tv U.S. House of Representatives 10022017 CSPAN October 2, 2017 6:29pm-9:42pm EDT
will be leaving for las vegas, where we are going to be seeing the governor, ohio just spoke to, the mayor, the mayor of las vegas that i just spoke to, the sheriff who has done a grite job. the police department has done a fantastic job. and we appreciate it. we will be going to puerto rico tomorrow and on wednesday we will be going to, as you know, as i just said, we will be going to las vegas on a very sad moment for me, for everybody, for everybody, no matter where your no matter what your thought process, this is a very, very sad day and we will be doing that on wednesday. and we will be spending the full day there and maybe longer than that. so thank you very much everybody. appreciate it. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org >> and a look right now on a beautiful fall evening in washington, d.c.,, a sad day as the president said there. you see the flag at half staff that the president ordered. waiting in just a moment from now, the house coming back here. here they are. live coverage on c-span. er the . the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 548, providing for cofferings the bill to amend title 18 united states code to protect pain-capable unborn children and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on motions to suspend the rules previously postponed. votes listen taken in the following order. h.r. 1547 by the yeas and nays.
and h.r. 965 by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as a phi-minute vote. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1547 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 200, h.r. 1547, a bill to provide for the unencumbering of title for land owned by the city of tucson, arizona, for purposes of economic development by value reversionary interest to the city. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is 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
the speaker: the house will be in order. members, staff, please take your conversations off the floor. members, please take your seats. the chair would ask all present to rise for the purpose of a moment of silence. the chair asks that the house now observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the attack in las vegas.
without objection, the unfinished business is the vote on the motion on the the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 965 as amended on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 965, a bill to redesignate the saint-gaudens national historic site as the historical site. the speaker: will the house suspend the bills and pass the bill as amended. 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.]
he house will be in order. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> request permission to address the house for one minute and rhett rith my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, my colleagues, today i rise to recognize unilam, a family run lumber manufacturing business in oswego county, new york, which will celebrate its 125th anniversary this year on october 24. it's owned by the van cott family which has established a multigenerational record of
supporting our upstate business with quality lumber productsened innovation. it began in 1892 when they began selling lumber. since then each generation has left its mark on the family business. mr. faso: it's become known for its production of laminated timber rafters. today it's headed by the great, great grandson of the original founder and his children. i thank and congratulate the family as well as the past and present employees of unilam as they celebrate this incredible milestone. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island ise? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
>> mr. speaker, last night we witnessed another unspeakable act of gun violence that took too many innocent lives. mr. langevin: today, my heart breaks once again for those victims of the las vegas shooting and for the families whose lives have been irrev rev ly changed by this -- ir -- irrevocabley changed. they're in my prayers today but prayers alone are not enough. we cannot in good conscience sit idly by as innocent people continue to die. there are reasonable steps we can take to make our community safer. things like limiting high capacity magazines and banning asalt weapons, weapons by the way, that are weapons of war and have no business being on the streets in the first place. mr. speaker, we have a solemn responsibility as members of congress to ensure that our communities are safe. let us honor the victims of the
las vegas shooting by doing something to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? -- from texas seek recognition? >> the gentleman from texas requests unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, as the band played the latest country western song, gunfire erupted from the 32nd floor window across the street. 20 minutes later, when the shots stop and the smoke cleared, 59 people were murdered and over 520 were wounded. the swat team quickly found the hiding place of the evil villain and as they approached, the outlaw shot himself. thus he avoided a date with the
hangman. justice occurred. e casualties would have been much worse but for quick action by members of the crowd. people, including former military and off duty police officers helped hide and cover others while endanger theirs own lives. the first responders, police, doctors, emergency medical technicians quickly tended to the wounded. these unnamed quick responders, both civilian and law enforcement and medical, without regard to their own life, saved others. the band stopped playing music but the cry of the wounded and tearing of the mourning continue, mr. speaker. we must have prayers for lfer and god bless them one and all. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? without objection the gentleman s recognized for one minute.
>> mr. speaker, my thoughts and prayers also go to the victims of the las vegas shooting but i rise to address another subject that unfortunately came up last week. mr. speaker, as one of 10 naturalized united states citizens in congress, i rise today to express strong objections to the department of homeland security's new policy to collect the social media account information of naturalized citizens. in accordance with this new rule, d.h.s. will include social media alongside basic information such as biometic are -- biometrics, social security nurbles and contact information in match ralization records. mr. krishnamoorthi: this is unprecedented. there's no evidence that tracking social media accounts of naturalized citizens will in any way make the united states
more secure. rather than target naturalized citizens, the president should work with congress to reform the immigration system and ensure that all americans, natural born or naturalized, are able to work, study, and pursue the american dream. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and rith revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to recognize the life of mr. shaw carter who passed away on august 9, 2017, at the age of 24. he was a rare individual who touched the hearts of many people in his life. mr. carter: he was a recent graduate of young harris college in north georgia and was a graduate assistant at the university of georgia where he was working on his master's degree in public administration. born with a heart defect, he underwent three open heart
surgeries before his third birthday and had a heart transplant before his 21st birthday. through the obstacles with his illnesses he preserved and selflessly volunteered his time to help other kids who had other severe medical issues. for example , he volunteered over 200 hours for mended hearts at northeast georgia medical center. when he was awarded the spirit award, he was described as the indefatigable shaw carter. there's no better way to describe him. he will truly be missed. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? without objection the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: with the humblest of hearts, i cannot magine the fear and the horror
of those who heard those violent sounds late last night in las vegas. nor the horror of family members who had to wonder where their loved ones were or are now calling numbers to discern what happened. one of my closest relatives was in las vegas and i can only imagine what they went through as i had the great fear myself, not knowing where and what. i think the american people expect us to mourn and to honor them and to have a moment of silence. but i believe that the american people demand and should, and those families who are now mourning, that we should be sensible. mr. speaker, we should not ever put on the floor of the house the deregulation of silencers.
can you imagine how many more would have died if the man, the perpetrator, that had 10 guns had a silencer? we have to confront domestic terrorism. we can't run away from it. we have to confront automatic weapons. no matter what, where, and how. my prayers are with the families but i think they demand, mr. speaker, action from this congress. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute mr. thompson: october is national disability employment awareness month, it's a time when we celebrate the contributions and skills of american workers with disabouts. many americans with disabilities struggle to find employment opportunities despite the wealth of skill they was to offer.
in 2016, only 27.7% of working age americans with disabilities were employed. more employers should recognize the fresh perspectives, the skills that these men and women can add to an organization. workers with developmental disabilities tend to be reliable, dead skated and loyal employees with a positive attitude and strong work ethic. right here on capitol hill my office participated in the congressional internship program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. it's designed to give students with varying intellectual disabilities an opportunity to gain work experience and has been rewarding forern involved. mr. speaker, hiring an individual who has a disability can have a profound impact on their lifele they experience the indemens, economic self-sufficiency, pride and community that come with the job. these individual pross mote work force diversity and can truly enhance the workplace for the better. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from washington seek reck snigs -- recognition? without objection the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you. mr. speaker, my heart goes out to the victims and the families impacted by the horrific shooting in las vegas. gun violence a public health crisis that's claimed thousands of innocent lives and we must do everything we can to address it. ms. jayapal: the american people are tired of being outraged, of sending thoughts and prayers, of seeing men, women, and children die because the gun lobby puts profit over people. that's not what our founders intended by the right to bear arms. with rights come responsibilities. the responsibility to stop gun sales loopholes, tone act protections to make sure our kids and those with severe mental illnesses don't have access to guns, to address funding for mental health and to
oppose any efforts to make it easier to purchase silencers. 87% of gun owners and 74% of n.r.a. members support those common sense solutions like criminal background checks. i have a plea for gun owners across the country. urge the n.r.a. to represent your views. show them that you mean business by speaking out or even terminating our n.r.a. membership. show that you care about your fellow americans, act now, enough is enough. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? without objection the ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, i rise to celebrate the 30th anniversary of cancer link. an amazing volunteer organization dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer and assisting those in
south florida whose lives have been impacted by this disease. cancer link was started and founded in 1987 by a small group of 10 miami women who wanted to spread awareness about breast cancer after suffering the devastating loss of a friend. in the years since this wonderful organization has grown into an impactful volunteer group that has supported essential breast cancer research at the sylvester cancer center in miami, florida. the volunteers at cancer link have also helped provide essential community health care programs that ensure that health care for breast cancer treatment is accessible to every woman in our community. congratulations again to all who have been a part of cancer link throughout the years and thank you for 30 years of service to our community. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to
address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today with great sorrow and anger. last night more than 58 people were tragically murdered and over 500 wounded in a senseless act of violence in las vegas, nevada. ms. sanchez: the murderer was found to have 20 guns, including at least one automatic rifle. no person should be allowed to possess a weapon that makes indiscriminately killing human beings easier. it just baffles me that some of my colleagues don't agree with that basic premise. not only do they not agree with sensible gun control measures, like background checks and no fly, no buy, they won't even allow public research dollars to be used to research gun control and gun violence. until congress acts to make it harder for dangerous people to acquire these types of weapons, tragedies like this will continue to happen.
how many more people have to die? how many more blood must be shed before congress decides to act? moments of silence and sympathies and prayers from members of this body is not enough anymore. the time has come to act. we must act now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize breast cancer awareness month and all who have been affected by this terrible disease. each october we take time to raise awareness about the threat that breast cancer poses to women and men throughout this country and the world. studies show that one in eight women across the nation will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. and that more than 249,000 people in the united states are diagnosed each year.
ms. tenney: roughly 1% of those are men. this month it is not only imperative that we reflect upon all who are affected by breast cancer but that we also take action to fight against it. today i would like to recognize a courageous constituent friend and cancer survivor, karen newton. earlier this year i played in the congressional women's softball game in honor of karen's triumph over breast cancer. karen is a vibrant testament to the fact that strides we make in medicine are helping cancer patients and their loved ones. although i don't think she's a very good driver. whether it's wearing pink to raise awareness or offering support to a brave person who is fighting this disease, in october let's all join together to fight to end breast cancer. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california eek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today because american citizens are suffering in puerto rico.
