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tv   U.S. House of Representatives 10032017  CSPAN  October 3, 2017 1:59pm-4:00pm EDT

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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 233. the nays are 187. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members are advised to take your conversations from the floor so the house can be in order.
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the speaker pro tempore: once again, the chair would request that members remove their conversations from the floor, .lear the aisle
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pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. the house will resume proceedings on postponed questions at a later time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass the bill s. 652. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 652, an act to amend the public health service act to re-authorize a program for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment regarding deaf and hard-of-hearing newborns, .nfants, and young children
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, and the gentlelady from florida, ms. castor, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and insert remarks extraneous materials into the record on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to the chairman of the energy and commerce committee, the gentleman from oregon, mr. walden. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman will suspend. once again, the chair would ask each and every member of the house to remove their conversations from the floor so proceedings in the house can o. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. walden. mr. walden: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i really want to thank members on both sides of the aisle and especially dr. burgess and mr. guthrie from kentucky who has an identical bill, the house companion bill to this one. senate bill 652 revises the public health service act expanding access to critical resources for the deaf and hard of hearing newborns and children. it will help these young patients and ensure that in turn they can help educate the patient's family members. this bill will also deliver relief to parents and caretakers of young children that have hearing loss, granting them important resources to aid in their care. again, the subcommittee vice chair, brett guthrie, is the author of the house companion. when our house today approves this legislation, which i assume it will, that means this bill will go to the president's desk and be signed into law. this is really important work that the energy and commerce is doing once again in a big and bipartisan way.
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it's an important bill that would expand access to critical resources for deaf and hard of hearing newborns and young children. by updating and re-authorizes hrsa and c.d.c. grants to help tates with children with hearing loss, we are helping patients. i am pleased to horness new and data collection systems to improve access. you know, if we can better understand what's happening with patients on the ground, we can make better decisions about where to allocate resources to help recruit more providers and improve coordination of care with children with hearing loss. so mr. speaker, i'm delighted to work with the subcommittee and the members who have put so much into this legislation and i look forward to the house passing it and i yield back the balance of my time to the chairman of the subcommittee on health. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. castor: mr. speaker, i
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yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. castor: i rise in support of the early hearing detection and intervention act, authored by two of my energy and commerce committee colleagues, mr. brett guthrie of kentucky, and ms. doris matsui of california, and i thank chairman walden and chairman urgess for their help. also thanks senators portman and kaine. it's important that the congress re-authorize the early hearing detection and intervention act for an additional five years because it provides the all-important newborn and infant hearing screening, evaluation and intervention. the bill will provide vital resources to the health resources and services administration to run a grant initiative and allow the senators for disease control to conduct hearing loss research. according to data from the c.d.c., 1.4 babies out of every -- i don't know how you get 1.4
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but 1.4 babies out of 1,000 that were screened were found to have a prevalence of hearing loss. as a mother, i know how important it is to determine if your child has any level of hearing loss as early as possible so that a parent can determine the best treatment to allow their child to live a full and happy life. my home state of florida has required newborn screenings since october 1 of 2000. we need to keep this going. according to the most recent state data in florida, 98% of all newborns in florida will be screened within the first month. that's absolutely vital to detect any problem early in their lives. so let's work together. extending this newborn screening initiative for another five years ensures babies will continue to have access to this vital hearing screening. and we can make sure kids across america get the health care that they need. so mr. speaker, i would like to
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again thank my colleagues, representatives guthrie and math suey and senators portman and kaine. and i encourage my colleagues to support this bipartisan senate bill 652, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time is reserved. the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burgess: thank you, mr. speaker. nd i also want to be in strong support of s. 652, the early hearing detection and intervention act of 2017, sponsored by senator portman of ohio. this legislation has been championed in the house by my friend, vice chair of the health subcommittee, representative brett guthrie, as h.r. 1539. the bill does have strong bipartisan support and in fact passed this house unanimously in the last congress. federal support for early hearing detection and intervention programs across the country help identify
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children with hearing loss and directs them to early intervention services. this program is a model of how government at different levels and public and private agencies should, can and should work together. in addition to improving upon current programs, this legislation improves the recruitment, retention, education and training of qualified personnel and health providers to identify and assist young children with hearing loss. this bill emphasizes the importance of the health resources and services administration, centers for disease control and prevention, and the national institute of health partnering together to improve outcomes and strengthen the early hearing detection intervention program. i commend representative guthrie for spear heading this initiative on the house side. i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentlelady from florida.
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ms. castor: mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time to congresswoman doris matsui, the primary co-sponsor of this bill, and to thank her for championing the health care of children across america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for the balance of time. ms. matsui: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1539, the sberl hearing detection and intervention act of 2017 -- the early hearing detection and intervention act of 2017, which i co-authored with my colleague, congressman guthrie. the newborn screening and intervention program established almost two decades ago has been life changing for those born deaf or hard of hearing. a member of my staff in sacramento, devan, was born hard of hearing, but didn't receive a screening at birth. for the first few years of her life, she appeared to be struggling to keep up with her peers. t wasn't until devan reached kindergarten that her teachers suggested she get her hearing tested. after receiving her diagnosis, devan's family was able to seek
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out tools and resources to help her catch up to her classmates in school. devan's story illustrates the importance of early detection and intervention. we know that a child development in the first few years of their life can have a major impact on their well-being later on. by extending this program through our legislation, we are ensuring that infants continue to have access to hearing screenings at birth so their parents can make informed choices about the care management early on. we've come so far in increasing the number of babies who are screened every year. by passing this legislation, we're continuing that progress. i thank my colleague, congressman guthrie, for his leadership on this issue, and i ask for everyone's support. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, at this point i'd like to yield as much time as he may consume to the author of the bill, the vice chairman of the health subcommittee, mr. guthrie of
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kentucky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for the balance of the time. mr. guthrie: thank you, mr. speaker. thanks to my friend, doris matsui. we worked on a lot of issues together and it's a pleasure to work with her and to move important things forward that i know a lot of times you see a lot of big issues need to be addressed, but a lot of things are getting done in the house. this bill goes to the president. it's coming back from the senate. it goes to the president. my interest in this, when i was in the general assembly in kentucky, the governor had a big proposal dealing with children in the first three years of their life and was looking at a lot of money to be spent and i remember doing research and i found a report from the lady from -- a doctor from vanderbilt and went down and met with her. there's a lot of debate on the research of some of the things we were looking to move forward. normal stimulation, a child will rise to her ability but she did say this. if you take a healthy baby and put it into a closet that -- with no light and you couldn't hear and pulled it out three years later, which obviously
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you couldn't do that, but if you pull it out three years later it wouldn't be able to see and never develop its hearing because the brain does start adjusting at a young age. that's why you can learn a language far better as a child than you can as an adult. and so i was driving back and part of what the governor patton of kentucky proposed was screening from eyesight screening and early childhood hearing detection as part of the bill so a lot of us were saying mandates. what do you do with mandates? i was driving back and i remember thinking, well, if you were born and you can't see well, if you're born and you can't hear well, then isn't that the same thing of being put in a dark closet? if you don't figure out until you show up to school thaw can't hear well then you lost the first three to five years of ability and lost language ability for a lifetime. so for the small amount of money that it actually costs, we passed and authorized in kentucky mandated screenings, one, for eyesight, which my son
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got caught in going into kindergarten. that's the first time when we gather them. but you can test newborns at birth. if you can find a newborn at birth that has a hearing impairment and get it corrected it will develop like all the other children so why not do it? so i got to washington, d.c. it's a national program. it was -- it's not something i came up with. it was authored before so we are here to re-authorize it. i just want to point out this program is a success. in 2000, 40,000 of newborns were screened for hearing loss. that number rose to over 86% in 2011, and in 2015, c.d.c. has reported that roughly 97%, 97% of all infants are screened for hearing loss. think of the difference that makes in these children's lives when we catch them. so i want to thank congresswoman matsui. i want to thank senator kaine from virginia and senator portman from ohio for taking the bipartisan lead in the
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senate. thanks for the hard work and i am proud to say when we take this vote today it doesn't go back to the senate. it goes to the president, and we look forward to his signature and continuing this and moving forward. so i have a -- been honored to be part of this and i thank you for the time and i yield back my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. castor: i want to thank my colleagues, mmerce and i urge approval of this bipartisan bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, at this time i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. speaker, as well. i rise today in support of this bipartisan bill colleagues, and i urge approval of this bipartisan bill. i yield back the balance of my time. to re-authorize the newborn hearing, screening and intervention program. if this law was around when i was a newborn, we might have
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caught my hearing loss as a younger -- at a younger age. i don't want kids to go through what i have gone through. and representative guthrie said it about his child. hi vision problems, too. -- i had vision problems, too. we want to give these children an opportunity to succeed. that's why we're here in this congress. that's why it makes it worthwhile to make a difference in a person's life. all they are asking for is an opportunity to succeed. so again now as a user of hearing aids myself, i was proud to co-sponsor the bipartisan bill, the house version introduced by my colleague. again, mr. guthrie and ms. matsui. studies have shown in foreign language development skills are learned prior to a child's third birthday as hearing and language are closely linked.
