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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  March 17, 2016 9:00am-3:01pm EDT

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be the last word today. the house is about to gavel in session. we will take you live. the speaker: us house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. merciful god, thank you for giving us another day. your care and wisdom are shown to us by the way you extend your kingdom into our world down to the present day. your word reveals every aspect of your saving plan. you accomplish your design purpose in and through the hearts of the faithful who respond to you. today convert our minds and hearts that we may become the great nation you hope us to be.
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help the members of this people's house to seek your presence in the midst of their busy lives. an -- animate them with your holy spirit and help them to perform their appointed tasks to come to solutions that will redowned to the benefit of our nation. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the aye vs. it. the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a
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and is not present on make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker: further proceedings on this question is postponed. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from texas, mr. veasey. mr. veasey a: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america -- i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker: without objection. >> as co-chairman of the house explosive ordnance disposal .aucus, i rise to honor a native of st. louis missouri, gunny stanton was born in 1963 and passed on february 6, 2016, in florida.
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at the start of his career, gunny stanton was a technical -- telephone technician but soon took those skills and put them to work as an exemploysive ordnance technician. when he began his training, he atadded basic correspond at eggland air force base. mr. crawford: his scores were so high his records remain intact to this dafmente in the course of his 18 years in the marine corps, he earned many awards, too numerous to list in this space. he is preceded in death by his father, michael stanton sr., and a brother, brian. gunny stanton is survived by his loving family, his wife, his mother, and a brother. while i know his family and friends will remember him in their own personal way, i would like all of us here in the house of representatives to remember him as a courageous leader and fine marine who each day bravely face the challenges inherent in the life of an explosive ordnance disposal technician. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek
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recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. veasey: mr. speaker, later today house republicans will forward a resolution authorizing the speaker to file an anti-immigrant amicus brief with the supreme court. while speaker ryan has called for a vote, the house republicans refuse to reveal what the plan may say. but then again house republicans given their extensive record on anti-immigrant actions, little is left to the imagination. time and time again g.o.p. leadership has failed to bring a comprehensive immigration reform vote to the floor. continue they had they have favored deporting dreamers. they have done all they can to undermine president obama's executive action on immigration. this -- later this week this gimmick that they are proposing will do nothing to fix our broken immigration system. instead it sends a message of the g.o.p. intends to continue confining hardworking immigrants and families to the shadows. families who currently live in fear of deportation should be
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afforded the opportunity to fully contribute to the only country they call home. as $5 million docka eligible immigrants anxiously await the final decision, i remember my colleagues that immigrants are a part of america's backbone and contribution should not be discounted. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my re, ma. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to bring attention to a wave of frivolous lawsuits flooding my districts. they use the americans with disabilities act, a law that has done tremendous good in oiler nation, as legal cover to sue mom and pop businesses for often unnoticed and easily correctable a.d.a. violations. businesses that pass local inspections are unaware that any violation exists until a lawsuit arrives in the mailbox. instead of demanding it be fixed, they try to make a quick buck by settling out of court. mr. conyahweh: -- mr. conaway: often these
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attorneys as in my district don't even live in the state. to summon google earth file these violations. it takes advantage of the a.d.a., those with disabilities, and small businesses that thought they were in compliance. that is why i have co-sponsored the a.d.a. education and reform act which we believe will fix this problem. i'll work to get this bill passed so west texans won't be abused by predatory attorneys who care more about money than helping those with disabilities. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. speaker. free speech and the -- >> free speech and freedom of the best are under assault in turkey. in longer can the united states turn a blind eye as a regime continues to crack down on virtually all critical voices. the harassment, intimidation, and prosecution of dissenting
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journalists and citizens, as well as the government takeover of critical media outlets, represents the antithesis of free speech and free press. mr. perry: these are not the actions of a nation that respects democratic values. beyond the obvious consequences by continuing on this path the regime risks destabilization and pushing persecuted into the arms of islamists extremism. right now, today, turkey's leadership should embrace the marketplace of ideas that is a part of any vibrant, real, and sincere democratcy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. and extend and revise my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. >> top of the morning to you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize savannah's st. patrick's day ma pennsylvania raid, as well as michael forin, the 2016 grand
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marshall of the parade. the st. patrick's day parade is a family tradition for all from savannah and tourists alike. as the st. patrick celebration, the parade has grown into the third largest in the world. mr. carter: i would like to congratulate the st. patrick's day parade committee on the 192 years of festivities. i know this year's committee will present an excellent parade. i would also like to congratulate mr. forein as the 2016 grand marshall, holding all the characteristics of a great grand marshall, he fits the bill of a true savannahan. he's the perfect person to receive this distinction. i want to thank mr. forein and his family for their continued service to the community. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back the balance of his team. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to pay tribute to my dear friend, mentor, and former colleague, congressman howard coble. howard was a proud son of greensboro who for 30 years served the people of north carolina's sixth district with honor, integrity, and kindness. while he's no longer with us, we'll always remember howard fondly. we miss his unique style, including colorful suspenders, and distinctive hats. his humble sense of humor and personality that drew people to him. as a matter of fact, howard never met a strange earn set a standard for legendary constituent service. his constituents knew they had a friend in congressman coble. mr. hudson: i work every day to live up to that example. howard's 85th birthday would have been tomorrow. i want to ask my colleagues and my fellow in inians to join me in celebrating his remarkable life. it was a privilege to get to know howard coble, call him a friend, and continue his legacy
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of service to the people of north carolina. i know there will be no shortage of celebration in heaven tonight. happy birthday, congressman coble. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules i call up house resolution 649 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: support the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 97, house resolution 649, resolved, that upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in -- in order without intervention of any point of order to consider in the house the resolution, house resolution 639, authorizing the speaker to appear as amicus curiae on behalf of the house of representatives in the atter of united states ethal vs. texas eth. the resolution shall be considered as read. the previous question should be considered as ordered on the
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resolution to its adoption without intervening motion or command for -- or demand for division of the question, except one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by chair and ranking minority member of the committee on rules. and two, one motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one hour. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, during consideration of this resolution all time yielded for the purpose of debate only. i now yield the customary 30 minutes to the the gentlewoman from new york, ms. slaughter, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of this resolution which will provide for consideration of house resolution 639. i believe the underlying resolution is imperative to protecting the balance of power that our founders so carefully
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enshrined in the united states constitution. i would also like to point out that the house rules committee held an original jurisdiction hearing and markup yesterday in which we received testimony and consideration of an amendment from the minority. mr. speaker, over 25 states or state officials have filed suit challenging the obama administration's expansion of daca and the creation of daca-like programs for aliens who are parents of u.s. citizens or lawful permanent residents. on february 16, 2015, the u.s. district court for the southern district of texas entered in the united states court of appeals for the fifth circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction prohibiting further implementation of these programs on the ground that
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states are likely to prevail in the argument for the programs that have run afoul of the law. the supreme court indicated it will begin hearing oral argueles on the u.s. versus texas -- arguments on the u.s. versus texas on april of 2016, and it will consider the plaintiff's claims under the take care clause. because of this timely consideration of the highest court in the land, it is imperative that the house consider this underlying resolution. i want to make it very clear that this resolution is not about policy. if you spoke with every single member of this body, you would find a wide spectrum of opinions regarding how to handle the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the united states unlawfully.
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this resolution is not about those viewpoints. it is about the fundamental separation of power ingrained in our founding document, the constitution. article one, section 8 gives congress not the president the authority, and i quote, to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. end of quote. the administration simply cannot ignore certain states and statute -- certain statutes and selectively enforce others or bypass the legislative process to create laws for executive fiat. this administration has failed in its duty under article 2, section 3 of the constitution of the united states. to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. and the supreme court has
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specifically indicated that it will consider the plaintiff's claims under the take care clause. clearly the court views this case as an important review of article 1, and article 2 issues. and the balance of power between the branches. . for that reason and that reason alone, the united states house of representatives is uniquely suited to speak to this underlying question that has been raised by the court. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. and good morning. and i thank the gentleman for yielding me the time. mr. speaker, the republicans in the house can't agree on a budget. they take funeral vote after funeral vote to kill obamacare. they waste millions of dollars
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and thousands of hours on utility. children are drinking lead from pipes. young people are saddled with crushing student loan debt. buildings are crumbling. schools are falling apart. obviously the metro system in washington is in serious condition. our airports are struggling to function, and we have no high speed rail. but what do we do here? vote 64 times to take health care away from people. we have benghazi hearings which come to nothing. we have eight in the house. they said there's nothing there so we set up a select committee to look at it again and spend millions of dollars to see what they can find. go after planned parenthood, investigate them, set up a select committee to do that despite the fact that a case in texas against planned parenthood found in favor of planned parenthood and indicted the people who made the film, which created such a sensation in this house.
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we waste congressional time with duplicative, baseless investigations. today, the crusade against president obama reaches new heights. this resolution surrounding united states v. texas adds to the already overwhelming list of baseless political tactics that the house majority is using to discredit to undermine, to disrespect president obama. this resolution makes a political statement, one that represents the house majority, not the entire house of representatives or even the entire congress. since the major part of it has been left out of this altogether. this resolution seeks to put this whole chamber on record when there is significant, vocal and strong opposition. in fact, 168 house democrats along with 39 senate democrats have joined together for our own apple cuss brief in support of the -- amicus brief in support of the president's
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executive actions. not only will the president's actions -- were the president's actions were constitutional, they are in line by decades by presidents on immigration itself, including action by president ronald reagan and president george h.w. bush. this is a rarely seen ploy, seeking to file an amicus brief leaving out completely the voice of the minority. i hope the american people will see it what it is, purely politician. this shows us once again that the republicans are willing to prioritize the party over their country. adding insult to injury, speaker ryan has said, quote, the president is not permitted to write law, only congress is, end quote. how true indeed. so why don't we, the congress, why don't we do what we were sent here to do and write laws? republicans have reached for a
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tool that is not in their constitutional toolbox, running to the courthouse. rather than allowing congress to do its job, the republicans insist on telling other branches of government how to do theirs. it is quickly becoming clear that this is a dangerous moment in our country and in our political system. the presidential primary field on the republican side is resorting to demagoguery and nativism. fanning the flames of dangerous anti-immigrant anger and anger in general. what the president rightly called, quote, vulgar and divisive rhetoric, end quote, in the republican contest is a logical and foreseeable consequence of the anger and fear carefully and deliberately cultivated by decades of republican campaign strategy. as republicans went beyond principal advocacy for smaller government to the outright encouragement of people to think of government as the problem and their enemy to be
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hated. this debate will not have been an issue if last congress the house had taken up the bipartisan senate immigration bill which they were asked time and time again to do but it never saw the light of day here. that was an opportunity for our country to come together in a bipartisan way instead of further dividing us, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: thank you very much. mr. speaker, thank you very much. you know, the argument we're making today is that this president has a repeated history of needing to have his actions resolved through the court system. the supreme court has acted over 13 times to rule against the obama administration. this president is an activist president that works around the legislature. as a matter of fact, even members of this body has said
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they don't even know who their white house contacts are. we've repeatedly tried to work with the president. we held hearings. they ignore and rebuff the things we do. they disallow what are considered to be normal rules of law, and so this is an action that has been brought by the states, not by the united states congress. we were simply asked to give an opinion, and that is what we are doing today. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to give the gentleman from alabama, a member of the rules committee, one of our bright new members, the gentleman, mr. bradley byrne, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for three minutes. mr. byrne: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today in support of the rule and the underlying resolution. i disagree with the gentlewoman from new york. this is not about politics. this is about the constitution of the united states, and it is very clear. it says the president shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
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now, some people may argue about what that may mean but in 1792 president washington, who was the chair of the constitutional convention wrote this. it is my duty to see the law is executed. to permit them to be trampled upon with impunity would be repugnant to my duty. fast forward to 2010, in response to those arguing for executive amnesty at that time, president obama himself stated, i'm president. i'm not king. there's a limit to the discretion that i can show because i'm obligated to execute the law. i can't just make the laws up myself. six months later, the president went further. he said this, there are enough laws on the books by congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system, that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president, quote-unquote.
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unfortunately, in 2012, president obama reversed court and unilaterally imposed a massive program of executive amnesty in violation of this country's immigration laws. in 2014 he doubled down with a second, more expansive executive order program. according to the migration institute, 87% of all illegal aliens will be exempted from immigration enforcement actions under this president's amnesty policies. thus, immigration laws, as actually written by congress, will apply to a mere 13% of violators. in the upcoming case of the united states v. texas, the court will consider whether the president's executive amnesty violated the constitution. consequently, that case has potential to be one of the most important constitutional decisions on executive power ever to be decided. this resolution authorizes the filing of an amicus brief on
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behalf of this house in legal opposition to the president's unconstitutional actions. as a lawyer, i can tell you amicus filings are important. they allow the court to obtain information and arguments from nonparties who have an important barring on this case. this resolution will allow this body to be heard before the supreme court. this is not about immigration policy. this is about ensuring that this president, future presidents, regardless of their political party, do not have the authority to ignore or change the laws through executive fiat. ultimately, this is about the constitution and protecting the rule of law. i urge my colleagues to support this rule and this important resolution and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, if we defeat the -- if we defeat the previous question i'll offer an amendment to the rule to bring up representative lofgren's resolution expressing the position of house in support of the obama
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administration in u.s. v. texas. if the house is going to take a vote on weighing in on anti-immigrant lawsuit filed against the president, we should at least have the option of voting to support the president's executive actions, which are a worthwhile, a temporary first step toward reforming our broken immigration system. to discuss our proposal, i'll yield five minutes to the gentlewoman from california, the distinguished ranking member of the judiciary subcommittee on immigration and border security, ms. lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for five minutes. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, i think it's worth reflecting why we're here. when we have the bipartisan bill passed by the senate last congress, the budget office calculated that it would mean almost $1 trillion to the positive for the american economy, not to mention the human toll that our current broken system inflicts on
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people. now, we failed to act and when we did the president went to the office of legal counsel, an independent group, and asked them what could he do, if anything. and they told him -- i thought they were rather conservative. but one of the things he said he could do was to give temporary reprieve to children who had been brought here without their concurrence to the parents of american citizens. he could do that. how could he do that? the congress has delegated to the executive to act. u.s. , we did so -- 8 code 1103. and in 2002 when we created the department of homeland security, we told the department's secretary that he should establish immigration policies and priorities for removal. now, why would that happen? we've only appropriated 4% of the funds necessary to remove
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everyone who's here without their proper papers, so clearly there needs to be some prioritization. we recognize that. we told the secretary to do it, and that's exactly what he did. we delegated the authority. on work authorization, again, we delegated that authority. in 1981, president reagan went to rulemaking and established that authority which in practice has been in place and congress in 1986 explicitly recognized the authority to give work authorization to those who are in deferred action status. but even without that delegation, the president has long had the authority to take the action that the president has in this case. it's called prosecutorial discretion and foreign policy. in u.s. v. arizona, justice kennedy noted, when the executive has broad discretion
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they said a principal feature of the removal system is that it extends and it extends to whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all. this isn't new with president obama. when president reagan held that office, he sponsored a bill that gave relief, amnesty, if you will, to several million people but the congress, and it's reflected in the judiciary committee report, specifically excluded the spouses and children of those who had relief. what did reagan do? he gave deferred action to the spouses and the children who had been specifically excluded from relief by the congress because he didn't want to break up families. that was about 40% of the undocumented people at the time , about the same amount that president obama has dealt with. now, not only is this resolution wrong, it's the wrong process. you know, democrats went to the
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ethics committee. we got approval to get a volunteer to write a brief, which i would ask unanimous consent to put into the record, and -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. lofgren: and we read it. we read it before we signed it. in contrast, what are you asking members to do? you have no idea what you're signing onto, just that you're again. now, does this mean you're saying that the administrative procedures act applies whenever the president takes a discretionary action? well, good luck fighting isis then. good luck getting disaster relief if there is a flood. there is a group called the bipartisan legal advisory group. i've been involved in that in the past. that group is consulted when there is an issue which relates to the prerogatives of the house. for example, is there a speech or debate issue before the court? this did not come before the blog because this is political.