12 days after hurricane maria made landfall, more than half of the island's residents are still without running water. low-income communities have been hit especially hard. they are trying to survive through unsafe and unsanitary conditions with the basics -- where the basics of life can be impossible to find. after an earthquake struck haiti in 2010, i was proud to see that america deployed every available resource the very next day at the crack of dawn to help out. ms. barragan: but i wonder why the same response wasn't deployed to help americans in puerto rico. i call on the administration and congress to ensure that puerto rico receives the emergency aid it needs now so we don't lose more american lives to the storm. congress must also provide real relief and aid to our brothers and sisters there. the situation in puerto rico is dire and our fellow americans are counting on us to act now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker. i along with all of our american citizens recoiled today at the senseless and evil mayhem and killing that went on in las vegas. we pray for the families of those that -- whose lives were lost, as well as those who were injured and suffering right now. i, along with i'm sure many americans, recoil at senseless abuse of innocent animals that we love and we enjoy. but i wonder how many of us also recoil at the senseless abuse and murder of innocent babies in the womb. i stand here today to support the pain-capable unborn child protection act, h.r. 36. i support it because it's backed by science. it protects the unborn from
suffering. it saves innocent lives. it promotes american values. values that made this country great. that understand the sanctity of life and the beauty of our creators, evidenced in human beings. so i ask my colleagues to join with me and many others this week as we support h.r. 36. and we say to our creator and our god, thank you for innocent life itself, and may it be preserved and protected. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom new york seek recognition? yes, sir. without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. engel: mr. speaker, when will it end? when will the carnage end? how many more times are we going to have to turn on our televisions or our phones or get a text message to talk about some other mass shooting in america? we have got to do something to stop this now.
there is no reason that someone like the killer should have automatic weapons or semi-automatic weapons. i believe people have legitimate reasons to have guns. but not legitimate runs -- reasons to have automatic weapons. to mow down so many innocent people. and it will happen again and again and again because we refuse to do anything to have sensible gun control in this country. my heart goes out to the families. but thoughts and prayers are not enough. a moment of silence in the house is not enough. we need to do something now to have sensible gun control laws. otherwise these words ring hollow. this country is hurting and guns are doing it. guns in the hands of wrong people. again, guns for hunters, guns to keep people safe, i'm not opposed to that. but i certainly am opposed --
nobody needs automatic weapons. they are weapons of war and they should not be in the hands of anybody who's unstable. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to congratulate my friend, the beloved augusta radio host, harley drew, on his recent retirement. he's one of the most successful and longest tenured radio personalities in the history of georgia broadcasting. mr. allen: he was born at fort gordon, georgia, and has always called waynes bro, georgia, home. he became interested in radio and electronics at the age of 9 and got a part-time job at wbro in waynesboro at the age of 14 where he worked full time after
graduating from high school. harley moved to augusta in 1962 to help put wfnl on the air. i can remember in my high school days listening to handsome harley drew on wbbq as he was known for playing the all-time best oldies. he's also a past recipient of the augusta best radio personality award from augusta magazine, was given the lewis-harris award by the west augusta rooth rote are you club and he receive -- rotary club and he received numerous state and national awards for programming excellence. harley was a founding board member of the georgia radio hall of fame and also served as its vice president. in honor of his career achievements, he was inducted into the georgia radio hall of fame in 2011. harley anchored augusta's morning news on wgac until his retirement last friday, september 29, 2017. harley, congratulations on a remarkable career. yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. lamalfa: i don't need to add any more adjectives or an official statement about what happened in las vegas last night. it's been said. horrific. what i would like to add is that we see examples of people pulling together that isn't reported very much. to help each other. and in this horrific thing, giving thanks to the swat team as they put down that shooter without making it even worse. the emergency personnel helping people, people helping each other get out of the way, help over a fence, whatever it took. and the people that are so highly impacted in the hospitals around las vegas
right now, doing heroic efforts to keep up with the flow there. these are the things we should dwell on. pray for those that are gone, that are injured, that are on life support right now. console those that are around them. and an action item we can all do, wherever you are, give blood. i do. six gallon club. not to brag. but it's important. i ask all of you, if you've never thought of it before, only a couple percent of americans do, think about it now and go do it. it doesn't hurt. just a little pin prick here to test your blood and just a little needle right here to take that all-important pint. just the other day our friend steve scalise, it's a miracle he was here on this floor, it's a miracle he got off that ball field. he had 18 pinalts of units of blood -- pints of units of blood waiting for him there. a miracle he was able to even walk out of that emergency
room. give blood. it makes a big difference. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. defazio of oregon for today, ms. eddie bernice johnson of texas for today. ms. kaptur of ohio for today. mr. key want of nevada for today and tomorrow. ms. rosen of nevada for today and mr. soto of florida for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from arizona, mr. franks, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. franks: mr. speaker, before i begin i would ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the topic of this special order.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. franks: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, tomorrow the house of representatives will vote on the unborn pain-capable -- pain-capable, unborn child protection act. before that occurs, mr. speaker, i wanted to come to the floor tonight and just remind all of us that the united states of america is indeed a unique nation that is premised on the foundation that we are all created equal and that each of us is endowed by our creator with the inalienable right to live. two years ago, mr. speaker, numerous video recordings were released that documented corporate officers and employees of planned parenthood casually discussing their rampant practice of harvesting and selling the little body parts from many of the hundreds of thousands of innocent babies they are guilty of killing in their abortion clinics across
this nation every year. these videos irrefuteably reveal officers of planned parenthood haggling over the price of these little organs and body parts. and casually describing ways of killing these little babies, often using much more painful methods like partial birth abortion to make sure that the salable organs of these little babies remain undanieled. one of these videos described an -- undamaged. one of these videos described an incident where one of planned parenthood's employees calls one of the younger employees over to witness something that was, quote, kind f cool. that one of those baby's heart was still beating. the older employee said, ok, this is really a good fetus. it looks like we can procure a lot from it.
we are going to procure a brain, unquote. spen, squasing -- then using sis sthorks two employees started cutting at the bay i's face and placed the brain in a container where it could later be sold. i find it so crushingly sad that the only time this little baby was ever held by anyone in his very short life was by those who cut his face open to take his brain. have we forgotten that not so long ago, authorities entered the clinic of dr. kermit gosnell and there found a torture chamber for little babies that the fies within the constraints of the english language any description. the grand jury at that time reported, quote, dr. kermit gosnell had a simple solution for unwanted babies.
he killed them he didn't call it that. he called it ensuring fetal demise them way he ensured fetal demise was sticking scissors in the back of the baby's neck and cutting the spine cord -- spinal cord he called it snipping. over the year, there were hundreds of snippings. an employee of his office said she saw babies breathing. she described one as two feet long that no longer had years mouth but were making, in her words, a creaturing noise. she said it, quote, sounded like a little alien. for god's sake, mr. speaker this can't be who we are. the fact is that more than 18,000 late-term, pain-capable unborn children were torturously killed without anesthesia in america in just the last year. many of them cried and screamed as they died but because it was
amniotic fluid going over the vocal cords we couldn't hear them. it is the worst human rights atrocity in the united states of america. now i know that many of those on this floor and the american media will hold to the standard line and try to cloak all of this in the name of freedom of choice but i would beg them, mr. speaker, to open their hearts and ask themselves, what is so liberating about brutally and painfully dismembering live, helpless, little human babies. in spite of all the political noise, protecting these little helpless, pain-capable unborn children and their mothers is not a a republican issue. and it is not a democrat issue. it's a basic test of our basic humanity and who we are as a uman family.
mr. speaker, the sands of time should blow over this capitol dome before we ever give planned parenthood one more dime of taxpayer money and in the name of humanity, democrat senators should not be allowed to filibuster the pain-capable unborn child protection act in the senate. because passing it would prevent the vast majority of these ongoing evil acts of torture against helpless little pain-capable human babies, that these videos have now shown so clearly. to the entire world. mr. speaker work that, i would yield for one moment until i can ecognize someone else. i yield to the gentleman from new jersey, one of the greatest
pro life champions in the history of the united states and a precious friend, chris smith. mr. smith: i thank my good friend for yielding, for his passion, for his courage, and for offering the pain capable unborn child protection act and r doing so with such -- so informed. frent franks -- trent franks has been an incredible defender of life. i want to thank him for his leadership on this extraordinarily important human rights piece of legislation. mr. speaker, overwhelming majorities of americans, some 60 to 64%, according to the posters, support legal protection for pain-capable unborn children. today we know that unborn babies not only die, but suffer excruciating pain during dismemberment abortions, a cruelty that rips arms and legs ff of helpless children.
former abortions dr., dr. anthony levintino testified before the committee he performed over 1,200 abortions, over 100 late-term apportions -- abortions and he said, imagine f you can you are a pro-choice obstetrician/gynecologist like i was. using a clamp with rows of ridges or teeth, grasp anything you can inside the womb. once you've grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard. really hard. if you feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. reach in again, he goes on, and grasp anything you can and out pops an arm. he noted that a second trimester abortion is a blind procedure so he says reach in again and again and again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine,
ntestines, heart, and lungs. mr. speaker, even justice anthony kennedy in his dissent in the stenberg vs. carter decision said about dismemberment abortions, the fetus in many cases died just as a human adult or child would. it bleeds to death as @torn limb from limb. the fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive far while until its limbs are being torn off. mr. speaker, even if pain wasn't present, dismembering a child is violence against children and it is inhumane. these babies actually suffer in this process. dr. robert white, professor of neurosurgery at case western reserve has said, an unborn
child at 20 weeks gestation is fully capable of experiencing pain without question -- pain. without question, abortion is a dreadfully painful experience. dr. annan wrote, he's an expert on pain, the human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks gestation he points out it's worse for an unborn child at that time period because, quote, the intensity of pain re-- the density of pain receptors per develops at f skin 20 to 30 weeks gestation. it would experience more intense pain than older infants, children, or adults. we've known this for some time, mr. speaker. in 2006, i a thored the unborn pain awareness act that garnered 250 votes in favor, including 40 democrats. to 160 against.
i remember thinking on that day of the vote how can anyone refuse to make pain information part of an informed consent. congressman trent franks has authored four, count them, four, extraordinarily important human rights bills over the years to actually protect pain-capable babies in federal law from the violence of abortion, including the pain capable unborn child protection act that passed the house in 2013 and again in 2015. tragically, president obama vowed to veto this child protection legislation and the senate failed to pass it. however, this year, we have a president who said, he put out a statement of administration policy you present this legislation to me and i will sign it. finally, not only will babies protected by present franks' law at five months, and the pain suffered by these babies will be averted, but h.r. 36 requires a late i aabortion, permitted
under very limited circumstances, provide, quote, the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive and that a, quote, second physician trained in neonatal resuggestionation be present and prepared to provide care for that child, such as the born alive act required. following care required to be rendered, the child shall be transported and admitted to a hospital. 16 states have passed legislation that looks very, very -- resemble this is important legislation we'll have before us on this house floorial my good friend and colleagues talked about dr. gosnell. four years ago, dr. gosnell was convicted of murder, conspiracy to kill and involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to life imprisonment. even though the news of his child slaughter was largely suppressed by this emainstream media, many of my colleagues may
remember he operated a large philadelphia abortion clinic where women died and countless babies were dismembered. causing ome procedures excruciating pain to the victims. this is a humane bill, a major human rights bill. again i want to thank my friend and league for his leadership. it's extraordinary. mr. franks: i thank the gentleman and i now yield five minutes to the gentlelady from missouri, congresswoman vicki hartzler. mrs. hartzler: thank you so much, my dear friend and colleague, mr. franks, trent franks who is certainly a champion of our time in standing up for life, for our national defense, and has the heart so big that comes through in everything he does. certainly tonight i think we see your heart for unborn children. certainly at the goifpk six months of age who deserve to live.
