tv House Session CSPAN December 3, 2014 10:00am-4:31pm EST
talk about the illegal immigration thing about how we stole this land from indians? this country was never a country with indians. caller: all right, i will leave it there. the house is about to come in for its morning our and legislative business. live coverage, here on c-span. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., december 3, 2014. i hereby appoint the honorable doug collins 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.
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 but in to five minutes, no event shall debate continue beyond past 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, since the clean air act was enacted into law more than 40 years ago, we've seen tremendous progress in cleaning up our air and protecting thousands of communities around the country. unfortunately, many americans are still living in communities where poor air quality puts them and their loved ones' health at risk. that's why i'm proud to support the e.p.a. standard ground level for air pollution. wh we work outdoors or simply want our children to play outside, the ozone pollution standards bring us one step closer to cleaner, healthier communities for everyone to enjoy. this proposal would lower the current standard of 75 parts
per billion to a standard in the range of 65 to 75 parts per billion while taking public comments on a level as low as 60. despite what many of my colleagues seem to believe, successful public health protection depends on the latest scientific data, and as many members are going to point out, we are not scientists. all we can do is rely on the best data out there from experts in the field, and in this case, the data is quite clear. a significantly expanded body of scientific evidence, including more than 1,000 new studies since the last review of the standards, show that ozone can cause harmful effects to health and the environment. health experts, epidemiologists and numerous medical organizations have clorle stated that the existing -- clearly stated that the smog standard of 75 parts per billion is not adequate to protect public health. particularly for vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, outdoor workers
and those with chronic medical conditions, like asthma. in all, 147 million people in the u.s., almost half of the country are breathing unhealthy air. earlier this year the american lung association state of the air 2014 ranked chicago as the 14th most polluted city in the nation for short-term particle pollution. the city also ranked 20th for most ozone polluted and for year round particle pollution. in fact, nearly half of all americans live in counties where ozone or particle pollution levels make the air unhealthy to breathe. studies have linked breathing ozone to an increased risk of premature deaths and difficulty breathing as well as other serious illnesses. in the u.s. today, one children in 10 already suffers from asthma and ozone pollution only makes things worse. when asked what steps need to be taken to reduce the air pollution, the american lung
association said the federal action, including the e.p.a. setting strong health-based standards to limit ozone pollution is one of the most important action steps we can take. when we update our national ozone pollution standards we are not only cleaning up our air but also protecting those most at risk. these changes would have a lasting and positive impact on my home state of illinois where 1.2 million adults and 13% of children suffer from smog-related asthma, well above the national average. president theodore roosevelt once said, in any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. the worst thing you can do is nothing. knowing the tremendous impacts ozone pollution has on our environment and community health, the decision to do othing is not a viable option. there are those here attacking this proposal with claims of job loss and economic harm.
according to science deniers and special interests, this proposal would cause the sky to fall. the facts, however, state otherwise. since 1970, we have cut harmful air pollution by almost 70%, while the u.s. economy has more than tripled. while an ozone standard in the proposed range of 65 to 70 parts per billion has public health benefits worth billions of dollars. reducing ozone and particle pollution nationwide will avoid countless premature deaths and thousands of asthma reason related emergency room visits, not to mention fewer missed school and work days. the impact of ozone on agriculture workers is also important in its own right. a reduction in the ozone standard would translate into an annual cost savings of approximately $1 billion in labor expenditure. we have countless scientific studies that clearly display the negative health risks associated with unregulated ozone pollution.
nevertheless, critics continue to play a dangerous role in denouncing the science and the law e.p.a. has used for more than 40 years. the science cannot be ignored. now is the time to protect the most vulnerable among us. now is the time to fight for better air quality across the country. now is the time for action to protect american health and the environment. we cannot afford to wait. clean air is an essential to a healthy community and a strong economy. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mick colon to be, for five minutes -- mr. mcclintock, for five minutes. mr. speaker, the genius of our constitution can be found in the separation of powers that has preserved our freedom for 225 years. the american founders recognized that what had gone so terribly wrong in europe was
that the same organ of government that made the law also enforced that law and adjudicated it. all the powers were in the same hands. they wanted to protect their new nation from such a fate. so they divided the powers of government, congress and congress alone makes the law. all legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a congress of the united states. you want many voices in that decisionmaking process. you want a great, big, messy debate. that's the congress. once that decision is made, it needs to be carried out by a single will, a single branch headed by one individual whom the constitution commands to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. one person does not get to make the law in this republic. the president is called upon to enforce the law. fundamentally, that means he does not get to pick and choose
which laws he'll enforce and which laws he'll ignore. he does not get to pick and choose who must obey the law and who gets to live above the law, and he does not get to change laws or make laws by decree. that is the difference between the american republic that prides itself on being a nation of laws and not of men and the european despots of old who boasted that the law was in their mouths. mr. speaker, last week the president asserted an entirely unconstitutional power to nullify existing immigration law by ordering the executive branch simply to ignore it. further, he's ordered 34 million green cards to allow businesses to hire illegal immigrants despite federal law that explicitly forbids their employment. throughout our nation's history, executives have tested the limits of their power, but is act crosses a very bright
line. fortunately, the american founders anticipated that someday a president might attempt to subvert the constitution in this manner and they provided a variety of defenses available to both the legislative and the judicial branches. legislative branch has the power of the purse, but that power's temporarily constrained by the partisan division between the house and the senate. fortunately, the american people have acted to end that division in january. but i fear that any confrontation between the executive and the legislative branches could ultimately end in stalemate. the third branch of government, the judiciary, must be brought into this process. since our earliest days, the supreme court has guarded our nation from unconstitutional acts by both the legislative and executive branches, and that role is desperately needed now. i believe there's no substitute for congress doing everything within its power to invoke judicial intervention. i cannot believe that even the most devoted liberals on the
bench can be comfortable with is brazen act of yuesurpation. the president would have no choice but to back down or face a catastrophic and congressional backlash. whether we choose to recognize it, this is a full-fledged constitutional crisis. if allowed to stand, this president renders meaningless the separation of powers and the checks and balances that comprise the fundamental architecture of our constitution. if it stands, every future president, republican and democrat, will cite it as justification for lawmaking by decree. the seize your of legislative authority by the -- the seizure of legislative authority by this and it was julius sees ar's legislative prerogatives that brought down the roman republic and brought down years of dictatorship.
it's a very difficult thing to stop. now, unlike every law that's passed under our constitution, the constitution itself has no penalties for those who break it. the reason is that the constitution was written to be self-enforcing, but that only happens if the powers of government are evenly balanced. the founders relied on each branch acting to keep those powers in balance, now in our time that responsibility is ours. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from oregon, ms. bonamici, is recognized for five minutes. ms. bonamici: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i'm here this morning to discuss an important issue that we hear about when we talk with teachers, parents, students and school administrators. in conversation after conversation they've expressed concern about what seems like an endless stream of tests that
in many cases do little, if anything, to improve learning or classroom instruction. of course, assessments play an important role in education and high-quality assessments are valuable for informing meaningful instruction. nonetheless, too much time is devoted to redundant, low-quality or unnecessary tests. in many cases teachers administrator tests but the results aren't made available for months and hardworking educators have little opportunity to design individualized support based on the results of those tests. furthermore, some of the tests are redundant. they take up time that could be used on meaningful instruction. used resources best spent elsewhere and cause students undo stress. in other schools, too much time is dedicated to preparing tests not aligned with state standards. simply put, unnecessary assessments have hindered our progress as a global leader in
education. we know that federal government mandates several tests each year, and states and school districts often require even more tests. does this all make sense? do all of these tests improve instruction, improve public education? today i rise to discuss legislation that i'm working on to help states and local districts implement good, reliable assessments aligned to standards and importantly eliminate redundant poor quality assessments that take valuable time from teachers and students, time that could be used on meaningful instruction. we don't need more tests. we need better tests. my bill will use an existing grant to provide states with funding to develop assessment systems that ensure the best use of students' test results, and that align assessments with college and career ready standards. the transition to rigorous content standards is hard work,
and my bill will support states that as they implement high quality assessments linked to those standards. working with local education agencies, states will create assessment plans outlining how they will improve the quality of their tests, how they will use the assessment data and how they will make the data more accessible to educators, students and parents. this legislation will also support states and local districts that want to lead the way on developing more sensible assessment systems. states will be able to volunteer to audit their assessment systems and use the results to design plans to eliminate unnecessary and redundant testing. many states' school chiefs and superintendents have recently made a commitment to this effort. my legislation will need much-needed federal support. the focus in the classroom should be on the student. this bill will help states, will help them implement and improve assessments and make better use of the results so they can draw valuable conclusions about students and
give educators the data they need so they can do what they do best, teach. ultimately, we must address the culture of testing that has created stress for students, parents and teachers. this bill is a strong first step. it keeps control in the hands of the states and school districts and provides the funding to streamline assessment systems and make sure that the remaining assessments are high quality and useful. my bill offers the support to -- through an existing funding stream and help put the focus back on our students. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. thank you very much, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, is recognized for five minutes. . ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to speak against the push by the administration and its allies here in congress to ignore u.s. law, this time to ignore the legal prohibition on using u.s. taxpayer dollars to
fund unesco. frankly it's an indictment against the administration and some of our colleagues that we have to go through this song and dance every year or whenever a funding measure is set to come to the floor. yet here we are again as some in congress want to help president obama circumvent and undermine u.s. law and restore at least partial funding for unesco so that that body can continue to push its anti-u.s., anti-israel agenda. time and again the president has taken unilateral action meant to get around congressional opposition and has openly stated that he will continue to do so. since 1990, u.s. law has prohibited any funding to the u.n. or any u.n. agency that gives the p.l.o. membership status and recognizes the nonexistent state of palestine. unesco was well aware of our laws when its members voted to include this so-called palestine
among its ranks. triggering the u.s. funding prohibition. president obama knew this when he cut off unesco's funding in response because it is the law. however, since then he has sought ways to undermine and circumvent this law to not only restore funding to unesco, but to also pay dues rears which now would amount to over $300 million in u.s. taxpayer dollars. this is the very same body that allows the likes of cuba, the antithesis of freedom and respect for human rights and the rule of law, on its executive board. when unesco admitted a nonexistent palestine, it undermined the peace process and only emboldened them further to move forward with the unilateral push for statehood at the u.n. there cannot be a legitimate palestinian state unless it comes about as a result of direct negotiations between the
israelis and the palestinians. this unilateral scheme by abu mazen is a way for him to use that u.n. body to gain de facto statehood without having to first come to an agreement with israel. and if president obama and his enablers in congress have their way, and u.s. funding for unesco is restored, it will signal that the u.s. supports this unilateral push for statehood and we will have sold out our closest friend and ally, the democratic jewish state of israel. we must make it clear to the administration in no uncertain terms that congress will not allow it to continue to circumvent and undermine congressional authority or the law and that we will not allow it once again to fund unesco. giving the administration the authority it seeks to fund unesco would not only set a dangerous precedent by showing those with an anti-israel agenda
at the u.n. that the u.s. does not have the courage of its convictions or the fortitude to enforce our own laws, but would also give the green light to the rest of the bodies at the u.n. to follow unesco's lead and also admit palestine. abu mazen has already signaled that he will seek further recognition at the u.n. and unless we make it absolutely certain to the entire u.n. system that admitting palestine has very real and tangible negative consequences, the bodies at the u.n. will fall in line with this dangerous scheme, and that would cause irreparable harm to the peace process. instead of president obama looking for ways to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars at an anti-u.s., anti-israel body at the u.n. in violation of u.s. law, the president should perhaps instead focus on institutions at the u.n. that do work and that are
affected. this month, for example, the world food program, w.f.p., was forced to suspend its assistance to millions of refugees who fled the crisis in syria and went to jordan, to lebanon, to iraq, to turkey as a result millions could go hungry as they are set to face the harsh winter. our money would be better spent helping an institution we know works because it relies on voluntary contributions only. and we should be doing more to ensure that the w.f.p., world food program, can continue its good work to assist these millions of refugees around the world. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for five minutes. mr. mcgovern: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. mcgovern:00 i rise today to express my great frustration and anger that this congress, the 113th congress, continues to
ignore its constitutional responsibilities to debate and vote on whether to authorize the u.s. war against islamic state forces in iraq and syria. on july 25, this house voted 370-40 that if the united states engages in sustained combat operations in iraq, then the house would need to authorize such actions. let me read exactly what this house approved by such an overwhelming bipartisan majority. i quote, the president shall not delay or maintain united states armed forces in a sustained combat role in iraq without specific statutory authorization for such use enacted after the date of the adoption of this concurrent resolution. end quote. that vote supported by 180 republicans and 190 democrats was taken nearly 4 1/2 months ago. what has happened since then? on august , two weeks after the house vote, the u.s. began bombing islamic state forces in
iraq. we are now bombing iraq to protect infrastructure as part of coordinated military operations with kurdish and iraqi military forces and to take back or hold cities, towns, and other territory. we are flying dozens of bombings sorties nearly every day in iraq. mr. speaker, we have also escalated the number of u.s. troops in iraq, ostensibly as trainers and advisors. on november 7, the president announced yet another escalation in the number of u.s. troops deployed in iraq, sending roughly an additional 1,500 troops to the region for a comprehensive training effort for iraq's army. when they arrived, this would put the number of american troops in iraq at around 3,000. the u.s. central command is also working on setting up new expeditionary advise and assist operation centers, far outside the cities of baghdad. what else has happened? we expanded the war to syria. on september 17, this house voted to include in a short-term
continuing resolution authority to arm and train certain syrian rebel forces, ostensibly to provide ground troops inside syria to fight islamic state forces. five days later the u.s. began bombing inside syria. we have flown scores of bombing missions inside syria, against the islamic state and, this should come as no surprise, other radical groups. this week we are in military negotiations with turkey to establish a safe zone, a no-fly zone along the northern border of syria that will cover territory inside of syria and inside turkey. the president has asked for an additional $5.6 billion from congress to augment the pentagon's overseas contingency operations account, the o.c.o., about $3.4 billion of that would go to the operations against the islamic state and another $1.6 billion would directly support the iraqi training and equipping
mission. i have no doubt that all or most of those funds will be included in the omnibus appropriations bill next week. mr. speaker, if this doesn't add up to our forces being engaged in sustained military combat operations, what in the world does? many members keep talking about prohibiting u.s. troops from having boots on the ground. mr. speaker, we already have nearly 3,000 pairs of boots on the ground in iraq and i don't know how many people we have supporting the -- and carrying out bombing missions because the pentagon and white house haven't told us. enough is enough. this house needs to draft, debate, and vote on whether to authorize this vast array of military operations known as operation inherent resolve before we adjourn this year. this war began under this congress, the 113th congress. it has escalated under the 113th congress. it has expanded from iraq to syria and now to turkey under
the 113th congress. it is the responsibility of the 113th congress to authorize it or not. we need to take care of our business. real serious life and death business before we walk out the door next week. we need to do our jobs. no more excuses. no more whining about how the white house should send congress a request. it is the institutional and constitutional duty of the congress of the united states to decide matters of war and peace. it is time for the leadership of this house to step up to the plate and bring an authorization to the floor to be debated and voted on before we adjourn. if not, then shame on this house. and shame on the leadership for failing to carry out our most sacred duty to our uniformed men and women, their families, and the american people. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania for ive minutes.
>> mr. speaker, i call attention to the bravery exhibited during the civil war by private john sight during the battle of fort stedman. mr. perry: i also salute his great grandson who has advocated for over a decade for the consideration of his great grandfather receive the medal of honor. mr. speaker, on march 25, 1865, private psyches' selfless actions in the face of grave danger exhibited unparalleled bravery while fighting at the battle of fort stedman with the 205th regiment pennsylvania volunteers. after confederate forces succeeded in capturing fort stedman, the 205th regiment made a gallant charge to counter the rebel attack. although still considered to be a training status at that time, these brave pennsylvanians managed to force the opposition back into fort stedman, halting the confederate onslaught.
during the intense hand to hand combat that occurred retaking the fort, private psyches displayed extreme heroism, when without concern for his own safety, he fearlessly charged the rebel lines and captured the confederate flat. now the commander of the ninth army corps, major general john g. park, recommended to army headquarters that he be awarded the medal of honor for his valor and selflessness in capturing the enemy flag. mr. speaker, i must explain that capturing the flag at that time was not like this game you heard about of capturing the flag. at the time the civil war just imagine the fire and sound of cannon, muskets, the screams of compatriots on either side of the line and trying to manage the battle. it was the flag, it was the guide. it was the standard that showed the soldiers what action their unit was taking. without it it would ender them impotent because there was no communication there. were not radios during the civil war. capturing the flag meant
everything. not only was it symbolic, it had a huge purpose in determining what that unit could, would, or would not do. now, although recommended to receive the award by the commanding general, according to the national archives and records administration, however, private psyches never received the medal of honor. in a process that has spanned more than a decade, private psyches' only living relative, his great grandson, ruben of mechanicsburg, pennsylvania, has worked with our office and the office of my predecessor to ensure that private psyches was given fair consideration for the medal of honor for which he was recommended. unfortunately, mr. speaker, the department of defense determined this year that a lack of existing evidence precludes award of the medal of honor for private sikes' bravery and service. his heroism warns recognition nonetheless. additionally, ruben has dedicated an extensive amount of time over many years researching his great grandfather's
contribution at the battle of fort stedman and has worked diligently and tirelessly to bring to light historical facts of the military record. i commend ruben for his attention to detail, persistence, tenacity and zeal in seeking to honor his family's heritage and obtaining recognition for his great grandfather's honorable and courageous service. as a proud service member myself and a combat veteran and on behalf of the millions of other uniformed personnel that have served after him, i thank not only private sikes but mr. troutman for their selfless service and dedication to our nation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker very much.
i in this season of reflection for many across the nation, take a moment first of all to speak my constituent, death, to remind him i have always supported the human dignity of all persons and i will never fail to do so. i thank him for his warm embrace of those values and our commitment that we will continue to work together. which brings me to my concern of an ailing american who is now continuously being held in cuba. . i ask that this government returns allen gross to his family. i hope we'll join together republicans and democrats to work for his release and his return.
as you note, mr. speaker, i do not speak of the conditions of such or reasons for such, just an american who's in failing health who we need to work to ring home. i think that's the kind of mercy that we need to work through, the understanding of the president's action on the executive order regarding immigration. it follows the directive of the speaker of the house who said a comprehensive approach to immigration reform is long overdue and i'm confident that president, myself and others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all. spoken by speaker boehner in 2012. now as we approach the new year, 2015, three years later, there's not been one vote on the floor of the house to bring mercy or relief to those who've been languishing in the shadows. not opening the borders, mr.
speaker, but to barely provide a framework for those who are here in the united states. almost as if there was a temporary pardon. this is not as the judiciary committee pounded over and over again yesterday a change in the law. this is a work within the confines of the law, under article 2, executive powers of the president and the language to take care. it is actually a recognition to frame, if you will, the interpretation that is given to laws of the land. might i say civil laws as well, because in a civil law there is punishment. under immigration laws you can be deported. a civil penalty. and so the president has said in an executive order narrowly confined and reviewed by legal counsel and constitutional experts, supported by 136 scholars, that said that president is within his right
to stop deportation of storeowners and childcare workers and high-tech workers and particularly the parents of children who are in fact citizen children or legal permanent residents. it's important for the american people to understand there is no illegality here. there is no runaway presidency here. there is an uning that those who have stat -- understanding that those who have status, not pathway to citizenship, but a temporary reprieve, almost like a pardon, but it is more temporary. those children that have been deferred, all he said was it should be three years and not two years. he's asked that i.c.e. officers be made, if you will, equal to other federal law enforcement officers. i celebrate that. that is exciting. let me quickly say this, mr. speaker. i want to travel in the pathway of dr. sharon ray about immigration reform. her words are, we should choose
our values over people over politics, community safety over partisan strategy, family unity over fear of foreigners and families above rhetoric and ranker. let me finally say, mr. speaker, i want to again, as i move to another topic, thank and compliment the protestors that were peaceful regarding the issue of ferguson. i ask for people to understand these young people. i went out in houston in the march and applauded them for the peacefulness of their protest. now they're asking for us, as legislators and policymakers to make the difference in their lives. i publicly say on the floor of the house they will not be forgotten. i want a.j. to know, who's an intern in my office from st. louis, shot in gang fights, that he will not be forgotten. the work that he's doing will be remembered, and i ask the national association of chiefs of police to join us in a discussion on how we best walk through these concerns. many legislative initiatives,
but it has to be a combination of law enforcement, policymakers, civil rights leaders and to our police unions, let me say there are none of us that have not worked and stood alongside of you. i want to say in closing, h.r. 5550 -- i hope my colleagues will join me in making sure that funding, mr. speaker, is not used by local communities -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: through their various traffic stops to fund their communities. let's make a difference on ferguson, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from north carolina, mr. holding, is now recognized for five minutes. mr. speaker, the issue is no longer whether congress and the president can agree on immigration policy. the question is, does a president have the power to alter our nation's laws without passing new statutes? throughout the history of this great country, since the time of our founding fathers, the answer to this question has
been no. yet, president obama struck a blow at the system of checks and balances that has been at the heart of our government and our constitution for over 200 years. the constitutionality of the president's actions are in question as the president has said time and time again that he does not have the constitutional authority to change our nation's immigration laws on his own. from 2008 up to this august, at least 22 times the president has said that he couldn't ignore the laws on the books or create his own immigration laws. in 2011, the president said, quote, america is a nation of laws, which means i, as the president, am obligated to enforce the law. i don't have a choice about that. that's part of my job. we've got three branches of government. congress passes the law, the executive branch's job is to
enforce and implement those laws and then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. these are enough -- there are enough laws on the books by congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce ur immigration system that for me through executive order would not conform in my appropriate role as president. very well-spoken president obama. constitutional scholar that he is. mr. speaker, this is the framework of our nation's system of checks and balances. the constitution is clear. it's clear that it's congress' duty to write the laws and it's the president's ability to enforce them. while law enforcement agencies do have the inherent power to exercise prosecutorial discretion, the idea to enforce or not to enforce the law against particular individuals, this power must be used judiciously and isn't an invitation to violate or ignore
a law in its entirety. by granting amnesty to five million illegal immigrants, this administration has crossed the line from any justifiable use of his sdemreck tiff authority to a failure -- executive authority to a failure to faithfully execute the laws. mr. speaker, whether you are a democrat or a republican, whether you agree or disagree with the president's policy on illegal immigrants and immigration, you cannot agree with the president's actions. no one is vested with the power to be both president and legislator. mr. speaker, thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, is recognized for five minutes. mr. mcdermott: -- the speaker pro tempore: i apologize. mr. green from texas for five minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to
say thank you to the many persons who serve in law enforcement. they have difficult jobs, and they do their jobs well. i salute them. i also salute the many persons who have been engaged in peaceful protests. what they've been attempting to do, i support. peaceful protests is the best protest. peaceful protest can make a difference in the lives of people i know because i stand here today because of peaceful protest. i would like to continue what i started on yesterday when i indicated that i would give a response today to a query that was made on "morning joe," and i want you to know, dear friends, that i don't believe the query was made with malice aforethought. i think it was a genuine expression of concern. while expressions may think to
some, i think this question needs to be asked and needs to be answered. the question was -- what is wrong with these people -- meaning three members of congress, what is wrong with these people that they'll come to the well of the house of representatives and they would hold their hands up? what is wrong with them? here is the answer, my dear brother. the same thing that was wrong with the pilgrims and caused them to come to plymouth rock. the same thing that caused persons to throw tea over into the boston harbor. the same thing that caused farmers to traverse the country on tractors and come to the united states capital to protest. the same thing that caused rosa parks to take a seat on the bus against the law. the same thing that caused dr. king to march from selma to montgomery. the same thing that caused him to cross the edmond pettis bridge on what is referred to
as bloody sunday. what is wrong with these people? they refuse to accept injustice. i refuse to accept injustice. what happened in ferguson was an injustice. i refuse to accept injustice. is still a anywhere -- injustice anywhere is still a threat to justice. a threat to justice in houston, a threat to justice in boston. nd justice anywhere is still a threat to justice everywhere. and i will continue to hold my hands up. i still will support those engaged in peaceful protest hands up ding one's is an indication that you don't have anything harmful, an indication that you will move freely and give an opinion about something you believe to be important. i think that this will
mbolize a movement that will metamorpis for it being developed. i am absolutely convinced this will not eviscerate, this will not evaporate, that is not going to go away. it is going to be part of the protest movement. i also want to note that what happened with the rams players was a seminole moment and i want to legitimize what they did. i have already said that i will have flags flown over the capitol of the united states of america in each person's name. somebody is going to say, well, what about people who may have committed a crime? washington wasn't perfect but we honored him. jefferson wasn't perfect. we honor him. i am going to honor them for what they did at that seminole moment just as i believe john
carlos and tommy smith should be honored for what they did when they held their hands up indicating that they were protesting at the olympics in 1968. so i, mr. speaker, am honored to have this opportunity today to indicate to the world finally that dr. king was right when he said the truest measure of the person is not where the person stands in times of comfort and convenience, whenever everybody is patting you on the back, when bills are being paid, when things can't be measure. the truest measure of the person is where do you stand in times of challenge and controversy, when people are throwing the slings and arrows of life at you because you took a simple stand against injustice. and it was injustice. i can explain it. i regret i wasn't invited on
the program to give my point of view so i had to take to the floor of the house of representatives to give what i would have given if given the opportunity. god bless you, mr. speaker. thank you for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas, mr. carter, is now recognized for five minutes. mr. carter: i thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the 2015 national defense authorization agreement this house will consider later this week. i am very proud to represent fort hood, the largest military base in the world. n november 5, 2009, five years ago, our community suffered an unthinkable tragedy when a radicalized islamic extremist named nadal hassan opened fire on fort hood and fatally shot 15 men and women and one unborn child. more than 30 others were wounded that day.
