tv U.S. House of Representatives Morning Hour CSPAN September 8, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
i have to leave it there. the house is about to gavel in here. we bring you up to capitol hill for live coverage here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, september 8, 2016. i hereby appoint the honorable carl fleischmann to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2016, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by
the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip but in o five minutes no event shall debate continue eyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. lance, for five minutes. mr. lance: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today as we approach the somber anniversary of the attacks of september 11, 2001, to honor the memory of the innocent people who perished on that terrible day and extend our continued prayers and
sympathy to their loved ones. for 15 years i have stood at fire houses and schools, churches and veterans halls, heard the stories of bravery and heroism from that morning that forever changed america. new jersey lost more than 700 residents in the attacks, 81 from communities i represent here in congress. each personal story is remarkable in its own way, offering a different memory or perspective on the events of eptember 11. in hearing stories from that day, americans relive that morning, recalling where they were when they heard the news of the planes that struck the worrell trade center, the sickening realization that our nation was -- world trade center, the sickening
realization that our nation was under attack, at the pentagon and on a plane over shanksville, pennsylvania. many of these stories are not new but need to be retold as a younger generation comes of age, that their neighbors, innocent people in their communities were targeted in an act of war upon this nation and from such heinous acts came brave first responders, courageously initiating rescues, knowing their lives were in great danger. friends and co-workers helping each other to safety, and many young americans who then answered a call to service to protect and defend the united states. it is our duty to instill in the generations that follow respect and honor for the lives lost that terrible day and the lives lost in defense of our nation in the years that have followed.
and it is our duty here in congress to protect this nation , to provide for the common defense and vividly to recall the pain and a wounded nation keep us o we can safe. we have proven steadfast in the commitment to our values. our freedom and liberty have been protected by brave men and women who selflessly answered the call of service by volunteering for military service. no matter the challenges we face, we must remember our nation is truly blessed. i ask all americans today to pause and reflect on the tragedy of september 11, 2001. please pray for the victims and honor their memory. please pay tribute to the men
and women who serve and defend us today against the dangers we still face. may god bless them and may god continue to bless the united states of america. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. i heard the industrial arts building in crown point, indiana. on this particular sunny afternoon in july, the enormous building was playing host to the gun and knife show. the building, which sits on the lake county fair grounds, plays host to garden shows, home improvement and craft vendors, but on this day, the 90-year-old brick building was featuring products that were an
altogether different nature. as i entered the gun shows, visitors carrying weapons had to demonstrate to security that their guns were not loaded. while those not carrying could enter without screening. i paid my $5 entry and was asked if i resided in indiana. being an illinois resident i answered no and i received a hand stamp depicting i lived out of state. i saw kids munching on hotdogs. there were several hundred people in attendance. mostly white, middle-aged men and some women as well. and judging by the license plate, there were a healthy number of gun enthusiasts from my home state of illinois. they discussed options for their purchase. they would ask, chrome lined or stainless steel barrel? what about a free float rail? possibilities seem endless as people wandered among dozens of tables.
sellers were offering everything from high volume magazines and sophisticated cope systems to detachable bipods. prices for assault weapons typically range from $600 to $2,500, including a bipod and two drum magazines, each capable of holding 100 rounds. one dealer explained that the wide variation in pricing depended on the bells and whistles and the markup. not ever every weapon was particularly pricey. one vendor, who seemed eager to reduce inventory, marked down one of his assault rifles to under $400. there were tables upon tables of handguns for sale as well as a folding single shot .22 caliber rifle, small enough to put in a backpack for under $200. still, other vendors helped you customize your purchase on the spot. you could choose from dozens of barrel lengths and other
components. there was plenty of ammo to purchase. and prices started as low as $10 for a box of 50. boxes of ammunition with similar rounds -- number of rounds for many assault rifles cost as little as $20. another dealer offered high-capacity 50-round magazines for a gun show special, one for $20 or three for $55. there was a lot of gear aimed towards women with pink, body armored for women and purses designed for conceal carry. even local charities got on the scene with an ar-15 being auctioned off to benefit the marine corps league. all you had to do to be included was buy a $1 raffle ticket, give your first name and phone number. it was a surreal atmosphere within the midst of recent
tragedies. it made me wonder if those in attendance were either oblivious or all too aware of those heartbreaking headlines. the gun show returns this month to crown point. given the number of deadly weapons on the streets of my hometown of chicago, i think i'll wait for the next home improvement show before making a return trip. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinzinger, for five minutes. mr. kinzinger: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i want to tell you a story. a little boy named alid, age 10, his little brother was elrom. it was shared across the internet worldwide two weeks ago. he was a really good big brother. loved to play outside. he was still at that age when kids really get to dream big.
imagine their future. and i can only imagine the life that ali look forward to. maybe he wanted to be a police officer. maybe he wanted to be a teacher or a doctor. i really can't say for certain because tragically his life was cut short by an air strike. alis a death is an all-too-common fate for syria's men, women and children. these are people who lost their chance of life from the brutality of bashar al assad and vladimir putin. of the over 500,000 dead syrians, more than 50,000 are syrian children who have been killed since the evil dictator, bash aral assad, turned against -- bash ar al assad, turned against -- bashar al assad turned against his own children in 2011. assad and russia and their
iranian backers are still barrel bombing and launching chemical weapons against civilian targets. on a daily basis we hear that syrian and russian fighter planes launch attacks on medical facilities and hospitals across the country. when these facilities are bombed, it's the children who suffer. in fact, the regime's belief is, don't target necessarily military assets because when you target innocent civilians you inflict more collective pain on the population of syria and in assad's estimation, that brings the war closer to an end. the end of july, a maternity hospital was bombed. a recent story in "the new yorker" highlighted the horror that comes with these bombings. a we leapto, -- in aleppo, syrian air strike cut off power to the hospital. who's doing this and why? bashar al assad continued the brutality from his father.
his father, who had one goal and that is to keep power. power's a crazy motivator for some people. the people of syria in 2011 decided they wanted some freedom. like is humanity's right. and they stood up and protested peacefully against assad. what did assad do? did he respond by saying, well, let's talk and maybe find a way to have an outlet for your interests or your concerns? no. assad rolled the tanks. assad said he would kill his opposition. and what ensued after that was the inc. bation of a group we know today as -- incubation of a group we know today as isis, a civil war in syria that is spreading all over the middle east, a massive refugee crisis around the world. i hear some people in political conversations today express
admiration for vladimir putin. they express admiration for vladimir putin's strength as if oppressing and killing people is something to be proud of. that doesn't show strength. that shows weakness. mr. speaker, vladimir putin and russia are tearing europe apart. vladimir putin and russia are delivering bombs on medical facilities, on children in syria. they're no ally of ours. sometimes the enemy of our enemy is still our enemy. mr. speaker, i hear people sometimes say that dictatorships work in the middle east. sometimes they say that this introduction of freedom has somehow been terrible for people that just aren't ready for it. and i agree. the introduction of freedom to a society that's not used to it can sometimes be very messy and sometimes in the course of looking back over 20 years of history where we see the
success, that happened in our own founding. we went through a civil war. we went through a bloody revolution. we went through a time where we kept an entire race in chains. but mr. speaker, when people , that dictatorships work no, they don't. this kid, i always wonder what's going through his mind. probably not much because he was stunned at the bomb that landed on his house and killed his brother. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. price, for five minutes. mr. price: mr. speaker, we often hear from our constituents who are frustrated by congress' failure to act on many of the most pressing issues facing our country.