and your bill, the pain capable unborn child protection act, also known as mica's law, will d that. i urge my colleagues to support it tomorrow. but tonight, mr. speaker, i want to share with you a heartwarming story that puts a face to what we're talking about. it's one thing to say 20 weeks old baby, unborn baby, but it's another thing to look at the picture of mica pickering and his picture is up there as well at the front. mica pickering was born at 20 weeks old gestation. he was born at the age of which we are talking about that you are trying to say we should not allow for abortions at this stage. because he can live. and mica is a living example of that. you know, i want to share a little bit about what his mother shared about his story with mica, her son. his mother's name is danielle and she recalled that when mica was born , he cried twice,
immediately. and that was music to her ears and contrary to the worst case scenarios of which they were bracing. this is what danielle talked about during these first -- those first few moments. she said the second i was able to meet mica changed my life. he was so small. i didn't know what to expect. would he look normal? would i bond with this baby? and those questions were a mess in my head as i was wheeled into his room two hours after his birth. the sight i saw was a perfectly formed baby. at 20 weeks. at the beginning of six months, she said, he was a -- he was a perfectly formed baby. lots of tubse and monitors were set up to be an artificial womb for this baby born too soon my husband and i stood there staring at this beautiful little boy who we were told we couldn't hold yet as his skin was so sensitive it would hurt him. we were told we could press lightly on the skin, so each of us put our hand near him he, the
baby, micah, reached up and held our fingers. that was the strongest grasp i would ever feel. i never knew how strong a baby was until that moment. he had a powerful grip on our hands and now has a powerful grip on our hearts. this little miracle baby spent four months in intensive care, underwent heart surgery two weeks after birth, weighing a little over a pound. he was on a ventilator for a while. he was on morphine to ease the pain. this was the size of the diapers that he wore. isn't that incredible? he wore a diaper that size and this little preemie when he was born, he was a size of an m&m package. hard to believe that a baby could be that small and live but that's about the size of a baby at this age 20 weeks old, beginning of six months and he lived. his name is micah. now he is a healthy, energetic
ind garten student -- kindergarten student and his tory is beautiful he thank god formicah's fighting spirit, for his patients, for their unwavering love for his son and for the medical professionals who attended to michaelh in those first few months. the point about micah he puts a face on this. from the moment of con stopings birth of a child the growth and development of a baby is miraculous. with advances in medical science we can better understand what's happening at each stage of development. when these little babies are just four weeks old, the basics of their nervous system are developed. by eight weeks, after fertilization, the -- by eight weeks after fertilization, the unborn child reacts to touch. after -- it reacts to something recognized as pain ffl applied to a adult human, such as by
recoiling. we know that by the 20th week, beginning of six months, unborn baby, children the same age as micah when he was born, respond to painful stimuli by flinching, jerking, like you and i would if we were burned or hurt in any way. babies at this stage are actually hieber responsive to pain. since the features that inhibit pain sensations do not develop until much later in pregnancy. certainly these babies should not undergo this pain. and certainly not have to have their life snuffed out through abortion. when a mother and her unborn baby undergo a surgical procedure, doctors give fetal pain medication to the baby so that he or she does not feel the procedure. this is common practice. it's common sense.
the legislation before the house tomorrow will ensure that unborn children are not subjected to the ex truceating pain of being euthanized in the womb. this is where i wish the story could end, that all children be given a fighting chance, like mica. but that's not the case for too many children whose lives are taken from them before they can take their first breath. late-term abortion procedures, abortions performed on babies 20 weeks and later in pregnant, are -- pregnancy, are graphic, detestable and tragically allowed in this country. in a dissent opinion that representative smith just shared, and i want to share it again, justice kennedy offered the insight in this grizzly practice -- into this grizzly practice. he said, the fetus in many cases dies just as a human adult or born child would. it bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.
abort unborn babies endure -- aborted unborn babies endure unspeakable pain in the most horrific manner possible. knowing that innocent 20-week-old babies acutely experience pain and endure inhumane dismemberment or poisoning should be enough to pierce each of our hearts and prick our sensibilities. mica's law, the legislation that would protect the lives of unborn children halfway through pregnancy, because of their ability to feel pain, is our call to action. in closing, mr. speaker, i would like to leave you with the words of mica's mom as she watched her tiny infant grow into the child he is today. and it speaks to the potential of every one of these children that we hope from now on will have a chance to live like mica. she said, he still had his eyes fused shut. you could see his chest vibrate from the ventilators. it was heartbreaking. here was a boy who we would get to see take his first sneeze, his first smile, we would get to see the hiccups from the outside.
we would watch his eyes slowly unfuse. we would watch his hair grow in. and we would watch his body develop. it was inscribeably the most joyful time of our life. so as we anticipate tomorrow's historic vote, i ask my colleagues to lend their support for mica and thousands of children just like him who want to live, who want to experience life, and who have so much to give. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. franks: i thank the gentlelady and i would now yield three minutes to congressman mike johnson, very grateful that he's here tonight. mr. johnson: thank you, congressman franks. and congressman smith. hartzler and king and all the others. all my colleagues who have spent so many years working for the sanctity of every human life in this chamber. i've for nearly 20 years been
working to depenled the sanctity of every human life in the courts. that brings us to here today. we've talked about this many times. it's our nation's birth certificate, the declaration of independence, which states so succinctly what has been known as the american crede. that's articulated in the second paragraph of the declaration. we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. they're endowed about -- endowed by their creator with the life of -- with life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. the reason the founders recognized the right to life first is because it is so essential to who we are as human beings. and the reason the founders recognized that and sought to put it first is because they understood, they acknowledged that we are made in the image of a holy god. we're made in the image of that create who are gave us those rights. because of that every single human life has inestimateable dignity and value and our value isn't related to our
socioeconomic status, the color of our skin, where we went to school, what we make for a living, what we can contribute to society or talents, how good looking we are. totally irrelevant. our value is inherent because it is given to us by our creator. so tomorrow, because of your hard work, we have a landmark opportunity, with the pain-capable unborn child protection act. and i am proud to stand in support of that bill and to assist as a co-sponsor and to encourage all of our colleagues to support this important legislation. why do we do this? because as has been mentioned, at 20 weeks gestation, a baby is developed enough to live and grow outside the womb. and at 20 weeks a baby can feel pain. yet in the united states we remain one of only seven nations on the planet, including north korea and china, i might add, that allows abortions after 20 weeks. it's a practice that kills thousands of innocent babies each year as we know. a law that allows someone to end the life of an unborn baby, when that child can live
outside the womb and feel the pain inflicted by this violent procedure, is simply unconscionable. these procedures can be fatal not only for the child, by the way, but for the mother as well. because abortions performed a letter in the pregnancies put the mother at greater risk -- later in the pregnancies put the mother at greater risk. we need to make sure that america leads in the fight to protect the most vulnerable among us. all life is precious. and this bill protects the life of the mother and that of the unborn child. for those reasons, i urge my colleagues to stand with us in support of this important legislation and join us in the efforts to defend the defenseless. i yield back. mr. franks: mr. speaker, i so sincerely thank the gentleman and would now yield three minutes to the gentleman from iowa, my precious friend, steve king. mr. king: i thank the gentleman from arizona for recognizing me and yielding some time. i appreciate the years that we've sat elbow to elbow on the judiciary committee and on the constitution subcommittee and done the battle for life. what i'm reflecting on here
tonight is the sequence of pro-life leads that are i've had the privilege to walk these floors and halls with. when trent franks and i arrived at this congress, henry hyde had the lead. he did so many glorious things to lay the foundation for life now. chris smith was there at his side the full time that i was here. then joe pitts, i want to remember him as well. and trent franks. so i put you four in a category of the leaders in this movement here on the floor of the house of representatives. and i remain counting those -- recounting those moments i have to serve and work on this cause with each of you. this bill that we'll bring to the floor tomorrow on a rules vote and a final passage vote will pass this floor of the house of representatives. i have every confidence that it will and be messaged over to the senate. and there's a lot of work that's been put in this. the 16 states that have passed the legislation, that is
imilar to h.r. 36, pain-capable unborn child protection act. i just add that when mr. jonks mentioned the seven countries that allow for an elective abortion after 20 weeks, of course the united states, the other six, you mentioned a couple of them. north korea, china, which will impose forcible abortions on mothers, cruel and heinous activity. vietnam, singapore, netherlands and canada. i think canada might have been affected with the united states along the way -- infected with the united states along the way. the netherlands is one of the most liberal countries in the world. this is not a list i want the united states of america in. i want us out and i want to be able to send this message that a baby that has a chance at survival, at 20 weeks of development, from conception, that 20 weeks, that precious little baby that vicky hartzler so well described in her presentation here, and i think 65% of premature babies born in
the 22 to 26 weeks will survive. 65%. we all know one or two of those little babies that are walking around. i had -- i ran into a friend that i hadn't seen in several years and -- at the grocery store here after church a couple of weeks ago. i asked him how his son was doing. i'm not going to use names here on purpose. i asked him how his son was doing. he's fine. he's 30 years old now. he has a great job out there. a family. grandchildren. all the things were wonderful. and he knew why i asked him because we were doing a job that he was on back then when that little premature boy was born, in the 21 or 22 weeks old, when he came back from two weeks of sitting next to that child, where he could come back home again and go to work because he had a good chance that that little boy would be able to survive and i said, we'll spend all kind of money, won't we, we'll do anything, we'll go to any length to keep a child alive who is born premature. a child who is born at 23, 24,
26 weeks, there is no expense that we will spare ourselves from, because that life we know is so precious. well, the life in the womb is as precious as the life out of the womb and the pain that that child feels at 20 weeks, 22 weeks, 24 weeks, but this little boy, he remembered what i said to him that day. i said, you'll do everything to save this little child's life, but when you go into the polls and vote, you're going to vote on the other side of that issue like you always have. he called me a name kind of like the president did some of the nfl players that day. but he remembered exactly what i had said to him 30 some years ago and he said, you know, you really straightened me out that day. because i gave him my remarks on that. now, that is a change in heart and a change in minds. america has undergone a change in heart and a change in minds. in fact, i stepped in my staff's office just here last
friday and the frame of the ultrasound of his first-born is there. and it's been there for nine years beside his desk. and that little child, that little child, they first bonded with him by looking at the ultrasound. that little child by the way is my godson. so each one of these lives are so utterly precious. and we're not going to stop. we're going to defend every life we can. we're going to protect every life we can. we're going to do the right thing that we can for the babies that we can save and meanwhile this goes on the conscience of america when we fall short. we're not going to fall short tomorrow. we're going to succeed. we're going to find a way to to move legislation and others through the house and through the senate to a president's dess who can will sign that legislation -- desk who will sign that legislation and when we contemplate the litigation that's bound to take place, because there are people that are dug in deeply on promoting and defending abortion, we're going to have a new supreme court. one more appointment to that court and whether he get this past them and a number of other pieces of legislation as well.
