tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 15, 2018 10:00am-11:22am EST
cousin's nephew, that's not someone you want because you can't work with them. take of the washington staff. we need people in d.c. to help you get started, great, talented people. host: brad fitch is with the congressional management foundation, resident and ceo. if you want to find out more,-- we now take you to the house of representatives. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the
.s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., november 15, 2018. i hereby appoint the honorable michael k. simpson 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 -- january 8, 2018, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. all time shall be equally allocated between parties and in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for five minutes.
thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise because i love my country. i care about people and because i love my country and care about people, i rise on behalf of those living and deceased who have uffered grave injustices associated with hate. i rise on behalf of those who have suffered the injustices ssociated with sexism, racism, and ism, islam fobeaphobia zen phobia. phobia. aphobia and xeno
i rise on behalf of the mother at the border of the united states of america who had her baby taken from her as her babies cried to be in her mother's arms. i rise on behalf of the many who have been persecuted for religious beliefs, those who have suffered religious persecution. i rise on behalf of the women who have been denied opportunities because of their gender. i rise on behalf of the lgbtq persons who have suffered simply because of them being who they are. mr. speaker, i rise and i stand in the well of the congress of the united states of america against bigotry and hatred.
i rise and stand against the bigotry emanating from the presidency, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i refuse to allow it to being reduced to him being a jerk. refuse to allow it to being reduced to simply something political. mr. speaker, it has hurt too many for too long, bigotry in our country. and, mr. speaker, i let others do what they may. i'm not angry with anyone, mr. speaker. let them do what they may, but it's in my d.n.a. to oppose this bigotry, and i rise and i you stand against it. i will not let the record show that when i was elected to congress i did not do something about the circumstance that's changing the culture in this country. persons running for office claiming that they somehow can
a that it's ok to go to hanging. persons running for office talking about monkey business, knowing how it relates to those of african ancestry. mr. speaker, i refuse to accept it. i rise to take a stand for the many who have suffered from bigotry and hatred emanating from the presidency. i rise and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. foxx, for five minutes. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. this is national aweren't isship week and a good -- apprenticeship week and a good time to look at the renewed commitment that apprenticeship received from this administration. apprenticeship is a centuries'
old being referred far back as the bible. none can prepare a person's on-the-job training and apprenticeship helps those to enter the workforce with the skills they need. we have a national skills gap. with more than seven million unfilled jobs in the country, and for the seventh month running, the number of jobs openings have exceeded job seekers nationwide. a recent survey of u.s. employers showed that nearly half of all job creators struggle to hire employees with the right skills for the job and for the sixth year running, skill trade jobs continue to be the hardest positions to fill all over the world. apprenticeships are a wonderful solution to closing the skills gap and strengthening the workforce. we at the committee on education and the workforce recognize this and we've worked hard this congress to make skills-based education a viable and valuable path for american
workers. over the course of the 115th congress, we've made historic progress, strengthening our workforce development efforts. for the first time, the committee reported postsecondary reform legislation that promotes apprenticeships askey postsecondary education -- as key postsecondary education opportunities. the prosper act would help industry-led earn and learn programs and allow them to hone their skills on a hands on environment. this summer we sent bipartisan c.t.e. legislation to the president's desk. the strengthening career and technical education for the 21st century act was the first legislation in more than a decade to modernize our nation's c.t.e. programs. the law will create innovative community partnerships while connecting americans with programs to grow their skills and land in-demand industry jobs.
we've also continued to see the ongoing implementation of the workforce innovation and opportunity act. wioa. wioa gives people at the seat at the table as they work to create on-the-job learning opportunities. in september, the subcommittee on higher education and workforce development heard from witnesses about how the law supports the development of locally based abrent isship programs. the president -- apprenticeship programs. the president has listened to the needs of american workers. since president trump's first month in office, american employers have hired over 400,000 apprentices. in june of last year, the president issued an executive order creating a task force on apprenticeship expansion and earlier this year, the white house developed the pledge to america's workers. this groundbreaking initiative has resulted in over 160 companies and associations
pledging jobs, education, and workforce development opportunities for more than six million american workers. we've made monumental strides over the course of the last two years, and we're continuing to look for innovative ways to connect effective education with in-demand jobs. each of us knows a person with considerable gifts and talent who may not be suited for long-term postsecondary education. a back laureate degree is not a pathway to a good-paying jobs. apprenticeships are life changing and can provide countless americans with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve life-long success. thanks to the leadership of this body and the administration, americans have greater access than ever before to the opportunities they need to excel in the millions of good-paying, in-demand jobs available nationwide. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from alabama, ms. sewell, for five minutes.
s. sewell: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the extraordinary life and amazing career of alabama senator -- state senator hank sanders, also known as the rock. for the past 35 years, state senator sanders has been a powerful voice in the alabama legislature. ablely representing the 23rd -- ably representing the 23rd district since 1983. he was the longest serving chair of the senate finance and taxation committee from 1996 and served for four consecutive terms until republicans took over the state house in 2010. senator sanders is a lawyer, a statesman, a native of my hometown of selma, alabama, and a true renaissance man. along with his numerous legislative accomplishments, senator sanders has also penned
more than 1,600 newspaper articles and columns, known as senate sketches, as a way of communicating directly with his constituents. senator sanders' years of service to the state of alabama and to the alabama legislature will be missed. for you see, mr. speaker, after 35 years, this lion of the alabama senate is retiring. choosing not to run in 2018, he will be ably replaced by his daughter who recently won that election. unlike many who found themselves in positions of power, senator sanders did not come from a privileged background. senator sanders came from humble beginnings. one of 13 children born to sam and ola mae sanders in baldwin county, alabama. growing up, senator sanders said, what his family lacked in money they more than made up for in love and support. the sanders family provided
constant encouragement for their children, pushing each of them to further their dreams through education. at the age of 12, senator sanders was inspired to become a lawyer after reading an article about thurgood marshall. during his graduation from douglasville high school, senator sanders began pursuing his legal career, graduating at the top of his class at talladega college. after earning his bachelor's degree, senator sanders went on to enroll and graduate from the harvard law school. he attended harvard law school in the 1970's on a frankford scholarship and award for underprivileged students who showed exceptional promise. at his time at harvard law school, he was president of the harvard black law students association. it was during law school that e found his life mate, his wife, beloved might, fia rose torre, formerly known as rose sanders. after graduating, senator
sanders and his wife moved back to selma, alabama, my hometown. their decision to go to selma was one that was made because they knew how important it was to do things in the black belt. saying they grew up to love and cherish the city, which provided an opportunity to build both of their careers and raise their families, they started a very productive law firm by the name of chestnut sanders and sanders. during their 41 years together, they produced six beautiful children and nine grandchildren. in 1971, senator sanders founded the law firm of chestnut sanders and sanders in pettaway which was one of the top african-american law firms in the state of alabama as well as one of the largest in the country. senator sanders dedicated his life to making sure he pursued justice on behalf of the underserved. he gave a voice to the voiceless, and he still works tirelessly today.
