurricane quay troo in a, sandy, harvey, with one major fference. puerto rico is an island. which makes it almost impossible to get aid and disaster relief forces in as they can only come by sea or air and the people are basically stuck there with no placeto go. currently puerto rico electric grid is completely done. roads and bridg have been washed ay. a manage communities communicado. hospitals are crippled and operated on power generates.
the diesel needed to run them is extrely difficult. people are wating in line up t six hours wrust to purchase 20 bucks wth of gasoline. commercial flights to and from the island are almost nonexistent. from -- with thousands of people on airline wait lists just to leave. most banks cannot opete and people don't have an easy access to sh. which they need desperately because credit cards are t being used on the island because we don't have power. ria wiped out 80% of the island's agriculturend the tourism industry has been crush. for most of t residents, the hurricane cab best be described as apocalyptic. aidress needs to approve an
package commensurate with the level of dama. without helthere will be a massiv exodus to the u.s. inland and the ongoing humanitarian crisis will only get wore. the residents ofuerto rico are american citizens. they are no different from every person sitting in this chamber. but unlike everyone else, congresshas 100% contrl over theine. s t time and job for the federal government, particularly thisongress, to authorize the money needed to rebuildhe island. this is a dire time for the island and therefore our nation.
millions of citizens wereacing dire economic times even before this i have heard from many of you, many of my colleagues, even the vice president today, and i am deeply grateful for all the prayers and support. i also want to thank the trump administration for their unwavering collaboration with puerto rican national forward. more than 10,000 people are deployed helping the island to restore the power grid. it will take more than sex months to get power on the island again. soy hope this house can keep us in your prayers but also approve the package that is going to be needed in october and i know we will respond, that was the claim that president trump made today, the vice president, i was just in a meeting with them. i want to thank the speaker of the house for his leadership, allowing the waiver to the cost sharing of fema in the island. i yield back the rest of my time, congressman weber, thank you. mr. weber: gracias,
congresswoman gonzalez. now my good friend in the southwest, blake farenthold, is going to come and address us. blake represents the area where harvey actually made landfall and brought category 4 winds and torm surges. congressman farnede hold knows, i understand the devastation that brings. my heart goes out to you guys, blake, please come share with us. mr. farenthold: thank you, congressman weber. mr. speaker, i'm here to talk a couple of minutes about the best and the worst that i saw during hurricane harvey in the 27th district of texas i represent. the worst was dished out by nature and high winds. the best was the spirit of the texans who rose to the challenge , it was neighbor helping
neighbor, friend helping friend, and stranger helping stranger. you know,ive -- i live in corpus christi a relatively large community of almost 400,000 in the metropolitan area. we were spared the brunt of harvey. it missed us by about 20 miles. just across the bay, communities like port aransas, aransas pass, ingleside, rockport, tivoli and many more took horrible, horrible winds. 90-something-odd percent of the homes in the resort town of port aransas are uninhabitable right now. the brand new school in rfugio had the roof blown off, water damaged, it will be weeks before they're fully operational again in that school. rockport with their beautiful oak trees, had limbs and branches strewn all over the
street. and houses, second stories gone. it looked great from the front but then you'd look in the back and there'd be no back. having aransas, boats risen and moved inland an oil drilling platform loose in the ship channel, completely changing the skyline of the city. but rather than sitting around and moping and crying, texans came together, helped each other clear the debris, and are slowly but surely getting on with their lives. the recovery period is going to be tough. there's just so much debris. they're picking it up and stacking it at transfer stations but it'll be months before the process is finished. and it's tough driving down the streets of places you love, seeing debris stacked, smelling
the rotting mold, but you know it is going to come back. we're struggling right now to find homes for people. places for them to stay. people have been staying with friends and relatives. fema has been helping out with hotels. and i have to say, i'm really impressed with the way local, state, and federal folks are working hard to give people a hand up. we've had leaders from president trump down to members of congress and all throughout the country come to see what's going on and all, all have pledged their help. it's going to be a , he ewe lien effort to come back -- a herculean effort to come back, but come back we will. suspect in two years, i think rockport and port aransas, where
people vacation, will have their doors open. the goal is to be ready by spring break this year and i suspect it will be worth visiting. we need to help the businesses out. need to help the people out. but not -- by not forgetting us, keeping us in your prayers, and by supporting us here in congress as we give the people the help they need to rebuild their lives. and i want to thank my colleagues from texas, my colleagues from the rest of the country, for the support. you know, it's just -- it's a shame that this has been such a tough season. but we're seeing not just the resilience of texas but of all the american people with what's going on in florida, we're going to get reports, i think, of people helping people in puerto rico. in the u.s. virgin islands. and other areas damaged by the storms we faced this year.