seven weeks ago, as if we were determined to confirm this indictment, congress adjourned for summer recess with a long list of critical unfinished business. we came nowhere near finishing our appropriations bills, leaving open the question of whether we can even keep the government open past september 30. we failed to pass the most rudimentry gun violence measures, leaving the tragedies of san bernardino and orlando unaddressed. . then there was zika, perhaps the most incredible failure of all. with a epidemic bearing down on us, an epidemic with disastrous human consequences, but with a prescribed course of action that could do much to prevent and mitigate the catastrophe, still congress refused to act. now we're back in session facing day-to-day headlines about the dangers posed by zekea. the number of zika travel related cases in the
continental u.s. is increasing. the number of pregnant women infected with zika is growing. and the number of babies being born or worse, lost, with microcephaly or other zika related complications is rising. increasing numbers of mosquito-borne cases have been reported in puerto rico and south florida. i learned this week that five service members and retirees from fort bragg in north carolina are being treated for zika. it's been more than six months since the president requested an emergency supplemental appropriation of $1.9 billion from congress to fund zika preparedness, response, and prevention, as well as critical research. the request was carefully and comprehensively documented and justified. in the meantime, our local, state, and federal public health agencies and authorities have continued to shift funds and reorder
priorities in an attempt to get a handle on this public health emergency. indeed, our own universities, other research centers, have been shifting money around for months as i learned at a conference i helped organize in north carolina on june 7. researchers testified there as to the great promise of the work they are doing. but also as to the great efforts they have been required to make in the face of inadequate and uncertain funding. to ensure that the work continues. i left that conference impressed and encouraged by the work that was going on, but i also left chagrined and angered at the way congress under republican leadership with no serious attempt at bipartisan cooperation. congress is letting these dedicated researchers and the entire country down. the house and senate republican conference report contains only $1.1 billion of the requested funds. but the larger problem is that it rubs other critical
public health priorities. notably ebola, but also disaster preparedness in order to satisfy republican budget ideologues. adding insult to injury, the republican conference report also includes several misguided and dangerous policy riders. these poison pills would severely limit access to contraceptives in puerto rico. where thousands of cases of zika have been recorded. would take yet another shot at planned parenthood and would roll back certain clean water regulations, ostensibly to allow for the increase of spraying of pesticides. i recently met with the director of the national institute of allergic and infectious diseases who explained the incredible lengths that n.i.h. and c.d.c. have gone to in order to order -- in order to protect the health of the american people. they have desperately cobbled together a budget.
most recently, taking money even from research, even from vital research into cancer, alzheimer's, heart disease, and other diseases. and despite such extraordinary efforts, the c.d.c. and n.i.h. will run out of money after october 1. mr. speaker, it is imperative that we honor the president's request of $1.9 illion in a bill free of destructive offsets and ideological riders. it's crucial that congress take action for the pregnant women in their first try mesters -- try midwesters who are scared to leave their homes. for a children born with range of disabilities of which microcephaly is only the worst. for the service men and women stationed across the globe who are at particular risk. and for the 25% of puerto rico's population who will potentially contract this disease. we can and we must as a
country do better than this. let's do the right thing for our constituents, our contry, and for the rest of the world by finally funding this public health emergency. we have long since run out of excuses. we can wait no longer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair wreck thieses -- recognizes the gentleman from alabama, mr. brooks, for five minutes. mr. speaker, never has an american president been so willing to shoot first and ask questions later when a police officer uses deadly force in self-defense or to protect innocent lives. never in american history has a president's legacy been a consistent disregard for the rule of law. time after time after police shootings of african-americans the obama administration's knee-jerk racially divisive strategy
has been to paint a disturbingly false image of racial bias in police shootings that conflicts with the recent 2016 harvard university study that found that police are 24% less likely, less likely to fire upon african-americans than caucasian americans. for emphasis let me repeat that. a 2016 harvard university study by african-american professor roland fryar, found that police fire upon african-americans 24% less often than police fire upon caucasian americans. on july 7, well before the facts of two police shootings of african-americans were known, president obama again stoked racial prejudice flames by claiming that, quote, black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents, end quote. president obama even defended subsequent sometimes violent protests as quote exhe expressions of
outrage, end quote. shortly after the obama administration attacked the motives of america's law enforcement officers and perhaps helped inspire even more violence against police, a dallas sniper gunned down five police officers and injured many others during a black lives matter protest. the shooter justified his murders by stating that he was upset by police shootings, referenced black lives matter, and stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers. three days later after these horrific murders of police officers, president obama reiterated his politically motivated, racial division narrative, by blaming the attacks in part on a racial prejudice problem that police must fix because, quote, that is what's going to ultimately help make the job of being a cop a lot safer, end quote. showing great chutzpah at the dallas memorial ceremony for the slain officers,
obama again publicly blamed police racial bias as a contributing cause of police assassination. mr. speaker, when tearful mericans seek so lace -- solace, the obama administration dishes out racism and anti-police profiling that helps inspire even more violence against police. the result of the obama administration's politics of racial division and hatred so far this year as of september 2, firearms related deaths of american law enforcement officers are up 56%. the obama administration's relationship with police has deteriorated so badly that william johnson, the executive director of the national association of police organizations, accuses barack obama of engaging in a, quote, war on police, end quote. adding that the obama administration's "continued
appeasement at the federal level with the department of justice, their appeasement of violent criminals, their refusal to condemn movements like black lives matter, actively calling for the death of police officers, that type of thing, all the while blaming police for the problems in this country has led directly to the climate that has made dallas possible." mr. speaker, no one condones illegal shootings by police. police who illegally use excessive force should be and are prosecuted criminally and civilly to the fullest extent of the law. but the obama administration repeatedly pours gasoline on an open fire, rushing to anti-police judgment before the facts are known, and justice had thereby helping to incite murders and assassinations of american police who dedicate their lives to our protection. the solution, mr. speaker, is generating more respect for law and order and those
who enforce it. that solution is absent in obama administration announcements. mr. speaker, i want the public to know that i stand with the rule of law. i stand with america's brave police officers who protect the rights and lives of all americans, and i here and now publicly thank america's law enforcement officers for risking their lives to protect law-abiding americans from crime and anarchy. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from oregon, ms. bonamici, for five minutes. ms. bonamici: thank you, mr. speaker. when i traveled around northwest oregon last month, from town hall meetings to the grocery store, i spoke with oregonians about the challenges they are facing, what keeps them up at night? time after time the conversation turned to the cost of higher education.
it's likely we have all spoken with parents trying to make ends meet who can't save for their young children's education and recent graduates who are worried about finding jobs that will cover their looming student loan payments. but we also hear from too many people who are trying to balance their current student loan debt with childcare, housing, and other expenses. many are getting by, but one month of unexpected unemployment or an inness could set them back years. and, unfortunately, for too many the threat of default is already a reality. currently more than eight million student loan borrowers are in default on their educational debt. and the number is growing. these are hardworking americans, mothers, fathers, veterans, nurses, teachers, and young people who are trying to improve their lives but have been pulled into financial turmoil. the eight million people in default that's a group roughly twice the size of the population of oregon,
are at risk of financial ruin. their tax refunds and social security benefits may be withheld, their wages may be garnished, they can face legal action, and with damaged credit, borrowing for a home, a car, or a business, or even reantrenting an apartment can be an impossible task. what can congress do for those who are struggling to make their student loan payments? the answer is simple. today i am pleased to introduce legislation with my friend and colleague from pennsylvania, congressman ryan costello. our bill, the streamlining income driven manageable payments on loans for education, or simple act, makes it easier for millions of at-risk student loan borrowers to access protection that is are already available under the law. income driven repayment plans allow borrowers to make loan payments based on how much they earn. so in other words, what they can afford. as a result, they are much less likely than other borrowers to default on their debt.
