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tv   U.S. House Meets for Legislative Business  CSPAN  May 17, 2017 12:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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president's comments later in our program schedule. they are also streamingline now at c-span.org. here on c-span we'll take you live to the u.s. house. they gavel in for legislative work including a bill this afternoon that would impose new sanctions on those who do business with or provide financing to the syrian government. live house coverage is here on c-span. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, the rabbi thomas a. louchheim, congregation or chadash, tucson, arizona. the chaplain: loving god. each day raise up these good women and men who are serving our country with honor. renew in them the faith, hope
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and love that brought them to this vital work. rekindle in them the passion that first called them to serve. may you, our elected representatives from every state in the our great nation, be granted today the courage of your convictionses and may your eyes, your ears, your hearts be open to the possibilities yet imagined. compassionate god, may our fellow americans remember that these, your servants, are each made in the divine image. they are our brothers and sisters in a family bridging all philosophical lines. may we treat them with respect. for we know not the hard battles they must fight. may your blessings be on our military and diplomats serving overseas. keep them safe from harm. keep their souls strong. and strengthen them to serve with honor and courage. may our prayers for kindness and
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justice, freedom and peace, be answered in our own day. men. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from texas, mr. williams. mr. williams: 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 ustice for all. the speaker: without objection, arizona, woman from ms. mcsally, is recognized for one minute. ms. mcsally: arizona, thank you speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor rabbi louchheim who led us in the opening prayer. he's a rabbi at the congregation congregation or
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chadash in tucson, arizona. he moved to tucson with his wife in 1989 and been a pillar in our community ever since. having served as a rabbi at temple emanuel and executive for hand maker hospice, he's a strong advocate for peace and religious harmony. he worked close-l with the muslim community in the aftermath of september 11 and has continued to promote understanding by organizing annual muslim-jewish peace walks. he founded the first jewish christian-muslim scriptual study group in our community and contributed to interfaith literature. in a world where religion too often divides us, rabbi louchheim has shown we're all stronger together. rabbi louchheim's influence extends past receivern arizona. his influence reaches beyond this earth. the rabbi is a namesake for the only space object in the named after a rabbi. asteroid 9584-louchheim. i was honored to join rabbi louchheim in the holocaust remembrance walk last year.
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i personally witnessed his compassion and leadership in the faith community in southeastern arizona. i'm honored to welcome him to the house of representatives today and personally thank him for offering this morning's prayer. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now entertain up to 15 further requests for one-mnt speeches on each side of the aisle. for what reasons does the gentleman from wisconsin -- the speaker: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized without objection for one minute. the speaker: my colleagues, i am proud to stand before the house today to recognize national police week. every year at this time law enforcement officials from around the country gather here to pay tribute to their fallen brethren and stand with their families. it is yet another measure of their commitment to protect and serve. over just this last year, four of wisconsin's finest have lost their lives in the line of duty. trooper anthony of the wisconsin state patrol.
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deputy dan glaze of the rusk county sheriff's office. ficer michael ventura of salem's detcht public safety. detective jason wyland of the everest metropolitan police department. earlier this year he was killed establishing a perimeter during the standoff of a shooter who took the lives of three people. jason left behind a wife and two children. anna, his daughter, almost 11, spoke at the funeral. quote, our dad was an amazing man that saved lives every day, she said. we all know he is always and will be forever in our hearts. he will be looking down on us, laughing and crying. looking down that day, anna's dad saw some remarkable things. he saw thousands of people, many of whom he had never met, lined up to pay their respects. he saw cops in uniform from all over the country, from new
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york, chicago, oregon, and canada. he saw mourners and paul bayers in green and gold to honor his love of the green bay packers. he saw blue ribbons everywhere. at a time when law enforcement is targeted and too often politicized, we must never take for granted the dangers they face. every day and every night. they leave their homes and their families to protect ours. they put their lives on the line to protect ours. loved ones, all they hope for, all they pray for, is to hear the car pull into the l driveway and see that familiar through the door. and when the unspeakable happens, when their watch is cut short. ours is only beginning. the support that we give to their families, the respect and appreciation we show for their fellow officers, it is the least we can do as citizens, and must do.
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this week and every week. today i ask the whole house to join me in expressing our profound gratitude to law enforcement officers here in the capitol and across the ation. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. serrano: mr. speaker, i rise today to introduce bipartisan house resolution 328 with my colleague from florida, frances rooney, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of jerusalem. for centrist the jewish people learned to pray at the western wall. the only remaining connection to the great temple destroyed in 70 a.d. a cry that infused the daily prayers. 50 years ago in 1967, this mere hope became a reality when jerusalem was finally reunified at the conclusion of the six-day war. of that freshes moment, rabin
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recouldn'ted, quote, we stood among a tangle of bug rugged battle weary men who were unable to believe their identifies. their eyes moist with tears, speech incoherent, the overwomening desiring was to cling to the wall to hold on to that great moment as long as possible. the reunification of jerusalem restored the city as a beacon of religious freedom for all of the religious. and the rights of jews, uslims, and christians to pray at their respective holy sites. we share the joy of our brothers and sisters as we celebrate this special milestone and continue to strive for a two state st. louis wean israelis and palestinianpians. our enduring relationship was never more vital. i ham honored to stand with our close friend and ally. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the j -- for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to remember branch county michigan sheriff deputy michael winter. mr. walberg: who lost his life in the line of duty. he is survived by his wife and two daughters. deputy winter was known as a committed family man with answer of humor and big smile. he loved being around horses and loved the posse. from his time in the united branch avy to the county sheriff's posse deputy winter was the type of person who put his community and country before himself. he's branch a hero in every sen the word. this week during national police week, his name was carved into the national law enforcement officers memorial here in washington, d.c. it's a lasting tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect us. mr. speaker, on behalf of the grateful nation, we honor deputy winter's memory and service to branch county and
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our country. he will not be forgotten. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. higgins: last night we learned president trump may have tried toint fear with an ongoing investigation asking the f.b.i. director to end the investigation into his former national security advisor's ties to russia. the justice department today should appoint an independent prosecutor to aggressively pursue the truth. there are a lot of informational dots. they either connect or don't. there is no dispute that russia interfered with the united states presidential election. the question is did russia interfere with the presidential election in coordination with the trump campaign. it is deeply troubling that the torney general recused himself, self-declared conflict from the russian investigation.
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then played a role in firing the man leading it. the american people himself, self-declared conflict suspect the decision to fire the f.b.i. director as part of a cover-up. appoint a special prosecutor to pursue the truth. despots all over the world like putin want to discredit american democracy to keep their own people from wanting it. we as americans, republicans and democrats all, cannot allow this to happen ever. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to speak on behalf of law enforcement. not only in my district but around the nation. this week is national police week and it marks an important time for our contry. these men and women are an elite group, worthy of our praise and recognition. mr. williams: they are a true american patriots whose acts of courage must be honored and acknowledged. too many heroes lost their lives in the line of duty last year. multiple of them were in my home state of texas, as well as my district. every single day the federal, state, and local police officers around the country put
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their lives on the line to protect their fellow americans. mr. speaker, i came up here to speak on behalf of all americans and express our appreciation for our law enforcement. these are the men and women who dedicate their lives to keeping the peace and carrying out justice. congress has worked and will continue to work hard to guarantee that these brave men and women are provided with the tools needed to do their jobs and maintain public safety. we will also remain persistent to ensure those who harm law enforcement officers are brought to justice. i applaud those in law enforcement who have voluntarily put their lives on the line for all of us. in god we trust. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr. kildee: i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. it seems like with this white house there is a new crisis every single day.
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on monday it was reported that the president revealed classified information in the oval office to rushans, compromising our national security. compromising our ability to gather intelligence on isis. compromising our ability to keep america safe. and now we learn that the president tried to interfere with an ongoing investigation asking the head of the anybody fib -- of the f.b.i. to lay off his national security advisor, mr. flynn. to leave it alone. to let it go. this is an abuse of power. there is no two ways about it. democrats and republicans have to stand up and do our constitutional duty to protect this democracy. partisanship has to be setaside. we have to do our job. we have to serve the american people. and we have to protect this precious democracy and do our
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constitutional duty. democrats and republicans both have to stand together on this. we need an independent commission so we can investigate this problem. we need to do it now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president of the united states. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this week is police week. a time we honor all our officers. especially those who have fallen in the line of duty keeping us safe. mr. tiberi: today i rise in honor and remember ohio police chief steven dosaroi. father of six with a baby on the way was killed in the line of duty on may 12, 2017. he died at the hands of a gunman who also killed two employees at a local nursing home.
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marlena and cindy. this is a tragedy that truly tests the strength of a community. the strength of neighbors. and the strength of oufer law enforcement -- of our law enforcement community. to the chief's family i can't imagine the grief and anguish you must be feeling. we're heartbroken for your loss. please know your husband, your father, your son was an american hero. his memory will never be forgotten and it is there that i pray you find hope. today and every day, may god bless you and all our police officers and their families. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. tonko: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise to call urgent attention to america's drinking water infrastructure. every day more than 700 water mains break in cities, towns and villages across our great country.
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every day seven billion gallons of clean drinking water are lost due to leaks and breaks in our water infrastructure. that's treated water. and our tax dollars down the drain. with as many as 10 million lead service lines in use today, and dozens of new unregulated contaminates, the threat to public health goes far beyond flint, michigan, and new york. our federal government has a duty to protect the people of this country. we must act decisively to address this growing challenge. we maintain roads and bridges and ports and railways and so much more. but our investment in our water systems has not kept up and now these systems are failing. many state and local governments can't keep up. they need our help. this job needs to get done now, this year, in this budget. i urge you to join me in supporting h.r. 1071, the aqua act. and let's respond to this great nation's drinking water challenges with strength, compassion and passion.
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i thank you. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, she was born at evening time as a full moon rose over texas. ivy francis shoemaker joined the world weighing seven pounds and was 20 inches long. her birth was on may 9 in dallas. the miracle of birth is god's blessing to the rest of us. and it's a blessing to ivy's parents, kelly and anthony, and her sisters, olivia and ross lynn. ivy, of course, is a beautiful smart-looking baby. she has the privilege to be born to wonderful parents that will raise her to grow in wisdom and stature in the lord. my wife and i are the proud grandparents of ivy. who i will call from time to time number 12. you see, mr. speaker, i refer to my other grandchildren by their birth numbers as well. there are 11 of them.
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my hope for ivy is that she sees the importance of being good to others. that she makes the world a better place. that she is faithful to the lord. that she appreciates mr. herrera: taj and that, of course -- appreciates her heritage, and that, of course, she always lives in texas. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, our nation is in the middle of a public health crisis. drug overdoses are now killing more americans each year than car accidents. 336 rhode islanders died last year as a result of a drug overdose. that's up from 290 in 2015 and 238 deaths in 2014. nationwide overdose deaths involving prescription and elicit opioids have quadrupled since 1999. this is a crisis that's threatened americans of all different backgrounds. young and old, black and white, urban and rural. it's a crisis, plain and simple. and all of us who serve in
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government have a responsibility to stop it. that's why i was so alarmed earlier this month when i learned that president trump is considering slashing funding for the office of national drug control policy by 95%. slashing funding to a lead federal agency in this fight would have a devastating impact on families in rhode island and all across our country. so let's work together, let's work across the aisle, democrats and republicans, to defeat this short-sighted proposal and instead advance real, comprehensive solutions to this public health epidemic. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina seek recognition? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. the mutual relationship between the united states and taiwan enshrined in the taiwan relations act of 1979 and reinforced by the six assurances of 1982 has endured due to our
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shared beliefs in democratic government, freedom of expression, the rule of law and a market economy. it is my hope that this relationship will continue to deepen and strengthen in all areas. and i hope the trump administration will move expeditiously with a military sales package that will help to guarantee taiwan's security and freedom for the future. the people of taiwan have great friends in the people of the united states. and i know many of my colleagues would will join me in expressing our shared desire to work together with our friends on the old and new challenges that taiwan faces. i wish the president and the people of taiwan all the best on their first anniversary of her administration. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for
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one minute. >> mr. speaker, it's national police week and i rise to honor law enforcement officials who protect our communities. i also pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who have died in the line of duty. there are few jobs more important or more perilous than that of a police officer. since i took office in january, there have been at least four incidents in or near my central florida district where a police officer was shot. in one of those cases, an officer, orlando police lieutenant deborah clayton, lost her life. mrs. murphy: because they run towards danger, police officers face unimaginable challenges. last june an armed attacker entered the pulse night club in orlando and opened fire, killing 49 people. showing no regard for their own safety, orlando officers charged into the club, eventually bringing that long dark night to an end. despite the risks, they put on their uniforms every day. so to all the brave officers around this country, i say thank you.
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i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in recognition of national police week, a time to honor and thank law enforcement officers for all they do in service to our communities. as a former state and federal prosecutor, i have worked with law enforcement officersality every level. local, -- officers at every level. local, state and federal. mr. lahood: as a member of congress, i have the privilege of representing the district that is both rural and urban. and i have seen the different challenges that our officers have faced. and they've done it in a tremendous way. both at the local police level and at the sheriff level. the work and effort put in by the officers in each community never ceases to amaze me and it's a big reason why our -- ceases to amaze me and it's a big reason why our communities continue to be vibrant.
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this work doesn't come without its risks and far too many officers pay the ultimate price. last year in my district, one of its own was killed in the line of duty. losses like this are devastating for both the families and our communities. we must never forget their sacrifices and must continue to work to keep our officers protected. and i am proud of the work the house is doing this week to do just that. i thank every law enforcement officer for their commitment and dedication towards keeping america safe. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, today we're talking about infrastructure and i want to focus on one aspect of infrastructure that touches the lives of all americans, especially in my home state of california, and that's water. i know firsthand the urgent challenges facing our water infrastructure, the crippling recent drought and subsequent record rainfall has prompted more discussion on a need for a
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smart water management strategy to improve drinking water, water reuse, recycled water systems for communities across the united states. mr. mcnerney: we must take meaningful steps to increase our water conservation, reduce unnecessary energy use, and cut costs for americans. let's commit to investing in technology and science-based solutions that will address the weaknesses a in our water drinking systems, from threats like -- weaknesses in our water drinking systems, from threats like water source contamination. i urge my colleagues to focus on legislation that will put americans back to work, filling the systems we need to support the -- building the systems we need to support the great future of our country. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from michigan rise? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to join my colleagues in celebrating the fifth annual
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national infrastructure week and to highlight the urgent need for congress to pass a comprehensive transportation and infrastructure bill. mrs. lawrence: mr. speaker, in the summer of 2003, a power outage swamped the eastern united states and canada, including detroit where i represent, and left 50 million people without power for 70 days. for several days. 35 west a bridge on i- to minneapolis collapsed into the mississippi river. unfortunately, mr. speaker, these are not isolated incidents. in my home state of michigan, our cities, -- our cities are home to some of the worst roads in the country. a recent study by a nonprofit ranked detroit's roads the fourth worst in the country. mr. speaker, michigan deserves better. and america, across the country, we deserve and demand more.