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this is not about the prerogatives of the house. now, all members of the house had an opportunity to file a brief, and republican members still can if they can meet the time deadlines, but using this process -- there is a reason why c.r.s. was unable to tell us any other instance where a process like this was used about the prerogatives of the house. so this is a radical procedure in a radical act. because it says the house cannot delegate to the executive, as we have done, because it could cripple the president by requiring administrative -- the administrative procedure act whenever he takes a discretionary act because it violates the procedures the house has always used. but finally, i would ask for another minute, if i may. ms. slaughter: i yield the lady another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for an additional minute. ms. lofgren: finally, the net
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result could be this. if the republicans prevail, we could end up with a roundup of a million kids who did nothing wrong, who were brought here as infants, who don't even remember the country of their birth. . when all is said and done, that's what this is about. i would urge our colleagues vote no on this radical resolution. we will attempt to offer a resolution that, instead, is something you know what you're buying into. not a pig in a poke, but a thoughtful, reasoned brief that outlines what the house has done to delegate to the executive. outlines what the executive's authority has been since eisenhower. with that i yield back to the gentlelady with thanks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to
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inform the house that the senate has passed with an amendment h.r. 1831, an act cited as the evidence based policymaking commission act of 2015, in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas virginia tech. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, mr. speaker, if us listen to our colleagues, they make wild accusations. they are swicking wildly rather than understanding the essence of the case. the essence of the case is more than 25 states have gone to ederal court in texas at the heart of the border and argued the laws of the united states of america. and the process that comes about is, and that we agree with, is, we do not believe that the president of the united states, not any president, has the authority, the responsibility, for the legal standing to do what this
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president has done. and the president repeated that, evidently, some 21 times that he did not have that standing, either. to do what he eventually did which was purely political and that's what we are being accused of today. we believe that rule of law is the most important attribute, and we simply in the house of representatives are supporting what the supreme court has asked at the time the oral arguments will be done here before the supreme court, probably in the next month or so. mr. speaker, at this time i would like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from colorado, an esteemed district attorney in colorado, and currently a member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman, mr. buck. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for three minutes. mr. buck: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chair. the constitution lays out a
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very clear picture of how our government works. in article 1, section 8, the founding fathers gave congress the duty to create laws. more importantly, article 1 gave congress the authority to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. rather than enforcing the laws, congress created the president has failed to execute them. through his executive actions, he has even bypassed this building, rewriting the laws on immigration to his liking. sadly, this is not the only time our president has bypassed congress and by extension the will of the people. on energy, on energy regulations, health care, war powers, gun rights, and even judicial nominations all have faced presidential work around. through executive actions, failure to enforce laws, and administrative regulations the executive branch is slowly becoming a monarchy. i founded the article 1 caucus last year to fight executive overreach and reassert the
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power of congress. today we have an incredible opportunity to speak to not just one but two of the other branches of government. speaker ryan has a duty to stand up for congress and the people of this nation by filing a friend of the court brief in this case. i urge my colleagues to vote today to give him that prerogative. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for three minutes. mr. cicilline: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. in april, the supreme court will hear oral arguments united states vs. texas, a case that has been repeatedly litigated by our colleagues in the halls of congress. this resolution is absolutely about immigration policy. let's be clear. numerous hearings have been held in our committee, challenging the constitutionality of deferred actions for parents of americans. and our colleagues instead of moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform and fixing
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our broken immigration system, have instead insisted on putting forth a resolution. a resolution that has no substantive find, makes no legal arguments against executive action, and exists only in the hopes of securing time before the court before oral arguments. if our colleagues do find themselves before the court in this case, it would be helpful if they remember the settled constitutional law on this subject. daca is a lawful exercise of executive discretion well within the bounds of the constitution. it's based on laws enacted by congress that grant broad discretion to the secretary of homeland security. since 1952, congress has authorized the executive branch to establish such regulations, issue such instructions, and perform such other acts as it deems necessary for carrying out its authority. and within that authority, it's a reasonable exercise of the discretion delegated by congress to do what it's doing. the executive action focuses the limited resources of the department of homeland security on public safety priorities,
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ensuring we are deporting well fellowons not families. it's important to recognize that congress appropriates enough money to remove less than 4% of the unauthorized immigrants now in our country. the secretary of homeland security has the statutory responsibility to set enforcement priorities and to adopt policies necessary for meeting these priorities. it's consistent with the actions of presidents of both parties. for the last decade. including president eisenhower, president reagan, and president george herbert walker bush. in fact, the strongest historical precedent for dopa was the family fairness program by presidents reagan and president bush. these executive actions will strengthen our communities, keep families together, and grow our economy. this resolution is not about limiting executive authority. it's about attempting to reverse immigration policies set by the executive branch, and i understand why my friend on the other side of the aisle don't want to admit that. want to frame in the context
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after constitutional question, but it's really about changing policies that are keeping families together, that are making sure we properly allocate resources to the most serious individuals who should be deported. those who have committed crimes, and keep families together while we work to fix our broken immigrationcies tefment this is about a fundamental change in immigration policy that will rip families apart, that will undermine our values as a country. we ought to call it what it is. i urge my colleagues to vote gents the rule and vote against this -- against the rule and vote against this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i would remind this body in speaking with you, mr. speaker, that over 13 times the highest court in this land, the supreme court, has ruled against this activist president for exceeding his constitutional authority. this president in his own
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concox of the way the country ought to be -- concoction of the way the country ought to be one does not follow the rules. not the rule of law, not the rule of providing enough information for people by properly delineating the way rules and laws should be executed. and that is why we are here today. it has everything to do with our belief that the president of the united states has not well and faithfully, properly executed the laws of the country. mr. speaker, at this time i would like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from georgia, the gentleman, mr. carter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for three minutes. mr. carter: i thank the gentleman for yielding. and for his leadership on this important situation. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 639. mr. speaker, as we again here discussion, we are here again discussing the president and his executive actions. back in november of 2014,
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president obama announced a series of executive actions that would have provided amnesty to approximately five million additional illegal immigrants. this amnesty for these five million illegal immigrants would have been in addition to the millions who were provided amnesty under the administration's 2012 actions. the president continues to degrade the rights of american citizens and ignores the u.s. constitution. which this country was founded on. the checks and balances that our founding fathers established made it specifically clear that they wanted congress to enact laws that shape our country, not the president. that is why i'm supporting house resolution 639. house resolution 639 will allow the speaker of the house to submit to the u.s. supreme court its opinion arguing that the president's executive action on am necessary ty for illegal immigration is
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unconstitutional -- amnesty for illegal immigration is unconstitutional. congress must be able to express its arguments that the order on amnesty is unconstitutional so we can continue to maintain the balance of power between congress and the president. i urge my colleagues to support house resolution 639 so we can continue to deny the president's overreach of power and uphold the rights and responsibilities given to this body by the constitution. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized tore two minutes. mr. ellison: you know, mr. speaker, i think context is important in this debate we are having today. i can't get it out of my head as we look at house resolution 639 that this -- that our senate has just announced it's going to shut down the supreme court nomination process. only a few years ago, the house shut down the government for 16
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days. we have had 62 a.c.a. repeals. mitch mcconnell once said famously his goal was to make obama a one-term president. he failed at that. and the fact is is that here we are again with republican efforts to undermine, thwart, and shut down president obama. this is outrageous in my opinion. house resolution 639 is nothing but a continuation of the politics of obstruction. just one more way to say, you're not really the president. you're not legitimate. that's what this represents today. that's the exercise we are taking on this floor. president obama's action will bring relief to millions of families who live in fear. families shouldn't be torn apart because house republicans refuse to work together with democrats to pass an immigration bill, which would make executive action unnecessary. while the republicans held
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progress, president obama worked within his authority and took courageous steps needed to address the problems of millions of americans. the deferred action for parents of americans and the expanded deferred action for childhood arrivals program is an important step towards fixing an immigration system that is inhumane and cruel. it is within the right of the president to prioritize rue move proceedings for certain people. we have to prioritize them. we cannot remove everybody at the same time. furthermore, it's consistent with the action of past presidents. dating back to president eisenhower, including george h.w. bush, who all took action to keep families together. the republicans offer no substantive findings and no legal arguments in their resolution. this is a delay tactic, political tactic. this does not soist interest of the american people.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. ellison: 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. elie sew: -- mr. ellison: the fact that american action is right for our economy and society is what should guide our actions today not political delay tactics. republicans won't acknowledge thamegration and immigrants are an important part of the society we live in. i stand with the families that president obama is trying to keep together within his authority. vote no on house resolution 639. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. you know, there's a lot of good debate here today. the facts of the case are real simple. the supreme court of the united states will be deciding this. the fifth circuit court of appeals and the federal district court, the southern district of texas, have let their answer be known. and that is they believe that the president is wrong. but we have a process to follow
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and the good part is, it's not whether something house republicans are doing that's trying to delay or stop something that might be a decisionmaking being made by someone else. we are simply trying to support an action that was asked as a result of the supreme court. do we have an opinion about this issue? and it is thus that we are asking the house of representatives to come together today to hear the facts of this issue and to then render a decision. that, that to me, mr. speaker, is normal and regular. and our speaker, paul ryan, is most meticulous in looking at this issue. his advice and judgment comes from the chairman of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from virginia, bob goodlatte. both of these gentlemen are not only well-balanced but really doing what is being asked of them by the third branch of
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government which is the judiciary. the judiciary has asked the house of representatives and parties to this suit if they would please discuss this issue. we believe our ideas are material to the question at hand, and that is why the united states house of representatives, through the rules committee, is here for this rule today and the underlying legislation in just a few minutes. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman, an exciting young member of the energy and commerce committee, the gentleman, mr. lance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. lance: thank you, mr. speaker. and i want to thank the distinguished chairman of the rules committee for his leadership on this issue. i rise in very strong support of speaker ryan's house resolution 639. like many of my colleagues, i continue to oppose president obama's illegal amnesty program. and i have long believed that the proper venue to challenging
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the president's overreaching actions is primarily in the courts of this country. to this end, i was one of 68 members of congress and the only member from the new jersey aamicus n to sign an brief with 26 states against the president's executive order on immigration. as a lawyer who has practiced constitutional law in my home state of new jersey, i have tried to study these issues closely. there is no gray area. congress writes the laws and the executive branch enforces them. the executive overreach consistently taken by this administration demonstrates not only contempt for law but a disregard for the critical balance of powers central to our constitution. the american system of self-governance would not be as strong as it is if it were not for these bedrock principles. today, we have unelected
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officials in federal agencies writing our laws. the executive branch is appropriating taxpayer funds without authorization from congress and departments are selectively deciding which laws to enforce. prosecutorial discretion cannot be expanded to break the rule of law. as i am confident the supreme court of the united states will rule. i applaud speaker ryan for pursuing an amicus brief to defend our article 1 powers under the constitution. given the president's gross executive overreach, it is essential for this institution to respond as a whole. this action today is not only prudent but an important and necessary step in defense of the constitution and the rule of law. i urge all of my colleagues to support house resolution 639, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back the balance of his
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time. members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities towards the president. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from california, ms. lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for two minutes. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, this is a political act because this action only comes with president obama. we never did this with republican presidents. let me give you an example. after tiananmen square, the house of representatives passed a bill to preclude the deportation of chinese students. president bush vetoed that bill. you know what he did then? he deferred the deportation of the chinese students because he had the executive authority. in 1999, a letter was sent to janet reno and it was signed by henry hyde and lamar smith and sam johnson and many others asking her to use her
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prosecutorial discretion and citing the fact that the prosecutorial discretion is clear in removal proceedings. i'd ask unanimous consent to put that letter in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. lofgren: i was shocked to hear mr. sessions say that the court had solicited a brief. maybe i misunderstood him. had asked the court for a brief, and if that is the case, i would respectfully request to see a copy of the document soliciting a brief from the house of representatives, that is a procedure that would be an extraordinary one and is certainly news to me. i'd finally like to add that the fact that mr. goodlatte doesn't agree with the president has nothing to do with the fact that the procedures were not followed in this case. the bipartisan legal advisory group is the process established in the house to be used when the house takes a step in court to defend its
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prerogatives, which is what the majority is suggesting is at play in this case. this is clearly a political act, and if it succeeds, who will be punished? a million children who did nothing wrong who will be rounded up and taken from their homes. i don't know what republicans think they are doing if they sign onto this resolution because it don't -- doesn't give any findings or say what they are signing onto, and i yield back to the gentlelady. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to my dear friend from iowa, the gentleman, mr. king. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank the gentleman from texas for yielding and for leading on this issue. as i sit and listen to this debate, a number of things come to mind. i'm hearing a lot of policy
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discussion on the other side of the aisle, but this is about a constitutional question. we said goodbye to a great justice, justice scalia, when he said he made a decision based on the constitution and he was uncomfortable with the policy that resulted from that constitutional decision he was most comfortable that he had made the right constitutional decision when he disagreed with the policy result of that decision. that's also how we should view this case. every one of us have the privilege to speak and address you on the floor of this house has taken an oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states. and this is about the president's oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states, except his says, take care to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states and it's reference in the take-care clause in the constitution that requires him to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. i don't know if there is a
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schoolchild in this land that will get that wrong. they don't think the president should execute the law itself and conduct himself in a fashion that he sees fit. i think they understand as a president, multiple times, has lectured the country in his adjunct constitutional law professorship that he didn't have the constitutional authority to do what he did. so this issue is about the take-care clause, the president keeping his oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution, and it is about prosecutorial discretion, as the gentlelady from california said. except that there was a clear understanding when they wrote the morton memos that they were creating groups of people, classes of people, categories of people and the morton memos were the beginning of this and they created four different categories of people and as far as i know, anyone who fit into those categories was essentially maybe individually dealt with because they processed their paperwork but they were automatically exempted from the application of the law. that's when this began. we should not think, mr.
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speaker, that the house hasn't weighed in on this. goes back to this, march 2, 2011, was introduction of the rton memos, that's the first overreach on paper. and the first opportunity to push back on that was a hearing with janet napolitano who said it was an individual basis only and the morton memos have seven references to an individual basis only except it creates four categories of people. so the words don't mean what the rules do. they abuse prosecutorial discretion by granting it to vast groups of people that were defined, first in the morton memos. so i brought an amendment, june 7, 2012, that cut off all the funding to the morton memos. that passed 238-175, bipartisan vote. next opportunity was the morton memos in daca. another amendment. another king amendment. june 6, 2013. that passed 224-201. another bipartisan vote in the house of representatives, mr. speaker. 200 hind that, august 1,
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-- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. sessions: i give the gentleman two minutes. mr. king: i thank the gentleman. so we voted to defund them in 2012. that was the first opportunity. the next opportunity was 2013. we addressed the morton memos and daca and defunded them in this house of representatives. that was also a bipartisan vote. then, august 1, 2014, we addressed daca alone, defunded it. a vote of 216-192. another bipartisan vote, mr. speaker. not to be completing it there, january 14, 2015, the house addressed separately daca and morton memos in an amendment to defund. that passed 237-190. and we picked up the daca in a separate amendment, same day, and that passed 218-209.
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the house has voted time and time again. if that was not enough for the house to weigh in on this, we came back june 3, 2013, another king amendment, and defunded the d.o.j.'s lawsuit that we're talking about here now because we said, step back, mr. president. keep your oath to office. we stood up and we defended ours, and i'll say this. despite all of these votes, the government and democrat members claim congress has acquiesced to the unconditional -- unconstitutional actions when the house has a clear voting history of opposing each step in the president's path of amnesty. ms. lofgren: if the gentleman will yield? mr. king: the house has exhausted our remedies with the exception of the omnibus spending bills where everything gets packaged up in one vote and except for that the house has done all it can, mr. speaker, except for this opportunity to introduce an amicus brief that will be the voice of the housekeeping our oath to support and defend the constitution of the united
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states. ms. lofgren: if the gentleman will yield for a question? mr. king: i'll yield. ms. lofgren: is it the gentleman's proposition that a vote in the house that does not become law voids an action of the house that does become law to which the 2002 the department of homeland security act that directed the secretary to -- priorities for removal? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. king: and reclaiming my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. sessions: i give 130ekds to the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. sessions: i thank the gentleman. i'm asserting the house needs to do all it can to support and defend the constitution, and we are doing this today with this endorsement of the speaker's ameek us brief so the house can -- amicus brief so the house can defend the constitution. i thank the gentlewoman from california and the gentleman from texas and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from iowa yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: myrick, i'm pleased to yield 2 1/2 minutes
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to the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the gentlelady from new york for her courtesies and it is important to take note in light of the previous debate and comments that were made is that this is a house divided. this amicus brief more than likely will be supported by a number of members, but it will not be supported by the entirety of the house. and so whether or not it is a majority, which is the other party, it is not going to be the voice of the entirety of the house. and as far as i'm concerned and as the constitution has made clear, that responsibility that the president has exercised is a constitutional authority. so i oppose the resolution because it is nothing more than our republican majority's latest partisan attack on the president and a diversionary
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tactic to avoid addressing some of the more important issues such as the broken immigration system. just a few years ago, the senate republicans and democrats came together to produce and pass a very thorough assessment of the immigration system, and they actually passed laws. the intent of the nation represented by senators, and that came to the house and never saw the light of day to be able to be voted on. but yet the homeland security committee, in an extensive series of hearings and then, of course, legislation, then wrote legislation that passed by voice vote in a bipartisan manner to protect the border. everything that the republican side is asking for. but lying at the heart of the plaintiff's misguided and wholly partisan complaint is a claim that president obama lacked the constitutional authority and statutory authority to take executive actions. this frivolous and partisan lawsuit seeks to have daca and dapa declared to be invalid and
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to permanently enjoin the obama administration from implementing those statutory policies. let me briefly speak about these actions by the president. they are reasonable. the reason is is they are reasonable because in addition to establishing the president's obligation to execute the law, the supreme court has consistently interpreted the take-care clause as ensuring presidential control over those who execute and enforce the law and the authority to decide how best to enforce the laws. arizona v. the united states. prince v. the united states. free enterprise fund and the pcaob. let me also say to you this is a texas case they're submitting the amicus on. these are dreerms. they are in our institutions of higher learning. they're going to be contributing to society, and this is what this amicus brief is, to turn them back and to return their families. if i could get 15 seconds. .
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ms. slaughter: i yield the lady 15 seconds. ms. jackson lee: thank you so very much. impact necessaryic violence. dapa provided a sense of peace knowing this woman would not be deported. i would argue to my friends, whatever the vote is today, it is not the sense of the house. it is a divided house and we are not supporting an amicus to turn back the president's constitutional authority w that i ask my colleagues to vote no on the underlying resolution and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. session: thank you very much. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield to the gentleman from agriculture committee, from illinois, mr. b.o.s., three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: -- mr. boss -- bost. mr. bost: i thank you for the time. whenever we take these offices, understand i raised my hand and took an oath of office many times in my life, whether it was in the united states marine corps or here in congress, when i took -- take that oath and
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mention the fact that i'm swearing allegiance to the constitution to do my duty it correctly, i made that promise and i make that promise to the american people. and that this document that we take an oath to, the president himself has to do that same oath. and when the president steps away from that oath, this house has no other thing that they can do but act. any grade school civic student knows that congress makes the law and the president executes them. it's called, the separation of powers. checks and balances. but the president in his executive amnesty proves once again that he wants to do both. both. that's not in the constitution. it doesn't work that way. the immigration laws clearly
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states that individuals who are ere illegally must be removed. the president does not have the power to pick and choose. that's not what the law says. he doesn't get to ignore the laws. the outcome of this case will be determined in the courts. but i want my constituents and i want to be on record to know that i will uphold the constitution. i will stand for the constitution. and i take my oath of office very, very seriously. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the rule and the underlying resolution so we can stop this unconstitutional move . with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back the balance of his time of the the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from washington, ms.delbeney --
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ms.delbene. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman washington is recognized for two minutes. ms.delbene: i call on the speaker to stop this political game. and allow the vote on comprehensive immigration reform that we should have taken two years ago. everyone agree that is our immigration system is broken, but instead of voting on a solution, congress is again wasting time on a political gimmick that does not address a single real problem. the president took lawful action to help families being torn apart by our current system. if republicans take issue with what current law allows, they should stop obstructing meaningful debate and get serious about comprehensive immigration reform. as a member of the judiciary committee, i help lead efforts last congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform by introducing the border security, economic opportunity, and immigration modernization act, h.r. 15. i believe that bill would have passed if we had been given a
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chance to vote on it on the floor. we had 200 co-sponsors and a chance to fix this problem thefpblet -- then. i won't blame the current speaker for mistakes of the past, but he has a chance to lead now. for too long congress has failed to take meaningful action to address our broken immigration system. as a result we have a deeply flawed system that's not working for our communities, our businesses, immigrants, or families. it will take congressional action to truly repair our broken immigration system. so i strongly urge my colleagues to oppose this resolution and demand that congress act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from washington yields back. the gentlewoman from new york reserves. gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: thank you very much. you know, mr. speaker, the arguments that are on the floor today evolve and revolve around the issues that we believe are very important and that is we believe the president of the united states has exceeded his
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authority, executive authority, and the supreme court is going to hear the case. but in fact today the question that lies before the house is about an action that will be taken by this house to support an am mi cuss brief the positions that will be -- in an amicus brief the positions that will be needed. i yield one minute to the gentleman from wisconsin, the speaker of the house. the gentleman, mr. ryan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin. is recognized for one minute. the speaker: mr. speaker, my colleagues, i rise today to urge you to support this measure, h.res. 639. let me explain why. and why everyone should support this. this resolution authors me on behalf of the house to file an aan amicus brief to depend our article 1 powers under the constitution. normally this question would be considered by what is known as the houses' bipartisan legal
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advisory group, but i'm asking the whole house to go on the record as an institution. i recognize that this is a very extraordinary step. i feel it is very necessary, though. in fact, i believe this is vital. this is not a question of whether or not we are for or against any certain policy. members who are making immigration policy arguments are missing the entire point here. this comes down to a much more fundamental question. it is about the integrity of ur constitution. article 1, article 1 states that all legislative powers are vested in congress. article 2, article 2 states that the president shall, quote, take care that the laws be faithfully executed, close quote.
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those lines, that separation of powers could not be clearer. article 1, congress writes laws. article 2, presidents faithfully execute those laws. in recent years the executive branch has been blurring these boundaries. to the point of absolutely overstepping them all together. as a result, bureaucrats responsible for executing the laws as written are now writing the laws at their whim. this doesn't just throw our checks and balances off balance. it creates a fourth branch of government. this creates a fourth branch of government that operates with little or no accountability whatsoever. and it means most profoundly, this means that we, the people,
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through our elect the representatives -- elected representatives, are not drafting the laws we live under. this is the profound difference that's occurring here. this fourth branch of government is a danger to self-government itself. the supreme court has recognized the severity of this threat. in the united states vs. texas, the court has asked whether the president's overreach violates his duty to faithfully execute the laws. this house is uniquely qualified, and i would argue obligated, to respond. colleagues, we are the body closest to the people. we are the ones who are directly elected from the american people. every other year. and if we are going to maintain the principle of self-government, if we are going to maintain this critical founding principle of government by consent of the
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governed, then the legislative branch needs to be writing our laws. not the executive branch. and certainly not a branch of un-elected, unaccountable bureaucrats. this is what's happening. it's not just this administration. although this administration is taking it to whole new levels. as speaker, i believe the authority of the office that i have been entrusted by each and every one of you is to protect the authority of this body. i am prepared to make our case. we must defend the principle of self-determination, of self-government, of government by consent of the governed. this constitution protects our rights as people. it makes sure that the government works for us and not the other way around. it makes sure that as we as citizens, if we don't like the direction our government is
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going, if we don't like the laws that we are being forced to live under, that we can change that through the ballot box, and this is being undermined every day. i am prepared to submit this defense of our article 1 powers, and i ask all, the whole house, for its support. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin, speaker of the house, yields back the balance of his time. mr. sessions: we reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to the gentlewoman from california, ranking member of the judiciary committee on immigration and border security, ms. lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for four minutes. ms. lofgren: thank you, mr. speaker. obviously we all like and honor the speaker of the house and i was pleased to hear his recognition that this should have gone through the bipartisan legal advisory group, because that's how the ouse organizes itself before
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asserting a privilege of the house in court. what he didn't say is why, since cert was granted on january 19, today is march 17, he didn't call together the bipartisan legal advisory group. certainly we have met in a much shorter time frame, i know, because i have been a participant in that process. and the failure to follow the procedures in this instance can only lead observers to conclude that this is a more politicized action than is traditional in terms of intervening in the court. now, the speaker said all legislative powers are vested in the congress. no one can disagree with that. and that the president must take care that the laws shall be faithfully executed. no one can disagree with that. is the speaker saying that we did not, in 2002, delegate to
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the secretary of homeland security the responsibility to establish priorities and policies, the priorities for removal, that we did not fail to provide most of the money that would be necessary to actually remove every single undocumented person in the year? i think not. in fact, the president has done exactly what we said he should do in 2002. d to approve this resolution which says that he's acted inconsistent with his duties is a mystery. it's a pig in a poke for the republicans. now, the district court made a inding that in order to take discretionary action, one would need to comply with the administrative procedures act. that's a very bulky procedure.