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according to the american pediatrics, 33 children are born every day with hearing impairment. making it the most common congenital condition in the united states. if left undiagnosed, a child can risk developmental challenges and setbacks. since its inception in 1999, the newborn hearing screening and intervention program has improved the lives of our children. children. over its first 15 years, the percentage of newborn babies screened every year increased 2000 to in approximately 96% of infants in 2015. the bill builds on this legacy of success allowing for vital screenings and monitoring to continue while improving timely follow-up for in-- infants to receive the care they need, key
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to healthy development. again, all these children are asking for -- thank you. i appreciate t all these children are asking for is an opportunity to succeed. had difficulty hearing in the classroom. i don't know how i got through, but i did. i had a hard time seeing the blackboard. and i don't know how i got through my classroom. i don't know how i got through, but i did. i math, but i did. and again this is why we're here to make a difference. i appreciate it, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i yield my southwest balance of the time and simply urge all members to vote in favor of this important legislation. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 652. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is thravenlt -- the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2408. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2408, a bill to enhance the transparency, improve the coordination and intensify the impact of assistance to support access to primary and secondary education children and persons, including women and girls, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr.
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royce, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. sires, children persons, including women and girls, and for other purposes. will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include any extraneous material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, first i would like to recognize congressman steve chabot and congresswoman robin kelly on the foreign affairs committee for their work on this important issue of protecting girls and protecting their access to education. especially in vulnerable settings. we all know that education is a critical driver of upward social mobilityity for these girls, for economic growth. for overall stability in terms of a society. and as we confront an increasing number of conflicts around this globe, education has got to remain a very key
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component of u.s. foreign assistance. around the world today there are 27 million children that are out of school in conflict zones. half of all children in refugee camps do not have access to primary education. that any recent conflicts have lasted now a decade, we're now seeing entire generations of children that fail to receive even the most basic education. even if they are eventually able to return home, they carry back those defendantses that have lasted now a -- deficits in terms of what they have not learned. and those deficits can last a lifetime. so this is a humanitarian crisis with real strategic implications. an ria, for example, it estimated four million children
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are out of school in an environment warped by the constant violence. refugee children outside of syria are placing tremendous strains on the educational systems, and i have seen this in countries like jordan, in lebanon, in turkey. as we have seen in crisis situations around the world, the lack of stable educational opportunities make these children more vulnerable, more vulnerable, especially for girls, to exploitation. more vulnerable especially for boys to radicalization. girls face unique barriers to education in conflict zones. in these afflicted countries, girls are 2 1/2 times more likely than young boys to be out of school. they frequently encounter cultural barriers that prevent them from seeking an education. often lack safe routes
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to that little school. and back home from that school. promoting often lack safe girls education reduces their risk of falling victim, falling victim to gerned-based violence or to literal marriage or to -- gender-based violence or to early marriage or to human trafficking and it's also the just thing to do. this h.r. 2408, the protecting girls' access to education act, authorizes the state department and authorizes usaid to enhance existing education programs for displaced children, and to especially be engaged with girls. the bill calls on the state department in usaid to coordinate efforts with the private sector as well, with civil society groups, with multilateral organizations to collect relevant data to improve the effectiveness of these programs that we're engaged in. and finally, the bill would require that the state department and the usaid
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include data on education programs for displaced children in any report to congress on disaster relief and recovery efforts so that we're aware engaged in addressing this issue. we must strengthenle role of education -- strengthen the role of education in humanitarian engaged in addressing this assistance. refugees and other displaced persons live on a knife edge of despair. without access to education, children in conflict zones, especially girls, are more exposed to violence, to exploitation, and even to radicalization. by helping to realize their innate potential, education gives these children hope, hope for today. it gives them critical skills for tomorrow so that they can contribute to their homes, their communities, and so that they can contribute to the next generation. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the bill, and i
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reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. sires: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this measure and i yield myself such time as i may consume. i want to thank our chairman from the foreign affairs committee, ed royce, and our ranking member eliot engel, as well as the authors of this bill, mr. chabot of ohio and mrs. kelly of illinois. both these members have worked hard on the bills to expand access to education around the world. i agree with them that this is an important plyor -- priority for our foreignpolicy. when children are able to get basic education, it pays massive dividends down the road. ose girls and boys grow up with great opportunity and they play a bigger role in their economies and their communities. we see research that when children can learn about certain issues like nonviolent civic engagement, support for
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violence drops. that adds up to a stronger and more stable country and better partners for the united states. children belong in the classroom, mr. speaker. no matter where they happen to be born. but in too many places, that access just doesn't exist. what happens then? we know in places like the middle east and north africa, violent extremists are happy to fill in the void. to recruit and indoctrinate the next generation with the hateful and violent ideology. this problem is especially refugee displaced populations. 3.7 million school children nder the u.n. refugee agencies have no school to go through. some countries have tried to tackle this challenge, like lebanon, where the government as taken steps to enroll
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syrian refugees in schools, but the need is just too great. out of half a million school aged refugees, nearly half are out of school. this bill aims to help address those really desperate situations. it calls for the usaid to wrap up access to these children and particularly young girls. will i -- it will help us gather more data-to-cies government and n.g.o.'s also grappling with this problem. it authorizes the secretary of state and usaid administrator to prioritize this issue to work with multilateral organization and to seek out partners in the private sector and civil society that will bring innovative new approaches to expanding access to education. this bill will put more girls, more young girls in the classroom in places around the world where this help is badly needed. i am glad to support it and i eserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. steve chabot, on the committee on foreign affairs. he's the author of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for three minutes. mr. chabot: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. ed royce has been a strong proponent of this as have eliot engel. i want to especially thank robin kelly for her leadership on this. i rise today in support of h.r. 2408. bipartisan bill that aims to provide a safe education for millions of children, especially girls, who live in the most dangerous and unstable places across the globe. . i know that education physically and mentally empowers our children. unfortunately, millions of children receive no education due to the circumstances which are beyond their control. this is particularly true for the growing number of displaced
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people across the world as it is exceedingly difficult for children in conflict zones to receive a primary or secondary education. armed conflicts across the world, particularly in places like syria and now burma, have led to the internal displacement of millions of women and children and force them to literally flee their own homes. there are currently 65 million people displaced worldwide, and at least 21 million are refugees. they are out of their own countries. this is the highest number since world war ii, and the number has been steadily rising since 2011. many of the displaced people are survivors of human rights abuses and violence. half of these victims are under 18 years of age. they are children, and in the most formative years of their lives. and if they are not given the opportunity to succeed, they will be subjected to a lifetime of conflict and instability.