i thank the gentleman from arizona for his attention, his years of work on this very precious cause. and all the rest who have done so much to step up and defend these lives. i'm looking forward to tomorrow. there should be a great shout of joy coming off the floor of the house of representatives. i return my time to the gentleman from arizona. mr. franks: i thank the gentleman. i would now yield exactly three minutes to the gentleman from arizona, my very good friend, andy biggs. mr. biggs: mr. speaker, i express my gratitude and thanks to my colleague and good friend, trent franks, for yielding and for his leadership and tireless work on behalf of the unborn. trent, congressman franks, your fight to save each and every life is one we should all be champions and i'm proud and pleased to be standing by your side today. i am grateful that i have had the opportunity to fight for the unborn in venues around the world.
at various multilateral institutions, standing on behalf of the unborn. mr. speaker, i rise today as a proud co-sponsor and supporter of h.r. 36, the pain-capable unborn child protection act. if signed into law, this legislation will prohibit abortions starting at 20 weeks. almost five months. in all 50 states. the pro-abortion lobby will tell you to disregard the rights of unborn children but science shows they are just as human as you and i. emerging science has prove than babies feel pain inside the womb as early as 20 weeks old. in cases of fetal surgeries occurring after the 20-week is regularly ia administered to the fee to us protect against fetal pain. doctors have also specioused -- experienced babies born prematurely at or near 20 week who experience pain the same way a full-term baby or an adult would. it is inhumane to subject these innocent beings to that
gruesome practice of abortion, knowing full well that they ill feel every painful moment. mr. speaker, i think about my own children and how excited my wife and i were throughout her pregnancies. even without today's developed science we knew our children were special, that they were alive and that they were helpless and we had the responsibility for their safety and well-being in the womb. we never would have intentionally caused pain or harm to any of our unborn children. but by allowing this practice to continue, we're not only torturing these helpless babies who will be dismembered limb by limb, we are ending their lives. they will never be mothers, wives, husbands and fathers and never be siblings. they will never be able to fulfill the creation. their last memory will be filled
with great agony and distress. mr. speaker, there is nothing that we do in congress that will ave efficacy if we fail to protect the innocent among us. if at the very least, we cannot defend those who feel pain, then we are unworth to lead this nation. we have a great responsibility and charged to protect these hildren. we will not fail. please vote yes tomorrow. i yield back. mr. franks: and mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman so very much. and i would now yield to congressman evan jenkins for three minutes and thank him for coming to the floor tonight. >> thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you to the gentleman
from arizona and all those who have spoken obviously so emotionally and passionately about protecting the unborn. mr. speaker, i'm a proud co-sponsor of h.r. 36. and i'm a strong believer in the sanctity of live and believe each and every person born and unborn is a child of god. our children are our future and a gift to all of us and respecting the right to life is one of the strongest values we hold as americans. that is why i come to the floor today to urge my colleagues to support the pain-capable unborn child protection act, which would stop late-term abortions. studies have shown that unborn children can feel pain in the womb 20 weeks after pregnancy
the gonizing the facts and disturbing indications that we know that this is a gruesome act against the unborn. as a proud father of three, we know when those babies come into this world, those cries, those are cries of joy. it's a cry of life. and that's what we are protecting. no child of god should be subjected to the tort tuous pain that comes as a result of a late-term abortion. mr. speaker, it's clear that my constituents sent me to washington to promote culture and respect for life. they know as well as i do that it is vital for us to fight for those who have no voice and cannot be heard. this bill shows the world that america will stand up to protect he most vulnerable amongst us.
i strongly urge my colleagues to support the passage of the pain-capable unborn child protection act. let this congress and the vote of each and every member be known as the one who stood up for life by speaking out against the horrors of abortion. i yield back. mr. franks: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman. and it's now my honor to recognize for three minutes the honorable lady from south dakota, congresswoman noem. mrs. noem: i thank the gentleman for yielding and thank him for his leadership on this piece of legislation, which will quite literally save lives. and i'm grateful we are having this debate on the house floor. i rise in support of h.r. 36,
the pain-capable unborn child protection act. every life including an unborn baby's life has dignity and value. but more than 40 years ago, the supreme court handed down a decision indirect contradiction to those principles. i have joined with my colleagues here in the house and across the nation to fight the damage that has been done. we have a long way to go but the passage of h.r. 36 would be a step in the right direction. a strong and growing body of medical research provides evidence that pain receptors developed in unborn babies at no later than 20 weeks. medical professionals have testified about seeing babies that age recoil from painful sometime lie and others have been able to measure stress in hormones when baby are subjected to pain. and in many cases to shield them from the pain of surgery and yet
our nation's laws allow for these babies to endure the pain of a life-ending abortion. it is absolutely heartbreaking. my husband and i knew our lives completely changed the minimum we heard our oldest daughter's heartbeat. i will never forget that moment and we are proud of the compassion nature and generous person she has become. she was a little girl and wasn't much taller than me. we read a lot back then and we read books and the bible. but one of her favorite book was seuss' book. a person is a person no matter how small. i thought back to those first moments when i heard her heartbet and thought about cassidy as a person.
i had that blessed moment with my three blessed children and each and every's baby heartbeat would be heard by parents that that gift is from our god that loves them dearly. i urge my colleagues to defend the smallest among us this week and pass h.r. 36 the pain -capable unborn child protection act. i thank you, mr. speaker and i thank the gentleman for his leadership. mr. franks: i so sincerely thank the gentlelady. mr. speaker, i would recognize for exactly three minutes. >> i rise today in support of my colleague from arizona's bill the pain-capable unborn child protection act as well as the rights of the unborn. as a father of four children and a grandfather to 15 grandchildren, i strongly believe that life begins at conception.
i wholeheartedly feel that nothing is more precious or beautiful than a life. i will do everything in my power to continue to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. since the passage of roe v wade in 1973, nearly 60 million abortions have been performed. mr. speaker, this is a moral atrocity. i'm a proud co-sponsor of h.r. 36, which would make it imlegal to attempt or perform an abortion if an unborn child is 20 weeks or older with exceptions. science has proven that babies are capable of feeling pain at the start of the third trimester. it is imperative we protect the lives of the unborn. our nation was built on the foundation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. we guarantee every american citizen has the right to pursue every happiness. our constitution guarantees that every american has the right to
liberty and justice. should we as americans not guarantee that every american has the right to life as well. mr. speaker, i strongly urge all of my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill and the protection of the sanctity of life for all americans. i yield my time. mr. franks: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman very sincerely and glad he came this way recently. i have the privilege of recognizing the gentleman from texas, congressman babin for three minutes. mr. babin: i thank my very good friend, trent franks, for yielding the time and for prying the leadership in the pro-life movement. i rise in strong support of h.r. 36, the pain-capable child protection act. as a proud father of five and grandfather of 13, i firmly believe that the value of unborn life cannot be understated.
h.r. 36 takes a crucial step to ensure that we protect thousands of innocent lives every year. sng stiffic evidence clearly demonstrates that unborn babies feel pain by at least 20 weeks of age. and by 20 weeks, an unborn baby is still developed that she or he can respond to sounds. ending life through a boringses is cruel and inhumane. there is no excuse that our nation must do better. we should not be one of seven countries including north korea, china to have elective abortion after 20 weeks of development. this is an abuse of the basic human rights and unacceptable in the eyes of god and my standard of humor atlanta. as members of congress it is our duty to pass h.r. 36 so we may protect those who are the most
defenseless. as our declaration of independence guarantees all unalienable oy the right of right and folks, that includes the unborn. thanks to medical advances, babies born at 20, 21 and 22 weeks of age are able to survive. our medical community strives to save and protect these premature babies. yet in an inconsistent fashion, current policy permits aborting a child at that exact same stage of development. mr. speaker, the sanction at this time of every human life must be protected. this bill curbs the inhumanity of abortion. god knows it is time to hold abortionists who hold these late-term abortions accountable for their late-term abortions. thank you.
and i yield back. frank frank i thank my very good friend from texas for speaking on the floor. i would recognize for three minutes the honorable congressman jim banks. mr. banks: thank you for yielding, i too, rise today in strong support of h.r. 36, the pain-capable unborn child protection act. this bill would prohibit any elective abortion attempt of an unborn child who is 20 weeks or older, the age of which research shows children are able to feel pain. i think it's worth noting that this landmark legislation is projected to save between 12,000 and 18,000 lives each year. these are individuals who will become fathers, mothers, technological innovators, service members and hardworking contributors to our great
nation. 10 years ago, studies began to emerge proving that an unborn child is able to feel pain as early as 20 weeks. as our nation's understanding of fetal pain has become more advanced, projections for children have been signed into law in 20 states including my home state of indiana. but that's not enough. despite claims from my pro-abortion groups, late-term abortion is neither safe nor unfortunately rare. as recently as 2014, it was estimated that 430 abortion facilities in the united states were willing to perform abortions on unborn children 20 weeks or older. this sort of late-term abortion at the point when the child can actually feel the procedure will continue to happen without a federal prohibition. 60% of women, 56% of
independents and 46% of democrats support this sort of legislation. it has broad public support. let's ensure that all 50 states have protections for vulnerable pain-capable children. i have advocated for these protections my entire career from the state house in indiana to here in the united states congress. and that's why today i express my strong support for the passage of h.r. 36, the pain-capable unborn child protection act introduced by my distinguished colleague, congressman trent franks of arizona, and i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation. with that, i yield back. mr. franks: mr. speaker, i thank congressman banks very much. i yield three minutes to the stinguished gentleman, mr. keith rothfus.