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90 days posting. are the members of the house being asked to say that whenever the president takes a discretionary action, he must post a rule for 90 days? we don't know because this resolution only says we are against it. if we are saying that a rule must be adopted whenever a discretionary action is taken? that would be an extraordinary departure from the president's power to act. and it's certainly something that members ought to know they are doing before they vote on this resolution. much has been said about the states that file the lawsuit. they were all states with epublican governors. but there are states who
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disagree, including my state of california. there is a brief filed by the californians saying that the rule that the president -- the action, the discretionary action the president took would generate 130,000 jobs in california. it would provide $3.8 billion in taxes to california. . so if we're going to use as an excuse the fact that republican governors filed a lawsuit to stop it, let's think about the states that had been enjoined unfairly and who are experiencing economic damage, extreme economic damage because of the fifth circuit's misguided opinion. i hate to say it because i do appreciate the speaker of the house, but there is only one way to look at this resolution. a highly politicized effort. this is not the way the house
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has traditionally proceeded when adopting a court proceeding, a court intervention that deals with the privileges of the house. and i yield back to the gentlelady. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the gentleman from texas is reggeds. mr. sessions: thank you very much -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: thank you very much. i'd advise my friend that we have come to the end of our speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my colleague and we are prepared to close. mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question -- we got an awful lot of sore throats over here this morning. i apologize. i'll offer an amendment to the rule to bring up ms. lofgren's amendment in support of the obama administration in u.s. v. texas. if the house is going to vote on weighing in on the
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anti-immigration lawsuit filed against the president, we should at least have the option of voting to support the president's executive actions which are a worthwhile, if temporary, first step toward reforming our broken immigration system. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, our immigration system is broken as evidence by the fact there are 11 million undocumented persons living in the united states. but instead of engaging in a bipartisan legislative process to reform the system, the house majority's decided to focus on discrediting the president instead of forming policies that benefit our country. there is ample evidence that presidents long before this one has exercised the same executive order privilege
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without any great rush by the house of representatives to go to court to try to stop him or her. house democrats would welcome the chance to work on a bipartisan solution to the nation's broken immigration system, but we can't because we simply are not allowed to participate. only to show up to vote. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to vote no and defeat the previous question and if we have a no vote on this closed rule, we then will be able to present our own resolution in support. i thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas is recognized to close. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. and i thank the gentlewoman, my colleague from new york, for her engagement on this important issue and want to thank ms. slaughter for her leadership at the rules committee. mr. speaker, most of all what we're doing here is acknowledging that the supreme court of the united states will
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have the decision. they're the ones who will make the decision, but in seeking input on this important question, we feel like the house was uniquely qualified to begin answering that question literally with a vote. that's how we do things around here. i do recognize and respect that the minority leader has gathered a group of what might be democrats from the democratic party, house and senate side, for their own opinion and they did file that. this is an action that will be taken today that is by the house of representatives, and i think the speaker outlined why we're here and the importance to it. mr. speaker, in july of 2011, president obama stated, and i quote, i swear an oath to uphold the laws on the books. now, i know some people want me to bypass congress and change the laws on my own. believe me, the idea of doing
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things on my own is very tempting. i promise you, not just on immigration reform, but that's not how our system works. that's not how our democracy functions. that's not how our constitution is written. i quote the president of the united states on exactly addressing the same issue that is before us today. mr. speaker, article 1, section 8, gives congress, not the president, the authority to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. directly out of the constitution. the president had it right at least 21 times. mr. speaker, article 2, section 3, of the constitution of the united states requires the president to take care that the aw be faithfully executed. mr. speaker, the resolution before us, this body, today is
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not about policy. it is not about how we should handle the 11 million undocumented illegal immigrants currently residing in this country. it is about our nation's constitution. it is about the checks and balances that our founders labored so intensely over to ensure a government will always be by and for the people. it's even been noted that it's taught today and has been taught in elementary school that the legislature, the congress writes the laws, and that is why we are here today. it's even taught in our elementary schools. mr. speaker, this administration as well as future administrations from either party, whoever serves, must not be allowed to ignore the constitution and circumvent
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those that write the laws. and it is imperative that the house speak as an institution on this matter. i am pleased with the arguments that have been made today. i believe they were right and just and i will say that i believe that our speaker, paul ryan, in his own wisdom and experience and temperament is attempting to approach this issue as an important constitutional issue and the prerogatives and the right and the responsibility of the united states house of representatives. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this rule and the underlying legislation. i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. slaughter: i ask for the
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yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of adoption of the resolution. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 234. the nays are 181. the previous question is ordered. the question on adoption of the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have t the resolution is adopted. ms. slaughter: on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 234. the nays are 180. the resolution is is adopted. without objection, -- the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair -- the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 2426, an act to direct the secretary of state to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for taiwan and the international criminal police organization and for other purposes.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. please remove your conversations from the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions, seek recognition? mr. sessions: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 649, i call up h.res. 639 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 96. house resolution 639, resolution authorizing the speaker to appear as amicus curiae on behalf of the house of representatives in the matter of united states, et al v. texas, et al, number 15-674. >> mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. pohl mr. speaker, -- mr. polis: mr. speaker, parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will state his inquiry. mr. polis: is the speaker not
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authorized to offer an amicus brief with current authority without the need to pass a resolution under consideration? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman may consult clause 8 of rule 2 for the role of the bipartisan legal advisory group. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, further parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. will the gentleman please state his inquiry? mr. bill gutierrez: can you make the text -- mr. gutierrez: can you make the text available for all members to review three days prior to its filing? the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 649, the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the resolution to its adoption without intervening motion. mr. polis: mr. speaker, further parliamentary inquiry. is it in order to amend section 2 to include the amicus brief
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presented by zoe lofgren and signed by more democrats? the speaker pro tempore: as the chair stated, it is considered as ordered. no intervening motions are in order. mr. gutierrez: mr. speaker, further parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: please state your inquiry. mr. gutierrez: is it in order to offer an amendment to section 3 that will make names of all outside counsel that will be providing services to the office of general counsel? that way the american public can know who all the outside counsel is. the speaker pro tempore: the chair's response remains the name. mr. polis: mr. speaker, further inquiry. is it in order to offer an amendment to include a c.b.o. report on the cost of the office of general counsel that would occur under this resolution? the speaker pro tempore: the medicare's response must remain the same. -- the chair's response must remain the same. mr. gutierrez: isn't it true that every president since
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president eisenhower and up to president obama has used powers to set aside the deportation of certain immigrants? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has not stated an inquiry related to this. mr. polis: parliamentary inquiry. mr. speaker, is it true that the presidents rond reagan and george bush protected in excess of one million undocumented immigrants by executive action? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has not stated an inquiry related to this. mr. gutierrez: further parliamentary inquiry, mr. speaker. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i believe what we're seeing here is some dilatory moves on behalf of the minority. and while i respect every bit f that, we have decorum that's established in the house and i believe the state has answered the questions -- i ask we move on forward, mr. speaker. at this time i ask unanimous consent -- ms. lofgren: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- all members will suspend. pursuant to house resolution
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649, the resolution is considered read. the resolution shall be debatable for one hour chaired by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on rules. the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions, and the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes once again the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions. ms. lofgren: parliamentary inquiry. mr. speaker, i have a parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? ms. lofgren: i have a parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: please state your inquiry. ms. lofgren: under the rules of the house, in order to accept volunteer efforts, one must be cleared by the ethics committee. the resolution purports to seek pro bono assistance, but the inquiry is whether this exports with the rules of the house -- come ports with the rules of the house -- comports with the
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rules of the house to avoid nseemly or potentially illegal assistance. the speaker pro tempore: the chair won't interpret the pending measure. that's a matter for debate. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.res. 639, authorizing the speaker to appear as amicus curiae on behalf of the house of representatives in the matter of texas, et al v. -- united states, et al v. texas, et al. mr. speaker, as we have earlier stated, as we were debating and discussing the rule, over 25 states or state officials have filed suits challenging the
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obama administration's expansion of daca and the creation of daca-like programs for aliens who are parents of u.s. citizens or lawful permanent residents. the states allege that these administrative actions run afoul of the take-care clause of the constitution. article 2, section 3, declares that the president, and i quote, shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, end of quote, which requires any president to enforce all constitutional valid acts of congress regardless of the administration's views of the wisdom or the policy. the states in this case, who brought the case in southern texas, allege that these actions run afoul of the separation of powers set forth in the constitution, article 1,
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section 8, which gives congress, not the president, the authority to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. directly from the constitution, congress passed the immigration naturalization act which clearly specifies the limited cases in which the executive branch can suspend the removal of unlawful aliens. mr. speaker, this administration has sought review on this case from the supreme court, which granted its petition, and that is because this administration lost in the federal district court in the southern district of texas and lost its case in the united states court of appeals for the fifth district of -- fifth circuit of the united states court. in doing so, the court indicated that it would also consider the plaintiff's claims under the take care clause.
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i ask unanimous consent to submit the official document from the supreme court into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, the questions presented in the case are really extraordinarily significant to the house of representatives. in particular, this case raises ssues related to the limits on executive discretion not to enforce laws enacted by congress as well as the point at which the exercise of such discretion turns into lawmaking, thereby infringing on congress' article 1 legislative powers. . it is precisely because of these constitutional questions pending before the highest court in our land, the united states supreme court, that the u.s. house of representatives, who is, i believe, and will
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present a side which we believe is important from a constitutional perspective, this resolution, the house, i believe, will and must protect its article 1 legislative powers on behalf of the american people and on behalf of representatives who believe in self-governs. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. gentleman from colorado virginia tech. mr. polis: i yield myself five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman virginia tech for five minute. mr. speaker, today there's a lot of legal arguments and talk. i want to make sure the american people listening at home and watching at home know exactly what we are talking about here today. i want to talk about somebody who -- whose life is on pause waiting for the dapa program to clear the courts. the brief that the republicans
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are seeking to file is the exact opposite, it's saying that dapa cannot occur. and this gentleman and his family, coloradoan, constituents of mine, just to put a human face on it, show what dapa means for so many families across our country. mr. ramos of colorado, he's pictured there next to his three lovely kids and wife, a native of honduras. he's been in the united states for over 13 years. his kids are american citizens. were born here. don't know any other country. he fled his home country to avoid persecution and extortion at the hands of local corrupt officials and gangs. he's married to a u.s. citizen. they have three young children together. he's a very successful business owner in my district. he and his wife employ 12 people. they make investments in our local community. we rely on them for jobs, for the services they provide. and yet the lack of any peace
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of mind presents -- prevents families like mr. ramos from reaching their full potential. every day kids come home from school and his wife worries that over something as minor as a tail light being out or speeding ticket mr. ramos could find himself in detention for an indefinite period of time. removed from his family. or even deported to another contry. which he doesn't have any ties to. i'd also like to talk about the case of ms. garcia. she's a long time resident in my hometown, boulder, colorado. her life has been greatly affected by the arbitrariness of an immigration system that is immoral and has lacked meaningful priorities. she's been in the united states for close to 20 years. and she's the mother of three american children, u.s. citizen children. but you know what happened? her husband was removed from the united states in 2011 over
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a traffic citation, forcing her to be a sole provider for her three children. she's undocumented herself. and she fears contact by immigration authorities on a daily basis. dapa was a ray of hope for her. what dapa would do is provide mercedes with a meaningful level of certainty, the ability to legally seek employment, and ability to provide her family with expanded opportunities here in the u.s. and help make her american citizen children as successful as they are able to be. her children are american just as american as you or me, mr. speaker. as anyone who is born in the united states is. don't they deserve to have their mother to help them succeed with all the great promises that this country offers? why can't we give that certainty to their mother? dapa is a legal, commonsense, lawful exercise of discretion. it's consistent with the
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actions of presidents both democratic and republican for decades. it directs very simply with the limited amount of enforcement resources we have, and the department of homeland security, we want to focus on removing undocumented immigrants who pose a threat to public safety or national security. not mr. ramos, not ms. garcia. we want to remove those who represent a danger or threat to our country. to somehow misfocus those limited resources on tearing apart families instead of going after criminals would put the american people at risk. and the president has acted to make the american people safer by ensuring that our limited law enforcement resources are focused where they will have the biggest impact. look, these policies are very simple. they create a process for low priority enforcement immigrants that come forward, submit to a background check, register, be able to get a provisional work
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permit, work legally, enhances our public safety, enhances our national security. and yet we hear people from the other side saying, well, this is something congress should have done. i agree. i agree. this is something congress should have done. you know what? it's not my fault congress didn't do t i talked about immigration every week, every month here on the floor of the house. i co-sponsored a comprehensive immigration bill. i signed a discharge petition to bring it forward. yeah, congress didn't do, mr. speaker, that's on the republican majority that congress failed to act. so the president moved forward with the legal authority he has . the republican and democratic presidents in the past have used to say, to say that ms. garcia is not the same risk to this country as a dangerous criminal. common sense and about time we move forward with dapa and daca. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
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the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas -- the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas virginia tech. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. mr. speaker, at this time you will see that our republican members that will come and speak are men and women not only with extensive legal experience, grounded in the law and the constitution of the united states, but will make their arguments from a professional nature that are directly related to the law. as such we have a gentleman who served as a judge in texas, he's a member of the judiciary committee, and i would yield five minutes to the gentleman, judge poe. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, the issue before us today is whether the u.s. constitution will be followed by the president or not. that is the issue. and that is why this unusual
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situation where the house of representatives by this resolution is joining in on a legal action to let that be resolved by the judiciary branch of government. it all happened, started in november of 2014, when the department of homeland security wrote out a memo and sent it out to the fruited plain and said that the department of homeland security would no longer enforce u.s. immigration law. the department of homeland security is a branch, a portion, of the administration. this unprecedented unilateral action by the executive branch was a nullification of immigration law of the united states. and it was not done by congress. it was done by this administrative edict that came from the white house.
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article 1, section 8, clause 4 states that congress, that's us, has the power to "establish a uniform rule of naturalization. in the united states." what value is the law or the constitution if the executive who supports -- who is supposed to enforce the law, not make t. we learned that in ninth grade civic, sends out a memo saying they will no longer enforce law. the law of the land is repealed by the administrative pin because the president doesn't like the law as written. repealing the law is supposed to be a legislative action. that's congress. it's not supposed to be an executive action. that is if the constitution's followed, which it is not under these circumstances. this illegal executive action will place a burden on the
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states that the action is taking place against. such as my home state of texas. where the amnesty proclamation by the executive branch through its memo has been effected. the federal government is not going to pay for the benefits of these five million plus folks. that's the states will be forced, required, and obligated to pay for that. so the states will pay for the driver's licenses. government benefits, health care benefits for these newly legalized individuals. all of that money, the state spends, will be taken away from the ability to provide services for u.s. citizens and citizens and residents who are already legally in the u.s. so, this action is a direct contradiction of u.s. law and texas, my state, will be one of the hardest hit. that's why the governor of the
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state of texas was the first to file lawsuit, this lawsuit, against the unconstitutional action by the executive branch of government. that occurred in 2014. the constitution, to me, is very simple. it lays out an outline for democracy. congress makes the laws. he executive branch faithfully executes the laws. and the judiciary resolves disputes between government, other entities, and between the branches of government. so if u.s. immigration law is going to be changed, constitution states that it should be changed by the u.s. congress. that is us. even if congress doesn't act, that doesn't give the executive ranch burger king authority. ask for 30 seconds more. mr. session: one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman virginia tech for one minute. mr. poe: that doesn't give the president --
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mr. polis: did you say burger king? define that. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman controls the time. mr. poe: stick around and listen. burger king philosophy is, the president wants it his way. he can't have it his way. he's got to follow the constitution. he's a former constitutional law professor, he ought to know better. and that's what this lawsuit's about. that's why it's a constitutional issue. and that's why we should join in with those other governors in filing this lawsuit with an am mi cuss brief to support the -- with an amicus brief to support the constitution of the united states. the executive branch should take care of the constitution not tear up the constitution. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from colorado virginia tech. -- is recognized. mr. polis: i yield for purpose of a unanimous consent request,
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the gentlelady from california, ms. lofgren. ms. lofgren: i ask the statement of the honorable john conyers, ranking member of the judiciary committee, being placed in the record. the speaker pro tempore: the statement will be covered under general leave. mr. polis: i further yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois, a great leader on the issue of uniting families, mr. gutierrez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. gutierrez: the fact is we shouldn't even be here today. this is partisan politics at its worse and uses the resources of the federal government and legislative branch of government to promote a political agenda is just an affront to all americans. and especially one -- why don't you just say it clearly. this is your, i want to deport four to five million people. i wish the majority would stop talking about the constitution and really talk about what it is they mean to aguirre here. you want to see people deported. why don't you stand up and say it. be men and women of integrity and of your word and say, i
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want four million to five million people unprotected and amend this to say this is a mass deportation. you keep saying that the candidates out there on the presidential trail do not represent your values, do not represent who you are politically, and then you come back here and stir the fire more. what you're demonstrating here is that you should be doing immigration reform, what you're demonstrating here is your impotence and being able to get it done. why don't you just say this is what it's all about. out on the campaign trail on immigration, we get lots of demagoguery from the majority. that the debate has sunk to the level that people are throwing punches and worse. two refugees from southeast asia and a gentleman from puerto rico were shot and murdered in front of their children in milwaukee because they didn't have the right accent of their voice. two students, a muslim and latino were attack by a man.
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when they encountered him beating a black man in kansas this week and when he shouted a racists threat saying they should go and leave the country. we have to go back to africa and hitler salutes and all of this becoming more and more what we expect, the reality we see in 2016. another republican -- other republicans in the house are stoking the same fears and mass deportation fantasies some more. no, they are not leading, they are not calling for calmer rhetoric, let alone more rational policies, they are playing politics with immigrants plain and simple, shame on them. if republicans are so secure in the validity of their arguments, they should write a brief and submit it just like the 225 democrats did last week without politicizing and using this august body to bring about your partisan political hatred against immigrants. the vote is a political stunt, disguised as a legal brief. this is not a legal brief. it's a political stunt. the republican majority sees a
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crass political opportunity to stand with the anti-immigrant wing of their party. i guess the speaker thinks, hey, why play it straight when you can force a purely political vote on immigration designed to deepen the partisan lines and validate the very angry people that go around showing their hatred, their bigtry, and their prejudice in the political process in america. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair will remind members to address their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i recognize that there are people in this body who are frustrated . and i've engaged a number of those people very thoughtfully and they've tried to engage me i think thoughtfully. but the essence of what today's argument is about is actually a legal exercise. because in fact, the federal
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district court in southern texas, judge andy hainen, in a at the law and he, judicial sense, heard evidence that would be presented from all of the some 25 states, as well as the federal government. and findings of facts and nclusions of law, not upon hyperpolitical accusations or bombastic comments that are made to attack another side, is what actually prevailed in the case. and i'm well aware that a number of our colleagues want to talk about politics, politics, politics and make accusations. this is about the foundation of law. and it actually goes to direct words out of the constitution of the united states.
