tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN March 16, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
mr. speaker, i welcome congresswoman ellmers. mrs. ellmers: thank you to my friends and colleagues from wyoming, mrs. lummis. i just want to say how much i appreciate your leadership, especially today, as we're talking about women's history month, and the different roles that we as women in congress are playing in how we want to formulate and build the structure into the future for all women and i thank you for your service to all of us representing wyoming. mr. speaker, today is -- this month is women's history month. it is an opportunity to highlight the various ways women in america are pushing the envelope to leave a positive and lasting imprint on society. as the first woman to represent north carolina's second district and the first woman in our state to represent fort
bragg, national security remains one of my utmost priorities. so when i learned of a proposal to deactivate the 444th airlift wing, located at pope army airfield in fort bragg, i rallied my north carolina colleagues. for nearly two years we went toe to toe with the air force on this misguided decision. for nearly two years -- the 444th is known to rapidly mobilize and execute last-minute exercises. it is unique in its mission and provides unparallel levels of training to paratroopers of the 18th airborne core. deact vision of the airlift wing would undoubtedly affect our military readiness and it could jeopardize the safety of our paratroopers. given the global uncertainty abroad right now, this decision just doesn't make sense. to fight this ill-conceived decision, i coordinated with my north carolina colleagues to
question top military leaders here at the capitol. during these same meetings we sought answers to tough questions and asked for data to back up their justification for the wing's closure. as a woman representing the military base, i have remained unwavering in my work to acquire answers. i have asked for meetings with the air force reserve, the army, the pentagon, members of the joint chiefs of staff and local fort bragg commanders. the threat of terrorism abroad and the growth of radical groups like isis makes the decision to deactivate even more baffling. constituents back home in north carolina feel the same way, and so i have charged forward in my efforts to prevent its closure. in conclusion, mr. speaker, i think it's important to reiterate that the republican women in congress are making history in a variety of ways. as women, we are working to
create new opportunities, restore a confident america and ensure the safety and security of every family living in our country. thank you, again, to my good friend, congresswoman aluminum miss, for hosting today's -- congresswoman lummis, for hosting today's special order, being the person she is representing wyoming, being a leader amongst all of us women in congress and allowing us to speak about the individual initiatives that we are tackling as women. with that i yield back. mrs. lummis: i thank the gentlewoman and acknowledge her expertise on health care. i want to raise an issue that i'd love to hear your comments on. one of the bills that i am co-sponsoring is a bill called the research for all act, and it would acknowledge that most medical research focuses on men and studying women is suggested but not required. now, sometimes different drugs
have different effects on women than they do on men and vice versa. for example, there is a diabetes drug study that shows that their drug may lower women's risk of heart failure but increase a man's, and unless we have aduate studies ne on both men and women, we won't recognize those differences or nuances in treatment options that should be tailored differently to men and women. based on your experience in nursing, your life-long career there, do you have any comments about other health care initiatives that women are working on here in congress? mrs. ellmers: wow, you know, thank you, first of all, for your piece of legs on that particular issue -- legislation on that particular issue because it shows how incredibly
accurate you are when you say there are so many treatments geared towards women and geared towards men. when you highlight heart conditions, that is number one killer of women in this country when we look at disease. heart disease is the number one. so when we look at this, we know that women respond differently to symptoms of heart disease than men do,nd so do the drugs. so that's a perfect example of why we have to be focusing from a perspective where we consider both genders. there are so many things that are being worked on here in washington by the women leaders that we have. for instance, some of the things that we have been able to pass on a large bipartisan scale have to do with breast cancer. e u.s. p. pstf came to a decision that women between ages of 24 and 49 don't
necessarily have to have madam mammograms and therefore -- mamograms and therefore their insurance shouldn't have to pay for it. we were able to put a two-year moratorium on that decision so that we can actually bring a consensus together. the last thing we want to do for women in this country is send out more mixed messages on breast cancer and the treatment of and the prevention of. so we're working with our colleagues as republicans and democrats. you know, another perfect example of a health care decision that's being made by that we are all targeting
and we got to do that for every senior in this country who is medicare. they need the health care that they deserve, and we've got to make ything we can to sure that it is accessible to them. -- bviously the largest the elephant in the room, if you will, is, of course, the caroline garcia. in -- of course, the affordable care act. it's a mess with the insurance plans, the individual plans themselves have skyrocketed from 30% to 40% to 50% increase in premiums. with an equal increase on the deductibles. the out-of-pocket cost that families in north carolina now
are spending is outrageous. they are literally making decisions to not go to the doctor when they need health care because they don't want to have to pay extra. this is unacceptable. it certainly was not the intention of the affordable care act. and as you know to my dear colleague, we have had many of the solutions to this problem, and i believe that the women in our conference are going to lead and be a strong voice to our leadership for us to move forward so that we can show the american people that we have alternatives to the affordable care act that will continue to give them good coverage but also continue to support good health care. 21st century cures we passed in 2015. another perfect example of all of us coming together to ensure the american people get the coverage -- the coverage, the cures. what better way to save dollars in health care than to come up
with cures? if we can find one on alzheimer's alone we can sav incredible amounts of money. listen, i am just proud and honored to be able to have a voice, especially when it comes to health care, because as we know, health care touches every life and we have to do everything as members of congress, as mothers, as sisters, to do everything we can for the american people. mrs. lummis: would the gentlewoman yield? alzheimer's, which you mentioned, is a disease where 2/3 of the patients are women, which also means that men are 50% less likely to get it. so the importance of having women making policy on these issues is very high because we're the ones who are dealing with frequently female relatives, be they mothers, sisters, aunts who are
suffering from alzheimer's. and when we ha people like congresswoman ellmers who has a nursing background, a medical professional background, we have the opportunity to use that expertise that she has gained in her prior career in her capacity as a member of the energy and commerce committee where much of the health care-related legislation originates in this congress. in addition, our new speaker of the house, paul ryan, has put together several idea-gathering groups to make sure we're building an agenda for the next congress that will address these issues that have festered during the last eight years. ong them, the unacceptable consequences of obamacare that have created the situations which you described in your own state. can you give us a sneak preview about what some of these idea
meetings are bringing to light about the direction of health care policy as crafted by the republican party, about your role in those idea sessions and how we itend to roll out health care that truly is affordable? mrs. ellmers: well, will just say i've h the honor of being part of the republican study committee group that has worked on alternatives to the affordable care act, and we have come up with about 10 or 12 different issue-based sections that are good policy, that really have been there for a while, that many of our members have had and we actually culminated it into a plan of action that would take care of the issue and cover those things that the affordable care act is leaving the american people behind. you know, one of the issues is
choice, being able to choose a plan for your family that you feel is appropriate. unfortunately, the affordable care act, it was promoted as something that pvided incredible choice. you were going to be able to go to your doctor. you were going to be able to go to the hospital you wanted. it was going to bring down the costs, and none of those things have come to be true. so now we have to go in and we have to change this. you should be able to buy insurance across state lines or from a diffeent perspective rather than what you have within your own state. you should be able to have a health care savings plan where you can put dollars away and be responsible for yourself. young ople are in a different situation. they shouldn't have to spend hundds and hundreds of dollars every month on a health care plan that they cannot afford when thecan have a much more economical issue there. another situation that they can - that they can deal with. you know, another big issuis tort reform at the national
level. i think this is something that will also save dollars. there are mny, many ideas from the business side of it with small businesses to larger businesses having better choices, being able to negotiate health care plans. so when we're talking about health care and we're talking about the affordable care, what we really are talking about is health care coverage, and i think that's one of the most important parts of this discussion that many times i think gets confused. we're talking about health care coverage which leads to better health care. we should be doing everything we can toake sure that it is accessible to every american, and to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. you know, pre-existing conditions is a huge iue. we have toe able to deal ith that. we know that we cannot leave the american people hanging. in other words, when we talk about wanting to repeal it, we know there has to be a process in place to make sure that
there's a safety net for all of those families who have been forced off of their insurance plans and onto an affordable care plan that was not their choice. only they were forced tdo it because it became law. and now we have to make sure that we're providing an option for them, one that will move them from one place to another, a much better place. and i will just say, again, that we are dedicated to this issue. it's the main reason i ran for congress to begin with. i will not let up on this until we actually have the lutions that we're looking for. i'm looking forward to us working together or this next year on this issue and just moving health care forward in so many different ways. unfortunatel the federal government does have a lot to do with what is working and what is not working. and i'm happy to be part of that conversation. mrs. lummis: i wanto thank
the gentlelady for her dedication to health care for americans that will truly work for them. and speakg of which, and in recognition of a wonderful woman who is an example of the types of health care issues that we're addressing this afternoon as part of our focus on women's history month, we've been joined by the gentleman from arizona who would like to pay tribute to a woman from his great state of arizona. i yield to the gentleman, congressman matt salmon. . mr. salmon: before i start honoring this wonderful woman, i would like to say i learned early in my life and church that if you wanted to talk about something, you conveniented a meeting with a bunch of men. if you wanted to solve something, you convened a meeting with women. iss lummis: will the gentleman
yield? the congress crowth but the hen deliverth the goods. i yield back. mr. salmon: i thank the gentlelady. very, veryy to speak loving and admiringly of one of the most people i have had a chance to know in my life. her name is laura. i first met her when i was a state legislature and assigned to be on the health committee. laura was a citizen activist that came down to champion the cause of families and specifically families with children with developmental disabilities. i was amazed then at her passion and i remember telling her, you ought to run for office someday. she was a beloved member of the arizona community, and a tireless champion for those with developmental disabilities. and one of the strongest advocates for families i have
met in my life. she sought to lift people's lives around her. she was first elected to the state legislature legislature in 1994. she set herself as a selfless public servant. a few weeks ago our speaker in talking to the conference mentioned that there are two types of people in politics -- there are doers and there are beers. laura was a doer. she was not interested in having the title in being a state legislator. she was interested in solving the problems of the day. she was diagnosed in 2012 with ovarian cancer. i remember seeing her shortly after that diagnosis and there was no despair, no concern without missing a beat she just wanted to talk about how she could uplift other people's lives. i remember laura decided to champion an idea in arizona, which i believe is an idea whose time has come.
