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tv   U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  May 21, 2019 2:27pm-7:20pm EDT

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going to cause a depression. in terms of the china trade --uation, i am interested in i am interested in what people around the country think. i think this is the epic battle of her time. china versus the united states. china is the second largest economy in the world. i think donald trump -- i know he agrees with this. we are and an abusive trade relationship with china. they cheat, lie, steal. they have a rogue government. they are involved -- they still $300 >> you can see this entire discussion online on c-span.org. we are going to leave it here for live coverage of the u.s. house. members have returned to vote on a rule. one would reverse trump administration changes to the customs and border protection. and another measure aimed at
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provide -- consumer financial protection bureau. and another measure aimed at providing veterans' -- previous question on house resolution 389 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number ding for resolution 389 pro. consideration of the bill, h.r. 1500, to require the consumer financial protection bureau to meet its statutory purpose, and for other purposes. providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 1994, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to encourage retirement savings, and for other purposes. providing for proceedings during the period from may 24, 2019, through may 31, 2019, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote.
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[captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 227, the nays are 191. the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. all those in favor say aye. those opposed say no. in the opinion of the chair, the yes have it.
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the gentleman from georgia. >> madam speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 230. 190 nays. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on judiciary be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 962, the born alive abortion survivors protection act and ask for its
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immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: under guidelines consistently issued by successive speakers, as recorded in section 956 of the house rules and manual, the chair is constrained not to entertain the request unless it has been cleared by the bipartisan floor and committee leadership. the gentleman is not recognized or debate. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. the house will resume proceedings on postponed
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questions at a later time.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and to nd their remarks and nsert extraneous material. madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2359, as amended, the whole veteran act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2359, a bill to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to submit to congress a report on the department of veterans affairs advancing of whole health transformation. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from
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tennessee, mr. roe, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, before i begin my comments on h.r. 2359, let me acknowledge the sin tennial year of women's suffrage and the wonderful yellow roses we're wearing in acknowledgment of that sin tennial year. so happy 100 years. madam speaker, america's health care systems are grappling with the redesign to better meet the needs of veterans struggling with mental health conditions. two decades of increased social isolation -- excuse me -- social isolation, economic inequality and prohibitive health care costs have seen an increase use of complementary
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and alternative medicines such as health coaching, cairo practor services, yoge -- chiropractor services, yoga, equine therapy. the veterans administration is one of the first health care systems to redesign care with a focus on maintaining patient well-being and early intervention rather than a system designed to treat conditions and diseases only after they have occurred. this redesign, v.a.'s whole health transformation, will accommodate the veteran population and their unique needs while empowering veterans to control their health and well-being. by improving well-being, veterans build resiliency that assist in the early intervention and identification of mental health care symptoms that, left untreated, can advance to the point of crisis. in 2017, v.a. launched the whole health transformation
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program at 18 flagship sites with positive early outcomes. according to a february, 2019, memo on v.a.'s whole health transformation, v.a. plans to expand the full program to additional 18 sites by summer, 2019, and 140 medical centers have elements of this program. the pace, efficacy and reach of the whole health program are not known to congress. h.r. 2359, as amended, offered by congressman lamb, requires the delivery of a report on v.a.'s whole health transformation. it will contain an analysis of the accessibility of critical services so congress can better inform -- can better inform its efforts to ensure veterans are treated as whole people and not just episodes of care. this is particularly true for socially isolated veterans and
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veterans living far, far away from a v.a. facility. so a two-pronged strategy is needed to effectively address the veteran suicide public health crisis. the second prong is treating those veterans in crisis and making treatment more accessible. the first prong must address the complex of social determinants that can lead to crisis. early interventions and mental health care can prevent veterans from falling into crisis and having suicidal ideologies. this legislation falls under the first prong of the strategy which will support creating opportunities for early, precrisis intervention. congress must understand how v.a. has rolled out the initial expansion outcomes and the resources needed to continue the whole health program. this body must do everything in its power to reduce the number
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of veteran suicides in this country because this is a sustained, prolonged and frustrating public health crisis. sadly, over the weekend, yet another veteran died by suicide at a v.a. hospital. this bill is the first of five measures we will consider today to address mental health care and suicide prevention efforts at v.a. our work, however, does not end today. we will write more legislation. we will hold more bipartisan hearings, and in fact, a hearing right this very moment, this afternoon with the armed services subcommittee on military personnel and our health subcommittee brought v.a. and d.o.d. to the same table to help end this crisis. it is a joint hearing -- through this joint subcommittee between the v.a. committee and
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the armed services committee. we will do whatever it takes to end these tragic incidents of suicide. i am fully committed to this effort. losing 20 veterans a day is unacceptable. i will be voting yes on this critical piece of legislation, and i call on every member of this body to do the same and to help reduce veteran suicide. thank you, madam speaker. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i would like to associate my comments with the chairman, his comments about women's suffrage 100th anniversary today. i rise in support of h.r. 2359, as amended, the whole veteran act. this bill would require the department of veterans affairs to submit a report to congress on the implementation of the
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whole health initiative and include information in the report about the availability of a number of complementary and alternative treatments like meditation, acupuncture, yoga, and equine therapy. v.a.'s whole health initiative is a component of secretary wilke's plan to transform the veterans health administration into a more innovative, holistic and centric veteran health care system that puts veteran patients in the driver's seat. i support the secretary in that effort wholeheartedly and look see how it will improve outcomes and satisfaction from veterans across the country. the implemently and alternative approach to pain management is particularly important, given the ongoing opioid crisis that continues to plague our nation. i thank congressman connor lamb of pennsylvania for sponsoring this bill and congressman barr for improving it for his tireless advocacy for equine
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therapy. i ask colleagues to support it. with that, madam chair, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: at this time, madam speaker, i'd like to yield five minutes to my good friend, the vice chairman of the house committee on veterans' affairs and the author of h.r. 2359, mr. lamb from pennsylvania. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. lamb, is recognized for five minutes. mr. lamb: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in support of the whole veteran act, and i'd like to thank the chairman of the veterans' affairs committee, mr. takano, and the ranking member, dr. roe, for their support of this act, along with all the members of our committee. this is a bipartisan bill with a bipartisan goal, which is simply to reform and continue to improve v.a. health care. our bill will do that in two very important ways. first, we aim to make the v.a. a leader in the future of health care. many doctors have looked at how health care's health care system is too expensive and too
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relyant on prescription drugs. and -- reliant on prescription drugs. not all doctors think the best way to deal with chronic pain or ptsd or depression is to simply hand out more pills. in fact, we believe that the future of health care is going to involve a mix of old and new methods of treatment. in the future, patients who are suffering will get access to yoga, acupuncture or meditation before they are ever exposed to these addictive drugs. this is safer and it's also cheaper and we believe that in the long run it's going to be better. the n.i.h., which has the government's gold standard when it comes to research, has looked at these treatments and found that yoga is effective for back pain, that acupuncture is highly effective for osteoarthritis. study after study has shown benefits of meditation and healthy eating when it comes to anxiety, when it comes to stress, when it comes to chronic pain and all the drivers of the suicide crisis that we're seeing today.
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in the right combination, these treatments will allow us all to spend less on health care and feel better in the future. but perhaps the most important part of the bill is it gives veterans more real choices and greater power to manage their own health care. i visited a whole health care clinic here in washington, d.c. and the veterans partakes -- partaking in that clinic like it because they get to pick which treatments work well for them based on how it makes them feel. they pick the teach theirs like and go to classes where they meet other veterans that they get to know and spend time with and that keeps them coming back. one of the greatest challenges is how to keep people coming back to the v.a. for treatment. to stop veterans' suicide, one of the most important things we have to do is go out and get the veterans living in isolation and not using the v.a. for care. 13 of the veterans committing
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suicide every day are outside they have v.a.'s reach. we've got to find them and give them a reason to come back. this is what the whole health program does, it gives our veterans a reason to come back and stay in the v.a. that they didn't have before. we don't know now which parts of the whole health program work the bestened which need more work, but our bill will start to answer that question. we do know one thing, and that is there is no time to lose. veterans want to prevent the suffering of others and now too many of them are suffering themselves. we owe it to them to try anything that will work. mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i have no further speakers at this time and i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. takano: at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to my good friend and co-sponsor of h.r. 2359, the gentleman from
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ohio, mr. ryan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. ryan: thank you. i thank the chair and thank you to congressman lamb for your leadership on this bill. congressman roe, thank you for your leadership on this. i want to also thank chairwoman debbie wasserman schultz and our appropriations bill, we continue to invest into the whole veteran. and i think it's been articulated here that we want the v.a. system to be the most innovative system that we have. and i believe that the whole vets act is a step in that direction. i have been researching and writing about some of these integrative health techniques around meditation, around yoga, around nutrition, around having health coaches. and to watch these vets transform after years and years
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nd years of suffering is the most touching, the most inspirational thing we can do. i've been in yoga classes where the teacher is a vet who just years before was kicking down doors in iraq, double amputee, and he is teaching yoga to veterans and they are healing from post-traumatic stress. this, to me, is what the government is all about. how do we get the government programs, government facilities, on the cutting edge, not just in health care but all across the board. that's what this act is doing. it's going to save us money. the default position for vets -- for vets should not be how many prescription drugs can we get them on. this is going to cey us money. it's giving these vets their lives back it's reconnecting them to their families, their kids, their spouses, their
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communities. this is the most inspirational thing happening in government today. i want to thank tracy gaudette who is leading paint-centered care at the v.a., she's been plugging away forees,s that step in the right direction. mr. chairman, i can't thank you enough, i hope we continue to go down this road. i know the secretary of the v.a., we have disagreements with him but he's testified before our committee talking about these programs and how critical -- can i get 30 seconds? mr. takano: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. mr. ryan: he is talking about the importance of these programs. if you want to be inspired, go sit in a meditation class with a vietnam vet who has been traumatized for years and listen to them tell you about how these practices have healed them and
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have fixed their problems and reconnected them back to their families. i want to thank everybody for their leadership on this and will continue to try to support it from the appropriations side. thank you. i yield back. mr. takano: i have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i too went to encourage all members to support this. in 2003, , -- we, spent $2 billion on treatment, this year it's $8 billion, and we haven't moved the needle on veterans committing suicide each day. i think it's a -- this is a great idea to see if we can use lternative treatments to help, when you think of so many people each day committing suicide it's
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heartbreaking. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker i'd like to ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: i'd also like to take this moment to ask my colleagues to join me in passing h.r. 2359 as amended. i thank you, madam speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h r. 2359 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid
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on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1812 as amended, the vet center eligibility expansion act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 51, h.r. 1812, a bill to amend title 38 united states code to furnish vet center readjustment counseling and related services to certain individuals. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, v.a. is authorized to provide counseling thru vet centers to a
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broad group of veterans and servicemens. these veterans an servicemens include national guard and reserve members. those who have served on active duty in any combat theater or any -- or area of hostility. veterans and service members who experienced military actual trauma. those who provided direct emergent medical care. or mortuary services to casualties of war. or service members and veterans who deployed to combat zones, areas of hostility in a direct support role. however, members of the national ard, reserve, or coast guard who participated in a drug interdiction or who served in ea -- in a response to a national emergency, major disaster, or sil disorder are currently not eligible to receive vet center kear. this is all despite the effects
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such experiences can have on mental health. h.r. 1812 as amended, the vet center eligibility expansion act, introduced by ranking member roe, would correct this oversight by extending eligibility for vet center care to these individuals. it would also require v.a. to submit a plan to congress for providing vet center services to geographical areas in which no vet centers are located. these include territories of the united states, rural and insular areas, by -- areas. by assessing the necessity for serving those in underserved ensuring that members of the coast guard and national guard and others are aloud -- allowed access to to -- to lifesaving services that vet centers provide. it increases access to services that provide early intervention
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for menl health care issue which is can increase the risk of suicide. the sad statistic shows after the 20 veterans and military service members who die by suicide, 14 of those 20 have not received v.a. health care. this bill is one step toward changing this tragic number. so i want to thank my colleague, dr. roe, for his work on this important measure. i call upon all of our colleagues to join us in voting yes on this life-changing piece of legislation. madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from tennessee, dr. roe, is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: i rise today in support of my bill h.r. 1812 as amended, the vet center eligibility expansion act. every day, every day, 20 of those who have worn our nation's uniform die by suicide.
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of those 20 deaths, each one is a tragedy. there are approximately four deaths among active duty service members and nonactivated members of the national guard and reserve. the number of suicides among never federally activated members of the guard and reserve to 2,016ased from 2005 according to the latest data. many of these men and women have stepped up to serb their communities and our country honorably in dangerous and unpredictable situations. that service can have an understandable impact on the mental health but because they may not meet the legal definition of a veteran due to the nature of their service, these individuals may not be eligible for care from the v.a. this bill would address that issue by expanding eligibility for counseling and care at v.a. vet centers to those in the reserve, national guard, or coast guard who served in
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response to emerge -- to emergency situations in the wake of a disaster, civil disorder or support of drug interdiction operations who never deployed. v.a.'s 300 vet centers are community-based facilities that provide readjustment counseling, services to active duty service member, veterans and their families. vet center employees, many of whom are veterans themselves, are on the forefront of the fight to prevent suicide amongst service members and veterans to ensure their successful transfrigs the military and assist them in recovering from whatever trauma or challenges they may be facing. i'm proud to sponsor this bill and grate to feel congressman mike levin of california for joining me as an original co-sponsor. i'm also grateful to the enlisted association of the national guard of the united states and the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america for their support in this legislation. it's my sincere hope that this bill will allow all of those who served in the national guard,
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coast guard, or the reserve component to get the helm -- the help they need and lower the suicides among these individuals. i want to note my surprise that the bill received a discretionary score of $55 million. it appears the c.b.o. estimated that v.a. would need to create new capacity within the vet centers to care for those individuals newly eligible under this bill. madam speaker, i've been to many vet centers. the bricks and mortar are already there. you don't have to do anything. personnel are there. there will be, if any, minimal costs. however i understand from v.a. that excess capacity exists within vet centers and this bill would help fill at little additional cost to the department. i hope that can be taken into account of this bill moving forward. i encourage all members to support this bill today and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves.
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the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: i would like to yield three minutes to my good friend and fellow californian, the chairman of the economic opportunity subcommittee and also a co-sponsor of h.r. 1812, mr. levin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. levin: i rise in support of eligibility expansion act. i was proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with my friend from tennessee and ranking member of the house veterans affairs committee, dr. roe. we must do more to address the epidemic of suicide among veterans in this country and we can start by ensuring all service members have the mental health support they need. currently most national forward, coast guard and reserve members are precluded from receiving readjustment counseling services
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at vet centers. guardsmen and reservists often face channel degree employments to natural disasters, drug interdiction missions, national emergencies or civil disorders that can have serious mental health consequences. this bipartisan legislation is an important step in closing the mental health care gap for those service members who compose four of the 0 veteran suicides we see each day in this country. . as we continue to see veterans turn to suicides, often on the guards of v.a. facilities, we must have an all hands on deck approach, and this bill can play a critical role in this effort. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california. mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i reserve, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. takano: madam speaker, i'm prepared to close. i have no further speakers. i reserve.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i have no further speakers. i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: madam speaker, i encourage all members to support this. i think it's a great step forward for our veterans, for our guard and reservists. i want to pass along a quick story. one of the reasons that i have pushed this so hard is that in my tennessee guard at home, my previous commander said in the first 40 days, 45 days he commanded the tennessee guard, he had four suicides. and he knew he had to do something. so he instituted a program there to help lower veteran suicides. we lowered our suicide rate among our tennessee guardsmen by 70%. we'd like to make sure that all guard and reservists have access to the benefits they need and the therapy that they need and the help they need for
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their families by allowing them to get this help at the vet centers. so i encourage all members to support this. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i urge all of our colleagues, all of my colleagues in the house to support h.r. 1812, as amended, so we can finally pass it into law and get justice for these veterans. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1812, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2326, as amended, the navy seal chief petty officer william "bill" mulder, retired, transition improvement act of 2019. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the tight of the bill. the clerk: union calendar to er 49, h.r. 2326, a bill amend the social security act, to amend the dignified burial and other veterans' benefits improvement act of 2012, and to direct the secretaries of veterans affairs, defense, labor, and homeland security, and the administration of the administration, to take certain actions to improve transition assistance to members of the armed forces who separate, retire, or are discharged from the armed . rces, and for other purposes mr. takano: madam speaker, i
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ask unanimous consent that all members -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from tennessee, dr. roe, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks include extraneous material on h.r. 2326. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 2326, as amended, the navy seal chief petty officer william "bill" mulder, retired, transition improvement act of 2019. i would like to recognize the economic opportunity subcommittee chairman and ranking member, mr. levin and mr. bilirakis, for their
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bipartisan focus on this issue, and the bipartisan way in which they have crafted this piece of legislation and have moved it forward. almost 30 years ago, the national defense authorization act created the first transition policy to assist service members entering civilian life. this law provides that those who are being separated from active duty are provided services for counseling, training opportunities, finding employment, and other related information and services. these services, more commonly known as transition assistance program, or tap, were amended by the vow to hire heroes act of 2011. this legislation demanded participation of all service members and improve transition resources by lengthening the process and lowering the class sizes. while our veterans have found the t.a.p. program to be highly
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benefit, they find a sheer amount of information too overwhelming to absorb. today, i ask my colleagues to support h.r. 2326, as amend, which aims to solve this problem. this legislation will do several things to make t.a.p. more effective. first, this act would create a pilot program offering transition training off military bases, making the transition process easier to access for veterans and spouses. a review by the government accountability office concluded that a program held off base would be beneficial and the committee believes that such a program is worth examining in further detail. now, i heard in service members who felt they needed to attend t.a.p. multiple times before they transition to civilian life because the resources aren't available off base. now, this legislation would create a grant program for organizations to provide multiple transition assistance
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services, such as resume assistance, interview training, and job recruitment training from one program, location, and source. next, this act would give the department of labor, veterans', virning training, employment, v.a. access to the social security administration resources to track in real time when a participant receives a new job. now, this is going to help improve programs and provide a better accountability of services provided by the v.a. lastly, this bill would require a one-year independent assessment of the effectiveness of t.a.p. as well as a five-year longitudinal study of t.a.p., which compares the effectiveness of using the program. the one-year independent assessment of the program's effectiveness shall be conducted not later than 90 days after enactment of this
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act. the legislation requires the v.a. enter into agreement with an entity with experience in adult education to carry out an independent assessment of t.a.p. it would require the cretaries of labor, veterans affairs to determine a need for t.a.p. off base and determine if this program would ease the process of parnings for service members, veterans, and spouses who may have had difficulty attending classes on bases. upon completion of the respective one-year and five-year studies, the secretary of v.a. shall submit the findings to congress where we can again assess the quality of transition resources provided to veterans and service members. madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 2326, as amended, the navy seal chief petty officer william "bill" mulder transition improvement act of 2019. one of the most important things our government can do to help our nation's service members is to ensure their transition from military to civilian life is as seamless as possible. we all know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and i believe that so many of the problems that veterans encounter later in life could have been mitigated if they had a more supportive and successful transition. i know that the goal of this bill is to help service members have as smooth as transition to possible to civilian life. i'd allow jodey arrington from texas, who is an original co-sponsor of the bill, to go into specifics in a moment. but before i do that, i want to thank him as the former chairman of the subcommittee on economic and opportunity for taking the time last congress to sit down with stakeholders and really examine the
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transition process from the very beginning and look at the need for improvements. while this bill is a culmination of a bipartisan review and work, it's only one step in the process to ensure a successful transition for all service members. i know we all remain dedicated to making improvements to this process and reach this goal. we're unable to persuade the senate to act on this bill last congress, and i want to thank mr. arrington, chairman takano and subcommittee chair levin for picking up where we left off and pushing this bill through yet again. i'm confident with their continued support it's on president trump's desk very soon. madam speaker, i want to just say from a point of privilege, when i separated from the military, from the u.s. army in 1974, a long time ago, my transition was how quick can i get to the front gate, so we have made huge improvements since the end of the vietnam war. there really was no program for
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veterans then. it was a mistake then, and i appreciate the efforts of my colleague to rectify this mistake. with that, madam speaker, i yield back and encourage all members to support 2326, as amended, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: this time, madam speaker, i'd like to yield three minutes to my good friend and the chairman of the economic opportunity subcommittee and also the uthor of h.r. 2326, mr. levin, from my home state of california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. levin, is recognized for three minutes. mr. levin: madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 2326, the navy seal chief petty officer william "bill" mulder transition improvement act of 2019. madam speaker, i was proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with my friend from texas, mr. jodey arrington. mr. arrington was a friend of mr. mulder and represents his hometown of plainview, texas.
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william mulder, or bill, as his friends knew him, passed away on june 9, 2017. he was a decorated navy seal of 20 years whose awards included three bronze stars with valor. he was also a father, husband, brother, and friend. this legislation honors him by better equipping service members for the challenges and opportunities they will face as they transition from active duty military service to civilian life. far too often, the men and women of our armed forces lack the support and coordinatedry sources they need to return -- coordinated resources they need to return to civilian life, and we cannot leave them behind. we owe it to those who have served and their families to ensure they have everything they need to connect with community organizations, to pursue educational opportunities, to launch new careers or to start their own businesses. that's why we must improve the transition assistance program. this bill would extend a pilot program for offbase transition
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training, allowing veterans and their spouses more time and convenience to digest and access resources. it would also create a grant program for organizations to provide multiple transition assistance services, such as resume assistance, interview training, and job recruitment training from a central source. we can also improve the program by expanding access to better employment data at the departments of labor and veterans affairs, which this bill does. and finally, it's important we are constantly evaluating the effectiveness of the transition assistance program, which is why this bill would require a one-year independent assessment and five-year study of the program. we have a solemn duty to ensure to nation's heroes are able readily access transition programs when they go to civilian life. i don't believe we are living up to that duty right now but this bipartisan bill will help change that, and i strongly encourage my colleagues to vote in support today.
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thank you, again, to my friend, mr. arrington, and to our original co-sponsors, mr. cisneros, my ranking member of the economic subcommittee, mr. bilirakis, mr. cunningham, and ms. lee. together, we can do more than pay lip service to our veterans. we can give them the support and the resources they have earned and deserve. and with that i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. now i'd like to yield three minutes to my good friend, gus bilirakis. this is my sixth term in congress. i've served each one with gus. and i can assure you there's nobody in this body of the 435 of us that are more supportive of our nation's veterans than gus bilirakis of florida's 12. i yold to my friend, gus -- i yield to my friend, gus. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilirakis: thank you, thank you, mr. ranking member. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, i rise in strong upport of h.r. 2326.
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the navy seal chief petty officer william bill mulder transition improvement act of 2019. as ranking member of the economic opportunities subcommittee, i am proud of the work we have done as subcommittee -- in the subcommittee so far this year on a bipartisan basis and through regular order. last congress we worked together to make reforms to the transition assistance program at the department of defense, enacting a portion of this bill in the national defense authorization act. we created a more individualized process for service members to undergo counseling and training for civilian life well before their discharge. i think that's the key. the bill was formed as a result of multiple round tables and hearings, which included stakeholders from my district who discussed the importance of community involvement in the
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transition process. stakeholders from all over the country, madam speaker. and yet despite all the progress we've made, there is still more work to be done. and i'm grateful that we are revisiting this issue today. h.r. 2326 will provide access to veterans' employment tracking information to the v.a. and to the department of labor. it will also re-establish a pilot program for an offbase program for veterans and their spouses made available at locations such as local high schools and community centers. i think it's so important to include this. h.r. 2326 would also create a five-year grant program at the v.a. for qualified community organizations that provide innovative transition assistance services to veterans. i know we have many of these organizations again in my district in florida, all over
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the country, one example of this is the veterans alternative at holiday, floridament i'm grateful for the great work that they -- florida. i'm grateful for the great work they do. finally this would require the v.a., d.o.d. and s.b.a. to coordinate their efforts to conduct a two-year independent assessment and curriculum review of tap. and the transition process as well as a five-year longitudinal study on the effectiveness of these tap changes. i'm glad to see the bill being taken up today, again, by my friends and subcommittee chairman, mike levin, who i have gotten the pleasure to know this year. i think i don't have much more time. but i want to give him so much credit for doing a great job as the chairman of the economic opportunity committee, as well as chairman takano and of course my good friend, the republican leader, mr. roe, and we're
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really helping our veterans and i want to also commend representative arrington for doing a great job. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. bilirakis: thank you very much. let's pass this good bill. get it to the senate. and to the president so it can become law. appreciate it very much. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i'd like to yield two minutes to my good friend and member of the economic opportunity subcommittee and co-sponsor of h.r. 2326, mr. cunningham from south carolina. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. cunningham: thank you, madam speaker. today i rise in support of h.r. 2326, the navy seal chief petty officer william mulder transition improvement act. first, i want to thank my colleagues, congressman levinen and bilirakis, for all -- levin and bilirakis, for all their hard work on this bipartisan bill and for their leadership on the subcommittee on economic opportunity. i am honored to have helped
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introduce this important legislation, which will improve the military's transition assistance program and help to ensure that our men and women in uniform can successfully transition to life in the civilian world at the end of their service. h.r. 2326 will streamline the transition process and allow the v.a. to partner with third party organizations that teach veterans critical jobs skills and by creating a pilot program for transition training offbase, this bill will also make that stressful transition process more convenient and accessible for service members and their families. finally, this legislation will allow policymakers to more effectively address the program or adjust the program to the needs of our veterans by directing an independent assessment of its effectiveness and by expanding the v.a.'s access to federal employment data. the bottom line is we have a responsibility to our service members to make sure that they are equipped with the tools to
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succeed, both on the battlefield and when they return. i urge all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in supporting this legislation and ensuring every veteran has access to the support that they have earned. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman is recognized, from california. mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i'd like to yield four minutes to my good friend and -- jodey arrington, texas, who was the previous chairman of the economic opportunity subcommittee on the veterans' affairs committee -- veterans' affairs committee, and let him tell you about this bill because this was his friend. i yield to my friend, mr. arrington. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. arrington: thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for four minutes. mr. arrington: madam speaker, thank you. and to the ranking member, what a joy, what a pleasure and an honor to serve under your leadership in the 115th congress. my first term. and i thank you for letting me lead the subcommittee and
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initiate the legislation that will have an impact, i believe, a tremendous impact on the lives of folks like my friend bill. so thank you. and to chairman takano, i enjoyed working with you, congratulations on your chairmanship. and thanks for being a great colleague. and for being a friend to the veterans, most importantly. and chairman levin, thank you for being such a gracious gentleman and statesman. to come up to me on the floor of the house and tell me you were going to pick up this ball and you were going to run it all the way down the field and into the end zone so that we could score not points politically for democrats, republicans, but for the american people and, most of all, who expect that we take care of our veterans, but most of all, for our military men and women who are transitioning and have unique challenges in that regard, like bill had. it meant so much to me. if i don't say anything else on
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here, i want to say thank you. and i want to say that on behalf of bill's family because i know it means a lot to them. he's worthy. bill mulder is worthy to be on this legislation. and don't ask me, ask his teammates, his fellow navy seals. i mean, just look at him. he's captain america. i'm so jealous. i was always jealous. he's tough, he was strong, he was courageous. , when he you this stood between you and me and the enemy, we were safe. and the enemy was scared. as they should be. thank god for bill mulder and thank god for our men and women who wear the uniform. our country makes a tremendous investment in preparing our citizen soldiers to be freedom fighters. to be part of the greatest fighting others in all the world
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. and then we invest a fraction of that in their transition back to civilian life. this is an investment in prevention, as has been said. and if we can do a better job on the front end, then we can prevent folks from struggling with addiction and unemployment and homelessness and suicide and a number of challenges that disproportionately affect our veterans. next monday we'll celebrate memorial day. pay time -- take time to pay tribute to those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice. those american heroes who never made it home. however, even when our soldiers do return home from war, it doesn't always mean that the conflict is over for them. and there's often a battle that continues to rage on. it's a big reason that we see so many soldiers take their own lives. one of those veterans sadly enough was my friend bill, my fellow plainview bulldog, for whom this bill was named.
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i'm so proud, again, that this legislation bears his name. and i'm so grateful that you guys kept it that way. bill was a warriors warrior. he served this country with honor and distinction and like many veterans, bill's greatest fight wasn't on the battlefield, it was the struggle that often ensues from the mental, emotional wear and tear of military service. after 20 years as a combat navy seal, bill bore scars you couldn't see and he struggled making that transition from active duty to civilian life. for a lot of these folks, it's not the skills gap that's important, it's not always the education gap. it's not even redefining your mission and purpose after such a sacred calling as to where the united states -- and to wear the united states uniform. sometimes it is a mental health issue. and i'm grateful that we've included that in that comprehensive assessment and in this legislation. because that was the case for mr. mulder. i'm just going to say, madam speaker, thank you, thank you to --
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. arrington: i'm sorry for going on a little long. let me just say, we owe this to the likes of bill mulder. and i really believe, ranking member and chairman takano and chairman levin, of all the things i worked on, on the v.a. committee, and it was just a tremendous honor, i didn't serve our country in the military, so this was my way of serving those who serve, i don't believe anything's going to have a greater impact. and it may just save lives. i believe it will. i really do. so, thanks for letting me be a part of it, a small part of it. and god bless our veterans and god bless those guardian angels that keep guard over us every day and god bless the united states of america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee yields. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close.
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i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: let me just, madam speaker, thank you. let me just say that i extend my commendations to the work of my colleague from texas, mr. arrington, and i do thank him also for naming the bill after such a distinguished warrior and someone that exemplifies the need for this legislation, and we certainly wish chief petty officer navy seal bill mulder all the success in the world. madam speaker, i have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close. so i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. you know, i think it's appropriate as we approach this memorial day and what it means, as many families go on picnics
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with their families, to remember, we not only memize those who lost in combat -- memorialize those with we lost in combat but also those we lost because of the invisible wounds of combafment i can't think of a more -- combat. i can't think of a more fitting time to pass this bill. it's a small consolation for bill mulder's family but i think they know his memory can live on by helping other veterans and i would encourage my -- all members to support this legislation. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentleman from california is recognized. madam speaker, before i give my closing comments, i want to revise and extend my remarks. i misunderstood that chief petty officer bill mulder had -- is deceased. i mean no disrespect to his family and we certainly are honored to have this piece of
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legislation carry his name. in the hopes that it's going to serve many more veterans. so in his memory, i am most honored and privileged to make sure that this legislation passes. before i close, madam speaker, i would ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 1812. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: again, i want to thank mr. levin and mr. bilirakis for these necessary improvements to the transition assistance program. a testament to their work is the broad support they received from committee members for this bill. and i look forward to their future work on this as they continue to focus on and redefine the program. madam speaker, i ask my colleagues to join me in passing h.r. 2326 as amended. thank you, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 2326, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. . those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed. and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and stepped their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 2333 the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r.
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2333 and otherwise known as the support for suicide prevention act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 6, h.r. 2333, a bill to direct the comptroller general of the united states to conduct an assessment of the responsibilities and work load of department of veterans affairs suicide prevention coordinateors and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano and the gentleman from tennessee, mr. rmpomp e, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: according to the national suicide data report for 2005-2016, approximately 20 veterans, active duty service members and members of the national guard and reserves die
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by suicide each day. this rate is disproportionately higher than the civilian population. of those 20 a day, 14 are not enrolled in the v.a. health care system. part of the v.a.'s effort to combat veteran suicide is by strengthening the role of the suicide prevention coordinator. v.a. is the only health care system that has full-time employees dedicated to suicide prevention. suicide prevention coordinateors identify high-risk veterans and ensure they receive appropriate care, conduct outreach and promote awareness and best practices within the v.a. system. as of april, 2019, v.a. has approximately 444 suicide prevention coordinateors stationed at medical centers across the country. these coordinateors manage care for almost 30,000 veterans who
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are at high risk for suicide. in addition to managing their other duties as assigned. in fiscal year 2018, these coordinateors conducted more than 20,000 outreach events reaching almost two million people. during oversight trips to v.a. facilities. the staff heard from coordinateors who are overworked and struggle to keep up with their case work. last week, i visited the atlanta v.a. medical center and one of three veteran crisis line call centers. last year, the atlanta v.a. crisis line received 3,600 referrals. the atlanta suicide prevention team is staffed with eight social workers and one employee to respond to all crisis line referrals and approximately 200 veterans identified as high risk. eight social workers to manage 3,600 referrals and 200
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high-risk parets. they do all they can to keep up, but they do not have the capacity to conduct outreach to veterans in the community who may need help. suicide prevention team, staffing shortages in atlanta and v.a. medical facilities across the country is why h.r. 2333 introduced by congressman brindisi is so important. it would direct the government accountability office to access the work load rates. this report is essential to better informing congress. the resources at the facilities where they work and the challenges they face in addressing the needs of our most vulnerable veterans. the role of these coordinateors is vital to combatting veteran suicide and this report will show where the gaps and care delivery exists for
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commissioners and coordinateors working on the front lines. i fully support this bill. and i want to thank mr. brindisi for championing this legislation and i urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 2333. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: i rise today in support h.r. 2333 the support for support for suicide coordinateors act. this would require a report on the responsibilities, management, work load and raining and vacancy rates of suicide prevention coordinateors. they employ one coordinator in every v.a. medical center to conduct outreach to service members and veterans at risk of
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suicide. these men and women are on the front lines on the fight against tragic loss of 20 of our nation service members and veterans every day to self-harm. we must ensure they are appropriately staffed, supported and overseen as they go about difficult and incredibly important work and passage for suicide prevention coordinateors act will help us to do just this. this is a bipartisan bill including jim banks from indiana, ranking member member of the subcommittee of technology, mike boston -- bost. and congressman steube from florida, a member of the health subcommittee. i'm grateful to each of them and the bill's lead sponsor and congressman brindisi for their efforts. i encourage all members to support this bill. and i reserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: at this time, i would like to yield four minutes to my good friend and the author mr. brindisi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. brindisi: i rise in support h.r. 2333 and taking action to address veteran suicide. data from the department of veterans affairs 20 veterans die from suicide every day. i want to thank mr. mark takano and dr. roe for their bipartisan and their commitment in addressing this crisis and bringing these bills to the floor today for a vote. one area we have to get right is the work of the suicide prevention coordinateors. they are the face of the v.a.'s efforts to combat veteran suicide. they identify high-risk veterans and ensure they receive appropriate care and conduct outreach and promote awareness
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and suicide prevention best practices within the v.a. however, many suicide prevention coordinateors report being overworked and unable to keep up with their many responsibilities. in an effort to improve suicide prevention and mental health resources at the v.a., i introduced h.r. 2333, the support for suicide prevention coordinateors act, with my friend on the other side of the aisle, congressman banks and congressman bost. clear path for veterans, which is an organization in my district, do incredible work to engage with and support veterans after they return home from service, describe this bill very well. they said, in the last decade, a large number of bills and initiatives have come out of washington, d.c., aiming to combat veteran suicide. mr. allred: great in concept, we have not seen a huge change in suicide rates. h.r. 2333 is a great way to
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measure what is effective, what is not, and how the v.a. should pivot on what they are doing to meet the mental health needs of the veterans they serve. the support for prevention suicide coordinateors act will ensure that they have the resources they need to effectively provide veterans with critical mental health resources to prevent future veteran suicides. this bill would require the comptroller general of the united states to conduct an assessment of the responsibilities, work load and vacancy rates of the coordinateors and submit a report to congress within one year. it is important that we provide our suicide prevention coordinateors to address the veteran suicide epidemic and this bill is a good step towards making sure that happens. thank you for your consideration and for this bipartisan work of the committee. taking care of our veterans is
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the responsibility that belongs to each of us. and i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation and all the veteran bills on the floor today. i rereserve. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yield back? mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i would like to yield two minutes to my good friend and ranking member on the subcommittee, previous chairman of the subcommittee and marine veteran and i have seen this marine drink from the spring, i yield two minutes to my good friend, mike bost the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bost: thank you for allowing this legislation to move forward. as a veteran, let me say this. i couldn't be prouder to serve on the veteran affairs committee because we get the opportunity
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to actually, hopefully make a difference in those veterans' lives. 20 veterans commit suicide every day. and that number hasn't changed much. clearly, the current situation is not good enough. we need to think differently about veteran suicide. president trump recently took action on this issue. now congress is, too, and it is vitally important that we do. and we are acting in a bipartisan manner. i'm honored to stand with the gentleman from new york in support of this legislation to improve the v.a. suicide prevention coordinateors. veteran suicide isn't a republican or a democrat issue. and i'm proud of the work we have been doing to try to help our veterans. they deserve our help. and hopefully with this bill, they're going to get it. we have to turn the tide on our
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veterans who are committing suicide in this nation at the level they are. we have to do everything we can. this bill, i believe, was a step in the right direction. i believe that we should pass it through the senate as quickly as possible and the senate should move forward and should be implemented. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker, as i said in my remarks related to mr. brindisi's legislation, i visited the atlanta v.a. medical center and it receives 3,600 referrals per year from the veteran crisis hot line, which is the highest number of crisis line referrals in any individual veteran'
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medical center receives nationwide. i know that at the medical center itself, if there is a 22 percent vacancy rate among mental health officials. they have lost eight psychiatrists and outpatient clinics since the beginning of the year. staff have cited salary and work load stress. mr. brindisi's legislation goes to the position of suicide prevention coordinator. and currently, the coordinateors at this particular medical center are staffed up, but we are trying to figure out where these staff coordinator positions across the country may be vacant or insufficient because we are being used and make sure we have the
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coordinateors to respond to that. we need coordinateors to reach those veterans who are not connected with the v.a. so the v.a. medical center in atlanta is one example of the staffing shortages in hospitals and clinics throughout the country. and we know that beyond the stress and strain of our psychiatrists and suicide prevention coordinateors, there are nearly 50,000 vacancies at v.a. if we want to address the veteran suicide crisis in this country, we need to make sure that suicide prevention teams are sufficiently staffed and do more to address problems. and mr. brindisi's legislation is a significant step in making sure all of this happens. thank you, madam speaker, and i resevere the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from tennessee.
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mr. roe: i'm prepared to close. i have no further speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: i have no further speakers. and i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i encourage all members to support this piece of legislation. i visited a call center in new york and i think this committee is doing everything it can in a bipartisan way to help lower this will unbelievable rate of 20 suicides per day. and i encourage all members to support this piece of legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. . mr. takano: i certainly appreciate the partnership and the spirit of the ranking member of the committee in addressing this national crisis of veteran suicide. h.r. 2333 is essential and significant -- is an essential
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and significant step that we're taking to address this crisis. so i ask all my colleagues to join me in passing h.r. 2333 and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 2333. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 2340 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: madam speaker, i
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move hat thousand end -- house suspend the ruse and pass h.r. 2340 as amended -- suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2340 as amended. the clerk: h.r. 2340, a bill to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to provide to congress a notice of any suicide or attempted suicide of a veteran in a department of veterans affairs facility, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, since the beginning of this year, seven, seven veterans have died by suicide in or on the grounds of v.a. facilities.
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sadly, another suicide occurred at a v.a. hospital in washington just this weekend. currently v.a. staff notify both the house and senate committees on veterans' affairs of the events as a matter of courtesy. however, should the department's leadership change, there's no assurance this courtesy would continue. i have made veteran suicide prevention the top priority for the committee on veterans' affairs because 20 suicides a day is far too many. one suicide is far too many. but to address this alarming trend, congress must be informed when a suicide occurs on a v.a. campus, and must be provided all relevant data. this information will allow the committee to conduct appropriate oversight, write legislation that will improve outcomes and when necessary hold individuals accountable when there are clear failures that impact the timely and adequate care for veterans. as such, h.r. 2340 as amend, the
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fight veterans suicide act, would require the v.a. secretary to notify congress following an attempted or completed suicide by a veteran in or on the grounds of a v.a. facility. this measure also requires v.a. to provide congress with communications guidance to deter the sensationalism of suicide, provide information on identifying the warning signs often exhibited by veterans at risk of suicide, and identify resources offered by the department for at-risk veterans, including the veterans crisis line and vet center readjustment counseling. it is essential that this information be shared regardless of leadership at the v.a., what party controls congress, or who occupies the white house. i thank congressman rose, a combat veteran, for leading the fight against this tragic national public health crisis. i want to commend him for his
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leadership and for writing this important legislation that will ensure congress has all the data it needs to truly understand and reduce veteran suicide. i encourage my colleagues to join me in voting yes on this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 2340, as amended, the fight veteran suicide act. this bill would require the department of veterans affairs to report to the local congressional delegation as well as to the committee whenever a veteran attempts or dies by suicide in or on the grounds of a v.a. facility. we've all heard the heartbreaking stories of veterans who have died by suicide on v.a. campuses. including five veteran suicide deaths in the last several weeks alone. there is no indication that these events represent an increase in the rate of suicide
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among service members and veterans, but they are particularly poignant because they occur so close to help and appear to be an indictment on the health care system that was created to support them. to be clear, suicide is a national public health crisis that is not unique to v.a., the military or veterans. however, we must pay careful attention to the incidents of suicide among those who have served and sacrificed on our behalf and do everything we can to point those in crisis to the resources they need to recover from the traumas and live long, full, healthy lives. i am grateful to congressman max rose from new york for sponsoring this bill, which will allow us to learn all we can about the suicides that occur on v.a. campuses so that we can take action that may save other lives in the future. i encourage all members to support this legislation. with that, madam speaker, i
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reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i have no more speakers and i'm prepared to close. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i have no further speakers and i am also prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i request that all members in this body support this musten -- much-needed piece of legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i too join -- i ask my colleagues to join me in passing h.r. 2340 as amended, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 2340, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 1200. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the clerk will report -- for what purpose does the gentleman wish to be recognized? mr. takano: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1200, the veterans compensation cost of living adjustment act. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the clerk will report the title of the bill.
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the clerk: union calendar number 44. h.r. 1200. a bill to increase effective as of december 1, 2019, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, h.r. 1200, the veterans compensation cost of living adjustment act of 2019, would require the secretary of veterans affairs to increase the rates of disability compensation for service-connected veterans. and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for
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veterans -- for survivors of veterans effective december 1, 2019. now, this bill would also increase these rates by the same percentage as the percentage by which social security benefits are increased, effective december 1, 2019. and require that v.a. publish the increased rates in the federal register. to me, the annual cost of living adjustment to veterans' benefits , is therwise known as cola much more than a rate adjustment tied to inflation. in reality, it is a quality of life guarantee in retirement years, especially for veterans suffering with service-connected disabilities and ailments. it also comes with the assurance for veterans that their survivors will not see a steady decline in benefits if the economy changes and costs rise after they are gone. this guarantee is a great source of comfort for veterans as they age. i know this because they tell me this everywhere i go.
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the yearly cola increase is a recognition and appreciation of a grateful nation of the service and sacrifice of those who volunteer to wear the uniform. of -- uniform of our country. participating in this gesture of appreciation is one of the most rewarding responsibilities of the committee on veterans' affairs. as chairman i'm honored to be leading this effort to say thank you. i want to recognize the work of the disability assistance and memorial subcommittee chair and ranking member for sponsoring h.r. 1200 and for bringing this bill to the floor today. i am pleased that we are considering this bill early this year so veterans will not be concerned about its passage by the december 1 deadline. i wholeheartedly support h.r. 1200 and urge all of my colleagues to do so as well. thank you, madam speaker, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from tennessee is
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recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 1200, the veterans compensation cost of -- veterans compensation cost of living adjustment act of 2019. in keeping with the traditions of the committee on veterans' affairs, this was introduced by the subcommittee chair and ranking member. i appreciate their commitment to ensuring the veterans and their families can afford living expenses when prices go up. h.r. 1200 authorizes a cost of living increase for veterans and their families next year. if social security recipients receive an increase. to put this in perspective, in 1975, a veteran who was rated totally disabled would receive at least $655 in monthly disability compensation. because of the colas that congress has passed for decades, totally disabled veterans now eceive $2,907 in tax-fremontly
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disability compensation -- tax-free monthly disability compensation, an increase over the years. as you can see, h.r. 1200 is necessary to prevent inflation from eroding the value of veteran and survivor benefits. with that, i encourage all members to support h.r. 1200, and with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i'd like to at this time yield three minutes to my good friend and chairwoman of the disability assistance and memorial affairs subcommittee, and also a co-sponsor of h.r. 1200, mrs. luria from virginia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. luria: thank you. madam speaker, i rise today in support of my bipartisan bill, h.r. 1200, the veterans compensation cost of living adjustment act of 2019. in congress, i vowed to keep our nation's veterans at the top of my mind and i planned to deliver
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on that promise through this critical piece of legislation. i represent a coastal virginia district with eight major military installations, including naval station norfolk, the largest navaltation in the -- station in the united states -- naval station in the united states. veterans are clearly a critical part of my constituency, just as they are honored members of every congressional district across america. our veterans put their lives on the line and deployed far from home to keep america safe. as a 20-year navy veteran myself, i'm proud to bring a bill to the floor that would eliminate the erosions of benefits they earned in service to our country. the cost of living adjustment act would recognize the benefits that we provide our veterans need to be modernized and increased the same way that social security has raised benefits to meet cost of living increases. my bill enhances benefits for war time disability compensation, compensation for depends, clothing allowance, dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouses, and dependency and
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indemnity compensation to children. we have seen costs for disability care, clothing and child care increase over the years, and it is vital that we continue to provide benefits that actually meet the demands that our veterans see on the ground. a cost of living increase would aid veterans, their families, and their survivors to help maintain the value of their benefits against inflation. their families may not be able to have a consistent quality of life into their later years. providing quality benefits to our veterans and dependents can change lives and congress must honor the commitment to those american heroes who severed in harm's way so we can live in peace at home. i thank my colleagues on the disability assistance and memorial affairs subcommittee and my ranking member being a co-sponsor of this legislation.
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and i urge swift house passage so we can do our part to push this into law and help our nation's veterans. thank you. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i would like to yield two minutes to the subcommittee anking member and marine, mike bost. mr. bost: this is a must-pass bill and i thank the chairman and ranking member for moving this piece of legislation as well. many disabled veterans depend to pay for things like food and medicine. for many of these veterans, these payments are a lifeline. in some cases, the benefits may be the only income the veteran has. we must ensure that the benefits that were paid to a veteran that
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was injured do not lose value because of inflation. if we don't, it could become hard for people who are injured while serving in our nation's uniform to keep their heads above water. thank disbuilt assistance and -- chair. this bill has enjoyed bipartisan support. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1200 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee reserves. mr. roe: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: i have no further speakers and am prepared to close. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: swrart. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i have no further speakers and am prepared to close. i encourage everyone to support this commonsense bill and i think my last duty assignment was in mrs. luria's district. that's where my last nine months
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in the army was. and i was raised in a military town, fort campbell, kentucky. i grew up around the military and i just cannot thank them enough. this is the very lease -- least we can do, give them a cola which will make their lives a little bit better. i encourage all members to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i, too, join my ranking member and ask all of our colleagues to pass h.r. 1200. luria and rwoman ranking member bost for their hard work. i all my colleagues to support h.r. 1200 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house pass
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the bill-t those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the gentleman from california. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 2372 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2372 as amended, the veterans care quality transparency act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 48, h.r. 2372, a bill to direct
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the comptroller general of the united states to conduct an assessment of all memoranda of understanding and memoranda of agreement between under secretary of health and relating to suicide prevention and mental health services. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano and the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, to meet the needs of veterans, v.a. has long relied on community partners to provide outreach and services particularly to address mental health needs and suicide prevention. a number of mental health and suicide prevention related agreements between v.a. and these organizations have increased since 2014.
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it is anticipated these relationships will continue to grow in the months following the signing of executive order 13861 on march 5, 2019. now this executive order seeks to accomplish grants to local communities to better collaborate and integrate service delivery and resources for veterans. now as reliance on outside groups grow, congress must better understand the effectiveness of the programs and mental health services these private organizations offer. v.a. must also ensure partner organizations are able to provide quality, competent, evidence-based services. congresswoman underwood's legislation, as amended, would require the government accountability office to study the effectiveness of these partnerships between v.a. and organizations providing services
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related to suicide prevention and mental health care. when complete, g.a.o. would report their findings to the house and senate veterans affairs committees. as part of the assessment, g.a.o. is required to look at the staffing structure of the organization, its accredittations or license shurs, level of oversight and tracking of outcomes by v.a. and the secure exchange of data and information. ga would be required to study the ability of these organizations to serve unique subsets of the veterans, families and veterans who reside in u.s. insular areas. i thank ms. underwood for introducing this legislation because it will ensure v.a. is response apply leveraging its community partnerships to reduce veteran suicide and support v.a.
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in its transformation to a public health approach for suicide prevention. this public health approach focuses on prevention and intervention before veterans are in crisis. as i mentioned, a two-prong strategy is necessary to address the national crisis of veteran suicide. these federal, state and local partnerships are integral to the first prong of this early intervention. it is critical we develop these relationships to support veterans. this legislation will ensure we are using taxpayer funds effectively to partner with those organizations providing quality-based programs. 'm encouraged by this bill and i urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 2372 and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i yield myself such time as i may consume.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: i rise today in support of h.r. 2372 as amended, the veterans care quality transparency act. this bill is sponsored by congresswoman lauren underwood from illinois and i thank her efforts for bringing it to the house floor today. it would require the government accountability office to conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of all memoranda of understanding and agreement into the department of veteran affairs and other governmental or private sector entities regarding suicide prevention activities and outreach as well as the coordination of mental health services during the five-year period preceding the date of enactment. approximately 20 members have died by suicide on a daily basis. suicide is unquestionably a tragedy and impacts all americans and is a crisis that v.a. cannot combat alone. in light of that, v.a. has
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become increasingly mindful to collaborate with the partners to connect with service members, veterans and their families wherever they reside and whenever they i be struggling with. this bill would ensure that congress has insight into those collaborations and whether or not they are working as intended to reduce incidents of suicide among those who have served our country. i encourage all members to support this bill today. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: at this time, i would like to yield three minutes to my good friend and a member of the disabilities assistance and memorial affairs subcommittee and author of h.r. 2372, ms. underwood from illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. underwood: madam speaker, i rise today in support of my bill
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the veterans' care quality and transparency act. with memorial day around the corner, i'm humbled to see these efforts to bring forward legislation that will help veterans to receive the care they have earned. i'm so pleased to see that the chairman focus ensuring health care to veterans, particularly women veterans who face unique challenges navigating the system designed to serve men. i'm working to make needed improvements to the v.a. by working with women veterans congressional caucus and the task force. i'm pleased to see this bipartisan wide-arranging focus on suicide prevention. our work has just begun. we have an urgent responsibility to continue the fight for the highest standards of care on behalf of veterans haven't despite much good work by the v.a. and significant federal investment, the veteran suicide
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rate hasn't gone down. we must empower the v.a. to find effective ways to end this crisis. that's why i introduced this bill which will address a vital but overlooked part of suicide prevention. the bill directs g.a.o. to evaluate of the effectiveness of agreements that the veterans affairs has for outside partners. expanding access to care for veterans struggling with mental health or thoughts of suicide is an essential part of reducing suicide rates and partnering with outside the v.a. is one way to do that. there isn't enough data to meet the high standards of care we expect from the v.a. all veterans deserve access to convenient and high quality health care. and it is unacceptable that outside providers are not held to the same high standards as the v.a. the mission of the v.a. is undermined each time a veteran
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receives substandard care. my bill would ensure outside providers provide high quality health care. our efforts to stop veteran suicide needs to focus on wider and data-driven tasks with tangible results. this bill is about increasing transparency so we can ensure those who served our nation are not left behind when they return home. i'm grateful to my colleagues on the committee of veterans affairs who reafffirmed their commitment and acted so quickly to respond to the veteran suicide crisis with the resources that it deserves. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. thank you. and i yield become. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i have no further speakers and i am prepared to
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close. i want to thank congresswoman underwood for having this legislation, submitting this legislation today. i think it's much needed. thought we need to find out what works and what doesn't work. i feel like it will be supported by the entire body. i encourage all members of the body to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i have no further speakers and am prepared to close and i want to thank congresswoman underwood for introducing h.r. 2372 and the tremendous professional background she brings to her role in congress. and for introducing legislation hat will ensure that we hold private organizations to the
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same standard of care that we impose intermly on the v.a. colleagues to join me in passing h.r. 2372 as amended. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2372 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 2045, as amended.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2045, as amended, the vet op ability. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report -- act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 2045. h.r. 2045. the bill to amend title 38, united states code, to establish the veterans' economic opportunity and transition administration and the undersecretary for veterans economic opportunity and transition of the department of veterans affairs -- department of veterans affairs and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, when
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our service members conclude their military service, they're tasked with returning to civilian life. after putting their lives on hold for years. this is the sacrifice they make for our security. and in exchange we owe them more than a thank you and well wishes. we owe them a commitment that their transition to civilian life will go smoothly and a v.a. that responds to their needs. and that is why we passed the first g.i. bill in the -- nearly 75 years ago and why we continue today to make improvements to provide veterans with the benefits they've earned. unfortunately v.a. has struggled to track the effectiveness of education and employment programs and consequently congress has struggled to determine the department's resource needs. we have identified a contributing factor through hearings and discussions with our veteran service organizations, that the veterans benefits administration is simply asked to do too much.
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with the focus on managing countless compensation claims and the responsibility of managing transition, education, and housing benefits, the -- excuse me, with the focus on managing countless compensation claims, the responsibility of managing transition, education and how it'sing benefits often takes a -- housing benefits often takes a back seat. the veterans benefit administration structure has not significantly changed since the creation of the department of veterans affairs in 1930. during last 89 years, the services needed by veterans have drastically changed and that is why our committee has an economic opportunity subcommittee. it is time for v.a. to understand this as well. the vet op act as amended would create a new administration within the department to manage educational assistance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, education and career counseling programs, and broadly defined transition assistance programs that are shared across
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agencies. that means veterans' education housing and economic programs will have a dedicated undersecretary for veterans economic opportunity and transition. the veterans' economic opportunity and transition administration will solely focus on fulfilling these promises to veterans so that they get the education they want, the housing they need, and the careers they deserve. during our april 9 economic opportunity legislative hearing, this proposal received support from the veterans of foreign wars, american enterprise institute, and the tragedy assistance program for survivors. these organizations know firsthand how hard it is to navigate the process of using benefits. so i want to thank the hard work of our economic opportunity subcommittee for holding hearings on h.r. 2045 as amended, where this legislation received universal acclaim from our v.s.o. community. i also want to thank our v.s.o. community and the american
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federation of government employees who worked with us to make this legislation work for all veterans. and all employees currently employed at the v.a. this is a bipartisan bill because we're not trying to make a political point or attack the v.a. instead, we're simply -- we simply want to make the v.a. run more effectively for the veterans it serves. madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 2045 as amended, the veterans' education, transition and opportunity prioritization plan act or the vet op act. madam speaker, investing in education and employment opportunities for our nation's veterans is one of the department of veterans affairs' most important and recognized
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missions. the benefit administration devotes most of its time, attention and resources to disability compensated related issues and backlogs that arise and fall with time. the focus on compensation programs creates problems when other v.b.a. programs need attention. an example of that this was the implementation of last fall, the forever g.i. bill, which was, to say the least, rocky, the start was. while i know that the v.a. has many dedicated employees who try their best to prevent the delays that occurred, i do believe that if the implementation of this law had received more attention from senior leaders at v.a., things could have been better. the vetop act is a means to mitigate these problems in the future. the bill would create a new fourth administration at v.a. which would be called the veterans' economic opportunity and transition administration
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and led by new undersecretary for veterans' economic opportunity and transition. the new undersecretary would oversee education benefits like the g.i. bill, the vocation and rehabilitation and employment program, v.a.'s home loan program, the transition assistance program or t.a.p. program, and the small business programs. creating a new administration within v.a. to house, education and employment programs will ensure those programs receive focused leadership time and attention that they deserve. i appreciate my friend and colleague, congressman dr. wenstrup, from ohio, for championing this legislation. it has my full support. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to my good friend and chairman of the economic opportunity subcommittee and also a
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co-sponsor of h.r. 2045, mr. levin from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. levin: madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 2045, the veterans' education, transition and opportunity prioritization plan or vetop act of 2019. madam speaker, i was proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with my friend from ohio, mr. wenstrup. we have a responsibility to provide america's service members with the best possible resources and opportunities as they transition back to civilian life and we must do more to meet that responsibility. education, employment, housing and transition assistance programs are critical to veterans' economic success. but many veterans aren't receiving these opportunities because of bureaucratic red tape at the v.a. these programs are currently lumped with compensation programs under the veterans' benefits administration. as chairman of the house veterans' affairs economic
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opportunity subcommittee, one of my top priorities is ensuring that veterans are receiving their benefits as efficiently as possible. and it is clear that the current structure at the v.a. isn't meeting this need. this bipartisan bill will allow us to deliver economic resources more effectively, by creating a new economic opportunity and transition administration at the v.a., and bringing more oversight and accountability to economic programs for veterans. i strongly urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves his time. mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i'd like it yield three minutes to my good friend and member i've served the entire time i've been in congress with, gus bilirakis from florida, on the veterans' affairs committee. as i said previously, there's no one in this body, in this house, that i have seen that cares for veterans more than congressman
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bilirakis does and he's the ranking member on the economic opportunity subcommittee. i yield three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bilirakis: thank you. thank you, madam speaker. that means a lot coming from you, doctor. i appreciate it so very much. i rise today to strongly support h.r. 2045, the veterans' education, transition and opportunity prioritization plan or the vetop act of 2019. which would create a significant structural change at the department of veterans affairs to better align and specialize economic opportunity for our veterans, our true heroes. as ranking member of the v.a. economic opportunity subcommittee, i know this committee understands the importance of priority advertising veterans' education for course training, transition and vocational rehabilitation programs. however, the way the v.a.'s structured under the current system, it puts all benefit
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programs under one roof at the veterans' benefits administration. while i certainly understand that the v.b.a. focuses a significant amount of time on processing disability claims and working to decrease its backlog of appeals, as the doctor stated, my colleagues and i on the committee have concerns that this has led to an imbalance, again, of the amount of attention away from other benefit programs like the g.i. bill, education benefit, and the employment program, such as the vocational rehabilitation and employment, which is so very important as well. i fear that this lack of attention was fully realized last year, again, as the doctor stated, as v.b.a. failed to properly implement the sections 107 and 501 of the forever g.i. bill. this failure by the v.a. to
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update their i.t. systems caused massive delays in processing. the g.i. bill claims for thousands of student veterans last fall, many of whom rely on their payments as the only source of income. and sadly, it was not the first time that the v.a. has failed to provide g.i. bill payments on time. hopefully it's going to be the last time. to help solve this inequity, h.r. 2045, the vetop act, would create a fourth administration at v.a. called the economic opportunity and transition administration, led by the new v.a. undersecretary appointed by the president of the united states. this new undersecretary would be tasked with managing all education, home loans, small business certifications, transition assistance and vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits within the v.a. this bill is a smart, commonsense policy that will allow v.a. to improve outcomes
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for our nation's veterans seeking better economic opportunities. finally, the bill will allow congress to provide significantly better oversight and accountability of those running these programs. i want to thank the sponsor of h.r. 2045, dr. brad wenstrup, for introducing this legislation this congress. thank you, thank youer i appreciate it. i also -- thank you, thank you, i appreciate it. i also want to thank the chairman of the subcommittee, my good friend, mike levin, who is doing an outstanding job, for co-leading the bill with us. and i urge my colleagues to pass house bill 2045, i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. thank you, madam chair. mr. roe: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: at this time, madam speaker, i'd like to yield three minutes to my good friend, sheila jackson lee from the state of texas.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chairman very much. and for yielding. i thank the sponsor of this legislation for really tapping into something that every single ember must face with their veterans and certainly those who have been out of the military for a period of time and then all of our new veterans who are coming in from some of the more recent conflicts that we have had and wars that we have had. just about a week or so ago, i was meeting with veterans and talking about, from a certain battalion, that had flown in to houston, to share with us their concerns about a state of mind and the increasing amount of suicides among veterans. but in addition to those conversations and ones that i've had, the idea of a veterans'
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economic opportunity and transition administration and the undersecretary of veterans' economic opportunity and transition of the department of veterans affairs to oversee vocational rehabilitation, employment, educational assistance, veterans' housing, loan and the verification of small businesses, i think this is important because veterans want to know that they can fully integrate into society when they return home. their service-he related profession would ever -- whatever their assignment was in the military, that it would equate in civilian life, they would be respected for the hierarchy of rank and also responsibility. having an office like this, one, helps those veterans with creative minds who want to start small businesses. when we had the impact of hurricane harvey, one of the hardest hit groups were small businesses. we carved out dollars to help
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small businesses by grants and not loans, because that is the economic engine of this nation. with respect to veterans, they are very creative. they see solutions where there are problems. to have an office that would focus on their vocational rehabilitation, employment, giving them educational assistance, that is also very important. as i've gone to my college campuses and met many, many veterans who are using some of the dollars that this house provided for them back in the leadership of the first time speaker pelosi was speaker, when we voted on a major reformation of the process of giving dollars to veterans for their educational assistance, a great deal to iraqi and afghan veterans that have helped them a lot. i see the impact that getting a home has on veterans, as well, and i have been involved in projects where organizations are in the business of donating
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homes to disabled vets. what a difference it makes in their lives. so i applaud the author of this legislation and the veterans' committee as well because you are now looking holistically at these veterans and giving them a hand up, as they want, and not a handout. so i rise to support -- mr. takano: 30 more seconds i yield. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman for his courtesies. i rise to support this bill, 2045, because, as i've said, whether it's a homeless vet, whether it's a vet that's been a veteran for a period of time, a long period of time, those in the recent conflicts, those coming home today, this is a package they need. this is what members of congress try to help them with in their office. if we knew we had an office in the veterans affairs department that deals with education, vocational rehad a bill dation, small business, and it's a one-stop shop, and i think our
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veterans will appreciate this very much. i thank the gentleman. i ask my colleagues to support h.r. 2045. mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas -- from california reserves his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to my good friend, congressman, doctor, colonel, iraq war veteran, and previous -- in the previous congress, chair of the health subcommittee on the veterans' affairs committee and currently a member of the house committee on armed services and intel, dr. wenstrup from ohio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. wenstrup: thank you, madam speaker. thank you, dr. roe. i appreciate your leadership on the veterans' affairs committee, for the many years you have been here, has always been a leader. i know how important it is for our war fighters to succeed in their transition from active duty to civilian life.
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we should prepare our war fighters for success outside of the military, from the day they take their oath of enlistment to the day they begin their civilian careers. i think we've ignored this too long. leaving the military with a plan and a purpose is key to the long-term well-being of all of our service members. i know when i came back from iraq, as a reservist, they said, oh, you have 90 days before you have to go back to work. i said, i'm going next week. what am i going to do? sit around my house, just look at the walls? you go from having a job in the military, where you have a purpose and a meaning, and it's important that when you get out that you have the same. and that makes a transition and your life that much better. so economic and opportunity and transition programs are critical support for veterans when they complete their service. the current structure of the v.a. allows economic, opportunity, and transition programs for our veterans to fall by the wayside.
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these programs should be treated with the same importances, health, compensation, and other benefits. the veterans education, transition, and opportunity prioritization plan act, known as the vet op act, aligns programs in a fourth administration within the v.a. this ensures that these opportunity-focused programs get the high priority they deserve and the oversight they need to better serve our veterans. the vet op act would streamline services and help the v.a. empower veterans and set them on a path to a successful civilian life. thank you, madam speaker. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has reserved his time. mr. roe: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. takano: madam speaker, i have no further speakers. i'm ready to close. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves.
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the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i have no further speakers. i am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has reserved. the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i strongly encourage my colleagues to support this bill. when i got to congress in 2009, the veterans benefit administration had one million backlog disability claims. it's hard to focus on something else when you have that much on your plate. i think we recognized that over the last several years and i commend dr. wenstrup for bringing this up and others. i ask members to support this and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. if anyone thinks that business as usual is working at the v.a., i'd only ask you to look at the implementation of the forever g.i. bill. my good friend, the ranking member, knows that there were
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definite issues with the implementation. it did not go well. we are still months away from implementation, which should have happened last year, when the i.g. and others evaluated what went wrong, one thing was very clear. there was no accountable leader. that's what happens when programs are buried in layers of bureaucracy. that's why i urge my colleagues to join me in passing h.r. 2045 o.p.p. ded, the vet act, which would establish an accountable leader at v.a. for all those programs that we have under the purview of our economic subcommittee. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 2045, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask fleak that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 1947, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1947, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1947, a bill to amend title 38, united states code, to exempt transfers of funds from federal agencies to
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the department of veterans affairs for nonprofit corporations established under subchapter 4 of chapter 73 of such title from certain provisions of the economy act. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on veterans' affairs be authorized to file a sublamental report on the bill, h.r. 1947, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the gentleman has yielded time. the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: yes. madam speaker, this comprehensive legislation addresses funding for v.a. research and gives v.a. the authority to work with grieving
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families to memorialize their loved ones. it also closes a loophole that has allowed contracted flight schools to charge public schools unlimited tuition and fees to train veterans using the g.i. bill. the first section of the measure addresses v.a. research. v.a.'s office of research and development improves the lives of veterans, contributes to the national public health, and develops lifesaving biomedical breakthroughs that change the world. in its 90-year history, v.a.'s medical and prosthetic research have produced some of the world's greatest advances. v.a. developed the pacemaker in 1960. the shingles vaccine in the year 2005. it created an effective smoking cessation program and increased life expectancy with people with spinal cord injuries. v.a. researchers were responsible for beginning the first international
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anti-retroviral drug therapy trial to find the optimal treatment for patients with aids, for whom all therapy had failed. these research efforts are -- these research efforts usually aren't performed alone. they are often in collaboration with nonprofits, universities, other federal agencies, and international bodies. when research is funded from non-v.a. grants, it's managed by a for-profit corporation. otherwise known as an n.p.c., which allows flexible research funding. last year, v.a.'s office of general counsel uncovered an appropriations law limitation that prevents funding transfers to these nonprofit research corporations for longer than one fiscal year. this has negatively affected ongoing -- several ongoing multi-year research projects across the country. dr. roe's legislation, h.r.
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1947, as amended, would provide explicit authority for n.p.c.'s to administer research funding without regard to fiscal year limitations. to ensure this legislation does not raise spending, section 2 addresses a loophole in g.i. bill flight school benefits. this loophole has been exploited by flight schools -- had been exploited by flight schools, which had contracted with public institutions of higher learning to offer flight-related degrees. in some cases, bad actors were exploiting g.i. bill benefits that resulted in v.a. paying out over $500,000 in tuition and flight payments to one student. h.r. 1947 fixes this loophole by mirroring the cap on tuition at private institutions with a cap on flight school tuition at public institutions. in addition, to ensure that the
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fewest possible students are impacted, the legislation also includes a provision to allow flight school students to accelerate their g.i. bill benefits. this will allow them to be better used for flight schools which is more expensive but takes fewer months to complete. section 3 of h.r. 1947, as amended, authorizes v.a. to replace a veteran's headstone or maker in a private cemetery so that an inscription may be added to remember a deceased spouse or child following their deaths. i want to thank representative lamalfa for introducing the original legislation and ranking member roe for offering the legislation as an amendment during markup. this bill is another example of our committee working on a bipartisan basis to get it right for all veterans. this legislation allows veterans to memorialize their loved ones in the way they want and where they want. every veteran deserves to know that their wish to be
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remembered in perpetuity, alongside spouses and their children, will be granted. the same is true for surviving spouses and children who want reassurance that they, too, will be memorialized with their veteran spouse or parent. i thank dr. roe for his tireless efforts to care for veterans, and i do commend him on this bill. i look forward to joining him in voting yes on this legislation. madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam chairman. madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in support of my bill h.r. 1947, as amended. this bill would address a limitation in current law that prevents funding from being transferred to the department of veterans affairs' nonprofit research and education corporation, or npec's, for longer than one fiscal year.
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n.p.c.'s were established by congress in the late 1980's to provide flexibility in funding -- and funding mechanism to support research. collectively, they have contributed more than $2 billion to v.a. research projects over the last decade. however, last year, v.a.'s office of general counsel uncovered a legal limitation that prevents funding from being transferred to the n.p.c.'s for longer than one fiscal year. . this upturned years of practice and threatened a number of ongoing research projects across the country that could benefit veterans and all americans. madam speaker, i've been involved in a number of research projects over the years and they just don't go for 365 days. many of them go for years and years. this bill would correct that limitation and preserve the ability of the n.p.c.'s to support important multi-year research projects. additionally, h.r. 1947, as amended, includes a provision for -- from representative
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lamalfa's bill, h.r. 1126, honoring veterans' families act. currently, v.a. is authorized to add a memorial endescription for a veteran's deceased spouse or eligible dependent child to a v.a. ferre initialed marker, but -- furnished marker but only if they're buried in a national cemetery or state or tribal veteran cemetery. unfortunately v.a. cannot provide this benefit to veterans and their families if they're buried elsewhere, such as a private or local cemetery. h.r. 1947, as amended, would address this problem by allowing v.a. to memorialize a veteran's deceased spouse or certain children on the veteran's marker, regardless of where they choose to be laid to rest. the cost of this bill would be paid for by closing a loophole in g.i. bill rules related to flight schools by capping the total tuition and fees that can be used at a public school for flight training at the current rivate school cap of $23,671 per year.
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the bill would authorize a two-year grandfather clause so that no current students are impacted by this change. it also includes provisions that would make it easier for students to attend flight training by removing the prohibition against g.i. bill funds paying for a private pilot's license and giving students the option to accelerate their g.i. bill benefits to pay for the increased costs associated with flight training. these changes to flight training for the g.i. bill have had wide bipartisan and veteran service organization support in the past and i'm pleased that they are included in this bill. i encourage all members to support h.r. 1947 as amended and i want to thank the chairman for your kind comments and support of this bill and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee reserves his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to my good friend from california, and author of one part of this bill, doug lamalfa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lamalfa: i thank the ranking member roe and chairman takano for including my legislation, h.r. 1126, within h.r. 1947. it's greatly appreciated and this is an oversight that was pointed out by northern california veterans to me a while back, that, with the choice of being able to have a family member, a spouse inscribed on a grave marker, simply the difference being is it on a federal cemetery or one that is private, that's really the bottom line on this. this bill changes that oversight so that it -- the choice can be any recognized cemetery and so that's simply what we're after. to have our veterans who have
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in ed us honorably, to have their final resting place, they can know this oversight won't happen for their family member who they hold so dear, to share that grave stone with them -- gravestone with them. whether it's a private cemetery or a v.a. one or whatever, other type, you might have as your choice, veterans need to have this choice as well. again, thank you, ranking member roe, chairman takano, for included this so we can take care of this oversight quickly and have our veterans have the choices that they feel that they deserve and indeed do deserve. i appreciate it. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves his time. yields his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i reserve. i do have one more speaker, if -- mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i'd like to yield
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four minutes toify mayorga good friend -- to my good friend and western caucus chair, dr. paul gosar from arizona. mr. gosar: i thank the chair. i rise not against this bill, but have concerns about a provision capping the veterans' training benefits. this severely undermines the important goal of helping our nation's veterans enter a field where they're dess ate -- desperately needed. h.r. 1947 does have needed improvements for structural veteran flight training benefits. this includes an accelerated payment provision to provide greater flexibility and a more efficient funding mechanism to help veterans complete their flight training. the bill also provides coverage for obtaining a private pilot's license when it's incorporated into the requirements of a professional flight training program. additionally, this section provides flexibility to public schools and allowing them to contract for flight training which in turn makes aviation training more available to interested veterans. there is improved fiscal responsibility by the government
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and there is strong support for tightening the existing regulations of the department of veterans affairs to curb abuses by a minority of flight schools affiliated with collegiate degree programs. however, the bill caps payments for flight training programs which unfairly impacts the ability of veteran to -- veterans to pursue well paying jobs in the civilian aviation sector. capping funds available for flight training degree programs virtually guarantees that veterans seeking to use their g.i. bill benefits to enter the aviation industry will have insufficient funds to achieve their goals. they will either abandon their pursuit or be burdened with significant personal debt through either expenditure of personal funds or taking on severe student loans. this will harm veterans and limit their employment opportunities in the aviation industry. it's unfair and discriminatory to single out those -- or these funding caps, veterans seeking
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for employment in aviation. these caps depriving them of the ability to pursue collegiate flight training, a common path to a career as a commercial pilot. i hope this provision can be addressed prior to finding its way to the president. these jobs in aviation are in high demand and our veterans are some of the most deserving and most needed. and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i have no more speakers and i am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. before i yield, i do want to express my disappointment that h.r. 2196 is not on the floor for consideration this afternoon. this bill, introduced by my friend and outstanding new member of our committee, congressman barr from kentucky, would clarify the eligibility of the edith norris rogers stem scholarship program. this scholarship, which was enacted as part of the forever g.i. bill authorizes -- g.i.
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bill, authorizes extra g.i. bill funding to help undergraduates complete their degrees. madam speaker, we all know that there's a need to fill vacancies for high-paying jobs in the stem field. the smith so enial science education center -- smithsonian science education center found stem-related jobs grew at three times the rate of nonstem-related jobs. by 2018 they project that 2.4 million stem jobs would go unfilled. the edith norse rogers stem scholarship program is critical to ensure that veterans are the ones who fill these vacancies. however, the way the original law was drafted would unintentionally prevent most students from using the scholarship in all but a few stem programs. with the scholarship going live on august 1, 2019, and i'm grateful to mr. barr for quickly stepping up to the plate to offer this bill, to ensure students are eligible for it, we all know that the senate generally takes longer to review
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legislation in the house. let me repeat that. we all know that the senate generally takes a lot longer to review legislation than the house does. that's why with all the august 1 deadline approaching -- with the august is deadline he approaching -- 1 deadline approaching quickly, i was hopeful we could consider this bill today. i would ask the chairman if he would please work with the majority leader to schedule this bill for consideration immediately after the memorial day district work period and before i yield back, next monday is memorial day. for me personally, i want to thank all the members of the veterans affairs kerk the chairman and others -- veterans' affairs committee, the chairman and others, as you see the work we've done today, the work we've done in a bipartisan way, for our nation's heroes. for me as a veteran, this is a difficult day for me. it's the day we mourn the loss
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of veterans who served on active duty and paid the ultimate price. i want to just mention a few names of people. first sergeant thomas e. thayer. a tremendous man that i knew as a young boy growing up. he was my scout master. he was killed in the 101st ashe in vietnam, winning the silver star in 1965 johnny parim. johnny was also an eagle scout, as i am, and johnny and i ran on a two-mile relay team in high school. we were pretty good. johnny died in 1969 in vietnam. and was unable to have the wonderful life that i've had, to be able to raise a family, have children and grandchildren, because of service to our nation. bob perry, a young man that i went to elementary school with all the way through high school, and i found out at my high school reunion many years later that bob also died in vietnam.
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we just heard today chief petty officer bill mulder, a highly decorated navy seal that protected this nation, giving up his life because of the really invisible wounds of war. i just want to thank all of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. thank you, thank you, thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask my colleagues to join me in passing h.r. 1947, but before i close, let me say that i appreciate the kind words of the ranking member, dr. roe of tennessee, and i associate myself with his eloquent tributes to his classmates and the people that did not get to live the full lives that he himself has been able to live d i myself have also known
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people who have served our country and who have also paid the ultimate price. i certainly do share your sentiments as we enter this memorial day weekend. as all americans reflect on the service, the ultimate sacrifice that all the people that are buried in our national cemeteries and cemeteries that aren't national cemeteries, that are marked by v.a. grave markers. it's always a poignant moment to walk through my national cemetery and to watch the girl scouts and the cub scouts planting american flags on each and every grave and to see it all happen within 20 minutes because there are so many americans that want to come to my cemetery to make sure that every grave is honored. to my colleague from tennessee,
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i do wish you a pleasant memorial day weekend, but also to all americans, let us reflect on what memorial day weekend does mean to our nation. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1947, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended.
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the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute peeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous con sent to address the house for one minute -- consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker, for allowing me to speak to the members of the house. harrison township, new jersey, recently celebrated its 175th anniversary. this town has been a staple of
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south jersey for as many years. harrison township was built on farming, as its local economy and its access to philadelphia and new york continued its prosperity. mr. van drew: after the railroad opened in 1889, the station became a major shipping point. postwar harrison township saw an era of change and growth with new regional highway construction that made the area much more accessible to all. harrison township in the 21st century continues to grow. with staples like wineries, antique stores, continued agriculture and farming. but what is most noticeable about harrison township is their resident, their people, those who are new and those two have been here for generations -- those who have been here for generations. like vince, a senior who for so many years has biven back to their wonderful town. they love their town. south jersey is proud to consider this historical place a
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part of our community. thank you, madam speaker, i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. this country was built by great leaders on the bedrock of even greater ideals. the idea that all are created equal and endowed with those inalienable rights. the idea that democracy was instituted, not to bestow rights given to us by god, but to safeguard them from tyranny, the conviction that a government's power to protect our rights comes solely by consent of the governed. mr. spano: as we are a country of imperfect leaders, we often fall short of these perfect ideals. and 100 years ago today, great women brought this country into
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a new age. an age where women are endowed with that inalienable right to vote. an age where women can safeguard their rights at the ballot box. an age where it comes from the consent of all the governed. at a time where a woman serves as speaker of the house and there are more congress women with us today than at any other point in history, we are in this age because of great women. i am honored to share this house with so many of you. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i seek to address the house and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. today, i rise to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the university of
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california-los angeles. ucla's excellence is clear, with 14 nobel laureates, 13 macarthur medals, an a.m. touring award, ucla's academic credentials are right field by few. -- are rivaled by few. mr. lieu: they had 260 olympic medals over their history. lumni have gone to be in science. in honor of ucla's centennial, i'd like to extend my sincerest congratulations to the president, ucla students, faculty and alumni. i also want to recognize other people ucla's history that ensured this history will help light the way for the next 100 years to come. go, bruins. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition?
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>> madam speaker, i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, i rise today with enthusiasm and gratitude. 100 years to the day this body passed the 19th amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. mr. fitzpatrick: this decision was a critical step forward, a major development in our representative government to empower millions of americans and allowed them access to the fundamental freedoms enshrined in our constitution. the passage of the 19th amendment was a turning point in the culminations of decades of activism by the women's suffrage movement and their allies. their tenacity paved the generation for leaders to follow. and in their honor, i am proud o be the co-lead of h.r. 1980, the smithsonian women's history museum act, along with carolyn maloney of new york, to give these pioneers proper
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recognition. by constructing a national women's history museum on the national mall. madam speaker, i'm privileged to be part of the house where there are more women serving in the house of representatives than ever before. i'm proud to serve with them and to honor the centennial anniversary by their side. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from kansas seek recognition? ms. davids: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. davids: today we come together to celebrate 100 years since the united states house of representatives passed the 19th amendment, prohibiting the government from denying the right to vote on the basis of sex. it was a milestone in the evolution of women's suffrage but the hard work of making sure that women continued to vote continued. women still had to fight to build a system where native
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americans, african-americans, women of color could actually cast their ballot. in 1924 when native americans were granted u.s. citizenship we took a big step towards women's suffrage. when the voting rights act was passed we broke down obstacles that prevented black women and other women of color from voting. the history of women's suffrage, like the history of our nation, is complex. but it's a history we must acknowledge and that we absolutely need to reckon with. because we know that people all over this country today still face voter suppression. so let's take this opportunity to celebrate this historic day. but let us also recognize the full movement for women's suffrage. and let's recommit that every citizen in this country can exercise tony blair constitutional right to vote and -- exercise their constitutional right to vote and participate in democracy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina seek recognition? ms. foxx: i ask to speak to the
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house for one minute, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. i rise to recognize the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment in the house of representatives. women's right to vote was won by the brave work of suffragettes, many of whom were from north carolina. in 1917, the national women's suffrage association held a four-day rally in raleigh to advance the movement in our state. instructor wilson said, quote, we have a government of men, by men and for the men. instead of a realization of the hopes of abraham lincoln of a government of the people, by the people, for the people. end quote. today, i am grateful to be serving among the largest group of women ever elected in this body. when the 19th amendment was ratified, 10 million women joined the electorate.
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but the suffragettes also laid the foundation for women in public offices and the house of representatives we have today. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, today marks 100 years exactly since the u.s. house of representatives approved the 19th amendment and moved our nation one step closer to full voting rights for women. i'm so proud that the great state of michigan was among the first to ratify the 19th amendment and i was proud to join my colleagues today to pass a bipartisan resolution to commemorate and celebrate the amendment. mr. levin: i rise now to honor
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all the suffragettes whose names we know and all those we don't. who put themselves in danger to help make a more perfect union. but i also rise to honor those who follow in their footsteps, like my incredible classmates in the 116th congress. just like the suffragettes helped usher or nation forward, you, too, have opened doors like my own daughter, molly, may walk through someday. it's an honor to fight alongside you today and every day. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to congratulate a great woman and a doctor who's from my district in northern california who earned an incredible honor over the weekend.
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mr. lal mall if a: the association of clinicians for the underserved, one teaches residence in redding and shasta community health center which serves underserved or uninsured patients. , . lapinka has helped those everyone from children to adults who was part of the fire last year. dr. debbie lapinka, i thank her for her commitment to improving health care in our rural communities and i congratulate her on this receiving this prestigious award. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend
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my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. lee: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, passing in the house, giving women the right to vote. today, along with my yellow rose, i stand here wearing a purple and a black ribbon honoring the history of african-american women who are unsung heroes, like sojourner ruth, and ida b. wells and these women fought tirelessly so all women would have the right to vote. although even after the ratification of the 19th amendment, many black women and native american women were still denied their voting rights. madam speaker, let us not forget the sacrifices and the achievements of black women and all women of color who continue to fight for women's right to vote, many whose names we may never know but without whom
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many of us would not be here today. as we celebrate this important milestone with this historic number of women and women of color in congress, let us remember the words of suffragette mary church turrell. she said, so lifting as we climb onward and upward we go. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. the appropriations committee has now passed legislation with 75.3 million in funding for the onstruction of new lock at the suh locks. this is the first time this is being funded in legislation. i've been pushing for this funding with my work on the appropriations committee and i am grateful for this support of our colleagues.
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right now the lock is 50 years old and it is survived -- it's survived harsh winters with extraordinary maintenance. however, if it were to fail for an extended period, it would create a cascading problem for the economy and national security because the iron ore that goes through the locks would have no way to get from lake superior to factories across the country. mr. moolenaar: also, this san issue democrats, republicans, and president trump all agree on. when president trump came to michigan last yoor year i was joined by congressman bergman and mitchell. we told him about the locks and he pledged his support. the army corps requested $75.3 million in its budget. i appreciate and want to thank president trump for his leadership on this. that request is funded in legislation now and i look forward to working with my colleagues to keep this construction moving forward in the years to come. thank you.
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i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to commemorate the passage of the 19th amendment 100 years ago today. it's remarkable to imagine that the fundamental right to vote was only granted to women this recently. if only the suffragettes who sacrificed so much for so long could see the results of their movement, that i would be serving in congress shoulder-to-shoulder with 131 women, the most in our nation's history. mrs. trahan: we know better decisions are made when women are at the table, from the board room to the floor of this historic chamber. women have been blazing the path of social progress in the united states for centuries. marching for civil rights, striking for workers' rights,
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organizing against gun violence, and speaking up and out on sexual harassment. today, we continue to reshape our country, writing new history in the halls of congress. we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. women like susan b. anthony, shirley chisholm, edith north rogers and many, many more, and make sure we have the path for women to follow afterward. i am honored to take part in celebrating the 19th amendment. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i thank the speaker. almost from the day that i was elected to congress i've looked forward to the opportunity to honor my wife's great grandmother. she was able to vote in the 1920 election.
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prior to that election in boston they distributed sample ballots. this document has been in my wife's family for almost 100 years. ms.he back of the document, cushing wrote this note, cast my first vote for president of these united states. you can feel the pride and the patriotism in those words that she experienced for the first time. cushing r: abby mayhew was 67 years old. i would like to introduce into the record, if i may this copy of that historic document. i would also add, with all due respect to my democrat colleagues, that she wrote -- voted straight republican ticket, smashing victory for harding and coolidge and then
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added this. president harding died very suddenly, august , 1923, california, burial in marion, ohio, friday, august 10. this is for the cushing family a historic document that celebrates the patriotism of the american women earning the right to vote. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: are there further requests for time? under the speaker's announced policy ofian 3, 019, the gentleman from texas, mr. green, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority eader. mr. green: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, and still i rise and i do so with the love of my country within my heart and i do so this evening because i believe that no one is above the law.
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no one. we find this to be the case in our great country. if you are a person who exceeds the speed limit, you're breaking the law. and if you are caught exceeding the speed limit, there's a price to pay. no one is above the law. if you are a person who happens to in the state of texas decide that you're going to go through the supermarket and pick and choose certain things that you would like to sample, at some point if you partake of more than is reasonable, you will be charged with grazing. it is a crime in the state of texas to graze. to take more than what is reasonable in having a sample of
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a grape. no one is above the law. people are prosecuted in the state of texas for grazing. in the state of texas a good many persons have been prosecuted for not causing their hildren to go to school. public attendance in school is a law in texas. people pay fines for not having their children in school. the lists of laws are too long to ever mention in a statement such as this. but the point is, no one is above the law. there are laws that deal with persons who commit felonies. persons who commit misdemeanors. and when you break these laws, you are prosecuted. you are prosecuted. you're not allowed to break the law with impunity. and you're not allowed to do it with immunity.
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no one is above the law. i believe that this is a part of the very hallmark of our criminal justice system in this great country. we believe that no one is bf the law and that no one is beneath the law, meaning the law should apply equally to all. every person ought to be treated the same when it comes to the principle, the very bedrock principle of whether or not someone is above the law. no one is in this country. however, we find ourselves with the unique circumstance now. a unique circumstance. we have the highest office holder in the executive branch, the chief executive officer, you will, who has refused to cooperate with lawful investigations of the congress.
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refused to cooperate in this sense. has said to witnesses, you should not appear and give testimony in a lawful investigation. indicated that subpoenas will not be answered pursuant to lawful investigations. they were issued pursuant to lawful investigations. no one is above the law. if you're not above the law, then if you are called upon to testify, you must testify. if you have some document within your possession and there's been a request for it by way of subpoena, you have to produce it. no one is above the law. well, we currently have a circumstance where the chief executive officer is at odds with the legislative branch. this places the legislative and
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the executive at odds with each other. they are in a stalemate, you will. and when this occurs you have one branch of government refusing to cooperate with lawful requests of another branch, the legislative branch being refused the request of the executive, refusing the request of the legislative, you have a standoff, as i said, as i indicated no one is above the law. this in my opinion creates a constitutional crisis. there are people who would differ with me. but remember this. what they are expressing is what i'm expressing, an opinion. this is my opinion. they have their opinion. there is no hard and fast definition for a constitutional crisis. there are system who would contend that to have a
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constitutional crisis in this area, the thing requested, the subpoenas that have been issued, would have to go to court, they would have to be lit gated, and at some point, a court might say to the executive branch of the government, you must obey the subpoena issued by congress. the lawful subpoena. and then if the executive officer declines to obey the subpoena, it would be concluded that you have a constitutional crisis because the chief executive officer is not only disobeying congress, he's disobeying a third brampling of the government, the judicial branch, the judiciary. you would then have a constitutional crisis. i differ. it is my opinion that you have the constitutional crisis when the chief executive officer declines, refuses, to obey a lawful request from the legislative branch. i think that when you get to the point that the president of the
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united states or the chief executive officer refuses aned orer from the courts, you have a constitutional crisis but you also have a collapse. that is when you have gone beyond a constitutional crisis. it is a collapse. the crisis leads up to that point. once this happens this epresident refuses to obey the judiciary as well as the legislative, off collapse. right now, we are in a constitutional crisis. in this constitutional crisis, we have a circumstance that has developed that we cannot tolerate. you see, it's the legislative branch that has a duty to provide a check on the executive branch such that we maintain the balance of power. when the legislative branch seeks to check the executive branch and it absolutely refuses to cooperate, when this occurs
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the system of checks and balances are being ignored. the system of checks and balances were put in place by the framers of the constitution to present the concentration of power in any one branch of government. so to present the executive branch from having a compensational power, the legislative branch was given this ability to check it. and when the legislative branch cannot get cooperation, the ultimate check that it has is impeachment. can say ative branch to the chief executive officer, mr. chief executive officer, you are out of balance. you're consume manager authority than the constitution accords you. because you cannot do this, we, the members of the legislative branch, can bring you before the
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bar of justice. we can cause you to have to to honor lawful investigative requests of the legislative branch. but we bring you before the bar of justice and that's alled -- called impeachment. it's important to remember that the framers of the constitution put the system of checks and balances in place to prevent a concentration of power. why would we want to prevent a concentration of power. because if the chief executive officer, the president, is allowed to have power concentrated beyond what the constitution accords, meaning there are no guardrail, epresident can do whatever he chooses, the president then becomes an officer who is and can be above the law. you're bhove the law in this country. no person is above the law. the checks and balances are in
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place to prevent the president from being bhove the law. -- above the law. if we don't enforce this system of checks and balances, we then allow the concentration of power and we no longer have the form of government that the framers intended and that we've enjoyed for the -- for these many years. we would have a monarchy. we would have a monarch. a monarch has the power to do whatever he chooses. the monarch is the law. we never intended in this country for the chief executive officer, the president, to be the law. we intended for the president to enforce the law through the various agencies that are under is domain if you will. but not to be the law itself. not to decide what the law is on any given day. not to decide that he will obey the law when he chooses.
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no one is above the law. e mueller report is a good indication of how the law is iewed. the mueller report has indicated to us that there are many instances where, but for a rule that the justice department adhere's to, the president would be indicted. but for this rule. you don't find the words stated exactly as i stated them. but that's the essence of what is stated in the mueller report as it relates to obstruction of justice. mr. mueller was assigned the responsibility of looking into certain aspects of the campaign that the president participated in before being elected. and to ascertain whether or not there was some collusion, obstruction of justice, if you will, also.
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and the mueller condition collusion is that the president is not exonerated when it comes to obstruction of justice. and that the president, but for these rules that they have, this rule that says you don't indict a sitting president, the president would likely be indicted. i say likely be because mr. mueller didn't say he would be but he did say the president wasn't exonerated when it comes to obstruction of justice. so the president is not above the law. and if the justice department is not going to prosecute, then where is the bar of justice? it's here. it's right here in this room, in his very august body we call the congress of the united states of america. we then have the responsibility, if the justice department is not , ng to pursue the president
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thenst up to congress. this is the last alternative. for assuring that the checks and balances are maintained and that the president is not above the law. well, who agrees with the mueller report as i have expressed it? some 800 former prosecutors have indicated that if this were any other person who violated the law as they see it in the mueller report that this person would be prosecuted. any other person. any any other person. they go on to say it is critical that obstruction of justice be prosecuted, because if you do not, then what you are sending a message to people that you can interfere with lawful investigations. they don't say it in those exact words. some 800 prosecutors.
