tv U.S. House of Representatives 11072017 CSPAN November 7, 2017 10:00am-10:53am EST
the former governor of louisiana. he was shot right in that building. it is the tallest in the nation. ist stop on our tour tallahassee on december 6. now to the house of representatives just coming into session. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., november 7, 2017. i hereby -- the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., november 7, 2017, i hereby appoint the mr. weber to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 3, 2017, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour
debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties. all time shall be equally allocated between the parties and in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip shall be limited to five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. mr. ompson: thank you, speaker. mr. speaker, this week penn state university recognizes military appreciation week, which is in conjunction with its homecoming celebration. the penn state homecoming and military appreciation game will take place and appropriately so on veterans day, saturday, november 11, against rutgers scarlett knights at beaver stadium. it will celebrate penn state and the commitment to alumni and others in the community who have served in our military. i'm so pleased to see the penn state community honoring service members, veterans and their families, expressing appreciation to them and recognizing their sacrifices of old star families.
faculty, staff and students from around the university and within the community are engaging in planning and recognizing active duty and veteran military personnel and their families. mr. speaker, the state college borough and center county have also joined with university park to present numerous events for veterans and their families during military appreciation month. events began on october 2 with a penn state veterans career fair and will continue until the end of this week. the vietnam veterans traveling memorial wall came to university park during the month's events. i had the opportunity to participate in both the opening and closing ceremonies for the wall and it was a moving tribute to all those who served during the vietnam war. the theme for the -- the center county event was welcome home. we all know that many instances our vietnam veterans did not receive a warm welcome home when they actually returned home from war. this is a scar on our history and one that we are working to
heal. the traveling wall served as a reminder of the efforts to promote liberty and freedom that our vietnam veterans put forth. military appreciation events continue this week in conjunction with homecoming. there will be a veterans day ceremony in front of old main on friday, tailgate before the military appreciation football game saturday and a freedom 5-k for posttraumatic stress disease, those suffering to benefit them. the six-week regional celebration culminates sunday afternoon with military appreciation basketball games for both the penn state men's and women's team at the bryce jordan center. mr. speaker, caring for our veterans and military has been one of our top priorities since beginning my congressional service. it has a special place in my heart not just because all that our veterans have done but i have seen the magnitude as a sacrifice. as a military father i know wearing the uniform is about service and sacrifice. i thank all those who serve this -- who serve and have
served this great nation. i look forward to honoring their service this week at penn state and every corner of our country. may god bless our veterans, the united states america and the nittany lions for a homecoming win. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, ms. bonamici, for five minutes. ms. bonamici: mr. speaker, i rise today in strong opposition to the dangerous tax plan that's currently being considered by the house ways and means committee. house republicans wrote this proposal behind closed doors and presented it to congress and the public just last week. this is not the kind of bipartisan tax plan we need to help lift up working families, grow our economy and lead to a better future for our constituents. in fact, under this proposed plan, about 80% of the benefits will go to the wealthiest 1%. and while helping out wealthy
individuals and corporations, the proposal hurts many working families by getting rid of deductions for state and local taxes and medical expenses, for example. and mr. speaker, there's another place where this bill will hurt working families. mr. speaker, benjamin franklin said an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. when it comes to education, this plan is an inexcusable lost opportunity. education is one of the smartest investments we can make and tax policy is a place where there is tremendous potential to do great things. unfortunately, this tax proposal shortchanges america's schools, students and teachers. 90% of students attend public schools, yet, this tax plan starves public education by making changes to the property tax deduction and reducing funding sources for the bipartisan every student succeeds act. on top of that, the plan would
turn 529 college saving plans into a trump-devos voucher scheme that will primarily aid wealthy families and will further undermine our public education system. and this tax plan doesn't just hurt our students, it hurts our teachers. right now across the country teachers pay an average $500 a year out of their pocket to help stock their classrooms with supplies like pencils, notebooks and materials to enhance learning and that's been offset by a $250 classroom supplies deduction which is the least we could do to help those hardworking underpaid teachers. but this bill eliminates that deduction for classroom supplies. and we should all also be deeply concerned about the consequences of this g.o.p. tax plan for families who invest in higher education. the bill eliminates, eliminates the student loan interest deduction, making it harder rather than easier for millions
of americans who are working to pay off their student loans. and on top of that, the bill repeals the lifetime learning credit and the hope scholarship credit as major reductions in tax credits for tuition and will make employer-paid tuition count as income. that's the wrong direction. we need a tax proposal that helps, not hurts students and families. this proposal takes away important investments in education, and at the same time will add about $1.5 trillion to the deficit, leaving our children and grandchildren to pay the bill. mr. speaker, this plan will limit opportunities for people to get ahead. that's wrong. we should come back to the table and craft a plan that works for all americans, not a plan that strongly and wrongly favors those at the top. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota, mr. emmer, for five minutes.