hassan's radicalization was well-known to the f.b.i. and the d.o.d. as early as 2005. hassan plotted with the known terrorist al-waliki and he expressed his radical views to his classmates. this administration dismissed these concerns in the names of political correctness. five years ago, the president promised to take care of the victims in the shooting. shortly thereafter he turned his back on him and declared it to be work force violence. these families are still waiting for justice. our communities have suffered long enough in the name of political correctness. i'm very proud that my colleagues in the house and senator cornyn and senator cruz have not dropped the ball. we have stood for fort hood community and the victims of this terrorist act even as the president failed to act. .
the house and senate have agreed on this legislation that they will allow these heroes to receive the purple hearts to make them eligible for the benefits they deserve. the victims and their families will soon receive justice and closure. i'm proud to support this legislation and i'd like to yield the remainder of my time to my strong partner this this effort, roger williams of texas. mr. williams: i want to thank my colleague, congressman john carter, for his words but more importantly for the many years and hard work he's put forward to care for the soldiers at fort hood. the 2009 terrorist attack at fort hood was an unthinkable tragedy. at that time it was the overwhelm story the news reported for days. who was this murder, why did he do it? could there be more like him? as other military installations at increased risk of this type of attack, too? how did we not see this coming?
after the attacks on september 11, we asked these same questions. that's the difference between workplace violence and a terrorist attack. the fort hood shooter was not a disgruntled employee that took his anger out on his colleagues. was a hate filled, vengeful islamic extremist who carried out the attack with no remorse. extremists like him want us to fear them every single day. they want to hit us where it hurts by taking innocent american lives and waging war on our military members. they have zero regard for human life, not even their own. that's why our response to terrorist attacks on american soil must be consistently tough, precise, and without hesitation. at the memorial service honoring the lives of 1 americans and un -- one unborn, president obama promised to take care of those. yet five years later he's neglected them because president obama designated the attack workplace violence, these men and women are not eligible to receive the benefits, treatment,
compensation that combat troops killed and injured in combat zones receive. the negligence has caused many injurd victims to have to pay their own out-of-pocket expenses for treatment, costing some hundreds of thousands of dollars. one victim was pulled off active duty and her paycheck went from $1,00 a month to $200 a month and lost her military health insurance. others scrape by on disability payments but have to pay the remainder of their bills from their own pocket. my friend was shot seven times but was turned away when he tried to check into an army ptsd clinic due to the fact he was not injured in combat. this is not my definition of taking care of our nation's heroeses. the national defense authorization act gives the obama administration yet another opportunity to honor pledge to honor these men and women who were victims of terrorism. this bill provides authorization for awarding the purple heart to members of the armed forces
killed or wounded in a domestic attack inspired by foreign terrorists organization. this is a commonsense solution that should have happened immediately upon the attack at fort hood. i want to thank chairman mckeon and again congressman carter for their tireless work object behalf of our troops and -- on behalf of our troops and many of our texas colleagues to restore justice. just as we united as a country after these attacks, let's once again unite as americans to fight for the truth, honor our fallen demand justice for the victims of terrorism. in god we trust. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, for five minutes. without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, waint to begin by associating myself with the remarks of my colleague, mr. mcgovern. it is difficult to fathom the daunting array of foreign policy challenges president obama has
had to weather since the start of his administration. challenges which are not the result of any misjudgment on his part. few modern leaders have had to contend with such an assortment of diverse global challenges and the president deserves immense credit -- which he rarely receives for confronting them judiciously. at nearly every turn the 44th president has boldly promoted a global vision of peace and security defined by negotiation with allies and adversaries alike. the president's tenacious pursuit of diplomatic solution to the iranian nuclear program is a hallmark of that doctrine. moreover, he has held fast to these principles in the face of republican and even some democrat charges of weakness, arrogance, and treachery. i admire the president and
appreciate what an inenviable position he faced in iraq. however, like mr. mcgovern i'm alarmed by the recent developments in what is becoming in my mind a full-fledged military campaign in iraq. the situation in iraq may be difficult, but that excuse does not merit the president's overreliance on war powers and the two outdated authorizations of use of force. when it comes to war and peace, the authority remains firmly with this body, the united states congress. last month we heard that the white house planned to double the number of troops in iraq. bringing the total to 3,000. despite the president's own promise not to put u.s. troops on the ground. on monday, another 250 pair troopers were called up from the 8 nd airborne for service in
iraq. and congress's supposed to give the president his $5.6 billion request to combat isis with virtually no debate scheduled on this house floor. mr. speaker, i rise to implore the president to come to congress and explain his strategy for this new campaign in iraq. even the last president who was far less sensible sought congressional authority. it is in president obama's best interest to address not just those relevant committees after granting him the legal legal leeway the white house asserts, but 435 members who have congressional authority and constitutional authority to send our nation's sons and daughters to war. the president must tread carefully going forward and not just because of our recent difficulties in iraq. but also because he now faces a
republican congress. those recklessly clamoring for greater military involvement against isis would like nothing more than to blame what could easily become a wider conflict likely doomed to fail squarely on the president's head. i trust this president and i have faith that he will make the decisions in the best interest of the american people as he understands them. let me be clear. it is in the american people's best interest for the president to ask the people's representatives, us, in the house of representatives, for a proper authorization for the use of military force. then john boehner should lead the debate on such an authorization, a debate at great length and with complete transparency not behind closed doors, not be in committees, not somewhere in conference reports, but out here on the floor in front of the american people. we have wandered down this road
in iraq before. le with a far less thoughtful president. what our goal was in iraq has long since lost. whatever president bush said it was, it never turned out to be what we were there about. and here we are doing the same thing again, unfortunately. it is time we learn from our mistakes and that we as members of congress take responsibility for sending our people over there to die. there will be deaths. make no mistake about it. generals have already said it's going to be -- if we go over there a little bit, we'll be there for the next two years. it's time for us to vote on this issue after a lengthy debate. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, or five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker.
the federal food police are whipping up their latest batch of distasteful government regulations. with the government to round an iron spatula, the federal government has become the new mr. bumble from the book "oliver twist." the food police have placed unhealthy and illogical regulations on menus for government school lunches across the fruited plain. this is more unneeded, unnecessary, and unwarranted federal government invasion of what school kids eat. the federal government now is trying to raise america's children. in an effort to control and dictate and give children a nanny state society, school lunches have gotten watered-down to a simpy new low. after strict portion control and outlandish so-called nutrition standards, school lunches have become as exciting as detention.
the food is unappealing and lacking in nutrition. so what have students done? they have taken their frustrations to twitter, taking photos of government dictated school lunches. an oklahoma school student tweeted a picture of a few chicken nuggets, half an apple, and piece of bread complaining, thanks for the lunch. more and more students are watching on saying sarcastically. i'll be full for days. thanks for the delicious lunch. sure was filling. a parent eating lunch with their child at school was stunned after seeing the lunch portion. she took a photograph of the lunch. here it is. she said, correctly, this is sad. here you have a little condiment package. here you have a bun with a -- something in between. and then you have a half a fruit on the other side. isn't this a lovely lunch? a parent had anything to do with this, the federal government probably would have accused them of child neglect.
there is a 350 calorie limit in place for entrees. that means taking two packets of catch-up or mayonnaise would put the students over the allowed limit. kinds find themselves in an "oliver twist" situation. with the work house head master mr. bumble and having to fearfully ask, more please, sir. and of course just like in the book, the answer is, no. kids need the energy to learn, to pay attention, and to focus. that energy comes from food. the calf fear teara take over by the federal government is leaving students, believe it or not, they are hungry. how can we expect children operating on a lunch of no more than 350 calories to make it through the day? what about athletes and after school programs? whether the student plays football, an instrument in the marching band, a dinky lunch won't cut it. megan, a student at a high
school in wisconsin is protesting the required healthy lunches but promising other students unlimited condements that she herself will bring to school. i wonder if the federal government will charge her with smuggling the forbidden condiments. who knows. student all over the united states have started to speak out. pictures of a lunch with two pieces of cauliflower, ham, and a piece of cheese has surfaced. or three cherry tomatos, skim milk, and cheesy bread. this sounds more like the tasteless gruel oliver twist was served in the book "oliver twist." kids who buy their lunch but opt out of the size of fruits or vegetables are still charged for the whole meal, resulting in wasted food. there has been an 84% increase of wasted school lunches that is just thrown in the trash. these regulations just aren't working. what's next? is the government going to force-feed kids who don't eat the government food lunches?
the level of federal government intrusion is foolish and seems to be arrogant. the time is to protect schools from mr. bumble bureaucrats. interesting enough, some of the bureaucrats in washington making the rules for government schools send their kids to private schools, which are not under the same absurd food regulations. mere calorie counting is not a viable healthy option. more physical activity in schools may be needed. in any event, it is the duty and responsibility of parents and local schools to decide what their kids eat in school, not the nanny mr. bumble. and the bureaucrats in washington. parents should raise their kids not the federal government. federal food police don't belong in a local school cafeteria. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. lumenauer, for five minutes.
mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. one year ago today i introduced the first gas tax increase in over 20 years. i was joined by a broad coalition in announcing the bill supported by the afl-cio, u.s. chamber of commerce, building and construction industries, and their unions, local governments, triple-a, and the truckers, environmentalists, transit, cyclists, it was gratifying to have that broad base of support. . one year later, the only thing that has changed is the need is greater and the path forward is even easier. i just completed a press conference with my good friend, tom petri, and with president ronald reagan. president reagan in 1982 in his
anksgiving day radio address explained why we needed to raise the gas tax. he said one of our greatest material blessings is the outstanding network of roads and highways that spreads across this great continent. freedom of travel and the romance of the road are vital parts of our heritage and they help make great. we can't allow this magnificent system to deteriorate beyond repair. the time has come to repair what americans created and that means a nationwide conservation effort in the best sense of a word. so i'm asking congress when it reconvenes next week to approve a new highway program that will enable us to complete construction of the interstate system and at the same time get on with the job of renovating existing highways. the program will not increase the federal deficit or add to the taxes that you and i pay on april 15. it will be paid for by those of
us who use the system and it will cost the average car owner only about $30 a year. that's less than the cost of a couple of shock absorbers. so what we're proposing is adding the equivalent of five cents a gallon to the existing highway user fee, the gas tax, which hasn't been increased in the last 23 years. the cost to the average motorist will be small but the benefit to our transportation system will be immense. it will stimulate 170,000 jobs, not make work projects but in real, worthwhile work in hard-hit construction industries and an additional 150,000 jobs in related industries. perhaps most important, we'll be preserving for future generations a highway system that's been long been the envy of the world and has truly made the average american driver king of the road. thanks for listening and until next time, god bless you. that's the speech that could be given by any of us or by
president obama and should be. congress did return after that holiday and president reagan and tip o'neill more than doubled the gas tax. what has not changed is that we haven't raised the gas tax in 22 years. it costs the average family $377 per year in damage to their cars. if we increase the gas tax, according to my proposal, house bill 3636, it won't create 300,000 jobs, it will create 50 -- excuse me -- 1.5 million family wage jobs across the country. mr. speaker, i understand people don't like the gas tax. i don't like the gas tax. i want to raise it, index it and then abolish it and replace it with something that is
sustainable. but in the meantime, raising the gas tax is the only viable approach as verified by two presidential commissions that reported to president bush. we've been asleep at the switch. it's time for us to step up at a time of dramatically falling gas prices, 23 cents on average in the last month and they are projected to continue going down, now is the perfect time to step up to raise the gas tax slowly over the next three years, rebuild and renew america, put family wage jobs at -- across the spectrum and make our communities more livable, our family safer, healthier and more economically secure. all it takes is a little leadership and courage like ronald reagan and tip o'neill
did 32 years ago. i think we can do that now and we should. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, for five minutes. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to speak on something very dear to my heart. the duty of a military chaplain has helped guide the hearts and minds of the soldiers that he serves or she serves with and that comes from a perspective a background of their own faith but also the respect of the faiths of others that they serve with, making sure that all fill a responsibility to not only to their job, their mission but also to themselves that they are being all they can be. in their own careers and their own missions. just again here we go again, as the old saying goes. recently in my district a chaplain gave a suicide awareness and prevention brief as required by the army and received a letter of concern in his official record. the letter of concern is -- it
means to admonish a soldier's action. the chaplain did not infringe upon anyone's rights, did not receive any complaint from anyone being briefed that day but after the chaplain's actions were reviewed he was considered to not violate any army regulation or positive, yet his negative counseling remains. simply because in a time in which our society is dealing with soldiers and airmen who are struggling with depression and struggling with suicide rates, he had the audacity to share his own experience with depression and how his faith helped him. what is a chaplain supposed to do? except share from his own heart that is encouraging to others whether they have faith or no faith. i hope -- no, i pray this counseling will reflect soon his innocence. the military association of atheist decided to character the chaplain's briefing as evangelism in mental health training. receiving christian doctrine is a way to combat depression and
suicidal thoughts would increase the amount of sue sides in the military. this statement belittles the belief of soldiers who feel their faith may help them through difficult and troubling time. they feel their belief is only worth propagating and others is damaging to a soldier's emotional health. as a military chaplain, all i can say, if it helps and protects someone value life, keep their own life, then what they need to do is be reminded that they have an opinion, so does everyone else. it's time they lived up to their own thought that thoughts matter and that what this chaplain did should be reversed, it should not reflect on his record. when you have somebody actually in the game trying to help, it's not the time for little people on the outside to criticize. they need to get a new direction, a new focus and this chaplain needs to be restored and this letter removed. with that i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will receive a
message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed h.r. 4924, cited as the bill williams river water rights settlement act of 2014. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from north dakota, mr. cramer, for five minutes. mr. cramer: thank you, mr. speaker. my intention this morning was to get up and try to be eloquent in talking about the able act that we're going to vote on later today, achieving a better life experience. but since yesterday i received four emails from parents in north dakota whose words are far more eloquent than mine could ever be. i will submit all of the words into the record but want to share a few of the highlights from these important emails from my constituents.
roxanne writes this -- how exciting that we are at this point where the dreams of the act passing may come true in the next days. after writing a bit about the legislation itself, she writes this about her 15-year-old daughter, elizabeth. due to her diagnosis of downsyndrome, she has the support of an individual education plan at school. the school will start working on a transition plan for her within a few months. passage of the able act will mean that we can start a savings account for her in much the same way that we did for her brother. jamie christensen writes this -- every parent of a child with special needs has a unique journey but one thing is universal. we try to do the best we can to ensure a life well lived for our child. our unique journeys have another similarity. many of us agonize about the
future. she talks about their journey with a 7-year-old with crystal blue eyes and full head of hair, their 7-year-old son brady who has down syndrome. she writes this -- like many families, we want to care for our children equally, doing what we can to give them tools to help them reach their full potential. shortly after brady was born, she says, i opened a 529 college save account for his big sister. it was then i had no idea to plan for his future. the able act is a huge step forward in easing this anxiety. aaron and rachel shuler from bismarck, who i know very well, have a 4-year-old daughter -- actually she'll turn 4 on christmas eve, ella, ella is the sister of isaac and clara. they talk about ella with great hope. they write -- she will be a crazy teenager graduating and
go to college, work a full-time job and have a real meaningful relationship. they say we believe this for her. that is what makes the able act so important to ella and to people all over our great country. it will help her reach and fulfill the goals she desires. how awesome. and just while i've been sitting here, just while i've been sitting here in the of ber, mary jo swangler fargo writes about their journey, about their 2-year-old son david, the brother of three sons whose also diagnosed with down syndrome. she writes -- i pray that seven weekly therapy appointments with an early intervention teacher, physical therapist, speech therapist will help him be the best that he can be. and she says -- we dream big for david. why shouldn't we? indeed, why shouldn't they? but she cites this back, that david must remain poor in order
to receive the services he needs. the able act would mean we could start saving for david's future today. today. what an awesome promise that is. and so my words would be inadequate, mr. speaker, but i submit these and the extended comments in these emails that i received in the last two days on behalf of elizabeth and grady and ella and david and their peers, the thousands and thousands of families around our country who in many respects have a bias against them because they're disabled or have disabled children and the able act, achieving a better life experience act, will go a long ways to leveling that playing field, improving their lives and improving the lives of our entire country. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from nevada, mr. amodei, for five minutes. mr. apple bay --
mr. amodei: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to commemorate the retirement of the member of nevada's public service varsity team, reno mayor bob. bob was not a native of nevada but like most people in nevada he got there as quick as he could. been there for a long time. had various titles during his public service career as chairman of the board of regents at the university system, lieutenant governor of the state of nevada and finally -- maybe finally -- as mayor of the city of reno. bob was one of those folks who is blessed with a vision that does not have many shades of gray. it's pretty black and white with the mayor when you talk to him, whether it's informally, formally or whatever. words like gosh, gee whiz are things not used in his vocabulary much. he possesses an incredible volume to his voice, uses it often and is more than happy on any occasion to share his thought, but bob also had the support of an outstanding
family. his wife, partner in life, nancy, sons, family has been key in terms of the fabric of the community in northern nevada for about half a century now or more. in the resort hospitality industry, bob was involved with properties, ownership, management or whatever in reena, carson city and that little town where they do a little bit of the gaming business in the south known as las vegas. outstanding participant in all of those. a native of the lone star state, we were lucky to have the mayor come and make nevada his home for all of his adult life and raise his family. your honor, thank you very much for your public service. we appreciate it and i look forward to hopefully being able to speak about you here not on the floor of the house of representatives but in a roast in the trucky meadows so i can pay you back when you spoke about my roast on retirement from the legislature. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back.
>> it's been under way for a while. live coverage here on c-span. >> this sufficiently protect the privacy expectation of a witness. >> it is not a sufficient protection in some instances, we believe. again, i don't want to -- i want to wait for the outcome of the study, but i'll give you an example that i think most trial judges believe is an issue. confidential informants, a common type of witness in approximate criminal cases. this is an issue that we are working on. we've worked on for 10 years because when we made our electronic filings open to the public, plea agreements of comfort informants are now public documents and there's been fallout from that.
confidential informants have been threatened. there is anecdotal evidence of people being injured, perhaps killed in the bureau of prisons when they've been identified as a confidential informant. we're trying to figure out a solution to this just in terms of the public records we push out in written form. in that confidential informant is testifying in the courtroom and their voice is obscured and their vase is obscured, their identity can still be ascertained because they're being cross-examined and examined about who they are, what their name is, what their background is, where they lived, etc., and so that is a particular concern to us. these are people that cooperate. the criminal justice system relies upon their cooperation. yet, they are at risk. they're already at some risk that with the -- the presence of cameras in the courtroom, we think there is heightened risk. >> thank you so much. addressing the same question to you. do you think the obscuring of
images and voices are sufficient protection for the privacy expectation of a witness? >> well, as has been said before, this is an overwhelm courtroom. i'm not quite sure there are privacy expectations but certainly the presiding judge in that case should be the one who's in the best position and has the authority to make that , cision, whether it's through -- in terms of identification, as has been said, all of these records are being made public. they're on the internet, and if somebody wants to do someone harm, then all they have to do is go get the transcript and they can find out that same information about where they live and what they do and what their habits are. i don't think blaming electronic coverage or
identifying that as the culprit ere is the solution. >> thank you. , would ow ask the judge our concerns about h.r. 917 be modified if it was limited to aplate proceedings only? -- apell ate proceedings only -- apellate proceedings only? >> our only opposition to that part of the bill that pertains to the circuit court of appeals by virtue by the way circuit courts govern themselves. they make their own rules of practice and case management as a corporate body. that's our only objection. the bill, of course, calls for each individual apellate panel,
panel of three, typically on a case-by-case or argument-by-argument basis to make the decision. that's inconsistent with the way they govern themselves. apellate judges don't have the authority to make governance decisions about how oral arguments are going to be conducted. they do that as a corporate body. that's the status quo and that's what we'd like to continue. >> well, let me ask attorney osterreicher about the apellate proceedings issue, what is your view, sir? >> well, certainly i don't think that the sixth or the th amendment rights of any defendant will be violating by covering an apellate proceeding, especially one in the supreme court. there is no testimony. we're just making apellate arguments. it's harder for us to understand the objections when we're looking at the apellate courts. i just want to go back to something for a second. you know, during -- the supreme
court has found in capital cases this evolving standard of decency and that was something that justice marshall articulated and i would suggest here, because most of the courts have found pretty much look, the reporters can come in, you can report all you want, you just can't bring the cameras with you. i would think this would be this evolving standard of openness and what openness in an open courtroom trial and a public trial means in 2014. and i think there's a huge difference. even between the case that was mentioned earlier in 1965. there were 12 cameras in that courtroom during that trial. we're not talking about doing something like that here. > thank you very much. >> thank you, congressman. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from washington, congresswoman delbene.
