tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 16, 2015 6:30pm-8:31pm EDT
around and i don't know how many times he's changed the law, which he does not have the right to do. congress passes laws, the president of the united states has to back the laws and not change them. i'm sorry. i'm going to let you guys talk it over and i will be listening to you. host: 30 million uninsured. any inside perspective you want to add? guest: we have 11.7 million on the health exchanges and 10 million have signed up through medicaid because medicaid has been expanded. there is a difference between the number of people who get insurance and then whether they are actually satisfied with their insurance -- h.r. 647 by the yeas and nays, h.r. 648 by the yeas and nays
h.r. 876 by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 647 as amended, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 27, h.r. 647, a bill to amend title 12 of the public health service act, to re-authorize certain trauma care programs, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote.
reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 648, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 28, h.r. 648, a bill to amend title 12 of the public health service act to re-authorize certain health care programs and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. 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.]
the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. ryan, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 876 as amended, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 876, a bill to amend title 18 of the social security act, to require hospitals to provide certificate notifications to individuals classified by such hospitals under observation status rather than admitted as in-patients of such hospitals. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. 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
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 395 and the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative the measure passes. without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from michigan seek recognition? mr. miller: miller by direction of the committee on house -- mrs. miller: by direction of the committee on house
legislation, i present house resolution 32. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: house resolution 132, resolution providing for the expenses of certain committees of the house of representatives in the 114th congress. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from michigan seek recognition? mrs. miller: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's desk senate concurrent resolution 7 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: senate concurrent resolution 7. concurrent resolution authorizing the use of emancipation hall in the capitol visitor's center for a ceremony to award the congressional gold medal to the world war ii members of the doolittle tokyo raiders. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to consideration of the concurrent resolution? without objection, the
concurrent resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. johnson: to seek unanimous consent -- the speaker pro tempore: the house is not in order. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i rise in -- i rise asking for unanimous consent to remove the name of representative perlmutter from h.r. 1102 the police accountability act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> mr. speaker i ask unanimous consent to remove my name as co-sponsor of h.r. 1041. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to section 106-a, of the higher education opportunity act
public law 110th congress 315, and the order of the house of january 3 2013 of the following individuals on the part of the house to the national advisory committee on the instructional quality and integrity for a term of six years. the clerk: upon the recommendation of the majority leader, william of scottsdale, arizona. arthur from washington, d.c. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. ms. ros-lehtinen: i request to address the house for one minute revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to recognize an outstanding educator in my south florida congressional district, dr. eric hook, a chemistry teacher at miami senior high school. dr. hook has been an accomplished teacher for than 25 years and he has the awards to prove it. including the miami-dade district teacher of the year and the governor's teacher of the year award among many others. but more than these accolades mr. speaker, dr. hook is known to his students as a mentor and a role model. someone to whom they can come for both academic and life wisdom and who is makeing learning and science fun. dr. hook is a positive influence, giving his students the knowledge, the confidence and the opportunity to follow their dreams. thank you, dr. hook, we're all so very proud of you. thank you, mr. speaker. .
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> american families expect us to work hard to keep them safe. it's our job to work together in addressing their national security concerns not to diminish our government's standing. now we must deal with the dynamic created by misguided senators whose attempts to undermine the president on iran have set a dangerous precedent that compromises the authority of future presidents to negotiate on matters of foreign and national security policy. i ask my colleagues, what are we doing? we can't kater to political extremes here at home and protect american families from real extremist threats abroad.
let's move beyond the politics and divide -- that divide us and commit to working with the president to ensure that iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon. the illinois families i represent deserve it and the american people demand it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the life of 18-year-old lawrence township volunteer firefighters jeffrey balk. on march 3, he was battling a house fire in clearfield pennsylvania, when the porch roof collapsed on him and two fellow firefighters. for the next six days he was in critical condition, on and off sedation. on march 9 he, succumbed to his injuries. tragedies like this remind us
how selflessly these brave volunteers act. on friday afternoon, i attended the memorial service for mr. bach in clearfield and was proud to see the entire community come together. i ask my colleagues to join me in offering their prayers and deepest sympathies to jeff's family friends, and fellow first responders. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> thank you mr. speaker i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cohen: i rise today to honor malcolm jims "jimmy" keith who fight on guam saipan and' wo gee ma. keith who is now 88 years of age, fought with the 82nd
division after joining the marines at the age of 17. tomorrow he and his son will travel and join 70 other marine veterans for the 70th anniversary gathering of those soldiers. he recalls fighting on saipan as the bloodest thing he'd ever seen. he came under enemy fire from all sides when his amphibious tank was disabled causing him and his partner to escape on foot. they escaped unharmed, earning them the name rain walkers -- if they could walk through that heavy fire without getting hit, they could walk through rain without getting wet. he told a fell sew soldier, you're getting off this rock, i'll trade places with you. i ask my colleagues to honor malcolm james keith. he'll have a memphis grizzly
flag when he gets to' 'woe gee ma part of his contribution to memphis. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise to congratulate the robotics team at oak grove middle school typhoon doctor typhoons for taking first place in the championship this last month. this is the first year the oak grove team had the opportunity to compete in state competition but they still beat out 47 other teams for first place. the team is now qualified to compete in the upcoming north super regional championships coming up in des moines. mr. paulsen: as our economy continues to be driven by advancements in new technologies, it's important that our young people and youth have the opportunity to learn and explore in the science, math, technology and engineering fields.