, they fus: mr. speaker feel pain. the medical field has found clear evidence that pre-born babies have the capacity to feel intense pain at 20 weeks. that's what this legislation is about. when a child's body is gruesomely dismembered, they feel pain. when an abortion doctor attempts to use a, quote, less crunchy technique, as we learned in last year's abhorrent videos about plabplan, when they -- planned parenthood, when they attempt to use a less crunchy technique, their words, to procure more in tact body parts , they feel pain. mr. speaker, i shutter -- shoulder to think of the millions of lives taken from this world in such a gruesome and violent manner. equally disturb something the
thought of how much pain has been en-- disturbing is the thought of how much pain has been endured by the premature babies whose lives have been cut short since roe v. wade. we must do more to promote a culture of life in this country. we must do more to lessen a culture of violence. that's why i rise today in strong support of the pain-capable unborn child protection act. by acknowledging that babies feel the pain of abortion at 20 weeks, this legislation affirms the inherent humanity of the most innocent. unborn babies in our country. to add to that, had this legislation also includes protections for babies that survive an attempted abortion and ensures that children that do survive the brutal procedure and are able to continue to live outside the womb are given the immediate medical attention they deserve. so that they have a chance to live. with growing developments in the medical field, children are able to survive outside the womb at earlier and earlier points in pregnancy. such was the case for mica
pickering, for whom this legislation is named. mica was born at just 20 weeks gestation and is now a healthy 5-year-old. the congressional budget office recently reported that approximately 2,07 -- 2,750 lives will be saved with this bill. that's sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, not medical waste, like opponents of this legislation would like to you believe. the united states is only one of seven countries, including north korea and china, that allow abortion after 20 weeks. are we really that kind of nation? does our constitution not grant all americans the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they are? mr. speaker, this is commonsense legislation. i urge every single member of this body to take a deep look inside their them -- inside themselves and ask if they support not only inflicting pain on unborn babies but also denying these innocent babies their constitutional right to
life. i thank my colleague, the gentleman from arizona, for his leadership on this important issue. if you want to stand for a culture of life, vote for this bill. if you want to take a stand against a culture of violence, vote for this bill. i urge all my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. franks: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman so much. for speaking. and i would now recognize for three minutes the honorable john rutherford. all right, mr. speaker, i guess mr. rutherford has already focused on other ways. so i will go ahead and close out tonight by simply saying, mr. speaker, that sometimes i think that we kind of get caught up in things and we grow used to something that
otherwise would horrify us. before the sunset this evening -- sun set this evening, we saw 3,000 little americans die a tragic and loan he will i death. and that is -- lonely death. and that is in the land of the free and the home of the brave. mr. speaker, each time that took place not only did a nameless little baby die a lonely and tragic death, but the mother was never the same again. and, mr. speaker, all the gifts that that child might have brought to this world are now lost forever. and so, mr. speaker, i pray that somehow in this debate, that we would put aside which people are right and ask, what is the right thing for america? the very creed of this country is this notion that we have the image of god stamped on our
soles. if that's true, mr. speaker -- souls. if that's true, mr. speaker, then there's a far greater question here than we can ever imagine. mr. speaker, i think if we ask ourselves the truest and deepest question, then perhaps we will begin to see the winds of change begin to blow in this country. and that is very simply, without all of the rationalization, without all of the gotchas and what-ifs and the avoiding of the subject, if we just ask ourselves one basic question -- does abortion kill a little baby? if it does not, mr. speaker, then i sincerely am one that could get up and walk out of this chamber and never speak of it again. but if abortion really does kill a little human child, then those of us standing here in the see the of freedom, the greatest nation in the history of the world -- seat of freedom, the greatest nation in the history of the world, also
stand here in the midst of the greatest human genocide in the history of the human family. and that is not what we are called to do in this world as this, the greatest nation who ever had the chance to exist on this earth. so, mr. speaker, i hope that as we debate the bill tomorrow, that we can put aside anything but the truth and just examine in our own hearts who we really are and if we do that, i believe we will pass the pain-capable unborn child protection act october 3, 2017. and by the grace of god it will go over to the senate and they will find a way to bring this bill to the floor and pass it and send it to president trump who i have every conviction will sign the bill and for which i am very grateful. and with that, mr. speaker, i would yield back and say god bless america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentlewoman from the virgin thank ms. plaskett,
you, appreciate the help, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority eader. ms. plaskett: thank you so much, mr. speaker, for that time. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material on the subject of this special order hour. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. plaskett: thank you. it's my great honor that i rise today to anchor this c.b.c. special order hour. today, monday, october 2, members of the congressional black caucus will be speaking on the floor about the devastating impact of natural disasters, particularly hurricanes, and the critical role of the federal government as i response -- federal government's response. in the wake of hurricanes harvey, irma and now maria, the
federal government has already deployed assets to affected regions. from h.h.s. public health resources, and coast guard urban search and rescue task force, to corps of engineers flood fighting projects. in the coming weeks and months additional resources will help shelter displaced americans and get businesses back on their feet. congress must also ensure that the federal response to these disasters is just and equitable and that communities of color are are not directly or in-- color are not directly or indirectly harmed by recovery efforts. during this time we will hear from other members of the congressional black caucus and its friends to discuss this issue and for the next 60 minutes we have a chance to speak directly to the american people on issues of great importance to the congressional black caucus, congress and the constituents we represent. and all americans.
at this time i would like to yield to my colleague, the honorable donald payne from the great state of new jersey, and the city of newark, to have as much time as he needs to discuss this issue today. mr. payne: mr. speaker, i'd like to thank the gentlelady from the virgin islands, congresswoman plaskett, for hosting tonight's special order hour on the federal government's response to natural disasters. and ieve that ms. plaskett the experience that she has had in her homeland can open our es to the devastation that has taken place in the virgin islands and puerto rico as well. it is unthinkable what these
american citizens have been through over the last several weeks, and will continue to suffer from months into the future. but before i begin, i have a message for the families and the friends of the 58 innocent people's lives who were taken and more than 500 who were injured in las vegas overnight. the country's compassion and thoughts go out to you. our hearts break with yours. to those injured, know that the american people are praying for your recovery. and to the first responders who put their lives on the line daily, thank you. what went down in las vegas last night was an act of terrorism. there's no other name for it.
a deranged man with a small hotel of firearms in a room shot into a crowd of people at a concert for an hour and 12 minutes. people watched the chaos unfold. all the moments of silence in the world won't change what happened last night. -- night in las vegas. or last year in orlando. the year before in charleston. and the list goes on. oments of silence used to be or showing honor or respect. there's nothing honorable about keeping silent and doing nothing to prevent gun violence. there's nothing respectful about rejecting every single reasonable gun bill proposed in
the past decade. what kind of nation are we when we sacrifice human lives on the altar of the gun lobby? the time to act was yesterday. the federal government has a moral duty to protect the lfare of american citizens before tragedy strikes. yet when the news moves from ne disaster to another, we often suffer a sort of amnesia. we don't seem to remember or learn from our mistakes. we forget to fix the problems of our citizens -- that our citizens call us on about every single day and the problems inevitably repeat themselves. one issue we seem to have
repeated amnesia about is the constituents' -- high cost our constituents face after a disaster. particularly during hurricanes. we read reports that due to reduced capacity and high demand, flights are full or tickets are prohibitively expensive. and even if the airlines cap flight prices like they did last week, federal taxes and es can increase the price of an evacuation by 20%. recently this hit home for me. one of my district staffers had family stuck in puerto rico. because hurricane maria knocked out the power and the telephone
lines, my staffer had no way of knowing whether her loved ones ere alive or dead. many constituents have contacted our offices to let us know that the difficulty they were having in trying to find out whether their loved ones were safe or not, and how we could help. she tried to get in touch with her family for eight long days before hearing that they were ok. then when my staffer tried to book a flight for her family to get out of puerto rico, the only tickets available were for first class. first class. that's over $700 on a flight .ull of disaster evacuees
my d.c. staff did a little digging. here's what they learned. the american the american people rely on the goodwill of the american airlines of flights from disaster areas. the airlines decide when to start to cap and when it will end. their decide whether to keep selling first-class tickets and the federal government never stops charging taxes on flights from disaster areas. american citizens deserve better, mr. speaker. that's why starting this week, i will be introducing a series of bills to ease the financial burden americans face in escaping natural disasters.