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and a federal district court is particularly in tune with those arguments as they handle constitutional issues in question. and the court clearly found in favor of these states. the fifth circuit court of appeals, in reviewing that case, came to that same conclusion. mr. speaker, i believe you will see that the supreme court will also rule on the law, not upon political sound bites that come back and forth from this body. mr. speaker, at this time i would like to yield to the gentleman, the chairman of the judiciary committee, the distinguished gentleman who i believe represents not only thought and balance, but who is trying to work within the constitutional confines and the laws of this country, the gentleman, distinguished gentleman, from goodlatte, five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for five minutes. mr. goodlatte: thank you, mr. speaker. and mr. chairman, thank you for
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your leadership on this very important issue. without enforcement of the law, there cannot be accountability under law. and political accountability is essential to a functioning democracy. we in the house of representatives, who face re-election every two years under the constitution, are perhaps reminded of that more than others. and while there is at least one political branch willing to enforce the law, we will not fail to act through whatever means by which we can successfully avail ourselves. when the president fails to perform his constitutional duty , that he take care that the laws be faithfully executed, the congress has appropriations and other powers over the president. but none of those powers can be exercised if a sizable senate minority, controlled by the president's own political party, refuses to exercise them , or in the absence of veto
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proof majorities in both houses. nor would the exercise of those powers solve the problem at hand because they would not actually require the president to faithfully execute the laws. of course, the most powerful and always available means of solving the problem at hand is to vote out of office a president who abuses his power. in the meantime, however, the need to pursue the establishment of clear principles of political accountability is of the essence. so today we consider a resolution to authorize the speaker to file on behalf of the house in litigation brought by the majority of the states challenging the constitutionality of the president's unilateral immigration amnesty program. earlier this year, the supreme court agreed to hear that constitutional challenge to the president's immigration plan, which the people's legislative representatives never approved. so far a federal judge in texas has issued a preliminary
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injunction in the case, blocking the enforcement of the president's unilateral immigration amnesty. the fifth circuit court of appeals upheld that injunction. importantly, the supreme court granted in the case and rather than limiting the issue the way president obama requested, it took the state's suggestion and requested briefing on the following question. whether the president's action violates the take-care clause of the constitution, article 2, section 3. that clause of the constitution requires the president to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. the founders would have expected members of the house of representatives, known as the people's house, for its most direct connection to the will of the people, to aggressively guard their role in the constitutional legislative process. the resolution before us today will provide another means of
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doing just that. the stakes of inaction are high, the lawsuit challenges the president's failure to enforce key provisions of the immigration laws. we should all support this resolution today, as it -- as it ames to help deliver a simple message -- aims to help deliver a simple message. congress writes the laws, under article 1, section 1, the very first sentence of the united states constitution. we should all support this resolution today. our own constitutionally required oath to support the constitution of the united states requires no less. and what is required of the president of the united states is found in article 2, section 3. which says, he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. that's the issue before us. for the court to pay attention to this institution's concern, the court requires that the congress take a vote and that
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is what we should do today in order to let the court know that this brief is not just a collection of a group of members, this is an actual vote of the united states house of representatives to ask the court to consider our very well-founded concerns and protect the people's house, protect the people's rights under the constitution, protect the constitution itself, and article 1, section 1, which says very simply, all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a congress of the united states. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: mr. speaker, there's a lot of latin used on the other side but the plain english is, this vote is about ripping apart the families of my constituents, mr. ramos, ms. garcia, countless others, millions across the country. and this vote would weigh in from the house of
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representatives that the house of representatives, those who vote for this, want those families ripped apart. i further yield four minutes to the gentleman from california, the chairman of the democratic caucus, mr. becerra. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for four minutes. mr. becerra: i thank the gentleman for yielding. so last week 186 members of this house and 39 senators from the senate filed an amick us brief -- amicus brief. we filed it before the supreme court in this case being discussed. but we filed it without using taxpayer dollars. we filed it individually, separately from our official duty. the brief that we submitted supports the actions which president obama took, because he is our nation's chief executive. and he has the right to try to make our laws work as best as possible. and in the case of our immigration laws, everyone agrees that they are broken, they are fractured and it's a
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system that does not work coherently. there are more than four million people who will be impacted by the decision that the supreme court reaches in the case of u.s. vs. texas. president obama took his actions, exercising his authority under the constitution, to execute and implement the laws of the land. so here we are today, speaker ryan and my colleagues on the house side -- on the republican side, will force this house to vote on a resolution authorizing the house to file a similar type of amicus brief, albeit in this case opposing the president's position in the case of u.s. vs. texas. but there's a big difference between the brief that was filed by 186 members of this house and 39 members in the senate and what the republican majority in the house is intending to do today. big difference. they are looking to use taxpayer money to push forward their political partisan agenda
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and their position in this case of u.s. vs. texas. so they are injecting every american who pays taxes into this fight, even though most americans support a comprehensive fix to our immigration system. why would we want to use taxpayer dollars to go litigate ? these days it seems that my republican colleagues in congress spend more time and taxpayer money filing partisan lawsuits and legal briefs than working to pass the country's must-do legislation. we've got a budget to do. we should be passing jobs legislation. and yes, we should be fixing a broken immigration system by passing comprehensive immigration reform. congress does a deed -- does indeed file a legal brief. most americans know through their high school civics classes that the constitution vests in congress the power to make or change any law without
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having to hope or wait for the supreme court to bail out congress for not doing its work. in fact, today speaker ryan said, and quote, the legislative branch of government needs to be the branch making our laws. not the executive. he's absolutely right. so rather than doing legislation to file a lawsuit, let's do our job, which is to make the laws. this republican congress unfortunately is completely out of step with the interests and expectations of the american people. the time to legislate. not to litigate. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. consistent with the republican message today, one of our other senior members who was the former chairman of the judiciary committee, now serves as the chairman of the science committee, a gentleman who has devoted himself and his life to
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the rule of law, a gentleman who is in the thick of the understanding of the immigration issue, being from san antonio, texas, who has seen for a long time the need and the desire for not just congress to work with the legislative branch -- with the executive branch, but the rule of law, and he's believed in that in his years of service to the judiciary committee -- and his years of service to the judiciary committee stand as a testament to his belief that constitutional law, including federal courts and supreme court decisions arningsd how important they are, will be our -- and how important they are, will be our next speaker. this gentleman has for a long time spoken with balance and credibility on the issue, not just the rule of law, but also about this nation and how we do treat those who come to this country with dignity and respect. i'd like to yield to the young chairman, lamar smith, five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is
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recognized for five minutes. mr. smith: mr. speaker, first of all, i want to thank the chairman of the rules committee and my texas colleague for yielding me time. and also for his very generous comments. mr. speaker, i support this resolution, authorizing the speaker to submit a brief to the supreme court in support of a texas-led lawsuit challenging the president's amnesty policies. it is critical that the house of representatives defend the constitution, which specifically gives congress, not the president, the power to enact immigration laws. regrettably the president's policies have ignored laws, undermined laws and changed immigration laws. the president's policies have led to a surge of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants across our borders, allowed unlawful immigrants to compete with unemployed americans for scarce jobs, and established sanctuary cities that release grants us criminal im
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into our neighborhoods -- immigrants into our neighborhoods where many go on to commit other crimes. the house of representatives must reinforce the rule of law and protect the lives and livelihoods of the american people. mr. speaker, that's why i support this resolution. now i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. . mr. polis: i'd like to jackson lee one minute to the gentlewoman from california, the democratic leader, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady, leader pelosi, virginia tech. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. happy st. patrick's day to you. what a way house republicans have chosen to celebrate st. patrick's day. today we pay tribute to the contributions of generations of irish immigrants to the fabric of america. today we are reminded that ours is truly a nation of immigrants. that immigrants have truly made america more american. with their optimism, their
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hope, their courage to come to america, to make the future better for their families. that's what america is all about. and that's what immigrants have strengthened. we have spent this entire week with our irish friends celebrating the heritage of immigrants in america. the prime minister of ireland was here in the capitol earlier in the week. he spoke about immigration. last night at the dinner and the letter that was read by the irish ambassador, he talked about immigration. and here on the floor of the house we are talking about immigration in a totally negative way. why would house republicans want to spend st. patrick's day in this insulting manner to irish immigrants? house republicans have brought forward a resolution authorizing the speaker to file an anti-immigration amicus brief in the supreme court, but they won't tell the house or american people what they are planning to say in it.
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given republicans' past positions and rhetoric, that raises serious questions. will the republicans yet again call for tearing apart families? will they call for deporting dreamers? will they yet again suggest a religious test for prospective immigrants? will they ask the court ending birthright american citizenship as they did in their immigration subcommittee hearing? sadly, there is not much difference between this rhetoric of the republican candidates for president and house republicans when it comes to a record of appalling anti-immigrant statements and agenda of discrimination. furthermore, republicans have denied house democrats the opportunity to have a meaningful vote on our alternative amicus brief in support of the president's immigration executive actions, which we filed in the court last week, 225 house and senate democrats. the fact is, the president's immigration actions fall within
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the legal and constitutional precedent established by every administration, republican and democrat, since president eisenhower. the fact is the president has the right to take the -- these administrative actions under the law. and he also is following in the precedent of former presidents to do so. i don't know if the republicans were silent or didn't know what was going on. when president reagan went further in his administration, administrative actions on immigration in terms of effecting a higher pestage much immigrants than president obama's actions have affected. when the president's acting, because congress has refused to act, to pass comprehensive immigration reform. even when the republicans in the senate had bipartisan bill that did not get a chance to ave a vote in the house.
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so, the president has acted. president reagan to his credit acted even after congress acted. he signed a bill into law then he said back to congress, you didn't go far enough to protect families. so he initiated by executive action family fairness. and that was carried on by president george herber walker bush. and the spirit of all that was carried on by president george w. bush. all of those, including president clinton in between and president obama, strong, strong advocates for comprehensive immigration reform. and respecting the role that immigrants play as a constant reinvigoration of america. so by law legal authority and by precedent legal authority, the president has the right to do this. if it was ok when president reagan did it and president george herbert walker bush did
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it, why isn't it ok when president obama takes these same administration actions? affecting a smaller percentage of people than president reagan did. so here we go. it's long time past for us to have comprehensive immigration reform that honors our heritage and history. immigration has always been the reinvigoration of america. each wave of immigrants briggs their hopes, aspiration, faith, work ethic, and determination to succeed to our shores. let us not tear families apart and deport young dreamers and their parents. let us oppose this radical narrow-minded anti-immigrant resolution. this st. patrick's day, let us recognize the immense contributions that immigrants of all cultures and all creeds have made to the past and to the present and to the greatness of america. happy st. patrick's day. yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. speaker. consistent with what we have seen for the last eight years by a white house and administration so we see here on the floor of the house of representatives. a denial of trying to follow the law but rather to blame people, including using the word discriminatory, and trying to attach that to a party. mr. speaker, in fact, this issue is far different. this is based upon rule of law. in the federal district court in the southern district of texas, during the trial there was a determination that was being pushed about whether daca would be characterized as an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. in fact, when challenged, because this was the claim that the administration made, the
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federal district court examined the operation of the daca process and despite the claim or the reason why the president had this authority, that daca was applied on a case buy case basis, the administration could not provide one piece of evidence in the federal district court, no examples of daca applicants who would meet the program's criteria. mr. speaker, it does matter why you do something, how you do something, and if you're going to be a professional, how you sustain that which you have done. in a federal district court, when asking directly to sustain what the assertions are could not even sustain their answers. this is why we are talking about rule of law, mr. speaker.
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and to come here and to subscribe insults to a party, to a presidential process, or to a rule, a body that operates under rule of law, i believe misses the point. to help further this example of why republicans are on the floor at this time, i would like to give five minutes to the gentleman from south carolina, chairman gowdy, five minutes that he will so adequately explain our case. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for five minutes. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. speaker. the issue in this case actually implicates the very existence of the house. the law is the reason we exist. we do not exist to pass ideas or to pass suggestions. we make law. with the corresponding expectation that that law will be enforced, respected, and executed. we do so because the law is the thread that holds the tapestry of this country together. it is the most unifying
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equalizing force that we have. it makes the rich respect the poor. it allows the powerless to challenge the powerful. and attempts to undermine the law, mr. speaker, regardless of motivation, are detrimental to the social order. in 2014, president obama declared unilaterally that almost five million unlawful immigrants would receive deferred action under some tortured definition of prosecutorial discretion. i can't help but note the word discretion means sometimes you say yes and sometimes you say no. but of course the administration has never said no. the court found not a single time has the administration said no. that's not prosecutorial discretion, mr. speaker. that's lawlessness. and you may like what the president did. i take it from some of the speakers that they do. you may actually wish what the president did was actually law. i -- you may wish, mr. speaker, you may wish that when
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democrats control the house, senate, and white house for two years that they had lifted a finger to do a single solitary thing about what they are talking about this morning. you may wish that. you may wish that all these grandiose policies that we are talking about this morning on the other side that they cared enough about, to actually make law when they had a chance, but they did not. and they know now that one person doesn't make the law in a republic. you may want to live in a country where one person makes the law, but that would not be this country. you would have to look for another one. the president knows this because more than 20 times, mr. speaker, he said he could not do the very thing that he eventually did. his power didn't change. the law didn't change. the politics is all that changed. we should have seen this coming, mr. speaker. he warned us on this very floor , he warned us that he didn't need the people's house. he said he would do it with or without congress. andle of you cheered when he
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said that. many of you cheered. because you been fit from the nonenforcement of the law today -- benefit from the nonenforcement of the law today. tomorrow will be different. tomorrow is coming and tomorrow will be different. tomorrow you will cry out for the enforcement of the law. tomorrow you will want others to follow the law. we are here, mr. speaker, because this administration violated one law he in its haste to allow others to violate yet another law. the administration lost and then they appealed. here we are before the supreme court. for too long, mr. speaker, congress has let the executive branch engage in constitutional adverse possession. today it's immigration. tomorrow it will be some other law. and one day, i'll say to my friend on the other side of the aisle, one day your party may not control the gears of enforcement. one day a republican president might decide that he or she doesn't like a law and is going
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to ignore it, fail to enforce it. for more than two centuries, mr. speaker, the law has been more important than any political issue. it's been more important than any election. it's been more important, frankly, than any one of us. it binds us together and embodies the virtues that we cherish like fairness and equality and justice. and mercy. and we symbolize our devotion to the law with this blindfolded woman holding a set of scales and a sword. that blindfold keeps her focus on the law. i want you to understand this, mr. speaker. once that blindfold slips off, it's gone forever. you can want to put it back on. but it is gone because once you weaken the law, good luck putting it back. once you decide that some play laws are worth enforcing and some are not, once you decide
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that some laws are worth following and others are not, you have weakened this thing we call the law and you have weakened it forever. let me say this, i'll say this, mr. speaker. it doesn't take any courage to follow a law you like. it doesn't take any courage. follow a law you like? it takes courage, what makes us different is we fall laws even that we don't like. then we strive to change them. legally. that is the power and the disenfranchisey -- fragility of the law. once it is abandoned it is weakened in the eyes we expect of those to follow. i'll say this in conclusion in the oath of citizenship that we require new citizens to take, -- could i have 45 more seconds. mr. sessions: two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. speaker. in the oath of citizenship that we require new citizens to
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take, and i'm sure the speaker already knows this, perhaps some of my colleagues on the other side may know this as well, but in that oath it references the law five separate times. five separate references to this thing we call the law. in the very oath that we want new citizens to take. that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks times in a single paragraph. mr. speaker, good luck explaining why new citizens should follow the law when those empowered do not have to. good luck explaining the difference between anarchy and the wholesale failure to enforce the law simply because you do not like it. good luck stopping the next president from ignoring a law that he or she does not like.
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if the president can pick and choose which laws he likes, then so can the rest of us. and you have undermined the very thing that binds us together. so be careful what you do today . tomorrow is coming. with that i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. castro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the chair will remind members to address their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. castro: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, 50 years ago, even 100 years ago, if you asked somebody who was living in asia or latin america or europe, where on earth they would want to go if they were going to leave their home country, the answer was very clearly the united states of america. we proudly say as americans
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that we are a nation of immigrants. yet throughout the generations, immigrants from different corners of the world have encountered resentment and scapegoating here in our land. today we celebrate st. patrick's day. for the irish. when the irish came in the 1800 they were greeted by sions that said, no irish need -- signs that said, no irish need apply, in cities like new york and boston. the chinese for many decades were excluded from admission into the united states. the japanese and germans were interned during world war ii. there was an operation called operation wetback in the eisenhower administration that rounded up and deported thousands if not over a million mexican and mexican americans back to -- mexicans and mexican americans back to mexico. and the latest iteration of those politics, the latest attempt to relive our worst
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mistakes, started when a man who may become president called mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. there are times in our nation's history when our politics become a race to the bottom. and it takes people of good faith, of different political stripes and beliefs, to stand up and put the breaks -- brakes on it. sometimes we have. sometimes we fail to do that. but make no mistake, we are in one of those eras now. and this resolution represents just the beginning. my colleague about 45 minutes ago referenced talk of mass deportation. that's not just talk. that's coming from the leading republican front runners for president -- frontrunsers for president -- frontrunners for
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president. do you know what that means? that means that you're going to 3 -- l two 2-year-old and 2-year-old and 3-year-old and 4-year-old killeds from their homes, from their -- kids from their parents, -- homes, from their parents, forcibly, and send them out of here. it means you're going to take parents and drag them away from heir kids, leaving them alone. i know that there are people of very good faith who disagree with democrats on this issue. in fact, many have spoken today. and i respect their opinion. but i would ask all of us as americans to ask ourselves whether this represents the very best of our nation. can i get one more minute? mr. polis: i yield an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. castro: the fact is we are a nation of immigrants.
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we've always been a nation of immigrants. we will always be a nation of immigrants. it's what's made us strong, it's what's made us powerful around the world. it's what's earned us friends. and the what's made us the envy of the world. and all of us have to make sure in governing that 50 years from now, when somebody in europe or latin america or asia is asked, where on earth they would -- asked where on earth they would want to move if they were to leave their home country, the answer is still the united states of america. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i want to reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for two minutes. ms. jackson lee: it's powerful. i thank the gentleman for his courtesies and to my fellow texan who is managing on the other side, chairman of the
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rules committee. it is a moment in history that we are speaking of. and it's powerful to follow my fellow texan on the moment in history that we have. earlier today i said that, as my friends on the other side were debating about the will of the house, i indicated it's a divided house and that is not the will of the american people. it's evidenced in the rules. so to go and suggest that any brief that would wish to over come, if you will, the president -- overcome, if you will, the president's constitutional authority, is bogus. it is not true. if this was a consensus, the beef would be prepared and all members would sign on -- brief would be prepared and all members would sign on to the brief. that's not the case. as i come from texas, let me say that much of what is being done is out of fear. you don't understand it. you don't understand dreamers. we do in texas. we have a state law that allows our dreamers to go to college.
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and they are making good. and i see them in my office, and i know their parents of which we are speaking about, because some of their parents' children are obviously children who are citizens and who are able then at a point in time to be able to be under the daca and the dapa. and so let me reinforce the fact that the president has acted under executive orders that squarely fall under the take-care clause as ensuring presidential control over those who execute and enforce the laws. you can rely on arizona vs. the united states. buckley vs. valio, prince vs. the united states, free enterprise fund vs. pcaob. the enforcement agencies, including the u.s. department of homeland security, proper may exercise their discretion to advise and implement policies specific to laws they are charged with enforcing.