mr. emmer: mr. speaker, i rise today to celebrate an outstanding educator in my district. ian omar of st. cloud was recently honored as seven recipients of an outstanding refugee from the minnesota department of human services. this award honors refugees or their children who are making innovative contributions to heir community and ian is well deserving of this commendation. as a language arts teacher at st. cloud technical high school, but for ms. herrera beutler: work in education extends beyond the classroom and -- for her her work in education extnds beyond the classroom and she was at the st. cloud event where she spoke about interpersonal education. thank you, ian, for your commitment to education and congratulations on this
well-deserved award. mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize an outstanding constituent from my district, andy feel of monticello. andy recently competed in the 2017 food distributor association truck driving championships in orlando, florida. this competition highlights the best drivers in the food industry. this competition honors drivers from all over the country and their commitment to safety and excellent customer service. andy's devotion to safety is career as he's been accident-free for 11 years and counting. like the twin cities division where andy is employed supplies food to professional facilities, hospitals, hotels. we need people like andy who deliver food safely and efficiently across the country every day. i commend andy and all those who competed in the competition this year for your dedication to professionalism and safety. i'm glad my district, the state
of minnesota and our nation have dedicated truck drivers like andy. mr. speaker, i rise to recognize five outstanding citizens in my district for their heroism. kurt, adam and dennis and high school students abigail and madison worked hand in hand to save the life of daniel. daniel was on a bridge in minnesota this summer when he accidentally touched a live wire and was electricuted, sending him to the ground. thankfully his friends abigail and madison called 911 and began giving c.p.r. they saved daniel's life. the quick response of these heroes ensured daniel's full recovery. without them daniel would likely not be with us today. i'm lucky to represent such sufficientless and heroic
people who run to their fellow citizens in times of need. thank you for saving daniel's life and showing our community what a true hero looks like. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the incredible members of the elk river chamber of commerce. communities in my district like elk river are successful because the members support and encourage one another. recently the elk river chamber of commerce which represents 360 local businesses honored some of the most active members as this year's outstanding volunteers. one was pam artman. in just two years with the chamber she was named ambassador of the year for bringing positivity to her role. the chamber also honored tamara ackerman of avalon for her work chairing and growing the shiver elk river 5-k, 10-k run. for this she received the pace setter award which highlights her dedication to service on the chamber board. finally, the chamber recognized
two with the keystone award which recognizes their long standing commitment with and their work on behalf of the chamber. i'm glad to recognize you on your well-deserved awards and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. kelly, for five minutes. ms. kelly: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to say what many in this body have said, we should simplify this tax code. however, i am opposed to you and your caucus' to write this bill in secret, hidden away from the public eye. i am 100% opposed to your plan to give massive tax breaks to a superrich few and leave the middle class and working families to pay the bill. the richest 1% of americans will receive 1/3 of the overall benefits from your so-called tax reform plan in 2018.
