tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 26, 2019 10:00am-10:43am EST
thank you. guest: thanks for having me. host: that is going to do it for the washington journal today. we take you live to the house of the 4 -- four of representatives. at 4:00 a.m. pacific. theuse a commicion froth speaker. e clerk:epeakr'ros, waingt d -- fary 2 2019. i hereby aoint tonab spr prtemporons signed ncy posi, speak of the house the speakeprmpore: urant to the ord othe ho of ua, the chairlow regne mbe fromlistsuted by ers r ing hour date
. all anaheim shall be 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 minority whip shall be limited to five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. bost, for five minutes. thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, i have run a small business and i know that any organization needs long-term certainty. no organization can successfully operate under a revolving door of short-term leaders. especially not one tasked with caring for american heroes. unfortunately, that is what is happening at our nation's v.a. centers. almost 20 v.a. medical centers nationwide currently lack a permanent director. some of these facilities have not been staffed by a permanent
director in almost two years. instead, these facilities are managed by short-term directors who stay on the job for just a few months. there is not a lot you can do in a few months. there is not nearly long -- it's not nearly long enough to review operations, recommendations -- recommend improvements, and see these reforms brought through to an end. that's why i introduced bipartisan legislation with mr. kuster from california to put an end to this revolving door. our bill pushes the c.a. to hire permanent directors at all v.a. medical centers. no more interim directors. we all want a v.a. system that can complete its mission to care for those who shall have borne the battle. having consistent leadership is the least we can do for our nation's heroes. madam speaker, i say to the
people of southern illinois and this country, your constitutional rights are under assault. if you are a law-abiding gun owner, a sportsman, you need to pay attention. this week the house democrats will bring a bill to the floor that will restrict your freedoms and do little to reduce gun violence. as a father and grandfather i want to reduce gun violence as much as anyone. but we have to be smart. can't get roped in to a scoring political points. that's why i worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle last year on a measure which is now law to increase security at our kids' -- for our kids in the schools. the gun control bill being considered this week makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and others against crime and criminals who have guns.
we need to enforce the laws already on the books not limit the rights of law-abiding citizens. who want to protect their families. with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. mull lynn now i ask, for five minutes. mr. malinowski: madam speaker, i rise to urge we come together today to defend the constitution of the united states by repudiating president trump's emergency declaration of february 15. few provisions of the constitution are more plain than article 1, section 9, clause 7. no money, no money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law. the president has immense powers, but he cannot spend money unless we, the people's representatives in congress, have agreed that he can. now, there might be extraordinary circumstances
when a president can violate that principle when all of us would agree that he must act, but there is no time to ask congress for funds. a military invasion, a massive natural disaster. the national emergencies act provides for that. but if the situation on the southern board wrer that kind of emergency, the president hasn't been acting like it for two years when his party controlled the house and the senate. he never asked us for money to build a wall. and if we truly face that kind of imminent threat, the wall would not even be an emergency measure given how long it would take to build. but the critical point is this, when the president finally got around to asking us for money, we deliberated on his request and we said no. you may believe we were right or you may believe we were wrong, but that is what the elected representatives of the american people decided. so the question before us today is not how do we secure the
border, it is whether this president or any president can use emergency powers to defy the congress when he disagrees with a decision we have made. are we going to stand by and watch this president seize funds from the military to forcibly take land from law-abiding citizens to build something that the congress has said should not be built. we know that this would be wrong. the emergencies act is for genuine emergencies. it is not a get out of the constitution free card for presidents who want something that congress won't give them. now, i have heard some people say that president obama did the same thing. well, i'm sorry, he did not. both president obama and president bush were sometimes accused of exceeding their constitutional authority, the court sometimes overruled them, but neither obama nor bush nor nixon nor reagan nor roosevelt, nor lincoln, nor any president