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education is a key component to helping lift these vulnerable children out of the depths of poverty. access to education not only gives children the opportunity to grow and learn, but also ffer safety and shelter from violence, extremist ideology, human trafficking networks and a relentless cycle of abuse. excuse me. there's no question that access to education provides stability and consistency to children living in extremely unstable conditions, especially girls. that's why i introduced h.r. 2408, the protecting girls' access to education act, along with robin kelly of illinois and i again want to thank chairman royce and ranking member eliot engel for their leadership in this area. this bipartisan legislation will move us in the right direction by making access to primary and secondary education a priority with our state department and usaid.
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it aims to directly benefit displaced children, specifically girls, and will help to address one of the world's greatest challenges facing refugees across the globe. this legislation also encourages greater international coordination and leverages existing resources by promoting education for refugees where they are, through local schools. the protecting girls' access to education act will ensure that millions of child refugees will have an opportunity to reach their highest potential even those in the most tumultuous conditions. i urge my colleagues to support it and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey. mr. sires: mr. speaker, it is now my pleasure to yield two minutes to my colleague on the foreign affairs committee, a real champion for women and girls, the gentlelady from florida, lois frankel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for two minutes. ms. frankel: thank you to my colleague and thank you to the members of the committee for their bipartisan efforts. very appreciated. mr. speaker, i rise in support
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of this bipartisan legislation that directs the state department and usaid to support programs that educate displaced children with a special focus on girls. you know, when you look at the world from south sudan to burma to syria and think about the fact that there are 55 million displaced children, 28 million refugee children that have been uprooted from their homes due to violence and poverty and making up half of all the refugees, here's the thing. what happens when a young person has no hope, no education, no future potential of a good job to one day take care of their family? will they become victims of trafficking or vibrant members of society? will these millions of children become our friends or foe? will the communities they live in be our trading partners or
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havens for terrorists? around the world only a quarter of refugee children are enrolled in secondary school, and the number, as my colleagues pointed out, are even worse for girls. just seven girls for 10 refugee boys are enrolled in secondary school. now, we are talking about a lost generation. in syria alone, over 5,000 schools have been destroyed. known as young lady the malalah of syria at 15 she left her home in syria when she was told to bring only her essentials, she packed a suitcase full of books. because she knows as -- and i'm going to quote her -- education is a shield that we can use to protect ourselves in life. and she even went door to door in refugee camps to convince parents to keep their daughters in school instead of pressuring
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them into early marriage. she knows and we know that when girls are educated they lead to healthier, more productive lives that enhance the economy and the peacefulness of their societies. and i -- so i urge adoption of this fine legislation, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ileana ros-lehtinen, who chairs the foreign affairs subcommittee on the middle east and north africa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for three minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank chairman royce and ranking member engel and in this case especially congressman albio sires, the ranking member of the subcommittee on western hemisphere, for once again helping to bring another important bipartisan foreign affairs measure to the house floor. mr. speaker, i'm a proud co-sponsor of the protecting girls' access to education act.
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my good friend, steve chabot, has been a real leader in congress when it comes to ensuring that girls around the world have the opportunity to achieve a better future for themselves through access to education. now, mr. speaker, i'm a former florida certified teacher so i understand the value of education. mr. sires of new jersey, also a former teacher, and we heard from mr. chabot, also a former teacher. so we understand how important education is to future success. and right now sadly, mr. speaker, there are 65 million displaced people around the world and about half of that population is under 18. this bill before us prioritizes state and usaid efforts to support access to primary and secondary education for displaced children with a specificity to helping
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displaced girls. unfortunately, sometimes young girls fall victim to exploitation, to trafficking, or they get married off, sold off without having the opportunity to determine their own future, something we might take for granted in this glorious country. and that's why mr. chabot's bill is so important. we need to reach out to those young girls. we need to have them have access to primary and secondary education so that they can increase their own chances for a prosperous future, mr. speaker. access to education, i know, empowers young people, and it will especially empower young girls. it will offer them a chance, a chance at socioeconomic opportunities that heretofore have been closed to them. it offers them stability. it offers them empowerment. so we've got to pass mr. chabot's bill. we got to do more to ensure
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displaced people, especially young girls, have access to education. so i urge my colleagues to support this important measure. i urge our partners and responsible nations around the nation to join us in prioritizing our efforts toward access to education for all. thank you, mr. royce. thank you to mr. engel, and especially to my good friend, mr. sires of new jersey. and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey. mr. sires: mr. speaker, i am also a former certified teacher. and expanding access to education is critical in combating terrorism. where we increase opportunities through education, we help more girls and boys by giving them the tools to think critically and resist those who mean to harm us. we're helping to give these children an alternative with the possibility of positioning them to make further positive
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impacts on their communities and their country. time and time again we've seen the results of what happens when children are not provided a better path. extremism, radicalism and terrorism. this is one of our best opportunities to provide a more safe and secure world, not only for them but also for us too. again, i want to thank congressman chabot and congresswoman kelly for their hard work. i support this bill and i urge all members to do the same and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: well, mr. speaker, we are surrounded here by former teachers today who have brought this bill, worked with us to bring this bill to the house floor and we understand their impulse to reach out to these young, these young children and try to see to it
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that they have an equal chance out in the world. this is something teachers do, and this focus on young girls, especially young girls in the most vulnerable situation as a result of conflict in those regions, making them at risk for trafficking, for exploitation or being child brides, these former teachers understand the importance of having a program directed specifically to this problem. and i want to thank the gentleman from ohio, again, mr. steve chabot, and the gentlelady from illinois, congresswoman kelly. certainly, i want to thank albio sires, our ranking member on the western hemisphere subcommittee, and ileana, of course. i thank them for helping to ensure that international humanitarian efforts are prioritizing this issue of access to education for girls.
