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tv   U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  February 11, 2019 4:00pm-4:50pm EST

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in washington as lawmakers in the white house tried to figure out what they will do about the wall and the detention beds. rick is waiting, a republican. caller: good morning. gentlemen, i have an answer and not a complaint. the subject is expanding. the referred is a border code. if you go to the last few pages, you would look at how much money we are spending -- the grand total -- divide that by 66 years. >> we are going to break away from this. get you live to the floor of the house. the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered and votes objected to under clause 6 of rule 20. the house will resume proceedings on postponed questions at a later time.
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>> mr. speaker, i ask in a thank we pass the bill h.r. 1063 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1063. a bill to amend title 44, united states code, to require information on contributors to presidential library fundraising organizations, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlewoman move to pass the bill as amended? ms. hill: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five elective days in which to revise and extend their remarks -- legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this measure. as amended. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. hill, and the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, each will control 20 minutes. the chair will now recognize the gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i want to thank chairman
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cummings and representative meadows for sponsoring this legislation. former representative john duncan of tennessee first sponsored a bill to improve presidential libraries 19 years ago. a bill identical to the one before us passed the house in the last congress with bipartisan support. i hope we now can finally get this important reform enacted. the presidential library donation reform act would make the process for building presidential libraries more transparent. presidential libraries have become increasingly expensive, as they have evolved into multipurpose centers. the cost for building a presidential library must come from private funding and modern libraries cost millions, in some cases hundreds of millions, of dollars to build. the george w. bush presidential center, folks, cost an estimated $250 million to build, and president bush raised approximately $500 million for the building and an endowment for his library, museum and institute. although president obama has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for his presidential library, he's voluntarily disclosed the names of those who have donated 2ds00 or more.
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we should not, however, we lie on such voluntary disclosures. under current law there's no requirement to disclose the identities of those who donate to a presidential library and a president while still in office is able to raise an unlimited amount from private donations. there's no limitation to who can donate or how much they can donate and their identities remain secret. this bill would require organizations that raise money to build presidential libraries to disclose the identity of any individual who donates more than $200. the national archives and records administration would then be required to post the donation information online. the bill would also create criminal penalties for individuals who report false information on donations and for fundraising organizations that omit donation information. a group of 15 good government organizations, including citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington, and the sunlight foundation, sent a letter last congress urging the house to support this bill. here's what they wrote. and i quote, under the current system, presidents raise funds
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privately so establish their presidential libraries. these efforts, which often begin long before they leave office, are unregulated and undisclosed, creating opportunities for and/or the appearance of influence pedals. improved transparency would help reduce the appearance of impropriety and deter inappropriate behavior. this bill passed the house last congress without opposition. i urge every member of this body to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina rise? mr. meadows: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1063. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. meadows: i thank the speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 1063. i appreciate the gentlewoman's remarks as it relates to this particular bill. and the bipartisan support the presidential library donation reform act, which was introduced by the gentleman from maryland, my good friend, mr. cummings, is
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certainly one worthy of our support, mr. speaker. under current law presidents can fund raise for their presidential libraries through private, unlimited donations while they're still in office. there are no current requirements for any presidential library fundraising organization to disclose the source or size of the donation it receives. donations can be from individuals, companies, associations and foreign governments with no transparency . presidential libraries have become more expensive throughout the years. presidential -- president clinton's library cost $165 million. president bush's cost $250 million. president obama's is probablied to cost more than $500 million. now, this bill requires the presidential library's fundraising organizations to disclose information about contributors who have donated $200 or more in any quarter to the national archives.