>> thank you, mr. chair. and thanks to both of you being with us here today. i appreciate it. i agree with my colleagues who testified earlier and believe that our democracy is much stronger when we leverage technology, that we have available to increase the public's participation in this process. we need citizens to be engaged and informed and part of that means making sure they have access to their government. so allowing cameras in the courtroom is one way to help educate the public about the workings of our judiciary at the same time making sure we implement it in a way that's responsible is going to be very important. we need to make sure we don't compromise the safety of victims of violent crimes who may be witnesses before the court, as has has been brought up earlier, or violate due process rights of defendants and striking the right balance is key. this bill, i believe, takes a thoughtful approach and i want to commend my colleagues for their work on it. it's important that we look at steps where we do increase transparency in our system
across all three branches of government and this bill seems to be a step in the right direction. the supreme court provides online audio recordings of oral arguments, and it's been releasing audio during the same week as arguments only since 2010. before that audio from one term generally wasn't available until the beginning of the next term. nd so i was wondering, mr. osterreicher, what's the impact of having these audio recordings available now publicly within the same week of the argument, and has there been an improvement in public access? >> well, it's certainly a good first step, but when we talk about the age of the internet, when somebody can tweet something and millions of people can see it and read it and share it seconds after it's been sent, especially in news when you're talking about something, we'll release it
that week, in the news rches business a week later is really yesterday's news. so for the people that really are interested -- and there are a surprising amount of them, whether they're shut-ins or just people interested in the way that we conduct ourselves in the judiciary, i think at least having simultaneous brausts of the audio might -- broadcasts of the audio might be a good first step. i just have a problem again with the audio only. not to disparage courtroom artists. they certainly perform a good function, but in 2014 to be relegated to something that's more akin to cave drawings than high definition television just seems to be wrong to me. >> judge robinson, do you have a view of the difference between audio and video?
you talked earlier. >> i can only speak what's going on in the trial courts and circuit courts of appeal. there are circuit courts of appeal that are posting audio recordings, digital audio recordings of their arguments in short measure and there are trial courts, district and brutchings courts doing the same, recording their proceedings by audio rather than by court reporter and a number of them are posting whatever the proceeding might be. they're posting those to the internet. obviously it improves public access. we recognize and really revere the right of the public to access to our open courtrooms. the federal courts have really evolved over the last 20 years in the right direction in terms of becoming more transparent. unlike state courts who looked to us with reverence. the case filings and all of that information is more readily available on the internet. so we're focusing, of course, on proceedings themselves.
on the small percentage of self-cases that go to trial and the small percentage of criminal cases that go to trial but in those very many cases that don't, the public right now in the federal system has access to virtually every pleading that's filed, obviously every judicial decision and there's a lot of information and a lot of public education that happens in the context of what we're already providing in the public sphere. >> now, we also know that, you know, access to actually get into the court, and the supreme court is probably a very good example. very few members can get in. people pay people to stand in line for them right now and they're paid up to $50 an hour to secure spots in a long line for people to get in. so that makes it pretty difficult for people to have the opportunity to have access to live arguments in the courtroom or in the supreme court in particular. so that doesn't seem like that's great public access either. osterrecher, he
might be sitting in the room watching it on video anyway. it seems like we could do a better job there improving access as well. mr. osterreicher, would you agree with that? >> i would. as mentioned earlier, the supreme court was hearing arguments in young vs. united parcel which is a case about the pregnancy discrimination act. i can only imagine how many people would have been very interested in hearing those arguments this morning while we've been sitting talking here. hearing them, watching them, seeing how the proponents argued their case, seeing how the justices reacted to those arguments. i think that's all very important part of this process and people much better understanding how the judicial system works. i'd almost go so far as to make a comparison.
we've talked about things in ferguson. it's been a big discussion. i was there dealing with issues of photographers being arrested and interfered with. but my point here is that even those grand jury proceedings are secret and they should be, -- an analogy -- if those grand jury proceedings had been opened and people had been able to see and understand what went on in that proceeding, we might not have ad the same reaction as we had handed up. and jury >> my time has expired. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, congresswoman. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, congressman jeffries. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the witnesses for their presence here today.
we got, of course, three branches of government all of which are co-equal and all of which are incredibly important to our democracy, but we also have a fourth estate and sometimes the media has been colloquially referred to which i think plays an important role in our democracy in projecting that outward and making sure that people are informed about the things that are occurring, certainly with the executive branch and with the legislative branch and hopefully increasingly as it relates to the judicial branch. and so judge robinson, i just wanted to ask, do you think that the role that media plays bring context of helping our democracy to life is a point worthy of consideration as we determine the best way to proceed? >> absolutely. i'm a jesuit graduate so that's
an easy answer for me to give. it's important to note that our pilot, this pilot provides for video recordings pushed out on the uscourts.gov website. not just the recordings that media has decided to record, that they think are interesting enough for people to -- for their subscribers or for the public to listen to. we've evolved as a nation and as an institution. 20 years ago when we did that first pilot it was based on media recording. we made a very deliberate decision this time to not have recordings based on what the media wanted to record but to make all recordings that, you know, meet the requirements of the pilot pushed out to the public. i mean, what we have found is that the media now is much broader in terms of their, you know, public reporters in the sense that people that tweet and people that report and people that, you know, create youtube videos and all of that. but sometimes are actually -- find themselves in the hands of the media and are used by
professional journalists to report on the news. >> now, we have three branches of government, as i mentioned, all of which in our founders' wisdom are separated and co-equal. does the judicial conference take a position on whether it's appropriate for congress, a different branch, to be making determinations about the best way for a separate and entirely co-equal of branch to proceed as it relates to cameras in the courtroom? in other words, is there a separation of powers concern that should legitimately be considered in the context of this debate? >> with respect to the trial courts and the circuit courts of appeal, we haven't raised a separation of powers argument. but we have asked is for you to let us study and then formulate policy on the basis of our experience as further informed by the study itself.
we -- case management -- while t's congress promle gates -- promulgates law, we need to be in control of our case management practices and how we can best go about controlling what happens in the courtroom to ensure that parties receive a fair trial. and so that's why if it's not so much a separation of powers argument but an argument to give credence to the fact that we're studying this, we're experts in the courtroom and we want to make sure that whatever policy we formulate is shaped and informed by our experience and our information. >> and is there a legitimate distinction that can be drawn between criminal proceedings and civil proceedings, such that perhaps a greater degree of access is allowed on the civil side because some of the concerns that may be implicated that we need to think through in the context of a criminal trial, particularly as it
relates to confidentiality and privacy and the adverse implications of unwanted exposure don't necessarily exist on the civil side? >> we have concerns with spect to the effect on the witnesses and the substance of the witnesses but we have more concerns on the criminal side and that is because we have witnesses, as i mentioned, before that are confidential informants and cooperators. we have undercover officers and agents who routinely testify in criminal cases. we're very concerned about their security and their safety. is it sterreicher, relit the gentleman -- is it legitimate for the participants in the trial to have an opportunity to object based on their determination that the presence of cameras in the courtroom will complicate the ability for them to receive a fair trial or should we completely dismiss the concerns and simply just allow a judge
to be the arbiter? >> once again, i think that trial court judge could make that decision. the problems na i see are if everybody objects we're not going to have very much of a pilot study for them to have some evaluations from. so, you know, my experience in state court in new york was many times when the media made an application to cover it, you could certainly expect out of hand that there would be an objection and we would make those arguments to the judge and the judge would decide with the presumption of coverage whether or not that objection would overcome that presumption. so i think that might be a good way to start. i just also wanted to go back to one other point in terms of the media deciding which cases to cover. that's true. but what's also true, at least in my understanding of this
pilot program, is that none of the video that's recorded in any of these cases gets posted to the website until the judge in the case has reviewed the video. so in a way if there's something there that might be problematic, that's something that, you know, he could -- he or she could do as well. >> thank you. my time has expired. >> thank you, congressman. the chair recognizes the gentleman from rhode island, congressman cicilline. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the bill before us today, the sunshine in the courtroom act, promises to provide greater access to the public and to the interworkings of our justice system. as my colleague, congresswoman lofgren, noted in her testimony, trials has been open to the public and enactment of this legislation would expand upon that promise of transparency. and it's very hard for me to understand the argument that the quality of our system of justice or the fairness of our courts is impaired by -- is
improved by limiting public access. and judge robinson, i want to start with you, because, you know, if you look at the history of the right to a public trial, of course grounded in the angelo saxon history in the 17th century and the idea of it was the public proceedings would have a check against ma nevada lent prosecution, corrupt attorneys or judges or witnesses. the public trial would encourage citizens to come forward and speak truthfully, culpatory roviding evidence. the greatest threat to underlying media exposure in the courtroom is to the search for the truth seems to turn the right to public trial on its head. i mean, the whole idea was it would be a check it would provide assurances that people
would be truthful because it would be exposed broadly to the public. what does the judicial conference believe the expansion of that public trial would undermine it rather than advance it even more? >> that's -- that's a critical question that we're studying. the right to a public trial is sacrosanct. the right to a fair trial is sacrosanct. we're balancing those two. to the extent we have to worry, and we don't know how much we have to worry, but i think ant he can dotally we have -- that a witnesses hedges or shades the truth is not forthcoming with information that they would otherwise be forthcoming with when they're testifying in front of a courtroom with, say, 20 people, because they know that there may be millions of people that are watching that, including people that are of particular importance to them, like their boss or their pastor or their next door neighbor who otherwise probably wouldn't go
online and get the transcript of the trial and go through that effort. we have to worry, and i gave some examples earlier in a civil case. i had a case repeatly that i thought the parties might agree to record. they did not. i wasn't surprised because it was a case about trade secrets. they come into a public courtroom. they're looking around seeing who's in there hoping none of their competitors are in there. if their competitors are in there they have a right to be in there. but they'll be more concerned about their competitors are out watching ton the internet, something they won't know -- watching it on the internet, something they won't know. this comes up in, witnesses are going to be concerned about hedging or shading their testimony when they are being cross-examined about a loss of core sort yum claim or emotional claim or if they're an informant. depending on the case. >> as a general, do you agree with the proposition it's more likely people will testify truthfully when it's broadly
exposed? because if you don't accept that proposition, then this notion of right to a public trial doesn't make any sense. the idea if you make an assertion and the whole world is going to hear it and it's not true, then somebody might be able to prove it's not true. if it's a truthful statement then you're less concerned. the argument of the judicial conference really undermines a basic notion of a public trial as being a very effective tool. i was a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer. did a lot of state and federal practice and i think that public trial, the notion of being subjected to cross-examination and being done broadly and not in sort of a secret way or way to limit public but enhances. you said in your written testimony that presence of cameras in a courtroom is likely to higher the -- heighten of level of threats to judges. have you seen any evidence that
the presence of cameras in the courtroom has increased the level or potential for threats to judges? >> of course, there are studies focused on federal practices and federal district courts. we haven't focused what has happened in state courts. all of us have had threats. some more serious than others. >> the preps of the cameras as a source of that -- the presence of cameras as a source of that. >> the fact you have received threats, that's a concern. there are a number of concerns, and that is one of them. it won't happen in every case. it probably won't happen except in a small number of cases but it is a concern. >> it looked like you were about to say something. >> yeah, i can certainly understand it being a concern. but is it any more of a concern then -- ms. robinson, i haven't met last night. i googled you and found a
picture of you. oh, i know who to look for. you don't need to have a oceeding of finding out what somebody looks like. >> thank you. >> thank you, congressman. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, congressman and former judge poe. >> i thank the chair. thank y'all for being here. a couple of points to begin with and then i'll get your input. as the chair mentioned, i served on the criminal court sdridget bench in texas for 22 years. tried felonies, everything from stealing to capital murder. before that i spent eight years as the trial prosecutor at the d.a.'s office in houston. and when i took the bench a long time ago, the idea of cameras in the courtroom was just, you know, nonexistent. and i actually allowed cameras
in the courtroom very early on in my judicial career. it was based upon the philosophy, the belief, the frustration -- and i want to agree with mr. cicilline from rhode island. i know that shocks him that i agree with him on this. mystery of the the courthouse still exists with the public. they pick up the newspaper in the morning and they read that this happened in a courtroom somewhere and many times they're frustrated. why in the world did that happen in the courtroom? and it's because all they get is a little blip in the paper about the trial. they don't have access to the public trial. public trial, i agree, it's public so that the public knows what's taking place. we get away from the stark chamber of fleand when they did
things in the -- england when they did things in the back room. and the more the public knows the better they understand why the outcome turned out the way it did. with that i allowed cameras in the courtroom. we heard all those arguments. we protected victims of crime. they weren't televised. the media always worked with that. children weren't televised. special cases. the jury wasn't televised. we kept it focused on the importance of the trial. we never had a problem. we heard these arguments about the lawyers played -- play to the cameras. they don't play to the cameras. they play to the jury like they've always done. they played whether it's the court or the jury. i always thought if judges wouldn't allow cameras in the courtroom, why wouldn't they? maybe they're doing things that the public should be knowing. maybe they're doing things they shouldn't be doing. so i had experience with cameras. it worked out. we did a capital murder trial of a juvenile and both sides agreed to the trial -- filming
most of the case. so i'm a big supporter of the public knowing about the greatest judicial system in the world is the american judicial system. it's not somebody else's. it's ours. and blocking and preventing that access when they have the right to sit there and watch it and say, put a camera and view it on television, you're not allowed to do that, that doesn't make any sense to me. so i -- i do believe that we ought to allow that in federal court as well. you go over to the supreme court and you get a 15-minute snippet if you're a guest on what's taking place in a very important trial with the most important court in the world because the public's allowed to walk in and then they rush them out to bring in more people who are wanting to see what takes place. reading the transcript is not the same as watching the trial. so without elaborating so much on that specific issue, what
does the -- what does the media, those in the business of filming courtroom trials think how that would help or hinder the public perception of the judicial system that's taking place? got an opinion on that? either one of you? >> certainly i think that the more informed the public can be the fact that, you know, when i first started doing this, as you said, i might be at the courtroom all day and we're going to run 1:30 story on the trial. that day has long since past because now -- since passed because now with the internet, they can live stream the trial all day long and doesn't take away from their broadcast abilities. if somebody wants to watch
gavel-to-gavel, they can allow to watch gavel-to-gavel if they allow cameras in. the more informed you can be -- i mean, i would much rather watch a courtroom proceeding without any of the commentary. i would like to see as if i were sitting there what's being said, what's being asked, what evidence is being sprow deuced. i realize i'm a lawyer but i think there are a lot of people that have that same interest. if i can just watch for myself, i believe that happened during the civil trial of o.j. simpson of the and you just -- there were really no commentators. you could just turn it on and watch it. it was on every day. and i think court tv did gavel-to-gavel coverage. you could form your own opinions or learn things. and i think that's the real benefit of allowing the cameras in. and i think unfortunately far too often the electronic coverage gets confused with commentators and the pundits and the spin and all the other stuff that comes with what used
o be news and now is infotianment. >> if the judge wants another 30 seconds, fire away. >> judge, i was going to ask your personal opinion. do you think the public had more visibility of what we did in the courtroom, whether it's the trial bench or whether it's at the apellate bench or supreme court, do you think maybe they would understand and appreciate the judicial system more or not with cameras? >> that would be my hope, mr. poe. maybe i should call you judge poe. i think all judges want the public to be better informed about our branch of government and recognize that the public is not well informed as they used to be, perhaps as when we were in school many years ago. we recognize and embrace the fact that public access to the courts is very important.
they are public proceedings. we understand that, you know, cameras may augment that. at the same time we're balancing other interests. i appreciate that you have had seasoned experience as a trial judge in texas and there are a number of judges in the pilot itself that came from state court experience. we're going to be serving all of the participants in the pilot, including judges, some of us didn't have that experience before being on the federal bench. others did. it will be interesting, i think, to hear from those judges that had that prior state court experience as well. but that's going to inform how we go about formulating policy forward. there are concerns. i think there are legitimate concerns. we are balancing the right to fair trial versus the public's very important right to access it. we allow you to let us complete our studies and our procedure and guidance going forward. >> all right. thank you very much. thank you for the additional time, mr. chairman. >> thank you, congressman. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from texas,
congresswoman jackson lee. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i thank the ranking member as well for his leadership and the questions of my colleagues who have expressed vigorously our collective commitment to justice and fairness and the importance of the judiciary. i was -- i offer to say i think the issues have been raised here legitimately, judge robinson, that give merit to concerns and comments that you've made along with those of r. osterreicher who have likewise raised this open transparency. so i hope that as we deliberate as the judiciary committee that we will act with judiciousness and take all of these issues into consideration. i want to ask about the pilot. give me the ending time of the
pilot? >> it's july, 2015. it was originally a three-year pilot. we extended a year now into the fifth year. >> so at that point you'll have a collection of data that included cameras in the courtroom of varying levels of the judiciary -- state, county, federal or -- >> no, the pilot is focused only on federal trial courts, the district courts. and the participants are just federal district judges. so in july, 2015, the recordings will stop and then the federal judicial center will be the one compiling the data, including the very many surveys, the practitioners and lawyers and other participants in the process. we hope at the court administration and case management committees biannual meeting in december, 2015, will be ready. i'm no longer on that committee. i was chair of that committee until september 30 of this year. i anticipate at that meeting -- this is a horrible government
acronym, cacm, but at that meeting that body -- >> excuse me for interrupting, but you have had court -- cameras in the courtroom now for a number of different federal courts. do you by chance know how many? >> there are 14 courts participating. >> i'm going to ask you a series of questions. that's all i need the 14. and you do what with the video now? >> the video is posted to the uscourts.gov website. >> it is able to be viewed? >> and they are posted fairly quickly. >> ok. >> the goal is to post them that day or the following morning. mr. osterreicher said that judges review videos before they were' posted. that's not the practice. the judges may review if there is a problem. if there's not a problem the video is posted. you are there and contemporaneously you know there is a problem and you may
go back. >> let me ask you a series of questions. so in essence this is a judicial c-span somewhat. c-span is current and presence. you don't post it until the next day, i just need a yes or no? >> yes. >> mr. osterreicher, we are all getting your name correctly. maybe we should call you mr. mickey. we appreciate your tolerance. in the bill i note that there is an effort to protect witnesses for judges to ask the question about the witnesses, blurring their particular faces. let me ask you this, and i've heard enthusiastic expression by my colleague. being a lawyer and the champion of the first amendment which is what the intentions are here, that wonderful first amendment and the recognition of the importance of speech not being, if you will, unfettered speech which in the courtroom there is speech and then the whole
judicial system that gives every party an opportunity to be heard, but then also for witnesses to be heard as well. what comes to mind is the unfortunate case of mr. zimmerman and trayvon martin and the demonizing of a beautiful young lady because she happened to be different. what is your response to witnesses who may look differently and speak differently and people are across the country watching and even though this is just unfettered video, then it becomes in the open speer and that person, that innocent -- open spear, and that person, that innocent, beautiful african-american woman, became not of her own fault. she was doing her civic duty and the horror of demonizing her was inexcusable, how do you
answer to the potential of those kinds of things happening? >> i certainly believe that that was very unfortunate. i have always been a proponent of the fact that cameras and electronic coverage should be up to the discretion of the trial court judge. i don't think there should be, per se, ban. i don't think there should be, per se, we're coming in whether you like it or not. a judge needs to conduct his or her courtroom in the way he or she sees fit. and make sure that justice is fairly served. so that's really all i'm saying here. you know, it's unfortunate in this day and age. you know, people are often targeted whether now on social media. it's not just broadcast anymore that leads to this kind of mob mentality that's out there. >> i thank the chairman for his indulgence. i just want to make one
sentence. i appreciate the testimony of both witnesses. i believe it has been very helpful. this is an important legislative initiative. it has some protective measures to it. judge robinson, you've indicated some protective measures through the pilot. i would hope we could see the report of the pilot. mr. chairman, i'm hoping we will have the opportunity to vigorously look at this and the legislation and make an important decision that will be fair to both of the witnesses' testimony. i yield back. >> thank you, congresswoman. i think it's my turn to ask questions. i'm staying as neutral as possible in this. i was a prosecutor at the state and federal level. was u.s. attorney. i tried my own cases. i know what goes on in the federal courtroom. i'm going to play a little bit of a devil's advocate here with the two of you and get your reactions. do we agree that -- and i've tried these cases in federal court -- when a minor is involved in a case that there
no -- nothing divulging who that minor is as far as the tv is concerned? is there an agreement there? >> we agree. in fact, that's consistent with our private policy now in terms of written -- the trial transcript and pleadings that minors are identified by initials, not names. >> i certainly think that's true. for the most part in cases where the media does cover these trials, if that's what's indicated by the judge, then media will follow along with those guidelines. >> i'm particularly concerned about a victim, because i prosecuted cases concerning sex trafficking of minors. >> i think in much the same way as the media doesn't report the name of the victim in cases, it certainly would follow you wouldn't show their identity. >> do either of you have a distinction whether the proceedings concern testimony,
demonstrative evidence or apellate or oral argument, do you draw distinction between the two whether one or the other should not be televised, judge? again, the circuit courts of appeal can make the decision if corporate bodies individually whether to allow for cameras in their courtroom. there are different concerns, but there are many more concerns at the trial court level, as i've articulated today. >> this is probably rhetorical, but from what i've seen there's no money allocated for this. who's going to pay for it? taxpayers? >> well, i would argue that if the media were allowed to cover these cases it would be their cost, not the courts. >> who's going to be the -- for lack of better term and i don't mean to be facetious about this -- who's going to be director? does my local news guy come in
and take control and film or is the judge going to have the responsibility of being the director and calling the shots? >> well, the concern that judicial conference has -- and the reason we structured the pilot the way we had, we want to be in control of the equipment to make sure that jurors or witnesses are not inadvertently recorded. if you're talking about a live broadcast, once the -- when it's out of the tube, it's out of the tube. it takes resources and someone monitoring the equipment. >> mr. osterreicher? >> i think there are ways to make sure that jury is not recorded. in the o.j. trial, for example, the camera was mounded on the -- mounted on the wall above the jurors' heads. there was no way to look down -- certainly as a photojournalist, if i was told by a judge, this person doesn't get recorded, that's what that means. >> am i correctly assuming that neither one of you are -- i know certainly, judge, you're
not, but attorney osterreicher, are you saying that you do not want to have an individual coming in the courtroom with his or her own camera and photograph this? >> i certainly think there needs to be rules and decorum. i can't imagine just as in those trials of the century during the lindhburg baby where you had photographers literally running around the courtroom with graphics. that's not what we're talking about here. in the day and age where everybody has a phone and everybody's got a camera on that phone, i'm certainly not suggesting that everybody in the courtroom sit there and record it on their own. >> i do not hear you saying that you -- >> hearing's about to wrap up. a reminder you can see it later on c-span.org. the u.s. house is gaveling for legislative work. six bills including one to extend more than four dozen tax breaks worth about $45 billion
for individuals and businesses. will be allowed to claim those breaks when filing their 2014 tax returns. and creating tax free savings accounts for the disabled. it won't be counted for them and other measures as well. votes later this afternoon. now live to the house floor here on c-span. [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
salvation through jesus christ and guidance through the holy spirit. we pray that humankind will be united in mutual brotherhood under your love. we pray for your blessing upon the united states of america so that it will live according to your word, as one nation under god. bless the members of the house of representatives who have gathered here today. as ask within their hearts a fierce calling for their motherland, give them the wisdom to complete their task with integrity and within their lives the courage to sacrifice for the people of our country. we pray that all here with experience -- will experience the glorious joy of serving the country and its people with all that you have bestowed upon them. we pray in the name of jesus, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings
and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the aye as have it. the journal stands approved. ms. foxx: mr. speaker, i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered and pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from nnl, mr. payne. mr. payne: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
the speaker: without objection, the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, is recognized for one minute. . connolly: i'm pleased to join you in welcoming our stor, pastor from the korean presbyterian church in the 11th congressional district. this church has been active in our community since it was founded 1 years ago in -- 41 years ago in vienna. i chaired the fairfax board of supervisors where i had the opportunity to collaborate with that congregation on many of its activities throughout our community. within its many activities, the church founded a senior center 20 years ago, offering meals, recreation, training skills and a computerization for our senior population.
under the pastor's direction, the church has been recognized by the commonwealth of virginia and the republic of korea as an outstanding volunteer organization. this and the many activities exemplify the many tremendous contributions that the korean american community are making throughout the united states. mr. speaker, i'm proud to represent one of the most vibrant korean american communities in the united states and to continue our partnership here in congress as co-chair of the korea caucus. i thank you, again, for joining us in welcoming the pastor, who i think really is emblem attic of the success of the immigrant population in the united states. he represents our future. hank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. foxx: thank you, mr.