but i am proud to be an american. i'm proud we're all helping out. i look forward to continuing the recovery effort in all of the areas of this country that have been so devastated by natural disasters this year. i yield back to you, mr. weber. mr. weber: i thank you, congressman farenthold, the 27th district of texas is blessed to have you. a little background. on friday, august 25, some of the outer bands of harvey were beginning to brush the gulf coast. texans do what we always do to prepare for a storm. we bought the essential, we prepped the house, we tightened things up, we watch the news, we were ready nor the rain, we thought. as we'd ever be. but what happened in my 64 years on god's green earth is unlike anything i've ever seen before like this and i'm no stranger to the area i've lived in a 20-mile radius almost my entire life.
i hope i've got a lot more to go yet. we didn't see the sun for four days. over 50 inches of rain was recorded by the weather forecasters on tv news fell from the sky. actually it was about 60 inches in district number 4, seven in jefferson county. evacuation orders, mandatory and voluntarying were posted. city after city started posting notices. roads were flooded. some of them had hip-deep water, some of them more. i'm a texan. like judge poe said, i'm two -- two things apply to me, especially as a texan. i'm stubborn, number two, i have one of those pickup trucks he talked about. . can go ord 3-50 and i through the district. we checked on people.
we went to and met with the emergency operation center. we went to the hitchcock shelter. we met with volunteers in that shelter. the lamar police department. all over first responders. our first responders worked endless hours and hours. and i tell you what, it was heartwarming, and i tell you what, mr. speaker. you've never seen anything like that, from bay area church, the families from league city sought shelter. we were there with them. at victory lakes we saw much of the same things at victory lakes. and friendswood high school, i met with evacuees, responders, doctors who had come in from other states to help. these are just a handful of the shelters that popped up. these shelters and the volunteers provided a dry place with warm food and warm, friendly smiles. understanding smiles.
for hundreds of families in need. there is no -- that's no exaggeration. homes that never came close to flooding were taking on water. roads turned into rivers, rescues were happening everywhere you looked around. my good friend from texas, are you ready? the speaker pro tempore: will the gentleman from texas, mr. weber, suspend for a moment? for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i send to the desk a privileged report for the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 538, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 3823, 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 airway trust fund, to provide disaster tax relief and for other purposes.
and providing for consideration of motions to suspend the rules. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the gentleman from texas, mr. weber, shall continue. mr. weber: mr. speaker, might i inquire as to how much time i have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. weber: i'd like to yield one minute to mr. farenthold. mr. farenthold: thank you very much. i did want to add though texans are helping texans and people are helping each other, volunteer organizations like mr. weber are talking about, the federal government also is helping with fema and s.b.a. loans. and some people have gotten denial letters from fema. if you read them carefully they are not always denial letters. you should follow up with fema. it maybe you're just missing some paperwork. all congressmen have folks in their offices, caseworkers or red tape cutters who can help if you need help from fema or s.b.a. we can't get them to bend or break the rules but if you are
having trouble communicating or you feel like you are not being treated right, please call your member of congress' office because we are here to help in more ways than just sitting up here in washington making laws. one of the best parts of the jobs is helping folks out on a one-on-one basis and we're doing that throughout the district i represent from bay city, victoria, corpus christi, rockport and all the other communities i represent. i just wanted to make sure folks knew that your congressional office was a resource. mr. weber: i thank the gentleman for that. you know, we were moving throughout our district as i was describing, folks, the sound of the helicopter will never be the same for us. we saw coast guard helicopters. we saw army, marine helicopters. marines arrived in friendswood. the sun made a brief appearance tuesday evening. i found myself on i-45 in dickonson passing out water on the overpass where water was four feet deep.
things kept turning from bad to worse. i met with e.o.c. leaders. on tuesday, august 29, in friendswood, texas, the marines arrived. thank god for our great marines. august 31, beaumont lost water. my bride and i drove almost seven hours having to take back road after back road to deliver three palettes of bottled water. my friends accompanied us with another palette of water. i want to give the mayor of beaumont a shoutout. she never wavers. she's a stalwart. another got in gear and put a work-around on the water system. laid temporary pipes. got them power, got pumps and got beaumont some water. and that's just the short water of the first week of harvey. the sun finally started to shine again but the water did not recede overnight. we took many people to assess the damage.