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i, as an excited member of the congressional infrastructure committee, stand ready to work on future infrastructure bills and to work for the needs of the people. and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, please. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. on the first day of this month, president trump promised an infrastructure package that, quote, in the next two to three weeks, maybe sooner. mrs. bustos: here we are into week three and the middle of national infrastructure week. so, mr. speaker mr. president, where's the plan -- so, mr. president, where's the plan? i wish we were spending today working together to create jobs by making meaningful investments in our roads, our bridges, our rail and our airports. that's what the hardworking men and women i represent wish washington would focus on too. but instead at breakfast tables all over the country, moms and dads turn on the morning news and have to explain to their
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kids, what is an obstruction of justice? before putting their kids on the school bus and traverse our bumpingy and pot holed roads -- bumpy and pot holed roads. this is a dark moment in our history and history demands that we rise to the occasion. nobody is above the law. not even the president of the united states of america. i urge my colleagues to do the right thing for the good of our country. join us in demanding a true and independent investigation to get to the bottom of the president's ties to vladimir putin and any possible attempted coverup. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from connecticut rise? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. esty: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise to recognize national infrastructure week. and to urge my colleagues on both sites oost -- both sides of the aisle to work together and
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pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. the fact is, mr. speaker, we cannot run a 21st century economy on a mid 20th century infrastructure. our roads are filled with pot holes, costing commuters on average $520 a year in repairs. traffic congestion adds another $960 per year in fuel and lost productivity. oo many of our bridges are structurally deficient and well past their 50-year life span. and now as the flint lead crisis painfully demonstrated, our water infrastructure is failing to provide too many americans with water that is safe to drink. it's time to stop talking about infrastructure, it's time for congress to act. the systems that allow us to travel from place to place, provide us with clean drinking water and dispose of waste are not luxuries. they're essentials. so let's pass a bipartisan
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infrastructure plan. let's invest in safety, jobs and the competitiveness of american businesses. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from washington seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. delbene: thank you, -- >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to recognize national infrastructure week. jay allen -- ms. jayapal: in my firstify month -- few months in congress i made it a priority to meet with officials from every municipality and jurisdiction in my washington state congressional district. and i met with them to understand their critical transportation and infrastructure needs. today i am releasing a report on those needs. i'm proud that my district continues to draw in more and more people and that we have assets like a natural deep water port that facilitates commerce from across our state. but unfortunately between 1990
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and 2015, as our state's population increased by 45%, seattle has now got the second worst evening rush hour traffic in the country. and we have failed to invest in our infrastructure. this administration made promises but has done nothing to actually fulfill those promises, to invest in infrastructure and to ensure that our country actually moves forward. instead it has just been lurching from crisis to crisis. investing in infrastructure is not only essential, it creates jobs, and i intend to do everything i can to make sure that i fight for my district's priorities and to ensure that congress invests in our infrastructure. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady rom nevada seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> i find it deeply disturbing that highly classified information from israel, our
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ally, was compromised by president trump in a meeting with officials. by recklessly sharing this intelligence, the president has not only endangered our troops, intelligence officials and sources who risk their lives every day to keep you us safe, but he has jeopardized the relationship we have with our most important ally in the middle east, israel. ms. rosen: if we wish to defeat isis, the president must rectify this unacceptable blunder. the american people must receive immediate assurances that this administration is doing everything necessary to repair any damage caused by the president's reckless actions. the role of commander in chief is one that must be taken seriously and should never result in the compromising of our most sensitive information. . especially to a foreign adversary at the expense of one of our strongest allies. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, every day men and women in the police force put their lives on the line to keep us safe. mrs. davis: let me tell you about one of these extraordinary heroes, san diego police department officer jonathan deguzman, or j.d. as his friends knew him. he dedicated his life to protect the san diego community he loved. his bravery shows the kind of unique selflessness found in police officers. after suffering a brutal stabbing from a suspect, j.d. went back to the force and that same year he won the san diego police department purple heart award for bravery in the line of duty. tragically on july 28, 2016, officer deguzzman, a 16-year veteran of the force, was shot and killed. a hero taken from us too early. there is a special honor in representing those who serve us
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every single day. those like san diego's own j.d. officers deguzman. thank you to the brave men and women of our police force who are -- your sacrifice and your strength keeps us safe. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> mr. speaker, today i urge president trump again to make good on his promise of partnering with congress to invest $1 trillion in america's infrastructure. this week marks national infrastructure week. and yet disappointingly little action has been taken by this president and the majority in congress to provide substantive funds for our nation's crumbling infrastructure. carbajal: easing congestion on
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our highways is one investment that will have a significant return. giving central coast residents to their jobs and back home to their families faster. this is also an issue of safety for our constituents. california currently has over 1,300 structurely defishents bridges. 678 high hazard dams. and 50% of its nearly 200,000 miles of public roads are in poor condition. i urge my colleagues to work together in a bipartisan way to address the infrastructure crisis in our country. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> whoever spoke before me, mr. speaker, was a pretty tall fellow. mr. speaker, i rise to bring to the house's attention two fine texans sitting up in the house
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gallery. . barton: ben has been on my air force advisory committee in texas for the entire 32 years that i have been in congress. he and the other two members of that nominating committee have recommended to me over 100 young men and women that we have nominated to the air force academy and who are now serving defending our nation. his son is dan mathison, one of my best friends, proud graduate of the university of texas law school, former head of the texas state fed office, and successful practition attorney in austin, texas. i'm very proud to have their friendship and i'm glad to bring to the attention of the house these two fine americans. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the speaker reminds people not to make direct reference to people in the gallery. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise -- seek recognition? >> request to be recognized to speak for one minute on the
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floor and reserve and revise my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this is national infrastructure week. yet at the same time our current president promised that as soon as he took office he was going to put forth a trillion dollar infrastructure package. where is that package? mr. cardenas: we haven't seen it. ladies and gentlemen, the economy is the number one thing that we should all be focusing on and everything else should fall into place after that. but yet this white house is too busy in turmoil to take care of the core business of this contry. it's actually white house crisis week again. that is a sad comment but it's the truth. once again we hear about a president who is not respecting the fact that we have allies around the world that are there sharing information that should not be shared with the russians and yet at the same time this president chooses to violate
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that spot. the american people and the economy are losing confidence in our president and our white house and they should be given -- they shouldn't be given these disturbing reports that come out almost every day. the actions are undermining our economy. it's undermining the confidence in our infrastructure, and it's undermining our confidence of the united states around the world. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: 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 rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on may 17, 2017, at 9:20 a.m. that the senate passed senate 419. that the senate passed senate 583. that the senate passed senate 867. that the senate agreed to senate joint resolution 22.
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appointments, alice spotted bear and walter commission on native children. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules i call up house resolution 323 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 49, house resolution 323. resolved, that upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill, h.r. 115. to amend title 18 united states code to provide additional aggravating factors for the imposition of the death based on the status of the victim. 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 the judiciary now printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules
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committee print 115-17 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 the judiciary, and two, one motion to recommit with or without nstructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for one hour. mr. buck: thank you, mr. speaker. for purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to my friend, mr. hastings, the gentleman from florida. pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. during the consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to evise and extend their remarks
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. buck: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the rule and underlying legislation. as a former federal and state prosecutor, i often hear how americans value and respect our law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders. talk about their heroism, selflessness, willing toness to protect and serve no matter the cost. these individuals are truly the fabric that holds our communities together. however, in recent years a violent and disturbing trend has developed. law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders are increasingly being targeted for violence and cruelty based solely on the uniform they wear. according to the national law enforcement officers memorial fund, there were 64 police shooting deaths in 2016. that number is 56% higher than the previous year. the national association of police organizations also notes that ambush-style killings of
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law enforcement officers increased by 167% in 2016. allowing this appalling trend to continue unchecked is not only unacceptable, it is also indefensible. congress must take concrete steps to address this deadly problem. current federal law provides 16 aggravating factors that a jury must consider when deciding whether a death sentence is warranted. these factors include whether the defendant acted in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner. whether the defendant engaged in substantial planning and meditation. whether the victim was vulnerable. whether the victim was a high public official which includes high ranking public persons from a president to a foreign heffed state to a judge or federal law enforcement officer. however, state and local police officers, firefighters, prosecutors, and first responders are excluded from these protections.
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in response my friend, mr. buchanan, introduced h.r. 115, the thin blue line act. this legislation amends federal law to include murdering, attempting to murder, or targeting of state and local law enforcement officers, firefighters, prosecutors, and first responders as an aggravating factor a jury must consider when determining whether a death sentence is justified. furthermore, these protections extend to all public safety officers who are murdered or targeted while engaging in their official duties because of the performance of their duties or because of their status as a public official or employee. this bill sends a clear message, those who target our police officers, firefighters, or first responders with violence will be met with an equally harsh punishment. we offer our thoughts and prayers to the families of our fallen officers. but we must do more to protect these brave individuals. we can't stand idly by as the individuals who protect our homes and communities are targeted because of the uniform
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they wear. we must act to ensure those individuals who would commit an asket violence against our public safety officers know they will face the gravest of sentence it is they go through with their heinous plot. we must send a message that congress stands with those fearless individuals who declare their lives to protecting our communities -- dedicate their lives to protect our communities no matter the cost. we can't continue allowing them to sufert price of our inaction. i support this effort and thank chairman good lath anti-judiciary committee for bringing this -- goodlatte and the judiciary committee committee for bringing this bill to the floor. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank my friend, the gentleman from colorado, for yielding me the customary 30 minutes for debate. mr. speaker, i rise today to debate the rule for consideration of h.r. 115, the thin blue line act.
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mr. speaker, law enforcement and first responders play an important role in the safety and security of our communities. i know about that for the reason that when i was a lawyer i had the privilege of representing firefighters association and a police officers association. and i have represented police officers in court and i have been in situations where i have interfaced with them as a lawyer in other circumstances. hey are an invaluable resource represented by the hard work of dedicate the men and women across our nation. most importantly, our admiration represented by the hard work of is not a partisan issue. we universally agree that those officers who diligently work and protect our communities warrant our praise as we honor them on this national police
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week. their our friends, neighbors, family. they are even our colleagues. i'm honored to serve in this institution with a number of persons who in their other activities were either police officers, police chiefs, or -- served in that capacity in law enforcement. . we have a new member here from my state, my good friend, representative demings, a career law enforcement officer herself for 27 years. serving as orlando's first female chief of police. just a footnote to add to that, her husband is the sheriff of orange county. it is because of this admiration and bipartisan support that in some respects i was dismaid to see that as we celebrate
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national police week, my republican colleagues decided now was the time to bring this, in my view, unnecessary messaging bill to the floor simply to score political points. r. speaker, h.r. 115 would add the murder, attempted murder, or targeting of a law enforcement official, first responder or firefighter as an aggravating factor when determining if a death sentence is warranted for a defendant convicted of murder in federal court. the problem, mr. speaker, is this bill is unnecessary. it is, in short, really good messaging, but bad policy. under current law, there is already an exhaustive list of 16
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statutory aggravating factors for homicide for a jury or court to consider. and having been involved in the justice system for a protracted time in my career, i'm trying to think of a time that a police officer was killed and a person was tried and convicted. and i ask my colleagues to answer that question. that anybody that was convicted for killing a police officer didn't get the death penalty. i know in my state, in every instance, that that occurred, and they were too numerous, and i regret that they occurred at all, but all of those people got the death penalty. we also remember that federal prosecutors can and do seek the death penalty in the killing of law enforcement or first responders. as our friends from
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massachusetts are well aware, after a death sentence was handed down in the case involving the boston more on this bomber. doctor marathon bomber. and that was -- marathon bomber. and that was in massachusetts. a nondeath penalty state. mr. speaker, on this front, the system is working. federal prosecutors already have the tools to seek the death penalty in cases where a first responder or law enforcement official was murdered. what's more, they're using these tools. given this due policity, it's a shame that we are here -- due policity, it is a shame that -- duplicity, it's a shame that we're here today debating for a new aggravating factor to keep members of the law enforcement community safe when we could be considering measures that would actually keep them and their communities they protect far safer. let's be clear. this legislation does nothing to
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keep law enforcement officers and first responders safe. by its own purported purpose, the bill addresses the tragic scenario if which the officer -- in which the officer already has been killed. we need to be working together to create legislation that has a real impact on keeping our communities and police safer, as opposed to slapping a catchy name on an unnecessary bill, and pretending we are doing something. if my republican colleagues were serious about advancing protections for law enforcement during national police week, we would be discussing providing them with the tools, the resources and the training to engage in beneficial community policing initiatives. our law enforcement and the communities they police deserve than messaging.
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they deserve real action. and i ask one more question. ask police officers what their attitude is about assault weapons. and i think you would find that if we passed an assault weapons measure, that we would be pleasing police officers a great deal more than messaging to them our concern for their safety. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, we're here because we're making sure that local police officers, sheriff's deputies, prosecutors, first responders, firefighters, have the same protections that those in the federal system have. mr. buck: i yield one minute to the gentleman from indiana, dr. bucshon. mr. bucshon: mr. speaker, law enforcement officers across this country go to work every day to serve and protect our communities. these brave men and women risk everything to keep our communities and our families safe. and secure.
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and they do itselflessly. i recently attended a ceremony in putnam county, indiana, honoring the service and sacrifice of the indiana state police officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. and yesterday i was at the white house with vice president pence to recognize the dedication of the indiana fraternal order of police and remember the service to the late sheriff's deputy, carl kuntz, of howard blingt, who was killed in the -- county, who was killed in the line of duty. these are reminders of what these heros who stand on the thin blue line and their families sacrifice on our behalf. we should all be grateful. mr. speaker, this legislation ensures that officers who fall in the line of duty and their families receive the justice they deserve. i urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation that confirms the united states congress stands behind our law enforcement. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may
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consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: then i will yield to a speaker to speak for the previous question. mr. speaker, it may sound like we're getting ready to change the subject and to a relative degree we are. we're in very interesting and troubling times in this nation. and we have some concerns that need to be addressed. one of the things that is allowed to the my north is an opportunity to -- minority is an opportunity to present a previous question. and in this particular instance, we're deeply concerned by last night's revelations that earlier this year president trump may have attempted to obstruct justice when he asked then f.b.i. director james comey to end the bureau's investigation
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of former national security advisor flynn's ties to russia. this move came only days -- news came only days after the president acknowledged that he later fired director comey over the bureau's investigation into the links between the trump campaign and russia and only a we learned the president shared highly classified intelligence with russian officials last week. i served for eight years on the intelligence community in this congress. and the kind of information that the president shared with the russians, even as an intelligence member, i saw secret, i saw top secret, i saw high secret, but i did not see code word information, the highest that's only shared with a few people in the
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congressional body. and that's what was allowed to be transmitted. it's time that the republican-controlled congress does its job and acts to defend our democracy. mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question, i'm going to offer an amendment to the rule to bring up the bipartisan bill, r. 356, which would create a nonpartisan commission to investigate russian interference in our 2016 election. we marks the seventh time tried to bring this bill to the house floor. on the previous six occasions, the republican majority regrettably refused to allow the house to even debate this important legislation. as more and more facts have come to light, i hope my colleagues will finally put country ahead
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of party and get serious about this investigation. my goodness. the allegation here is that people impacted our fundamental premise of our existence, our elections. we need to create this commission with legislation, rather than just tweeting about the need for facts. mr. speaker, 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 question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: with that, to discuss our proposal, i yield five minutes to the distinguished gentleman from california, a member of the intelligence committee of the house, mr. swalwell. the speaker pro tempore: before recognizing the gentleman from california, members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president. mr. hastings: parliamentary inquiry, mr. speaker. i've heard that often. will the speaker direct me to
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what i said that was anything more than what is a fact here? can you tell me what i said that was dealing with the personality of the president? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman would make sure -- some indication there may have been action by the president. we'll leave it at that. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. swalwell: i thank the gentleman from florida for yielding. i urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question, allow an amendment to come forward, so that we can debate having an independent commission on russia's interference in our past election. the events over the past few weeks have demonstrated that there is a high cost, a cost that is too high to bear with regard to the white house and its ties with russia. what is the cost exactly?
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what is the cost of alleged abuses and the president's firing of sally yates, the acting attorney general, and director james comey? what is the cost of the questions swirling around the president's ties to russia? well, the cost clearly with the leaking that occurred in the oval office is now our national security. the cost is our democracy has been left in ruins. it's a mess right now. here in washington. is ost is that this house unable to bring forward legislation, to do anything to help people put food on their table, to seek to put a roof over their home, and to provide opportunity to their children. it's a high cost that we're paying right now for all of these questions. it's too much for us to bear. the best thing we can do is to
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charter an independent commission, to take this outside of congress so that they can follow the facts and the evidence and report back to the american people. just -- people, just exactly how were we so vulnerable this past election, what was our response? prosecute any u.s. persons involved? and -- were any u.s. persons involved? and most importantly, what are we going to do? what reforms can we make? what awareness should we all have so that we never find ourselves in a mess like this again? it's not disputed, russia attacked our democracy. it was ordered by vladimir putin. they used a multifaceted campaign of social media trolls, the dissemination of fake news, the hacking of democratic emails, and the breaking into state voter registration systems. they had a preferred candidate in mind.
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and donald trump -- in donald trump. and they didn't do it because they were bored. they didn't do it because they were testing software. they did it because they wanted something in return. they saw a candidate who admired their president. they wanted sanctions rolled back. and they wanted to reduce the role of nato. but the most disturbing, the most bone-chilling finding that the intelligence community made was that russia intends to do it again. and by the looks of things, they'll be more successful next time. because since this past attack, we have done nothing to improve the structural integrity of our election. we have done nothing to have a frank conversation with the american people about how we all need to be more aware, about what a foreign adversary's intent is when they hack emails and then disseminate fake news. thanks time for republicans and democrats to unite. democrats may have been the
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victim of this most recent attack. if history has its way, another adversary, perhaps could attack us and republicans may be the victim. but the constant should always be that both parties say we will never tolerate foreign interference. the first step to doing that is to defeat this previous question, allow an amendment to take place so we can debate having an independent commission, a commission that would be bipartisan appointed, have a wide mandate to follow the evidence, explore all the facts. and then report to the american people recommendations so this never happens again. we have a discharge petition right now to also do that. there are a number of names on it. and i hope -- mr. hastings: i yield an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. . mr. swalwell: i saw how this country responded after the attack on september 11.
