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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 30, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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billion extracted from social security in order to finance the so-called obamacare. mr. krawzak, and our last couple of seconds here. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] guest: yes, the affordable care act did cut medicare spending by about $800 billion over 10 years. that is part of the affordable care act. host: paul krawzak works for "cq weekly." he has the cover story, the 1974 budget act, the budget resolution. that is our show today on the "washington journal. :"we now take you live to the floor of the house of representatives. washington, d.c., july 30, 2014. i hereby appoint the honorable chris stewart to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 7, 2014, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate.
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the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip each, to five minutes t in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. butterfield, for five minutes. mr. utterfield: thank you, speaker. mr. speaker, with the stroke of a pen, 49 years ago today several weeks after i finished high school, then-president lyndon johnson signed into law two of the largest and most important health-related programs the country had ever seen, medicare and medicaid. those programs were created nearly half a century ago because our nation's leaders saw time and time again the
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hopelessness of people who had no way to provide the most basic level of health care for themselves and their families. it was president harry truman ho initially conceived our health care safety net for struggling americans. nearly 70 years ago truman said, millions of our citizens do not now enjoy good health. millions do not have security against the economic effects of sickness and the time has arrived for action to help them get that protection, end of quote. since the creation of medicare and medicaid, no achievement has been as significant and consequential as the affordable care act. in addition to providing affordable health insurance to some for the first time ever, the a.c.a. has also provided for significant expansion of states' medicaid programs so that individuals with incomes less than 138% of the poverty level could finally have access to basic care. the supreme court case would
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make medicaid expansion voluntary. now, nearly half a century after medicaid was created to help the least among us, 24 states in this country, 24 states believe it best to disenfranchise millions and deny them access to federal dollars they rightfully deserve by not expanding their program. states that have refused to expand point to the increased cost as the main reason for their decision, but, mr. speaker, the federal government has committed to pay 100%. that's 100% of the cost of expansion for the first three years, and then 90% beyond the first three. nationally, the states would see only a 1.6% increase in their share of medicaid spending. a 1.6% increase to provide health care for millions of deserving individuals. the benefits of expansion far outweigh the costs. in my home state of north
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carolina alone, expanding medicaid will save the state more than $65 million over the next eight years and would benefit its economy by adding nearly $1.5 billion to the state's revenue. it will not only help to save jobs but help to create them too. that's just in north carolina and this same scenario is playing out in nearly half of all the states in our country. the cost of not expanding is cyrimly too great. pongo hospital, located just outside of my congressional district in bell haven, has closed its doors because north carolina refused to expand medicaid. the decision by the governor and the republican-led state legislature has cost a woman her life. portia was 48 years old. she had a heart attack and died on her way to the nearest open hospital, which was an hour away. providing care to the sick and
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injured is a moral imperative that harry truman saw nearly 70 years ago when he first spoke about it. congress and president lyndon johnson believed caring for the least among us was a moral necessity when medicare and medicaid was passed and signed into law. at the signing ceremony 49 years ago, former president harry truman said of the people that would benefit from medicare and medicaid, quote, these people are our prideful responsibility and they are entitled among other benefits to the best medical protection available. we don't want them to have any idea of hopeless despair. end of quote. that was president harry truman. in response to truman, president lyndon johnson said improving the health of all americans calls upon us never to be indifferent to despair. it commands us never to turn away from helplessness. it directs us never to ignore or to spur those who suffer
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unintended in a land -- intended in a land that is bursting with abundance. those elected officials standing in the way of medicaid expansion should simply reflect on president johnson's words and a country that has come so far, so far. americans who struggle financially deserve better than that. they deserve better than to have their elected officials tell them that their worth in this world is tied to their ability to afford health insurance. i thank you for the time, mr. speaker, this morning. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from alabama, mr. brooks, for five minutes. r. brooks: mr. speaker, i rise today to speak strongly and unequivocally in support of israel's right to self-defense. the same right to self-defense we would assert if america were attacked and americans killed
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by rockets and other weaponry. israel launched operation protective edge in response to relentless and unprovoked rocket attacks launched from gaza by hamas, a brutally ruthless terrorist organization. in just the last three weeks, more than 2,500 rockets have rained down on israel and the targets of these rockets are not military but civilian. 2,500 rockets fired at any country is a lot. it is an act of war that triggers self-defense military responses. but 2,500 rockets fired at a country as small as israel is even worse. to put the size of israel in perspective, israel is smaller than the tennessee valley of north alabama that i represent. if anyone dared to fire even a single rocket at the people of e fifth district of alabama, much less 2,500 rockets rain
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down on the tennessee valley, you can be darn sure that we would demand an overwhelming military response. in israel, hamas fires at communities, at schools, at daycare centers, all with the same goal, to invoke terror by injuring and killing as many innocent israeli citizens as possible. 80% of the israeli population is living under the constant threat of missile attacks. having to run into the shelters constantly at a moments notice, in the middle of the night, at all times of day with mere seconds of warning. no country on earth would tolerate such a situation. so that we are clear, hamas consistently places and fires its rockets within heavily populated areas, including schools and hospitals. hamas does this to use their own civilian population as
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human shields. this means that every time they fire a rocket, they're committing not one but two war crimes. targeting civilians in israel while using human shields in gaza. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu said it very well in describing the juxtaposition of hamas firing from civilian areas in the hope of drawing fire and the use by israel of the iron dome missile defense system, quote, we use missiles to protect our people. hamas uses their civilians to protect their missiles, end quote. mr. speaker, i would be remiss if i did not emphasize how truly miraculous the iron dome missile and mortal defense system is. it's like hitting a bullet with a bullet. i think the tennessee valley's incomparable defense workers who, working hand in hand with very bright israeli engineers
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and scientists made hitting a bullet with a bullet possible. untold citizens lives have been saved. since the beginning of operation protective edge, israel has discovered more than 30 offensive hamas terrorist tunnels dug from gaza under the border and into israel. these tunnels have 60 different access points and the entrances have been found in houses and mosques. the purpose of the tunnels is to allow armed hamas terrorists to emerge in israeli communities to murder and kidnap civilians. defenseless mothers, fathers and children, it makes no difference to hamas. hamas kidnaps, tortures and murders and seemingly enjoys it. israel's only solution, the only path to peace in the face of those who kill in the name of religion is israel's
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disarming of hamas and the demilitarization of gaza. israel is the only democracy in the tumultuous and dangerous middle east. israel is unquestionably america's most reliable ally in the middle east. the people of israel are engaged in a fight to protect their home, a fight for survival, and america must stand with israel without hesitation. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, for five minutes. mr. schiff: mr. speaker, the right to vote is the most fundamental right in any democracy since it is the right from which all others meaningfully deny. deny someone the right to vote and you may deny them to speak, to freely exercise their faith. for these other rights are
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infringed, how may we seek redress but at the ballot box. not even the courts can secure our rights in the absence of an effective franchise. congress established the courts and they may abolish them. the vote to vote alone is the foundation of all others. and so it is deeply disturbing to see the right to vote diminished in many states. these new state laws restrict voter registration drives, reduce the early voting period and require photo identification and proof of citizenship to vote. in total, 34 states have passed laws now requiring voters to show some kind of identification at the polls. for many americans who already are registered to vote and can provide this documentation, these new requirements may not sound burdensome. but although these new laws apply to all americans, they disproportionately impact low-income, elderly and disailed voters.