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the population they serve and the problems they face. so that they can prioritize -- mr. polis: i yield an additional minute to the gentlelady from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: so they can prioritize. i thank the gentleman. our nation's resources. are we to kick out children who are on the way to success and then their parents? the reason why i wanted to to dispel this myth of fear, these parents are working. i don't adhere to think of people displacing americans looking for jobs. this is not this issue. and a principle feature of the removal system is a broad discretion exercised by immigration officials, federal officials as an initial matter. we have prioritized criminals and those who would do us harm. but we're operating out of fear. just as was earlier said, when someone who the world does not know, whether he is a presidential candidate or whether he's a spokesman for
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america, blocks and puts his hand up to stop all muslims from coming in. who will be next? would have been the irish in the 1800's. the italians in the 1900's'. america has to get back to reasonable law making, pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. and make a difference. finally, mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: i don't want -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: victim of domestic violence to be thrown out. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield five minutes to the gentlewoman from california, the ranking member of the judiciary subcommittee on immigration and border security, ms. lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for five minutes. ms. lofgren: thank you, mr. speaker. we've heard some very eloquent comments today and i was particularly taken by my
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colleague, mr. gowdy, the chairman of the committee, his passionate speech about the rule of law. in fact, we all do agree. about the importance of the rule of law in american life and in the vitality of our country. unfortunately, the facts of this case have nothing to do with the speech given by mr. gowdy. you know, on november 20, 2014, a number of memorandum were issued by the secretary of homeland security. one of them is titled, policies for the apprehension, detention and removal of undocumented immigrants. that was pursuant to section -- to the 2002 action of this congress, creating the department of homeland security and directing the secretary to establish priorities for removal. and the worth pointing out that
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this memorandum has not been enjoined. nobody sued to stop it. it's in effect, nobody's challenged its legality, it's what is happening right now. in fact, the only things that have been enjoyed temporarily are the dapa, the relief for parents and the expansion of relief for children. now, my colleague who i respect and like, mr. poe from texas, did mention that the deferred action provides benefits, health care, education, in fact, the deferred action provides no such benefits. it is not a legal status. it is a deferential of deportation. it is rev cabble at any time. d here's what the memorandum
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establishing this said. this memorandum confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship. only an act of congress can confer these rights. it remains within the authority of the executive branch, however, to set forth policy for the exercise of prosecutorial discretion and deferred action within the framework of existing law. this memorandum is an exercise of that authority. in fact, the exercise of that authority is nothing new. we've mentioned earlier that president reagan deferred action on the deportation of the wives and children of those the 1986 lief through act that congress passed. despite the fact that congress told them not to do it. because he had the authority to do it. we've also had instances where wives of american soldiers were
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going to be deported. and you know what? the president gave them deferential from deportation because it was unconscionable to us that a soldier fighting in iraq or afghanistan would have his wife deported while he's over in the battlefield. we routinely, we have private bills that we take up. egregious cases. and you know what? if we ask for a report from the department about that bill, the department defers action, they defer deportation for the person who is the subject of that bill. we on the committee thank them for doing that. we know that they do that and we agree and like that they do that. i mentioned earlier that the congress, after tiananmen square, passed a bill to prevent the deportation of chinese students who had been murdered, some of them in
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tiananmen square. president bush vetoed that bill . why did he veto it? he vetoed it so he could give deferred deportation for the students. because it was his position and no one challenged it. that it was the president's authority to do that. i want to raise another issue. my friend, the chairman of the rules committee, mentioned earlier this morning that we had received a request, the house had received a request to brief this issue. i was very surprised by that. the first i'd heard of. it it's my understanding -- it. it's my understanding from the paper submitted that what he was referring to was the petition for writ which was granted. this is what it says. in addition to the questions presented by the petition, the parties are directed to brief and argue the following question. we are not -- if i may -- mr. polis: an additional 30
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seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. lofgren: i know ma mr. sessions is not a lawyer and i would not suggest he intended to mislead this house. but the comment was in fact misleading because that is not a request for the house to brief that point. it's simply directed to the parties in the litigation which we are not. this is about whether we deport kids or not, but it's also about whether we engage in rhetoric that is injurious to the public because it distorts the actual facts of this case. i hope we will vote against this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. speaker. we'll reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: i yield myself two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for two minutes. mr. polis: mr. speaker, congress has repeatedly and explicitly passed laws delegating enforcement
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authority to the executive branch on the immigration context. through dapa and the expansion of daca, the secretary of homeland security is simply enforcing these existing laws that have previously been passed. words matter. in talking about the families like ms. garcia from my district, really knows that especially during a campaign season or when there's rhetoric on the floor, the words that those of us in elected office say matter. i found that out firsthand as i talked to some of the families in my district with mixed status children, who turn on tv and see some of our national politicians rail against them. i ask permission to use stories from some of our families here today. and in the past, it's always been very customary that they said yes, if it will help, share my story, please, share it with the american people, the american people will understand that i want to be with my child, what is more
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family-oriented than that? that's the values of the people. but when i when i asked over the last few days, my staff asked, they said no to having their story told on the house floor. why? because major national political figures, like donald trump, are running for higher office and trying to win office, they'll promise everything in their power to break up families like those of ms. garcia. they promise to do everything in their power to rip apart our communities at the core, to separate american children from one or both parents. by any means necessary, they say, we will deport mothers and fathers of american children. we are better than that, mr. speaker. we are better than that. dapa and daca are an enormous step forward, and i find it so frustrating that the argument the other side seems to be,
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no -- i yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: this is congress' job and the very people arguing this is congress' job are the people preventing congress from doing their job, and thank godness the president used his executive authority that already exists to move forward in prioritizing immigration cases just as president reagan did, just as president bush did. but if those on the other side believe that congress should solve this, let them stop standing in the way. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, at this time i yield one minute to the gentleman from south carolina, chairman gowdy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. speaker. four really quick points i'd say to my friend from colorado through the speaker. one reason congress may not enact new laws is because we have absolutely zero confidence it will actually be enforced. maybe if this president
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enforced current law we would be more willing to embark on new ones. secondarily, i think judge poe was right. i do think part of the opinion deals with benefits but i'd invite people to read it for themselves. thirdly, on the issue of prosecutorial discretion, mr. speaker, all law enforcement agencies have limited resources, but they don't hold press conferences ahead of time and announce, you're not going to be prosecuted or investigated if you just steal this amount of money. you're not going to be prosecuted or investigated if you just possess this amount of control of substances. this is not prosecutorial discretion. this is a political decision to not enforce the law. and lastly, i want to say this, and she is my friend. i have great respect for ms. lofgren. i am not including her in what i'm getting ready to say because i bet you in 2008 she was ready, mr. speaker, to move on comprehensive immigration reform. but nobody else was. from 2008 to 2010 when they had all the gears of government, they didn't lift a finger, mr.
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speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. sessions: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. speaker. they didn't lift the fingers. so all the ideas i hear my friends talking about, it just makes me wonder, where were you when you had the house? where were you when you had the senate? where were you when you had the white house? you had all three of them and you didn't do any of the things you're talking about doing this morning. so i would say in conclusion, yes, you're right. it is congress' job to pass the law. and as soon as you show us that you're willing to enforce it, maybe we'll be willing to pass some new ones. but asking us to trust an administration, mr. speaker, wholesale ding certain categories not tone force, we may be smart but not smarter than that. so i will say in the final analysis, mr. speaker, this is about the constitution
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equilibrium. the house needs to speak up for itself and i applaud speaker ryan from doing that. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will remind members once again to please direct their comments to the chair. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from maryland, the democratic whip, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend from colorado. where we were was doing a lot of business, unlike we're doing now. mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to this resolution. i say to my friends across the aisle, who are so passionate about congress having a role in this case, where was that enthusiasm when congress had ample opportunity to prevent is case by doing its job and exacting real bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform? he only reason why this case
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exists is because congress did not do its job. and then president obama had no choice but to act in the limited capacity that he could under the law. he acted within his legal authorities, something i'm confident the court will affirm, and he acted because it would have been inhumane not to do anything while families were being torn apart by our broken immigration policies and this congress' failure to act. the democratic controlled senate passed a comprehensive mmigration reform bill in june of 2013, and house republicans did nothing for more than 500 days before president obama resorted the power of his pen. now to authorize the speaker to file an amicus brief opposing the president's actions rather than acting through the office known as the bipartisan legal advisory group is a break from the usual procedure, a break
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from the usual procedure by which the house weighs in on a matter before the courts in which it may have an interest. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. polis: i yield the gentleman for 20 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: in other words, this s not regular order as is so often the cry of my republican colleagues. this is regular disorder. i am a member of that bipartisan advisory group. it was never brought to us. we never considered it. mr. speaker, we ought to oppose this resolution, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: we reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: i'd like to inquire how much time remains on both sides. the speaker pro tempore: both sides have one minute remaining. mr. polis: thank you. i'm prepared to close. mr. sessions: that would be fine. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is
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recognized. mr. polis: i yield myself the balance of the time. thank you, mr. speaker. his discussion is about my constituents, mr. ramos and his family. it's about keeping them together. as mr. gowdy said, it is about congress not doing their job, democrats and republicans. and in the abc of congress doing their job, thank goodness that this president or any president has used their executive authority that exists under the law, most recently in the form of dapa and daca, to provide some certainty to mr. ramos and his family so his american kids come home from school to a loving family. so those 12 jobs that mr. ramos and his wife have created in our community are protected and preserved and their business is given every ability to expand. but rather than doing the right
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thing by debating how to fix our broken immigration system, this chamber is working once again to undermine the only significant progress that has been achieved in recent years. i urge my colleagues to oppose this resolution, to support the families of ms. garcia and mr. ramos and so many others who are scared to be named and to reject this approach we see today. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i want to thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. i believe that what happened up in the rules committee as we were going through regular order, regular order to hear the original jurisdiction, regular order as we were going through discussing debating and voting on the rule, going through regular order here on the floor of the house of representatives is important and i appreciate the american people and you, mr. speaker, understanding what we're attempting to accomplish. mr. speaker, i'd like to ask unanimous consent to place in
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the record information on the committee on ethics rules that provide guidance for members. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i also want to reiterate this resolution is not about policy, it's about the law, it's about the constitution of the united states. it's about the fabric of our democracy and the checks and balances which are demanded by every single member of not only this house of representatives but also by the american people. it is about our american constitution. the house, i believe, must be, will speak and defend its article 1 legislative powers on behalf of the american people. mr. speaker, today you watched republicans argue artfully, carefully on behalf of this and i urge my colleagues to join me and the speaker in support of this resolution. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 649, the previous question is ordered on the resolution. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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the ayes have it. the resolution is agreed to. mr. polis: mr. speaker, on that dubious ruling i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on adoption of the resolution will be followed by a five-minute vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal, if ordered. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 234. the nays are 186. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal, which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the journal stands approved.
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the house will be in order. the house will be in order. please remove your onversations from the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table the bill h.r. 1831, with the senate amendment thereto and concur in the senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the clerk will report the title of the bill and the senate amendment. the clerk: h.r. 1831, an act to establish the commission on evidence-based policymaking and for other purposes. senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the reading is dispensed with. is there objection to the original request of the gentleman from texas? without objection, the senate amendment is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members, please remove your onversations from the floor. the house will be in order. members, please remove your conversations from the floor.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members and staff, please remove your conversations from the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the purpose of inquiring of the majority leader the schedule for the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: thank you very much, mr. speaker. at this time i yield to my friend, mr. mccarthy of
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california, the majority leader, for the purposes of telling us the schedule for next week. i yield to my friend, mr. mccarthy. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding, and i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. members, please remove your conversations from the floor. staff, please remove your conversations from the floor. the gentleman may proceed. mr. mccarthy: thank you, mr. speaker. on monday the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. votes will be postponed until 6:30. on tuesday, the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business. and on wednesday, the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. no votes are expected in the house or thursday or friday. now, mr. speaker, the house will consider a number of suspensions next week. a complete list of which will
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be announced by close of business tomorrow. mr. speaker, the house will also consider h.r. 2745, the smarter act, sponsored by representative blake farenthold. the bill will ensure that no matter who reviews mergers and acquisitions, be it the federal trade commission or the department of justice, there will be uniform rules so that every transaction is reviewed fairly. and i thank the gentleman and yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information. did not see on the -- or hear the budget for this coming year. i know the budget committee marked up the budget yesterday, as i understand it. they completed their work, and they reported a budget. i do not see it on the calendar for next week which means the earliest week we would consider a budget is april. speaker ryan, as the majority leader knows so well, indicated we're going to pursue regular
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order which would be the adoption of a budget, the establishment of a 302-a allocation, which means the overall expenditure level for discretionary spending, and the markup and consideration of this house of the 12 appropriation bills. it would appear if we're not going to do it next week, could we expect to see the budget on the floor, mr. leader, in april? i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: well, i thank the gentleman for yielding. and the gentleman is correct, that the budget committee successfully reported a budget resolution last night, and i want to take a moment to thank budget chairman tom price for his whole work and the whole committee -- for his work and the whole committee. there are things that will be required before moving the budget to the floor and therefore it won't be here in the upcoming abriefiated week but i will let the member know
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when we do schedule it and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. as the gentleman probably recalls, back in january, majority whip scalise was quoted as saying, we'll forge ahead with spending bills and other initiatives in the coming year, comply that the house would start early on its -- imply that the house would start early on its appropriation bills. i can remember as a longtime member of the appropriation bills that early for us was early may for actual appropriation bills to be on the floor. in december, speaker ryan stated, and i quote, by having this budget agreement that my predecessor put in place, we no longer have a dispute over the sequester. now, it's my understanding, mr. leader, that the budget that is being proposed does -- is inconsistent with and does not carry out the agreement that the speaker en
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and our leader and on which the house voted, significant majority of the house voted to pass a budget deal. it's my understanding this budget does not carry it out. the speaker went on to say after saying this set aside over dispute over the sequester, he said, by getting the slate cleaned now, mr. leader, this was december 22 that the speaker said this. by getting the slate clean now, which meant this argument over sequester, which, of course, your chairman of the appropriations committee has said is unreasonable and unworkable, in effect, and ill-advised, was the word he specifically used, the speaker said, by getting the slate clean by making that deal, by getting this behind us we can start our appropriation process early next year. now, we're beyond early next
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year, of course. and do it the right way. individual bills, he said, all 12 bills open up the process, do it the way the founders intended in the first place. my question to you is, mr. leader, do you expect we will start considering appropriation bills on or before the end of april? and does the majority leader contemplate the consideration of all 12 appropriation bills, as the speaker indicated he wanted to do, with full consideration open to amendment prior to the july adjournment for essentially six weeks, coming back in september? and i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank my friend for yielding. you always make me smile when you come with your quotes. at times they seem selective. mr. hoyer: let me recall my
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time just for a second. it always gives me great pleasure to bring a smile to your face, mr. leader. i yield back. mr. mccarthy: well, if the gentleman just wished me happy st. patrick's day -- mr. hoyer: i will wish you a happy st. patrick's day and i congratulate kelly on that beautiful green blouse she's wearing. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for his mood today. i do want to correct the record. and this is probably a good reason we are not bringing the budget to a shortened week next week because you have some misinformation. the budget that passed the floor -- passed the committee abided by the exact number the agreement was. i thought you would be supportive. secondly, one thing i would find, it is our full intention to do all the appropriation bills on the floor. we believe in regular order. i remember a time in here when i was in the minority that we didn't have any appropriation bills on the floor. i did not spend the time to get
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the old quotes about that because i think america wants us to move forward, but we want to give time for conversations on the budget. appropriations have been going through with their committee meetings, so we are on line of getting them done on time and move forward. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i appreciate the gentleman's comments and observations and he and i frankly have a disagreement, factually, on whether or not the budget that was reported out does in fact reflect the agreement. . the problem with this budget taking so long to present, which i know the majority leader and the speaker were hopeful would have been done in either very late february or very early of this month, clearly the disagreement, as everybody knows, is that so many of your caucus did not want to abide by the agreement that the three leaders of their
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party voted for back in december. we understand there are additional actions going on to placate those on your side of the aisle who don't want to follow the agreement and in fact are looking for cuts beyond, to return to sequester. that's why i referred to the sequester in my opening remarks. the speaker said we've gotten beyond that argument. obviously we haven't gotten beyond that argument. that is obviously why your budget has been delayed and why we're not considering it before we leave here for the easter break. and therefore will not consider the budget in march. so i understand that we have a different perspective perhaps, not a disagreement necessarily, but a different perspective on what the budget process is presenting. if i can go on, mr. leader, let me ask you very frankly, we're very concerned about
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adjourning. next week. very frankly, we would urge the majority leader, we would urge your party -- mr. speaker, could we have a little order? the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members, please remove your conversations from the floor. the gentleman may proceed. mr. hoyer: we're very concerned, mr. leader, that we are having a very brief week, essentially in the two weeks that we are -- we have been here, this week and next, we're going to be meeting three full days. come in 6:30 on one day, we'll leave early today, we'll leave early on thursday -- wednesday of next week. and we have three crisises confronting americans. we ought to be dealing with those, mr. leader. and we would urge that we not adjourn next wednesday. we would urge that we meet thursday, friday, of course is
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good friday, and sunday is easter. and those are very serious hoiles for an overwhelming number of us and we ought to -- an ay -- holidays for overwhelming number of us and we ought to observe it. we should at least sacrifice some of our time in the week following that to address these three crisises. mr. leader, i just had the opportunity to meet with a young man who is in the eighth grade and his brother who is in the sixth grade. they're from flint, michigan. they have to pay for the water that they drink at school. because the water at school is nsafe for them to drink. the administration has dealt with that partially. those of us who have been to flint, michigan, have seen a lot of people on the ground from health and human services from c.d.c., to the health
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department, from h.h.s., from a lot of agencies of the federal overnment there to help. and we should be acting on giving some direct help to int, michigan, and assisting -- it is, i think, unfathomable why the state of michigan that caused this problem by shifting the water supply from lake heron through detroit to the city of flint, controlled by a receiver appointed by the governor, not the mayor or council of flint, michigan, it is unimaginable to me that we would be charging children for water that they ought to be supplied. as almost every school in america does. we ought to be dealing with flint. secondly, mr. leader, we have a crisis for a large number of
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americans. both of these crisises are somewhat related but are spra -- separate and distinct issues we ought to be dealing with and you and i have had the opportunity to discuss them. i appreciate your leadership and concern, you and i convened a joint meeting with the department of health and human services, with c.d.c., the nters for disease control, usaid and n.i.h., secretary burwell, talking to us about zika. zika is a health crisis for america. and for americans. and we ought to be dealing with that. we ought to be dealing with it by giving to the administration the resources it needs to respond to this, to make sure that america's health is safe and to make sure that the americans who are living in puerto rico have the resources to deal with the eradcation of the mosquito that transmits
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this disease and is a threat to health generally, but particularly health, as the gentleman knows, to pregnant women or women who may become pregnant. i lint, zika, and lastly would mention that we ought to be dealing with the crisis that confronts americans in puerto rico who are going to be unable to pay their bills. on may 1 they will have another large indebtedness due. we have been considering for many months now the authorizing of puerto rico, to be able to in a e bankruptcy so that reasonable, ordered fashion they can settle that which they
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owe in a way that they can accomplish. so all three of these issues, will leader, we believe are -- mr. leader, we believe are critically important for us to address now. and they've been pending for months. some for as as long as a year in terms of puerto rico's perspective bankruptcy. so i would ask the leader that he would consider coming back the work er and doing that we ought to be doing to meet these three crisises. i believe if we did so, the american people would say that we are a responsible body doing the work that needs to be done. frankly, mr. leader, over the last two weeks, frankly over the last three weeks, we have done things that could, most of them, have been done on suspension.
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we are filling time. we need to fill that time with policies addressing the crisis that confront us. i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. there's three questions in there. i want to answer each and every one of them. as the member did note, next week is holy week. we have holy thursday, you have good friday, and of course easter. the gentleman spoke with great passion, but there's one thing i think you've missed in this. i hope you have the same passion for those at the e.p.a. who knew of flint, who stayed silent. who did not warn those of the water that was poisoned. now, the gentleman talks very boldly about wanting things done, but we should talk about what has happened. as we speak today, we just had a hearing on flint, michigan. where you had jena mccarthy in, the governor of michigan in.