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outside on the capitol steps, democrats and republicans joined hands. they sang "god bless america." but more importantly were the reforms they took over the next few years to understand the vulnerability, to put policies in place to make sure we were never vulnerable again and report to the american people what they had done. we have an opportunity, again, to unite. our constituents are counting on us to show that unity, to wear the same uniform and make sure this democracy is still one we protect. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: mr. speaker, to get this debate back on track, to protect local law enforcement officials, i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. knight. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. knight: thank you, mr. speaker. i come to you not just as a representative from my district today but someone who served for 18 years as a los angeles police officer on the streets, someone who's been in uniformat
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attention at several police officer and deputy funerals. as tears rolling down my face and looking side to side and seeing the same of my brothers and sisters in law enforcement. i am sure that everyone who speaks today will have a story, a horrible story that affected their community. on october 5 of last year, one such story happened in our community. sergeant steve owen was basically executed. he was shot from a far distance and then the killer came up and put four more shots into him at close range to make sure he was dead. these are the types of things that we are seeing in our communities across this country at an alarming high rate over the last few years. i think the thin blue line act is one more of those types of issues that we can do to protect our first responders, our police officers, our firefighters. to give these people justice,
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to give their families justice. so i urge you to support the thin blue line act. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. would you be so kind to advise my good friend and i what amount of time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has 14 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from colorado has 24 1/2 minutes. mr. hastings: i would advise my friend that i anticipate one more speaker, but at this time i will reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. buck: i thank the gentleman from florida. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the chairman of the committee on veterans' affairs, the gentleman from tennessee, dr. roe. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for one minute. mr. roe: i thank the gentleman and thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to support the rule and the underlying bill by vern buchanan.
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es in a police week we take time to honor our nation's law enforcement officers for the work they do and the sacrifices they make to keep us safe on a daily basis. it's unon chenable that law enforcement officers are being targeted and are making the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, and this bill aims to make the kill or attempted killing of a law enforcement officer an aggravating factor for the imposition of the death penalty. you know, mr. speaker, i served for six years as a city commissioner and two of those years as mayor of my small town of johnson city, tennessee, and had the privilege of working with first responders, firemen and police officers every day. it was a privileged to do it. i put on a scrub suit to go to work every day. they put on a kevlar vest and put their lives in danger. i can't say thank you enough to them and their families for the sacrifices they make. i commend my colleague on introducing this resolution and for the house considering it today. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation in honor of our law enforcement officers.
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with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: i continue to reserve, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: mr. speaker, i yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from florida, dr. yoho. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. yoho: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, congressman buck. i'm proud to rise in support of h.r. 115, the thin blue line act, which will act as a deterrent against criminals who seek to harm first responders. increasing the federal penalties that can be imposed against those who will kill or attempt to kill policemen, firemen or first responders is a just response to such heinous crimes. this week is national police week, and i'm reminded of the words etched on the national law enforcement memorial in washington, d.c., which states, "the wicked flee when no one pursueth but the righteous is as bold as a lion." it is from the book of proverbs.
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they shield the innocent from the wicked, that is what our law enforcement and first responders do every day. i'm very grateful for the men and serve who protect our communities and i was honored to be present for police week in a small town in our district. green coast springs in clay county, florida, where they had the police memorial and a verse from john 15: 13. greater love has no one than this. to lay down one's life for one's friends. and i hope that god watches over our first responders and keep them safe to bring them home to their families and with that i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentleman from alabama, mr. brooks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for one minute. mr. brooks: mr. speaker, as a former tuscaloosa prosecutor and madison county district attorney, i fully understand the importance of the rule of law, that in turn protects us from anarchy, crime, destruction and death. without the rule of law,
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criminal brute force prevails. unfortunately, left is political forces who care more than inciting racial division for political gain and less about crime and terror victims, regularly second guess those ho wear the uniform to protect and serve. anti-police left as political receiptrhetoric has incited olice in places like dallas, baton rouge. i support the thin blue line act because i appreciate the sacrifice of law enforcement officers and because it is morally right to help protect officers who rick their lives to protect ours. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate it. i rise today in solidarity with
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our law enforcement officers and in support of the rule and passage of the thin blue line act. this bill makes sure that anyone who targets and attacks a state or local law enforcement officer is held accountable. the men and women who serve in our local police forces put their lives on the line to keep us safe. they are everyday heroes, mr. speaker. in 2014, tarpin springs police officer charles was shot and killed by a fugitive while on duty. he represents tarpin springs, florida. he represented -- he worked there for 17 years and did a wonderful job keeping us safe. these ambush-style killings of law enforcement officers have increased across the country by 167%. this is unacceptable. the thing blue line act brings us one step closer to justice for these horrific crimes.
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so let's pass this bill. of course, we have to pass the rule first so we can pass this good bill. thank you very much, mr. speaker. i appreciate it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, dr. dunn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. dunn: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the thin blue line act which will make murder or attempted murder of law enforcement officer or first responder an aggravating factor in death penalty determinations. the officers of the thin blue line put their lives at risk every day and are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so we can rest easy at night. our law enforcement and first responders run into danger so that others can run away from it. they do this despite the rise in violence against them. we have witnessed a 167% increase in ambush-style killings of police officers in
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2016 alone. this is tragic and it is unacceptable. the then blue line act will hold cop killers accountable and seek justice for those murdered in the line of duty, and it will show our resolve as citizens to protect the officers who've sworn to protect us. during this week, national police week, we can also show our gratitude to law enforcement and their families by passing the thin blue line act. it is an honor to represent them in congress. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend, the gentleman from texas, dr. babin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. babin: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time in our nation, protecting our local law enforcement and first responders could not be more important. tens of thousands of law enforcement and first responders around the country have put -- they put their lives on the line every single day to serve their communities. sadly, statistics show that
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simply doing their jobs has become very dangerous for these individuals. in 2016, police officer shootings increased by 56% nationally. with ambush-style killings of law enforcement officers increasing by a staggering 167%. these dramatic numbers demonstrate that more protection is needed for our law enforcement officers. in my home state of texas, 17 law enforcement officers gave their lives just last year including five who were killed in the horrible assault that targeted police officers in dallas, texas. on monday in recognition of national police week, we honored fallen law enforcement officers at a memorial ceremony in deer park, texas, in my district. we need the thin blue line act, which would make the killing of a local or state law enforcement officer or first responder an aggravating factor in federal death penalty
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determinations. it's important that our local and state police officers and first responders have the same safeguards that federal law enforcement officers already have. the local law enforcement and first responders that i know in my district not only serve their communities through their jobs but also give back to their communities in positions such as little league coaches, city councilmembers, sunday school teachers and in countless other positions of service. these individuals put their communities first, mr. speaker, and they deserve to be protected by much stronger laws. i rise in strong support of the thin blue line act and encourage my colleagues in the house to support its passage today. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania and former special agent with the federal bureau of investigation, mr.
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fitzpatrick. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. fitzpatrick: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank my colleague, mr. buck, for his leadership on this important issue and i rise in strong support. mr. speaker, my great uncle, philip fitzpatrick, was a proud patrolman with the nypd and a poet. often referring to police officers as soldiers of peace. this week as we recognize police week, 2017, i find myself thinking of him and a line from one of his poems where he wrote, when he kisses his wife and children goodbye, there's a chance he will see them no more. unfortunately, mr. speaker, these words were true for my family. this month marks 70 years since my great uncle was shot while attempting to disarm a robber in a manhattan bar. mr. speaker, for two long law enforcement across this country has been forgotten or worst yet ostracized. their vital mission continues and it continues to grow more dangerous. just last year ambush-style killings of law enforcement
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increased by 167%, according to the national association of police organizations. despite all this, each day tens of thousands of brave women and men continue to put their lives on the line to serve and protect our communities. this week we recognize police week, 2017, but the dedication and sacrifice of our blue line deserves to be respected every day. as a former law enforcement officer, i am proud to stand here today in support of those brave women and men. today, the house has a chance to take decisive action to protect our law enforcement officers by passing the legislation before us. the thin blue line act sends a clear message to those who would intentionally target our police officers. this attack on law enforcement officers will be met with justice. i urge my colleagues to stand up for law enforcement today, support this rule and pass h.r. 115, the thin blue line act, the bipartisan support it deserves must be delivered today. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: mr. speaker, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. graves: mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from colorado, mr. buck, for his effort and leadership on this issue. mr. speaker, i rise today because i think the really important that we talk about law enforcement. we talk about what their role is. these are the peacekeepers. the men and women right here on capitol hill, the capitol police, they're the ones that prevent chaos, that allow for order. to stand here in the capitol complex. in the state of louisiana in my hometown of baton rouge, back on july 17, we had an extraordinary event. we had five of our law enforcement officers that were responding to a shooter with a long gun. clearly someone that was dressed
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and armed in a way to not be helpful to the community. while the rest of us were running away from that shooter, these five men were running toward. and as a result of that, deputy brad garafallow lost his wife and his wife is now a widow. matthew gerald lost his life. and his wife is now a widow. and she found out two weeks after his death that she was pregnant. and he's never seen that baby. that baby doesn't have a father today. we had monday trell jackson, another -- montrell jackson, another police officer, who lost his wife. and his wife is now a widow. we have bruce simmons who got shot and while he did survive, he still is struggling with recovery and he and his wife continue to go through that. july 17 shooting from last year.
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and nick, i've been wearing my pray for nick band now for months. nick continues to be in the hospital. even today. this bill allows for the protection of our officers. it clearly distinguishes that these are the peacekeepers, these are the people that are putting their lives on the line to make sure that we have order, no longer chaos. this is an important piece of legislation and urge everyone to support this unanimously. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida be continues to reserve. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, at this time i would advise my colleague that i have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i'm sure that my friends across the sle have their hearts in the right place. but we need to be clear that these messaging bills do little to nothing to protect our police officers.
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if we truly wanted to help our brave officers and first responders, we would pass sensible gun reform legislation. we would take guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and domestic abusers, not make it easier for them to acquire such weapons as my friends across the aisle have done on so many occasions. if we truly wanted to protect our officers and first responders, we would work diligently to provide them with the best mental health and wellness programs money can buy, rather than leaving them to mend unseen wounds on their own. if my friends across the aisle truly wanted to help this country's law enforcement officers, they would champion funding for community policing initiatives, because i think we all know that a community that trusts its police officers and
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police officers who trust their community will live a far safer and richer life. , might add, my colleague and i along with law enforcement officials in south florida, have been about the business of trying to make that a reality. and funding for that's programs is particularly -- those programs is particularly important to all of our communities. mr. speaker, we all applaud and thank our law enforcement officers and first responders for the brave and invaluable work they do day in and day out in our communitieses. but we cannot bury our heads in the sand any longer. and believe that by simply passing messaging bills, we are actually making our communities any safer for our officers or the citizens for whom they swear an oath to protect. we've heard outstanding comments
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from our friends that came, and our colleagues to speak today. all of them spoke of heartfelt circumstances regarding fallen officers. and toward that end, there is absolutely nothing that i agree -- disagree with that has been said. i just simply ask that we take into consideration how we can best help and keep safe law nforcement officers. with that, i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i'd like to put into the record four letters which i will briefly describe. the first is from the major county sheriffs of america, supporting the thin blue line act. the second is from the national association of police
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organizations. again, supporting the thin blue line act. the third is from the national fraternal order of police supporting h.r. 115, the thin blue line act. and finally, from the sergeants benevolent association, in strong support of h.r. 115. the thin blue line act. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. buck: mr. speaker, the rule before the house today is simple. it provides for the consideration of the thin blue line act. we often talk of how resolute our law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders are in the face of immense danger. these heroic individuals charge into burning buildings, face down violence and stand ready to jump into the fray at a moment's notice. simply putting on a uniform should not be one of those dangers. it is our duty to ensure law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders have every tool at their disposal to do their job safely and effectively.
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and to ensure they return home to their families. countless spouses and children kiss the loved ones good-bye as they head to work, praying that it will not be their last day. we must never forget this as we ensure to make sure our police officers, firefighters and first responders have every possible protection. there's no greater deterrent than the threat of losing one's life. it is my hope that this ledge -- legislation makes individuals who would consider taking the life of an officer stop to consider the consequences before going through with an attack. that we one day reach a point where our nation's finest can go to work without worrying about being targeted because of the uniform on their back. that one day our officers' families have one less reason to worry. but until that day, we must continue standing resolutely against this evil. i ask my colleagues in the house to support our law enforcement community, firefighters and
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first responders. news them from the hay to acts of violence. give their -- heinous acts of violence. give their families some assurance that we have their backs. vote yes on the resolution. vote yes on the underlying bill. vote yes to give our law enforcement officers the protections they so desperately need. i thank chairman goodlatte and sessions for bringing this bill before us. i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: 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. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for 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. elected -- members will record their votes by electronic device. . pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20,
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the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on question of the adoption of the resolution. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 230. the nays are 189. the previous question has been ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, on that i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 233, the nays
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are 184. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to econsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. members will take their conversations off the floor. the house will be in order. members will clear the aisles take aff -- and, staff, your conversations from the chamber so the house may proceed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20.
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the house will resume proceedings on postponed questions at a later time. the house will be in order. members will take their onversations from the floor. members will take conversations from the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2266, the bankruptcy judgeship act of 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 80. h.r. 2266, a bill to amend title 28 of the united states -- to authorize the
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the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will suspend. does the gentleman wish to call the bill as amended? the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2266, the bankruptcy judgeship act of 2017, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. -- union calendar number 80, h.r. 2266, a bill to amend title 28 of the united states code to authorize the appointment of additional bankruptcy judges, and for
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other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members will take their onversations from the floor. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks include extraneous materials on h.r. 2266, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i recognize myself for such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: we are here today to address an imposing threat to one of the foundational aspects of our economy -- the national bankruptcy system, a well-functioning bankruptcy system provides relief to consumers, allows businesses to reorganize, preserves jobs and maximizes the value of assets and ensures the proper allocation of resources.
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our bankruptcy judiciary is the heartbeat that keeps this system moving. if that judiciary is strained and undermanned, that system will grind to a halt, eliminating the essential benefits it provides and sending repercussions throughout the economy. there are presently 29 temporary bankruptcy judgeships in the bankruptcy system with a lapse date of may 25. these temporary judgeships comprise more than 8% of the current bankruptcy judgeships nationwide. after may 25, 2017, these judgeships are at risk of being permanently lost, resulting in larger caseloads shared by fewer judges and causing further strain to our judiciary system. the bankruptcy judgeship act of 2017 converts 14 of the existing temporary judgeships to permanent status and creates four new permanent bankruptcy judgeships in districts with some of the highest caseloads
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in the country. in fact, since the enactment of the bankruptcy abuse prevention and consumer protection act of 2005 when a majority of the temporary judgeships were created, these districts have seen waited filings increase by more than 55%. this bill is based on a comprehensive study of judicial resource needs conducted by the judicial conference and is supported by the administrative office of the u.s. courts. the conference has assured us that its request comes only after it has taken steps to maximize all other alternatives to reduce judicial workloads. moreover, the conference has demonstrated that, while a district may have a permanent judgeship, it will not be filled unless completely necessary. importantly, this bill will not present any new costs for the taxpayers. the bankruptcy judgeship act includes an increase in the quarterly u.s. trustee fees for large chapter 11 debtors,
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excluding small businesses. this fee increase is directly tied to the balance of the united states trustee system fund and will only be applied when the balance of the fund falls below a $200 million threshold, thereby ensuring that the office of the u.s. trustee is properly funded. these temporary bankruptcy judgeships were first set to lapse in 2010. most have been extended for over 12 years, and some even longer. despite this committee's previous efforts to address the issue, to date there have been only limited short-term fixes. additional permanent bankruptcy judgeships have not been authorized since 1992. the time has come for congress to address bankruptcy judgeships needs more permanently. we need a bankruptcy system that has a sufficient number of judges to be able to manage the caseload in a just, economical and timely manner. the efficiency of this system is too important to our economy
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to risk. this bill helps ensure that we have such a system. i'd like to thank ranking member conyers for his efforts on this issue. i'd also like to thank regulatory reform, commercial and antitrust law subcommittee chairman marino, and ranking member cicilline, for joining me as original co-sponsors of the bill. i urge my colleagues to vote in favorite of this important legislation, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. strong ers: i rise in support of h.r. 2266, the bankruptcy judgeship act, which would make 14 temporary bankruptcy judgeships permanent and authorize four additional bankruptcy judgeships. now, i introduced this
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ipartisan legislation together with the support of judiciary committee chairman goodlatte, along with regulatory reform, commercial and antitrust subcommittee chairman marino, and ranking member cicilline. h.r. 2266 warrants the support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for several reasons. to begin with, this measure reflects the recommendations the judicial conference of the united states with respect to the judicial resource needs of our nation's bankruptcy courts. these recommendations are themselves based on a comprehensive survey of all judicial circuits. this analysis consists of two
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components. the first is premised on a case wait formula devised by the federal judicial center that is intended to provide a more accurate and useful measure of judicial workload than a mere count of case filings. the second component considers a broad array of other factors, including the nature of a court's caseload, filing trends, demographic considerations, geographic issues and economic aspects, among other items. taken together, the resulting analysis provides a relyable basis upon which -- reliable basis upon which congress may assess the necessity of authorizing additional judgeships and extending temporary judgeships.
