tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN March 7, 2018 4:00pm-5:57pm EST
that includes -- include what is you've supported, raising the minimum wage to purchase firearms. why can't congress have that discussion now? mr. rubio: if you'll watch c-span you know. it's just the nature of the place, number one. we don't move as fast as florida legislatures do. this congress with 500-something members represents a -- [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. 2018] >> the house returning now. we'll leave this. house returning for a series of votes on bills debated earlier. 1917, and passage of h.r. 1917, if ordered. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the motion to recommit on h.r. 1917 offered by the gentlewoman from florida, ms. castor, on which
the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will redesignate the motion. the clerk: motion to recommit h.r. 1917 offered by ms. castor of florida. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on agreeing to the motion to recommit. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-mine vote. [captioning made possible by t natiol captning 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 motion is not adopted. the question is on the passage of the bill. those in favor,leas say e. those opposed, say no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from new york wish to be recognized? mr. tonko: call for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote has been requested. those favoring a recorded vote please rise. 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.]
for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request 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. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise today to speak about an institution that influences our nation's culture and helps our people and communities to learn, grow and thrive. that organization is the wymca. the y engages more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the united states, by nurturing the potential of every child and teen and improving the nation's health and well-being and supporting and serving its neighbors, the y ensures that everyone has the opportunity to become healthier, more confident, connected and secure. the y was founded in 1844 in london by george williams. he organized the first young men's christian association meeting. a refuge of bible study and prayer for men seeking escape from the dangers of life on the streets. the fellowship and sense of
community was compelling. years later thomas valentine sullivan was inspired by the stories of the y and found the first u.s. ymca in boston in 1851. since then the y has been strengthening community as i cross -- across the nation. it brings people together regardless of age, income or background. and helps everyone reach their full potential. for that, mr. speaker, i am grateful. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the house will be in order. members are asked to take their conversations off the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. payne: 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. payne: mr. speaker, yesterday transportation secretary elaine chao testified before the t.n.i. committee. secretary chao acknowledged that the president trump is personally intervening to prevent federal funding of the gateway project, which is the nation's most critical infrastructure project. mr. speaker, the gateway project would rebuild the crumbling rail infrastructure that connects new york and new jersey, a key point in amtrak and the northeast corridor's rail line between new jersey and new york, also 415 trains that go through those tunnels each day. new york and new jersey were promised billions of dollars toward the probably but president tru is actively undermining gay. as anyone who plans to travel by amtrak or by rail during last week's cyclone knows, the
transhudson track infrastructure connects not just the two states, but the entire region. between boston and washington, d.c. because gateway is so important to everyone in the northeast, a substantial federal commitment is necessary to make this project a reality. the gateway project is far too important to be left unfunded. gateway should not be sacrificed because of president trump's political animosity. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the house will be in order. members are asked to take their conversations off the floor. thank you. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. paulsen: ask unanimous consent to address the house four with -- house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, i rise to recognize jessica melnyk, a junior at a high school and founder of a student-run nonprofit girls united minnesota for her work fighting against sex trafficking. jessica, along with fellow members of girls united
minnesota, took action to spread awareness after they observed a fellow classmate who was a target of sex trafficking. they soon realized that minnesota ranks 13th in the nation for its prevalence of sexual exploitation and stepped forward to do something about it. girls united minnesota started by working with local law enforcement and nonprofits to organize public awareness events throughout our community. jessica and her friends are also working with state legislatures in minnesota to expand education on sex trafficking in schools and to create more resources for the victims of sexual exploitation. so, mr. speaker, the determination, the hard work of jessica and her classmates at girls united minnesota is nothing short of inspiring and their impact is literally helping save lives. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulate trinity high school
for earning the designation of title of national title one divisioned school for the 2016-2007 school year. mr. veasey: this exclusive designation is given to high-poverty schools that excel in either student performance or for its work to close the achievement gap. it was a student body that is 86% economically disadvantaged, was one of 34 schools across the nation to be praised for, quote, exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years. it would not be possible without the strong partnerships of its educators, parents, students and the oak cliff community in dallas. for each of you that have made sure that we are doing our part to empower our future leaders with the tools they need to succeed, congratulations to the high school for your well-deserrecognition. mr. speaker, 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 nebraska seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i recently had the opportunity to join the lincoln vietnamese community in the celebration of the vietnamese new year, the year of the dog. i celebrated this special occasion at st. andrew catholic church in lincoln where i live and i participated in the catholic mass followed by a wonderful community festival complete with traditional dragon dancers. mr. fortenberry: i'd like to thank the father and the parish community for their generosity and choice -- hospitality. mr. speaker, there are nearly two million persons of vietnamese dissent living in america. my hometown of lincoln has become home for nearly 10,000 vietnamese american. some of whom face the trauma of persecution, escape, open seas, refugee camps and, finally, resettlement in a new home.
our vibrant, well respected vietnamese community has been an integral part of lincoln's cultural traditions and adds to our capital city's vibrant tapestry. vietnamese is the third most commonly spoken language in the cornhusker state and i've actively encouraged the youth to keep the great tradition alive. mr. speaker, it's not advice to be try a language that you -- advisable to try a language that you don't speaks but to my vietnamese friends, i would like to try. [speaking foreign language] 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. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to remember my neighbor and long-time friend, frankie hess. who formerly served as special assistant to the legendary new york state assembly member who for many years chaired the
prestigious ways and means committee. mr. espaillat: frank was known for his cowboy hats and brutal honesty. he devoted his life to public service and spent almost 30 years in government. he was a devoted godfather, uncle, fatherly figure to anyone in the community who knew him. he once called 20 stores for two hours to try to find a pair of shoes for his niece. frank was a devoted person to his family and his community. through his lifetime devotion to public service, he made sure washington heights was the better place for all of us. frank could accomplish anything he set his mind to and can unite different groups of people despite any racial, ethnic or religious differences. he lived his life demonstrating what it means to be a contributing citizen and to serve as a role model for those that -- those like myself, who are fortunate to know him. i will miss frankie hess.
