tv U.S. House of Representatives 11062017 CSPAN November 6, 2017 6:30pm-8:31pm EST
and he could have been termy pet lent and arrogant -- petulent and arrogant and he wasn't. and i think that's the big lesson that should be talked about. ms. albright: well, it's interesting. we have a similar theme. and i think that what happened when president clinton came into office, and you started this also, by saying, you know, that he came in and started talking about the economy. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> we're going to sneak away from the last couple of minutes of this and take you live to the floor of the house. ordered. the motion to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3562, motion to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1066 and agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal of the the unfinished business -- first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote and the remaining
votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is on the vote on the motion by mr. roe on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3562 a bill to amend title 38 to authorize the secretary of victory affairs for residences of veterans in rehabilitation programs and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be 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.]
are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker: hey, guys. sshh. sshh. members, please take their seats. staff, please move to the back f the aisle. members please take their conversations off the floor. the house is not in order. sshh.
the chair would ask that all members present rise for the purpose of a movement silence. the chair now asks that the house observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the attack in southerland prings, texas. without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is the vote on the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1066 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1066, a bill to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to submit to the committees on veterans affairs
of the senate and the house of representatives a report regarding the organizational structure of the department of veterans affairs and for other purposes. the speaker: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. 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.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 399, the nays are zero. 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. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal on which yeas and nays are ordered. the question is on geeg to the speaker's approval of the journal.
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 epresentatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 122 and present three. the journal stands approved. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. the house will be in order. >> mr. speaker, it is with a heavy heart that we rise today to address the american people
today. yesterday morning, a gunman stormed into a church in sutherland springs, texas, a small town and murdered 26 innocent lives including at least 12 children marking the worst shooting in texas history. today we grieve the loss of dozens of people. we pay for the families. i spoke personally with the wilson county sheriff and other citizens of that area to assist in any way that we can. in the coming hours and days, we will learn about the victims of this tragedy. their names, their faces and stories of joy they brought their families and friends. we are committed in helping sutherland springs recover from this senseless event and join us to support this recovery.
to the people of sutherland springs, we stand with you. the house of representatives stands with you and the people of the united states of america stand with you. ay god bless all of you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> i send to the desk a privileged report on the committee of rules for filing under the rule. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 607, resolution providing for consideration of modernize r. 3043 to hydro policy and for other purposes and to clarify the treatment of two or more employers as joint employers under the national labor relations act and fair labors standards act of 1938. the speaker pro tempore:
referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i wish to address my eabs. was unavoidbly attending to duties and was not present for roll call vote. on roll call vote 605, i would have voted yes on the motion to recommit with instructions the community health and medical professionals improvement act of 2017. on roll call vote 606, i would have voted no on the passage of h.r. 3922 to avoid the raiding of medicare and elimination of prevention funding. that is the community health and improvement act of 2017. i asked that this be placed
ppropriately in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentlewoman's statement will appear in the record. the chair will entertain equests for one-minute speeches. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. the lives of over 300,000 legal immigrants are at stake. central american and haitians, many of whom are my constituents, could be facing deportation if their temporary protected status, t.p.s., were to end. this vital program signed into law by president george herbert walker bush has allowed individuals fleeing instability and chaos in their home country to legally live and work here in the united states. reports indicate the administration is considering
eliminating t.p.s. for these populations, a decision that will have negative humanitarian, economic, and national security concerns and could undermine u.s. investment in the region. mr. speaker, as a longtime supporter of t.p.s., i urge this administration to continue to extend this program and provide a safe haven for central americans and haitians unable to securely return to their home couldn'tries. my heart aches at the thought of mass i deportation of good, hardworking people from my hometown. t.p.s. beneficiaries are important, integral member os our community and it would be a mistake to turn our backs on them. thank you for the time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? without objection the gentleman s recognized for one minute.
>> mr. speaker, as americans we mourn for the lives lost in the act of terrorism in new york last week. mr. payne: but new yorkers are resilient. violence will never break their spirit and in the northeast corridor, business has continued as usual. sadly, there are folks who want to use last week's terrorist attack for cynical, political reasons. they don't want to treat the root causes of extremism, whether based on racial resentment, twisted interpretations of religion, or political ideology. they do want to stoke fear in order to advance an anti-immigrant agenda. and they are trying to blame the diversity visa program for the violence. americans are smarter than that. the diversity vita program
strengthens the nation by allowing people from places like africa and the caribbean to lawfully immigrate to the united states, where they help fill major shortages in the work force and drive positive changes in their communities. we need them. and they need us. let's not sacrifice our national principles because of a trumped up fear of immigrants, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the world's largest religion continues to be the world's most persecuted religion. christians are assaulted, murdered, harassed in their homes and churches increasingly -- and their homes and churches recently are destroyed. recently in cairo, while the father was collecting
humanitarian aid, he was stabbed to death because he was christian. now it's take an new twist. while islamic extremism continues its genocide on christians and other sects of islam, government-sponsored persecution is increasing worldwide. according to open door, nine of the top 10 countries where persecution exists have large islam populations. but north korea, the number one offender, is an atheist nation. ethnic nationalism is also a major driver of persecution. weak or totalitarian governments use christians as scapegoats to keep a grip on power. religious freedom is mentioned first in our first amendment because it's the most important of all freedoms. it's a god-given right for all people of all religions. americans should lead the way in worldwide religious freedom and in denouncing religious persecution of christians. and that's just the way it is. i ask unanimous consent to introduce open doors u.s.a.