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in addition, h.r. 2266 addresses an immediate need. all of the temporary judgeships addressed in h.r. 2266 will lapse as of may 25, which, of course, is just a week away. once a temporary judgeship lapses, any ensuing vacancy may not be filled, which presents a serious concern. as the judicial conference warrants, these bankruptcy courts would face, quote, face a serious and in many cases debilitating workload crisis if their temporary judgeships were to expire, end quotation. this is particularly true with respect to the eastern district of michigan which has a waited
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caseload well in excess of the minimum necessary to trigger additional judicial resources. although congress has previously extended temporary bankruptcy judgeships from time to time, some have also lapsed as a result of congress' failure to timely act. so to avoid future lapses in judicial resources, my legislation converts 14 of these temporary judgeships to permanent status. finally, i'm pleased to report that h.r. 2266 pays for all of these judgeships without having to require consumer debtors to bear that expense. the cost of this legislation is offset by increasing the quarterly fees that the largest
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10% of chapter 11 debtors pay to the united states trustee system fund, a proposal initially made by the obama administration as part of the president's budget request for 2017. specifically, the fee increase would apply only to chapter 11 debtors that have quarterly disbursements in excess of $1 million and only during the period when the fund has less than $2 hundred million. and so for all of these various reasons i support this legislation and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i'm prepared to close. i don't know if mr. conyers has any additional speakers, but i'm prepared to close and yield
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back. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman reserve his time? mr. goodlatte: i do. the speaker pro tempore: mr. conyers. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i am pleased now to yield to my colleague from delaware, representative rochester, as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. blunt rochester: i ask unanimous consent to submit within the record a letter from the judicial conference. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. blunt rochester: mr. speaker, i want to thank mr. conyers and my colleagues on the house jirke for their work -- judiciary committee for their work on this legislation and for bringing this bill to the floor today. an efficient bankruptcy system is important to the smooth functioning of our economy. the preservation and addition of these positions will add needed certainty to our legal system. as the judicial conference of the united states highlighted
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in their report to congress these resources will benefit individuals and corporations and are necessary to keep this system working. i am proud of the work that the u.s. bankruptcy court for the district of delaware does to protect jobs, creditors, economic engines in our communities across the country. this legislation is a perfect example of congress hearing the needs of individual experts in the judiciary and acting in a bipartisan collaborative manner to address a looming problem. i look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on other pressing problems for our constituents in such collaborative ways. i urge all my colleagues to support the bankruptcy judgeship act of 2017. thank you and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan.
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mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i will make closing remarks and i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman reserve his time? mr. conyers: no, sir. i'd like to -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you very much. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to include in the record the statement of our colleague on judiciary, mr. cicilline, in support of h.r. 2266. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. . mr. conyers: in closing, i'm pleased to note that h.r. 2266 is supported by the american bar association, the federal bar association, the american college of bankruptcy, and the national conference of bankruptcy judges. i want to also express appreciation to our judiciary chairman, mr. goodlatte.
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to chairman marino and ranking member cicilline. as well as their staffs for their cooperative efforts in working with me on this ipartisan legislation. given the time sensitive nature of the temporary judgeships and the by h.r. 2266, immediate need for additional bankruptcy judgeships to be authorized, it is my hope that our colleagues in the senate will expeditiously consider this important legislation. so i urge all of the members here to support this measure. i at this time yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: permanent bankruptcy judgeship has not been authorized since 1992.
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over the past 25 years, we have limited our protection of the bankruptcy system to short-term temporary fixes. a well functioning bankruptcy system, however, is too important to our economy to risk. now is the time for congress to address bankruptcy judgeship needs more permanently. the bankruptcy judgeship act is a measured, long-term solution carefully crafted and based on the well developed recommendation of the administrative office of the courts. not only does it ensure the viability of our bankruptcy system, but it also addresses the funding concerns of the office of the united states trustee. this bill is a bipartisan measure that enjoys broad pport from outside groups, including the american bar association, federal bar association, the national conference of bankruptcy judges, and the american college of bankruptcy. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this important legislation 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, will the house suspend the rules and pass the
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bill, h.r. 2266, 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 -- is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass s. 419, the public safety officers' benefits improvement afpkt 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 419, an act to require adequate reporting on the public safety officers' benefits program, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks include extraneous material on s. 419, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: in 1976, congress passed and the president signed into law the public safety officers' benefits act. the act was designed to offer peace of mind to men and women seeking careers as public safety officers namely that if something happened to them in their dangerous roles, their families would have support. it shows that america places enormous value on those in our communities who protect and serve. those whose response to danger is to face it head-on and who put others before themselves daily. the psob program administered by the department of justice
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provides death benefits to the form of a -- in the form of a one-time financial payment to eligible survivors of public safety officers who have died in the line of duty. the program also provides benefits to public safety officers who are permanently and totally disabled because of injuries sustained in the line of duty. finally, the psob program provides financial assistance to help pay higher education costs for the spouses and children of public safety officers who have died or been injured in the line of duty. it is a program that is meant to help the loved ones of fallen officers move forward in the aftermath of tragedies. unfortunately, in recent years psob program has had some incidents of delay and some families were left in the dark about the status of applications. these families were unable to move forward after their tragic losses, and we recognize that it is not acceptible for a family that has sacrificed so
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much for their communities. legislation was introduced in the last congress and again this congress as s. 419 to address these regrettable failings. this bill provides for transparency in the processing of claims in the psob program and codifies measures to ensure the system is streamlined and operates in a fair manner. i commend my colleagues for their work and strong support of these law enforcement families. i especially like to commend mr. king of new york for his unwavering support of the families of law enforcement. in his second inaugural address, president lincoln reminded the american people to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his or fan -- orphan. this legislation is designed to do exactly that for the brave men and women in blue who protect and serve all of us every day. yesterday this bill passed the senate unanimously. i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation.
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thank you. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker and my colleagues, i rise today also in strong support of s. 419, the public safety officers' benefits improvement act. a bill which was just passed by the senate yesterday. each day public safety officers put their lives on the line for the greater good of those whom they have taken an oath to serve and protect. unfortunately, some of these brave men and women, the ultimate sacrifice is made and they will die while in the line of duty. the public safety officers benefit program, which is
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administered by the justice department's bureau of justice assistance, was established in 1976 to provide certain benefits to the families of these officers, as well as to officers who are disabled as a result of their service. the death benefit is provided to eligible survivors of public safety officers whose deaths are a direct and proximate result of a traumatic injury, sustained in the line of duty, or death from certain heart attacks, strokes, and vascular ruptures sustained while on duty. a education benefit is provided to spouses and children of public safety officers killed or disabled while on duty. and the program provides
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disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty. so i support s. 419 because it will significantly improve in several respects how benefits claims of fallen and injured officers are processed under the public safety officers benefits program. to begin with, the bill responds to the fact that all too often these officers and their families after experiencing a loss of life or traumatic injury must then endure months, sometimes years of uncertainty and delay concerning their ben fit claims. the bureau to give substantial weight to
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evidence and facts presented by a federal, state, or local agency when determining eligibility for death -- for death or disability benefits. in addition, the measure authorizes the bureau of justice assistance to establish rules based on standards for the benefits program. these two requirements will help facilitate and expedite the benefits program claims process and thereby reduce the backlog of families awaiting a decision on their benefits claims. s. 419 also increases transparency of the bureau's claims processing. it requires, for example, the bureau to publish and update a report with information on the status of pending claims.
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regarding death, disability, and educational claims submitted, which will increase transparency. as we all know, transparency often leads to accountability and this bill will make the bureau of justice assistance and the department of justice more accountable to the families of fallen and traumatically injured officers. congress and the public as well . by requiring that updates or pending benefits claims be posted on public websites, congress and the public will be able to evaluate the erformance of bureau in timely processing pending claims. and finally, s. 419 will help
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ensure that families who are the ultimate victims of those who sacrifice their lives for our protection are not deprived of benefits they are due under the public safety officers' benefit program. we all have a responsibility to take care of surviving family members when a first responder is tragically killed or injured in the line of duty. this bill is a step in the right direction of ensuring that families are not overly urdened and that the public is aware of how the bureau and the justice department are handling claims submitted by family members. the sacrifice of these first responders should not be taken for granted, and their families
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should not be unduly burdened when applying for benefits under the public safety officers' benefits program. .ccordingly, i support s. 419 urge my colleagues to do the same. reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i'm prepared to close if the gentleman is prepared as well. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i will yield myself any remaining time and make this closing comment. it is particularly significant to note that s. 419 is being considered in the midst of national police week. a period dedicated to honor our nation's fallen law enforcement
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heros. president john kennedy by proclamation signed in 1962 designated may 15 as peace officers' memorial day and the week in which that date falls as national police week. . 419 memorializes our commitment to public safety officers who daily risk their ves for us by row barriers that prevent beneficiaries under the benefits program from obtaining the benefits they so justly deserve. families of our first responders deserve timely consideration of benefit claims when their loved ones give the ultimate sacrifice. so accordingly i strongly urge
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my colleagues to support this measure so that it may be sent to the president for signature. i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of my time only to say that i very much appreciate the work on both sides of the aisle, particularly the gentleman from michigan. this is a good bipartisan which should be passed today, and i urge my colleagues to support it and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time has expired. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 419. those in favor say aye. all apposed say no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- all apposed say no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the
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gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 984. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 984, a bill to extend federal recognition to the chickahominy indian tribe, the chickahominy indian tribe, eastern division, the upper mattaponi tribe, the rappahannock tribe, inc., the monacan indian nation and the nansemond indian tribe. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. wittman, and the gentleman from florida, mr. soto, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. wittman: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. i wittman: mr. speaker, yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wittman: h.r. 984, the thomasina e. jordan indian
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tribes of virginia federal ecognition act of 2017, will extend federal recognition to the chickahominy tribe, the eastern chickahominy tried, the upper mattaponi tribe, the rappahannock tribe, the monacan indian nation, and the nansemond indian tribe. my district, the first congressional district of virginia, includes the historical tribal areas of several of these tribes. the six tribes are culturally and historically significant to the commonwealth of virginia and to the story of america itself. ancestors from these tribes populated coastal virginia when captain john smith settled in jamestown in 1607. they were also the first of the american indian tribes that entered into peace agreements. they actually entered into peace agreements with the crown of england because the united states at that time was not formally a nation yet. they were peace loving even before the united states came of age.
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also, the connections that these tribes have with the nation and the settlement of the nation are extraordinarily important. if you go back in time, you know that six of these tribes were part of the poatan nation and we know famously pocahontas was a member of that nation and also their on the shores of the river saved the life of captain john smith so we can see the impact these tribes have had on the nation's history in where we are today. they are called first contact tribes because they were the first tribes to contact the settlers as they came here to america to settle our land in jamestown there, the first connection they had were with these virginia tribes. these first contract tribes, as i said, are intertwined with the birth of our nation over 400 years ago and they continue today to preserve a cultural and heritage -- culture and
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heritage integral to virginia and the nation and they are very proud of their history and the tribal members today do much for our state in many, many different ways as well as for our nation and passionate by making sure they are recognized as other tribes are in their critical nation to the government and nation that we have today. it's notable many tribal members served our country bravely as part of the united states military. it's unacceptable these tribal members, who selflessly and proudly served under the american flag during our nation's conflicts, from the revolutionary war to the wars in iraq and afghanistan, have not been officially recognized by the federal government. congressional recognition is also necessary because the records requirements by the bureau of indian affairs administration process unfairly penalizes these virginia
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tribes. tribal records were destored during the civil war when many courthouses were destroyed. additionally, early 20th century virginia racial purity laws barred native americans from identifying as indian on state issued birth certificates. it is for these reasons that i am proud to have worked along with several of my virginia colleagues in the house and the senate to introduce this legislation that has received wide bipartisan support, including from former and current virginia governors that strongly supported this effort to recognize these tribes. during the 114th congress, the subcommittee on indian, insular and alaskan native affairs held a hearing on virginia tribal recognition. most recently, the committee marked up and reported the virginia tribal recognition as part of chairman bishop's tribal recognition act in december.
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during the legislative hearing, the previous administration's assistant secretary for indian affairs testified that they did not object to action by congress to enact a bill given congress' authority under the constitution to recognize tribes. at the hearing, members of the committee also expressed bipartisan support for recognizing these six first contact virginia tribes. additionally, this legislation previously passed the house in both the 110th and the 11th congress. it is clear that there is wide bipartisan support for this issue across the commonwealth, across our nation and here in congress. federal recognition would acknowledge and protect historical and result rale identities of these tribes for -- cultural identities of these tribes for the benefit of all americans. it would affirm the government-to-government relationship between the united states and these first contact
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virginia tribes as a matter of respect out of what they did in working to make this nation what it is today. and also in helping create opportunities to enhance and protect the well-being of tribal members. this legislation will also provide certainty and finality on the gaming issue for the six virginia tribes. h.r. 984 clearly prohibits the tribes from conducting gaming activities under the virginia -- under the indian gaming regulatory act. the federal government's failure to recognize the virginia tribes is a serious injustice but it is one that we here today can correct. congress retains the authority to recognize indian tribes, and i believe it is right and just for us to continue to exercise that authority under the constitution and recognize these six first contact virginia tribes.
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these first contact tribes deserve equity and parity under the law. it is absolutely long overdue, and i urge your support for h.r. 984 and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. soto. mr. soto: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. soto: we are here today more than 400 years after the first english settlers landed in what became jamestown, virginia, to finally establish a government-to-government relationship with the indian tribes who greeted those settlers. the virginia tribes that are recognized in this bill have treaties with the king of england that date back to the early 1600's. their ancestors were their at jamestown and facilitated the very founding and early development of our nation. but these tribes have been unable to claim their rightful
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indian identity in relation to the federal government do in great part to the machinations the e man, walter plecker, state register for the commonwealth in the early 20th century. plecker, an avowed white supremacist, ran virginia's bureau of vital statistics for over 34 years, and from 1912 to 1947, plecker set out to rid the commonwealth of any documents that recorded the existence of indians or indian tribes living therein. he was instrumental in ensuring passage of the racial integrity act in 1924, making it illegal for individuals to classify themselves or their newborn children as indian. but he went even further and spent decades removing the category of indian from birth and marriage records.
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although this paper genocide, as it has been termed, attempted to erase the virginia indians from history, the tribal members held firm to their culture and to their identity. in 1997, state legislation was passed to help correct the records of the virginia indians. soon after, the virginia indians began their quest for federal recognition. passage of this legislation ill finally put to end their 20-year struggle. i want to commend and thank our colleague from virginia, mr. wittman, for bringing forth this bill. i also want to give special thanks to former congressman jim moran, who spent several years in this body championing this legislation and tirelessly working towards its goals. mr. speaker, it's time to finally put this issue to rest
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and correct a historical injustice by extending federal recognition to these six virginia tribes. i urge all of my colleagues to join me in support of this bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. wittman: mr. speaker, i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. soto. mr. soto: mr. speaker, i recognize -- i yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from virginia, mr. mceachin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mceachin: thank you, mr. speaker. and congressman soto, i thank you for yielding. i also want to thank my colleague and friend from virginia, mr. wittman, for bringing this legislation forward. i rise 410 years after the first english settlers landed in what became jamestown, virginia, to finally grant federal recognition to some of the native american tribes who met those early settlers.
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today with the passage of h.r. 984, we are recognizing the rightful status of virginia tribes in our national history. it is largely the historical accident that the tribes of virginia are not recognized. the six tribes have treaties that predate the united states, but because of the systematic destruction of their records, they've been denied federal recognition for the services that come along with it. we are fixing this injustice today by passing h.r. 984. federal recognition will provide what the government has long denied legal protections and financial great lakeses. federal recognition will provide financial assistance for the tribes' social services, their health care, their housing needs and educational tubtse and repatriation of the -- opportunities and the repatriation of the remains of their ancestors in a good manner. they will be able to flourish culturally and economically.
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this will lead to at better and pricer future for the next generation. federal recognition is an issue i have cared deeply about since my time in the virginia general assembly and i am proud and humbled to co-sponsor this legislation. we've waited too long, mr. speaker, to recognize virginia tribes. i urge my colleagues to support this passage. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. wittman: mr. speaker, i yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: i thank the speaker. i thank my friend from virginia for his leadership on this very important piece of legislation. important not only for the commonwealth of virginia but for the rights of all americans, beginning with the original americans. you know, when we talk about the americans, we talk sometimes as if the americas began in the early 17th century with jamestown, with plymouth and with the subsequent
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colonization of the east coast. but in fact there were millions of native americans here long before european colonization, and they had rich culture. ey had incredible artistic expression. they had a way of life. it was disrupted by european colonization, and as if some genocidal policies of the 18th and 19th century weren't bad enough in terms of their terrible impact on this population, the racism my friend from florida described that went on in the commonwealth of virginia in the early 20th century deeply compounded by the problem by denying the identity of individuals and communities as native american. so that the battle for them, to have their rights restored, that my good friend, mr. wittman, is trying to right
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today, was made so much more difficult and complex. if i destroy your identity papers, i destroy your ability to prove who you are, and that's the dilemma, that's the catch 22 in which we find ourselves today. . this is a matter of simple justice. this is a matter of congress righting a long wrong. it's a proud moment to stand so -- shoulder to shoulder republican and democrat from virginia to want to right this wrong. i know we're joined by all of our colleagues and former colleagues, including our friend, jim moran, for his great leadership in this matter. i proudly support the efforts of my colleague. i urge all members of the house to support this legislation. and let's turn a page in history the right way. with that i yield back. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves his time. the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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it's time to right this long injustice and bring truth back to our history. with that i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: joob. the gentleman from virginia. mr. wittman: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to also recognize the leaders of our virginia tribes today. several of those members are with us in the gallery today. here to witness a long overdue action by congress to formally recognize those virginia tribes. those virginia tribal leaders have been tremendous in their resolve and in their support to make sure that we right this injustice. i want to thank them for what they have done. they have been tireless in their support. and the things that they have done to make sure we all appreciate and understand the great history with these virginia tribes. i would be remiss if i didn't mention that those members of the tribes today, a number are getting smaller and smaller and
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smaller. and this is really only about making sure we're doing what's right for those tribes and making sure they get that formal recognition because of many injustices that have happened in the past. i am going to urge my colleagues to support h.r. 984 and i believe with the passage out of the house and i urge my colleagues in the senate to do likewise, today will be a very, ery proud day for our nation in coming about and recognizing these first virginia contact tribes that has been long overdue. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: 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. 984. 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 gentleman from virginia.
