tv U.S. House Meets for Legislative Business CSPAN May 2, 2017 11:59am-2:00pm EDT
chairman. senator grassley: thank you very much for your testimony. i know it's a long series of questions you had. it's very important to have the administration's and your department's view on it. i thank you very much and you're dismissed. mr. treene: thank you. senator grassley: would the next panel come as i introduce you? our second panel has four witnesses. >> you can continue watching the rest of this hearing live online. just go to c-span.org. click on the link that's right on our homepage. going to take you now live to the floor of the house. lawmakers about to gavel in. first up, legislation that would allow companies to offer comp time instead of overtime pay to nonexempt workers.
also a bill to expand sanctions on north korea. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend ric metzgar senior, the church of god, essex, maryland. reverend metzgar: you are the come soser of my life and thank
you for or chest traiting my direction today. i recognize you the source of life and love and hear the prayers of this house both for the good of the nation and good of humanity and around the
world. help this house to discern your will in our day. strengthen all of us to show forth the fruits of your spirit, love, joy, peace and generosity as we go about our work. grant us a spirit of compassion and cooperation. we ask your blessings for all those who have chose to take up this difficult task of governing, not only to those elected, but those who serve as staffers, interns, volunteers here and around our great nation. we look to your scripture
that tells us that the scales of justice belong to the lord. all weights of justice belong to you. exalt us to seek the peace of our nation. pray to the lord because you will have peace. may the peace that passes all understanding guide our hearts and minds in the days to come, this we pray in your matchless name, thanking you for being the
architect of our lives and everybody says amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house its approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the. the speaker: those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it and the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from seek recognition? mr. wilson: i object to the vote on the ground that a quorum is not present and make a point of order. the speaker: pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. kennedy. mr. kennedy: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the
united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: without objection, the gentleman from maryland, mr. ruppersburger, is recognized for one minute. mr. ruppersburger: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm proud to introduce and welcome to washington, maryland state delegate ric metzgar, a friend for a long time, second district resident, who's been representing eastern baltimore county and the maryland general assembly since 2015. he's been serving his community far longer. he's lived in egs essex most of his life, graduating kentwood high school before attending west bible college. his father worked for the airplane community and his mother owned a dry-cleaning business. delegate managed a local car dealership and diner and as rdained minister he was school districtor for many schools. he serves on the health and government operations committee as well as the maryland veterans' caucus. he volunteers efforts within
his community are unending. he has long served as co-chair of the essex state festival. a member of the board of directors of essex and middle river. he's married with two children and two grandchildren. i'm honored to call delegate metzgar a friend and offer sincere thanks on behalf of this entire body for his opening prayer. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition, mr. wilson? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, this week marks national small business week, a time to recognize the remarkable contributions small businesses make creating jobs. in south carolina, small businesses represent 99% of our state's businesses, employing
47% of our citizens. i am grateful for the input from the national federation of independent business, nfib, led by ben, the state chamber of commerce led by ted, and local chambers from north augusta to north columbia. when i meet with every members of the small business community of south carolina, i learn how government regulations and government overreach threaten their businesses and reduce job opportunities. i support president trump's commitment to creating jobs and how in only 100 days his administration has proven to be a champion of small business by cutting harmful regulations and outlining tax reform. i appreciate the leadership of the small business administrator, linda, mcmahon, and for the small businesses nationwide. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war n terrorism.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, president trump wanted to cut $1.2 billion to the national institutes of health and the national cancer institute. instead, congress will exert its independence by rejecting the president's cut and will instead increase national institutes of health funding by $2 billion. my community of buffalo, new york, is home to america's first cancer center. ross we will park is a national uses ell park immunotherapy to unleash the body's own immune system. it has potential of longer remissions and is an alternative to debilitating chemical or chemotherapy. because of this congressional action, the clinical trial in
immunotherapy will continue and the potential for tens of millions more in n.i.h. research funding over the next five years is a reality. this is good for the good that it will do in advancing this promising research and it is good for buffalo and the continued growth of the buffalo-niagara medical campus. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: mr. speaker, according k-rod, an employee at the medical facility in phoenix, yes, that famous v.a. hospital, he's been threatened and had a raced by the v.a. for speaking times.excessive wait the v.a.'s inspector general released a report of misconduct on the phoenix hospital based
on information provided by mr. rodriguez. mr. rodriguez alleged that more than 90 veterans had been waiting over 400 days to see a doctor. five of which died before they could see the doctor. these accusations are very disturbing. but mr. rodriguez's discovery did not earn him a medal or a plaque, just threats and harassments by the v.a. they even moved his desk to a closet. there are many folks at the v.a. who generally care about our veterans in this country like k-rod, but there seems to be a culture problem at the v.a. that must be addressed from the top down. fix the problem rather than attack whistleblowers. no veteran should ever wait to see a doctor for over a year. that is shameful, and that's just wait it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognize snigs -- seek recognition?
without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. kennedy: mr. speaker, i stand proudly today with my colleagues to reintroduce the equality act a bill that would finally fully codify civil rights protections for the lgbtq community it is unthinkable to me that this bill finds opposition in this chamber. where we stand less than a mile from a sacred american promise that's etched in stone above the doors of the supreme court, equal justice under law. there is no asterisks, there's no condition or compromise no caveat. it is a promise that is afforded to each of us that no one, man, woman, political candidate or president, can look us in the eye and say that you do not count or you are unworthy. some of the most shameful moments of our nation's history have come when we have broken that promise, when we say that everyone matters except you. every life counts except yours.
it's time for this body to take a stand and say, everyone counts in this country today on our watch today. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise today during small business week to acknowledge the important role small businesses play in our communities nationwide. i'm proud to be the product of a small business family. small businesses are responsible for creating 63% of new jobs, and they employ more than 47% of the employees in the private sector. the commonwealth of pennsylvania is also marking the week with events throughout the state hosted by the small business development center. from workshops to webinars, there's information for those looking to start a small
business and those looking to grow their businesses. even longtime small business owners can get information on find a way to thrive. small business week recognizes the significant contributions of our small businesses and highlights the resources available to support their growth in the keystone state. the nation celebrated small business week each year since 1963, and i'd like to congratulate all the small business owners for the role they play in employing our neighbors, serving our communities and creating two out of every three new jobs in the united states. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized.
>> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor the brothers at the fraternity and during the annual kappa on the hill policy conference. they come to capitol hill to raise awareness around many of the key issues facing the african-american and other communities in this country. kappa alpha psi fraternity represents over 150,000 members from all 50 states, several u.s. territories and six countries around the globe. mr. lawson: these distinguished n are leaders in their respected communities, in the board rooms, classrooms, academics, public service and every field of endeavor.
