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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  May 10, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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to see the care and treatment that our veterans receive be enhanced, no veteran, no family, would have to go through or encure what -- endure what they did while jason was receiving pain management and under opioid medication at tomah. this legislation, i think, advances the bar. i don't think anyone can be here with absolute certitude and promise the family or future veterans that mistakes won't happen in the future but i think what's contained in this legislation definitely is a significant step in the right direction with the understanding that more work is needed. the bill would require reviewing the updid of the v.a.'s clinical practice guideline for management of opioid therapy and chronic pain that requires all opiate prescribers at the v.a. to have enhanced pain management and safe opioid prescribing information and training. it requires realtime tracking of on opioid use of veterans to prevent overmedication.
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it provides resources to help their ability. it expands the initiative to all v.a. medical facilities. it updates the joint working group of the v.a. and d.o.d. to focus on opioid-prescribing practice, the use of alternative ain therapy, the coord nation. t also encourages the use of complementary forms of pain management. it requires the -- them to rereport on prescription rates to we can find solutions. this is a work in progress, not just within the v.a. system or with the reforms currently being implement at the tomah v.a. medical center in my district but throughout the entire health care system. we as a nation have not done a good job of managing pain at all levels. i'm glad and proud that this congress sees the need to move forward on a comprehensive opioid legislation bill and hopefully we can get that to the
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finish line this year. there's also a major v.a. reform bill that we are working on. excellent vehicles to include some of the provision -- provisions of this legislation as we move forward. if there's any hope and promise that out of the tragedy of jason's dead good things can come from it, i think the legislation we have before us today, the jason simcakoski promise act, gives us that hope, gives us that opportunity work the understanding that this will be a work in progress. i ask all my colleagues to give their support of this legislation today and again, i thank the leadership of the v.a. committee for the help, the assistance, and focus they've provided on this important piece of legislation. i yield back the remainder manufacture tie time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. members are reminded not to address individuals in the gallery. the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, is recognized. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i now yield two minutes to the
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gentleman from georgia, mr. carter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. carter: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank the gentleman from florida for yielding and for his efforts and all of those who are involved in this legislation. my concern here, mr. speaker, is twofold. first of all, as a pharmacist with over 30 years of experience in practice, this is a concern, a deep concern of mine. secondly, mr. speaker, i believe we have a duty to our service men and women who have sacrificed their lives to serve and protect our country. studies have shown that soldiers and veterans use opioid painkillers far more frequently than civilians because their military training in combat lead to far more injuries. in fact, a report by the american public health association found that the fatal overdose rate among veteran patients is nearly double the national average. something needs to be done. the v.a. is doing a disservice to our veterans by prescribing too many opioids at too high quantity its. that is why h.r. 4063 is so
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important. h.r. 4063 directs the department of defense and department of veterans affairs to jointly update the v.a.-d.o.d. clinical practice guideline for management of opioid therapy for chronic pain so it reflects the current environment we have with opioid abuse. it also directs the v.a. to modify and establish initiatives and protocols to better address the misuse of opioids by our veterans. these changes i believe will be one step to ensuring that the service providing to our men and women of the military will improve their overall care and move us closer to fulfilling our duty of servicing our service men and women. i ask all my colleagues to support this legislation, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it is bipartisan legislation like this that makes me proud to be a member of the united states congress. and so i want to thank each one
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of my colleagues for your role in making this day happen. i want to thank jason's family. i'm not going to single them out except to make reference to them, mr. speaker. i just want to thank jason's family for making the journey to washington today for this very important and moment us occasion. with -- momentus occasion. with that -- are there any other speakers on our side? with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i wish that we did not have to discuss this tragedy today on the floor. jake is not with us, not by his choice. his wife is a widow. his daughter is now fatherless. . s parents lost a son
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why? why did he die of a drug overdose inside of the very hospital that he sought protection in? mr. speaker, i hope that all members will support this legislation today, not that it will bring jake back but that it may prevent this from occurring to another veteran in the future. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back the balance of his time. all time having now expired, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4063, as amended. those in favor will say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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without objection, the title is amended. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4957. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: house calendar number 111, h.r. 4957, a bill to designate the federal building located at 99 new york avenue, northeast, in the district of columbia, as the ariel rios federal building. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. curbelo, and the gentleman from indiana, mr. carson, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the
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gentleman from florida. mr. curbelo: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and to heir remarks include extraneous material on h.r. 4957. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. urbelo: thank you, speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. mr. curbelo: mr. speaker, h.r. 4957, would designate the federal building located at 99 new york avenue, northeast, in the district of columbia as the ariel rios federal building. i am pleased to be a co-sponsor of this legislation along with the chairman and ranking member of the public building subcommittee, mr. barletta, and my colleague from indiana, mr. carson. special agent ariel rios joined the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives in 1978, where he became one of the most effective agents assigned to then-vice president george h.w. bush's task force.
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special agent rios worked as an undercover agent as part of the task force. during his undercover assignment in 1982, he and another agent arranged to meet two suspects at a motel in miami, florida, to purchase large quantity its of drugs and machine guns. a confrontation ensued and during a struggle, special agent rios was shot and seriously wounded. he died shortly after in the hospital on december 2, 1982. special agent rios received a number of posthumous awards, including the secretary of the treasury's exceptional service award and a meritorious service award from the dade county chief of police association. the previous location of the a.t.f. headquarters on pennsylvania avenue bore his name for 27 years. during that time, the a.t.f. relocated to a new headquarters
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building, and the old building was occupied by another agency and renamed. h.r. 4957 would appropriately name the current location of the a.t.f. headquarters after special agent rios. i'm very proud to recognize this american hero who so sadly perished while protecting the people of miami, my hometown, from crime and drugs. as a member with the honor of representing south florida in congress, i thank special agent rios for his service to our country and his family for their sacrifice, such a brave person, on behalf of all of us. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? mr. carson: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. mr. carson: mr. speaker, i'm
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very pleased and also want to thank representative curbelo. i'm pleased this bill is being considered by the house this afternoon during national police week. i also appreciate, mr. speaker, the support of this measure from subcommittee chairman barletta, and the other members of the transportation and infrastructure committee who also agreed to be original co-sponsors of this great bill. as mentioned, this bill would name the current headquarters of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms, or the a.t.f., after fallen special agent ariel rios. as was mentioned by my colleague, agent rios was born in 1954, mr. speaker. he attended john jay college of criminal justice in manhattan and graduated with a degree in criminal discuss in 1976. he worked for the department of corrections in both washington, d.c., and new york city. later, he joined the a.t.f. in 1978 and developed a reputation
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as an effective law enforcement officer. in 1982, agent rios was working as a member of vice president george bush's anti-drug task force. it was here that he was shot and killed while working undercover to unravel a drug ring in miami, florida. in 1985, congress saw fit to honor the ultimate sacrifice that special agent rios made. congress acknowledged the fact that he was the first a.t.f. agent to die in the line of duty by naming the headquarters of the a.t.f. builder the ariel rios memorial -- building the ariel rios memorial building. this name stood for nearly 30 years, mr. speaker, until the building was renamed for president clinton in 2012. to reflect the fact that the old building now houses the e.p.a. unfortunately, the ariel rios name was not transferred to the new headquarters. this bill, mr. speaker, seeks to correct this omission and the name the new a.t.f. had quarters as the ariel rios federal building -- headquarters as the ariel rios
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federal building. as a former police officer, i know the risk facing officers each and every day. agent rios, his death serves as a reminder when law enforcement officers walk out the door leaving their families for the day, they're putting their lives on the line to protect our communities. so it is fitting that the house is considering this legislation during national police week. this is an annual event when thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world travel to washington, d.c., to participate in events honoring those killed in the line of duty. by naming the a.f.f. headquarters after mr. rios -- a.t.f. headquarters after mr. reegoast, a front line officer, we offer a trish bution. this comes at the -- contribution. this comes at the request of many current and former agents who would not rest in this recognition was destroyed to special agent rios. because of their tireless efforts, the house will vote
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today to restore the name of special agent rios to the a.t.f. headquarters. now, this is an overdue and well-deserved acknowledgment of both special agent rios and the 20,000 law enforcement agents who died in the united states of america. in closing, mr. speaker, i'm so pleased that so many of our committee, both sides of the aisle, have agreed to co-sponsor this legislation. i'm also honored that mr. rogers, the chairman of the appropriations committee, supports this bill. former president h.w. bush has written congress in support of this legislation as well as former directors of the a.t.f. and several organizations representing law enforcement officers. i'm very proud that this legislation is being considered today, and i urge my colleagues to support my bipartisan bill honoring special agent rios and, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. curbelo: i reserve, mr.