in 1982, senator sanders decided to pursue his passion for helping others on a statewide level. winning a seat in the alabama state senate for district 23. during his 35 years representing the largest political region in alabama, senator sanders won seven bids for re-election. senator sanders has proudly championed issues such as education, childhood education and nutrition, as well as health care and women's issues and removing the sales tax for food. he served as chair of the finance and taxation education committee, and he was voted outstanding legislator by the alabama black caucus. he was voted finalist in legislator of the year award by his fellow senators. he has numerous awards to his credit, and on a personal note, senator sanders was my state senator for those 35 years, representing my hometown of selma. he is a legal and political
giant in our community, and i join with our community this weekend in acknowledging his you 35 years of service -- his 35 years of service to alabama and to this nation. he's truly a renaissance man. not only does he have a legal -- a brilliant legal mind, not only is he politically astute, but he's also a family man who begins every day with prayer and meditation. i think it's so important for those young folks to come behind -- that come behind us that we know and respect and honor senator sanders. it is with great honor, mr. speaker, that i ask my colleagues to join me in acknowledging the lion of the alabama state senate, a man who will -- who has left an indelible imprint on the lives of so many in the black belt of alabama, a community that he's represented for more than 35 years. so i ask my colleagues to join me in acknowledging the accomplishments of state senator hank sabbeders. he's served his -- hank
sanders. he's served his constituents well. his work will shape the political and social landscape of this great nation for years to come. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. . mr. poe: mr. speaker, born in the 1920's, he grew up in the depression of the 1930's, poor. just like many american children in the rural areas. fresh vegetables were grown in the family garden behind the small frame house. and his mother made sandwiches for school out of homemade bread. store bought bread was for the rich. he grew up belonging to the boy scouts, playing the trumpet in the high school band, raising rabbits and bees, he went to church on most sundays.
in 1944 this 18-year-old country boy that had never been more than 50 miles from home finally found himself going through basic training in the united states army at camp walters, texas. after that, he rode the grain with hundreds of other american g.i.'s, mostly teenagers, to new york city for the ocean trip on a cramped liberty ship to fight in the great world war ii. as a soldier in the seventh army, he went from france on to survive the battle of the bulk and through the -- bulge and through the cities of stuttgart, he colon, and bonn. as a teenager he saw the concentration camps and the ictims of the nazis. a sobering monument to those soldiers is at normandy. after germany surrendered, tech sergeant virgil poe went back to fort hood, texas, to be
reequipped for the invasion of japan. and on a train to seattle he was supposed to be sent to the south pacific, but he learned when he arrived in seattle that japan had surrendered. he was ordered back to fort hood, texas. it was there he met mom at a wednesday night prayer meeting service at the church of christ. it's only been in the last 10 or 15 years that this t.i., my father, began to talk about world war ii. he still will not say much except he does say that young americans are still buried in france and they are the heroes. after the war, he opened a d.x. service station where he pumped gas, sold tires, fixed cars, began a family. deciding he needed to go to college, he moft to west texas and enrolled in a small christian college called abilene christian college. he and his wife and two small children lived in an old converted army barracks with other such families. and he supported us by working
nights at krbc radio and climbing telephone poles for massachusetts bell, later known as southwestern bell. he finished college, became an engineer, worked over 40 years at southwestern bell telephone company in houston, texas. he turned down a promotion to transfer to new york city because it wasn't texas and he said it was no place to raise a family. dad instilled in my sister and me the values of being a neighbor, loving our country, loving our heritage, and trusting in the good lord. he still gets mad at the east coast media. he flies the flag on holidays. he goes to church on sunday. and he takes mom out to eat almost every friday night. he stands in the front yard and talks to his neighbors and he can can still fix anything. he mowed his own grass until he was 90 years of age. and you better believe he has a strong opinion on politics and world events. he gives plenty of advice to all people, including me. usually at 5:30 in the morning.
he has two computers in his home office. he sends emails to hundreds of his buddies all over the world. and dad and mom still live in houston not far from where i grew up. as we recognize those who served our country this week, we honor not only by midad but all those american heroes. dad is now 93 and he was one of those individuals. he's the best man i ever met. one of the charter members of the greatest generation. and i hope i turn out like him, the man i admire the most. virgil poe, good man, good soldier, good father, and that's plenty for one life. and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from oregon, ms. bonamici, for five minutes. ms. bonamici: thank you, mr. speaker. it's national apprenticeship week, and women in apprenticeship day. i want to highlight the potential for apprenticeships to get people into good-paying
jobs. when i visit communities across northwest oregon, i hear from many oregonians who feel left behind and out of the economic recovery. efforts to get our economy back on track have benefited some but far too many families are still struggling to make ends meet. their wages are stagnant and they feel overwhelmed by rising rent prices, barriers to transportation, and skyrocketing costs of childcare. they can't safe for retirement or their kids to go to college. they need access to good-paying jobs so they can support themselves and their families. work force development programs can can can assist them. particularly assist those who have barriers to employment. good work force policies can can help them access the education, training, credentials, and support services they need to secure living-wage jobs. and good work force policies create opportunities for employers to align training with the skills they need.