but by 2027, this lucky superrich handful of americans will receive half of its benefits. mr. speaker, that is just wrong. hardworking moms and dads deserve a tax break, not the wealthiest. so, yes, i'm 100% opposed to limiting the state and local tax deduction, a provision in the republican tax plan that would hike taxes on more than 40% of my constituents. ipe 100% opposed to -- i am 100% opposed to limiting the student loan deduction, especially at a time when student debt totals more than $1 trillion. nearly 2/3 of the illinois college graduates have debt and their average debt totals more than $28,000. mr. speaker, i am 100% opposed to repealing of the elder tax credit, which helps families keep loved ones at home as they age. i am 100% opposed to denying teachers, hardworking men and women who dedicated their lives to teaching the next generation a deduction when they dip into
their own pockets to purchase school supplies that students need. i am 100% opposed to repealing the work opportunity tax credit that helps businesses hire our brave veterans and young people starting their careers. i am 100% opposed to repealing the often drug expense credit that helps find cures for iseases like sickle cell anemia, cerebral palsy. and i am 100% opposed to saddling my children and grandchildren with an additional $1.5 trillion in debt just so republicans can give a tax break to their donor base. this is a scam. mr. speaker, i stand with the national farmers union, aarp, the national american council on adoptable children, the national federation of independent businesses, fix the debt, the american society of civil engineers, the national association of realtors, the mortgage bankers association, the "chicago sun-times," and
the majority of americans in opposing your so-called tax reform that is nothing more than another attempt by the g.o.p. to steal from the middle class and give to the rich. instead of packaging tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, let's work together on a plan for all americans. let's stop allowing one side of the aisle the ability to write legislation affecting more than 300 million people in secret, behind closed doors and away from the public eye. i am 100% in favor of bringing in some sunlight and letting the american people know exactly what we're doing. i am 100% in favor doing what we were elected to do -- fix problems by working together. i am 100% in favor of real tax reform. i am 100% in favor of giving hardworking moms and dads what they need and deserve, a tax break. i am 100% in favor of growing the earned income tax credit so families get bigger paychecks. i am 100% in favor of creating tax initiatives for businesses
that hire and train at-risk young people and underemployed people. and i am 100% in favor of a childcare tax credit that actually reflects the true cost of childcare in america. let's put the politics aside and give the american people real tax reform that supports working families and our small businesses. on another note, one more thing i'm 100% against is more thought and prayers and moments of silence and no action toward gun violence prevention. shame on us, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: thank you very much. approximately five weeks ago we tragically lost four soldiers in niger. staff sergeant brian black. sergeant ladavid johnson, sergeant justin wright, and staff sergeant jeremy johnson. as recently as this past week we lost a soldier in afghanistan,
sergeant first class steven cribben. to honor those i just named and their families, i would like to close by reading a september 26, 20 so editorial by bob schieffer, the host of face the nation. the title was the real cost of war. i was in an airport lounge the other day when i saw a woman across the way. why i kept staring i don't know. maybe it's just that she seemed so sad. and then i understood and looked away. hoping she had not seen me stare. because in her lap was an american flag neatly fold food a triangle and placed in a clear plastic case a flag folded the way it always is when it's given to a soldier's family. as the soldier's coffin is lowered into the grave. figured her to be a soldier's
mother and couldn't help what memories it held. does-d it remind her the first time she had seen a child in the delivery room or the memory of seeing him go to school that first day, or when he brought home the prize from the science fair, or maybe made the touchdown, or gave hert first valentine when he wrote out, momma, i love you. i kept thinking about the talk in washington about the high cost of defense and how we have to cut the pentagon budget. but i watched the woman, budget seemed to be such a small part of all of it. no, the real cost of war is not what we pay in dollars and cents. the real cost is what we take from a mother who is left with just a memory and neatly folded plastic case. mr. speaker, i share that with the house because do i not understand why -- i do not understand why after plastic ca
mr. speaker, i 16 years in afghanistan we cannot have a debate on the floor of the house by all the members here, both parties, of whether we should continue to stay in afghanistan or not. le after 16 years we spent -- after 16 years we spent over $1 trillion. 2,300 americans have been killed. and over 20,000 wounded. but the house does not have a debate. i call on mr. ryan to please, as speaker of the house, initiate the committees of jurisdiction to mark up a new aumf and bring it to the floor and let the 435 members of the house have a debate no matter whether they want to stay or come home. but by not debating, we're not meeting our constitutional responsibility. i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. clyburn, for five minutes. mr. clyburn: thank you, mr. speaker. i request permission to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. clyburn: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise to alert the scam an people to the tax
that is the republicans' tax reform proposal unveiled last week. it is reported that president trump wanted to call this bill, quote-unquote, cut, cut, cut. that would have been apropos. the first cut is for him and his family scam that is members. the second cut is for his wealthy friends. and aquaintances. the third cut is for the large corporations classified as l.l.c.'s. it certainly does not cut taxes for middle income families or most small businesses. in fact, it does just the opposite. it is crystal clear who gets the cuts and who gets to pay more. first and foremost, the g.o.p. tax plan eliminates inheritance applies to .2% families who wish to pass
along their wealth, unearned and untaxed. why are republicans doing this? because it's a huge priority for some of their biggest donors. the middle income families will $172 ed to pay for this billion giveaway to the super rich. the g.o.p. pretend not to be cutting taxes for the super rich by maintaining the top rate of 39.6%. however their plan increases the income levels that the 39.6% applies to from $470,000 a year to $1 million. these proposed rate changes will cost over $1 trillion. the g.o.p. tax plan also features a special rate for the owners of pass-through business that is will cost $448 billion.