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speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. does the gentleman from indiana have an additional speaker? mr. carson: i yield back the balance of my time. we have no further speakers at this time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana yields back. the gentleman from florida is recognized to close debate. mr. curbelo: just to thank mr. carson for his leadership on this measure. this, of course, is a simple naming bill, but it honors one of the many men and women who paid the ultimate price to keep americans safe, and this has a special place in my heart, obviously, because this took place in my community where special agent rios lost his life. so i thank my colleague and i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 4957. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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mr. carson: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, -- the gentleman from indiana is now recognized. for his request. mr. carson: i request a recorded vote, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman asks for the yeas and nays. the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania eek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4985. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4985, a bill to amend the foreign narcotics kingpin designation act, to protect classified information in federal court challenges. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. marino, and the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. marino: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous materials on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. marino: thank you.
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mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempo tgentman such time. mr. marino: thank you. mr. speaker, let me -- on behalf of the foreign affairs committee, i am pleased to call up the kingpin designation improvement act, which has favorably reported this week by the judiciary committee on which i also sit. this bipartisan bill, introduced by the gentleman and the gentlelady from new york, mr. katko and miss rice, helps to ensure that classified information used in the designation of foreign drug kingpins may be protected from public disclosure so that it cannot be used by drug lords and terrorists. under current law, the treasury department's office of foreign assets control, otherwise known as ofac, is able to designate international drug traffickers as kingpins. these designations are published in the federal register and the individuals
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are added to the list of specially designated nationals, which effectively blocks any u.s.-based asset and their access to the u.s. financial system. this is a potent weapon against international drug traffickers. since the enactment of the foreign narcotics kingpin designation act 16 years ago, ofac has designated more than 1,800 individuals, all of them non-u.s. persons. these include not only high-profile drug traffickers, but also individuals who are using drug proceeds to support international terrorism. now listed persons can seek removal of those sanctions by challenging them in federal court. the tricky part arises when ofac's designation are based on class -- designations are based on classified information. we do not want to hand drug lords and terrorists the
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sources and methods we have for undercovering their -- uncovering their activities. we also do not want ofac to be deterred to making the designations our national security requires because they're worried that such classified info may be publicly disclosed. for these reasons, other key ofac sanction laws, like the international emergency economic powers act, provide protection for classified information. under the statute, ofac can submit such information ex parte and in camera directly to the judge outside of public view. h.r. 4985 just incorporates that same protection in the narcotics kingpin designation act. also, it is worth remembering that these designations are not something done secretly in the dead of night. they result from the
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coordination of five federal agencies, they are published publicly and they are reported to 10 congressional committees, five in the house and five in the senate. some of whom receive classified background on the designated persons. i want to thank foreign affairs chairman royce, ranking member engel, judiciary chairman goodlatte, and ranking member conyers, for moving this bipartisan bill promptly to the floor. h.r. 4985 is an important tool in our fight against high-level narcotics traffickers and deserves our unanimous support. thank you and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this legislation and yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. cicilline: i'd like to thank representative katko and representative rice for introducing this bill, h.r.
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4985, the kingpin designation improvement act, which helps ensure that federal courts can review sanctions against drug kingpins without forcing law enforcement or the intelligence community to publicly release classified information. h.r. 4985 would amend the foreign narcotics kingpin designations act modeled on the international emergency economics power act. the kingpin act allows the president to designate and apply economic sanctions against any significant foreign narcotics trafficker. this authority provides a powerful tool to combat narcotics trafficking around the world. for example, just last month the trevery department's office of foreign assets control, which administers these sanctions, targeted a mexican drug cartel and the three brothers who run it. freezing their assets and banning u.s. persons from doing business with them. as with the international emergency economic powers act, designations made under the kingpin act may be challenged in court. however, unlike ieepa, the
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kingpin act contains no explicit authority for judges to privately review classified information. this gap in authority means it's only a matter of time until the government will be forced to choose between disclosing classified material and allowing confirmed narcotics traffickers to avoid justice. h.r. 4985 would address this issue by adding a new section that explicitly authorizes the government to allow judges to privately review classified information when individuals challenge their designation as kingpins under the act. this provides a simple fix to a gap in current law, bringing the kingpin act in line with the international emergency economic powers act, and improving our ability to ensure the law functions as intended. i thank again my colleagues for its introduction and urge my colleagues to support the legislation and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. marino: mr. speaker, i yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from new york, mr. katko, as a member of the committee on the
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judiciary and the author of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. katko: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, let me start by thanking judiciary committee chairman goodlatte for his efforts and his committee's efforts in shepherding this bill through the committee, where it received unanimous support. i also want to thank my colleague across the aisle, representative rice, we have partnered together on many bills that have passed the house, to help keep our country safe and to keep it free from drug trafficking. both of us having a background in -- as prosecutors on a federal level, it's sometimes really helped us going forward. will help us going forward. this legislation makes important changes that strengthen the kingpin act and enhance the protection of classified information. the kingpin act has played an important role in our nation's efforts to fight drug trafficking for nearly two decades. in the last two decades, i was heavily involved in drug trafficking as a federal organized crime prosecutor so i understood the importance of the statute. the act established a process to stanks individuals involved
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in international narcotics trafficking. more than 1,800 individuals, all non-u.s. persons, have been designated as drug king pins by the treasury's office -- drug kingpins by the treasury's office. this designation precludes these traffickers from using the u.s. financial system and in so doing places a major obstacle in front of their efforts to move and use their ill-gotten gains. many of the individuals placed on the kingpin list are put there on the basis of classified information. the law provides a process by which these individuals can seek removal from the list in federal court, but unfortunately the law currently doesn't protect classified information in such delisting cases. this opens up the possibility that some kingpins won't be sanctioned at all or will be removed from the kingpin list, despite significant evidence of their illicit activities, in order to protect classified information. this bill simply makes it clear that the office of foreign assets control may submit
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classified information in defense of its kingpin designations in a nonpublic, protected setting, in order to safeguard classified information. this bill will make it easier to sanction international drug kingpins who cause enormous problems both in the united states and in their home countries -- countries. it will make it harder for these criminals to carry out their drug trade. mr. speaker, i'm grateful for the house's consideration of this bill, alongside several other important members to -- measures to fight against the opioid epidemic gripping much of our nation, and certainly in my district as well. my district has been extremely hard-hit by this epidemic, as well as the scourge of dangerous synthetic substances, which i hope to address at a later time during this congress. almost every family in my district has been affected by this epidemic or knows someone who has. we need to fight back against the kingpins who are profiting off this misery. it's gratifying to see the house working together across the aisle to tackle this enormous problem and our country will be better off for it.