robotics clubs and competitions bring out the best in student's imagination ingenuity and skill. they inspire students to pursue educational opportunities to help them compete for the jobs of tomorrow. i want to thank the teachers, the staff and the mentors that made stem a priority at oak grove and congratulations to all the students on a job well done. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. our vice president once said don't tell me what you value, show me your budget and i'll tell you what you value. mr. tonko: this body's routine budgeting practices have fallen away in the last four years, only to be replaced by big, these budgets go nowhere while
the most vulnerable individuals and families in our communities see their needs grow larger and their potential to make their own success grow smaller. our priorities should be simple enough, public investment in quality education, infrastructure, job training program, research and a national energy policy that encourages innovation and new jobs. the strategy we have seen of cutting our way to prosperity simply does not work. the more we do it, the more cut ourselves down while more nations pass us by. as we work our way through the 2016 budgeting process, instead of telling our constituent ours values let's show them what we value by producing an ambitious budget that creates opportunity for our american middle class and those struggling to enter it or to stay in it. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one
minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, the ma duro regime in vens -- the maduro regime in venezuela have arrested the mayor of caracas on conspiracy to commit violent acts and arrested an opposition leader for treason. police forces have been allowed to use force which resulted in the death of a 14-year-old on his way to school. he was given more dictatorial power to crack down on dissent. venezuela is sadly teetering closer to cuba-like dictatorship. mr. curbelo: they have
inflation and long lines for food. these sanctions are the first step to holding the regime accountable for its disregard of human right bus more must be done to make these thugs answer for their crimes. i stand with those who oppose thuggish rule. they have been instrumental in spreading information about maduro's deplorable act. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: thank you very much, mr. speaker. just a few weeks ago, maybe even a few months ago, i had the privilege of listening partly to the testimony of attorney general nominee loretta lynch. a brilliant expression of a seasoned and competent, qualified, and wise attorney that has served this nation for many, many years. formerly as the u.s. attorney
in brooklyn, new york, she has been one who has received accolades from all over the nation. now, unfortunately, the senate, the other body chooses to create a constitutional crisis. as she lingers waiting for a confirmation vote already approved by the judiciary committee with a bipartisan vote it begs the question while we are having this kind of treatment of the appointees of president opa ma. so i ask the other body if they would do what is -- president obama. so i ask the other body if they would do what is right for this country. as we continue to look for direction on antitrust issues, voting rights issues, women's rights issues, human rights issues and many issues dealing with terrorism that fall under the jurisdiction of the u.s. department of justice. it is time now for this confirmation to be done and approved and for this former u.s. attorney to be sworn in as
the united states attorney general at the department of justice. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous condition sonet to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise to thank a former staffer for his service to this house, my office and the people of illinois. tim butler who most recently served as my district chief of staff, left my office to represent the people of the 87th house district in the illinois general assembly. mr. davis: he was an asset to my team from day one as we set out to make sure every constituent in the 13th district knew we were there to serve them. by getting answers from federal departments like the v.a. listening and acting on legislative ideas, and much more. under tim's leadership, we opened five district offices, helped more than 1,500 constituents through casework and launched 10 advisory boards just to name a few of our
team's accomplishments during my first term. tim began his service in the house in 1991 with the committee on education and labor and after leaving the committee he worked for then-congressman ray lahood for 14 years. it was during his time with congressman lahood and my time as projects director for congressman shimkus that tim and i met and became friends. with his dedication and record of success helping constituents in congressman lahood's office i knew he would be a perfect fit for mine. his leadership in my office will be missed but i know he'll provide the same level of exemplary constituent services retchting the people of the 87th district in the illinois general assembly. i thank tim for his service to this house and congratulate him on his new opportunity to serve the people of illinois. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from wisconsin seek recognition? are there first members seeking
to do a one-minute speech 1234 -- speech? caller: leave of absence requested for ms. granger of texas for today, mr. hinojosa of texas for today, mr. roskam of illinois for today and the balance of the week and ms. maxine waters of california for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6 2015 the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. kelly is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. ms. kelly: i ask that all members be given five minutes to -- five days to revise and extend their remarks. mr. speaker, it's an honor and privilege to be before you this evening on the heels of our nation's recognizing the 50th anniversary of the selma march
which iser to down many obstructive barriers to voting for african-americans and which led to the passage of the voting rights act of 1965. we've grown as a nation since the night jimmy lee jackson was murdered, peacefully voting for voting rights in alabama -- facefully marching for voting rights in alabama. and we're not the world we were when mamie till showed the world what had been done to her baby. selma has changed but the issues of ferguson, missouri, remain. nearly 60 years after emmitt till was buried black mothers still worry about the voofl their sons' lives when they leave home. we're reminded of this every time we look in the eyes of trayvon martin's mother. we are better today than we were then and the changes we made to our laws paved our path to prosperity. the president spoke of this in selma and republicans and democrat alike were united in our feeling that we must uphold the promise of the nation we inherited because of selma.