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then it would be -- and the national archives would then be tasked with making the data available on its website in a downloadable format. h.r. 1063 also sunsets the disclosure requirement to win the manage -- to when the management of the actual library is transferred to the national archives. mr. speaker, this is a bipartisan piece of legislation. it's pro-transparency bill -- it's a pro-transparency bill that's already passed the house, not once, but three different times, with overwhelming support from both democrats and republican majorities. so i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i will yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from california. ms. hill: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. hill: mr. speaker, i urge passage of h.r. 1063, as
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amended, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. all time is expired. the question now is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1063, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. hill: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1065. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1065, a bill to provide for a study on the use of social media in security clearance investigations. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. hill, and the gentleman from
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north carolina, mr. meadows, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. hill: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such -- myself such time as i may consume. i want to thank congressman lynch and hice for their work on this bill. this bill would require the director of the office of management and budget to issue a report to congress on the use of social media checks and background investigations for security clearances. in recent years a number of agencies have begun pilot programs to help develop the best methods for incorporating social media into background checks. for example, the army initiated a pilot program that found that while checking social media is a valuable tool, it can be costly and may raise legal issues. this bill would require that o.m.b. conduct a comprehensive study on these issues and report back to congress. this one-time report would describe the current uses of social media postings for
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investigative purposes and any legal concerns or impediments to their use. in addition, the report would summarize the results of any pilot programs on the use of social media conducted to date, and provide cost estimates for implementing their widespread use in the background investigation process. this report would greatly assist congress in determining whether further legislative action is needed when it comes to the federal government's use of social media and background investigations. an identical measure was approved by the house last year without opposition. i urge every member of this body to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. meadows: i thank the speaker. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1065, the social media use in clearance investigations act of 2019. introduced by the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch. mr. speaker, i was at one of these hearings where we were talking about this very issue and how it was just mind boggling that we would not use
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current protocols in terms of looking at national security clearances and the approval thereof. it was mr. lynch's initiative here to address that in a legislative manner and i support his good work there. millions of americans use social media to interact with family members and friends and followers. public posts on social media websites occasionally provide a unique insight into a person's character and interest. several high-profile cases, federal contractors with valid security clearances who leaked classified information had posted highly suspicious entries on their social media accounts. for example, edward snowden used various online aliases to post suspicious content on the comment boards of a tech magazine before he received his security clearance. a simple check, mind you, a
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simple check would have let us know of this suspicious activity and certainly could have worked to mitigate some of the damages that we all know too well. private companies and private citizens can and often do search publicly available social media accounts to learn more about job applicants. however, our government does not regularly check the social media of individuals who have applied for security clearances. on may 12 of 2016, the office of the director of national intelligence issued a new policy permitting the use of public social media information and security -- in security clearance investigations. despite the legal clearance, most security clearance investigations still do not involve a social media check. various federal entities have studied the potential use of social media information and background investigations for at least a decade.
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the national security agency, army, o.p.m. and others have conducted pilot programs on the effectiveness of social media checks, and it's not clear what use has been made of this data for these programs or whether the programs can be expanded to cover more applicants. concerning online behavior should be one of many factors used to evaluate a person's fitness to access classified information. h.r. 1065, the social media use in clearance investigations act, is a step toward creating a more holistic security clearance review process. the bill requires o.m.b. to evaluate pilot programs conducted to date and establish the cost of a wider imple membertation -- implementation for public availability and social media checks. this report is due within six months and will help guide subsequent legislation to
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require checks of publicly available data. we cannot wait any longer to modernize our security clearance process. i urge my colleagues to support this thoughtful piece of legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. hill: mr. speaker, i yield the gentleman from massachusetts , representative lynch, five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. lynch: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady for yielding. as chairman of the national security subcommittee, i rise in strong support of h.r. 1065, the social media use in clearance investigations act, a bipartisan legislation that i introduced earlier this month. it passed this house previously last session, with no opposition. and i'd like to commend our full committee chairman, mr. cummings of maryland, for his continued leadership on this issue, of security clearance reform and
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for his work to advance 1065 to the floor today. and i'd also like to thank the new ranking member of our subcommittee, mr. hice of georgia, for his support as well. in order to enhance the federal security clearance process, h.r. 1065 will require the office of management and budget to examine the extent to which federal agencies are reviewing publicly available social media profiles as they conduct background investigations for security clearance applicants. this bill will also require o.m.b. to submit recommendations to congress on how we can implement this examination of social media activity in clearance investigations across the federal government, while also safeguarding individual privacy rights. our bipartisan oversight of the security clearance process has already revealed that federal agencies have too often missed red flags in determining an individual's eligibility to access classified information and facilities.
