tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN April 18, 2018 9:59am-10:38am EDT
banning together to protect, the reason why people don't trust democrats. hen they have the power to actually make some change, they are looking for compromise and compromised them with not looking for compromise. leaveokay, sorry, have to it there. guest: government is the art of compromise, sorry to tell you that. that is what america is all about. surrender your value or ideals, it means we got to come together and have problem, else we solve nothing. to ll not be obstructionist republicans, if we can come together on agreement regardless talking about education, transportation or foreign policy. is the way to go. i've been successful with that now. host: our guest is representative bill pascrell committee, thanks
for your time this morning. guest: honored. thank you. host: that's it for our program today, the house of representatives is coming in for on this short week. we will take you to them. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., april 18, 2018. i hereby appoint the honorable randy k. weber sr. to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 8, 2018, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties. all time shall be equally
allocated between the parties and in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the majority whip shall be limited to five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, for five minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. today many around the world might harold what they call a transition of power in my native homeland of cuba, but that couldn't be further from the truth. this sham transition is more smoke and mirrors, another ploy out of the castro playbook. the reality is that raul castro will continue to maintain his grip on power. the reality is that the cuban people will be no closer to freedom today than they were yesterday. no closer to democracy today than they were yesterday. the reality is that the
murderous regime in cuba will continue to oppress, will continue to abuse the people of cuba. we are not fooled, mr. speaker, and u.s. law dictates that we do not recognize this had so-called transition government or any -- recognize this so-called transition government or any successor government until conditions are met. conditions such as all olitical prisoners be released , until free, fair, transparent elections monitored by international observers are held, until the cuban people's human rights are respected, and until then and only then, mr. speaker, we must continue to oppose this fast orchestrated by cast -- this farce orchestrated by castro and instead we stand with the people of cuba and their fight
for freedom, democracy, and human rights. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. johnson, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. a major responsibility of the farm bill is intended to address the growing issue of food insecurity in america. as a matter of fact, roughly one out of every six individuals in dallas county will go to sleep each night not knowing where the next meal will come. hunger is not just a major issue within any one district, but it is one that affects americans in virtually every district in every part of the
country. it is an important issue. it is one which congress needs to focus. sadly, the farm bill, introduced last week, will hurt far more americans than it will help. the proposed changes for the supplemental nutrition assistance program within the farm bill are downright draconian. snap was intended to help the poor so they can find meaningful work on a full stomach. the new proposed work requirements would starve individuals who are unable to find sustainable employment due to economic, medical or family-related issues. feeding america and the food research action center have come out opposing these changes because they would lead to an increased in hungry americans and are counterproductive to
solving america's hunger problem. it is much harder to climb out of poverty and onto a path of independence when you must devote most of your energy wondering where your next meal may come. instead of throwing people off snap, congress should be focused on giving greater access to nutritional meals so that these individuals are able to go on living their lives and trying to find employment that will get them out of poverty and into the middle class. snap was intended to assist working poor, to ensure they are able to put food on the table for their children. these changes would throw many children off the program, subsequently deny access for them to get food from school breakfast and lunch programs. the cuts in snap benefits for these students will force them to face the challenges of
hunger in addition to the rigors of school. countless studies show that students retain more information when their focus is on school in front of them and not on the fear that they will go to bed hungry. making certain the next generation of americans have every opportunity to grow up on a healthy diet and learn on a full stomach is not just an investment in the fight against hunger. it is also an investment in this country's future. mr. speaker, i speak not just for african-americans. the majority of the ones utilizing th program are non-african-american, and the majority are angelo americans, so congress -- anglo americans, so congress should strengthen the program so it fulfills its original goal. ensuring that all americans,