the u.s. senate should vote to confirm a very qualified and exceptional u.s. attorney, loretta lynch, as the next attorney general. the c.b.c. devoted an hour of floor testimony last month in defense of her confirmation. but in her role as attorney general, loretta lynch will be tasked with defending the federal laws that protect the right to vote and that brings us to our topic this evening. tonight's c.b.c. hour is entitled "the battle wages on: securing equal voting rights in the united states." this topic is truly timely. this conversation needs to take place now. work remains to secure equal voting rights in the united states. actions like the supreme court's decision to gut the voting rights act remind us of that the equality that should exist at the ballot is still lacking. why cream of a day when the voting rights -- why dream of a day when the voting rights act
is no longer necessary? the truth is voter discrimination and suppression remain a tragic legacy of our past. in the past few years, many states have introduced restrictive legislation that diminishes individuals' access to the voting booth. the justice department may have the tools to fix this problem and go after places that are discriminating against certain voters. in some places, getting a voter i.d. that you can use to vote can cost up to $150. and that can be a burden for someone who is on a fixed income and not driving anymore and doesn't have a license. discriminatory laws and policies that hamper access to the ballot box are reasons that the protections in the voting rights act are necessary. the v.r.a. must remain in tact as its principles are powerful democrat agents that make our union more perfect. with that, i'd like to kick off this special order hour by yielding five minutes to my colleague and anchor, a man who has dedicated his life to the
issues of justice in america, a lawyer, judge and statesman who has defended voting rights, the chairman of the congressional black caucus, the honorable g.k. butterfield of north carolina. mr. butterfield: thank you very much, congresswoman kelly, for yielding time and thank you for your leadership, thank you for what you mean to the congressional black caucus. the congressional black caucus is now the largest caucus in our history. we are very proud to announce that we have 46 members now in the c.b.c. representing more than 30 million people from 23 states in addition to the district of columbia and the virgin islands. so i'm deliletted that you have taken this -- delighted that you have taken this responsibility each week, ms. kelly, to come to the floor and manage this time. typically congressman donald payne would be joining congresswoman chemmy tonight but mr. payne is not able to come to the floor tonight to help with this special order. due to what i'm told is complications from foot surgery.
so we wish to congressman payne a very speedy recovery. ms. kelly, i want to particularly thank you for selecting this subject this evening. this is a very timely conversation that we must have in this congress. and that is the whole subject of the voting rights act. and the topic that you've chosen, the battle wages on, securing equal voting rights in the u.s., is so very appropriate. and hopefully in the next two or three minutes i want to tell you why. let me just start by explaining the whole voting rights story. some of my colleagues may not fully appreciate it and understand that when we talk about voting rights, we just don't talk about 1965. in order to fully appreciate the voting rights history in this country, we must go back to the end of slavery. when four million slaves became free, they did not have the right to vote. so once the 15th amendment was added to the constitution, then all of the former slave men got
and obtained the right to vote. they got engaged. they got involved in the political process. and from 1870 into 1900's, a period of some 30 years, african-american males, particularly in the south, were fully engaged in the political process. but you know what? in 1900's, mr. speaker, -- in 1900, mr. speaker that right to vote came to an end. it came to an end because of southern states like north carolina and south carolina, alabama, mississippi and the like, all of these southern states passed disfranchisement laws. particularly a literacy test. and this literacy test had the practical effect of denying the former slaves and their descendents the right to vote. not only did you have to read and write in order to be able to register to vote, you had to convince the registrar that you were literate. so the practical effect of that was that the whole voting rights movement during those days came to an abrupt end in
1901, when congressman george h. white, who was one of my predecessors in north carolina, stood on this house floor on march 3 1901, and made a very profound farewell speech to the congress. so mr. speaker, that's the first error of voting rights in this country. the next error i would say would be from 1901 to 1965. when african-americans for the most part were not allowed to register to vote because of the literacy test and were not meaningfully involved. the next and final phase would be from 1965 until the present. in 1965 this congress passed the historic 1965 voting rights act and it was a bipartisan bill. democrats and republicans promoted the bill all the way to the finish line with the help of then president lindsen b. johnson. but -- lyndon b. johnson. but the 1965 voting rights, mr. speaker, did many great things. but the three things i will
highlight tonight are, number one it eliminated the literacy test. number two, it gave a right of action. it gave to african-american communitieses all across the united states the right -- communities all across the united states the right to bring legal action, to file civil lawsuits in federal court to challenge discriminatory election laws or practices or procedures. the third part of the voting rights act was what we now refer to as section 5. the congress in 1965 set aside certain states in the country and certain subdivisions within the state to require them to get preclearance before election laws went -- new election laws went into effect. many of our southern states did not like section 5. but it was put on the books for a purpose. because, if given the opportunity, these states were going to pass discriminatory