that's good for the borrower, their families, and local economy. unfortunately, too many at-risk borrowers don't know about these plans or they are unable to navigate the pli kated application for enrolling -- complicated application for enrolling so they don't receive the benefit of lower payments. in fact, 70% of borrowers in default from the government's largest student loan program, the direct loan program, would have qualified for lower payments. even if borrowers enroll in income driven repayment, they must complete a burdensome process each year to update their income information. in one study more than half the borrowers in income driven repayment plans did recertify their income on time, and the payments can spike and push the borrower toward delinquency and default. in short, the government makes it unnecessarily difficult for recertify their ie weighed down by student debt to get the help the law already affords them. our bipartisan simple act stream liens the process and removes barriers that
prevent borrowers from benefiting from income driven repayment. the bill uses borrowers' existing income data to automatically provide at-risk borrowers, existing income data -- the bill uses borrowers' existing income data to automatically provide at-risk borrowers at risk of default on lower payments. and the bill provide for automatic updates of borrower's income information each year so they continue to pay what they can afford. as college costs continue to cries and more students leave school with increasing levels of debt, it's clear that this house needs to act to make higher education more affordable for everyone. the simple act is part of that broader effort, it works by reaching at-risk borrowers, simply filing the process to get them into a plan with repayment based on income and helping them keep their payments affordable and avoid default. i thank mr. costello for his partnership on this bill and urge all of my colleagues to
join us in supporting this legislation. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. jolly, for five minutes. . mr. jolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to celebrate the life and legacy of an american patriot, a patriot who served his country with honor and distinction before passing away last month in a boating accident at only 35 years old. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor chief warrant officer dallas knox of treasure island, florida. chief knox faithfully served his country as a blackhawk meld vack helicopter pilot in the u.s. army and army reserves. chief knox had multiple deployments, including tours in afghanistan, iraq and kosovo. chief knox also served as a blackhawk instructor pilot. having attended his memorial
service, his colleagues each spoke that dallas was one of the most gifted pilots they ever served with, a man of bravery, valor, always thoughtful and always giving to others. the medals knox earned for his service speaks volumes about his dedication and commitment to the country he so loved. knox was awarded the meritorious service medal, the army commendation medal, the afghanistan campaign medal with bronze service star, the iraq campaign medal with bronze service star and the global war on terrorism service medal, mong so many other awards. described by his family as selfless, compassionate, loving and full of life, chief knox is survived by his mother, carol, is father, richard, sister kirsten, as well as his loving nieces and nephews. may god bless chief warrant
officer dallas knox, his family and his friends, and may god bless the country chief knox so proudly fought for, the united states of america. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. kelly, for five minutes. ms. kelly: thank you, mr. speaker. on july 14, i stood in this very spot to express my disappointment that my republican colleagues and leadership showed both callusness by failing to call up a single commonsense gun violence measure before leaving town for 53 days. i rise today, not just disappointed, instead, i am ashamed, i am appalled. republicans adjourned for an historic seven-week recess from d.c. without fulfilling the duty to the american people, and once again our most vulnerable communities paid the price. i am disappointed but i am not defeated. so i rise today to remind my
colleagues of what seven weeks of republican inaction looks like. in my district in chicago, gun violence claimed the lives of 90 people and injured 375 more in august alone. this labor day weekend, chicago passed 500 homicides for the year, the first time we croshed this threshold in -- crossed this threshold in three decades. congressional inaction meant that 4,100 families lost a loved one to gun violence. in 2016, gun violence has taken the lives of 10,000. 10,000 people killed by guns in less than nine months. 10,000. when will this number be high enough for us to take action? who has to die for us to have the courage to pass commonsense gun legislation? why does democrats sitting in protest outrage republicans for 10,000 deaths merits no
response? heard the majority to admonish democrats speaking the truth. but 10,000 lives lost gets nothing. no votes and seven weeks of inaction. in this d.c. bubble, it's easy to forget that 10,000 just isn't a number. there are 10,000 mothers, fathers, sons and daughters behind each gun death is a family who once celebrated a life but now mourn the loss of a loved one. behind each gun death, there's a fearful mother now too afraid to let her children play outside. behind each gun death, another small business owner debates closing up shop for good. while it's no secret that gun violence affects all communities across our nation, it is our most underserved neighborhoods that are the most devastated. congressional inaction allows the most vulnerable in our nation to continue to suffer. so i urge my colleagues, let's use this time in september wisely. let's work together and pass
legislation that will reduce gun violence in our communities. i'm not just talking about a need to pass commonsense measures that keeps guns out of the hands of those seeking to do harm. i'm talking about a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of this gun violence epidemic. too often we boil this down -- this complex problem to talking points about comprehensive background checks, closing loopholes and improving mental health services when in reality it's also about economic opportunity, building trust between the community and law enforcement as well as passing these commonsense gun violence measures. in april, i launched the urban progress or up initiative to address these root causes of gun violence. up partners with local community leaders, activists, business leaders and elected officials to promote economic opportunity, improve community policing and build on commonsense gun violence prevention strategies. with the input from the up initiative partners and many of
my colleagues here in the house, i introduced the urban progress act, a bill to ensure the federal government remains committed to reducing the gun violence ravaging our communities. my bill would reinvest in our economically underserved communities, takes steps to restore the vital trust between law enforcement officers and the community and will keep guns out of the hands of those seeking to do harm. mr. speaker, let's talk about these issues in my bill. let's debate them. let's vote on them. i urge my colleagues to listen to the american people. lastly, i am outraged that anyone would accuse the president of starting any type of racial issue. the president has spoken about gun violence prevention and preventing cops from getting killed and preventing innocent people from getting killed also. so i'm outraged to hear these statements. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. murphy, for five minutes.
mr. murphy: thank you, mr. speaker. since september 1, the first day of national suicide prevention month, 944 americans have died by suicide, including 160 veterans. since the passage of h.r. 2646, the mental health reform act in the house of representatives in july, 7,552 americans have died from suicide, including 1,280 veterans. i had the honor of meeting the parents of sergeant daniel sommers who served bravely in operation iraqi freedom. june 13, 2013, daniel took his own life after suffering from ptsd and traumatic brain injury. his family is heart broken. he left a letter for his family before he took his own life, and i would like to share his words. he wrote -- i am sorry that it has come to this. the fact is for as long as i can remember my motivation for getting up every day has been so that you would not have to
bury me. as things have continued to get worse, it has become clear that this alone is not a sufficient reason to carry on. the fact is i am not getting better. i'm not going to get any better and i will most certainly deteriorate further as time goes on. from a logical standpoint it is better to end things quickly and let any repercussions to happen in the short term. i have been trying to hang on for more than a decade. each day is a testament to which i cared. suffering unspeakable horror as quietly as possible so you could feel as though i was still here for you. in truth, i was nothing more than a prop, filling space so my absence would not be noted. in truth, i've already been absent for a long, long time. my body has become nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems. it is nothing short of torture. my mind is a wasteland filled with visions of incredible
horror, anxiety. is it any wonder that the latest figures showed 22 veterans killing themselves each day, more veterans than children who were killed at sandy hook every single day. where are the huge policy initiatives? well, mr. speaker, this is a letter that did not have to -- did not have to be written. i can't imagine the grief of parents of daniel, but i also know they want to spare other parents the same kind of grief. i continue to practice psychology at walter reed national military medical center at bethesda. i work with veterans like daniel who suffer from ptsd and traumatic brain injury. i have seen with treatment they can and do get better. when they come home they and their families deserve better care, yet we don't have enough hospital beds. half the counties in america don't have no psychiatrists or psychologist. and with every 1,000 people with an addiction disorder, only six get evidence-based
care. and they are blocked by massive bureaucracy. so we can read more sad letters like daniel's or we can act. the house answered that call on july 6, 2016, when we passed h.r. 2646, the helping families in mental health crisis act, but it only works and only gives help if it is signed into law. i don't want any more moments of silence for daniel or the thousands of other veterans or citizens who have died by suicide. we don't need more moments of silence. we need times of action. those moments of silence are a slap in the face to the mothers and fathers who struggle to get help for their sons and daughters. so i ask, how can the senate even contemplate the talk of going home before this is passed with this death toll climbing? even when they have the solution in their hands. indecision and politics are overruling compassion and common sense. what about veterans like daniel for whom help never came?
on behalf of those silent voices, i call upon the senate to take action and pass h.r. 2646 before they go home at the end of september. we must have treatment before tragedy. we must provide mental health support. after all, 90% of suicide deaths have a occurring mental illness. otherwise, what will we tell those family members who find the next suicide note, that when there was a chance to act congress went home? these veterans will never go home. these thousands of other people who committed suicide, nonveterans, will never go home again. and the senate should not go home again in september without passing h.r. 2646. remember, where there is help there is hope. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. it is a pleasure for me to follow my good friend, dr.
murphy, on the floor. i appreciate his tireless efforts in terms of mental health, in terms of suicide prevention. i was pleased this week to introduce with him legislation to recognize september as national suicide prevention month. we have this ritual of designating certain days, weeks and months in honor of both issues that are momentum, sometimes arcane, but this one is existential. we are looking at a time perhaps of great division in congress but in american society suicide prevention ought to be a great unifire. we lose five lives every hour to a cause that is treatable and preventable. the nature of the suicide epidemic, which has been increasing every year for the last decade, has the power to unite and bring people together to make a difference. i applaud him for the work on the mental health legislation.