regardless of ethnic origin or status have the dignity of a day's work and a day's work -- worth of food. r. speaker, you know, many districts' voices have been muted through the intentional gerrymandering so they don't have to address the poorest people. mr. speaker, it is time for us to address all of the american people. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from nevada, mr. amodei, for five minutes. mr. amodei: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today with birthday wishes for the premiere municipality in the nation. no the big apple, windy city, not the city by the bay or the
big easy. i'm talking about the biggest little city in the world, reno, nevada. turns 150. celebrating. congratulations to you, mayor, and the city council. happy birthday, reno, nevada. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. neal, for five minutes. mr. neal: i ask unanimous consent to be recognized for five minutes and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. neal: thank you, mr. speaker. i come to the floor of the house this morning to pay tribute to a close friend of mine, monsignor george farland who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a catholic priest. on may 4, 1968, he received his minute steerial orders at st. michael's cathedral in springfield, massachusetts. i know. i was the c.y.l. basketball
coach at sacred heart upon his arrival. for the next half century he's been a source of inspiration and comfort at sacred heart church in springfield. he provides every sunday a strong spiritual message, grace, ly lace with humor, but always a powerful message. we have watched and witnessed as he's rebuilt and sustained a vibrant parish and the life of its members. sacred heart church was built -- mmigrants and today it as he says, no matter your station in life, you are welcome in this church. he has found time to serve as a police chaplain for the springfield police department and also a hospital chaplain in the sisters of providence health care system at mercy
hospital. he's for sure reinvigorated the life of the church. as a son of hungry hill, graduate of cathedral high school, his spiritual leadership in western massachusetts has become in fact legendary. he has a well-deserved reputation for compassion, humility and kindness and, again, the welcoming message of his incluesivity continues to deeply resonate. he leads his parishioners up and down that middle aisle, oftentimes in joy and happiness or in grief of the funeral but he always does it with a special tolerance and grace. mr. speaker, on behalf of the united states, i want to congratulate monsignor george for reaching this important milestone in his life. thank him for his decades of thoughtful ministry and acknowledge the remarkable contributions he's made to the people of all walks of faith in the dieas of springfield and
western massachusetts and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries, for five minutes. mr. speaker, in this country, a democratic republic, we have a brilliant system of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. 's a system that consists of two predominant parties with a contrast of ideas, and nowhere in this country is that contrast more prominent than here in the house of representatives where we've got a vision of the country on the democratic side of the aisle that wants to move america forward. while the folks on the other
side of the aisle want to turn back the clock. we want to bring people together. they are tearing us apart. we believe in an economy that works for everybody. they are all about an economy for the wealthy and the well-off. they have a raw deal. we have a better deal. they want to take away health care from more than 20 million americans, impose a draconian age tax on people between 50 and 64, and take away your isting protections for pre-existing conditions. we want to strengthen the affordable care act and dramatically lower the cost of prescription drugs for every american. raw deal versus better deal. they have a fake infrastructure
plan that would do nothing to fix our nation's crumbling bridges, roads, and tunnels. we have a real infrastructure plan that would invest $1 trillion and create 16 million good-paying jobs. raw deal versus better deal. they support a budget that would cut more than $2 trillion from social security, medicare, and medicaid. we support a budget that would strengthen social security, medicare, and medicaid for working families, middle-class folks and senior citizens all across this country. they recklessly jammed a tax scam down the throats of the american people where 83% of the benefits go to the wealthiest 1% of this country. tax cuts for millionaires,
billionaires, corporations, and big donors to subsidize the lifestyles of the rich and shameless. raw deal. we support tax cuts for working families and middle-class folks that are made permanent and that meaningfully put money back into the pockets of everyday americans. that's a better deal. they're all about chaos, crisis, and confusion, about special interests. we're about the people's interests. better jobs, better wages, and a better future for the american people, we believe the american people deserve a better deal. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. brown, for five minutes. mr. brown: thank you, mr.
speaker. mr. speaker, there's a civil war in syria and a humanitarian crisis that the united states simply cannot and should not ignore. today, there are some 2,000 u.s. soldiers and marines on the ground in syria who spent the past several years engaged in the fight to defeat isis. that fight has been largely successful. yet, troops remain in syria to prevent a resurgence of isis. u.s. forces are engaged in hostilities against isis not in the syrian civil war. congress was informed in 2015 that our forces in syria where there pursuant to the aumf enacted in 2001 in response to the attacks on 9/11. . although u.s. ground forces aren't engaged in the war, our farce vs. engaged syrian forces and its regime.