as we recognize national apprenticeship week and women in apprenticeship day, we must commit to strengthening apprenticeships and work-place basted learning programs. investing in these programs will help more people access better paying, stable careers, and provide our businesses with the work force that will improve productivity and efficiency. in the district i represent, the oregon manufacturing innovation center is bringing together industry leaders like boeing with local colleges, including portland community college, oringon -- oregon state university can, and portland state university. to develop a registered apprenticeship program. this collaboration will result in growth, innovation, and efficiency in advanced manufacturing, and a more skilled work force. it is a tremendous opportunity for oregonians and the partnership that brings value to our communities and our economy. i was proud to help secure
federal funding for them through the economic development administration, and i look forward to seeing its continued growth and opportunities it will bring to northwest oregon and our region. and our future manufacturing work force. although some employers recognize the importance of recruiting and training all working people across the country the representation of women in the trades remains quite low. in oregon we're leading the way. women's participation in registered apprenticeship programs is more than double the national average. demonstrating the vau value of organizations like oregon tradeswomen, with a mission dedicated to promoting success for women in the trades through education, leadership, and mentorship. we can can help increase the presence of programs like oregon trades women across the country by increasing funding for the women and apprenticeship and nontraditional occupations grants, and by supporting the work force innovation and opportunity act.
to help oregonians and many other americans who still face job insecurity, we must expand work-based learning to industries that lack established apprenticeship programs, like health care and technologies, especially in start-ups. unfortunately, small and medium-sized businesses often often do not have the resources -- businesses often do not have resources to establish them on their own. industry partnerships solve this challenge by bringing together employers, educational institutions, training providers, and local organizations to support the creation and expansion of work-based learning programs that benefit workers and the economy as a whole. i have worked with my colleague from georgia, congressman frergson, to introduce the promoting apprenticeships through regional training for networks employer required skills tore partners act. this bipartisan bill would use existing dollars to invest in industry partnerships to help businesses recruit workers,
develop training curriculum, and provide workers with access to tools, work attire, transportation, child support -- childcare service, and mentorship support. these support services help businesses retain employees and help workers balance caring for and providing for their families while they are learning new skills. the partners act and funding for the work force innovation opportunity act are two pieces of the greater need to invest in apprenticeships and other paid on-the-job training programs. during national apprenticeship week, i stand ready to continue the fight for policies that can help more people access better-paying jobs and meet the demands of our local employers. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. nunes, for five minutes. mr. nunes: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to thank my colleagues who are here to pay tribute to the staff director of the house intelligence
committee. damon nelson, who passed away on saturday. as you see from the tributes that have already poured in and those to come today, day mon worked closely with many members of congress for a long time. he served 1 years in my personal office as my legislative director. later as deputy chief of staff. and then almost four years on the house intelligence committee as senior advisor, deputy staff director, and finally staff director. these testimonies reflect damon's hard work and enthusiasm for helping others. he showed immense respect for the institution of congress and felt deeply honored to assist the people's representatives and to participate in the legislative process. mr. speaker, i want to thank my colleagues for coming today to speak on the house floor about damon. he will be deeply missed, both inside and outside these halls, and especially by his wife, dana. at this time i'm honored to recognize or yield to my great
friend and chairman of the republican delegation from california, mr. calvert. mr. calvert: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise to honor my friend, damon nelson, who led the house intelligence committee staff on that committee very well. he passed away unexpectedly as mentioned by devin this past sunday -- saturday. at the age of 46. as many of you know, damon was a long time friend and staff member of congressman nunes. over time damon became close with many of us. i got to know him on my work with california policy. it's a saying whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting. that's true when it comes to water in the west, and continues to be. damon showed a unique talent for mediating complex water issues, keeping the confidence of the stakeholders involved. became an expert on california water, mentoring staff and
members on the issue. without a doubt he was one of the most gifted, intelligent, articulate negotiators on a very complex issue that transcended political parties, regions, and oftentimes common sense. he took a rare -- he took this rare set of skills to the next role, staff director for the house permanent select committee on intelligence, as one of the appropriateors assigned to hpsci, waste fortunate to be able to continue to work with damon just as he demonstrated on california water, damon took helm of the committee with ease and guided it through some of the most challenging times the committee has faced. he did all this with a smile and the confidence that he was working towards something greater than himself. his prensns -- presence will be deeply missed on the committee and congress. i express my deep condolences to his wife, his family, including my good friend, devin. damon served his country honorably. united states air force, a veteran of the gulf war, american patriot. came to d.c. to make danchese
and he did. godspeed, damon. we're grateful to your service and we will honor your memory. thank you. with that i yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from california, mr. valadao. mr. valadao: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to pay tribute to someone i have gotten to know over the last few years well. damon nelson became an immediate friend and ally and mentor. there are so many different words to describe what damon is to it a lot of us. and when i came in as a freshman, i still remember his help setting up offices. helping me interview potential staff. giving me direction on every decision that we had to make. it was amazing to watch as an incoming member with brand new staff and the way he would take his time to mentor every single one of them from top to bottom. treated everyone as as an equal. treated people with respect, dignity. truly leffed this country,