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we need only recall the tragic shooting at the washington navy yard in 2013 to underscore the devastating impact of a failure to effectively vet security clearance holders such as a defense contractor with a marked history of gun violence who was still issued a security level clearance. chief among the recommendations offered by the interagency council that president obama convened to identify lapses in security clearance reviews was the need for agencies to have, quote, access torrell advantage information from a variety of source -- relevant information from a variety of sources, closed quote, as noted by the head of counterintelligence for the u.s. government since 2014. his quote is, social media has become an integral and very public part of the fabric of many americans' daily lives. and we cannot ignore this important open source in our effort to safeguard our national interests. moreover, a public social media profile adds to the mosaic of a
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person and may reveal to background investigators evidence suggesting a change in ideology, ill intent, vullnernlt to blackmail and allegiance to another country. the integration of social media into security clearance background investigations falls in line with the unprecedented exploitation of twitter, facebook, telegram and other networking services by terrorist organizations, including the islamic state. as reported by the combating terrorism center at west point, prolific social media use by terrorist groups has served as a primary global recruitment and financial tool. foreign governments are also increasingly relying on social media to advance espionage efforts. according to open source reports, chinese spy agencies have resorted to using fake linkedin accounts to recruit americans with access to
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government secrets. 60 minutes reported that a former c.i.a. officer who has been convicted on espionage charges were us -- was first abroiched chinese government handlers through the linkedin career networking site. in advance of our hearing on this issue, then-director of national intelligence james clapper directed federal subject i -- agencies to conduct social media review into the clearance process. while this was a step in the right direction, to it's been incorporated unevenly and on a limited basis. our bill will increase the full integration of this important reform to better ensure that our national security framework is adapting to evolving technologies must -- much faster than the pace usually characteristic of the american government. i would note that according to the annual job recruitment survey issued by career builders online, employment resources,
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seven out of 10 private sector employers have incorporated social media reviews into the hiring process. mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for his kind remarks and -- in reference to this bill and i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support h.r. 1065 and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentlewoman from california reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. meadows: i again thank the gentleman for his thoughtfulness on this piece of legislation, i know he's worked with my previous colleague, now the governor of florida, mr. desantis, and we have great bipartisan support and so with that, i would urge the adoption and passing of h.r. 1065 and i yield back the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: i urge passage of h.r. 1065 and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1065 as amended. h.r. 1065. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to -- ms. hill: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
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for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. hill: i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to the bill h.r. 1065 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1064, a bill to amevendtite. 5 united states code to allow whistleblowers to dis-- to amend title 5 united states code to allow whistleblowers to disclose information to certain recipients. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california, and the gentleman from north carolina each will control 20 minutes. ms. hill: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the measure before us. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. hill: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i introduced this bill along with with the distinguished congressman from north carolina, mr. mark meadows, to make it
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easier for whistleblowers to disclose wrongdoing. this would protect whistleblowers who report waste, fraud, and abuse to their supervisors. under current law they would not be protected from retaliation for disclosing to a supervisor even if the employee reasonably believes it is necessary to expose a violation of a law, rule, or regulation. currently they are only protected if they make the disclosure to the office of special counsel, inspector general, congress, the heffed of a whistle brother's agency or someone designated by thed of the whistleblower agency. under this act they could report to any supervisor in their chain of command. his would allow employees to present evidence of wrongdoing to their supervisor. this would protect those who use the proper channels at their agencies to report waste, fraud, and abuse.