last year a u.s. navy f-18 shot plane in the ar collective self-defense of our coalition partners. the use of force in self-defense is unquestionably authorized however risky plane in the that may be in efense of potentially drawing the u.s. into armed conflict with syria or into the syrian civil war. in the fall of 2016, u.s. forces mistakenly and unintentionally killed syrian troops in an air strike that was intended for isis fighters. year, the syrian regime launched an aerial bombing with airen, causing the --sarin, causing the deaths of nearly 100 civilians of the -- civilians. in response to these war crimes, the united states military at the direction of president trump fired 59 cruise missiles against the syrian air base. it was the air base from which the aircraft were launched to drop nerve gas on innocent
women, children, men, and civilians. but that didn't stop assad. just 11 days ago, less than 10 days after president trump instructed military leaders toe withdraw -- to withdraw u.s. troops from syria as soon as possible, assad again launched a chemical attack on more than 500 people. in response, and without meaningful discussion with congress, president trump once again ordered air strikes against syrian targets associated with a syrian chemical weapons program. mr. speaker, notwithstanding the u.s. presence on the ground and our air engagements in syria since 2015, this congress has never openly and formally debated the question of the authorization for the use of military force in syria. it is time for us to do our job. assad is a barbaric again sidal dictator.
the use of chemical weapons is heinous and the use of conventional weapons against civilians, which he is also guilty of doing, is equally heinous. syria is a humanitarian disaster. 400,000 syrians, most of whom are nnocent civilians, dead. these facts are not disputed. for more than 70 years the united states has been an anchor of international security and i believe we cannot look away when a are dead. these facts are not dictator br violates international law. the debate is long overdue in congress and it's not about whether we should be limited to if, , when and how the united states should respond to the next chemical attack. congress abdicated that responsibility in 2013, 2017, and i fear we're on course to do this again this year deliberations over how and when to retaliate to the next chemical weapons attack must be part of a larger debate that we must have about our country's
inls, policies, and strategy syria and whether or not another solitary military strike would be effective. we should recognize that another military response will be hollow if not accompanied by a more robust whole of government approach. we need to agree on a strategy that will permanently deter assad from using chemical weapons, send a message to moscow and tehran, and push assad to the negotiating table to achieve a lasting political solution to the civil war and humanitarian crisis. will this approach require greater support of the secular opposition in syria? will we have to work with our nato allies to intervene more purposefully to contain assad? these are the things, the issues that every member of congress must grapple with as we weigh the use of military force, and the president cannot act unilaterally. i believe our ideals and
principles as well as our at stake curity are in syria. along with our leadership and international system where we seek to ensure that weapons of mass destruction are never used. i believe our democracy is stronger -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. brown: in support -- with the support of congress. mr. speaker, let's debate and vote on the authorization to use military force in syria now. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. larsen, for five minutes. mr. larsen: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, today i rise today to express my continued support of american maritime jobs through the enforcement of the jones act. the merchant marine act of 1920 is more commonly known as the jones act, named for its primary sponsor at the time, senator wesley jones of my home state, washington state.
the jones act exists for good reason. it sustains and protects a strong necessaryic maritime and shipping industry. it creates jobs for u.s. mariners, many of whom are veterans. it underpins u.s. maritime defense policy and essential to securing national security interests at home and abroad. the jones act requires the use of american owned and operated vessels to move all water-borne cargo between points in the u.s. i have long maintained the jones act ensures domestic industries can remain vibrant contributors to the global shipping industry. at its core the jones act is a critical labor standard that helps put u.s. sea fairers to work and maintains important workplace rights. washington state, approximately 60% of the state's employees working on vessels are jones act client. n 2012, i called on the then administration to protect
american jobs by adhering to the jones act in response to rising gas prices and the proposed release of oil from the strategic president trump reserve -- strategic petroleum reserve. last year i spoke up to the fleet and response to the natural disaster that hit puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands. as a member of the coast guard and maritime transportation subcommittee, i'm committed to working with my colleagues to uphold the long-standing tenets of the jones act to safeguard the important role maritime industries play in our economy. the jones act exists for good reason. we should use it to good effect. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for five minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, once again i rise to speak from the well of the house of representatives. and today, mr. speaker, i would call to our attention the fact that there is a time when we should put all politics aside.