it is called the right to try. and i think it was one of the very first states in the country that's tried to pass this by referendum. and laura was successful in doing it. it basically allows individuals with terminal diseases access to things that aren't necessarily approved by the f.d.a. yet. but to be able to -- if it's their last-ditch chance, they ought to have a shot at life. that was laura's contention. she championed this idea. it passed overwhelmingly at the ballots. i'm sad to say that four years after her diagnosis, she succumbed to this dread disease. i was shocked because laura was on facebook and every other social media outlet, constantly championing ideas and thoughts of others, and she never said anything about herself. never wallowed in self-pity. she was the kind of person that
realized that the greatest service that we can do is serving other people. in my church there is a saying that when you're in the service of your fellow being, you're in the service of god. and i think laura understood that better than anybody. and because of laura, i introduced h.r. 3012, the right to try act, introduced the last session of congress. i think that americans deserve the same opportunity that arizonans have to be able to try to save their life and do whatever is necessary to save their life if they are terminally ill and have no other options, no hope. i think that we can honor laura and others like her by allowing everybody across the united states who suffers from a terminal illness the access to every tool available to help them fight for their precious life. the right to try to me is in reality a component of the god-given right to life. the right to try offers hope to those who have nowhere else to
turn. laura passed away at the age of 60. leaving behind her husband, robert, their six children, 19 grandchildren, and one great grandchild. i ask my colleagues to join me today in honoring laura's life and pray that we continue laura's fight to allow those with terminal illnesses another chance at life. i thank the gentlewoman and i yield back. miss lume miss: i thank the-- miss lummis: i thank the gentleman for the tribute to a woman who provided an option that women and men can use in the event that they are terminally ill. where a possible drug treatment, or other type of treatment, has been bied that has not yet drug analysisd.a. and has not yet been approved, but may be tremendously helpful to to preserving these lives
that -- helpful to preserving these lives that will be otherwise cut short so early, especially a woman of laura's caliber who at 60 years of age died leaving such a wonderful family. i thank the gentleman for sponsoring the legislation giving people the same opportunities that arizonans have. have you reintroduced that piece of legislation in this congress? mr. salmon: actually, we are going to be reintroducing it, and we are going to probably rename it laura's law. in honor of laura. there's very few times in your life you meet somebody that you think they got the memo mixed up in heaven that god sent a memo that said this person is supposed to be an angel, but they actually got to come down to earth. that was laura. she was an angel. living angel. somebody that gave a lot of people reason for hope through
the course of her life, and she never, ever sought recognition. all she sought was helping others and changing other people's lives. you know what? that's the standard we all aspire to. but there are rare occasions when we find somebody that just embodies everything that's good. mrs. lummis: as we celebrate women's history month and look for that junction between women who have done historic things, women such as laura, and the way that they have paved the way for policies that can be implemented, that provide opportunities for people that are in a similar condition as hers, some hope, a chance at a longer life. congressmanful that salmon has been willing to pick up the torch of her good work and bring it to the attention of and hopefully the approval of
this congress. we thank you for your role in this congress for acknowledging the importance of laura's life for today's special order on women's history month, and for carrying on her fine work in our capacity as a fine gentleman who is doing the best to represent his state and in doing so enhances the opportunity for every american in this nation. i thank the gentleman. mr. salmon: would the gentlewoman yield? i do want to say one other thing. i know that the gentlelady will be retiring after the end of this term. i just want to say what a true honor it's been to serve with a statesman such as yourself. i -- you are truly one of the bright spots in this place. there have been a lot of times when i feel i had to kick myself extra hard to get motivated and get on the plane and come back to washington, d.c., and leave
my family behind. but there are people that give me hope. you're one of those people. and you will be sorely missed. doesn't matter whether you are a woman or not a woman, you you happen to be, you are a fine, fine individual. and i'm proud to know you. mrs. lummis: i thank the gentleman. it's an honor to serve with you. i know that you are completing your second tour of duty in this congress as well. and will be returning to a lovely family in arizona. those of us from the west are blessed to live in beautiful places with people that create a society that matches the scenery. you are an important part of that society. cloor -- clearly laura was an important part of that society. she enhanced your life and you in turn enhance ours. i thank the gentleman for -- the gentleman from arizona for his service. you know here in women's history month i can't help but toot the horn of my great state of wyoming, the first government in
the world to grant women the right to vote. we also had the first woman governor, the first woman justice of the peace, the first woman grand juror. the first women who were elected delegates to the republican and democratic national conventions. the first woman elected official in the country who happened to be the state superintendent of public instruction. all of these women were trail blazers. this all happened 50 years before the 19th amendment to the u.s. constitution granted all american women the right to vote. wyoming territory in 1869 became the first government in the world to continuously grant women the right to vote, and it has been my privilege as a woman from the great state of wyoming to follow a woman colleague,
congresswoman barbara cubin, who erved 14 years in this body. i'm now in my eighth term, make a combined total of 22 consecutive years where our beloved state of wyoming has been represented in this house of representatives by women. and that's quite really saying something since wyoming only has one member of congress. it is indeed a great honor. these women, however, we cannot just celebrate their past, our past. and the opportunities that we enjoy in this great nation. we have to use what we have learned as american women to enhance the lives of our fellow americans as we serve here. which is one of the reasons that we are both celebrating women's
history month and discussing specifically today with the republican party is doing. women's history month is our opportunity to celebrate the incredible accomplishments women have made to america, but the most lasting tribute we can pay this month is our effort to make history for the next generation of women. and that's why house republicans are building an agenda to restore a confident america. where every american feels secure in their lives and their futures. the five big priorities that women care about that we are working on together this year include national security, which was discussed by rene ellmers. jobs, which was discussed, of course, by virginia foxx. health care, where we have several nurses and medical practitioners that are women, that are deeply involved in this
legislative project. upward mobility, something that is important to all americans, but especially women -- but especially women, when you consider how many women head of households there are. when you consider a rising tide lifts all boats. when women earn more money, families do bert. children do better. women do better. men do better. it's very important than when we are talking about upward mobility that opportunities are provided for women by having a tax code that does not burden them. by having jobs that come back to this country that have previously left this country. and we can do that by changing our tax code in a way that allows us to bring jobs back to this country so those employers
and their employees are not penalized by higher taxes that we have through a tax code that makes sure that corporations pay more taxes here than they do in other countries. that's why we have what are called inversions. that's why people are leaving this country to take their jobs to other countries. we need to bring them back, providing more opportunities to have great jobs here in this country. for women, heads of households, and for all members of our society and culture. with women making the majority of health care decisions in this country. we need to repeal and replace the affordable care act with an act that will provide opportunities for a marketplace for insurance that acknowledges that some people have pre-existing conditions, and you
will not be penalized for such. that acknowledges that some people just want catastrophic coverage and later in their life can move into a system that maybe provides more specific coverage. that allows you to shop for insurance across state lines. you can find a product that works specifically for you. . and has a pool of participants large enough so that a very small population state like mine can be involved in a bigger pool thereby bringing down the risk and bringing down the costs for those of us in very small states. we have to be looking, also, at specific health care issues. ultiple sker sclerosis is much more prevalent in the intermountain west than any other areas and research being done right now at cornell university is showing there is a possible connection between