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secondly, the gentleman knows hen it comes to zika, we had a meeting together where we pulled in those in government that are dealing with this issue. that's tell you there's no short answer for it. they'll tell you the mosquito is not as easy as just displaying -- spraying and they'll tell you each and every day they're learning something more. the white house did not send us a supplemental until just a few weeks ago in the request. we have done nothing but move even faster. there is no agency from the n.i.h. or the c.d.c. lacking in money to be acting today and they'll answer that question for you. they have money to go forward and do the work that they need, that we believe needs to happen. weng argue later about where that -- we can argue later about where that money comes from. in no way have we stopped or slowed. we've been in front of this. if we recall correctly from the
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gentleman, it was i who approached you on the floor and requested that we work together on this. it was i who called you and said, let's make this bipartisan so we brought all the committee members in with the secretary and the directors. so in no way do i want the american public to think for one moment that we're not doing the work. now, there is not one easy answer for it. you can look around the world to australia, they've been battling this for quite some time. there are challenges of what's going through, we want to make sure we get it done. and i want to work with you to make that happen. but i don't want to play political games with it. and you know as well as i do, if you think we're here just on good friday, that there's going to be a fundamental change, there won't. but we are making change on the work we're doing. now, when it comes to puerto rico, we've been working on puerto rico. we've been working on puerto rico so far as much, the committee chairman just went there, the last time when he had district work period, to investigate. so did congressman
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sensenbrenner and chairman bishop. it's just that yesterday, the speaker, myself, the committee chairs from judiciary, goodlatte, and chairman bishop, and congressman sensenbrenner, all met. after that meeting, sensenbrenner, congressman, directly went to speak to your leader, pelosi, on what we're doing. because we're doing this in a bipartisan manner. and i think you're going to see hearings being scheduled very shortly. we want to get this right. i understand your frustration because my frustration's with the -- across the chambers here with the senate. we have acted many times on the direction of where we're going. and the last part i would bring up, we're going to have disagreements on the budget. and maybe your argument in thinking the budgets are different, they are different. because we have brought a budget to the floor every year we've been in the majority here and they've balanced. every time the president has sent a budget here, and we put this on the floor, there's only been two votes on the other side of the aisle for the
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president's budget. so, yes, we're going to have disagreements on the budget. because we're going to fight over here to balance the budget and give us a brighter future. and yes, maybe philosophically you think we need to spend more money. but that's a disagreement that i think the american public expects you and i to have that disagreement. and fight for what we believe. so i just firmly disagree with your last question on all three. not from a basis of politics, but a basis between you and i know what we're doing. you and i both know personally what we've been working on. and we haven't hidden the fact, we haven't made it partisan, we've been very open with it. and we're going to solve this problem. and i'm not going to play political games with you and say, if you come on a saturday we're going to solve it. i'm going to put us in a room on the exact day we should be, i'm going to have the experts in the room as well, we can disagree with where we want to go, but at the end of the day, we're going to solve the problem. and i welcome to work with you as we solve them. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments and
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i want to -- everybody to know that he's correct. he came to me. to work on a bipartisan fashion. -- in a bipartisan fashion. in fact, we've come to one another at various times to work in a bipartisan fashion. i am pleased to work with the majority leader. i think the majority leader, as i've said, with him not present, i say it here today, is someone who -- with whom i can work, have worked and expect to work. and i think he's honest and straightforward when he makes his representations to me, mr. speaker. so i want to thank him for that. but i want to reference all three of the issues that you just discussed. i'm going to go in the opposite direction you went. you started out with the e.p.a., i'm going to start out with the budget. as the gentleman i'm sure knows, there's a $1.5 trillion astrisk in this budget. savings to be determined at some time in the future. hooray. what courage.
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what i'm saying about the budget is, we had a deal, we agreed in a bipartisan fashion, an agreement that you and i both voted for. mr. speaker, we both voted for it, it wasn't what either of us probably wanted, mr. speaker, but it was an agreement. it was compromise. it was how this body should and does work. . and the problem we had such difficulty saying we are going to implement that agreement notwithstanding with speaker ryan said a few months ago. from the budget standpoint, i don't share the gentleman's optimistic view that it's balanced. it's easy to put an aster risk and say we are going to get it somehow from someplace.
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much more difficult to say where you are going to get it and what the american people have seen that asterrisk is never realized. a, we haven't worked in a bipartisan, we did, it was very tough, the speaker, you, mr. scalise, leader pelosi and i all five of us voted for an agreement and very frankly it is our perception, mr. speaker, hat the leader's side of the aisle has not been able to carry out that agreement because of internal divisions within your party. it is self-evident and that's our view. our view is we had a number agreed upon, it's not about spending more money but what we agreed to spend in a bipartisan fashion. that is not being adhered to. secondly, when the gentleman
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says there's money somewhere, of course there is money somewhere, but it's not a zero sum game. somebody will be disadvantaged and hurt and left behind if we take money from the program that this congress appropriated to accomplish to be spent on ebola. and the gentleman came to me and he had a bipartisan meeting which i referred to and the gentleman has referred to. the secretary was there, and centers for disease control, all of them said that the suggestion that we take money from ebola and put it towards zika would harm the effort to assure that ebola does not come back to our shores and is controlled overseas as well, because if it is overseas, it will ultimately come on shore here in america. so they have asked for the
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resources to deal with zika now. the longer we wait, the more difficult it will be. i agree with the gentleman entirely that we are finding out new things as each day goes by as each week goes by. but the fact of the matter is we need to give them the assurance that they will have the resources to deploy the kind of effort that we need to make sure that zika does not become an epidemic here in this country, in puerto rico, in the virgin islands and in other places in the world. lastly. to me very it is ironic. i have heard this year in years past, e.p.a., get out of our lives. e.p.a., stay out of our
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communities. e.p.a., we don't need your advice and counsel. and mr. speaker, the governor of thatgan, knowing full well the water from the flint river was not the kind of water that we ought to be feeding to our ildren and to our adults and refusing to spend the money to treat the pipes so that were lined and the lead from the pipes would not leach into the water and adversely the health of the children of flint. , itsn january of last year e.p.a. advised the governor of michigan and the department of environmental quality in michigan, you are getting lead in your water. it is dangerous. anuary 15, 2015.
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notwithstanding that advice, the receiver appointed by the governor of flint, the mayor wasn't in charge, the city council wasn't in charge, the michigan environmental quality appointed by a republican governor kept feeding the water o the people of flint. and we have now determined and e.p.a. kept after them after january 15 and their advice was ignored and said look, we got it, we can handle this. we have experts. and frankly, a professor from virginia tech started testing the children and found that tragically the lead levels in the blood of the children of flint were going up to dangerous and harmful levels.
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mr. leader, very frankly, your party has made it very clear repeatedly on the bills that you brought to the floor, you don't want e.p.a. involved. i don't mean you personally, let me make that clear, mr. speaker, but the votes on this floor have been to reduce e.p.a.'s authority to reduce their involvement, to reduce alliance on e.p.a.'s wisdom on behalf of the health and en-- environment of our country. on all three of those, mr. speaker and let me say something in conclusion. know it's holy week, and what holy week toaches us is we need to care for one another, that we need to make sure, mr. speaker, when there are those in trouble nd at risk, that we act.
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if that's not what holy week is about, i don't know what it's about. and we ought to be about the business of responding, mr. speaker, to these three crises, we don't have to do it on a saturday and i agree with my friend, kevin mccarthy is my friend, mr. speaker. i have great respect for him. he is hard working, honest and he cares about our country, let there be no mistake, but what i'm trying to do is elevate a sense of urgency to respond to wo emergencies that confront americans. and we therefore have the responsibility to act, act promptly, decisively and effectively and i'm urging that we do that. and i'm urgeing that we not waste time in accomplishing that
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objective and i yiled to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank you for yielding, and i just want to respond to a few points you made. the money that we're talking about using for zika so nobody is delayed is leftover money from the emergency supplemental voted in 2014. i know it's dealing with ebola but $3 billion over there. they have leftover money and make sure they don't want one day to start working. now you talk of the budget. we just passed the budget out of budget committee that had a discretionary number of 1070. no where does it show that that's not the agreement. you and i can debate a lot, since republicans took the majority and i know in the last year of your majority, you didn't produce a budget, but we have saved $800 billion by
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taking the majority. you and i both know that the real challenge for america is the mandatory spending and we have to get to that. now, when you talk about the e.p.a., the challenge that i find and nobody should ever have water like flint had, but i'm very passionate about this issue and the children who have drinking water, because you know why? because that same thing is happening in my state because of lack of water and every year we have been in the majority, we passed the bill with california water but it goes nowhere in the senate, i want the same for all the children across this country. there are lots of places we have to deal with this. but if i remind the gentleman, i think it was just a month ago, bipartisan on this floor, the vote was 416-2 telling the
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e.p.a. not to hold information because when it came to flint, they knew of it and they waited months before they brought that information forward so you and i worked together just as both sides of the aisle in here that said the e.p.a. needs to stop. if they have information to any community, don't hold back, release it. people need to be warned, people need to be advised. and i was proud of the fact that both sides joined together and i look forward to working on the other issues. you and i may have a disagreement on the timing because what i have found, these committees have been working. we want to get it right and in no way, no shape, have we not kept you one, a part of it or if we have a meeting, advise of it. congressman sensenbrenner walked with the committee chairs
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directly to your leader pelosi the same time we have been dealing with this showing what all has been working on and i hope we can keep that same work together as we solve the problem and i wish the the gentleman from maryland good luck in the n.c.a.a. but cal state has never lost in the tournament and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i appreciate his wishes of good luck and i hope they result in many maryland victories and i appreciate that. mr. speaker, obviously, we don't have a difference on objectives, and yes the gentleman from wisconsin did walk across , puerto yesterday rican bankruptcy challenge has been confronting us for more than 2/3 of a year. this is not something new.
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zika's new. but prosecute's bankruptcy challenge is not new. but i'm saying these are matters we gency, of crisis and believe we ought to work on those. we believe working together as the majority leader said, we can get that done and we would hope we would do so. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet on monday, march 21, 2016 when it shall convene for morning hour debate and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
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the chair will now requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: gentlewoman new york is recognized. >> in celebration of women's history month i rise to honor a pioneer from my district. he elizabeth stanton attended johnstown academy until age of 16. elizabeth would go on to be one of the true trailblazers of the women's suffrage movement. she helped the convention where she presented a declaration of sentiment, a call for women's rights proclaiming men and women are equal which was a revolutionary concept in 1848, i certainly would not be here today on the house floor without
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the passion activism and dication of elizabeth cady stant ton. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. lee: i rise to commemorate women's history month and the impact of poverty on women. this month, we celebrate women's history month and reflect on the generations of american women and their many contributions that have brought us to our place. for example, as women's history month was being created back in e 1970's, the late shirley chisholm and became the first african-american woman to serve in congress and run for president of the united states. throughout her career, she broke many glass ceilings.
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today we see women challenged in the status quo from sports and politics to corporate board rooms. i'm proud to serve in this congress that has 104 women, the first speaker in history, nancy pelosi. they have too many and in 2016 despite making up 50% of the work force, congresswomen still earn 77 cents on average for every dollar a man makes. african-american women and -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. . . there was >> there is a new strategy
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ending homelessness. however, this top-down approach to orcing homeless shelters change or risk losing access. two homeless shelters lost grant funding that they once received. it provides money to homeless shelters. the programs have achieved a remarkable success rate. they continue to help the less fortunate members of their community. i sent a letter and plan to meet with his staff to make sure concerns are heard and that this approach is advised and taken accountability that their clients have brought. washington knows best aapproach and is the wrong way to fight
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and need to empower these entities to be more effective. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. >> i call on house republicans to halt their proceedings to file a brief with the supreme court on behalf of the entire house of representatives. this document in question hasn't been made public and the house of representatives is trying to speak on behalf of the entire chamber and our nation without allowing us to see the language. what will the brief say? will the court tell the house that representatives to encourage tearing families apart by rounding up and deporting dreamers. and repeal part of the 14th amendment. will it call for building their big beautiful 50-foot wall?
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comprehensive immigration is an issue that receives bipartisan support and i welcome this discussion. we're here as a nation of immigrants. let's work together to fix our broken immigration system. mr. hill: in the first year under chris beard's leadership, the team embarked on one of the greatest turn arounds improving on 13-18 record one year to the current record of 26 wins, three
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losses and moving on to victories and i look forward to their continued success as we see on the eve of march madness, i look forward to seeing their big win against purdue. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. . for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> there's no question the barrage of attacks by isil is against humanity. the administration's response so far has been to to the bare minimum. mr. curbelo: assad remains in commit d continues to war crimes all while giving isil time to develop and strengthen. last month the administration failed to comply with the legal
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will i mandated deadline to submit a plan to congress. however, just this week, the house unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution con telling the attacks as genocide and today secretary kerry determined that christians, yazidis and other groups are victims of genocide. because of the obama administration's inaction, minorities continue to be targets for these atrocious attacks. now that the administration has begun to recognize the severity of these massacres it's time to cree a tissue create a comprehensive strategy that will address the root causes of this strategy including the continued presence of assad in siria. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the yom from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute.
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ms. ros-lehtinen: earlier this month, the fwull of council chose to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization. this was followed by a similar move by the arab league. this is in stark contrast to president obama's strategy where he continues to appease the iranian regime at the expense of tra decisional alliances in the region. do problems still exist within the arab league nations as they relate to support for terror and terror financing? of course they do. and i will continue to press all of those nations to to more to curb these problems and tackle all extremists groups, not just hezbollah. but designating hezbollah as a terrorist group is a step in the right direction. we must work with these nations and encourage greater cooperation to root out all extremist groups. mr. speaker, instead of allowing iran's continued provocations to pass without reper case, the
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obama administration should be helding iran accountable for its actions. it is long past overdue. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, as a senior member of the house agriculture committee, i rise today to commend the efforts of students at penn state university and their efforts to set up a student run farm in state college pennsylvania located in the fifth congressional district. the university student farm club has been working toward securing ground nor farm for the past couple of year, finally obtaining an acre of space at a meeting in january. the farm will operate as a laboratory will students will have a chance to study food production as well as distribution and marketing.
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food grown there will be delivered to the community through student run community supported agriculture which connects consumers with growers. i know this is just the beginning for penn state's student farm club as they hope the tonight run farm will expand in years to come. agriculture is the number one industry in my state and is key to the penn state university's past, present, and future. i wish these students the best of luck in this endeavor. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire. for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek recognition? the gentleman from nebraska is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker, i rise during national agriculture week to recognize the tireless work of our farmers, ranchers, and producers. i'm proud to represent nebraska's third district, the number one agriculture district in the nation. mr. smith: as the world's population grose, demand for food is projected to increase by as much as 60% by 050. this provides great opportunity for nebraska agriculture.
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our innovative producers utilize the latest advancements in the industry, including biotechnology. when biotechnology is applied to crops, they use less yields while using less land, less water and fewer chemicals. not only is this good for the environment, it lowers the cost for food at a time when one in eight people is worldwide is suffering from chronic malnutrition. study after study has shown the safety and benefits of biotech crops. i'm confident our farmers and ranchers can meet growing demand but the federal government must let them do their jobs. as founder and co-chair of the modern agriculture progress, i'm committed to promoting sound policies to help producers do what they do best, help feed the world. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from washington seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlewoman from washington is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to remind all of us that those who sent us here did so pause they trust us with their voice to set the priorities in the people's house. mrs. mcmorris rodgers: because that's the way our founding fathers intended it a government of, by, and for we the people. but what was established as three branches of government has evolved into an overextending executive and overly active court system with the american people's voice getting lost. americans are frustrated. i am too. that's why i introduced the u.s.a. act, to promote a more effective, accountable, and timely oversight in our entire federal government. too much of the government is currently on auto pilot. we must challenge this status quo by ensuring that spending and decisions made by the executive branch, their departments, their agency, their programs, come under the citizens' scrutiny. no more unauthorized spending. it's time to hold federal bureaucrats accountable for
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being so disconnected from their mission, reclaim the power of the purse and i urge my colleagues to join me in co-sponsoring the u.s.a. act. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognize for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, facing persecution, murder and torture each day, christians overseas are persecuted for their religious beliefs. these individuals are being slaughtered, raped and sold into slavery and forced to watch as their churches are burned down. this morning, the state department labeled these atrocities as genocide. this is mass genocide by isis and other radical jihaddist groups that is taking place throughout the world. less than a year ago, 30 eethyopequan christian men were marched to the beach, we e-- beheaded and shot by a radical islamic terrorist because of
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their religion. these killers proudly but the -- proudly put the video of the executions on youtube. in total over thousands of christians have been killed by the radical islamic state. these atrocious, cold-blooded massacres are an attack on the very nature of human existence, the right to practice one's religion. declaring the torture, crucifixion and murder of christians and certain religious groups genocide is the official position of the united states. genocide is a great injustice to those persecuted for their beliefs and those who murder christians and other minorities because of their religion must be brought to justice because, mr. speaker, justice is what we do. and that's just the way it is. i ask unanimous consent to put into the record the definition of genocide. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus is recognized for 60
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minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. rothfus: thank you, mr. speaker. before i begin i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks an include extraneous materials on the topic of this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rothfus: thank you, mr. speaker. next week the supreme court will hear the most important religious freedom case in decades. zubrick versess burwell. the purpose of this specialed orer is to talk about religious freedom and what's at stake here. before i begin i want to talk to my colleague, mr. smith, who has been a champion of human rights across the tpwhrobe and understands the importance of religious freedom and theals chair of our pro-life caucus. i yield him such time as he may consume. mr. smith: i want to thank my good friend and colleague, mr. rothfus, for his tremendous leadership on protecting the
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weakest and most vulnerable , ong us, including the unborn and his dedication to protecting conscience rights, the subject of today's special order. next week the court will hear oral argument on a landmark case for religious liberty. the impact of this can't be overstated but the question is simple. can the government coerce the little cysts of the poor and other people of faith to violate their conscience? the obama administration is telling these religious sisters, women who have given their life in service to god by taking care of the elderly poor, that their conscience is irrelevant and that they must follow the federal government's conscience rather than their own. this abuse of government power is absolutely antithetical to the american principle of freedom of religion and the first amendment. unless reversed or ba ma's attack on conscience rights means that government imposed
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discrimination against americans who seek to live according to their faith. the little sisters have 30 homers in elderly across the united states. each little sister takes a vow of obedience to god and hospitality to care for the aged as if they were christ himself. and they wear religious habits as a sign to others of god's presence in the world. yet the obama administration is dictating to little sisters and others about how they should interpret their own religious beliefs. that in a word is outrageous. the sisters object to having their health care plans used to funnel drugs and devices they have -- fund drugs and devices they have a moral object to including drugs that can destroy a young human life them sisters say they're facilitating the provision of these items is a violation of their religious beliefs and the government is saying, no it isn't. we know better than you. under the obama administration's
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coercive mandate the little sisters and other religious organizations like priests for life and geneva college are put in the impossible situation of being forced to violate their religious beliefs or face obama-imposed crippling fines of $100 per day per employee. in the case of the little sisters that would mean about 70 million per year. this penalty is unsfare, unreasonable and unconscionable. the administration says we will punish you and hurt you and stop you from serving unless you provide health care according to the government's conscience. president obama has no business of imposing this. and let's make no mistake about it, the mandate is obama's willful intention. the imposition of this attack on
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religious freedom is no accident. comes straight from the pages of obamacare. in december of 2009 in a runup of passage of obamacare, senator authored the language and some including senator casey rigorously. when president obama spoke at notre dame university which has also filed suit over the mandate, he spoke about drafting a sensible conscious clause and yet today, protection of conscience is another highly visible broken promise of ork. the supreme court has a duty to protect the right of the little sisters of the poor and others to live according to their conscience to ensure that they serve the elderly and poor according to their conscience.
