tv U.S. House Meets for Legislative Business CSPAN July 17, 2017 6:30pm-9:24pm EDT
do you think that the commission should start publishing on a periodic, annual basis, information such as how much was used for regulation a crowdfunding, so on and so forth, so you have a time series and can evaluate it? including the commissioners themselves. but also better information about what kind of things are causing enforcement problems in the real world? michael: that's a good idea. i hadn't thought about putting that out on a more regularized basis. we make a -- [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> we take you back live now to the floor of the house. following order. .r. 2210 by the yeas and nays. and h j ressp . the first vote will be a 15-minute vote. the unfinished business is on ote to pass h.r. 2210.
the clerk: h.r. 2210, a bill to designate the community living center of the department of veterans affairs in butler township as the sergeant joseph george kusick. the speaker pro tempore: will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-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 speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 401, the nays are zero. 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 upon the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, to suspend the rules and pass h.j.res. 9 on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the of the joint resolution. the clerk: house joint resolution 92. joint resolution granting the consent and approval of congress for the commonwealth of
virginia, the state of maryland, and the district of columbia to amend the washington area transit regulation compact. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass joint resolution -- pass the joint resolution. 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 speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 402. 2/3 being in the affirmative. the joint resolution is passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider. he title is amended. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion by 9 the gentleman from virginia to pass the joint resolution. the clerk: joint resolution granting approval of congress for the commonwealth of virginia, the state of maryland and the district of columbia to enter into a compact to establish a metro rail commission.
the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the whose suspend the rules and pass the joint resolution 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 u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 399, the nays are 5. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the joint resolution is passed and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. ithout objection, the title is struck by inserting enter. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. burgess: i send a privileged report from the committee of rules for filing under the rule. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 451, resolution
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho. the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany h.r. 32 6 a bill making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies sending september 30. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 1, rule 21, points of order are reserved. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i present a privileged report. the clerk: report to accompany h.r. 32 7 a bill making appropriations for the departments of commerce and for the fiscal year ending september
30, 2018. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the union calendar. oints of order are reserved. for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> i present a privileged report for printing under the clule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk: report to accompany a bill making appropriations for agriculture, rural development food and drug administration and related agency programs for the fiscal year ending september 0, 2018 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the union calendar. points of order are reserved. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. he house will come to order.
for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> permings to douse for one inute and resize and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. please take your conversations off the floor. he house will come to order. the gentleman is recognized. mr. paulsen: i rise to congratulate james hartman who won the federal duck stamp contest. james is picking three geese. ince 1934, sales have raised
$950 million for the conservation of wetlands all over our country. the money helped raised to help preserve habitat and provide a clean water for many communities throughout the nation and last fall, a panel of five judges selected james' submission marking the fifth time that he has won the competition and two other artists won the federal duck stamp stamp contests. and the people of minnesota are proud to see a gifted artist to use his tall especially for such a great cause. we wish him the best. i yield back. . . the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek
recognition? -- the gentleman from illinois, sorry. without objection the gentleman s recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, over the fourth of july district work period, i met with my constituents across chicago's west and northwest suburbs. despite the range of our groups and communities i spoke with, there was one theme that was on everybody's mind, the urgent need for congress to take action that puts hardworking families first. mr. kris: -- to krishnamoorthi: the need help children get the skills necessary for rewarding careers. earlier this summer, we passed
the strengthening care and technical education for the 21st severage century act. this will modify and expand career and technical education programs over across the country by increasing funding and local control while expanding the cooperation that exists between educators and employers. the house has done its part to advantage this legislation and support working families. now the senate must act and send it to the president for his signature. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to pay tribute to my friend, neighbor, mentor, and former kentucky commissioner of agriculture, jay robert miller. robert pass aid way last night at the age of 97. he was a legend in agriculture,
agriculture education and kentucky politics. he served as kentucky ag commissioner from 1967 to 1971 during the louie nunn administration. before that, he was an agriculture teacher in high school and always an active, life listening farmer. growing up in 4h and f.f.a., my earliest memories include robert miller. he was a mainstay at monroe county area livestock shows and f.f.a. banquets, always helping out and offering advice to current and future farmers. he was a great man who had a positive influence on countless kentuckians. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady om texas seek reck -- seek recognition? without objection the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, i always applaud when the united states steps in and takes a