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by improving coordination between the state department and usaid and with the private sector and with multilateral organizations, what this bill is going to do is to improve the chances that these young lives will be able to blossom above the ashes of war, above these conflicts that rage in these spots around the world so they might reach their full potential. and if they do, they will be able to help the next generation. so with that i yield back the balance of my time and ask every member for their support. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2408. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1918 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. , a bill to .r. 1918 oppose loans at international financial institutions for the government of nicaragua unless the government of nicaragua is taking effective steps to hold free, fair, and transparent elections, and for other urposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. sires, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and xtend their remarks and to include any extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i also ask unanimous consent, mr. speaker, for another point, to introduce for the record an exchange of letters with the chairman of the committee on financial services. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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mr. royce: well, thank you, mr. speaker. then i'll yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, the world has watched with great mounting horror, kt actually, as nicaragua -- horror, actually, as nicaragua threatens to destabilize the renal and meanwhile less noticed nicaragua continues to violate the region's democratic values by failing to conduct fair and transparent elections and by denying nicaraguaans freedom of ex-- nicaraguans freedom of expression. i am grateful for the chairman emeritus of the foreign affairs committee, ileana ros-lehtinen, and the chair and the ranking member of the western hemisphere, mr. duncan, and the ranking member, mr. sires, in bringing this measure to the
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floor. this legislation will require u.s. representatives at international financial institutions to use the vote and influence of the united states to oppose any loans to nicaragua unless the country has shown a willingness to respect the human and democratic rights of its citizens. nicaragua's authoritarian president, daniel ortega, and that's the same daniel ortega who lost the presidency in 1990, has tightened his grip on power by weakening institutions and the opposition and ensuring power for himself and his family by excluding international election observers. by requiring that the secretary of state certify that nicaragua has taken steps to provide election transparency and combat corruption before the united states votes to provide the government of nicaragua with loans, we help ensure that
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taxpayer money is not used to line the pockets of corrupt authoritarians or to derail the legitimate democratic rights of citizens.guan we only look to venezuela to see state power and organize crime and corruption actually go hand in hand. as a region, we must stand in strong opposition to authoritarianism and corruption in nicaragua while not punishing the people of nicaragua. . it's this point of not punishing the people of nicaragua that also we have to include in this measure. for that reason and because of this, the authors of the bill have ensured a carve out. that carve out exempts, exempts all loans that are for humanitarian purposes. so, this bill stands squarely
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with the people of nicaragua and their hopes for freedom and democracy anti-rule of law. its passage is just one way that we can -- and the rule of law. its passage is just one way we can demonstrate that support. i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting the measure. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey. mr. sires: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this measure and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sires: i rise to speak in the rt of h.r. 1918, nicaraguan investment conditionality act. i like to start by thanking chairman royce, ranking member engel, and my chairman on the western hemisphere, jeff duncan, for their efforts to bring this bill to the floor. i also would like to thank my good friend from florida, ileana ros-lehtinen, who has worked tirelessly for decades and never backs down when it comes to standing up against authoritarian regimes and human
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rights violators. we're here today to stand up against daniel ortega and his constant pursuit of gaining absolute political control over the nicaraguan people. daniel ortega and his family continue to amass wealth the nicaraguans remain the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. ortega has spent years winning sham elections, eliminating political opposition, and now has his wife take the role of vice president. if you need any more convincing of his intentions, ortega continues to strongly defend the venezuela dictator whose regime shoots unarmed protestors in the streets, opposition, and has brought what should be one of the richest countries in latin america to the brink of collapse. being a corrupt democracy in name only cannot go without consequences. this bipartisan legislation makes it clear that the opposit will not stand by and watch
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ortega trample the people human rights defenders and stomp all over democracy while getting rich at the expense of the nicaraguan people. h.r. 1918 calls on the u.s. government to oppose laws at international financial institution for nicaragua unless the government takes ffective steps to hold free, fair, and transparency elections and commits to upholding democratic principles. congress and the administration need to work together and find ways to empower the nicaraguan people and defend against ortega's hostile behavior civilians. cent it is my hope that this bipartisan legislation will pass the senate and quickly be signed into law. i thank the chairman and civili it is my hope that this bipartisan legislation will pass ranking member once again and their staff for alt help in bringing the nica act to the floor. i urge my colleagues to vote in support of this bill to hold the ortega regime accountable
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for his actions. thank you. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield six minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ileana ros-lehtinen, who chairs the foreign affairs subcommittee on the middle east and north africa. and she is the author of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for six minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. thank you as always our wonderful chairman, mr. royce, for the time. and, mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this bill h.r. 1918, the nicaraguan investment conditionality act, also known as the nica act. i want to thank chairman royce and ranking member engel for working with my office to bring this important measure to the floor today. i also want to thank my legislative brother mr. sires of nng new jersey, who is the democratic lead on this legislation, because his leadership on all things related to human rights is
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admirable and steadfast support for the people of nicaragua has been unwavering. thank you so much, mr. sires. i also want to thank the western hemisphere subcommittee chairman, jeff duncan. he's been helping us in leading the effort and bringing attention to the human rights abuses that are sadly occurring in nicaragua. and this legislation before us, mr. speaker, is straightforward and it's simple. there have been a loft exaggerations about what this -- a lot of exaggerations about what this bill does and doesn't do. our bill is aimed at leveraging america's influence and conditioning our vote at any of the international financial institutions on nicaragua until the leadership in that country takes significant steps to restore democratic order. i think that we would all agree as members of the united states congress that have democracies in our region is beneficial and
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to have strong governance and strong rule of law and a strong independent judiciary, these are all values that we share and that we, the people throughout the hemisphere, would like to have that in their countries as well. let's go over just briefly what are some of the conditions in this bill. i'm pleased as i go through them, ask yourself is that a damaging condition or is that something that would help the people? not whether it helps the ruling class, the rich guys, the fat cat bankers. not whether it helps the regime or the government in power, whether it helps the people of those countries. let me go through the list, mr. speaker. this bill has its conditions to promote democracy. promoting democracy. promoting an independent judicial system. those are wonderful values. promoting an independent electoral council so that the
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ruling party doesn't steal elections. strengthen the rule of law so that you don't have corrupt judges deciding in favor of the rich guys and against the poor of the country. fighting corruption. including investigating and persecuting government officials who are credibly alleged to be corrupt. who go against the people of nicaragua. and further enrich those who wish to do damage to the country. what else does the bill do? well, one of the conditions is that it protects the rights of political opposition parties. don't we want that? political opposition parties. journalists who are trying to get the truth to the american -- to the nicaraguan people just as they do here, to the american people. trade unionists. human rights defenders, and other civil rights advocates to
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operate without interveerns. isn't that what we want for -- interference. isn't that what we want for all countries to have? these conditions are not unheard of. they are similar to what this country has already passed, what this congress has already passed for the northern triangle countries of honduras, of guatemala, and of el salvador. and now we want to do that for nicaragua. so it's intended to help the people of nicaragua. and this bill has safeguards in place to ensure that humanitarian assistance continues to be provided to address basic human needs. humanitarian assistance will continue. some of those basic needs that we talked about, such as free and fair elections, they are not being met today. due to the failed leadership in nicaragua. who does that help? well, it helps the leaders and hurts the people when you don't have free and fair elections.
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we want to help the people of nicaragua. now, reports have surfaced that the nicaraguan electoral council is giving away identity cards so that minors under age individuals, can be allowed to vow. nicaraguans not on the electoral rolls are also being allowed to vote. what does that mean, mr. speaker? it means there will be no way to determine if the individual voted more than once. that's exactly how the status quo wants it. the fat cats, they like it so that they can stay there and they can manipulate the results of the elections. we're also seeing civil society leaders publicly expressing their concern regarding the deterioration of human rights in nicaragua. as a result of speaking out against the government, they have been targeted for persecution. you speak out against the government, you're going to have some false charges thrown at you. what about the indigenous communities?
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they have also expressed their concern regarding land grabs by the government. violence is breaking out as the nicaraguan military is being dispatched to squash the peaceful protests by these indigenous communities. so let us not forget, mr. speaker, just what kind of leadership structure we're dealing with in nicaragua. the russians have set up operations in managua. they are proud of it. they put it in the front pages that. poses a threat to u.s. national security interests. if the gentleman would yield me -- mr. royce: i will yield the gentlelady an additional two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: gentlelady is recognized for an additional two minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to the chairman. nicaragua continues to offer its unconditional support to maduro and his regime in venezuela. and according to congressional testimony, venezuela's entity has also used its subsidiary in
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nicaragua. i'll give the exact letters of those names to launder money. so, mr. speaker, if venezuela's using nicaragua to evade u.s. sanctions, we need to take a closer look at these times. we need to hold people accountable because all of that hurts the people of venezuela and the people of nicaragua. it helps the government, but it doesn't help the people. what this bill does. we want to hold the nicaraguan government accountable. just like we have done in other countries. as i said in central america, this is not what this bill does. something new out of whole cloth we invented. it has worked and truly helped the people. earlier this year mr. sires and i, we traveled to honduras, we traveled to guatemala and we saw first hand how conditioning our support for these countries works and has been extremely
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effective. has it hurt those countries? it has not. it has worked. it has strengthened their democracy. it has strengthened the rule of law, the independent judiciary. so placing conditions incentivizes country to do the right thing. and it makes i.n.s. tugal reforms as need -- institutional reforms as needed to improve the livelihood of their citizens. so i know that the nicaraguan government does not like this bill. but i tell you, mr. speaker, the people of nicaragua would like to know what -- that the united states congress stands with them as they call for eforms that promote democracy, that strengthens the rule of law, that fight corruption, and that protects the right of all political opposition parties. that's exactly what this bill does. thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, mr. speaker, for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey. mr. sires: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to the
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gentleman from texas, a member of the financial services committee, mr. gonzalez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. gonzalez: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to express my concern with h.r. 1918, the nicaraguan investment conditionality act of 2017. today i stand with the people of nicaragua and the people of south texas. nicaragua has been our partner to the south. they worked with us to combat drug trafficking, limit regular migration, and make our region and world a safer place. nicaragua today is the safest country in central america. and i agree we must be vigilant in monitoring nicaragua's transition to democratcy, however we must recognize that enacting this bill could have serious consequences on the region. nica could strain our alliance with nicaragua and lead to instability, irregular immigration to the united states, to my border district,
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an increase in criminal acktifment my district was ground zero for the last immigration surge, and i would like to prevent this from happening again. nicaragua has its economic and political challenges, but it's taken steps to address poverty, climate change, and grow its economy. how can we in good conscience support a measure that would punish the poorest country in central america and the second poorest in the western hemisphere? . moreover nicaragua stands with america and our allies against north korea. we cannot compare nicaragua to venezuela. and while we must hold countries accountable, we should bring rather than shut them out. we have the ability to guide these nations, to embrace democracy -- nations to embrace democracy and condemn bad actors. lastly i want to make clear ratt this is not an endorsement of the regime. today i speak for the less fortunate in nicaragua who suffer from the most -- who
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suffer the most from nica. i look forward two,ing with my colleagues to find -- to working with my colleagues to find a solution to this complex issue. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield myself two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. royce: i think it's important, mr. speaker, when we consider the challenge that we have here, the carter center, the carter center was involved in nicaragua trying to oversee the election there. they came to the conclusion that the election is not transparent. the elections were not fair in nicaragua. the european union was engaged in trying to monitor those elections. again, the same conclusion. the organization of american states, it is the standard or it is the organization representing all of the governments in this hemisphere.