today, it is with great humility and commitment to improving our communities that my brothers come to washington for kappa on capitol hill legislative policy conference. as i see the brothers in the red blazers walking these hallowed halls, bringing their professional expertise, wisdom, gains through experience and passion for the communities to washington, d.c., my heart beams with pride. mr. speaker, now more than ever, we need leaders in our communities to raise the voices, to raise awareness about the issues that are confronting our communities back home. so today i'm proud of my brothers for coming to congress today to ensure we never forget how decisions on issues like
health care, higher education, job creation and veteran benefits are affecting our communities at home. and thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. olson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. speaker, i've had many friends, many heroes since i moved to houston. neil armstrong, earl campbell, nolan ryan. my newest hero is a good friend. morning disc jockey kevin kline. kevin and his wife, trish, have watched a teenage friend, chelsea, die from cancer. they turned that pain into extreme good. they started a foundation to stop kids from dying from
cancer like chelsea. they've used long runs to raise million. illion -- $1 movie hero forrest gump ran for two years, three months and 15 days. recently in italy, a real-life ro, kevin, ran for 178.5 miles in 47 hours and 28 minutes. . naval aviators are given call signs. by the powers vested in me by the tim tuttle, kevin kline honor call sign is now forever dump man. i hope he is smiling. i know chelsea and her friends are smiling in heaven.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> permission to address the house the house for one minute. i met with leaders of the medical research community that had a unified message, we need to end the cuts that have slowed medical innovation. i led the bipartisan effort along with 200 of my colleagues to push for an additional $2 billion in funding for the national institutes of health. this is a very personal issue. mrs. davis: almost all of us know someone that is struggling with a disease where n.i.h. funding is used to find a cure. that could be a family member and even more heart wrenching a child. the spending bill avoids the
cuts proposed by president trump and increases funding by $2.5 billion. when leadership takes a bipartisan approach, top priorities like medical research actually get funded. this isn't a bill i would have written, but it is a compromise that i'm very happy to vote for. let's hope that speaker ryan has learned from this experience and will work with us, work with us on health care, on transportation and other priorities moving forward. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to remember the life of a true american hero, a dedicated veteran and successful businessman, major john jake could beson enlisted in 1940 and
fought in world war ii as he served as quarter master to general patton. he moved to kansas and built a fortune 500 company. after retiring and moving to coastal alabama, he became a local celebrity. mr. jack, as he was known, spent much of his time working with local veterans' organizations where he was able to speak to school groups about world war ii and the sacrifice our veterans make. sadly he recently passed away at the age of 106 making him one of the country's oldest world war ii veterans. all you need to know about major jay could beson that he lived by a simple motto, another day to live is another day to serve. to his family, thank you for sharing mr. jack with all of us, he made our community, the united states and the world a better place.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. deutch: i recognize the 69th anniversary of the founding of the state of israel. our fren and alley meets human needs around the world. throughout its history, israel has been a leader in humanitarian assistance and established the first field hospital in haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010 nd rebuilt villages ravaged by cyclones in fiji. and sent over supplies to after the 2004 and dispatched doctors to greece. when israeli soldiers reported wounded syrians arisk at their
border, medics were dispatched and over 3,000 syrians were treated by israeli doctors. today as we celebrate israel's history, we are reminded of the importance of looking beyond our own borders and our proud shared history of welcoming those fleing persecution from all around the globe and renew our shared commitment to helping those in need in every corner of the world. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, community banks are an intell ral part of main street america making up 50% of banks in rural america. they are the hub of economic activity for west texas. they employ nearly 20,000 folks in my district and provide vital
services to families, small businesses and ag producers. why in the world do we want to hamstring them with onerous and union news jsh nun necessary regulation to serve their communities. and each day that goes by, another community bank goes out of business. as many of my colleagues have pointed out, dodd-frank didn't end too big to fail but it ended too small to succeed. it created new layers of bureaucracy, paperwork and confusion and limited services for consumers. mr. speaker, it's time congress act on this opportunity to pass the choice act before it's too late for our community banks and for our rural communities to choose between relationship banking and transitional banking. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from massachusetts seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. he gentlelady is recognized. >> police chief tail ire said quote, two to three people overdose in local. he addiction has been a game changer. in 2015, massachusetts ranked nationally in deaths from synthetic opioidses which can be up to 50 times stronger than heroin, but massachusetts is far from alone. between 2014 and 2015, nationwide deaths involving synthetic opoids rose 72%. strong strong i partnered with representative fitzpatrick which would provide u.s. customs and border protection with enhanced chemical screening devices and scientific support to detect synthetic opoids. i thank representative
fitzpatrick and our senate counterparts for their partnership and urge our colleagues to support the interdifficult act to do this requires a fully funded effort. the act would be a powerful tool in eliminating synthetic opoids from the equation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from from missouri seek recognition? mr. clay: permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. clay: more than ever before we need leaders from across the nation to raise our voices, elevate our awareness and come to washington as stated in the first amendment to petition the government for a redress of our grievances. now more than ever, we need the people most affected by the decisions that are being made in this hallowed place in the people's house and 1600
pennsylvania avenue, to make sure that this representative government is indeed being held accountable for both its actions and inactions. on this special day, i'm proud kappapsi ers in fraternity and welcome them back for their annual visit. i stand with my brothers to ensure we never forget how our decisions on issues like health care, education, housing, jobs, voting rights and even the use of military force are more than just political or policy judgments. they have life and death consequences for real people in the communities we represent and across this great country as well. i thank my kappa brothers for support and devotion for advancing freedom and equality for every american. and i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. conyers: my colleagues, i rise today to recognize my alps psi of kappa fraternity. the capital hill legislative policy conference and i knew biff personally, each year kappas from all over the country flock to capitol hill to raise awareness around the key issues that are affecting our communities. these men are leaders in religious, business, legal,
academics and community-service institutions, as well as others. mr. speaker, i have committed my life to public service for over 52 years. i have been honored to since serve my constituents in this esteemed body, but one of my proudest moments in public service is when i committed myself to a life of honorable achievement in every field of human endeavor the day i joined kappa society. today, i am proud as i see brothers in their red blazers walk these hallowed halls bringing their professional expertise and wisdom gained through experience and passion for their communities to
washington dis, the nation and the -- d.c., the nation and the world. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from nevada seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. without objection. ms. rosen: i rise today to remember the life of robert stanley ferraro, one of the longest serving public officials who passed away last week at the age of 81. he served on the boulder city council for 31 years and was first elected mayor and stood for election nine times. he knocked on every voters' day and provided leadership to one of the most unique communities in our state. bob led the effort to maintain the city's crashing to be a special community and be the
clean green city that constituents call home. he was named nevada public official in 1986, community leader of the year in 2001 and led a life that was a true american success story coming from humble beginnings to being one of the great civic leaders of our state. he will be greatly missed and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends today. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. veasey: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the life of reverend dr. n.l. roberts the pastor of baptist church. he served our nation in the army during world war ii and honorly discharged on november 25, 1945.