leadership role to prevent war. i've traveled to the mid east for many, many years as a member of the united states congress representing my constituents, and i want to express my appreciation to secretary of state rex tillerson for the energy he is putting in in engaging saudi arabia, kuwait, u.a.e., jordan, egypt, and qatar to be able to stop the blockade and the conflict that may continue to grow against qatar. this is a region that many of these countries have been allies of of the united states, the southern command is in qatar, and frankly i think they need to be united against those terrorists that plague them all. i would also ask that the u.a.e. that's been reported in the nation's newspapers hacked into the email of qatar and put words in the mouths of their government officials that were uncrew. this is not the way to proceed with peace and diplomacy and so
i believe we should energetically and aggressively engage these countries to stop this blockade and begin to repair the collaborative efforts to ensure that we fight the war on terror together and not against, so thank you, mr. tillerson, i look forward to working with you as a member of the united states congress to bring peace to that region. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday, americans observed national ice cream day, which is celebrated annually on the third sunday in july. in 1984, president ronald reagan made the designation and named july national ice cream month. our very own penn state university is a world lead for the dairy production and food science. for the last 150 years, its
berkley creamery has been an important penn state landmark. penn state has a herd of more twice00 holsteins, milked daily, which are the start of the delicious ice cream. it's made the creamery an authority on ice cream. penn state's legendary short course which takes participants from cow to cone has attracted some of the biggest names in ice cream from bass kin robbins to dazs.jerry's and haagen congratulations to penn state for being the industry leader and happy national ice cream month. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california 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. >> thank you very much, mr.
speaker. i have the honor and the privilege of being a united states congressman, and with that comes tremendous responsibility. mr. cardenas: we have a country of over 320 million people, men, women, and children. right now, ladies and gentlemen, we may be days away or even a couple of weeks away of watching the united states senate possibly change health care for america like we've never seen before. i hope and pray that my colleagues in both houses and the president of the united states try their best to make sure that we enhance health care access, rather than divert more than 20 million people away from being able to see a doctor. last week, i was visited by some young folks and i was given this red band called willpower for a little boy named will who has gone through many, many operations. if these bills see the light of day and the president's desk and get into law, people like will
just might not be around very much longer. let's hope and pray that we do the right thing, ladies and gentlemen. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady rom new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to express my condolences to the families of the 15 marines and one navy corpsman who lost their lives last week. ms. tenney: these service members were among the most elite in our armed services, they were from the second ba -- camp them were out of lejeune. many of them had been deployed and served in conflicts in the middle east. these american heroes valiantly served and placed the needs of our country first.
as the parent of a marine serving in the middle east, it is with a heavy heart i offer my condolences to these families. the greatest worry of family and friends is the loss of a loved one who is serving. thus it is important to honor these brey men and women. we thank them and remember them for their service and sacrifice. semper fi, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consen -- consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is elect niced for one minute. mr. woodall: i rise today to celebrate the 90th -- >> i rise today to celebrate the 0th birthday of ms. powell who celebrates her 90th birthday. mr. carter: after graduating from tatnall county high school she dedicated her life to her
family, raise er three children, bruce, linda, and crystal. she moved to pooler, georgia and became a member of the first baptist church there he love of god and fellowship with others turn intod a meaningful role with the church's weekly sunday school class. now she's been an active weekly participant greatly contributing with the class for the past 23 years and is a staple of the church. the members of the congregation look forward to seeing her as she greets them ats the church doors every sunday morning. her family and friends will be sell -- her family and friends celebrated her 90th birthday with a reception on july 16, 2017. please join me in wishing this remarkable woman a very happy birthday. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. marino of pennsylvania for today, mrs.
napolitano of california for today and the balance of the week. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced spoifl january 3, 2017, the gentleman from texas, mr. veasey is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. veasey: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. veasey: mr. speaker, it is great to be here with you this evening and to talk about very important topic and before i get into the topic of this hour, it is with great honor that i rise today to co-anchor this c.b.c. special order hour with my dear friend, stacey plaskett, representative plaskett from the virgin islands, and also acknowledge our c.b.c. chair, representative
from the state of louisiana. for the next 6 minutes we have the chance to speak to the american people on issues of great importance to members of the congressional black caucus, congress, the constituents we represent and all americans on this very important issue of voter suppression. before i go into my remarks, mr. speaker, we do have some colleagues here that were -- that would like to also speak about this very timely and important topic, there've been many developments that have occurred over the last week dealing with commissions that are being formed out of the white house, to help aid in voter suppression and other things that have been very, very troubling. and with that, i'm going to ask for the first speaker to rise and that would be my colleague also from the great state of texas, from harris county and the city of houston, the honorable sheila jackson lee.