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they again raised the same issue. so when we think about what we're trying to do here, the goal is, first, for any loans that go to the benefit of the people of nicaragua, that's exempt anyway. from the humanitarian standpoint we want them to have the loans. but if we are going to make a loan that benefits the head of state or the government, and as part of that we put the same conditions that the o.a.s. puts on member loans, the same conditions that we put on other countries with respect to the rule of law or with respect to transparency and free and fair elections, i don't think that that is unusual in the least. as a matter of fact, those are the conditions we apply. the attempt to focus on this and our frustration with it is to give that added boost, just as the carter center is trying to
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do. just as the european union is trying to weigh in. just as the o.a.s. is suggesting as we go forward that there be these reforms in transparency. i think it is proper that this institution does the same. and i think the carve-out we put in the bill for humanitarian aid addresses the other issues. so from that standpoint, i think it is necessary for us to do what we can at this time to nudge this back towards free and fair elections. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey. >> mr. speaker, i again want to thank chairman royce, ranking member engel, and my sister from florida, ilyassa ros-lehtinen, for their work on -- ileana ros-lehtinen, for their work on this measure and for their commitment to democracy in the western hemisphere. mr. sires: they have skillfully crafted the nica act to hold the president accountable. while ensuring that the
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nicaraguan people do not suffer. i am glad that we are advancing this measure and urge my colleagues to support it. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i will yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: well, just in summing up here, the focus of this legislation is clearly to seek to end a practice which many in the international community find a vexing one. and that is it tries to ensure that the loans that are given to the government of nicaragua meet certain democratic benchmarks, efore issuing any loans that would specifically benefit those in the government. there is a carve-out, as i shared, for any humanitarian loans. would i think the reason this approach has gained bipartisan support is
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-- it's because the united will be this instance engaged still but engaged in a way where we're not encouraging corruption. and i say that because it pushes nicaragua to allow for free and transparent elections and that should be our goal, that is the goal of other election observers who have been involved in the past. and have expressed their concerns about the state of play there. and so i thank the authors and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1918, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. the chair lays before the house
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the following communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on october 3, 2017, at 9:28 a.m. that the senate passed senate 396. that the senate passed with amendment h.r. 1616. with best wished i am, sinned, sincerely, karen l. haas -- signed, sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will remind all persons in the gallery that they are here as guests of the house and any manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings is in violation of the rules of the house. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1624, the municipal finance support act of 2017, as
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amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 219. h.r. 1624. a bill to require the appropriate federal banking agencies to treat certain municipal obligations as level 2-a liquid assets, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from michigan, mr. huizenga, and the gentlelady from california, ms. waters, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, i rise today to support -- in support of much-needed legislation that would simply fix a 2014 rule by financial regulators and allow municipal bonds to be considered a level 2-b liquid asset at a minimum for purposes of calculating total high-quality liquid assets or hqla's under the liquidity
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coverage ratio. the act is a bipartisan piece of legislation that passed unanimously out of committee, showing its clear need. municipal securities are frequently issued by the transportation, housing and medicare health care authorities of state and local governments to raise funds to pay for projects ranging from bridges and schools to hospitals and recreation alpha silts. excluding -- recreational facilities. excluding this will result in higher borrowing costs for state and local governments during times of economic stress. furthermore, there is no reason why high-quality liquid bonds issued by the united states' states and municipalities should receive a lower standing than foreign sovereign debt with equivalent or frankly even lesser credit quality and market liquidity. finally, disincentivizing financial institutions from holding securities could cause banks to retreat from the $3.8
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trillion market, thereby forcing state and local governments to scale back pending projects on roads, schools and other infrastructure projects financed with the bonds. classifying investment grade municipal securities as hqla's will ensure low-cost infrastructure financing remains available for state and local governments. although the federal reserve has issued an amended rule allowing municipal bonds to count hqla's for some banks, neither the o.c.c. or the fdic have acted to follow the fed's lead in amending their hqla definitions to include these municipal securities. their inaction creates a split regulatory system in which the treatment of municipal securities for the purpose of measuring of liquidity of a bank's holdings depends entirely on who the regulator is. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from california.
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ms. waters: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. waters: thank you very much. h.r. 1624, offered by mr. messer and mrs. maloney, represents a bipartisan effort to ensure that certain financial institutions will continue to hold municipal securities while also supporting the spirit of an important bank guardrail in the dodd-frank wall street reform and consumer protection act. bank regulators promulgated the liquidity coverage rule to ensure that megabanks have a minimum number of assets that they could sell, even in the worst markets. the rule permits banks to count assets like treasury securities, g.s.e. debt, and investment-grade corporate securities towards the pool. regulators found that these
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securities could be sold even in stressed environments. thereby allowing a megabank to weather the storm of an economic crisis. this rule, known as the, quote, liquidity coverage rule, end quote, is an important tool for banking regulators to guard against the type of contagion we saw during the financial crisis. however, the bank regulators excluded all municipal securities because they concluded that municipal securities as a class are difficult to sell and stress -- in stressed markets. this may be generally true, but the investment grade debt of my state of california has lots of buyers and sellers and has a liquidity profile similar to many corporate securities. so it makes sense that if there are municipal securities like california's debt that meet the same eligibility standards as other corporate securities, they
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should also be counted toward a bank's liquid assets under the rule. the federal reserve quickly recognized this problem and has since adopted a correction to permit bank holding companies under its jurisdiction to treat municipal securities that are liquid, market ready and investment grade the same as similar corporate securities. this -- let me just get pages. this bill as amended takes the relief adopted by the federal reserve and extends it to banks regulated by the office of the comptroller of the currency and the federal deposit insurance corporation. it isn't clear to me just how many municipalities will benefit from this legislation, and i imagine most would not, but even if only a handful of our states and cities qualify, the bill is worth passing because it could help to reduce financing costs
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for those governments. i appreciate mrs. maloney's hard work and bipartisan efforts on this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. huizenga: at this time i'd like to yield five minutes to the sponsor of this legislation, the gentleman from indiana, mr. messer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for five minutes. mr. messer: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my co-author on this bill, congresswoman maloney, for her great leadership on this legislation. as well as chairman huizenga, chairman hensarling, the ranking member waters, and the entire financial services team for their hard work on this important legislation. mr. speaker, it's a rare occasion in washington when republicans and democrats can come together and get behind a change to the banking regulations. but we stand here today behind h.r. 1624, because the banking regulators, frankly, well, theys
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med it up. they created a rule that -- well, they messed it up. they created a rule that gave foreign entities an advantage over our cities and towns and this advantage is hurting our communities. mr. speaker, this legislation is really quite simple. it will help cities and towns in my state and across the united states save money on roads and bridges and schools -- and schools. president trump has made rebuilding our infrastructure a priority for our nation. this bipartisan bill paves the way for this type of investment by lowering the price tag for roads and bridges. h.r. 1624 reverses a backwards banking regulation that makes it more expensive for u.s. municipalities to finance infrastructure projects. specifically the bill will amend the regulation to enable more banks to hold municipal bonds to cover their liquidity requirements. that change should reduce the cost of borrowing for cities and
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towns across the country. ultimately this bill helps taxpayers by making it cheaper to finance infrastructure projects. h.r. 1624 will help blue states and red states alike. and that's why you've seen such overwhelming bipartisan support for this in the halls of congress. the bill passed the financial services committee unanimously this summer, and very similar legislation passed the chamber by a voice vote last year. still, we've got more work to do and there is now momentum in the senate to get h.r. 1624 across the finish line. . it is also supported by various groups, the governors' association, the national league of cities, the national association of state treasurers, the u.s. conference of mayors and even the state treasurer from my home state of indiana, my good friend kelly mitchell.