since the founding of our republic has ever decreed an emergency to spend money that the congress explicitly denied them. if you want to find a precedent for what president trump has done, i can give you one. when i was a diplomat representing our country, standing up for our values around the world, i had this exact same debate with authoritarian governments in ethiopia, in bahrain, in egypt telling them do not use emergency powers to get around your constitutions. i never thought i would have that kind of argument with the president of the united states. many of my republican colleagues have been saying that america must not go the way of venezuela, and they are right. when president trump said in his state of the union that we must never become a socialist country, i join them in getting to my feet and applauding. how do you think venezuela got to be a socialist country? i'll tell you, president maduro declared a state of economic
emergency to get himself the power the to defy his elected national assembly and spend money however he pleased. that is not america. we must never become that. we believe in rule of law not rule by decree. we disagree passionately within the boundaries, the constitution draws, but we agree zealously to defend those boundaries when anyone of our party or any party tries to cross those boundaries. that's how we have survived as a constitutional democracy. it is the only way we can survive. we're divided enough right now. so please let's not allow another tear in the constitutional fabric that holds us together. let's unite as patriots on this one question so that we can safely disagree as partisans on everything else. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. thank you, madam
speaker. madam speaker, i rise today to discuss the issue facing americans across the nation. the opioids crisis. the 2018 national drug threat assessment, a comprehensive guide published by the drug enforcement administration indicates that illegal drugs -- drug use continues to rise. it cites mexican transnational criminal organizations as america's greatest enemy in the war against drugs. while these criminal organizations are bringing a wide variety of illegal drugs across our southern border, i'm particularly worried about their role in spreading the opioid crisis. thousands of pounds of opioids are smuggled across our southern border every year. just last year the d.e.a. seized more than 17,000 pounds of heroin in the united states, about 39% of this was seized at the southern border.
another opioid that has devastated communities across america is fentanyl. as we started to understand the scope of the epoid crisis facing our nation, the c.d.c. says doctors started prescribing less and less pharmaceutical fentanyl. but fentanyl overdoses remain steady as prescription rates dropped. meaning that illicitly manufactured fentanyl is one of the main drivers of the opioid crisis. illicit fentanyl is a synthetic opioid produced in china and mexico. it's either smuggled into the united states through the mail from china or across our southern border from mexico. in 2017, custom and border agents seized nearly 1,500 pounds of fentanyl at the border. considering fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, last year's seizures accounted for millions of potential overdoses and deaths. it's easy to discuss the a
illegal drugs that have been seized at the border. it's easy to scug the need for change. the hardest part is discussing the human toll that this crisis has taken. madam speaker, last year more americans died of a drug overdose than any other recorded year. in 2017, overdoses killed more than 70,000 americans. in more than 28,000 of these deaths were related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. our country's facing a crisis and action is necessary. that's why i was proud to stand with president trump in support house joint resolution 31. this appropriations bill included provision that is are vital to my congressional district and who will bring the fight against opioids to the frontlines. the southern border -- although i was disappointed my democratic colleagues didn't include more to combat this crisis, i was pleased that it included funding for 55 miles of wall on the southern border. walls work and we need to
continue the construction of this wall. this is why president trump's national emergency declaration is necessary. madam speaker, tomorrow house democrats will bring up a measure to block president trump's emergency declaration, house joint resolution 46. they say the wall's immoral. they say it's cruel. i say we need decisive action to fight the opioid crisis and this is the first step in the right direction. since president carter there have been 31 national emergencies declared. president clinton declared six and president obama declared 10 that are still in place. all 31 national emergencies recognized a dire threat to the american people and took action. by declaring this national emergency, president trump is taking action against a threat that killed 70,000 americans in 2017 alone. i urge my colleagues to vote no on house joint resolution 46, support our president, and save american lives. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back the balance of my time.