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thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from rhode island is recognized. mr. cicilline: i have no additional speakers. i'm ready to close if nye colleague is. mr. marino: -- if -- mr. cicilline: if my colleague is. mr. marino: no more speakers. mr. cicilline: i want to thank the gentleman from new york for his introduction of this bill. it closes an important gap in the statute, which will enhance he safety of our country and provide review. so i urge my colleagues to support the bill. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. marino: thank you, mr. speaker. i just want to echo what my good friend, mr. cicilline, has stated. as a former prosecutor, as mr. katko is a former prosecutor, as my good friend, mr. cicilline, was a mayor, and had jurisdiction over law enforcement agencies, he knows, we all know what importance this legislation is.
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i want to thank the authors of this, i want to thank the staff members who worked on this. and this is going to improve the lives of not only americans, but people around the world. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. all time having now expired on this legislation, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 4985. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass s. 32, the transnational drug trafficking act of 2015. the speaker pro tempore: the
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clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 32, an act to provide the department of justice with additional tools to target extraterritorial drug trafficking activity, and for ther purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from -- the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, will be recognized -- will control 20 minutes each. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks include extraneous materials on s. 32, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. mr. goodlatte: international drug traffickers are profiting off the misery of american citizens, including our children. in recent years, our nation has experienced an epidemic of opioid abuse, a significant
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part of that epidemic involves the trafficking of illicit heroin across our borders and into our communities and homes. every member in this chamber today has a heartbreaking story about a constituent or a constituent's child who has been lost to this scourge. the irony, mr. speaker, is that international drug traffickers know our drug trafficking laws as well, if not better, than most americans do. and they know that if they simply employ a middle man to take the drugs from them and transport them into the u.s., it makes it much harder, if not impossible, for u.s. law enforcement to prosecute them under those drug trafficking laws. why is it more difficult, you might ask? because under current law, the government must prove that a trafficker knew the drugs were headed for the united states. drug trafficking organizations in colombia, peru, ecuador and other central and south
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american source nations sell their illicit products to mexican traffickers who in turn traffic the drugs into the united states. this makes it difficult under current law for federal prosecutors to make cases against such source nation manufacturers, wholesale distributors, brokers and transporters since direct evidence of their intent that the drugs are bound for the united states is difficult, if not impossible, to develop. the result is that source nation malfactors who produce and distribute illegal narcotics escape prosecution under u.s. law because they feign ignorance of the drug's ultimate destination. this has happened with increasing regularity over the past several years, and it is congress' responsibility to address this problem. s. 32, the transnational drug trafficking act of 2015, is identical to h.r. 3380, legislation that was introduced by my judiciary committee
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colleagues congressman tom marino of pennsylvania and congressman pedro pierluisi of puerto rico. this bill makes crucial changes to our federal drug laws to give law enforcement additional tools to combat extraterritorial drug trafficking. it does this by amending the controlled substances import and export act to stipulate when a narcotic's trafficker has a, quote, reasonable cause to believe that the illegal narcotics he produces or travis will be sent into the -- traffics will be sent into the u.s., then they will prosecutor them. this will allow them to pursue extra territorial drug traffickers who are not only smuggling drugs into the united states but who facilitate it. s. 32 amends the import-export act to address the increasingly prevalent problem of trafficking enlisted chemicals which are chemicals regulated by the d.e.a. because they are
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used in the manufacturing of controlled substances. during a recent codel to south and central america, several of my colleagues and i heard firsthand how drug trafficking organizations have relied upon shadowy, chemical suppliers in the manufacture of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and other dangerous narcotics. s. 32 would enable federal prosecutors to reach chemical traffickers who knowingly facilitate and benefit from the illicit production and smuggling of listed chemicals. both of these amendments will allow federal law enforcement to go after, not the lowly drug mules moving drugs into the united states, but the criminals who facilitate at a high level within the source nation the trafficking of narcotics and precursor chemicals into the united states. as one law enforcement officials has said to me, it is better to fight this battle there than here. in addition to these important
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reforms, s. 32 amends the criminal counterfeit law to include an intent requirement for trafficking in counterfeit drugs. i am pleased the house is taking up this important bill which the senate has already passed anonymously so that it can -- unanimously so it can move expeditiously to the president's desk. i ask my colleagues to support this important legislation, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves the balance of his time. without objection, the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, will get control of the time previously controlled by the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. mr. conyers: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i'd like to yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. conyers: and i would like, first, for everyone to know that we here in the congress are working to address the
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current heroin epidemic. we know that illegal drugs continue to present a public health crisis that impacts individuals and families and communities across the united states. s. 32 attempting to address the legal importation of the drugs coming into the united states amending section 959 of the controlled substances act. problem ave a bit of a here, but no one has worked on the onger or harder than gentlelady from texas, ms. sheila jackson lee. it is within that spirit i will yield as much time as she may consume.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from -- the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for as much time as she may consume. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chairman and i thank the ranking member for kapturring what we in judiciary -- capturing what we in judiciary have been doing in the last couple months, mr. speaker. we've been working in a very effective and bipartisan manner who deal with the whole scheme, if you will, criminal justice reform and we have been extensively involved in what has become a major epidemic across this nation. as i listened to a number of legislative initiatives, one dealing with a veteran that died, that was just debated here on the floor of the house, of a drug overdose. as i was flying in today, we knew that an incident in my district where a motorcyclist was killed by a driver, a young woman that was under the influence of opioids. and so we know that this transnational drug trafficking
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act is an important act, and we want to continue in our bipartisan effort. but it's important for me to note a concern i do not believe the sponsors intended but i believe must be addressed. this bill is intended to help us do more to combat the importation of illegal drugs into our country, but it could also subject more people to mandatory minimum sentencing, an unfortunate feature of our criminal justice system that we must address. the united states has been suffering from the damaging effects of illicit drug trafficking for decades. the majority of the drugs reeking havoc in the -- wreaking havoc in the united states, moving from one country to the next under powerful and wealthy drug kingpins. i think all of my adult life, mr. speaker, we have heard the kingpins.