this is such an occasion, mr. speaker. i rise today to extend my condolences and my sympathies to the bush family. i rise today, mr. speaker, world to know the that i have great respect for the family. ms.tics world to know aside, m, barbara bush, the first lady, not currently, but in my world once a first lady always a first lady. i rise because this first lady demonstrated something that this country can be proud of. she was a person who has left a it y of respectability as relates to being a first lady of
the united states of america. she respected herself. she had standards. she had principles. she had boundaries that were -- boundaries. there were certain things she wouldn't do and would not allow be done it while she was in the white house. respectability. , which ected others engendered respect for her. i rise because she will be missed. i rise because she has left this legacy of respectability. i also rise because as a , newly elected to congress, i received an indication that her husband wanted to speak, newly to me. i went over to speak to him. i had no idea as to why he would ask for an opportunity to visit with me, but i did visit with him. i thought it would be a five-minute meeting. it went much longer than five
minutes. he obviously was in one party and i in another. we did not know each other. but we spoke at length. and the thing that i remember as meeting to ging our closure, i remember him calling to my attention that one of my greatest challenges in congress would be to meeting to closure, i remember him develop for myself. there are many people who will have agendas for you. the great challenge in congress is to develop your own agenda. so on my agenda i want my record to show that i stood in the well of the congress of the united ates of america to thank the first lady, ms. barbara bush, for her service to her family, to her country, and, indeed, to the world. i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from wisconsin, ms. moore, for five minutes. ms. moore: good morning, mr. speaker. i rise today to proudly represent all of the welfare queens in the united states of america. all those women who get up every mothers, uggle as often caretakers for elderly parents, who are juggling two and three minimum wage jobs, $7.25 an hour jobs. a day. and then being told that their welfare -- that they are welfare
heats because they need food supplemental nutrition assistance program. in order to meet the basic food needs of their children. i supplemental nutrition assistance program. n order rise, mr. speaker, to y your, mr. speaker, your agenda and the agenda of the majority rty to beat up on these poor hardworking poor people because they are poor. people who find themselves in the predicament of having more month than money. and need just a little bit of assistance to meet those basic nutritional needs. we're sick and tired of people claiming that
people are gaming the system to a tune of $65,000, $70,000 year and that they don't want to work. people want to work but they are constantly in competition with foreign workers who earn $3 a day. we're in a post-industrial cannot and often people find work and cannot find enough work to meet their needs. often people find work but those jobs do not provide them, mr. speaker, with health care. but they are being told that a y need to provide aurin -- urine specimen to get health care simply because they don't have an employer that's able or o willing to provide them with health care. and all of the claims have been
refuted time and again with facts and research that poor people have dignity, poor people love their children, but poor people are just not getting a fair shot despite all of this. republicans continue to perpetuate this propaganda and these talking points that impose even more obstacles on people who are poor. they continue to promote policies that are humiliating like the ration or harvest boxes or peeing in a cup. and eliminating basic rights of because because they are financially poor in the richest country on the planet. we're sick and tired, mr. speaker, of being sick and tired. nd why do we think this is
happening, mr. speaker? we think this is happening, mr. speaker, because you, yourself, mr. speaker, declared that we're going to pay for the $1.5 trillion tax cuts that we just gave to the wealthiest americans, corporations, shareholders all over this planet, we're going to pay for them by cutting medicaid. mr. speaker? we're going to pay for them, mr. speaker, by cutting medicare. we're going to pay for them by cutting social security. we're going to pay for them by stamps.food thus the need to vilify people who are poor. . mr. speaker, if you really want to help people escape poverty and reduce dependency on the safety net. stamps. how about trying to raise the minimum wage so people who have troubling putting food on the table will be able to afford to pay for basic food needs.