these are l.l.c.'s and partnerships who pay zero corporate taxes and whose owner's income is treated the same as everybody else's. l.l.c.'s and other types of pass-throughs make up 95% of all the businesses in the country. some of the largest businesses like chrysler, and of course ost of the entities owned by the trump organization are l.l.c.'s. pass-throughs that are truly small businesses are not currently subject to the highest rates and already pay 25% or lower. the national federation of independent businesses opposes this provision for this very reason.
mr. speaker, most of us, especially those who have worked in state governments, view our states as the best laboratories for the development of good ideas and best practices. this pass-through idea was the centerpiece of governor sam brownback's tax overhaul in kansas five years ago. the governor promised it would yield massive economic growth. what happened? kansas was plunged into a massive budget deficit and forced to make draconian cuts to education, infrastructure, and the rest of the state's operations. this year the kansas legislature overrode the governor's shortsighted experiment. i urge my colleagues not to make the same mistake here. this scam will subject the good people of this country to a
second great recession in a single decade. middle income families will pay re because the g.o.p. plan eliminates deductions for state and local taxes. this includes millions of americans and over $500,000 south carolinians. middle income families who itemize deductions will pay more because elimination of the personal exemption will cost per households $4,000 member. middle income families who utilize interest deduction also pay more because the g.o.p. plan lowers the cap. middle income families with children in college or recent graduates will pay more because the g.o.p. plan eliminates deductions for interest or student loans. middle income families that are victims of natural disasters will pay more because the g.o.p. plan eliminates the casualty
loss deductions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. clyburn: mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from corpus christi, texas, for ive minutes. >> mr. speaker, as the nation celebrates veterans day this week, a day we honor those who serve our country, i'm happy to report the v.a. has made great strides in improving and assisting veterans with physical injuries. it struggled, however, to deal with many of the invisible industries -- injuries plaguing our veterans like posttraumatic stress disorder. mr. farenthold: these invisible injuries ravage our nation's veterans population with an average of more than 20 veterans a day committing suicide. this is en-- entirely unacceptable. we must work harder to look for
real solutions to this crisis. that's why i'm here today urging my colleagues to support puppies assisting wounded servicemen act. also known as the paws act t will set up five-year pilot program in the v.a. to provide pose-9/11 veterans suffering from ptsd service dogs if other treatments have not been successful. ptsd duals suffering from experience emotional numbness, loneliness, nightmares, hyper vigilance, and anxiety. however traditional v.a. treatments ptsd experience emotional are sympto and often have side effects or fail to address the root of these issues. service dogs, however, have no side effects. they can be used in tandem with other treatments. they can be trained to wake their owners from nightmares, create a buffer zone in large crowd. remind their owners to take their medication, and watch their owner's back to provide a sense of security, and more. i have heard from veterans suffering from ptsd that sometimes the hardest part of
the day is just getting out of bed in the morning. the schedule of walking, feeding, caring for his or her service dog offers veterans with a purpose and sense of responsibility. ultimately a service dog and its owner better each other's lives. it's important that the house pass the paws act and allow the v.a. to exam the efficiency and effectiveness of providing veterans with service dogs. while talking about service animals, i'd also like to recognize eli's fund, an initiative in texas a&m university created in memory of late lance corporal colton rusk and eli, his service dog, that provides financial support for service animals of active duty service men and women, med clad retired veterans and service animals, and retired military animals to help with veterinary medical bills. it's important military animals continue to be cared for in etirement.