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-- disabled voters. 7% do not have citizenship documents. that means a significant number of eligible voters have been disenfranchised by these new laws. it has been argued that it is appropriate to put a significant burden on people who simply want to cast their vote because voter fraud is widespread, but it is not. it is true that in jurisdictions which allow people to pay a bounty for new voter registration cards that voter registration fraud exists. but voter registration fraud is not the same as voter fraud since these false registrations do not result in nonexistent people voting. the fraud artists should be prosecuted for violating the law and cluttering up the voter registration rolls, but legitimate voters should not be disenfranchised. rather, we should crack down on the bounty system that incentivizes this kind of misconduct. these new instringent voter i.d. laws will not stop voter registration fraud, but they will prevent legitimate voters
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from casting their ballots. indeed, in many places this is their very intention. they are the worst form of voter suppression, not voter protection. the backward movement on voter rights is not just for the supreme court. section 5 of the voting rights act required that nine states and many other counties and municipalities around the country with histories of voter discrimination obtain federal preclearance before changing voter laws. however, the supreme court in shelby county vs. holder ruled that the formula to determine which jurisdictions must get preclearances out of date. immediately after texas announced that a voter identification law would go into effect and redistricting maps would no longer need federal approval, actions that could affect minority voting rights in that state. in january, the voting rights amendment act was introduced to restore and strengthen protections of the v.r.a. that
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were dismantled by the supreme court. this bill was introduced by congressman john conyers and congressman jim sensenbrenner, demonstrating the bipartisan support for restoring a crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. i'm a strong supporter of the voting rights amendment act and i'm encouraged that members of both parties see the need for this legislation. as a country that have made incredible progress in expanding the vote to right for previously disenfranchised populations, now is not the time to turn the clock back. we should instead be moving forward, ever ford and encouraging legal, -- ever forward, and encouraging legal voters to participate in government, in democracy and in voting, not working to exclude them. epshuring the ballot boxes in our nation and democracy remain open to all. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the
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gentlewoman from alabama, mrs. roby, for five minutes. mrs. roby: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to share with this congress and with this nation a story of mismanagement, malfeasance, negligence, and cover-up at the central alabama veterans health care system. i know most of my colleagues can point to at least some problems at the v.a. systems in their state, but what has transpired in my hometown of montgomery, alabama, and central alabama rises to a level of misconduct and mistrust i'm not sure many other systems can match. i do this not simply to disparage the system for no reason, i do this to shine the light on some truly disturbing practices so we can finally clean up the mess. i do this so that 50,000-plus veterans that depend on the central alabama v.a. can one day have confidence in a health care system we promised them. after phoenix scheduling scheme began to unravel, it was revealed in early june that the
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central alabama v.a. had one of the worst wait times in the country. it was particularly bad foremental health patients. -- for mental health patients. i met with the local v.a. director who acknowledged the discrepancies and assured me that action had been taken to remove those responsible. turns out that wasn't true. no one was fired. mr. speaker, if a member of congress can't get a straight answer from the v.a., imagine what our veterans go through every single day. in the wake of this clear breach of trust, we began digging to deeper to find out what was really going on at the central alabama v.a. the information we received from sources who came forward was alarming. it is also consistent with reports gathered by independent inspectors and some great investigative reporters. here's what is being uncovered. at monthgomry v.a., a montgomery v.a. pull mon no gist manipulated more than 1,200 patient records to show tests that never occurred.
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after being caught, the doctor was never fired or suspended. he actually was manipulating records again, but somehow went on to receive a satisfactory performance review. at least 900 unread patient x-ray tests, many showing malignancies, were lost over a five-year period. when the tests were discovered recently, top hospital administrators tried to cover up the problem. email records show that central alabama v.a. director was alerted to the concerns over patient scheduling practices more than eight months before taking action. and finally, spreebling, -- mr. speaker, perhaps the strongest evidence yet has emerged that the rampant scheduling manipulation in central alabama wasn't a misunderstanding at all. but rather a facility-led standard operating procedure. more than 57% of staff surveyed at except tral alabama said they received instruction to
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manipulate patient wait time. 57%. mr. speaker, that is off the charts. the national average is 12.7%, and other systems near montgomery aren't even close. there's clearly a systematic problem in montgomery, and it needs to be corrected. that's why i joined with senator richard shelby to write the new secretary of veterans affairs, robert mcdonald, to call his attention to the central alabama v.a. specifically, senator shelby and i are asking secretary mcdonald to review these instances of mismanagement, visit with us, and develop a plan of action to reform the central alabama system. it is important to remember, so important to remember that thousands of doctors, nurses, and public servants at the v.a. work very hard every day to give veterans patient the best health care we can offer. their service is honorable, and it is a shame that it is
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overshadowed by a system that too often fails those it was created to help. mr. speaker, we cannot allow the american people to forget about this. we cannot allow the news media to move on to the next story. i hear from veterans every day who are depending on us to make this right. this will be an uphill batting. i know that. but it is a fight we have to fight. we have to change this culture of complacency that starts with new leadership, and i look forward to working with secretary mcdonald. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker very much. over the last couple of weeks many of us have visited my home state to places where i have gone over the decades of service
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and living in texas, and that is to our great neighbors that live on the border. many great citizens of the state of texas and of the great country in which we live, they have lived and worked and played and they have created an economic engine. cities like brownsville, mcallen, and many others. and they have, in fact, experienced over the years an influx of individuals coming to do harm. as a member of the homeland security committee, senior member and member who served as chairwoman and ranking member on a number of subcommittees, we have made great strides. reminded of the low number of border patrol agents many years ago, and now we are upwards to 25,000. hardworking americans that serve
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on both the northern and southern border. they have met the challenge of a number of serious influx. first the drug cartels, the violence on the mexican side of the border. we have come together with mexican presidents and worked with the mexican national defense forces. and we have quashed to a certain extent the extensive violence, but yet our federal agents, the a.t.f., d.e.a., f.b.i., and certainly other collaborative efforts have worked to bring this violence down. we take note of the fact that el paso is noted as the safest city in the united states, and it is on the border. we note that the great deal of commerce comes through the southern border as it does the northern border. over the last couple of weeks, beginning maybe in 2013, we saw a new phenomenon, an unplanned phenomenon.
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a phenomenon driven by the devastating and destructive elements found in honduras, el salvador, and guatemala in central america. none of which were driven by a pointed pronouncement from the united states or the president of the united states, president barack obama. but elements who wanted to misuse and abuse the need for comprehensive immigration reform decided to misrepresent the laws of the united states of america. every member of congress has adhered to a particular theme. i started using it in the 1990's. we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. and the laws are intended to use to be used to be able to instruct how we guide our hearts, and our laws. we still have the statue of liberty in the harbor of new york that says we welcome the forlorn and those in need. unfortunately, bad information was given to desperate people.
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let me say that again, mr. speaker. desperate people. desperate mothers and fathers who saw beheading of young people or people in their neighborhood, threatened by ms-1 and other horrific gangs to say if your child does not join, your child will be killed. or your little girl will be raped. or maybe the 3-year-old that i saw down in brownsville with a diaper on, was given to someone just to save her life. that is a misnomer and abuse that has been going on in the debate here. that these are real lives of children who have fled with a more than credible fear of the loss of life. i am so disappointed sometimes in how we can reinvent truth. that is that these children are fleeing because of what president obama represented. that is not true. it's important to tell the american people the truth.
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they were fleeing because of , ar unbelievable violence inshane violence -- insane violence, mixed in with the misrepresentations of those who just wanted to make money and abuse the system. so now we have this surge. maybe 50,000-plus here in the united states. and we have to do something about it. i listened to three young people yesterday, most of us have not eard from the children because we were protecting the children's privacy. but they explain the journey they took and how they came for nothing more than a better life and violence was around them. yes we need to work with honduras, guatemala, and el salvador. but we started out what was right. the president offered a supplemental. he knew it was right to have funding for the willerness
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funding. he knew it was right to give the border patrol agents their appropriate moneys he knew it was right for enforcement and add more judges. what i would say what we are on the floor now mr. chairman, mr. speaker, is a pitiful example in the -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: this is a bad emergency supplemental. it's not even that. it is not worth voting for. america's better than this. we need to do better than this by the supplemental to help these children. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: mr. speaker, today i'd like to read a short statement that was in the headlines of the "washington times" and i quote. golden hammer. u.s. squandered $34 million on failed afghan soybean project. the first few sentences of this report read, and i quote, call it the great american soybean
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highs, the latest tail of u.s. taxpayer abuse to emanate from afghanistan. despite clear evidence that afghan's arid soil was a bad place to grow soybeans, the united states department of agriculture spent $34.4 million trying to establish the crop in that country according to the inspector general for afghan reconstruction. end of quote. mr. speaker, here we go again. talking about the waste, fraud, and abuse of american resources in after afghanistan. yesterday i spoke object the house -- on the house floor in memory of three members of the united states army who died as a result of their service in afghanistan. the death of these three men represent my greatest concern with our service members continuing to remain in afghanistan. that more and more of our men and women in uniform will be killed and wounded. the loss of life and limb is far more important than the money that is being wasted.