speaker. today i rise to acknowledge the special relationship between the united states and israel. this year we have witnessed yet another ugly chapture in the history of israel's enduring fight to defend his sovereign borders and protect her people from terrorist attacks. on august 1, congress approved a measure to deliver an additional 225 million dollars in aid to israel with the aim of replenishing funds for the iron dome anti-missile defense system in the midst of the conflict between israel and hamas. it was absolutely the right thing to do because america's national security interests are directly tied to developments in the middle east and specifically to israel's own security. strategic cooperation between the u.s. and israel is vital to the well-being of both countries. the simple truth is throughout history, israel's made numerous concessions in the pursuit of peace while seeking only the right to exist. the countries of beacon of democracy in the sea of
violence and hostility and its ability to function and defend itself against terrorism is in no small part due to the support from the united states. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the entleman from oregon rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. one year ago today i introduced the first gas tax increase in 21 years. the only thing that's changed in that year is the need is greater and the path forward is even easier. everyone knows that america's falling apart and falling behind. while gas prices have dropped dramatically. i'm joined this afternoon by ronald reagan who 32 years ago on thanksgiving made a powerful radio address explaying why he more than doubled the -- explaining why he more than doubled the gas tax, actually a user fee, he pointed out. the same speech could and
should be made by president obama tomorrow. i urge you, my colleagues, to join me and ronald reagan in fixing the bankrupt highway trust fund, increasing the gas tax so we can rebuild and renew america and put hundreds of thousands of people to work at family wage jobs all across this great land. with the need getting worse and gas prices falling, there will never be a better time. all it takes is a little leadership and courage from the resident and congress. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from kansas rise? ms. jenkins: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. ms. jenkins: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in sport of the able act. i'm co-responsear of this bill because i believe we need to make it easier for families with individuals with disabilities to save money for their care and not be penalized
for doing so. this legislation also makes an important improvement to 529 plans that will give parents more control over their children's savings. it is rare for a bill to gain as much bipartisan support in both the house and the senate as the able act has. this is because advocates for the able act have worked tirelessly over the past several years to ensure that it crosses the finish line. i'm pleased that many of them are here today and i congratulate them on their hard work. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california eek recognition? ms. chu: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. chu: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize and honor my colleague and friend, congressman eni faleomavaega of american samoa. eni has served on capitol hill for nearly four decades, starting as a congressional
staff member and eventually being elected to congress for 13 straight terms. throughout his distinguished career, eni has broken many barriers. he's the first asian pacific american ever to chair the foreign affairs subcommittee on asia and the pacific. and he is the longest serving showan member of congress. he's also a vietnam war veteran and author, a musician and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. over the years, i've had the privilege to work with eni through the asian pacific american caucus and i witnessed firsthand his unwavering commitment to his constituents and the broader asian pacific community. so thank you, eni, for your lifetime of service. i wish you the best. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition?
without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to cknowledge the retirement of marion ramsey of arkansas and the closing of her business, marian's doughnuts, that became part of my routine 35 years ago. the doughnut shop, as i affectionately called it, was the first place to catch up on the latest city news, most times just plain old gossip and hear about the trials and tribulations about those who frequented the establishment over time. mr. womack: i took my boys there since birth and it was nostalgic for all three of them to join me last sunday, her last day of business, for old time's sake. the bible tells us there is a season for everything. i'm saddened that the season has come and gone for marian's doughnuts. i'm not sure how i'll fill the void of the friendships down the years. congratulations on your retirement. your customers are grateful for
our time together. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, this sunday, december 7, is the 73rd anniversary of the attack of the american naval base at pearl hashon. that day over 2,000 american soldiers and sailors lost their lives and another 1,000 were wounded. buffalo native army corporal earl wicket, was fortunate to make it back, raise a family and several his community as a buffalo firefighter. sadly, earl passed away this year but his story and the bravery of all those who served that day must always be remembered. on sunday, west seneca american legion post 735 will be among those recognizing pearl harbor day and honoring the promise to never forget the sacrifices and service of those who were there on that day. today i join them and others in paying tribute to all those who faced the unthinkable at pearl harbor.
survivors like earl and the many who never made it back. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise in support of the able act with over 380 co-sponsors. it's a wonderful peace piece of legislation that will help -- it's a wonderful piece of legislation that will help american families. it will fix a broken problem. i came to congress to fix broken problems with commonsense solutions. mr. fliesmann: earlier this year, -- mr. fleischmann: earlier this year, we passed the water resources bill which fundamentally fixed the inland waterway trust fund but it was still underfunded. i want to thank colleagues on both sides of this house in working with me, working hard to get an industry supported user fee of nine cents. hat that will mean is that
locks all over this country will now be able to be properly funded in the way which it was intended. together we can work hard to fix these problems together. i urge support of the able act and i urge my colleagues for working hard to support this industry supported user fee. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. tonko: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. more than 18 months ago the senate passed a comprehensive and bipartisan immigration bill that would strengthen neighborhoods across the country, further secure our borders, inject certainty into our economy, boost our stem and tech community, create jobs, protect employers, keep families together, our deficit would be reduced by nearly a trillion dollars and fix our
nation's broken immigration system. that was 18 months ago. more than a year ago we introduced h.r. 15, the border security, economic opportunity and immigration modernization act, which would have moved comprehensive immigration reform forward. a debate so far that has been dominated by partisan politics and obstruction. all we are asking for is the chance to vote on the bill in this body, a simple up or down vote. that's all we ask. we are running out of time to act on immigration reform and pass legislation that an overwhelming majority of americans has asked the house to approve for more than a year. again, i ask this body to put the interests of the country above those of party politics and give h.r. 15 the up or down vote it truly deserves. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
mr. johnson: mr. speaker, money magazine recently ranked america's best small cities. 781 cities were evaluated. the 35 stop scoring cities were -- top scoring cities were visited by reporters and wouldn't you know it, mckinney, texas, was ranked number one as the best place in the united states to live. it's worth noting that mckinney joined the list in 2008 and has steadily climbed each year. as the magazine stated, underlying mckinney's homey southern charm is a thoroughly modern city, the area is a hot job.or a growth industry mckinney certainly embodies its motto, unique by nature. it's both a business-friendly and family-friendly place and perhaps the most significant, it places emphasis on both preserving history and ensuring a vibrant future.
i'm proud to represent mckinney and the third district of texas and mckinney deserves this honor. it's my privilege to recognize their outstanding service to the community. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. mr. payne: mr. speaker, hands up, don't shoot. the recent events in ferguson have brought to light many of the problems that still exist in our nation. racial divides, mistrust of the law enforcement and a judicial system that disproportionately incarcerates black men. and the unfortunate way that we view one another. not as americans but as us versus them. i'm encouraged by president
obama's initiative that will help purchase body cameras for police departments. this will increase accountability of the law enforcement and it will protect our police officers by deterring wrong doctors. i am proud that -- wrong doers. i'm proud that the two cities in my district are taking the lead to acquire cameras for their police officers. because members of the community deserve to feel law enforcement is protecting them and not out to get them. and in turn our protectors deserve to be protected as well. this will be a step in the right direction. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. tipton: mr. speaker, i rise today in honor of air force captain william h. daboy whose life was tragically lost in the operation inherent resolve on december 1, 2014.
captain daboy grew up in new castle, colorado. on monday, december 1, 2014, captain da a boy took off from the u.s. coalition airbase in the combat mission operation inherent resolve. when the f-16 he was flying began to experience mechanical problems. captain deboy attempted to return to the airbase and was unable to eject before his plane crashed. he was only 30 years old. and recently married to his wife, ashley. the number of lives touched by this courageous young man are innumerable and the love and memories he shared with his friends and family still linger today. the death of captain deboy is an unfortunate reminder the dangers our service men and women face every day as they defend our country, as well as many sacrifices made to protect freedoms and our way of life. the captain served this country with great distinction and honor. something that he always had dreamed of. he will be greatly missed by his family, friends and
squadron. mr. speaker, it is an honor to recognize captain william h. deboy, whose dedication to our country and the way he selflessly lived his life serve as an a inspiration to a grateful -- as an inspiration to a grateful nation and the state of colorado. inyield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. hahn: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to ac a knowledge the hardworking men and women employed at our west coast ports who are responsible for 2/3 of our nation's international trade. their hard work supports five million jobs nationwide and is the life blood of our economy. but they've been working for months without a contract and without knowing what the future holds for them. contract negotiations are ongoing and i encourage both sides to stay at the table. failure to resolve their differences could be traumatic for our economy and i sincerely
hope that it will not come to that. but many people are aware that are we still have congestion issues -- that we still have congestion issues at our ports and there are underlying problems that must be addressed, but it's important to keep in mind that these issues will still exist even if a contract agreement is reached today. our ports drive our nation's economy and it's critical that we find solutions to the congestion issues at our ports and in our overall freight network. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise today as the proud grandson of oscar thompson, a surface miner, to recognize national miner's day which is celebrated on december 6. on this day we recognize the important role our nation's miners continue to play across the nation. in the commonwealth of pennsylvania, my home state,
the mining industry, the coal industry in particular, is a vital contributor to the state's economy. with direct, indirect and induced impacts that are responsible for families sustaining jobs and billions in economic output. in 2011 pennsylvania produced more than 67 million tons of coal from close to 500 mines, making it the fourth largest producer of coal, the second largest producer of electricity among all the states. today coal is used to generate more electricity than any other resource in pennsylvania. being responsible for 44% of the state's electricity generation. on national miners day we commemorate the work and sacrifice of miners, past and present, and recognize the contribution they make to our economy, the nation's energy security and our shared prosperity. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i
rise to salute the work of amos house and its mission to end hunger and homelessness in my home state of rhode island. having just celebrated thanksgiving, it's a good reminder of how important it is to remember those who are less fortunate and to give back to the communities we live in. led by eileen hayes, amos house give back to rhode island every single day and provide life-giving services to those most in need. since its founding in 1976, amos house has grown from a small soup kitchen to a vibrant and essential multiservice center. this week i was proud to help break ground on a new project that will give amos house a new home and help this wonderful organization further its important work. amos house serves hundreds of meals dame to the hungry, provides shelter for homeless men and women, substance abuse counseling, job training and money management classes. i salute amos house, eileen and her hardworking staff for the important contributions they make to those most in need in my home state of rhode island. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to celebrate the 90th birthday of former representative ralph regula. mr. gibbs: prior to his election to congress, he served in the united states navy, worked as a school teacher and a principal in stark county schools. served in the ohio senate and the board of education and was a member of the ohio house of representatives. he was elected to the congress and served 18 consecutive terms until his retirement in 2009. during his tenure in congress, he served as chairman of the house appropriations subcommittee for labor, health and human services and education. where he worked across party lines to improve educational opportunities, work force training programs and health care. he was passionate advocate for research and advancement of science. the congressman built himself a regular guy. he was the son of a dairy farmer and part of a high
school graduation class of only 25. ralph loved serving here because he cared about the people and helping improve the quality of lives. in this house, he was a pragmatic leader willing to find solutions to tough problems. i personally have known ralph for over three decades and have many fond memories, meeting with him both here and back in ohio as my congressman. like many others, i have learned so much from congressman ralph regula over the years. to that i say thank you. today i ask my colleagueses to join me in recognizing the great league and career of mr. ralph regula a, wishing him a very happy 90th birthday. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina eek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the affordable care act. one year after implementing the health care exchanges, the
number of uninsured in this country has decreased dramatically. north carolina had one of the top five highest he will en-- enrollments and in my congressional district alone, the number of uninsured has declined by 14%. ms. adams: not to mention the incredible impact this legislation has had in the lives of working families. for the affordable care act, 208,000 individuals in my congressional district now have access to health insurance. young adults and college students can now stay on their parents' plans until age 26 which resulted in nearly 10,000 young adults retaining health insurance in my congressional district. additionally seniors in my district have received medicare part d prescription drug discounts worth $11.1 million and being a woman is no longer considered a pre-existing condition. the affordable care act has had a dramatic affect on unemployment, creating 9.6 million private sector jobs. my congressional district's unemployment rate is 13.9%.
so for me this is not only about health but jobs and our economy. these tangible benefits cannot be ignored. i urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to end talks of repeal and instead work with democrats to strengthen the law, to provide even greater access to health insurance. states like north carolina must reconsider their decision to reject the medicaid expansion. this purely political decision has had real effects, leaving half a million north carolinians uninsured. we should make every effort to improve the lives. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom kansas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, today i rise to congratulate the 931st air refueling group, mcconnell air force's base's reserve unit, on receiving the rain cross trophy which recognizes it as the best
unit in the fourth air force. mr. pompeo: i've spent a lot of time with the fantastic airmen out at mcconnell and i'm not surprised but i am extremely pleased to see that they have been granted this outstanding award. it is only fitting that the 931st has been selected as the first reserve unit in the air force to fly and maintain america's new kc-46-a tankers. mcconnell base tankers flew nearly half of all missions of air mobility command of kc-135 hours over the past year and many of these unit's soldiers and airmen were deployed in support of operations all around the world. this award is wonderful recognition of the hard work of colonel mark larson and chief master sergeant kathleen lowman and all the men and women of the 931st air refueling group. i know i speak for all kansans in saying we are proud of the 931st and the entire mcconnell family. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek
recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to urge my colleagues to support my resolution to establish december 3 as national 3-d printing day. mr. foster: as an entrepreneur myself who built a manufacturing company from the ground up, i know firsthand how invaluable this technology is. advances in 3-d printing are creating unprecedented opportunities for entrepreneurs and manufactures to develop new products and -- manufacturers to develop new products and bring their products to life. when i think of the long hours my brother and i spent in the machine shop building parts for our first prototype, parts that could now be built quickly and easily with 3-d printing, it makes me envious of today's startups. from biotechnology to food production to advanced manufacturing, 3-d printing is creating endless opportunities for innovation. additionally, 3-d printing technology is a great teaching tool for students. there's nothing like the look
of awe on a student's face as they watch a 3-d printer build something that they designed, something that started out as their idea, that they can now hold in their hand. it's also a great way of teaching them the value of coordinate geometry. so it's critical that we continue to develop this technology and recognize the importance in the modern economy and to inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in stem and advanced manufacturing. again, i urge my colleagues to join me in recognizing december 3 as national 3-d printing day. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize tom bertran as the 2015 illinois superintendent of the year. for the last 13 years mr. bertran has served as superintendent as the rochester community district in
rochester, illinois. mr. davis: in his time he's served the school district as a teacher, coach, principal and assisted superintendent before taking on his current role. his dedication to the students and his many accomplishments in his time with the rochester district make him a deserving recipient of this award. he's worked to improve the use of technology in the school district by both students and faculty. i'm proud to represent mr. burr train and the rochester -- bertran and the rochester school district. his commitment to students is something to be recognized. i thank him for his service to the district and his dedication to public education. congratulations on being named the 2015 illinois superintendent of the year. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from nevada seek recognition? titus: i ask s. unanimous consent to address the house for one minute.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. to give we need veterans the tools they need to survive in civilian life. sadly, far too many who sacrificed so much on our behalf returned home to find they've struggled to find housing, employment. we can and must do better. that's why i'm proud to partner with my republican colleague, david mckinley, to introduce legislation that honors our commitment by providing resources to help veterans pursue higher education and gain the skills and training they need to succeed in stem careers. the ability to analyze, communicate and motivate hold during their military training make veterans ideal candidates in the fields related to science, technology, math and engineering. and with growth in the stem fields for jobs that's expected to outpace other professions in
the next few years, this will meet the demands of our high tech fields. so i ask my colleagues to join mr. mckinley and me in upholding our promise to our nation's heroes and support the g.i. stem extension act of 2014. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition in -- seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized 1 -- is recognized for one minute. ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, like many americans, i'm all too familiar with alzheimer's, having lost my mom to complications from this dreadful disease nearly four years ago. the alzheimer's association reports that over five million americans are living with alzheimer's, including nearly half a million in my home state of florida.
alzheimer's not only impacts seniors and their families, it is costing our nation billions of dollars every year with only a fraction of 1% of these costs spent on research toward better treatment options and potential cures. our seniors, their loved ones and their caregivers deserve better. american taxpayers deserve better. i urge everyone to go to alz.org, a-l-z-.org, and learn more about alzheimer's and how new research can help make a big difference in improving the lives of patients, their families and america's budget. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. veasey: mr. speaker, i rise today about my concern for the safety and security of israel,
the middle east and the u.s. negotiations for iran to end the pursuit for a nuclear weapon were recently extended without assurances that iran would slow or abandon this program. this delay tactic allows iran to escape many economic sanctions. this should be a grave concerns for americans that care about the regional security of the middle east. i respect the administration's goals and intent during these negotiations but i encourage we utilize all methods of influence throughout negotiations. we must fully use diplomacy, legal sanctions and economic pressure to move towards a peaceful and secure situation in this critically important region to the world and our country. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does jolvet missouri seek recognition? -- for what purpose does the gentlewoman from missouri seek recognition? the gentlewoman is recognized or one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise to
express concern over our state of our negotiations with iran and the threat of iranian nuclear capability. mrs. hartzler: i'm concerned with the extension of negotiations over iran's nuclear program and the continued relaxing of economic sanctions against tehran. every day that we yeeze sanctions our fail to apply new ones is another day iran races towards a nuclear weapons capability. iran currently has 10,000 operational centrifuges, each working hard to a nuclear iran. as the administration continues to cede ground in this area of negotiations, we must remember that iran has threatened america and called for the total anationalation of our ally, israel. the instability in this region should be compounded should iran achieve its goals. sanctions brought iran to the negotiating table in the first place and these sanctions must be strengthened to convince them to stop their quest for nuclear weapons. i believe congress must put
renewed pressure on iran. the senate needs to pass the nuclear weapon free iran act before going home. we cannot allow iran to hold the world hostage with nuclear weapons. now is the time to act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from hawaii seek recognition? ms. hanabusa: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. hanabusa: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, yesterday this body re-authorized the native american housing assistance and self-determination act of 1996. a true bipartisan effort and more importantly the right thing to do for all our native people. in it we re-authorized title 8 which addresses the native people of my state, the native hawaiians. nahasda had expired as to the native hawaiians in 2005 and it has taken almost 10 years to make this right. now they're authorized through
the year 2019. home, land is critical to all people, especially our native people. this congress in 1921 passed the hawaiian home commission act of 1920 and this re-authorization will bring us closer to meeting the dreams of blood ho are 50% quantums or more. i thank my colleagues for the voice vote and ask me in joining to ask the senate to pass this re-authorization for the housing assistance for all native people. thank you, mr. speaker and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, on sunday both the f.b.i. and the department of homeland security issued warnings to american military personnel regarding
possible attacks from isil here at home. sadly, this comes after homeland security secretary jeh johnson incorrectly announced in new york on september 14, quote, at present we have no credible information that isis is planning to attack the homeland of the united states, end of quote. the secretary was wrong on the attacks and equally he's been wrong on the unconstitutional review of illegal aliens which destroys jobs. i appreciate yesterday national radio talk show host kim can mannedo, the digital pro, who restated the f.b.i. and d.h.s. warnings of isis threats here in america to military families. she has dedicated -- she is a dedicated friend of the military. the president should identify and stop the grotesque threats to conduct mass murder of american military families on u.s. soil. in conclusion, god bless our troops and the president should take action to never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. our sympathy to the family of
captain william h. dubois of charlotte air force base, south carolina. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for ne minute. ms. clark: mr. speaker, over the thanksgiving holiday i was able to spend time not only with my extended family but with the families of my district, and it struck me, not for the first time, how disconnected much of the conversation in washington is from the concerns of typical families. at the beginning of this week, we had an opportunity for a bipartisan agreement on making tax credits for working families permanent. but that has been derailed by cynical posturing. in 2012, the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit
helped lift 10.1 million people out of poverty. these programs work for working families. but instead of voting on a broader bill today to help working families and businesses alike, we are kicking the can down the road once again. this is a process that benefits the status quo and holds the needs of working families hostage to another time when it is politically convenient, and it is no way to govern. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue orking towards long-term tax policies that will help families who cannot afford to wait any longer for congress to do right by them. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition? without, the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
mr. stewart: i'm discouraged to announce a milestone we reached recently. in the last few days we've surpassed $18 trillion in debt. and if you want to know how much money that is, take every american taxpayer from the young man who just got his first job to every mother and father who are struggling to take care of their families and give them a bill for $150,000. it's simply unsustainable. if we continue down this current path, we will commit fiscal national suicide by our spending and our debt. and remember a nation that is bankrupt cannot provide for the security of its people. a nation that is bankrupt cannot provide for the needy among them. a nation that is bankrupt cannot provide for the children and the next generation. now is the time to restore fiscal sanity. we must have the courage to reclaim the american dream. tax reform, entitle reform, a
balance -- entitlement reform, a balanced budget, we must have the courage to make these a reality. but we can fix this. we must fix this. i hope we'll have the courage to do this, even if it's hard. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5769. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5769, a bill to authorize appropriations for the coast guard for fiscal year 2015, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. hunter, and the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall, will control -- will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. hunter: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and
include extraneous material on h.r. 5769. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hunter: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. h.r. 5769, the howard coble coast guard and maritime transportation act of 2014, re-authorizes funding for the coast guard through 2015 at levels that are fiscally responsible and will reverse the misguided cuts proposed by the current administration. the president purr posed to slash the acquisition budget by 20%, reduce members by 1,300, undermine readiness by cutting program hours by aircraft and jeopardize the success of the search and rescue mission by taking fixed wing aircraft crews off alert status. the president's budget request will only worsen the coast guard's growing gaps in mission performance, increase acquisition delays, drive up the cost of new assets and deny service members the critical resources needed to perform their duties. h.r. 5769 authorizes sufficient funding to ensure these cuts do
not happen, and the service has it needs to successfully conduct its missions. the bill also makes several reforms to the coast guard authorities as well as laws governing shipping and navigations. specifically, h.r. 5769 supports coast guard service members by ensuring the members of the coast guard are offered the same benefits available to members of the other armed services. it improves coast guard mission effectiveness by replacing and modernizing coast guard assets in a cost-effective manner. it reduces inefficient operations and saves taxpayer dollars by making commonsense reforms through the coast guard mission administration. it includes an arctic maritime transportation title which provides the coast guard the authorities it needs to successfully carry out missions in the arctic as well as prepare for the safe operation of commercial vessels and increase human activity in the region. it encourages job growth in the maritime sector by cutting
regulatory burdens on job creators and lastly it re-authorizes and reforms the f.m.c. mr. speaker, with respect to section 323 of the bill, it's the committee's intent that the department of transportation use the website currently operated by the coast guard to the greatest extent possible. the data presented on the website should be limited only required by statute and shown in a simple and easily useable form. the committee does not intend to use anything than commercial, off-the-shelf technology to use the website or require new hardware in operating the web. h.r. 5769 presents a strong bipartisan and bicameral agreement. i want to thank senators rockefeller, thune, rubio for working with us on this important legislation. i also want to thank ranking member rahall and the subcommittee ranking member garamendi for their efforts and chairman shuster for their leadership. finally, i want to take a
minute to point out this will be the last coast guard bill that will benefit from the advice and support of the only member of congress with service in the coast guard. our colleague and friend howard coble. howard is a korean war veteran with five years of active duty in the coast guard and another 18 years in the coast guard reserve. he's the founder of the congressional coast guard caucus, as well as an active member and former chairman of the subcommittee on coast guard and maritime transportation. throughout his career in congress, congress has been -- i thank and commend him for his service to our nation and for his contributions to this and past coast guard authorizations. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia ise? mr. rahall: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in strong support of the howard coble coast guard and maritime transportation act of 2014. this legislation was developed,
as mr. hunter has said, through very cooperative, bipartisan and bicameral negotiations over the past two months. we're here today considering this legislation on the suspension calendar, demonstrates again that when we put aside partisan differences, we can find agreement on substantial legislation that serves a greater interest of the american public. i commend full committee chairman shuster for his leadership in reaching out to the other body to initiate the process that's culminated in producing the outstanding before bill the house today. i also want to thank and acknowledge the chairman of the coast guard and maritime transportation subcommittee, duncan hunter, and the ranking democratic member of our coast guard subcommittee, mr. john garamendi, for their tireless efforts to advance this important legislation. as well to our colleague, howard coble, whom i've served with on the transportation and infrastructure committee since he was first elected to the house in 1984. it is truly fitting that the pending bill will be named
after howard. he is a true gentleman in every sense of the word, a gentleman of this house, and his superb friend to myself as well as many of our colleagues. the u.s. coast guard, one of our nation's five military services, remains an agency that is as indispensable today as it was 100 years ago. while maintaining the safety of maritime commerce on the high seas, securing our ports, harbors and inland waterways, or when protecting life at sea, the coast guard stands ready and able to serve whenever called. i am pleased that this legislation will provide sufficient authorized funding to ensure that the coast guard has the resources and the personnel that it needs to accomplish its many missions. and most importantly this legislation provides adequate funding to allow the coast guard to maintain progress and recapitalizing its offshore fleet of cutters which is very -- which is a very high priority. i'm also pleased that this legislation will advance
several policies to support our merchant marines, especially a provision that will strengthen the enforcement of cargo preference requirements and ensure that the transport of u.s. government cargos continueses to provide jobs for u.s. -- continues to provide jobs for u.s. sea fairers. this legislation will do much -- seafarers. this legislation will do much to ensure our maritime economy remains a vibrant contributor and course of jobs for million it's of -- source of jobs for millions of meshes. this legislation is noncontroversial, it does have solid bipartisan and bicameral support and i urge members to support this worthy bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. hunter: thank you, mr. speaker. there's a few people i want to thank too. i want to thank john and jeff who are here in this room for the work that they've put into this. i want to thank victoria middleton who is my chief of staff. this will be her last year. this is her first coast guard bill that we're getting done here. they have put in so much work and so much time and for
myself, this is the first piece of legislation that i'm going to be passing in this coast guard committee with mr. garamendi. i think it's been a great time working with everybody and i want to thank lastly the men and women of the coast guard. they've been fantastic. they really opened up their arms to us. we've been able to see what they do, how they do it and what they have to do day in and day out for the people of this country and frankly people of every country. if you're on the open seas and something bad happens to you, it's going to be the u.s. coast combard who comes and savens -- coast guard who comes and saves you. if you're a bad guy with drugs, it's going to be a u.s. coast guard that interdicts you. i want to thank the u.s. coast guard for what they do for this nation. they're the red-headed step child. they are a military service but they are also a law enforcement entity and they get to do both things and that's one of the things that makes them such a great organization. with that, mr. speaker, i would like to yield to mr. coble as much time as he may consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. coble: i thank the gentleman from california, mr. speaker. i'll be very brief. i thank the ranking member, mr. rahall, and the chairman of the subcommittee, for your generous words. i'm not sure i'm dembinging but i am appreciative -- i'm deserving but i am appreciative. i appreciate the diligence with which the coast guard men and women display daily in the discharge of their duties. there's an old adage, mr. chairman, mr. speaker, that is as old as the coast guard. and that is, when distress calls are received, coast guard must go out. it says nothing about them having to by necessity come back. most of them do come back. but on occasion they don't. and we should always remember that very clearly. again, i thank you for the honor and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to the distinguished ranking member of
the subcommittee on coast guard and maritime transportation, mr. garamendi of california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. garamendi: mr. rahall, thank you for yielding time. i rise in strong support of h.r. 5769, the howard coble coast guard and maritime transportation act. as explained by previous speakers, this bill is bipartisan, bicameral and is noncontroversial. and it does re-authorize the united states coast guard and the coast guard reserve and the federal maritime commission. the legislation includes many important provisions that were contained in h.r. 4005, the coast guard authorization legislation that was passed and reported by voice vote from the committee, as well as overwhelming support here on the floor on april of 1 of this year. -- april 1 of this year. maintaining a safe maritime commerce that allows our foreign and domestic trade to fuel our economy remains as important today as it was in
1790 when former treasury secretary, alexander hamilton, established the u.s. revenue cutter service, the predecessor to the united states coast guard. this new legislation would provide the coast guard with the resources and policy tools they need to meet the challenges presented by an ever-evolving economy and security demands of our nation. first, let me explain. a sincere gralttude to my colleague -- gratitude to my colleague, duncan hunter, for the work that he and his extraordinary staff has done in putting together this bill and working together i think we've accomplished something useful. mr. rahall, your leadership on our side was exemplary. you gave us the resources, the time and the encouragement to get this job done and that was repeated by mr. shuster on the other side. we have a great team, i'm proud to be with that team and part of it. this is a compromise, to be sure, but it's a good one. first and foremost, the bill includes several
noncontroversial administrative and management directives to better alliant coast guard missions and needs with the lock term capital planning and -- long-term capital planning and annual requests it. would grant the coast guard with greater flexibility, to augment the active duty forces and provide explicit cooperative agreement authority to enhance the coast guard's ability to develop beneficial partnerships with other maritime stakeholders. the bill provides new guidance for the coast guard as it continues to rebuild its fleet of offshore cutters. i'm particularly pleased this legislation would advance several positive initiatives to reinvigorate the u.s. merchant marine and improve maritime transportation. most noteworthy, this legislation would advance several positive policy initiatives. among them, the enforcement of cargo preference laws and regulation, a move that is long, long overdue. additionally, legislation required the department of transportation to develop a new
maritime strategy and direct the government accountability office to conduct an assessment of how future export trade can be augmented. i welcome the opportunities to chart new courses forward to improve the competitiveness of the u.s. flag fleet on the high seas, to increase the opportunities for short sea shipping and to expand our commercial ship building base. i'm pleased that this legislation will advance the significant new policies already discussed by mr. hunter to finally force the federal government and the coast guard especially to take constructive actions to address the implications of the that youing of the arctic ocean of the thawing of the arctic ocean and the imminent demands for maritime transportation and resource development across that vast region. a particular shoutout to mr. hunter for leading the charge on this very, very important effort. in closing, mr. speaker, this bill is responsible legislation that would provide budget
stability for the coast guard, advance sensible policy reforms and promote our merchant marine. the bill deserves the support of members from both sides. i urge an aye vote. i yield back the balance of my ime to mr. rahall. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. hunter: thank you, mr. speaker. this bill would not have happened without the leadership of mr. rahall and the full committee chairman, bill shuster from pennsylvania. they did a lot of work on this and i'm honored to yield the full committee chairman as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: i thank the gentleman, thank the gentleman from california and for his great work and mr. garamendi's great work on this. there are a couple of rough patches but we were in the house able to figure it out. in the senate, i thank my colleagues in the senate, especially senator rockefeller, for working through this. i know senator rockefeller is retiring so it's fitting that
this bill leaves -- his work is complete. so we congratulate him, thank him for that work. this bill that mr. -- the chairman hunter and mr. garamendi put together truly is bipartisan, bicameral. there's a lot of great reforms in it. and the men and women of the coast guard that helped to keep this country safe, that enforce our laws, this is a tribute to them. for what they do. they risk their lives to save people, to save property, and so my hat goes off to them and to thank them again for the great work that they do. protecting our american people on the waterways, on the high seas, and the marine natural resources that they help to protect. they have a huge job. i'm very, very proud that the howard coble coast guard and maritime transportation act is going to pass today and as i said, a lot of bipartisan reforms in there that are going to help to streamline and make
sure that our coast guard can do their job more efficiently and with less red tape. giving them the resources that they need. again, special thanks to howard coble who the bill's named for. this is his final bill. we wish him well in his future journey. again, being the only member of congress that is a coasty, we thank him for all the years of service. back to 1985. i think i'm one of the few members that have known howard coble since 1985. not that i was a member then, but my father served with howard on the committee and i was with my father last night and told them we were doing the bill today and he sends his best to you, howard. and congratulates you on your retirement. but you've been a tireless working for the -- worker for the interests of the coast guard and the security of america and we can't thank you enough for that.