the eaker pro tempore: chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. arrington, for five minutes. mr. arrington: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in strong opposition to the bill the house will vote on later today that would terminate the president's declaration of a national message emergency. the need to secure our borders isn't just matter of good public policy, it's our highest calling and it's our actually prescribed duty as guardians of our citizens' safety. when our founding fathers penned our constitution and changed the course of history, they charged the federal government in the preamble with the pre-eminent responsibility to provide for the common defense, but they didn't just stop there. they went on and not only empowered but they commanded that the federal government shall protect every state in the union against invasion. mr. speaker, unfortunately as the american people and
especially the citizens of the great state of texas know far too well, the federal government has abdicated its most important responsibility and has been derelict in its constitutional duty and provide for our defense. for too long politicians have pontificated and postured they would stop illegal immigration, secure the border, and the fact is they haven't. and anyone who has been to the border or worked along the border, lives along the border knows that this is a crisis. this is a national emergency. we know that just last month apprehensions at the southern border spiked 84% compared to the same time last year, with 120,000 apprehensions in the last two months alone. homeland security personnel spent 28,000 man-hours, 28,000 man-hours to render basic medical services to folks who were coming across the border. new migrant caravans continue to form and march towards our
cities along the border where our border patrol agents are already overwhelmed with migrants from other caravans. in the first caravan of 8,000 people that forced their way into mexico they forced their way into mexico. where they should have stopped at the first safe country when they were applying for asylum. we know 600 of that first caravan, 8,000, 600 were known criminals. additionally because of our porous borders, drugs continue to flood in our country, poison our communities, destroy our families. just last year 70,000 people die interested drug overdoses in this country, 90% of those drugs are coming from across the southern border. if that's not emergency, i don't know what is. . no one is on the frontline more than the state of texas. 186,000 illegal aliens have been charged with more than 290 crimes in texas alone since 2011. when you combine the total cost of illegal immigration from the health care services, education, incarceration, it's over $12 billion for the state
of texas. it's over $150 billion for the united states. we're $22 trillion in debt. we will have two of the biggest safety net programs insolvent in less than 20 years. and we're spending $150 billion on illegal immigration. we know constructing physical barriers when combined with boots on the ground and technology are effective when stemming the tide of illegal immigration. we know walls worked when we deployed them in el paso and san diego and tucson and we stopped illegal immigration, stemmed the tide 90-plus percent. this president took action. using authority not that he invented but we congress gave him under the national emergency act. it's not like the president is setting new precedent or breaking new grounds. other presidents have declared national emergencies 50-plus times. i know president clinton declared a national emergency
to fight drug traffickers. rightfully so. president obama against transnational criminal organizations. this president loves this country. he wants to do his job. he doesn't want another one of our sons or daughters to die from drug addiction or overdose. he doesn't want crime to run rampant in the streets of the united states. the president understands his first job as commander in chief is to keep our citizens, our people safe and i stand with him. mr. speaker, today i'll be voting for our president, for his constitutional legal authority to defend this country, to protect our borders and our citizens. i'll be voting for the safety of the american people today and the safety of our communities, not just in west texas, but throughout this country. again, president trump's doing the right thing. he's doing the responsible thing. he's doing the constitutionally necessary thing, and i'm behind him 100%. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the
gentleman from minnesota, mr. emmer, for five minutes. madam speaker, i rise today to recognize the legacy of matthew hall lumber who has been operating in downtown st. cloud, minnesota, for over 100 years. they have been the backbone of the local economy. maintaining a business is not an easy task. it involves blood, sweat, and tears to sustain the test of time. however, with that comes joy and fulfillment. something that generation after generation of the hall family know all about. one of the reasons why st. cloud and the great state of minnesota are so incredible is because of hardworking people like the hall family. by maintaining their business in st. cloud, they brought commerce, jobs, and a great product to our community. as simonson lumber purchases this historic company and the