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employees in the intelligence community have these protections as a result of a presidential policy directive issued in 2012. this will would ensure all federal employees have the same protections as whistleblowers in the intelligence community. i urge my colleagues to support this important bill and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. meadows: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 1064 and i want to thank the gentlewoman from california for her leadership on this effort. any time that you support whistleblowers it's a good day in congress and to do that in a bipartisan way with your leadership is certainly a day that should be applauded. i thank the gentlewoman for her leadership. whistleblowers in the federal government should be able to tell their supervisor when something is going wrong. i mean, that's the truth no matter what. especially in cases involving classified information. which implies, mr. speaker, that
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it's a matter of national security. under the current laws, whistleblowers dealing with classified information in the intelligence community can make protected disclosures to their supervisors. however, whistleblowers dealing with classified information outside of the intelligent community do not have the same protection. with fewer legally protected options, employees outside of the intelligence community may be more likely to make an illegal disclosure to peoples or entities without the proper security clearance. federal employees dealing with classified information outside of the i.c. community must be reassured that they can report wrongdoing to the appropriate people, including their supervisors. with that protection, whistleblowers will be less likely to disclose potentially sensitive information on waste, fraud, and abuse to the media or other entities or individuals without the proper security clearance. this bill would allow whistle
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blers to make protected disclosures of classified information to individuals within their chain of command as the gentlewoman has already suggested. there are very few conceivable circumstances in which a whistleblower complaint to a supervisor would jeopardize national security, but certainly -- but such disclosures are not currently protected. there's no reasonable basis for concern about whistleblowers throughout the federal government having the right to contact individuals within their chain of command about waste, fraud, or abuse of a classified nature. these additional whistle bler protections will make it easier for federal employees to do the responsible thing when it comes to classified disclosures. i urge my colleagues to support this, i thank the gentlewoman for her leadership and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california.
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ms. hill: i urge passage of h.r. 1064 as amended and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass bill h.r. 1064 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 the in the affirmative, rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. hill: i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 995 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 995, a bill to amend chapter 3 of title 5, united states code, to require publication of settlement agreements and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms.
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hill, and the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this measure. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i support this commonsense measure. the settlement agreement information database act would create a tai ta base of settlement agreement entered into by federal agencies as a result of violations of federal, criminal or other laws. the heads of executive agencies would be required to submit details about the types of settlement agreement the parties involved in the settlement, specific violations and the dates on which the settlement agreements were due. the information would remain public until fife years after the termination of the agreement the information in the
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agreements would remain subject to the freedom of information act but if thed of the agency decided to keep an a-- an entire agreement confidential he or she would be required to provide an explanation of that action. this bill would improve the transparency around settlement agreements which in the past have been difficult for the public to access. thank you and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. meadows: i rise in support of h.r. 995 but before i do, i want to congratulate the gentlewoman on the passage, i believe, of her first bill here on the house floor and go even further to say that in the keeping with this bipartisan support of h.r. 995, the settlement agreement database act of 2019 that was introduced and is introduced by the gentleman from alabama, mr. palmer, mr. chairman, transparency and public participation are critical to maintaining public trust in its government.