multiple sclerosis and a fungus in the soils. those are the kinds of unusual connections when research is done that will allow us to address certain health care issues that may be more prevalent in one region than another. and a health care system that is flexible and affordable and recognizes that not all health care issues are the same for men or women, for the intermountain west versus the the al states, for african-american population, for the hispanic population, for the white population. these are all things that need to be discussed in the context of an affordable health care system that recognizes the tremendous scientific advantages that we enjoy by virtue of having a first-class higher education system. and we have to make sure that that higher education system
continues to advance opportunities for all people that can contribute to the body of knowledge that have made america the greatest country in the world and women currently making up the largest component of the higher education population will be leading the way among them. before i wrap up this special order that has acknowledged women's history in this country and acknowledges the work that's being done here in congress to make sure the future for american women is brighter, better, more prosperous and better for the future, i'd like to ask the gentleman from iowa who has joined us if he would like to address as a champion of health care revision that will benefit both men and women for a few words. the gentleman, mr. king of iowa, is recognized. mr. king: i thank the
gentlelady from wyoming for recognizing and yielding to me for this important topic. i'm privileged just to be here on the floor listening to this discussion that we have today. i think of the many, many hours that roll back, oh, as far back as 2009 when the health care debate began to get intensified here in this congress. and from the beginning, for me, it was about freedom. and i often say to people that the most sovereign thing that we have is our soul. we're in charge of that. we're in control of that. with god's help we're in management of our soul. and the federal government hasn't figured out how to tax it, nationalize it or manage it. ok, that may be a point of profundity, but what's the second most sovereign thing we have, aside from our soul? number two, our skin and everything inside it, our bodies. and the federal government has figured out under obamacare how to nationalize that, how to do
a, i call it a hostile takeover of my, our skin and everything inside it and tell us we are going to tax your paycheck and we're going to command you to take that money and pay a health insurance premium, not the policy of your choice, the policy of uncle sam's choice and then that policy, the rules written within it and the thousands of pages of rules that have been written on obamacare since, they will determine whether you get health care or at least whether you get it paid for out of your health insurance policy or not. that i call a hostile takeover of my skin and everything inside it. and so i -- it's abhorrent to for a free people to be subjugated to such a law. we've had elections in 2010, 2012, 2014 and now an election coming up in 2016 and the results of this upcoming election might finally be the one where we have the full
100%, rip it out by the roots as if it had never been enacted obamacare, repeal it completely and entirely as if it had never been enacted are actually the last words of the repeal bill that i wrote in the middle of the night after it passed on march 22 of 2010. a sleepless night, i might add. but the question was -- what's the other side of the glorious -- the glorious repeal of obamacare? a number of really good things that we would have been done by ow if not the policy enacted by the name named by our president. and the first one is selling insurance across state lines. there is legislation there that has existed for years called the mccarran-ferguson act that enables the states to right the mandates and the specifications in such a way that the states can be lobbied by large health insurance companies whose goal is to have a monopoly within each of those states. and so that's trade
protectionism that's allowed. it's in violation of the commerce law in the constitution, i might add. we need to repeal mccarran-ferguson so that a young man at the beginning of this dialogue in 2009 or 2010, 23-year-old young man would be paying about $6,000 a year for a typical health insurance policy in new jersey, but a young man, same age, similarly situated in kentucky will be paying about $1,000 a year. this would let the young man from new jersey buy the policy from kentucky which would eventually the competition would bring the price down in new jersey, probably wouldn't bring it up in kentucky and we would see that the opportunities we would have as americans, we can trade health insurance in any state, free trade zones on health insurance and what a wonderful thing. and then take the federal mandates, they'd be gone, they would be away and that would mean, especially young people, that could wisely manage their investments would be able to
buy a health savings account and the way they were set up in 2003, a couple at age 23 could have invested $5,150 a year. that was the maxout in an h.s.a. if they spent about $2,000 a year out for normal medical costs and accrued the balance of that at the 40-year average of interest rate, they would arrive at 65, medicare eligibility, with approximately $950,000 in their health savings account. and uncle sam's interest in that h.s.a. at that point, that nearly a million dollars, would be to tax it as real income when it comes out of the h.s.a. well, i'd say instead, if you could buy a medicare replacement policy and the dollars when we did the math on this for the couple for $144,000. now, the government would tax the balance. i'd say keep the change tax-free. if you take yourself out of the medicare rolls, the entitlement rolls by buying a replacement, aknew tiesed paid up for life
policy to replace the medicare liability, keep the change tax-free, say around $800,000 tax-free, that becomes your retirement account. so the h.s.a. has become now a life management account where you would be planning your health insurance. the more money you had in your h.s.a., the more deductible you could sustain, the higher deductible and the higher co-payment and with that nest egg of an h.s.a., you can negotiate a health insurance premium down. you'd manage your weight, get your exercise, get your checkups. because you want to be able to live long and healthy to spend all that mad money if you choose, that balance of $800,000. that's the kind of thing in front of us if we can get obamacare out of the way. sell insurance across state lines, expand h.s.a.'s, address the tort reform piece of this which is billions of dollars a year that's unnecessarily spent on tests that are done to protect from the liability
that's there. and with these packages, other good ideas that come from other members, doing this in the fashion and vision by our founding fathers. we go out to where all of the solutions are, out to the voices and ideas of the people, bring those ideas here. each of us our job, the gentlelady from wyoming's job and mine is to sort through the good ideas and bring the best ideas here to washington and let our best ideas compete with the other good ideas and put that out on the president's desk for the solutiones that we really need. i'd be -- i appreciate the attention and the opportunity to speak, and i'd yeed back to the gentlelady from wyoming. mrs. lummis: i thank the gentleman from iowa for his leadership on this issue, for being a devoted husband and father and father-in-law, and i know that the women in your life have influenced your perspectives on these health care issues as they have so many of us. thank you for participating in
this discussion, this special order celebrating women's history month. i want to conclude this special order by highlighting two republican women with whom i serve in congress who are truly doing courageous things in their lives with their families. woman of all, congress cathy mcmorris rodgers who is the highest ranking republican woman in this conference. she is our conference leader. she is the mother of three children. one special needs child who is a friend to all of us, a delightful young man, who was born while she was serving in congress, as were her other two children. the devotion of cathy mcmorris rodgers -- that cathy mcmorris rodgers has to her family and to parents of special needs
children has brought about important legislation that is good for parents and special needs children all over this country as we celebrate this women's history month. i want to acknowledge our colleague, cathy mcmorris rodgers, for her important role in this congress as a leader on this issue and many others. i also want to acknowledge our colleague, jamie herrera beutler, who is from the state of washington. jamie, during pregnancy which occurred while she also was serving as a member of this congress and as she still does, experienced a pregnancy that would have brought about the death of her child. but because she was courageous nough to test and like laura's law would allow a rather experimental treatment where e was injected with a saline
solution in utero that allowed that baby to continue to mature until its birth. at which point it was allowed to grow, had dialysis and then at a point at which that child had become big enough and healthy enough could receive an organ transplant from jamie herrera beutler's husband, the father of the child, and that child and that father and that mother, who we continue to serve with here in this congress, are all doing well. this is the first known child to survive given the condition that that child was identified as having before it was born. now, most doctors recommend that a parent terminate that pregnancy or, in many cases, that pregnancy will be terminated on its own without