hall family transitions into a new chapter i speak for all of central minnesota when i say thank you to the hall family for your great contribution to our state and our community. madam speaker, i rise today to honor administrator steve taylor. as steve prepares to retire from his 30-year career, he leaves with the reputation for providing the highest level of customer service. during his time with carver county, steve served minnesota's sixth district with distinction. as a fellow public servant, i commend steve for committing his life's work to serving others. his dedication and leadership will be hard to replace. the employees who have the pleasure of working with and learning from steve will keep the good work going, but certainly his dependable presence will be missed. his efforts toward expanding the government center by adding extra courtrooms, more security and much-needed space will be
enjoyed by generations to come. thank you, steve, and congratulations on an amazing career in public service. i wish you a long and happy retirement. madam speaker, i rise today in honor of steve gilmer who has retired after serving 45 years as c.e.o. of the state bank of delano, minnesota. steve retired leaving an incredible legacy. he cultivated a family out of his employees and built an environment based on humor, trust, and excellence. inspiring all those around him to be the best they could possibly be. as a resident of delano, i can say from experience that steve led by example and took the time to know and care for the customers that walked through the door of his bank. most in the community knew steve through his role as a volunteer. the volunteer treasure of the fourth of july celebration committee for over 40 years. delano's home to minnesota's largest fourth of july parade,
and steve's service to that committee displayed his dedication to our community. thank you for all you've done for the delano community, steve. enjoy retirement with family and friends. you deserve it. madam speaker, i rise today to celebrate the minnesota central regional small business development center for being named the minnesota small business development center of excellence. located in st. cloud state university, the central small business development center provides free consulting services and assistance to those starting a small business. the center services the most of my district. my constituents have benefited greatly from the services provided. numerous business workshops that focus on educating local businesses and entrepreneurs on how to improve their new business. special recognition goes to the current director, barry, who came to the center in 2006 with an extensive background in business and economic development. today their success continues
because of barry's commitment to helping address the needs of the local small business community. his hard work is evident. congratulations and thank you to barry and the staff of the minnesota central regional small business development center, central minnesota is lucky to have you. madam speaker, i rise today to recognize the achievements of the with a conia heroes coalition -- waconia heroes coalition. they help empower and respect others. this community task force based in my district undertook the mission in 2010 to reduce and prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by youth through education, engagement, and policy change. what started as a group of parents, educators and community leaders joining forces to address bullying in schools quickly became a task force tackling substance abuse. in 2014, the waconia hero coalition was awarded the drug-free community grant, providing $625,000 of funding over five years. today i want to congratulate them for receiving a
continuation to that grant which reaffirms the incredible work this task force has already done and will be doing and serves as encouragement to keep working towards solutions to youth substance abuse. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for five minutes. mr. green: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, and still i rise. and i rise today with love of country in my heart and a belief that the record has to be set straight. the record has to always reflect the truth, and there is a truth that is being obscured. i want to set the record straight because there seems to be a belief that if you have
committed acts of bigotry, if you have been a racist, if you have been engaged in omophobia, xenophobia, islamaphobia, if you do one thing, somehow that thing will eradicate and eliminate all of the bigotry that you have perpetrated. i rise to correct the record because i want the record to show that at least one person came to the floor of this congress and made it clear that, yes, unemployment may be low for african-americans, yes, it may be low but it's still twice that of anglo-americans, generally speaking. yes, you may have signed a bill
to deal with some aspects of criminal justice in a just way, and that's appreciated. but there's still more work to be done. but notwithstanding the fact there's more work to be done, it's still appreciated. but the record has to be set straight, and here is what the record should show. that that does not eliminate the bigotry emanating from the presidency. eliminating bigotry does not occur because you signed one bill. it does not occur because unemployment is low. t does you have to do more than simply sign a bill. and i am not saying to you than an apology is in order. i tell people, tell the truth.