election laws that made it very difficult for african-americans to vote. so section 5 has now been on the books now since 1965. it has been strongly enforced by the attorney general. section 2 has been strongly enforced in courts all across the country. and now we have 46 african-americans serveing in congress. we have thousands elected as state and local levels all across the country, and it was because of the voting rights act in many respects. well, mr. speaker, we received a great surprise on june 25, twirlt -- 2013. the u.s. supreme court declared that section 5 could not be enforced. because the formula that gives life to section 5, which is section 4 the court says that section 4 needed to be updaylighted. and called on this congress -- updated. and called on this congress to amend section 4 to make it more contemporary in its application. and so this congress has failed to act. and now this is the spring of 2015 and we have failed to act. our voting rights are under continuous assault with more and more states and accounts
and at -- enacting votes laws that on their face appear to be -- to not be an impediment to voting. many of these new laws are discriminatory. i want you to know. some are intended to be. others, though not intentional, will have a discriminatory result. in closing mr. speaker, i am just unable to understand why my republican colleagues refuse to support and an amendment to section 5 -- support an amendment to section 5 to make this exro vision compliant with the supreme court decision. through the years this congress has been called upon to extend section 5 and has done so in a bipartisan way. in 2006, as section 5 was about to expire then there was a bipartisan bill passed by this congress, signed by president george w. bush. there were 192 republicans who voted for the bill. i want to say that to you again, my colleagues. 192 republicans voted to extend
section 5 just a few years ago. i absoluted them then, i absolute -- saluted them then, i salute them now. 66 of those republicans continue to serve in the house today. including chairman of the judiciary committee, mr. goodlatte. mr. speaker, we must fix section 5 to comply with the supreme court's decision to update the formula. if we continue down this path, and if we do nothing the practical effect will be that jurisdictions will pass election laws or implement election practices or procedures that will discriminate and we know it and we must prevent it from happening. the only remedy african-american communities have to obtain redress from discriminatory practices will be to file very expensive litigation. in the meantime the law, the new law goes into effect. if section 5 was in place, there wouldn't be the need for expensive litigation. the jurisdiction would simply be required to make a showing to the department of justice
and the attorney general would determine the effect of the change on minority voting strength. that's the way we've done it for the last 50 years. i call on my republican colleagues to please join with us in a bipartisan, bicameral effort to fix the formula so that section 5 can be enforced in our country. thank you ms. kelly, for yielding time. ms. kelly: thank you congressman butterfield. it is now my honor to introduce the gentlelady from alabama, one that was our gracious host last weekend. and we appreciate everything she did. terri sule. ms. sewell: mr. speaker, on march -- teri sule. ms. sewell: mr. speaker, on march we went to selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday and the 1965 march from selma to montgomery. i was humbled to welcome so many of commy colleagues this congress to my hometown of selma, alabama. it meant a lot to me and the state of alabama to also
welcome president and mrs. obama and their daughters as well as president and mrs. george w. bush to selma to commemorate the significant event in american history. the selma movement for voting rights was a uniquely american story. of how ordinary americans working together achieved extraordinary social change. i want to thank all of the members and everyone who participated in the faith and politics pilgrimage to alabama this year. i especially want to thank my alabama colleagues senator sessions, representative martha roby, representative robert aderholt, representative byrne and representative palmer for their participation in the delegation. a special thanks to congressman john lewis and the faith and politics institute for a job well done. you know, mr. speaker, the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of john lewis with john lewis is an unforget rble experience that is true -- unforgettable experience that is truly transformative. the bipartisan participation by republicans and democrats alike
was truly something to behold. especially given the hyperpartisanship of washington. it was something to see us gathered together in selma, alabama, to honor the sacrifices of the foot soldiers who dared to fight for voter equality 50 years ago. i tried not to have any expectation from this bipartisan showing. but i must admit my hope was that all of us would be motivated by the experience of traveling with john lewis in his footsteps with him to honestly look at modern-day threats to voting rights today. now that the spotlight is no longer on selma, we must move beyond the bridge and see that there is still a have been legitimatized in state legislatures across this country. photo i.d. laws and efforts to
get rid of early voting, weekend voting are modern efforts that have had profound effects on restricting access to voting. any effort that restricts or decreases the likelihood of citizens to vote is a of all americans. there is no denying that modern-day laws imposed to ostensibly prevent voter fraud have had the unintended consequence of making it much harder for certain sectors of the population to vote. my father is a perfect example of an individual who has found it harder to vote because of these modern day laws. or to the state of alabama imposing a photo i.d. law to vote, my father andrew, a stroke victim, who has been wheelchair-bound for the last 10 years, has voted by his federally issued social security card which does not
have a photo. but once the law was imposed my father, who no longer drives, no w.h.o. no longer works, is retired, had no way of getting a photo i.d. after the alabama law changed, my mother and i made sure that my father would get a photo i.d. to vote. the effort was tremendous. we transported my father in a special wheelchair-access van and got it into the old dallas county courthouse, which was grandfathered in from having a.d.a. laws and therefore no wheelchair ramp. once inside the courthouse, the elevator to the registrar's office was being serviced. and we had to wait an hour in order to use it. once we finally got to the office of the board of registrars, there were only one person waiting on 25 people in line. my mother and father persevered. they persevered to make sure that my father got a photo i.d. that day, because he was resolved in voting, because his