the president, vice president, leader ryan, leader mccarthy came to visit. help came far from wide, new york, massachusetts, minnesota. i could go down the list of state after state after state. all americans. all wanting to help. and, of course, louisiana and the cajun navy we talked about. between the cajun navy, our texans, our fellow americans, our many countless heroes who haven't been named and many maybe haven't been thanked at all. so to all of them, i want to say thank you. thank you, from the bottom of my heart, the lives you saved. i witnessed some of the evacuations. thank you for your heroism. i just can't tell you enough thank you on behalf of us. we saw doctors send supplies. we saw hospitals pay for things that normally they would charge
for. we saw cattle and horses wading through water. we saw businesses open up their doors and help people. we saw a mother and daughter who took hundreds of evacuees into a texas city hotel, a home cooked meal of spaghetti, salad, fresh fruit and dessert. heroes of lakewood church who did open their doors and provided transportation for the congress regants of a synagogue. heroes were the citizens who saw the incredible effort of your local officials and you raised money for them to begin recovering for their own homes and their belongings. the heroes were the young men hoping to attend the naval academy one day who jumped in that john boat and went door-to-door to help. you were the people who were scared to death in the face of disaster and yet you put on a brave face and you waded in
unabashed. you were the people who lost everything and your first thought was, i need to give back to -- get back to help my community. you heroes were the first responders who worked around the clock. 022 ont alone received 12, 911 caufments let that sink in. 12,000 911 calls. well, we're going to have more meetings. we are going to be meeting with city officials, state officials. we will be meeting with the houston mayor turner who by the way tomorrow his birthday. county judge emmett, county judge matt sebastia. county judge mark henry. all great heroes. god bless our heroes. god bless texas, our great nation and all of those who went beyond and above. mr. speaker, i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced the of january 3, 2017, chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana, mr. johnson, for 30 minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. it is with profound sadness that i rise today to recognize the life and dedicated service of one of the lord's most humble and outstanding servants. dr. james tuberville. he made it his life's work to help those during difficult times, and he was a beacon of life and a towering figure in the life of countless many people, including my own family. his lasting influence on our community cannot be expressed enough, and i am humbled to rise and pay tribute to his life today. his faithful stewardship and his unwavering commitment to the people of our region in northwest louisiana. james tuberville was born on
october 25, 1958, in shreveport, louisiana, and on sunday, august 13, 2017, he left this world to be with our lord. after graduating from south wood high school in shreveport, dr. tuberville continued his school at southwestern assemblies of god college. he received a master of arts and counseling from louisiana tech university. he did all things for the glory of god, mr. speaker, and he brought care and compassion to multitudes. dr. tuberville served his early ministry as a youth pastor in una and then natchitoches, louisiana. he became counselor on the pastorial staff at shreveport community church and president of personal solutions, inc p . he helped through some of the largest disasters, including the horrific earthquake in
haiti, the oklahoma city bombing and the great tragedy of september 11, 2001. known and loved by all, dr. tuberville also served selflessly as chaplain for the cato sheriff's parish office and national chaplain for the firefighters brothers' keeper motorcycles club. it's difficult to imagine our community without the leadership and larger than life presence of dr. tuberville. his legacy are an enduring lesson. and we're comforted to know that he has been received by the ultimate affirmation. well done. mr. speaker, on behalf of the united states congress, it's a privilege to honor dr. james tuberville today and to celebrate a life exceptionally well lived. wife, kelly, and i continue to send our sincerest condolences to his wife and two sons. to the entire tuberville family and to all those whose lives
were changed by this true giant of a man. mr. speaker, i rise to recognize a hero from my home state, major general jo ann sheridan, for her steadfast service to the safety and security of the people of the state of louisiana in the louisiana national guard. five years ago, major general sheridan became the first female general in louisiana national guard's history, and today i'd like to commend her for raising the bar once again and becoming the first female two-star general in the history of our louisiana national guard. originally from maine, major general sheridan moved to louisiana when the army stationed her father, command sergeant. there she attended leesville high school and earned bachelors degree in sociology in monroe, louisiana, where she received her commission through her reserved office training corps in may, 1983.
later she received a massers degree from the prestigious army war college a true soldier for her community and our country, major general sheridan began her impressive military career as an active duty service member in the u.s. army in february, 1984, at fort polk army base. throughout her 33-year career in both her active duty and national guard service, her leadership has earned her the respect of her peers and included many major accomplishments. she became the first female to command a battalion, leading the 415th military intelligence battalion. commander of the 199th regiment, regional training institute, and first female to helm a major command when she led the 61th troop command. currently she serves as assistant general for the louisiana national guard and is responsible as the principal military advisor to the adjunct general in assisting in the deployment and coordination of programs, policies and plans for the louisiana army and air
national guard. the national guard is unique in defending louisiana both at home and abroad. major general sheridan served as a citizen soldier through hurricane katrina. she was deployed to bad dag in support of iraqi freedom in 2008. and led rescue and recovery efforts in the historic louisiana flooding of 2016. she previously served as president of louisiana national guard association of louisiana and she now serves as the secretary of the national guard association of the entire united states. her dedication to the national guard extends way beyond what is required of anyone. twice -- and this is even more inspiring -- major general sheridan battled breast cancer and she has again prevailed in that battle. her incredible strength and courage serves as a beacon of hope for countless others. mr. speaker, it's my privilege to honor major general sheridan's many accomplishments and to recognize her honorable service to the state of louisiana and to our great nation. she's set a tremendous example,
and i hope her accomplishments inspire others to aspire to her level of excellence. my wife, kelly, and i thank major general sheridan for all she does to defend our community and country and we wish her continued success. i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. does the gentleman have a motion? mr. johnson: i move to adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is domented. accordingly the house stands adjourned until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow.