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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  March 9, 2019 1:26am-2:10am EST

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minnesota representative. this is about 45 minutes. mr. speaker, on monday the house will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning our debate and 2:00 for legislative business with folks postponed until 6:30 p.m.. on tuesday and wednesday, the house will meet at 10:00 for a morning our debate and 12:00 for legislative business. legislative business. on thursday, the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. with last votes no later than 3:00 p.m. we will consider several bills under suspension of the rules. a complete list of suspensions -- suspension bills will be announced by the close of business today. the house will also consider h.con.res. 24 expressing the sense of congress that the report of special counsel mueller should be made available o the public and to congress.
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with that i field back to the minority whip. mr. scalise: i thank the gentleman for walking through the schedule. i'd like to o ask the gentleman from maryland about the process that we have had so far this congress in terms of amendments that have been submitted on the house floor on legislation and the way that it's been incredibly closed, especially in a partisan way, to republican amendments. if you look just at the bill we debate add few minutesing a, h.r. 1, only 11% of republican amendments were made in order. more than 60% of democrat amendments were made in order. if you look at the entire congress, so far this year there were only 16% of republican amendments made in order. while 73% of democrat amendments were made in order. which does reflect poorly on the promise that this would be a more open process.
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i'd ask the gentleman from maryland, can you address at least in the future to make this a more fair and open process so that you're not closing out opportunities over and over again for republican amendments to be made in order? mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his question. i want to put it in context. for the first time in history we started this congress with a government shut down. for the first time in history. the business was not completed. the government was not fully funded. and it was necessary for us as we began this session to have numerous votes to open up the government. we didn't get a lot of help from your side of the aisle on doing that, and it was not about a debate. we had considered six bills that were essentially had been agreed to that was clearly a disagreement on the homeland
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security. let me remind you on h.r. 1, the largest bill that we considered during the last congress, you brought that to the floor. you had no committee hearings. not a single committee hearing. you had no witnesses. no member of the public was able to testify. zero a closed rule and amendments were made in order. now, let me make a comparison for you on h.r. 1. the bill we just passed. this bill had five hearings across several committees. 19 witnesses testified. primary committee of jurisdiction held markup, and 72 amendments were made in order. now, h.r. 1, last congress, zero democratic amendments made
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in order. of course there were no republican aleds made in order, either, because it was a closed rule, no amendments at all. no hearings, no committee hearings. o witnesses. so that we have as we said we would a process, opportunity for the public to testify, opportunity for amendments to be made in order, i forget exactly how many amendments you said, republican aleds, but that is -- whatever that number was was 10 or 15 or 25 or 35 more than we had in order. it's the gentleman knows the last congress was the most closed congress in history. in history. we did not see a single open rule, not one under speaker ryan. not one. i'm committed to ensuring, however, that we have limited amount of closed rules.
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again, the gentleman is correct, the government was shut down and we had rules that we put forward to get the government opened. there was not an amendment to say partially open, just get it opened. so that my answer to the gentleman is, we said what we were going to do on bills. we had 7 amendments on this bill. -- 72 aleds on this bill. the proportion -- amendments on this bill. the proportion of amendments the gentleman is concerned about, want to make sure we have substantive amendments considered from both sides of the aisle. that was done here. the gentleman thinks it's not enough. as i said it was it -- as he opposed to zero, a substantial increase. i yield back. mr. scalise: i thank the gentleman for yielding back. i'd like to point out of those 72 amendments that you identified that were made in order, only nine were republican amendments. so when we talk about a fair and open process, the
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government shut down has nothing to do with the fact that you-all committed to having a more open process and it's not, in fact. it's the reverse of what we saw last congress. if you look at the entire last congress, the entire two-year period, there were more democrat amendments made in order under a republican congress than there were republican amendments made in order. in fact, if you look at the numbers for the entire two-year period, 38% of republican amendments were made in order. 45% of democrat amendments were made in order. the overall raw numbers, 752 amendments made in order. 752. there were only 640 republican amendments made in order. more democrat amendments were made in order under our majority than republican amendments. in this congress so far, it's been a harshly partisan process through the rules committee. again, the entire year, only 16% of republican amendments
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made in order. 73% of democrat amendments made in order. and just looking at h.r. 1, again, we had on our side a colleague of ours, representative fitzpatrick, actually led the f.b.i.'s agency on campaign finance, and election crimes enforcement. he put people in jail who committed voter fraud. and this is a voter bill, a bill on voting rights, and you have a member of congress who actually worked with the f.b.i. to put people in jail for voter fraud. he submitted seven different amendments to clean up some of the corruption that was in your bill that you just passed. not one of his amendments was made in order. this is an f.b.i. agent who actually put people in jail for voter fraud. not a partisan issue. and yet not one of his amendments was made in order. you want to talk about a closed process, let's also talk about the policy that's being closed
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out. if you want to shut out efforts to clean up voter fraud, that's your prerogative, but ultimately it's not what you promised when you took the majority. if you compare it to the last congress -- again, the entire two-year period more democrat amendments were made in order than republican amendments were made in order under our republican majority. i would hope in the future this process gets less partisan and more fair, as it was promised to be. on that note, i'd like to ask the majority leader about word that's swirling around regarding changes to the motion to recommit. when you look at the history of congress, this motion to recommit is more than 100 years old. it had been a custom, it had been a custom where the majority party brings a bill to the floor under a rule and regardless of all the amendments that are allowed, at the very end of that process the minority party gets an opportunity to make a final amendment to the bill. that's the motion to recommit. it wasn't in the rules for a
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long time. and then towards the end of the democrat majority before the 1994 revolution, there were efforts to take that away from the minority. so when the republicans took over in 1994, the newt gingrich majority, they actually put in the rules the motion to recommit. again it was a custom going back 100 years. they formalized it. as the majority they gave the minority that right in the rules. it's always been there. it's cleaned up a little bit over the years, but it's a tool that's been always allowed to the minority. we're hearing and it's rumors, i would like to ask the majority leader to clarify, are there any efforts or attempts being made to change and diminish the motion to recommit? i yield. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. of course we both know certainly since the time i have been here that motions to recommit on both sides of the aisle have been gotcha
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amendments. they have been amendments to use for political edge. you talk about partisanship. both sides did that. understand. so is there consternation about them? there is. did you have an m.t.r. today? you did. it was a difficult m.t.r. of course it dealt with a problem that does not exist at the federal level. it said so in the resolution that there was not a problem that they were solvinging, just a sense that local communities ought to be directed what to do. having said that, let me go back to the gentleman's question, again, you said you had nine amendments. we had zero. so you could say it was 9,000%, whatever you want to say. on h.r. 1 in your congress and h.r. 1 in our congress. and all those figures i think are probably lost on the
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public. what's not lost on the public or the press that's covered it last congress was the most closed congress in history. just as the government being shut down at the beginning of this congress was the first time that happened in history because you didn't get your job done. i will tell the leader, i i understand the rights of the minority. we want to honor the rights of the minority. yes, there is a lot of discussion. but as you know, nothing has been done. i'm sure those discussions will continue. i understand the gentleman's point. we use the motion to recommit. you have used the motion to recommit. there is no proposed change currently under consideration. mr. scalise: i thank the gentleman for clarifying that. i hope that tradition continues on that this motion to recommit stays in order because there are some members that, if the motion to recommit passes,
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would vote for final passage. so that is one of the tools that's used. if you cite, as you did, the motion to recommit we had on h.r. 1 a little while ago t. actually was --ing a, it actually was identifying a serious problem and it mentioned in that motion to recommit what happens in some commutes where they are allowing and want ill lease to -- communities where they are allowing and want illegals to vote. and then you have a pros -- process where if somebody has an i.d. they are automatically sent to the voter registration files t creates a process where corruption can occur. where people who are here illegally can get on voting rolls. maybe you catch it at the local level, maybe you don't. but it creates that opportunity. so we had a motion to prevent that from happening. unfortunately that motion to recommit failed, but again, that is a tool that's been available for any minority to
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use. when you bring up h.r. 1 from last congress, our bill to cut taxes for working families so we can rebuild our middle class, which we're finally doing now because we cut taxes for everybody, people are seeing more money in their pockets, higher wages because of that bill. heavily debated in committee. lots of amendments in committee on both sides when it came to the floor, yes, there were no amendments on your side or on our side. but you did have a motion to recommit. had you an amendment opportunity that we didn't have on that bill. but at the end of the day, obviously, all members on your side voted no. you can see how the economy has taken off and how families actually have more money in their pockets and wages are up for working families because we cut those taxes. i would point that out and as we move forward hopefully those rules don't change in a way that would try to diminish further the opportunities that both sides have to bring amendments to the floor. finally, i would like to ask
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about the resolution that we had on the floor yesterday. the resolution to condemn all forms of bigotry, hatred. unfortunately, many of our members felt it fell short of the objective that was stated by the majority at the beginning of the week there would be a resolution brought forward to actually condemn comments that were made that were anti-semitic by one of our members. and i'd like to ask the gentleman is there going to be any action taken, especially as it relates to the foreign affairs committee, to remove the member that we're talking about? i yield. mr. hoyer: i tell the gentleman, i have heard that question raised before, you removed mr. king from the committees. , ter 10 years of comments speeches, and support from
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groups that did not comport with what we said yesterday in terms of rejecting bigotry and prejudice and hate. 10 years. we have now twice taken action and ke clear that hate prejudice and bigotry are not the policies of this congress, of this country, and should not be the policy of any of our members' rhetorically. debating policy, having differences of opinion are clear. i don't know whether the gentleman heard my speech on the floor, but i could not, i think, have articulated more forcefully that anti-semitism is unacceptable, that anti-semitism has led to unacceptable s,
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results, the holocaust of course being the most horrific. . i made that very clear. the resolution made that very clear, and yes it did include other forms and other objects of hate and prejudice and bigotry. and i was disappointed that 23 of your members voted against it. every one of my members, without exception, voted for that resolution. so that resolution i thought got over 400 of us, spoke very to ngly to our opposition anti-semitism, to racism, to sexism, to any -- to islamaphobia. to islamaphobia. i haven't seen any resolutions on the floor of the house when you were in charge that responded to the president of stoking islam es
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fobia. i saw no resolution. i saw no resolution on the floor when the president of the united states made a comment that, well, there are bad people on both sides, in charlottesville. those holding swastikas, those who were saying we're not going to be -- allow the jews to take over. those who had racist epithets. and who in fact of course killed one of the participants. saw no resolution. i will say to my friend frankly those of us on our side of the aisle think that the president too often uses words and actions that undermine the sentiment of the resolution that i voted for,
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that you voted for, and the overwhelming majority of the house voted for, saying that is not and should not be the policy of the united states. i went go into more specific bus the gentleman, i'm sure, knows that i could. what is positive is that yesterday some 400-plus of us voted to say to america and to each of our citizens and these who view america as a beacon of liberty and justice that we any comments,hand y actions, that would be recognized by most people as stoking bigotry and prejudice and hate. so yes, the resolution as introduced was not a final
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product. excuse me. that language you're talking about was never introduced. it was not the final product. the final product that came about through a lot of discussions and addressing the hate and bigotry and prenl many t is directed at too people who are somehow viewed as different. and the remarks to which the gentleman referred were pointed out very clearly as being remarks which had been used through the millenia as ways to diminish the integrity of jewish citizens and to imply that somehow their support for israel was an indication of their lack of loyalty to their country. you and i both know that was used for century, millenia, to marginalize jewish citizens.
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and to make them feel unwelcome and rejected. and so i think the resolution was a good thing for us to do. it passed overwhelmingly. i'm sorry that 23 of your members decided not to vote for it. let me go back to the m.t.r.'s. we had a very strong statement that your side offered on anti-semitism. and you all voted for it. we all voted for it. not a single democrat voted against it. and when it came for final i don't - passage, recall how many republicans but it was the overwhelming majority of your caucus voted against it. so offering the amendment, having the amendment adopted which we accepted because we
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thought that it was important to make that powerful statement against anti-semitism and we adopted it. unfortunately, when it came to the real vote, not the political gotcha vote, but when it came to the real vote your side all voted against it. or if not all, pretty close. yield back. mr. scalise: as we disagree with the underlying bills we all agree that anti-semitism is wrong. we have been very vocal at rejecting anti-semitism and any form of big thrism issue with the resolution that was brought forward, first of all, as the gentleman over months has promised a 72-hour rule where there'd be 72 hours to review legislation, as you acknowledge, that resolution continued to change over and over again and by the time it was filed, before members had an opportunity to vote, there wasn't a 72-hour
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rule. in fact there wasn't even a 72-minute rule. there was less than an hour to review the legislation. as members went through it, it included some things that we all agree should be rejected but many members, and i would refer the gentleman from maryland to the statements made by my colleague from new york, mr. zeldin, who eloquently stated why that resolution fell short at its original objection. to equivocate anti-semitism. asrefuse to acknowledge that members spew anti-sesmtism if we can say anti-semitism sun acceptable, and i agree if we say that we should reject those policies, the dual citizenship question, which is anti-semitic, the money influence which was offensive and anti-semitic. we keep coming back to this.
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because these statements continue to be made. but in that is acceptable, unacceptable if you agree that anti-semitism is unacceptable and bad policy, the then why to you continue to leave a member who is anti-semitic on the committee that deals with the policy of the foreign policy of this nation. it's a high profile committee. foreign affair sass blum spot. many members on both sides want to get on that committee pause it's so important at stating our foreign policy to the world. standing with our allies. when you go to other countries and meet with officials if you say you're on the foreign policy committee, the fortune affairs committee, it is a higher level of respect and acknowledgment that implies that your views represent the views of the united states congress. and that's the concern where the resolution fell short. so many of our members said, how many times are we going to have to keep voting on resolutions that talk generally but don't act specifically to address the
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problem? if you want to talk about the precedent -- about the president, president trump has been very can clear and vocal, speaking out against anti-semitism. you saw him a few weeks ago from this podium in his state of the union address so eloquently bringing members to the gallery, people to the gallery, the three men who stormed normandy beach on d-day to liberate france and to defeat nazis. the gentleman from pittsburgh, the holocaust survivor, over 90 years old, who survived the pittsburgh shooting. also at dachau and for the president to so eloquently refer to one of our heros who stormed normandy beach and a year later helped liberate dachau, what a special moment, special moment for this house to see how hatred and bigotry is evil but how the
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might and power of the united states stands up against it. we should all speak out against it but we should also take the actions that if somebody is continuing to exhibit those kinds of beliefs in this congress, they shouldn't be making policy on the committee that has jurisdiction. that's been the concern, i hope we don't have to come back to it. i hope we don't have to keep coming back to address this problem. it shouldn't be a growing problem. we should all stand up against it when we see it and hopefully we don't see it anymore because we're so clear, not just in our words but clear in our actions. as we continue to hopefully find common ground, and there is common ground to be found, this wasn't a good week for the united states congress to see the kind of divisions, to see it
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take days to come up with a simple resolution that should have taken minutes to stand up clearly against anti-semitic actions. so hopefully next week we can return to making policy where we're able to come together in a bipartisan way to address concerns and problems of this nature and i know i look forward to working with the gentleman if we find that common ground, and we will, we ultimately will. with that, i yield back. mr. hoyer: will the gentleman yield? mr. scalise: i yield to the gentleman. mr. hoyer: first of all, let my say -- me say i i reject out of hand the premise that we didn't speak directly to anti-semitism in the resolution adopted yesterday. period. it spoke strongly to that. not only did it speak strongly but if the gentleman heard my remarks, they were very strong with respect to absolute rejection of anti-semitism. apparently the problem is we
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also spoke against racism. we also spoke against xenophobea. -- xenophobia. mentioned the president, xenophobia. the denigration of immigrant who was been so important to this country at the highest levels of government. the allocations of -- allegations of widespread criminal activity and a broad brush. that resolution yesterday spoke to that. it spoke about islamaphobia. it spoke about hay trett of -- hatred of immigrants. lgbt. members of our society. it spoke against discrimination and hate and yes, it spoke
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directly about anti-semitism. as it should have. as i was abchutely commit and the members of this house were absolutely committed, save 23. i don't know why the 23 voted against it but they did. not on our side of the aisle. i agree with the gentleman. hopefully we can continue to not use this as a political football as i think it's being used. and i'm not going to cite some of the remarks of the minority soros or tropt mr. r. steyer or others. -- respect to mr. soros or mr. steyer or others. mr. jordan. mr. king.
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there was a difference, mr. speaker. we didn't wait 10 years. initially we acted, the entire democratic leadership with a ery point and direct letter. that anti-semitism was not acceptable. period. no confusion. and within days, we put a suspension bill which by the way the rules are waived on suspension bills as the gentleman knows, you don't necessarily have to give 72 hours. but there were 72 hours that that was being discussed and people knew it was being discuss and the leader and the whip has referred to that but i hope that nobody would diminish what we said yesterday about anti-semitism. or racism. r any kind of other ism. let us not diminish what we did yesterday.
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i think this was a good week, mr. speaker. for the house of representatives. we spoke about making sure that voting rights were protected for every american and not only that, protected but facilitated. made easier. to register and to vote. so that all americans could express their opinion on the policies of their country and their state and municipality or whatever office they were voting for. it was a good day to say we are going to have redistricting that is not run by the politicians. but that every state, not just a few, would have to have a redistricting process that was fair and balanced and not just the politicians drawing their own districts. it was a good day, mr. speaker, was a good week, because we
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also spoke about making sure that we have campaign finance that discloses to everybody who their contributors are. it's ironic, mr. speaker, i was here when we considered mccain-feingold and the republican leadership in the house and senate both said, you don't need caps, you don't need to limit spending. what you need is disclosure, let people know who is contributing. citizens united undermined that pretty substantially and we have millions and millions of dollars that nobody knows where it comes from. this bill does that. this bill also said we ought to not be serving on boards of profit-making corporations while making policies that affect them in this house and said yes, the president of the united states
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and ever president since i have been in the congress, 1981, should disclose their tax returns so that the people know are they acting in their interests or in the people's interests. we call that bill for the people. for voting rights, for fair registration, for campaign inance that is honest, above board and transparent and for good ethical behavior. by us and by the president. so i disagree with my friend, minority whip. i think this was a good week. in some ways, it was a tough week. but it was a good week. and i am very pleased, not only did we adopt that resolution against hate and prejudice and bigotry against all, including
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and very point he hadly and starting out with anti-semitism. but we also adopted a bill that will give more trust and faith to the american people in their government and more access to the ballot box. it was a good bill. it was a good week. and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. scalise: if we talk about h.r. 1, what the gentleman fails to mention that bill gives billions of dollars to taxpayer to poll tissue answer. most -- politicians. most americans are hardworking. i don't want to see their taxpayer dollars going to a politician that they strongly disagree with, people that don't like to see on tv. if someone wants to contribute, that's their prerogative, but no one should be forced to give billions of dollars to taxpayer
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money by coercion from the federal government. that's in the bill. felons voting, in many cases, states have laws against felons voting. we weren't able to get a clear answer, if someone was convicted of child molestation in a state that is prohibited from going to schools, if they go to a school to vote if they are a child molester even the state bars them from going into the school, as bill gives them a school a child molester which under state law would be prohibited from going into that school where children are. there are a lot of things in that bill that concern many americans across the country. getting back to the anti-semitism debate we're having, the gentleman brought up and the minority leader and
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other members, the minority leader has been very, very vocal against anti-cement the speaker pro tempore:. andrly when you -- semitism when you saw them giving hundreds of dollars to influence campaigns -- mr. hoyer: would that gentleman yield? mr. scalise: i would make the point that the minority leader s been very vocal and -- mr. hoyer: why in his comment did he mention three americans of jewish descent but didn't mention the koch brothers and didn't mention the gentleman jewish.ada who's also r. scalise: exactly.