doctor was on the ballot for re-election -- daughter was on the ballot for re-election. but just think of all the senior citizens or disabled citizens that do not have a relative or person to take them to get a photo i.d. this photo requirement definitely reduces the amount and the ability for certain segments of society to exercise their right to vote. . in the supreme court ruling that invalidated the rule, the court said the formula used by congress to determine the covered states was outdated and implied there was no need for the voting rights act today since after all there was an african-american elected to president. oh, how short sighted the supreme court was. as long as there are vulnerable communities that face barriers to voting, there is still a need for federal protection. just last year, after the supreme court ruling, the city of evergreen alabama, came under federal scrutiny for unfairly excluding
african-americans from the voting rolls and for attempting to further dilute their voting power with a restrict -- a redistricting plan that would pack its majority black population into only two of the five municipal districts. incidents like evergreen alabama, remind us that progress is always elusive and the injustice suffered on the edmund pettus bridge 50 years ago has not been fully vindicated. beyond the bridge there is still laws explicitly or unintended that limit the access of americans to vote. now that we have commemorated the movement that led to the passage of the voting rights act of 1965, what are we going to do to protect the progress that's been made and to expand access for the sacred right to vote? on march 7 2015, while en route to selma president obama signed h.r. 431, the bill that
awarded a congressional gold medal to the foot soldiers of the selma to montgomery march of 1965. finally this nation is acknowledging the bravery of these foot soldiers who dared to make this nation live up to its ideals of justice and equality for all. while a great honor, a medal is not adequate repayment for their sacrifice. mr. speaker, the greatest tribute that we as members of congress can give is to work honestly and earnestly on a bipartisan bill to restore federal voting protection to vulnerable communities in the voting rights act. while i applaud bipartisan efforts made in the voting rights amendment act of 2015, to create a new formula that would determine which jurisdictions require federal preclearance this new formula that's in the current b.r.a. -- v.r.a. amendment act omits key
states. key states like north carolina south carolina, and alabama. you know, i can't imagine, mr. speaker, that the very state that prompted the voting rights act, alabama signed into law 50 years ago would now not be afforded the protection of federal oversight. the fight for voting rights was born in alabama and on my watch it will not die there. voting rights advocates and everyday citizens must remain vigilant and do all they can to safeguard against efforts to constrict democracy in state and local governments. our democracy requires it. we can all pay a debt of gratitude to those foot sole sgrirs voting in every election, local, state, and federal. we all have our part to play. and you know, we in congress can play a vital role. to echo the president's call to action, president obama said on that day, selma shows us that
america is not a project of any one person. the single most powerful word in our democracy is the word "we." we the people are tasked with strengthening and safeguarding our democracy. we the people are responsible for ensuring our nation lives up to its very principles. on the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act and the historic march from selma to montgomery, i urge my colleagues, democrats and republicans alike, to recommit ourselves to the work that was done by our predecessors. to work together to restore the voting rights act for all americans. that's the least we can do on this, the 50th anniversary. i look forward to this august body taking up a voting rights amendment act that fully restores federal protection to all vulnerable communities so that all americans can definitely exercise that sacred
right to vote. thank you very much, i yelled back the balance of my time, mr. speaker. >> thank you to the gentlelady from alabama and thank you for sharing -- ms. kelly: thank you for sharing the issues with your dad. at this time i would like to introduce the gentlelady from the district of columbia, eleanor holmes norton. ms. norton: i thank my good friend representative robin kelly for her leadership on this, the first night back for members back from sell masm i appreciate that our chair of the congressional black caucus has been here to give us a very important background and history and i particularly appreciate that we have just heard from a member from
alabama itself and all of that seems to me to be the appropriate prelude for what we're doing here tonight. yes, this is the first day we're back from this historic trip and back from the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act. there is no place for the almost 100 members who went to be but on this floor this evening. i want to thank attorney general holder for taking the crippled voting rights act and continuing to enforce it. the trip to selma essentially set the stage for members to come back regard our trip as a call to action and to get down to work, revitalize the 1965
voting rights act. my thanks to representative jim sensenbrenner and to representative john conyers for co-sponsoring a revised version of the act. my thanks to john lewis who has kept selma and the voting rights act alive by his annual trips with members and others to selma. i am appreciative of the almost 100 members from both parties who went to selma on the 6th and 7th. what was the purpose of going? it could not have been a celebration. you can celebrate the 1964 civil rights act that's not been dismembered. you can celebrate the 1968 fair housing law, it still is on the books. but you go to selma to try to bring back to its full glory
the voting rights act of 1965 with section 5 -- where section 5 has rendered the act virtually obsolete for most of its original purposes. i stress the supreme court did not invalidate the 1965 voting rights act. it invited the 100 members who went to selma and the others in this body to modernize the act. we may differ on how to do that. i do not think there can be any doubt that it has to be revised and we have to meet the challenge that the supreme court has given us. after all, the voting rights act prevented, literally -- prevented literally hundreds of discriminatory volting -- voting practices and there were countless practices that it simply deterred.