he will forever be missed by our community. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from nevada seek recognition? . without objection, the gentleman s recognized for one minute. mr. kihuen: i remember the life of dana gardner. 51 attended the route festival. dana worked for 26 years in the recorder's office. when she went home for the day, dana always made sacrifices for her three children and two grandchildren. dana wanted to make sure her kids understood the importance of loving and caring for all humans. she did this through her actions as a dedicated public servant. dana was an amazing cook who had just begun to travel more and
spend more time with her friends. she had a contagious smile and a great sense of humor that could lig up a room. dana's remembered by all those who knew her as a go-to person with a lot of knowledge and a can-do attitude. i would like to extend my condolences to dana gardner's family and friends. please note that the city of las vegas, the state of nevada and the whole country grieves with you. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i rise to address the house for up to one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to acknowledge a distinguished philadelphiaan who will be leading our city's annual st. patrick's day parade as grand marshall. sister mary. she is a towering figure and driving force for social change in philadelphia. mr. boyle: she is part of the
third largest sisters in philadelphia and part of project home, an influential nonprofit that seeks to break the cycle of homelessness. since 1989, sisters organization has helped provide shelter for the homeless, set up programs for at-risk youth across the city and organize wellness and health care services. she's also been a leader at the state, city, and federal level to bring about awareness and much-needed funding to address the root causes of homelessness. as a religious and community leader, sister mary has become a household name in philadelphia. and a champion for the voiceless in our city. it is fitting that she's been selected to lead this year's st. patrick's day parade and i rise to commend her on her lifetime of devoted service. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from washington seek recognition?
>> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. jalen rose thank you, mr. speaker. -- mr. jayapal: today is the 53rd anniversary of bloody sunday. this is the day that our incredible colleague, congressman john lewis, and dr. martin luther king led 600 marchers from selma to montgomery. they didn't get very far. at the edmund pettus bridge they were viciously attacked by alabama state troopers wielding club and they were beaten and left bloodied. last weekend i had the incredible honor of joining congressman john lewis in a bipartisan set -- and a bipartisan set of members in a pilgrimage to montgomery, birmingham, selma and memphis. i had many epiphanies on that trip but perhaps the two most profound were first that determined and disciplined nonviolent resistance works. back then 53 years ago it led to the passage of the voting rights act.
and second, that we in this body have a critical responsibility to ensure that we move forward and not backward on voting rights. our trip was amazing, one of the best experiences of my life, actually, and i hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join next year. we heard incredible stories for abiding love, even for adversaries,hat left people without much dignity. newer activists of all ages are reimagining the same methods for the world we are in today and as we today commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of reverend dr. martin luther king on april 4, let us recommit ourselves to restoring the voting rights act and making sure we continue to protect these critical rights in our country. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the entlewoman yields. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the
gentlewoman from new york, ms. tenney, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. ms. tenney: thank you, mr. speaker. i seek unanimous consent to address the house and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. tenney: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize the rome elks, hailing from rome elks lodge number 96 on liberty street, they truly embody the member the elks national foundation has been committed to for 142 years. elks around the nation have dedicated themselves to strong communities and lending a helping hand to their fellow neighbor. today i'd like to recognize an outstanding group of hetown here. o made the journey captain of the rome police department. our elks in rome around around the country help our youth develop life-long skills, assist
students attending college, support charitable work in their communities and care for our local veterans. however, rome elks are unique to all of their elks in the country. in addition to the work of the elks, rome's elks carry out the long-standing tradition of caring for the grave site of historic rome native sir francis bellamy. some of you may not know but sir francis bellamy is the author of our uniquely american tradition, the pledge of allegiance. francis bellamy was born in mount morris, new york, attended our rome public schools, and graduated from rome free academy, affectionately known as r.f.a. in 1872. every day throughout our country in public and parochial schools, at boy scout and girl scout meetings, american legion, patriotic organizations, in government, here including our nation's capitol, many cite the pledge of allegiance. the pledge of allegiance reminds
our citizenry of the notion of what it means to be american. we pledge of allegiance to this great experiment, to our constitutional republic, a nation that reveres freedom, individual rights and liberty. we pledge of allegiance to our country's historic judeo-christian values. bellamy wrote the pledge of allegiance in 1892 at the age of 37. during his time working as a writer for a magazine called "the youth's companion: a family magazine that at the time had 500,000 subscribers, bellamy was tasked creating a patriotic school program to honor the 400th anniversary of christopher columbus' arrival to america. throughout his assignment, the pledge of allegiance as we know it today took shape. at a time in our nation's history, francis bellamy captured so ell getly and simply -- elegantly and simply america's unity and loyalty. with only a sentence, francis ultimately symbolized america's ability to surpass all internal differences. it is the manifestation of our patriotic conscience and it is
recognized throughout our nation. francis bellamy's spirit pervades in rome till this day, especially during patriotic holidays like on flag day. on flag day the rome elks replace the two flags that fly over francis bellamy's gravesite. this is a dedication to the patriotic principles that our flag stood for since it was first adopted in 1777. in 2008, the rome elks started a significant renovation project on bellamy's gravesite and completed it in one year -- one year later just in time to rededicate it for flag day. in addition to their work in honoring sir francis bellamy and the american flag, the rome elks are well-known for their commitment to helping our local veterans. recently, the rome elks held a fundraiser to raise money for therapy dogs for veterans throughout the local organization called clear path for vets. as part of the fundraiser, the me elks took flags that were
flown over sir bellamy's gravesite and added a slip of paper with the words, this little star is proud to say i flew over bellamy's grave. the rome elks called this project stars over bellamy. the rome elks started with 300 of these little packets but added 200 more when they realized how popular this project was. they raised over $1,000 for this fundraising effort. one of the most touching aspect of this aspect is every veteran that a rome elks member comes across receives one of these stars for free as a thank you for their years for service. i was lucky enough to be able to purchase a star for myself and a few others for my son, who is currently serving in the marine corps, and it's a constant reminder for me for theegy country as well as the patriotic rinciples i as a member of the ilian elks lodge, number 1443, have come to live by.