i hope that we are all encouraged and embolden as particularly it relates to our veterans and his work there is commendable. we are losing almost a veteran an hour to suicide. it's also the second leading cause of death among young eople ages 10 to 34, and yet people who commit suicide almost always show symptoms that could be diagnosed and treated. in addition to the tragic disruption on individuals and family, it's estimated suicide results have $44 billion in combined economic and work cost. it is a national crisis and a tragedy that's touched almost every family i know. the area of suicide prevention is one of shared passions that can contribute to solutions. for mental health
professionals, it is rich with possibilities. if you're concerned about gun violence, this is an area of opportunity. those who attempt suicide by firearm are successful about 85% of the time. drug and alcohol abuse is a factor in many cases due to the underlying substance abuse or issues individual actions are clouded by the influence by drug or challenge when suicide is attempted. there's a role for each and every one of us to play. as advocates, as individuals for treatment and suicide prevention, counseling, recovery, to support the grief of the family members left behind, i'm excited about the network of organizations across the country often with major volunteer input who are making a difference. i visited one recently in my community, lines for life, that has volunteers manning 24-hour phone lines to help people in a time of crisis. it's overseen by licensed
clinicians. they handle this one volunteer-driven organization nearly 55,000 calls offering immediate assistance to people who want to overcome substance abuse, prevent suicide and find treatment for happier, more productive lives. mr. speaker, i'm hopeful that e will in fact designate suicide prevention month, september, but that every month will be suicide prevention month and that we will all rededicate ourselves to combating this epidemic that touches lives in every one of our communities. . thapping you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. costello, for five minutes. mr. costello: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the streamlining income driven
manageable payments on loans for education act, or more simply, the simple act. i first want to thank congresswoman suzanne bonamici for her leadership and hard work on this bill, which i'm proud to introduce with her today. education is an area where we should be focused on bipartisan solutions. every pennsylvanian, indeed, every american deserves the opportunity to succeed and that path to success starts with education. many of my constituents have expressed concerns about the cost of a college education. including making payments on their student loans after they graduate. the challenge of how to responsibly manage student debt makes this bill so important. the simple act would assist millions of americans who carry student loan debt. many young people, student loan debt is the first type of debt they incur, but it can leave them unable to
invest in their future despite being employed and working hard. consider that borrowers who miss payments may face lifelong ramification that is make it more expensive and in some cases prohibitive to rent an apartment or purchase a home or a car. our bill would assist borrowers on the verge of default by notifying them of more affordable repayment plans. the simple act establishes processes to automatically enroll severely deling one minute borrowers in income driven repayment plans with low monthly payments. the legislation also automates the annual process for updating income information while enrolled in these plans, ensuring that borrowers continue to make affordable payments. this measure uses the information borrowers already have on file at the internal revenue service to eliminate the obstacles to
enrolling in an affordable repayment plan and lets borrowers benefit from lower monthly payments. but even those enrolled in affordable repayment plans face the paperwork hassle of a complicated process of having to annually recertify their income to keep their low payment. and failure to promptly recertify can, as i mentioned, result in substantial economic detriment. that is again, why our legislation will responsibly relieve some of that burden by automatically updating a borrower's income. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. it will assist borrowers in getting back on track and in turn reduce the negative impact of a missed loan payment. mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize 95 years of exemplary service to the 14,000 residents of limerick township, montgomery county.
organized in 1921, chartered in 1927, it's now -- its now 250 members and 35 active firefighters are doing a tremendous job in keeping limerick township say. dedicating thousands of hours every year. i want to thank the company president and all members of the limerick township fire department for the great work that they do. wish them the very best for the next 95 years of service to the limerick township fire company. and beyond. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. speier, for five minutes. ms. speier: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, the minority has for many months now begged
and pleaded to have a bill come to this floor for a vote on gun violence prevention. we have even had a sit-in. but all my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are willing to do is have moments of silence and then be silent. as the only moments of silence are for those names that are in the headline. that's not good enough. all deaths matter. and all the deaths and mass shootings in the month of july deserve to be recognized by all of us. and so as i have done each month since the beginning of this year i will now read the names of all those who were killed in mass shootings in the month of july. alex friedman, 28, and marcus cow, also 28, were killed on july 4 in chattanooga. amanda car donnea, 45, and naomi, 35, were killed on
july 4 in phoenix. charles jackson, 28, and jamal, 26, and tucker 19 were killed at a fourth of july block party in houston, texas. it the brother was also shot and killed this summer. police said both brothers were innocent bystanders. demetrius grant, 39, was killed at a party on july 5 in l.a. jeffrey adams, 52 was killed by his neighbor on july 5 in georgia. jennifer, 44, was killed by a mass shooter while driving on july 7 in bristol, tennessee. five dallas police officers, brent thompson, patrick, michael, michael smith, and loren ahern were killed in the line of duty on july 7 in dallas, texas. domingo rodriguez was killed in shreveport, louisiana. joseph an gorea, 61, and ron, 60, both court bay
lives were killed by an escaping suspect on july 11 in st. joseph, michigan. nicaro and marie were killed by the ex-boyfriend on july 13 in st. louis, movement. jakari was a public school principal beloved by the community. eric, 22, was killed july 14 in akron, ohio, while at a vigil for another gun violence victim. three unidentified people were killed at a home in crosby, texas. joseph lamar, 38, janelle, 43, and zachary, 36 were killed by their friend on july 15 in woodland, washington. miguel, 21 was killed when gunmen opened fire on the house party next door on july 16 in bakersfield, california. three police officers, matthew, and brad, and montero were killed in the line of duty on july 17, in
baton rouge, louisiana. edward james long, 49, was killed on july 17 in houston, texas, while standing outside a wall green. bobby and ricky were killed on july 23 at a nightclub in cincinnati, ohio. rodriguez, 21, her 3-year-old son, and paula, were killed by erica's boyfriend on july 22nd in texas. rodriguez, 21, kaliff was killed by his brother in a bar in hamilton, ohio. sean, 14, and self, 18, were killed outside an under18 club on july 25 in fort myers, florida. onzel childs, 25, killed july 28 at a block party in chicago, illinois. jessica, 16, witnessed the shooting and suffered an asthma attack that killed her. ee von, 23, was killed on july 28 in baltimore,
maryland. anna, jake, and jordan all 19 were killed on july 30 in washington when anna's ex-boyfriend showed up at the house party with an ar-15. carol, 71, her son, 50, and her daughter 45 were killed by their husband and father on july 30 in movement. it dekaya 39 and her children were killed by her boyfriend on july 31 in miami-dade county, florida. a few words about my constituent, tamika, 30, who was killed on july 31 in austin, texas. she was from san carlos and worked as a school bus driver for sequoia union high school district. she was visiting with her wife's family in austin when a gunman opened fire as she exited a doughnut shop. she died in her wife's arms. they had only been married for three months. after her death, her wife said, quote, we just wanted
to live a normal life an everyday life and raise a family, be good moms, and do it together. now we don't get to do anything. so many of these people killed at parties on the walks and their homes by people who were supposed to love them. don't get to do any of that. deaths matter, all deaths matter. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. curbelo, for five minutes. -- elo: mr. curbelo: i implore congress to take action for zika efforts in south florida, throughout the contry, and all over the world. seven months have passed since the administration made its national request for $1.9 billion to combat zika, a request i supported. as of september 7, the state of florida alone has seen 596 travel related cases and
80 zika infections involving pregnant women. across the united states, thousands more have been infected with the virus. mr. speaker, florida has been ground zero for zika and we're seeing firsthand the devastating impacts it has not only on public health but on our economy as well. neighborhoods in winwood and miami beach and other communities across florida are seeing decreased tourist traffic and some residents, especially pregnant women, are fearful to venture outdoors. my wife and i know pregnant women who have moved away from south florida to protect them setches and their unborn babies from a potential zika infection. over the month of july and august i met with the director of the centers for disease control, as well as other government officials, including senator rubio, governor scott, and my florida colleagues from both parties, to discuss the progress of the government's
response and the importance of funding these efforts long term. it's imperative that congress act on zika legislation as soon as possible to provide the c.d.c. and other agencies at the national, state, and local levels the tools they need to rid our neighborhoods of this disease. combating zika is not a republican or democrat initiative. it should be a national priority. the mosquitoes carrying this disease will not discriminate between congressional lines or infect people from only certain states. all members of congress, from both parties, and across the country, must appreciate the severity of inaction on passing zika funding legislation. let's put politics aside and get this done for our communities and for all americans. mr. speaker, today i rise again to strongly condemn bashar assad's atrocities against the syrian people. it has been reported that the government has once
again unleashed barrel bombs with chlorine gas in alpeppo as the regime continues its brutal siege of that city. victims of the attacks suffered from breathing difficulties similar to the symptoms we have seen in the past when the government ignored international law by assaulting innocent people with chemical weapons. this was the second recent chlorine attack that affected syrians who have been cut off from aid and are unable to escape. in spite of repeated warnings, the syrian government continues to utilize barrel bombs filled with chemical weapons as a tool to remain in power. this continued disregard for human life and the well-being of syrians underscores why assad must go and not be allowed to take part in the political transition discussions or syria's future. the death and destruction in syria is one of the greatest blemishes on human history. the entire world must do ore to put an end to it.