mr. speaker, i'm proud to represent the corpus christi army depot, considered the jewel of the army depot system. c cat is currently the largest rotary aircraft repair facility in the world. instead of buying new helicopters which cost $17 million or more, they repair and rehabilitates the current fleet, often at less than half the cost of new helicopters. c cad saves taxpayers millions of dollars while ensuring the u.s. army maintains a superior level of readiness and reliability. this would not be possibly without employees like arm yvette ran george gonzalez who recently received the prestigious 2017 donald f. louis depot maintenance arty an award given an annually to an individual who makes an outstanding contribution in area of maintenance. he leads a 31-man team. under his leadership, the team is reduced the average build
time from 42 to 17 days. congratulations george and your team and everyone at c cad who are doing an outstanding job ensuring our war fighters are equipped with the aviation assets they need to keep america safe and be a force for good around the world. thank you. mr. speaker, i'm here today to recognize the career of recently retired flower bluff high school navy junior rotc instructor solis. in 1993 following completion of nearly 22 years in the navy, he became the inaugural navy junior reserve officer training corps naval science instructor. over the next 24 years he not only instilled his students with values of citizenship and service to the united states, he is personally responsible -- personal responsibility and sense of accomplishment. he also created one of the most successful j rotc programs in the nation. in his first year in the navy selected flower bluff program,
the best new program in texas and by his fourth year the best in the nation. with 23 years as a distinguished nors program, 22 navy j rotc championships, and 1 navy national championships titles. and the honor being the only navy program to win the all drill y service national team championship. commander solis has touched the lives of thousands of students. instilling them with values of patriotism, loyalty, and most importantly service. thank you for your commitment to our students and our nation. i wish you the best in retirement. i drill team championship. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from houston, texas, mr. green. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it's always an honor to stand in the well of the house and have the opportunity to speak to not only the members of congress but to the american people. and today, mr. speaker, i rise because i am in opposition to a
tax plan that has been said to eliminate loopholes but has not done so. let me explain, mr. speaker. i will address but one loophole , i will address the loophole that allowed a person who made $3 billion one year. i don't begrudge him making $3 billion. i also think that every person ought to pay his or her fair share of taxes on whatever they earn. this person made $3 billion. how much is $3 billion? well, let me explain. $3 billion, it would take a minimum wage worker working 198,000 , mr. speaker, years to make $3 billion. 198,000 years. i don't begrudge the person for making it, but here is the
point. the point is, if you make it, you ought to pay your fair share of taxes on it. this country makes it possible for us to do great things. this country makes it possible for us to succeed. so if you succeeded in this country, you ought to contribute to the country itself. paid taxes that were called carried interest. did not pay ordinary income taxes. in fact, paid less than half of what a person making much less, persons who may have worked for him, maybe a secretary, maybe somebody who was making money at a much lower level in our company, paid less than half in taxes, the percentage of the earnings. less than half of the ordinary income tax. it's called carried interest. well, the commitment was that you were going to close loopholes.