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however, mr. speaker, our country is in a dangerous financial situation. in addition to the soybean report, i want to read three more headlines that accentuate the waste of our taxpayers' money in afghanistan. they are from the cbs news, and i quote, is the pentagon wasting taxpayers' money in afghanistan? from the center for public integrity, and i quote, the united states military was no match for afghan's corruption. and from the world affairs journal, and i quote, money pit. demonstruss failure of usaid to afghanistan. mr. speaker, how much more can the poor american taxpayer continue to said tsh-spend in a failed policy in afghanistan? i cannot emphasize enough that we have children, senior citizens, and veterans here at home that desperately need our assistance, yet we run out of money for their programs because
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we refuse to make cuts to the funds that are being funneled overseas, and especially in afghanistan. i say to the administration and to congress, that it is time to fix america's problems, not afghanistan's problems and not the world's problems. in closing, mr. speaker, i want to again to mention the three army soldiers who were killed last week actually on july 25. staff sergeant benjamin prange, p.f.c. keith williams, and p.f.c. darnell hamilton. mr. speaker, beside me i have poster after poster of the cost of war. as a young kid named at this letter jordan, this is actually from 2003. our early days in iraq. a very unnecessary war. his father was a gunny sergeant named phillip jordan, he was killed. here's tyler being given the flag that was folded after it was taken off his father's grave.
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i don't know how many of these three names i just mentioned, i know one family, he had two little girls, maybe they've got a folded flag. but it's time for congress to wake up. there's no need to have our young men and women overseas giving their life and limb and to see the money wasted overseas in fraud, waste, and abuse when we can use it right here to fix america's problems. please, god, continue to bless our men and women in uniform. and please, god, continue to bless america. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. . the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. speier, for five minutes. ms. speier: thank you, mr. speaker. with just one day before the recess and many pending issues before us, the majority has focused on one issue and one
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issue alone, suing the president of the united states for essentially doing what they seem incapable of. the lawsuit focuses solely on a small part of the a.c.a., one that republicans themselves wanted to roll back. i'm going to list my objections to this monumental waste of time on this poster. standing. the essence for standing, because the speaker is trying to sue the president and he does not have standing. he must show that there is some concrete harm to him that goes beyond the general interests in seeing the law enforced. in fact, he should listen to conservative legal mind like justice roberts, scalia and rehnquist, all of whom expressed skepticism about a
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court granting standing to the house to sue the president. it's absurd to think that the house of representatives as an institution has been harmed by president obama attempting in good faith to implement the a.c.a. i understand their feelings might be hurt, but acting out only gets them negative attention, and the americans agree that this is a waste of time. the next reason that i object s the taxpayer waste of money. the last time the republicans sued the president it was over the implementation of doma which went nowhere and cost the taxpayers $2.3 million. like this previous fruitless lawsuit, this will bounce around the courts for years making rich lawyers rich. that's the only jobs program the republicans will have passed in congress this year.
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the next reason i object to it is that it is useless. just what are the republicans trying to accomplish with this circus? it's certainly not governing. as of june 30, this congress has only enacted 125 bills into law, the lowest number of any congress in the history since 1973 when they started keeping data. now, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle say it's all about the senate. but in five previously divided congresses before this one, the average number of bills enacted at the same time period was 254, almost twice as many. the next reason i object to , p, political stunt. aimed at appeasing those that want to impeach the president. the same people calling for this lawsuit shut down the government last fall because
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they wanted to delay the affordable care act and it cost us over $24 billion. so now they're suing the president over the fact that he did something they wanted him to do in the first place. the only other group of people i know who screamed they want something, then throw a tantrum when they get it are toddlers. the next reason i object to this lawsuit is that it's inconsistent. it's inconsistent because when george bush was proposing the prescription drug benefit and we were trying to implement that, he asked to have it delayed for one year, and guess what, the republicans didn't object then. and then the final reason that i object to this lawsuit is because it's a distraction. the republicans are trying to distract americans from the fact they have ruled over a do-nothing congress. while we are frittering away
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our last few days in session with this pointless, childish exercise, we're not renewing the export-import bank, even completing a full appropriations process. words fail me in describing the pet lens of the other side -- petch lance of the other side. this toddler is more adult than my colleagues. she has figured it out. i suppose i will allow her to express her feelings. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. olf, for five minutes. mr. wolf: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i want to share two pictures showing the tomb of the prophet jonah in mosul, iraq. the first shows jonah's tomb as it looked for centuries prior to last week.
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e second -- the second shows the site after it was destroyed by isis last week. thousands of years of biblical cultural history were erased in a matter of moments by islamist terrorists. this ancient site had once been the location of a church, then a mosque, famous for its arc trecture beauty which stood there since the 14th century. the mosque that they built , which was s tomb ent by god, to preach pittance and was subject in the old testament, multiple passages in the koran. while isis has targeted c.i.ians for elimination in the destructive rampage through syria and iraq, this is an offense not just to christians but to all humanity. this is more than fundamentalism or extremism. it is anae lism. it is genocide. it is genocide of an entire
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people of faith in this renal. the world should be outraged at the crime against their shared cultural heritage, including the islam that isis claims to represent. isis had destroyed history by detonating an explosive charge and turning this ancient site of pilgrimage to rubble. however, it is not just biblical sites and christian churches that are being targeted by isis for extermination, it is exterminating the christian people of this region, the christian people of this region are being exterminated. want to share another picture . see this spray painted symbol on the wall to the right of the gate. that is the arabic word for a name for christians. they are singling out christians. isis has been marketing the homes of christians to symbolize their ultimatum. convert to islam or die. sis has used the word a slur
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against shiites. this is the sixth time in a week that i appeared on the floor, call to attention the genocide that is taking place right before our eyes. the media is starting to pay more attention, but where is -- where is the obama administration? it has to make protecting this ancient community a priority and encourage the kurds to do more to protect those fleeing isis and provide refuge and ensure the resources going to the region, a portion be guaranteed to help the christian community. it needs to have the same courage as president bush and former secretary of state colin powell said when they called a genocide in darfur because this is genocide. for the seek of these communities and for the -- for the sake of these communities, president obama -- president obama must speak. president reagan consistently
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made human rights a religious freedom, a hallmark of american diplomacy. he famously described in the u.s. constitution, we have made not only but ourselves but for all of mankind. the words in the document transcended in time and place. there is no more urgent time and place but to speak out, given what's happening to christians and other religious minorities in iraq. we have seen during this congress where everyone here is serving and during this administration, we're seeing the end, the end of christianity in iraq and soon we will see the end, the end of christianity in the middle east, where it all began. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california -- i'm sorry -- connecticut, ms. esty, for five minutes.
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ms. esty: thank you, mr. speaker. this past saturday i held my congress on your corner at the litchfield public library and there i had conversations with folks young and old and we talked about what matters to them and to their families. and i heard about their concerns with the pressing issues facing our country right now. how can washington jump-start our economy again? when will we rebuild our aging bridges and roads? and what is congress doing about our broken immigration system? and yet, here we are, two days before the speaker's august recess and there's a vote to sue the president. yes, that's right. we are wasting time and taxpayer money voting on politically motivated attacks against the president rather than this house taking action to help the american people.
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mr. speaker, we should be debating a long-term sustainable solution to fund the dwindling highway trust fund, fix our infrastructure and create jobs. we should work together to fix our broken immigration system and to address the humanitarian crisis at the border. and we should vote to enact make it in america legislation that supports good-paying jobs right here at home. mr. speaker, moms in my district and across this country ask me every day, when will this house allow a vote on commonsense gun violence prevention? coming from a state that is working to regain jobs that were lost during the recession, i believe that we should cancel this recess to extend emergency unemployment for job seekers in my state of connecticut and all
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across america. no, instead we're wasting time and taxpayer money on a frivolous lawsuit rather than working together, working together to stop corporate tax inversion or close tax loopholes for companies that are shipping our jobs overseas. the folks i listen to -- listened to in litchfield last saturday morning, they deserve better. the american people deserve better. it's time to put partisanship aside and to put middle-class families first. we should cancel recess. we should stay here and work together on policies to jump-start our economy and get the job done for all of the people we represent. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. gibson, for five minutes. mr. gibson: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i rise today to address a solemn and pressing issue that unfortunately has not received the attention that it is warranted. this issue is the illegal capture, transport, ongoing detainment and upcoming trial of first lieutenant shochenko of the ukrainian separatist and now the russian government. the lieutenant, who's first name is nadia, means hope in ukrainian, is a true patriot and hero. she was born in 1981 in what was then the ukrainian soviet socialist republic and grew up in that soviet union aligned republic. at the early age of 16, one year younger than myself when i joined the united states military, nadia joined the ukrainian army as a radio operator and started a groundbreaking career to serve a free and independent ukraine. now 33 she has not only been trained as an elite
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paratrooper, she became the first air force pilot in ukraine military. her time in uniform includes service in iraq between 2004 to 2008 as a member of the ukrainian peacekeeping troops during which time she served ongside and earned respect among special operation forces. i personally know the hardships and exemplary work done by our coalition forces during that difficult period, including her ukrainian contingent. she has since become a national hero and icon, serving in the third aviation regiment and being recognized by the ukrainian defense forces in the united nations. nadia also became a leading national figure in approximate the year -- in the demonstrations which led to the all of victorian could he have itch.