during his time of service that he found spiritual enlightenment in jesus christ. after leaving the family, he worked for the dallas housing authority from 1946 to 1976. graduate of the southern bible institute of dallas, he began his i ministry at st. john's baptist church in 1962 and baptist the lucille church before joining mount olive. mount olive grew to become a 12,000-member church and i will tell you, mr. speaker, everybody from the workers that built the cars at the general motors plant in arlington to one of the past mayors in arlington has been a member at that church throughout time. i ask my colleagues to join me in honoring the life of reverend robinson whose leadership touched so many lives in the
dallas-fort worth area. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady seek recognition? >> permission to address the house the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> there are offer 800,000 small businesses in north carolina generating millions annually, accounting for all half of private sector employment in our state and regularly creating more than 20,000 jobs a year. we have seen increase in minority-owned businesses. 85 million people rely on 25 million small businesses for employment. as vice ranking member of the small business committee and ranking member on investigations and oversight, i recognize the impact that small businesses have. lawmakers must continue to encourage innovation and support legislation that allows local companies to grow. i'm proud to introduce the spore
act of 2017. during the 5 annual annual national small business week, it has experienced business owners with budding entrepreneurs for advice and metropolitanorship and ensures it is funded for at least three years. small businesses make the american dream possible and i'm committed to standing up and speaking out on their behalf. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. i rise my brothers of kappa pha psi capitol hill legislative conference. mr. mceachin: they raise awareness around the key issues that affect our communities. i had the privilege to join
this noble clan of the kappa alpha psi fraternity at the american university where we chartered the kappa chi chapter. it was in the fall of 16980 i was able to commit myself to life of honorable achievement in every field of human endeavor. mr. speaker, today i'm proud because now more than ever we need the leaders in our communities to raise their voices, raise awareness and come to washington, d.c. as advocates on behalf of their communities. as a citizen of the first amendment to petition the government for redress of their grievances, i am proud of the brothers of kappa alpha cy fraternity, incorporated for coming to congress today as they do each spring. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. polis: i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the
gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. polis: today i'm proud to help bring forth the equality act with 194 original co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle. the principle behind the equality act is simple -- discrimination is wrong no matter what form it takes, no matter who it targets. this is a principle that americans overwhelmingly choose to embrace and live by. we see it in the way we treat our lgbt employees, friends, family. it's apparent in the outpouring of joy and celebration we witnessed at the supreme court's historic marriage equality ruling two years ago. but sadly, our laws have not yet caught up -- catch up with our values. it's still legal in a majority of states to fire somebody just because they're gay. that's not just a theoretical concern. it means real harm and real hardship for countless americans. for lgbt americans who are fired or turned away from a doctor's office or told they are not wanted in their neighborhood, many have nowhere to go for legal recourse. we are better than that as a
nation. it's time we show that. we are a nation that prides ourselves on our commitment to equality under the law, so i call upon this congress to pass the equality act and put an end to legal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered americans once and for all and i ye. -- and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, respectfully i write to tender my resignation as a member of the house committee on the education and the work force. it's been an honor to serve in this capacity. thank you. signed sin seared, steven b. russell, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resignation is accepted. for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? mr. byrne: mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up -- by the direction of the house
republican conference, i send to the desk a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 303, resolved, that the following named member be and is hereby elected to the following standing committees of the house of representatives -- committee on education and the work force, mr.estess of kansas. committee on -- mr. estes of kansas. committee on small business, mr. estes of kansas. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsidered is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? mr. byrne: mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 299 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 299, resolved, that upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill, h.r. 1180, to amend
the fair labor standards act of 1938 to provide compensatory time for employees in the private sector. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on education and the work force now printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 115-15 shall be considered as adopted. the bill, as amended, shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill, as amended, are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any further amendment thereto, to final passage without intervening motion except one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on education and the work force, and, two, one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 2, on any legislative day during the period from may 5, 2017, through may 15, 2017, a, the journal of the proceedings of the previous day shall be considered as
approved, and b, the chair may at any time declare the house adjourned to meet at a date and time, within the limits of clause 4, section 5, article 1 of the constitution, to be announced by the chair in declaring the adjournment. section 3, the speaker may appoint members to perform the duties of the chair for the duration of the period addressed by section 2 of this resolution as though under clause 8-a of rule 1. section 4, it shall be in order at any time on the legislative day of may 4, 2017, or may 5, 2017, for the speaker to entertain motions that the house suspend the rules as though under clause 1 of rule 15. the speaker or his designee shall consult with the minority leader or her designee on the designation of any matter for consideration pursuant to this section. section 5, the requirement of clause 6-a of rule 13 for a 2/3 vote to consider a report from the committee on rules on the same day it is presented to the house is waived with respect to
any resolution reported through the legislative day of may 5, 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for one hour. mr. byrne: mr. speaker, during consideration of this resolution all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. i now yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. byrne: house resolution 299 provides for consideration of h.r. 1180, the working families flexibility act. this resolution provides for a closed rule since no amendments were submitted to the rules committee. mr. speaker, the work force of the 21st century is a lot different from the work force of the 1930's and 1940's, when many of our nation's first labor laws were written. s such, many of these laws are
outdated. for example, in nearly half of two-parent households, both mom and dad work full time. that's up from roughly 30% in 1970. meanwhile, millennials now represent the majority of the work force. given the changes in the work force, there are new challenges related to the work-family balance. from children's field trips to taking care of an elderly family member to a single parent juggling a different task while their spouse is on a military deployment, the demands are greater than ever. that's where the working families flexibility act comes in. this commonsense bill would improve the quality of life for many hardworking men and women by removing outdated federal restrictions imposed solely on the private sector. already, workers in the public sector have both the -- at both the federal, state and local level, have the ability to take
comp time in lieu of overtime pay if they prefer. this bill would give that same option to workers in the private sector. here's how it would work. an employee and their employer would come together and mutually agree to enter in an ain rainingment where the employee would receive time and a half and time off, comp time, instead of time and a half overtime pay. in other words, employees would have a choice between paid time off and cash wages for working overtime. as i mentioned, this provision is already available for workers in the public sector. that's because in 1985, congress amended the fair labor standards act to give public sector employees greater flexibility. in fact, in a report filed by the house education and the work force committee, more than 30 years ago, our democratic colleagues wrote that this change in the law recognized the, quote, mutual benefits,
closed quote, of comp time for state and local governments and outlined the freedom and flexibility comp time would offer public sector workers. so shouldn't workers in the private sector be entitled to the same freedom and flexibility given to government workers? now, i know some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will say this bill is somehow bad for workers. that could not be further from the truth. let me clear up some of the false information put out by union bosses and special interest groups. first, this proposal is completely voluntary. both an employee and an employer would have to agree to a comp time agreement, and their agreement would have to be put in writing. second, no employer can coerce or intimidate their employees into taking comp time. an employee feels they have been mistreated can file a charge at the department of labor at no cost or they can
bring their own legal action. employers who take advantage of their employees would face the same penalties as they would for other wage violations. now, as a labor employee attorney i have been part of these matters in the past and i can say no sensible employer would take an advantage of an employee and risk double damages, exorbitant attorneys' fees and a legal battle with the federal government. third, employees have control over when to use their comp time as long as reasonable notice is given and the request doesn't under duly disrupt the workplace. this is -- unduly disrupt the workplace. this is the same standard used in the public sector and same standard used under the family and medical leave act. i imagine it's also the same standard used in each of our congressional offices. fourth, this bill includes a five-year sunset that would require congress to come back and reaffirm this law after reviewing the impact of comp
time. this would give us the ability to change the law based on the real-world impact. fifth, the bill would set the maximum comp time acruel amount at 160 hours which is less than what's allowed in the public sector. this provision was actually included after democrats expressed concerns that workers would accrue too much comp time. sixth, an employee has the right to cash out their comp time at any time and for any reason. this is a decision that the employee alone can make. additionally, at the end of a year, employees will receive a cash payment for any unused hours. finally, this is not a far-fetched or radical idea. in fact, president bill clinton had his own comp time proposal during his presidency. so this bill is great for workers and actually gives them greater choice and flexibility in the workplace. in fact, our committee, the
committee on education and the work force, heard a real-life example of how comp time would make life easier for families during a recent hearing on the bill. we heard about a clerical worker for a mental health company who recently found out she was pregnant and was also putting in a lot of overtime during a transition. this mom-to-be simply wanted to waive the overtime pay and instead be credited the time for maternity leave. as her human resources professional testified, quote, i had to explain to her we were unable to do so because it was against the law. it was difficult to convey this essage for this single mom-to-be who felt like she needed the option to take the overtime pay or the paid time leave. that's why this bill is necessary for people like this working mom. that's how this bill will make a real difference. now, mr. speaker, i know comp
time won't work for every worker or family. so if an employee wants to continue receiving time and a half overtime pay, then they can continue to do so and this bill will have no impact on that. but this bill would create a new option for employees to better meet the needs of the 21st century work force. workers today want and need the type of freedom and flexibility this bill provides. . they could put in extra time at work in order to have time off to attend a baseball game, dance recital or field trip. this is about freedom, flexibility, fairness and choice. certainly more work and changes will be needed as we adapt to the work force of the 21st century and i look forward to learning more about proposals from my colleagues. but the simple fact that there are other proposals out there
should not stop us from passing this bill to give working families the flexibility they need and deserve. i urge my colleagues to support house resolution 299 and the underlying bill. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: i thank the gentleman for yielding me the customary 30 minutes and i yield myself as i may consume. heard from my constituents, frankly the overwhelming message is frustration with the trump administration and republicans in congress. no calls to pass this bill, which every group that advocates for workers' rights and unions oppose. the people in my district said to the contrary. republicans continue to put their priorities of the few over the priorities of hard-working americans. people are frustrated that
instead of working with democrats, republicans are focused on gutting health care coverage, increasing premiums, stripping away workers' rights. people in my district across my state and across the country are worried. the members of our immigrant community, our neighbors, family and friends will continue to be demonized by the president of the united states. so i don't expect these kind of rhetoric or policies to change overfight. it's important to share these concerns with this body. now earlier this week, frankly, i was encouraged, there were sore kinds of positivity announced a bipartisan funding ill which shows a bright spot. a government jutdown would be catastropheic. in my district, i'm reminded of the devastating impact of congressional inaction when i hosted a town hall last week.