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however, federal agencies have increasingly resolved litigation by entering into settlement agreements rather than going through a lengthy public trial. settlement agreements are often negotiated behind closed doors. those secret negotiations effectively prevent the public from participating in important policy decisions. mr. chairman, let me reiterate this. when these settlements are done, when they're actually consummated, they set up future public policy and to do that behind closed doors is certainly not something that a transparent government should be about. state and local governments, industry stake holders, and taxpayers are often directly affected by these settlements but unable to provide input. for example, through the settlement agreement, the environmental protection agency required the city of fort smith, arkansas, to overhaul its sewer system in 12 years. sewer utility bills increased by
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167% in three years to fund the obligation of this agreement. and at the same time, fort smith residents' income actually decreased by 11%. the burden of a federal settlement can be difficult to see and understand, poor recordkeeping makes it impossible for congress and the public to determine the full impact of federal settlement agreements, agencies release information about settlements at their discretion. some agencies rely even on press releases to release the amount of information. so as a result, the public only sees the facts through what the agency puts out and only in the most favorable light. so in many cases, part of this closed door negotiations, the terms of the settlement are deemed confidential. without an explanation to the public, the process becomes even more opaque and seemingly
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arbitrary. h.r. 995 will shine a light on the federal settlements agreement. this bill will require the establishment of electronic and public available databases for agencies and the settlement of agreements. i would urge all of my colleagues to support this particular bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the question is -- the gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. mr. meadows: i yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman, the sponsor of this particular piece of legislation, the gentleman from alabama, mr. palmer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. palmer: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to join my colleague from north carolina in congratulating the gentlelady on
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passing her first billism now know what that broad smile was about when the yays were announced. the federal government's duty to serve the public interest relies on transparency and accountability to its citizens. however, since the 1970's, federal agencies have increasingly chosen to avoid a public trial and settle litigation behind closed doors. the results consent decrees and settlement agreements can mandate terms beyond the scope of the original violation of federal law and can lead to hiringer costs than a trial. . these agreements are nearly impossible to modify or vacate and can remain in place for decades. in one instance in new york city, their special education program's been under consent decree i think since 1972. this process has influenced a range of public policy as i cross governmental programs in states, counties and cities for elected officials inheriting the burden with little knowledge of the mandates or cost. in alabama, for instance, when former member of congress, governor bob riley, was
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electriced governor of alabama, he was going over the budget and saw the amount for legal fees and asked what it was for and he was informed of the number of consent decrees the state was under and they were paying out these legal fees and it was an enormous amount. people are often directly affected by the terms of the agreements but are prevented from participating in the negotiations. in some cases the settlements are declared to be confidential and the contents sealed without providing any explanation. unfortunately there is no uniform standard for record keeping across federal agencies. while some agencies have issued directives to streamline and publish this information, most of the public's access to federal settlement agreement information primarily in the form -- is primarily in the form of a press release. it is therefore impossible for the public to determine the comprehensive cost and youments of these settlement agreements.
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this lack of transparency leads elected officials, agency officials, and the public in the dark about the consent decrees that kim pact them. often -- that can impact them. oftentimes elected officials are sworn in and inherit substantial legal obligations they were completely unaware of before they took office. the settlement agreement information database act will address this problem. the bill establishes a centralized and electronic database of settlement agreements entered into by federal agencies. basic information about the settlement agreements already collected by federal agencies such as payments and dates will be available to the public online through this database. h.r. 95 provides long -- 959 provides long overdue -- 995 provides long overdue transparency and accountability. i thank my colleague, the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, and the gentlewoman from california, ms. hill, for their support on this bill. and i urge my other colleagues to support this bill as well and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. meadows: mr. speaker, i
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thank the gentleman from alabama for his leadership on this particular bill. i urge the adoption of it. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the distinguished gentleman from alabama and from north carolina for their congratulations and in sharing my excitement over the passage of my first bill. and i urge the passage of h.r. 995 as amended and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 995, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules -- ms. hill: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek
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recognition? ms. hill: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1079, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1079. a bill to require the director of the office of management and budget to issue guidance on electronic consent forms and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. hill, and the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. hill: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i support this bill, the cases for -- sorry. the cases for constituents act, introduced by representatives garrett graves and joe kennedy. this bill would modernize the way federal agencies process privacy act waivers and make it
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easier for members of congress to help constituents get assistance from federal agencies. our constituents are required to provide federal agencies with written consent before our offices can obtain information from the agency on their behalf. some agencies have outdated policies and still require these consent forms to be mailed or faxed, which can be next to impossible in certain circumstances, such as after a major storm or other natural disaster. under this bill, the office of management and budget would be required to create a template for electronic consent forms and issue guidance to agencies requiring them to accept such forms. i appreciate the bipartisan way in which this bill was developed and thank the representative graves and kennedy for their diligent efforts to address this problem. this is a good, bipartisan bill and i urge my colleagues to support it. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. meadows: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 1079. the cases for constituents act
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introduced by the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves, and as was mentioned, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. kennedy. and i have some prepared remarks, mr. speaker, but let me just deviate from that for just a second. finally two people have come together to get rid of the archaic way that we have to get disclosures that only go to hurt our constituents that we aim to serve. i mean, you know, only in the government do we have this kind of way where we actually have to make sure that we run it over by pigeon, you know, a carrier pigeon, to get something done, and all of us, all of us have been together where we are trying to serve our constituents, sometimes it's very time-sensitive, mr. speaker. and what do they want? well, you need to go get the privacy release form and if you go get the privacy release form, well, no, that's not ok, you have to get their actual signature and so we're sending people all over.
