tv U.S. House of Representatives Morning Hour CSPAN April 20, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
about creating and connecting with the next generation of national parks. it is an invitation to go out there and find your park, find that place that is really special to you, and then share that with your friends and your family. host: thank you for being here this morning. appreciate it. the house is about to gavel and a thank you for watching it we will be back here tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. i've coverage of the house here on c-span.
prevent mass atrocities and genocide. and a few days, you will have a chance to add to your legacy. on april 24, the world will mark the 101 years since the systemic extermination of 1.5 million armenians by the ottoman empire. the facts of the slaughter are beyond dispute. and i know you are well acquainted with these horrors visited upon the armenian people, having spoken about them eloquently as senator. i have sat with survivors of the genocide. men and women, their numbers dwindling year after year, and heard them recall the destruction of their lives and their families and all they had known. as children they were forced from their homes and saw their families beaten, raped and murdered. they fled across continents and oceans to build lives in our nation. mr. president, for them and for their descendents the word genocide is sacred because it
means that the world has not and will not forget. to deny genocide on the other hand is profeign. ellie, a e words of double killing. this april 24 will be your final opportunity to use the presidency to speak plainly about the genocide. in past years as president you have described the campaign of murder and displacement against the armenian people as a mass atrocity, which is truly was, but, of course, it was also much more and you have avoided using the word genocide even though it has been universally applied by scholars and historians of the period. in fact, as you know better than most, the ottoman empire's campaign to annihilate the armenian people was a prime example of what rafael was trying to describe when he coined the very term genocide. i know that as you consider your words this year, you'll hear the same voices as in the past who will tell you to hold
your tongue and speak in euphemisms. they will say the time is not right or turkey is too strategically important or we should not risk their ire of what happened over a century ago. mr. president, regardless of what you say on april 24, there can be little doubt that turkey will do exactly as it has always done in its relations with the united states and that is whatever turkey believes to be in its self-interest. many of our european allies and world leaders, including pope francis, have recognized the genocide. yet, they have continued to work closely with turkey because that's been in turkey's interest. the same will be true after u.s. recognition of the genocide. i dearly hope, as do millions of genocide survivors around the world, that you will take this opportunity to call the armenian genocide what it was, genocide. to say that the ottoman empire committed this grotesque crime against the armeinians but
their campaign of extermination failed and that above all we will never forget and we will never again be intimidated into silence. let this be part of your legacy and you will see future administrations follow your example. when you spoke in oslo more than seven years ago, you closed your remarks by returning to the counsel of cr martin luther king and said, i refuse to accept the idea that -- dr. martin luther king and said, i refuse to accept the idea that isness will reach up to the eternal oughtness that conferentz him. mr. speaker, confronting painful, difficult but vital questions is who you are. help us be the america we ought to be, that beacon of freedom and dignity that shines its light on the darkness of human history and exposes the vial crime of genocide. sincerely, adam schiff.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. members are reminded to direct their remarks to the chair and not to a perceived viewing audience. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, for five minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. i rise today to highlight south florida's wild and wonderful national parks, biscayne, die tortugas and the ever-- dry tortugas and the everglades. writing and historian wallace stegnar has quoted by saying our national parks are, quote, the best idea we ever had, absolutely american, absolutely democratic, that reflect us at our best rather than our worst, end quote. indeed. south florida's supremely fortunate to have superintendent pedro ramos in charge of dry tortugas and
everglades national park. superintendent ramos understands and appreciates the importance of public access, the importance of the public's experiences and the importance of continuing to reconnect the people of south florida with the natural lands and waters that surround and support our community. ultimately enhancing public access and recreational opportunities in our national parks are vital to conserving america's natural and cultural heritage. that's why i'm so troubled, mr. speaker, by the fishing access restrictions included in the 2015 general management plan of another iconic south florida park, biscayne national park. e plants marine reserve zone has a permanent moratorium on fishing across 10,500 acres of of waters, including 30%
the reef track. denying fishing access to families and professional fishermen alike without adequate scientific evidence to back it up. my preserving public access to public waters act, which passed the house in february as part of the share act, and its newly introduced senate counterpart from senators bill cassidy and marco rubio, would help ensure that federal bureaucrats and special interest groups do not overrule local community needs and concerns in this way anymore. if our national parks are to remain absolutely american and absolutely democratic, then it is long since time for the national park service to consistently represent the federal government at its best ather than at its worse once
again. the park's mission is to unimpair the national park system for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. by cooperating with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resources conservation and outdoor recreation throughout the country and the world, end quote. everglades national park superintendent ramos has demonstrated that he is a true ambassador for this lofty and worthy mission. he represents the national park service and the national government at its best, open and inclusive, seeking balanced solutions and guided by a profound sense of service to the american people. . meanwhile biscayne's management plan represents some of the worst aspects of the national park service and the federal government. it is focused so much on a
narrow definition of preservation that it continually and completely fails the national park service mission and disregards a whole community of park users. what's worse, with the very threats facing south florida's coral reefs from changing ocean conditions to water quality issues, today fishing is a relatively minor contributor to coral reef decline in dismain cain. the real effect of the biscayne's marine curve is to se coral at a drastic pace while cutting into the public's ability to implement what ails our reefs. the national park service can and should and must do better and they should look to superintendent ramos and his leadership over similar issues at everglades national park for inspiration.
everglades national park's own recently finalized general management plan lauded by both fishermen and environment clearly represents what's possible when guided by a true sense of the park's mission. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: mr. speaker, as we celebrate our 46th earth day, it is critical we recognize the opportunities that stem from addressing some of our most pressing environmental problems. all too often we hear the argument that environmental policies are agents of economic destruction. from the clean awe pauer plant to renewable energy development -- clean power plant and renewable energy development, every time a new policy is proposed, we hear the same rhetoric, this will kill jobs, drive up cost, and stifle america's ability to succeed. but the reality is those claims
are simply not true. they have been debunked and proven wrong time and again but the truth doesn't seem to matter when it comes to protecting our environment. without a doubt one of america's greatest assets is the ingenuity of its people. throughout our nation's history, american innovation has triumphed in the face of great challenges. unleashing that american innovation can bring big wins for both the environment and the economy. there is no better example of this than when we look at our renewable energy sector. for decades, america has chased the premise of clean necessaryic energy -- domestic energy. in recent years costs for numerous critical clean technology, wind power, solar panels, l.e.d. lights, and electric vehicles have fallen dramatically. the accompanying surge in deployment has been impressive. while she's technologies still represent a small percentage of their markets, that share is expanding at a rapid pace and
influencing other markets. today the u.s. generates three times as much wind power and 20 times as much solar power as we did in 2008. this kind of thinking will help states meet the e.p.a.'s requirements laid out in the clean power plan. compared with fossil fuel technologies, which are typically mechanized and capital intense tensive, the renewable energy industry is more labor intensive. this means that on the average more jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuels. in addition to creating new jobs, increasing our use of renewable energy offers more important economic development benefits. local governments collect property, income taxes, and other payments from renewable energy project owners. while owners of the land that wind projects are built also receive lease payments ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 per megawatt of installed capacity. as a new study-suggests in the
coming here the booming solar sector will add more new electricity generating capacity than any other energy sector, including natural gas and wind. the more we support clean energy innovation and new technological ideas, the better position we are to reap the economic rewards. examples of those wins are all around, leading to states and communities investing in clean energy innovation and developing smart low-cost technologies to help reduce energy costs. on this front, my home state of illinois is moving full steam ahead. the city of chicago has partnered with utility companies and citizen groups to work on a new initiative to give one million smart thermostats in illinois northern homes by 2020. the innovative partnership offers rebates that were nearly half the cost of thermostats that allow residents to control the temperature of their homes via mobile devices. this helps us once again move
the needle against climate change. of course, clean energy technology isn't our only energy innovation success story. energy efficiency is truly our nation's greatest energy achievement. without the gains and energy efficiency made since 1973, it is estimated that today's u.s. economy would require 60% more energy than we currently consume. and energy efeshency improvements over the last 40 years have reduced our national energy bill by more than $700 billion. instead of working from the assumption that tighter regulations will hurt a government's export share, we should focus on the edge we gain from innovation. this earth day i challenge my colleagues to realize the opportunity that climate change provides us. and support solutions that allow us to turn what used to be daunting challenges into profitable opportunities. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time of the the chair now wreck -- recognizes
the gentleman from minnesota, mr. emmer, for five minutes. mr. emmer: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulate two young men from my district. riley tuft and nick altos. nick for his memorable performance at the minnesota state high school state hockey tournament last month in and riley tuft for his performance on the rink all year. riley has been named mr. hockey, an award given to the best high school senior hockey player in our great state of minnesota. this season alone tough f tuft scored an incredible 49 goals and 56 assists for 85 points in only 31 games. that's an amazing 2.74 points per game. altos of st. cloud won the frank brimsak award, given to minnesota's top senior goaltender. in minnesota, hockey is not just a sport, it's way of life. many young men and women work
and train to win and participate in the best state hockey tournament in the contry. congratulations to nick and riley for your hard work d incredible success this year and best of luck in the future both on and off the rink. mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the strength and endurance of st. cloud native, laura noblock. who just last month became the youngest woman to finish a double triatholon. she completed the double anvil ultratriatholon, a rigorous event that consisted of swimming 4.8 miles, biking 224 miles, and running two consecutive marathons. she finished all of this in less than 36 hours. not only did laura complete an arduous triatholon, but she did so for a good cause. she created a go fund me page titled, a tri toned trafficking which raised money to help
educate south african gifrls and prevent them from becoming victims sex trafficking. she's currently a junior at the university of boulder in colorado where she studies secondary he education and majors in english and spanish. she hopes to one day teach english as a second language. i have no doubt that laura will accomplish all of her goals and more. as she is the perfect example that anything is possible if you ork hard enough. mr. speaker, i rise today to remember the astounding life and legacy of coach dean taylor who recently passed. coach taylor founded the football program at sartel high school and built it into the powerhouse program it is today. he went on to become an assistant coach at st. john's university for eight seasons and then became the head coach at st. cloud cathedral from 2009 to 2012. coach taylor's impressive football resume ultimately led to his induction into the minnesota state coaches association hall of fame.