who has been very, very thoughtful and been a great voice on ex-pabbeding the right to vote of all americans and i want to thank representative jackson lee for taking the time during this hour to come out and talk about this very important topic. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the distinguished gentleman from texas and the co-leader of this hour along with congresswoman plaskett for not only their astute leadership of the hour but certainly their astute leadership of the issue. i'm delighted to join my colleagues, i want to thank the chair they have con gregs -- congressional black caucus, and especially mr. cedric richmond, for making sure that the congressional black caucus is heard on these important issues. i'm going to focus my issues, because this is not a republican or democratic issue, it is an american issue and i to want to personally thank you for your
leadership as the main plaintiff of the texas voter i.d. litigation which has been, how should i say it. i want to say earth shattering, but it's been ground breaking in the recognition of the diminishing of rights of people to vote by a draconian voter i.d. law. we know it's been somewhat modified but your astuteness recognizes that even in its modification in the coming elections we should be very wary of the efforts that the state will utilize the voter i.d. law for voter suppression. today i want to rise in the backdrop of the shelby case which many of us are well aware of, the shelby case which occurred in the -- in alabama was the unfortunate case that turned back the clock on the 1965 voter rights act that had been working for decades with absolutely no problems.
ut unfortunately, this conservative-leaning supreme court made decisions not on what's good for america or what's good in terms of law but decided to eliminate section 5 d i'm reminded of the very astute words of justice ginsburg, very astute words, when she was appalled that the supreme court yielded to what i would consider misinterpretation that there is no problem with discrimination there is no problem with racism and justice ginsburg very astutely said, well, we've been very fortunate that the polio vaccination has all but extinguished polio in the united states. hat is great news. does that need we need to get rid of the vaccination and any
american, any hard-working american because they love their children and families would have a resounding no. hy would you get rid of six 5, when there is documentation of discrimination and and against because of race. it does not say black or any particular part of race. section was a protector for all of americans and giving them the vote of one person. and by the way, mr. speaker, the pending meeting of this established commission, the presidential commission is going to be meeting jewel 19. his is a dangerous phenomenon.
there was a writing requesting. personal information when we have stood in this well fighting against the patriot act when it asn't well after 9/11, because its premise was to spy on the american people and spy on americans. this is an unreasonable search and seizure. let me list for you. some of this is public knowledge. full first and last names, middle names or initials, addresses, dates of birth, political party. last four digits, voter history, voter history. what elections you voted in. from 2006 you voted in.
i would venture to say if i ask my republican colleagues if you want them to send this in, canceled status, information regarding felony conviction. nd oversees information. there is no documentation of massive voter fraud. the sanctity is included by the 14 and 15 amendment, all of these alaw you to have a degree of privacy. a letter to mr. trump to preserve the sanctity of the vote and not to undermipe and jury y request is
selection. not a selection formed to search r nonexistence that you lost the vote by 2.1 million votes because people voted illegally. that was a statement that no one can document. and so this presidential advisory commission is to try to find a problem that does not exist. it is a solution seeking to find a problem. it is a dangerous proposition and danger of the privacy of the american people. any conservative, liberal, moderate, who believes in the constitution of the united states should stand arm and arm together against the commission. it is the beginning of the big brother, the arm of the big
brother to intrude into the homes of the american people and secure information that is, in fact, challenging whether you can move from one state to the ext, challenging whether you can have a voter card and challenging military persons who move from place to place, this clearlysult and this is voter suppression and not in any way to speak to the voter fraud. i have asked my statedowand i a to pull this request and i believe this executive order should be eliminated. let me conclude by holding up this map which indicates the colors of the individual states that are only slightly, slightly
adhering to this commission. the orange and the plus are individual states, some that are not adhering and those who are giving basic information. let me thank the gentleman for yelleding and i hope we can fight against the suppression of american voters and thanks for lerting the american people to we should -- i yield back. mr. veasey: i would like to thank my colleague. the american public would be interested in the criminal back ground hift because i know there are a lot of people, people of all political stripes that made mistakes when they were younger and maybe they go and vote and
they are americans and assimilated and learned from their mistakes and they would be disturbed to know that this sort of information about something they did when they were 21 years old and now 40-something years old and this information is being collected. would like to invite my friend, donald payne junior from the state of new jersey to speak about this issue and thank him for taking the time and share some of the skeshes concerns he has. representative payne. mr. payne: let me first thank the gentleman from texas for sponsoric this c.b.c. special order hour. it is a responsibility that he
has done remarkably well in governing the time and the topic with which we speak on. mr. his is a timely topic, speaker. in a single decision, u.s. supreme court set ablaze decades of progress the voting rights act. our years after, voter protections that many americans rely on are again under assault. following that decision, we saw an eruption of unjust voting laws and it is unfortunate and unfortunate that historical facts that in the absence of the federal safeguard, some states will rerecollect barriers.