the volvement outside of womb. but in jamie's case, she took the extraordinary step of having a saline injection to allow that child to continue to grow and mature in a way that allowed it to be born. in is a lovely child, another friend of all of ours because occasionally that child visits us here in the cloakroom behind this floor of the house. what an honor to serve with these two courageous mothers who while having these children threes through extraordinary issues are serving their districts and their states and this country and continue to uplift women in this country through their service to this congress. as i conclude this tribute to women's history month, i want to remind people that women in this congress are making a
difference with regard to legislation that affects all of us. whether they're in avenues of natural resources, water, air, the areas that i spend most of my time on. whether they're in the areas of health care or jobs, higher ducation and areas of interest -- the areas that women in congress are interested in are as diverse as the areas that men are interested in. but women bring a different perspective to those same issues. women look out into the future. you know, when i served in the wyoming legislature, our chief clerk who sits up there, just these folks do, and observe what's happening say, can you tell the difference between a way men and women legislate, regardless of whether they're democrats and republicans? and he said absolutely. women are looking for the -- to
the future. they're not focused on the next election. they're focused beyond the next election for what will be good for their children, their grandchildren and future of the nation. and you know, as i have observed his comments throughout my legislative years in wyoming and now my legislative years here, i think there's some truth to that, and that's why i any it's so important that women be involved in the legislative process and that participate in this great institution that is the congress of the united states for the betterment of future generations. . with that, mr. speaker, i thank you kindly for your indulgence of this special order and i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentlewoman from new jersey, ms. watson coleman, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee
of the minority leader. mrs. watson coleman: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and include remarks extraneous material on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. watson coleman: thank you, mr. speaker. on monday night we got word of a decision that may be the death knell for the budget proposal made by the majority of this body. the members of the self-styled freedom caucus have announced their refusal to support the plan that their own leadership has put forward. mr. speaker, i am truly afraid of what they would offer as an alternative because the budget being considered in committee this week is a far cry from what american families need. and at its most fundamental level, a budget is two things. it's a guiding document, and
it's a statement of values. and the budget that the house committees have put forward, the budget that's not enough for members of the freedom caucus, makes it clear that they value special interests more than working families. it's a guiding document to an american -- america bereft of opportunity for those who worked or studied or fought for. my colleagues and i are here on the floor tonight to support a very different plan, a budget that seeks to give everyday americans the only opportunity they have ever asked for. the opportunity to work hard, play by the rules and get ahead. it's a budget for the people so it shouldn't come as a surprise we call it the people's budget. mr. speaker, the congressional progressive caucus budget would invest in our schools, our roads, our bridges, our workers,
and our environment to put us back on the path to prosperity in a way that austerity never will. because the cuts of the past few years should have been made one thing clear, trimming our spending does little to impact the long-term deficit, but it destroys working families, hinders the most vulnerable americans, and threatens the future of our nation. the people's budget would invest $1 trillion in our bridges, roads, railways, and other infrastructure facilities to prevent the kind of devastating failures we have witnessed in flint, michigan. the people's budget will fully fund head start, capitalizing on one of the best opportunities to give our young people a leg up in an increasingly global economy. the people's budget would take steps to make debt-free college
a reality for students, keeping higher education as a ladder into economic prosperity rather than making it a privilege for top earners. the people's budget would fully fund affordable housing programs and would end persistent family homelessness with an investment of $11 billion. the people's budget would take a stand on protecting our environment from further damage, investing in clean and renewable energy resources, and ending subsidies for oil, gas, and coal once and for all. and that's just the beginning. our economy may be rebounding from the great recession, but there are plenty of americans that have been left behind, stuck in roles with low wages and long-term unemployment, and the gender and racial pay gaps that persist in this nation or
in debt that keeps them from progressing in their lives. we can't afford to let this stand, mr. speaker. we need a budget for the people and we need it now. mr. speaker, the budget announced by the majority yesterday is truly a road map to ruin. it would leave seniors out in the cold by ending the medicare guarantee. it would gut domestic programming with $6.5 trillion in cuts, the most outrageous and threatening action ever proposed by the majority on the budget committee. it would make the gap between average americans and the wealthy few too great to bridge, taking away any chance at restoring the vibrant middle class our economy relies on. it would do the same thing that my colleagues have tried to do for some time, stack the deck for top earners, and the well connected at the expense of everyone else.
the people need change. the people need a plan that levels the playing field, that will give them opportunity to succeed, and puts their interest above the interest of corporations and the wealthy. the people need salaries that let them do more than just make ends meet. the people need a way to pay for affordable childcare while they are at their jobs. the people need education for their children and teachers trained to give students the tools to succeed. they need roads that aren't crumbling and trains that stay on the tracks. and bridges and tunnels that connect them with their jobs without hours of traffic. and job training to find employment in a changing economy. the people, mr. speaker, need the people's budget. and with that i would like to yield to my colleague, the chairman of the progressive ucus, the gentleman from
minnesota, mr. ellison. mr. ellison: thank you. thank you, representative watson coleman. i appreciate your leadership for the progressive caucus special order hour. every week out you help give the world the progressive message. i'm so grateful you do it. let me mention that the people's budget is really not just some document that members of the progressive caucus huddled in a room and drafted up. we actually believed that the people ought to participate in the writing of the people's budget. so we engage not only with the ideas from constituents from our districts, but also from other people like the economic policy institute, people in the labor community, and others who all had great ideas about how to formulate our budget. all together we included the ideas of 44 different groups and many, many individuals beyond that to support and help us draft the people's budget. we want to thank all of them. this really is a people's budget because it puts forward the main
thing that any budget ought to put forward on a budget from congress. that is promotion of good-paying jobs. just because the unemployment rate has gotten to a lower level doesn't mean that we got a great jobs picture for working americans. the people's budget would increase jobs by $3.6 million good-paying jobs, and we are very proud of that. while republicans may think the best way to compare a budget is to how many dollars from the federal budget they cut, we believe that the main way to judge a budget is by how many good americans does it put to work at good-paying jobs? how do we create these jobs? one, by investing in our infrastructure. the people's budget invests in $1 trillion so we can rebuild our roads, bridges, railways, and water systems and grid. we make sure that the crumbling infrastructure that we are facing right now gets fixed. that includes infrastructure in
flint, michigan, and other cities around this country where it is so hard-pressed. but beyond that, we will provide the protection that is american workers need. the people's budget calls for protection of collective bargaining. works to close the pay equity gap. increases funding for worker protection agencies by -- that crack down on wage theft and overtime abuses. but that $1 trillion will also save americans lives. two weeks ago i and many members of the progressive caucus and black caucus traveled to flint, michigan. i saw firsthand what happens when governments are run like a business. when money is the only consideration and the governor thinks that passing an emergency manager law just to cut costs at the expense of children's health and clean water, we see what the results of that kind of thinking are. and that pennywise but incredibly pound-foolish.
we saw firsthand what happens when governments are run like a business and i met dozens of families who are exposed to dangerous levels of lead, but also people who are touched by diseases of legionaires because of water borne illness. the people's budget include $765 million for the city of flint so we can replace toxic pipelines and provide health and education services for residents. but flint isn't the only city that's exposing residents to lead. so the people's budget also includes $150 billion for waterlines nationwide. a tragedy like flint we can never allow to happen again, but we have to make the investments right now. it's a simple choice. do we believe that we should have a state's tax cuts for the richest people who have passed on? the richest dead people? hud should we cut their taxs? should we cut the taxes of multinational giant profitable corporations?