institution, and the process of helping others be successful here. never, ever looked down on another person. sense of humor. even until the very end every chance i could get down to the committee over there -- on intel and spending time with him in the office and talking and laughing about whatever topic was going on that day. . he's being to be truly missed by a lot of us, a truly great guy, added a lot to this institution, made my time here n congress much, much better and set us up for as much success we had over the last six years and it's all because of guys like damon. grateful to have known him, grateful to have served with him. i really do wish his family the best. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from california yield back? mr. nunes: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman, mr. nunes, yield back? mr. nunes: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. costa, for five minutes. mr. speaker, tribute rise to pay to damon nelson. i think of damon and i think of the quintessential staff person . i think of three words -- duty, honor, and country. like a lot of us who grew up in the san joaquin valley, you know, always in touch with his roots, damon was a person who obviously loved our country and dedicated his entire career to serving, first in the american military, in the air force, and then later coming to our
nation's capital to try to make a difference. he was a problem solver. he understood that oftentimes cooler heads prevail in bringing people together, and that the efforts to bring the art of the political compromise ultimately served the people, not only of our valley, but the people of our nation. he will sorely be missed in terms of his contributions, and we wish him, his family god speed during this time of him for and we thank his service to our country. also rise today to this month marked the dedication of 40 years since the death of
marjorie mason, a woman whose life was filled with so much promise and purpose. in 1978, marjorie was soon approaching the graduation at fresno state. she had a job she enjoyed, working for the national economic development association. she was committed to serving others and surrounded herself with the support of family and friends. that was until her life was cut short by a brutal death. at the age of 36, marjorie was heinously kidnapped, abused, and murdered by her ex-boyfriend at his fresno home. to celebrate her life and continued legacy, the folks in fresno dedicated the marjorie mason center, which was founded in 1979, to provide victims and survivors of domestic violence a safe and supportive environment. the center offers long-term safe housing, legal assistance, and educational opportunities,
crisis support and counseling to victims and their families. it is constant need. the center offers long-term safe housing. for decades, i've been working hard to end these horrific crimes plaguing our community and the nation. over 10 years ago, congressman ted poe and i founded the bipartisan victims rights caucus in the house of representatives to give a voice to victims of domestic abuse and other crimes that occur on a national scale, sadly. the violence against women act, vawa, working to improve responses to domestic violence, is one of the major initiatives the caucus works on to protect and re-authorize and expand the needs for this sad occurrence around our country. in my district, we have several organizations, including the central valley legal services, choice, women empowerment,
valley crisis center. in addition to the marjorie mason center. working nonstop to provide safety and support of domestic violence and survivors. i'd like to thank marjorie mason's family for their continuous support and commitment to expanding the mission of its center over the past 40 years. former sheriff steve mcgaron and others who contribute to the important work the center does. domestic violence is still sadly prevalent in every community, affecting more than 150 million people each year in the united states. we must continue to fight to ensure that no one in our valley and our nation suffers the same fate that marjorie mason faced. we must continue to work together to end domestic violence once and for all. mr. speaker, how much time do i have left?
the speaker pro tempore: you the gentleman has 20 seconds left. mr. costa: i lend the balance of my time back, and i thank the speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. holding, for five minutes. mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the life and legacy of my friend, damon nelson, who passed away only a few days ago. damon was a gifted individual who dedicated jose life to serving his country -- dedicated his life to serving this country. he enlisted in the air force. he distinguished himself in the persian gulf war for which he was awarded air medal and three air achievement medals. yet, damon's service to his country did not end when he left the air force. for the past 15 years, damon has worked as a senior level congressional aide here in congress. irst in nunes and then house
director on the committee on permanent intelligence. we're shaken and heart broken about damon's untimely passing. he's loved by all, for his good humor, his cheerful optimism and friendly personality. you can always count on damon to lend a hand or provide some much-needed guidance. he earned a reputation of a highly intelligent and capable doer, capable of tackling any challenge that came through the door. damon will be remembered as a loving husband and gifted individual who dedicated his life to public service and as a good friend. my prayers are with his wife, dana, his family, his colleagues and his many, many friends. mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time to congressman wenstrup. mr. wenstrup: thank you for yielding. mr. speaker, it's with both with sadness and pride that i rise to honor damon nelson. he dedicated nearly his entire life to public service and always put service above self.
he understood that freedom comes at a high price, and he dedicated his life to defending freedom for the next generation. he believed that our country is worth sacrificing for and freedom is worth fighting for. as mr. holding said, he served in the u.s. air force as an inflight refueling specialist, and damon was a veteran of the persian gulf war where he earned the air medal and three air achievement medals. damon began his service on capitol hill working for his home district, the 22nd district of california. i know damon for his exemplary service as a staff director for the house intelligence committee. damon helped guide our committee and indeed our country through tumultuous time with an unfailing commitment to seeking the truth and doing the right thing. his calm leadership approach is an example to all of us. at moments where it seems like things may be falling apart, dame youon was there with a joke and -- damon was there with a joke and often used sarcasm with us when we needed it most and he was a statesman when we needed it most.