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north carolina. >> i ask for a recorded vow. -- vote. the speaker pro tempore: request the yeas and nays. >> i do. 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. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 , further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. hurd: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2227. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. mr. hurd: this is the modernizing government act of 2017 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2227, a bill to modernize government information technology, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. hurd, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. hurd: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hurd: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks
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and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hurd: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of my bill, h.r. 2227, the modernizing government technology act, or the mgt act. each year the federal government spends over $80 billion a year on information technology, with nearly 75% of that directed just towards operating and maintaining existing i.t. systems. couple this with innovation and management strategies that are decades behind the private sector when it comes to i.t., and the increasing costs of maintaining these aging and insecure systems, this is unsustainable. these systems pose increasing operational and security risks for the federal government. as we saw with the devastating o.p.m. data breach which impacted 23 million people. as we see cybersecurity attacks on the rise across the globe, it is imperative we modernize and protect our information
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technology systems of the the american people deserve better from their government, especially on an issue that is completely solvable. our government needs to be able to introduce cutting-edge technology into their networks to improve operational efficiency and decrease operational costs. this bipartisan i.t. reform package is designed to reduce wasteful i.t. spending and strengthen information security by accelerating the federal government's transition to modern technology like cloud computing. this legislation is an innovative solution and a tremendous step forward in strengthening our digital infrastructure. this bill passed the house on voice vote last year and passed the house oversight and government reform committee by voice this year. unfortunately, we ran out of time on this bill last congress with the senate. but we have an opportunity to act this year with an improved bill. h.r. 227 authorizes two types of funds to modendize legacy i.t. and incentivize i.t. savings in federal agencies. the bill authorizes funds
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within individual c.f.o. act agencies and authorizes a centralized fund located within treasury and overseen by o.m.b. the two funds will incentivize i.t. savings and reward cost sensitive and responsible chief information officers. under m.g.t. savings obtained by federal agencies by doing things like streamlining i.t. systems, replacing legacy products, and transitioning to cloud computing, can be placed in a working capital fund that can be accessed throughout the three years for further modernization efforts. this approach eliminates the traditional use it or lose it approach that's plagued government technology for decades. this approach of technology investments will transform government technology by keeping our information and digital infrastructure secure from cyberattacks while saving billions of taxpayer dollars. this important bill has enjoyed widespread support from colleagues in the house and senate.
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i'd like to thank my ranking member, ms. kelly, my friend from illinois, for her support on this. i'd like to thank the gentleman from the commonwealth of virginia, mr. connolly, for all he has done. and especially chairman chaffetz and ranking member cummings for their support. and the majority leader, kevin mccarthy, and the minority leader -- minority whip, mr. steny hoyer, have been vital to the success of getting this bill moving forward. all of these other members who have provided leadership and support for the m.g.t., i would like to thank them as well. mr. speaker, i'd like to ask unanimous consent that letters of support from a number of industry and trade groups in support of this bill be recorded for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hurd: i also would like to urge my colleagues to support this bill. 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 virginia, mr. connolly. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend, mr. hurd,
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from texas. and my friend from illinois, ms. robin kelly, for their leadership in bringing this bill to the floor. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: i rise in support of the bill, h.r. 2227, the modernizing government technology act of 2017. over the past several years, mr. speaker, we have all witnessed the chaos and havoc that sophisticated cyberattacks can and do wreak on our nation and around the world. just this past week there was a massive ransomware attack that hit 200,000 victims in 150 countries, and those numbers are expected to grow exponentially. this is just the latest in a string of high-profile attacks, including against sony, yahoo!, the o.p.m. data breach, and efforts to influence our elections and those in europe. these attacks jeopardize
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america's safety, privacy, and cost i'm told millions of dollars in the private sector and public sector as wefment these attacks affect both the public and private sector and bad actors repeatedly target our federal government. those attacks often succeed. because federal computer systems are so outdated that they cannot implement network defenses as basic as encryption. some legacy systems go back a half century. the federal government spends nearly $60 billion a year sustaining its existing i.t. systems. when agencies are forced to spend nearly 80% of that to maintain legacy computer systems, they have fewer resources to modernize and reinvest. as a result, agencies cannot afford to invest in the modern technologies that other large enterprise need to survive.
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many federal agencies do not use cloud computing to help secure computer networks and approve our ability to deliver services to the american people. the m.g.t. act we're talking about today and on which i'm proud to be one of the lead democratic co-sponsors, is a critical step to help improve the federal government's i.t. systems. m.g.t. act of 2017 will help our cyberdefenders protect our most important digital resources. this bill maris two bills from the previous congress -- marries two bills from the previous congress, both of which i was an original co-sponsor of, the i.t. modernization act and movement act. the m.g.t. act establishes a clear role for both these pieces of legislation to improve federal i.t. systems. i was an original co-sponsor for whip steny hoyer's i.t. modernization act which created a revolving fund using $3 billion appropriation for treasury to replace legacy stims. i was pleased to join my
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friend, ms. kelly, the ranking member of the i.t. subcommittee, and mr. hurd, own the move it act, which revived a proposal for us discussed during the consideration of the legislation, the federal information technology acquisition reform act. these two bills were different but complementary. and worked ultimately to join the two to create this act in front of us today, the m.g.t. act. that act lays the foundation for the future of i.t. modernization funding and reinvestment and investment by the federal government long overdue. the act will authorize an up front investment to retire vulnerable large-scale legacy systems and affect multiple agencies this. bipartisan, bicameral legislation will provide mechanisms and much needed funding for agencies to speed up that slow process of moving from legacy i.t. systems to cutting-edge 21st century technologies. it would also provide needed
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reporting requirements to ensure that agencies are acquiring modern technology and that we can measure that it's being done in a cost-effective way. it places an emphasis in folingt practices of private industry, and moving toward -- following the practices of private industry and moving toward cloud solution systems. it will allow agencies to reinvest those savings, and that's a commonsense proposal but not one we find commonly in the federal government. i urge my colleagues to support the act. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. hurd: i know the gentleman from the commonwealth has a few more spears. i want to reserve. e speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia. glad nnolly: mr. speaker, to yield four minutes to the distinguished whip on the democratic side, my friend from maryland, steny hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. the majority leader
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is with us. mr. majority leader. mr. speaker, mr. chairman. mr. ranking member. mr. hurd, thank you very much for your leadership on this issue. pleased to work with you oit. mr. speaker, i rise in support of this bill. it will not be a controversial bill. it will not make the front page of the paper tomorrow. people will not be seized of this bill passing. but this bill may well have a very great consequence to it and to the efficiency and effectiveness of our federal government. last july i tlined a series of reforms to renew america's faith itheir government which included modernizing government technology. not long after i introduced the information technology modernization act to achieve that goal, and of course mr. connolly was a co-sponsor with me on that bill. i'm glad that this bill is on the floor today includes my
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legislation and would be a major step toward ensuring that our government is using the latest technology systems. it is well protected from cyberthreats, and can serve the american people effectively. mr. hurd came over to me on the floor and we talked about our two ideas, and as the gentleman from virginia has said, they were complementary. and i'm pleased that we could work together to put these bills together and that we now have agreement with the senate. we passed a bill through the house. last week's major global cyberattack was yet another reminder of how critical it is that our government's technology systems are upgraded to the latest and most secure technology. . if any lesson was needed, we got it. americans count on government agencies to protect their personal data and our security agencies rely on our government systems to safeguard classified and sensitive information.
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unfortunately our government technology systems are now far behind the latest technology and are in desperate need of upgrades. i congratulate ms. kelly, the gentlewoman from illinois, for her work on this effort. what this legislation does is authorize the creation of the technology modernization fund to finance rapid upgrades of government technology systems. similar to funds that are available in the private sector, so they can move quickly and seize the best and latest technology available. it would prioritize the systems that are the most vulnerable and it would implement best practices from the private sector. in other words, those that are working least well will be the first addressed. once upgrades are completed, agencies will pay back into the fund from the savings achieved through greater efficiency.
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i.e., a revolving fund. making it possible then to finance additional projects in a way that is self-sustaining after the initial investment. all of this would be done in a way that is transparent and accountable. once this bill is enacted, we must take the next step and provide, of course, that initial funding. i've been proud to work across the aisle with majority leader mccarthy, chairman chaffetz, mr. hurd, and of course my dear, dear friend from virginia, my colleague in the washington metropolitan area, representative connolly. on our side. representative kelly, who i just mentioned, and congressman ted lu have also been champions of this effort and i thank them for their input and their strong support as we work to bring it to the floor in a bipartisan fashion. again, i want to say how pleased i am to work on these issues. with all of my colleagues. but particularly with the majority leader, mr. mccarthy, my friend from california.
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and thank him for his leadership. i hope my colleagues will join me in supporting the modernizing government technology act. and i hope the trump administration will include investment to capitalize this new fund in their fiscal 2018 budget. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves his time. the gentleman from texas. >> mr. speaker, at this time i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from california, the distinguished majority leader, kevin mccarthy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding and for , e -- before the whip departs i want to thank him for his work on this. this has really been a bipartisan effort and it's really putting the country first and you're correct. this might not make headlines, but this will have a greater effect on your government being more efficient, effective and accountable. and we thank you for your work on it. mr. speaker, there are some things we get used to hearing. but when you think about it,
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it's amazing just how much things have changed. you know, i hear a friend say that all the photos he took on his phone automatically updated to his cloud. surprising there. but how long ago was it that we couldn't even take pictures on our phone? much less have them saved automatically on a cloud. nowadays it's not uncommon to cash your checks online, manage your accounts on mint, pay individuals back online. many millennials don't even carry cash anymore. that's a revolution in money management that just happened in a matter of years. so why, mr. speaker, why in the world would the department of defense use a 54-year-old system s a backup to send and receive emergency messages for our nuclear forces? a 54-year-old system that relies on floppy disks.
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why would the master file of the public's taxes at the i.r.s. run on a 1950 code? 80% of the $80 billion we spend each year on i.t. is used to maintain legacy systems. to buy expensive parts that nobody uses anymore for a 54-year-old system we shouldn't even have. we'd expect more from the private sector. we'd expect mobile cameras, cloud computing, online banking, heck, we'd even expect to upgrade our phones and apps and technology on a rolling basis every single week. why should we expect less from the federal government? i would say, this is about more than expectations. we all saw what happened over the weekend, with the massive global cyberattack. hospitals shut down. transportation systems.
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this is a government service issue. it is a government waste issue. it is a national security issue. now, government may never be like silicon valley, but it should not be stuck in the age of "mad men." that's not only costly, it's dangerous. will hurd, an individual that has served his nation in some of the most dangerous parts of the world, an individual who worked in the private sector when it came to technology. an individual who serves in this body, and i will say this based upon everybody else i've served, probably has the most bipartisan approach to anyone i've ever seen serve in that position. he doesn't care about party. it's just as when he worked in the c.i.a. he cares about his country. he has seen the most deadly
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things happen. and through his technology company, he's seen the people fight wars new ways. so he took it upon himself, it's not the issue that people would campaign upon, but it's an issue that he saw needed a solution. you work with both sides of the aisle -- he works with both and he said, isle why can't we modernize our own technology? you know, the veterans administration was created in 1921. and if somebody that was a veteran that had a problem and a claim, they would write it on a piece of paper. in 1921 on a warm day like today, we'd have fans going to try to cool ourselves down. we'd rush after we got done voting to turn on our radios to see what the news was saying. well, the world all changed. we can look at our phones and get the news. we got central air to cool ourselves down. and we have a claim with the
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v.a., lots of times they write it on a piece of paper. you know what? that's all going to stop today. that's going to stop because we're going to make a smart investment. we're going to make the federal government the same accountability we expect in business or anywhere else. and you know what will happen? government will become more effective, more efficient and more accountable. and more transparent. so i want to tip my hat to both sides of the aisle. especially to congressman will hurd. he took the leadership and the ability to work with all. on really the issue that people wouldn't talk about but expect to happen. and he was the right person at the right time to make it push. that's why i support this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves his time. the gentleman from virginia.
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mr. connolly: may i inquire how much time of time is left on this side? -- how much time is left on this side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia has 11 1/2 minutes. mr. connolly: i'm happy to yield five minutes, 5 1/2 minutes, to my good friend from illinois, robin kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. kelly: thank you, mr. connolly, for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today to support this commonsense, bipartisan bill that updates our woefully outdated i.t. infrastructure. i want to say thank you to my good friend and partner on the i.t. subcommittee, chairman hurd, for his leadership on this very important measure. and to my colleagues who worked so hard on this bill. chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings, democratic whip hoyer from the majority, mr. mccarthy. mr. connolly of virginia for his energy and work in dealing with this bill. and i also want to give a special thanks to all of the staff and a special shoutout to my staff, jay and zach. the modernizing government
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technology act has come a long way from the early days when it was called move i.t. the been a tough and sometimes frustrating journey, but we've made it and we have a good bill in front of us. last year the house passed this bill only to have it die in the senate. despite these road blocks we kept working because it's worth it. this bill will revolutionize and upgrade our outdated i.t. infrastructure by bringing cost saving, innovation and greater security to government agencies. in my years serving as the ranking member of the oversight committee's. i t. subcommittee, i've learn -- committee's i.t. subcommittee, i've learned one thing, we need to get back to basics and this bill does just. that our current lose it or lose it approach to federal i.t. isn't working. it's no secret that federal agencies are working to -- struggling to stay up to date, especially when compared to the private sector. each year we spend $80 billion in taxpayer dollars to maintain legacy i.t. systems that are vulnerable to cyberattacks. and each year that we don't
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these systems, they become even more difficult and expensive to secure. this is unacceptable and a waste of taxpayer dollars. for too long we've kicked the can down the road and left our outdated i.t. systems vulnerable to costly attacks. the dangers of our system are clear. every day we're reminded of the importance of having modern i.t. systems and robust cybersecurity practices in place. in 2015 hackers made off with the personal information of more than 20 million americans, including congressional staffers in the o.p.m. data system. data breach. and just this past week, as you've heard, a comblobal ransomware attack, -- a global ransomware attack wreaked havoc worldwide. these attacks will only grow more frequently and more difficult to combat. the m.g.t. act is a major step in the right direction. it will cut costs and enhance our security. it builds on prior work like cohen and gives agencies the
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flexibility needed to modernize vulnerable systems and develop cost savings for taxpayers. under this bill, agencies can take the savings from upgrading their systems and reinvest them into their working capital fund for future i.t. modernization. we're going to go from an outdated method of purchasing i.t. to one that empowers c.i.o.'s to make smart, strategic investments in innovative technologies. and as an end result, our data will be more secure and our government more efficient. i am proud of this bill and i'm proud of the bipartisan work that made it possible. proud of what we accomplished by working together on the i.t. subcommittee. the m.g.t. act is a necessary component to strengthening our cybersecurity that saves taxpayers money. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. hurd: mr. speaker, i'd like to inform my friend from the commonwealth that i have no further speakers and am prepared
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to close. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. chairman. in closing, -- mr. speaker. in closing, i think this is an important piece in the information technology and thed -- modernization effort that our committee and this body has undertaken for the last five or six years. one of the key pieces of legislation undergirding today's bill is the federal information technology acquisition reform act, i was proud to co-write and co-altogetherer with then chairman darrell issa. equally proud today to have worked with my friend, mr. hurd from texas, my friend, ms. kelly from illinois, and of course mr. steny hoyer, the democratic whip, in forging this additional piece that we believe will bring the federal government into the 21st century. technologically literate and protecting the databases that protect the american people.