persecution of christians watch list. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ord. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio seek recognition? the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: i rise to speak against the republican tax proposal to raise taxes on the middle class. moreover, congressional republicans claim to be pro-life. but this tax bill takes a very different track. republicans eliminate the tax deduction for medical expenses which will crush millions of seniors and people with chronic illnesses. this is anti-life, not pro-life. republicans eliminate credits for the adoption of children including disabled children. this is anti-life, not pro-life. republicans eliminate incentives for employers to provide child care assistance to employees. this is anti--life, not pro-life. oh, yes, republicans also
eliminate the student loan interest deduction, making payments for college more expensive. they threw that in there too. this is anti-family, anti-life, not pro-life for the next generation. the six biggest wall street banks as well as big pharmaceutical companies will have their taxes redeuced by billions. excess is rewarded again as taxes are raised on the middle class. the vast majority of benefits will go to big corporations push manager jobs offshore. multimillionaires are happily adding up their winnings. trump and his billionaire buddies are laughing all the way to the bank. the republican tax plan is immoral, unfair and anti-life. i urge my colleagues to scrap it. life matters. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek in addition? -- seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for -- recognized for one minute.
>> i rise today to recognize mr. richard cynic, founder of feed our vets he served in the navy in the 1980's, serving aboard the u.s.s. peterson in combat operations against libya in 1986. after his military service he worked for the postal service, serving as post-master for several local post offices. during his time as post-master of the vernon center post office, rich encountered a world war ii veteran who could only afford to buy one stamp and food for half the month. after befriending the veteran, rich bought him groceries so he and his wife could ask. shortly afterwards, feed our veterans was formed. it's fed thousands of veterans, providing 44,000 pounds of food for those in need. our community is gratele for rich, for his service in the navy but especially for his continued, passionate service to our fellow veterans.
thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> mr. speaker, today i had the wonderful opportunity to join with a group of civic benefit community leaders to introduce a new program in the city of philadelphia called hub of hope. he -- it's a new initiative to address homelessness in our city. mr. evans: according to the department of housing and urban development, more than 6,000 people are homeless in the city of philadelphia and 15,000 are homeless in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. ending homelessness requires a team effort at the city, state and federal level. i'm committed to doing my part so ensure people don't have to sleep on the streets and that their personal, physical security and mental health needs are addressed in a comprehensive manner. i look forward to working with
the people of project home on this program. it's another tool in our toolbox to help move our middle neighborhoods forward. with tools like this in our toolbox i know we can continue to work to bring a stronger philadelphia, block by block. i yield back me the balance of my time thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise today to talk about a cornerstone of the student school lunch, milk. milk is the number one source of nine essential nutrients in the diet of many young americans and provides significant health benefits. over the past few years, milk consumption has been on the decline in school lunch programs. that's why together with representative courtney i introduced the school milk nutrition act of 2017. our bill would ease unnecessary regulations preventing milk
consumption in school lunch programs. this bipartisan bill recognizes the importance of milk to the health and well being of schoolchildren. it also works to improve the variety and availability of milk offered in schools supported by the u.s. department of agriculture earlier this year. in may, secretary perdue directed usda to begin the process of allowing schools to serve 1% flavored milk. when schoolchildren don't get milk they're missing out of essential nutrients. i urge my colleagues to support this bill so another generation of children can fall in love with milk. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, i am joining the congressional black caucus to ask for an extension of the temporary
protected status for haitians. i'm absolutely appalled that this government would deny this extension and only allow it for six months. apparently they're not aware of the scarcity of food in hey tee. the cholera epidemic. all these challenges are continuing since 2011. along with the haitians, i understand that they have now taken away t.p.s. from 349 -- 300,000 honduran, nicaraguan, haitian and salvadoranses well. this is an outrageous act, it's important for them to act immediately. i also stand against the scam tax plan. the scam tax plan would in fact take away opportunities for americans to have higher education, build the definite way beyond recognition, would not create jobs or send -- but send jobs overseas, allow for 80% of the benefits to go to the top 1% and frankly provide no benefit for middle class, hardworking americans.
this plan is not tax cuts and jobs, it is a tax scam with no jobs. i ask my colleagues to vote against this tax bill and i ask this administration to do what is right and provide humanitarian relief and extend the t.p.s. for haitians and all others similarly situations for 18 months. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. lamalfa: after the near disaster we had with the reakage of the spillway at oroville dam, i'm pleased to congratulate the con instruction in the reconstruction of the spillway, phase one. swreel a work, viable spillway for the upcoming rainy season if needed. due to the intense efforts to rebuild that project. if you had seen the size of
basically the canyon carved out where the old spillway stood from having to release water to keep the lake level in february at a safe level you'd see how amazing it was, the work that was done in order to rebuild that spillway in its current phase. it'll be table handle 100,000 c.f.s. and keep the lake stable for the upcoming year. however, we do need to have balance in the process and have that lake be able to store enough water for california's needs this coming year because we'll still have those needs in 2018 and not drain the lake all the way because of overcaution thought process. so in that, congratulations on that, a viable lake that works for all. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: are there further requests for one-minute speeches? the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for ms. clarke of massachusetts for today, mr. hastings of florida for today
7, ms. rrow, november eddie bernice johnson for the week of november 6 through 9. ms. roybal-allard of california for today, and mr. upton of michigan for november 2 through november 6. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the requests are granted. under the speaker's the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from virgin islands, ms. plaskett is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. ms. plaskett: i ask that all members have five legislative days to include extraneous material on the subject of this special order. it is with great honor i rise to anchor this c.b.c. special order hour, the congressional black caucus of the the gentleman from louisiana, mr. richmond, is
committed to sharing with this congress as well as with the american people, the issues of great importance to the caucus, to congress and to the constituents we represent. for this special order hour, at this time, we believe it is very and vitally important to discuss the temporary protective status of haiti and other countries and with that, at this time, i would like to yield to my colleague, utahonorable mya love from to discuss this important issue. ms. lofgren: thank you to my colleagues for the opportunity to speak on this special hour and thank you, mr. speaker. i traveled to haiti to investigate sex trafficking as part of my work on financial services. while i was there, i had the opportunity to observe conditions as well as meet with leadership and the president.