in addition, the ranking member, mr. rahall, this will be his -- i believe it will be the final bill that he moves through the committee. i want to thank him for his friendship and working with me the past two years. it's been a great partnership. i've got a lot of great stories as we went through the wrda bill, a lot of great successes, some of them i can't tell or can't tell them on the house floor. but they're all clean, they're all good, but we really worked well together on that and i wish you the best in your future endeavors. you'll be missed here in washington and again a family friend for almost 40 years, serving with my father and with me and again we can't thank you enough for the great work that you've done in your 38 years here. can i yield -- the speaker pro tempore: mr. hunter controls the time. mr. hunter: i yield the gentleman as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. coble: i'll be very brief. in thanking mr. rahall and mr. shuster, i failed to thank
chairman, that's a mistake you should never commit. so i thank you as well, mr. shuster. thanks to all of you. yield back. mr. hunter: i continue to yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. shuster: mr. shuster: i'm more than happy to let mr. coble come. he didn't have to thank me. his hard work is thanks enough. a fine member of the committee and member of congress. we'll miss him greatly. again as i want to sum up chairman hunter, ranking member garamendi, great work on this bill. i encourage all my colleagues to vote for this and hopefully we'll get a vote in the senate next week. we can get this to the president's desk so he can sign it for christmas. thanks to all. the staffs, too. i want to thank the staff for their great work not only on the subcommittee but the full committee as we worked through the past two years staffs have a lot of good action together. i want to thank the staff and wish them a merry christmas, happy holiday, and a happy new
year. we don't see you then, we'll see you around the first of the year. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield at this time to the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. cummings: thank you very much. first of all i want to thank you, ranking member rahall, for this time. i also thank you for your work on this legislation and for your decades of service to our great nation. you will be sorely missed in the transportation committee and indeed in the congress. i also want to thank chairman shuster, chairman hunter, and ranking member garamendi for all of your hard work on this legislation. i rise today in support of this measure, h.r. 5769, the howard coble coast guard and maritime transportation act of 2014.
it's interesting that mr. coble just got up to make sure that he thanked everybody, but i want to thank him when i served at the -- as the chairman of the subcommittee, he was one of the -- one of my staunchest supporters. he was the epitome of bipartisanship. and he always made it clear that the coast guard was sometimes not put on the front burner but the back burner. he wanted to make sure they were on the front burner. i want to thank him for this. this is so very, very significant. i want to thank him for his friendship over the many years. this measure includes critical provisions with the department of transportation's d.o.t. authority to ensure that government cargos are carried on u.s. flag vessels. section 321 of this legislation clarifies that the d.o.t. has
exclusive authority to determine whether a government impelled cargo is subject to these requirements. it also requires the d.o.t. to conduct an annual review to determine whether government programs are in compliance with cargo preference requirements. according to the maritime administration, the number of u.s. flag vessels operating in international trade has declined nearly 25% in just the last three years. falling from 106 in january -- may i have another minute. mr. rahall: yield the gentleman another minute. mr. cummings: falling from 106 in january, 2012, to just 818 as of this month. it is not an exaggeration to say that -- 81 as of this month. it is not an exaggeration if we don't take swift steps to preserve the u.s. merchant marine, we'll lose it. leafing our nation dependent on merchant sealess capacity on
foreign flag vessels and mariners. despite what some may claim, reserving the carriage of the u.s. government is not unlike any other government program designed to ensure the expenditure of u.s. taxpayer funds benefits americans. again, this is a very important piece of legislation. i urge all the members to vote for it and to all of those who have been a part of this and making it happen, i stress my appreciation. on behalf of the coast guard, i express my appreciation. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. hunter: i'd like to yield one minute to my good friend and colleague and the full committee chairman of the foreign affairs committee, mr. royce. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to recognize the efforts. transportation and infrastructure committee, its leadership should be commended for this bipartisan effort to strengthen the coast guard in a time of heightened security threats to the united states. the foreign affairs committee has been working in a bipartisan
way to reform international food assistance. so i particularly appreciate the fact that this legislation does not include a provision that would have raised the cargo freffrens requirements to these programs -- preference requirements to these programs from 50% to 7 a 5% -- 75%. it would slow lifesaving assistance by months. lives are at stake. i appreciate the committee heard our view. i also appreciate the assurances provided by the transportation committee that nothing in section 321 will drastically alter the existing consultation requirements for enforcement of cargo preference. i also understand nothing in the bill will have the effect of raising cargo preference above an annual global threshold of 50%, particularly for the food for peace program. again, congratulations to chairman hunter and his colleagues for crafting this important legislation. and also mr. coble and mr. rahall for their work.
mr. hunter: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: time check please, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia has 10 minutes. the gentleman from california 11 -- 9 1/2. mr. rahall: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield at this time two minutes to the distinguished ranking member on our subcommittee on aviation, mr. larsen of the state of washington. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. larsen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 5769, the howard coble coast guard and maritime transportation act of 2014. as a former ranking member of the coast guard subcommittee, i'm very pleased this bill provides the necessary resources to keep the men and women of the coast guard on the job. i'm also pleased this bill makes needed advancements in our nation's engagement in the arctic. our country face as steep opportunity curve when it comes to the arctic.
we haven't made the needed investments in that region to protect our environment, our economic interests, or our national security. but our country gets ready to take over the chairmanship of the arctic council in 2015, and this bill now signals that our country is ready to engage further in our issues. it requires the coast guard to come up with a plan for moving our ice breaker fleet forward. it encourages the development of forward operating bases for the coast guard in the region and improves the ability of the coast guard to monitor, patrol, and protect our nation's arctic waters. i'm hopeful that this bill will finally push the coast guard to reactivate the mothball polar sea ice cracker so it can act as a bridge towards a new ice breaker fleet. in the longer term fund agnew ice breaker fleet will require a whole government approach. the coast guard simply does not have the acquisition budget to build a new ice breaker fleet on its own. the department of defense, coast guard, and national science foundation need to work together to develop a funding strategy
for assets they will all use. this bill endorses such a strategy. finally, i'm very pleased this bill includes $10 million for the small shipyard grant program, a successful effort that provides infrastructure spending to shipyards in the pacific northwest and around the country that creates jobs and supports local economies. so with that i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. hunter: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves his time. who seeks recognition? mr. rahall: i'll use the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: thank you, mr. speaker. again i want to commend our full committee chairman, mr. shuster, the subcommittee chair, mr. hunter, our ranking member, mr. garamendi, and our staffs as well for the tremendous work that has gone in to producing this legislation.
under chairman shuster's leadership, our transportation and infrastructure committee is indeed going to-- is demonstrating once again today what bipartisanship can do and the productive manner in which we can work for the american people. and what is often described as a dysfunctional city. i know that in the years ahead the transportation and infrastructure committee will step up to the plate and do its work again, especially in addressing a major transportation bill next year and a major aviation bill that is on its agenda. i guess it's fitting, mr. speaker, that the last bill that senator rockefeller and myself are in part being managed by west virginians, both of us will be leaving this congress. west virginia is the great seafaring state that it is. but i do salute senator rockefeller as well for his tremendous leadership as firm of the senate commerce committee,
for his leadership on this legislation, and so many other pieces of legislation that have been -- benefited our state of west virginia. more direct way, perhaps, but also benefit to this great country. he is one that has been concerned for all of us as we all are about producing jobs for america. and that's what our transportation and infrastructure committee is about. i commend the staffs. i commend my dear friend, mr. coble, so much has been said about and for whom this legislation is named. we have traveled together on a few occasions and during my entire time here i have not seen any member of this body conduct himself in such a true gentleman fashion as howard coble does. we all call him our dear frerned. with that, mr. speaker, i will yield back and urge my colleagues to support this legislation and again commend chairman hunter and chairman shuster for their bipartisan and
cooperative manner in which they worked on this and so many pieces of legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. hunter: mr. speaker, again, i want to thank the gentleman from west virginia and my colleague from california, mr. garamendi, and the great staffs that spent time on this. of course, the great howard coble who said in one of his elections, probably about 10 years ago when he was down by a few hundred votes, on election night, his answer was look good, feel good. that's the great howard coble. with that, mr. speaker, i would urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields ack the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 5769. so many as are in favor say aye.
the gentleman from california. mr. hunter: mr. speaker, on that demand the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will hold. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and the bill is passed, without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the gentleman from california. mr. hunter: i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
resolution 766 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 147, house resolution 766. resolved that upon adoption of this resolution, it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h.r. 5771, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, to extends certain expiring provisions and make technical corrections and for other purposes. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the amendment printed in part a of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution shall be considered as adopted. the bill as amended shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill as amended are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill as amended and on any further amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the
chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means and, two, one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 2, upon adoption of this resolution, it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h.r. 647, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, to provide for the tax treatment of able accounts, established under state programs for the care of family members with disabilities and for other purposes. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means, now printed in the bill, the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution shall be considered as adopted. the bill as amended shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill as amended are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill as amended and on any
further amendment thereto to final pass and without intervening motion except, one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means and, two, one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 3, in the engrossment of h.r. 5771, the clerk shall, a, add the text of h.r. 647 as passed by the house, as new matter at the end of h.r. 5771. b, conform the title of h.r. 5771 to reflect the addition of h.r. 647 as passed by the house to the engrossment. c, assign appropriate designations to provisions within the engrossment. and d, conform cross references and provisions for short titles within the engrossment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one hour. mr. sessions: mr. speaker,
thank you very much for the -- thank you very much. for the purpose of debate only i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentlewoman from new york, my friend, ms. slaughter, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: consideration of this resolution, all time yielded shall be for the purpose of debate only. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, as the calendar year comes to an end, america's small businesses and taxpayers are looking for congress for certainty before they file their taxes in april of 2015. while far from perfect, the tax increase prevention act will provide certainty by extending for one more year a number of tax relief provisions that simply would have expired at the end of this year. put simply, this bill will prevent tax increases on millions and millions of families that would happen if
we were not on the floor today. mr. speaker, i appreciate you taking time not only to schedule this vote but for your hard work. and to mr. kingston for your years of service to thised abouty on behalf of the american people -- this body on behalf of the american people and the people from georgia. in an ideal world, mr. speaker, the house would be debating more comprehensive approach to tax reform. we would be worried and focusing our activities on growing jobs in america and giving the american people more of their hard-earned money back to where they could invest either in their family or in their business, an opportunity to grow our economy, to keep america strong. but our tax code is holding back america from being competitive and from providing america with more jobs. so, american taxpayers deserve
what we're doing today. an opportunity to work even incrementally on a better, simpler, easy to navigate tax code with certain ity, but only for one more year -- with certainty, but only for one more year. we should be making long range plans of working with the united states senate and the president to make sure the american people come up winners. the united states tax rate is currently the highest in the world and i would prefer to be debating reform, but we're here today for one more year's worth of opportunity, to keep america where she and her citizens are prepared for the future. but thanks to the leadership of the chairman of the ways and means committee, the gentleman, dave camp from michigan, we almost had a chance to fix these issues today, but he came to the rescue and said, i am going to work with republicans
and democrats and anybody who will work with me, meaning the chairman of the ways and means committee, on helping america's usinesses be stronger, and the bottom line is i believe we're going to work together and it starts in the house of representatives, to get that work done. so just as the deal that dave camp started, we're here for that process today, to jump-start american business for yet another year. sadly reports tell us that the president's veto threat undermines these bipartisan negotiations. the things which chairman dave camp is working for, to make american jobs stronger and a reality and working on a bipartisan effort, the president of the united states is threatening to veto that very legislation. so today we are here to do our
work, despite this see are tote -- despite this veto threat. today you will see, mr. speaker, republicans and democrats certainly have things in the bill which are special and important to them, but that more importantly are about the american people and opportunities to save and grow jobs. the house earlier this year and certainly last year passed a number of permanent extensions of these policies on a bipartisan basis. that means, mr. speaker, republicans and democrats tried to work together. but the failure of leadership on the senate side meant those bills were not ever even brought before the senate to debate them. worse yet, the president of the united states opposes those efforts. so we're here for one simple reason today. that we think we can gain by taking the leadership opportunity, we think we can gain the ability on a
bipartisan basis in the house of representatives to give the senate and the president one more whack at it. look, let me be clear. even if this legislation is not as ambitious as it would have been, it's still vitally important. i think what we're doing here under the leadership of john boehner is to say to the american people, we know what our job is, even if it's not as wildly successful as we want it to be. america's small businesses and families actually need and rely upon congress to do its job. mr. speaker, as representative of the 32nd congressional district of texas, that's essentially dallas, texas, and some suburbs, i regularly meet with businesses, small businesses, important businesses that employee people and -- employ people and earlier this year i met with jamie renfro in wylie, texas,
and jamie's company manufactures and designs custom aluminum things for industry. it was a most interesting visit. they call this manufacturing in america. on the same day i also met with jo ann gardner, a young woman who owns savage precisions fabcation. they make parts for military aircraft. they count on us to be able to get our job done, to buy the newest and best equipment so that it goes to help not only our aerospace and military but other civilian needs also. they know that if we do this, the option for them to expense 50% of the purchase price of their assets can be taken care of. they can write it off when they want to, rather than when the tax code wants. in march i met with frank millsap, a most interesting visit. he runs a road -- a rod car
store. it's called saxy rod shop. and he explained to me how an onerous tax code kept him from employing more people. mr. speaker, that's why we're here today. to make sure people in our home districts, many of them companies that are small mom and pop shops, but others that employ hundreds of people, that we take care of them. the bill would also affect minority-owned business called aluminum graphics which is located in wylie, texas. owned by randall williams, a young man who played professional football and when he got out he decided he was going to go into business. he's realizing how tough it is just to manufacture labels and decals for industrial products. this bill would help him. and his employees. these businesses in not just the 32nd district but all over our country are important, as
they provide people the honesty of hard work and the return of continue ing to come to work the -- of continuing to come to work the next day because their company can make the money to get it done. what we're doing today will extend only for one more year the tax provision, but it will help millions and millions of people. additionally, mr. speaker, this rule contains great -- a great bill that's called the able act. the able act, which represents i believe what our country can do best when republicans and democrats and people who care in the united states congress, they work together. almost every single person in america, i believe, knows someone with a disability. family member, a best friend, perhaps a brother or sister. maybe even their aunt or uncle. but we all know that it is only fair for the people who we dearly love to also pay attention to them. so today is a game changer. today we are removing what i think is a glass ceiling for
disabled people. who are held at a disadvantage in our tax code. 529 ble act would make tax-free saving accounts available so families can cover important expenses such as postsecondary education, housing, career development, medical expenses not covered by a private insurance, medicaid or other benefits that might be available to them. these -- offered by government. these tax-free saving accounts will empower families so their loved ones can have opportunities as they've not had in the past. it's personal to me, it's personal because my father, as he looks at all of his grandchildren, can offer them opportunities of helping out eir education but not alex sessions, his down syndrome grandson. he can help all the grandkids but not alex. and this happens millions of times in our country, where
there are millions of people who do count on some little bit because of their disability of going to a program or being enrolled in something that the federal government pays for, but we discriminate against them. when this gets signed into law, my father, judge sessions, will be able to treat alex as he does his other grandchildren. because alex, what's amazing, needs it more than all of them combined. but he's the one that we wanted to keep in his place because he has a disability called down syndrome. mr. speaker this bill is important -- mr. speaker, this bill is important. it's important to the people who it impacts, it's important to our families, but more importantly it's important to our country. and mr. crenshaw from jacksonville, texas, has worked on this bill for eight years. we're finding a way to put it into legislation, it also needs to pass, to help millions of people with their jobs. mr. speaker, that's why we are
here today. we are here doing important work for millions of people it. does matter. and i think we make a huge difference. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york. ms. slaughter: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i appreciate that. and thank the gentleman for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. slaughter: thank you, sir. today we have two bills before us. one extending tax relief measures and the other for helping our brothers and sisters and family members with disabilities. these bills are considered under two more closed rules which i must point out adds to the tally of the most closed congress in the american history. first h.r. 5771, the tax increase prevention act of 2014 . this one-year extension will cover approximately 60 temporary tax code provisions that expired at the end of 2013
or during 2014. many of the provisions have been previously extended with broad bipartisan support. the bill's far from perfect but it provides us a sorely needed stop gap measure. our economy has finally emerged from the shadow of the great resgs, but playing games like this, lurching from one short-term measure to another, will certainly harm that recovery. this bill will ensure some consistency in the tax code that will help the american people avail themselves of the tax credits that they depend on just in time for the tax filing season. . however of particular note left out of the package is a credit made aveable to workers who have lost their jobs as a result of unfair trade deals and retirees who are at risk of losing their pensions. in my district in rochester, the retirees of delfi and other
local companies depend on the tax credit to cover their bills and they have been fighting mightily for some relief in the fact they have lost their pensions and health care. this is all they have from the government program. denying a critical tax credit to families who have been hit hardest by unfair foreign competition and a tough economy here at home is a mistake and one i will fight hard to correct. second bill we have before us today is h.r. 647, the able act. this bill will right an injustice that has been impacting millions of americans with disabilities, their families, and their caregivers. under current law the individuals with disabilities can qualify to receive social security disability insurance, but there is an asset limit of $2,000. meaning you have to have more cash on hand or you're s. ssdi benefits will be reduced.