these are just a few examples of the hard work and devotion the rome elks show for their community. they bring so much more to their community than just a building. although it's a beautiful historic building on liberty street, aptly named in rome, new york, they invest in programs that help children grow up healthy, drug-free, meet the needs of today's veteran, improve the quality of life in our area. as i mentioned, number 1443, i'm proud to work with so many elks throughout our region. i also am excited to participate, our benevolent elk lodge also has a motorcycle ride each year and we travel to each of the elks lodges and raise money for charities that help many of our veterans in need. so just want to say if you happen to be visiting our region and take the time to stop by one of our wonderful elks lodges, they have weekly events including particularly in the
rome elks lodge we have tuesday wig night, wednesday night spaghetti supper, fish friday friday, and it's really a beautiful and wonderful time to meet and have fellowship with a community that's so patriotic and so devoted to our nation. so today, i urge all my colleagues and anyone watching at home to thank elks lodges from around our nation for the tremendous work they do for our communities and especially veterans. or better yet, take the opportunity to volunteer at an elks lodge or consider joining an elks lodge that do so much great, benevolent work for our communities. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the entlelady yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin, is recognized for 30 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. 60 minutes. mr. raskin: mr. speaker, thank you very much.
and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. raskin: thank you very much. before i begin, i just wanted to thank the distinguished congresswoman from new york for her comments about francis bellamy, the great christian abolitionist, socialist who authored america's declaration of independence and he was a great patriot who wanted to unify the country in the wake of the civil war during the reconstruction period and we indeed owe him a great debt of gratitude for everything he did for america. but, mr. speaker, i wanted to talk about a matter of pressing importance and urgency to the people of america today. and this is the question of gun violence and what congress is doing about the problem of gun violence. and i want to start by invoking
something that all of the schoolchildren of america know about which is the idea of a social contract, and you can go and read john lock or thomas hobbs or russo but all began with the idea that in the state of nature we are all in a dangerous and perilous condition because there's no law. and it's the rule of the jungle. hobbs said the state of nature was a condition that was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. and because of that people enter into civil society to create a government. and the first principle of government is we got to protect our people. as cicero put it, the safety and good of the people must be the highest law. that's why we have a social contract. but, mr. speaker, in america today, our social contract is bruised and battered and damaged
and ten with us because of the gun vy -- tenuous because of the gun violence that's come to our public schools, to our universities, to our churches, to our movie theaters, to the public square. and america's high school students have woken us up to the fact this is not a normal country. america is an absolute outliar nation in terms of the level of gun violence we permit to take place in our own society. our social contract is threatened by the gun violence which is a menace to every single american citizen. now, we have a social contract. we've got a social covenant and it's the constitution of the united states. and we know that we have an amendment in there which deals specifically with the question of guns, the second amendment, which says a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, comma, the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be
infringed. that's the second amendment. now, some people would have us believe that because of the second amendment there's nothing that we can do about the problem of gun violence, ok, and if you remember nothing else about what i'm about to say please remember this. this is demonstrably, absolutely, categorically false and we know it's false because the supreme court has told us that it's false. in its 2008 decision in district of columbia vs. heller, the supreme court adopted the individual rights of view of the second amendment. there was a contest between those who said, no, you only have a right to bear arms in connection with militia service versus those who said it's an individual right and the individual right won in a 5-4 decision, but in the course of making that 5-4 decision, the majority on the supreme court agreed readily that the right to
bear arms is one that can be conditioned on all kinds of regulation by the government and that's true of all of the rights in the bill of rights. think about the first amendment. which guarantees all of us the right to speak. you got to a right to go protest across the street from the white house, but you have the right to go protest across the street from the white house at 2:00 in the morning with 20,000 people without getting a permit, of course you do not. the supreme court has said that the exercise of first amendment rights is conditioned by reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, and in the same sense, the second amendment right to keep and to bear arms is conditioned on reasonable, time, place, manner, use, restrictions by the government. we know that to be the case. the supreme court told us that in heller. in heller the court said, everybody's got a right to the possession of a handgun for purposes of self-defense. everybody's got a right to a rifle for purposes of hunting
and recreation but nobody's got a right to possess a machine gun even though someone might describe it as an arm. nobody's got a right to possess a sawed off shotgun. nobody has a right to access a weapon without going through a background check, without going through the government's policy for determining that you are not going to be a danger to yourself or to other people. . the supreme court were was clear about that. those people saying we're we can't allow gun safety regulation or guns will be taken away are engaging in a known falsehood. there's no way the guns of the people of america, the hundreds of millions of guns out there, could be confiscated. they can't be confiscated. people have a right to them for purposes of self-defense and for recreation and hundreding. it doesn't give you a right to an ar-15 or give you a right to carry weapons of war into public
schools and movie theaters and into public places and it does not give you the right to access guns without a background check. yet that's precisely what the law is today. we've got a huge fwaping loophole where terrorists can go to a gun show and simply buy a gun without any background check at all. that re's the good news people want to keep from you. we've got great news, america. mr. speaker, we know there's good news. here's the good news. we have a consensus about what to do. starting with a universal criminal and mental background check in america. supported by no longer 95% of the american people in the wake -- people. in the wake of the parkland people it's 9 % of the people who think you should not be able to access a weapon without first passing a background check. that is the vast majority of the people, maybe almost a unanimous
verdict by the american people, almost everybody believes that we need to close the gun show loophole. we need to close the internet gun sale loophole. we need to close the 7-eleven parking lot loophole. we need to close the loophole that would allow criminals and ngsters and terrorists to go to a gun show and purchase a gun, 97% of the american people agree with that. 67% of the american people agree with the call of the young people who survived the ms. consider in parkland which took the lives of 17 students and teachers, the call for a ban on assault weapons. 67% of the american people, more than 2/3 of the american people agree with a ban on the sale of style assault weapons. and 75% of the american people say that congress must be acting to reduce gun violence.