what i saw was a nation struggling to rebuild after 2010 tragedy that hurt and rattled the nation with an earthquake, an epidemic and hurricane matthew. what i heard was the nation was not prepared for the tens of thousandses that were to return. the people of haiti contribute significantly to the united states economy and to the haitian economy. as haiti works not only to rebuild but to rise itself out of poverty. i asked the white house to please take a moment to help our friends and allies in haiti and extend the temporary protective status. with that, i yield. ms. plaskett: thank you very much for your moving words. i know this is an issue that is close to your heart, being of
haitian-american descent and we are grateful for your leadership on this and supportive of the letters to the president, letters to the secretary of homeland security and working in a bipartisan fashion to support the people of haiti as well as other countries in this issue. at this time, i would like to yield as much time as he may consume to the chair of the chair of the congressional black caucus, sed rick richmond who is leading us on this discussion along with the president's tax plan and how it would affect those americans who are the least of us and would have the most repercussions for that. mr. richmond. mr. richmond: i thank the the gentlewoman from from the virgin
islands for leading this special order and the outstanding work she has done as her island, the virgin islands, u.s. virgin islands recovers from two devastating hurricanes and being from new orleans, i understand what two twin hurricanes can do, hurricanes, katrina and rita ravaged our city and state along with mississippi and the gulf coast and to be very candid of the people of the virgin islands unfortunately doing this too much on their own. part of what makes america exceptional and the greatest country in the world is when we find our citizens and vulnerable position through no fault of their own, we come in as a government and we help. when you look at the virgin islands and the fact of the damage they have received is more than their capacity to
rebuild and it's mother nature, an act of god, some would say it's global warming and climate change, it doesn't matter what caused it but the u.s. response to how we fix it. it's a great pathway into haiti and temporary protective status, because it was that 2010 earthquake that rendered haiti in a position where they could no longer safely and adequately care for their citizens and we allowed them to have temporary protective status in the united states. on may 24 of this year, the department of homeland security redesignated haiti for six months of temporary protective status rather than the 18 months that the government of haiti, haiti experts from the united states and the congressional black caucus and others
requested. in the fact, the d.h.s. designation didn't reflect any of the reality on the ground. in fact, it ignored that there's great food scaresity and ignored the ongoing challenges posed by the unprecedented earthquake. we sent a letter asking once again to fully extend the designation for another 18 months. however, time and time again, unfortunately, it appears that this administration through all the rhetoric, has an inability to do what is right when right is needed especially when we talk about vulnerable populations and immigrants. it's too easy for this administration to turn a blind eye and ignore real life needs. now, there are some out there who would argue, is this
america's issue? and i would argue it is america's issue. first of all not extending the t.p.s. would have drastic consequences for the united states of economy, the national security experts, the catholic bishops have came out in support of extending this vital program because they know these nations are in no condition to receive the 300,000 people that will be returned to them. they understand the public alth crisis, the subsidy stabilization of the government. the return of people would strain government services and ead to job displacement. so let me just clear it up for a lot of americans sitting at home and saying why does this affect us? 30% of t.p.s. recipients are
homeowners in the united states. just think about the consequences of at the same time dumping 60,000 mortgages on the u.s. housing market. think about 13,000 mortgages in texas. 5,000 mortgages in virginia. .nd 4,100 mortgages the mass deportations will cost the taxpayers more than $3 billion. oftentimes we find ourselves in this place, in this body arguing about the fiscal argument. and talking about how it would affect our economy. talking about how it would hurt the u.s. market and forecasts and mortgages and we give all these things of how this could bankrupt the united states. the biggest concern we should have and this administration should have is that this country
is on the fast track to moral bankruptcy. because we don't stand up, we don't call out wrong when we see it and we turn our backs to injustice. that is not what this country is about and not what made this country great. so with that, i would say it's time for this country, this congress, this administration to do what's right, simply because it's the right thing to do. and it just so happens the right thing to do this time has extreme economic benefits. tonight, you will hear from a number of our congressional plaque caucus members who just don't advocate for black people but advocate for people across this country who are voiceless, who can't afford lobbyists and don't influence government but
people who go to work and provide for their kids and hope for a better future for their families and hope that their parents can live out their lives with dignity and respect and hope their immediate family they can provide for their kids. that is the american dream. that's what we fight for and great privilege to be a chair of that great caucus and you will see the talent and passion for which this caucus fights for, which is why i'm proud and humbled to lead this caucus. i yield back. ms. plaskett: thank you so much, mr. richmond and we are grateful and thankful to have you as the chairman of the congressional black caucus, because the energy and passion that you have for people of color and for all americans is extremely evident. the fact that we are not having
discussions that are based on emotion but based on facts and digging more into policy and the actual effect that those policies have on americans and throughout this country is something what this congress should be driven by rather than reactions that take our eyes what we should be focused on. you are not continually moved by the shiny object in the room but the bread and butter issues that affect americans and talk about talent of the americans, part of the tall ebt is in that grounding and those members in the consal black caucus who have been engaged in this fight and had this passion for many, many years. i'm happy to yield as much time as she would consume to the the gentlewoman from california, who has been at the forefront and fighting for people who have
been underserved not only in this country but through the world. it is through the work of this member that individual countries in africa have been able to receive the support of this country. in other parts of the world and grateful for her doing it in her own back yard in california and also to those inner cities throughout this country in rural areas. so i would yield as much time as she may consume to the the gentlewoman from california, congresswoman barbara lee. ms. lee: thank you very much. i want to thank you congresswoman plaskett for yielding and organizing us here tonight and every week on the issues that are so important to this country. your leadership specifically for the virgin islands is truly commendable and just know we are doing everything we can do under