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you cannot live in urban america without hearing about them. you cannot live in texas without hearing about them. many of whom never see or touch the drugs or enter the boundaries of the country themselves. so foreign drug kingpins in colombia, ecuador, peru are kingpins that lead operations with sell to traffickers in mexico who receive the drugs in south america, central america and mexico and smuggle the drugs into the uzz. certainly drugs come from all over. the obama administration reported incidences of afghan drug traffickers to smuggle drugs into the united states. it's around the world. i support the idea that these drug pins are dangerous, but s. 32 is intended to help federal prosecutors successfully prosecute foreign drug traffickers whose criminal activity outside the u.s. threatens the health, safety and security of americans here at home. section 959 makes it a crime to manufacture, distribute controlled substances or certain chemicals used to make controlled suggestions to know it will be brought illegal
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within the u.s. or within 12 miles of the coastal u.s. in recent years, prosecutors reported difficulties reporting this in some instances. some drug traffickers are aware of the methods used to charge and extradite foreign criminals into the u.s. for prosecution. drug traffickers avoid any discussion of the destination of the drug shipments. so s. 32 would amend 959 making to easier for prosecutors to obtain a conviction against drug traffickers who operate in other countries. that is certainly an important mission, but i am troubled, however, that lowering the intent requirement in the statute without limiting its use to leaders and organizers would expos even low level -- expose even low level offenders to mandatory minimum sentencing and we're working to stop that tide so we can restore the criminal justice system to be just and fair. this would happen depending on the quantity of drugs involved. historically mandatory minimums creating in the 1980's
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cruiserweighted to target king pins have been applied to low level offenders. they have led to unfair and overincarceration. as the ranking member of the subcommittee on crime, i'm edge gauged with -- engaged with colleagues bonte sides of the aisle to address mandatory minimum sentencing. i'm afraid this will be worse. ranking member conyers proposed a thoughtful amendment to the house companion to this bill to specify that the reduced intent standard would only apply to leaders and organizers of foreign drug trafficking organizations. the amendment would have made certain that the substantial resources, time and money necessary to exextra indict foreign criminals will be expended only on those individuals whose prosecution would disrupt the chain, the pipeline or dismantle drug trafficking networks. if this bill was amended it will be a useful tool to help leaders of the transnational organized crime from africa to afghanistan to south and central america and beyond, networks in the u.s. and abroad, priorities and
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objective details in the president's strategy to address transnational organized crime. while we are working on a bipartisan basis to make our criminal justice system more just and effective and reduce minimum terms, we need to have a simple fix. while we don't have the opportunity to amend this bill today, i ask that my colleagues vote against this so we may continue to work to address this concern, which will not undermine the goals of the bill. s. 32 also corrects an error in section 2320 of the title 18, the statute that governs trafficking in counterfeit goods and services in order to prove the offense of trafficking in drugs with counterfeit marks, they must be proof -- there must be proof that the accused used a counterfeit mark on or connection with the trafficking drugs and i support those changes. o
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changes. so the underlying change and spirit of the bill is a positive one. we are working here together. the scourge is something we must attack. but may i simply say, mr. speaker, i commend the sponsors of this bill for their desire to improve our ability to pursue, convict and ultimately imprison top-level drug traffickers who have plagued our nation for decades. i believe this bill requires a simple change to address the unintended issue impacting mandatory minimum sentencing. i look forward to us working in the manner of which we can work, and i look forward to this conclusion in a positive way and to the gentleman, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady -- ms. jackson lee: i yield to the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: i need to give to the time to the gentleman from virginia. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time it's my pleasure to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. marino, a member of the judiciary committee and the chief sponsor of the house companion legislation to the bill before the house at this time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. marino: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. chairman, thank you for the time and for your leadership in committee and today on this important bipartisan piece of legislation. i also would like to thank my colleague, congressman pierluisi, for his stalwart support and for his work on this bipartisan bill. the chairman of the judiciary committee is correct in recognizing that federal law often fails to keep up with the law breakers. as a i am aware of the ways criminal organizations adapt their practices to skirt federal law and harm american citizens. this bill directly responds to one scenario that has played out time and again in our federal courts. i would like to start by making a key point about the purpose of this bill and the type of organizations it targets. our focus through this bill is the leadership of sophisticated
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, often multinational drug trafficking organizations, with expansive networks of istribution internationally. this includes source nation manufacturers, primarily in south and central america. they are a significant source, if not the largest source, of deadly drugs on the streets and in homes across america. it also includes the leaders of large middleman wholesale trafficking and distribution organizations. i want to stress that the bill does not, the bill does not target petty dealers or low-level smugglers in the final chain to the narcotics' final destination. instead, the focus is on higher levels of the drug trafficking chain beyond our borders. these are the decision makers
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who have twisted our law for their own profit. federal law requires prosecutors to prove that defendant manufacturers and traffickers knew the narcotics were destined for the u.s. thunderstorm direction, drugs -- under this direction, drugs manufactured and packaged for illegal wholesale distribution in the countries outside of the u.s.. in many instances the final destination is the united states. but these individuals can hide their knowledge or insert additional middlemen to potentially evade prosecution. one recent case in the d.c. federal district court perfectly depicts this problem. on trial were two guatemalan nationals. leaders of an organization that received tons of cocaine over 13 years from manufacturers in colombia and venezuela. they built runways and
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warehouses to store and receive such massive quantities of narcotics. then they distributed the drugs to additional middlemen in mexico. it was known that these drugs reached the u.s. but the defendants claimed that once they passed them on to, they had no knowledge of its ultimate destination. at trial, this was their only defense. currently the law allows them to claim ignorance and simply put the blame on those who do their bidding. my district and many other colleagues' districts face a growing heroin epidemic. our efforts this week to counter this crisis are crucial to stopping it. my final point, this bill is about dismantling international drug trafficking organizations, it is about bringing to justice the source nation manufacturers
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and middleman wholesalers behind the flow of deadly narcotics across our borders. nothing else. i urge my colleagues to support the bill so we can make that happen today and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. ms. conley: mr. speaker, i yield myself -- mr. conaway: mr. speaker, i yield myself -- mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. members of the congress, there's no doubt we must stop the flow of illegal drugs coming into the united states rom foreign countries. i want to commend our colleagues, the two that have worked with ms. jackson leon this, and i want to commend -- ms. jackson lee on this, and i want to commend the chairman of the committee as well, mr. goodlatte, dealing with this very important subject. but, ladies and gentlemen, we
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must avoid subjecting more people to mandatory sentences -- minimum sentences. as a matter of principle, i oppose mandatory minimum sentences because they're injustice -- they're injustice, they're unwise. -- their unjust, they're unwise. his has led to extraordinary ins, prison overcrowding -- injustices, prison overcrowding, excessive cost to taxpayers as well. and they have been shown to have a disparate impact on minorities. while i'm committing to combating the importation of illegal drugs in this country, must oppose the expansion of mandatory minimum sentences, which is what s. 32 would do.
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in our judiciary committee markup, i offered an amendment to limit the scope of the changes that would be made by this bill to the lead, or organizers of the drug organizations -- leaders or organizers of the drug organizations, in other words, the real kingpins. whether or not it is the intent of this bill to target low-level offenders, too often it is precisely those individuals who are easier to arrest, easier to convict, and mandatory penalties. while i understand that we're today considering a senate-passed bill, i maintain that we should take the time to address this issue. this bill's ex -- expansion of those convicted under the statute should be limited to
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kingpins, those to whom mandatory minimum penalties were originally intended to apply in the first place. and so accordingly i sincerely ask my colleagues to vote against this bill so that we ay address this concern. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, we have only one speaker remaining and i believe we have the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i ask for unanimous consent to make my closing remarks, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized to close debate for the minority. mr. conyers: members of the
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house, without question, illegal drugs imported into the united states have harmed our itizens and our communities in innumerable ways. and it's critical that appropriate steps be taken to address this problem. although s. 32 is a well-intentioned effort to do so, i believe that this bill should be amended to address the concern related to mandatory minimum sentencing. on this basis, i oppose the bill in its current form, i urge my colleagues to support myself and ranking subcommittee member of the committee from exas, ms. jackson lee, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields
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back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia yields back. all time having now expired, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 32. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5048, the good samaritan assessment act of 2016. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 504, a bill to require a study -- 5048, a bill to require a study on good samaritan laws that pertain to treatment of opioid overdoses
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and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 5048, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized to for such time -- recognized for such time. mr. goodlatte: the good samaritan assessment act of 2016 was introduced by our colleague, congressman frank guinta, co-chair of the house bipartisan task force to combat the heroin epidemic. this legislation directs the government accountability office to study the various good samaritan laws in effect in states across the country. generally speaking, every state has some form of good samaritan law, which protects from
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prosecution citizens who render aid in good faith to someone in need of assistance. as a general matter, courts will not hold a good samaritan liable if he or she rendered care as a result of an emergency. the emergency or injury was not caused by the good samaritan himself, and the care was not given in a negligent or reckless manner. in the context of opioids, good samaritan law require refers to laws that provide immunity for responding to an opioid overdose by rendering aid or by calling 911. today more than half of the states and the district of columbia have enacted some form of good samaritan law that provides immunity or limits liability for those who report an opioid overdose or render care to a person experiencing such an emergency. in my home state of virginia, the general assembly passed a good samaritan law in 2015 which provides immunity for
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individuals who contact emergency services to report an overdose, provided the caller remains at the scene of the overdose until law enforcement responds, identifies himself when law enforcement responds, and cooperates with any criminal investigation. given the recent proliferation of these laws at the state level and congress' desire and duty to address the opioid epidemic, it is fitting that we assess how the various good samaritan laws work to protect our citizens and help save lives. h.r. 5048 will direct the g.a.o. to help us get the information we need. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 5048, the good samaritan assessment act.