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federal prosecutors. persons who understand this law. many of them have said there is more than enough evidence to prosecute anyone owner the president. but they have been respectful and they understand that there is a rule in the justice department, the office of legal counsel has promulgated it, that indicates that a sitting president won't be prosecuted. well, if the sitting president isn't going to be prosecuted, then these 800 lawyers are saying to us that the bar of justice has to be the place where the president will be brought and that bar of justice is here in the house of representatives. no one is above the law. we now recognize that we are some 34 days, some 34 days since the mueller report was made
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public. this is the number of days that the trump administration has been above the law, some 34 days, trump administration. why? because we have one official in the administration who has refused to honor a lawful request by the ways and means committee to produce certain records, certain records belonging to the president, tax records, refused to produce those records in contravention of the law. another official, the person who heads the justice department, is declining to respond to requests of the judiciary committee. no one is above the law. but we now have not only the
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president's refusing but the persons who are part of the administration are refusing. some 34 days now. i would say the administration itself has been above the law. and these are the days since the mueller report has been released to the public. number of days the trump administration has been above the law. i love my country. i never came to congress to give the speech i'm giving tonight. i didn't come to congress to take on the most powerful person on the planet earth. i find myself standing here because i believe that you see that this moral
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imperative exists to make sure that the law is treated the same as it relates to all people and then ignored. i don't see how you can. i refuse to ignore the fact that the president has obstructed justice. the president is not above the law. no one is. d i will not allow political expediency, this notion that rather than deal with this now, let just wait and determine the fate of a person who has breached the law in the highest office. i refuse to accept it. i just cannot. the president is not above the law. i didn't come to congress to say this, but i love my country. and i see what this is doing to the country. when we have the chief executive
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officer saying to law enforcement officers, and he did say what i'm about to tell you, you don't have to be nice when you arrest people. what message are you sending to them in terms of what their behavior should be when they take people in their care, custody and control. you are saying to them, you can break the law. what message do you send, don't worry about how you treat them. if they arrest you, i'll take care of it. that wasn't the exact language, but that was the message. this is the chief executive officer. this is a person who is the standard bearer for the united states of america. the standard bearer, the person who carries the torch of freedom for the united states of america.
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what are you saying? hen you say that you are a person who would support the breaking of the law and then you would support defending the person who breaks the law? you are saying you are above the law and you believe it and you are saying you are willing to take care of those who would break the laws as well. we have seen circumstances in this country that i never thought we'd see, a president sending messages, signals indicating that if you side with me, i have the magic wand. you side with me, i have the , wer to erase your offenses your crimes. it's not really erasing. it's a pardon. the president has this power and
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he sends signals, break the law, but worry not, i have your back. is this what we expect from the highest office in the land? in the greatest country in the world? are we going to allow ourselves to be brought into this come policity that we see so many eople are coming to? i don't think so. i will not. e cannot allow ourselves to be complicit. we cannot allow ourselves to become a party of what's going on here. -- ere fact that we spent as dr. king put it, silence in itself becomes betrayal. the silence is betraying our
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country and it's betraying the constitution and it's betraying the republic. the silence. no one is above the law. when will we crease to be silence on the greatest issue confronting us at this time? the republic is at stake. it's not about republicans, it's about the republic and whether we'll maintain it. it's not about democrats, it's about our democracy. this is bigger than all of us. it's bigger. it's bigger than the president. it's about the country we love. and whether we are going to llow one person to destroy the concept of no one being above the law. it's bigger than we are. and the truth is, it has now about an issue that is
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congress. this issue is now about congress. it's about whether the congress of the united states of america is going to fulfill its responsibility. it's about whether the congress of the united states of america that the d say, president is obstructing and say that the president is obstructing. i marvel at the numbers of members of congress that the president has obstructed congress and has committed impeachable offenses, impeachable acts. notwithstanding having said it, will not say that the president ought to be impeached. there are some who say who say he should be impeached as a matter of fact and still won't move to impeach him. the president is not above the law. we are the law, the members of
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congress. 435 of us. we have been given the awesome responsibility. it is awesome. i don't take it lightly. it is not something that i think everybody should have the responsibility aafforded to them, because there are a good many people you don't think you should impeach a president. i'm not one of them. they think that you have to commit a crime, by the way, before you can be impeached. i'm not one of them. the president doesn't have to commit a crime to be impeached ut the harm he caused, the words of madison, jay and hamilton. we in this body are now the issue. the issue is will congress do
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hat the constitution has given us as the means by which we can deal with a chief executive officer bho's breaking the law. who sees himself, apparently, by virtue of his behavior, as being above the law. this is what congress has to look into. this is what congress has to bring before the bar of justice, this whole notion that the president is not above the law. let's take a moment now and talk about the process of impeachment, because a good many people don't understand. impeachment does not mean that the president is removed from office. it is like an indictment, not the same but very much similar. the members of the house of representatives serve as a body very similar to a grand jury.
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and the members of the house of representatives determine whether or not a president should be impeached. they do so with a vote. majority of the house voting to impeach, and the president is impeached. the president doesn't have to ommit a crime to be impeached. andrew johnson was impeached for a high misdemeanor for and it was a misdeed. it's also a misdeed. he was impeached. and we, here in this body, can impeach any president for misdeeds. so as this body impeaches, doesn't mean that the president is removed from office, but means that the president must go to trial in the senate. there is no requirement in the constitution for the house to
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have to investigate the mueller report. the mueller report has been shared with us. there's enough evidence in that report to impeach the president. evidence is shared by virtue of falking to witnesses who gave their testimony under the penalty of perjure. we can use that as the reason that report to send this to the senate, where a trial will take place. remember, impeachment is sort of like an indictment. not the same, but similar. it goes to the senate. the chief justice of the supreme court would preside over that trial, the chief justice. in so doing, the house will have persons called managers, these managers would act as
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prosecutors. they would bring evidence before the senate for the senate to act upon. the senate acts upon the evidence. the chief justice is there to make sure certain rules are followed. for example, if the house prosecutors, the managers, if they would like to call a witness, the chief justice will then be there to assist the process to get that witness before the senate. there's a trial. witnesses are called. subpoenas can be issued. and you don't have to meander through some lower court, interior court, because all courts when it comes to impeachment of the president are interior of the senate. they are all interior, all other courts. so you have the chief justice
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there to make his ruling. all of this is done before the public. there will be a trial. all of these subpoenas that are not being honored, all of the witnesses that are refusing to testify, take them before the senate. call them. have them sworn. have them give their testimony and let the world hear and see. there is a desire to have a trial before the trial in the house, to have a trial in the sense that have witnesses come and appear and be a part of the investigation. that's not, in fact, the kind of trial you think of when you think of the word trial, but you are having the witnesses to come in and give their testimony. to be honest with you, i'm not against the idea, but i do understand if the witnesses are not coming, if the subpoenas are not being honored, then the option left to us is to impeach
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and have that trial in the senate where they will have to come, where the subpoenas will have to be honored. that's the that's the system whereby we maintain the system of checks and balances when the president refuses to perform as expected under the constitution. as a matter of fact, as required under the constitution. given that the president is not following the norms and not following the law and eventually we could take this through the inferior court, inferior to the senate when it sits in trial of the president because that's the ultimate court to decide issues relating to the president, these things can me ander through inferior court, they're not inferior in the sense that they're less than efficient and effective at what they do, they're just inferior to this impeachment trial, when the president has been impeached,
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the trial to determine whether or not he should be removed from this tissue from office. impeachment does not remove the president from office. these subpoenas and all these issues can go through these courts no one knows how long it will take but everybody prognosticates, people who are supposed to know, that it can take months. it could take months. which means that we will at some point engage in paralysis analysis. dr. king called it the paralysis of analysis. but analysis paralysis. meaning this. we will have done all that we can in these courts to try to bring the president to justice, get the witnesses necessary to bring the president to justice because he has committed these impeachable acts, and at some point you'll get so close to an election that someone will say, well, let's not do this. let's just wait until the next
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election. we will have been paralyzed going through the courts. such a that -- such that we won't get to the issues in time. as a matter of fact, could be after the next election. before some of the courts will rule. we just don't know. but those who prognosticate say it will be months. one would think that maybe there can be an expedited process. but the courts will determine whether this will be the case. so when you have all of this and you're confronting all these things, you have to ask yourself , will the house of representatives do its job? and for those who are say, well, you have to have bipartisan support. i would love to see bipartisan support. but there's no requirement for it in the constitution. as a matter of fact, jay, hamilton, madison, they prognosticated that you would unanimity.
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you won't have the bipartisanship you're looking for. they said it would be a time of strife. they indicated that people would separate along party lines. read federalist 65. it's not a long read. read it. you'll see. theying prothat's kated that there would be division. so to say that you've got to have the republican party on board before the democratic party can do its job is incorrect. not required. and by the way, history is not going to be kind. it's not going to be kind. history is not going to be kind to us. history is going to cause a lot of reputations to be soiled. those who look through the vista of time are not going to side with us the way we have
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friendships and relationships siding with us now. history is not going to be kind to democrats or republicans. us ry is going to present as people with saw an injustice in the highest office of the land and refused to do our jobs. it won't be kind to us. reputations are going to be tarnished. ople who will be saluted and proclaimed heroes today who were just waiting to do the right thing at the right time, history is not going to be kind to you. there are too many things on record that you've already said. and there are too many people who will go back through these records. videos of what you said. you can walk it back now. and you can have friendships now that will be of assistance to you. but history is not going to be
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kind to you. but there is a means by which we can bring ourselves back into proper alignment with the constitution. it's called impeachment. this is what we can do and it's never too late to get on the right side of history. there are many people in this house who are on the wrong side of history. wrong side of history, right side of politics as they see it. i'd rather be on the right side of history and the wrong side of politics. so these persons who are now on the wrong side of history, my hope is that you'll do as i see many of my colleagues doing now, and they're coming forward. and they're acknowledging that enough is enough. impeachment is a solution that has to be pursued. and the question no longer is, who is going to be the first to
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engage in this notion that we have to bring the president before the bar of justice in the house of representatives. this is not the question. the question now is, who will be the last person to say we must do it? because there seems to be a momentum building. there seems to be a momentum building. that is going to cause some people who would have made history to be made by history. history can make people and people can make history. there are some people who are going to be proclaimed by our contemporary as having -- contemporaries now as having made history but the truth is history will make them. history will make them do what they should do and should have done. they're going to have to face history. maybe not right away. but i assure you, time always
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tells. the truth is known. history always judges. you're going to be judged, my friends, we all are we are going to be judged. so why don't we just get on the right side of history now. and salvage some of the reputation that you have. you don't have to lose your entire reputation. you don't have to become adamant about this. you've made your point. let it go. you're on the right side of history. you know where this is going. it's just a matter of time. there will be additional votes on impeachment right here on this floor of the house of representatives. be on the right side of history for your children. for your grandchildren. for your great grandchildren. for unborn generations. get on the right side of history. history will have made you, but
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you will have made the right decision. history makes people, people make history. either way, be on the right side of history. don't find yourself on the wrong side of history when you hold ourself out to be a person who adheres to moral authority. moral imperative to do the right thing. be on the right side of history. i heard people say that the soul of the country is at risk. i concur. but i also say this. before the soul of the country goes, the soul of the house of representatives will have gone. the soul of the house of representatives, the very soul that we have in our hands, that has the moral authority, the
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moral imperative, to go forward and not allow political expediencies to jeopardize our duty to do that which the constitution affords us the opportunity to do if we have but nly the will to do it. his house is now on trial. the house of representatives is on trial. in the court of public opinion. me would say well, the court did not unanimously oppose some 40-plus% of -- percent of person says impeachment is appropriate. my dear friend, the public is hear today and there tomorrow. the public has no duty to stay in one place all the time. we're looking at a snapshot in time. and the public opinion will change.
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it does. when nixon was first brought before the attention of the senate, they were investigating, public opinion was not such that it would call for his impeachment then. public opinion changes. have a great example. unrelated to impeachment, but a great example. i remember when we had the vote on what has been called the bailout. i remember the calls to my office. people knew that we were about to, as they saw it, bail out the banks. and the calls were very strong. people called in in large numbers saying, don't you vote to bail out those banks. don't you do it. if you do it, there was at least one caller, probably more that said we'll run you out of town. well, i remember standing in the
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back of the chamber and as i stood there after having cast my vote against the bailout, i saw the vote go up and the stock market go down. and having done what i thought was the appropriate thing pursuant to the requests of my constituents, i could not wait to hear what the response would be the next day. the response the next day was, what is wrong with you? don't you see what you've done to my 401 k? what is wrong with you? we're going to run you out of town. i learned a lesson. about public opinion. public opinion can be in one place today and in an entirely different place tomorrow. we should do what we believe is the right thing based upon what
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our conscience dictates. that's what i do. i assure you this is a question of conscience for me and i'm going to follow my conscience and i will have done the right thing. dr. king said there are times when you have to do that which is neither safe nor politic nor popular. you do it because it's right. i'm going to do the right thing because conscience dictates that this is the right thing to do. 34 days. president, the administration, is above the law. 34 days. but there's one other thing. there are some things that are indelible. some things that you can't get out of your mind. can't ings that you just recondition sile within yourself. this baby.
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we've all seen this picture, or a good many of us have. crying. being separated from a parent. a baby. at the border. i don't know the people. i know that they're part of the same race i'm part of, the human race. i know that i have a kinship and a relationship with them. or our executive office to promulgate a policy, pursue a policy that separates babies from their parents and not have a means by which they can be reunited, it's sinful. babies. separated from their parents. and no means of reuniting them. in place at the time you make the separation. this is indelible in my mind. there are many other thing to
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think about but this i think about a lot. how we have treated people who are coming to this country who mean us no harm but who are rying to escape harm's way. i cannot divorce myself from it. i don't know them. i just know they are human beings. i know there is a crisis at the border. i think we have to deal with it. i want to deal with the border crisis, but i don't think separating children from their parents as we have done it, is part of the solution. i think persons who would do this are victims. those border patrol officers are victims themselves for what they have to do. many of them, they don't want to do some of the things they are being forced to do. they, too, are victims. but it started at the top.