however, it's not just the x's and o's of coaching we'll remember about coach taylor. coach taylor will also and maybe even more importantly be remembered for the incredible impact he made on the lives of all the student athletes he touched. condolences to his wife, his children, as well as his many friends and loved ones. thank you for sharing your husband and father with our community. mr. speaker, in recognition of the fact that we just experienced yet another tax day in america, i rise today to discuss a federal agency that the american people have become extremely disenchanted with, the internal revenue service. over the recent years americans have watched information come out detailing the inappropriate and unfortunate conduct by the i.r.s. playing politics rather than implementingpolicy. the american people should not pier that a government agency will make decisions baze basted on partisan politics which is
why it is crucial congress address this problem now and not in the future. his is why i co-sponsored h.r. 1798, which will prohibit the department of treasury from assigning a tax status to organizations based on their political beliefs and activities. i thank my colleague, congressman randy neugebauer, and senator ted cruz, for their efforts in this initiative to restore some of the faith and trust the american people have lost in its institution of government. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgotsche, for five minutes. mr. speaker, on april 1 thousands of poor americans started losing their snap or food stamp benefits. all told, over the course of this years, as many as one million adults will be cut off from snap. that's because one of the harshest provisions of the 1996
welfare reform law says that adults working less than 20 hours a week are not -- or not enrolled in a job training program can only receive three months of snap in a 36-month period. the problem is, however, that many areas of the country haven't fully recovered from the recession. there are no open jobs and worker training slots are all full. the economic recovery has been uneven across the country. and for many individuals, through no fault of their own, getting back to work has been difficult. at the height of the recession, governors across this country, both democratic and republican, asked the u.s. department of agriculture to allow them to temporarily waive work requirements and provide snap benefits to unemployed childless adults for longer periods of time. but now some governors are refusing to extend those work waivers even in areas of their states with high unemployment. for mall of the poorest americans to lose food assistance in the midst of this is unconscionable. mr. speaker, we are talking
about the poorest of the poor. these are childless adults whose income averages 29% of the poverty line. or about $3,400 a year, a year. no one can live on that. many face multiple barriers to employment, including disability, limited education, and chronic homelessness. their employment could be sporadic, often cycling in and out of low-wage jobs with unpredictable hours that do not lift them out of poverty. what's most appalling is about 60,000 of those who will be cut off from snap this year are veterans. that's right, these are the brave men and women who stood up to protect our country and now we don't have the decency to help them put food on the table when they come home. we should be ashamed. mr. speaker, let me be clear about something. the three-month limit on childless adults receiving snap is not a work requirement despite what some of my republican colleagues say. it's a time limit. there's no requirement that states offer work or job
training for those about to lose their benefit. it penalizes those struggling the most. work requirements and other federal assistance programs typically require people to look for work or accept any job or job training slot that's offered but do not cut people off who are willing to work and who are looking for a job simply because they can't find one. but that's not the case with snap. so for individuals who have been searching for a job for months, who have applied to every job posting they have seen, and who can't get into a job training program because the wait list is too long, they are punished. in study after study shows that the longer someone is unemployed, the harder it is to get hired. it is baffling to me that republicans -- the republicans' answer to them is, sorry, you're out of luck. the bureau of labor statistics estimates that it takes someone who is unemployed about six months of looking to find a job. that's twice as long as the three-month time limit. for the life of me i can't understand how making someone
hungrier helps them find a job faster. we should be making people's lives better not harder. this notion that some of my --. so republican side pedal that somewhat is this overly generous program that people are just jumping to get into isrydy particular cue luss, it is false. the average snap benefit is $1.40 per meal per day, that's meager. it is inadd adequate, this idea that snap is the root of our budget problems is outrageous. new data released from the department of treasury just last week shows the snap spending is falling. in the first half of the current fiscal year, snap spending was at the lowest level since 2010. not only that but snap caseloads are falling, too. that is due to the improving economy. . snap operated like it was supposed to during the recession, it expanded to meet the needs of those who lost their jobs, of middle class families who never imagined they would need food assistance in the first place. and as our economy improves,
fewer people need the assistance but we're not there yet. cutting millions off is wrong. increasing hunger is wrong, and i would say to the republican leadership of this house, the narrative that we have put forward about those in poverty does not reflect the reality. rather than demonize the poor and diminish their struggle, we ought to come together to help, not hurt people. we ought to end hunger now. this war on the poor has to stop. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. loudermilk, for five minutes. mr. loudermilk: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to speak about the subject of justice. as we look around the capitol, there's paintings, even in this chamber, this is a painting of george washington, thomas jefferson, george mason, the visionaries of this nation who envisioned a nation and a government that was committed to liberty tempered by law and justice and their idea of justice was an equal
application of the law to everyone. that there wasn't two sets of laws, one law for the citizen and a different law for the bureaucrat or the elected official but all laws were equally applied to every person. i want to tell you the story of two johns and how the law doesn't apply equally. the first john is mr. john yates who in twoven was fishing for grouper -- 2007 who was fishing for grouper in the gulf of mexico. one approached his boat and asked to inspect his catch. upon the inspection, he found that there were 72 grouper that were suspected to be under the minimum size. he ordered mr. yates to return to shore. now, mr. yates understood that this was not a serious crime. it was actually a civil action and he could face a fine or he could lose his fishing license, a license issued by the government that he made his living with. but mr. yates made a mistake. he made a bad decision because
he ordered those suspected fish to be thrown back into the water. it was a mistake. but after being punished for his -- what he did wrong of catching small fish, four years later in 2011 mr. yates was convicted on a federal offense of destroying evidence under the sar bane oxley statutes -- sarbanes-oxley statutes. he went to jail. he also spent three years on a superadvised released program of a -- supervised released program of a federal offense of destroying or tampering with evidence. when the government wants to seek justice upon a citizen, there are over 4,500 criminal statutes and an endless number of regulations that can be enforced criminally that they can find a way to punish you for a deed regardless of how minor or major it was.