the government shutdown in 2013 right during tourist season cost our small town nearly half a million dollars in tax revenue, millions of dollars in sales threatening the existence of many main street businesses that rely on that tourism revenue and keeping rocky mountain national park open. and rocky national park was closed for most of the 16-day shutdown a few years ago. somehow despite those obvious economic indicators and jobs, donald trump tweeted just this morning that our country quote, needs a good shutdown, end quote. what does that even mean? we need a good shutdown like a root canal. it would cost the private sector millions of jobs. but i'm hopeful now we will avoid a shutdown. the spending bill for 2017 prohibits funding on a new
border wall. it minimizes cuts to the environmental protection agency allowing them to continue their work. planned parenthood will continue to receive federal funding. that being said, that budget isn't perfect and we will have a chance to debate it on the floor. the republicans insist on massive deficit spending for military spending that addition a mountain of debt. the taxes that republicans continue to spend happened over f inch st increase the cost to the next generation of americans. the working families flexibility act is an example of republicans' ideology and special interests over the needs of workers. the trend isn't new. it comes out of a difficult playbook we have seen for decades. this bill has been introduced multiple times over the past 22 years, never with any success, nearly identical bills were introduced in 1995, 1997, 1999,
2000, 2013, 2015 and 2017, 10 times over 22 years and each time the bill never becomes law and won't become law either. but if that's how they want to spend time in this body when we have important things to discuss that could become law like fixing our broken immigration system. the only flexibility are for the bosses. instead of receiving overtime, workers would receive comp. time so the paychecks won't get anything out of extra time worked. this legislation applies to the private sector and only employees subject to the overtime provision that the current overtime threshold is set at $24,000, so those who make less are affected by this bill. we have tried to increase that threshold to keep up with inflation.
but we have met resistance by republicans. in 2017, the federal poverty level for a family of four is about $24,000. we are talking about giving overtime to families that are below the poverty level. and these families rely on that overtime to pay their bills, pay their rent and put food on the table. these are the families who would benefit most from receiving overtime pay. a recent study showed that 40% of people making less than $22,000 500 a year worked some overtime hours and needed that income. the same 40% are the very people that would lose out unthe republican bill today. my republican colleagues claim no one is forcing workers to accept comp. time. and comp. time is optional. but this is how out of touch republicans are with actual working families. in practice, the power
differential between employers and employees means that employees would be obligated to accept comp. time even if that's not what works best for them. especially in nonunion workplaces, employees could feel pressure to go along with their employers or risk not even being offered overtime or comp. time in the future. republicans have made the argument that public sector workers receive comp. time. they're right. public sector union membership is roobd 34%. they have vast protections that private sector employees lack. public sector workers can't be fired except for good cause. they can't be discriminated against based on their desire to take overtime pay instead of comp. time. nonunionized private sector workers can be legally discriminated against based on their decisions to take comp.
time versus overtime pay. if the republicans want to enlarge this discussion to include providing additional workplace protections to workers in the private sector, we are happy to have that discussion both in the committee where i serve with mr. byrne as well as on the floor of the house. they say this provides flexibility. nothing in the current fair labor standards act prevents employers from offering time off right now. the fair labor standards act has the ultimate flexibility and provide paid or unpaid leave, maturnt, fraternity. they don't need this legislation to provide inflexibility. they just need to do the right thing. this bill ignores the fact that not all businesses are successful. before coming to congress, i started several businesses. i know this firsthand. a statistic is that 59% of restaurant businesses go out of business within three years. i'm 0-2.
i tried starting two restaurants and they failed. but what's important is that when something goes out of business, we don't leave the employees in the lurch and what you are doing by defering the overtime pay into potential future timeoff, if the company goes out of business, the employee would have to get in line and risk not being paid. that is not a theoretical risk. the majority of new businesses don't last 10 years. they go out of business. and depriving people of payment for the work they have done already is not the right way to treat people and not their fault of bad decisions made by bosses. my democrat colleagues offered amendments that would allow comp. time to earned interest. under the current bill, low-wage
workers are being asked to give an interest-free loan to the company. that doesn't make sense. the amendment didn't pass. if employees receive overtime pay, they should receive interest on it. representative wilson offered an amendment that would exempt workers that earned 2 1/2 times the minimum wage where they would be relying on overtime pay. that amendment was rejected. representative blunt rochester limited the bill to limit the seven days. yet again, republicans rejected this amendment. committee democrats tried to improve this bill. look, instead of bringing forward the same tired 22-year-old policies that i don't hear my constituents requesting, democrats have offered real solutions. working families would increase from the deless hold.
the department of labor proposed an increase. 248,000 workers would have benefited under that rule. democrats continue to write bills. we offered legislation that would provide up to 12 weeks of partial paid parental leave. only 14% of the work force has paid family leave through their employers. as a parent of a five and two-year-old, i know how important that is. democrats have introduced a bill that would allow to allow up to seven sick days a year. that would be tremendous help to those who don't have access to sick leave. democrats have. 2017 women working full-time are still paid 80 cents on the dollar compared to what men make. democrats offered legislation that will address that kind of pay disparity. those are the kind of bills that workers need, that we need to
help lift people out of poverty and into the middle class. today democrats introduced the equality act. i joined so many of my colleagues in a bipartisan bill to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. in many states, it is still legal to fire someone just because they are gay. the equality act would extend federal workplace discrimination protections to lgbt americans in all 50 states and the territories. house democrats will be introducing a bill to raise the minimum wage. my home state, soters chose to raise the wage and many other states are higher than the federal minimum wage. it shouldn't come down to what state you live in. as long past time to raise the wage act would do just that. yet again, we are offering many solutions we would love to discuss and vote on, instead the republicans are stripping
existing rights away from workers. mr. speaker, the bill before us represents the same old policies that republicans have offered for decade. they won't succeed now. this time around they are offering a bill that might be great for some of the bosses but undermines the lives of hardworking americans that keep our country going. i oppose this bill and the rule before us and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: the gentleman referred to an old playbook being used here. he's right. it is an old playbook that was used by house democrats in 1985 by president bill clinton during the 1990's. this is not a partisan playbook, this used to be actually a bipartisan idea to give workers flexibility in the use of their time. that doesn't sound radical to
me. it's not radical at all. what's changed is that democrats used to be for this and now for other reason, they are not. they would rather lock workers in in these restrictive arrangements where you have working mothers who can't get the flexible time off ta they want because we don't allow them to do it under the fair labor standards act. comp. time is just not technically optional under this law, it is optional by law. it is a voluntary thing by law. there is no question about that. employers cannot coerce or intimidate an employee to do that under this law. it is strictly prohibited and there are serious legal repercussions for an employer that attempts to do that. there are protections for
someone under this bill and the protection that public employees have when they seek to have this sort of flex time under the laws that pertain to them. it's the same protection. it doesn't matter if you are in the public or private sector, you are going to be protected. now let me tell you something, as someone who has practiced in this area, it's not an idle threat to an employer to face regulatory proceeding from the the department of labor or to face a private lawsuit. those are big deals. if you lose, you not only have to pay double damages, you have to pay the employee's attorney's fees which can be significant. no sensible employer is going to go out there to intimidate and coerce and get away with it, because they can't. wages under our bankruptcy laws are the first priority of what's paid out during the winding up of the bankruptcy proceeding. so before any other creditor is