the humanitarian flight fairness package will do four things. first, it will allow the secretary of transportation to declare an aviation humanitarian crisis at specific airports covered by a presidential declaration of emergency. second, it will allow the secretary of transportation to mandate that airlines charge no more than the median fair price f all seats sold on that route in the prior calendar year. third, the package will require .60 f.a.a. to waive the $5 passenger facility charge during an aviation humanitarian crisis. and fourth, the package would require the f.a.a. to waive the u.s.-international
transportation tax, which is $18 on a flight from puerto rico and the virgin islands. american citizens, mr. speaker. too often congress reacts to cries sees. crises.me for us -- it is time for us to be proactive and time for us to legislate before another disaster strikes. the humanitarian flight fairness package is a commonsense solution to a problem that directly affects our constituents. mr. speaker, i always try to deal in common sense. as a matter of fact, i have a constituent back at home who constantly reminds me of how
shallow i am. so i can do nothing but rely on common sense, based on this constituent's feelings about me. but i want to thank the congresswoman again for hosting this special order hour. and i look forward to continue working with you as you address he issues faced by americans ffected by natural disasters whether it is on the mainland or in the territory. they all are american citizens. when it benefits this nation to have puerto rico and the virgin islands be a part of the united states, it does not hesitate. but when these american citizens
are in trouble, they deserve the same rights that every american citizen benefits from in this great nation. and it is great. and we want to continue to make sure that it remains great. and i continue to make the point, mr. speaker, that these are american citizens we're talking about. this is not foreign aid. it's not mutual aid. this is aiding american citizens in trouble in disaster, in eril, no insull infor diabetes sis for patients. that is a death sentence, mr. speaker. and we cannot allow it to
continue. and with that, i yield back to the gentlelady from the virgin islands. ms. plaskett: thank you so much, mr. payne. my colleague, for those sentiments and that support to the people of the virgin islands and puerto rico and all the people of the caribbean region. i'm love the support and all the members who have reached out to the virgin islands in these last several weeks. the islands have been struck by something that is nothing less than than cataclysmic in many respects, when we are preparing for what is right now our only viable and large industry, the tourism industry. we've lost that for this year. we've lost that on all of the islands, all of the regions at this time. and i know that so many of you
have seen and expressed so many members on both sides of the aisle have come up to me or said or texted me and called and said i'm there for you. i'm going to hold them for that. what we are facing in the virgin islands, i feel guilty right now and told my staff being here, having air conditioning, sitting in a lit room, that feels guilty because i know what the children of the virgin islands are going through right now. there is no air conditioning, and there is no light. many of the people and communities are in utter darkness and as the heat rises with the amount of moisture in there, we know there will be health hazards that are about to happen in terms of mosquitoes, and all other kinds of diseases that are going to be occurring. mr. payne: would the gentlelady
yield? ms. plaskett: yes. mr. payne: let me just say in terms of your guilt, it is not a guilt -- it should be guilt but an obligation for you to be here in the people's house to represent your constituents here, to be their voice. that's why they sent you here to washington. some do not be guilty about doing the job you have been sent to do. and i yield back. ms. plaskett: thank you. thank you for that. i know that that's why i'm here because i need to be their voice, because they are voiceless right now. if you look on national media, you hear about what's happening in puerto rico and lord knows, i feel for our fellow islanders, our brothers and sisters over there, but rarely do you hear what is happening on the virgin islands. on september 6, hurricane irma,
one of the most powerful atlantic storms destroyed the islands ofst johns and st. thomas. three weeks later, the island of st. croix was devastated by 5 a, a second category hurricane. both hurricanes have wreaked havoc in the u.s. territories of the virgin islands, puerto rico and other caribbean nations. we forget there are other places in the caribbean that have been struck. bar buddha, and gilla, our close neighbors, the british virgin oileds, and places that americans love to go to to vacation and enjoy themselves not thinking about the lives of the people that are there or not
there anymore. we know that right now the an d barbuda is without inhabitance in centuries. there is no one there after the hurricane. one that cake oost, strikes me is dominique was not hit by the first hurricane irma and that little island nation reached out to the u.s. virgin islands, reached out to puerto rico and said we don't have much, but we are going to give you the money that we have. we, the government, we'll bring you relief and whatever we can. and two weeks later, hurricane maria struck them and have devastated that island. their prime minister went to the united nations a week ago and begged, begged the support of
the free world, begged the support of the members of the united nations to support them. although the full extent of the two hurricanes' impact has yet to be assessed, it's clear that in the caribbean, the damage from these storms appears to be unparalleled. esident trump should major disaster declaration for puerto rico. thousands of deaths and injuries have been reported along widespread infrastructure damage all throughout the caribbean. i received a text just this morning from members of my family who are still looking for loved ones on the island of st. croix. that is why in the days and months ahead, we must continue to work together to ensure that the individuals and families impacted by these devastating storms receive all the aid they need. the catastrophic destruction
caused by hurricanes irma and maria needs to address the overwhelming need by the countless victims who face the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. fema has been on the ground on the virgin islands before irma hit the islands. there are more than 12,600 federal staff engaged in response and recovery operations from hurricanes maria and irma in the virgin islands and puerto rico representing three dozen departments and agencies. storms of this magnitude require the support of the entire nation. the people of the virgin islands have lost their homes and businesses and hospitals and schools, utility systems and other vital infrastructure. to give you an example, after irma, roy schneider medical
center, the only hospital on the island of st. thomas was partially destroyed. its roof ripped off and walls caved in and windows blown out, patients needed to be evacuated to the island of st. croix and to san juan to be at a hospital on st. croix and additional hospitals on san juan as well as the veterans' facility there. of course, people were thinking that st. croix after irma would be the base as people on st. thomas and st. john were reeling from the devastation of irma, post offices were gone, schools i nile ated, mudslides began after additional rain. people felt lost, isolated, trapped. many people had days, almost weeks before they could get out and be in the rest of the public
population. but when maria came, maria struck what we thought would be our base camp, the island of st. croix. and as luck would have it, the only functional hospital left in the virgin islands was breached by hurricane maria and has now been condemned by the army corps of engineers. what facility will virgin islanders use? will we continue be in tents manned by the brave men and women by our military who have come down to support us? will we operate from an operating room and emergency room in a box, is what they have give us us thus far? that can't be. we have one functioning operating room that is being held together by the good graces of the men and women of the hospital right now. should that be for american citizens?
i went on distribution lines. i went to grocery stores where people were waiting for hours. i'm telling you hours. three hours to get gas. three, four hours, the entire time of a curfew to go on a distribution line to get a couple of packs of water and some m.r.e.'s for a family. standing out in the hot caribbean sun. people were sharing umbrellas, sharing water, singing with each other, trying to keep their spirits up. i met a man who had his veteran's cap on, vietnam vet. people who are members of the american legion and asking me, i fought for this country. i'm an american citizen. do they think about us? i have not seen us on the news. my family tells me that we're not on the news, because of course, his tv is not working and because all of the virgin
islands is in darkness. we have been able through the valiant efforts of our water and power authority and the linemen and others who are out there to bring power to critical structures, to our government house, to the main blocks on in chris stan stand, to the capital of the virgin islands, to the arptse some relief planes can come in and out. but for so many others, children right now, it is darkness for them. a a couple of hours they have out outside of the curfew are to be making the rounds to get ice and keep insulin refrigerated in their homes, to keep milk for their children and formula for their babies cold before it goes bad. that's the daily struggle now for virgin islanders, american
citizens, veterans, people who pledged their allegiance to this flag, people who are proud to say they are american citizens. . 4 americans need to come again together with compassion and care. i've heard commitment from the president and my colleagues in congress to the u.s. territories receiving the support they need. mog -- moving forward, i'm hopeful but vigilant and will make sure that they keep to their promise and their commitment that president trump and this congress delivers on the promises to support their fellow americans in the caribbean region. this is a plea by me on behalf of my people to keep us in your thoughts, prayers and support in the coming months and years. may our collective attention span endure enough through the
constant news cycle so that we can come together to move beyond relief, to healing and prosperity. this is an opportunity, i keep trying to tell our young people on the island who are in despair, who have low morale, that this is an opportunity for to us leapfrog technology, to create the kind of virgin islands, the virgin islands to be the beacon in the caribbean region. the beacon of what american might can do, when it does what it's supposed to do. and it is this congress' con constitutional responsibility -- congress' constitutional responsibility to the territories. the benign neglect that this congress has gotten away with for the last 100 years needs to stop right now. and they need to stop wagging the finger and telling puerto rico and the virgin islands that they have not done what they're supposed to do. when this congress knows that another not doing the right thing by those territories --
knows that they're not doing right thing by those territories. we get the short solicit on every bill that comes on this floor and yet still you expect to us stretch that out like the poor step-child that you think we are, to make do and keep quiet. but it's going to stop right now. we cannot be quiet any more. because not only are we hungry, 30% of the children of the virgin islands live in poverty, but now we're blind as well. there's no cell reception in most of the areas of the virgin islands. while i was down there last week, my staff and i roamed the island with our cell phones, sitting in bypasses, sitting in areas with others, trying to get a signal to plead with the national security council, plead with fema and others to do the right thing by the virgin islands. given the enormity of the challenges ahead, the virgin islands will require the
coordinated and sustained financial commitment of the united states. for this are inask that members of congress fully support inclusion of funding in forthcoming disaster supplemental packages that will aid in short-term as well as long-term leaf, recovery and re-- relief, recovery and reconstruction of the virgin islands. the international community, including the united states, has an obligation to work with affected governments to restore infrastructure, provide critical relief and help recovery and build back our island. we must act quickly to save lives and ensure that those in the virgin islands are back to the road to swift recovery. listen, i know we're hearing that fema is on the ground, that supplies are there, that things are moving along. and i must admit fema is on the ground. see the flies in the cartons,
on the containers on our pomp. i hear the discussions at daily briefings that go on at our local emergency management system, how they're working in hand -- working hand in hand with fema. and i believe the army corps and the department of defense and fema are there and they want to lend a hand. but something is not working. whether it's in the local government, dysfunction there, or dysfunction in communications or dysfunction at the highest levels of the federal government. because when i go to neighborhoods like wim, when i go to tutu high rise when i go to corral bay, when i go to frederickstead and talk with people and they tell me they haven't had water in a week, something is wrong. and something needs to be done. by this congress, that has the responsibility for the virgin islands. how can a child in the united states say that they don't have water? how can a child in the united states say that water is
streaming over them because many of the roofs and many of these areas are completely gone -- in many of these areas are completely gone? so what i wanted to do was walk the members of congress and walk you, mr. speaker, through the destruction that i have seen with my eyes in the virgin islands. what you see right here is a ome. completely gone. it looks like a construction site. it looks as if they're trying to start building when in fact this is someone's home br. -- this was someone's home before. additionally, this is another home that now looks like a construction site. that people are living in. people can no longer be here. they've abandoned and had to leave this home. i have additional things i'd ike to show you. this is a line right now. a line of people to fill up
some containers with gas so that they can keep generators going for a couple of hours a day, so that their children can read, so that they can wash themselves, so they can find out what's going on in the outside world. people can listen to a radio, find out what is not being said about them by others. here's another home in the virgin islands. this is the kind of destruction that this place on the island that i represent, the islands that are my home. this is off of st. john. our transportation system between the islands has been completely obliterated. is was a ferry that was used to bring goods and people between those islands. he island of st. john's, corral bay, now cut off --
coral bay, now cut off. look at this. this is what's happening in the virgin islands right now. this is the main street this yift jansen -- in crist -- christenson. if you look over here, this is government house and this is what the roads look like after the hurricane. you can see that this roof is actually a part of the roof over here. that has completely been sheered off by hurricane maria and strewn across the street. lines are down, poles are down. this is the commercial business on the island of st. croix. a base in will takes months if not years -- a business that will take months if not years to recover. if we move quickly on supporting the small business loans so that they can have the support that they need to be able to do that. these are the things that you don't see on the news, that the people of the virgin islands
re dealing with right now. after our oil refinery closed, after this congress in 2004 changed the rules to the american jobs act that took away many of our businesses, our -- [inaudible] -- we've had to rely on tourism. this is a hotel room in one of our major hotels. that's what the destruction of the hurricanes look like in the virgin islands right now. this is a hotel room that will not be available for the coming months for the people of the virgin islands to be able to sustain themselves with employment. what i'm showing you now was at one point two homes. two homeowners, families.
you can see the two houses look literally as if a hurricane came across them and smashed them with a stick from the top. you can barely make out what was once in these homes. these homes no longer exist. these people have no homes. and there's no shelters -- [inaudible] -- people are living in shelters. shelters in some of the few schools that are still in tact. which means that where are our children going to go to school? many of our schools were also destroyed. what will happen to the children of the virgin islands? what will happen to us all? here's what some of the roads look like when we talk about utility stim systems and the -- systems and why we're in the dark in the virgin islands right now. this is a major road. can you imagine having this next to your house?