but that doesn't always apply to the government itself. the same year that john yates was sent to jail for destroying small fish, the house oversight and government reform committee issued a subpoena to another john who was then and still the commissioner of the i.r.s., john koskinen. they demanded that he provide under subpoena by the force of law all the documents relating to lois lerner and the targeting of conservative groups by the i.r.s. however, instead of responding to that subpoena, the i.r.s. destroyed over 24,000 of those documents. but yet today mr. koskinen is still the commissioner of the i.r.s. there are two types of enforcement of laws in this nation, one for the citizen and one for the government official. you see, the sarbanes-oxley
catch-all that's been used to successfully prosecute for destruction of cars and bodies as well as documents and evidence excludes government agencies. the american people deserve justice, but we do have one tool and that is the tool of this congress to impeach those who violate the trust of the american citizen. mr. speaker, i have co-sponsored with the chairman of the house oversight and government reform committee house resolution 494 which would bring the commissioner of the i.r.s. before this body on charges of impeachment for violating the trust of the american people. mr. speaker, i ask that resolution be brought forward and be brought forward to this house for a vote so that justice can be served and we can once again restore the confidence of the american people that there is one definition of justice in this nation and that is equal application of the law to
everyone. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, is recognized for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise to commend lawmakers in pennsylvania's house and senate for their work on passing the commonwealth's new able or achieving a better life experience act, which was signed into law by the pennsylvania fworchor on monday. the measure -- by the governor on monday. now, i was happy to co-sponsor that legislation, along with a majority of my colleagues here in the house of representatives. the law empowers people with disabilities and their families to create flexible accounts to
help save for medical and dental care, education, community-based support, employment training, housing and transportation. the state law passed easily in the pennsylvania house and senate last week, clearing the way for the state to administrator -- administer the new account. it eliminates a $2,000 cap for cash assets for those with certainly intellectual and physical disabilities which worked as a financial roadblock, preventing individuals from reaching their full potential. mr. speaker, thanks to this new law, parents of children with developmental and intellectual disabilities will be able to save up to $100,000 with no impact on eligibility for medical assistance. last week here in washington, i joined the national down syndrome society where i was proud to be presented with their champion of change award. i also had the chance to connect with people from
pennsylvania's fifth congressional district, including alex masters. alex is a wonderful young man who despite living with downsyndrome is an eagle scout -- down send roll is an eagle scout. i also -- down syndrome who is an eagle scout. and also another. there are so many people such as alex and isabel across pennsylvania's fifth congressional district, the commonwealth of pennsylvania and our great nation. alex is already making a difference in his community. and this new law ensures that he and isabel, along with the help of their parents, can work towards achieving their goals. now, i know that the able act on both the state and the federal level will play a role in improving the lives of those who are living with developmental and intellectual disabilities. i firmly believe that our communities will be much better because of it. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. lipinski, for five minutes. mr. speaker, today i rise brother james gaffney who after 20 years will retire from a storied career as president of lewis university in romeoville, illinois. born and raised on the west side of chicago, brother gaffney attended st. mel high school. he became involved with the christian brothers. it was at this time that brother gaffney heard his calling to become a brother and elected to attend seminary at st. mary's university in minnesota. brother gaffney went on to receive his b.a. from st. mary's university and several
masters degrees from both st. mary's and manhattan college in new york. he also holds a doctorate in pastorial theology from the university of st. mary of the lake in illinois. brother gaffney's teaching career started as a christian -- at the christian brothers high school in missouri. he also served for 11 years at the provential with the christian brothers in the chicago district. brother gaffney was chosen to be president of lewis university in 1988. under his leadership, the school student body nearly tripled in size, dozens of new programs were added and several new educational sites were built around chicago area and the nation, including one in albuquerque, new mexico. he guided the university to nationwide recognition and influenced students around the world. in 2015, lewis university
honored brother gaffney by naming him an honorary founder of the university because of the tremendous contributions he made to the school's growth. in addition to his service to the school, brother gaffney's active in numerous other organizations. he chairs the community foundation of will county as well as la salle association of college and university presidents. he's a member and former chair of the federation of independent intellectual colleges and universities and a board member and former chair of the south metropolitan regional higher education consortium and the great lakes valley athletic conference. brother gaffney has also been a recipient of countless awards in connection with lewis university. most recently, he was awarded with the brother john johnston f.s.c. award which honors those dedicated to the mission of providing education to all youth.
as well as the distinguished award from the rainbow council boy scouts of america. i've had a number of opportunities to spend time with brother gaffney since lewis university was added to my district in 2013. i've always been impressed by his strong commitment to the university and his catholic mission. it is obvious that his interactions with students, faculty, staff, trustees and everyone who is part of lewis university. he knows his flock and they know him and the respect and love between them is mutual. his could not be a higher -- a higher dedication that anyone as as an educator and as a catholic brother.
mr. speaker, i ask my colleagues to join me in thanking brother james gaffney for all he's done in his 2 years as president of lewis university and to congratulate him on his retirement. lewis university and its students have greatly benefited from his long tenure leading the school, and we all look forward to his continued service. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. costa, for five minutes. mr. costa: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. costa: mr. speaker, i rise today to speak on the need to fix california's broken water system. a broken water system that no longer can provide for the needs of the state of california. designed years ago for a population of 20 million and the agriculture that we had in the 1960's. today we have 41 million people
and by the year 2030 it's estimated california will have 50 million people. the water system we have today cannot sustain a growing state, and as solutions are offered, i believe amending the endangered species act to more effectively protect species while minimizing the harm to california communities should be a part of this conversation. the e.s.a. is an important -- has an important role in ensuring species' protection but it's clear this are challenges for this implementation, and in california one of those challenges is the act's implementation limits on the ability to move water from north to south when we have an excess of water in the system as we've had over the last five months. simply put, california faced four record dry years that was noted throughout the country and throughout the world, and this year we had el nino conditions that gave us average and above average rain in
northern california and snow. now, i don't believe anybody thought for one year good rainfall would pull us out of this devastating circumstance that california farmers, farm workers and farm communities faced but last december, i was hopeful that the rain and snow conditions that were occurring, coupled with the weather forecasting indicated that there was a high likelihood that there would be enough water in the system to help recover but not end the devastating drought conditions that the san joaquin valley faced and other parts of california as well. . however, as a result of opinions that govern the operations of the water projects that move water from north to south, we failed to pump over 244,000 acre-feet of water that would have been very helpful today in areas that were most impacted by the drought conditions and still are. some farmers this year are
receiving only 5%, 5% of their total allocation. and it's made worse because the last two years they received a zero water allocation because of these conditions that i am stating. in context, this year let me put it in perspective, seven million acre-feet of water flowed through the sacramento san joaquin bay delta system to the ocean, only 968,000 acre-feet was pumped for use. seven million acre-feet went through the delta out to the ocean and pumped less than a million acre-feet for human and agricultural use. this is unconscionable. in a state that has been ravaged by drought for the last four years. and also avoidable. there are a host of technical reasons for why this water flowed into the ocean, but the simple fact is that conservative decisionmaking enabled by inflexible provisions in the biological opinions promulgated undered endangered species act
led to this avoidable outcome. it's time to reform the endangered species act because it needs to be more flexible to provide adaptibility under changing conditions. it's time to reform the dangerous species act because it must effectively recover species when it doesn't do and that simply remains an unsustainable status quo like that in california, especially when you have a drought crisis. finally, it's time to reform the endangered species act because both people and our environment deserve better. i look forward to working with my colleagues to update the endangered species act for today's conditions and not those of the past. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today.