mr. speaker, the end of the summer marks the beginning of the school year and a fresh start for teachers, students, and families. as a father of two young students and as a former school board member from miami-dade county public schools, and now the husband of a teacher i greatly cherish this time of year and the excitement that children feel while preparing to enter the next grade. soon after classes started i visited redland middle, a school in my district, that has greatly benefited from my amendment providing students learning english an extra year to become proficient before test scores count against their teachers and schools. english language learners must be counted without being counted out and their teachers deserve our support. as a product member of the education committee ensuring young people the brightest future possible is a central focus of my work in congress. i wish the students, parents, teachers, support staff, and families of miami-dade and the florida keys much success as this
new school year gets under way. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor miss sears, a local activist serving the south florida community. she has been an outspoken leader on many topics including gun violence and the need to protect young people in our community from these senseless crimes. she is a confident leader who stands up for her beliefs and a fearless advocate who works to make south florida a safer place to live. . a year ago her son died at the hands of gun violence, a tragedy she worked her entire life to prevent. though heart broken, she used the memory of david to continue spreading the message of nonviolence and justice more than ever before. i thank her for her years of service, advocacy, passion and strength to make our community a better place for all, especially those who live in neighborhoods that have seen a troubling spike in violent crimes. we are extremely grateful for
your unrelenting dedication to our community, and i know that david is extremely proud of you. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, for five minutes. ms. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to join my colleagues who are demanding action for the families in flint, michigan. first, i want to acknowledge the michigan delegation, many members led by flint's representative, congressman dan kildee, who are really fighting every day to bring justice to these families. their work is essential to ensuring the people of flint have the resources that they need to recover. mr. speaker, the situation in flint is nothing short of a tragedy and a tragedy that could have been prevented. michigan's state officials sacrificed the health and future of flint's children in
order to save a few dollars in water costs. this really is a shame and disgrace. mr. speaker, i have to ask -- would this have happened in a city if they had the advantage of wealth? or are these gross reaches of public trust only happen in cities where politicians believe the residents are expendable? sadly, i think we all know the answer to that question. now, after the incredible harm that has already been done to these families, our elected officials are once again turning their backs on the people of flint. these families deserve better. the people of flint were already hurting before the water crisis. the average family income in the city is just these $24,834 a year. no one can raise a family on that. many of these courageous and resilient families struggled to find high-quality childcare, to
access health care service and afford healthy foods. and now the cost of this crisis , the costs are mounting. they're mounting for families, the entire community. we can and we must do more for our fellow americans in their time of need. two years since this tragedy began, families are still the e community. we can relying on bottled water for daily life. imagine using bottled water for everything, from brushing your teeth to making a bottle for a hungry baby. we can do better by these families. they need support, including health care, nutrition, specialized education and developmental care. and we need to fix the root of the problem, the degraded, dangerous pipes and infrastructure that caused this tragedy. the shortsighted dangerous actions of michigan officials have already caused unimaginable pain for these families. we cannot allow congress to
detray these families as well. i -- betray these families as well. i want to say i was part of a delegation that traveled to flint, michigan, to listen to the people. the environmental injustice in flint is an example of how many low-income communities of color throughout our country, not just in flint, throughout the united states, an example of how they're treated than of a lieutenant communities. so -- affluent community. so congressman kildee and members of the michigan delegation introduced legislation that would help these families rebuild their lives and get the care they need for their children. the families of flint act, that's h.r. 4479, it's a comprehensive plan to address their most urgent needs. it would provide for critical investment in flint's water system to replace the lead pipes that poisoned these
families. this legislation would also provide essential support services to the families of flint to help these children mitigate and overcome lead exposure. these are simple, commonsense measures for the people of flint. addressing this tragedy that really shouldn't be a partisan issue, every member of this chamber should understand the need for urgent action. it could happen in any of our communities. yet, congressional republicans have not held one single vote or even a hearing on this bill. that's just simply outrageous. and let me just say, flint, again, it's not the only public health crisis that congressional republicans have ignored. there are 17,000 americans, almost 1,600 pregnant women who virus. tracted the zika the president submitted a request of $1.9 billion for zika funding more than six months ago, and the republicans have failed to act on it. now if we don't act soon, the
c.d.c. will be out of money to combat zika as a matter -- in a matter of weeks. congressional republicans also failed to do their job on gun violence. every day more than 90 million people die from gun violence. this, too, is a public health crisis. but congressional republicans once again have refused to take up any commonsense gun legislation, even though 91% of americans support background checks to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and criminals. it's clear that the american people need congress to do our job. the women in florida who can't leave their homes for fear of a mosquito bite, they need congress to do our job. the families who fear gun violence on their block, they need congress to do our job. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. schakowsky, for five minutes. thank you, mr.
speaker. n july 14, house republicans streamed out of the capitol as i stood on the floor with my democratic colleagues for calling for action on the public health crises facing our country. gun violence, zika and flint, michigan's poisoned water. it's now nearly eight weeks later. congress has returned from the longest summer recess if more than 60 years. but we still have seen no action from the republican majority on our nation's most urgent crises. meanwhile, we're in the midst of a zika outbreak. puerto rico is on track to see 25% of its population infected. florida has locally transmitted zika cases, and it's only a matter of time until we see cases in other states. actually, we've seen some in
other states. parents who should be looking forward to the birth of a child are terrified that the baby may be born with devastating fe-long health problems, and yet republicans refuse to provide the funding we need to combat this outbreak. instead of passing a bill with sufficient funding, republicans yet republicans refuse to insist on making sure, believe it or not, that the confederate flag can fly at v.a. cemeteries and on preventing family planning clinics from helping patients with zika. that's right. even though zika has the greatest impact on women who are or could become pregnant, republicans want to add a rider to stop family planning clinics from serving women from responding to zika. and today, family planning clinics like planned parenthood are already on the frontlines in fighting against zika. in addition to providing family
services, planned parenthood volunteers are visiting 25,000 households in florida to find people of reproductive age, especially young women, who have likely not been reached by the state or federal zika education efforts. they're providing sdoig kids for pregnant women, containing items like insect repellant and standing water treatment. family planning clinics are an important part of our response to zika, but instead of recognizing that fact, republicans have doubled down on their extreme views on women's health. dr. anthony fauci, the head of the infectious disease institute of the national institutes of health, has said in no uncertain terms that if we do not pass additional zika funding, we will have to stop our efforts to develop a vaccine. already federal agencies have had to borrow money from other critical health priorities to
address the zika problem, and they've taken -- we have allowed money to be taken, or the republicans have, from ebola, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. we can't keep fighting back by cutting back our fight against these other diseases. republicans' refusal to pass zika funding will have serious deadly consequences for years to come. americans can't wait any longer. at the time -- at the same time, the people of flint are still waiting for congressional assistance after the tragic lead poisoning crisis in that city. i joined 25 of my democratic colleagues in flint early this year, and we heard from over 200 community members, including parents, worried about their kids' future. after that trip we said we wouldn't forget these families, and democrats haven't. again and again, i joined with
my colleagues to call on republican leadership to bring families of flint -- the families of flint act, that's a bill, to the floor. flint's congressman kildee's bill would provide supplemental funding to repair and support the -- this community's needs. lead has often devastating brain development effects, but families can meet that challenge if we provide the health, education and the wrap-around services that they need. months later, we've come up dry. no bill to fund flint aid, no funding for zika, no gun safety legislation, nothing. what's on the floor this week? well, we got bills that will help wall street make even more money, and we have a bill to impeach the head of the i.r.s., mentioned by exactly no one,
zero constituents in my district over the seven-week recess. we've wasted critical weeks during the summer recess, and now republicans are wasting our final week back in session. we have only 15 legislative days before we're scheduled to leave town again. let's get to work and pass the critical funding for flint and zika and do something about gun violence. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. lipinski, for five minutes. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the clear ridge baseball team on winning the senior little league world series in bangor, maine, on august 6. this is the first team from illinois to win this prestigious tournament during
its 56-year history. the championship team is made up of 16 extraordinary 15 and 16-year-old men from chicago's garfield ridge and clearing neighborhoods. all of whom attend area catholic high schools. their journey began as t-ballplayers when they were very young. but this senior league team only came into existence in may of this year. in a short amount of time, they're able to come together to form an extraordinary team. clear ridge showed dominance throughout the summer by not losing a single regular season game. in the postseason, they continued this trend by winning 19 straight games after a single loss to neighboring burbank national in the first game of the district playoffs. the championship game pitted
clear ridge against australia, whom they had already defeated once in the turney and who were considered by some to be the team to beat. but clear ridge turned out to be that team, prevailing 7-2 to capture the world title. the following saturday, i joined hundreds of people at hail park to honor players, coaches and everyone who contributed to the success of the team. the time and the celebration were especially meaningful to me having played eight years in clear ridge little league when i was growing up. this team embodies the best of the close nit neighborhoods in the southwest side of chicago that i know so well. these are the people who also seem to be forgotten or overlooked in our country today. may -- many of these kids have parents that are police, firefighters and come from
hardworking middle-class families. when i read the names, you will hear a diverse mix of irish, mexican, polish and other european names. the championship players are gary, greg, avi, tim, dave, mike , jake, jack, julian lopez and zach. of course these kids could not do it on their own. the team manger, and coaches ray and will, provide the strong leadership and dedication to help demonstrate the importance of determination and the
results that come from hard work. clear ridge is more than just one senior league team. multiple teams, both boys and girls, compete in various leagues. heading up all these leagues are president adam rush, vice president ryan adderman, and treasurer, jay derby. without the work of these men, and countless others who prepare the fields or at the concessions and do all the other thankless but necessary jobs, clear ridge could not function. congratulations go to the parents of all the players. they not only raised championship baseball players, but good, respectable young men. mr. speaker, when i met the team at the celebration, i told them how proud they make me and i encouraged them to keep up the good work. now i ask my colleagues to join me recognizing this great achievement by the
senator leahy. his meeting again with merrick garland. 175 days after their first meeting. and president obama wrapped up his trip to southeast asia today with a press conference at the end of the u.s. meeting and summit in laos. during the briefing, as "politico" reports, republican presidential contender, donald trump's ideas are outright wacky. here's a look at the conference. it's about 30 minutes.