his kind and patient demeanor earned damon the respect of everyone he knew. in a political climate that's often difficult, he kept sight on the fact we are all americans. indeed, all of us who knew damon will sorely miss his you strategic mind, warm permit and genuine concern for others. my heart is with damon's wife, dana, and his family, and pray that god's healing grace be with them during this difficult time. mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from texas, mr. hurd. mr. hurd: mr. speaker, it is with great sadness that we say goodbye to damon nelson, an air force veteran, a tireless public servant and a friend to so many. i was fortunate enough to know damon through my role on the intelligence committee where he protected some of the nation's most classified information and navigated complicated national security issues with absolute confidentiality and professionalism during a highly
polarizing and rocky time. he provided a steady hand when our country needed it most. to his wife, dana, i want you to know that your family is bigger than you may realize and we all love you so very much. ernest hemmingway said every man's life ends the same way. it's only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. damon did much to distinguish himself in this life and he's finally home and we will miss him. mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time to my friend and colleague from the great state of arkansas, mr. crawford. mr. crawford: i thank the gentleman from texas. my colleague on the intelligence committee, mr. speaker, i rise this morning to join my colleagues in celebrating the life of damon nelson. while i've only served on the intelligence committee for a short time, i grew to know and respect and cherish damon as a professional and as a friend. our work on the committee is the most challenging and rewarding i've done. supported almost entirely by a
loyal staff whose dedication to the american people is second to none. as staff director, damon set the tone and direction of committee staff who worked closely with us as members and members of the house. he greeted us with a smile and positive attitude. he made sure we were prepared for every caucus meeting or every legislative issue his staff saw him as a leader who wanted us to have the best, most accurate information and preparation for our work. they followed him with trust and appreciation for his approach to his work. as you've heard, he served in the air force, persian gulf, numerous medals, and over the following years he moved on to serve in the capitol here. over the next many years damon moved up in -- eventually took the helm of the intelligence committee at a tumultuous time for this chamber and for our country. his poise, his character, his attitude and care for our country shined through in recent years and our committee worked on sensitive public matters, not once did damon put his own interest above anyone
else. i wish him and his family the best. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. ms. kaptur: i thank you. mr. speaker, ohio's jobs and trade message to our nation is as loud and clear as it always has been. trade must be about people, not just good. the job and wage destruction, due to the original nafta, continues to reverberate across our state. and the heartland. it undermines the economic security of hundreds of thousands of workers within our state and millions more across our nation. following the original nafta's implementation, town after town was emptied out of good jobs with good wages and benefits as jobs were outsourced south of
our border. america has borne witness to nafta's vast job outsourcing and wage drag. millions have suffered firsthand as dire predictions actualized and the grandiose promises of job creation failed to materialize. our nation has lost thousands of jobs to penny wage environments where workers cannot even afford to buy the goods they make. they toil in sweatshops and acilladores. the original nafta fueled massive peasant migration from mexico's countryside to our nation. as thousands of subsidized farmers in mexico had livelihoods extinguished, mexico's white corn industry disappeared. it was disamated. what a humanitarian tragedy is
nafta. if anyone cares about people, not just goods, listen to my words. america must wake up to the impact our trade deals impose on people when negotiating with unequal economies. just look to the devastation levied when multinational corporate interests dominate negotiations. transnational banks and multinational corporations put a heavy thumb on the scales of economic justice for the poorest. and for workers in our country as well as third world economies. they exploit powerless people. trade with our closest neighbors is never simply a zero some gain. in nearly three decades since nafta's passage, our nation has not had one year of balanced trade accounts with mexico and canada. always been in the red. indeed, the nafta deal has managed to add over $1 trillion
to america's trade deficits, red ink, and millions and millions of outsourced u.s. jobs. mr. speaker, nafta renegotiation is too important an opportunity to hang on faulty assumptions. america fell for that back in 1994. we can't let it happen again. the devil is in the details. incremental process to lift up north american workers devastated by the original agreement will not be enough. with the release of text which remains unfinished and unresolved comes the task to determine whether the job outsourcing about a nansa that has taken hold since nafta's passage in 1994 has truly been addressed. let me ask, has strong and enforceable been included? will transnational corporate interests retain the means to outsource american jobs to take advantage of rock-bottom wages in mexico? will we protect the rights of americans to know what's in the
imported food they're feeding their families? or will trade facilitation hold priority over food safety for people? will americans have access to affordable prescription drugs or will the new nafta further rig the system to delay access to more affordable, safe, generic drugs and biosimilars? . let me ask people to visit ohio, witness vivid evidence of a trade agreement that failed america's workers and communities as plant after plant shut down. beyond just the nafta trade deficit, all our global trade global trade deficits have ballooned under this administration's erratic trade agenda. in this wake a modesh -- modern nafta agreement is long overdue and i have eagerly anticipated the release of specific texts and strategy agenda for this administration on how president trump plans to bring living wage jobs back to america.
anything short of specifics that will clearly improve job prospects for americans will fall short on the president's promises. congress must not rush any deal of such magnitude. only by letting the executive branch negotiate. democrats have called on this administration to work with congress to reach necessary and substantive achievements beneficial for all americans. no more fast track, no more. any new north american trade agreement must raise wages, create jobs in america, and create a level playing field across the board. mr. speaker, nafta after a quarter century of job hemorrhage must -- and upending of american workers' and lively hoods must result in rising standards of living and new jobs that create real wages and benefits here in our country. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. conaway for five minutes.
mr. conaway: i rise also this morning to honor the life and legacy of my friend, damon nelson. lots of wonderful things have been said about him and every single one of those were true. i identify with each and every one of those remarks. i'll not repeat those but walk a different path. i did not realize the extent to which damon's impact on staffing across this hill had happened. once he passed, i began to get information about folks whose lives had been touched and careers here in washington had been started as a result of being hired by damon and mentored by damon across all these years. people on my personal staff i did not realize had a direct connection to damon had started their careers with -- here in congress and the hill as a result of his mentorship and help. i got to know damon extremely well as a rufflet working on the house select committee on
intelligence, his role as staff director. particularly when i took over running the russia investigation. damon was my direct contact with the staff. he did a masterful job on trying to expeditiously conduct that investigation, making sure we dotted the i's and crossed the t's. making difficult decisions as we walked that path. damon had in addition to doing that kept the rest of the business of the intelligence committee, that important business that continues to go on, in spite -- in addition to the russia investigation, damon did a masterful job of shepherding all of that responsibility. he did it with class. he did it with a calmness and self assuredness that made it work. his humor and sarcasm as has been mentioned often was a significant of his. but he use -- signature of his but he used it well. never in a harmful manner but a nice way to keep the atmosphere moving along fine. mr. speaker, damon's memory will live on in all our lives. those of us who knew him, we
will not forget him. he was that kind of an individual. obviously my hearts and prayers go out to dana and his family. dana, his wife, whom he adored and loved and worshiped. she's in a hurting place today as his family. all of us who knew him as a friend will miss him. mr. speaker, i miss my friend. with that i yield time to chris. >> i'd like to thank my friend from texas for yielding. i also rise to honor my good friend, damon nelson. he was a dear friend, trusted colleague, he was a loving husband and he was a warrior. who loved his country, who served his country, and we will miss him. very briefly it's -- i'd like to make the observation that the staff that we work with here on the hill are. so finest men and women in the country. and the staff that we work with on the intelligence committee is the finest of them all. and damon was their leader.