i must say i was disappointed that early on in this session, the chairman of the committee, the judiciary committee, representative goodlatte, indicated that he did not believe that the act was necessary and he talked about the 11 southern states that had been under the act. the fact is that the preclearance voting rights act requirements went far beyond those states. at a time of the supreme court decision in 2013 arizona and alaska were covered. parts of california new york, south dakota, and michigan were covered. in the past parts of hawaii, colorado new hampshire idaho, connecticut, massachusetts wyoming, maine new mexico, and oklahoma have been covered. it is true that the heart of
the coverage were the 11 southern states but that's where the heart of the violations were in fact tracked. that's where the poll taxes were. that's where the violations were. there's been a compromise bill that has been put forward of mr. sensenbrenner and mr. conyers. the very act of going to selma was put upon us an obligation to come back and respond to that trip. the bill before us has tried to meet some of the objections that were raised. there's a rolling preclearance formula for example, that does not require congressional re-authorization. there is a bail in section of
the act to reach those who had had not been covered. there are minimum number of violations over a period of time that have to be recorded in order to come under the act. as my good friend from beavepl says, the act is not what all of us certainly wanted. but it does mean that in the spirit of compromise and because of the necessity of this act, this act which demock rahtized the south -- which democratized the south and is necessary, perhaps not as necessary as 50 years ago, but there can be no doubt, as the supreme court justice said himself there was discrimination in voting practices but he said it was up to the congress to modernize the bill. i don't see how almost 100 republican and democratic members can have gone to selma on the 50th anniversary without
coming back to revise the act. we went empty handed. we went without a bill. i hope that what we got was the gumption to come back and in fact put forward a bill. yes, the act has been dismembered by the supreme court. but the court asked us to reshape it. it asked us to restore it. it was one thing to go without a bill. it's quite another to come back and do nothing about a bill. the president did not hesitate to say where the responsibility in fact lies and i'm quoting from his speech in selma. 100 members of congress have come here today to honor people who were willing to die for the right it protects. if we want to honor this day,
let these 100 go back to washington and gather 400 more and together pledge to make it their noigs restore the law this year. that is our mission, the very trip to selma where we went in the name of the entire congress demands that we act before the end of this congress. i yield back and thank the gentlelady for yielding. ms. kelly: thank you so much to the gentlelady from washington, d.c. at this time i'd like to introduce our leader from south carolina the gentleman, james clyburn. mr. clyburn: mr. chairman, request permission to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. clyburn: you know i often
refer to this hall as america's classroom. i do that because i do believe that as we conduct ourselves here on this floor, it is to set an example for all citizens, especially our young citizens who look in on our proceedings and get some idea about how they ought to conduct themselves as americans going forward. one of those things i think that we ought to be very careful of is how we address the rights and responsibilities that we all have as citizens. and we teach our children in our classrooms and in our homes that the right to vote is basic to this democracy of ours.
and i know that all of us are aware that in our past, it's a right that has not always been practiced. but, in its wisdom this body acting collectively, decided back in 1965 that it would do something about making right the wrongs that had been heaped upon citizens for decades when it comes to voting. . and so we did. a formula was adopted that was based upon the 1964 results of the presidential election. we have renewed time and time again that law. always updating under that
formula. but several months ago the united states supreme court looked at the formula and decided that the formula that outlived its usefulness but that the voting rights act was still needed and invited the congress to take a look at the formula and update it. and as the chair said and to make it more contemporary. we have worked for months, and i want to thank mr. sensenbrenner of wisconsin and mr. conyers of michigan, for the work they have done to put together some amendments that would update that formula. this time we decided to look
back just a few years and to see within the last 10 or 12 years, what jurisdictions have still continued to violate people's rights and who have been found guilty of doing so. and rather than apply the formula to everybody or what we'll do is come up with a series of wrongs put some numerical qualification on it and make a new formula. now that formula is not going to cover south carolina today. but under the formula, any jurisdiction, any state that commits these kinds of
atrocities and are found to have done so, they will be brought under the formula. so the formula applies to every jurisdiction in the country. and i think that it's time for us to be honest that everybody will not do right. but we should have something in place, so when a jurisdiction fails to do right we will have a mechanism to address those ills. now, let me hasten to add and i want that are listening in to understand, this part of the voting rights act is a preventive measure. it says that it allows for the
justice department to move to prevent any kind of implementation of a change in the voting laws and so we won't have expensive litigation or something in it is not quite right. and so i believe it is incumbent upon us to do what we can to employ methods that will not require that citizens and their jurisdictions their states, their cities and counties, to go to the expense of litigation when we can have an administrative procedure in place to take a look at what has been done and make a decision as to whether or not there is any possibility that someone's voting rights could be taken away. that's all this formula does. that's all section 5 is about.
and i would hope that those of us who traveled to selma last week to renew our commitment to making this country of ours a more perfect union. we'll sit down in the near future. and before we get to the 50th anniversary of that 1965 voting rights act, which comes on august 6 of this year, sometime between now and august 6, let's put in place the kinds of amendments that will allow the voting rights act to maintain the life that is given to so many communities for so many years. i want to thank ms. kelly for
putting this special order. i get in touch with one of those old adages, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. i believe that these amendments that we are proposing are preventive measures, and it was much more valuable for us to come back looking for a cure that could be very, very expensive. and with that, i yield back. mrs. beatty: thank you to the gentleman from south, mr. clyburn for your important insight. mr. kelly: it's my honor to introduce the gentlelady from texas, congresswoman jackson lee for five minutes.