president obama: good afternoon, everybody. once again, i want to thank the government and the people of laos for their wonderful hospitality and for their leadership as hosts of the east asia summit, and i especially want to express my gratitude for the warmth and the kindness that they've shown me as the first u.s. president to visit this nation. it has been a memorable and at times very moving visit. 're here because as a region with more than 600 million people, several fast-growing economies, some vibrant democracies but also countries transitioning to democracies and given their strategic location along vital trade routes, the 10 nations are critical to peace and prosperity not only in the asia acific but to the world. indeed, the united states we
are among the top trading partners. we're the largest investor in the region and they support hundreds of thousands of american jobs. so our trade and investment fuels jobs and prosperity across our countries. and that's why as part of my rebalance of american foreign policy in the asia pacific, i've deepened our engagement with the nations of southeast asia and with assian as an institution. as the first u.s. president to be here, i sustained it. i was proud to hold the first summit in the united states in sunyland, california. our meeting here in laos was our eighth meeting and this visit marks my ninth to the region, more than any other .s. president. and it's guided by key
principles, including that they will remain central to peace, prosperity and progress in the asia pacific. the united states is now firmly part of the asia summit and we worked to make that organization the region's leading forum for dealing with political and security challenges, including maritime security. and we're guided by the shared vision of the region that we put forward at sunyland, open, dynamic and competitive economies, mutual security and the peaceful resolutions and disputes and respect for human rights. in a region where all play by the same rules, that's the vision we advanced here. we're stepping up our efforts to increase trade and investment. as particulate of the initiative, u.s.-asean connect, we're doing more to connect our investors so it is easier to start new ventures together. more to connect our entrepreneurs so we're
encouraging innovation in what are increasing digital economies. clean energy projects as we pursue a low-carbon future. and it will continue the integration through the asean communities. and given that four asean nations are part of the trans-pacific partnership, i reiterate that i will do everything i can for congress to approve t.p.p. before i leave office. with regard to security, our nation's reaffirmed our commitment to a regional order where international rules and norms are upheld. and where disagreements are resolved peacefully. there was recognition of the importance of the international arbitration ruling in july which is legal and binding and which clarified maritime claims by the philippines and china in the south china sea. we discussed the important of adhering to steps to which they already agreed, including respecting international law, not militarizing disputed areas
and not occupying uninhabited islands, reefs and shores. and i reiterated the u.s. will stand with allies and partners in upholding fundamental interests. among them, the freedom of navigation and overflight, lawful commerce that is not impeded and peaceful resolution of disputes. the united states and asean also continue to deepen our discussions about the importance to share information to prevent terrorism and the flow of foreign fighters, given the threat of climate change to all our nations, especially countries in this region, we agreed on the importance of bringing the paris agreement into force as soon as possible. we agreed to cooperation in the fight against human trafficking, including sharing more information on smugglers, closer law enforcement cooperation and more support for victims. and at the summit, our 18 nations expressed our grave concern about north korea's
provocative missile launches, highlight the threat posed by the ballistic missile programs and called on north korea to uphold its international obligations. and finally, i'm especially pleased that we continue to deepen the connections between the people of asean and america, particularly our young people, like the inspiring young men and women that i met with at our town hall yesterday. our young southeast asian leaders initiative is now 100,000 strong. the women's leadership academy that i announced yesterday will support women leaders in business, government and civil society throughout asean and we'll help increase language skills among students and teachers through our english for all program. in closing, i'm mindful that this is the last day of my last trip to this region as president, and when i think back to the time that i spent here as a boy, i can't help but be struck by the extraordinary progress that's been made across so much of the region in the decades since.
even there's still a lot of work to be done. so it means a great deal to me not only as president but also personally over the past eight years we've increased cooperation between asean countries and the united states. it is unprecedented the breath and depth of our relationships and i think it's one of the most successful parts of our rebalance policy. we've made it clear that the united states will continue to stand with the people of this region in advancing their security, prosperity and dignity, including universal human rights, and i am very optimistic that the ties of friendship between our people, as reflected by that roomful of young people that we saw -- room full of young people that we saw yesterday will bring us even closer in the years to come. with that i'm going to take a couple of questions, and i will start with kathleen hen is i of a.p. -- hennessey of a.p. kathleen: thank you very much, mr. president. there's been a lot of talk back
at home and here about how you were received in this trip. donald trump said you were humiliated. i suspect you think that was overblown. president obama: yes. kathleen: maybe you could talk if your reception was limited to some -- related to the limits and challenges of your asia pacific policy. and as we are talking about legacy items, i want to talk guantanamo bay. you have four months left, 60 prisoners left. at this point are you willing to acknowledge that the prison will be open by the time you leave office? president obama: well, in terms of my reception here, as far as i can tell it's been terrific. i don't know if you've gone and talked to some people in laos, they seem pretty happy about my visit. everywhere we've gone, we've had a great reception. just as earlier when we went to
vietnam, we got a great reception. you'll recall, there were millions of people lining the streets. my this theory about reception and my rebalanced policy is based on me going down the short stairs in china, yes, i think that is overblown. and i think that any reasonable person, certainly any person in the region would be puzzled as to how this became somehow indicative of the work that we've done here. if you look at the remarks of leaders, if you look at the remarks of ordinary people, if you look at the concrete work that we've gotten done on everything from economic programs to development programs to legacy of war
issues to promoting civil ciety in young people, the concern that i've heard is not that what we've done hasn't been important and successful, the concern that i've heard is will it continue. and almost uniformerly, the question i get from other leaders is we hope that america's interests and presence and engagement is sustained. and my hope and expectation is that my successor will in fact sustain this kind of engagement because there's a lot happening here. you got countries here that have taken off. you got one of the most dynamic and youngest populations in the world. this is where the action's going to be when it comes to
commerce and trade and ultimately creating u.s. jobs by being able to sell to this market. and that's the only feedback that i've received. and that's not just based on what leaders tell me. if you read local newspapers or you talk to people, that's been the same commentary that we received generally. with respect to guantanamo, i am not ready to concede that it may still remain open because we're still working diligently to continue to shrink the population. i continue to believe that guantanamo is a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations, that it clouds
and sours some of the counterterrorism cooperation that we need to engage in and it's not necessary and it's usually expensive for u.s. taxpayers. is there strong resistance in congress? absolutely. but as we continue to shrink the population to the point where we're looking at 40 or 50 people and are maintaining a multimillion-dollar operation to house these handfuls of individuals, i think the american people should be asking the question -- why are we spending this kind of money that could be spent on other things when it's not necessary for our safety and security? so there's no doubt that because of the politics in congress right now, it is a tough road to hoe, but i expect to work really hard in the next four months, five months, 4 1/2
months. [laughter] the speaker: it's a very, very important step and we hope this bill becomes law. next, even if a government as divided as ours, there are some things that should remain above politics. that, of course, deals with dealing with public health crisis such as the zika virus. that's why the house in july passed the resources go where they are needed most. i will remind you this plan is a compromise. it is a full-funding level that the senate supported and it's only partially offset. yet, the senate democrats voted not once, not twice but three times, the senate democrats voted three times to block this. they need to get past the politics and work with us to protect the public. another matter that should be above politics is making sure that our men and women -- our men and women in uniform, they get the resources they need to do their job. we have passed the defense
authorization bill for decades on a bipartisan basis. this week we learned of a pentagon memo that lays out in detail a plan to, and i'm quoting, play hardball with our national defense bill. this bill is a bill that both parties have always worked on together. it provides for a pay raise for our troops, but the memo describes a veto of that pay raise and i'm quoting again, to use it as a principal weapon at our disposal. when you consider our readiness crisis, it's an abdication of this administration to use our military as political leverage. quite frankly, they should be ashamed of this memo. will work hat they with us in good faith to pass a defense bill. that's exactly why we are offering a better way for national security so that we can truly build a 21st century military and have a strategy that keeps us safe and doesn't