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mr. speaker, today we take the first step in this process in the house toward reversing this backwards regulation. i urge all my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the entlelady from california. ms. waters: thank you. i thank mr. messer for his leadership on this legislation, and he did work closely with mrs. maloney, this is a bipartisan bill he correctly stated that we to sometimes get together and work on issues in ways that we can be helpful not only to our constituents in general, but to cities and towns and we've talked an awful lot about wanting to improve our infrastructures and this is one way that it certainly can be done. and i'd like to point out again the federal reserve's role in this because of the way that
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they recognize the problem and what they did to adopt a correction to the problem. this bill, again, as amended, takes the position of the federal reserve. we had members who understood this problem, moved forward on it, recognized that the federal reserve also recognized the problem and when you have several entity who was recognized a problem, it certainly makes good sense and good public policy for everybody to come together to correct it and so with the federal reserve having come forward and taken this -- adopted this relief, it means that it is extended to banks -- banks regulated by the comp troller of the currency and the federal to deposit insurance corporation and again, i wish i could say that every city in the united states would benefit from it but not all will, not all
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need it, but for those who do, i think it is important for us to recognize that when we have the opportunity to come together and to help any part of our country and when it is very easy to do so, i think we should do it. pleased that we've been able to do that. i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time is reserved. the gentleman from michigan. mr. messer: i'm pleased that wes time to close and will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. ms. waters: i yield to the gentlelady from new york, the lead democratic co-sponsor of this bill, as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. maloney: thank you and i thank the ranking member for yielding and for her leadership on this issue and so many others and i strongly support the bill. i'd like to thank my good friend from indiana, mr. messer, for his leadership. we introduced this bill in order to level the playing field for
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our cities and states by banking regulators to treat certain municipal bonds as liquid assets just like corporate bonds, stocks and other banking assets. as a former member of the city council in new york, i know firsthand the importance of municipal bonds they allow states and cities to finance infrastructure, build school, pave roads, build subways, they're all financed with municipal bonds. unfortunately, in the banking regulators ealy quidity rules, which requires them to hold an amount of liquid asset they chose to allow corporate bonds to qualify as liquid asset bus completely excluded mue move nits pal bonds, even though that are just as liquid and high grade as corporate bonds. this makes no sense and it effectively discriminates
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against municipal bonds and cities. a municipal bond that is just as liquid as the most liquid corporate bond would not be counted as a liquid asset under the rule just because it was issued by a municipality rather than a corporation. the fed has already recognized this error and has amended its rule to fix the problem but the o.c.c., which regulates national banks, is still refusing to amend its rule and insists on favoring corporations over municipalities. so mr. mercer and -- mr. messer and i introduced this bill because this kind of arbitrary discrimination against municipalities cannot be allowed to continue. in sum this bill levels the playing field for cities and states in a way that maintains the safety and soundness of our banking system, the bill passed the financial services committee
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60-0 in july, and last congress, the bill passed the full house by voice vote. so i urge my colleagues to once again report this bipartisan legislation which is critically important for our constituents and our cities and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. messer: i will continue to reserve, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentlelady from california. ms. waters: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from michigan to close. mr. messer: very quickly, i rise in support of 1624, commend my ranking member from capital markets, mrs. maloney, as well as the work from my colleague from indiana -- mr. huizenga: very quickly i rise in support of 1624. this is commonsense, bipartisan solution to a mistake made by regulators. we need to grant clarity and
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harmony for those borrowing those dollars, those municipalities, states and cities as well as the investors and those who hold these bonds. so i appreciate the opportunity to be here and am pleased that we can support h.r. 1624. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1624 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection the title is amended.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass s. 782, the protect our children act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 782, an act to
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renew the crimes against children and for other purposes. the eaker pro tempore: gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i ask the gentleman from unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on s. 782 currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i'm pleased today we are voting to re-authorize the prosecutorial remedies and other tools to end the exploitation of children act of 2003 or the protect act. the protect act authorizes local law enforcement task forces to combat crimes against children online. these internet crimes against children, or icac task forces, have been crucial in the prevention and investigation of prosecution of internet crimes against children. the program was developed in response to the increasing
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number of children and teenagers using the internet. the proliferation of child sexual abuse images available electronically and heightened online activity by predators seeking unsupervised contact with potential underage victims. since the inception in 199 , more than 598 -- more than 189,000 law enforcement officers and other professionals have been trained on techniques to investigate and prosecute icac related cases. more than 7,9,000 -- more than 79,000 complaints have been reviewed, resulting in the arrests of more than 73,000 individuals. there are now 61 coordinated task forces representing over 4,500 federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. the need for these icac task
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forces has never been greater. the use of the internet by children is only increasing and so are the crimes committed against them. law enforcement officers are encountering new types of crimes such as sextortion that create new complexities in their investigation. i'd like to take a moment to commend ms. wasserman schultz of florida and mr. smith of texas for introducing the companion bill in the house. during his tenure as judiciary committee chairman, my friend lamar smith was a tireless advocate on behalf of the nation's children. children are -- are our nation's most precious resource and we midwest ensure their protection. as a father and grandfather i can think of no more important role we can play than protecting -- protecting our children. i reserve the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: i ask to speak for such time as i may consume. unanimous consent.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: thank you, mr. speaker. before i start, i want to congratulate the gentlelady from florida for her consistent work on this legislation. for those of us who have served, we certainly are well aware of the work that has been done. aye been privileged on the judiciary committee to join with her work and i want to congratulate her on that. as we begin, let me also take just a moment to acknowledge again the massacre that occurred on sunday night in las vegas, nevada. and as i was pondering the actions of this body last evening with a moment of silence, i wondered whether that, although it is of much reverence, whether that in fact will heal the wounds of those who lost their loved ones or those who are still mending, the
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500-plus that were in the hospital and have been in the hospital. s. 782, i speak to want to make it clear that i think it is crucial that the letter that both mr. conyers and signed regarding asserting jurisdiction on the silencer bill is crucial. and as well it is crucial that this body does more than this in essence -- more than just in essence a moment of silence to hear the wounds of those who are now speechlessing about the loss of their loved ones. and as well it might be time to take a knee or to kneel but it is time to pass legislation. and i would hope that we would pass legislation that has been