and he was looked to for his leadership, for his compassion, for his humanity, and for his sample of what it meant to be a warrior. mr. stewart: i also have to mention his family. as we honor them as well. some of you know that i wear my father's air force wings. my brothers have served in the air force. i served in the air force. so did damon's family. yesterday hi the honor of meeting his father, mother. both retired air force who have served valiantly and served proudly. his brother. i have to mention his wife. an air force colonel who is a leader, who is a rock. having met her i can tell you i would follow her into battle. she is a great example of the finest young men and women that our nation has to offer. this family has proven that they love their country by serving their country.
we honor them in this small way today. in the words that we say, damon, god bless you. to damon's family, god bless you. thank you for now generations of service to your country and for being an example to all of us. and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back to mr. conaway. r. conaway: we had an unit yesterday to chair with his wife, mom, stepdad, staff was in the room and we got to hear the staff talk about damon. it was clear from those conversations that damon had created a family. that they loved him and respected him as a professional. and that his leadership was evident across that entire exchange. it was heartwarming to hear those stories about damon anti-way he led the staff of the committee. -- and the way he led the staff of the committee. we will miss him. i ask our nation to pray for his wife and family as they walk this dark path but knowing he
made this world a better place to live in and helped a long period of time to protect us from really bad folks. we love you, damon nelson, and we'll miss you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. budd, for five minutes. mr. speaker, this is american education week. i rise to honor and thank the teachers and school administrators who have dedicated their lives to ensure our future generations are stronger than ever. there are over 50 million kids in our public schools today. back in 2015 before the every student succeeds act was signed into law, the federal approach to education relied heavily on standardized testing to measure academic achievement. i understand the importance of testing to measure academic growth from year to year, there should be a number of indicators for evaluating academic suck's
and improvement for both schools and students. after that bill passed in 2015, the goal shift interested teaching children more efficiently to inspiring lifelong learning in students. i applaud educators for embracing this goal and i'm hopeful this approach will better prepare millions of students for the challenges that await them in life and in the work force. while on the subject of federal education, we cannot avoid the debate over the amount of taxpayer money that we send to schools throughout the country. there is and always will be bipartisan agreement that we should make sure schools have the resources that they need in order to be successful. but in the coming appropriations cycle and in future ones, we must also remember that additional spending does not necessarily improve student performance. this has been proven time and time again, mr. speaker. one data point i would refer folks to shite school graduation rates which have remained
stagnant since the 1970's. what we have seen is unfortunate. this system continues to grind forward with costs going up each year, with our efficiency going in the opposite direction. i will continue to fight for education reforms aimed at improving resource allocation and boosting student performance. recognizing the shortfalls within our k-12 education may not be a popular talking point, but i think it's worth emphasizing the need to act responsibly and address the problems students, parents, and educators face. mr. speaker, i'd like to close by saying two things. the first is a simple thank you to the teachers, including those teachers in my own family, who have dedicated their life to serving students. your hard work does not go unnoticed. and the second thing is that i'll work hard to improve our education system for students in my district and around the country. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen,
or five minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, last month i was so privileged to stand in the city of david, the site of ancient jerusalem. just a few feet from the western wall, the city of david is the place where jerusalem began. it is a place i have regularly visited over the past few years. joined by my fellow members of congress, republicans and democrats alike. i can think of no better place than the city of david to press that the united states knows what the jewish people have known for 3,000 years. that jerusalem is the historic capital of israel. this reality was reinforced when the united states correctly relocated our embassy to jerusalem earlier this year. and i call upon more countries to do the same.
the historic bond is evidenced by the incredible discoveries being unearthed in the archaeological excavation throughout the city of david. these excavations affirm the millennia old connection of the jewish people to jerusalem, not as a matter of faith but as a matter of historical fact. despite unesco's ongoing shameful efforts to declare otherwise. among the most significant discoveries presently being unerted in the city of david is the ancient -- unearthed in the city of david is the ancient pilgrimage road. running from the southern tip of the city of david to the footsteps of the western wall and temple mound served as the main thorough fair of the second temple jerusalem. millions of people joined together to ascend to the temple during the festivals of passover, pent cost, and
tabernacles. both the pilgrimage road and the pool have deep significance to jews and christians alike. it holds profound meaning to countless millions of americans. antiquities discovered along the pilgrimage road tells the story of both the vibrant culture of the second temple period jerusalem, anti-devastating destruction of jerusalem at the hands of the romans which ended tragically in the year 70 common era. in the future visitors of all faiths and backgrounds will be able to walk this route of their ancestors upon the very flag stones as their ancestors did 2,000 years ago. another active excavation in the city of david, 10 players of ancient jerusalem civilization dating back some 2,700 years
have been uncovered. the layers include jewish, greek, roman, byzantine, persian, muslim, crusader, and ottoman so that each visitor city of david can can say i also ave a connection to jerusalem. in this very excavation as you can see in this poster is a structure dating back 2,500 years to the biblical first temple period in jerusalem. a seal of ancient hebrew writing was found. i had a replica of that in my office presented to me in a meeting i had with zeb, a representative from the city of david, together with my colleague, congressman eliot engel. on the seal was the name, ileana, daughter of gaiel. i can't even begin to describe my emotions when i learned that
the seal with almost my very own name was found in the city of david. and i like countless americans feel a deep personal connection to jerusalem, to her history, her taje, to her holiness. it is only over the last 51 years of israel's off rents of jerusalem that people of all faiths and backgrounds have enjoyed freedom of access and worship at their holy site whether they are christians, jewish, or muslims. such freedoms cannot be taken for granted in the middle east where with the very exception of israel, the only democrat snit region, they are not easy to find. during my nearly three decades that i have had the honor of serving this wonderful institution, support for jerusalem as a capital of the jewish state of israel has been bipartisan. and i call on my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in the coming congress to ensure that that never changes. to ensure that the historic bond between the jewish people and jerusalem remains undeniable.