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and i yield back. mr. rothfus: i thank the gentleman for his long leadership in this very important subject of protecting life and protecting conscience and he mentioned something about the government deciding what is or is not its held belief. it has long been established, mr. speaker, that is up to the religious to make that decision, not the government, not to the overnment to interpose it is self and tell the individual. and i'm joined by my colleague, congressman lamalfa from california who has concerns about what is at stake and i yield such time as he may consume. mr. lamalfa: i appreciate following mr. smith from new jersey who has been a tremendous leader on life and on the individual liberties that we are
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guaranteed and corn stones that re -- cornerstones of this country. and i support mr. rothfus in this special order about our first amendment to the constitution. next wednesday, it appears the supreme court will hear oral arguments for the little sisters of the poor. why is it we are having to do this? how far have we gotten out of touch as a nation and this oppressive government that we have to go to court to assert the religious rights and freedoms of individual organizations like little sisters and others? it's outrageous to me because again, the cornerstone of the founding of this country is religious rights. little sisters of the poor are catholic nuns who serve the
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elderly in over 30 countries around the world giving from their heart to help people in the way they see fit in their views and their religion with god. there is a weekly movie night where she and many others can attest to the incredible work done by these nuns. the h.h.s. mandate under obamacare is forcing these organizations like the little sisters to provide health care plans, contraceptives, drugs, things they find against their belief system that violate their deeply religious system. yet obamacare and this federal government hitting them over the head saying you have to provide this goes against founding principles and the whole country . ould be outraged indeed, john adams once stated nothing is more dreaded than the
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national government meddling with religion. fundamental liberty. we have been blessed in a free country where we can have our religious expression free not having to adhere to a health care mandate or being forced to bake a cake because of someone else's idea of violating religious views. it's not government's place to determine what a person's religion requires or adheres to. our laws should support encourage citizens to worship without tear. i urge my colleagues to stand up for the religious organizations such as little sisters of the poor and protect them from this horrific mandate and the supreme court and once they weigh in, not to have another partisan down the line decision not on politics but look into your
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hearts and souls of what is right for the founding principles of this nation and for people like little sisters of the poor to carry out their god-given and god-driven agenda to help the people of the world. mr. rothfus, thanks for your time and leading this special order today. mr. rothfus: i thank you and to hear about personal interactions with the little sisters of the poor and the work they do. we see the little sisters of the poor at my parish about once a year. they are the most unthreatening individuals. they stand at the door, some of them are older, so it appears that they have a little bit of arthritis as they are bent over holding a basket. and in that basket is a request for donations. they beg. they beg for people to support their work, which is for caring
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among the most vulnerable people in our society, the ell deerly poor. we haven't gotten here in a vacuum, mr. speaker. i think it's very important for us to take a look at the historical context of religious freedom and its importance. freedom of religion is fundamental in our country. interesting note, my pocket constitution and religious freedom is literally the very first freedom mentioned in our constitution. it's in the bill of rights. congress shall make no law respect an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, the very first freedom mentioned. after freedom of religion, there's freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of the right of the people to
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peacebly assemble and petition government for redress of grievances. but the very first freedom mentioned is the freedom of religion. it's interesting because we talk about rights in our society and as a footnote our founding documents, the declaration of independence and the constitution talk about rights. but the very first right in one of our founding documents is the right to life. in our declaration, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. the very first right in our founding documents, the right to life, the very first freedom in
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our founding documents, the freedom of religion. why was it so important? because there is a long history, mr. speaker, of how religion has been treated throughout the world. and you can go back to the beginnings of the development of the christian faith in europe where we saw this religious sect begin in the holy land and then spread to the capital of the roman empire. emperors the roman who first persecuted the people of faith, the christian faith. and we see how the emperors forced early christians to violate their conscience. it may not seem as any big deal. all they wanted is for individuals to do a little
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pinch, a pinch of incense before the roman gods because they were concerned because of the threats and thought if we had everybody in the empire, a little pinch is not going to hurt anybody. a lot of christians went along with it and there were those who did not. and what happened to them? they were murdered. they were murdered because they did not pinch that incense to the roman gods. so we look back through history and we understand now that it was wrong for an all powerful government to go after people of conscience sincerely held beliefs. we all recognize that. t it wasn't just 2,000 years ago or 1,800 years ago that we saw these persecutions
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happening. there was a gentleman in 16th century england, in 1535, we know him now as a man for all seasons. thomas moore, extraordinary intellect, poet, lawyer, father, husband, speaker of the house of commons, chancellor. mr. moore was a man of serious faith and serious conscience. he had a very good relationship with his friend, king henry the 8th. he had a problem. he had made an arrangement to have special permission granted where he could marry the widow his brother who had died, katherine. but after some time henry was concerned that he did not have a
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male hire that he wanted to leave the thrown to. so he needed another wife. he divorced katherine and theied ann bolin and wanted people of england to accept that. n he knew his dynasty was at stake. so he required people to accept that. thomas moore, in conscience, could not. he was jailed in the tower of london. his books were taken away. he refused to speak on the matter because he thought that silence would protect him. and then there was perjury and he was convicted of treason for opposing the king and he was beheaded all because he was
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following the dictates of his conscience. this is the context, mr. speaker, in which western history was developing. and as the enlightment or even before that, the renaissance was happening and after moore was part of the english renaissance and as we go into the later 16th century and the 17th century, the development of thinking on religious freedom and there were religious wars throughout europe and all these minorities seem to be get oppressed by the government. a number of sects decided there would be a better place where they could practice their faith and conscience. and that place was a new world across the ocean. it took a lot of trouble to get to the new world. dangerous new territory,
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treacherous crossings, unknowns, but these were people looking to build a city on the hill. we know the story of the pilgrims, who sought religious freedom and later the purchase tans. my own state, the commonwealth of pennsylvania was established as a colony where people of conscience would be protected. william penn and his pennsylvania charter of liberties in 1701, quote, no people can be truly happy, though under the greatest enjoyment of civil liberties is abridged of the freedom of their conscience after their religious profession and wore -- worship. penn himself was jailed for his exercise of his conscience and he wrote from a prison in 1670, by liberty of conscience, we
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understand not only a near liberty of mind, but the exercise of ourselves in a visible way of worship upon our believing it to be the required -- at our hands that if we neglected of fear or mortal man we sin and incur divine wrath. all these individuals all these individuals seeking protection, seeking a place where they could exercise their freedom of conscience. maybe that, mr. speaker is why the freedom of religion is the first freedom mentioned in our bill of rights. our founders, the father of our country, understood the importance of religion. president george washington remarked in his fare well address that religion and morality are, quote, the firmest
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props of the duties of men and citizens, close quote. and quote, the indispensable supports of the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity. six years prior to his fare well address, washington wrote a letter to the he brew congress fwation in new port, rhode island which contains arguably one of the most beautiful articulations of religious liberty in america. quote, the citizens of the united states of america have a right to applaud themselves for having given mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy. a policy worthy of imitation. all possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. it is now no more than -- it is now no more that toleration is spoken of as it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. for happily the government of
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the united states, which gives to bigotry no sanction, persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectule support. alexis de tocqueville who visited this country in the 1830's, explaining in "democracy in america," looking back at the experience of the pilgrim the pilgrims came, de tocqueville said, to make an idea triumph. they were founding a community, he writes, a community and society where government could not encroach on their particular religious practice. this is part of the fabric of our country. look at the experience in
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history, all the founders were well versed in our history, western history of the importance of conscience, religious freedom, outside observers coming to this country like de tocqueville and seeing it, understanding the importance of people of faith to correct the errors that were in our country. the movement to abolish the abominable practice of slavery. that happened because people of faith stood up, recognizing the inherent indignity of the practice, the violation of fundamental human rights, history is -- our country is just replete with instances of people of faith standing up to make a difference. 100 years after the end of the civil war, it was people of faith who began the marches in the south. it was people of faith from the north who went town to help.
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dr. martin luther king was a pastor. he was a pastor. he went to seminary in my home state of pennsylvania. he was motivated by what was the fabric of his life, grounded in scripture. he asked the big questions. ust before his death, dr. king asked, or says, quote, conscience asks -- conscience asks, is it right. and there comes a time then we must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but one must take it because it is right. people of faith, people of conscience. we have seen them very active in the effort to protect all human life.
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since the supreme court in 1973 took what then-justice white said was an exercise in raw judicial power and said certain human beings aren't personals. -- aren't persons. and we know we have had more than 50 million abortions since that time. but it's been people of faith who have been looking for solutions, seeking out to help women in crisis, whether it was catholic charities, crisis pregnancy centers, people of faith standing up, providing assistance to women in crisis. walking with them. carrying the burdens, helping to carry the burdens that they are experiencing. women who have often been abandoned, isolated, not feeling like after the friend but then they find a hotline. where a voice picks up, somebody
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who has been motivated by their faith to be sitting by that phone wanting to help, asking to help. next week, the supreme court is going to be taking a look at this case, again, i think it's probably -- it maybe the most important religious free tom case the court has heard because the court is going to weigh into whether or not an individual, they're going to make the decisioning does this individual who objects to signing a form based on their religious belief is that a legitimate exercise of their conscience? that is not the government's decision, mr. speaker. the government should not be tting itself in subjectively telling an individual in this country who has a fundamental first amendment first freedom to exercise religion what is
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legitimate and what is not. that's what's at stake here. and it's interesting that my diocese, the diocese of pittsburgh is the lead plaintiff's name in the case, bishop zubic. he's written, religious freedom is not secondary freedom, it is the founding freedom. religious freedom in this country means that we pledge allegiance to both god and ountry, not to god or country. we have the right not just to worship, not just to pay privately, we also have the right to try to have an impact on our society for the common good. we have our rights to express our beliefs publicly and to try to convince hearts and minds. we not only have a duty but the right to live out the faith in our ministries of service.
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religious freedom, bishop zubic says, is not a passive act. religious freedom is intentionally action. religious freedom has to be expressed. religious freedom has to be lived. religious freedom has to be out in the open among the people. freedom of religion can never be confined to merely the freedom to worship. it defies the constitution. and does mortal injustice to society. the first amendment doesn't say, freedom to worship. it says freedom of religion. for those who are christians, you can go to matthews -- matthew chapter 25. and the mandates that we have from jesus. looking at whether in your life ou fed the poor, clothed the
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naked, gave drink to the thirsty. visited those in prison. when you go up to the pearly gates, those who have lived in , theyance with matthew 25 may still question when did i help you? when? when you did it to the least of my brothers, you did it to me. that's not happening inside the church, mr. speaker. that's happening on the streets. it's happening in hospitals, it's happening in health clin exs, it's happening in food banks, it's happening on counseling hotlines, people of faith engaged in public society wanting to help others, in a
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spirit of solidarity, standing with those who are suffering and wanting to help, motivated by their faith. that's what the little cysts of the poor do. i mentioned about how the little sisters come to my parish and beg. they're not a very threatening bunch, mr. speaker. i would invite -- they have homes across the country, where they're taking care of the elderly. they offer an opportunity for dignity. for people who have lived long and hard lives. and then at the end of the life, they may not have much to show for it from a monetary perspective, but they may have lived a very rich life. in the way they were helping in
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their community. but that's not a condition for going to stay with the little sisters of the poor. they love unconditionally. and they provide a chance for people in their senior years to have a little respect and a little dignity. and the little sisters of the leviathan, against a goliath, the all-powerful united states federal government. at the department of health and human services, saying you will sign this. you, sister, will sign this. but sister says, in her conscience, i can't do that. but sister, it's an opt out. sister is saying, yes, but if i sets hat document, that's
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in chain the provisions of services that violate my conscience. you are forcing me to take an , the cause cause of something i don't believe in. but sister, you will. you will do this. think back 2,000 years, 1,800 years, the empire needs to be protected from barbarians who are going to be coming across the goths, whoever it is, we have to sacrifice just a pinch, just a pinch to our roman gods to be protected. thomas moore, king henry saying -- not king henry but his sur fwats who go to thomas in the tower, just sign the document. just sign the document. not going to hurt.
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it'll bring peace. it'll make sure that the king's dynasty will continue. we're tired of religious wars in europe and if the king doesn't have a male heir, we're going to have all kinds of continued wars , that's a very good justification, sir thomas, to sign that document. thomas says, i can't. i can't. he lost his head. people of faith in england in holland, wherever, knowing that if they got to these shores, they could live in freedom of conscience. but now we have the all-powerful government coming in and say, you will comply. you will sign. oh, sister, that's not a violation of your religious freedom.
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trust us. really? really? how is it that the federal government can be the arbiter of what is a sincerely held belief? doesn't that set the government an entity itself making religious decisions? i thought the federal government was not supposed to make religious decisions. if the federal government has a bureau of what's a sincerely held religious belief, that's pretty serious -- that's a pretty serious issue the court needs to take a look at. i wonder what you would call that bureau. bureau of legitimate religious practices? bureau of legitimate religious beliefs? bureau of what we will allow
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you to believe in this country? s that what this is? it's obvious, mr. speaker, that religious freedom is not a iority here, for those who promulgated these regulations. i'm joined today by my colleague, dr. burgess from michigan. he is a stalwart defender of human life, and i'm happy to yield him some -- such time as he may consume. >> thank you, mr. rothfus, forsetting up this time. we can draw attention to this case of the little sisters of the poor. and for your eloquent defense of the right to life. i am here today to also support the little sisters of the poor and all the faith-based groups in our country that seek to help the poor and unfortunate among us.
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mr. benishek: northern michigan, where i come from, is home to many of these organizations, and i'm very familiar with the good works that these groups do in our communities. we need to be doing more to encourage this type of service, make faith-based organizations even more important in our country. not put undue problems in their way and make them do things that they don't believe in. the undue burden that is being imposed on many of these organizations by the federal government is completely wrong. thanks to the president's health care law, faith-based organizations are being forced to participate in a system that leads to abortion. a practice that's contrary to theirs and my deeply held beliefs. i stand with the little sisters of the poor and many of my constituents in northern michigan in the belief that
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life inside the womb is just as precious as life outside the womb. both unborn and born children have a right to life and we have a duty to defend this right. this is a civil right. this is what our country was founded upon. for life is the first of the freedoms. americans, my hope is that americans who believe in the sanctity of life will keep strong in their efforts to stop the federal government's intrusion into our religious freedom. i myself am frankly amazed that we live in a country that was founded on the right to life and liberty, and we've all heard the phrase, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. the federal government is paying for losing a civil right.
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the right to life. i don't know what it is exactly. how this country that's founded on principles like that can have gotten to this state. it's one of the reasons i'm standing here. i never was involved with politics in my life until this administration came upon the scene and started destroying he fabric of our republic. and i think often too, how does this happen? how does god allow this to happen? this time of our lives and our country is truly a test of our faith in. -- faith. and really, mr. speaker, i'm here to be sure that all americans continue to fight and not lose the hope that our country will solve this problem and get out of the business of paying for abortions. the tragedy of abortion over
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the many years thats been legal in this country. -- years that it's been league in this country. i call upon those americans to continue to work hard, to keep strong in their efforts to bring an end to this tragedy that's going on in america and the overreaching federal government that's allowing it to happen. i again commend mr. resolve fugget for doing -- mr. rothfus for doing this and really call out to all americans to not lose hope that we're going to put a stop to this, to continue to fight for the lives of the unborn and unfortunate. and i again applaud those faith-based organizations that continue to fight and go to court over this. and we need to continue to do this. we that, i'll yield back my time to mr. rothfus and thank him for the opportunity to speak. resolve rf thank you, dr. ben check -- mr. rothfus: thank you, dr. benishek. again, you think about the
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dignity of the human person. as he talked about, the importance of the right to life, just a fund mental -- fundamental right. as i mentioned earlier, the first right in our founding documents, the first freedom being the freedom of religion. it's amazing to me how the freedom of religion in this country has informed the world. and what took root in this untry 240 years ago, the notion that we were not going to have an established church and that we were going to allow people to freely exercise their faith. and how that has led to this proliferation in our country of the practice of faith, and to compare what has happened in the united states versus other countries, particularly in
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europe, where there was an established church. how we know that more people go to church in this country than in europe. and it was the american experience, i think, that has really informed others, including the catholic church, of which i'm a member, and i hark back to what president washington had written to the congregation, the hebrew congregation. quote, the citizens of the united states of america have a right to applaud themselves for having given man kind examples of an enlarged -- mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy, a policy worthy of imitation. all possess a like liberty of conscious and immunities of citizenship. it's amazing to look at that letter and then to reflect how the catholic church came pope st. nder now
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john, with the second vatican council, which the whole idea was to open up the church and to engage modernity and to see what was out there that might inform how people are ordering their lives. the second vatican council issued a number of remarkable documents, including a declaration on religious freedom. it states, the exercise of religion, of its very nature, consists before all else in those internal voluntary and free acts whereby man sets the course of his life directly toward god. no merely human power can
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either command or prohibit acts f this kind. i think they had to recognize how religious freedom developed in this country. baups -- because there was no could ergs -- coercion. the long history going back hundreds of years, centuries, back to the roman martyrs, where the emperor was forcing people to act against their conscience. king henry xiii. and here we have today an all powerful federal government sitting in judgment on what somebody's sincerely held belief is. the court needs to protect this
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fundamental freedom. the court needs to protect conscience. this country is a better place because of it. it's interesting, because as the affordable care act has been implemented, you know, the purported compelling interests that the government used about roviding access to health care , you know, they have set up a regime, a scheme where not every single plan is being required to provide the services that the little sisters of the poor find objectionable. or that the diocese of pittsburgh would find objectionable or geneva college, a christian college in my district, would find objectionable. because they grandfathered some plans. they grandfathered plans that cover millions of people. so i guess it's a compelling interest when they're going after a little charity, a
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little religious charity, but it's not a compelling interest if they're going against a big corporation that might have a grandfathered plan. oh, it's just signing a little paper, sister. no, it's not. it's coercion. if the little sisters of the poor are providing health nsurance to their employees, without the mandated services that include abortion-causing drugs, if they provide a health plan that covers cancer, covers maternity benefits, covers a broken bone at the emergency room, but doesn't cover those services they find objectionable, they will be for one 500 a year person. for one person. all told, when you add it all up, $70 million. but if they provide no plan, no
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plan at all, it's $2,000 per employee. if that doesn't send a message of coercion, i don't know what does. i urge the court to recognize the right of conscience and to be tolerant of that. this country is a wonderful country. tolerance is one of the words that we have inscribed down here on the rostrum of the house of representatives. tolerance. it's a two-way street, mr. speaker. and i would urge the folks at health and human services to give a better appreciation for tolerance. this country just has a long history of protecting religious freedom from the very beginning , through the movement to abolish slavery, through the
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cashing to ask for the of the promissory note that reverend dr. martin luther king talked about, through the pro-life movement, to the charities, the hospitals, the clinics, the schools, the food banks that have all been run by religious organizations. it's about these organizations wanting to take care of people. although not a party to the case, i think of a story involving the missionaries of charity that -- charity, that order founded by blessed teresa of calcutta who will be canonized a catholic saint this september by pope francis, who spoke here in this chamber. mother teresa's nuns have established a number of homes around the world. we know that they have -- they had a home for the elderly in
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yemen. and some of those residents were murdered just weeks ago by radical jihadists. and four of the sisters were murdered as well. but mother teresa has established homes in our country, and i'm mindful of a home, i remember hearing a story about a home in san francisco. in either the late 1980's or early 1990's. a home that was caring for people with aids. and a story of one gentleman who was going to die. and he needed a place to stay. and the miggetsary -- missionaries of charity took him in and nursed him back to alth and he went back out, continued his life, but got sick again and came back again.
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the sisters well cummed him back -- welcomed him back. as he neared the end of his life, he was scared. until mother teresa picked him up in his -- her arms and for once in his life he found unconditional love and peace, because a person of faith that we all recognize did great , that because of faith person found peace. millions in this country have found peace because of the free exercise of religion. let's not crush that. let's protect these fundamental freedoms of religious freedom.
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the tremendous good that is being done. now, we should not make religious organizations adjunct -- adjuncts of the all-powerful federal government. you can practice your charity as long as you do it the way we want you to. we lose something there, mr. speaker. can i ask how much time we have remaining, mr. speaker? the speaker pro tempore: 11 minutes, mr. rothfus. mr. rothfus: i am going to yield, mr. speaker, the balance of my time to the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, who has long been an advocate for the types of freedoms i have been talking about, religious freedoms, and the first right that we have been talking about, the right to life. i yield my time to mr. gohmert.
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mr. gohmert: and i am so grate to feel my friend, mr. rothfus. i mean, just within tais of mr. rothfus arriving here at the capitol as a united states congressman we were together, fighting together, standing together, and it has been my great honor to do so. i've come to know his heart. a man of intellect, a man of character. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas will suspend, please. does the gentleman from pennsylvania consent to have the gentleman from texas have control? r. rothfus: i yield back the gentleman has control. the speaker pro tempore: woke. -- ok. thank you.