this imagine transformer in front of your home? this is why most of the virgin islands is in the dark right now. this is what's happening on this island. this is someone's home. this is our industry. this is tourism right now on the virgin islands. this is a hotel room and one of our major resorts. st. john's. gone. obliterated. will be no more. will be no more for two, three years. what are the people of the virgin islands supposed to do? are we asking for much? e're asking for support. [inaudible] -- we've begged -- [inaudible] -- to be part of the draft. because we want to take on the responsibility of american citizenship. but under the constitution,
it's this congress, this congress, mr. speaker, which has the responsibility for the territories. puerto rico, the u.s. virgin islands, guam, american samoa, northern marianas. and i have to tell you, it's been a piss poor job that you've been doing of that responsibility thus far. we get the short shrift in federal funding, in formulas. let's not talk about the affordable care act. we don't even have an exchange to have been upset that we lost an exchange. that was never given to us. the virgin islands with 30% of the children living in poverty still doesn't get the disproportionate share for hospitals that the rest of the united states gets. why? i can't get a straight answer about why we shouldn't have it. but we don't. neither do the smaller island territories. this is what we're left with and we're asking you for your support. i'm asking you for their support. i'm begging for support for the people that i represent.
because many virge islanders, they're not going to -- virgin islanders, they're not going to beg you for support. that's not in them. that's not who they are. the biggest phrase people have right now, when i go around the islands after irma, after maria, both category 5's when they struck the u.s. virgin islands, and i ask people, how did you make out? that's now our new greeting for one another. so good to see you. how did you make out? and people's response is continually, thank god i have life. i'm blessed we have life. and when you have to press them to ask them what happened to your home, then they'll just shake their head. it's no more. my home is no more. but thank god i have life. i'm good. we're good. that's the kind of people who are the people of the virgin islands. and so they're not going to beg
this congress for support. i'm going to beg for them. because you haven't been doing it out of your own voluntary ligs or what you know is right to do. -- volition or what you know is right to do. you haven't done it this far. and what's happening in puerto rico is happening in the virgin islands right now. as the soul representative -- sole representative here in the congress representing the virgin islands, i will continue the work that i've been doing in support of the island's overall recovery efforts. including facilitating generators and securing -- security for local grocery stores, businesses so virgin islanders can get fresh food and goods, working with local shipping companies to clear the ports. and bring commerce and relief packages to the islands, coordinating with housing support for the red cross and local shelters. as well as rebuilding efforts of the u.s. army corps of engineers. additionally, i will continue to update my residence and businesses around the ongoing
efforts to make sure that the u.s. virgin islands continues to receive the attention and support it needs during these difficult times. while the devastation of this hurricane season has been felt in many parts of our country, it is imperative that we make sure our virgin islands continue to be remembered and supported as we begin the long and arduous process of our recovery. we are hopeful. virgin island's motto is, united in plide and -- pride and hope. that's who we are. and i want to thank the virgin islanders who are livinging to the mainland because they through their efforts have bridged the gap. our office gets calls continually from virgin islanders associations in places like houston, atlanta, ew york, tampa, orlando, miami , good virgin islanders like tim duncan who threw his own -- who through his own efforts
have brought plane loads of support to the people of the virgin islands. because we want to take care of ourselves. we don't want to ask for your support, but it's your responsibility, mr. speaker, it's the responsibility of this congress to ensure that that's done. i think back on hearing stories about casper holds, many of you may know him from gangster movie, discussions about new york at the turn of the 20th century. whoas a virgin i-- islander created something everybody calls the number system in new york. after a hurricane and tsunami in the virgin islands, he, out of his own pocket, reached in, commissioned a ship and sent that ship, filled with goods, for his fellow virgin islandsers back home. that's what's happening now because we can't always count on the federal government to do what's right by us. we have to count on ourselves.
but i'm going to make sure, and i will fight continually with those colleagues on either side of the aisle whom yer is willing to, to support the salespeople of the virgin islands, to ensure that their efforts are not in vain. let me give you a statistic, when i talk about veterans and us willing to fight. in the last five conflicts, virgin islanders have paid the ultimate price, have greater casualties, three times the national average per capita. we send our sons and daughters on the regular to fight our wars. that is not something, a duty that we shirk from. are you shirking from your duty to us? of your responsibility to us? i understand, as i said, fema is on the ground. but there are children who are not getting water. there are old people who are eating m.r.e.'s that others have
brought back to them. is that what should be happening? not everybody can get to a distribution center. not everybody can carry packs of water on their shoulders, on their heads, on their backs, a mile, whatever it is, get back to their home. because as crazy as it sounds in this day and age, not everybody owns a car. not everybody can do that. and so this congress has got to figure out a way. i know that the ranking member cummings and i issued a request on september 29 for my good friend, and he is my friend, trey gowdy, chairman of the government and oversight reform committee, to express our extremely grave concern about the dire status of recovery efforts in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands and requesting that the committee hold an emergency hearing this week with officials from the department of defense, homeland
security, health and human services, as well as from the white house. the committee this week, i know, has no hearings. no business meeting, no activities scheduled for the entire week. and this issue is in desperate need of rapid and robust oversight. millions of american citizens residing in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands are facing massive calamity. widespread disease and death. and we need to help them now. lieutenant general russell honore, who commanded task force katrina, warned that the administration's response is replaying a theme from katrina. admiral paul zumkopf, the coast guard commandant, warned this week that victims feel betrayed. they feel isolated. and they're probably getting a sense of betrayal of where is the calvary?
everybody else is seing what other individuals in puerto rico and else -- and elsewhere have said and they're concerned for what is happening. now i want my colleagues to know, i'm not necessarily saying in this hearing that it's the federal government's fault. if it's the fault of local government then shame on them and let's expose that for what it is. because all i'm concerned about is the welfare of me people -- of the people of the virgin islands. not protecting local government, not protecting bureaucracy, whether it be at the federal level or the local level. let's have this hearing. let's get that information out. the fact that there is no hospital, no functioning hospitals in the virgin islands should scare the heck out of us. i was in the hospital at juan luis on wednesday and watched doctors and others creating lists of people, how to get them off the island. how to get our disproportionate
amount of dialysis patients off the island. how they were going to deal with those who have shunts, heart disease patients, in the coming weeks with one makeshift operating room that they were working out of. how were they going to do that? how were they going to operate out of a tent that the army was setting up when we still have a month and a half of hurricane season in the virgin islands. in the caribbean. we're not going to be table continually ship people off the island, pick them up, treeage them and get them off. our labor and delivery. what if there's a child with special needs when they're born? what about neonatal services if that's needed, for a child hat's born during this time? god help us. and if you don't act, god help you in this time of need of your
fellow americans. i want to thank those members who have reached out to me and who have expressed their desire to support and help us. thank you. i'm calling on you now for that help. to make sure that the people of the virgin islands do not continually feel forgotten. i want to thank house democratic leader nancy pelosi who recently issued a statement calling for the swift and immediate financial commitment to help rebuild the virgin islands. i want to thank my republican jenniffer gonzalez-colon. i remember texting with her through hurricane maria as she and her brother were holding the door of their home in puerto ensure marianot to got in that house. thank you for your support, thank you for your sister hoord as we both go through this.
however you need me, i'm there for you. republicans must join democrats. democrats must join republicans in congress. to address the needs of the communities in crisis. by swiftly passing robust relief package that provides assistance not only today but throughout the long road to recovery. this is our chance in the virgin islands and puerto rico to show american might, to show american technology, to show american strength. president trump, you have complained about the other islands not wanting to support us when we go to the united nations or the organization of american states against places like venezuela or cuba or china. show that they can vote with us because americans do what they're supposed to do for the islands that they have responsibility over. how are they going to trust us if we can't even take care of what belongs to us?
our fellow americans in the virgin islands deserve to know that their government will be there for them without question or hesitation. i want to thank the country of denmark, our previous owner, many of you know that the virgin islands have had seven flags that have been flown over those islands. we are a very valuable place. we are geographically situated in the mouth of the caribbean basis to -- basin to support the united states. that was why we were purchased in 1970. but we have remained close tied with denmark. and i want to thank the ambassador and the prime minister who reached out and said that they wanted to support the territory and submitted the request of the danish government to our own u.s. government to bring all their own additional emergency management agency to the virgin islands in support of ongoing efforts in the area such
as health care, water purification systems and experts, commnd-control support, logistics for clearing and security support. thank you for your continued commitment to us. let that not be the only commitment that we have. i know that the federal government, the executive branch, is doing its part. let this congress do its part. let this congress show in this time of crisis that it can rise above partisanship and support the islands of puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands. let those 3.6 million americans living in those territories, more than many states in this country, let them know that they have the full support of this congress, of the american people, that they're not just a sound bite, that they're not piña rum and coke and a colada when you decide you want to get away from where you live,
that we mean more than that to you, that we are indeed full citizens in this american experience, in this democracy. at this time, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. garrett, for 30 minutes. mr. garrett: thank you, mr. chairman. i would at this time yield two minutes to my colleague from texas congressman gohmert.
mr. gohmert: thank you. it is indeed an honor to speak on behalf of a person i've come to know and love, in fact, the first district of texas has been blessed to be the home of many remarkable individuals who have gone above and beyond to serve oothers in texas and throughout the world. it is indeed a privilege to honor a woman from longview, texas who has dedicated her live to serving and providing comfort for our nation's veterans. particularly our prisoners of war. her name is helen smith, and october 5 of this year marks her 91st birthday. helen's caring for our nation's p.o.w.'s began with her husband, gordon smith a survivor of the bataun death march in 1942 and a p.o.w. through the end of world war ii. throughout her long and hp by nirgee gordon she gained an understanding of the struggles
many of our former veterans and p.o.w.'s endure. but armed with that knowledge, helen set out into the world to help as many of our veterans as she possibly could. she spent countless hours in v.a. facilities, ensuring veterans young and old got the care they so desperately needed and deserve. helen has walked the halls of congress, advocating for veterans and former p.o.w.'s throughout her life. she's a driving force and was behind public law 9737, which improved v.a. benefit programs for former p.o.w.'s. helen is not slowing down. even at her age, at 90, helen would head over to longview community based outpatient clinic every morning at sunrise, she would make a pot of coffee and spend her day tucking to veterans, giving them a sympathetic ear and helping them through the v.a. process. it's a distinct privilege to recognize such a remarkable
woman, to thank her for her tireless service to our veterans and former p.o.w.'s, and to wish her a very happy 91st birthday. her accomplishments are recorded in the congressional record, which will endure as long as there is a united states of america. i do thank my friend from virginia for yielding. yield back. mr. garrett: much has been said recently about the first amendment to the constitution of the united states and specifically how in this land of
the free we have the prerogative to do as we choose in matters that man test themselves as communication that we can speak freely, even when that speech is objectionable to some. and many people who are fortunate to be amongst the one of 231 high school football seniors to take the field at an nfl stadium has availed themselves of that right of those who shared their very life blood and might make a decision not to stand for the anthem that embodies the gratitude for that sacrifice. brian tracy said develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to you knowing that a
step is achieving something bigger and better. more recently, an individual said if you were successful on the line, somebody gave you help. it was a great teacher somewhere in your life and someone created this great unbelievable american system that we have that allows us to thrive. later in that speech, president obama said so if you have a business, you didn't build it, someone built it for you. but at some level, he acknowledged the sacrifice of so many that compels me to stand when the to ask that national anthem of the united states of america is played that you demonstrate that you demonstrate the sacrifice by untold millions before you that allows you the prerogative not
to stand. if you choose not to stand, i support that right. i believe that right is fundamental of what makes us americans but i implore you to learn the history of our nation that allows you the right not to stand or to be certain there are places in the world, north korea where choosing not to stand where the anthem is played might lead to a horrible demise. gilbert chester said one sees great things from the valley and only small things from the summit. and the french political philosopher said the greatness of america not lies in her being enlightened in other nations but in her ability to repair her faults.