ms. jackson lee: let me thank my colleagues and thank congresswoman kelly and chairman butterfield for the opportunity to carry forward the spirit of the 50th commemoration of the march over the edmund pettus bridge. and let me begin by thanking congresswoman sewell and all of the alabama delegation for their hospitality and spirit of unity. i'm so moved by that experience that i frankly believe that now is the time to move the bill that is bipartisan that is the response to the united states supreme court to the floor of the house, to the judiciary committee and to the floor of the house. leader clyburn was very apt in
describing a very significant point that really answers the question of the supreme court. if i had my way coming from the state of texas, i frankly believe that the re-authorization that we did through the judiciary committee which i'm a me member and i was engaged in 2006 and 2007, was a thorough expose of the voting rights act. we did 15,000 pages of testimony and witness after witness indicated that the formula we were using was an effective formula. the supreme court challenged the data and it is appropriate to update the data, i welcome that. but i welcome that by the bill that has been introduced by a number of us, we have crafted a formula that says it is an even playing field, an even playing
field to opt in. or to opt out because they have a smooth, even-handed process for citizens in their state to vote. so i believe it is important that the message get out of what the voting rights act stands for and what it meant for those foot soldiers across that bridge. they crossed that bridge and were willing and were bloodied to do something nonviolent and that is to petition their leaders at the voting box. i can't imagine there is any member here in this place, in this august congress, that would not want to go to their constituents whether they live until south dakota, utah, mississippi or new york or texas, as i do, that there is an unfettered right to right. i will be introducing a voting rights act that establishes an act that establishes the voting
rights act that was signed by president johnson with the leaders of martin luther king and lawn lewis to introduce that as being voting rights act day, to reinforce the value to americans of the importance of voting. who would want to oppose the idea that voting is not important? and so i'm looking forward to having members join on the simple premise that it is important to vote in america and that it is important to commemorate the signing of the voting rights act and voting rights day. we saw the thousands that were marching across the edmund pettus bridge. let me clarify under section 5 under the jurisdiction of voting rights act of 1965 and voting rights act of 2015, has proposed
that the changes are not retro gress i have and will not have the effect of denying or bridging the right to vote. we have expanded that to go by acts, by occurances that would keep someone from voting. i believe that this past weekend or the weekend of blood sunday was a moving moment that would draw together that would allow us to understand h.r. 885. many of us would be willing to have teach-ins to make sure that the col colleagues understand this. earlier today, i stood on the floor and asked for a bipartisan approach to the approval of the attorney general nominee by the other body. i say this from the spirit of recognition of the three branches of government, a president has nominated a well qualified, distinguished member
of the bar, loretta lynch, to be the next attorney general of the united states of america. we understand the differences of opinion. i have no quarrel with those differences. i support the human trafficking bill and recognize there is a disagreement on language that i agree with the disagreement, but that disagreement can be worked out through ongoing talks and however they want to approach it or a vote on the floor. but loretta lynch, the attorney- general nominee should not be held captive on disagreements on legislation. all of this, mr. speaker, is wrapped up together. the department of justice enforces the voting rights act. as we look to the future. as we formulate the understanding of the three branches of government to avoid the crisis of not having the leadership that is timely for the work that has to be done, i
would hope the senate would move forward and honor us as we stand under this wonderful flag and stand for voting rights for all. real real now it's my -- ms. moore: i stood with friends of the movement, of all races from every state in the united states with civil rights people such as mrs. abernathy,
mrs. bountyon, doris crenshaw and our own very colleague john lewis, who helped lead a march for better equality for all of america. but it was very very hard to celebrate -- it was a very sober mood in the crowd as we realized that the voting rights of americans particularly african-americans were under threat 50 years after the civil rights -- voting rights act was signed. and as the president said in his remarks, quote, right now in 2015, 50 years after selma there are laws across the
country designed to make it harder for people to vote. as we speak, more of such laws are being proposed. meanwhile, the voting rights act, the culmination of so much blood so much sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of violence, the voting rights is weakened and subject to political rankor. as we think of those martyrs like james earl cheney, andy goodman, michael shwerner, it is difficult to deal with the reality like wisconsin, has joined the map of shame and passed one of the strictest voter i.d. laws in the country. .