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this legislation is part of a series of bills the house is considering this week in an effort to address the growing public health crisis in our nation that is being caused by a surge in heroin use and abuse of other opioid drugs. without question, abuse of opioid drugs can have serious long-term effects, including physical and functional changes in the brain, affecting impulse, reward and motivation. but opioid abuse can have a more immediate and serious consequence, an overdose can threaten the life of the victim. in recent years heroin and prescription opioid drug overdoses have risen sharply in the united states. according to the centers for disease control and prevention,
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drug overdose deaths more than doubled between 1999 and 2014. in 2014 alone, more than 47,000 people died from drug overdoses , the highest of any previous year. fortunately many of these tragic deaths can be prevented through the administration of an opioid reversal drug. but to be effective in saving lives, these drugs must be administered on an emergency basis. first responders answering emergency cause or care -- calls or care givers who are treating drug users are frequently in the best position to administer a life-saving reversal drug in time to be effective.
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and an overdose victim's family and friends, as well as other drug users, are often the first people to be aware that an individual is suffering a drug overdose. nevertheless, these individuals can hesitate or even fail to call 911 out of fear that they may be prosecuted or otherwise held liable if something goes wrong. similarly, first responders and other potential caregivers may hesitate or fail to administer emergency medical treatment for fear of possible adverse consequences. to alleviate such concerns and help ensure that overdose victims receive timely medical treatment, the office of national drug control policy has been working with states and municipalities to enact
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so-called good samaritan laws. these laws are intended to protect from civil or criminal liability first responders, caregivers and others who call for emergency assistance in erdose cases or administer opioid reversal drugs. currently 30 states and the district of columbia now have at least some form of good samaritan or a 9 1 drug immunity law. - 911 drug immunity law. but these vary were jurisdiction to jurisdiction. h.r. 5048 directs the government accountability office to study and report to the appropriate committees of congress on the efforts of the office of national drug control
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policy to expand good samaritan protections. in addition, the study would examine any law that exempts from civil or criminal liability individuals who contact emergency service providers in response to a drug overdose or who administer opioid reversal drugs to overdose victims. e report must also include a compilation of good samaritan laws currently in effect, the analysis and data required to be generated by h.r. 5048 will greatly assist congress in understanding the various policies adopted by the states. and so accordingly, i sincerely urge my colleagues to support h.r. 5048, and i reserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, vaive is the opioid overdose they recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency with the administration of naloxone. revive is a collaborative effort led by the department of behavioral health working alongside the virginia department of health, the virginia health professors, recover organizations such as the mcshin foundation, one care of southwest virginia, the substance abuse and addiction recovery alliance of virginia and other stakeholders. virginia has been severely impacted by opioid abuse, particularly the abuse by prescription drugs. in 1999, the first year for
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which such data is available, approximately 23 people died from abuse of fent nil, hydrocould he doan, methadone and the leading prescription opioids abused, commonly referred to as fhmo. 2013, for which complete data is available, 386 individuals ied from the abuse of fhmo, an increase of 1,578%. ith fentanhyl fueling this increase. in 2013, there was an increase 100% of death to fentanyl abuse. in 2011, drug-related deaths happened at a higher per capita level, 11 deaths per 100, than motor vehicle crashes, 10.1 per 100,000. the 2010 data provides other
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disturbing trends in virginia, including a sharp rise in heroin deaths. in 2010 only 49 deaths in virginia were attributed to heroin use. by 2013, that figure had risen to 213, an increase of 334%. in only four years while cocaine deaths remained relatively level. the changes in drug-related deaths in virginia in 2013 are not limited to which substances had the greatest impact. the geography of the opioid epidemic in virginia is shifting as well. in past years, the western portion of virginia, the portion that i represent, typically accounted for approximately 1/3 of drug-related deaths in any given year. in 2013, for the first time since these records have been maintained, the prevalence of drug-related deaths were spread evenly over the commonwealth while the east saw an increase of 51% of drug-related deaths
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in a single year. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: ladies and gentlemen, h.r. 5048 will help to provide valuable information that will assist comprehensive efforts needed to combat the growing scourge of opioid abuse that's affecting millions of americans and help reduce the tragic loss of life resulting from drug overdoses. accordingly, i urge support of passage of h.r. 5048, and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields
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back the balance of the time on the minority side. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, to close debate on our side, i am pleased to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from new hampshire, mr. guinta, the chief sponsor of the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new hampshire, mr. guinta, is recognized to close debate for the majority. mr. guinta: thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this legislation, the good samaritan assessment act of 2016. this legislation directs the g.a.o. to study state and local good samaritan laws that help hose who administer opioid reversal devices. as well as who contact providers in response to an overdose from civil or criminal liability. a good samaritan law offers legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are or who they
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believe to be injured, ill or otherwise incapacitated. these laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but generally they prevent an individual who has voluntarily helped the victim in distress from being successfully sued or prosecuted for wrongdoing. their purpose is to keep people from being reluctant to help an individual in need for fear of legal repercussions. this legislation is crucial to understanding which good samaritan laws are working well to provide a framework for others to follow. in my home state of new hampshire, last year we had 40 people die from a drug-related overdose. the number continues to climb because the coroner's office has not concluded the autopsies from last year. imagine a family member who is trying to grieve over nair loved one -- their loved one,
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who has the illness of addiction and somebody stood over that body and was afraid to help. i think that this legislation is important, and i am glad that it is striking a bipartisan tone because this is about saving lives. this is about providing assistance to those who are in moments of deepest despair in their life, and i work on this issue not just on behalf of my constituents and the 50,000 people across the country who have passed due to this sickness, but i also do it in the name of my friend, abby lazot, who is a survivor, who is eight months clean with a 6-month-old child. who testified at a hearing in new hampshire about the possibility of success because she had somebody who assisted
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her. this addiction has ripped the country apart. we have an obligation as a congress to act, and i'm so pleased with the leadership of chairman goodlatte and so many republicans and democrats who have shared the same hope and understanding that life is worth fighting for. so i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. i appreciate the committee's work, the chairman's work, the bipartisan work and i'd yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new hampshire yields back the balance of his time. all time having now expired on this legislation, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 5048. those in favor will say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5052, the opioid program evaluation act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5052, a bill to direct the attorney general and the secretary of health and human services to evaluate the effectiveness of grant programs that provide grants for the primary purpose of providing assistance in addressing problems pertaining to opioid abuse, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks include extraneous materials on h.r. 5052, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore:
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without objection, so ordered. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. mr. goodlatte: h.r. 5052, the opioid program evaluation act, or open act, is a bill that would require an evaluation of the comprehensive opioid abuse reduction grant program that will be authorized by h.r. 5046 and other opioid-related grant programs administered by the department of health and human services. this bipartisan bill, sponsored by the gentleman from california, the majority leader, mr. mccarthy, and the gentleman from maryland, the minority whip, mr. hoyer, requires the attorney general through arrangement with the national academy of sciences and secretary of h.h.s. through an arrangement with the national academy of sciences or another entity to identify outcomes that are to be achieved by the activities funded by congress to address opioid abuse. develop the metrics by which program performance will be evaluate, complete an interim
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evaluation, assessing the nature and extent of opioid abuse and illegal opioid distribution in the united states and carry out an evaluation of the effectiveness of the programs. additionally, to increase transparency and facilitate the evaluation of the performance of the programs, the bill requires grantees to collect an annual report, data on the activities pursuant to these programs. evaluation such as these can be congress' best measure of how well a federal program or agency is operating. at their conclusion, we hope to learn, for example, whether a substantial number of criminal justice agency personnel have received training on substance abuse disorders and co-occurring mental illness and adapted their procedures accordingly. we also hope to learn the extent to which offenders offered a treatment alternative to incarceration, have benefited from a response that integrates substance abuse
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services into the traditional criminal justice system. i agree with the bill's sponsors that congress must demand greater achievement and increased transparency and accountability with respect to our federal grant programs. therefore, i thank the bill's sponsors for the contribution this bill makes to address the opioid abuse as well as to our congressional oversight efforts. i urge support of this important bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as you may consume. mr. conyers: thank you. , rise in support of h.r. 5052 opioid program evaluation act, otherwise known as the open act . the open act is part of a comprehensive bipartisan series of proposals being considered
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by congress to combat the opioid epidemic abuse that is afflicting millions of americans. for example, the comprehensive opioid abuse reduction act will provide critical funding, assistance to astates so they can create and implement a wide variety of strategies, including alternatives to incarceration that are designed to reduce opioid abuse. these grant programs have tremendous promise as they will enable criminal justice agencies to focus on what is likely to be the most effect i solutions based on their specific, individual needs. jurisdictions, for example, may choose to implement the law enforcement assistance diversion approach, established with
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success in seattle and which is beginning to be used in other cities. the comprehensive opioid abuse reduction act would also assist with the provision of medication assisted treatment and help first responders prevent death by allowing them to obtain and administer drugs that revive overdose victims. strategies like these are worthy of our continued support. at the same time, it's important that we chart the actual results of these programs so that we can objectively determine the most successful strategies for combating opioid abuse and adjust our efforts and resource allocations accordingly. the open act is a commonsense
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measure that will provide a meaningful way to assist the effectiveness of these grants. under this act, the department of justice and health and human services will identify outcomes achieved by activities funded under this grant program. the open act requires these agencies to develop the metrics by which the achievement of much outcomes can be objectively analyzed. those outcomes and metrics will in turn be studied by the national academy of sciences or other independent evaluators and reported on -- to congress. armed with this information, congress will then be able to assess the success of the programs funded by these grants. 5052, ore support h.r.