just tell the truth. say i was wrong when i instituted a policy that separated babies from their mothers. that emanates the type of bigotry we don't condone in this country. say i was wrong when i said there was good people among those who were the racists, the bigots, the xenofobes in charlottesville. say i was wrong when you don't have to be so kind when you are part of the constabulary, you are part of the policing force in this country. just say you were wrong if you want to atone, signing bills won't do it. going to church won't do it. asking forgiveness will cause you to be forgiven and i will forgive you but that doesn't mean you will no longer be sanctioned for your bib ottry. i want to thank those who have stood -- bigotry. i want to thank those who have stood and made their points
clear when it relates to bigotry. the morning programs talk about bigotry and the racism that the president perpetrates. i appreciate what they are saying. but we got to do more than talk about it. we cannot allow a president to remain in office who has engaged in this kind of bigoted conduct. it is time for us to take a stand here on the floor of the house of representatives. there were no fine people in charlottesville. you ought not separate babies from their mothers. you ought not have policies that would condone bigotry and encourage others to engage in it. i believe that we have a duty to take a vote and at some point in the near future we will take another vote, notwithstanding the mueller report. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to refrain
from engaging in personalities toward the president. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick, for five minutes. mr. fitzpatrick: madam speaker, i rise today to recognize a nonprofit organization in bucks county, pennsylvania, that is celebrating its 20th year of service helping immigrants settle in the united states. welcoming the stranger based in langhorn was founded in 1999. founded by the late reverend forman. it has provided a countless opportunity for immigrants in southeastern pennsylvania from over 100 countries. welcoming the stranger offers english language classes and courses in citizenship preparation and computer science. their programs have been so popular that they've often expanded to 300 attendees packing houses of woreships and community centers across bucks county. madam speaker, i applaud the work of welcoming the stranger, and i wish the organization all the best as it enters its 20th
year of service to our community. i would also like to extend my appreciation to meg ue bank, the executive -- ue bank, the executive director of welcoming the stranger, for her work and er vision. madam speaker, i rise to honor a group of conscientious citizens in bucks county, pennsylvania, who were recently recognized for their environmental stewardship. earlier this month the lower mayfield board of supervisors and lower mayfield's environmental advisory council awarded friends of five mile woods for the environmental stewardship award. five mile woods, which has been present in bucks county since the 1980's seeks to preserve the five mile woods. one of the most successful programs the organization has implemented is the volunteer cleanup efforts on the second
saturday of the months of march through november. during these saturdays dedicated volunteers pick up trash, they maintain trails and reprayer infrastructure in the 285-acre wood. it provides opportunity for those in bucks county. i applaud the work of john lloyd, chairman of the organization, and the lower mayfield board of supervisors. . madam speaker, i rise today to recognize a resident of bucks county, pennsylvania, who recently made us proud from her successful appearance on jeopardy. megan shultz, a resident of bristol and environmental engineer appeared on the hit television show last month. going into the final round, megan was in second place with $14,000. she was able to clinch her victory, however, when he she
successfully answered that mariah carey was the new york native who in the 1990's had eight of her first 10 billboard top 40 hits number one. her closest competitor who she trailed by $400 incorrectly guessed whitney houston putting megan over the top. madam speaker, i congratulate megan on this major accomplishment. it's a major fete to be selected to participate in this fameous show to begin with. to win against other highly intelligent competitors ising something truly note worthy. i wish megan and her family all the best and we congratulate her on this achievement. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves, for five minutes. mr. grambings: -- mr. graves: thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. graves: thank you. madam speaker, i rise to
discuss concerns with s. 47, legislation we will soon be voting on in the house of representatives. madam speaker, s. 47 has some positive things in t the legislation provides for expanded recreational opportunities, expanded opportunities to hunt and fish in our public lands, and a lot of things that i very much support. madam speaker, the bill has some pretty profound flaws, one of which is being process. this is a 700-page bill, 700-page bill that has been held at the desk. it has not gone through the regular committee process. this isn't some small bill that folks have been exposed to. this is 700-pages of text. and it has not gone through the regular legislative process and is being put up under suspend the rules where we're not even being provided the opportunity to offer amendments or to represent our constituents.