your leadership, to help you recover and rebuild. and also i have to say to our chair of the congressional black caucus, congressman richmond, i have to thank him for his leadership of the c.b.c. let me take a moment to offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and community to those who lost loved ones to the gun violence in texas. we mourn their loss and we pray for the recovery of those injured and this house needs action on gun safety measures to save lives. our thoughts and prayers are with you tonight. mr. speaker, i rise to discuss the urgent need to preserve temporary protective status for migrants, famine and war and
those countries within africa who account for 20% of all t.p.s. beneficiaries. today 440,000 individuals from 10 countries reside in the united states under temporary protective status because as a nation we have kept our commitment to be a beacon of hope and security for those in need. the t.p.s. program grants immigrants the right to lawfully remain in the united states from 6 to 18 months. this has been through democratic and republican administrations because regardless of political affiliations, we have stood for protecting the value of human life. sadly, the trump administration fails to grasp the life-saving impact of this program. just last month, the administration said it would terminate t.p.s. designation for
sudan. and in the coming days and weeks, the trump administration unfortunately will decide the fate of t.p.s. holders from vulnerable countries including honduras, nicaragua and haiti. failure to renew is deportation for 300,000 individuals who are working and living in the united states. we know that this issue disproportionately impacts. take haiti after a devastating earthquake and hurricane, there is an active cholera outbreak. letting letting this expire would send people back to an uncertain fate and an influx of people of this size would further destabilize the country. that's why i joined my colleagues in sending a letter
to the department of homeland security calling for a full 18-month suspension of haiti's t.p.s. designation. and el salvador and honduras, the return of over 250,000 people would strain government services and lead to job displacement in countries besieged by violence, narcotics trafficking and weak institutions. unfortunately, this week secretary tillerson falsely claimed that conditions on the ground no longer warrant t.p.s. designation for these countries. how he came up with that, i have no idea. this is really a shame and disgrace. that's why members of the congressional black caucus are here tonight fighting for temporary protective status because we cannot turn our backs on our brothers and sisters in their time of need. t.p.s. holders have families, they own businesses and they contribute to this country in countless ways. and at a time when devastating hurricanes and flooding ravages our neighbors in the caribbean,
the last thing our government should be doing is turning its back on t.p.s. holders. it's not only t.p.s. holders we are fighting for. we're also now recognizing and understanding and knowing and making public as everyone knows that millions of undocumented youth are living in fear of deportation because this president and republicans in congress can't muster the courage to do what is right. our nation has been and should continue to be a nation of immigrants. from t.p.s., daca, deporting innocent young people who came to the united states to escape devastation and violence or as a child is not only wrong it's really cruel and it's heartless. so that's why we will covent to fight to protect undocumented youth as we work toward comprehensive immigration reform once and for all and now we are going to say we're going to continue to fight to make sure temporary protective status is granted for the 300,000 immigrants. i want to thank you congresswoman plaskett for
helping us to once again raise our voices, educate the public and stay woke. thank you very much. ms. plaskett: of course we would be remiss not to give condolences out to our colleague and one of the former chairs of the congressional black caucus, eddie bernice johnson who has lost one of her siblings. we just want her to know that our prayers are with her and with her family as they grieve and we are there for you throughout this mourning process however you may need us. thank you so much for those words. at this time i would like to yield time to a tireless, tireless champion of the issues of caribbean people throughout the united states and throughout the world, my dear sister, congresswoman yvette clarke, not just of new york
but in particular brooklyn. she knows how that is very dear to me having been a child of brooklyn myself. congresswoman clarke, your work and all the efforts that you ave made in being one of the co-shares of the caribbean caucus, being the member at large of the congressional black caucus, the work you're doing and have really forged a partnership with the chair thief congressional black caucus as well as mia love to make sure that the issue regarding haiti, regarding the haitians and the temporary protected status are here. it's because of your work we are now having this special order hour and are continuing to push the pressure. so i would yield as much time as you may need to discuss with us, with the american people work this congress, and with the speaker, how we should be moving forward with the issues of -- regarding the people of haiti and how extending the temporary protective status is not only good for the haitian
economy, it's good for america as well. so thank you for leading us in this effort. ms. clarke: i thank the gentlelady from the u.s. virgin islands for her leadership on this matter. serving as co-chair for the caribbean caucus and being outspoken advocate and fighter on behalf of the people of the u.s. virgin islands who are ill reeling from the two hurricanes that wreaked havoc with the three islands of the u.s. virgin islands. i want to thank you for organizing us this evening and really moderating what we all have to say here today. i want to thank you, mr. speaker, i rise today to express my concern for the more than 300,000 temporary protected status beneficiaries who are under attack from this administration. temporary protected status was signed into law with bipartisan
support by president george h.w. bush as part of the immigration act of 1990. since then, it has been used in roughly equal numbers by democratic and republican presidents alike. this program is based on a simple idea that we can all agree upon. the idea that it is immoral to send someone back to a country uffering from famine, disease, war, or government collapse where they could reasonably expect to perish. oday, instead, we as a society decided long ago as a humanitarian gesture to extend ourselves as a safe haven and to temporarily allow such people the ability to lawfully