if we really want to help people escape poverty, why on't we recognize that basic health care is a human right and we should be trying to fortify the affordable care act as opposed to 60, 70 attempts to repeal it? mr. speaker, every day i am going to -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. moore: and thank you for your indoll jens, mr. speaker. and i -- indulgence, mr. speaker, and i urge americans to wake up. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, judge poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: i thank the speaker. mr. speaker, america's peace corps volunteers are our angels abroad. they represent the very best we have in america. but right now we are not doing enough to protect them. one volunteer, jennifer, her
life was forever changed after an accident while she was serving in uganda. early one morning, jennifer was walking with two friends at a bus stop. a drunk driver rammed into them. one volunteer was killed and jennifer's legs were broken. when she returned home to america, she faced an uphill battle to get treatment because of bureaucracy. after months of fighting the system, she was finally approved for disability. but her nightmare didn't end there. her case was regularly reopened and she struggled to get the surgery she needed and not always approved. still traumatized by her experience in uganda, she reached out for mental health treatment only to be ignored. i've heard too many stories like jennifer's, volunteers returning home to america, seem to be abandoned by an
organization they gave so much for. others tell of their struggle to receive quality medical care and protection while they're overseas. a brave volunteer opened up to me about the daily sexual harassment she experienced while serving in a country overseas. during broad daylight, men would grope and threaten her as she walked home from school. one afternoon at the market, a cashier threatened to break into her house in the middle of the night, come into her bedroom and sexually assault her. when she reported this to the peace corps, they assured her that the men were simply joking. the harassment went on for months and months. finally she made the decision to return to the united states. she could no longer bear the harassment and she was threatened and afraid. peace corps recorded her reason for leaving, difficulty adapting to the culture. are you kidding me? a culture of sexual assault in a different country? she was not awarded a
certificate of service that she earned. sexual assault and harassment should not be excused as joking or brushed off as a culture norm. peace corps has fostered this belief for too long. between 2010 and 2014, there were over 900 reported cases of sexual assault and rape by peace corps volunteers overseas. this is unacceptable. our volunteers deserve protection. they deserve basic protections from bad guys that seek to harm them. they deserve quality medical care both in country and back when they get to the united states. now, the peace corps has made some changes, but as a former judge, i can tell you it's our duty to do everything within our power to protect our angels abroad and do more. peace corps volunteers are the face of our country in places where america's shining beacon of home hope and liberty may not always shine so bright. they promote good will, a
better understanding of the united states. they do so much for people overseas. this helps secure an enduring partnership for our nation. they change lives every day in the local communities that they serve. their service to this country should not turn into a nightmare that interrupts or even ends their lives. we must remember that these peace corps volunteers many times operate alone in remote areas of the world doing the best they can to help other people. simple changes would greatly improve the safety and security of our peace corpse ambassadors abroad. that's why the bill, representative joe kennedy of massachusetts, and i have introduced the bipartisan sam farr peace corps enhancement act. we must continue to send our volunteers into remote areas of the globe and when we do without adequate protections against them, we must protect them. they must be -- have access to a qualified medical doctor, an
effective health care system to take care of them when they come back to the united states. there are some things we can do and this bill will help. it's time to stand up and take action for our volunteers. they are the -- some of the best america has, representing america and the peace corps. it is our responsibility to take care of them. and that's just the way it is, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until 12:00 >> members are taking a break now starting their legislative work at noon eastern. more work expected today on a couple of i.r.s. and tax related bills. modernizing i.r.s. technology and combating identity theft. off the floor the house will celebrate the life of the late louise slaughter, the democratic congresswoman who passed away earlier this month. live house coverage on c-span when they return. we'll take you live here
momentarily to the house agriculture committee meeting to mark up the farm bill. they have been in since about 10:00 this morning and expected to run throughout the day. one of the main issues they are talking about, we heard some of this on the floor of the house, is the work requirement on the supplemental nutrition assistance program, snap, formerly known as food stamps. that's jim mcgovern of massachusetts on your screen. live coverage here on c-span. mr. mcgovern: i have always had confidence in the process. i have had confidence that minority views were heard and considered. confidence that my views mattered. mr. chairman, you have completely turned that long-standing practice and tradition upside-down. if it was never the intention for us to participate in the process, if it was the plan all along to use this committee and this farm bill as one last ditch effort at advancing speaker ryan's flood welfare reform plan, why did you for 2 1/2 years parade all these experts before this committee? not a sgl