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yanacovich. nadia joined one of many pro-government units that were organized to supplement government forces. as a leader, she served alongside military personnel to quell the russian-supplied, trained, supported separatist forces. on june 28, nadia was captured by the separatists. she resurfaced in russia in the custody of the russian government of charges of murdering two russian journalists. access to her by ukrainian officials is very limited and calls for release based on her illegal transport, transfer and detention has gone unanswered. this is unacceptable. we must recognize those who have fought alongside us and stood up for democracy and freedom around the globe. furthermore, we cannot allow due process be violated by any entity.
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i call on the united states government and the united nations to take immediate action to seek release of first lieutenant nadia southchenko. if she, the citizen of the sovereign state of ukraine and a war hero must face trial, she must be grant the full ability to do so in a transparent and unbiased venue, such as through the international court system or be granted privilege of a full and proper investigation by her own country. she deserves due process of law. i further call on russia to comply with its international obligations and immediate will he release nadia to her familiar or appropriate authorities. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair wreck flizzes the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson -- the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, for five minutes. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. as a co-chair of the state medicaid expansion caucus, i rise this morning to talk about how important expanding medicaid
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is for my state and for every state in this great nation. it gives me great pride to be in the well of the house this morning speaking on the topic of expanding the medicaid program today, the 49th anniversary of the date when the legislation creating the medicaid anti-poverty program was signed into law by president lyndon baines johnson. more than 30 members of congress have joined the state medicaid expansion caucus because we know that opening the way to health care for the poor is good, it is righteous, it is just, it is merciful. it is the right thing to do. because, according to matthew 25 verse 40, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. and for those who have not a
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care about the poor, then you should knows are that expanding medicaid to more poor people will stimulate the economy by creating jobs in the burgeoning health care and other ancillary industries. more jobs means more spending, which leads to more profits. for those of you who are only concerned about your bottom line, then you should also know that whoever is kind to the poor lends to the lord, and he will reward them for what they have done, proverbs 19, verse 17. the stimulation of the economy is exactly what expanding medicaid has accomplished in the 27 states that have expanded eligibility. it is exactly what will happen in every recalcitrant state when their political leaders finally come to their senses and choose to accept the federal funds to expand their medicaid systems,
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the funds having already been paid into the system by their own taxpayers. 27 states, a majority of the states of this great country, looked at the facts and made the choice to help their people be healthier and therefore lead more productive lives. expanding medicaid in those states provided health care coverage to approximately 10.5 million people who otherwise would not have had it. according to families u.s.a. despite the politics, this is a bipartisan issue. as we see when republican governors in arizona and ohio, for example, expanded medicaid. as a result of their action, almost a million people will have access to affordable health care. states led by republicans and democrats that expanded medicaid should be commended for their
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actions. in california, almost three million people have benefited by getting access to health care when their state expanded medicaid. these are just some of the success stories. the federal government will cover 100% of the cost of expanding medicaid today, and 90% of the costs for the duration of the program in every state. expanding medicaid will bring billions of federal tax dollars back into states that will help develop the health care infrastructure and improve the economy. it will also help low-income americans access health care. we must remember that the people who will benefit from expanding medicaid are no less deserving of health care than anyone else. in my home state of georgia, expanding medicaid would mean access to health care for 68 ,000 poor people, according -- 6
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684,000 poor people according -- 68 ,000 poor people. expanding medicaid will bring $65 billion in new economic activity to georgia over 10 years which will support more than 56,000 new jobs throughout the state. my governor reacted to this news by signing a bill eliminating his own authority to expand medicaid. i can't think of a time that a chief executive has willingly given away some of his authority. we know why governors and state legislators are choosing to deny access to health care for their people. it's politics, pure and simple. i'm here today to urge every . ate to expand medicaid i urge my colleagues and those watching at home to contact their governor and their state
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legislator in support of expanding medicaid. ith that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. ribble, for five minutes. mr. ribble: thank you, mr. speaker. one of the things that i'm concerned about, i think every american is concerned about, is the reputation of the congress of the united states in the eyes of the american people. we know what our approval ratings are and we are well aware of it. we often don't take a moment and pause and sigh, what are the things that we could -- and say, what are the things we could do so that the american people once again view this chamber, the people's house, as a place of honor, as a place that's actually doing the people's business? here we are, 48 hours away from a recess and we'll be going back and talking with the people in our districts. each one of us represents around 700,000 american citizens.
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we are going to go home and we are going to spend some time talking with those citizens. i think it's appropriate. however, i also think it's appropriate for us to get our work done, and i want to talk this morning, mr. speaker, about a key fundamental requirement of the law of this congress. and that is to provide the nation and the american people with a budget that is fiscally secure and to provide for spending bills under the law so that the money that the taxpayers are sending to washington, d.c., they are aware of how that money is being spent. this is 2014, mr. speaker. leaving for the entire month of august was a tradition that, as i have read, been brought to this chamber because of the extreme heat in washington, d.c., prior to air conditioning. here we are in 2014, the
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building's air conditioned, and the lights are on, relatively comfortable place to work, we could stay here and actually finish up some of the work of the people. for example, in 1974, four decades ago, the congress of the united states passed a budget act and the president signed into law a budget act that requires the congress of the united states to actually pass a budget and to do its spending bills and complete them by september 30. in four decades, here we are in the 40th anniversary of that law, in four decades, it has not happened even one time. where the congress did its work and completed its spending bills within the amount of time allotted under the law. the american people are struck by that. how can the congress of the united states ignore the law? how can the congress of the united states say we are going to bind ourselves in agreement, democrats and republicans, house and senate, and the president, and we are going to agree to do
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these things? quite frankly, the law had one weakness, it had no enforcement trigger in it. a few years ago a good friend of mine, a gentleman from across the aisle, congressman jim cooper from nashville, tennessee wrote a piece of legislation called no budget, no pay. a couple years ago we finally signed that bill into law, part of it, for the first time i have been in the congress, the senate of the united states actually passed a budget because they found out if they didn't there would be an enforcement trigger that happened. i recently written a bill called do your job act. which would require the congress to do all 1 of the spending bills prior to the end of the year or they can't recess for more than 24 hours. they have to stay here and do their job so the american people can see first hand what our priorities are. i came to congress in 2011, mr. speaker. in the four years that i have been here, we have been required by law to pass 48 spending bills.