remain in the united states for up to 18 months at a time and seek gainful employment as conditions in their home country would improve. this is not citizenship. this is not amnesty. rather it is a way of protecting human life while allowing eligible individuals from haiti, yemen, honduras, nicaragua and numerous other countries across the world to earn wages for thems and their loved ones abroad. unfortunately this administration's antipathy toward immigrants, particularly immigrants of color, has found its way to some of the most vulnerable amongst us and threatens the existence of this common sense program rooted in human decency and respect for life. this program of agreement is now being totally undermined with real lives hanging in the
balance. for example, while it would seem obvious to extend haiti's temporary protected status in light of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake, subsequent cholera epidemic, food insecurity crisis, and the damage inflicted by hurricanes matthew, irma, and maria, this administration's only extended haiti's status for six months in the month of may. while at the same time, the administration insinuated that haitians -- that haitian t.p.s. recipients were criminals. the administration now apears ready to ignore -- appears ready to ignore the advice of haiti experts in the united states and the request of the haitian ambassador by forcing some 50,000 haitians to subject themselves to life-threatening conditions in haiti. this would not just be tragic for those forced to return.
it would also be detrimental to haiti's economy which benefits significantly from the hard-earned remitances that haitian t.p.s. beneficiaries send back to their loved ones. it is also no way to treat a neighbor that is located less than a two-hour flight away from american soil. the most impoverished nation of the western hemisphere. indeed, such a decision would be cruel and unusual punishment. for this reason, i've worked with congressman cedric richmond, chair of the congressional black caucus, and my colleagues of the congressional black caucus, in sending a letter to acting d.h.s. secretary erain duke -- elaine duke signed by the entire congressional black caucus requesting a full
18-month extension of haiti's t.p.s. status. i also asked that acting secretary duke take the haitian ambassador up on his invitation to visit haiti and see the conditions for herself. however, haiti is not the only country that clearly merits an extension. early 60,000 hondurans and nicaraguans currently await news of their fate. as will thousands of other immigrants from africa, asia, and the northeast. -- and the middle east. while i hope that acting secretary duke will do the right thing and make an evidence-based decision in light of human cost to her -- of her actions, our experience teaches us that we must also prepare for the worst. when this administration refuses to respect decades of bipartisan agreements, congress must assert its constitutional powers and act to safeguard
human life and american interests. i therefore call upon my congressional colleagues to come together and pass bipartisan legislation that will protect the hundreds of thousands of t.p.s. beneficiaries from around the world, black, brown, asian, and other, who are at this moment relying upon us for their very lives. although we live in divided times, times to have great division, now is the moment to come together and recommit to the basic values that unite us all. this country was founded upon the idea of human dignity and t.p.s. is yet another test of whether we will be true to that idea or fall painfully short. we must not fall short. but instead, we must rise to the occasion.
mr. speaker, t.p.s. is something that -- that falls within our pursue -- purview to address. it is my sincere hope we will address this impending crisis. when i think about haitians who are living here, many who have at this stage had children born in the united states and many who are here during the most productive time of their lives, when they can work because of their strength and their ability, their intellect, it would be a travesty to begin separating families and to wrench from these individuals the opportunity to add value to our civil society while undergirding the nation of their birth, the nation that many hope to return to at the appropriate time by summarily
excusing them from our civil society. having said that, i too stand with my colleagues to extend on behalf of chairman richmond, the executive officers and members of the c.b.c. a heart felt condolence in this season of bereavement to our dear colleague, congresswoman eddie bernice johnson, on the loss of her sister. she remains in our prayers at his time and i yield back to the gentlelady from the u.s. virgin islands. thank you once again for your leadership. ms. plaskett: thank you so much for the insight that you've given us into the conditions not only in haiti but the responsibility that we have as americans to our near neighbor, to a neighbor which supported us during our own revolution, who was there for us at the inception of the united states, haiti has been ravaged by so
many natural disasters and the benefit that we are receiving and the benefit that so much of haiti is receiving from those individuals who are really indust res you people here in the united states is just bar none. at this time, i would like to yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from new jersey, from newark, mr. donald payne, for his tireless work on behalf of so many people throughout the world as the sits on the committees of homeland security as well as transportation and infrastructure, where he wornings issues related to developing and building and has oversight in homeland security over the issues that affect us and so i'm sure congressman payne you have particular insight into how this temporary protective status would affect the people of haiti and what it means to the security of this country to allow that temporary
protective status to be continued from your perch on the committee on homeland security. mr. payne: yes. mr. speaker, first let me thank the gentlelady from the injury i-- from the virgin islands for her leadership on these issues. right now her focus has been on helping her country come to grips with the devastating hurricanes that have struck all the islands of the american virgin islands and has inonstrated great leadership that endeavor and also in the t.p.s. sue around
ms. plaskett and ms. clark have been our true leaders in the diaspora around these issues. ether it be the caribbean or back to the continent of africa. so i just want to acknowledge their great work on all of these issues and also naturally thank her for hosting tonight's special order hour on protecting t.p.s. recipients. but before i start on the topic at hand, i'd like to second my condolences out to the -- send my condolences out to the loved ones of the 26 people tragically murdered yesterday and the 21 people injured in yesterday's mass shooting in texas. when will we realize that something must be done in this
country? i have to ask, how much blood must be shed before congress acts on gun control? it's been 10 years since the congress passed the gun control -- passed a gun control law. since then more than 300,000 people have been killed by guns in this country. more than 100,000 of those were deaths -- were homicides. the american people deserve .etter, much better as the news cycle moves from one tragedy to another, we have not and must not forget the citizens congresswoman stacey plaskett of the u.s. virgin islands and congresswoman jenniffer gonzalez of puerto rico represent are still recovering from this summer's hurricanes.