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offered, the king-thompson bill and a number of other legislative initiatives that many of us have. with that, i rizz -- i rise in support of s. 782, the provide regular sources, officers and technology to eradicate cyberthreats to our children act of 2017. this legislation will re-authorize the national internet crimes against children task force program by amending the language in section 105-h of the protect our children act of 2008, introduced by then-senator joe biden. this bill authorizes appropriations for this program in the amount of $60 million for each fiscal year from 2018 to 2022. these figures are consistent with current appropriated levels. we have a special responsibility to protect our young people. for that reason, i support s. 782 a bill that would provide adequate resources to help
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eradicate the cyberthreat that continue to threaten the lives of our children. i support this important bipartisan measure for several reasons. first, it will facilitate more comprehensive investigation into violent acts, perpetrated against innocent children. the task force program creates a coordinated group of investigative task forces representing 350rks0 federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. second this bill will provide support to officers that will allow them to better identify these threats, conduct investigations and training and enforce the laws. the the task force is particularly important because it becomes a specialty entity that deals with saving our children. aids local ce departments. as the internet becomes more
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sophisticated and there are those who would want to be bad actors and utilize this very important national and international asset, this task force is crucial. they provide law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies with guidance on victim support, forensic investigations, training and technical assistance, prevention and community education. crucial elements to a holistic approach to stopping the attack on our children and stopping the sexual exploitation on our children and stopping the internet crimes against our children. in judiciary today we are dealing with another aspect of this issue, which is sex trafficking and human trafficking. and so this is an important component, again, to giving our children back their innocence and letting them be strong in the knowledge of the love and affection that the nation has for them and protecting them as they grow and thrive in this nation. finally, this bill will provide the technological resources needed to detect online threats in realtime, and provide a platform on which law
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enforcement can operate in order to bring these perpetrators to justice. just this morning the judiciary committee, as i indicated, held a hearing regarding online sex trafficking. we're all in agreement that we must eradicate this threat to our young people, as we make -- as we must take action against other victimization of children that can occur online. this legislation is a key element of that. although we still have work to do to address these problems this bill is a good start and for the foregoing reasons, i ask my colleagues to support this bill. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from virginia. >> mr. speaker, i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: it's my pleasure to yield for such time as he might consume the ranking , mber of the full committee mr. conyers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for as much time as
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he may consume. mr. conyers: i thank the speaker and, mr. speaker, i rise in providing s. 782, the resources, officers and technology to eradicate cyberthreats to our children act of 2017. i began by thanking my colleague from texas, ms. jackson lee. who has worked so diligently on this matter. mr. speaker, this bill authorizes appropriations for this program in the amount of $60 million for each fiscal year rom 2018 through 2022. these figures are consistent with current appropriated levels
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. we must continue to protect our children from the daily threats that permeate the electronic atform platform and endanger the well-being of our children. earlier this morning, as has been said, the house judiciary crime subcommittee held a hearing addressing these very problems. as ranking member of that committee, i vow to continue my commitment toward eradicating this infectious poison that has claimed the innocence of so many of our youth. i look forward to working with my colleagues and others on these very important issues and so that is why i support the measures put forth in this bill.
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thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. >> mr. speaker, i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves his time. the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: it gives me great pleasure, i would say, to yield six minutes to the gentlelady from florida who has been a key supporter and advocate for this important legislation, debbie wasserman schultz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for six minutes. was was thank you, mr. speaker -- ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank the gentlelady from texas for her commitment, for her work, for yielding. i spent five years as a proud member of the judiciary committee and miss it and hope to return one day to add onto my responsibilities as a member of the appropriations committee. and mr. goodlatte, thank you very much for your leadership and your solid, consistent support for this program over the last decade. i do rise today in strong support of s. 782, the providing
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resources, officers and technology to eradicate cyberthreats to our children act, or the protect our children act. because at this very moment, there are thousands of children out there waiting to be saved. our children deserve, as we all agree, a future that's healthy, prosperous, bright, secure and, most of all, safe. that's of course what every parent cares about the most, the safety of their children. but sadly, our children are vulnerable when they are online. with the proliferation of the internet and wireless technology, online child pornography has become an epidemic and i don't use that term lightly. the ever-increasing reach of the modern internet has facilitated an exploding multibillion-dollar market for child pornography. tragically the demand for this criminal market can only be supplied by graphic new images and these images can only be supplied through the sexual assault of more children. and let's not forget that these are not just heinous photos or
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images. they are simply crime scene photos, created by a thriving industry that uses children as sexual commodities. 10 years ago i introduced h.r. 3845, providing resources, officers and technology to eradicate cyberthreats to or protect our children act of 2007. i had a house judiciary committee meeting on that bill. we heard from a very brave young woman, alicia. she had been abducted by an internet predator when she was just 13 years old. she was held captive in his dungen basement and sexually tortured for four days. the f.b.i. found her because the virginia internet crimes against children task force or icac had the technology to lift the digital fingerprints of this perpetrator's crimes. they were able to discover the location are we held her captific, chained to the floor, connected to a collar around her neck. internet crimes officers tracked the i.p. address back to his door and literally rescued
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alicia from death. i remember alicia's testimony like it was yesterday. because it moved many of the members of that committee, including myself, to tears. over the course of that next year, we learned a lot about these types of offenders. who they are, how they operate, and most importantly where they are. we saw detailed law enforcement maps that showed the locations of hundreds of thousands of sexual predators, over half of whom had actual child victims waiting to be rescued. now that might -- that number might lend people to think, come on, that has to be an exaggeration. it is not. i've seen the evidence before my eyes, hundreds of thousands of sexual predators. each on a computer that they are uploading pictures of child victims that they are sexually assaulting. and these maps describe a truly harogbueze environment. and congress did what it was supposed to do. we acted. we passed h.r. 3845 and the
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following year passed its companion, s. 1738. this legislation created, established the national internet crimes against children or icac task force program. a specialized group of law enforcement officials dedicated to the protection of our children. in 2009 and 2010, congress funded the icac task force at close to their full authorization levels of $50 million per year. the task force grew then from 42 to 61 and arrests and childress cues doubled. they doubled -- child rescues doubled. they doubled. an untold number of sexual assaults were prevented by virtue of the fact that the most dangerous offenders were sitting behind bars where they could no longer harm our children. in 2011, however, the icac task force budget was slashed. cut from $50 million to where it is today at $27 million. so with all due respect, i have to correct my colleagues. we are not funding the icac at authorized levels.