oversight over i.r.s. user fees. tomorrow the house debates bills dealing with i.r.s. employee bonuses and the hiring of former i.r.s. workers as contractors. we'll have live coverage of that debate here on c-span. the select investigative panel on infant lives is holding a hearing on the sale of fetal tissue. a panel of lawyers will examine information to determine whether abortion clinics were illegally making a profit from fetal tissue. mrs. blackburn: he specializes in criminal defense, particularly health care fraud and other white collar and drug
offenses corporate internal investigations and compliance matters. mr. michael norton served as u.s. attorney for colorado from 1988 to 1993. he was appointed by president reagan and reappointed by president george h.w. bush. mr. norton has been practicing law since 1976 and is admitted to the bars from the states of colorado and virginia as well s washington, d.c. catherine foster is part of the charlotte lozier institute where she offers papers in the service of human life. she was formerly an attorney with alliance defending freedom and is a graduate of georgetown university law center. kenneth suke had a was appointed by president george h.w. bush and served as litigation counsel to norm russ
corporations and individuals. he served as law clerk at the florida supreme court and the u.s. court of appeals and is a senior partner in one of florida's oldest and largest statewide firms. he began his own firm, the sukhia law group in the florida state capitol in 2008. you are aware that select investigative panel is holding an investigative hearing and that we will take your testimony under oath. do you have any objection to testifying under oath? the chair then advises you under the house rules of the energy and commerce you are entitled to be advised by counsel. do you desire to be advised by counsel for today's hearing? ok. in that case, will you please rise and raise your right hand and i will swear you in? do you swear that the testimony that you're about to give is
the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. you are now under oath and subject to the penalty set orth in title 18 section 101 -- 1001 of the u.s. code. you will each give a five-minute summary of your written statement. ms. clayton, we'll begin the testimony with you and you are recognized for five minutes. [no audio] mrs. blackburn: put your microphone on. ms. clayton: thank you, madam chair. i've been a corporate litigator since 1978 and i'm here today despite a family medical situation for two reasons. one is that women's reproductive health and medical research are being threatened by these hearings. the second reason is that i have instructive experience to share with this panel on the topic that you're considering here. 16 years ago a client of mine,
anatomical gift foundation, a nonprofit donation, that provided donated tissue to medical researchers in hopes of occurring the diseases including the ones senator shaheen mentioned earlier. that nonprofit was falsely accused by life dynamics, the anti-abortion group congressman schakowsky mentioned, accused of selling fetal tissue. these baseless charges were made in a videotape sent by life dynamics to congress and in that video the person making the accusations was anonymous. as it happened, an employee of anatomical gift foundation, my client, had gone to work for another company, in violation of his contract. a.g.s. hired me to sue. that man's name was dean alberti. in his deposition, which was under oath like all of us today, but unlike what he said in the videotape, the videotape
that life dynamics had sent to congress, alberti admitted he was the person in that video and he admitted what he had said in that video was fictional. he testified that he told those lies because life dynamics had paid him to and he said, i needed the money. he had repeated those falsehoods on tv's "20/20" but he knew better than to lie under oath when i deposed him where the penalties of perjury where the chair acknowledged do arise. those of you who were here in the year 2000 may recall the humiliation that certain members of the house committee suffered when their star witness, dean alberti, went up in flames and admitted that that much-touted video had been fabricated. those house hearings established that my client had done nothing wrong, that fetal tissue wasn't for sale at all and that anti-abortion zealots,
life dynamics, had forced a false witness on congress. what was for sale wasn't fetal tissue. it was a phony witness statement and it had been bought and paid for by anti-abortion extremists. i find it curious given the not so distant history of this strikingly similar scenario that this panel has not demanded sworn testimony of the accusers, the latest batch of anti-abortion accusers as you've asked of us, chair blackburn. you haven't asked for that, haven't asked for them to go under oath and that seems strange to me, particularly when they come up with a similar tale about so-called sale of fetal tissue which again is a lie. this suggests to me that someone is afraid to put david and his star witness, holly o'donnell, under oath because as we saw with the dean alberti fiasco, when penalties of perjury attaches, sometimes instead of fiction the actual truth comes out. we know they doctored videos to
the point that the federal judge blocked the release of further tapes because they were fraudulent. another fact we know about them comes from the los angeles times of the unedited videos. they showed him coaching and manipulating the testimony of holly o'donnell whose interview, by the way, looks more like play acting than any genuine emotion. out cross-examination of him and his crew under oath, we have no way of knowing what he offered or said to ms. o'donnell when his camera was not running. and in texas, when he went before a grand jury convened for the expressed purpose of prosecuting planned parenthood, the grand jury did something very different. it didn't indict planned pearnedhooth, it indicted delieden for falsehood and the texas grand jury found that planned parenthood did nothing wrong. for nearly four decades, i have been representing corporations
and individuals in business litigation. and i have to say there is no bigger tell about the veracity of an accusation that when the person who is making the accusation will not stand by his or her accusation under oath. as alberti told the house committee in the year 2000, quote, when i was under oath i told the truth. anything i said in the video when i was not under oath, that's a different story, closed quote. so i have to ask. is this panel looking for the truth or for another story? a real inquiry would start with sworn testimony from him and o'donnell and that would be true even if the doctored videotapes didn't have so much in common with the deceitful tapes that the abortion opponents, including life dynamics, staged 16 years ago. this panel's failure to allow cross-examination of deliden
and his cohorts sends a message loud and clear, that those stories would not hold up under the penalty of perjury than the baseless slurs that he made back in 2000 when life dynamics bought and paid for his testimony. and by the way, -- it just strikes me as inexcusable that the panel has been using its subpoena power to get testimony from medical researchers who have far better things to do with their time like providing health care, working to cure disease than deliden and his group. i just ask that until and unless this panel puts him and o'donnell under oath and gets down and tries to get to the bottom of what they did that these proceedings be terminated and our elected officials be allowed to return to doing the people's business. thank you. mrs. blackburn: thank you, ms. clayton. mr. raber. mr. raber: thank you so much for having me this morning.
my name is robert raymond, i'm in private practice. i worked with the house judiciary committee and confirmed as assistant attorney general for the office of legislative affairs at the department of justice. i was democratic council but the chair, henry hyde, walked across the capitol to testify for my nomination and what a wonderful day it was and how much i miss him and appreciated him. i have taught law, practiced at a large law firm and clerked after law school. i deeply appreciate the law and this committee's attention to it. for over 20 years, my work involved the representation of people and organizations before the congressional executive branch. i give this testimony today as someone who has experienced both sides of advocacy and representation around investigations of all forms.
this committee has asked us to owe bine on the questions of whether the current -- opine on the question of whether the current legislation profiteers around fatal tissue and what institutes a sale of profit of -- constitutes a sale of profit of fetal fish ue. part of the office of legislative affairs at the department of justice i was called upon to respond to almost identical concerns expressed by members of the congress regarding the alleged transfer of fetal tissue for profit. on march 9, 2000, i communicated with congress by signed letter a willingness to investigate and learn further about credible claims and allegations. while i don't have specific recollection of further oral conversations with the department subsequent that communication, i know in public record that in july of 2000, acting kansas u.s. jim flurry decided after a thorough review
of the issues involved that there were no violations of federal statutes thereby announcing the closure of a investigation related. that is a matter of public record. i also recalled yesterday a second investigation from a colorado u.s. attorney that was similar slsly closed. we're witnessing virtually identical allegations. while i am unaware whether the d.o.j. or finck has inquiries, 12 states have looked into related matters and declined to pursue any charge. additional eight states have affirmatively declined to investigate. given the importance that some people have about deferring to the states, i'd just like to read into the record the 12 states that have affirmatively said they have investigated and decided not to pursue charges around related allegations. florida, georgia, indiana, kansas, massachusetts, michigan, missouri, ohio,
pennsylvania, south dakota, texas and washington. . lots of reasons exist as to why federal law enforcement has indictment under existing language which may include the dearth of actual profiteering failed attempts to establish wrongdoing, or paramount in this area, a lack of credibility of those presenting facts to the law enforcement officials. of the ultimate question on which this committee is presently engaged, whether the statute requires change for enforcement, i believe the statute is sound and fully addresses its intended aims. as important today as it was when it was passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in 1993. the sfaut a considered bipartisan part of congress was to prevent profiteering from
fetal tissue. i am confident any acts of intentional misbehavior would be investigated and punished by law enforcement. both federal and state. thank you for having me. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. raben. mr. lennon, you are recognized for five minutes. mr. lennon: chairman blackburn, ranking member schakowsky, and distinguished members of this panel, thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the pricing of fetal tissue. currently a partner at the law firm of warner, norcross, in michigan before 13 years before entering private acktiss, i was an assistant u.s. attorney. or not a medical ethicist theologian. i do not represent an advocacy group on either side and i'm not here to advocate for think change in federal legislation. as a former federal propertyor and now criminal defense counsel, i hope to provide some values to this panel through
objective legal analysis of the exhibits to determine whether the abortion clinics and/or the procurement business identified in the exhibits violated the statute. based on my review of the exhibits, and i looked at this as if an agent showed up at my office on any working day with these exhibits and asked me to examine them, based on that review i believe a competent and ethical prosecutor could establish probable cause that both the abortion clinics and the procurement businesses violated the statute, aided and abetted one another in violating the statute, and likely conspired together to violate the statute. in fact, for five of the six elements of the substantive offense in my opinion there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. the only element where investigation is needed, and that would include forensic accounting and analysis of there, is whether the payments made by the research institutions that ultimately received the human tissue to the
procurement businesses were valuable consideration or alternatively reasonable payments associated with the specific allowable services in the statute. with respect to the abortion clinics, in my opinion the proof's more clearly establish that the compensation they received in the procurement business, a price per tissue payment, is indeed valuable consideration. as none of the identified services excluded from the definition were provided by the clinics. prosecutors and jurors clearly prefer defined and established elements of the offense five of the six elements of that offense are both clearly defined and established to the exhibits. as for the final element, valuable consideration that element and those proofs are admittedly more nuanced. the statute itself defines valuable consideration by describing what it is not. it does not include reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implaptation,
processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue. valuable consideration is payment for something other than this exhaustive list of delineated services, this element is also established. as for the abortion clinics, the marketing materials that i have reviewed clearly state that there is a financial profit from this partnership. several of the exhibits indicate the procurement business pays for per the tissue not a reasonable payment for the listed services. therefore, the exhibits indicate, in my opinion, that these services provided by the procurement business through their embedded technicians and not the abortion clinics, therefore these payments appear to be valuable consideration. indeed, they could be profits. as for the procurement business, it's my opinion that a much deeper analysis of the company's financials is necessary in order to establish the valuable
consideration element beyond a reasonable doubt. because the businesses do, in fact, incur costs associated with these delineated services, a forensic accounting would be essential to breaking down the company's financials. just looking at the growth and looking at their revenue doesn't tell you whether they are profiting. if they are profiting, in my opinion, they violated the law. i think there's some other theories here, although i think a prosecutor would pursue that may be more important in looking at the potential criminality of the business, procurement businesses. those are aiding and abetting and conspiracy. based on my limited review of the exhibits, reviewed and the strength of the substantive case against the abortion clinic, pursuing and aiding and abetting on conspiracy count against the procurement business rather than the substantive count may be strocker -- stronger theory of cull pablet. as i conclude, i would just say
that i believe federal propertyors take pride in protecting the most vulnerable among us. the ones i probably serve with in the western district of michigan did not shy away from the tough cases and they put their personal politics aside when asked to evaluate cases for prosecution. evidence or the lack thereof not politics should determine whether u.s. attorney empanels a grand jury to investigate abortion clinics and human fetal businesses in their district. again i thank you, chairman blackburn and ranking member schakowsky, and the members for allowing me to testify today and i welcome your guess. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. lennon. mr. norton, you're recognized for five minutes. mr. lennon: thank you, chairman and ranking member schakowsky. i'm michael j. norton an attorney in private practice. i have had the privilege of serving as united states attorney for the state and district of colorado first appointed by president ronald reagan and then reappointed by first president rush. ms. degette, nice to see you
again. i have a written statement which i respectfully request be incorporated in the record and simply want to summarize my comments and my remarks in the time that's available. first of all, i would say to the committee that this is not about women's health. it is not about abortion. how one stands on the issue of abortion. it's whether or not there is probable cause to believe that crimes have been committed, and if so, what to do about that. to do nothing about the potential of the criminal -- commission of criminal crimes is indeed flouting the criminal justice system of this nation. and i think preferring those who are in well connected places over those who are not. so i suggest to you at the outset, madam chair and members of this committee, that what this committee is about is highly important. very critical to the criminal justice system and to the
sanctity of that system in the united states of america. it's really not about the issue of abortion because potential profiteering and trafficking and aborted fetal tissue is of grave concern. not only on the federal level but also in many states, including my own state of colorado. which has adopted a law similar to the federal law that is being looked at by this committee today. there are many, many people, therefore, concerned that not only this federal statute but also the state statutes at issue have been violated and are being flouted by the abortion industry. in 2015, it was revealed by one of these undercover videos that denver's planned parenthood of the rocky mountains was making a profit by harvesting and trafficking the hearts, brains, lungs, eyes, livers, and other body parts of babies whose lives planned parenthood had ended by abortion. these gruesome revelations came
from a series of videos released by the center for medical progress that the committee has talked about. and it was clear from the videos that planned parent hoo had been actively engaged in harvesting and trafficking for profit body parts of babies whose lives planned parenthood had ended. those videos have not created a general queasyness about surgery and blood, no matter how one stands on the issue of abortion, no one who has used these videos can come away thinking that planned parenthood's harvesting and selling of these baby body parts is consistent with our values or consistent with the law. if wrongdoing has occurred, and i concur with the assessment mr. lennon has made of the facts and circumstances as to the commission of crimes in this case, and i would add that it appears to be, quite frankly, that criminal violations of the health ensures portability act, hipaa, have also been committed by embedding of the procurement
business technician in the abortion facility itself, and the review by that technician of privileged medical records of patients in order to determine which body parts that technician wants to harvest -- have harvested and sold has also been committed. there are some facts that need to be determined, and a competent criminal investigation could determine those facts. but to do nothing is simply wrong, madam chair, members of this committee. and i thank the committee for its courage in moving into this area, investigating this area. i urge it to complete its investigation and to refer this matter to the u.s. department of justice for appropriate action. which i pray and hope, is taken. thank you, madam chair. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. norton. ms. foster, you're recognized for five minutes. ms. foster: thank you. ms. chairman, ms. schakowsky, distinguished members of this panel, i am privileged to present this testimony concerning the pricing of human
fetal tissue. my views are consistent with those of the charlotte lozier institute where i am a scholar which is dedicated to expanding science, research with respect to human life. my views are similarly consistent with those of sound legal, law firm and legal organization advocating for the universal right to life. as an attorney, i have dedicated my career to advocating for the right of every innocent human being to be protected. and so i am troubled by those in the abortion and tissue procurement industry who scheme to trade in baby body parts for their own financial enrichment. in the public -- when the public learned of these back alley transactions last year when undercover videos of the organ business brokers surfaced online. indeed, the trade in fetal body parts is a business. as demonstrated by the evidence presented by this panel, clinangse procurement companies
have been getting away with charging far more than the allowed costs for harvesting, propertying, -- transporting, and wear housing body parts as they wait for customers. in doing so they have violated both the intent and the letter of sex 289-g-2 which bars among other things the transfer of human fetal tissue for valuable consideration. the statute's definition of valuable consideration is straight forward. if payment is not reasonable or not associated with the transplantation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue, it is not permitted. we can all agree on this statute. it passed with bipartisan support in a democratic congress and signed into law by president clinton. representative waxman at the time called the fetal corpse market abhorrent. and yet the panel's evidence revials that abortion clinics are being promised to profit and
are paid even when they have no apparent costs to be reimbursed. and further multiplying a clinic's windfall via savings object disposal services. tissue procurement companies are likewise paid exorbitantly by their customers. this market and baby organs and tissues demonstrates a flagrant and repeated disregard for the rule of law. it was no surprise when america's biggest abortion business facing public and prosecutorial exposure relented and agreed to end its long-standing practice of receiving direct payments for baby body parts. and yet in my years of work in this field and in the 23 years that section 289-g-2 has been law, i am unaware of a single instance in which it has been enforced. this pabble is right 7 -- panel is right to shine a light on big abortion back alleys. perhaps we fort get 24 law was to protect the ethnical
imperative that recognizes the dignity of human life. and the abortion clinic, human baby is called tissue or fetus. a head is a cow. the technicians who counts body parts is a product of conception or p.o.c. worker. and by converting human lives into a book commodity, public discussion has been stifled. but we are talking about real and unique human beings who -- whose lives were tragically snuffed out. we are ork talking about affording them the minimal dignity that comes with not having their remains further picked through to be bought and sold like chattel. i know that the abortion industry and its allies are waging a campaign against any effort a transparency or accountability. it is what we can expect from a big business with an emphasis on maximizing profits and a lot of money to lose. and so big abortion is fighting
back with all its financial and political might. investing its political and monetary stockpiles to buy public sanction and weighing its thumb down on the scales of justice with high profile p.r. firms, pocket politicians, and spellbound media. with these allies until now the abortion industry has succeeded in shouting down the voices acknowledging the public evidence of guilt and crying out for justice. but no more. we the people are not afraid of confronting the truth and we encourage this panel and those in law enforcement to pursue it. commence and common decency command enforcement of section 289-g-2. thank you. mrs. blackburn: mr. sukhia, you are recognized for five minutes. mr. sukhia: thank you, madam chairman and members of this committee. i was privileged and honored to serve as the united states attorney for the northern
district of florida and before that was an assistant u.s. attorney for 10 years. much of my expertise that i could lend to the commute would e in, of course, the area of determining whether a grand jury should be empaneled. whether a case should proceed. whether investigation should be pursued. today that said this committee that has disdain for the truth. that is -- that this is not a fact-based inquiry, and when i look at the exhibits that were submitted, but also of course, videos thatd at the were presented, it strikes me as odd that there would not be an
aggressive and meaningful investigation into the human on that, indeed, baby parts are being sold for profit. article 2, section 3 of our united states constitution requires of the executive branch that it faithfully execute the laws of the country. by not faithfully executing hose laws, you are, in fact, taking specific affirmative action to defy what is required by the constitution. nd in this situation it is beyond my assessment and belief that when you have a procurement industry that is actually marketing to the abortion
clinics, that they can procure -- or work to gain more profits by this method. and when they are creding their own employees in the clinic to do those jobs that would cost -- be the indeed, the service that is would comprise the legitimate cost or payment for those services, then the question clearly arises, have these clinics profited from this process. it's a very simple basic issue. and so we are not saying as a prosecutor when someone comes in the door with this evidence, oh, this is absolutely, positively a fact. we are saying, no. this justifies a full and complete and a thorough investigation. and i think there does seem to be a pattern when, oh, this
can't possibly have any basis because, let's see, 16 years ago someone lied. so we can't take this. this is the same sort of thing that's happened before. and we should also stop the prosecution of all murders because there have been cases where persons have lied and people have been wrongly convicted. and the whole argument is nonsense. and in fact this whole notion that oh, let's fall all over ourselves to insist that, oh, we're going -- this is nothing but an effort to attack the reproductive rights of our citizens. when it is, in fact, an effort to enforce the law, which is required of our constitution. thank you. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. sukhia. at this time we'll begin questioning on our side. yes, the gentleman is recognized. parliamentary inquiry. state your inquiry.