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it started at the top with a belief that somehow this would deter people from coming, people who are fleeing harm's way. i only say to people as it relates to me, i say to myself, that for the grace of god, i could be one of these people. i was fortunate enough to be born in this country, in a country, where there are great opportunities, but for the grace of god, it could be me. why would i treat someone with this level of indignity? but for the grace of god, it could be me. i refuse to let this go. i believe that this, too, is a part of the overall rationale
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for impeachment. dear friends, this is our watch. this is the watch that has been afforded us, to every woman and man a watch is given. and this is our watch. we can do as best as we can to reconcile in our minds that this is ok, it's all right. but in our hearts, we can't reconcile. he mind can reconcile, but the heart cannot. heart won't let this be reconciled. and i say that on my watch, i want the record to show that i took a stand, even when i had to stand alone, i took a stand. it is better to stand alone than not stand at all. but there are others who are
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standing. and i believe there will be many more, one of whom happens to be on the opposite side of the aisle. i thank him for having the courage. i know what's going to happen. .ou are going to be ridiculed but don't let that become the final word. when the pages of history are properly written, you will be vindicated. you will be vindicated. i assure you, my dear brother, you will be vindicated. i don't know you. nobody can say we have a friendship, really, other than all of us have college yalt. but you are going to be vindicated. you stay strong. people are going to say ugly
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things and you may even get threats, but you stay strong, because you are on the right side of history. and more importantly, you are on the right side of righteousness. the right side of righteousness. what a great place to be. don't let the head convince you that the heart is wrong. the heart speaks to the soul to your very being, the head speaks to those who would listen to you. let your heart speak to you. i thank you for the time, madam speaker. nd i pray that we, in this house, will do that which the constitution and the framers of the constitution have given us the opportunity to do in a time
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such as this with a president such as trump. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. members are reminded to refrain from engaging in pirnlts towards the president. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2019, the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. grothman, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. grothman: i rise to address what is the most pressing issue in america, and i would like to yield five minutes to my colleague, congresswoman foxx from north carolina. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. foxx: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise to congratulate samaritanses first, head quartered in boone, north
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carolina. this inspiring organization has been providing physical aid to victims of war, disease, famine and natural disasters since 1970, the new ministry center will serve as a lifeline in developing countries. it will house inventory and medical supplies and emergency field hospital. this expansion and the wide-reaching he vision would not be possible without the hardworking and dedicated staff behind it. these great humanitarians are an honor to represent and i know that they are wonderful ambassadors of north carolina's 5th district around the world. madam speaker, i rise to
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recognize north wilkes borough middle school in north carolina's 5th district on their recent achievement of lighthouse certification for implementing the leader in me program. lighthouse certification is the highest recognition awarded by the franklin covy institute and these are the first schools to receive this distinction in our state. i commend the school's administration, staff and students for embracing new paradimes of leadership and undertaking the student model put forth by the leadership in me program. the program aims to provide a holistic education that emcompasses leadership, a culture of student empowerment achievement.
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congratulations to the middle schools for their demonstrated success. he high-achieving students are demonstrating how leaders foster positive results with innovation with education. and with that, i yield back to my colleague from wisconsin. mr. grothman: thank you. prior to addressing the immigration crisis, which is the biggest problem i think facing america today, after hearing a rather lengthy speech before mine, i was analyzing the well here and noticing the flag of the united states of america behind me. and looking at that, i couldn't help but think of the pledge of allegiance. i pledge ts
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allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god,. d i pondered why that pledge of allegiance refers it to it as a republic rather than a democracy. and it would be good to think about it. there have been several versions of the pledge of allegiance. it refers to our country as a republic instead of a democracy. wonder why that is and every congressman should re-up on it. the biggest problem in the united states of america. the one thing we have to deal with in the immediate future and something that i believe does not grab the attention of congress the way it should be and that is the immigration crisis. one more time, another month will go by and another 100,000
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people will enter this country not at the designated points of entry, we believe another 10,000 people will enter at the points of entry and claim aseal lum whether they need asylum or not. you cannot have 100,000 people pour in month after month after month, stepping in line ahead of the people who are doing what is appropriate to become a citizen of the united states or appropriate to get a work advisea in the united states. ultimately, this will destroy our country and something this country should be dealing with immediately. it is embarrassing. i want to point out neither i nor president trump want to reduce the 700,000 people that are sworn in as citizens in this country every year.
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neither do we want to deal with the four mill yop work permits in this country already have. nor are we concerned and we have the highest number of to foreign-born people as a percentage of our population since world war i. now, what are we going to do about this crisis, because be it culturally or fiscally, we cannot allow it to go on any further. the first thing is end birthright citizenship. to say if you come here and particularly if we allow entire families to stay once someone is a citizen and allow the situation, whether you come in at a designated point of entry or flying in on a jet plane, in the united states of america, a newly born child becomes a citizen.
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we are the only, us and canada, are the only two countries that allow this birthright citizenship toll continue. i know president trump understands this problem very well and he understands that the amendment to the constitution that talks about people being born in this country becoming citizens was meant to deal with slavery and not to deal with anybody who comes here. i strongly urge president trump toll step up and do something that he did during his campaign nd that is ending birthright citizenship. in addition to the fact that it s wrong, as long as you have birthright citizen shb, it encourages people to come here and it will create a situation that there is a good chance that
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the rest of the family will follow. next thing we can do is put immigration judges on the border. people are showing up and asking for asylum and given a court date five years down the line. who knows where they will be around five years. i strongly encourage president trump to put judges on the border so we can immediately judge whether these people are entitled to a sewell lum or not. i encounseling the border patrol to be trained as to judge credible fear. we believe this people coming from other countries who claim they have a credible fear who do not meet that standard as far as coming into the united states. we know people are being coached as to what to say comeing into this country and by training our border patrol to deal with these
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issues, we will not have so many people coming into the country illegally. next thing, i strongly think that president trump should do, we should have i.c.e. round up the people who already have orders to be deported. this should be a deeper matter and it send the message that the united states will take our immigration laws seriously. today, there are far too many politicians are encouraging anctuary cities, giving public benefits. it is not surprising that people in other countries are getting the message that the united states is not treating its immigration laws seriously. i hope president trump expedites the rule dealing with allowing for removal of people who are taking advantage of public
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assistance. obviously the united states cannot become the welfare magnate. everybody knows that while it is frequently illegal, many people who are here illegally are taking assistance. i would like to congratulate secretary ben carson for removing illegals from public housing. under section 8 or section 42, the housing that people get, the housing assistance they get, gives people housing superior to what many of the people get. it is more ridiculous that they get housing superior to what the native-born people receive. would like to
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i would like to thank secretary carson for stepping up and taking a stand against the idea that if you come here illegally you get free or reduced housing. the next thing is sanctuary cities. i've introduced h.r. 516 which takes away grant fls state and local units of government that become sanctuary cities. there are a variety of problems with sanctuary cities. first of all, it encourages people to go to those cities to get some sort of welfare benefits. secondly, it sends the message whenever a mayor or governor wants to declare their city or state a sanctuary city, it sends the message that the united states is not going to enforce its immigration laws. and as long as that message is out here, people will continue and it in our country will eventually be the end of
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the united states. the next thing i want this body to do is pass h.r. 848, another bill of mine. the purpose of the bill is to indelees verification for compliance on any welfare benefit which is people who are not in this country could be receiving. we're also saying that anybody who is not a citizen of this country should not receive any public assistance. which should be common sense. if you are coming here for an opportunity and you are not able to find a job, even if you're coming here legally, the answer is not to have the american taxpayer who is already $23 trillion in debt, to pick up the tab. the answer is, you cannot find opportunity in this country, return to your country of origin. i hope this body, which is spending so much time dealing with less important issues, takes up this bill in the near future. finally, i ask president trump to continue to work toward the wall.
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i ask this congress as we move appropriation bills out to make sure that wall is funded. i have been down on the border. i did not find any border patrol agents who were embarrassed to do their job or didn't want to do their job. the border patrol agents that i talked to on the arizona-mexico border felt we desperately needed a wall. they realize walls work in other countries and they realize in the long or even short term walls would save us a lot of money. right now estimates vary between $50 billion ars $100 billion a year lost because of illegal immigration. given the cost of a wall will be under $0 billion, it would be a big cost savings. for a country that's $23 trillion in debt, we need big cost savings. in any event, here's a -- those were suggestions of some of the things we can do to deal with this crisis.
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think about it. 100,000 people coming here every month. people unvetted, people who may wind up on welfare. people who may wind up having criminal record. and all coming here, skipping ahead in line, to those people who sometimes have waited five or 10 years to come here legally which is incredibly unfair to them. in any event, i hope congress begins to act on these measures. i encourage president trump to make border enforcement his number one priority over the next couple of months. because we can see it is very difficult to remove any of these people once they come to this country. ok? now -- i now yield back the balance of my time to the chair so mr. hill can speak. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2019, the chair recognizes the gentleman from arkansas, mr. hill, for the
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remained over the hour as the designee of the minority leader. mr. hill: madam speaker, thank you for the time this evening. i rise today to pay tribute to the historic vote taken exactly 100 years ago when this body passed the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. the most powerful tool we have is to share our voice, cast our ballot, and exercise our right to vote. this momentous vote finally allowed women to use that tool and forever have a voice in the uture of our beloved nation. adolphine fletcher terry, a civic minded woman from the little rock area in the late 100's and early 20th century served her country tirelessly to promote the education of women
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and women's rights. she marched for voting rights for women in the ratification process in 1920 saying, to me the vote represents more than just saying how a person feels about an issue or a candidate. it represents human tignyity. and the fact that a citizen can express his or her opinion on any subject without fear of reprisal. that, i think, is what real human dignity consists of. in advance of the final state's ratification vote in tennessee, both suffragists and anti-suffragists began wearing roses to identify their respective sides. those favoring women's voting rights wore yellow roses. those against wore red roses. i proudly today have worn a yellow rose on my lapel throughout today's activities to
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show my support of women's right to vote. what a thrill it is and a proud thing to say thank you, madam speaker, for your service. madam speaker, across arkansas, heart break -- heart broken families have told me their stories about the opioid crisis and how it has claimed the lives of their loved ones. we can't allow more families to be destroyed by this truly national nightmare. that is killing more than 130 americans every day. furthermore, the centers for disease control reported that fentanyl is now considered the number one u.s. opioid killer in 2018. targeted the source of the world's largest producers and distribute yoffers fentanyl will begin to stop the flow of these
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drugs coming across our borders and on to our streets. madam speaker, in just one sweet&low pact, about a gram, an equal amount of this as fentanyl has the power to kill 500 of our citizens. that's why i'm pleased to support the bipartisan legislation that i recently helped introduce, h.r. 2483, the fentanyl sanctions act. this takes the necessary steps to target the bad actors responsible for illegally trafficking fentanyl into the united states. i applaud my colleagues, max rose of new york, anthony brin dee see of new york, and brian fitzpatrick of pennsylvania for they support in introducing 2483. this legislation is the first ever fentanyl sanctions effort by the house of representatives. it will apply pressure on the
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chinese government to honor eir commitment to make all fentanyl illegal in china. this bill will also provide the united states with more tools and resources to go after ill list traffickers in china, mexico, and other countries. h.r. 2483 has the support from both parties and both chambers and we need to act now in order to get this done. we cannot wait any longer. madam speaker, today i rise to congratulate the 60th anniversary of the association of military banks of america. just as they did back in 1959, military banks today consider themselves privileged to provide financial services, support, and education to the military and veteran communities across this country. i'm particularly proud that first arkansas bank and trust, which served our airmen and
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women -- airmen and women at little rock air force base is one of these military banks. n base, financial institutions have been the single best source of financeable education for our troops. they ease the financial stress and burden of our troops an their families so they can focus on their mission of protecting our great nation. congratulations on 60 years of serving the financial needs of our nation's heroes. madam speaker, i rise today to recognize the life of security officer who continues to have an indelible impact on my state of arkansas. mr. jimmy hallington who this year was the court security officer of the year. jimmy is one of 33 court security officers in arkansas and serves under the jurisdiction of the eighth u.s. circuit court of appeals. he was chosen for the award from
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roughly 600 court security officers working in 30 courthouses in the seven states within the eighth circuit jurisdiction. jimmy was recommended for this honor for noticing and investigating two suspicious situations on courthouse property durk a period of several bomb threats at little ock richard shepard arnold courthouse where he's worked since 2016. a former state trooper and sergeant major in the united states marine corps reserve, jimmy's life of service make hims well deserving of this award: i'd like to extend a hand of gratitude and congratulations to him for his selfless service o arkansas and our nation. madam speaker, i rise today to honor the accomplishments and congratulate brigadier general paul raleigh who recently was promoted to brigadier general of the arkansas air national guard. he is a native of salem,
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arkansas, and as brigadier general will serve as the chief of staff for the arkansas air national guard. he joined the military in 1988 and is currently an intelligence officer with the national guard and works with remote piloted aircraft. his duties include strategic planning on current and future missions. he's been assigned to active duty positions throughout his career including locations such as guantanamo bay and recently he's been assigned to little rock air force base for the majority of the time since 2001. he's become one of only three general officers in arkansas. my congratulations and best wishes for brigadier general rowlett and his bright future defending our beloved nation. madam speaker, i rise today to recognize eric johnson of the central arkansas national wildlife refuge complex. for being named the national
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wildlife refuge employee of the year by the national wildlife refuge association. he's an administrative forester in charge of restoring and managing some 90,000 acres of habitat for water foul and migratory birds in the lower mississippi valley. while protecting this extensive acreage, he developed the nation's first spatial habitat plan. this will serve as a new national standard for refuge systems and protect all of arkansas' five refuges. including ball knob wildlife refuge in my district. his service to the state of arkansas and wildlife conservation will not be forgotten and i join all arkansans in con grglating eric on this recognition and wish him much continued success. madam speaker, i rise today to speak out against the daily atrocities in syria.
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few would have predicted that eight years ago peaceful protests would turn into violent conflict that left more than half a million men, women, and children dead. millions more displaced. and the entire region feeling like a lit fuse ready to explode into further conflict. shortly after coming to congress, i met muwaz mu stmbings afa, a young american sirian american from arkansas who has been part of the syrian emergency task force here in washington. after meeting him i studied his efforts and learned more and more about the horrific events happening in syria over the past few years. he led me through the caesar file folder in a special exhibit at washington's holocaust museum and earlier this year he al-shagor me to omar
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who was arrested as a teenager and survived the torture, starvation and other brew tlities in assad's prisons for more than three years. seeing those photos and hearing omar's personal testimony were powerful experiences. i believe that what's happening in syria today is a modern day holocaust and our obligation to end assad's rein o-- reign of terror is something all americans must confront. i'm grateful for "the new york times" and their recent extensive front page story in last sunday's newspaper going inside assad's torture prison. and i ask that this article be attached for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. hill: it's in the experiences shared by former prisoners like omar that remind us of the likes of hitler, mao,
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stalin. bashar al-assad can add his name to this list of bash rouse thugs who rule with evil torture and mass murder. we have known about these atrocities for years, but we only express outrage. twiddle our thums. as these modern day -- thumbs. as these modern day hitlers annihilate the modern population in syria. i commend senate majority leader mitch mcconnell for passing senate bill 1, the strengthening america's security in the middle east act. last week many of us, including myself, signed the discharge petition for the companion legislation here in the house to senate bill 1. h.r. 336, sponsored by mike mccaul of texas. this legislation includes the caesar syria civilian protection
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act, which has a critical provision to hold assad accountable for his atrocities. as speaker pelosi well knows, this house under republican leadership has passed this caesar bill three times over the last three congresses. only to have it bogged down in the senate. now leader mcconnell has acted and we in the house must now act with expedition and pass h.r. 336 to end this step back into darkness. to stop the torture and the murder of thousands and move to convict assad and his heveragemen for war crimes -- henchman for war crimes. thank you, madam speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. does the gentleman from arkansas have a motion? mr. hill: i move that the house
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adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow for morning hour debate.
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how has the trump administration tried to change the consumer financial protection bureau? guest: republicans and a lot of groups in the financial services industry, credit unions, banks, all said the bureau was everstepping its mandate, was being too afwressive and was overreaching beyond its powers which they said were also way too much for any one independent agency. so when mick mulvaney became acting director of cfpb in 2016 he started acting on that. he pulled back the bureau's oversight of the financial services industry, started collecting less data, sought to revise and weaken a lot of

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