other than just voting yes or no. madam speaker, i want to throw out some information on what this bill does and the implications t provides 1.3 million acres of land being designated as wilderness areas. 1.3 million acres. 694 acres, recreation and conservation areas. 370,000 acres of mineral withdrawals. national monument designations of 2,500 acres. 621 miles of scenic rivers, wild and scenic rivers. 2,600 miles are being added to the national trail system. and 4 ,000 acres are being added to our national parks. -- 42,000 acres are being added to our national parks. madam speaker, i used to teach outdoor wilderness courses. i spent hundreds, maybe thousands of nights of my life
in the outdoors. i love these areas. i enjoy them. i'm not saying that these things shouldn't happen. i'm saying that we need to have the ability to go through regular order just like the senate did this week when they had the ability to offer amendments to this bill. we're not being afforded that same opportunity. madam speaker, my biggest problem or concern with this legislation is this. the bill permanently re-authorizes the land and water conservation fund, which i'll say it again, i support the acquisition of lands, protection of lands, so we can enjoy the ecological productivity and enjoy the time in the great outdoors. however, the bill does not address the fact that we have a $17 billion backlog in national park maintenance. $17 billion. we're acquiring more land without a plan for addressing the existing backlog maintenance issues that prohibits or prevents people from enjoying some of these same lands that are being acquired. we're talking about land and water conservation fund, $9
billion in funds over the next 10 years being deposited into a treasury receipt account to acquire more lands. guess where this money is coming from, madam speaker, 100% of these funds are coming from the state that i represent and the other five states that produce offshore energy. every penny of it is coming from the state of louisiana that produces perhaps over 80% of all of the offshore energy in this nation in federal waters is paying for this fund, the same time we have lost 2,000 square miles, 2,000 square miles of our coast. guess how much of this bill addresses the problem there? with 2,000 square miles of our coast disappearing, the ecological productivity being lost, the increased vulnerability to the people hat i represent, zero nothing. there is no money for conservation for protection in other states in other areas and nothing for my home state of louisiana, yet it's come interesting our revenues that we're producing in our offshore.
this is a flawed process. this is a flawed bill. we need to go through regular order. i really can't even believe that this is happening. here we have dozens of hearings on climate change and other things, the very state that is the canary in the coal mine, the state experiencing the worst ecological challenges or loss as a result of sea rise and other challenges, is being completely ignored. where are the climate change advocates right now, where are you? i strongly urge opposition to this bill. we need to go back to regular order. consider the largest conservation, largest natural resources bill that we have had since i have been in the congress and send it through regular order again. i urge opposition to this bill. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from the district of columbia, ms. norton, for ive minutes.
ms. norton: madam speaker, tomorrow residents who are fortunate to live in our nation's capital will come to the capital -- capitol as part of their lobby day to ask the congress to pass the d.c. statehood bill. most americans are unaware that the americans who live in their nation's capital have the ewest rights of any americans. and that is at the same time that those 700 thousand residents who live in the nation's capital pay the highest taxes per capita.
higher than the taxes of any state. and so as you might imagine the residents of the district of columbia are seeking to become union.t state of the i am so pleased that already almost 90% of democrats are on our d.c. statehood bill. 'm grateful for senator coffer who will soon introduce this same bill on the senate side. there are many reasons that no americans, no americans should fail to have equal rights if they pay equal taxes.
in every war vice the nation has fought, even beyond being first per capita in federal income taxes, should qualify the 700 residents of the district of columbia. for equal treatment as the 51st state. why n this poster we see any state would stand for its rights. world war i, more casualties of -- from people who live in the district of columbia than three states. the korean war, more casualties han those of eight states. casualties that
are more than four states. and the vietnam war, casualties that outnumber those in 10 states. so the residents of the district of columbia will be here to say to my colleagues it's about rs plus, 218 years now, without equal ights, is 218 states too long. nobody who lives in our country and pays taxes should be unrepresented on this floor when votes are taken. i abbreviate that i can now vote -- i appreciate that can i
now vote for the district of columbia in the committee of the whole where some votes are taken. but where no votes are taken, there is no representation on this floor and none in the senate at all. it is way past time to right this wrong. we cannot do it for those who have gone to war for our country. we can certainly do it in their memory. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today.