when a slave owner named jefferson wrote the declaration aboutependence, he talked how all people were created equal despite his inherent flaw or flaws. and when the preamble to the constitution, the founders suggested that we should strife not to be a perfect union but a more perfect union but in fact where humans are in charge, you will never achieve perfection. if you tuned in by accident to learn about how lucky we are regardless of the circumstance of our birth compared to our peers across the globe to have the opportunity to liven in the greatest history of mankind and standing for the honor that are continuously strifes to
perfection, it is the only thing to do if you understand the scope of the sacrifice of those who come or came before us. imperfect people like thomas jefferson, gave us near-perfect documents. as my vehicle to discuss why we should stand for my district, i will say, in all humility while i'm ordinary, the district is great. the 5th district is greatest in the country and i'll give you 10 reasons why i hope the next time the anthem is played and stand and think with reference about those who gave us the opportunity to live in the greatest land. in 174 , born in the 5th district of virginia was this very man, thomas jefferson, an
imperfect man who had a thirst of knowledge who sought to understand what might be perfected as it related to government amongst men and in the declaration created a document which was the first message that the fledgeling nation said this is who we are. and he said that all people were created equal, a concept that this nation did not arrive at in reality by virtue of slavery and grant women suffleradge. however a charge to work towards a more perfect union that was contained in the document, the constitution, overseen by james madison, also of the 5th district of virginia. also while we were imperfect, we were given the greatest and most nobel of goals and that is to strive to be more perfect.
the vision of jefferson and expounded by james madison and articulated by dr. king when he said we should judge individuals based not on the color of their skin but on the content of their character. this was born in the hearts and minds of imperfect people from the 5th district that gave us near perfect documents. another dream came with the foundation of the university of virginia, a leading public research university and the source of increeble scholarship on things like human rights and individual liberty and natural law and freedoms are built on the freedom on which we live, again in the 5th district of virginia. fast forward to 1865, the end of the bloodiest era of our nation's history intermryly a
conflict as we moved towards a more perfect union if you count disease along with combat deaths over 1 million americans gave their lives as we worked to become a more perfect union. and we know what a small, small fraction of a percentage of those people's names. we know that lincoln took a bullet by someone who isn't willing to acknowledge that jefferson's words were true as later manifested by dr. king 53 years ago in august of this city. st forward in 1933, franklin county virginia and as we watched as jobs left the 5th district of virginia and an opportunity left with them, we
w a wellspring of economic development in the form of weinery and breweries and bass left. lane and dan hills they crept in. and it started and in the franklin county virginia. the d, virginia, june 6, allied invasion of normandy, the town of bedford lost more of her sons per capita than any other town in the united states. 19 in one day. decimating, more than decimating an entire graduating class and moving the best and brightest from that small virginia locality, notably three other
young men from bedford, bringing the total k.a.i. during normandy to 22. and ironicically these men died serving in thebly-gray 29th infantry division because ut honored the fact that it brought soldiers from the mason-dixon line together to fight and bleed foreign women and men whom they never met. , prince rd to 1951 edward county, virginia, the hamlet of farmville, bash rar johns, a high school student had an uncle who was a scholar who
discussed with her and her family over the dinner table the ideas expanded upon by jefferson and the declaration and suggested that indeed all people were created equal. and this man tested itself through bash rar johns in action. this teenaged girl looked at the school she attended, the moulton high school and looked across the county to the all-white new high school and understood that if all people were created equal as was written by jefferson, it was unfair that court cases that any law that separate but equal was anything possible to a thrert call reality must be struck down now. i passed by other residents, patrick henry, john marshal l.
henry stood before the american revolution, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death. and from the back of the room, someone shouted treason and patrick henry responded, if this be treason, make the moss of it. to do something great that he believed in, he might need to die. bash rar johns did that very me thing on april 23, 1951 when she led a walk of students demanding an end of separate but qual sparking the civil rights movement and see booker t. washington, a civil rights leader amongst the late generation of african-american leaders born in the slavery.
his vision began to culminate that led to deseeing regracious. at the very risk of her life -- i like to liken johns, both of whom are heroes of mine. as two people willing to stand up and do what they thought was right regardless of the fact that it might literally cost them their lives but i tell people, the difference between henry and johns, he was a 37-year-old attorney and bash rar johns was a teenaged girl. and this happened in america as we worked to become a more perfect union. fast forward to pennsylvania , unty where are deborah coles another hero of mine was born
one of eight children to a obacco sharecropper. growing up in a virginia where cism was far too evident and common, barbara coles bucked the odds and learned a work ethic from her mother and father and became the first in her family to attend college attending va state university and later going on into public education where she was and is an educator and administrator in a small town where i went to high school and where she has undoubtedly touched the lives of thousands of students over the decades. finding ways to say yes, finding means to encourage thought. finding ways to stimulate young
minds and did this despite the ridiculous challenges faced by her forebeerers as we worked to become a more perfect union here in america. fast forward to the 21 st. century. -- 21st century. not unlike their brethren that fell on june 6 on d-day, a 43rd ul of the sacrifice, 1 of our nation, a graduate of the university of virginia who at risk to himself moved soldiers away and sought to determine whether or not a vehicle was a approaching the point he was working was a threat and ultimately protecting those he served wearing the uniform of a ation to which his parents had
imgrated. sergeant andrew crab tree, he served multiple tours defending the war on terror and recently passed to the next life of a cancer deemed to have been service-related. risby from a ta family in the th district who perished while wearing the uniform of this nation defending that which is worth defending aboard the uss fitzgerald. . and then, moving to today and reason number 10, although to be fair, booker t. washington, patrick henry and john marshall could make this 13 if i counted
them separately. d that is, the families of pasar assan and others, christians from the republic of sudan who after about nine months of work on our part and about 18 months of imprisonment on the part of the two gentlemen i named, have now moved to buckingham county, virginia, where they have an opportunity to experience a land where they're free to stand or sit when the anthem is played, where they're free to worship or not worship as they feel compelled, and where no dream is too big. i would wager that having lived in a foreign land and not having
25 or ongst those one in 26, roughly, fortunate enough to have been born here in this imperfect land, perpetually seeking to be a more perfect union, i would wager that when our national anthem is played, these newest residents of virginia's fifth congressional district will choose to stand. hope when you think of the who fices made by millions came before us, that you will too. thank you, mr. speaker. i'd yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced
policy of january 3, 2017, the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. rutherford, until the hour of 10:00 p.m. mr. rutherford: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to commend the resilience of my fellow floridians, thank our men and women in uniform, including our state and local first responders and to recognize our state and local leaders for the tremendous aid and direction they gave to all of our fellow floridians during their response to hurricane irma. we normally think of men and women in uniform as those who defend our country abroad. but they also deserve our recognition and thanks for their service on the home front as well. the florida army national guard, the united states coast guard,
the navy and many others aided our state before, during, and after the storm. in fact, i witnessed national forward units from various states working together with the florida national guard to rescue citizens of northeast florida. mr. speaker, the united states coast forward did an incredible job carrying out hundreds of rescues and i commend u.s. coast guard commandant zumkopf, captain weemers of fort jacksonville and all the men and women who risked their lives to save others during and after the storm. i also want to recognize all the first responders, police, and firefighters who responded quickly and save sod many lives. as an example, the jacksonville sheriff's office in one day rescued more than 350 of our citizens. i also want to commend governor
rick scott and our state agencies for the advanced planning they did leading up to hurricane irma and the recovery efforts that are still going on. at northeast florida, we experienced historic flooding, levels not seen since 1980 -- i'm sorry, since 1846. that's a year after florida became a state. in st. john's county, small businesses were flooded and homes literally toppled over into the ocean. many more still threat ton fall into the ocean, undermined by severe beach erosion. in nassau county, a week after the storm, areas of the county were still not accessible due to heavy flooding and shelters were still open. throughout all of this, mr. speaker, i spoke with many local volunteers who had damage to
their own homes but were out hing -- helping rescue other families. i even spoke with a retired coast guardsman who traveled to nassau county to virginia to serve with the red cross. the florida delegation in this house is now unified to ensure that floridians receive the federal support they need to recover from this horrible natural disaster, hurricane irma. i especially want to recognize senator marco rubio and florida representatives al lawson, neil dunn, ted yow ho, ron desantis, value demings and darren soto for coming to see firsthand the damage to our first coast community. i also want to thank the congressional leaders from around the country for coming to northeast florida. speaker paul ryan, appropriations chairman rodney
frelinghuysen, chairman john carter, all personally toured our damaged communities. leaving us with a promise to do all they can to assist in florida's recory. -- recovery. i thank them for the support and i'm grateful for their work to quickly povide emergency aid to help hurting floridians. we are all also heart broken that now puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands are enduring incredibly devastating damage from hurricane maria. we believe it is important that we share resors -- resources with our neighboring islands and as you know, the port of jacksonville is ground zero for getting shipments of needed goods to puerto rico and the virgin islands. in fact, the american maritime partnership and the entire u.s. maritime industry are in fact first responders in times of emergency like irma and maria when they strike puerto rico and
the virgin islands. i am proud of the american maritime -- what the american maritime industry has accomplished. they have been working tirelessly around they are clock to get goods to those who are in need. almost immediately they were 10,000 containers delivered, 5,000 pounds of cargo were delivered by tote and crowley of jacksonville. as we know, distribution has been the challenge. our prayers go out to puerto rico and the virgin islands and we're prepared to stand by them as they face the daunting task of rebuilding their communities. we will continue to work together with our state, local, and federal officials to ensure that florida, puerto rico, and the u.s. virgin islands can recover and build even stronger than before.
thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to section 703 of the social and ty act 42 u.s.c. 903 thed orer of the house of january 3, 2017, of the following individual on the part of the house to the social social security advisory board to fill the existing vacancy thereon. the clerk: ms. nancy altman of bethesda, maryland. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i'd like to make a motion 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 adopted. accordingly the house stands