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so, it is with heartfelt gratitude, mr. speaker, that i want to thank these two gentlemen for doing something that is not only commonsense but much-needed. with, that i would reserve the balance of my time. -- with that, i would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: thank you, mr. speaker. i will just note for the record that i believe faxes may or may not have ended their usefulness before i was born. but, mr. speaker, i yield the gentleman from massachusetts two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mrm. kenney: thank you, mr. speaker -- mr. kenney: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank -- mr. kennedy: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my colleague from california for her support. the gentleman from north carolina as well for his comments and support. and my colleague, mr. graves, for his leadership, his advocacy on this piece of legislation, and for his determination in getting this done. it was a long, long slog to try to navigate a way through the
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mores a to get there. but we did. and mr. graves' office deserves a lot of credit for. that we were able to -- for that. we were able to clear this of the house unanimously last year, mr. speaker. importantly as well, mr. speaker, today is the first time that identical texts have been introduced in the united states senate. senators carper and portman are taking the lead. i look forward to our offices working together to get this bill across the finish line. for all the attention that is placed on members of congress when we're in washington, there's no more important responsibility of this job than helping our constituents back home. whether assisting a veteran getting benefits or a retiree access medicare, we can ease the burden of one neighbor's shoulders off our neighbors' shoulders. when a constituent calls our office, they don't ask us about our political parties or policy positions, they just ask for a little bit of help. usually those neighbors only reach our office when they fought every other battle
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possible first. too often archaic rules, as outlined by mr. meadows, build obstacles in our efforts to provide that help. the cases for constituent act, we can modernize our government, streamline that process -- process, and more directly assist than when they need it. let's bring the case work process one step closer to the 21st century, provide electronic access to privacy release forms. i urge colleagues to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields? mr. meadows: i do. ms. hill: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: vote reserves. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. meadows: thank you, mr. speaker. i recognize the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves, for as much time as he may consume, in support of this particular piece of legislation that he and the gentleman that just spoke has led so eloquently and diligently on. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. graves: i want to thank the gentleman from north carolina for yielding. mr. speaker, years ago they
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created something called the internet and if you're not familiar with it, i'd urge you to go to your local library, to go to the card catalog system, to get the right dess million number, get the right book and read up on it. because apparently many in our federal government haven't reals ied a -- realized that this has been created. in 1974 there was an act called the privacy act that was passed. 1974. since that time we've had companies like apple and amazon and microsoft and many others that have proliferated and are now worth billions and billions of thrars, some of the largest companies in the -- dollars, some of the largest companies in the world. mr. speaker, this is similar to us having to mail in a form to getting an ambulance to come to our house. as was noted by previous speakers in many cases people contact us because of emergency situations. we've had family members contact us when their loved ones were stuck overseas, in emergency
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situations. we've had people contact us because there was water filling up their home and they needed emergency services at the time. under the privacy act of 1974 that was written 45 years ago, we were unable to help them, as a mr. meadows noted, unless they sent us a signed privacy release form. i remember distinctly in august of 2016 when we had a record flood in my home state of louisiana, talking to constituents who were on their cell phones saying that their water had two, four, six, eight, 10 feet of water. and asking for help with fema small business administration and other government services. and myself or other folks on our team having to tell them, you bet, we want to help you, all you need to do is go to your computer go to this website, click the link, print it out, and you can imagine the response from people. i'd love to go to my computer right now. i'd love to be able to find it if it wasn't under four feet of water right now. incredibly frustrating.