so we've got to -- we've got a consensus over what to do. but what's happening now? i serve on the house judiciary committee, mr. speaker. we had a vote today, it had nothing to do with guns. it was about collecting data on bail policies, which is not to say that's unimportant but seriously, millions of people in america are demanding action from congress and we can't have a hearing on the problem of people accessing assault weapons and going to public schools and assassinating our schoolchildren at point-blank rining. now, i had the good fortune of meeting some of the young people from parkland who have awoken the conscience of the country and one of them was asked the question, why suddenly is america waking up in the wake of the parkland massacre, which took the lives of 17 people, but it didn't in the same way after
the massacre in newtown, connecticut, after sandy hook which took the lives of etch more people, 26 people? she had a fascinating answer, she said, most of the people killed at sandy hook for first graders. and first graders can't start a revolution against the political pow over the n.r. but high school students know how to do it. because they understand how to contact people and they know social media and they know facebook and twitter and they have enough education that they can speak with authority about the recklessness and negligence of government not addressing the problem. congress now is the outlier. congress will not act. are we a failed state such that when more than 95% of the american people agree something needs to be done, congress cannot act?
are we abandoning our social contract? are we abandoning our primary commitment to defend the lives of our own people? well, it's a very serious moment and we're having our special order hour on the problem of gun violence, the failure of congress to act, but the need for congress to act and i'm very happy to call on first, my distinguished colleague if the state of washington, with whom i serve on the house judiciary committee, pramila jayapal, and i yield to her for such time as she may take. ms. jayapal: thank you, mr. raskin, i appreciate you bringing the reality of the situation to us. nobody is talk about trying to take guns away from everybody. we're talking about making sure that we have safety with anybody who owns a gun.
and that we have the ability to check any of the dangerous contexts for which guns can be used. we have a responsibility, really, to protect our country. to protect our young people. to protect all the families, to do something for all of the families that have been affected by gun violence and in addition to all of the things that you mentioned, we need to consider gun violence as a public health crisis. that is what it is. when we look around at the millions of people that are dying from gun violence, you think about this and you think about the way in which we -- the way in which we treated vehicle fatalities as public health crisis and instituted laws around seat belts. the way we thought about smecking as a public helicopter crisis and instituted laws around smoking. but in order to do that, we had to first do research into these areas and figure out what were the best ways for us to move forward as a country in
preventing those kinds of fatalities that are preventable. and unfortunately what happened n this country is that we -- congressman dickey, some time ago, passed an amendment, the dickey amendment, that while it didn't explicitly prohibit research into gun violence, it all but did that, and there have to een many, many calls repeal the dickey amendment. congressman dickey passed away last year, he came out on the record before he died saying he wished he hadn't been so reactionary , he wish head hadn't passed that amendment. he realized it did lead to a chilling effect on research into gun safety. and the way that it did that is when he passed the amendment it said that no federal funds should be used for advacy but at the same time e amount of funds that re us for research were cut by exactly
that amount. and so this is not about advocacy. this is about how do we protect our country? how do we treat this as what it is? a gun public health crisis. so i'm here to say that i'm really proud of my home state of washington. just yesterday we became the latest constituent too ban bump stocks and we also had a senate committee pass a bill to mandate that people purchasing rifles go through the same background checks required for pistol purchases and that we increase the legal age to buy rifles to 21. so in less than a month , my home state has finally advanced meaningful proposals to prevent gun violence and i wish i could say that we were doing that here in congress. i truly believe that there are members on both sides of the aisle that would like to pass sensible gun safety regulations and legislation and unfortunately, i feel like we're being held hostage not to the
reasons that we all came to congress, to get sensible things done that protect our constituencies, but by lobbying interests in the national rifle association that every time there's a small movement toward progress, somehow they come in d are essentially -- and essentially squash those efforts. last year, congress stood by after 58 people were lledt a musicfest value in las vegas. one of my constituents, zach elmore, his sister was shot and luckily she was one of the lucky ones who survived the shooting but i read a let own the floor that zach had written to -- a letter on the floor that zach had written to me, an incredibly moving letter, about his deep anger and frustration at congress for not protecting his sister and millions like her, millions who were much less, who were not as lucky as she was. in november, congress failed to act after 26 people were killed and 20 injured at a church in
southerland springs, texas, and a few weeks ago on valentine's day, 14 students and three testifiers were killed and 15 injured at marjory stoneman douglas high school in florida. already in 2018, there was been 2,581 deaths because of gun violence. 105 of those deaths were children ages 11 and under. let me say that one more time. 105 of the 2,581 deaths this year alone were children aged 11 and under. as members of congress, we need to make sure our kids are safe. i'm so grateful to the energy and commitment and the passion and the smarts and the organizing strength of the parkland students because as you say they were not first th are studt whors soon going to be voters and they understand that they can't vote right now but they also understand that they do have a
voice. their parents vote. and they can make sure that people across the country understand that we have a responsibility to them. to our children. to the people across the country who are afraid of sending their kids to school. that should be our number one priority, keeping our kids safe. our kids should be able to walk into schools knowing that they can fully focus on learning. and our paraphernalias should not -- shouldn't have to wonder whether their kids will come home from school. my heart goes out to the families who lost someone in the parkland shooting and all the shootings across the country. i'm proud to stand alongside incredible young people who wasted no time to demand action and justice for their friends and teachers. they are determined, they are brave, they are unafraid and they are depending on us to pass meaningful legislation to end gun violence. and you know, one of the interesting things i heard them say when i met with them is we're not looking for the whole
package, we just want to see steps along the way to show it's possible for us on a bipartisan basis to make some progress on this critical issue, to make sure no child new york parent, no community ever again has to experience the unspeakable tragedy of another school shooting. and i am tired of seeing men, women, and children die because the gun lobby puts profit over people. that's not, as you so eloquently said, what our founders intended by the right to bear arms. support for stricter measures to prevent gun violence is at an all-time high. on a bipartisan basis. 8 % of gun owners and 74% of n.r.a. members support commonsense solutions like criminal background checks. so i have a plea for gun owners across the country. my husband used to be a hunter. we had guns at home. and i understand the need for people to have guns for recreational purposes, to ensure their own safety, but this is not about that. it is not about taking guns away from people who legitimately
exercise responsible behavior. it is about making sure that we have the protections in place so that no more children new york more people die. so here's my plea for gun owners. urge the n.r.a. to represent your views. show them that you mean business. maybe even consider terminating your n.r.a. membership if the organization continues to advocate against these kinds of sensible gun -- sensible gun reforms. here in congress i hope that we act now. i really, truly believe and i talked to my republican -- some of my republican colleagues who also want to do something about this. they don't want to be ham strung. they want to move legislation forward. but in the by atamping legislation that actually loosens gun restrictions into legislation that helps us. we need just one or two pieces of commonsense gun reform legislation so that we can show these young people that we are responding to their pleas. no more shootings in schools. no more shootings in places of
worship. no more shootings in our streets. no more mass shootings. period. let's show these students and students at schools across the country that we are not afraid to protect them. let's show them that we can choose our country over the gun lobby. let's stand with our kids, let's pass commonsense gun violence prevention legislation and i join you in hoping that in judiciary committee, which is the committee of record for this issue, that we can at least have some hearings on this. what is so problematic about having a hearing on public health research into gun violence? what is so problematic about having a hearing on multiple pieces of legislation that have bipartisan support? isn't that what we are supposed to do? i know that's why i came here. i'm a first term member and i know our speaker is as well and believe that we have more in common than we do that ivides us.