>> madam chair, the witnesses appear to have relied heavily on the premise from your staff that clinics incur no costs related to fetal tissue donation. that premise is captured in exhibit g which you previously had up on the screen. could you put that up on the screen for a moment again, please. while i complete the parliamentary inquiry. exhibit g. mrs. blackburn: bring up exhibit g. pleads state the inquiry. mr. nadler: that's not exhibit g . that's t thank you. madam chair, this chart says that the clinic has, quote, no costs. so the payment's a pure profit for the clinic. this is contradicted by exhibits c-6, c-9, and c-17 which show some clinics fill out paperwork among other things related to fetal tissues and donation. these are all costs the general accounting office recognized 16 years ago as reimbursable quote
direct costs, unquote, can you explain how this document, exhibit g, was created and its factual foundation, including the discrepancy between what this staff created chart asserts, namely there are no costs, and information on other documents in your packet which detail such costs? mrs. blackburn: i thank the gentleman for the inquiry. we discussed this previously before you arrived at the hearing. all of the documents today come from the investigative work that took place by submissions that came to us with information. the charts for discussion, of which g is one, were compiled from that work by our staff. at this time we begin our questioning. mr. nadler: further parliamentary. mrs. blackburn: state the inquiry. mr. nadler: i don't believe this is discussed.
how can you explain the discrepancy between the information on exhibit g, namely that no costs were incur, and information on cribts c-17, which lists some of those costs? that didn't happen. mrs. blackburn: there is no discrepancycy. i thank the gentleman for the inquiry. at this time we begin our hearing with -- mr. nadler: further parliamentary. mrs. blackburn: do you have a motion? mr. nadler: i have a parliamentary inquiry which is being side stepped and not answered. this exhibit g says abortion clinic explanation the abortion clinic has no cost to the payments from the b.p., procurement business, a.c., abortion clinic, are pure profit. all crosses are borne by the p.d. or customer. exhibit c-9 says, it's an exhibit of clinic procedures and
policies. it says, you must inform, you the employee, must inform the assistant manager and h.s.s. when you completed your work. this will ensure that they do not continue to consent and draw unnecessary blood samples. the interaction -- mrs. blackburn: if the gentleman will yield. you're citing a procurement business procedure. when one is the clinic, one is the procurement business. i thank the gentleman for the inquiry. mr. nadler: tell the clinic staff which has to be satisfied and that takes time and is a direct cost. mrs. blackburn: at this -- mr. nadler: they have to tell the abortion clinic that they are done that the abortion clinic does not continue to take more samples, etc., which is a direct cost for the clinic not the procurement business. so that is a direct -- mrs. blackburn: the documents are separate. it is not a direct contradiction. and the documents are separate. one is relates to abortion clinics. the other to the procurement business.
mr. nadler: if this is not a direct contradiction, what is the methodology to determine that there are no costs for the abortion clinic as asserted in the exhibit g which apparently has no basis? mrs. blackburn: it's all based on the investigateor work. i thank you for the parliamentary inquiry. at this time we are going to mr. pitts. mr. nadler: further parliamentary inquiry, further and final, i hope, parliamentary inquiry, can you explain how using a chart that draws conclusion that is have no objective basis in fact other than your statement that somebody investigated does not violate house rules prohibiting conduct that does not reflect credibly or may discredit or dishonor the house and this panel rule 11, clause 4, rule 23, clause 11? what i'm hearing is that there is -- that staff people somehow derived this information. we are not told how. mrs. blackburn: mr. nadler, this is not a parliamentary inquiry.
basically you're trying to debate the documents. we need to move on with our questions. i'm turning to mr. pitts. mr. pitts, you're recognized for five minutes for question. mr. pitts: thank you, madam chair, for calling this important hearing on the pricing of fetal tissue. this issue has caused me considerable concern because one of the underpinnings and safeguards of the statute that allowed for the donation of fetal tissue for transplantation and research was that this tissue would not be sold. the author of the statute, representative waxman, stated during the floor debate in 1993, and i quote, it would be abhorrent to allow for the sale of fetal tissue in a market to be created for that sale, end quote. and yet this is what is happening as one of the witnesses said in the back
alleys today. ,s seen on exhibit b-2, and b-3 the procurement business markets itself on its prosure as a way for clinics to make additional income by allowing the procurement business, procurement technicians, to take fetal tissues and organs from aborted babies immediately after the abortion was completed. using the words, financially profitable. fiscally rewards. financial benefit. on its brochure. the collect panel investigation reveals that every conceivable harvesting task is performed by the technician employed by the procurement business. so, procurement businesses essentially the middle man, are paying fees to abortion clinics, but the abortion clinics are
incuring no costs. exhibit d shows payments from the procurement business to abortion clinics for-l for aborted babies and baby blood. exhibit d-1, the abortion clinic charged the middle man with a bill for $11,365 in august of 2010 for baby parts and blood that the middle man's technicians harvested. another in january, february 2011 charged $9,060 for harvested baby parts and blood. the middle man even makes it easy for the researcher to purchase baby body parts. exhibit c-3, the procurement business order form, or the drop down menu, for baby organs, shows just how easy this is. first, it asks on the left side,
quote, what type of tissue would you like to order? and i compose you could respond -- suppose you could respond, anyone could respond to this. i would like to order brains. and then it says, number of specimens. well, six, let's say. baby brains. gestational range? start and end. 16 to 18 weeks. and then here's another question. add another tissue type? you could say yes. another tissue type listed, female reproductive system and ovaries. you could say i take five of those. at 15 weeks. .ou could add five baby tongues shipping options. you could respond yes, i want it
rush ordered. for crying out loud, this is the amazon.com of baby body parts. there is a market for baby body parts, and you get what you pay for. this is absolutely repulsive. and we must not forget as was testified here, each one of hese little baby brains or tongues represent a baby. how can anyone defend this practice? all this shows that in both intent and in practice these organizations were making money well above the actual costs. so going back to exhibit b-2 and b-3, the company brochure, the website show intent. their publicity marketing materials. my question for the former prosecutors for d.o.j. we'll start with mr. sue kia and mr. norton. what communications or information would you seek to learn whether the intent of the
procurement business and abortion clinic was to profit from selling baby body parts? mr. sukhia? mr. sukhia: congressman pitts. i pressed the button then it went off. well, some of that evidence is already in this record. i have heard, again, everyone quickly rushing to insist that just videotapes are deceptively prepared. in other words, do what we are extremely defendant at doing, this industry. which is deflecting. everyone else is at fault. let's shift the focus. everyone is focused on these videos and what this person said. how he prepared the videos.
but those videos were posted. all of them. there are some things when people say them on tape it doesn't matter what they didn't say or did say elsewhere. if someone is saying that would be good and we are talking about profiting from this, and they are talking about that, that's corroborative evidence. it corroborates the evidence that you were identifying, mr. congressman, which is very strong evidence when someone is actually marketing for it. so, -- mrs. blackburn: answer quickly. mr. sukhia: i would also want to know what communications occurred, other communications, email and so forth, back and forth between those people. we would seek those items as well. of course the accounting records. thank you. mr. pitts: yield back. mrs. blackburn: ms. schakowsky is recognized for five minutes. ms. schakowsky: unfortunately,
we have the -- the majority has refused to even bring in the one party that actually could answer these questions and that is stem express. i want to say, mr. sukhia and mr. norton as lawyers, the fact that you keep referring back to these completely discredited, by three congressional panels, by 12 states that looked into this, by a grand jury that ended up -- you talked about the certainty for medical progress, mr. mr. daleiden and his partner were indicted as a consequence. that's a comment. it is not a question. it is a fact. that that has been looked into. the other thing is, before i -- i want to ask mrs. clayton a
question, but i also want to go back to the -- to a letter. numbers of documents presented by stem express that would completely discredit the exhibits that have been mentioned. i want to just -- as far as b-2, the majority's use of this brochure is misleading at best. it was used by stem express with hospitals and clinics involved in a broad spectrum of work. that the company supports related to adult blood, adult tissue. biopsies, etc. not fetal tissue donation. exhibit b-3, the stem express website screen shot, makes absolutely no reference to fetal tissue. in fact, it pertains to the overwhelming majority of stem express' work with adult blood and tissue that has nothing to do with fetal tissue. which accounted for less than 1%
of the company's revenue in 2014 before losses. they have repeatedly offered to come in and provide exactly the specific information that is raised in these exhibits and that has been turned down. i think it is shameful for an investigation that a -- seeks to get supposedly to the truth. i want to ask mrs. clayton a quefment and i think that this parallel is worth examining because the facts are the same. discredited video which led to an investigation that found no guilt. i want to skip part of this but ask, there were accusations made against your client that impacted him. the client that was found to have done nothing wrong. i wonder how it affected his business reputation, his own safety, and that of his family?