or should we spend the money to help ep sure the health and welfare of american children and other citizens? i think we should look out for the american people. the people's budget does that. we are glad to have the support of so many organizations. we look forward to a very strong vote when the day arrives. i'd like to ask representative watson coleman, should i do my other statement? you know what, representative watson coleman, thank you for your time. i want to make another statement unrelated to our budget, but still very important. . speaker, i am profoundly saddened and angered by the murder of berta and nelson garcia. two leading environmental ack at this vis in the nation of honduras. these two murders were less than
two weeks apart and this is an ongoing challenge that must be addressed immediately. berta spent decades fighting for the rights winning the goldman environmental prize, an internationally recognized award for her work. she was assassinated in her home while she was supposed to be under special investigation by government security forces. mr. garcia was a member of her organization, the civic council of popular and indigenous organizations of honduras. he was shot yesterday in front of his mother-in-law's home. honduras and the world have lost two extraordinary advocates for environmental and indigenous rights. and also for social justice. but we need to do more than mourn their loss. it's time to act. time -- it's time to suspend
assistance to the honduran security forces. time to suspend assistance to the honduran security forces until such time that we know that they are not penetrated by illegal actors. until such time that we can assure that when they say they are going to protect somebody, those people are protected. and that we can know and have confidence that the american taxpayer dollars are not being used to assassinate leaders who are doing nothing more than trying to improve the environment and increase the rights of indigenous people. these assassinations fit into a ptern of attacks against honduran activists since the 2009 military coup. the n.g.o. global witness calls honduras the most dangerous place in the world for environmental activists. more than 100 have been killed in the last five years there. many activists and community leaders remain at risk, and we
must do everything in our power to stop this violence and harassment in honduras. and e rest in peace, berta nelson. the people who remain behind will continue the fight for environmental justice and indigenous rights and we here in the united states join that fight. i yield back. mrs. watson coleman: thank you, mr. ellison. mr. speaker, before i close i want to spend a few minutes on another important topic as well. today president obama nominated chief justice marek garland to fill the vacancy left on the supreme court by associate justice antonin scalia. judge garland was -- has more federal judicial experience than any supreme court nominee in history. his work on the d.c. circuit court and appointment to which he was confirmed with strong bipartisan support, has earned praise from members of congress
on both sides of the aisle. he is qualified. he is competent. he's not the ultraliberal that many of my conservative colleagues feared. and yet and yet following up on his promise that the senate would consider absolutely no one that president obama put forward, majority leader mitch mcconnell said today that it is a president's constitutional right to nominate a supreme court justice and it is the senate's constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold its consent. i beg to differ. i think it's the president's constitutional responsibility not just the prerogative to fill the bench of the supreme court. and withholding consent, something that's typically done when a candidate is underqualityified -- underqualified or inappropriate, is something far different than just ignoring the process altogether.
this is a political decision made about the only body that shunalt be exposed to -- shouldn't be exposed to such things. it goes beyond a filibuster or commentary from a few outliars and if republicans follow through with their plan, it would institute the longest vacancy -- constitute the longest vacancy with a no vote on a nominee in forever. there's no precedent for this. there have been appointments, nominations and, above all, hearings during presidential election years. and it's flat-out ridiculous to refuse a man as qualified as judge garland even hearings. this is a der election of -- dereliction of duty that surpasses the sadly run of the mill inability of the majority to get anything done, from funding the government until the 11th hour to passing a budget to actually governing. mr. speaker, i would be remiss if i came to the floor without taking the time to say this. the senate must change course and consider judge garland on
his merits. he's earned bipartisan support before, and he deserves it again. and i need remind this body and the senate that the president of the united states was elected for a second term and that term includes two four full yeerts. and with that, -- years. and with that, mr. speaker, i conclude my special order hour. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, -- c.j. watson and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time, thank you. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015,, the gentlewoman from hawaii, ms. gabbert, is recognized for the remainder of the hour as the designee of the minority leader. ms. gabbard: thank you, mr. speaker. earlier this week there were a few votes, very important votes that occurred on complex issues that i'd like to discuss here today. they were with regards to house
concurrent resolution 75, and house concurrent resolution 121, which is the one i will discuss now. make no mistake, house concurrent resolution 121 is a war bill. it's a thinly veiled attempt to use the rationale of humanitarianism as a justification for overthrowing the syrian government of assad. similar resolutions were used in the past to legitimatize the regime change wars to overthrow the governments of iraq and libya. i will have no part of it. i voted no on house concurrent resolution 121, i voted no against more unnecessary interventionist regime change wars. we all know that al-assad, the president of syria, is a brutal dictator. but this resolution's purpose was not merely to recognize him as such. rather, it was a call to action. specifically, a call to
escalate our war to overthrow the syrian government of assad. nor the -- for the last five years, the united states, saudi and others have been working hand in hand in that war to overthrow the assad government, supposedly for humanitarian reasons. but i ask, how has this war to overthrow assad actually helped humanity? hundreds of thousands of syrians have been killed. millions have become homeless, refugees. much of the country's infrastructure has been destroyed. terrorist organizations like have l qaeda and others taken over large areas of the country and now the same people , want behind this war to escalate that war. d this is an attempt toin up
that escalation. this encourages the administration to create, quote, additional mechanisms for the protection of civilians. which is really coded language for the creation of a so-called no fly zone or safe zone. the creation of this no fly zone or safe zone in syria would be a major escalation of the war. doing this would cost millions of dollars, require tens of thousands of ground troops, and massive u.s. air presence and it won't work. furthermore, it will likely and has a direct resisted pressure to escalate this war in this war. the fact is that the main area currently in syria where christians, yazidis and other religious minorities can practice their faith without
fear of persecution, are in the syrian territories where assad maintains control. therefore, the overthrow of assad would worsen the genocidal activities by isis and al qaeda and other terrorist organizations against christians and other syrian religious minorities. if the u.s. has learned nothing else from iraq and libya, we should have learned that toppling ruthless dictators in the middle east creates even more human suffering and strengthens our enemy. groups like isis and other terrorist organizations in those countries. it is undeniable that in both iraq and libya, humanitarian conditions today are far worse than they were before those governments were toppled. and isis and other terrorist organizations are far more powerful with greater strongholds, causing even more suffering. if the u.s. is successful in its current effort to overthrow
the syrian government of assad, allowing groups like isis and al qaeda and other terrorist organizations to take over all of syria, which is what will happen, including those assad-controlled areas where christians and other religious minorities remain protected, the united states will be morally culpable for the genocide that will occur as a result. this is exactly what happened when we overthrew saddam hussein in iraq, it is what happened in libya when we overthrew gaddafi. to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result is the definition of insanity. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, for 30 minutes.
mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my privilege to be recognized here on the floor of the house of representatives and to continue the deliberation here that makes in the most deliberative body in the world. the senate might take issue with that. however, i'm always happy to engage in debate with the senators as well. i came to the floor because i wanted to speak, mr. speaker, out an issue that has cost scores and scores of american lives. and since the time i came into this congress, i was surprised, might say shocked, and appalled , that so few members were paying attention to the reality of what's happening in the streets of america and over the years. i think of a school bus that was run off the road up in minnesota a few years ago and four of the children in that school bus were killed. two of them were siblings and
three families were hit with that terrible tragedy. and the cause of that accident was a vehicle that ran the bus off the road, that was driven by an illegal alien. that had been interdicted multiple times, turned loose on the streets to recommit again and again. and i recall that discussion. it brought home to me something that i knew logically but i hadn't felt it emotionally at that point, mr. speaker, and that is that, if there are people in this country who are unlawfully present, and the law directs that when encountered by law enforcement, that they shall be placed into removal proceedings, if we enforce the law, we enforce the law when we encounter people who are illegally in america, then then by the very definition of -- then by the very definition of following the law, that requires that they're placed in removal proceedings, they're no longer on the streets of america, they're no longer riving vehicles that are run
ing school buses off the road, or bringing about head-on crashes or being involved in vehicular homicide or driving while under the influence, because by definition of enforcement of the law, they're not here to do that. they might commit these crimes in other countries and their home country. that's the issue for the countries that they are -- can be lawfully present in. but here, when i see the funerals of four children that come about because we had an opportunity to enforce the law and instead we decided that our compassion for the law breaker was greater than our compassion for the victim of the crime, you end up with four funerals of children that were riding homing from school in a school bus that day. now, it shouldn't take very much for people who are professionals that deal with this every day to understand that. that if the law says that they shall be placed in removal proceedings, you have a president who says to them instead, through jay johnson
who is now the secretary of the department of homeland security, to the law enforcement officers who pledge to take an oath to support and defense the institution -- defend the constitution, which by the way the president takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution, and the very definition in the take-care clause of the constitution is that he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. well, instead the president has decided to essentially execute some of the immigration law that exists. that doesn't mean enforce it, when i say that i say that facetiously, mr. speaker. he's ordered the law enforcement officers to not enforce the law, and the advice that came from jay johnson to the law enforcement officers, board par petroleum, if you came into this job and put on this uniform and took your oath to support the constitution and you thought that it meant that you're going to enforce immigration law, do you think that's what you're going to do, you better get another job. that was the message to them. they came out here about 10
days ago. get another job if you came here to enforce the law. if you're working for the border patrol or for i.c.e. or for custom border protection, it's an appalling thing, mr. speaker, to think that we have a president who has taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states, and to take care that laws be faithfully executed, and instead he's taking care that they not be enforced. in case after case after case. and this poster i have, mr. speaker, is the bloody result. the headline says on here, the title, people freed to kill. 124 criminal aliens released by the obama policies charged with homicide since 2010. that's not all the homicides. here's where they are. a lot of them in california. a good number of them in arizona. texas. up along the east coast. council bluffs, iowa, or in omaha. yes, in my neighborhood as well, mr. speaker.