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mr. speaker, the government today has a customer service approval rating of 70%. 70% is the customer service approval rating. that was sufficient to get me through high school. that's not ok for the federal government. it's entirely inappropriate. so this bill simply updates the federal government to put it online with how we file our taxes, how we handle our banking, insurance and virtually every else we do. ensuring that when people contact us, we can use those same technologies to protect privacy, that we can ensure the right people are asking for the right approvals, and we can quickly, within minutes, begin providing them services through their own federal government. i want to thank my friend from massachusetts, mr. kennedy, for perseverance and continuing to work with us on this. i want to thank my friend, mr. meadows from north carolina, ms. hill from california, thank you all very much for doing this. this is bipartisan, this is common sense, it should have been done decades ago. i want to thank jennifer bollinger, eric fins, all the
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o.g.r. staff and others that helped get this bill done, and looking forward to passage. i urge full support and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. meadows: no, mr. speaker, i want to go ahead and close, if we can, at this particular point. before i do so, i want to thank all of our staff. it's so easy at times for us to get up here and get the legislation that gets introduced oftentimes is not just our personal staff in our offices but the committee staff. i want to make sure that i emphasize that today. i can close with this final comment. i had a constituent not long ago that said, you know, i will just email you a release and we won't have to go through all of this, getting it in writing. i said no, no, that will take an act of congress. well, let me tell you, today the congress has acteded. i urge the support and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the
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gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: i'd like to join my colleague in thanking the staff. i was hand-held through this entire process. and i urge the passage of h.r. 1079, as amended, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1079, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion -- ms. hill: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative -- the gentlewoman from california. ms. hill: i ask for the yeas and nays, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
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pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until
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>> after injuries cut short his professional football career, representative gonzalez earned his m.b.a. at stanford business school. he's the first latino elected to ohio's congressional delegation. representative carol miller served over a decade in the state house before voters in west virginia's third district elected her to congress. politics runs in her family. she's the daughter of former congressman samuel device who he is seat would later be filled by future ohio governor and 2016 presidential candidate, john kasich. congressman michael guest was a local prosecutor in mississippi for nearly 25 years. the last decade as district attorney before his election to the house. he's also a sunday school teacher at his local baptist church. representative david trone and his brother opened a small liquor store in delaware in the early 1990's. the company eventually moved its headquarters to maryland
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and has expanded to become the largest independent fine wine retailer in the country. and washington's eighth district, elected representative kim schrier, a pediatrician and the only female doctor in congress. new congress, new leaders. atch it all on c-span. >> tonight on the communicators, from the state of the net conference in washington, d.c., we'll discuss internet relations and monitoring with rebecca slaughter, and the senior research fellow at the charles coke institute. >> the f.c.c. has rulemaking authority that's much more expansive than the f.t.c.'s rulemaking authority. so they can say to industry, here are the rules of the road. here's how you have to treat traffic over the internet. here's how you have to treat privacy. they had a privacy rule under title two. we just don't have the ability to do that across the board when it comes to consumer protection issues. we have much more limited rulemaking authority.
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and right now we have sector-specific laws that will protect some data, some of the time. but data isn't housed in sector-specific sile osaka anymore. >> people -- silos anymore. >> people mean so many different things when they talk about privacy. that it's hard to see how congress does anything that specific. because people haven't yet agreed on what the problem is. now, i think there is a lot of areas that people could agree on, that these are the types of injuries that we're trying to stop consumers from suffering. and i think we could get there, but right now the conversation is very vegas and it talks about -- vague and it talks about privacy as a general idea and people mean really different things about privacy. >> watch the communicators tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> next on c-span, we'll show you some of the coverage of iranian president rouhani's speech marking the 45 -- 40th anniversary of the iranian

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