you haven't closed that loophole. you haven't eliminated that loophole. i know that there's talk about reducing the size of a big loophole and making it a little less big, but that's not what you promised. you said you were going to eliminate the loopholes. this loophole sends a signal to ordinary americans who are working hard every day. it says to them, you're willing to allow the rich to have more to do more. but you believe that those who work hard every day can do hard with less. i refuse that philosophy. i reject it. i believe that if you're working hard every day, you're earning middle-class wages, i think you ought to be able to get the tax break promised. i don't think that the tax break should go to the person who can make $3 billion and pay less than half of ordinary income tax on it. carried interest was a
commitment that was made. the elimination of carried interest has not taken place. you have not kept your word. there are many other aspects of it. you can't talk about all of them in one message, but you can do this. you can make it clear to working class people, to middle-income people that this tax plan is for those who are going to make the carried interest kind of money. the $3 billion. the money that will allow them to go on and do great things but won't cause them to have to pay their fair share of taxes. i believe in farrance for all and that -- fairness for all and that includes the very, very rich. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from nebraska, mr. bacon, for five minutes. mr. bacon: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to commemorate national american heritage month by honoring a dedicated community leader and warrior from nebraska's second congressional district. growing up on the omaha nation
reservation in nebraska, dr. rudy mitchell was one of eight children raised by sangle mother. rudy's mom, mary, is a strong influence. her focus was on education and ensuring her children had the opportunities she did not have. it was because of her rudy and his siblings went on to pursue higher education, including nieces and nephews, 15 members of his family have earned degrees ranging from bachelors to doctorates and masters degrees. rudy felt the call to serve our nation at a time of war and enlisted in the united states army medical corps. as he will tell you, native americans consider it an honor to serve as a warrior and he was proud to do so in the u.s. army. he was a part of the army medical corps and served a total of three years and 13 months which he deployed to south korea, providing medical support to troops. once his service was complete, dr. mitchell used the g.i. bill to attend the university of nebraska-omaha and in 1973
earned his bachelors of general studies with an emphasis of social work. he pursued his masters of social work in 1975. with his degrees in hand and inspired by his mother's dreams, dr. mitchell worked for the nebraska indian intertribal development corporation and the bureau of indian affairs for winnebago. he returned to macey, nebraska, and was the acting director of outpatient mental health, social services department at the curtis center. he earned his doctorate in counseling from the university of south dakota in december, 1987. dr. mitchell continued to serve those residing at the macey and winnebago reservations including interim president of the indian community college and assistant professor of native american studies at creighton university. he's listed as a qualified expert witness in indian child welfare cases in the courts of
the state of nebraska. this inspires him to continue to make an impact. with a high suicide rate and many suffering from depression, dr. mitchell's made it a mission of his to interact with the youth as a social worker and mental health therapist. ans elder of the omaha nation - as an elder of the omaha nation, he continues to preserve his native language, which his mother did not allow to be spoken in his childhood home because she wanted them to learn english. he also is working to revive the lost culture of his nation, including the importance of his indian name. as direct senate of the last hereditary chief of the omaha nation, he followed his great, great, great grandfather's leadership and served as native american leader on local, state and national level. from 1992 to 1995 he was the tribal chairman of the omaha nation and chief elected
representative over his people. and represented their interests with county supervisors, nebraska unicam rale, united states congress, president of the united states and international leaders. in addition, dr. mitchell served on the board of directors for the big elk center a nonprofit that's providing a multitude of services to more than 8,000 native americans from over 130 tribes that reside in the omaha area. it provides services, teaching omaha language and he's a lifetime member of the v.f.w. post 1581 and american legion post one. although he has officially retired, he serves as an elder of the omaha tribe. through his lifetime of dedicated service he's helped many youth and members of the omaha nation overcome depression and learn about their heritage. we are pride to recognize dr. mitchell as a true warrior, patriot and selfless servant, one that not only fought for his nation but those impacted by mental health issues and