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hundreds of millions of pieces of data are at risk in the current cyberenvironment. and some simple but critical investments can make all the difference. that's what we're voting for today. i urge passage of the legislation and again congratulate my colleagues and friends for working together on a bipartisan -- in a bipartisan way to bring this bill to fruition. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. hurd: mr. speaker, we have some young folks in the chamber right now. and i hope they recognize that this is how their government is supposed to work. people working together, putting their differences past them, in order for the betterment of our great nation. it's an honor for me to have this opportunity to do this with so many of my friends that i have grown to love and respect over these last few years. and we get to save government money, protect our digital
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infrastructure, and make sure that our government is providing the kind of services we should and that the american people demand. and with that, mr. speaker, i urge adoption of this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: 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. 2227 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent that the ordering of the yeas and vacated r. 94 be ray
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and it be put to a vote. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? earing none, so ordered. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 984. 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 n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 194, the federal agency mail management act of 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 137, h.r. 194, a bill to ensure the effective processing of mail
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by federal agencies and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from yk, mr. russell, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. russell: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. russell: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. russell: mr. speaker, i present today h.r. 194, the federal agency mail management act of 2017. approximately two years ago, president obama signed into law the presidential and federal records act amendments of 2014. the law modernized and improved federal recordkeeping statutes by codifying agency responsibilities that have been in practice for decades. once the law was enacted the general services administration,
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g.s. a, identified technical provisions in the law that it interpreted at limit -- as limiting federal mailroom regulations. the g.s.a. has been responsible for the oversight of federal mail management for many years. congress did not intend for the 2014 law to change the mail management structure. mr. speaker, h.r. 194 provides clarification to ensure that the g.s.a. is responsible for mail room management oversight and not the national archives and records administration. both g.s.a. and the national archives have worked with congress to make the correction and both entities support h.r. 194. mr. speaker, an identical bill passed by the house with unanimous voice vote near the end of last congress, we hope that this legislation will be signed into law this congress to correct the unintended cons quovense a previous law. this corrective measure has bipartisan support and i
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appreciate having my friend and colleague, mr. connolly of virginia, join me as a co-sponsor. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend from oklahoma. i yield myself such time as i man -- as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: i rise in support of the federal agency mail management act which i introduce aid long with the author of the bill, representative steve russell. i want to thank representative russell for working in a bipartisan manner on this legislation. the bill would make a technical correction to clarify that the administrator of the general services administration is responsible for managing mail in the executive branch. the administrator of g.s.a. has historically had this responsibility but when the federal records act was updated in 2014, changes made to the statute left it unclear whether the administrators' role had
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changed. you'd think a simple, common sense measure but it require an act of congress to clarify. congress never intended to take away their authority to manage mail. the bill was approved by the house without opposition last year. we're hoping the same will pertain this year. the congressional budget estimate this is bill would cost the federal government nothing because g.s.a. already processes mail from federal agencies. i urge all members to support i reserve the balance of my time, pending clarification from my friend as to whether there are peekers on the other side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. russell: thank you, mechanic. i would like to make my friend, mr. connolly, aware that i have no further speakers and am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: mr. speaker, with that, we yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. russell: i urge adoption of
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the bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time has expired. the question is, will the howls -- will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 194. 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. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? mr. russell: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 195, the federal register printing savings act of 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number amend . 195, a bill to united states code to restrict free distributed copies of the
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federal register to members of congress and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: 3ur sunt to the rule, the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. russell and the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, each will control 20 minute. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. russell: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. russell: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their rashes and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. russell: my bill, h.r. 195, the federal register printing savings act of 017, will save taxpayers -- of 2017 will save taxpayers' dollars and is needed reform in how we conduct day-to-day business in congress. the federal register includes a large amount of information, including rules and regulations and presidential orders this information is compiled by the national archives and published
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daily by the government printing office or g.p.o. often described by the national archives as, quote, the daily newspaper of the federal government, this allows members and staff to keep track of activity across the government. started publishing it online. it now includes links to related content. it is now fully searchable and down loadable, making for quick access to any document. sadly, mr. speaker, despite the advance of technology, members of congress and federal offices and across the entire government still receive printed copies of the federal register every tai. in the course of a year, this stack of registers would be 16 feet high. this results in thousands of copies going directly into the trash each week unless occasionally used as doorstops.
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sub prescriptions -- subscriptions to the federal register cost about $1,000 annually, meaning hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars are wasted each year this same money could pay for the salaries of 50 soldiers who defend our republic in a given year. mr. speaker, h.r. 195 makes a small but significant change to fix the problem and ensure that we operate in the 21st century. instead of automatically receiving printed copies, members or officers of the federal government who want to continue to receive copies need only submit a request. there will be an opt-in instead of an opt-out. current print and on-demand technologies make this possible. the subscriptions will last for one year to ensure members and offices are able to evaluate if they want to continue the service. for members and offices that do not use or want the printed version, they still -- they will not receive it and will still
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have full access to the searchable digital version which most members use. this change will reduce unnecessary printing and in context will prevent 96 americans from having to work each year so we can throw registers in the trash. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this efficient bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: i thank the speaker. mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: i rise in support of h.r. 195, the federal register printing savings act. my friend, mr. russell, is going to develop a reputation for being too common sense this would pribt the government printing office from sending copy os they have federal register to members of congress and others unless they wanted them. the federal register includes rules, regulations, executive
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orders and other documents. it's an important and useful publication. it does not make sense, however, for g.p.o. automatically to send it to offices that don't want it and end up putting it in the garbage, hopefully -- hopefully recycling. the federal register is available online which significantly cuts down on the need for printed copy for most of us this would reduce waste, both in paper and federal dollars. the congressional budget office says this bill would reduce federal spending by $1 million a year. it was the late everett dirksen of illinois who said, a million here a million there, pretty soon it adds up to real money. it would result in a thousand fewer copies of the federal register being printed each tai. this bill is good for the environment, good for taxpayers and a useful discipline for us all in terms of excess we don't need. i urge all members to support the bill and pending
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notification from my friend from oklahoma with respect to other speakers reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. russell: thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to let mr. connolly know i have no further speakers and am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: i thank my friend, mr. russell, for his leadership, and his work on our committee. i deeply appreciate it. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. russell: i urge adoption of the bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 195. 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 n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek
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recognition? mr. russell: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 653, the federal intern protection act of 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 34, a bill to protect unpaid interns from workplace harassment and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. russell and the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. russell: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. russell: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. russell: mr. speaker, i rise today to support h.r. 653, the federal internal protection act of 2017, sponsored by my
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colleague on the oversight committee, ranking member elijah cummings of maryland. mr. speaker, the federal government is well served by interns who provide invaluable assistance to agencies across the federal government. our internals work alongside us and other federal employees, helping conduct agency business on behalf of the american people. internship programs also help to identify and develop the next generation of federal employees. in exchange, interns gain invaluable work experience in a field they might hope to enter upon graduation and credit they can apply at their institution of learning. unfortunately, there are no existing provisions in federal law that protect interns working at federal agencies against harassment or discrimination. in the case o'connor vs. davis, the united states court of appeals for the second circuit upheld a decision finding an intern could not bring sexual harassment claims under federal
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law. the court reasoned that since the intern was not a federal employee, that person was not covered by existing law. the court concluded that, quote, it is for congress, if it should choose to do so, to provide a remedy, end quote. mr. speaker, the oversight and government reform committee heard testimony showing the damage this loophole can have at federal agencies. in a 2015 hearing on environmental protection agency mismanagement, witnesses described allegations of sexual harassment against interns. according to testimony, quote, one former intern stated that because of this harassment, she changed her mind about not only working for the e.p.a., but also for working in the federal sector at all, end quote. this is simply unacceptable. mr. speaker, the federal intern protection act of 2017 ensures that interns working for the federal government receive anti-discriminatory and anti-harassment protections,
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specifically the bill prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicapping condition for interns working at federal agencies. these protections are already in place for federal employees. i thank my friend and colleague, ranking member, mr. cummings, for his leadership and commitment to protecting interns who work for the federal government. and 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 virginia. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. connolly: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 653. the federal intern protection act. in fact, it's hard to believe we need this legislation at this point in the 21st century. but we do. under current law, federal employees are protected from discrimination on basis of race, religion, age and sex. federal employees. unfortunately, interns don't qualify.
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they have no such protections. i appreciate the wonderful work of our distinguished ranking member, representative cummings of maryland, on this important message. i'm not surprised and neither are my colleagues that he would pick up on this. he would see the need for this protection. to be extended to men and women, young men and women of goodwill who want maybe to pursue a career or part of their career in the federal government. they need these protections like the employees they're working with side by side. i yield the balance of my time to my good friend, the ranking member from maryland, mr. cummings. mr. cummings: thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank mr. connolly for yielding and for his kind words. i want to thank mr. russell also for your very kind words. and for yielding. the bill before us, the federal intern protection act, would close a loophole in federal
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employment law that currently leaves unpaid interns open to discrimination and sexual harassment with no legal recourse. it is interesting, as i listened to mr. connolly, he's absolutely right. it is surprising that they don't already have this protection. last year the oversight committee held a hearing at which we heard testimony about sexual harassment and retaliation in an e.p.a. regional office. during the hearing, both chairman chaffetz and i expressed our disgust at the exploitation of these young women and demanded action to prevent this abuse in the future. unfortunately the act of harassing unpaid interns on the basis of race, religion, age, or in this case sex, is not
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prohibited by federal law. under the current law, victims rely on the discretion of managers to prevent this behavior, something that does not always occur. as one witness testified before our committee, and i quote, even after finding out about the numerous harassment victims, the direct reporting manager continued to feed the harasser a steady diet of young women. end of quote. that is very sad commentary. as i've often said, we're better than that. so we saw at our hearing that allowing this kind of behavior to go unchecked can have serious consequences on the lives and careers of those who are interested in government service. what we want to do is encourage young people to come into
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government service. we want them to come in and to do what will feed their souls, by making life better for the general population. the last thing we want to do is do anything that would cause them to say, this is something i don't want to do. so many interns are willing to work for the federal government without receiving any pay. that's the other piece. so many of these young people come, they're looking for experience, they're looking for opportunity. they simply want a chance to get their foot in the door. but we must protect them from this kind of despicable behavior. our bill will afford federal interns protections in the same manner and to the same extent as federal employees. so i take this moment, i want to thank the chairman for moving this bill expeditiously through our committee.
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where it was adopted unanimously. and for bringing it to the floor today. i want to thank you, mr. speaker. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves his time. the gentleman from oklahoma. russ russ thank you, mr. speaker. i would -- mr. russell: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no further speakers and am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. want to laude my friend from north carolina, mr. cummings, for bringing up this issue. it's a very important one. the use of internships in the federal government is a very underutilized tool, when compared to the private sector. many private sector companies will use internships for recruiting, for recruiting the talent it needs for the future. in many cases 70% and 80% of those who intern for private sector corporations end up being hired. because they have a carefully
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monitored program from orientation and recruitment to the tasks at hand during the internship. the federal government does no such thing systemically. and at the very beginning, if we're going to use internships as creatively as the private sector, to recruit the next generation of federal employees, since 1/3 of the current work force is eligible for retirement over the next several years, we ve to follow the lead my friend, mr. cummings, has just given us, and of course my friend from oklahoma, mr. russell, and that's to make sure it's a safe workplace. otherwise who would be attracted to it? so this piece of legislation is critical to our making federal internships a meaningful tool in recruitment and retention. so long as that work force is protected by the same norms and same regulations as any federal employee. i thank my friend, mr. cummings, for bricking -- bringing this to our attention and i thank my friend, mr. russell, for his leadership.
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and i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. russell: thank you, mr. speaker. i urge the adoption and thank the hard work from mr. cummings on this measure. the broad bipartisan, unanimous support that we've had in committee, and also the work of e committee in bringing this practical measure. and would urge adoption of it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time has expired. the question is, will the house practical measure. and suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 653. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass the ll, h.r. 2169, the improving
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fusion centers' access to information act as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2169, a bill to amend the homeland security act of 2002, to enhance information sharing in the department of homeland security, state, local and regional fusion center initiative, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. katko, and the gentleman from texas, mr. vela, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. katko: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all memberses have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous materials on the bill unconsideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. katko: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. katko: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 2169. the improving fusion centers' access to information act. in the years since 9/11, congress and the executive branch have taken many steps to address information shortfalls and information sharing
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shortfalls. however, we know that silos remain. the purpose of h.r. 2169 is to ensure that the department of homeland security is truly serving as a state and local information sharing advocate as originally intended by the homeland security act. this bill requires d.h.s. to regularly review information sharing efforts at a national network of fusion centers and then work with other federal agencies to close any identifyified gaps. -- identified gaps. state and local fusion centers have grown in maturity and number since 9/11. there are now 78 fusion centers within the national network. as a net -- the network has ma toured, fusion centers have -- matured, fusion centers have established themselves as a conduit for sharing terrorism, homeland security and criminal information with federal, state, local, tribal and territory -- territorial partners. as a threat -- the threat environment continues to einvolve, it is vie that will -- evolve, it is vital we have
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access to stay ahead of threats to the homeland. despite existing requirements for d.h.s. to share intelligence and information with state and local entities, i have found that the department does not regularly assess if fusion centers have access to necessary information or databases held by other federal agencies. h.r. 2169 addresses this deficiency by requiring the secretary to conduct outreach to the fusion centers, to identify information sharing gaps and work with the appropriate federal agencies to address these gaps. additionally, the secretary is required to identify federal databases and data sets that should be included in the information sharing environment and coordinate with the appropriate federal agency to deploy such systems. h.r. 2169 includes input from the fusion centers, department of homeland security, and other federal agencies. i am pleased that the national fusion center association has endorsed the bill and i ask unanimous consent to include their letter into the
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congressional record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. katko: i am very pleased to report that h.r. 2169 is a very bipartisan bill that passed the committee on homeland security unanimously. i urge my colleagues to support the measure and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman -- the gentleman is recognized. mr. vela: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 2169, the improving fusion centers' access to information act of 2017. and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. mr. vela: thank you, mr. speaker. today we consider h.r. 2169, a bill that seeks to authorize d.h.s.'s state, local and regional fusion center initiative. the bill requires the secretary of homeland security to carry out outreach to identify gaps in ing. mation share
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this measure highlights the importance of equipping fusion centers so that they can quickly adapt to the ever-evolving terrorist threatland escape. congress has given particular attention to the fusion centers, in the 114th congress, ebb acted measures to support fusion centers. fusion centers operate a state and urban area focal points for receipt, analysis, gathering and sharing of threat information between federal, state, local and private sector partners. i want to particularly highlight a provision of this bill focused onism proving the interagency collaboration by requiring the d.h.s. secretary to consult with other federal partners in order to develop new methods to address such gaps. d.h.s. must continue to address and improve the nation's fusion centers' capabilities in gathering, analyzing and sharing threat-related information between partners on every level. with that, i urge passage of 2169 and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. katko: mr. speaker, i have no other speakers. if the gentleman from texas has no other speakers, i'm prepared to close once the gentleman
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does. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. vela, is recognized. mr. vela: mr. speaker, i have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close if the gentleman from new york is prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for such time. mr. vela: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. vela: thank you, mr. speaker. in closing, i want to again express my support for this bill and thank mr. katko for his efforts in bringing this bill forward. we live in a time when the threats we face as nation remain complex and this bill is an important tool to ensure our law enforcement professionals have the resources and methods to prevent and deter terror threats. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. vela, yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york, mr. katko, is recognized to close debate on this bill. mr. katko: mr. speaker, i once again urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2169 and before i close, i want to note that i routinely engage in bipartisan efforts on behalf of homeland
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security with congressman vela and others. the committee works in a very bipartisan manner to do what's best for this country, to keep it safe, and this bill is one of those bills that helps keep our country safe. it is critical that we ensure the proper flow of information to all law enforcement agencies and that they properly use that information, that they have access to it on a regular basis, no matter whether they're a local police officer who is working at a fusion sent or whether it's an f.b.i. agent -- center or whether it's an f.b.i. agent. everyone should have access to that information because we're all on the same team to keep this country safe. i think our bipartisan efforts we engage in with the homeland security on a regular basis is a good example of the good things that happen in congress and i'm proud to be part of it. i'm proud to have mr. vela as my colleague on that as well. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2169 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the
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rules are suspended, the bill is passed, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from york -- does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. katko: i ask unanimous consent that the house pass h.r. 22 1 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2281, to enhance the border enforcement security task force within the department of home lan security and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york, mr. katko and the gentleman from texas, mr. vay las, each will control -- mr. vela, each will control 20 minutes. mr. katko: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise
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and extend their remarks and includes extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. katko: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of h.r. 2281, the border security task force re-authorization act of 2017. we are living in unprecedented times. a quick glance of recent headlines shows -- shows that our nation is suffering from the largest heroin epidemic in the history of the united states. last week, bloomberg "business week" reported that heroin has become so pervasive in our cities and so profitable for the cartels that supply it that even our local law enforcement officers are disheart and admit that sporadic, street level arrests seem to have no effect. recently in my district we witnessed the dismantling of a large scale organizationle news reports indicate 52 individuals are facing charges for about 370
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crimes, including operating as drug dealers and traffickers. mr. speaker, if these individuals had not been stopped, their nefarious activities would have broken the dreams of children across america and the criminal enterprise would have caused millions in economic loss through incarceration, rehab and medical expenses. had they not been stopped, their actions would have continued to introduce poison in our communities. a recent trend shows that heroin hitting our streets is become manager lethal as drug dealers have been lacing heroin with fentanyl making the doses more addictive and cheaper to produce. in my years as a prosecutor, i have seen all sorts of drugs, never seen anything with the lethality of heroin. there are steps that can be take ton shut down the ill list
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pathways over our borders. thankfully, there's a federal task force dedicated to this singular purpose. in 2005, in response to increasing violence on the southwest border, the department of homeland security, as well as border protection created best, the border enforcement security task forces. to date, 44 units have been deployed across the united states and in puerto rico my home state of new york is well served by three best teams two on the northern border, one which i helped stand up in messina, new york. best teams comprise over 1,000 members who represent over 100 law enforcement agencies who have committed to jointly investigate transnational criminal activity along the southwest and northern borders and at our nation's major airports. since their inception, their
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collective efforts have initiated more than 10,000 -- more than 10,644 investigations which have resulted in almost 13,000 criminal arrests. the seizure of 1.2 million pounds of narcotics. and more than $130 million. the street value is of 1. million pounds of narcotics is astronomical. an impressive feat by any mash. -- by any measure. as we consider re-authorizing this task force we have to look at where there's room for improvement. every program makes adjustments when needed. of the 44 total best unit, 20 are designated by homeland security as having a maritime security focus. while the coast guard provides critical support to federal, state and local part nerks not every best group is benefiting from their help. this is mandating a coast guard
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special agent and uniformed coast guard officer on every maritime best. by using both plain clothes investigators an urine formed officers, best will be able to partner with the coast guard and an generation of actionable marine maritime intelligence. the coast forward is the only agency in d.h.s. that's also an independent member of the intelligence community this unique position, coupled with the fact that they have unparalleled awareness makes it imperative that they are included in all maritime bests in a mandatory fashion. as we find ourselves halfway through police week this week, i want to take a second to pause and thank the men and women of law enforcement throughout this great nation, many of whom i stood side-by-side with for 25 years for all they do, and i'd like to thank mr. vela for introducing this bill and urging my colleagues to support the law
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enforcement community. i rise in support of re-authorizing this important task force and i ask unanimous consent to insert in the record a letter exchanged between the chairman of the committee on transportation and infrastructure and the chairman of the homeland security committee. the speaker pro tempore: without objection so order. mr. katko: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. vela: i rise in support of the -- of h.r. 22 1, the border enforcement security task force re-authorize eight -- re-authorization act of 017. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. vela: this bill seeks to re-authorize the border enforcement security task force, or best. u.s. imgrailings and enforcement leads 42 best units across the united states and puerto rico. each unit is comprised of members from homeland -- from
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i.c.e., homeland security, as well as other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate criminal activity along the southwest and northern borders and at the nation's sea ports. these units play a critical role in advancing d.h.s.'s security efforts by ensuring that all levels of law enforcement are sharing information. best units have been instrumental in joint operations to thwart threats posed by transnational criminal organizations. this legislation is in furtherance of my efforts as ranking member of the subcommittee on bordering -- on border an maritime security, to bolster securitien cross border threats and to ensure that resources are used in a strategic manner to mitigate such threats, particularly in response to drug cartels. those representing border districts are well aware that the cartels adapt quickly to exploit real or perceived
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weaknesses in our security. as they shift their criminal operations to new locations, smuggle their contraband into the united states through ports of entry or utilize maritime routs into this country, d.h.s. must be at the ready to quickly intercept and disrupt their operations this legislation seeks to ensure that d.h.s. continues to use best units to maximum effect. this bill instructs d.h.s. before sending -- standing up a best unit to consider the cross border threats posed by transnational criminaling or neizations, the departments of homeland and border security strategic priorities as well as the operation of d.h.s.'s joint task force and other multiagent efforts. h.r. 22 1 also updates existing reporting requirements so congress has better information on how effectively best units are edeucing criminal activity such as the traffic fing of drugs, weapons and people along the borders, enhancing information sharing among law
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enforcement partners, coordinating with the department's joint task force and generally advancing the d.h.s.'s homeland and border security strategic priorities. i want to thank those who have co-sponsored this legislation including subcommittee chairwoman martha mcsally. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 22 1 and a-- and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. katko: i have no more speakers. if the gentleman has no more speakers i'm prepared to close once the gentleman does. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. vela: i have no further speakers and am prepared to close if the gentleman is prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. vela: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. r. vela: h.r. 22 1 the border enforcement security task force
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re-authorize act is a commonsense bill seeking to re-authorize the effectiveness of the border security program and ensure it continues to contribute to making our nation more safe and secure: h.r. 2 1 was approve by voice vote by the full committee on may 3 and enjoys broad bipartisan support. before i yield back, i would like to thank chairman mccal and ranking member thompson as well as subcommittee chairwoman mcsally for their work on this bill. i urge my colleagues to support of this bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized to close debate on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. mr. katko: i inch my colleagues to adopt this legislation and i want to note that back in the mid 1990's, when i was starting my career as a federal organized crime prosecutor, i was on the border in el paso, texas. i had a frontline view as i was
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oing after drug runners back then. many people think the biggest problem at the border is illegal aliens but i can tell you that drug trafficking remains a gigantic issue. the poison that is killing our kids is streaming across the southwest board for the familiar. -- in particular. it is imperative that bills like this continue. it's imperative that congressman vela and others on the subcommittee continue identifying issues along the border, both north and south, and that the best concept continues and indeed expands in the future. targeted law enforcement that involves people on both sides of the border in law enforcement is the only way to solve this problem. i commend them for their work on this i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time having now expired on this bill, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 281 as amended. those in favor say aye.
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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 n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1177. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 77, h.r. 1177, a bill to direct the secretary of agriculture to
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release on behalf of the united states the condition that certain lands convey to the city of old town, maine, be use forward municipal airport and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. peterson, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. davis: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so mr. davis: i rise in support of h.r. 1177. in the early 1980's, the city of old town, maine, purchased land from the federal government to be part of their old town airport. the deed included a use restriction.
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limiting the use of land to a municipal airport or other public use. old town has invested heavily in this land in order to attract businesses but the outdated deed restriction needs to be lifted before further economic development can occur. h.r. 1177 provides for the removal of the deed restriction on the parcel of land around the old town airport to allow for business development. the bill allows the city of old town to send a letter to the secretary of agriculture detailing which lands it would like released from the deed restriction and directs the secretary to release that land to the city of old town. passage of this commonsense provision will allow economic development in old town to move forward, creating as many as 200 much-needed jobs. this legislation will provide certainty to private investors and help the local economy thrive. i would like to thank
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representative bruce poliquin for addressing this issue and our chairman, mike conaway. this is a good government bill that unleashes private investment at a time when rural america is struggling. and we must do all we can to encourage growth and development in rural communities, many that we all serve. but also the ones that representative poliquin serves in old town, maine. i urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. peterson: h.r. 1177 is a bill that would allow old town,
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maine to have economic development plans. h.r. 1177 removes the current deed restriction on the lands surrounding the old town airport. this will allow the city to implement economic initiatives that will create jobs and spur economic activity in the area. as a pilot, i'm glad to see the airport will not be impacted by this change and will continue to meet the region's air transportation needs. h.r. 1177 is common sense, reasonable legislation. and i urge my colleagues to vote yes. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. . -- does the gentleman reserve? mr. peterson: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: i thank the gentleman for his support of this legislation. i would like to offer four minutes to my colleague, mr.
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poliquin, who actually was the one who brought this bill to the attention of the house ag committee. it's his hard work and not many in this institution that work harder than representative poliquin in addressing the needs of rural america. i would like to yield four minutes to our colleague from maine. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maine is recognized for four minutes. mr. poliquin: thank you, mr. speaker and mr. chairman for the kind remarks. i'm so proud to represent the most honest and hard-working americans you can find anywhere. maine's 2nd congressional district is not the largest, the second largest congressional district east of the mississippi river. drive ut an eight-hour and spend your time dodging moose, but we need jobs. we need jobs. we have had a situation, mr.
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speaker, in our state for the past 30 years where our paper mills and saw mills and textile mills have closed. we have a handful left and right smack in the middle of our district is the great town of old town, maine, just a little bit north of bangor. old town has suffered from the closure of a significant mill or two. and when the economic development director of old town reached out to our office and said, bruce, we have a problem here. we have a terrific piece of property surrounding our airport. we have gone through extensive work and cost of the town to extend utilities to this piece of land but lo and behold, there is a federal deed restriction on that land that dates back decades that doesn't allow us to sell the land and develop it for more jobs.
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now, i don't doubt at the time, mr. speaker, that the federal government that was buying up local property across the country, reclaiming it and turning it into agricultural land, i don't question the purpose of that. but that was a long time ago. we know of a situation where the town of old town needs to be able to sell this property in order to attract other investment, other jobs to help our families in central maine and removing this deed restricti will allow that to happen i'm asking everybody in this chamber, republicans and democrats, and thank you very ch, sir. my colleague from minnesota, from the other side of the aisle, please support h.r. 1177. you know, there are many times, mr. speaker, that all the government needs to do is get out of the way. and this is one example. t the government, the federal government, get out of the way. we know how to create jobs in the state of maine and let's remove this red tape and let this lanbe sold to folks who want to create jobs and i would
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be very grateful to support 1177 andet the people of central maine to have better jobs and more freedom. yield back. thank you, mr. chairman, very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maine yields back. mr. peterson: i have no further speakers, so i prefer to close. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota yields back. the gentleman from illinois is recognized to close deba on this bill. mr. davis: i urge all members to support passage h.r. 1177 and i yield bk. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1177. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opion of the chair, 2/3 being in thaffirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection -- r. davis: mr. speaker, i ask
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for 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, yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognitio mr. davis: mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2154 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: house calendar number 48, h.r. 2154, a bill to rename the red river valley agricultural research center as the edward t. schafer agricultural center. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. peterson, each will control 20 minutes.
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mr. davis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. . mr. davis: i rise in support of research to rename the center in fargo, north dakota as the edward t. schafer agricultural center in spite of the fact that it's located at north dakota state university, who in january of 2015, beat my illinois state redbirds for the football championship and caused me to have to bring cupcakes from normal, illinois to pay a debt to my colleague, congressman kevin crame ir. regretfully, i support this bill, because it's a good bill.
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he served as north dakota's governor from 1992 to 2000 and our nation's secretary of agriculture from 2008 to 2009. renaming the research center in fargo, north dakota is a fitting tribute to his distinguished career. located in one of the premier land grant universities, this research center improves crops. i greatly appreciate the work in spite of the cupcakes that congressman kramer has put forth on this bill, his leadership and i urge my colleagues to join me today in supporting this legislation. with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized. mr. peterson: h.r. 2154 recognizes former north dakota governor edward t. schafer by renaming the agricultural center in his honor. it serves the region including my district by coordinating five research units and two fargo laboratories. the center does a wide range of work on agricultural chemicals, insect genetics and biochemistry. and sunflower and plant biology research. over the years, i worked closely with edward t. schafer when he was at u smpdmp a and during the time he was north dakota governor and we worked on things together, some of them pleasant and not so pleasant, like floods. it is a fitting recognition for an outstanding career in government and i'm happy to be here to support that. and i reserve.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: again, thank you to the gentleman from minnesota for supporting this piece of legislation. and i would like to yield four minutes to the author of this bill, my colleague, kevin cramer from north dakota. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north dakota is recognized for four minutes. mr. cramer: i thank mr. davis and my colleague, mr. peterson, from across the red river in minnesota for this support for renaming of the red river valley agricultural research center. for all the reasons that representative peterson talkt about, it is a world class center and should be named after a world-class guy. i served under ed in his cabinet. his intellect and his common
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sense are matched by his eternal optimism, qualities that he brings to every job including his work at the department of agriculture. when he was recognized by his former colleague, president bush, former governor colleague of his and asked to join the administration in that department, it was a remarkable thing, not just for agriculture but for our state. north dakota is number one in the production of many crops. agriculture is the number one industry in our state. it is what makes north dakota what north dakota is, the ability to feed hungry people in a growing world. and ed brought that common sense to usda and that work ethic that works the land so effectively. and i feel this is a fitting tribute to him and a celebration not only to his accomplishments
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but to the red river valley and congressman peterson's district and our world. our two senators, while it's easy for me to get you namity in the house, the house caucus is the only one that our two senators have a companion bill. and they support this effort as well. i appreciate the four minutes. i won't need that much. i appreciate the work of the committee and the work of ed and hopefully a celebration in the renaming. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north dakota yields back. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized to close debate. mr. peterson: i have no further speakers on this side. so i want to thank mr. cramer for bringing this forward and my cramer, he spends time in hometown every year and i have gotten to know him very well and
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very much deserves this honor. i'm happy to support this bill and ask my colleagues to support it. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota yields back. the gentleman from illinois is recognized to close debate. mr. davis: i agree with my colleagues. i urge members to support this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time having now expired, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2154 as amended. 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. .
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass house resolution 672 -- h.r. 672, the combating european anti-semitism act of 2017, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 672, a bill to require continued and enhanced annual reporting to congress in the annual report on international religious freedom on anti-semitic incidents in europe, the safety and security of european jewish communities, and the efforts of the united states to partner with european governments, the european union, and civil society groups, to combat anti-semitism and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr.
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royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include any extraneous material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i'd like to begin by thanking by olleagues, nita lowey, and chairman emeritus ileana ros-lehtinen, for their leadership on the bipartisan task force for combating anti-semitism, and for their good work on this timely and important bill. and mr. speaker, i will lay out this case, but it's one we're familiar with. hostility towards the jewish people in some european cities is very deep, making jews in
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certain areas look over their shoulders, afraid to walk the streets at night and in recent years this surge in anti-semitism has led to an outbreak of violent attacks. those violent attacks are targeting certain jewish neighborhoods. they are targeting places of worship. i think back to 2015, the deadly attacks on the kosher supermarket in paris. later on the synagogue in copenhagen. european governments have since passed laws designed to better protect their jewish steps, designed to punish those who perpetrate anti-semitic incidents, but much more work remains to be done. because there needs to be a better coordination on these efforts between jewish communities and law enforcement and more comprehensive reporting on the incidents to identify trends, to identify
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problematic regions. in addition, in addition, in order to consistently apply anti-semitism laws throughout europe, there needs to be a uniform legal understanding of what constitutes anti-semitism. let me explain. we must be clear on this. the firebombing of synagogues is not a political protest. the defacing of cemeteries, the yelling slurs at rabbis, the threatening of jewish schoolchildren, this is not political protest. this is anti-semitism and it must be stopped. absent a clear-eyed definition of anti-semitism, perpetrator of violent acts have at times been given a pass for their actions due to the flimsy defense of political protest.
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adoption across europe of a single definition of anti-semitism would provide an important foundation for law enforcement officials, enabling them to better enforce laws and develop strategies for improved security for the jewish community. and this bill, h.r. 672, the combating european anti-semitism act of 2017, calls for these fundamental improvements and it reaffirms the u.s. commitment to combating anti-semitism. it urges european nations to adopt a working definition of anti-semitism, and it calls for increased reporting on it. anti-semitic incidents in europe have to be reported in a way in which people can be held accountable. collaborative efforts between u.s. and european law enforcement and the efforts to
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improve security for community -- jewish communities is another important aspect of this legislation. so now is the time to act and pass this important measure, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this measure and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. let me start by thanking my good friend and neighbor from california, the ranking member of the committee on appropriations, nita lowey. i also want to thank chairman royce for his steadfast for in bringing this bill to the floor today. mr. speaker, it's so shocking and so heartbreaking to me that in the year 2017 we wake up day after day to read about anti-semitic vandalism and anti-semitic slurs on munich ses, anti-semitic conspiracy
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theories, a bombing in a kosher market in paris two years ago and here in this country, bomb threats to jewish community centers, desscregs of cemeteries. actual -- desecration of cemeteries. actually, it's hard to believe it. it's a hard corner into new some new group on the fringe tries to pull it back in the mainstream. and i feel we are seeing this resurgence right now. when we hear these toxic ideas emanating from major political parties and governing bodies in europe, we know it's time for action. it needs to be stopped, and this bill will help. this legislation builds on the 1998 international religious freedom act, which established annual reporting on religious freedom worldwide as well as 2004 global anti-semitism review act which required the state department to report every year on anti-semitism around the world. this measure calls for continued and enhanced
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reporting on anti-semitic incidents in europe. we want to focus on what has been a hotbed of anti-semitism in recent years so that no act of anti-semitic hatred goes unnotice. this is in our country's interest to combat anti-semitism, here and abroad, and it's critical to ensure the safety of jewish communities that multilateral organizations like the u.n. and osec have an important role to play in combating anti-semitism, that we should continue to report on anti-semitic acts worldwide and our allies should follow our lead so we can share our findings amongst otherselves. we also call on the state department to adopt the working definition of anti-semitism used by the international holocaust remembrance alliance, because words do matter when it comes to the way we talk about this challenge. you know, it's absolutely
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azing that 70-some-odd years after world war ii ended and hat decade culminated in the death of millions of jews in the holocaust, men, women and children, it's absolutely unbelievable that 70 years later you'd see anti-semitism the same places in europe rear its ugly head by stupid people who don't know what they're saying or doing. and it's just amazing. you think there would be some kind of sensitivity about the holocaust and about all the innocent people that were murdered for just the one reason that they were jewish, and yet you see no-nothings as far as i'm concerned popping up again with their anti-semitic hatred. it's bad wherever it goes, but it's especially repugnant to have it in europe, the site of the murder of six million jewish people. so i'm very grateful to representative lowey for her hard work on this bill.