we don't have to necessarily tackle every piece of this but let's make some substantial progress forward together and let's show our students that we will protect them. with that, i thank you again for your leadership and yield back. mr. raskin: congresswoman practice mila jayapal -- pramila jayapal. thank you for placing emphasis on the fact that we have had no hearings in our congress since we arrived here more than a year ago on the problem of gun violence in the house judiciary committee committee. thank you for placing emphasis on the dickey amendment which forbids any research the epidemiology of gun violence and gun violence epidemics in the way certain outbreaks of gun violence and mass shootings will trigger others. and thank you, also, for placing emphasis on the fact that the newtown families who come to
lobby in washington, the families from parkland just want to see us break the logjam. they want to see us end the paralysis and do something and why not start with the thing that's backed by more than nine out of 10 americans, a universal criminal and mental background check so people who are carrying guns in america are the lawful gun owners who can do it responsibly? that's something that the overwhelming majority of american people believe in, and yet this congress seems to be completely stuck, totally hamstrung. mr. speaker, please help us dislodge this legislation. now, congresswoman jayapal praised her home state of washington for the actions they have taken to ban the bump stocks and pass other common sense gun safety legislation. i would like to talk about what happened in my great state, the state of maryland, which is
touching washington, d.c., where we are all right now. in 2013, after the catastrophe took place in newtown, connecticut, at sandy hook where an ar-15 was used to assassinate 26 people at point blank range, we acted in maryland. passed a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons. we passed a ban on high-capacity magazines. we gave our state police the right to engage in frequent and unannounced inspections of the gun dealers so that bad apple gun dealers couldn't be dealing firearms directly into the underground and then we said, if a firearm is lost or stolen, it's got to be reported within 48 hours. and if not, that's a misdemeanor. because what was happening was they were selling guns to criminals, they would surface in a homicide investigation 10
months later. we would trace it back to the gun dealers and the dealers would say, oh, yeah, that was stolen. we forgot to report it. or we lost that but yet we never filed a report. in our state you have to file a report. commonsense gun safety supported by people across the spectrum. so we don't have a leaky system where guns are getting into the wrong hands. of our opponents on this, course, marched and protested and said they were opposed to all of it. they said this was an attempt to confiscate everybody's guns which, of course, it was not. and responsible law-abiding gun owners have all the guns they had before. they still got them. but it was challenged in court. they said it violated the second amendment. and i raise it because i want america to notice this. they sued the united states district court in maryland and they lost, and the court said, reading the district of columbia
vs. heller decision from 2008 that the second amendment permits reasonable gun safety regulation that does not infringe on the fundamental right to bear arms for self-defense or to have rifles for hunting and recreation but there's no right for civilians to be carrying military-style hardware and weaponry in public. they appealed it to the fourth circuit court of appeals. the fourth circuit affirmed the ruling of the district court. then, they brought it to the united states supreme court and the supreme court let that ruling stand. so there's a perfect example of how you can enact reasonable gun safety regulation and it doesn't infringe anybody's second amendment rights, and it doesn't impinge on the right of reasonable law-abiding gun owners to have guns for lawful purposes. so why are we involved in this terrible, atrocious situation where we have rates of deaths --
rates of death and fatality and injury greater than six times gher than any other modern industrialized country on earth? you know, in the u.k., it's less than 50 people a year who die by gun. less than 50 people a year. in japan, it's less than 50 or 60 people a year. we're losing tens of thousands of americans every year. is it because we have mental illness and they don't? no. they got mental illness too. is it because americans are more violent than other people? i don't think so. it's simply because of the ready access to firearms wherever you go. and anybody can get them almost anywhere. ok. so we need to follow the rest of the world in terms of enacting reasonable gun safety legislation. now, we got our second amendment, so nobody's handguns will get taken away.