they too deserve swift action and -- to help them recover from these devastating storms. that, mr. speaker, brings me to the topic of tonight's special order hour. want to start by dispelling the myth that protective temporary status designations poses a threat to america's security. the truth is t.p.s. holders are rigorously vetted before entering the country and they go through stringent background checks before each t.p.s. renewal. mr. speaker, the t.p.s. designation is a part of our national character and it must be protected. what do i mean by that? we are a compassionate people, aren't we? a compassionate nation. the americans i know are proud to live in a country that is free and prosperous enough to extend a helping hand to those
in need. the t.p.s. designation does just that. t.p.s. is the helping hand that reaches out past our national borders to lift people out of the depths of despair brought on by natural disaster, violence or turmoil. yet the administration is reportedly planning to remove the t.p.s. designation for nationals of several latin american and caribbean countries. this is really bad news for the united states. first, ending the t.p.s. designation for nationals of haiti, el salvador and honduras will destabilize communities in the united states proper. t.p.s. holders own small businesses. they pay taxes, they take out
mortgages. they steal jobs that we rely -- fill jobs that we rely on every day in construction, hospitality, restaurants, landscaping and elder care in particular. ending their t.p.s. designations means ripping people out of their communities and local economies. businesses will shutter. essential jobs like disaster cleanup will go unfilled. the national economy will suffer $164 billion loss in gross domestic product. without t.p.s. holders from haiti, el salvador and who are dunes, new jersey will lose -- honduras, new jersey will lose $864 million from its g.d.p., and my state cannot handle that burden. second, ending t.p.s.
designations for haiti, el salvador and honduras will tear apart families of color. many t.p.s. holders have lawfully lived in the united states for more than a decade. they have established their families here. they are parents of 270,000 u.s. citizens. in new jersey 8,800 u.s. citizens were born to t.p.s. holders from haiti, el salvador and honduras. forcing t.p.s. holders to lead the country means forcing them to leave their families -- leave the country means forcing them to leave their families. zhrens have to say good-bye -- citizens will have to say good-bye to their parents and grandparents. people will be forced to return to countries that are still stuffer -- suffering from the problems that led them to the t.p.s. designation in the first place. third, removing the t.p.s. designation for nationals from
haiti, el salvador on the honduras will threaten -- el salvador and honduras will threaten security throughout latin america and the caribbean. these small countries are still suffering from disasters, public health crises, and political instability. the sudden influx of 300,000 additional people has the potential to destabilize national governments and threaten security throughout the region. mr. speaker, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, i led the effort to get t.p.s. designations for guinea, liberia and sierra leone. these countries were reeling from public health and infrastructure emergencies. they face existential threat from the ebola virus and the american people lent a helping
hand by giving them temporary protective status. i have no doubt that authorizing national security -- nationals from those west african countries to enter the united states saved lives. no doubt whatsoever. mr. speaker, we must not abandon our national character to the cynical call of america first. the t.p.s. designation does not weaken us. it strengthens us by showing the world that the united states is morally worthy of its status as a superpower. rolling back the t.p.s. program is bad policy, it's bad politics, and it's immoral. the united states turns its back on those in need -- if the united states turns its back on hose in need, what have we the people become? and with that, mr. speaker, i
yield back to the gentlelady islands.virgin ms. plaskett: thank you so much for that -- the information that you shared with us. but more particularly, for causing us to reflect on who we are as americans and what we stand for. and reminding this congress and this house how we have a responsibility to those in need. that with greatness comes responsibility. to whom much is given, much is required. and that requirement of us, particularly our -- to our neighbors, and we know that haiti is in fact our neighbors. and we have a responsibility to be there for them. thank you so much for all that you do and how often you are here for the congressional black caucus special order hour, to
give us information, to cause us time to reflect. i'm extremely appreciative of that, mr. payne. i want to thank you so much for all that you do for the congressional black caucus. your steady reliability in being there to support the issues that are important to the caucus and to all of us as americans. thank you. mr. speaker, may i ask how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman has 20 minutes remaining. ms. plaskett: thank you so much. at this time i would yield as uch time as she may consume to the gentlewoman from florida, congresswoman val demings. this is her first term as a freshman, but she's not new to supporting issues that are important to the american people . her time in florida, having served as a public servant on
the front lines for all of us, and now here in the congress she's continuing that work. from your position on homeland security and particularly to border and maritime security, this is an issue that you, of course, have great insight into. i know that you have a large number of haitians in your own community and recognize the productivity that they provide, the stability that they provide in your community, how embedded they are in that community. and we are grateful for you being here and part of this congressional black cause special order hour on the issue of temporary protective status for all countries. there are 30 countries, 300,000 individuals who have that status. but in particular to the 50,000 haitians who are living in this country during this time. thank you. democrat democrat thank you so much to -- mrs. demings: thank you so much to my colleague from the virgin islands for her leadership on this issue.