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the u.s. senate in those four years' time have passed two. the house has done quite a bit better. they passed 24. but they are required to pass 48. this year the senate has passed zero, zero. they have done none. house of representatives have passed seven and have referred another four out of committee that are ready to go. we ought to stay here and pass those bills and send them to the senate. mr. speaker, this is the people's house. we ought to be here doing the people's business for the good of the american people. we should stay here and do our job. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. roybal-allard, for five minutes. ms. roybal-allard: mr. speaker, on behalf of my colleagues and the congressional hispanic caucus, the congressional black caucus, and the congressional asian and pacific american caucus, i rise to introduce the
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house equity and accountability act of 2014. the congressional tricaucus over the past 10 years has been tireless in its efforts to educate congress and the country about the disproportionate burden of premature deaths and preventable illnesses existing in our minority communities. towards that end, the tricaucus developed the national strategy for the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities. the keystone of this strategy is the tricaucus health equity and accountability act first introduced in 2003 and every congress since. in many ways it is unique. first the bill and its introduction rotates each congress among the three caucuses. this year as chair of the c.a.c. health task force, i have the distinct honor of carrying on the tradition by introducing the bill for the 113th congress. second and most importantly, it outlines the collective
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institutional knowledge of a diverse group of policymakers, health professionals, and adequacy organizations from throughout the country on what policies are needed to halt, reduce, and eliminate health disparities. at the beginning of each new congress, the h.e.a. working group convenes and several hundred minority and health advocacy organizations meet on a regular basis to discuss the bill and update it based on new research and recommendations to meet the ever changing needs of our nation's most vulnerable populations. also, just as the bill introduction rotates each congress between members' offices, the leadership of the h.e.a. working group rotates among advocacy organizations. in the 113th congress, this effort was spearheaded by the national latina institute for reproductive health, whose members i commend for their deep commitment to social justice and
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for their tireless work on this bill which included coordinating the input of over 350 health and minority advocacy groups. the h.e.a. is a principleled living road map that can be used by policymakers and providers alike. for example, the affordable care act contains many groundbreaking policies first introduced in h.e.a., including expansion of medicaid eligibility, increased resources for community health centers, and institutionalizing federal efforts to achieve health equity. nevertheless, while the a.c.a. has made a significant impact on access to quality health care, many inequities and obstacles remain that prevent the elimination of health disparates -- disparities in our country. that is why the h.e.a. 2014 provides advanced policies to improve health outcomes in all
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populations regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or english proficiency. the h.e.a. is made up of 10 titles proposing a wide spectrum of health initiatives that address disparities in mental health and specific high impact minority diseases. the bill also provides guidelines for improving the health outcome for women, children, and families and targets resources to communities striving to overcome negative social factors. finally, the bill enhances technology, accountability and evaluation, increase work force diversity and ensure access to appropriate care. mr. speaker, the members of the tri keaks and members of the h.e.a. working group believes no one's health or life expectancy should be determined by the color of their skin or the zip code in which they are
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born. the health equity and accountability act of 2014 is a consensus blueprint of the most comprehensive and strategic plan to eliminate health disparities in our country. i urge my colleagues to support the health equity and accountability act of 2014. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, for five minutes. mr. mcclintock: thank you, mr. speaker. we're watching the rise of islamic fascism on a scale unplus dented in modern times. it -- unprecedented in modern times. it may trace genealogy through a different line, but at its core, it is fascism. listen to the anti-semitism, the explicit promise of genocide against israel, the utter rejection and disdain of
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fundamental principles of democracy and human rights and justice. there can be no doubt what is happening. european fascism might have consumed all of europe except for one gritty holdout for more than a year great britain stood in the breach. had it fallen, the consequences had be unthinkable. today, one gritty holdout stands against the rise of islamic fascism in the middle east. israel is the only island of democracy and civilization left in that region, and it is standing alone and in the breach. the current conflict between israel and hamas offers a clear distinction between good and evil. israel took control of the gaza strip as a result of the six-day war in 1967. it granted self-governance to the region in 1994, and in 2005 unilaterally withdrew its forces. the resulting hamas government has since militarized gaza and used it as a launching site for
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continuing and escalating attacks against the civilian israeli population with the avowed objective of wiping israel off the map. the arab spring, welcomed by the obama administration, brought the muslim brotherhood to power in egypt. during its brief tenure, it welcomed a mass of importation of weapons. they were strategically placed in schools and hospitals and fired upon israeli cities without provocation. as churchill once said of britain, israel did everything it could to secure peace. perhaps it did too much. the result was thousands of rocket attacks and many terrorist incursions by hamas aimed solely at the civilian population, and israel finally did what any civilization must do under such circumstances, it finally fought back. hamas has deliberately staged its attacks from hospitals, schools and mosques, using
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children as human shields, leaving the israelis the hobson choice of enduring the killing of their own population or taking out the instruments of destruction that are deliberately sited in schools and hospitals, they've chosen to defend themselves. there's absolutely no doubt of hamas' objective and that of its allies. they have been crystal clear and unwavering on their intention to destroy israel and to kill every israeli. they seek to eradicate the jewish homeland, whose history in the region stretches back more than 3,000 years. their allies have been intent on annihilating every christian and jew in the middle east, and they are well on their way toward achieving that goal. it will be the height of naivity to believe it will stop. yet, this administration and many on the left seem to view the two sides as moral equivalents. many on the left even portray israel as the aggressor. israel has made the decision to
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by force demilitarize gaza for its own survival. it is now making progress in degrading hamas to make war and that is the only true path to peace. yet, the obama administration is now working to halt israel's progress and allow hamas the time to resupply and regroup and resume its attacks. this serves only the objectives of hamas and is a prescription for prolonged war and bloodshed. hamas has broken every cease-fire it's agreed to and israel has abided every cease-fire, often withholding fire for hours after hamas has broken these accords. there's no reason to believe that hamas will abide by future cease fires the -- cease-fires. why will this administration interfere in this manner? today, all that stands between
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a peaceful and free world and a fanatic fascist cal fant is the state of israel and the influence of the western democracies, particularly that of the united states. in 1929, churchill warned of britain's irresolution in the middle east. he said any appearance of lack of will power on the part of the british government or of lack of confidence in its mission in these countries blows like a draft of air on the dull fierce embers. mr. speaker, at this perilous hours, let us not repeat mistakes of history. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. costa, for five minutes. -- costa:
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, or five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you very much, mr. speaker. yesterday afternoon i stood at the back of the senate chamber and watched a critical debate. under the leadership of chairman ron wyden of the senate finance committee, his partner, ranking member hatch, chairwoman barbara boxer from california, chris murphy from connecticut, bob corker from tennessee and senator tom carper from delaware held forth on critical legislation to be able to help america deal with crisis.astructure america, it's no secret it's falling apart and falling behind. it is well overdufort us to have a robust, important six-year re-authorization to deal with our transportation
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needs. we can't do that unless we resolve the funding conundrum. we've been limping along. we can't even get through the current 27-month extension without a summer slowdown. cutting back on critical federal funding for contracts around the country. what the senate did was tackle this issue head-on. they have a funding proposal that was thoroughly debated where they were able to provide enough funding to get us through the end of the year but not so much that it allows this congress off the hook to slide into next congress and probably the congress after that but face up to our responsibilities now. mr. speaker, the presentations from senator corker from tennessee urging us to be grownups and move forward,
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senator boxer talking about the critical needs and not to be part of the fantasy that somehow the federal government should abandon its commitment to a national transportation highway system that we initiated under president eisenhower, that somehow that's a thing of the past, turn our back on it, slash transportation funding and just kind of wait and see what happens around the country, she was eloquent and forceful. again, we watched senator murphy, senator carper be focused on what we need to do. mr. speaker, we need to address and embrace the bipartisan senate vote yesterday. 79 bipartisan votes to be able to do our job, avoid the summer shutdown and do so in a way with a funding approach that is
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much more sustainable and reasonable, not the so-called pension smoothing that is ill-advised on so many levels. two weeks ago, democrats in the house of representatives were united 99% supported what is essentially the senate outcome. that didn't prevail on the floor of the house in a motion to recommit that i offered. but democrats didn't pick up our marbles and quit. we actually provided the votes necessary to keep the issue alive and send the suboptimal republican approach across to the other body. there weren't enough republican votes to pass it, but we kept it alive hoping that we could see what happens on the senate side, that we might have a stronger, more reasonable proposal. and that optimism and cooperation on the part of the democrats in the house was
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rewarded because we have this bipartisan proposal which is in 79 better, supported by senators. mr. speaker, it's time for the house to be able to address this bipartisan approach from the senate. allow us to vote on it. is -- ought to be the first step us in avoiding the summer shutdown and for us to get on with a six-year bill. rarely have we seen the stakeholders so united. the american trucking association, the road builders, the u.s. chamber, building and construction trades, the bicyclists, the engineers, we watch across the country the people who build, who maintain and depend on our infrastructure united, supportive of the approach that
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has emerged from the united states senate. even as we speak, they are contacting congressional offices urging members support the bipartisan senate approach. i respectfully urge the republican leadership to allow those voices to be heard, to heed the stakeholders, heed the american people, give them a bill worthy of voting on. it will pass overwhelmingly, and we'll be doing our job. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new mexico, mr. pearce, for five minutes. mr. arce: thank you, speaker. every country must deal with and answer the question, what does it take to be prosperous and to have prosperity for future generations. there are many answers to that question, but country of the keys is science, technology, engineering and math, the stem
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fields, in our educational system. the united states needs to be able to compete in these fields on a global scale and children of all schools should have the opportunity to develop these skills no matter where they live. recently teachers in the second district of new mexico brought up the question, what about us? can we use funds that are set over here in the education department to develop better skills in the stem areas? those questions were not answered in a completely positive way that maybe it was not possible. therefore, the teachers put forward an idea that maybe we should just get the flexibility in, a practical suggestion for an important concept. teachers and educators in the second district provided firsthand experience that developed the idea into a concept. several teachers formed an ad hoc working group.