continues to keep his native american culture alive for future generations. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick, for five minutes. mr. speaker, i rise today to share the story of joshua ryan redner, a young man from my district whose tragic story illustrates exactly why we cannot waiver in our commitment to fighting the opioid epidemic. drurg his final year of high school josh was prescribed perk set to treat the pain from a knee injury. his parents, george and jackie, never imagined their son, a star athlete, and an excellent student with plans to attend the coast guard academy, could be dragged down by addiction but addiction can impact anyone, mr. speaker. not long after the initial
prescription, josh's family noticed changes in his behavior and then long after josh's prescription had run dry, george and jackie were still finding pills in josh's room. recognizing the beginning of a serious problem, josh's parents sat him down and josh committed to getting clean. working to get the help he needed, josh entered rehab. unfortunately, the treatment did not hold, and thus began a cycle of relapse. followed by stints in rehab. george and jackie were shocked to learn josh eventually moved from oxycontin, expensive and hard to find, to heroin, which was cheap and easily found. a transition that's all too common. tragedy struck the redner family with the passing of josh's older brother george. devastated by the loss of his role model, josh used the power of his grief to get clean and live a life that would have made his older brother proud. josh found a good-paying job,
acted as a role model for his three younger brothers and was saving money to buy a home. mr. speaker, it's with a broken heart that i say this is not how josh's story ended. josh once again relapsed. speaking with his parents over the phone, josh assured him he would be ok and asked they pick him up the next morning. having no other options, george and jackie agreed. next morning george and jackie found josh next to a picture of his older brother, george, having lost his battle with addiction. in closing, mr. speaker, i'd like to share with you the words that jackie shared with me. her incredible strength is a testament to the love she has for her sons. this heroin epidemic affects everyone it touches. it's not going away. it's only getting worse. i don't want any parent to have to bury their child. i should not have had to bury two of mine. if we can together save one more child from going down the same path as our josh did, then
our efforts will be worth it. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from alabama, mrs. roby, for five minutes. mr. roby: thank you, speaker. in the year 1918 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, the armistice ending world war i was signed. originally known as armistice day, congress later passed and president eisenhower signed a resolution officially designating november 11 as veterans day. now, every day americans paws on this special day to -- pause on this special day to recognize those who served our country in uniform. while we should honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans every day, this day provides a unique opportunity for us to come together as a nation and pay tribute to the men and women who put their
lives on the line for our freedom. this year i'll be participating in my hometown of montgomery's veterans day event and i highly encourage you and your family to tained the festivities in your area area. i promise you won't regret it. for me it's not only my time to express gratitude for those who served but it's a chance for my children to meet veterans and to better understand the sacrifices that they have made for us. if you can't attend an event in person, i hope you will take time to reach out to friends and relatives who have served and let them know how much you appreciate them. mr. speaker, this veterans day comes as services for veterans are improving, both on a national level and locally in alabama's second congressional district. i've been impressed by the leadership of the secretary of veterans affairs, dr. david shulkin. he's been making the long troubled department better for
those it serves. closer to home for me in central alabama, veterans' health care center has improved its service rating and now ranks three out of five stars. this is encouraging news, especially considering that just a few short years ago the central alabama v.a. was one of the nation's worst. our v.a. now has the steady leadership of dr. linda bull and it's no question her guidance has made a difference in making the sustained progress. i am eager to see it continue. we still have significant issues to address at our central alabama v.a., which is why i will remain actively engaged in working to turn around the center. mr. speaker, it's my distinct honor to represent a district that's home to one of the nation's highest concentration of veterans and retired military personnel. one of the most rewarding parts of this job is being able to advocate for those who have served this nation in uniform.