paid, wages get paid. in my experience, i don't remember wages ever not being paid in a bankruptcy. that's always assumed they get taken care of quickly. . most employers do the right thing. my friend talked about employers doing the right thing. most employers do the right thing. just as i know my colleague when he had a business in the private sector, he did the right thing by his employees. most employers do. too often in this body we act as if the assumption is employers are going to do the wrong thing. we come down with this heavy-handed overregulation punitive approach that restricts the freedom of both employers and let's get back to t. the workers themselves, to -- back to it, the workers themselves to work these things out. this is a commonsense solution to a real problem in the new workplace of the 21st century where most moms and dads are working, and where we have this
new millennial generation that wants flexibility. they expect it. when you go to them and tell them you can't have it because it's a federal law that says you can't have it, they don't understand. i got to tell you, mr. speaker, i don't understand. yes, i understand that this law was put together in the night 1930's. maybe it made sense for the workplace of the 1930's. but it doesn't make sense for the workplace of the 21st century. i'm disappointed in my colleagues who used to be in favor of these sorts of flexible arrangements, no longer favorite. i get that. i hope that the rest of us will use our common sense and use what we all know what's really happening in the workplace today and support this very important bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: mr. chairman, i have then ent from 1997 from president bill clinton who opposed a bill that's basically
identical to this one in its current form. the president said he would veto this bill if passed because he said this bill purports to give working families greater flexibility, but in reality it grants employers more rights at the expense of working people. i hope my friends on the other side of the aisle stop using president clinton's good name in vain in passage of the bill that's nearly identical to the one he threatened to veto. of course democrats want to talk about flexibility. president clinton, myself, democrats on the education and work force committee, we're happy to do that. if there is a way to provide workers with real choices to protect workers against employee abuse in making their decisions. but the current bill and the same bill that president clinton opposed fails on that regard and fails to give employees the rights that they deserve to exercise their comp time. mr. speaker, i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. adams. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. adams: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, for
yielding. i wish to express my strong opposition to h.r. 1180. h.r. 1180 encourages overwork by encouraging workers to spend more time at work in order to earn paid time off which employers may or may not allow them to use in the future. many hardworking families throughout the 12th district in north carolina need overtime pay just to make ends meet each month. they should not be compelled by the employer to accept comp time when their monthly budget depends on how much overtime they receive in their paycheck. overtime pay can be the difference between paying for sending a child to college or going into debt. parents that earn an hourly wage need overtime not comp time to care for their families. nothing in the working families flexibility act strengthens ex-ising workplace protections or promotes workplace flexibility. that's why i offered an amendment last week when h.r.
1180 was considered in committee to exempt comp time arrangements from mandatory arbitrary -- arbitration agreements. this amendment would have ensured protections for employees that h.r. 1180 seeks to take away. unfortunately, the majority decided not to support my amendment or any other amendment offered by my fellow democrats on the education and work force committee. instead of today's bill, the house should consider legislation that would create good jobs with families sustaining wages and benefits. i strongly oppose h.r. 1180, and i encourage my colleagues to vote no on this bill. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: my colleague from north carolina and i worked together on many things, i have great respect for her, but i think her argument ignores the very important fact about this bill and that is that you can't be coerced into doing this. you have to do it voluntarily.
so if you'd rather get your time and a half in pay, that's your decision. you are going to get it. the law requires that. there's nothing that forces anybody to get that. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: mr. chairman, i want to submit to the record the statement of administrative policy from president william jefferson clinton from 1997. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: in which president clinton lays out the criteria by and large which are still the criteria under which democrats would support a comp time flexibility bill had the republicans been at all serious about actually passing one into law rather than just passing a symbolic bill they passed for 22 years. mr. speaker, i am proud to yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. brown. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. brown: mr. speaker, i want to thank my colleague from colorado, mr. polis, for yielding. an i rise today in opposition -- and i rise today in opposition to this so-called working families flexibility act. a bill that would hurt not help
working people. this bill would ensure workers have less time, less flexibility, and less money under this proposal, workers would forego -- forgo the overtime they earn today in exchange for comp time in the future, except workers can't choose when they can use that time. there is nothing stopping a boss who would deny a worker from using their comp time to care for a sick child or attend a school event. the only bill, the only thing that this bill does is provides more flexibility for bosses while take away hard-earned overtime pay that many workers rely on to make ends meet. this is an attempt to undermine hard-fought 80-year-old worker protections guaranteed by the fair labor standards act. if congress wanted to give working families more flexibility, we should give them
earned paid sick days. combat pay discrimination. give them a say in their work schedules. and raise the minimum wage. these are the policies that working families truly need to thrive. they are popular, commonsense ideas that, unlike this bill, don't force workers into choosing between time and money because families depend on both. let's work together to support real flexibility for working families. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from michigan, mrs. dingell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. dingell: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to the rule and underlying bill and thank my colleague from colorado for yielding. contrary to its name, the working families flexibility act
provides no flexibility for working families, but makes it harder to plan financially at a time when wages have stagnated and american workers are working harder than ever. the 40-hour-workweek is a long established american way of life. a way of life won by hardworking american men and women. this legislation aims to undermine the fair labor standards act and the 40-hour workweek by handing even more power over to employers by giving them the right to not pay for overtime hours. this legislation amounts to a handout for large american companies at the expense of their workers. hardworking americans can't afford to loan their bosses overtime pay for months at a ty. employees would also find themselves at a disadvantage if they wanted to get paid for
overtime instead of opting for comp time. companies would find it in their financial interest to select comp time workers instead of workers who want overtime pay. this isn't the flexibility that american workers need. the bill is right about one thing, american workers do deserve an update to the flsa. so if they really want to talk about helping american working families gain more flexibility in the workplace, congress should be taking up bills on paid sick days, pate family and medical leave, and -- paid family and medical leave, and real increase in wages. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: mr. speaker, i thng think my friend on the other side of the aisle doesn't understand how this works. an employee comes to their
supervisor or the person that runs the h.r. office in the company and says i would like to get some comp time in return for the overtime i'm getting ready to work because i have a specific reason to want to use it. and the employer says, ok, when do you want to get the overtime and when do you want to take the comp time? they work that out. then employer has the responsibility for having the system and the paperwork for showing that they complied with the law. now, from an employer's point of view, that's an extra burden. so it's really not in the interest of the employer to do this. employer would really prefer to say, look, don't want to have to do this because if i make a mistake aim going to get in trouble with either private -- i'm going to get in trouble with either the private lawsuit or department of labor. it's bert for the employer not to have this option because it's not an option which they can make a mistake. this is for that employee to get the comp time so they can have some flexibility in their schedule. that's who it's for. if they don't want to use it, they don't have to use it.