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, marcy indsey and marcy from another school district, as well as susan, nicole and christina from the new mexico state university stem outreach center, all came together and developed that concept into a proposed legislation. working with my staff, they got the bill written and on june 25 f this year, i introduced h.r. 4973, titled, spurring teacher education movement for stem act, also known as the stem for stem act. h.r. 4973 increases the flexibility for teacher development funds under the rural and low-income title of the elementary and secondary school act of 1965. it allows the funds to be used for teacher development in teaching stem. the stem for stem act also expresses the need for the u.s. to compete on a global scale, that teachers should have the
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high-quality professional development opportunities in stem to increase their content knowledge and improve student learning. professional development is essential for providing teachers and educators with growth opportunities that then are presented to our children. teacher professional development enriches the learning environment for students and educators alike. it's important for us to say thank you to those teachers who make it possible for america to compete in the next generation. hopefully this bill, h.r. 4973, will provide a small element of health for the rural areas that stretch across the western part of this country. with that i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. costa, fundraise five minutes. -- for five minutes. mr. costa: mr. speaker. i rise today to speak on the importance of comprehensive immigration reform and the
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growing humanitarian crisis that we are facing at our southern borders. it is the job of the congress to face and to resolve challenging issues like our broken immigration system. we ought to pass the bipartisan senate bill that would provide commonsense solutions to address not only reform our immigration system, but to deal with the immediate humanitarian crisis at our border. instead, the republican house leadership refuses to allow a vote on comprehensive reform and has come up, instead, with a plan which would change the law passed in 2008 to combat human trafficking. in addition, this partisan bill will provide limited funding for this fiscal year. so again the house leadership plans to pass a short-term fix so that they can go back to their districts next month and say, well, we tried to fix this crisis that we are facing. this is not how we should be
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solving our nation's problems. each day our immigration system remains broken, jobs are lost, and our economy sfers -- suffers. it is time to set politics aside and focus on fixing our current immigration system. in fact, failure to address reform is making it difficult with thousands of unaccompanied children arriving at our southern border in hopes of finding safety. humanitarian crisis we are facing is in part a result of the turmoil in el salvador, guatemala, and honduras where drug trafficking, human trafficking, and violence is rampant. families have been tortured and killed and today there are people who are literally running for their lives. atrocities are being committed in those countries, and they must, they must bear the responsibility of addressing and resolving their issues. mexico also has a role to play. we in the united states must now
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face this humanitarian crisis this violence is causing at our southern border. if a joint statement, president obama along with presidents from el salvador, guatemala, and honduras pledged to reduce criminal activity in central american countries by promoting greater social and economic opportunity. it's my hope that these leaders stay true to their word and demonstrate leadership by addressing the humanitarian crisis taking place within their own countries. these young and unaccompanied children must be treated in the humane and dignified way. ultimately these children's fate rests in the hands of our immigration judges. and those children who are not granted asylum must return to their countries. playing politics with this grave crisis as some are doing is not productive. it's the height of hypocrisy that republicans want more
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border security but have refused to allow a vote on the comprehensive immigration reform bill that would provide more funding to secure our borders. it makes no sense. we have spent billions of dollars onboarder security, but clearly our border is not -- on border security, but clearly our border is not secure. it requires that long-term plans be developed and executed with an additional $8.3 billion in funding to focus on securing the borders today. and an additional $6.5 billion in funding to be spent over the next six years to, in fact, secure our border. what we need now more than ever is an open and honest discussion on the house floor about the relationship between immigration reform and this humanitarian crisis. therefore i urge my republican colleagues to join together in a bipartisan fashion like they did in the senate to find an effective and humane short and
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long-term solution to this crisis. which is directly related in my opinion to fixing our broken immigration system. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. crenshaw, for five minutes. mr. crenshaw: thank you, mr. speaker. this morning i want to bring attention to proposed legislation known as the able act, a--b-l e. it chains for achieving better life experience. it's something that's important to me and important to a lot of members of this house. first filed this legislation seven years ago and since then we have come a long way. oday, 377 members of the house are co-sponsors of this legislation. 74 united states senators are co-sponsors of this legislation.
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there's no piece of legislation in the congress today that enjoys more bipartisan support, more bicameral support than the able act. tomorrow the ways and means committee in the house will take up this legislation and i hope they will pass it out with a favorable vote. just what is the able act? it's a piece of legislation that attempts to help those individuals with disabilities achieve their full potential. and how does it do that? well, it allows individuals with disabilities to set up a tax free savings account. they take that account, it grows tax free, and they can use the proceeds as long as they meet qualified expenses. individuals like that face challenges that you and i sometimes can hardly imagine. they might be medical needs,
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might be transportation needs, education needs, maybe housing needs. we already allow other individuals to use tax exempt savings accounts to help them. you want to save for retirement, can you set up a tax free savings account called a 401-k. if you want to set up a tax-free savings account to help you go to college, can you do that through what's called a 529. you want to help with your health care, you can set up a health savings account. seems only fair that we level the playing field and allow those kids the same opportunities. now, let me introduce you to someone by the name of sydney leech. she lives in jacksonville, florida. today she's a fifth grader at the crown point elementary school. she has down syndrome. when she was born, her proud mom and dad, stacey and jeff, they
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made a commitment to make sure that she would not only have a happy life, but that she would be able to realize her hopes and her dreams and full potential. but soon they realized that when you raise a child with down syndrome, you face challenges that a lot of people can't imagine. unlike her classmates, she had to have special counseling. behavioral counseling. she had to have special medical care. she needed individual counseling . so it was difficult. and their parents found out if you have security income, if you have medicaid, you're limited to the amount of assets that you can have in your name to $2,000. and the parents or loved ones wanted to give her a gift, they jetch pardonize the care that she need -- jeopardize the care at that she needed. so the able act seems to correct those inequities. it says, number one, can you set up a tax-free savings account,
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let those proceeds grow. number two, it won't count against your $2,000 limitation on your assets. this is america. home of the american dream. and individuals with disabilities, they ought to be able to live the american dream just like you and i. they ought to be able to have an education, be able to work on their own, if they can. ought to be able to save for the future and the able act allows them to do just that. we live in a great and prosperous country. sometimes we are called upon to speak out for the people that can't speak out, to stand up and seek justice for those that can't seek justice on their own. the able act will have a positive impact on millions of people with disabilities all across this land. that's worth fighting for. and i hope soon the able act will become the law of this
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land. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new mexico, miss lujan grisham, for five minutes. ms. lujan grisham: thank you, mr. speaker. last september i was honored to welcome the tricaucus health disparate summit to my home state of new mexico. the center for health policy at the university of new mexico in albuquerque brought experts from all over the country together to talk about what they are seeing as providers and researchers and patients. we heard that communities of color continue to face substantial cultural, social, and economic barriers to obtaining quality health care and achieving equitable health outcomes. several of my colleagues, in fact, joined me at that summit and we all pledged not to just acknowledge these disparates, but to act. to provide tsh-disparities, but to act. to provide resources to achieve
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health equity. that's what the health equity and accountability act does. it's a comprehensive bill developed with significant stakeholder input that would build on the gains of the affordable care act and put in place the policies and the infrastructure needed to eliminate health disparities. the bill sets national standards for culturally and linguistic appropriate care and includes programs to address diseases that disproportionately impact minority communities. it also provides grants and scholarships to build diversity in the health care work force and extends funding to strengthen the health i.t. infrastructure in minority communities. but these provisions are just part of a largeer strategy approach. because -- larger strategic approach because problems like this are more system inc. we can't add funding here or make a policy change there and walk away. this takes thoughtful,
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comprehensive policy to make a difference, substantial difference, long lasting differences on issues like this. i would like to commend my colleague, congresswoman lucille roybal-allard from california, for her leadership on this bill. it's not easy to put together a bill of this size in consultation with dozens of members' offices and more than 300 stakeholder groups, but she managed to do just that and i thank her for putting together one of the best versions of this bill i think congress has had before it. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, for five minutes. mr. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor the life and work of chaplain jennifer neilson of the 108th sustained brigade. i believe it is important that we recognize and value the work performed by our country's military chaplains.