this disincentivizes work in saving andcracy an unnecessary economic uncertainty and it cost nothing to better the circumstances of our nation's most vulnerable. the able act will change that by creating a tax free savings account with an annual cap on contributions of $14,000. ensuring that people with disabilities have a better sense of security and a way that friends and family can contribute to their education, transportation, medical expenses, employment support, housing, and more. without risking their eligibility for the badly needed disability insurance. i'm pleased to see this come to the floor with such strong support. my district in rochester has a vibrant and involved community of people with disabilities. i commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. my friend, the chairman of the rules committee in particular for their diligent, fashion gnat, and careful work on --
passionate and careful work on this issue. you have some reservations about these bills, the first bill, but stabilizing the tax code, insuring financial independence for our brothers and sisters does provide much needed support. i urge my colleagues to to the best they can on the rule and the bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york reserves the time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker. thank you very much, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from yackson county, north carolina, the gentleman, congressman meadows. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. meadows: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairman of the rules committee for his leadership and his vision and his passion and his great words. i also want to thank the gentleman from florida, mr. crenshaw, from jacksonville, florida. he is a true leader and i'm
proud to be a co-sponsor of the able act. today we can talk about taxes. we can talk about legislation. but really what we are talking about is people, mr. speaker. i want to share two personal stories because for me i don't have to deal with children with disabilities on a daily basis. i was blessed with two kids that didn't have some of those same challenges. what i have had is i have experienced the love and the compassion that two children with special needs have given to me over and over. the first one of those is a young lady, 21 years of age, with down syndrome, named chloe. chloe is not only a dear friend, but also is someone who has been able to share with me the struggles in her life, the passion in her life, the vision she has a part-time job.
but the other part of that story is the difficulties that sometimes families with special needs have. what i have seen over and over again is that even though i was able to experience love first hand, that there is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job the parents have to deal with. some of those challenges are monumental. and we need to address that as a body. we need to partner with those moms and dads across america to make sure that indeed what they ve to face is not really handicapped because of a tax code that penalizes them. so the able act, after eight long years of work by the gentleman from florida, mr. crenshaw, hopefully will be voted on and passed in this very house to provide the needs and the help that those parents so desperately need.
but i also want to share another story about a young lady who was just tsh-just turned one named holland from my home district. because indeed down syndrome whether it's with chloe or this young lady has a profound effect . same love, same compassion that i got to experience. but yet what happened is is that those parents went out, funded a 5-k run to bring the awareness of a community up in the mountains of western north carolina, and overwhelmingly that community came together, raising funds, making sure that not just for the benefit of the burlson family but the benefit of all those families. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. meadows: i thank the gentleman. what happened is lives were
transformed. that small little town. i'm here today to speak on behalf of not only great work but great vision and a partnership that we can partner with families, moms and dads across this country. to do a job that should have been done long ago. to allow the special needs of those special families to be addressed. i thank the speaker. i thank the gentleman. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i have one request for time. so i will yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from vermont, mr. welsh, within the parameters of the debate time and provided no one else shows up who requests time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. welch: i thank the gentlelady. mr. speaker, i just want to reiterate what mr. sessions said and thank you for your
tremendous service here in this body. thank you for acknowledging that, too. mr. speaker, congress is broken. we know it. and the american people know it. the difference between us and them is that we can actually do something about it. in fact, that's our job. but here we go again. ducking our responsibility and not doing our job. we duck when we fail to pass the long-term transportation bill. we ducked when we failed to meet our constitutional responsibility to debate a new long-term military commitment in the middle east. and now here we go again with this tax extender bill. e need tax reform, 435 members of congress agree, both parties agree. this year we had an opportunity, the ways and means committee under chairman dave camp presented a real plan. real simplification and lower rates. and all of it was paid for.
and there were many points of disagreement as well as agreement in that bill. in a functioning legislature, we would have debated the camp bill, modified it, and passed some version of it to move america forward. instead, speaker boehner said the camp bill was dead on arrival. no discussion. no debate. no progress. more ducking and dodging instead of congress doing its job. this tax extender package adds insult to the american people who want tax reform to the injury congress inflicts by failing to do its job. when we pass tax extenders instead of tax reform, congress once again is back to doing business as usual. this bill considered on december 3 is retroactive to january. how can we expect businesses and
families to plan when we don't let them know what the rules for the tax year are until the year is nearly over? it's business as usual when we preach fiscal responsibility, pledging allegiance to a balanced budget, and then pass a bill which adds $44.7 million to the taxpayers' credit card. mr. speaker, how can congress assert today that we will do tax reform next year, tax reform that the american people are demanding when we are about to repeat the irresponsible practice of passing short-term retroactive bills, something congress has been doing year in and year out? this bill says to the american people that congress is up to its old tricks. meet the new congress, same as the old congress. congress says one thing, we need tax reform, but congress does another, kicks the can down the
road. mr. speaker, i do support some of the provisions in this bill, and i'd like to vote for them. but congress must do its job not dodge its responsibilities. mr. speaker, i urge a no vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from new york reserves time. the chair seeks -- the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, we'll take the gentleman from vermont up on really his issues. we are going to have a republican house, a republican senate, who is able to effectively work with each other, look each other in the eye, and find progress for the american people. i promise the gentleman he's going to get what he wants and more so that we can grow our economy. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to have as our next speaker, a gentleman who for eight years has toiled on the able act. he's the chief sponsor, he's the young man who has made so many
conferences and discussions not just among our members here but also among people all around this country, disability groups. i earlier accused him of being from texas, he's actually from jacksonville, florida. and so i'm sure i'll get lots of cards and letters about that. we wish he were a texan. he's from florida. i would like to extend the gentleman four minutes, the gentleman, mr. crenshaw. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. crenshaw: i thank the gentleman for yielding the time. i thank chairman sessions for the work that he's done all along the way. i want to urge the adoption of this rule and the underlying legislation, particularly able act, which the chairman just talked about. eight years ago i first filed this legislation. an awful lot of people spent a lot of time and a lot of energy bringing us to where we are today. and i think the gentleman before me spoke about how congress is
often dysfunctional. i think as we look at the able act today, i think we'll have a chance to see what can happen when people work together. when democrats and republicans come together, when the house and senate work together. to do what's best for the people of our country. and i think it's a great illustration of what we can do d the fact that we have over 380 co-sponsors in the house, over 70 sponsors in the united states senate is a demonstration of that. what can be accomplished when we put our minds to it and work together. it's been pointed out that most of us know someone with severe disability. might be down syndrome, might be autism. but sometimes it's hard for us to understand the difficulties that they have to go through along with their families.
they face challenges that we can hardly even imagine sometimes. to the able act seems to try remedy that situation to bring justice, to bring peace of mind to millions of american families who have to live with disabilities every day. it does that by creating these tax-free savings account, allows the money they setaside grow tax free as long as they use those proceeds for qualified expenses. what that does is simply give those individuals with disabilities a chance for the american dream. they have hopes and dreams just like we all do. and this will give them the tools to open the door to a brighter future. in a way to realize their full potential. we help other people save for
college by creating 529 tax advantage accounts. we allow people to save for their health care by creating health savings accounts. we allow people to save for their retirement through individual retirement accounts and 401-k's. seems only fair that we offer individuals with disabilities the same tax advantage tools so they can realize their dreams. maybe get a job. maybe save for the future. maybe go to college. i just hope that as i hope as we adopt this rule and go into the able act, we'll all continue to work together. because i can't think of anything more special as a privilege for us, as a congress, to speak up for those that so often can't speak for themselves. so i urge adoption of the rule and the underlying bill as well. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york. ms. slaughter: i will continue
to reserve, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman continues to reserve. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, a number of people who asked to speak today are on their way here and will do that. ut i really want to stand up pending those members coming here to say to you and to the american people, mr. speaker, that this country, america, is a great, great, great country. but it's great because of its people. and there's a lot that's been said today and other days about some of our frailtyies, some of our warts, some of the problems that we have. but i think what mr. crenshaw said in his remarks is not only most appropriate, because you have a man that has a number of very important issues that he carries on behalf of his congressional district in jacksonville, florida, but he
spoke about also taking time to be as a voice for millions of people across this country, not just those that he saw specifically in jacksonville. you heard the gentleman, mr. meadows, speak very plainly about two down syndrome young women of our country who are keen assets to our country. and we weren't asking for anything other today through this able act that mr. crenshaw it's ably moved forward, taken eight years, but really what he's doing is doing it so that people can have equity or fairness. but in the larger scheme of things, as a parent of a down syndrome young man, i looked at where we stood and said, why wouldn't we allow the fairness? but really let's look at it another way, why would we want
to keep these disabled individuals from having fairness? why do we want to keep them poor and in the same circumstance they're in? why would we want everyone else to be treated under one set of rules and because they're disabled another way? these are questions that have been discussions in my family now for 20 years. i don't know why alex is my special gift. made every god child perfect in his image. we're the ones that struggle. but today we are working together as a house of representatives for a bill that mr. crenshaw saw a need for and had the fortitude and the
opportunity today, because of john boehner, yes, chris van hollen, a democrat member of this body, yes, some united states senators, including senator harkin of iowa, yes, senator kasey from pennsylvania, yes, cathy mcmorris rogers, a senior member of our republican leadership team, oh, by the way who has a down syndrome son, cole. we all worked together. and this is a special thing. and so i think today it ought to be a pat on the back for us. an opportunity for us to say, this is important and this is good. and that is what we should remember from today, that we may not go to sleep knowing our job is done, but that we did something right by coming together as a body.
my dear colleague, louise slaughter, who is from new york , very clearly understood a long time ago, as she put her name on the bill, this is a good bill. members of the rules committee who typically don't put their name on bills put their names on this bill. 380 members of this body. see, there are good things that happen. and i do want to thank my colleague, ms. slaughter. i do want to thank people. because this is a bipartisan effort. this is a chance for us to work together. i think we did a good job today. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. ms. slaughter: i have no further requests for time. mr. sessions: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i want to reply to the gentlelady, i'll let her close. make her closing arguments and i'll do the same. ms. slaughter: all right. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the
gentlewoman from new york for the balance of her time. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. the democrats have reservations on the bill. but extending tax credits to ensure couldn't nuent in the tax code -- continuity in the tax code is very important to us, even though we know that large pieces of america have been left out of this bill. and it causes us great sadness. but nonetheless we recognize the need to get this done and all of us appreciate the opportunity for the brothers and sisters with disabilities to have the stability that they need. we are certainfully concert with that. i -- certainly in concert with that. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it's been mentioned a couple of times today, but i also want to thank you, mr. speaker, the gentleman from georgia, for your distinguished service not only to the people of georgia in your district but also your friends who are in this body, who have benefited from your
service on the appropriations committee, who knew that you took time, just as we're doing here today, to deal with intricacies of n.i.h., to deal with the intricacies of cancer, to deal with the intricacies of disabilities, to deal with the intricacies of us working together as a country and as a body and as americans to make life better for people. mr. speaker, your years of service here, some 20 years of service that you have given, have been of distinguished service. have known you for a long time and have -- i have known you for a long time and have admired you and i want to thank mr. kingston for your service to america and exactly in line with what we are doing today. thank you, sir, i appreciate your hard work. you being in the chair as we do this is not by accident. it is on purpose. from the distinguished opportunity you have to serve
today, i appreciate your great service. mr. speaker, we've made the case today, what we're trying to do, we're on the floor to bring certainty of tax code for one more year. it's not perfect. the gentleman from vermont noted that. but it is an opportunity as best as we can do in the environment that we're in. and that is what this is about. it's the knowledge that we're going to wake up and do the best that we can for the american people. today is about the american people and their tax code. today is about the able act and about millions of people with disabilities who are attempting as best as they can to make do with what they have. but tomorrow can get fairness and equity in that process. it is about an opportunity for families not to question why but to dig in and help. and today's yet another opportunity where not only the gentlewoman, ms. slaughter, and i may work together as chairman
and ranking member of the rules committee, but to where we can have a common sense of purpose. this is not perfect, but the world can be better today and tomorrow and, mr. speaker, i would ask for my fellow members to understand we're here, we're going to ask for everybody to vote yes on the rule. they can do what they want to do on the underlying legislation. but today's an opportunity to give thanks for the opportunities that lie ahead of s that are about other instead of ourselves. mr. speaker, i want you to know that at this time i now move -- i move the previous question on the resolution and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays
will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question is postponed. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1rk the chair declares the house -- 1, the chair declares the house in recess subject to the call of the chair. you, mr.
speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to say thank you to the many persons who serve in law enforcement. they have difficult jobs, and they do their jobs well. i salute them. i also salute the many persons who have been engaged in peaceful protests. what they've been attempting to do, i support. peaceful protests is the best protest. peaceful protest can make a difference in the lives of people i know because i stand here today because of peaceful protest. i would like to continue what i started on yesterday when i indicated that i would give a
response today to a query that was made on "morning joe," and i want you to know, dear friends, that i don't believe the query was made with malice aforethought. i think it was a genuine expression of concern. while expressions may think to some, i think this question needs to be asked and needs to be answered. the question was -- what is wrong with these people -- meaning three members of congress, what is wrong with these people that they'll come to the well of the house of representatives and they would hold their hands up? what is wrong with them? here is the answer, my dear brother. the same thing that was wrong with the pilgrims and caused them to come to plymouth rock. the same thing that caused persons to throw tea over into the boston harbor.
the same thing that caused farmers to traverse the country on tractors and come to the united states capital to protest. the same thing that caused rosa parks to take a seat on the bus against the law. the same thing that caused dr. king to march from selma to montgomery. the same thing that caused him to cross the edmond pettis bridge on what is referred to as bloody sunday. what is wrong with these people? they refuse to accept injustice. i refuse to accept injustice. what happened in ferguson was an injustice. i refuse to accept injustice. is still a anywhere -- injustice anywhere is still a threat to justice. a threat to justice in houston, a threat to justice in boston. nd justice anywhere is still a
threat to justice everywhere. and i will continue to hold my hands up. i still will support those engaged in peaceful protest hands up ding one's is an indication that you don't have anything harmful, an indication that you will move freely and give an opinion about something you believe to be important. i think that this will mbolize a movement that will metamorpis for it being developed. i am absolutely convinced this will not eviscerate, this will not evaporate, that is not going to go away. it is going to be part of the protest movement. i also want to note that what happened with the rams players was a seminole moment and i want to legitimize what they did. i have already said that i will have flags flown over the capitol of the united states of
america in each person's name. somebody is going to say, well, what about people who may have committed a crime? washington wasn't perfect but we honored him. jefferson wasn't perfect. we honor him. i am going to honor them for what they did at that seminole moment just as i believe john carlos and tommy smith should be honored for what they did when they held their hands up indicating that they were protesting at the olympics in 1968. so i, mr. speaker, am honored to have this opportunity today to indicate to the world finally that dr. king was right when he said the truest measure of the person is not where the person stands in times of comfort and convenience, whenever everybody is patting you on the back, when bills are
being paid, when things can't be measure. the truest measure of the person is where do you stand in times of challenge and controversy, when people are throwing the slings and arrows of life at you because you took a simple stand against injustice. and it was injustice. i can explain it. i regret i wasn't invited on the program to give my point of view so i had to take to the floor of the house of representatives to give what i congressman green. you can see the congressional black caucus speeches on ferguson. just search ferguson. the house is out subject to the call of the chair. we expect them at about 2:45. when they come back votes on a number of measures, including re-authorizing the coast guard and the rule vote for a measure
that would provide for consideration of a tax-free savings account for the disabled and those tax extenders, the four dozen or so tax breaks for individuals and businesses. again, votes coming up this afternoon about 2:45 eastern. for more details on the tax extenders package and an economic outlook we spoke this morning to the chairman of the joint economic committee on capitol hill. joint comic commi republican of texas. let's again with what they told reporters that this is the plan: they want a symbolic vote on the president's executive action come deming that as unconstitutional followed up by a short-term funding of this skufbl action. are you a yes, vote on this if it comes to the floor guest: you like the idea of it. the house passed many of these bills already. the senate has not. we think we have shaped really what direction the government
ought to go for the next 10 months on so. secondly, the president has acted in our belief outside the constitution, we are just taking our constitutional responsibilities seriously. we will do a short term extension of homeland security where much of this discussion will center where we think is the right thing to do. the law that we are voting on, i with wouldn't necessarily call it symbolic. it is our effort to actually stop what we believe is an unconstitutional action by the president. we know the senate will block this, but they have been blocking a lot of bills out of the house. we are hopeful because of the results of the election, that might have a different outcome coming next year. host: why folks are calling it symbolic because the house is still controlled by democrats. they are not going to bring it up. guest: our job is not to just recognize the senate as a do-nothing senate and has been. it's to do our job. we are going to advance what
what we think stops this action and call on the president to actually sit down to vote with them on this issue. host: if you believe the president's action is unconstitutional on immigration, why would you agree to fund it for even one day? guest: well, we would not under this scenario. host: law we advance would stop his actions we know it will likely stall in the senate. host: that's how we think is best to move forward. plus we would have the senate right now, a bill that was passed earlier this summer that declares daka and any extension of that illegal. the senate has a bill sitting in front of them today that they could take up, unfortunately, again, that will be blocked. host: why do you say you are not funding it when you are funding the department of home land security and -- host: for the short period but that is, frankly, they are not going to accomplish much in the
next or two. i think with the new senate that the government just voted in, ig it puts us in a much stronger ha hand. host: what do you do you when you come back to this in march guest: we will have the real checks and balances of the constitution with the senate and the house both advancing their ideas on here. and on this issue, there is a number of approaches. obviously, limiting funding on this, a straight just prohibition on the president's, exit i'ding legal review which i think is very import with our checks and influences includes the judicial system. we think that's important as well. there are two or three averages we can and will take. host: there are risks to not funding this for an entire year, the agency for the entire year. take a look at what he had to say yesterday on capital hill. host: nas judgment a bad idea for homeland security because during that period of a cr, we cannot engage in new starts.
we've got some home land security priorities that need to be funded now. for example, we are back in a presidential electionciling. i cannot higher new secret service agents until i get an appropriations bill passed by this congress, not another cr for a couple of months. i cannot continue to fund our enhanced detention capabilities in texas with another cr that gets me to march. i need the help of congress to support and build upon border security, which i believe all of you support. so, i am urging that we act on our current appropriations request now for the purpose and for the sake of border security and homeland skooufrment. host: congressman, you are from texas. guest: yeah. he should be having that discussion with the white house who acted on their own in a very reckless and provocative matter
knowing that congress would react to that and so the president precipitated this whole issue and, yeah, there will be impacts but they have been driven by the president's actions, not by ours. host: some of your conservative colleagues say that republicans are not going far enough. would you agrto censuring the president? guest: i don't think that accomplishes anything. i think sending a piece of paper and a slap on the wrist does nothing to change the constitutional -- in my belief, misbehavior of the president. i think our tools are the power of the purse. it is statutes and laws that we will fight to get to the president's desk. it is the court system as well. so, i believe the president acted outside the checks and balances? host: i think he is inciting new illegal immigration, shoving aside those who are waiting to come to america legally. i want to use every constitutional power we have vale to us, you know, in a
responsible way to stop that action. host: there are some other actions. some are floated not inviting him to give the state of the union address. what do you think about that? guest: who has done that host: paul broun, republican of georgia and there have been others who have called for the speaker not to invite the president to deliver the state of the union address. guest: look, i think we ought to stay focused on how our constitution works, which is he is the chief executive. we are the legislative branch. host: type of response, i think, is a bit silly. so let's do our jobs and do it in a responsible way. host: on this topic, i want to put on the table negotiations that have been happening over tax extensions. guest: yeah. host: explain for our viewers what this package is and where you come down on it guest: this is disappointing. we are one of the few countries
in the world that have tee parts of the tax code that are extended for one or two years at a time including the research and development tax credit, so important to keeping r and d jobs and new ones here in the united states. unfortunately, house republicans with senate democrats had negotiated a package to start making some of those prove visions permanent. the ways and means committee laid the argument out. unfortunately, the president vetoed that without seeing the full package, and now what we are left with is a one-year extension, in effect, saying for the current year we are in, those temporary tax revisions will stay as they are. it is very unsatisfactory and disappointing. this tax extender tail has been wagging the dog for far too many years. we are anxious to get to full tax reform where we really fix the broken code. so, i think this will be done. well, in effect, kiss our sister yet again another holiday season
and start at the same place in january. i am hopeful this is the last time we do this. host: of this 50 or so specific tax extenders for individuals and businesses, are you on board with permanent -- making them all permanent? guest: no. in the hearings we held in the ways and means committee, there were a number of key divisions, research and development tax credit which is modernized, made easier to use, happens to be my legislation. it's key to economic growth. host: clearly should be made permanent. the ability of local businesses, small business, to buy more buildings, equipment and software and write that off, very key to long-term job creation. so there are key areas that should be made permanent. the others should be part of our overall tax reform discussion. host: u.s.a. today editorial board ways in: rather than simplify the code, congress
extends these tax breaks. this is what they write. temporary tax cuts don't have many virtues but one, they give congress repeated opportunities to reconsider whether individual tax breaks work or should be discarded. the 7.6 billion research and experimentation tax credit has been criticized for being poorly designed and less effective than it could be as fostering invasion. alas congress tends to renew the extenders ex instead of subjecting them to scrutiny. guest: the house ways and means committee did that, laid out bills for that scrutiny, invited people to tell us what are the comic impacts and in big bi-partisan votes in the house did that, picked out several of them, modernized it, made it more available, bodily available in the economy and passed with, i think, 60-something democratic votes. we agree: some of these, we
should take the asterisk off of them, make them permanent. the others, again, those are the tail of the tax code. host: washington times says if the extenders fall, taxpayers will face something like $4150 billion and industries that compete for the government's corporate welfare rather than compete in open markets will have to learn how the rest of united states live. guest: you know, tell that to a company trying to make a decision on where to put their good-paying research and development jobs when they know globally, they are being courted with much lower tax rates and better insentiz to move those jobs outside the united states. we think having a permanent, modern, up-to-date research and development incentives for jobs here in the united states grows our economy and so again, why the ways and means committee and house republicans have made that clear, we want that permanent. host: that's a job creator. host: east, west journal
editorialboard are weighing in on this saying let tax extenders die. let's hear from steve in troutrun, pennsylvania. you are up for congressman kevin brady, go ahead. caller: good morning to both of you. guest: good morning. caller: my point is, we have 415 to 50 million americans that are very poor. me, myself, having a hard timekeeping my house running, keeping my truck running. taxes are so darn high. now, president obama wants to bring in all of these illegal aliens. he is starting off with 5 million. there is 11 million immigrant did in this count-- immigrants this country. a lot of them are getting welfare. i can't afford to keep myself going. and if they put 11 million
people, illegal in this country, there will be no jobs. the past -- this past congress, for six years, they have not focused on jobs. but they talk good. they talk good speech on it. host: let the congressman jump in. guest: i would agree there are a lot of people who can't find full-time jobs. this is the weakest most, most disappointing recovery in half a century. the house has acted on a number of provisions, including the keystone xl pipeline, tax provisions that would encourage more job creation here in the united states. all of those bills are sitting in that do-nothing senate. we arehoven come january we've got a new senate that will take them up. they don't have to agree with every one of them, by the way, but hopefully will pass it out. i think we have a chance of getting the economy going. staying the course, doing what's
been done for the last six years in the white house, this won't get the job done... how does this help the american worker who can't provide for the work. why don't we talk about the american worker and what it will do for them, not what it will do for the illegal immigrant? >> well, the economy is getting tter, as i'm sure you'll
know. and the question of u.s. jobs, american jobs is in my view a separate issue. >> well, adding five million more competitors for these jobs will make it easier? >> if i may finish my sentence. the estimate is that the potential class is up to four million, not all of those will apply. the goal is to encourage these people who are now working off the books and we do have undocumented immigrants in this country working off the books. to get on the books, pay taxes into the federal treasury, pursuant to a work authorization, the assessment is that that will not impinge upon american jobs or american workers. what do you think? house i think the white is blowing those assessments out of their ears. no one knows what jobs they hold or what skills they have and if they are working.