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commend it without reservation to my colleagues, and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserve this is ebalance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> at this time it's my pleasure -- mr. goodlatte: it's my pleasure to yield to the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy, for such time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding and thank the gentleman for his work on dealing with the opioid abuse problem. where i come from in kern county, california, over 160 people are sent to the emergency room for opioid overdoses every single year. every single one of those stories is tragic. addictions tear families apart. it uproots communities and dede-privates people of the basic freedom to live the lives they want. an opioid addiction is only
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getting worse in this country. the most recent centers for disease control and prevention data shows 7 americans die every single day from overdose. 78 americans. we need to do something about it. ultimately, as individuals, families, and the communities that are on the frontline in the fight against idiction. but congress can do something too. the federal government can and should support community efforts to stop opioid abuse and help those in recovery. so we have over a dozen bills we will pass this week to target at the center of the open yode -- opioid addiction. the drug trade, prescription abuse, health care, prevention and you name it. but it's not enough to pass laws and start new programs. after all, a lot of government programs sound good, but they don't mean as much if they don't work.
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most programs, if not every government program, are created with the very best intention. but good intentions don't make good government. when congress decided to set up a program using money and resources from the american people, we better be sure that what we're doing is making a difference and actually helping those in need as best we can. that is why congressman steny hoyer and myself drafted the opioid program evaluation act, better known as the open act. because we need to actually help stop the abuse. not just create programs to talk about it. we need to prevent addiction if happening. we need to help those addicted to recover. and we can't afford to waste time and money accomplishing these goals. ultimately we need to use the pow of data to determine if these programs actually work. it's that simple. you see, we live in the age of data.
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innovators around the country and around the world are using data do everything, from ro providing better service to customer, preventing disease and to prevent crimes across this country. we can learn from that. we need to bring data and innovation into government. when we do that, we can ensure government programs work as intended and it's the most effective way possible. that's what this bill will do. it gives health care officials, researchers, and engages citizens the opportunity to see exactly what their government is doing and the use -- and to use the information to make the best ability treatment for those who are addicted to opioids. for months now, i've been working with other members on the innovations initiative. with this exact goal. to modernize government. this is just the latest bill shaping our policies and reforming the way washington works. so i urge the members to join
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and support this bill. i want to thank minority whip for his work. his thoughtfulness, and his research in making this happen. today is a vote for accountability. vote for more than just words. vote to effectively fight the opioid epidemic. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back the balance of his time they have gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i am pleased now to recognize the co-author of this measure, the distinguished minority whip of the congress, mr. hoyer. for as much -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend the ranking member and former chairman of the judiciary committee. in a bipartisan bill perhaps the next chairman.
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thank you to mr. good lat for bringing this to the floor. i thank the majority leader for his comments. i rise in support of this legislation which i'm proud to co-sponsor with the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy. this will help ensure future investments in the fight against opioid addiction are allocated in the most effective way possible. we owe that to the american people and we owe it to the effectiveness of our efforts against this scourge on our country. our bill requires the department of justice and health and human services to develop, as you've heard, metrics by which opioid related grant programs will be evaluated. do they work? are they worth the investment? it will facilitate data collection and analysis in order to determine best practices, what works, and what doesn't. so policymakers can best target resources.
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the opioid ep democrat sick a major public health challenge that requires and demands bipartisan cooperation. and leadership across the branches and offices of our government at the federal, state, and local levels. this crisis is already -- has already quadrupled the rate of overdose deaths between 2000 and 2013. and continues to plague communities across the country. tween 2007 and 2014, 237 people in southern maryland died as a result of prescription opioid overdoses and 287 more died from using heroin. a drug to which those addicted to opioid painkiller often turn when they can no longer access prescription medications. this is a critical problem affecting lives and families the nation which is why
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the congress must take action. and it is doing so in a bipartisan basis. in addition the open act the house is considering a number of bipartisan bill this is week that will likely be adopted as part of an amendment to the legislation passed in the senate, the comprehensive adick and recovery act, named cara. democratic members have been instrumental in writing these bills in such a way that the policies and programs they create have the greatest chance of saving lives and preventing addiction. and the good news is they have worked with their republican colleagues and their republican colleagues have worked with them. these bills reflect the seriousness with which democrats and republicans have been lead on -- leading on this issue and the bipartisan nature of efforts in congress to address the challenge. but it isn't enough to enact these bills and the ones put forward by my republican colleagues.
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we need to ensure that our efforts to combat opioid addiction receive the funding necessary to succeed. that funding is not in this bill. nor is it in some of the other bills that will be considered. it is nice to say that we ought to get something done. but if we do not apply the resources to accomplish the objective, it is empty rhetoric. political posturing. president obama has requested $1.1 billion to fight opioid addiction. but the majority has not yet committed to acting on that request. nor has it committed to funding the bipartisan legislation that we expect to pass this week. the legislation is good. but if we don't give it the resources to be implemented, it will not bring the relief that is needed. so as we work together to take
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these important steps to prevent opioid abuse and promote recovery, congress needs to work together to ensure that these efforts are not left unfunded. i'm certain that there is a way we can work together to pay for them and help our communities fight this epidemic that has destroyed so many lives and devastated communities and amilies across this country. again i want to thank republican leader mr. mccarthy. he and i found opportunities to work together and we believe those have had positive results. he's partnered with me on this opening act and i hope we can keep working together to fund these initiatives and help end is scourge, the cancer of -- cancer of opioid abuse and addiction in our country. if we do so, american wills
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thank us and think we have done a better job, frankly, than they think we are doing. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: we are prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i yield myself se balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: i want to say to my colleagues, i deeply appreciated the observations and perceptions on both sides of the aisle in dealing with this subject. the approach to dealing with opioid abuse should be based on evidence of their effectiveness and ability to save lives. the open act will provide the information necessary to properly make that evaluation.