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following an initial deployment as an enlisted soldier, jennifer became a chaplain while waiting to fulfill a second deployment in debate. as a resident of the capital city of illinois, springfield, that i'm proud to represent, jennifer has served as a wounded warrior chaplain providing support for our nation's veterans and has organized yellow ribbon events welcoming home our returning veterans. currently chaplain neilson is working with the national guard's family program division providing support and counsel in illinois. because of her unyielding support and compassion, i'm proud to recognize her service today. as we take time this week to recognize the chal lynns who have bravely provided spiritual guidance through their fellow service men and women throughout history, it is important that we also acknowledge those who carry on their traditions and thank them for their service. chaplain neilson has faithfully served her country as a chaplain for the illinois army national guard, and i'm proud to honor
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her and the rest of the dedicated chaplains supporting our troops across the globe. mr. speaker, i would be remiss today if i wasn't able to honor a former teacher of mine who made an impact in my life that she may never have known. when i was 7 years old, my family moved us from des moines, iowa, to taylorville, illinois, and almost a week later i was sitting in a brand new classroom as a second greater in south elementary school in my hometown of taylorville, illinois. a young graduate student, teacher, who was doing work in that classroom, came up to a very shy boy who was determined not to talk to anybody in class that day, and that was me. when she knelt down beside my desk, all the heads of my classmates around me turned and welcome me as one of the new kids in that second grade class. that confidence that she gave me that day was confidence that
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built up throughout my elementary school career, junior high, and high school, and frankly maybe that instance, maybe that gesture of compassion that cynthia gave me that day, helped lead me here to this great institution we call the house of representatives. now, mrs. diaper went on to teach my daughter. and i always enjoyed going to parent-teacher concerns when is my daughter was in her class, and then we saddled her with my twin boys in the exact same class. . i walked in along with my wife and asked cynthia, why is a bloody hand hanging from the ceiling? it's fake, of course. she said, oh, your son sits there. i'm reminded him he needs to raise his hand before he talks. i think, mr. speaker, maybe we might need to have props like that here in the house of
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representatives sometimes. but it's hard for me today to stand here and think about those fun times i had and the impact that cynthia had on so many kids, my own, me and so many people in my hometown of taylorville. but she's not going to be able to have that impact any longer because just under two weeks ago cynthia passed away. and i stand here on the floor of this great institution to tell her thank you and to tell her thank you for the service she provided so many people in central illinois. rest in peace, cynthia. god bless you all. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries, for five minutes. mr. speaker, the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. once incitefully and eloquently observed that injustice anywhere is a threat
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to justice everywhere. in the wake of the current conflict between israel and hamas, there has been a disturbing outbreak of the ancer of anti-semitism in many parts of the world. in france, there have been firebombs directed at synagogues, radio stations and a library. amongst other incidents that have taken place in a country which is home to the third largest jewish community in the world. in germany there has been hate speech, permeating rally after rally all throughout the country, including at one where the chant was, hamas, hamas, jews to the gas. this is disturbing language in any location, but it's
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particularly disturbing given the context of what we know occurred in germany. in england there has been an epidemic of violent crime directed at the jewish community, an exponential increase, rivaled in recent times only by a similar outbreak of hate crime that took place in 2009 during the last conflict in that region. now, in a civil society, reasonable people should be able to disagree without being disagreeable. but anti-semitism is not a legitimate form of criticism. it is a cancer that needs to be stamped out in the same way that racism and sexism and homophobia, wherever and
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whenever it might be found need to be crushed to the ground. and so i urge this congress to speak out, to condemn and do everything possible to eradicate this outbreak. as dr. king observed, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on july 30, 2014, at 8:56 a.m. that the senate passed with an amendment h.r. 5021, that the senate agreed to without amendment house concurrent
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resolution 108. with best wishes i am signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on july 30, 2014, at 9:31 a.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 4028, that the senate agreed to without amendment house concurrent resolution 106, that the senate agreed to without amendment house concurrent resolution 103, that the senate passed senate 2577. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house
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>> that resolution reads in part, the speaker is authorized to initiate or intervene in one or more civil actions on behalf of the house of representatives -- >> you can read all of that resolution at two weeks ago the house rules committee heard from lawyers both in support of and against the merits and legality of the pending lawsuit authorizing the
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house to sue the president. the witnesses focused on two issues -- first, whether the house has standing, or in other words can prove an injury to sue the president. they also addressed whether president obama has exceeded his executive authority by delaying the implementation of parts of the health care law. we will show you as much as we can of that rules committee hearing from two weeks ago until the house returns at noon and the debate on the resolution, likely at about 12:30 or so. >> take a particular honor to appear with three friends of mine i have tremendous respect for. while we don't agree on this subject, i found the opposing testimony to be very compelling. an honor to speak with you with what could be a historic moment. there is a growing crisis in our system. a shifting of the balance of
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power within the triparagraph tide system, in favor of a now dominant chief executive. while both congress and the courts have lost authority over the decades, it is this body, the congress, that has lost the of a ever of se an uber presidency. it's difficult to discuss these issues in quite is often a poisonous political environment. as a people we have become -- we have come to the point where we can simply disagree, we have to despise each other. we subscribe to the worst motivations of our opponents, and we elevate our own proposals over process. to put it simply we seem to have embraced what the queen mother said in richard iii, we just think of our babies as sweeter than they were and he who slew them as fouler than he is. i don't believe the president has a desire for tyrannical authority. i don't question his motivation. i question his means.
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our system is changing. and this body is the one branch that must ask if we are to reverse those changes. we are seeing the emergence of a different model of government, a government long ago rejected by the framers. a come presidentcy. when president obama pledged to circumvent congress, he received raptureous applause from the very body he was proposing to make irrelevant. now many members are contesting the right of this institution to even be heard in federal court. this body is moving from self-loathing to self-destruction in a system that is in crisis. the president's pledged to effectively govern alone is alarming. what is most alarm something his ability to fulfill that pledge. when a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger the
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framers sought to avoid. while we are witnessing today is one of the greatest crises that i expect the members of this committee and this body will face. it has the patina of politics that is hard to penetrate. it did not start with president obama. i was critical of his predecessor and certainly this goes back long before george bush. but it has reached a tipping point. i have long advocated action by this body to aggressively seek to regain the ground that it has lost over decades. as many of you know, i represented members of this body, democratic and republican, in opposing the libyan war. given that history, to quote dorothy boyd from "skery mcgwire" had you me at hello when you asked if i think a lawsuit would be a good idea. i do. i think it is a good idea. to recommit the judiciary to a core junction of defining the lines of separation.
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indeed, i think that is something all members should ultimately agree on. if even if you disagree on the interpretations over the a.c.a. what is important to remember is that people misconstrue the separation of powers regularly. it is not there to protect the institutional rights of the branches, it is there to protect the individual liberty. it was created by the framers to prevent any branch from abrogating enough power to be a danger to liberty. it is not about you. it is about the people you represent. ultimately what we are dwathe here is something the framers were very much familiar with. before we came together as a nation, we had history of our predecessors in england with king james who argued that he had a royal prerogative in terms of how laws would be interpreted, how they would be executed. he insisted he could use natural reason to change laws.
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that is precisely what the framers rejected. you'll see they rejected that type of notion that the executive has the right to essentially rework legislation, to use what we would call an executive prerogative. that is why we have the take care clause. the natural reason cited by james the first is very close to the reasons you're hearing from the administration. these changes make the law better, they make it more efficient, more fair. that's not the issue. i happen to support most of the changes that president obama has ordered. i voted for him. in 2008. this is not a question of what should be done. it is a question of how it should be done. and more importantly who should do it. the president suggested he can go it alone. but there's no license in the mad sownian system to go it alone. he said he's going to resolve
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the deadlock in congress, the division with congress, by ordering changes on his own terms. as a majority of one. that's what makes it dangerous. now, for those that remain silent in the face of this, i will say what is obvious. this is not going to be our last president. in calm years it will be someone else in the oval office. and the arguments that are being made today could be used then to nullify or suspend or change environmental laws. employment discrimination laws. that's what happens when you have an uber presidency. now, i can't speak as to what will happen in this litigation. i can speak to what should happen. in my view the congress should have standing. to me that is the most important thing in this case. is for this body to reinforce the right to be heard in the judicial branch. the courts have removed themselves from this process, and the result has been the dysfunctional politics that we
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see. i don't believe that the challenges in front of this lawsuit is an excuse to do nothing. we are and we will remain a divided country. when we are divided, fewer things get done. you have a choice in our system. you can compromise or you can change the makeup of congress. you don't go it alone. i believe the a.c.a. is a great example of the problem with this. this is probably the most important program in my generation in terms of impact. it happens to be something i support of national health care. but it should be unencumbered by questions of legitimacy. it should go forward with the court's defining the line of separation. so this body taking a stand is a welcome change. as much as i respect the president, the arguments he's making over presidential authority are extreme, and they are devoid of the limiting principles that characterize our system. for generations, we have been
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bound by a convenant of faith. i'll simply end with this. that convenant of faith is that no matter what our divisions are that we will remain faithful to the limits we imposed upon ourselves and the branch. it's that very convenant that members of this committee reaffirmed when they lift their hand and give the oath of office. what we are seeing is today in my view is a crisis of faith. we seem to have lost faith in our system. we have grown impatient with the constraints of the system. these arguments seem quaint and antiquated when you look at immigration or health care or other pressing problems. but it is always tempting when one person steps forward and says that they can get the job done alone. that's the siren's call that the framers told us to resist. we remain a nation of laws. and the place for those questions, the united states courts. and that is where this authorization will take us. that's why i think it's a worthy effort. thank you.