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this cut remains in tact despite the fact that as of august, 2017, law enforcement has seen nearly a half million unique i.p. addresses trafficking. that's hundreds of thousands of separate online predators and that number is only from january, 2017, to august 31, 2017. even more heartbreaking, law enforcement officials tell us that the victims are getting younger. most ubbled the age of 10. and the abuse is getting more sadistic. according to the national center for missing and exploited children, 44% of the images, mr. speaker, that they viewed in 2016 depicted sexual torture. law enforcement also tells us that only 7% of the top 100 traders on peer to peer networks of these pictures trade these types of images are even under investigation. mr. speaker, this is not just unacceptable, it is tragic. we owe our children much better than this. they deserve our help. and a congress that will do whatever it can to ensure their health and safety. s. 782, the senate version of the bill that i've introduced in march of this year with my
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colleague and friend, lamar smith, as the chairman kindly thanked us, re-authorizes the national internet crimes against children task force program. according to estimates, half of the arrests made by icac teams lead us to the door of a hands-on offender and thus a child waiting to be rescued. the protect our children re-authorization before us today will help us continue to provide the safety net that we so desperately need by allowing these highly successful icac task forces to continue to support state and local law enforcement agencies. and while i applaud house leadership for making sure this crucial childress cue program and fund something not allowed to expire, i beseech my colleagues to also make sure that the icac task forces are fully funded. as a member of the promings -- promingses -- appropriations committee, i press for that every year. we have to do better. we have to get as close to the authorization level as we can because we actually rescue children when the more resources we put into this. mr. speaker, i would ask for an additional minute. ms. jackson lee: i yield the
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gentlelady an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for one additional minute. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker. we must give the protection of these children our full focus and effort. please, think about these precious babies being victimized. if you are a parent and many of us are, god for bid it was your own -- forbid it was your own child and it could be any of our children. because of the prevalence of our children being online. let's give these icac teams the resources they need to rescue as many children as possible. if we do that, thoices -- thousands more innocent children will be protected from these unspeakable crimes. they are but for the grace of god, go our families and our children. i want to thank my republican lead co-sponsor, congressman lamar smith, for teaming up with me again to re-authorize this for yet another five years. this critical issue. i urge my colleagues to support the protect act re-authorization. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i continue to reserve, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: reserves his time. the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: does the gentleman have any further
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speakers? let me thank the ranking member of the full committee and ms. wasserman schultz for her very, very instructive and important statements and particularly the plea that you made, ms. wasserman schultz, that we must both re-authorize the and more importantly fund these task forces because they do in fact save lives. let me acknowledge the chairman of this committee for the collaboration on this bill. and again emphasize that we must make sure that it is authorized at the amount of money needed. if there is ever an unfortunate and tragic example, it is that of the story of alicia. but alicia represents the johnnies and marys and tommies , d others across the nation aquamies and letitia and whorse fall victim to this kind of cruel -- letitias and others who
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fall victim to this kind of cruel attack on our children. innocent as they are, smart as they are, using the internet as they do. online for any number of reasons. but then woulded by a dastardly person who wants to do them harm. the task forces that are now based upon knowledge, expertise, commitment, passion and the number of staffing that they need can really be not only prevention but intervention to stop our children from falling victim. so i'd ask my colleagues to support s. 782 the providing resources, officers and technology to eradicate cyberthreats to our children act of 2017. or protect our children act. to support this as quickly as possible so that it can move to the president's desk and as well that we continue the pathway not only of intervention and prevention, but completely ceasing the online violence against our children. because we have been able to
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ensure that these individuals in large numbers are brought to justice. and by that very point, they cease to survive and thrive on the internet. i thank you for the time and i yield back the balance of my time, asking for the support of s. 782. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: -- mr. goodlatte: to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their strong, bipartisan support and our staff on both sides of the aisle for their outstanding work on this very important legislation to re-authorize a program that i am very, very familiar with. the sheriff of bedford county, virginia, has been a leading advocate for this program and s provided services in his sheriff's department that has protected thousands of children, not just in our immediate region
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in southwest virginia, but all across the country. and i am very, very familiar with the work that goes in, day in and day out, of training law enforcement officers, prosecutors and others, as well as the detection and prosecution of individuals who would commit these heinous crimes. this bill has done as much as any i know to keep children safe on the internet. this law and this bill is important to re-authorize it for another five years. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 782 as ameppeded? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the nonche chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative -- mr. goodlatte: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: those asking for a vote by the yeas and nays will rise a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered.
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pursuant to clause of rule 20, further proceedings on this atter are post-penned. -- postponed. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: i move to suspend the rules and pass s. 178, the elder abuse prevention and prosecution act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 178, an act to prevent elder abuse and exploitation and protect victims in elder abuse and exploitation cases. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes.
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mr. goodlatte: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remark and include extraneous materials on s. 178, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: s. 178, the elder abuse prevention act takes steps to protect american seniors from financial exploitation and physical abuse. this legislation promotes the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators who prey upon seniors, enhances data collection and provides resources for robust elder abuse prevention programs. some estimate that approximately one in 10 senior citizens are abused annually but only one in 23 cases of elder abuse is reported to authorities each year. at least 2.9 -- at least $2.9 billion is taken from older adults each year due -- due to financial abuse and
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exploitation. the abuse of these vulnerable victims causes devastating physical, mental, emotional and financial consequences to the victims and their loved ones and we must combat this injustice this bill requires each u.s. attorney's office to appoint an elder justice coordinator and requires the f.b.i. to provide specialized training to agents relating to the investigation of elder abuse crime. it mandates that both the department of justice and the federal trade commission designate an elder justice coordinator. it strengthens criminal laws to ensure that offenders who seek to exploit seniors through fraudulent email marketing are appropriately punished and it enhances data collection on crimes against senior citizens so we can one day understand the full scope of this problem. i believe it was mahatma gandhi who said, a nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members. we must ensure that appropriate measures are take ton protect
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our senior citizens and that is precisely what this bill aims to do. this bill passed the senate unanimously and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. in similar fashion. i want to thank the gentleman from michigan, the ranking member of the committee, for his work on this important legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of s. 178, the elder abuse prevention and prosecution act. i thank the chairman of the judiciary committee for his excellent work in this area. this legislation would increase protections for elder abuse victims which is very important.
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cases of ajority of abuse, cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation -- go unaddressed. each year, nearly $3 billion are taken from older adults due to financial abuse and exploitation. this is happening across all racial, social, economic, gender and geographic lines. this important measure increases protections for victims by first ensuring support for federal cases involving elder abuse. this support will include the requirement that the attorney general designate at least one assistant united states attorney to serve as an elder justice coordinator in every judicial
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trained to prosecute assessment and conduct public outreach on elder abuse. additionally this measure would also require that the executive office for the united states attorneys to operate an elder abuse resource group and a working group to advise the justice department on elder abuse issues. secondly this measure would require the establishment of best practices for local, state, and federal data collection to focus on elder abuse, including, for example, the total number of federal investigations of elder abuse and locations where cases are filed. findings under this legislation include the fact that older adults who are abused are three
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times more likely to die earlier than older adults of the same age who are not abused and that up to half of all older adults with dementia will experience abuse. for these reasons, a third component of this measure that i find extremely important and valuable is the enhanced victim assistance to elder abuse survivors. this measure would require that an annual report by submitted to congress on the funding under the victims crime act of 1984 for victims of crimes who are elders. finally this measure adds a new definition of telemarketing and email marketing under the telemarketing statute to protect
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victims of such scams which typically involve elders. we must do everything possible to support victims of elder abuse and prevent the abuse from occurring in the first place. so for these several reasons, i'm very pleased to support the bill with the chairman of the committee and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, we have no other speakers and we're prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the ntleman from michigan is recognized to close. mr. conyers: thank you.
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members of the house, the elder abuse problem has mr. conyers: thank you. devasta consequences to the victims as well as their loved ones and is an affront to america's older adults. it involves the exploitation of some of our most vulnerable citizens and this measure includes a multipronged approach to prevent elder abuse and exploitation. protect the victims of elder abuse and exploitation from further harm, and bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. pleased to urge my colleagues to support this measure and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the pleased gentleman from virg. mr. goodlatte: i yield myself the balance of my time to again thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their work on this important legislation to help protect
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senior citizens from crime. i know from experience that there are many, many senior citizens who become victims of online, on telephone, and in other forms of fraud that's perpetrated upon them and this legislation helps to provide resources and appropriate punishments to detect the people who perpetrate these crimes and bring them to justice and i urge my colleagues to support the bill and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 178. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmive -- affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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for what purpose does the gentlelady from georgia seek recognition? mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution delsh >> mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 548, i call up h.r. 36, the pain capable unborn child protection act and ask for
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its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 36, a bill to amend united states code to protect pain-capable unborn children and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from georgia, ms. handel, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from -- the gentlelady from georgia. mrs. handel: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 36. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. handel: i yeeled myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. handel: i rise in support of h.r. 36, the pain-capable unborn child protection act, nobody as michaelh's law. this prevents abortion at 20 weeks after forgetly case. that's the beginning of the fifth month of pregnancy. that's the point in the pregnancy when a substantial body of medical evidence shows that a baby in the womb can feel
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pain. h.r. 36 is humane legislation for innocent babies and for mothers. it includes exceptions for the life of the mother and exceptions in the case of rape and incest. additionally this bill imposes criminal liability only on the medical professional performing that abortion, not on the mother. mr. speaker, there is broad consensus within the medical community. babies at five months in the womb are not only able to feel pain, they can hear music, they can even respond to human voices. america is one of only seven countries in the world that still allows elective late-term abortions, joining north korea and china. today, we understand so much more about a baby's development during a pregnancy. voluntarily terminating the life of an innocent baby when we know that baby can feel pain can no longer be acceptable. and a mit

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