the supreme court said it in the heller decision and reaffirmed it two years laterhat it apies not just in the district of columbia directly against congress but it applies in the states. in a case that came out of chicago. so we know that nobody's handguns will be taken away and nobody's rifles will be taken away. and all we're talking about is keeping our children and our grandchildren safe. keeping people safe at concerts like in las vegas. people safe in church like in south carolina. keeping people safe in their public schools like in parkland, florida. keeping college students safe like at virginia tech. that's what we're talking about doing. we don't know why congress won't act. some people are starting to hypothesize that america has become a failed state, that we
can't respond to an almost unanimous demand public safety which is the most elementary requirement of a civilized society under a social contract. some people say we've become a failed state like failed states we see around the world. you know that authoritarianism is on the march all over the world, whether it's in putin's philippines te's aired juan's --ered began's turkey where it's ignoring the needs of the people, ignoring the rights of the people but instead using government as a money-making operation for a tiny group of people. have we begun the failed state? is that what we are? i don't think we're a failed state. we've had other periods in american history where congress has refused to deal with pressing public policy problems. one of the most famous ones began in the 1830's was when a
pro-slavery faction within congress said it would refuse to have any hearings at all and would refuse to entertain any petitions against slavery from anywhere in the country. it was a direct assault on the right to petition congress for redress of grievances. it was a direct assault on the freedom of speech, but they imposed a strangle hold on congress so there could be no debate on the most pressing issue of the day. now, i'm not likening slavery to gun violence. ok. i want to be clear about that. but i am saying there are other times in american history where congress has acted as a choke hold against the ventilation of serious public concerns and grievances. there have been times when congress has refused to engage in debate, discussion, and analysis of the most pressing problems of the day. and that's where we are right now on gun violence. all we are saying, mr. speaker,
to the majority in congress is, let's have some hearings on this. let's have some hearings on a universal criminal and mental background check being demanded by nearly every american right now. let's start with that. is that one thing we can all agree on? that there should be a background check before people go out and obtain weapons of war, that they then carry into the hallways and the school rooms of our country? can we have a hearing on that? if you don't want to vote for it, you can stand up with the 1% or 2% of the people that are against it, but allow those of us who want to represent the 97% or 98% of the people who are for it for a vote because we don't think terrorists or criminals should be able to go to a gun show and purpose firearms, ncluding ar-15's without a criminal background check. we don't think that. so, mr. speaker, we got a
consensus in america on this. let's not stifle the consensus. let's not choke off the ability of the american people and their representatives to govern. that's why we were sent here, to legislate. in the essence of legislation is hearings. we have to hear the american people. we have to hear the experts. we have to collect the evidence. we have to overturn the ban on the collection of statistics about gun violence that was imposed a few decades ago on the c.d.c. we got a collect information, and we have to act. the time for just prayers and meditation about the problem is long gone, as the young people from parkland, florida, have told us. they were told in the wake of the massacre, it's too early to start debating gun policy, and they turned around and said, no, it's too late to be debating gun policy. this should have been done after
las vegas. it should have been done after san bernardino county. it should have been done after the sandy hook massacre. it should have been done after virginia tech. how many more massacres do we have to wait before this congress decides something really must be done? how many more massacres? that's what america is asking us, mr. speaker. please, let's do our job. we've sworn an oath to the american people. let's go and represent the public will. let's make it consistent with the second amendment because it's very easy to do so. we proved it in the state of maryland and the supreme court has told us we can pass reasonable, commonsense gun safety measures without violating anyone's rights. we got a consensus in america. in congress we got to do our job and let that consensus become the law. with that, mr. speaker, i'll yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado, mr. perlmutter,
for 30 minutes. mr. speaker, thank you for the opportunity to address the house and people across the country and i'm joined today by two of my friends, jared huffman, congressman from american california, and dan kildee, congressman from flint, michigan. and we're here on another very important topic. we just heard our friend, jamie raskin from maryland, talking about gun violence and the need to try to limit that and bring it under control. but today we have another very important topic, very troubling topic, and it has to do with the
sovereignty of our nation, it has to do with our freedom and it's really pretty as simple as that. this country separated from england so we could be a sovereign nation, so that we could rule ourselves. right now, that's a real big question as to whether or not that's happening, because it's clear that the russians interfered with our elections last year, and the investigation into that interference now has resulted in at least 13 indictments of russians, coupled with indictments of five or six people, five of whom have pled guilty to some crime or another based upon the investigation
coucted by robert mueller. there seemings to be something going on between the trump administration and russia and we want to know what it is. the investigation is directed at that. and mr. speaker, it starts with something that we asked for last year. we asked to see the president's tax returns. we asked for it on a number of occasions. but unlike anybody else who has run for president, or who has been president, our president has refused to turn over his tax returns. so the question we ask is, why? what's in there that would stop him from producing his tax returns? is it a relationship that shows some kind of financial connection to russia or the like? i mean, what's in there? is he hiding something? what is it?
as time has gone on, starting with that question, we have some more questions. there's been this effort beginning last summer to question the integrity of the f.b.i. to and question mr. mueller and this investigation to the point there was word that mr. mueller was going to be fired from his job last summer and that question seems to percolate to the surface every so often. and the question is, why? what -- what are they afraid of that he might find? what connections are they worried about that mr. mueller may uncover that really are hurting our nation? so what is it that they're hiding? what are they afraid of? very simple questions that need to be answered. you know, this is important. this gos back to the heart of why our nation was founded, and
the heart of all of us as americans. it's our sovereignty and it's our freedom. and if in fact we're being directed, our government is being directed by a foreign entity, by vladimir putin or russia generally, then this country has been undermined to a degree none of us could have ever seen coming. now hopefully that's not the case but let's get this investigation going. let's keep it going. let's not impugn the integrity of our detect is, the f.b.i., or the prosecutors who are trying to just find out what the truth is. any kinds of actions to really undermine that, whether it's from here in the congress or from the executive branch, it's like, ok, what are you afraid of? what are you hiding? so just to kind of connect a couple more dots, something that i'm concerned about, and i know
my friends are too, is go back to our sovereignty, our freedom. and this congress, mr. speaker, particularly concerned about the interference by the russians in our elections. there's not any question that there's been some interference. an we know that the russians are flexing their muscle around the world. in fact, putin the other day said, aye got nuclear weapons you can't detect. so they're flexing their muscles. e as a congress, 419-3 in this house and 98-2 in the senate, virtually unanimous, said we want you to be imposing sanctions for russia -- against this russian interference, against some things they been doing around the world. not one sanction has been added by the trump administration.
why not? what's -- why not? even more perplexing, the state department has been appropriated million to , $120 prevent further espionage and interference by the russians in our election. you know how much money has been spent by them? by the state department? thunder white house? to stop this interference? to stop this espionage? not $1. these departments generally say we need more money to do x, y, or z. here, something so important as to the integrity of our elections, not $1 spent by the state department, despite the fact that this congress appropriated $120 million. why not? so a lot of questions are out there. i think it's time and i think my
friends will maksome comments and statements similar to mine, that what are you afraid of? what are you hiding? let the detectives and the f.b.i., let the prosecutors do their job. why aren't sanctions being imposed? why aren't we using the money we've appropriated to spend against this espionage and interference, why aren't you spending it? with that i turn to my friend from northern california, jared huffman, to see if he has any answers or if only has questions about what's going on? mr. huffman: i want to thank the gentleman from colorado, i have all the same questions and all the same concerns. so it's very appropriate that we're coming together to ask, what are they afraid of? what are they hiding? there's a lot of red flags. last night, mr. perlmutter, i was at a washington press club event, a fun event to celebrate the free press.