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>> professor jonathan turley speaking in favor of the house's ability to sue the president. the house today taking up a resolution offered by republicans allowing the speaker of the house to bring a lawsuit against the president for executive actions relating to the implementation of the health care law. at that will rules committee meeting two weeks ago, speaking against the resolution, was walter dell linger, former assistant attorney general during the clinton administration. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and ranking member slaughter. mr. chairman, i'd like to begin with something you said in your opening remarks this morning when you noted this was not a democratic or republican issue. and i think that is certainly true of the issues we are debating and discussing. i have been struck by how many conservative commentators and professors and former office holders have taken the position that the idea that the house or
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its smoker could go into court and you -- speaker could go into court and sue the president on how the president administers the law is a bad idea that's not going to be successful. take for example, jack goldsmith, professor of harvard, chief legal officer at the department of justice under the recent president bush. jack wrote that, quote, conservative legal thought used to maintain that standing was a vital element of the separation of powers. and conservative legal thought used to resist institutional congressional lawsuits against the presidency, but apparently not any more. and professor goldsmith said he agreed with andy mccarthy of the national review online that, the lawsuit will almost certainly fail and should fail for lack of congressional standing. this is no technicality. this is a profound part of what limits the role of the judiciary in our country. in marbury vs. madison, the
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court announced it had the authority to make determinations of constitutional law. but made it clear that it didn't have any inherent superior claim over the other branches of government to interpret and enforce the constitution. they had a job to do and that job was resolving disputes between litigants who had a real personal stake in the outcome. the court said we have to resolve those disputes according to law and the constitution is law. so we have to interpret the constitution. we don't make up a lawsuit, we don't make up a personal injury where nonexists. just in order to have a lawsuit. and i think as recently as june 24, 2013, when the court decided two cases, hollingsworth vs. perry, and windsor vs. united
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states, it made it clear that eight of the nine justices flatly reject the theories put forward by my distinguished colleagues on this panel who would suggest there's some merit to this notion. in hollingsworth, the california gay marriage case, five members of the court held that those who sponsored the referendum opposing gay marriage had no standing to litigate that matter in the supreme court. and the reason they did it is their job was over. when they sponsored the referendum and the referendum was passed, their work was over. just as the slures-u legislature's work is over, the court has said, just as the sure's work is -- slew's work is over when it passes legislation, its job is done. it has no institutional interest in how the law is administered that would allowle it to bring suit. as the chief justice roberts
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said, to have standing a litigant must seek relief for an injury that affects him in a personal and individual way. this is an essential limit on our powers. the chief justice said, it ensures we act as judges and do not engage in policymaking properly left to the elected branches of the government. justice scalia -- one indication of how this is not a partisan divide is how powerfully the conservative justices have opposed the notion that institutions can sue one another. justice scalia wrote in windsor, also, june 23 -- june, 2013, the framers quote, rejected a system in which congress and the executives can pop immediately into court in their institutional capacity whenever the president implements a law in a manner that is not to
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congress' liking. i think that between the five justices who took the position in hollingsworth and the justices who took the position in windsor, only justice athleteo has suggested he would support such a theory. and i think my distinguished colleagues here, professor turley and professor foley, being quite capable and widely admired scholars, are able to come up with a constitution system that makes some sense, but i think they recognize they are criticizing, both have been critics of the supreme court's decision in the standing area, that they are not suggesting what's now the law but what they would propose to be the law. chief justice rehnquist said in the case that rejected the notion that members of the house and senate could sue about how the president implemented a law,
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chief justice rehnquist noted there would be nothing irrelevant rational about a system of granting standing for the president and congress to sue one another. he said, some european constitutional courts operate under one or another variant of such a regime, but it is obviously not the regime that is obtained under our constitution. they are proposing essentially a variant of the european model in which the courts resolve disputes between the chief executive and the legislature instead of leaving those disputes as they properly should o the political process. the court's authority, as justice scalia said, we form the notion of articulating the constitutional rules incidentally, by accident that is. because we have the job to do of resolving lawsuits and that comes up as part of our job. the critical point here as the supreme court has said is that
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once congress makes its choice in enacting legislation, its participation ends. that's why the subpoena cases are different. when you're in the process of engaging in lawmaking and in aide of that lawmaking capacity, you issue a subpoena, you have the authority to do that. you don't have a role in how the executive branch administers the law. what is quite striking for professor foley's testimony is that she believes that her theories would fully support the president being able to sue the congress. that's not the system we have in this country. just today the news reports that the house is proposing budget cuts in tax enforcement. that the white house says would cripple its ability to carry out the affordable care act. i have no idea what the merits of that are, but it's not reasonable to think that the
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president should bring suit in ederal district court to mandamus the house of representatives to provide the sufficient funding so that they don't repudiate the president's abled to carry out his functions. -- ability to care out his functions. my colleague suggests four criteria for determining where there's litigation. i think that's not the law. the notion that the workings of the -- of the political branch of the government are nullified, would give them the authority to sue, i think fails for many reasons. nirs of all, as i -- first of all, as i said, their job is over. secondly, this is not the legislature. the proposal here is for one branch to bring a lawsuit. we don't have a unicameral legislature. even if there were an institutional injury, one house could not bring it.
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indeed, the house that would bring this lawsuit is not even the house that passed the affordable care act that included the provisions that equired businesses to have complete coverage and have certain effective dates in it. that was the 111th congress. this is, i believe, the 113th congress. that is perhaps a small technical point, but it goes to show this is not a kind of institutional injury. the 111th congress, god bless them, has gone upon its way. some of the members came back. some of the members didn't. different parties are in control. but the idea that this is an institutional injury when it is essentially just a dispute about how the president interprets the law. let me respond just briefly and will i close with this, mr. chairman. professor turley uses his considerable rhetorical powers to paint a picture of an uber
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presidency where there's rule by majority of one and the legislative process is displaced. i see nothing like that in any of the details about which we speak. neither the president nor the treasury department have asserted any prerogative to disregard the law, to suspend the law, to dispense with statutory directives. yes, the president will delish some things by geckive action he would prefer to accomplish by statute but that's because they are permanent. but the president always has to have a source in statutory authority in order to carry -- nobody believes the president has the authority to issue dictates, including this president and his legal office. and they find the authority in the statutes themselves. million lazarus, my colleague, has laid out in his testimony all of the arguments for why this fits within the regulatory authority conferred by the congress on the treasury
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department to implement statutes. what we are talking about here it is he says, whether understood, particularly in light of the background where other presidents have taken effective date and have allowed transition extenses in those effective dates, whether it's assumed that the administration would have such authority in carrying into place a complex new statutory regime. there's nothing remarkable about that. finding its source in the very authority conferred by congress on the administration. this is an instance where there are remedies on behalf of congress. as justice scalia said, if majorities in both houses care enough, they have innumerable ways to compel executive action without a lawsuit. from confirming presidential appointees to eliminating funding, but congress must care
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enough to act against the president itself and not merely enough to instruct its lawyers to ask us to do so, quote, said justice scalia. in closing, let me say that i think history here should be your guide and what you see from history is silent. chief justice rehnquist recounts all of the great battles between the president and the legislature throughout our history. and he notes that never did it seem appropriate for one of them to sue the other for how they were carrying out their functions. and i think it's quite dramatic that professor foley believes that the president could bring suit if he thought the speaker of the house could assume the role of the commander in chief. the point here is not who has the better reading on this particular question of whether there's an implicit transition authority to smooth the
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transition to the new requirements. the critical fact that this is merely a debate about the best way of construing legislation and the house has no legal interest in that. now, whatever the right answer -- this may be an important matter in terms of extending health care to 25 million or 30 million americans and making sure that business has time to comply with the new requirements as business desired and as i believe this house overwhelming supports. that's what this transition is carrying out. whatever the right answer to that question, i think it's safe to say that never in our history has such a radical change in the role of the judicial branch been proposed to deal with what was such a routine qui of administrative -- routine question of administrative process. allowing this kind of suit by the congress every time we disagree how the president carried out the law would be a radical liberalization of the role of the judiciary has played. and it is a transformation that
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this committee and the house should decline. thank you, mr. chairman. >> again, that resolution that would allow the republicans to take up a lawsuit against the president is coming up today, we expect about 12:30 eastern or so as the house comes in momentarily for legislative work. just a reminder, too, once that debate gets under way we'll allow you to comment at spap. we'll look for our comments on twitter as well. the house today will also take up a measure authorizing the revamping of the veterans health care system. the house-senate agreement that will come up as a suspension bill. meaning it needs 2/3 of those present and voting to pass. live to the house floor here on c-span.


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