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does the gentleman from pennsylvania withdraw your consent? mr. fwomeert: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: under the speak ear announced policy of january 15 -- january 6, 2015rks the gentleman from texas is recognized for 30 minutes. mr. gohmert: to hear the gentleman talk about the little sisters of pethoor -- of the poor, i've not met them as he has, don't know them personally but it's clear they bear a great deal of resemblance in the way they carry themselves, in the
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way they help others, the way they are incredibly selfless, that they are living their lives truly committed to doing what jesus said when he said, you love me, you will tend my sheep. these little sisters of the -- , these catholic nones catholic nuns, since i haven't met them personally and dealt with them personally as my friend mr. rothfus has, i take it from his description and from what i've seen of them on television and heard them speak on radio and television and in the written media, these are precious, extraordinary women the kind of people about which jesus spoke when he said they will inherit the earth. unfortunately, between that time
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, en they inherit all things they have to endure the slings and arrows of people who would ridicule and persecute christians for their beliefs. it's so remarkable that we're supposed to have this incredibly educated judiciary, this incredibly educated group of people in the united states, when as i've heard repeatedly in my district over the last few there is sensew, in washington and at the capitol but it's not common sense there. it's common sense where the little sisters of the poor are located. it's common sense where i live
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in texas. common sense among the 12 counties that i travel constantly. there's places around the country, it's common sense. but not here. because the people around the the y, they can read amendment, the first amendment to our constitution, it says congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free xercise thereof. this is a nation, according to our founders, who had a tremendous amount to say about our foundation and i know that we have had people educated to the level of ph.d., perhaps even
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beyond, whatever that is, and yet they have not gotten a complete education of the basis on which this nation was founded and they have been convinced by people who have taken tiny andle parts of our founding seen little trees and shrubs and ignored the forest. if people on the supreme court and in our federal court system would dare to look at a full history of this nation, they might actually read what the pilgrims themselves said in their own writing, their own agreement. because in 1620, november 11, 1620, i'm quoting from the
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pilgrims, in the name of god, amen. having undertaken for the glory of god an advancement of the christian faith and the honor of our king and country a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of virginia do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of god and one another covenant and combine ourselves together in a civil body politic. ur how about september 26, 1642, some educational nstitution called harvard that has also been educating people out of common sense, thank god there are people who have graduated from harvard and have been able to maintain some level of common sense, but harvard,
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nd i'm quoting, said let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know god and jesus christ which is ernal life, john 17: 3 and therefore to lay christ as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning and seing let ord only giveth wisdom everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him. roverbs 2:3. our how about this entry in george washington, perhaps some of our court's liberal judges, some of them have probably heard
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of george washington and i know in some of our schools we've had to drop the study of real history because they're teaching to the ridiculous test that some bureaucrats think should be appropriate because federal government's gotten too involved and gone beyond what the constitution allows them to require and do. but, george washington's prayer book included this prayer -- oh, most glorious god in jesus christ, i acknowledge and confess my faults in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. i have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are come my sin and stand in need of pardon. i have heard thy holy word but with such deadness of spirit that i have been an unprofitable and forgetful hearer. let me live according to those
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holy rules which thou has this day prescribed in thy holy word. direct me to the true object, jesus christ, the way, the truth, and the life. bless, o lord, all the people of this land. wow, that was the father of our country in his prayer book, that is. so i think about the wisdom, proverbs says fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom. and i think about the wisdom of a lady who is not that well ormally educated, ms. milam in mount pleasant, texas, mother of one of my mother's best friends, my late mother had some awesome friends and i love to hear them talk. and ms. milam's daughter, emmalou was talking to her
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mother, ms. milam, and it was my great honor, when i was able to drive as a 14-year-old as ms. milam would call over and say, tell louie i have some homemade rolls and head over because they were incredible. she had real butter. she didn't have a very advanced education. i don't know if she got to seventh or eighth grade. but i know she didn't go too far at all in school but she was a very, very smart woman. and having discussions, sometimes eating rolls and real butter and hearing the wisdom of this lady, i think she was 90, maybe, when she said this, but her daughter was talking about someone there in her hometown where i was growing up, mount pleasant, and she mentioned a guy there and ms. milam said, he's a fool. and emmalieu, her daughter, said
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-- and emmalou, her daughter, said, mother he, has his ph.d. and ms. milam said, i don't care, he will always be a p-h-u-l fool. and there are people in this country, they may have their ph.d., they will always be, as dear ms. milam used to say, he'll still be a p-h-u-l, fool. she may not have had the most accurate spelling but she knew a fool when she saw and heard one. so we have people who have not been properly educated about our history. and so they go about miseducating others by telling people like me, when we were students, by the way, benjamin franklin was a deist. someone who believes if there
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was something that created the universe and it didn't just all amazingly happen from a big bang or whatever, some of us believe there could be a big bang and till have been intelligent -- gn to what happened, but we were told ben franklin, he didn't believe that there was a god that intervened in the ways of man, that if there was a deity or something a force, that set things in motion, that that thing, force, deity, whatever it is, if it still exists, it never interferes with the laws of nature, the ways of man, et just lets everything play out. so we're on our own. but if you look at the words ben franklin wrote and spoke himself, we know what he said in 1787, june, of the
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constitutional convention because he was asked for a copy he, wrote it down. madison took notes but franklin wrote it down. and in part he says, of course he was 80 years old a couple years or so away from meeting s judge, his maker, this brilliant man said, i've lived a long time and the longer i live the more convincing proofs i see of this truth, god governs in the affairs of men. and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his, god's, notice, is it possible an empire could rise without his aid? we've been assured, sir, in the sacred writing that unless the lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it he said, i firmly believe this, i also firmly believe without his, god's, concurring aid, we shall succeed in our political building no better than the
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builders of babel. we will be confounded by our local, partial interests and we ourselves shall become a byword down through the ages, this is a man who is one of the greatest founders of this country, who made clear standing before all of these brilliant people in philadelphia, little independence hall, and told them unashamedly that if we do not invoke god's help here in this our effort to put together a constitution that this country then wek and live under will succeed no better than the builders of babel. it will all come crashing down as the tower of babel did. . and yet we get far enough from that amazing speech, 1787, and,
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yes, it's true, because they didn't have a treasury, they didn't have money, they weren't getting paid, they weren't able to hire a chaplain, as they had throughout the revolution, the continental congress had a chaplain that led in prayer every day before they started, but they didn't have money, they didn't have a treasury, they couldn't hire a chaplain. and there were denominations of christians there that didn't trust other members to do a prayer that was satisfactory for all. so they all had to hire a chaplain during the continental congress days to do the prayer for everyone. that they could all be assured was a fair prayer to each of the christian sects. even the quakers would not get upset if they picked the right christian chaplain. so this is what they -- so that's what they did. but it is true, after franklin made this speech, that it was pointed out, they'd got no
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money, they can't hire a chaplain, so they'd get to that later and later they did, because since that first day that congress was sworn in, in 1789, in federal hall there in new york, right after george washington put his hand on his own bible and added the words to the end of his oath of office, so help me god, he goes in, he makes a brief speech, back in those days they did that, brief speech, to congress. they all went down to st. paul's chapel, that's still there, that was protected from the concrete and debris and steel, all those things that came flying, totally effected -- protected by a sycamore tree that fell there in the cemetery and totally protected, even the little fragile stained glass windows from -- windows, from any harm. the chapel where george washington and the first
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congress, after they were sworn in, came down wall street and actually had prayer together, a prayer service together in st. paul's chapel. is it any wonder that after 9/11, the only building that was not harmed in what was considered part of ground zero was st. paul's chapel, where that first prayer session came together. and jonathan chan has written eloquently about that. when i was there a few months after 9/11, that's where everybody was bringing their wreaths and their messages that just broke your heart. has anyone seen this person? st. paul's chapel. it's not me that says, but let's go to another of our founders, a lot of people don't know that he was a founder,
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noah webster, 1783, noah webster wrote the first -- and published the first book on proper spelling for words that eventually morphed into our dictionary. but generation after generation has learned at the hands of noah webster and a lot of people don't realize what an important role noah webster had as a thinker, as a brilliant man, as a confidant to george washington, as a confidant to alexander hamilton, another of our founders, but that brilliant man, noah webster, said this -- the more principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws. all the miseries and the evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their dess spicing or neglecting the precepts
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contained in the bible. wow. of course, jed diea morse, the father -- jedediah morse, the father of geography as he's called, he stated that whenever the pillars of the christianity shall be overthrown, our forms of -- present republican government, that's republican with a small r, not like the party, but our present republican forms of government and all the blessings which flow from them must fall with them. and of course this is what the supreme court has been doing. the very thing that our founders, including this direct statement of mr. morse, made when the pillars of christianity fall -- made, when the pillars of christianity fall, then self-government is going to fall with it. and that's why john adams had
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made the point that he did, that this form of government is intended only for a religious and moral people. it has -- it is totally uneffective to govern any other kind. and, yes, they had some things wrong. no one should have been in slavery. when a constitution was adopted and a bill of rights adopted as it was. no one should have been. people should have been treated equally. not by behavior or conduct, because there have to be laws governing behavior and conduct and choices, but regarding things that you have no control over. ace, creed, color, gender, national origin. and it took a little while to
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get that right. people talk about how jefferson, you know, people say he didn't even believe in god. are you kidding me? jefferson, whose memorial, not far from this very capitol, beautiful dome overlooking the basin there, has inscribed on the walls, account liberties of a nation be thought secure when e have removed from their only firm basis a conviction in the minds of the people that their liberties are a gift of god? john quincy adams, our youngest diplomat in the history of the united states, appointed by george washington, president as an election of 1824. and the only person to have been president and after he was president, defeated in 1828 by andrew jackson, runs for
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congress in 1830, nobody ever did that before or since. why would anybody run for congress after they'd been president? well, in the case of john quincy adams, it was because he believed god had called him to do what we -- william was doing and had almost completed doing in the british empire and that is eliminating slavery. because of his beliefs of the teachings in the bible. and john quincy adams said this by the way, he overlapped with lincoln by a year just down the hall from here, we now call it statuary hall, got a brass platey where his desk was. there's a brass plate where a skinny, not that handsome guy, sat in the very back for two years, overlapped with adams, and i asked historian steve mansfield about this and he
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says, there's no question about it, that abraham lincoln, sitting at the back of statuary hall, the back of the house hamber, down the hall, listening to the speeches of john quincy adams over and over about the evils of slavery and how in the world could we expect god to continue blessing america when we're putting brothers and sisters in chains, he said, there's no question those speeches materially affected lincoln more than anything else in his two brief years in the house of representatives. so much so that after the compromise of 1850, and slavery appeared to be perpetuated, that eventually had he -- he had to get back involved in politics to try to get rid of slavery. why? because lincoln, who started as an infidel, as mansfield's book
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points out, he bragged about being an infidel in the early 1920's. by the time he became president, he had no question whatsoever, there is a god almighty who has control of the universe, he does let us make free choices and lincoln felt like he made mayweather have made some wrong choices that contributed to -- may have made some wrong choices that crbletted to problems in the country, that broke his -- contributed to problems in the country, that broke his heart, caused depression, but he believed, he was materially affected by the man who believed at that god had called him to bring an end to slavery and in obedient response to what he believed was god's calling, he materially affected that young freshman sitting at the back of statuary hall to the point that he ended up being the leader that brought about the end of slavery. and my friend, mr. rothfus, was quoting from and relating to
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martin luther king jr. what was he? he was an ordained christian minister who believed in god, who believed in the saving grace of jesus christ, just like the little sisters of the poor who have dedicated their lives to helping others, helping others who didn't have the ability to care for themselves. they have spent so much of their lives that would equate to millions and millions of dollars providing health care and help to people in need. and what happens? we have done, as thomas jefferson related, we have gotten so far from remembering where our rights come from, that this nation is in peril of continuing to stay free. and you have other statements. john quincy adams says, the highest glory of the american
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revolution was this, connected in one insolable bond the principles of the civil government with the principles of christianity. from the day of the declaration they, the american people, were bound by the laws of god which they all, and by the laws of the gospel, which they nearly all acknowledged as the rules of their conduct. well, certainly, under the freedom of religion here in our first amendment, that was dopted june 15 of 1790, nobody can be forced to become a christian. god gives us free choice. and that is part of the foundation of this nation. and the freedoms and the minute that a majority of this country think our freedoms come from a government, those freedoms are gone.
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the nation, at least majority, must accept that our freedoms are a gift of god that should be protected by the government and the minute the majority lieves otherwise, then it's, -- then it's, as defendant used to say after they were sentenced in my court sometimes, they would say, it's all over except the slow walking and the low talking. and so it will be for this nation. hen a majority believes that freedom is something this government in washington gives to us. because once that belief is a majority belief, then the government give and take away. and what that government will find, as every government that's ever been instituted, whether king, dictator,
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emperor,er, parliament, congress -- emperor, parliament, congress, it ultimately will always find that when you do not know the basis, the foundation of the world, then your government will not last just a whole lot longer. that's why the founders kept trying to make sure we understood this. alexis detocqueville, who my friend mr. rothfus referenced, came over here to do a study of what was making america so special and great this one is not often quoted but it's a quote from 1835. there is no country in the world where the christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in america and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlight and ree nation of the earth.
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there are so many quotes that are part of our history. franklin roosevelt, 1935, said, we cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning with the place the bible occupied in shaping the advances of the republic, where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have obtained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity. it was the ambassador to the u.n. fro lebanon and later president of the u.n. of the general assembly said this in 1958, whoever tries to con see the american word without taking full account of the suffering and las vegas and salvation of christ is only dreaming. i know how embarrassing this matter is to politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and cynics but whatever these
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honored men think, the irrefutable truth is that the soul of america is at its best and highest christian. but you don't have to be a christian. you can be an atheist, agnostic, buddhist, muslim, whatever you want to be, as long as the constitution and bill of rights is foremost in your guiding principles here in this country. but this administration has done what really would be unthinkable in any other administration. it basically has an undeclared, publicly undeclared war against christianity and it's sown seeds around the world so that when i met and wept with people, victims in nigeria and around the world and they don't understand why america doesn't stand up against christian genocide around the world, there's suffering, because you look, when the united states
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government will litigate against the little sisters of the poor, her theresa -- mother theresas basically, and say you have got to believe what we tell you to believe, you have got to practice the reals you beliefs we tell you to believe, we don't care how moral and christian and wonderful and humble and helpful you've been, we don't care. you are going to do what the new god of this country says, the five majority on the supreme court, that's the new god. it is about marriage, it is about everything else, and until the five majority on the supreme court, wake up. -- until the five majority on the supreme court wake up and allow freedom of religion not to be prohibited with the first amendment of the united states constitution, then we have not a
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whole lot of time left as a free people and as australian group told me, if something happens to the united states, forget trying to come to australia, we're gone as soon as you are. it's time we stand up and make sure religious freedom lives again completely free in america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. gohmert: i move that we do now hereby adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: it's been moved that we adjourn fesm question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly he house stands adjourned until noon on monday
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address how we better treat the root causes, not the symptoms of poverty. addressing poverty will be a big part of our policy agenda we'll present to the country in the coming months. this is a good first step. i hope to get this legislation to the president's desk very soon. second , in a few days, the president will be traveling to cuba. before he does, let's not forget something. let's not forget that the castro regime has been guilty of countless human rights abuses. to this day, this is a regime that provides safe harbor to terrorists and fugitives. unfortunately, it is doubtful that the president will bring up the need for reform during his
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visit. instead he, has set to announce new commercial deals between the u.s. companies and the cuban regime. deals that will legitimize and strength then communist government. however, our trade embargo, our trade embargo on castro's cuba, passed by congress in 1959, is still in fact -- is still intact and enforceable. the spite the president's attempt to undermine this embargo by executive action, he's ultimately bound by it. that is the law of the land. lastly, this morning, secretary kerry declared isis is committing genocide against christians and religious minorities. as you know, this declaration comes about as a result of an oversight deadline set by congress. i want to thank chairman royce and i want to thank mr. fortenberry for their leadership on this issue. i also want to thank the knights of columbus and all those organizations and leaders around the world who have spoken out on this. this makes a different.
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their efforts in speaking out against genocide is making a different. but now that our government is recognizing this crisis, it needs to do more to stop it. i hope the president will seize this opportunity to present a very clear strategy to defeat this enemy and to all those brave people who are being persecuted, i would simply like to say this. we will stand with you, we will pray for you, and we will work every day to put these words into action. thank you. >> speaker ryan, my friend john harwood -- mr. ryan: i wasn't trying to. >> but to clarify, i want to make sure, in the event that no person running for the republican nominee right now gets enough on the first ballot, that you will unequivocally not -- mr. ryan: it is not me. i didn't think i made news. i thought i was pretty clear to be candid with you.
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i saw boehner last night and told him to knock it off. i used slightly different words. i used his own words that he used to use against us when he told taos knock things off. it's not going to be me. it should be somebody running for president. look, i made a decision over a year ago not to run for president. i really believe, if you want to be president, you should run for president. people are out there campaigning, they're canvass, there's caucuses and primaries. that's who we should select from among for our next president on whatever ballot we're talking about. let's put this thing to rest and move on. >> mr. ryan, do you see yourself as a negotiator at the to be ion if it does get contentious? mr. ryan: i had six days' notice taking this job. i learned after becoming speaker that i'm chair of the convention. so i will have to obviously bone up on all the rules and all those things. my goal is to be dispassionate
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and to be switzerland, to be neutral andties passionate and make sure that the rule of law prevails and make sure that the delegates make their decision however the rules require them to do that. i will acquaint myself with these things at the right time. right now i'm pretty busy trying to get congress moving in the right direction. >> a few weeks ago you said you as -- you viewed the role ceremonial. has something changed in terms of what you're seeing? mr. ryan: nothing has changed except that this is more likely to become an open convention than we thought before. we're getting our minds around the idea that this could very well become a reality and therefore those of us involved in the convention need to respect that. somebody over here. >> you answered my question. mr. ryan: right there.
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>> so last night, can you give us an idea of what's next in timing and whether or not you're going to take it up? mr. ryan: got a good vote out of budget committee. i'm amazed how fast they got it out. when i ran the budget, we would get it out at 10:00, 11:00, chairman police needs to be complimented for how fast he got that moving. he beat all my records. number one. number two, look at the budget they passed. thises the budget that balances the budget, pays off the debt, honors our military with equipment that they need. it calls for tax reform. repeal os ba macare. it does everything we need to do on the entitlement side to move people from welfare to work and pay off this debt. so we think this is a very good budget. we're going to continue having a team discussion with all members of our conference. to decide how to proceed from there on. >> r.s.d. is prepared to put out their own budget. mr. ryan: as they do every year. >> and there's still questions
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whether it could pass on the floor. sit possible to do something -- is there another option? mr. ryan: we don't have an answer to that yet. we'll be discussing this with our conference on how best to proceed. i envision a lot of budgets coming to the floor. i bet the c.b.c. will have one, van hollen will probably have one. for the democrats. budget committee, reform s.c., for all i know there may be other budgets. that's always been the process. when that process occurs and under what circumstances is the decision we'll make. as a team. >> mr. speaker, in 2013, the house passed the no budget, no pay act which withholds lawmakers salaries until they pass a budget. mr. ryan: in the next congress. >> do you support withholding lawmaker's salaries? mr. ryan: i think we should pass the budget, plain and simple, i'll lee it at that. is that craig? >> on the question of nomination -- mr. ryan: you're sitting in front of a guy from wisconsin,
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you're not going to get called on. >> on the question of the nomination going to somebody running for president, do you agree with donald trump's statement that there would be riots? if he -- if someone with a clear ad in dell fwats were denied -- mr. ryan: nobody should say such things in my opinion because to even hint at violence is unacceptable. >> wait, you're not wearing green. ude, sorry, man. it's st. patrick's tai, come on. >> if i told you i was a little bit irish, i'd be lying. >> if you think that one of the people running should be the one that would be considered for the republican nominee, do you think it's a bad idea for people in the never trump camp to try to organize something -- mr. ryan: i'm not going to get into that. o ahead.
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>> so over the course of the last couple of months you had denounced donald trump for xenophobea and islamaphobia, inciting violence and for saying things that could be interpreting -- interpreted as inciting violence. at what point do you dede nouns his candidacy? mr. ryan: i don't believe i'll have to do that. this is a democratic process. the republican primary voter is going to make this decision on who our nominee is going to be. if the person doesn't get a sufficient dell fwats, then it goes to the convention and the delegates make that decision. those delegates are elected in each of the caucuses, in each of the districts, every state has a different way of doing it, by republicans. i'm going to respect that process. so it isn't my place to say who our nominee is or what. if anybody, not just donald trump if anybody is out there
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representing the republican party in ways that we believe disfigure conservatism or do not portray what our views and principles are, i as a party leader and others, i assume, as well, have an obligation to defend our principles from being distorted and we'll continue doing that. look, i am who i am. i'm a i believe in specific policies and i'm going to speak out on those each and every time. here's what i can control and here's what i can do. i as speaker of the house am going to lead an effort for all of the members of the house republican caucus to offer an agenda to the country so that we can take an agenda to the men and women of america to show them how we get america back on track. more than 2/3 of the people in this country think america is headed in the wrong direction. that's not just as republicans. we as another party have a moral obligation and a duty to offer a very bold and specific alternative course so that if

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