that's had 124 killers. these are criminals that had already been prosecuted, already been convicted. these are felons that had been released on the streets of america because of a policy that the president seems to think is a discretionary policy. and the not 124 graves only. it's at least 135 graves. because of the multiple murders that have taken place after their convicted and at least two of them that were released on the streets in the past were already convicted of homicide-related charges. that's how bad this is. the idea that we shouldn't enforce our laws even against people that are illegal in the united states, unlawfully present in america, out of some sense of compassion, and they might say that they don't have the room and they don't have the budget, well, that's not so either. i would just note some of the statistics that i have pulled down here over time.
in 2012, i.c.e. reported that there were 850,000 aliens present in the country who had been ordered removed or excluded but who had not departed. 850,000. now, they tell us that there's 11.2 million illegal aliens in america. well, i don't actually accept that number. that's a number that's been constantly and commonly used here. i arrived here in 2003, i swore in here on this floor in january, 2003. at that time the immigration debate was talking about 12 million illegals in america. 12 million, 12 million. the drum of 12 million was beat for several years. then it drifted down to 11.5 million, now 11.2 million. thinking that we have a crisis with illegal immigration coming into america, but the number hasn't increased? have that many gone back home? have that many died? if not that number is growing. i think it's grown substantially more. but the data we're looking at is 11.2 million.
that's from the pew research center. i think they do a good job. i do disagree with them on that number. if that's the case, out of 11.2 million illegals in america, 850,000 aliens are present in the united states of america who had already been ordered removed and we call that law enforcement? . almost nothing. and if you embarrass the administration and if you are such a violent criminal, perhaps they'll find a way to send you back, even when this administration wants to send them back, they don't push hard on those other countries to take them back. every country in the world that refuses to take their illegals back, we have the leverage to convince them to take those legal aliens back, 850,000 back. that is roughly 1 in 12 of illegal americans have been adjudicated for deportation and
they don't go and we don't do anything. for every one detained in federal court, 173 illegal aliens are detained by a federal court. i can divide that out in my head. federal court deals with 17.3 illegal aliens would be a lawful permanent resident or american resident -- citizen they deal with. . and i requested this in 2005 and this was a g.a.o. study and showed that 27% of our federal prison population are criminal jailens, 27%. more than a fourth of the inmates that are housed in federal prisons are criminal aliens. that is a huge percentage and if
you would think that they are in there for immigration crimes for overstaying their visa or for crossing the board. no. that's highly unlikely that they are incarcerated for what this administration calls minimum offenses, but for other offenses. the group that -- they represent 5% of the population, 27% of the federal prison population and presumably 27% of the federal crimes that are excited as well. and so that's a proportion of more than five times their representation in the population that are represented in prison and represented by the crimes that are committed. we should not think this is such data. crimes aren't just data because for every crime, there's at least one victim. and the victims pay a huge, huge price that is not compensated by the taxpayer.
for example, our criminal laws are descended from old english common law. and old english common law recognized that everything was the property of the sovereign, the king. and if you went out and poached a deer, the crime was against the crown because the king owned the deer. if you poached the deer, you killed the king's deer. if you killed one of his subjects, if you committed murder, the crime was against the crown. that's why today, the crimes that we have are against the state, whether it be the nation state or whether it be the state that we happen to be living in. when they say this is the case of the state versus whoever -- has the charges brought against them and john doe criminal and
will hear that announced, this is the case of the state of iowa against john doe, criminal. and if the victim is in that criminal courtroom, they are going to be looking back and forth listening to the prosecution and then the defense go back and forth and wondering where am i in this equation. the victim is not in the equation because if the state believes they get justice, then justice is served and the victim is essentially out of that equation with the exception of a few little things we have done to allow for and provide that the accused has to the opportunity -- the crime victim's family has the opportunity to face the convicted. we are descendants from that and the crimes committed against individuals, the victims of these crimes are paying the price, paying the price with their lives, paying the price
with their bodies, with whatever their treasured products might be. if they are the victim of assault and battery and grand larceny, they have been beaten up, pounded, maybe bones broken, maybe they survived an attempted homicide and maybe their wallet was lifted, things that they own or cherished or lost and they have to heal up and we don't compensate them for their loss even though the state is an intervenor in a criminal crime. so the case of the state versus john doe criminal should tell us that the loss of life is not compensated either. it's not measured, it's not quantified. the 124 aliens who committed murder during this period of time is a small portion of the number of criminal aliens who did commit homicides. but what are those lives worth?
we heard the gentleman from minnesota lament the loss of two lives. i'm sorry that he feels that pain and i'm sure the families feel the pain, but these are anonymous victims. the four children in minnesota, sathe steinle, her name is a 10, name murdered on july 2015 and when i see an of active lady, the picture kate steinle flashes into my mind's eye who was shot and killed by a criminal alien who had been ordered twice before. the sanctuary city isn't exclusive to san francisco. there are sanctuary jurisdictions in iowa, at least
25 of them i can identify and they exist the country. local jurisdictions that have decided they are not going to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers -- and furthermore, when i.c.e. puts out a detainer order, federal aw required that an i.c.e. order is mandatory. the statutory law was written in a way that detainer orders were mandatory on february 25 of a year ago, february 25, i believe -- my date is right, it could have been 2014 rather than 2015. t the i.c.e. temporary director, sent a letter out to hundreds of political jurisdictions, law enforcement jurisdictions and said to them, this i.c.e. detainer order that you have been complying with,
it's really not an order but just a suggestion. and we aren't going to enforce that or protect you if you are sued for detaining someone that i.c.e. put a detainer order on. when we don't have your back at the justice department even though the law directs that we do have and that brought about jurisdictions, entire counties that decided they aren't going to cooperate. when there is a detainer order to a sanctuary jurisdiction, their policy is, we aren't going to turn this criminal over to i.c.e. we are going to turn them loose instead. when they turn them loose, they do so by the tens of thousands and you know, you know, mr. speaker, that americans are the victims of homicide as a result. some of that is first degree murder, second degree murder,
vehicular homicide, americans' graves are scattered all over this country at the hands of criminal aliens, not only those that came across the border illegally, that makes them criminals, mr. speaker, but those who are in this country even legally when they commit a crime, they become a criminal alien. there's graves in every single state in this country, multiple graves that didn't need to be. there are grieving families all over this country and every single state that didn't need to grief, that didn't need to see their loved one kill, whether it was a car accident, whether it was a bullet, however it might have been, those lives could have been saved by enforcing the law. but instead, the obama administration does the opposite. they set up an affirmative plan to start turning loose illegal aliens who are criminals.