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accordingly, i sincerely urge my colleagues to support h.r. 5052 and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. good lat: i urge my colleagues to support this good legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the howls suspend the rules and pass the bill h r. 5052 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, -- mr. goodlatte: on that, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking a vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass s. 125, the bulletproof vest partnership grant program re-authorization act of 2015. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. to amend senate 125, title 1 of the omnibus crime control and safe streets act of 1968 to extend the authorization of the bulletproof vest partnership grant program through fiscal year 2020, and for other urposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and tend their remarks and include extraneous materials on s. 125, currently under consideration.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. . goodlatte: since 1999, the bulletproof vest program, or b.v.p., has given $393 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million bulletproof vests. the bulletproof vest grant program is a critical resource for state and local jurisdictions that have proven to save lives. we must be sure that our law enforcement officers are protected from the risks inherent in the job. in 2016 alone, there have been 17 police officers killed by gunfire. in march, a bulletproof vest saved the life of officer andy harris, who was shot when he responded to a shots fired called. he is but one of many officers saved by a bulletproof vest. based on data collected and recorded by the department of justice, protected vests were
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directly attributable to saving the lives of 33 law enforcement and corrections officers in 20 different states in a single year. at least 14 of those life-saving vests had been purchased in part with b.v.p. funds. this bill re-authorizes b.v.p. grants at $25 million per year and extends the authorization through 2020. the bill has the support of all major law enforcement organizations, has been approved by the senate and with this authorization, we will immediately be impacting the safety of our law enforcement officers. law enforcement officers across the united states put their lives on the line every day to protect their communities and fellow citizens. as they continually make sacrifices for us, we must ensure that we provide them with resources to protect their lives as they protect ours. today's approval of legislation re-authorizing a critical bulletproof vest grant program for state and local law
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enforcement officers will save lives. i thank representative lobiondo and senate judiciary committee ranking member leahy for their work on this issue and dedication to our nation's law enforcement officers and urge my colleagues to support this legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you. members of the house, i rise in trong support of s. 125, the bulletproof vest partnership grant program. this bill, which would provide matching grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies so that they can purchase bullet resistant vests for their officers, so important for several reasons. to begin with, s. 125 will
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facilitate the provision of critical protection to law enforcement officers who often risk their lives while serving our communities. while some of the approximately 800,000 law enforcement officers throughout the united states do have some form of bullet resistant armor, far too many of these brave men and women are not afforded the same protection due to state and local budget constraints. since its inception, the bulletproof vest partnership grant program has assisted state and local law enforcement agencies in obtaining the necessary protection equipment to safeguard the lives of their officers. to date, this program has provided more than one million
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officers with life-saving vests. during the past 30 years, bullet resistant vests have saved the lives of more than 3,000 law enforcement officers. the timely -- timeliness of this bill provides a perfect opportunity to acknowledge national police week. right now thousands of law enforcement officers are in washington to honor their fellow officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice. each year, the national law enforcement officers memorial holds a vigil to recognize the newly engraved names of officers who died while serving and protecting the people in our communities. we must do everything in our power to protect those who protect us.
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the bulletproof vest program will help prevent the deaths of officers, and we hope that even fewer names will have to be added to the national law enforcement officers memorial. the bill is critical because it provides up to 50% of the costs for an officer's new armor vest. e officer's department, in turn, pays the cost. unfortunately, small police departments that service areas with less than 100,000 residents receive priority funding under this measure. inally, s. 125 responds to the critical concern that bulletproof vests achieve their intended goals of protecting an officer from life-threatening
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gunshots must meet certain stands. to this end, the bill requires a law enforcement agency to purchase body armor that meets strict performance standards set by the national institute of justice. additionally, the agency must have a policy that encourages officers to wear their vests hile on duty, and the agency must ensure that these vests properly fit female officers as well. for all of these reasons, i strongly support s. 125 and eserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, we are prepared to close, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i am pleased now to recognize the
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distinguished gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. pascrell: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in very strong pport of s. 125, the bulletproof vest partnership grant program re-authorization act. our brave law enforcement officers put their lives in harm's way every day to protect our communities. the least we can do is provide them with the proper safety gear. that is why we must authorize the highly successful bulletproof vest partnership grant program to ensure that all of america's law enforcement officers have access to the life-saving protection they need. my friend, mr. reichert from the coast, and myself pledged when we became co-chairs of public safety in the congress many, many years ago that not
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only do we need more police on the beat but we need to protect them. and there is no question in my mind. we have allowed the bad guys to outarm the good guys. we have to take a look at that, mr. chairman. since it was established in 1999, this program has provided grantees with approximately $247 million for more than one million life-saving vests and over 13,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the country. i did not hear any of those communities turn back the money . obviously they weren't all cities. talk about 13,000 state and local law enforcement agencies. there is a place for the federal government. there are responsibilities we cannot circumvent. and while many officers are
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protected by bullet-resistant armor, there is an alarming number of officers in departments across our country that cannot afford this same protection due to local budget constraints. as long as i'm in the congress, i will continue to do all that i can to work closely with law enforcement officials, not just talking with them and patting them on the backs, so they have adequate resources to protect themselves while patrolling our streets. i urge my colleagues to support swift passage of this bipartisan legislation that will help improve the protection of our law enforcement officials and, mr. speaker, back to you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan is ecognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i
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yield myself as much time as i may consume for my closing remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: first, i'd like to recognize the distinguished enator from vermont, patrick leahy, as being very, very influential in developing the measure before us under discussion now. and in closing, i note that we expect our law enforcement officers to protect those who are unable to protect themselves but to do so, however, we must ensure that these brave men and women are themselves protected. in 2012, for example, armor resistant vests were credited with saving the lives of 33 law enforcement officers in 20
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different states. 14 of those vests were rchased with the help of bulletproof vest partnership program funds. in my home district in michigan, the police partments for highland park, melvindale, wayne county and others have received funds through this important program. approximately he 800,000 law enforcement officers throughout our country do have some form of bullet-resistant armor, far too many of these brave men and women are not afforded the same protection due to state and local budget constraints. and so it's with great pleasure
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and privilege that i assure every member of the house that s. 125 will ensure that this program continues to provide the vitally needed assistance. i urge support for this measure , and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time it's my pleasure to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from texas, judge powe, a member of the judiciary committee -- judge poe, a member of the judiciary committee, and he will close debate on our side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. poe: i thank the speaker and i thank the gentleman from virginia for yielding time. mr. speaker, last month, a few eeks ago, aldon compton was on patrol after midnight.
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he is a deputy constable in houston, texas. he works for the constable's office in precinct 7. constables have all the power in the state of texas laws as other peace officers. he's on routine patrol with his rookie partner, ann glass glow. they make -- glascow. they make a routine traffic stop. some outlaw snuck up behind aldon compton and pulled out a pistol and shot at him six times in the back. some of those bullets made their mark and some of those bullets missed. he owes his life, he says, to the bulletproof vest that he was wearing. constable may walker said he survived because he was wearing
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a vest. you may have never heard of aldon compton, mr. speaker, but he's a peace officer coming from a peace officer family. his wife is a deputy sheriff. his three brothers are all in law enforcement. you his son is a cop in mississippi, i believe. he lives today because of had a bulletproof vest on, and as the ranking member has said and the chairman has said, we owe it to peace officers to protect and when they go out in society and do society's dirty work for us to protect and serve us. . this week is police week, we honor our police officers. those who protect us, those who work the then blue line to protect us from those who would do us harm. this is an appropriate piece of legislation to show peace officers like alden compton and
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all of those throughout the country that we have their back. that we support them and congress is going to do what is necessary to protect them while they protect us. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 125. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: i move that the
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house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2137, the federal law enforcement self-defense and protect action of 2015. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 419, h.r. 2137 a bill to ensure federal law enforcement officers remain able to protect their own safety and the safety of their families during a covered furlough. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on h.r. 2137. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: i yield myself such time as i may consume. as we honor our law enforcement heroers in annual police week, i rise in support of h.r. 2137, the federal law enforcement
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self-defense and protection act of 015. federal law enforcement officers face potentially dangerous situations on a daily basis, whether they are on duty or off duty. accordingly, they are permitted to carry their government-issued firearms on their person even when they are not on duty. however, during the 2013 government shutdown, at least three federal agencies forbade their law enforcement officers from carrying their government-issued firearms or credentials during the furlough this decision potentially endangered these officers' lives by putting them at an unnecessary risk. further, it prevents these -- prevented these highly trained officers from being prepared to a critical incident or threat. this act will ensure that officer are able to defend and protect themselves on and off duty by allowing all covered federal law enforcement officers to continue to carry their
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government-issued firearms during a furlough or government shutdown. allowing our highly trained federal law enforcement officers to carry their firearms in a furlough not only ensure theirs safety and protection but the safety and protection of their families and those around them. as we honor our nation's law enforcement officer this is week, during the annual national police week, let's ensure that the brave men and women of the federal law enforcement community have the capability to defend themselves and others and respond to threatening situations even at a time of furlough. i want to thank the bill's sponsor mr. collins of georgia for his work on this important issue and i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: members of the house, i rise in support of h.r.