together with millions of americans i salute the work of the city of david foundation and especially my friend zeb, who did not even want me to mention him, tough, in uncovered our shared history in jerusalem. making it accessible to all of us who want to experience these discoveries for them zeffs. so congratulations to zeb. i have said it again. for the discoveries at this city of david. many more to come. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. norman, for five minutes. mr. norman: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today and such an honor to recognize the official renaming of the united states post office located at 201 tom hall street in fort mill, south carolina, as the j. elliott williams post office building. james williams was born in
north carolina. he was in the united states navy for 20 years and served in and during the cold war, the korean war, the cuban missile crisis, and the vietnam war. one example of his heroic actions occurred during the vietnam war where he and his men fought off enemy combatants behind enemy lines for three hours in south vietnam. under petty officer williams' leadership, the american naval force destroyed over 60 vessels and disrupted enemy logistic operations. he retired in 1967 as the most highly decorated enlisted sailor in the history of the united states navy. he was the recipient of multiple awards during his service in the navy including the navy cross, the silver star, the bronze star medal, the purple heart, the korean service medal, and the united nations service medal. additionally, during his last
seven months in the navy, he received every sea service award for heroism. on may 14, 1968, lyndon b. johnson in the name of coping presented james elliott williams the medal of honor. in the 20th century, three sailors of american indian heritage received the medal. petty officer williams was one of three. mr. speaker, it's my great privilege to put forth this legislation with the entire south carolina delegation and have it signed into law, to honor the life and service and sacrifice of james elliott williams. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from alabama, mrs. roby, for five minutes. mr. roby: thank you, speaker. just over a month ago hurricane michael, the third most powerful hurricane to ever make landfall on the united states
mainland, ravaged areas of alabama, florida, and georgia. hundreds of americans lost everything, and more than 30 people were killed. hurricane michael appears to have done its worse in panama city, florida, and nearby areas. but alabama's second district was also badly impacted in several counties in the wire grass region. in fact, hurricane michael is the most powerful storm to ever hit houston county, according to recorded history. in my district, the agricultural community faces the most significant devastation. while the full scale of the damage to local agriculture is still being assessed, hurricane michael dealt a terrible blow to our cotton, timber, and peanut farmers. in the aftermath of the storm, i traveled to the wire grass several times to be with our farmers and to see firsthand what they were experiencing. the devastation is heartbreaking, to say the least. the farmers in southeast
alabama are in the midst of a very real crisis. in alabama's second district, agriculture is the backbone of our economy. throughout my time in congress, i have you made it a priority to fight for our farmers of all commodities. their work to provide food and fiber we depend on is vitally important. i will continue to advocate for them, especially during this time of uncertainty as we work to put the pieces back together for these hardworking men and women who have suffered emendous loss to their livelihoods. livelihoods. mr. speaker, i want the people i represent to know that my office stands ready to help during this challenging time. i will work with my colleagues here in congress to provide the proper resources and assistance to our farmers. we must get this right, and we must ensure alabama's farmers are included in all recovery efforts. i encourage anyone in alabama's second district who needs
assistance in the aftermath of hurricane michael to contact one of my offices today. my staff and i work for you, and we are committed to ensuring that the folks impacted know the options available to them. as we work through this season of rebuilding, i have been encouraged to see and hear about so many acts of kindness and charity in our district and throughout the southeast. this time of recovery will not be easy, but if we continue to help each other in whatever ways we are able, we will get through this together. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee, mr. duncan, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. as i near the end of my 30 years in the congress, it's only natural to reminisce just a bit. during my first term in the house, a roving photographer
for "roll call" stopped to ask me a sort of humerus question. he asked if there was a statue in the capitol, where would it be and what would it say? i said would probably be in the basement and say lucky to be here. i always felt very lucky to have this job and everyone on both sides of the aisle has been very kind to me. but i want to pay tribute this morning to the three people most responsible for me being here. a friend of mine in knoxville told me a few years ago that i won the lottery with parents. i never thought of it in that way, but it is true. my grandparents in scott county, tennessee, were wonderful people but they had no money, 10 kids, an outhouse, farm, pure appalachia. my dad hitchhiked into knoxville with $5 in his pocket to go to the university of tennessee. 20 years later he was selected as mayor and led the peaceful integration of our city. he got about 95% of the african-american vote in three nonpartisan races for mayor.
he then preceded me in congress, serving 23 1/2 years and becoming the ranking republican on the ways and means committee. a former democratic congressman from pennsylvania told me one time, your dad was only man i knew who never had an enemy in this town. i once described my father as the kindest, sweetest, toughest, hardest working person i ever knew and said tough in a nice way. i got a nice letter from peyton manning. he said he flew out of knoxville and could tell in that article that i had the same kind of relationship i had with my dad that he has with his. my mother was two years older than my father. after college in iowa, came to knoxville to visit an older sister who had married an engineering graduate from the university of iowa and got a job at t.v.a. her sister talked her into staying and she met my father t a ywca dabs.