>> they go home to their home country and deported at the end of their sentence and that's how the law reads. the obama administration says we are going to turn them loose. 193 home sides represented by them -- 426 sexual assaults, 323 kidnappings, 1,075 aggravated assaults all of that packaged up in 2013. that was the beginning of this 2014, lease of criminals they slacked off, they released 5,558 criminal aliens and represented 79 thouks convictions. that's the work that is being done by the obama administration. and i could go on with data after data.
here's one, i.c.e. had been .laiming to remove aliens voluntary return when they are caught at the border. and the point of entry and turn you loose to walk back across the bridge. if you do that, we'll couldn't you as the deported. the obama administration has admitted they have shuffled the numbers and changed the category. even if this is an accurate comparison to previous administrations, those numbers have gone down from along the way, 389,834 in 2009. it did go up, 392,000 and change d down to 396 and then going
back but the number 2012 was 4 10,000. that number has dropped off by tens of thousands and then i.c. admitted to dropping and removal own to 368,. 315,in 2014. this number continues to go down. from up in 410,000 to 315,000. almost 100,000 fewer deportations when they are counting the voluntary returns in that list. that means we don't have a lot going and the message in the signal is, come try to get into america. and we aren't going to do that in administration. and what happens? what happens, we have a presidential nomination process that has emerged and who got the . rst big bounce and spark
and end illegal immigration residents in america and put them on the other side of the wall. that was donald trump. if donald trump doesn't have that issue, donald probably doesn't have a campaign. it's probably what motivated him to run for president. ted cruz has the solidest and cleanest record. it's come complete and inclusive and anti-amnesty and doesn't make provisions for inviting people back in after they are removed. i don't think that takes a lot of prudentens to hold that position. why would you reward a position, deport them back to their home country and do as they did in the gang of eight bill. they have a provision in that bill that thankfully the house didn't pick up. it's the we really didn't mean it clause, which is written into
the gang of eight's bill. if you have been deported in the past and you are in your home country today, after the gang of eight bill was presumably passed, we deported you before and didn't mean it and bring you back in here if we hadn't caught you in america and been in america while the gang of eight bill potentially would become law, you get to stay under those provisions and come back to america if you have previously been deported. that is lunacs going to trouble to enforce the law and then reverse that and then provide -- well, say we really didn't mean it clause. that bill had amnesty, it didn't deal with people who came in after it became law, so they would be treated with amnesty or path with those that were in america and those that were
deported from america they get to come back to america. . this is beyond my ability to reason with it. the logic that this country needs to reason with is the logic of the rule of law. we have to be a nation of laws, not of men, and the laws need to apply to everyone equally, not applied differently to different people. and there has to be an expectation that the law will be enforced. and if we don't have that, then we devolve into a third world country where you end up having to -- in a third world country you can get pulled over for not speeding but you might have to pay off the officer in order to be able to drive on down the road. in this country, if that ever happens, i wouldn't say it never happens but where i come from it does not happen and i never hear of it, that would be -- that would show a die gregs away from the rule of law. we have to all respect the law. the law's got to be enforced against everybody equally.
there has to be an expectation that the law will be enforced. and any country that has any value of protecting its own sovereignty has to have borders. we have borders. we know what they are. 2,000 miles on the southern border. roughly 4,000 miles on the northern border. oceans on east and west. that's the border of the united states of america. water all the way around hawaii. we know the lines in alaska. we don't dispute them with canada. we get along just fine, agreeing on what our borders are. but if we don't enforce them, if we don't protect them, we're no longer a sovereign nation. when we allow people to come across the border, stream across the border, we've had border patrol testimony here in this congress within the last decade where they testified that they believed that they interdicted perhaps 25% of those that attempted to cross the border. and when you look at the number of those interdictions and did
the math, it turned out to be four million illegal border crossing attempts in a year. in a single year. that's roughly at the peak of this, that's diminished down i think some by a few million. but think of that. 365 divided into four million. works out to about 11,000 a night. about 11,000 illegal aliens come across our southern border at night, maybe that number could be as far down as perhaps 6,000 or so. but that's stilled size of santa anna's army. the size of santa anna's army coming across our southern border every night and coming across with that, sure, there are some decent people that are looking for a better life. maybe a lot of them. but 80 to 90% of the illegal drugs that are consumed in america come from or through . xico it is a demand in the united states. it brings those drugs in here. we have a culpability in this too. but just the same, the violence in mexico, the murders that are there, there's over 100,000 people that have been killed in
the drug wars in mexico, all part of an open border situation that we have here in the united states. costing mexican lives, costing american lives, graves scattered in every single state in the union. because we have an administration that decided not to enforce the law. even though the president takes an oath to preserve, protect, defend the constitution and take care that the laws be faithfully executed. we've got executive overreach time after time after time. he's reached into the constitutional authority of this congress. and time after time i brought an amendment to this floor, mr. speaker, that has cut off all funding to implement or enforce the president's lawless unconstitutional amnesty action, to cut off all funding to the morton memo, to call off all funding to daca, to cut off all funding to dapa. and shut down those operations that are outside the constitutional authority of the president by my definition, by the definition of the majority vote in this congress, and also by the definition of the
president himself. who said multiple times, we have him on videotape at least 22 times saying he didn't have the authority, didn't have the constitutional authority to, i'll put it in shorthand, grant amnesty. he didn't use those words, but it certainly is the paraphrase of what he had to say. and after multiple times of telling us all, his proper constitutional interpretation, he decided to do it anyway. the president of the united states's restraint factor is not giving his word, putting his hands on the bible, and raising his right hand and taking an oath to the constitution, his restraining factor is not his word, it's what he can get away with. he demanded that congress pass the gang of eight amnesty bill and congress said, we're not doing that. we're not going to see the demographics of america forever altered by bringing in millions of undocumented democrats in order to play into the hands of barack obama and the democrats in the senate and the democrats in the house. we have a responsibility to the american people.
we the people need to decide. that's why our founding fathers wrote in the constitution, in the enumerated powers, the responsibility of congress to establish the naturalization laws, and by infor instance, to write the immigration laws. that immigration policy is not to be set by the president of the united states. it's to be set by congress. congress wrote the laws. in 1996, immigration reform act, which lamar smith of texas was so instrumental in, is a large body of the immigration law that we have to follow. that was the considered will of the people, it was a bipartisan considered will of the people. signed by the president of the united states. that would be bill clinton back then, wouldn't it? and so we have a country that is the unchallenged greatest nation in the world. we have a lot to be proud of. we have a destiny of history that has been flattened. it's been descending for a lot of reason. economic reasons, foreign policy reasons, cultural
reasons, failure to adhere to our oath to uphold the constitutional reasons, but in a large way, diminished because we have so little respect for the rule of law. of all of the things we can talk about with immigration policy, securing our borders, ending sanctuary cities, making sure that local law enforcement works again in cooperation with federal immigration officials, ending this idea that orders are voluntary, not mandatory, piece after piece of this, entry-exit system that tracks the people in the country. and when they leave, so we know what the balance is of those visitors that are here. and an e-verify system that i will say the new idea act, kingsville, all of that put together brings america the right place. we have an obligation to turn this into an ascending arc of history. not deseng. i thank you, mr. speaker, for your attention and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. or the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. either way, thank you. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for ms. jackson lee of texas for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request is granted. -- granted. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the house stands in recess subject to the call of the chair.
future generations. over the past several weeks, i set up a rigorous and comprehensive process. i have sought the advice of republican and democratic members of congress. we have reached out to every member of the senate judiciary committee, to constitutional scholars, to advocacy groups and bar associations to get opinions from all across the spectrum. and today, after completing this exhaustive process, i have made my decision. i have selected a nominee who is widely recognized not only as one of america's sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty and integrity, even-hand he hadness and excellence. these qualities and his long commitment to public service have earned him the respect and admiration of leaders from both
sides of the aisle. he will bring that same character to bear on the supreme court, an institution in which he is uniquely prepared to serve immediately. today, i'm nominating chief judge merrick garland to join the supreme court. [applause] president obama: now, in law enforcement circles and in the legal community at large, judge garland needs no introduction, but i would like to take a minute to introduce judge garland to the american people whom he so ably serves. he was born and raised in the land of lincoln, in my hometown of chicago and my home state of illinois.