for making it a priority and giving it the urgency that those under t.p.s. status deserve. mr. speaker, first of all, of course, i want to extend my condolences to the families whose loved ones were murdered in sutherland springs, texas, while attending worship service. i also extend my condolences to my colleague from texas, eddie bernice johnson, who is mourning the deaths of her sister -- death of her sister. mr. speaker, after college it was a lot of years ago, but i remember it like it was yesterday, i worked as a social worker, working with families in need of emergency services. in need of shelter, in need of food, and in need of medical care. i also worked with foster care children. mr. speaker, you may know i also
spent over 20 years as a law enforcement officer and as such, the preservation of human life was my number one priority. saving lives was first. but then we also wanted to improve the quality of life for persons living and working in our community. mr. speaker, the quality of life matters also. and that's what we are here to talk about tonight as members of congress. improving the quality of life for families who desperately need our help. approximately 50,000 haitians hold t.p.s. 32,000 -- 32,500 of them live in florida.
2,500 live in florida. 18,800 u.s.-born children in florida have haitian parents who are t.p.s. holders. how did we get here, mr. speaker? s you know, an earthquake, not planned, not expected, but left thousands dead and resulted in the total collapse of purity prince's infrastructure -- port-au-prince's infrastructure. a few years before the earthquake, i participated in a mission trip to port-au-prince, haiti. we worked with children and families from a local church in port-au-prince, haiti. that church was totally destroyed by the earthquake.
the earthquake displaced 1.5 million haitians within their own country, destroyed more than 100,000 homes and damaged nearly 00,000 more the number of schools destroyed in port-au-prince alone is unbelievable. over 55,000 haitians who lost their homes in the earthquake are still living in 31 camps for internally displaced persons unable to leave. we're here tonight to talk about improving the quality of life for persons, families who desperately need our help. this crisis is not over. in april of this year, heavy rains caused flooding and landslides. according to the haitian
officials, the -- an estimated 80% of spring harvest may have been destroyed this crisis is not over. since september of 2016, damage from hurricane matthew and recent rains have compounded food insecurity experienced by n estimated 3.2 million people in haiti, not to mention the devastation caused by irma and hurricane maria. hurricane matthew also exacerbating food insecurity crisis that already existed, placing 2.4 million haitians 3rk2% of the population, in the grips of an acute food insecurity crisis. mr. speaker, forcing the return of 50,000 people to haiti would
disrupt any meaningful effort to recover. as you know, in may, the department of homeland security redesignated haiti for six months of temporary protective status rather than the full 18 months requested by the government of haiti. d.h.s.'s decision obviously did not reflect the reality on the ground. regardless of how you might eel about the policy, t.p.s. holders are perhaps the most vetted, legally present and work-authorized community in our country. they have submitted to numerous criminal background checks. every 18 months. americans with temporary
protective status are hardworking individual whors contributing to our economy, our communities, and our industries. just check the numbers. mr. speaker, the only strategic and humane decision is to fully extend haiti's t.p.s. designation for 18 months by the november 23 deadline. working to improve the quality life for families who desperately need our help. that's the promise of america. and i pray that america keeps its promise. with that, mr. speaker, i yield the to my colleague from virgin islands, representative plaskett. ms. plaskett: thank you for that heart felt appeal to the better senses of us, to the better angels within us as
americans. but also just speaking pract aably about what this -- practicably about what this means for us not just haitis but americans. we hear the larger numbers, 50,000 individuals from haiti, 300,000 individuals from, grouping from all other countries. we found out, the report just came out, nicaragua will only have 12 additional months for protected status while the conditions in nicaragua have not changed. i heard a story about a woman, joanna, one of the haitians. on a recent day in manhattan, the 3 -year-old home health care provider races between patients. by mid day she has already helped transport one of her regular patient, a young girl
with severe respiratory disease to school, visited two senior patients in their home. it's a hard job but she says it's rewarding. most of the immigrants that i know, they have a busy life like me she says. i leave home like 5:45 a.m. and sometimes get home by like 9:00 p.m. joanna came to the u.s. in 2018 and was still in the u.s. when a powerful earthquake struck haiti in 2010. hundreds of thousands were killed an the obama administration granted haitians temporary protected status. they were shielded from deportation and given work permits. critics say the temporary program for haiti and where disasters and wars took place decades ago has become permanent and amounts to a backdoor immigration policy. however, what we need to understand is what's still going on in haiti right now. why this also makes sense for us is that it's estimated by
the think tank interamerica dialogue that all haitians abroad this year this year alone, mr. speaker, will send home $2 billion in remitances to that country. that's nearly equal to haiti's annual operating budget. that $2 billion. the money that haitians living in the united states and sending back home is keeping that economy afloat. without the money that the haitians in the americas and in the united states and america are providing, it would be a complete collapse. on the couldn't -- in the country of haiti. which would then create adegreesal cataclysmic work we as americans would need. we talk about immigrants trying to come into this country. we talk about the collapse of infrastructure, the collapse of an economy. that will happen if the haitians still living here in the united states under