they can still be paid the time and a half that they are paid today. no one can coerce them. the law says you can't do that. and there are legal penalties -- real penalties for that. to the contrary we're hearing this is somehow something for the employers, no it's not. this is for the workers. though new workers of the 21st century who sometimes i think we have forgotten about when we have these debates in this body. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: while we're debating a rule for a bill that would strip workers of their overtime pay, since president trump took office, dangerous bills like this are more likely to become law. just a few weeks ago president trump signed a bill into law that strips the american people of our online privacy. allowing internet service providers to sell yours and my sensitive information to the highest bidder without our permission. this information includes location, financial and health data, information about our
children, even pictures of our children. social security numbers. web browsing history. app usage history, content of communication, emails, video chats. it's simply wrong. for this reason when we defeat the previous question i'll offer an amendment to the rule to bring up representative jacky rosen's bill, h.r. 1868, i would would reinstate the internet privacy rule. i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my amendment in the record along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous quefment the speaker pro tempore: -- question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mr. polis: sometimes you need a redo or retake. when this body narrowly passed the bill that president trump signed that took all of our private data and allowed internet service providers to sell it without our permission, it was a mistake. hopefully enough members of this body have since realized it's a mistake that they will now change their vote and support defeating the previous question
weeks ago after the bill he referenced passed, it didn't come up one time. the american people understand that there were two different agencies battling over something and didn't solve the problem. the agency that put that regulation out didn't have the authority to do it and didn't solve the problem. and the american people are sick and tired that agencies go out there and do something and didn't solve the problem. if we want to get to the issue that my friend wants to get to that i think is important, let's work together in a bipartisan fashion and come up with a bipartisan comprehensive bill that addresses that. and i would like to be part of that. but that's not what we are here today about, but we are here to provide flexibility to people working in the 21st century, particularly millenials. i reserve. mr. polis: i'm surprised that people in alabama weren't
clammering to protect their online privacy. i'll take him at his word. perhaps they were concerned with republican attempts to increase their health insurance rates by 20% and republicans' attempts to increase taxes and so maybe they were so overwhelmed by the republican efforts to get rid of their health care and increase the deficit, spend more money and take away their rights, it didn't get down on their list of broadband. but dozens of my constituents at my town halls brought this issue up. republicans and democrat constituents brought this up by arguing how out of touch the republicans are to say in this time in our history is what we need is less privacy, not more. i think there are a lot of
things that people are concerned about. and this debate is about that. if we defeat the previous question, i will be bringing forth ms. rosen's bill. members will have an opportunity to protect broadband privacy. more work less pay bill before us is yet another example by republicans to roll back workers' rights under the guise of doing the opposite. if the republicans have a desire to actually enhance and improve workers' rights. we are for that. let's talk about that. but don't pretend like you have the voices and concerns of workers in mind when groups are saying you are stripping away their rights. we are happy to have that discussion. the veto statement from president clinton in 1997 still lays out as relevant today the very criteria that democrats would support that would empower workers to choose additional comp. time, a concept that many
democrats support. i wish we were working to protect american families today. but instead of collaborating with democrats to produce a bill that actually accomplishes the stated goal of increasing worker flexibility, instead they are moving forward with a 22-year-old bill that ends the 40-hour work week that won't become law. perhaps as a checkoff box rather than to empower workers, choose comp. time instead of overtime, they are checking the box for the big bosses and moving onto the next item. there is a lot of bipartisan bills this body could be taking up this week and one of them is representative rosen's bill that i will be bringing up when we defeat the previous question. this bill is not one of them. i'm disappointed even controlling the house and senate
and presidency, we are passing messaging bills instead of real bills like bringing down the cost of college, like fixing our broken immigration system, like rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges or our complicated tax system. mr. speaker, i support legislation that puts the needs of workers first, but this bill before us does the opposite. this legislation lifts up the big bosses with the hope that a worker may or may not see a benefit down the line if the company stays in business. wrong way to go about it. i oppose the rule, i oppose the underlying bill. i urge a no vote and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank congresswoman roby of being the sponsor of this bill and bringing it forward. as a young woman herself, she understands what is going on in the workplace and how they try
to juggle the demands of their time and came up with an approach to deal with this in a way that makes sense for everybody. we heard about the labor movement and big bosses. i got transported back in my mind you would have thought we were back in the 1940's. union memberships is at its lowest level since the 1940's because even after eight years, the most pro-union administration in decades, union membership continues to fall and continues to fall because workers in america aren't buying what they're selling. a lot of what they're selling is what we hear is the opposition to this bill which is let's limit and restrict people and come up with things that tell them what they can't do instead of telling them what they can. what i heard at my town hall meetings, they want the government off their back so they can make their own choices and live the lives they want to
live and this is true with the millenial generation, i have four children and they want to have flexibility in their lives. and this bill, congresswoman roby's bill gets a little way towards that. and i don't see why we would be against trying to give not just young workers but all workers that flexibility. i have heard the arguments and heard them several times now. and i just got to tell you, they make no sense to me. perhaps there is something that made sense 50, 60, 70 years ago, but don't make any sense in 2017. it's a different time. it's a different day. let's give the workers of america some freedom and flexibility, because that's what they really want. mr. speaker, i again urge my colleagues to support house resolution 299 and the underlying bill. i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. polis: mr. chairman, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable, the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on may 2, 2017 at 11:26 a.m. that the senate passed senate 371. with best wishes, i am, signed
sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postponefurther proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered. or votes objected to under clause 6 of rule 20. the house will resume proceedings on postponed questions at a later time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1665 as amended. the clerk: union calendar number 56, h.r. 1665, a bill to ensure that administrator of the federal emergency management considers severe local impact in king a request for a major
disaster declaration. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania and the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: i ask members may have five legislative days to include extraneous material on h.r. 1665 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barletta: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the purpose of h.r. 1665 is to ensure in making a recommendation to the president for a major disaster declaration, the administrator of fema looks at the intensity of the impact in a localized area as well as the impact on other recent disasters. my colleagues from illinois are to be commended for working so persistently on this bipartisan piece of legislation. their districts have been impacted by several devastating disasters, but each time the communities were told that the damage was not severe enough to
warrant federal disaster assistance. in recent years, there have been more evidence of devastating small and rural communities not receiving disaster assistance in a fair manner compared to other larger communities and neighboring states. i know all too well how devastating this can be for those affected by disaster as i am dealing with a similar issue in my district. there was a crippling snowstorm that dumped 30 inches of snow or more. municipalities had to exhaust much of their yearly budgets on snow removal efforts and emergency services. however, due to the fact that the statewide threshold needed for pennsylvania to request reimbursement funding from the federal government was not met, local municipalities were left with massive holes in their budgets. this bill helps ensure the
severe, remote and localized impact endured by communities like those in pennsylvania and illinois get due consideration and may get the help they need when disasters strike. the house adopted similar language last year when it passed the fema disaster assistance reform act. thank you to the gentleman and the gentlewoman from illinois for working with the subcommittee on this legislation to address the concerns of your constituents and other communities in this situation. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 1665, the disaster declaration improvement act as amended, which will ensure the number of recent disasters are afforded
greater weight by fema when making disaster declaration recommendations to the president. this addresses an unfair situations where rural communities are seemingly denied because of the state's large population. we have seen instances where a storm inflicts similar damage in two communities of similar size located in different states but the state with a lower population receives a disaster declaration while the state with a larger population does not receive the disaster declaration. for example, in 2013, several counties in illinois were hit by a tornado causing six deaths, at least 180 injured and widespread damage, the same storm system produced tornadoes and caused damage in the smaller neighboring states of missouri
and kentucky both of which received disaster declarations while the state of illinois did not. to be clear, the stafford act prohibits the denial of assistance to a state or local community based on income or population. however, given some of the examples, it appears that that is precisely what is occurring. it is time for this to stop and treat all small and rural communities fairly. i urge my colleagues to support this measure and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barr leta. mr. barletta: i yield four minutes to the the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis. mr. davis: thank you chairman barletta and i look over this house floor and thank the the gentlewoman from illinois, because if you travel to my district in southern illinois and ask my constituents about
their opinion of fema's declaration process they are going to tell you it's broken. don't look any further than the state of illinois to see how the formula is failing hard-working families, because it does not put all communities on a level playing field. . . due to the damage inflicted by the exact same storm. just a few short years ago the towns of gifford and washington in central illinois were denied public assistance as well despite those communities suffering millions in damage and just last year illinois was once again denied public assistance following extensive damage in late december, 2015 and early january of 2016 caused by severe storms and flooding in the central and southern parts of our state. under existing regulations fema currently takes into account several factors when determining the need for public and
individual assistance. however, there is currently no standard to determine which factor is more important than another during the disaster declaration process. this leads to highly subjective and uncertain processes that leaves states and communities in limbo for weeks as their application is considered. by working with the transportation and infrastructure committee last year, during the markup of the fema disaster assistance reform act, we were successful in including important language based on legislation i introduced that requires the add mart your -- administrator of fema when making recommendation to the president regarding a disaster declaration to give greater weight and consideration to severe local impact. this bill ultimately passed out of the house under suspension last congress, but unfortunately the bill died in the senate. this congress i have introduced this language again along with my friend and league from illinois shall -- colleague frill now, mrs. bustos, as the disaster declaration improvement act.