play politics with our military. you can learn more about this by going to better.gop. with that i'd be happy to answer your questions. a little louder. inaudible] the speaker: we don't have the votes right now. that's no not something we are thinking about. i know on t.p.a., we don't have the votes. they have to fix it and they haven't done that. reporter: you said you want the party to be the proposition party so 2016 should be a battle of ideas. donald trump still has not put forward his plan to defeat isis. are you urging him to do so? do you think the american people deserve -- spoirk well, we put -- the speaker: well, we put our plan. look at the republicans put in our better way. we put together our 60-point plan to defeat isis and to go fter the ideology of
terroristovers seas and homegrown jihadists. i say look at it in conjunction with our nominee. reporter: mr. speaker, one of the issues is the family planning money. are you open to funding that allows fund -- the speaker: first there is no planned parenthood in this bill. to put an earmark for planned parenthood is something we won't do. reporter: mr. speaker, we're going to have this vote tomorrow on -- suing saudi arabia, victims of terrorism, what do you say about michael mukasey and john bolten wrote an op-ed in "the wall street journal" about sovereign issues, relations with saudi arabia, what is the downside of a piece of legislation like this? the speaker: well, i think they raised compelling concerns, but there are compelling concerns on the other side of this as well. and i think the votes are very overwhelmingly in favor. this bill passed unanimously in the united states senate. so i think those concerns have
been taken under consideration and i think members are acting accordingly and that's why this bill will pass. reporter: yesterday, harry reid said the reason the health care law is collapsing now is that republicans refuse to work with them on improving it. how do you respond to that criticism? mr. speaker: i know the blue cross blue shields actuaries. actuaries will tell you the law was going to fail. and i talked with actuaries saying this will fail two years ahead of schedule. i think it was all but inevitable and no amount of tinkering around the margins would -- united has pulled out. aetna is pulling out. i think kaiser says that 31% of counties in america have just one choice. this -- that's a monopoly. it basically feels like you
don't have insurance because your deductibles are so high and double digit premiums that families are getting socked with. no amount of tinkering around this law will fix it. susan, that's why we as republicans have come together to offer a better way forward on health care. we are showing our fellow citizens what a obamacare replacement looks like and how we can get to the objective we share of getting prices down, having more choice, more competition and having patients be the center of their health care system and doctors and not government bureaucrats who are basically emloading our entire health care system. -- rter: mr. speaker, reporter: at the candidate forum last night, donald trump had high praise for putin. and i'm curious what you think bout that, if you're concerned at all? the speaker: let me say this. vladimir putin is an aggressor that does not share our interests.
vled mir putin is violating the sovereignty of neighboring countries. it certainly appears he's conducting state sponsor cyberattacks in what appears to be our political system. that is not acting in our interest, and that is an adversarial stamp and he's acting like an adversary. reporter: to full up on that. are you concerned about donald trump praising vladimir putin? r. speaker: i made pie point clear. reporter: you will be talking about the c.r. can you give us an overview of what -- the speaker: as you know, my style of leadership is to have consensus-driven, bottom-up style of leadership. our members have not had a chance to talk with each other for a couple of months, so we're going to be discussing end of fiscal year funding resolutions, c.r. strategies, and i want to hear from our members what we think how we ought to proceed going forward so that we have a continuing
resolution that will be done by the end of this month. -- 're just going to have you will probably ask about the i.r.s. that conference will happen next week. reporter: since we were last in this room, mr. speaker, donald trump hired a campaign manager said he is tired of speaker ryan digging into the well of anti-catholic -- that's a new one. donald trump said that the military is an embarrassment and like my colleague said, he praised vladimir putin and said sess' a better president than the president of the united states. the speaker: do you think i will be an election pundit. he was number northeast our party because he won the nomination fair and square. i won't sit up here and say hillary versus donald. that's not my job.
reporter: are you comfortable voting for him as commander in cleave? the speaker: i will leave it at that. reporter: senator mcconnell said he has been talking about those about a c.r. have you been involved in discussions with senator mcconnell and the white house that december c.r. idea and what -- is that something you would like to sell to your members? the speaker: no, because i want to hear from my members first. i want to talk as a family, as a team to talk about any plan going forward in engaging with the white house. again, i want to hear from our members first. i want to have a good conversation with them before we engage. reporter: have you discussed that with senator mccomp? the speaker: yeah. i talk to mitch all the time. reporter: and you are going to have a recess in a few more weeks where you're off through the election. i'm curious what your plans are? how hard are you going to work? the speaker: i'm going to working with house republicans. i'll do a thing with todd young soon. i think rob portman soon after
that. my job as speaker of the house politically is to help make sure we preserve our house majority. i will be working on that. by the way, helping preserve our house majority helps our ticket up and down. it helps our nominee all the way around. so making sure that house republicans are running strong, which we will, will be good for all republicans. reporter: is there any possibility of a t.p.p. vote? the president said he wants one. the speaker: i don't think we should bring up a bill that goes down. reporter: your old colleague, brac style id a commission, talking about entitles and so on. the speaker: i want to pass a budget that tells us what we will do. the big drivers of our debt, as you know, jonathan, are our health care entitlements. we are showing exactly what we think the solution is to savings entitlements from
bankruptcy which saves the country from bankruptcy. i think we should just do our jobs in congress instead of -- i was on one of these commissions. they are nice exercises but they are no substitute for congress actually doing its job and having a president who is willing to actually take this issue on. the president has never, ever given us a budget that ever balances. he's never proposed a balanced budget. we need to get on with that. reporter: they say none of that, congress act, the president act, nothing has happened. the speaker: yeah. barack obama has been president. i rest my case. reporter: mr. speaker, clarification. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. isit ncicap.org] >> in campaign 2016 news, our capitol hill producer, craig caplan reminds massachusetts is holding primaries today for u.s. house seats, but none of the nine democratic incumbents
have challengers. the u.s. house will be back in session in just over 15 minutes at noon eastern. they will be back for legislative work. members will debate a bill to change requirements for small investment firms when they sell stock. there will be a vote on condemning russia for its intervention in georgia. tomorrow, the house will debate another financial bill that would loosen requirements for private equity funds. the house is back again live at noon eastern. see coverage here on c-span. and in "road to the white house" news, democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton is campaigning on the east coast today. this morning she headed south to johnson c. smith university which is in charlotte, north carolina. just before that she held a news conference in white plains before taking off for north carolina. that tweet from doug mills.
secretary clinton: good morning. good morning. good morning, everyone. last night i was very glad to be able to begin a conversation with the american people and offer some of my thoughts about isis, iran and how we reform the v.a. system to provide better care for our vets. and i'm honored that in the last 24 hours more retired generals and admirals have decided to endorse my campaign. to focus more on these crucial challenges, tomorrow i'm convening a meeting of bipartisan national security
leaders and experts, including former secretaries of homeland security, michael chertoff, and janet napolitano, general john allen, former acting director of the c.i.a., michael morrell, d former nato supreme allied commander and others. we will discuss how to intensify our efforts to defeat isis and keep our country safe. to that end, i want to underscore something that i mentioned last night. we should make it a top priority to hunt down the al-baghdadi, and bring him to justice just as we ask with osama bin laden. as with that operation, getting him will required a focus driven at the highest levels. but i believe it will send a resounding message that nobody directs or inspires attacks
against the united states and gets away with it. let me be clear, last night was yet another test and donald trump failed yet again. we saw more evidence that he's temp representally unfit and totally unqualified to be ommander in chief. he trash talked american generals saying they've been, quote, reduced to rubble. he suggest he would fire them and replace them with the hand-picked generals. he attacked dozens of former flag officers by saying that, quote, we've been losing for us for a long time. that's how he talks about the distinguished men and women who spent their lives serving our country, sacrificing for us, that's how he would act as commander in chief.