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2137, federal law enforcement self-defense and protection act. this bill would authorize federal law enforcement officers to carry their government-issued firearms during government shutdowns and administrative furloughs that result from lapses in appropriations. essentially, measure would help ensure that those who protect us are able to continue to do so even during an official furlough. the ability of our federal law enforcement officers to respond to critical incidents should not be impeded, particularly when violent crimes are committed in their presence. h.r. 213 does not expand federal law enforcement officers'
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authority to carry firearms. the bill merely authorizes these officers to continue to carry their federally issued firearms fazz a furlough had not occurred. this legislation recognizes the very real threat of harm that many of our officers, particularly special agents, face on a regular basis. that does not simply disappear because of a government shutdown. in 2012, for example, more than 1,00 federal law enforcement fficials were assaulted and of ose, approximately 200 sustained serious injuries. even when on duty, the federal law enforcement officers remain
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the target of assault. for example, 27 law enforcement officers were killed while off duty between 2011 to 2014. although this legislation only concerns federal officers, i want to take a moment to recognize the sacrifice of the state, local, and federal officers who gave their lives while serving our communities. this week, law enforce. officers throughout the united states come to washington to show their support for our fallen officers during national police week. in the spirit of national police week, it is vitally important our federal officers are able to protect people in our
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communities themselves and their familieses me -- family members from the continuing threats they encounter. given the fact that h.r. 2137 facilitates this critical goal, i am eager to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. good lat: at this time it's my pleasure to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins a member of the judiciary committee and the chief sponsor of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. collins: i appreciate the opportunity to rise in support of h.r. 2137, the federal law enforcement and delf defense protection act. i'd like to thank chairman good lat and ranking member conyers for their support of this legislation and their commitment to getting it to the floor today. with their support it passed the judiciary committee on the a voice vote.
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i want to thank congresswoman gabard of hawaii, congressman pascrell of new jersey for joining me in introducing this and their strong support of the bill and i want to thank senator too many mi for introducing the companion bill in the senate. i'm glad to see this moving forward. it is particularly fitting we consider this bill this week during police week. thousands of law enforcement officers are here from all over the country to commemorate their partners who have fallen in the line of duty and recognize their sacrifices and contributions and i want to thank them for their service. this is also a special week for this congressman from the ninth cricket of georgia because i'm a proud son of a georgia state trooper who i know firsthand how hard they work, the sacrifices they make, the time away from their family, to make sure that my brother and i had all the chances at life that they had and i just wanted to thank him because i know when he was off
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duty as i was growing up, he was no less concerned about proteching the community and the dangers associated with his job didn't stop because he came home to us. i think this holds true for all law enforcement officers. our law enforcement officers are highly trained and well aware of the responsibilities associated with their job. in light of that training federal law enforcement officers are typecally allowed to carry their firearms 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. it seems like common sense. they don't cease to be officers when they're off duty. crime doesn't stop because an officer isn't working a particular day. the federal law enforcement self-defense and protection act recognizes that and takes important steps to ensure that law enforcement officers can bet brother tect themselves. in 2013, the federal government shut down at least three federal agencies determined that the anti-deficiency act required them to forbid their agency-issued firearms or their personal firearms recognized by
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the agency that means 1,800 officers disarred. there are reports that at least one disarmed officer was attacked. fortunately they was sable -- she was able to get away unharmed but it highlights the danger officers face even while off duty. 4,200 alone, more than officers were attacked. from 2008 to 2011 more than 8,500 officers were assaulted. and in the last three years 27 officers have been killed while off duty. we should ensure that the policies are clear and consistent. however the reports that officers were disarmed inconsistently at other agencies and it is clear that the policies vary agency to agency of this level of inconsistency does not make sense and just as a policy to disarm officers doesn't make sense. h.r. 137 ensures that the clear
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-- that it is clear that the federal law enforcement officers can carry their weapons in the lapse of appropriation or administrative furlough. they retain toe the right to carry their government-issued firearm for personal protection or to respond to a critical incident. it does not protect those on administrative leave or those who have lost the right to carry. it does not expand firearm carry authority to those who do not possess it. but it does ensure there's a consistent policy for those officers who are able to carry and are furloughed through no fault of their own. the legislation is narrowly tailored but has a large impact. h r. 2137 recognizes that federal officers can be confronted by a job-related threat whether on duty or off and recognizes that officers need to protect themselves, their families and their communs. this bill is by a bipartisan agreement, protecting our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to protect it making sure that it is a priority. his bill is supported by the
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fraternal order of police and national police organization. this is a sign of the recognition that we must do everything in our power to ensure that law enforcement officers have access to tools they need to protect themselves and the public and also speaking as a state trooper's kid, it reminds me that my dad in all that he did new york city 30-plus year he is worked, he was on duty when he wasn't on duty. this is a recognition that all of our officers carry that same trust and we want to give them the tools to do what they need to do. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker i'm pleased to recognize a senior member of the judiciary, ms. jackson lee, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. ms. jackson lee: thank you. i want to thank the author of this legislation and as well the authors of the legislation and the previous speaker, my friend, for his articulation of this
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bill and to all the members that are on the floor joining in supporting h.r. 2137 the federal law enforcement self-defense and protection act of 2015. mr. conyers, the ranking member, thank you for yielding to me and let me express my recognition and appreciation of the thousands of families that will come to honor those beliefs who -- those police who have fallen in duty, many of them, their loved ones, we honor law enforcement officers who gai their lives in the line of duty. the loss of one offer's life is one too many, considering the myriad of dangers officers face, we must ensure they have the appropriate authority to protect our communities and themselves. i support this legislation because it will make et clear that the brave federal law enforcement officers who protect us will not be forced to lock away their government-issued firearms in the event of official furloughs such as the occasioned by a government shutdown. our federal law enforcement officers must be prepared to respond to numerous threats faced each day by our country and this bill will help them do
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so without expanding any existing authorities or creating new ones. this bill ensures our federal law enforcement agencies uniformly provide our special agents and other law enforcement officers with the necessary support to respond to critical incidents. our officers are highly trained and understand the importance associated with possessing government-issued weapons. let me conclude my remarks by again expressing my appreciation to the authors and chairman and ranking member of the full committee and i look forward as we bhufe forward on legislation such as the law enforcement integrity act. we want to continue to give our police officers the skills and tools to b -- to be able to do the work they love and that is protecting the men and women of this nation, again, i offer my appreciation and respect and sympathy as we honor those who have fallen in duty to all of their families. i ask support for the h.r. 2137. d

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