-- dance. three months later they were married in may, 1942. the odds against a farm boy from tennessee meeting and marrying a girl from iowa city must have been billions to one but theirs was truly a marriage made in heaven. no one ever loved me as much as my mother did and several times i told women from the midwest that i have a very high opinion of women from that part of the country because i thought my mother was the sweetest woman in the world. my wife, lynn, was a waitress in knoxville's finest restaurant when i met her. she later said she married me even though i gave her the lowest tips of any of her regular customers. lynn has been my strongest supporter and biggest critic, my number one advisor. i honestly believe if she had been elected to congress instead of me she would have gone much further than i have. she is certainly the leader -- the speaker of our house and the love of my life for more than 40 years. during my 30 years in congress, i was in washington a lot and gone a lot even when i was home. she had to raise four children
and all four have made us both very proud. during much of that time she worked at full-time jobs, worked on all of my campaigns, took care of most things at home and certainly was not easy. once, president trump when he was running told her, your husband sounds just like me. lynn told him, yes, i know. great for the country but hell to live with. i cannot have had a better wife and certainly could not have stayed in congress for 30 years if she had not done all she has done for me and our children. she gave me four children and nine grandchildren, all now living in knoxville. what a blessing. our daughter, tara, has been for several years the head of the knoxville probation office. she has two children. whitney has three daughters and leader in the christian academy of knoxville. our son, john, received the highest vote total of anyone on the ballot that year, including me. he did a great job serving three years and then took over running my campaigns in 2014
and 2016 and representing me all over the district. he also is a successful realtor. our son zayn worked for several years as a railroad executive and now serves on the tennessee parole board. the boys have two children and nine grandchildren range from 3 to 15. i told my oldest granddaughter at my younger son's wedding party, emma, she was 7 years old. one of the happiest days of my life will be when i get to go to your wedding. she looked at me and said, oh, papa, you couldn't do that. you would be dead. but i'm not dead yet and i'm going home mainly to spend more time with those nine grad children. lou gehrig, the great baseball player, once said he was the luckiest man in the world even though he knew he was dying with a.l.s. i am much of luckier and very, v thankful. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus, for five minutes. mr. speaker, our
nation lost an intellectual giant and visionary leader this past saturday, november 10, 2018. dr. herbert london was a legendary conservative author, scholar, commentator, and defender of freedom. he was the scholar's scholar and a gentleman's gentleman. a new yorker of great stature, herb grew up playing basketball and led his high school team to a city champion. after completing studies at columbia university, his hoop skills caught the eyes of others. he earned a ph.d. from new york university and later served as dean of n.y.u.'s gallatin division. from running for political office to leading the hudson institute to founding the london center for policy research, dr. london was the definition of a renaissance man and a true patriot committed to bringing about a stronger, more
principled nation. a 6'5" tower of humility, integrity and vision, herb will be sorely missed and his legacy will forever be enshrined in the hearts and minds of many. my prayers are with the london family as they heal from this tremendous loss. may he rest in peace. i thank the speaker and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman -- the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham, for five minutes. i abraham: mr. speaker, rise today to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 115th combat support hospital headquartered in fort polk, louisiana. the 115th combat support hospital was established in 1918 and is recognized as having the highest combat injury survival rate in the world. the unit has been deployed in
world war i, world war ii, desert storm, and the iraq war. in world war ii, the 115th combat support hospital received a meritorious common take while work on the front lines across europe. the 115th combat support hospital has become the standard for all medical units and a central asset for fort polk, the joint readiness training center, and the united states army. i had the incredible opportunity to witness the work that the hospital does when the to celebrate their centennial anniversary. these soldiers enter the field, build a facility and become a fully functioning hospital in a matter of hours. the unit and its facilities, which include an emergency room, operating room, pharmacy, lab, are all trained to set up in 12 to 18 hours. the 115th combat support
hospital also contains some units that provide optical care, veterinary services, preventative medicine and a ground ambulance company. the work they do saves lives and allows troops to return home and back to their families. i'm thankful for the honorable men and women that compromise the -- that comprise the 115th combat support hospital. as they reflect the absolute best of the united states army. the 115th combat support hospital is truly a great asset to our military. today i join our country and all members, both past and present, of the 115th combat support hospital in celebrating 100 years of lifesaving work. i look forward to continuing to witness their successes and achievements at fort polk in many years to come. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this week is rural health week in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. today is national rural health day. it is a time to promote awareness of the full range of issues that impact approximately 60 million rural americans. pennsylvania ranks as one of the states with the highest number of rural residents with 23% of pennsylvania's residing in rural areas. rural communities face unique health care concerns such as a lack of providers. accessibility issues, particularly in terms of transportation and technology. affordability issues as a result of larger percentages of uninsured and under insured citizens and greater out-of-pocket health costs. mr. speaker, before i was elected in the house of representatives, i spent nearly 30 years in the nonprofit health care field assisting those
facing life changing disease and disabilities. i'm acutely aware of the challenges many face when it comes to obtaining reasonably priced health care. it is especially critical for rural america like much of my congressional district. we're facing a health care crisis in our nation's rural areas. these often disadvantaged populations are still struggling to access affordable, quality care. many remain uninsured. most are underinsured. however access to quality care remains the largest challenge. even when people gain access to health insurance, it does not equal access to care. rural hospitals across the country are closing, leaving patients without access to their emergency rooms and long-term care facilities. 90 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. and nearly 700 are at risk. one in three rural hospitals are financially vulnerable. at the current closure rate, more than 25% of rural hospitals
will close in less than a decade. continued cuts in hospital payments have taken their toll. forcing hospitals to operate in the red until they finally make the painful decision to stop providing care. between 2017 and 2018, the number of rural hospitals operating at a loss rose from 40% to 44%. in addition to hospital closures a. work force shortage plagues rural america. 77% of more than 2,000 rural communities in the united states are designated as having a shortage of health care professionals. recruitment, retention of experienced professionals, including primary care physicians, is an ongoing challenge. that's why i'm a proud sponsor of h.r. 5641rks the state offices of rural health re-authorization -- the state offices of rural health re-authorization of 2018. this re-authorizes vital
programs for rural americans for the first time since the 1990's. i urge my colleagues to co-sponsor this piece of legislation today. another issue that has ravaged our rural communities is the opioid epidemic. it continues to leave even more rural americans in need of crucial health services. adolescents and young adults in rural areas are more vulnerable to openade abuse than their urban counterparts. fatal overdoses has skyrocketed in rural areas. higher unemployment and greater rate of the types of injuries that result in prescriptions for opioid medications has contributed to this. there are ways to increase treatment options. as part of the v.a. missions which was signed into law in june, i included a provision that expands health care access for our veterans through telemedicine. we now allow v.a. credentialed health care providers to practice telemedicine across state lines. mr. speaker, our veterans should receive the best care possible no matter where they are locates
-- located, where they live. with advances in technology, we see new opportunities tore veterans to take coverage for telemedicine and some of our most rural areas. for those in rural regions, the need is great. services are scarce. let us all recognize and celebrate the power of our vie brat rural communities in the face of these grave challenges. as we celebrate national rural health day today, it is my hope that we continue to strive for 21st century health care system that works for everyone in america. thanks to technology, we have the opportunity to expand services regardless of where one resides. and all americans deserve no less. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1rk the ch