his mother volunteered in the community. his father ran a small business out of their home. inheriting that work ethic, merrick became value deck torian of his high school and earned a scholar where he graduated sumea couple laudey and put himself through law school working as a tutor, stocking shoes in a shoe store and what is a painful moment for any young man, selling his comic book selection. [laughter] president obama: been there. merrick graduated from harvard law and the early years of his career bear the mark of excellence. he clerked for two president senhower's appointees, and judge henry friendly and justice william brennan. he joined a highly regarded law
firm with a practice focused on litigation and pro bono representation of disadvantaged americans. within four years, he earned a partnership, the dream of most lawyers. but in 1989, just months after that achievement, merrick made a highly unusual career decision. he walked away from a comfortable and luke rative law practice to return to public service. merrick accepted a low-level job as a federal prosecutor in push's administration and took a 50% pay cut. traded it in for a windless closet that smelled of stale cigarette smoke. crime here in washington reached epidemic proportions and he made a name for himself going after corrupt politicians and violent criminals. his sterling record as a
prosecutor led him to the justice department where he oversaw some of the most significant prosecutions in the 1990's, including overseing every aspect of the federal response to the oklahoma city bombing. in the aftermath of that act of terror when 168 people and even some of them small children were murdered, merrick had one evening to say good-bye to his own young daughters and boarded a plane to oklahoma city. and worked side by side with first responders, rescue workers, local and federal law enforcement. he led the investigation and supervised the prosecution that brought timothy mcveigh to justice. but perhaps most important is the way he did it. throughout the process, merrick took pains to do everything by the book. when people offer to turn over
evidence voluntarily, he refused, taking the harder route obtaining the proper subpoenas instead because merrick would take no chances that someone who murdered innocent americans might go free on a technicality. merrick also made a concerted effort to reach out to the victims and their families, updating them frequently on the case's progress. everywhere he went, he carried with him the program from the memorial service with each of the victim's names inside, a constant reminder of why he had to succeed. judge garland referred to his work on the oklahoma city case as, and i quote, the most important thing i have ever done in my life. and through it all, he never lost touch with that community that he served. and no surprise then that soon
after his work in oklahoma city, merrick was nominated to what's often called the second highest court in the land, the d.c. circuit court. during that process, during that confirmation process, he earned overwhelming bipartisan praise from senators and legal experts alike. republican senator hatch who has been chairman of the senate judiciary committee, supported his nomination. back then he said, in all honesty, i would like to see one person come to this floor and say one reason why merrick garland doesn't deserve this position. he accused fellow senate republicans playing politics with judges. and he has since then that judge garland would be a consensus nominee for the supreme court that would be supported by both sides and there would be no
question that merrick would be confirmed with bipartisan support. ultimately merrick was confirmed to the d.c. circuit. the second highest court in the land with votes from a majority of democrats and a majority of republicans. three years ago, he was elevated to chief judge. and in his 19 years on the d.c. circuit, judge garland has brought his trademark diligence, compassion and unwavering regard for the rule of law to his work. circuit court known for a strong -minded judges, judge garland has built consensus as a thoughtful, fair-minded judge who follows the law. he has shown a rare ability to bring together odd couples, assemble unlikely coalitions, persuade colleagues with
wide-arranging philosophies to sign on to his opinions. and this record on the bench speaks, i believe, to judge garland's temper meant, his insistence that all views deserve a respectful hearing. his habit, to borrow a phrase from justice john paul stephens of understanding before disagreeing. and then disagreeing without being disagreeable. and speaks to his ability to persuade, to respond to the others with arguments and air-tight logic. as his former colleague on the d.c. circuit and chief justice john roberts said, any time judge garland disagrees, you know you are in a difficult area. at the same time, chief judge garland is more than just a brilliant legal mind, but someone who has a keen understanding.
and justice is just more than abstract legal theory or a dusty case book. his life experience, his experience in places like oklahoma city, informs his view that the law is more than an intellectual exercise. he understands the way it affects daily people's lives in a democracy and rapidly changing types. and through his jurisprudence runs a common thread, a dedication to protecting the basic rights of every american, a conviction that in a democracy, powerful voices must not be allowed to drown out the voices of every day americans. to find someone with such a long career in public service, marked by complex and sensitive issues, to find someone who just about everyone not only respects, but genuinely likes, that is rare.
that speaks to who merrick garland is, not just as a lawyer, but as a man. people respect the way he treats other. his genuine courtesy and respect for his colleagues and those who come before his court. they admire his civic mindedness, mentoring clerks, urging them to use their careers to help a community and tutoring a d.c. student each year for the past 18 years. they are moved by his deep devotion to his family. lynn, his wife of nearly 30 years and two daughters, becky and jesse. they indulge their love of hiking, skiing and canoeing and love of america by visiting our national parks. people respect merrick's deep and abiding passion to
protecting our most basic constitutional rights. passion i'm told that manifested itself at an early age. and one story is indicative of this. as value dick torian of his high school can class he had to deliver a commencement address. one student unleashed a firey critique of the vietnam war. several parents decided to unplug the sound system and the rest of the student's speech was muffled. and merrick didn't necessarily agree with the tone of his classmate's remarks or the topic but stirred by a fellow student's voice was silent, he tossed aside his remarks and delivered on the spot an imprompt tue defense of our first amendment rights. it was the beginning of a lifelong career as a lawyer and
as a prosecutor and as a judge devoted to protecting the rights of others. and he has done that work with decency and humanity and common sense and a common touch. and i'm proud that he will continue that work on our nation's highest court. i said i would take this process seriously and i did. i chose a serious man, and an exemplary judge, merrick garland. over my -- all my years as president and my conversations with both parties on which i asked their views on qualified supreme court nominees and this includes the previous two seats that i had to fill, the one name that has come up repeatedly from republicans and democrats alike s merrick garland.
i recognize that we have entered the political season or perhaps these days, it never ends. a political season that is even noisier and more volatile than usual. i know that republicans will point to democrats who made it hard for republican presidents to get their nominees confirmed. and they're not wrong about that. there's been politics involved in nominations in the past, although it should be pointed out that in each of those instances, democrats ultimately confirmed a nominee put forward by a republican president. i also know that because of justice scalia's outsized role on the court and in american law and the fact that americans are closely divided on a number of issues before the court, it is
tempting to make this confirmation process simply an extension of our divided politics. the squabble willing that is going on in the news every day. but to go down that path would be wrong. it would be a betrayal of our best traditions. and a betrayal of the vision of our founding documents. at a time when our politics are so polarized, at a time when norms and customs of political rhetoric and courtesy and comity so often treated like they are disposable, this is precisely the time when we should play it straight and treat the process of appointing a supreme court justice with the seriousness and care that it deserves. because our supreme court really is unique. it is supposed to be above
politics, it has to be. and it should stay that. . to suggest that someone is qualified and respected as merrick garland doesn't even deserve a hearing let alone an up-or-down vote to join an institution as important of our supreme court when 2/3 of our americans believe otherwise, that would be unprecedented. to suggest that someone who has served his country with honor and dignity, with a distinguished track record of delivering justice for the american people, might be treated as one republican leader stated as a political pinata, that can't be right. tomorrow, judge garland will travel to the hill to begin meeting with senators one-on-one. i simply ask republicans in the senate to give him a fair
hearing and then an up-or-down vote. if you don't, then it will not only be an abdication of the senate's constitutional duty, it will indicate a process for nominating and confirming judges that is beyond repair. it will mean everything is subject to the most partisan of politics, everything. it will provoke an endless cycle of more tit for tat and it make impossible for any president republican or democrat to carry out their constitutional function. the reputation of the supreme court will inevitably suffer. faith in our justice system will inevitably suffer. and our democracy will ultimately suffer as well.
i have fulfilled my constitutional duty. now it's time for the senate to do theirs. presidents do not stop working in the final year of their term. neither should a senator. i know that tomorrow the senate will take a break and leave town on recess for two weeks. my hope is that senators take that time to reflect the importance of this process towards our democracy, not what is expedient or what is happening at the moment. what does it mean for our institutions, for our common life. the stakes, the consequences and the seriousness of the job we all swore an oath to do. and when they return, i hope that they'll act in a bipartisan fashion. i hope they're fair.
that's all. i hope they are fair. as they did when they confirm merrick garland to the d.c. circuit. i ask that they confirm merrick garland now to the supreme court, so he can take his seat in time to fully participate in its work for the american people this fall. he is the right man for the job. he deserves to be confirmed. i could not be prouder of the work that he has already done on behalf of the american people. he deserves our thanks and he deserves a fair hearing. and with that, i would like to invite judge garland to say a few words. [applause]
judge garrland: thank you, mr. president. this is the greatest honor of my life. her than my wife agreeing to marry me 28 years ago. it's also the greatestive received except, and there's a caveat, the birth of our daughters, jessie and becky. as my parents taught me by both words and deeds, a life of public service is as much a gift to the person who serves as it is to those he is serving. for me there could be no higher public service than serving as a member