wisconsin has been in a battle, a battleground fighting this pernicious law. we have had in 2014 a federal judge rule that our voter i.d. law was unconstitutional and violated section 2 of the voting rights act and the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. it found that 300,000 wisconsinites lacked the proper i.d. needed under the law. and that the law would have a disparate impact on blacks and latinos. yet, despite that powerful finding, the federal district court was recklessly overturned by a three-judge panel on the seventh circuit. and right, right before our 2014 election, the united states supreme court stepped in
and enjoined this law, an emergency stay, to prevent them from implementing the voter i.d. law only six weeks before the 2014 election. recently members of the congressional black caucus have sent an amicus brief and i'm optimistic that justice will prevail. i know there have been many african-americans and people of other races who have marched across that edmund pettus bridge and as a woman i know that the brave suffrage ets fought for e-- suffragettes fought for equal treatment for year suffering humiliation and shame from society. history has made it so very, very clear that voting rights are so fundamental, the fourth amendment protected voting right the 15th amendment said
that males, former slaves even could vote. women's sufficient ranl poll taxes supposedly were eliminated with the 26th amendment and the -- with the 24th amendment and -- and the 26th amendment allowed 18-year-olds to vote and of course the voting rights act of 1965. i think it is very very, very clear when you look at the history of this protection that is the -- that is one of the most constitutionally protected rights that there is. so i would urge my colleagues here in that body to do more than hold hands and sing "we shall overcome" but to really pass laws to strengthen the voting rights act. we've all heard the adage that history repeats itself and we've seen a race across the country for republican legislatures and governors to pass these voter i.d. laws but
i think we also have the power to shape our future by drawing from the lessons of the past. our civil rights movement, our march in selma where we stood hand in hand, arm in arm, and fought back against this tide of oppression. and with that i yield back to the gentlelady from illinois. ms. kelly: thank you to the gentlelady from wisconsin. thank you for sharing your thoughts. now it's my honor to introduce the gentlelady from florida frederica wilson, for three minutes. mrs. wilson: in miami-dade county, i have a program called the 5000 role models of excellence project. it's a program of black boys
and hispanic boys who are trying to grow up into good men. and the friday before bloody sunday over 500 12th graders graduating seniors from that program went to a movie to watch a private screening of "selma," the movie "selma." and i want to give a special shoutout to nancy sewell, the mother of teri sewell, as i watched the two of them on c-span and on msnbc and cnn, i was so proud of them. these boys were prepped by men who experienced the civil rights battles who know the bitter history and violent battles we had to endure. i wish i had the resources to take all 500 of them to selma. during the movie, we planned a
twitter war. thousands participated across the nation. movie stars rappers, sports legends, and the white house joined in the twitter war. these boys will never be the same. they were visibly moved and their applause, their tears, and their hugs and their tweets proved the transformation. the next day, on that saturday when the president spoke, the twitter war continued and it was based at my home when so many of them watched and they marveled at representative john lewis, a card-carrying sworn in member of the 5000 role models of excellence project. they watched so proudly as he introduced the first black president of the united states. in fact he is the only president that they know. and they are beyond proud.
why did i do this? i wanted as many students as possible to experience the importance of voting. and i'm not finished. all 8,000 of them will see the movie as soon as it is released for distribution. this generation of children need to know the importance of voting. they need to know what their forefathers had to endure so that they could vote. when i was on the miami dade county school board in 1996, we sat up a process and part -- in partnership with the department of elections. every eligible student is registered to vote in the 11th grade and when they graduate and turn 18 their voter registration card is mailed to their homes. this is a policy that all school districts, all across
america, should adopt. while they repair the damage to the voting rights act through legislation graduating seniors in miami-dade county public schools, black, white and hispanic will still have the opportunity to vote. every single one of them will vote. and i hope that other school districts will adopt this policy so that children will know and understand the importance of voting. it is their voice. god of our weary years, god of our silent tear let us as a people march on to victory -- until victory is won. i yield back the balance of my time to the gentlelady from illinois. ms. kelly: thank you to the
gentlelady from florida. thank you for sharing your success stories and hopefully those can be duplicated. at this time i'd like to introduce the gentlelady from north carolina, congresswoman alma adams. for three minutes. mrs. adams: thank you, congresswoman kelly, for your leadership. i appreciate what you're doing very much and certainly it's something that we need to do, we must do. mr. speaker, i rise today to stress the importance of equal voting rights for everyone. just over a week ago, i traveled to selma with several of my colleagues to retrace the steps of those who shed blood as they tried again to gain equal access to the ballot box. as a professor for 40 years at bennett college in north carolina, i made sure that the students that passed through my classroom and our campus knew just how important it was to have their voices heard.
and to this day students know that bennett bells are voting bells. the supreme court struck down a major provision of the voting rights act, limiting federal oversight over state voting laws. sadly, my home state of north carolina quickly implemented voting laws that disenfranchised voters by making cuts to early voting, restricting -- enforcing strict i.d. requirements and ending some preregistration programs, which did not allow young high school students to be able to register to vote. as i think about those who risk their lives in order to exercise their right to vote simple freedom given to us in the constitution is still under attack.
it's time for all of us, mr. speaker, to come together, restore the voting rights act, to ensure that every voter no matter their race, no matter their class or creed, can make their voice heard and elect the leaders of their choice. i yield back to the gentlelady. ms. kelly: i thank the gentlelady from north carolina again for her insight and comments. so here we are, 50 years removed from selma. 50 years after americans young and old, black, white asian hispanic, native american, jewish, made a decision to stand up for what they knew was right. they stood up for democracy and demanded fair and unobstructed access to the ballot. as you've heard this hour, the evolution to the america we are today has been a long and challenging journey. the voting rights act has done
much to make our union more perfect but the strength of the voting rights act has been diminished and with new discriminatory laws on the books this congress must act. this congress can pass a bipartisan bill that extends section 5 of the voting rights act. as was the case in selma, the law is not equal for all. we must unite as we did then. i urge my colleagues to take up this important issue and strengthen the voting rights act. i'd like to take this time to thank the gentleman from north carolina, mr. butterfield, and all my colleagues who took the time to speak to us this evening. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair announces the speaker's approval pursuant to 20 u.s.c. and the order of the house of january 6 2015 of the following individuals on the part of the house to the national advisory committee to
the constitute of national quality and integrity for a term of six years. the clerk: upon the recommendation of the minority leader, dr. george t. french of fairfield alabama, dr. katherine sullivan of new york, new york. mr. ralph a. wolf of oakland, california. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? ms. kelly: i move that the we 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