passing this bill will have a real impact on states like illinois where large portion of the population is concentrated in a small northeastern corner of our state. because of the population density in the northern part of my state, rural parts where i live, where i represent they are having to meet an arbitrarily high standard and in order to qualify for disaster declaration. enacting this language going to help level the playing field, help ensure rural areas are given a fair chance when disaster happens, and when help is needed. during our march markup of this bill, we also added important language that strengthens the bill by way of an amendment offered by my friend from louisiana, mr. garrett graves. this language also requires fema to place more consideration on recent multiple disasters to take into account the cumulative impact such events can have. and so i want to thank chairman graves for working with my office on including this language and for being a
co-sponsor of my bill. i also want to express my personal gratitude to chairman shuster and ranking member defazio for working with us during the last congress and this congress and for moving this bill so early. again i want to especially thank chairman barletta for being a co-sponsor of this bill. mr. speaker, central and southern illinois just experienced another flooding event this past weekend. while it's not yet clear what the damage is, it's clear that congress must act to ensure that folks get a fair shake if it is determined that federal assistance is needed. i urge a yes vote. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta reserves his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield to the gentlelady from illinois, sherry bustos, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. bustos: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to also thank my colleague, congressman rad any davis, for working with me to advance this long overdue legislation which we call the disaster declaration improvement act. this bill seeks to bring
fairness to the federal emergency management agency's disaster declaration process. right now if a tornado or a flood or any other natural disaster strikes a small town like many of the ones i represent in the state of illinois, fema's current per capita formula leaves much of rural america behind. that's because fema's current disaster assessment rules fail to take into account localized impacts on main street agricultural communities, all throughout our nation. it this has left hardworking families in illinois and rural states throughout the united states without access to the federal relief they so badly need under these circumstances. for instance, in my district, the city of peakon was denied fema disaster recovery funding following a deadly tornado that had winds up to 120 miles per hour that ripped through the town in november of 2013. gary and selena were in church on sunday afternoon when the
tornado hit. they took shelter along with the rest of the congregation in the hallway to protect themselves. finally and with god's blessing, they were able to drive safely home and they didn't even recognize what was in front of them. much of the roof was gone. their garage had been torn away. and their battered car lay among all of the rubble. the tornado destroyed about 200 other structures in this town of only 35,000 people. but this community received no public assistance dollars, zero. this was a direct result of fema's disaster declaration formula which again makes it unnecessarily difficult for illinois and also smaller communities to receive the help that they need. mr. speaker, we're not asking for a handout for rural america. in fact, in the midwest we're as resilient as they come. but we're certainly asking for a fair shake. and the opportunity for all of our families to get the help that they need in a time of crisis. a few million dollars of damages
can devastate a smaller town or a rural community. and that's why fema must give greater weight to the local impact of the disaster when making these decisions about the need for federal assistance. our bill fixes an unfair formula that hurts too many of our smaller towns and villages across illinois and across america. this bill had been included in the fema disaster assistance act of 2015 but it sat in the senate without any action. today we're working together to pass it once again because we can't solve this problem by ignoring it. and i would urge our friends in the senate to take action. with new flooding damaging roads and infrastructure in places like peakon and peoria and southern illinois where my friend, mike bost serves, and where rodney davis serves, i urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this bill so we can help ensure that hardworking families from the heartland have the support they need to get back on their feet after a
disaster. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: i wish one minute to the gentleman from illinois, mr. bost. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bost: i thank my friend for yielding. as we speak our communities in southern illinois are contending with rising floodwaters. while we may not be able to prevent the water rising, there is a lot that we can do to help our communities rebuild following a disaster. unfortunately, too many rural areas find that the help that we need is not there for them because of arbitrary federal rules. in my district, rural communities suffered sufficiently -- sufficient damage from the 2015 holiday flood. but did not qualify for assistance because of these ridged rules. the legislation addresses these problems and ends the unfair treatment of rural areas.
it is better to ensure that fema gives greater weight to localized disasters when determining assistance. i support the legislation authorized by my friend and illinois colleague, rodney davis, and co-sponsored by cheri bustos, because the victims shouldn't be punished for living in small town and rural america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. barletta. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, i wish to yield two minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. lahood. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. lahood: 7 -- mr. lahood: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise today in support of h.r. 1665, the disaster declaration improvement act. i want to thank my colleague, mr. barletta, and also congressman rodney davis, for
his important leadership on this issue. rural areas are the heart of not only my district but of america as a whole. they are the source of food and resources and are home to millions of american families. when natural disasters come to these communities, we should be doing everything in our power to help them get back on their feet. instead, the regulatory regime forces, these airas meet a higher and unfair threshold in order to get the fema resources that they need. my district faced this problem back in 2013 after a tornado swept through washington, illinois, destroying nearly 1,000 homes. this was a massive loss, but fema's formula for public assistance kept washington from getting the assistance it needed to repair the public infrastructure damaged by the storm. while individuals could get some relief for personal property,
this damage to infrastructure affects every member of the community. this is why i'm a proud co-sponsor and supporter of h.r. 1665. the disaster declaration improvement act. this bill will change and modernize fema's formula so that it is easier for rural areas and areas with lower population density to get the support and assistance they need after a disaster. i urge my colleagues to vote for this passage today and ensure that all americans, regardless of the town they live in, can know that help will be on the way after such tragic events happen. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta, reserves his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. barletta. mr. barletta: i wish to yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. aves: thank you,
speaker. i thank the gentleman from for yielding. -- i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to commend the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, the gentlewoman from illinois, mrs. bustos, for coming together, working in a bipartisan manner to address a problem that affects not just illinois but affects, i think, all 50 states. it's an issue where we have watched fema in many cases make decision that is appear to be arbitrary in terms of declaring a disaster in some areas, not in others. what this legislation does very simply is it requires that fema take into consideration the true localized impacts of a disaster. and in line with what the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, noted earlier, we did an amendment in the committee that also -- required fema to consider multiple impacts in the area. i'm from south louisiana. in the last several months we have had police shootings. we have had one of the most costly floods in u.s. history. we have had tornadoes.
we have had another flood in -- in fact, two floods as i recall. one was a 500-year flood. the second was a 1,000-year flood. it makes me question how old i am sometimes. but what this does is it requires that fema look at localized impacts, they take into consideration the cumulative impacts of various disasters and incidents in an area. fema's not there anti-federal government is not there to take care of every problem, every disaster that states and municipalities have. but in many cases have we seen historically they missed opportunities and i think we have seen incredible burdens borne by local governments and they have had disasters that are far exceeded their capabilities. i want to again commend the gentleman and the gentlewoman from illinois for conversation this commonsense legislation. i urge all members to support the bill. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: does the gentleman have any additional speakers? mr. barletta: we do not. mr. johnson: i'm prepared to
yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yield his time? the gentleman yields his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: i again urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 1665 as amended. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the question, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1665, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is thravenlt -- the laid upon the table. mr. barletta: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this otion will be postponed.