best joke of the night, and there's a lot of humorous material, but the best joke of the night was for a guy who doesn't claim he -- claim he is doesn't drink, president trump sure loves a lot of white russians. brought the house down. but it's not really funny. when you have a president who won't impose the sanctions we authorize him to impose, won't direct the state to spend the pounds protect our election system that we authorize and appropriate, when you have all these other problems, it's not clear that he's able to do his job without fear or favor. and that's a big problem for our democracy and for the interests of our country. and if congress were doing its job right now, we would be asking the hard questions. to bring forward the trance paraphernaliacy that the people need. to give this -- the transparency that the people. to give this country the assurance that the government
and the president can perform their job without fear or favor. unfortunately this body isn't doing a good job asking those questions. that's in part why we're here, trying too raise these issues. one of the very important questions i think we have to ask involves the ties between the n.r.a., yes, the national rifle association, and this trump-russia scandal. specifically, we need to know whether russia worked through the n.r.a. to illegally move funds in support of the trump campaign. here's what we do know. we know that mcclaspkey and others -- mcclatchy and others e investigators whether they used the n.r.a. to funnel millions of dollars from russia to support donald trump's candidacy. we know in 2016, donald trump jr. had din we are torsion who is a close ally of vladimir
putin, and also is someone accused of money laundering. they had that dinner at the n.r.a. convention. we know the m.v. -- n.r.a. spence tens of millions of $s on the 2016 elections, including $30 knoll support donald trump three times what the n.r.a. spent to support mitt romney when he was the republican nominee just four years prior. so we need to think about and ask this question, where did all that money come from? we've asked the n.r.a., the n.r.a. won't tell us. now we know that in testimony to the house intelligence committee , there are indications that russians made a very concerted effort to work through the n.r.a. and that's why senator ron wyden has asked the tissuery department, again, because the n.r.a. won't answer these questionings, but he asked the treasury department for more information about suspicious russian fund og of the n.r.a. so to recap a few of these things we need to be askin
about, we know how close president trump is to the n.r.a. we know how close the russian banker, alex torsion is, to the n.r.a. we know how close the n.r.a. is becoming, closer and closer, to russia. in fact, i have a piece here that explains how in 015, a series of top n.r.a. officials including one of their top donors, a past president -- top donor, past presidents, delegation that included donald trump's high profile surrogate, sheriff david clark, they all went on a so-called fact finding mission involving gun rights in russia. there aren't a lot of gun rights in russia. russia has very restrictive gun laws. there's no serious effort in the country of russia to change that nevertheless, apparently this group felt they needed to go to russia for this fact-finding trip to cozy up with some of the same folks we're talking about.
so that's one of the things we know and we need to ask questions about. we know that the n.r.a. spent this huge cache of money on the 2016 campaign to support donald trump. and we know that we have more questions that need to be answered. so we need to follow this money and we need to find out again as you have asked here on the floor, what are they hiding? what are they afraid of. with that, i yield back. mr. perlmutter: i yield to our friend, dan kildee, of michigan, and then he'll make some comments about how he perceives all of this, and then we'll open it up to a little conversation among the three of us. mr. kildee: i thank my friend for yielding. like my friend mr. perlmutter and my friend mr. huffman and others, we can't dom -- we didn't come to congress with the idea that we'd spend our time talking about russian collusion with a campaign to try to
undermine our electoral system we came here to solve problems that americans to want ke on. deal with the big problems that we face whether it's infrastructure or education or the environment or -- you know, all the things that people actually werery about. financial security for families. but we do have an obligation to uphold the hothe that we took. we swore an oath to the constitution of the united states. so while i -- it's not bymy preference, and i know for my friends, it's not our preference to have to deal with this question, we can't avoid it. we can't just look the other way. particularly when it's very clear that not just this president, but sadly, some around him, and i think we have to acknowledge, some of our republican colleagues seem willing to try to interfere with or obfuscate what is a really
important investigation. let's remind ourselves. mr. mueller, who is leading this investigation, an the special counsel, was appointed by the republican attorney general. appointed by the president of the united states. both republicans. bob mueller was appointed into the f.b.i. by a republican president. this is not a partisan question. certainly not a partisan witch hunt. this is a question as to whether or not we're going to let this nvestigation go to completion. you know, the president keeps saying, no collusion. the truth of the matter is, so far, there's been no conclusion. there's no conclusion to be drawn yet from this investigation. other than 17 individuals have been indicted, several have ple
guilty to very sious crimes. some people who have been very close to the president of the united states, the closest you can be, literally engaged in his campaign, side by side with him every day. so it begs the question, and really the most important question, what are they afraid of? what do they have to worry about? there's nothing to find, if there's no collusion, then let's let the process complete itself. let's let the process come to conclusion. and accept the result. so this is really a fundamental question to our democracy. are we going to adhere to the rule of law? or are we going to rule, allow a president to rule, by fiat.
essentially dismiss or diminish or discredit anyone who raises any question about his conduct coming into or performing his duties. that -- that is not the america that we know. that's not a standard we ought to allow. 17 17 people indicted, people at the top of his campaign, including a whole group of russians w early were ngaged in trying to affect our ecion. now, don't you remember the good-old days? i think about our friends on the other side when the biggest scandal they could come up with was that the president of the united states wore a tan suit. the outrage. where's the outrage now when a special counsel has been
appointed and every moment there is an attempt to try to discredit the work that this individual's doing? so i ask my republican , adhere to stand up to the oath that you swore, support this process, allow for your own good in the good of the country, allow the investigation to be completed without interference, push back when the president tries to discredit this process. there's just too much at stake. what are they afraid of? what are they worried about? this guy's a professional. when he was appointed, remember the chorus of praise. left, right, and center for bob mueller and the integrity with which he's conducted himself in public life. he didn't change. he's still doing that.