temporary protected status with jobs are caused to leave. in may, 2014 -- on may 24 the department of homeland security redesignated haiti for six months of testify rare protective status rather than the full 18 months. that's important to understand that because of that smaller amount of time, haitians industrial to apply. it costs almost $2,000 to apply for an extension of a visa. these people are in flux tooze whether or not they should continue to apply. in a letter sent on friday, november 3, the congressional black caucus urged the department of homeland security once again to fully extend haiti's t.p.s. designation for 18 months by the november 23 deadline in light of the aforementioned conditions in haiti. as well as the damage caused by hurricanes irma and maria, which has exacerbated these conditions. i'd ask to have the letter placed in the congressional
record for others to see. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. plaskett: thank you so much. in that letter, the -- which is signed by all the members of the congressional black caucus, which are members both in the democrat as well as republican caucus, members in the house as well as the senate, we urge secretary duke that the ambassador to haiti has explicitly stated that the goal of the request was to allow haiti to recover from the effects of the earthquake a cholera epidemic and hurricanes matthew, irma, and marie yasm matthew struck haiti in 2016 of last year. you're aware of irma and maria. we americans, unbeknownst to ourselves and the work we have done, also exacerbated food security in haiti by placing individuals -- causing the cholera epidemic that is there unbeknownst to ourselves when
we came there to give support to haiti, we americans brought the cholera epidemic that is now ravaging haiti. it's taken about 10,000 people. additionally hurricane matthew exacerbated the food insecurity crisis in haiti, placing 2.4 million haitians, 22% of the population, in the grips of an acute food security crisis. i have many haitians that are in my community in the u.s. virgin islands and we count them as some of our hardest workers. we recognize the impact that sending so many of these people back would have not only on the loss of job here and the work that those individuals are doing in the united states, but on the economy of haiti itself. there's no infrastructure that will support the 50,000 people going back to haiti at this time and that economy will probably completely collapse without the remitances that the
haitians living in the united states would be able to bring to that country. therefore, the negative consequences of terminating haiti's t.p.s. designation would be two-fold. such actions would be catastrophic to haiti's recovery efforts and run counter to congressional efforts to improve american relations in the region through the recently passed united states caribbean strategic engagement act, public law 114-291. so the 300,000 hondurans, nicaraguans, and salvadoran immigrants await a mass deportation decision on temporary protected status we are requests, we are urging, mr. speaker, that this congress would continue to urge the department of homeland security andudes our own powers to -- and use our own powers to ensure the safety of those individual, ensure the safety and stability of the economies
of our near neighbors, honduras, nicaragua, haiti and el salvador and urge the u.s. department of homeland security for their protections not to expire and not to put these people into difficult choices of returning to countries that still face many of the same extraordinary conditions that led to the initial grant of t.p.s. or remaining in the united states without lawful immigrant status. we believe that this is the right thing to do. that this congress wants to do the right thing. that the trump administration's 2018 proposed budget request to congress, for example, proposes to reduce foreign aid to latin america and the caribbean, to levels not seen since 2001. because of that, the remitances of these individuals is even more important. remitances from the united states to el salvador equal $4
billion. hon cure rass, $3.3 billion. to haiti, almost $2 billion. using g.d.p. estimate from the world bank remitances make up more than 50% of the g.d. for for el salvador, honduras and haiti. therefore if we're going to reduce the budget in terms of foreign aid to these countries, it's important that we do not allow the collapse of these countries, will bring not only economic collapse but is likely to bring political anarchy and political disruption as well to countries that are instable as they are, countries where we are looking to bring stable, democratic governments and ensuring that individuals are allowed to stay here in this country and provide those remitances, provide the support that's necessary to grow those economies, embed democratic ideals, will be most beneficial to us and to ensure the stability of the western hemisphere at this time.
mr. speaker, this is an imperative that is important to this country, imperative to the united states, and we are grateful we have had this time to share this information with you, with the american people, with this congress, we are urging our colleagues, urging members of this congress, work with members of the congressional black caucus, individuals you have heard tonight, mia love, cedric richmond, yvette clarke, donald payne, value demings, barbara lee -- val demings, bar raleigh, all members of the congressional black caucus and others who urge this support be enacted not only by the department of homeland security but by this congress and at this time, we would yield back the balance of our time. and once again urge -- request that the record be held open for five days so that any extraneous material or other materials may be submitted on
this matter. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman yields back. the chair would entertain a motion to adjourn. ms. plaskett: at this time i ask that the house be adjourned. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted.
accordingly the house stands adjourned until 10:00 tomorrow morning for morning hour debate. out,e house has gaveled but members returned tuesday on issues related to veterans issues. follow the house live on c-span when members return tuesday at 10:00 a.m. four morning speeches and new for legislative work. a couple of headlines from capitol hill, the first from "the washington examiner." partisan sparks fly. we are going to show the markup of the tax reform bill in a moment. debate on the bill continues tomorrow and wednesday live on