what social security id numbers and others, i think any economic claim on this is just pure guesswork. reform thattion actually shuts the back door of the illegal immigration and fixes the front door and creates a visa program that meets our economy where it is not -- it is not who you know but what skills you bring to the country, over time, that will help our economy grow, no question about it. this is nowhere near that type of approach. host: let's hear from dorothy in baltimore, democratic caller. jesus, in the name of why are these people so evil, hateful, mean, and mastery? it's ridiculous. you make your rules about working if they have bad credit. you don't follow the rules. you don't go to work until you get good and ready. you are looking crazy as usual. host: hold on, what are you
talking about specifically? just likeecifically, they talk off the top of they desk the top of their head. i don't think everyone is created equally. look at the whole picture about the immigrants and anybody else. that's not right. host: what do you disagree with? caller: i disagree with the congressman, republicans especially. they have no heart. host: let's take that issue, having no heart on this issue of immigration. guest: i thought that was my mom. washington, there is a lot of that. they don't see a congress connected to real people. they see this bickering and constant crisis. they see a white house that
ignores what the american people want especially after an election going to opposite direction of what the american people want and they are frustrated. that is one of the reasons people at the polls in november made a major change and the composition of the senate. they expect us to solve some problems to get the economy going. for republicans, that will be job number one. host: back to the immigration issue and the funding bill -- where do you think the votes are right now? guest: it's hard to know and we had a great meeting yesterday noodling through the options. we have several of them and people favor one or more or a combination. leadership was waiting where people wanted to go to put that package together. i think we will get it done and i think we will finish by the end of next week. we will see what the senate doesn't what the president does but we are not predicating our action on that. host: louisville, kentucky, a republican, good morning. caller: how are you doing?
say that there emigrantsy 770,000 legally coming into this country every year. i think you are creating a situation where republicans are considering a way to compromise with the democrats. ofkentucky, we've got a lot -- i'm sure in texas you do, too and it seems like you don't hunt what the right dogs. tough people in the obama administration who are out there pushing the republicans and trying to bait them and running over you all. it seems like we are just committing political suicide, not standing up for the right things. i wish the republicans would stand up and listen to people
like congressman brooks of alabama because he is the only one who seems to make any sense. guest: congressman brooks is a good man. he is a key part of our deliberations. up for we are standing what this country needs. on the immigration issue, and our approach is step-by-step we will first close the back door to illegal immigration so we don't repeat the immigration -- the problem in the future. second leg, fix the front door of legal immigration because that is broken. they have to have the opportunity to bring those schools -- the skills to the u.s. and waste thousands of dollars to do that and that is to be fixed. we think we should be training more american workers for the and today and in the future for the jobs we will fill to make sure we have a flexible lease of program where companies get the workers they need to be able to compete against anyone in the world.
we've got the tougher question of what we do with those who are here already. in my view, citizenship should be reserved from -- for those who come through the front door of legal immigration. there are consequences for coming through the backdoor and how we do with them is a discussion we are having right now. reform should be what makes america stronger. economy and our country strongest for the long haul? if we keep focused on that, we will come to the right answer. host: steve, independent. hi, steve. steve and iame is sharpton isg why al in $4 million behind on taxes and he can go to the white house and sit with president obama anytime he wants to. host: care to address that?
guest: i was not aware of that. host: i don't know if he has the figure right. it's about the taxes that al sharpton knows. -- owes. guest: i wish the irs would spend less time targeting organizations based on their political beliefs and more time collecting taxes from those who owe them and we would be in a stronger position. host: democratic caller -- caller: good morning, my comment is i'm wondering -- whatever happened to the bill for the long-term unemployed for the unemployment extension? it has been rough for me. i am 57 and been out of work for almost three years. i am doing my best and nothing is happening and i am having a hard time it seems like no one talks about it anymore and ask likes -- and acts like it's a
dead issue. i read an article earlier that mitch mcconnell laughed about extending the long-term unemployment. was kind of wrong. true, what isas your comment? guest: i'm sorry you are struggling in your jobs. i know pennsylvania is a state that has some real possibilities and entered -- in energy development and in texas and they are allowing responsible oil and gas production. people the same jobs for like you and i hope that is the case for pennsylvania. i would doubt that anyone in congress would laugh about long-term unemployment. it is tough on families. wouldestion has been -- we extend emergency unemployment benefits while the economy we
are told is improving? even though the unemployment rate is going down, that program is designed for extreme three times where unemployment is high and going up. today according to the statistics, it is going down in most states. back to theoing traditional level of unemployment which is shared between the state and the federal government. for the most part, it has encouraged people who are running out of those benefits to find that job, not only jobs that paid what they did before, we know that is tough. people often have to move to do that and that's tough on families. the approach right now is let's focus less on unemployment extensions and more on getting jobs going before people -- for people like you. host: rachel, independent. caller: they always talk about the constitution and socialists.
radio, itn talk sticks to the wall, that's what you all talk about. against thevery is constitution and when they and that was supposed to keep them from coming over here and creating jobs overseas. in mexico, it did not happen. that's the reason why they are coming back over here. nafta does not pay enough to be able to eat. okaying slavery. it's the fact that these companies don't have to pay what they have to pay the people that live here. this caller is frustrated, obviously, with the job situation but tanning it all on the wrong actions. what nafta did was recognize
that the economies of canada and the u.s. and mexico working closer together could actually create more jobs and help us whether global recessions which is exactly what it did during the 1980's. i don't think mexico took advantage of the opportunities to actually grow their economy for the long haul. i think you are seeing it now in their reforms with their energy area that could be a game changer for them. it could strengthen those jobs. as this woman correctly pointed out, the more opportunities there are in our neighboring countries, the less likely we are going to see a push for those coming into the united states especially through that backdoor of illegal immigration. i don't think nafta was the cause of that. i think frankly the opportunity for countries to grow more economically strong, i believe, free trade which is the ability for us to buy and sell and
compete with as the government interference as possible where we have that freedom to buy good products at prices we want to pay not what the government tells us and businesses to compete when we build products here in the united states. we want to sell that around the world without government interference. i think that is key and america wins in those scenarios. host: what you think about prospects for the transpacific partnership's in the next congress? guest: i think they are good. this is an exciting trade agreement. about 80% of all the economic growth in the world over the next five years will occur in this region. we want our american companies deep in the middle of it. this is a new structure. host: what region are you talking about? guest: the asia-pacific region, we have about 13 countries in that area that are growing in size that are american companies and want to compete but there are too many americans [indiscernible]
so this agreement knocks down the barriers and gives us a chance to compete not just on products but services which we have a huge trade surplus. in it is exciting for job creation in the united states. host: this is from "the huffington post." guest: i think they are dead wrong. especially among republicans in the house, we believe in the economic freedom of trade. we believe that trade promotion authority which is congress flexing its muscles and saying this, mr. president, every
president, negotiate to these objectives, this will be the timetable and this is how you can do it. we will have the straight up or down vote and that's exactly how the constitution should work it we will have very strong support among house and senate republicans. is the president going to finally lead with his democrats and get them to the table? if he does that, i am convinced that this and future presidents will have this ability to negotiate to the congresses objectives and will be able to tear down those american need not apply science. give us a level playing field around the world. host: let's hear from lewis in new jersey, a republican. caller: good morning. i am home today so give me a minute. republicans want city kids to go to charter calls to get an education in the first thing obama did as president was to shut down charter schools in
washington. that's the first thing the new mayor did in new york. -- more comment a republican will teach you how to fish and feed you. democrat will tell you you are stupid to learn how to fish and will take the fish away. good day. guest: if there are any families in america desperately need a good education, it is the inner-city families who most desperately need it. these are tough neighborhood environments. the public schools which we should do all we can to improve them, need another option for those parents. the charter schools provide that. we know from the results that not only do the kids prosper, the parents are more satisfied with it. when you give these kids an opportunity, every year whether it is first grade or
fifth-grader seventh-grade, every year a child is in school is in critical -- is critical. charter schools provide that option for high-quality education. schools over the the next 10 or 12 years and we will eventually get them to where it should be. these kids need the help now. i agree with you, i don't understand why the president or any democrat has this war on charter schools. host: frank from ohio, democratic caller. i'm glad that president gave the order -- gave the executive order. john boehner is from our state. one of these emigrants could be the next one that takes over cancer research and takes over the whole country and makes it secure.
you republicans better get together with the democrats because this is what this country is founded on. we are founded on immigrants. this is how our country was founded. perhaps more correctly, we were founded on legal immigration. wheat want to make your that those who come through the front door have the means to immigrate into our country and reach their dreams. they have been a huge part of our culture in the world. case, the president i think missed the vote because house republicans had passed legislation to allow more foreign-born students who are graduating in science and technology and math degrees to be able to stay in the united states and contribute to our economy. the president threatened to to be towed that. ag workers.eamlines the president threatened to veto that as well. justthe president says
pass a bill, he is really saying just passed my bill. the way i wanted. checks not the way the and balances work. unfortunately, by going it alone and being provocative and reckless, i think it is made it harder to achieve that goal. host: on the prospects of overhauling the tax code next what i want to show you the incoming chairman of the ways and means committee, paul ryan, had to say yesterday when he was talking with a bunch of corporate chief executives. [video clip] faster economic >> growth solve so many problems. tax growth is key to that so we intend on taking the issue up. the reason i hesitate to say it will get done as i don't know where this white house will come down on these things. it's important to note that in addition to c-corporate former we want a 25% rate and an international base where repatriation day as any day you wanted to be, we also have to remember that eight out of 10 businesses and america are not
they are passed through so we want reform that applies and helps all businesses to get faster economic growth. the manner of how we do that is clear for people like paul ryan and orrin hatch but i don't know how clear it will be for this administration but we will see what we can do to get that. we have to remember that we cannot endure the -- ignore the individual side of the code. perhaps that is not achievable with this president because he likes higher tax rates which i thinks hurt economic growth. if we can get halfway toward comprehensive tax reform, that's a good step in the right direction. host: congressman, what you think? four years on the ways and means committee, you hear chairman brian advancing that and a serious way over the next session and that's encouraging. we got some challenges we don't think the president will engage in a meaningful way which would
be incredibly helpful. nonetheless, we are going to continue to advance program growth tax reform and lowering the business rates. we think we should also lower the small business rates as well which ties to the individual side and that makes it more justcult as chairman ryan alluded to. our tax code is broken and we are so not competitive and we are a big drag and the economy in the united states. what people have talked about for 30 years, we are on the cusp of producing that real comprehensive tax reform. i would love to see the president host: get behind this. matt, from new hampshire. guest: good morning. caller: i have listened to this and i listen every day and watch the hearings. the war powers act says the president can act for 60 days.
we are involved in iraq and other countries. have ato state that i family member who is directly involved in the combat. sat there and said how this president likes to do things on his own. congress has the duty to authorize war in our nation. -- i hear attempted dribbles and drafts of very few people speaking about this. when is congress going to authorize our military? we have soldiers in harm's way. we have soldiers who can be killed. we have soldiers who have been neglected. i live in the state of new hampshire and we have 600 homeless veterans. it is a key part of our discussion. i think you will see a legislation bill in the next week and a half that authorizes our defense capabilities yet again for another year. the bigger picture that this
gentleman talked about is is we will have a bigger picture discussion about the ability for the president to prosecute this war rather than based on the 9/11 threats of the future. i see that happening after the beginning of the year with a new congress in place. i don't know the exact timetable but it is certainly3 a high priority. host: huntington, west virginia, democratic caller. caller: yes, i want to ask a question and go back to the guy from pennsylvania on the extended unemployment benefits. could not pass a bill for that but they can give themselves a raise last year. people on social security only got 1.7% raise this year. is congress going to give themselves a raise again this year? if they can find the money to give themselves a raise, why can't they find the money to help out the unemployed and the american people? guest: that's a fair question. congress has not given
themselves a cost-of-living increase for six or seven years. ,ocial security, medicare cost-of-living increases have occurred, thankfully, in those areas and even some federal workers. the congress has not. host: what are your thoughts on the economic impact of falling oil prices? for american citizens but also for fed policy and interest rates. guest: it is all tied in. we want lower and more affordable fuel. that's a good thing for our economy and families and businesses. energy industry in america is a technology driven industry . ways to produce oil economically at lower oil prices. this will reduce some of their investments next year and what they invest in. long-term, it is not a major
threat. is thes been interesting feds quantitative easing as well as the new zero interest rate policy. it has had the effect up until recently of raising gas prices about $.50 per gallon of gas on average. we have been importing so much oil. theou lower the value of dollar with quantitative easing, you actually raised energy prices. starting with a stronger dollar. we are not seeing much more production in the united states. some of the impacts of the past few years are starting to level out. we are getting back to a more true economy in the energy area. morell think if there are foreign policy hiccups around the postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. adoption of house resolution 76.
motion to suspend the rules on h.r. 5769. and approval of the journal. all will be taken by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining votes will be conducted as the fiments votes. the unfinished business is the vote on adoption of house resolution 766 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the the title of the resolution. the clerk: ow house calendar number 147, house resolution 766. resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 5771 to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions and make technical corrections, and for other purposes. and providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 647, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to provide for the tax treatment of able account established under state programs for the care of family members with disabilities, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on adoption of the resolution. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote.
the resolution is adopted. the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 231, the nays are 192. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from california, mr. hunter, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5769 which the --
on the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5669 -- 5769, a bill to authorize the appropriations for the coast guard for fiscal year twirt and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: -- 2015 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 413. the nays are three. the 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules is suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
members, remove conversations rom the floor. the house will be in order. members, remove conversations from the floor. members in the back of the hamber, cease conversations. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 766, i call up the bill h.r. 647, the able act of 2014, and ask for its immediate conversation.
the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 456, h.r. 647, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to provide for tax treatment of able accounts established under state programs for the care of family members with disabilities, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 766, in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means printed in the bill, the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in part b of house report 113- 643 is adopted and the bill, as amended, is considered as read. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. the gentleman mr. suspend for just a minute. -- the the gentleman will suspend for just a minute. the house will be in order. members, remove conversations rom the floor.
the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on h.r. 647. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. camp: and mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. camp: many of us know the joyce and responsibilities of being a parent. we spend years ensuring our children have the skills and education to reach their full potential as they grow and enter adulthood. many of these everyday responsibilities parents face can and often do increase tremendously when they have a child with a disability. today, we have an opportunity to ease some of those challenges. achieving a better life experience act, commonly known as the able act, will allow those with disabilities and their caregivers to have the stability and security of knowing they can save and provide for their education,
housing and medical expenses in the future. in short, the able act lets those with disabilities set up tax-free savings accounts to help them manage the costs of medical care, housing, transportation and continued transportation. this will allow those who are on medicaid and s.s.i. to work, earn and save more while still receiving these important benefits. it's important to note that these savings accounts will be available to all individuals with disabilities and their caretakers, not just those on medicaid and s.s.i. this is a commonsense bill that will aid those with disabilities and their caretakers so they can fulfill more happy lives and provide for a better future. at the same time, this will not burden taxpayers since the cost of the able act is fully offset by the savings provisions in this bill. these offsets are a balanced and fair mix of savings provisions that all members should be able to support. this bill is supported by more
than 70 leading organizations and health care professionals including the american association of people with disabilities, the autism society of america, autism speaks, the brain injury association of america, easter seals, the national association of councils on developmental disabilities, the national disability institute, the national down syndrome society, the national federation of the blind and the a.r.c. they support this bill because they know it will help more disabled individuals help themselves. that's all anyone can ask for and it's something i'm pleased this legislation provides. this is why the able act has 380 co-sponsors in the house, 74 co-sponsors in the senate. i want to particularly thank the sponsor of this legislation, my good friend from florida, mr. -- and representative andrew crenshaw, as well as representative sessions, mcmorris rodgers and van hollen for their diligence in helping us bring this legislation to the floor today.
mr. speaker, it's not every day that we have a chance to clear major hurdles in front of people who simply need a hand up. that's what this bill does and i encourage all members to support it and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. mr. levin: thank you very much. i yield myself such time as i shall consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: with this bill we can help millions of americans living with disabilities become more financially secure. just as families today can open tax-free accounts to save for the future costs of college for their children, this legislation would make it easier for families to save money for disability-related expenses, like transportation, housing and health prevention and wellness. the able act aims to ease the financial burden on these individuals and their families. so i applaud the efforts of
congressman crenshaw, van hollen and sessions and you, chairman camp, among others. c.b.o. estimates the cost of the bill at $2 billion over 10 years. e bill is paid for through $63 million in revenue offsets and $1.4 billion in spending cuts. there has been active bipartisan work on paying for this bill. and there is broad agreement on the revenue offsets. there is some opposition to the medicare offsets included in the bill because the legislation uses medicare savings for nonhealth purposes. we have challenges ahead, including important work on s.g.r. so i understand the concern about medicare offsets. i think it is important as we proceed on this bill to stress
that it must not be considered a precedent for using medicare savings to pay for unrelated costs associated with tax changes. the able act provides much-needed relief, as we have said, to families and their children with disabilities. this is an important step forward for them, in a very personal way. i support its passage and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to the distinguished gentleman from florida, mr. crenshaw, who is a sponsor of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for five minutes. mr. crenshaw: i thank the gentleman for yielding the time and let me first just say thank you to chairman camp, chairman of the -- thank you to chairman camp, chairman of the ways and means committee for his hard work, bringing this bill out of the ways and means committee
with a unanimous vote. thank him and his staff that have worked long and hard to bring this bill to the floor today. on a personal note, let me just say, as chairman camp believes the congress -- leaves the congress this year that i want to express my thanks and gratitude for his friendship over the years, for his leadership, not only for the people of michigan but for the people of america. you will be missed. we talk about the able act, i think that this is a great example of what can be accomplished when people work together. people say, we don't always work together, but here's a case where people have come together, democrats and republicans, the house working with the senate for the common good for the people of america. i think all of us probably know somebody, either family member or maybe a friend of the family, somebody that has a disability. it might be down syndrome, it might be autism, it might be
some other disability. but sometimes i don't think we understand the difficulty and the challenges that those individuals and their families face. they are beyond our comprehension sometimes because we're lucky, the way that we can live. but the able act seems to address that inequity, seems to help those people who so often society overlooks or maybe the government overlooks. and the able act is very simple, it's very straightforward, it's understandable. and we've come to this after eight years of hard work. when i first filed the bill in 2006, there were very few co-sponsors of this legislation. but over the years an awful lot of people on both sides of the aisle have worked long and hard to make this legislation better. and some of the individuals that have disabilities have come to washington every year, they've gone out and they've talked to their individual
representatives and that's one of the reasons why we have 380 co-sponsors in the house. because those individuals have gone to an oves and sat down and said -- office and sat down an said, this is something that would make a difference in my life and those members have said, we want to help. it's the same thing that happened in the senate. you heard chairman camp talk about how that takes place. individuals with disabilities can create a tax-free savings account, but -- put their own money in that account, have a chance to actually save for their future. those dollars grow tax-free. and as long as they're used for qualified expenses, such as medical expenses or maybe education or jobs training expenses, they can use those proceeds. and we already allow folks to help themselves by setting up tax-free savings accounts to save for college, called the
529. we allow people to save for their retirement through a tax-free savings account called an i.r.a. or 401-k. and we allow people to save for their health insurance by the creation of health savings accounts. so it only seems fair to me and all of us that we would provide the same sort of treatment to those individuals that are less fortunate than we are. now we have a situation where the able accounts will open the door to a brighter future to millions of americans. it will give those individuals a chance to realize their hopes and their dreams, to be part of the american dream, to be able to achieve their full potential. and i can't think of anything that is more rewarding, i can't think of any greater privilege than to speak out for people that can't always speak for themselves. and this able act will bring
justice, it will bring peace of mind to millions of american families who live with disabilities every day. and i think that's something worth fighting for. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, is recognized. mr. levin: thank you. it's now my real pleasure to yield three minutes to another person like mr. crenshaw and others who have been working so hard on this issue for a long time, mr. van hollen from maryland. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for three minutes. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. let me start by thanking my colleague, ranking member levin, for yielding, but most importantly for his partnership on this important bipartisan legislation. i also want to thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, chairman camp, thank you for all your efforts and diligence in getting us to this point. to our fellow co-sponsors, congressman crenshaw,
congresswoman mcmorris rodgers, congressman sessions and others , thank you for all you've done to get us to this point. and to our colleagues on the other side of the capitol, senators, this has been a team effort. like congressman crenshaw, i want to especially recognize and honor those families from across the country that actually work so hard over so many years to get us to this point. many of those families are in the gallery today. others are watching from around the country. and at a time when there's deep criticism about the ability or lack of ability for congress and the government to function, they broke through that cynicism and are an example to others of what we can do and accomplish by working together. and because of their efforts, as we heard, we have 380 co-sponsors, republicans and democrats, in the house, 74
united states senators, republicans and democrats. and with that broad bipartisan and bicameral support, everyone worked together to get to this point. we've heard what this does. it provides an opportunity for families with kids or other members of the family with disabilities to put aside a little money tax-free to help to fray some of the extra medical costs that are incurred by those families. it's a benefit available to families who are sending their kids to college and we should make sure that we provide that kind of benefit to families who are trying to make sure their loved ones are cared for. that's what this does. it's about equity, it's about fairness, it's about making sure that every child has the opportunity to reach or her full potential. it's a time-honored american value and that's why this is -- this has attracted such broad support. mr. speaker, no single piece of
legislation, nothing we can do here can single-handedly eliminate the additional medical and financial burdens faced by families living and loving and caring for their children with disabilities every day. but this act, this able act, can help ease that financial burden and help assist families in some small way, in ensuring that their children receive the love and care they deserve. so i thank my colleagues for coming together on this important effort and i hope it gets through the senate and to the president's desk where it can be signed soon. thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, everybody, for being part of this effort. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland yields back. the chair would remind all members that the rules require us to refrain from referencing occupancy in the gallery. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the distinguished chair of the house republican conference, the gentlewoman from washington state, mrs. mcmorris rogers.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from washington is recognized for three minutes. mrs. mcmorris rodgers: thank you very much, mr. chairman, and thank you for your tremendous leadership and to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the house and senate for their tremendous support, i join in rising in strong upport of h.r. 647, the able act, which will help millions of americans and families save for their future. today's a day we've been waiting for for a long time. and i'm so proud to stand here with my colleagues, with the advocates that are here, the families across the nation who have spent countless days, weeks, years pushing us across the finish line. for me personally, this bill is about a little boy who was diagnosed with down sin dam three days after he was born -- down syndrome three days after he was born. his diagnosis came with a list of future complications, endless doctor visits and
therapy sessions, potential heart defect, even early alzheimer's. seven years later, as a mom of that little boy, nothing has given me greater joy than watching cole grow and the tremendous impact he's already having on this world. when cole was born, my husband and i were told, don't put any assets in his name. because he may need to qualify for one of these programs in the future. that's the wrong message to send to parents who are ready to save, ready to sacrifice to ensure that their children have an opportunity for a better life. the able act is going to change this. it's going to empower individuals with disabilities and their families through tax-free savings accounts to save for college, retirement and other future expenses. as a part of america's new congress, we are here to advance real solutions, solutions to make people's lives better.