let's let him do his work. with that i yield back to my friend. mr. perlmutter: ok. i thank my friend from michigan and he was talking about the 17 indictments, but we have a poster here starting over on the far side of this poster to my right, paul manafort, the campaign chairman. then we have 13 russians that have been indicted, plus three russian companies that interfered with our elections. and we'll see how these indictments and the cases unfold, but bob mueller and the team have said those people should be indicted. this side, we have guilty pleas by michael flynn, national security advisor. rick gates, assistant campaign manager. george papadopoulos, campaign advisor. richard paneto, he stole an identity from somebody. d a lawyer, alex van der
zwaan, he is a foreign lawyer who worked here in the united states. we have five guilty pleas. e have 14, 15, 16 times -- indictments. there's a lot of smoke. where there's smoke there's fire. mr. kildee, you talkedbout sort of the bread and butter issues. do i have a good job? am i ready as the economy changes and innovation kicks in? am i going to be ready for the next job? do we have the proper infrastructure for this country so that for the next 50 years we can compete with anybody at anytime? i mean, those are the conversations we really want to have, but when you get down to it, at the very heart of why we are america, why we are the united states of america, it's about our freedom. it's about the sovereignty of this nation to conduct its own affairs without interference by another entity.
russia, england, japan, north korea, doesn't matter. we want to take care of ourselves and not be told what to do by others. and that interference from outside of this country, despite these big questions we have as to our infrastructure, our future of our work force, our education, when it comes to freedom, you don't step away. you don't ignore attacks on our freedom. and we're not going to let that happen. and i'm just very pleased that you two joining me today, and democrats, really, throughout this chamber, and i know some republicans are very concerned what is unfolding. all of us are asking, what's the problem here? what are you hiding? what are you afraid of? why won't you let the detectives do their work? sam numberg, he was on all the tv stations, i'm not going to
honor that subpoena. what's he afraid of? so we've been joined by our friend, jamie raskin. let me give him a second to catch his breath, turn to my friend from northern california for a comment or two and then we'll turn it over to mr. raskin. mr. huffman: well, you're asking all the right questions, congressman perlmutter. the short time we have been on the floor, we are somehow asking harder questions than what we're seeing from the committees that should be conducting oversight and investigations if congress were functioning and taking this issue as seriously as it should. those questions would include very disturbing reporting in the last few days in "the new yorker" that suggests the steel dossier may just be the tip of the iceberg. that in fact you have senior russian officials who claim that they had something of a veto power over our choice for secretary of state. we should be looking into that right now in a very intense way.
and the american people should know that we take those matters very seriously. but so much of this simply flies by these days with the constantly moving media cycle, and i think more and more people are beginning to wonder if congress is interested in even asking hard questions or if we just have to sit back and either wait for special counsel mueller to catch these folks in crimes or wait for the media -- thank god for the free press -- but the media has far more information than the oversight actions of this congress and that's disappointing. mr. perlmutter: taking back my time for a second. we got to say to the speaker and to the other republicans in this chamber, you know, you guys need to do your job on this thing. this isn't just something that's peanuts. this goes to the heart of what america is all about, our freedom and our sovereignty. and i would now take the time back and then hand it off to mr.
raskin from maryland. mr. raskin: mr. perlmutter, thank you so much for yielding. for just a moment, i was very moved by your comments. we know eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. i want to salute you for your gilance and stellarness in supporting us against foreign enemies who would undermine our political processees. it seems to me in congress we have two jobs we need to do now. one is defend the mueller investigation and the department of justice against unfair attacks and attempts to subvert and undermine an investigation. and, two, and perhaps more importantly now, is we got to work to fortify our election systems against a repeat in 2018. the u.s. intelligence agencies that told us in january of 2017 that there had been a campaign f cyberespionage and
cybersabotage and cyberpropaganda against american elections have told us that the russians are likely to be doing the same thing with respect to the 2018 election. by the way, it's not just the russians now. they may have set the temperatureplate for other bad act -- template for other bad actors who want to stick their nose too. one wrote this book called "broken windows," if you have a broken window, nobody does anything about it, it's an invitation for more people to come along and break some more windows. well, right now the u.s. vernment has done nothing. as you said, we've not spent the money in the state department to try to defend ourselves against the foreign subversion of our elections and cyberespionage and sabotage, and when we had the attorney general come to the judiciary committee we asked him what had he engaged in to try to
defend our elections across the country against another attack and he said basically nothing. follow-up efforts by members of the committee to try to get the attorney general to meet with us have resulted in nothing. so this week we've asked for $14 million from the appropriators to go to the election assistance commission which is the only federal body we got that's charged with trying to help state election administrators defend themselves against cyberattack. that $14 million is urgent and necessary and it's obviously a very small sum of money given the amount of money we spend on defense in america, but this is defense of our elections. we're also asking $400 million to help update outmoded and weak the on technology in states today. and so that's another badly needed infusion of cash to the states so we can fortify our elections. we know that at least 22 states
suffered attempted electronic robes by foreign actors in 2016, and they're coming back in 2018 and everybody wants to know what are we doing about it and we have no coordinated plan. so at the very least we should get this money to the election assistance commission so we can help the states harden themselves. i'm happy to yield back. mr. perlmutter: well, i thank my friend from maryland for participating with us. we're going to be doing this because we don't want people -- we want people asking this question all across the country and i'll yield now to our friend from michigan to let him close us out. mr. kildee: well, mr. perlmutter, thank you for yielding. i just want to underscore a point you made in your opening remarks. this is fundamentally about a principle that we hold pretty dear in this country and that's our freedom. our freedom is rooted in the assumption that our democratic systems actually work, that the process of democracy has integrity, and that the choices that people make are not the
subject of interference by some foreign power. we know that russia interfered in our elections. there are only two people i can think of have who denied that repeatedly. one of them is president trump. the other one is vladimir putin. everyone else, including our republican colleagues, acknowledge, including our intelligence community, acknowledge that the russians interfered with our elections. five people had acknowledged that they commitd crimes as a result of the investign that's taking place. 12 other -- 15 others indicted. why on earth would not we allow the investigation that's taking place right now to determine the extent of that interference in order to prevent it from ever happening again? why would we not insist that we protect that principle of democracy and that foundational
principle of freedom by letting this process complete? what are they afraid of? that's the question. what are they afraid of? and that's why i'm glad, mr. perlmutter, you've initiated this effort and i'll continue to stand with you as you do it. i'll yield back. mr. perlmutter: i thank the gentleman. i thank mr. huffman, mr. raskin. with that we yield back to the speaker. oh, before that, mr. speaker. -- oh, before that, mr. speaker, i do now move the house adjourn. 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