mrs. clayton: yes. the company, it was a company, anatomical gift foundation, it was threatened by terrorists on the anti-choice side, including the army of god. that's the group that shot dr. tiller, not the time he was murdered but the time he was shot before his murder. army of god is one of the most violent, outrageous, anti-choice groups around and a.g.f., my client, received threats of that. as soon as these outrageously fallacious videotapes were sent to congress and got circulated. when they were on 20 twept. -- "20/20." everybody believed they were true. it must be true. we saw it on the videotape. not under oath. i would just comment anyone who wants to look at a defense of any of this first thing you do, get mr. daleiden under oath. see what he says when the penalty of perjury would attach. because when mr. alberty was under oath, he suddenly started telling the truth. and what he told was that everything else was a lie.
meanwhile, these threats endanger the life and safety of people at clinics all over country. as in colorado. crazy mr. deer murdered three people because he thought it was true about these tapes, the sale of baby body parts, even though 12 states, the texas grand jury has found that's completely fallacious. ms. schakowsky: i just want to say your client provided a letter sent by anti-abortion group to your client's wife. in that letter the group referenced baby parts, that's a quote, and warned her that it was, quote, watching you and your husband, unquote, and that this is, quote, this is only the beginning. and i seek unanimous consent to enter this march 9, 2000 letter. and i believe that there is a connection between the murders at the clinic in colorado springs following the -- these
deexceptive videos where the murderer -- deceptive videos where the murderer said no more baby body parts. and the repeat of that language and the repeat of the faults accusations and the collection of names, a database of names of people involved in research and in clinics is dangerous. it is dangerous. we should not be doing that in the united states of america. i yield back. mrs. blackburn: the gentlelady's time has expired. i yield to mrs. black for five minutes. mrs. black: thank you, madam chairman. i thank the panel for being here today. do i want to focus on exhibit g on who bears the responsibility for the tissue procurement chart. as a nurse i am well aware of how important it is to follow procedures, especially in performing your duties when you are caring for a patient that has trusted you as a care
provider for their medical treatment. so let's walkthrough the day, a day in the life of a procurement tech. if you would please turn to exhibit c for this question. in exhibit c-4 you will see that -- ech gets an email from like the one that's on c-4, and she reads the order for certain baby body parts, including the gestation period, and knows what she needs to harvest for that day. i want to reference second from the bottom line it says, she will need a brain, 16 to 20 -- 16 to 18 weeks, and complete but can be in pieces. so she has a very specific tissue that she is looking for. now, if we can turn to c-9, exhibit c-9, then she informs the abortion clinic staff what she will be procuring on that day. and we actually see there on the
first line where she communicates with the assistant manager says, upon arrival inform the staff clearly of what you are procuring for the day. let's follow on on with exhibit c-5. the procurement tech then reviews the medical files which is another subject of whether this is a hipaa violation, whether she has the rights to be looking at those files of the patients to learn their names and the gestation, time of their baby. she records this in a gestation tracking log. essentially matching the patient with her needs. not the patient's needs but with her needs of what she's been given as her job for the day. let's next turn to exhibit number 8, next the procurement office -- procurement tech approaches the patient waiting for this abortion and many times this is a young woman who is afraid, not always certain about what she's doing.
and needs advice and counseling. but that's not what we see her getting here. she doesn't have this -- this tech doesn't have much time and she must match her orders with the patient who are at the right gestation time. so she asks for the patient by name and then she consents with them to donate by saying that her baby tissue is about curing for potential diseases such as diabetes, parkinson's and heart disease. i want to also reference the second paragraph here where she actually says that the law in the state of california, which is where this is being done, requires that the tissue from your procedure be incinerated. if you look at the law there, she's leaving one thing out, she could offer to this mother to bury this babey. but that's left out. -- baby. but that's left out. she's given decision that is are very difficult. either you are going to incinerate this baby or you're going to give this baby up for research. i think that certainly should be
counseling and giving all options to this young woman who is in a very difficult situation in making that decision. now let's turn to exhibits c-12 and then after that c-13 because after the abortion the procurement tech collects the tissues and procures a baby body parts needed. she carries all of her supplies with her. you'll see here in this particular exhibit that she has a very detailed instructions about what she is putting these body parts in to. so this is not coming from the abortion clinic. this is actually coming from the procurement agency that she is working for. and then the tissue tech then arranges for the delivery. we can see that is by fedex. it's clear on the first exhibit and also on this one about who is paying for the delivery of this. not only the test tubes and so
on that she will be using to put the specimen in. so, let's go back again to exhibit g. where we see here in exhibit g a blank on where the expenses are for the abortion clinic. because as i walked you through her day, there is nothing to indicate that the abortion clinic has incurred any expenses. so let me ask you, mr. lennon, if you were to walkthrough this, how does this comprehensiveness of the tissue tech's work inform your thinking about whether the abortion clinic is profiting from the sale of baby body parts? mr. lennon: thank you. did consider that in my analysis here and -- so the question that was raised earlier in the parliamentary question by the representative from new york was that maybe there's a conversation.
in this case there was a conversation. but then the payment should be maybe for that conversation in the processing. because that's the only thing i see where the abortion clinic would have any cost incurred for that conversation. not a per tissue price per tissue payment. that informs me that we are talking about the sale of a part. and not some reasonable cost. the other thing attack defense counsel which i do, they are also involved in the processing because the client, the patient is there. but the abortion itself is not the processing of the tissue. it's the creation of the tissue through the destruction of a human life. i think the -- there's really no argument i saw from any of this that the abortion clinic had any other cost. they are getting a per tissue payment. mrs. blackburn: the gentlelady's
time has expired. ms. degette, you are recognized for five minutes. ms. degette: thank you so much, madam chair. as a former litigator myself there is nothing i like better than a panel of lawyers. i have a series of questions that i would prefer a yes or no answer. if i may. first question i have for the panel is, we received a packet of documents from the majority, i believe i have seen you-all referring to it during this hearing in a binder. so my first question is, have you seen these dockets before today's hearing? the clerk: yes. ms. foster:, yes. mr. lennon:. yes. mr. norton:. yes. ms. degette: thank you. did you personally author any of these documents, mrs. clayton? mrs. clayton: no. ms. foster:, no. mr. lennon:. no, mr. norton: no. ms. degette: have you spoken with anyone on the documents about what the documents contain? mrs. clayton: not to my knowledge. ms. foster: not to my knowledge. mr. lennon: not to my knowledge.
ms. degette: who have you spoken with? mr. sukhia: the folks--mark bell. that might be t ms. degette: that's from the majority staff? the speaker pro tempore: yes. ms. degette: for the documents listed in the index accompanying the packet as coming from a quote, procurement business, have you spoken with that procurement business about the documents? mrs. clayton: no. ms. foster:, no. mr. lennon:. mr. raben: no. mr. norton: the no. the speaker pro tempore: mr. sukhia: that's why there needs to be an investigation. ms. degette: do you have any firsthand knowledge of how the procurement business in question created the documents used in today's exhibits. mrs. clayton? mrs. clayton: absolutely not. ms. foster:, no, mr. lennon:, no. mr. norton:, no the mr. raben: no. mr. sukhia: no. ms. degette: for the documents listed as staff created for example exhibits b-4 and b-5 did the republican staff discuss those documents with you, mrs.