i take my responsibility to look after veterans very seriously, whether pushing for better policies or fighting to improve access to the v.a. medical services or going to bat on behalf of someone the bureaucracy has left behind. so mr. speaker, i'd like to close by extending my sincere gratitude to everyone who has served this country and their family. our country is great because of the men and women who were willing to sacrifice on our behalf. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes gentleman from kentucky, mr. barr, for five minutes. i rise : mr. speaker, today to share the amazing story of rick coreman, the hardworking, hard charging founder of r.j. coreman railroad
in in nicklesville, kentucky, in my district. his life is an example of the american dream. his spirit and determination benefited not only the employees but an entire community. unfortunately, america's broken tax code, the ability of entrepreneurs like rick are compromised. and the estate tax in particular threatens the future ability of the company to continue to drive economic growth, employment, and charitable giving in kentucky this story is timely. as congress takes on the task of reforming the broken tax code, critics will protest this plan is a tax cut for the rich and cite our changes to the estate tax as an example. but it is the story of rick coreman reveals, the estate tax the wealthy as much as it is an unfair penalty on hard work, jobs, charity, upward mobility, and the american dream. in 1973, after growing number a low-income, five room house with
no interior bathroom, rick started his company immediately following high school graduation with nothing more than a dump truck, a backhoe, and tenacious spirit. driven by his remarkable operators skills and commitment to safe and reliable service, rick was able to become a trusted provider in the railroad industry. but his success would not have been possible without the assistance early in his career from luther, a community banker for what is now called central bank in contract c as rick grew his keep faced debts and cash flow problems. he struggled to get a loan. as luther said, had he a good company, he just face add cash crunch. rick invited luther to the site of a coal train derailment inside the tunnel in the middle of the night to show his work. and rick laughed because he had gotten his banker filthy and covered in coal dust. that experience and seeing
how hard rick worked, luther knew that this man would not fail. so rick was then able to secure character-based loans that allowed his company to thrive because his community banker was willing experience and seeing how hard rick worked, luther knew that this man to take a ri based on what he knew about his business and his drive to succeed. today this type of loan would never be allowed under the overly restricted dodd-frank law. those loans proved to be essential for the growth of rick's company and ultimately highly profitable for the bank. without access to capital, today's entrepreneurs are prohibited from doing what rick did.an over 40 years he grew his knowny into what is today as r.j. coreman railroad group. continuously investing profits in his company back into his business, into his workers, and surrounding community. today r.j. has field offices in 23 states. the company serves all seven class one railroads, many regional and short line rail knn as r.j. coreman railroad group. continuously investing profits in his company back roads, as well as rail served industries. he grew the temperature -- he grew the company into what it is
today by treating his workers well. never asking them them to do a job he was unable and uncapable of doing himself. his investment in people gave ability to service all aspects of the freight rail industry at any scale. the company has been critical to restoring service when class one railroads are devastating by flooding or storms like hurricane or harvey or irma. the future success of this company is threatened by the estate tax, also known as the death tax. in 2013, rick passed away after a heroic 12-year battle with cancer. it resulted in the transfer of his life's work to a living trust. more than anything rick had an intense appreciation for the hard work and loyalty of his employees who have been and continue to be an intimate part of their suck sefments since rick's passing, the trust has continued to reinvest cash into the company as he intended and the company continues to operate
and help those that have benefited from t the company has invested nearly $110 million in assets. nearly 450 jobs. the company has donated more than $2.5 million to charitable causes since risk's passing. due to the estate tax, the company has yet to feel the full impact of the tax but starting in 2019, nearly 30% of its annual cash flow will be pulled from the company as a result. and this will tigly impact r.j. coreman's ability to create jobs, purchase equipment, and donate to charity. and the leadership of the company now tells me that the government will actually lose revenue because the company will not be able to grow and create jobs that would produce more revenue than the estate tax will produce. this is an example of why it's so important we end this unfair tax. the death tax destroys intergenerational small businesses and family farms throughout the nation owned by people who started with literally nothing and worked their entire life to build a successful company and jobs. so as we look at the estate tax
and tax reform in the coming weeks, i hope my colleagues will remember the story of rick coreman. these families and these businesses should not have to fear triple taxation from washington just because someone passes away. our bill immediately delivers relief from this tax and i hope that we will pass a repeal of the estate tax to honor entrepreneurs, job creators, and philanthropists like rick. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule a >> when the house gavels back into session at noon eastern, you can watch conch here on
c-span. take a look at c-span3 with live coverage under way of the second day of the house ways and means committee working on the republican tax bill. members of the committee are debating and voting on proposed amendments. expect a long day for the committee today. can you watch the work under way there on the tax proposal live on c-span3. here on c-span we head now to a hearing of the house natural resources committee on hurricane recovery in puerto rico and the role of puerto rico's financial oversight and management board. this started about 45 minutes ago. and the chair of the committee, rob bishop of utah, are you watching live coverage here on c-span. >> federal environmental safeguards like nepa or regulations, will it accelerate ?he recovery in puerto rico >> i certainly believe that further expeditious permit something a requirement. i'm not a