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we have supporters on both sides regardless of their faith who give lots of money to politics. now if the criticism was there were big donors to democrats, of course that's who was being mentioned. regardless of their faith, they were giving tens of millions of dollars each. as you criticized or brought up the name of the the gentleman from nevada, nobody questions that you are making a comment, and neither should the assertion be made to anyone who brings up the three gentlemen who were mentioned. reclaiming my time, the bigger issue it's interesting that the gentleman mentioned a bunch of names. but the one name you didn't mention is ms. omar who at the beginning of this week that is what the resolution was going to address, the comments made by ms. omar.
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left out that key component that many of us wanted to see addressed. but a lot of people found it real interesting for example in section 7 of the resolution, it condemns death threats received y jewish and muslim members of congress. why were not death threats to other members of congress. i surely can speak to that. all death threats against members of congress are wrong. why did the resolution full short? it has hace tillly put together. it was supposed to be a narrow resolution. clearly on your side you had a lot of division over it. this is what we ended up with, so, yes, our members felt that we are clear in rejecting any kind of bigotry that the
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resolution fell short of what its original object jeggettive was. and i hope we don't have to come back to this and i hope it doesn't continue and we can continue speaking about this, but i think it's clear let's be clear about who is speaking out against it and who's continuing to engage in it. i don't know if the gentleman uld like to yield one more time. mr. hoyer: i would urge both sides when the leader of our government says things that clearly offend minority groups of all stripes, that we speak out. i think that's a good thing for us to do and i'm sure we can be joined together to do exactly that. i would also ask the gentleman to perhaps observe the extraordinary diversity of representing all of america on
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this side of the aisle. so you ought not to be surprised that in representing that diversity, they bring forward issues that we try to also address. a resolution that said hate, bigotry and prejudice is wrong. it is unamerican. unfortunately none of us had ancestors that were free today hateful policies. we were a nation that allowed slavery and went through an extraordinary civil war to eliminate that blot on we hold these truths to be self-evident. so, yes, we have a lot of diversity on our side of the aisle and that diversity is representing its people. they're americans, but they
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represent a number of americans who are perceived as different than other americans for some designation either because of race, gender, color, sexual orientation, you fame it. immigrant, you name it. yes, we have a lot of diversity on this side of the aisle and try to respect that diversity and make sure that americans know we are against discrimination against anybody. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. scalise: we appreciate the diversity that we have. we strive to be even more diverse, but the most important diversity that we have is our diversity of thought. we are proud to respect people of all faiths, all faiths. this was a nation founded on a deep belief in god. we don't have an established religion.
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one of the things i love most about going to israel as a catholic is that so much of the history of my faith, of jesus christ is represented there in israel, when you can walk the streets of jerusalem and walk in the steps of jesus. and the fact that the jewish people in israel respect that diversity. they respect people of all faiths. and that's one of the proud crowning acheefments of the jewish state of israel. if you look at where we are as a nation, clearly slavery is one of the stains, probably the greatest stain in this nation. struggled with it in its founding and president lincoln, the first republican president, president lincoln gave his life fighting to end slavery and in this chamber where they had the great debate to finally pass the 13th amendment. one of the proudest moments of
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our nation. very contentious, but ultimately, it was a struggle that has finally come to a head and again, the president gave his life for that fight. and we still honor and respect -- we respect the fact that we have a room right down the hall, the lincoln room where abraham lincoln as a house member spent time and we can sit and talk in the same place that abraham incoln talked where he had discussions to end slavery that he was able to secure. we continue to fight. it was wonderful to see john lewis on the floor, true hero, not just a hero of this congress -- we had the honor to serve with sam johnson who was a great hero. spent seven years in the hanoi
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hilton. we have a true honor to serve with john lewis. whether we disagree sometimes on politics, to be able to sit and talk with somebody who truly lived some of the toughest history of our nation and has the scars to prove it. and yet, he still has love in his heart and exhibits that love and passion and we are honored to be able to celebrate that diversity and it's the diversity of thought that we should fight to achieve equality and opportunity for all men and women in this debate nation. and if the gentleman has anything else. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. let me add, we can honor that by our words and actions today and tomorrow and every day thereafter. and i yield back. mr. scalise: i agree we should continue to honor all of those

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