clayton? the clerk: mrs. clayton: no. ms. foster:. no. ms. degette: the exhibits like the charts clearly staff created. mr. lennon: no, mr. norton:. no, mr. raben: no. the speaker pro tempore: i think we did discuss that. ms. degette: you did. did they till the document, sir, that formed the foundation of those? mr. sukhia: no. ms. degette: thank you very much. my last question, do you have any firsthand knowledge of what documents, in fact, the majority staff relied upon in these staff created documents? mission clayton? mrs. clayton: no idea. ms. foster: no. mr. lennon: no. ms. degette: how do you know that if you didn't talk to the staff, mr. norton? mr. norton: the exhibits provided to me obviously support the -- ms. degette: take a look, mr. norton-dirnl' talking about -- mr. norton: i'm trying to answer your question. ms. degette: i'm talking about the staff created documents like the charts. did they tell you what data they used in creating the staff
created document? mr. norton: that's not what you asked. no. ms. degette: ms. foster? ms. foster: no. mr. raben: no. mr. sukhia: no. miss did he get: given no witness on the panel has firsthand knowledge how the exhibits were created or underlying facts captured in any of them, do you think it's appropriate for the witnesses to speculate about possible criminal misconduct based on those documents? >> i think calling it speculate is accurate. mr. raben: it would be pure speculation. not probative. ms. degette: you heard in his testimony, you heard mr. lennon testify that not based on his experience as a prosecutor that he believed that these documents in and of themselves not only established probable cause but proof beyond a reasonable doubt. what is your opinion of that analysis? mr. raben: i would be frightened if that were the -- ms. degette: why?
mr. raben: several reasons. one, the context in which all of these facts come, and i don't have to go back to 2000, although do i think that is illustrative, in the last -- ms. degette: if you can be brief. i have five minutes. mr. raben: there's been a volume of inaccurate and deceptive information thrown at committees and the media about this issue. if i were an investigator or prosecutor looking at t. i would be extremely skeptical and want to know more. ms. degette: would you want to bring in the people that created those documents and put them under oath? mr. raben: yes. ms. degette: thank you. the reason i'm stuck on this is because if people are selling fetal tissue in violation of the law, we need to get to the bottom of it. we need to find it out. but we can't just have some witch-hunt based on some things that were taken off of screen shots and documents and charts created by staff. and i will tell you, even though 12 states, including my home state of colorado, by attorney
cynthia coughman, who is a republican, who -- coffman, who is a republican, who investigated these claims mr. norton was talking about against planned parenthood and found no cause of action to investigate, even though 12 states have investigated and found there was nothing, if you want to send it to the department of justice for investigation, i'll guarantee you they won't make up little charts with their staff. they will get to the bottom of it with original documents. i suggest that's what you should do if you think there is a criminal violation. i yield back. >> that is not correct about attorney general coffman, ms. degette. mrs. blackburn: the gentlelady yields back. the time has expired. dr. bucshon you are recognized. mr. by shan: you want to expand on that >> attorney coffman who is not investigated the allegations of rocky mountain planned parenthood or other facilities around the country. mr. norton: in trafficking and baby parts of bodies. she has taken the position she
has no authority to investigate the matter. miss bucshon: unless asked by the governor to do so. ms. degette: will the gentleman yield? i guess we won't get to the truth of it. mr. bucshon: the indictment in texas was for using a fake i.d. the data of a couple of college students can i till half the college campuses would be indicted over that. also it was stated the researchers are losing money on this fetal tissue. if they are losing money, how are they losing money if there is not a financial transaction? the other thing s. i agree past investigations are completely irrelevant to today's discussion. if that was the case we would never investigate anything. the other thing is, the person in colorado who tragically murdered some people had very severe mental illness and that was what was impacted that situation, which is tragic.
during the time of the 1993 n.i. herks revitalization tact, everyone had high hopes about fetal transplantation. i was a doctor before i came to congress. unfortunately that didn't work out. in reference to this particular procurement agency, which has been mentioned multiple times by the minority, this whole section of the act was passed the statute which applies to all feet at tissue allows reasonable payments, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue. i know a little bit about this because i was a doctor and it appears to me all of these are up stream activities from the abortion clinic in reference to this particular full service procurement agentcy. --- agentcy. the question is, i'm going to start with mr. lennon. assuming that that is correct
under this particular procurement agency we are discussing today, do you see any language in the statute that forms the basis to reimburse the abortion clinic for any costs at all? mr. lennon: i don't -- the statute itself doesn't delineate between the two. but i would want to quickly respond to mr. raben. my written testimony submitted makes clear there were assumptions made. all this evidence is admissible in court and that ethical prosecutor would also have story tellers either credible insiders or people who are compelled to testify to support this. my analysis in the question i think was unfair, my written testimony points out that this needs to be corroborated. i do think that if the abortion clinic was able to show that there were reasonable costs that were delineated there, i see no evidence of that, then that would be complying with the statute. i didn't see that in any of the exhibits i was asked to
revufmente that's the basis of my opinion. mr. bucshon: mr. norton? mr. norton: i would agree. i think there are a fair number -- first of all let me say in our system of criminal justice each and every individual is presumed innocent unless and until guilty proven of reasonable doubt. even those ms. degette brought to my office. they would be presumed innocent. so there are a number of unanswered issues. i think a competent investigation could and should pursue. for example, how much does the abortion clinic receive for an abortion from a client? what's the source of that? is it from the patient? insurers? from medicaid? from other sources. what if any of the services that are provided to the abortion client, that is the woman upon whom the abortion is committed, are unbundled and build to insurers including medicaid. what is the actual cost of the abortion? what are the amounts over and above that cost?
where do they go? in other words, what's happening to those profits. how does the abortion clinic notify the procurement business or procurement business technician of the fact of abortions? it appears from the materials we provided that the procurement business technician is actually embedded in the abortion clinic. and is given access to confidential medical records before the patient even shows up on the scene. so that that technician can select what organs the company seems to want at that point in time. mr. bucshon: plu sukhia you wanted to comment. mr. sukhia: thank you very much. i wanted -- federal provision is a federal provision. all the talk about states having looked at this -- mr. bucshon: the states have looked at it. the services weren't provided in the first place. i'll speak for indiana. that wasn't even part of the equation. mr. sukhia: so there are different jurisdictions.
from a federal standpoint, from the standpoint of a federal prosecutor, he's not going to be swayed by what some states decided was or wasn't a violation of their state statutes. mr. bucshon: fair enough. mrs. blackburn: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. speier, you're recognized for five minutes. ms. speier: thaurnings madam chair. this hearing -- thank you, madam chair. this hearing belongs in a bad episode of "house of cards." i'm sure frank underwood is lurking somewhere here in the room. in fact, this hearing is literally based on a house of cards and the exhibits being used as a foundation are in all likelihood the product of a theft carried out by someone who is now under indictment in texas and whose home has been the subject of a court ordered search across california. is this hearing really going to proceed based on stolen and misleading documents? even frank underwood would be
blushing at this point. this committee sole purpose is to hold fake trials of citizens and companies that comply with the laws. but not with the political agenda of republicans who want to restrict women's health care. 12 states and four congressional committees, one senate, three house, have already investigated the videos released by the so-called center for medical progress last summer and found absolutely no evidence of rock doing -- wrongdoing. the same cannot be said for david daleiden and his associates. this so-called committee is the very definition of a kangaroo court. a mock court that disregards the rules of law and justice to validate a predetermined conclusion. but this mock court has real consequences. while we are focusing on what goes on inside a woman's uterus, we are completely ignoring what happens to babies and children outside of them.
how else can you explain why this panel is holding this hearing while children go hungry and research on pediatric cancer is desperately in need of more research dollars? what about the health implications for our children if we stifle fetal tissue research? after all, fetal tissue research was key to the c.d.c.'s recent confirmation of the link between zika and microenselfly. this is the first step in developing treatment options and mack scenes to stop the spread of zika. considering the infants suffer from brain new jersey and seizures and other problems, why aren't we talking about protecting those infant lives? if this committee succeeds in abusing medical professionals so severely they abandon promising research not a sickle life will be saved. -- single life will be saved. but many, many will be lost. perhaps we should propose a new name for this committee, the select investigative panel on stopping research and letting
people die. now, let me ask mr. raben, given that no witnesses on the panel have firsthand knowledge of how these exhibits were created or the underlying facts captured in any of them, do you think it's appropriate for the witnesses to speculate -- >> would the gentlelady yield? ms. speier: based on those documents. mrs. blackburn: the gentleman is recognized. >> take personal offense to being -- for it being said that as a physician i'm here to allow people to die. like those words stricken from the record. it's pearnl attack on me as a physician. ms. speier: you were not referenced by name. mr. raben, will you please respond. mr. bucshon: inquiry on that. ms. speier: you have to be referenced by name. mrs. blackburn: if the gentlelady will yield. >> we'll leave this hearing now for live house coverage. fetal tissue hearing continues on c-span.org. the house is gaveling in to
debate two bills related to the i.r.s. one to bar the i.r.s. from hiring workers who are delinquent on their taxes. and a second bill giving congress oversight on i.r.s. user fees. both are scheduled to take place around 3:00 eastern. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our guest chaplain, elmira, new york. the chaplain: lord, make me an instrument of your peace where there is hatred, let me so love. where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith. and where there