solutions that empower all americans, no matter where you come from, no matter how much money to your name or what challenges you face. the able act is one of the many ways that we're going to do that. it's going to empower millions, including my son cole, with the opportunity for a better life. and i encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support h.r. 647 and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, is recognized. mr. levin: i now yield three minutes to another distinguished member of our committee, mr. mcdermott from washington. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcdermott: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: for three minutes and without objection. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i want to begin by being very clear. i support the able act itself. it's a compassionate bill that seeks to expand the common good by providing tax-free savings accounts for disabled
americans. if we were voting on that bill today, i would strongly support it. but the able act isn't the issue here. the issue is how we're going to pay for it. and the proposal we're considering today is just one that jeopardizes the future of our safety net. newt gingrich talked about wanting to have medicare wither on the vine. that's been always the desire of the republicans. so today we're setting out on an unprecedented and dangerous course in the funding of this bill. in a last-minute development, the congress now considered using cuts to medicare to offset the cost of this legislation. taking away from the old people and give it to these folks. that's their idea of a balanced act. there's been no serious debate, there's never been a hearing and no thoughtful discussion of the implications of this
proposal. if we vote to take these cuts we'll take the first step down a sliply slope that undermines the social safety net. i checked with experts in the congressional research service, nonpartisan, and couldn't find one example in which congress has used medicare as a piggy bank to pay for a tax bill. and that's what this is is basically a tax exemption, good idea, but are we going to use the medicare to pay for it because mark my words, when it comes time to offer another tax break, my colleagues on the other side will come after medicare again. and the next time the cut will be deeper and easier because we did it today. and i believe that we should not be a part of beginning to rip medicare at the very bottom at this -- it looks like just a little bit and they say oh, it's only a tiny bit and it's not going to affect anybody.
but you are establishing a precedent that you'll hear again on this nor. for that reason i intend to vote no. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, is recognized. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to a distinguished gentleman from washington state, mr. reichert, a member of the ways and means committee and chairman of the human resources subcommittee and also ask unanimous consent that he control the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. reichert: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, mr. chairman, for yielding and thank you for all your hard work on this legislation and bringing to forward and bringing it forward to us today. thanks, mr. crenshaw, too, for his hard work. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 647, as amended, also known as the able act. and we've heard what able
stands for, but let me just repeat it very slowly so people can understand really what this is about. achieving a better life experience for people who have special needs and who are disabled. we all strive to have better lives but some people in this world need a little help, and that's what we're doing today. some people might disagree with some of the ways we're going about this. bottom line is we are helping people that need a little special help, a little extra help from us. and we're going to step up and do that. this is a bipartisan piece of legislation. it's designed to help those individuals with disabilities overcome the hurdles that they often face holding a job and trying to live independently. here's the problem. if someone with a disability works and achieves even a modest level of savings they
lose their access to certain safety net programs such as medicaid and s.s.i. this can discourage individuals from pursuing work opportunities and gaining the independence that comes through work. here's the solution. this legislation today, this is the solution, mr. speaker. it helps individuals, regardless of disability, to achieve the best possible access to life, find networks as well as tax-free savings accounts, allowing them to pursue independence and community involvement. these able accounts would be used to cover a wide variety of expenses related to addressing and overcoming their abilities, and they would grow tax-free. these costs quickly add up as needs can range from uncovered health care needs, education costs, housing needs, transportation costs, assisted
technology, speech generating devices and other technology and personal support services. this bill is critical because it allows individuals with able accounts to maintain their eligibility for benefits while working and saving more for their future needs. able account balances excluded. are the first $100,000 in account balances would be excluded from being counted as resources, meaning disabled individuals could save far more than today while remaining eligible for benefits along the way. this bill is about real people. you heard some of the stories already this afternoon. real people who have real hopes and real dreams, dreams of being able to support themselves and plan for the future, dreams for a better life.
people like my godson, kyle. now, kyle today is 20 years old. but kyle weighs 60 pounds and he's in a wheelchair. kyle was diagnosed at 18 months old with cancer. he can't speak. up to this point, kyle's been only able to save $2,000. once you reach that $2,000 level, that's it. if you go over that, you don't get the benefits. imagine if you were the parents of kyle trying to save for his future. maybe get a speak -- a speech device so mom and dad could hear kyle say i love you, because he hasn't been able to say that. imagine not being able to hear your child say i love you, mom, i love you, dad. this saving account allows people to save that money for their children, to buy that
technology, to get that wheelchair that costs $20,000. some of us who are able bodied and don't understand the people -- disability that people live with every day, you see people in wheelchairs, $20,000 and more for people who can only use maybe their index finger and a thumb to operate thing tole switch on a wheelchair so hey can --ing tole switch -- to -- operate a toggle switch on a wheelchair so they can go from point a to point b. we need to give him a better light. that's what this bill does. mr. speaker, i yield myself another 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. reichert: i'd like to thank the sponsors of bill. there's 379 members. but more than anyone, i really like to especially thank the
families that have been working on this for years. it's been an honor to visit with them, to get to know them and get to know their families and i urge a yes vote on this legislation. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: thank you. i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i think everyone here would agree that goals of the able act is worthy. the bill's title means achieving better life experience, and would have a tax-free accounts and would provide a way with families with disabled children would set aside savings for the child's care. the bill uses medicare cuts to pay for a tax break. medicare is a program that seniors and people with disabilities depend upon for their health care. and we should not be cutting medicare to pay for this bill.
meanwhile, we all know that our efforts to permanently repeal and replace the s.g.r. in the lame duck are unfortunately falling flat. while i hope we can still pass s.g.r. this month, if it does not get done, we're going to have a medicare bill that will cost tens of billions of dollars in march and republicans will force us to pay for every last dime and here we are using $1.2 billion in health offsets for nonhealth bills. in addition to the medicare offsets, there are offsets in this bill that are troublesome. the provision on certified employer organizations could have a negative effect on worker rights, including collective bargaining and organizing and worker protections. and i say again, the goals of the able act are laudable. i hope that our senate colleagues will send the bill back to us without these offensive offsets so we can enact a good law that we can all be proud of, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. reichert: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr.
roskam, a distinguished member of the ways and means committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. mr. roskam: thank you, mr. speaker, and i thank the gentleman for yielding. you know, imagine that sense when you get the word that a new baby has been diagnosed with something that was completely unanticipated. that's been a situation that has been present in the lives of constituents, family, friends and those of us who are nearby. i think there's a hopefulness today, mr. speaker, about what we're talking about and there are so many people that have run for office, but the idea of trying to get something done, the notion you have this strong of a voice all coming together saying, you know what, we may not be able to agree about what time of day it is in this congress but we can agree that we all ought to come together to help those who are unable to help themselves. or to help those who want to care for the ones who are around them.
so it's also a good lesson to learn about the tenacity of americans who have decided to substantively engage this place over a period of years. a number of minutes ago we heard from representative crenshaw who talked about introducing this back in 2006, and he was tenacious and he was joined by others and they pushed and they pushed and now they've accomplished something and we're on the verge of actually a great moment. so i'm here to celebrate, i'm here to celebrate with my colleagues who took the initiative. i'm here to celebrate others who came alongside, but most of all, mr. speaker, we're here to celebrate the lives of those who are being supported by this act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: it's now my pleasure to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from d.c., eleanor holmes norton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from the district of -- the gentlelady
from the district of columbia is recognized for two minutes. ms. norton: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to say how deeply i regret because i have been working with mr. crenshaw, with senator casey and i congratulate them on this bill, how deeply i regret there would be extraneous provisions in the bill concerning worker protection and offsets that would keep it from being the bipartisan bill that it needs to be. or else you wouldn't see virtually the whole house on the bill. so i've come to speak for the underlying bill and to hope that those provisions will somehow be swept aside and we can have the bill that i think most that signed on thought they were signing on to. because we talk on both sides of the aisle, we're short of personal responsibility. what we've been doing until this time is leaving our
disable dependent on their without charities any way to liberate themselves from us or from others. i think about the autistic parent of 20-year-old twins who had to keep them locked up and had no way to liberate them and no way to care for them. most woeful is dependents on charities who themselves get tax exemption to take care of people who need them and they do an excellent job in taking care of them. if we're going to give a tax break to people who take care of disabled people, surely there would be a tax benefit to them to take care of themselves. just consider this -- most disabled people truly disabled
people aren't able to find jobs of any kind but if they do they won't be the kind of jobs normally that leave them able to open savings accounts, prepare for their own retirement and the rest. even if they're able to be employed, they still, of course, must look to other sources of income. mr. levin: i yield the gentlelady an additional two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. norton: that's why this bill is so sensitive. it doesn't supplant any of the aid that is necessary, like medicaid and their own insurance they may have or s.s.i. my own daughter, kathryn felicia norton, was the global down syndrome ambassador this year. kathryn will probably not need one of these savings accounts, but i'm here this afternoon to speak for all of those that do
and there are many in this country and to thank particularly the sponsors for what they're trying to do with this bill, i yield back and thank my good friend for yielding to me. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. reichert: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. holding, who is a co-sponsor of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. holding: mr. chairman, i thank the gentleman for the time. earlier today i had the privilege of meeting with kenneth kelty and his mother, jacqueline. they're from my district, and this is a family who benefit directly from the able act and who shared their support of this important bill with me ust this afternoon. kenneth recently graduated from a program at western carolina university. a program that allows students with disabilities to study side by side with other students at the university. in kenneth's words, it was a chance to do all the same things that everyone else, with
nothing holding us back. kenneth joined a fraternity, had a good time, learned a lot, saved to come back, has a job. mr. chairman, just as the university participant program helps people with disabilities like kenneth, so will this bipartisan able act. this bill will allow tax-free savings accounts for things like housing, education and employment training and similar to a 529 program, these accounts will help provide families with some peace of mind when trying to save for their children's long-term expenses. so, mr. speaker, i encourage my colleagues to support the able act and i thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: i now yield two minutes to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is ecognized for two minutes.
ms. jackson lee: i thank the manager, mr. levin, for his kindness as well as the manager for the majority, mr. crenshaw and mr. van hollen, and the many others who along with myself co-sponsored this legislation. it's very moving to have a moment of family on the floor of the house, as i listen to members recount their individual stories of those in their families, and for those of us who encounter our constituents with wonderful, beautiful children, many of whom fit squarely in this relief that is being given. and as i watched two twins grow and special ized
in our community, i can just imagine what their mother and their late father would say about this opportunity. this legislation, h.r. 647, squarely answers our concerns. i want to get to two points that i think is -- i think are so important. you hear it all the time. because it seems as if these are rich people trying to get money, but they're not. they may be working families and middle class families. and to be able to not deny them eligibility for medicaid when there are severe health issues that many of these young people and children face, and also for them to be able to have s.s.i., which is sometimes a life line, but to be able to put aside the savings that will help them in education and transportation, i hear it so often, training for employment, any of us who have dealt with goodwill and seen what goodwill does with young people whose parents bring them there, but yet they need other ways of being able to respond. and they should not be denied higher education. this bill allows savings to be
part of the higher education efforts that these parents want for their children. and sometimes the ability for independents with primary residents. what it says is that these young people as they grow have developmental possibilities and opportunities and that there are no throwaway children, there are no throwaway young people. i would ask -- mr. levin: i yield an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for another minute. ms. jackson lee: there are no throwaway young people. and i thank the gentleman. and we should not throw them away. i agree with my colleagues who have mentioned items that we would hope would be refrained, if you will. impacting workers' conditions and rights, provisions that may in fact impact medicare. none of us who have committed ourselves to the strength of medicare want to see that undermined. but i will say that the goodness of this legislation for my neighbors, and when i
say generically, but my constituents who i personally know, individuals who i personally know, this is a life line. and a i'm very glad to speak on h.r. -- and i'm very glad to speak on h.r. 647, for the life line that it provides for people who deserve it and they do not in any way have the need or the desire to see the opportunities for their children and their young people to be determined only by the limitations of their ability to provide for them. this is an account, it's more than a savings account, it is a life line account to help give everyone american, no matter who they are, this equal opportunity and particularly those with disabilities. with that, mr. speaker i yield -- mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. van hollen: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time -- >> mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker we heard a lot of stories today about people in need, about people with
special needs and we've had some names attached to those stories which really touches the hearts of those people who know those individuals and i hope touches the hearts of the members here in this chamber when they hear the stories of people in need, who need that special attention. mr. reichert: one key challenge for disabled individuals is that their access to certain safety net programs can be lost if they work. i want to just repeat that. can be lost if they work. and achieve even a modest level of savings. to overcome that challenge, the able act would help more individuals with disabilities save and live independently without losing access to critical programs like medicaid and s.s.i. starting in 2015, states could create an able program under which individuals with disabilities could start an able account modeled after current section 529 savings account. anyone, parents, grand
patients, other family -- grandparents, other family members and friends could contribute to that account, which would grow tax-free. then when they need to withdraw from that account, those withdrawals would be tax-free if spent on a wide variety of expenses -- expenses. that includes expenses like uncovered health care, education costs, housing needs, transportation costs, assistive technology and others that i've mentioned earlier. mr. speaker, i conclude my remarks and reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: let me ask my colleague, are you ready to close? mr. reichert: we are waiting for one other speaker. if you have another speaker, it would be helpful. mr. levin: no. mr. reichert: no? i guess we're ready to close. mr. levin: ok. i'd like to give your colleague a chance but shall we proceed? is that ok?
ok. i'll close. i can do so very briefly. i think we face a somewhat nusual situation here. we have an opportunity to help major who have some very challenges, including challenges related to their health. and so on balance i think there's a need for us to act. and so therefore i support this bill. d i just want us to remember in a sense the unusual opportunity that we have here to help millions of people who are living with disabilities that affect their lives,
including their basic health status. i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields back the balance of his time. and the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. reichert: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for his comments and words of support and again thank all 379 co-sponsors of this bipartisan bill. i thank the senate who has worked with the members of the house on this bill, making it bicameral. and i think it's also important, mr. speaker, to point out the outside support that this bill has garnered. let me just name a few of those. the american association of people with disabilities, autism society of america, autism speaks, the brain injury association of america, easter seals, national association of councils on developmental disabilities, national disability institute, national down syndrome society, national
federation of the blind, and the arc, and that's just to name a few of the outside organizations and groups that support this legislation. again, this is important legislation designed to help individuals with disabilities overcome the hurdles that they often face in holding a job, in living independently. i appreciate again the comments of the ranking member, mr. levin. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 766, the previous question is now ordered on the bill as amended. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to provide for the tax treatment of able accounts established under state programs for the care of family members with disabilities and
for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the gentleman from washington asks for a recorded vote. does the gentleman ask for the yeas and nays? mr. reichert: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, seek recognition? mr. camp: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 766, i call up the bill, h.r. 5771, the tax increase prevention act of 2014, and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5771, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to extend certain
expiring provisions and make technical corrections and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 766, the amendment printed in part a of house report 113-64 is adopted and the -- 643 is adopted and the bill as amended is considered read. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, each control 30 minutes. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on h.r. 5771. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. camp: as we all know, there's a series of tax provisions that routinely expire that congress must then renew, typically extending them for one year retroactively and one year prospectively. congress routinely extends these policies without offsetting the revenue loss. this on again-off again style of legislating on a temporary basis is a terrible way to make tax policy.
we're the only nation in the world that lets large pieces of its tax code expire. hardworking taxpayers deserve to know whether these tax policies are going to be there year in and year out on a permanent basis. temporary renewals cannot provide the certainty that american businesses need in order to make the best decisions about how to invest in cutting-edge research, whether to buy the new pieces of equipment, and most importantly whether to hire that additional worker. these temporary renewals mean uncertainty for families as well as they try to plan their family budgets. throughout the year the ways and means committee has produced legislation that carefully examines many of these temporary extenders and reformed and made permanent several of the most important ones. the whole house on a bipartisan basis later passed this legislation. this included important policies such as a permanent and improved credit for research and development and
permanently higher expense levels for small businesses. policies that were also included in the president's budget proposals. analysis by the nonpartisan experts at the joint committee on taxation confirmed that permanent extensions of these policies would result in companies spending more on r&d and making new investments, all of which would promote job creation and higher wages. having passed a number of these policies through the house on a bipartisan basis, we proceeded with the rather old-fashioned approach of beginning bipartisan negotiations with the senate. until last week, we were making significant progress on these negotiations as everyone involved worked in good faith to reach a successful conclusion. we were close to reaching an agreement that would ensure many of the bills that passed the house on a bipartisan basis would be included. in addition, we were going beyond the list of traditional tax extenders and including additional policies designed specifically to assist low and middle income american families.
in particular policies such as the american opportunity tax credit, which helps low and middle income families afford college. which was also included in the president's budget proposals. other policies included making permanent the deduction for state and local sales taxes and the tax rules for mass transit benefits. however, before these negotiations could conclude, the administration took the unbelievable step of issuing a veto threat. the president issued a veto threat over bipartisan, bicameral negotiations. i can't tell you with certainty exactly what the administration wants, because the administration has not even bothered to reach out and tell us what the president's priorities are. rather than trying to engage and work with the congress, the administration is only communicating through press statements. the president has often said that he wants to work with congress, to find bipartisan solutions. in fact, in his press conference after the election, the president said and i'm quoting here, i'm eager to work with the new congress, to make the next two years as productive as possible.
i'm committed to making sure whether asure ideas on they work for the american people. . that statement is completely at odds with his actions last week and we all know actions speak louder than words. as a result of his actions, negotiations with the senate have come to a stan stil -- standstill. in addition, the president and some senate democrats have come to the decision that tax breaks to charities and others are a giveaway. perhaps they should listen to the charitable organizations that have written to every member of congress in support of -- giving le given that would have been in the tax
extenders act. with the end of the year and a new tax filing season rapidly approaching we need to act. the i.r.s. has been clear that unless congress acts quickly, it will be forced to delay the start of the tax filing season. american families are struggling to make ends meet as wages remain flat even as expenses increase. these families can't and should not face a delay in getting their tax refunds. the legislation before us today will address the concerns raised by the i.r.s. and ensure the tax filing season can open on time. we should ensure that the president's actions do not hurt hardworking taxpayers who are counting on that tax refund. therefore i urge the house to pass this legislation and ensure that the tax filing season opens on time. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, reserves. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin is recognized. mr. levin: i yield such time as i shall consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
mr. levin: this legislation is crucial, as much for what it avoids as what it accomplishes. a one-year extension avoids the dangerous plan pushed by house republicans for much of this last year to make permanent a select number of provisions at a . st of nearly $1 trillion that plan was not only fiscally irresponsible, it also left many provisions behind that are vital to working families and small businesses. including the exclusion for mortgage debt forgiveness and the new market tax credits and continuations of the expansions to the earned income tax credit. and the refundable portion of the child tax credit.
this bill also avoids an almost equally harmful proposal under consideration last week that would have permanently extended a select group of expiring provisions and would also have given permanent breaks to a relative few while costing more than $400 billion and leaving out critical provisions that help working families. i actively and publicly oppose that proposal. fortunately, it generated a veto threat from the provision -- from the president. the provisions in today's extender bill need more serious consideration than would have been provided in that proposal, both as to substance, whether they contribute to economic growth and jobs, and how they
fit into the need for beth equity and fiscal responsibility. some of these extended provisions contributed to economic growth such as the provisions for r&d, promoting development of renewable energy, and -- encourages development of small business, and increasing educational opportunity. others should not be part of any permanent action, such as bonus depreciation, which was always contemplated as a temporary measure to stimulate economic growth and activity. some provisions -- some of the provisions in tax extenders should end. others need to be addressed as we make better sense of the international tax structure, including closing tax loopholes. while i did not agree with many of the provisions of the tax
reform proposal of the chairman, he did attempt to address issues in a more comprehensive way, unlike what was passed through the house up to a $1 trillion and was attempted last week. it was a serious mistake, as i said for, for the republicans to have taken pieces of it. trying to make them permanent, without paying a dime to offset the more than $800 billion cost of doing so. so the bill today therefore only maintains the status quo for this year. not to act would disrupt the coming tax filing season for millions of american workers and businesses. which have relied on congress to extend these provisions and will in a matter of weeks begin filing their 2014 tax returns. as a result, i will support this
measure. as we act in the future, including on tax reform, i believe the lesson that should be learned from the past is that it's critical to try to work on a bipartisan basis, recognizing the importance of maintaining support for the values that must underpin legislative action. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, reserves. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp is recognized. mr. camp: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. camp: i do want to thank my friend from michigan for his support of the legislation before us today. it is something that we do need to do. we cannot allow these provisions to be expired for all of 2014. but i would say that if you look around, we are not seing the kind of growth in opportunity
that we should see in america. we're not seing the kind of job creation,'re not seing the income increases, yet expenses are going up for families. and the items that the gentleman talked about, whether it was research and development or section 179 or the american opportunity tax credit, all of those were going to be permanent in the package we were working on. so -- even the mortgage debt forgiveness for those selling homes whose mortgages were under water, we were extending that for two years. so there were a lot of things for families. certainly the charitable provisions for food banks, for charitable giving, those would certainly help middle class americans as well. and the reason whyic it was so important to get permanent policy is, we haven't seen the kind of growth that we need to see and the more of these items that we can make permanent, the more stability we have. the more likely individuals, employers, families, are going to make the kinds of long-term
decisions that will actually cause our economy to grow. it's not just me saying this, it's the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation that says permanent policies such as these, as we were working on, were the kinds of things the country needs to do to grow. again, i want to thank him for his support of this legislation and hopefully in the future we'll be able to get at some of these issues in a more permanent way so we don't have this unusual system where we've had all these policies expired for all of 2014, in the final two weeks we're going to retroactively put them into place, for the final weeks of the year so when people file in april they'll be able to take advantage of these items. we should do this on a more regular basis. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. levin: i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: look, you made provisions permanent, mr.
chairman, and you pay for them in your bill. there is disagreement how you pay for them. but you pay for them. and then you come forth with up unpaid illion permanent for and leave out the child tax credit and the eitc. and then we hear last week, i yield myself an additional minute. proposal for $400 billion of , unpaid for, permanent, unpaid for, permanent, leaving out the eitc and child tax credit. so that's why the president acted. and that's why it was essential he act. our yield four minutes to
distinguished whip. mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair, not other members of the body. the gentleman from maryland is recognized for four minutes. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, thank you for your courage. i'm not going to thank you for this bill, however. but i'm going to vote for this bill. mr. speaker, american families and businesses deserve certainty from their tax system. confidence. stability. i'm glad we're able to move forward on this legislation rather than pursue a plan to make certain tax preferences permanent while ballooning our debt. while i am supporting this tax extender package, mr. speaker, i do so with two very serious reservations. first, it adds the cost of
extending this preference to our deficit. it is good, however, that we did not make unpaid for extensions on a permanent basis. as the ranking member has just discussed. second, this is a very short-term fix. when congress needs to work toward a long-term solution. i join the ranking member in congratulating mr. camp for bringing that forward. well, at least he put it on the table. it didn't come forward. we ought to make the research and experiment -- experimentation tax credit permanent. but we need to pay for it. and while this legislation allows teachers to deduct their out of pocket expenses, it does not give them the certainty that they'll be able to do so in 2015 or beyond. to that extent, they're in the same position that everybody else covered by this bill will be.
neither does this bill provide appropriate tax support for renewable energy, biofuels, and energy efficiency. sadly, the failure to extend this for at least two years may result in the loss of up to 30,000 jobs. nor, mr. speaker, does it provide long-term clarity on bonus depreciation or small bezz expensing, all of which would give greater confidence to the growth of jobs. this also speaks to a larger challenge that congress has and an opportunity to address in the new year. instead of this annual ritual of extending individual credits and deductions, we ought to engage in meaningful, comprehensive, and pro-growth tax reform that provides greater certainty across our economy to businesses and individuals alike.
we all know that doing so will not be easy. it will involve difficult choices on both sides of this aisle. again, mr. chairman, i want to congratulate you. you had the courage to put forward a bill earlier this year that made tough decisions in order to show a path to lower rates and a simpler code without adding to the deficit. but that path wasn't the path taken by the majority in this congress, mr. speaker. instead the house voted on bill after bill after bill to cut taxes recklessly without any plan to stabilize the debt. invest in our future priorities and create jobs in a meaningful way. this package we will be voting on today is the least we can do. it isn't what i hoped for.
isn't what i hoped i would stand in this well and urge my colleagues to support at the beginning of the 113th congress. but it is better than many of the cynical alternatives that we have heard about. and i want to congratulate the ranking member and frankly the president of the united states for saying no to an irresponsible package. may i have one additional minute? mr. levin: i yield the gentleman two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. while i support this bill, i do so believing that america deserves better. . wants better. hopes to get better. that's what each and every one of us was sent here to deliver. responsible policy for our country. this is not that policy.