for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. barletta: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1679. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 63, h.r. 1679, a bill to inend sure that the federal emergency management agency's current efforts to modernize its grant management system includes applicant accessibility and transparency and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta, and the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and includeheir remarks and extraneous material on h.r. 1679. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barletta: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. barletta: the purpose of h.r. 1679, the fema accountability modernization and transparency act of 2017 is to enhance fema grant applicants access to information.
i commend my colleague from louisiana for working so hard for the people of his state to tackle a challenges those communities and individuals have been facing in the wake of last august's floods and other disasters. gives gives out -- fema out taxpayer money and must be managed in a transparent way to prevent duplication and provide disaster survivors with needed access. more transparent delivery will help speed disaster recovery and reduce the administrative burden on applicants. this legislation requires the fema administrator to include online access and information sharing as the agency modernizes its disaster grant delivery system.
i urge my colleagues to support this bill. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. mr. johnson: i rise in support of h.r. 1679, the fema accountability modernization and transparency act of 2017 as amended. our state and local partners are the first responders to any emergency disaster or terrorist attack. they do an outstanding job given limited resources and irregular nature of the events to which they respond. we need to make sure our partners, state and local governments have access to the latest equipment, training and other resources to address any gaps in preparedness and ensure that they remain as possible in an emergency. to assist them in their efforts, the department of homeland several provides
discrete types of preparedness grants to help our partners meet the core capabilities needed to prepare our nation for any hazard. fema's 2016 national preparedness report found that much more work is needed in areas such as cybersecurity, economic recovery, housing, infrastructure systems and supply chain integrity and security in order to meet our goal of being prepared and resilient. despite the valuable benefits these grants provide, president trump proposed to cut funding for these grants in his so-called skinny budget. president trump has proposed prioritizing a border wall over the lives and safety of our residents. i'm pleased to note that this week, congress will be voting on an omnibus fiscal year 2017
appropriations bill that funds these programs at sufficient levels. since 2015, fema has been modernizing its management of these grant programs by making information technology platforms more user friendly. as fema continues to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its grants management, this bill will ensure that fema ensures that the system is more accessible and transparent to applicants. the bill requires fema to include mechanisms to eliminate duplication of benefits and enable the sharing of information among agencies with state, local and tribal governments where appropriate while fema continues its modernization efforts. i urge my colleagues to support this measure. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: i yield four minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the subcommittee chairman and ranking member for their assistance and want to thank our lead co-sponsor. mr. speaker, this legislation is an unfortunate situation that congress actually has to step in. i want to give you background. in august of last year, we had once again what was known as the fourth most costly flood. we had areas of south louisiana that experienced over 32 inches of rain within a 36-hour period. by comparison, the average american received between 26 and 28 inches of rain in a year and we received that in 36 hours. extraordinary rainfall event. as you can imagine in a 1,000-year flood event, you had thousands of people flooded and
living outside the flood plain. there were thousands of people that were seeking assistance trying everything from buying clothes, to buying food, essential needs. and we assisted thousands of constituents trying to get answers from fema, but the way the process works that you had to call an 800 number and if someone answered, they would log on and update the constituent. if they received the application, if additional information was needed, approved or denied. i called the 800 number to see how long it would take to get through. in some cases, no one would answer. in some cases, the questions couldn't be answered. very simple situation. this bill simply requires that fema establish an online data base that citizens can access directly. i can look at hotel reservations, train reservations, you can do anything online.
pay your utility bills, call an uber. but with fema that had thousands of employees there to answer the system. there is no need for that step to be there. i would rather see those fema employees help us recover. so i'll say it again, i'm disappointed that this takes an act of congress. this is common sense and seeing this type of innovation and utilization of technology happen all across the marketplace. but unfortunately, congress has to intervene here, albeit in a bipartisan way, to make sure that americans are getting the service that they deserve and to make sure that our taxpayer dollars are being used in an efficient way. i want to thank the subcommittee chairman, mr. barr leta, the ranking member member, mr. johnson, and i want to thank the lead co-sponsors, mr. sires of new jersey that i know has gone
through extraordinary challenges in new jersey with the 2012 hurricane sandy impacts on his state. and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from jea. -- georgia. mr. johnson: i would inquire as to whether there are any other speakers on this side. mr. barletta: we do not. mr. johnson: i yield the balance of my time. the gentleman yields. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: i urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 1679 and i yield back the balance of my time. the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time has expired. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1679. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended. the bill is passed, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
mr. barletta: i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. punt to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. barletta: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1678 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: a bill to amend the disaster relief and emergency assistance contact concerning the statute of limitations for actions to recover disaster or emergency assistance payments and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta and the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, each will control 20 minutes. mr. barletta: i ask unanimous consent that all members have
five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 1678 as amended. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the purpose of h.r. 1678 is to establish a statute of limitations for fema to recover disaster assistance payments. this bill would provide finality in disaster assistance and minimize administrative costs. this is a bipartisan issue. and i appreciate my colleagues from florida for their continued leadership on this issue. h.r. 1678 reinstates the three-year statute of limitations on fema's ability to reclaim money. i have seen fema tell a community that a project is eligible for funding to allow a town to move forward only to have fema change its mind years later and take the money back.
not only is this devastating to the community and to disaster recovery, but the amount of administrative time and red tape involved in second guessing is a waste of taxpayer dollars. again, my thanks to the the gentlewoman from florida and the gentleman from florida for their continued work on this issue. and for introducing this bill. the house adopted similar language last year when it passed the fema disaster assistance reform act. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 1678 as amended. and at this time, i am pleased and proud to yield to my friend from florida, the author and sponsor of this legislation such time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. frankel: thank you for yielding and i want to thank
chairman shuster and barletta and ranking members for their continued support. i have had the honor of working on this legislation with my friend from florida. i have said this before and i'm going to say it again, florida knows hurricanes. in 2004 and 2005, charlie, francis, jean, wilma and katrina tore through our state leaving families stranded and property damaged. i was the mayor of the city of west palm beach when we saw trees crash to the ground ripping power lines and blocking flooded streets. water systems were compromised and our local governments around the clock did a miraculous job, cleaning debris and getting life back to normal. it takes a lot to get it done.
when hurricanes strike, communities are ravaged and so are their budgets. so i want to first thank fema for the funding assistance they provided florida in a great time of need. with that said, fema is now asking some of our cities and counties to pay back money that were given for disaster relief projects that were approved more than 10 years ago. and there is no question that fema should do a responsible audit and make sure that money is used properly. however, the process should not be an endless journey into the federal bureaucracy. our local governments cannot afford to wait an infin it number of years for fema to do an assessment especially when millions of dollars are at stake. the current practice sometimeys the local governments to plan
their future budgets and unlike the federal government, they can't run a deficit. this bill would make sure that the process is more even handed, iving fema adequate time while allow for the financial security of our local governments. i urge my colleagues to support this very good legislation and i urge the senate to take action. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, reserves his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. mast: mr. speaker, i would like to recognize my committee colleagues, mr. webster on promoting this legislation. i'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this bill. there is no question for florida
that the emergency management capabilities are among the best in the nation but some disasters are even beyond what we can handle and what we can handle in an effective and timely manner. we are battling wildfires across the state and on the eve of a hurricane season which happens year after year. these disaster relief programs are necessary and critical. and they are one of the most important responsibilities of the federal government to help states and citizenry recover. but there is an issue going on. many counties in south florida are still fighting to this day with fema to defend the legitimacy of disaster relief aid that they received following one of the worst hurricane seasons in our state's history where hurricane after hurricane after hurricane crossed the shores of florida. mr. speaker, victims of the disaster and national emergency who may not have