meanwhile, bizarrely he praised russia's strong man vladimir putin. even taking the astonishing steps of suggesting he prefers the russian president to our american president. now, that is not just unpatriotic and insulting to the people of our country as well as to our commander in chief, it is scary because it will suggest he will let putin do whatever putin wants to do and then make excuses for him. i was just thinking about all of the presidents that would just be looking at one another in total astonishment. what would ronald reagan say about a republican nominee who attacks america's generals and he praises on russia's president? i think we know the answer. and when asked how he would stop the spread of global
terrorism, trump's answer was simply, "take the oil." the united states of america does not inveighed other countries to plunder and -- invade other countries to plunder and pillage. we don't send people around the world to steal oil. and that's not even getting into the absurdity of what it would involve. massive infrastructure, large numbers of troops, many years on the ground. of course, trump hasn't thought through any of that. every republican holding or seeking office in in country should be asked if they agree with donald trump about these statements. now, one thing you didn't hear from trump last night is any plan to take on isis, one of the biggest threats facing our country. he says his plan is still a secret, but the truth is he simply doesn't have one. and that's not only dangerous, it should be disqualifying. i have a very different vision
for how we keep our country safe and strong. i respect the men and women who put their lives on the line to serve america. i will work with our allies to defeat isis, and i will hold true to our country's most cherished values. you know, even with all of the attention being paid to the campaign, we cannot forget how important this decision is. this weekend is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. i will never forget the horror of that day, but i will never forget either the victims and survivors and the brave first responders and emergency responders that i met with and served and worked for as senator from new york. that's what kept me working so hard in the senate on behalf of 9/11 families. that's who i was thinking of 10 years later in the white house situation room with president obama when the decision was made to bring osama bin laden
to justice. that's the kind of commander in chief i will be, someone who will bring us together in common purpose to keep our people safe and our country trong. >> madam secretary, the latest real clear politics has you up by an average of 2.8 percentage points over donald trump. given what you say are his historic inadequacyies and disqualification on the commander in chief point that you said, shouldn't you basically be running away with it at this point? secretary clinton: i always thought this would be a close election. that's why we've been putting organizations in place, gearing up for these final weeks to mobilize and turn out our voters. that's exactly what we're going to do. and i feel we're in a strong position, but we're not taking
anyplace, anyone for granted. we'll work as hard as we can and hopefully pull out as many voters who agree with me as possibly we can muster. hi, jeff. >> you said unequivocally last night you would not put troops into iraq ever again. isn't, a, that ignoring some ground forces who are there and, b, boxing yourself in should your military commanders, if elected, advise that you in fact need to do that? secretary clinton: well, jeff, first of all, i said that before. i said it on numerous occasions. i believe it. i think putting a big contingent of american ground troops on the ground in iraq and syria would not be in the best interest of the fight against isis and other terrorist groups. in fact, i think it would fulfill one of their dearest wishes which is to drag the united states back into a ground war in that region.
however, i've been very clear, and i said this again last night, i support the air campaign. i support special forces. i support enablers. i support surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance. i will absolutely be prepared to do whatever is necessary to support the arab and kurdish fighters on the ground to take out as much of the infrastructure of isis from the air, to go after baghdadi, as i said today, with a very focused commitment to taking him off the battlefield. i think the approach i outlined intensifies what we are doing but also recognizes there is no , in my opinion, path forward to ground troops that would be in our interest. >> hi, good morning. secretary clinton, you've been criticized by the r.n.c. about your demeanor last night, you
are too serious, you didn't smile enough. do you think there is a double standard? do you think you are treated differently in this race because you are a woman? secretary clinton: i think i will let you do -- i think there will be popular journalism righting -- writing on that subject for years to come. i don't take my advice or take anything seriously that comes from the r.n.c. we were talking about serious issues last night. i know the difference between what we have to do to fix the v.a., what we have to do to take the fight to isis than just making political happy talk. and i had a very short window of time in that event last night to convey the seriousness with which i would approach the issues that concern our country. donald trump chose to talk about his deep admiration and support for vladimir putin.
maybe he did it with a smile and i guess the r.n.c. would have liked that. >> thank you. madam secretary -- secretary clinton: i like the hat. is that a new look? >> no, it's kind of an old look now. secretary clinton: bringing it back. been shopping in your closet? i do a lot of that. >> last night, mr. trump suggested in some of his security briefings that the -- briefers made a suggestion or an insinuations that they were not pleased to -- the c.i.a. was not pleased the decisions that the administration and president obama have made so far. did you get that same impression in the briefings you got? can you comment, otherwise, on that suggestion from mr. trump? secretary clinton: i think what he said was totally inappropriate and undisciplined. i would never comment on any aspect of an intelligence riefing that i received.
[inaudible] >> held to a different standard and what does that mean for you going into the debate? secretary clinton: that's a very fair question. i have been somewhat heartened by the number of articles ecently pointing out the quite desparate treatment of trump's campaign and ours. i don't understand the reasons for it. i find it frustrating, but it's just part of the landscape we live in and we just keep forging ahead. ok, i think this is a really important moment for everybody in our country, as you have seen by the numbers of republicans concerned about trump, coming forward and saying, this is not acceptable. they are willing to put their names out there, put who never endorsed a democrat, people who
never endorsed it because they are so concerned about this man and how totally unqualified he is to be president and how totally temp representally unfit he is to be commander in chief. -- temperamentally unfit he is to be commander in chief. i know he says outrageous things on a pretty regular basis. i know it's part of the coverage and i know it may be difficult to feel, you know exactly how to respond to some of his behavior. but we're on the brink of making a very critical decision for our country. and if i were not the candidate, if i were not the nominee, if i were just a concerned citizen, i would be out here doing everything i could to sound the alarm about someone like donald trump getting anywhere near the white house. will continue to do that.
[inaudible] >> thanks, guys. see you on the plane. secretary clinton: well, you can look on the map and find aleppo. i love you, andrea. you are my kind of woman. ok. i know. go ahead. i mean, the sympathy vote, the whole thing. i love it. >> madam secretary -- [inaudible] secretary clinton: matt olson. right. >> [inaudible] secretary clinton: right. right. no, that's not true. well, you know, look, the republicans are just in a terrible dilemma trying to support a totally unqualified nominee. i have no sympathy for them.
it's their nominee, but i am not going to tolerate them continuing to make misleading, inaccurate accusations and putting out misinformation about me. here's the latest example. matt olson, the very distinguished and effective former director of the national counterterrorism center, was so disturbed by what he has seen coming from the trump campaign that he wrote an article that i guess came online in the last 48 hours pulling from public sources very clear statements essentially rs throwing whatever support they have to donald trump. they have, as matt olson pointed out, said they hope
that allah delivers america to trump. they have said that hope that he is the president because it would give even more motivation to every jihaddi, someone who as insulted muslims, has insulted a gold star family, incredibly heroic captain kahn, someone who said he doesn't want muslims from around the world come to our country. and matt olson, who knows more about this, than the republicans trying to somehow muddy the water, very clearly stated. that's what i mean. look, i'm not asking for any special treatment. i know the road that i'm on. i've been on it for 25 years. i just get up every day and keep moving forward. i love this country. i will serve it with my entire heart, mind and soul. i will do everything i can to
protect america, and i will do everything i can to make sure that donald trump is not president for many reasons. but this latest information coming from a distinguished counterterrorism expert should put every american's mind in motion to try to figure out what everyone can do to prevent donald trump from being president. thank you. >> see you guys on the plane. appreciate it. >> in a moment we will head
back to capitol hill for the u.s. house. members returning for legislative work, including debate on a bill that would change requirements for small investment firms when they sell stock. live to the house. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray, god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. we pray this day, o lord for peace in our world that freedom will flourish and righteousness will be done. the attention of our nation is drawn toward an impending election, but there is work yet to be done. send your spirit upon the members of this people's house, that they might judiciously balance seemingly interests. help them to execute