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i'm pleased to support it. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, judge poe, chairman of the subcommittee on foreign terrorism, nonproliferation and trade. the speaker pro tempore: judge poe is recognized for two minutes. mr. poe: i thank the chair and the ranking member for their comments on this legislation. the bill promotes religious freedom throughout the world. mr. speaker, as has been mentioned, it's been 60 to 70 years since the jewish community in europe was decimated by the holocaust. now more than ever the jewish community is under assault yet again. in europe anti-semitic individuals are back like never before. a study commissioned by the german parliament this year found there were 644 anti-semitic offenses in the country in 2016 alone.
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in countries like holland, jewish schools and synagogues need to be protected by special forces because of fear of attack on those schools. and unfortunately our country has not been immune. jewish community centers across the country have been targets of bomb threats. even recently in houston, texas, my hometown, such bomb threats. this past sunday, historic synagogue in new york city was attacked and burned down by arsonists. that is why this bill, the combating european anti-semitic act, is so important. we must continue to partner with our european friends to ensure that we stamp out the cancer of anti-semitism. as a representative of a country founded on religious freedom, we as members of congress must send a clear ssage to jews and non-jews from houston to amsterdam that we won't let the horrors of the
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holocaust repeat themselves. we must reiterate the commitment the free world made over 60 years ago, never again. never again. and that's just the way it is. i'll yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. . mr. engel: it's my pleasure to yield three minutes to my fellow new yorker, the ranking member of the appropriations committee, mrs. lowey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i thank my good friends, chairman ed royce and ranking member elliott engel and all those involved in advancing this important legislation. i rise in support of house solution 672, the combatting european anti-semitism act, which was introduced by the co-chairs of the bipartisan task force for combatting
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anti-semitism. with the rising threat of anti-semitism in europe, this bill would require enhanced reporting to congress on anti-semitic incidents in europe, the safety and community and the efforts of the united states to partner with european entities to combat anti-semitism. this bill also urges the department of state to continue ing encouraging european governments and multilateral institutions to have a definition of anti-semitism. i find it hard to believe that in the 21st century european jews worry about whether or not there is a future for their communities in europe. anti-semetic
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sentments throughout europe, many jews are becoming the target of verbal, physical and deadly terrorist attacks. the security and quality of life of european jewish communities has deteriorated. this is simply unacceptable. anti-semitism is not simply a jewish problem. ther forms of racism are never far behind with this personishous threat rears its ugly head. the united states must remain a leader in the fight against anti-semitism wherever it occurs to ensure that our commitment to never again remains a reality. finally, i want to express my appreciation to my fellow co-chairs of the anti-semitism task force. representatives smith, engel,
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ranger, deutch, ros-lehtinen, veasey and roskham. the task force remains committed to work across party lines to condemn all anti-semitism and fight for the right of jews to live freely without fear at home and abroad. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, who chairs the foreign affairs subcommittee on the middle east and south africa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for working to help bring this important bill to the floor in a timely manner and more importantly for
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conducting the affairs of our full committee in an even-tempered, professional manner that is an example to the rest of the house. it is an honor to serve under their leadership. and i want to thank my good friend nita lowey, because she is the author of this bill but i want to thank her for her leadership for fighting anti-semitism across the world and has been at this fight for many a year. we have worked closely together. one of the world forms of discrimination and i'm proud to be an original co-sponsor of her bill and i thank the gentlelady from new york. this bill, mr. speaker, is an important initiative for our bipartisan task force for combatting anti-semitism, a task force which i'm proud to be a co-founder and co-chair along
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th mr. engel and mrs. lowey, representative smith, marc veasey and so many more good members. but it is an important initiative for the jewish communities across europe who have been facing a troubling increase in anti-semetic incidents and attacks over the past years that have put their safety and their security at risk. all across europe, mr. speaker, jews have been targeted, their places of worship have been targeted. their homes targeted. their businesses targeted. why? because of their faith. they have been the target of deadly attacks in european cities. democratic societies that we call allies, france, belgium, denmark, elsewhere, horrific, this is simply unconscionable.
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there is no time to delay in taking action. we cannot allow for an atmosphere of intolerance and hatred to once again rear its ugly head in europe. this is why this bill is an important first step. we have identified growing anti-semitism as a problem before, but this bill will enhance reporting requirements so that we can more acutely identify the problems. so equally important, mr. speaker, we can identify the security challenges facing these jewish communities. then we can learn how to best tackle this and partner with our european allies and our friends and local law enforcement along with civil society to protect against anti-semetic acts. we can get a better understanding of how our partners in europe can better educate their children. we can get a handle on how to
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better promote awareness in their societies to the dangers of such blind hatred. and the first steps in fighting anti-semitism is identifying the problem areas and then developing a plan to address it. this bill will help us identify the problem and it's an important first step in taking the necessary action in protecting the jewish communities of europe and i urge my colleagues to support this important bill. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired . the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: if there are no other speakers on the majority side, i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is ecognized. mr. royce: i'm going to reserve the right to close. i don't have any other speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized to close debate for the minority. mr. engel: i yield myself such
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time to close. and i agree with the eloquent statements made by both sides of the aisle pertaining to this bill. i thank mrs. lowey and it's important we don't sweep this under the rug and don't try to hide it or sugar coat, whether it happens here or in europe, no matter where it happens, any form of hatred of one group toward another needs to be roundly condemned and stopped. and that is what we are trying to do. it hasn't even been a century heard this can ari in the coal mines. as memberspopulation of certain societies, governments, saying it was ok to hate. we don't think it's ok to hate and that's why we are doing this.
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we are here in light of that history. we know what happened when too few good people stood up and spoke out. we must ensure that it doesn't happen again. this bill will help us address that concern and share a bright light on anti-semitism in europe. and i'm proud to stand with my colleagues today to support this measure. i urge all members to do the same. i thank the others on this side of the aisle and the other side of the aisle who have spoken on this, especially chairman royce, and i urge my colleagues to support this bill. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized to close debate on this bill. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: let me just say with the words just spoken by ranking member engel is precisely the
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sentiment that we all wish to convey. we must do all we can to combat anti-semitism in all of its insidious forms. and we do it because the consequences, the horrifying consequences of doing nothing in the face of such evil is unconscionable. we must not repeat the mistakes of the past by remaining silent as the same poison affects our communities today. passage of this bill sends a clear signal that anti-semitism has no place in free societies. and urges our european partners to provide practical guidance that will empower law enforcement and better equip them to tackle this rising problem and sends the message that our own law enforcement is
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illing to to work hand-in-hand with theirs to tackle this problem. i appreciate the work of congresswoman lowey and congresswoman ros-lehtinen and i urge my colleagues to join me in support of this bill. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has yielded back. all time having expired on this bill, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 672 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed. and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass house resolution 145 as
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amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 145, resolution expressing the since of the house of representatives regarding the fight against corruption in central america. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include any extraneous materials in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: i rise in support of house resolution 145, which affirms this body's support for the independent anti-corruption commissions in central america that seek to combat corruption
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and combat impunity in the countries of the northern triangle region. and i would like to commend the gentlewoman from california, ms. tores, a new member of the committee, for her work on this important resolution and of course, i appreciate, mr. engel, the ranking member and former chairman of the western hemisphere subcommittee for his focus on this region. the u.s. has seen a surge in illegal migration from el salvador, guatemala and honduras, that is the northern triangle of central america and many of these people are fleeing corruption. more than anything, the citizens of these countries want governments that will work for them. as a result of these governments, the international community has responded. governments in the region, including the united states have
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helped to establish the international commission against punity in guatemala, that is cesig and the commission to fight corruption and impunity in honduras known as moxi. in both of these organizations are making important contributions to tackle corruption and impunity in their respective countries and working to give the citizens of these countries confidence in their own judiciary. these organizations have put politicians and public servants on notice that nobody should be above the law and that their citizenry demands transparency. for example, this special body in honduras has begun to assist the attorney generainto the investigation of more than $300 million that was embezzled from
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the institute of social security. and in guatemala has trained the prosecutors that successfully built high-profile corruption cases against multiple government officials including the former president. once again, i want to thank representative torres and thank her for bringing this measure forward and her efforts in working with the northern triangle countries to urge greater respect for an independent judiciary and to bring greater security and prosperity to the people of the northern triangle countries. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. . mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. ening thank you, mr. speaker. let me start by thanking our chairman on the foreign affairs committee, ed royce of california. i'm also espially grateful to
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another colleague from california, norma toress, a valuable member of the -- norma torres, a valuable member of the committee and founding co-chair of the central american caucus. mr. speaker, when a child from el salvador or guatemala or honduras arrives at our southern border, he or she didn't get there because it was an easy journey. it was because poverty or crime or lack of opportunity at home left that child no option but to face that long, dangerous trek. no child anywhere should be forced to make the heartbreaking choice, and the best way to ensure this doesn't happen is not to build a wall or isolate ourselves from our neighbors, it's to stop children from having to make that journey in the first place. it's by making long-term strategic investments in a more secure and prosperous central america. over the last two years, democrats and republicans in congress have come together to
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do just that. we've made a bold new foreign assistance commitment to central america that helps address the root causes of child migration from the region. a big part of this effort is supporting those individuals who are worng day in and day out to root out corruption in central america. the attorneys general in el salvador, guatemala and honduras, the heads of the international commission against impunity in gat malla the e -- guatemala and international commission against impunity in honduras. this resolution we're voting upon signals that the united states agrees with them and has their backs. to guatemala attorney general, nduran attorney general, salvadoran attorney general,
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cicig commissioner, ivan velasquez, and juan jimenez, today we come to the floor of the house of representativesnd to say thank you and proclaim we stand with you and your institutions in the fight against corruption. this measure sends a strong message that our congress, which has the ultimate say over funding for central arica, stands with those who are committed to putting an end to el salvador, guatemala and honduras. we may have a new president in the white house and a new secretary of state at foggy bottom, but congress continues to have the power of theurse, and democrats and republicans alike believe that continued international support for the attorneys general and cicig and moxi is the key to the continued success in the northern triangle. letter er i led a along with representative
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ros-lehtinen and several other members of the foreign affairs committee commending their efforts, pledging our support and knowing how crucial it is they be able to carry out their work free from any interferences from political leaders in their countries. with passage of this h.res. 145, thentire house of representatives can and will send that same message. so i urge my colleagues to support this important resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield four minutes to the gentlelady from florida ms. ros-lehtinen, who chairs the foreignffairs subcommittee on the middle east and north africa. the speaker pro tempore:he gentlewoman from florida is recognized for four minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the speakr and i thank the chairman for the time. i applaud the work of both chairman royce and ranking member engel, the work that they have done in helping to focus more of our foreign policy priority here in our own
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western hemisphere. i also applaud congresswoman norma torres for authoring the measure that we have before us today, house resolution 145, reaffirming our dedication to the fight against corruption in central america. it's an important measure, mr. speaker, and it is an important fight. for years i have been a strong aocate for this fig because where corruption is allowed to spread, drug trafficking and crime inevitably thrive, and this is negative for our neighbors. it is bad for us. it's bad for our interests. that's why it's vital we make battling corruption in the region more of a priority of our foreign policy. in fact, earlier this year i traveled to honduras and to guatemala with my good friend, albio sires,nd we saw firsthand how these governments are attempting to tackle corruption in thr countrie it is not easy, mr. speaker.
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they are mang progress and taking some of the tough decisions necessary,ut there's so much more to be done. there's so much more that they need to do, but they need the help from the united states. that's what we hrd when we hosted the attorneys general from the northern triangle countries here in washington, d.c., just last month to discuss what they are doing to fighting corruption and what assisnce they might need from us. that is why th resolutio before us is so important and it is so timely. we must urge the vernments of central america to do more to battle corruption, but we also must edge to do more ourselves because they cannot do it alone. central american governments must taka stand and voice their support for anti-corruptionrograms. they mustespect and defend the authority of the judicial branch, and they must make it a priority. not easy for them to do.
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some of these governments have shown a willingness to ta these steps, but sadly, mr. speaker, not all of them have. while we urge willing partners toake the steps necessary to fight corruption, we must be willing to do more for those unwilling. that is why i have reintroduced my bill whh aims at ghteninghe economic screws on the ortega regime until we see some drtic reforms, including efforts to end corption. it is our duty to support our neighbors that our partners to the south can live in a far re open, free and demratic society. but it's also in the benefit of our security. it's in the benefit of our national interest to do so. that is why i urge my colleagues to spo house resolution 145. i also urge my colleagues to support my nica act and take a more engaged role in our foreign policy interests in our own western hemisphe
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tha you, mr. speaker, forhe time, mr. chairman. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new rk is recognized. mr. gel: mr. speaker, it's now my pleasure to yield four minutes to the author of this resolution, a leader on central amecan issues, a valued member of the foreign affairs committee, the gentlewoman from california, norma torres. the speakepro tempore: the gtlewoman from california is recognized for four minutes. speaker.res: thank you, mr. i risen strg support of house resolution 145, expressing the support of the house of representatives for the fight against corruption in central america. in too many central american countries, it has become common practice for govnment officials to use public office to enrich themselves instd of serving the public good for too long, corruption has allowed violence and poverty to hold these countri back, but recently the people of central america have made it clear that they are ready for a change.
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in the last two years, young people from across the region ve taken to the streets and demonstrated and some real progress has been made. in guatemala, honduras, el salvador, the attorneys general have demonstrad indendence and real curming. in guatemala attorney general worked with has cicig with ivan vazquez to help the prosecors and has assisted with effective investigations into corruption and human rights violations. inonduras, attorney gen oscar chinchilla has work with mission to support the fight against corruption and impunity in honduras, macci,
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since 2016. led by juan jimenez, maccih has important legal reforms and assisting with the instigations of high-profile corruption cases. in el salvador general attorney douglas melendez has made significant progress in tackling high-level corruption cases. i hope that the government of el salvador will recognize the value of cicig and maccih an help the international assistance that theorney prosecutors is have so clearly needed. mr. speaker, the countries of the norern triangle aa crucial point in this fight and we cannt turn back the progress that has been made this resolution will send a very clear message that e unitedtates wl be a steadfast partner in its
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support for the fight against corruption in cntraamerica. i urge all of my colleaes to support this bipartisan resolution a in closing, i will like thank chairman royce and ranking meer engel or their support and hard work in advancing this resution. additionally, i would like t thank congressman moolenaar who worked with me to draftnd introduce this resolution and who has been a strong supporter and advocatof the fight against corruptio in central amera. i would lso like to thank all of the co-sponsors of this resolution. th you, mr. ser, and i ield back. the speak pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: we would like to thank congesswoman we want to yield to the gentleman from michigan, mr.
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moolenaar, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. moolenaar: i want to thank you for supporting this bipartisan resolution and moving it through the foreign affairs committee. i especially want to thank congresswoman torres, who is a true champion on this issue and helping us understand the importance of this. this resolution makes it clear that the united states strongly supports the anti-corruption efforts in the northern triangle of central america. already, officials across the region are making headway. the attorney general of guatemala in particular has made row agrees in taking on corruption at the highest levels of government. this resolution will reinforce support for these efforts in the region. it will send a clear message to the millions of people who live in el salvador, guatemala and honduras that the united states wants them to have a safe country free of corrupt officials who steal from them. by supporting the efforts of our allies to fight corruption, it is my hope that these
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governments will continue to promote respect for the rule of law, thereby making it better for residents to live, work and raise a family in their homelands. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i'm prepared to close. mr. royce: i have no additional speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has no additional speakers. the gentleman from new york is recognized to close debate on this resolution for the minority. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, let me say that as a father, i cannot imagine being faced with the choice of letting my children risk violence or death from criminal gangs or malnutrition or taking a dangerous journey hundreds of miles on their own. no parent or child should ever be forced to make this choice. unfortunately, far too many families in el salvador, guatemala and honduras must do so on a daily basis. the good news is that our congress has decided to make a
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much-needed, long-term investment in central america. the core of these efforts is our commitment to support institutions and individuals that are rooting out corruption. h.res. 145 makes it career that our continued investment in central america will depend on support for anti-corruption efforts from the salvadoran, guatemalan and honduran governments and i'm heartened that the fight against corruption in the hemisphere is not limited from central america. from brazil to chile to the caribbean, the citizens of the americas have finally had enough and vowed to put an end to corruption once and for all. the least our congress can do is support these valiant efforts. i also, again, want to thank chairman royce for working so well with me and putting our heads together all the time and passing good resolutions and legislation like this. i want to, again, thank congresswoman torres for introducing this crucial
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resolution and for her hard work on it, and i urge my colleagues to support its passage. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized to close debate for the majority. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: this important measure by congresswoman norma torres affirms this body's support for all efforts to combat corruption in central america. the people of this region have been living in societies that, because of corruption -- and that corruption has become endemic -- has led to gang olence, to crim nationality, -- criminalality and this directly affects the ability of these governments to bring peace and prosperity to all of its citizens and that in turn fuels the flows of those who leave illegally, my

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