they were emboldened and after he ruling issued blatantly added discriminatory rules that directly affected minority communities. sadly, one of the most significance and imminent threats to access to the polls comes directly from the administration. since the inauguration, the trump administration has withdrawn from long-standing legal challenges to diss krim in ta tower laws and on election integrity that will investigate the president's widely unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. these actions and rhetoric will reinsure that states that their
laws will be tolerated and upheld in this administration. i urge congress to take 'esponsibility and retore voter rights for more than 50 years. the shelby decision was one of the mostries dupttive decisions in recent american history, passing the legislation will redem america's progress for a air vote for everyone of a eligible age. the basic right to vote will be a task reborn with every generation. obstacles are no longer plate antly obvious. , voter ter laws
intimidation and unfair gerry barriers. create although these actions appear insurmountable rgs they are not. this is an afront to the constitution and will not be toll rated. if we continue to resist attempts to turn back voter protections, we will be successful and stand proudly on the right side of history. and mr. speaker, it is unfortunate in that this nation ppears to be going in reverse. gains have been made by people who weren't necessarily considered citizens when they
first arrived here. but property, have had to look at these rulings and in order to ve the rights as every other americans have. those who built this building could not vote. but it is a beautiful, beautiful symbol of this nation's history and the ancestors of the people that will helped build this country, build these beautiful buildings here be rolling over in their graves to learn that equality and rights for all are still under attack. c.b.c. and ker, the the whole congress will make sure that all americans, regardless of where they come
from and where they started and when they were allowed and seen as citizens had the right to vote in this great country. and with this, i yield back to the gentleman from texas. mr. veasey: i would like to hank scrasm new jersey for pointing out the hands that built this building. the hand that built this building were not hands of free men but hands of slaves and we as my nder today and building is a symbol of freedom and the hands that built it were not built with free hands and of course, what fouled, emancipation in this country,
jim crow, voter suppression, ce he got passed that late 1960's and 1970's to see that coming back again is very disturbing. thank you for your timely comments. i ask representative beatty and i thank her for spending so much time here on the house floor working on special order hour and when it comes to things that we are so worried about now. gentleladyver to the from from ohio. mrs. beatty: it mrs. beatty: it is an honor for me to stand here on this floor but when i think that tonight i have to stand here and talk about the topic the
congressional black caucus comes to the house floor to speak out against, it's a sad day. to my classmate and colleague and friend, congressman mark veasey, thank you, thank you for taking a leadership role. thank you for making that clarion call to ask us to come. many of us will come tonight and doak out, several of us will our message so it can be recorded. others will be back in their district fighting for voting rights. this is something we have to do because unfortunately, although it has been over 50 years since president lyndon johnson signed into law the voting rights act of 1965, which has been the most powerful tool in defending the voting rights of minorities, the
voting rights as you've heard tonight, we will continue to hear, outlaw the harassment, intimidation and violence that many african-americans experience when trying to exercise their right to vote. it ended some of the most overtly discriminatory practices in our country's history by banning literacy tests, apointing federal examiners in certain problematic areas to register voters and monitor elections and criminalize voter intimidation threats. also key to voting rights, you've heafered many of our attorneys explain it and talk about the creation of the preclearance process that requires certain places within some oft areas of -- in the worst areas of history of discrimination to gain approval from a federal court or the
department of justice before making election changes. however, this is -- however, mr. speaker, in my first term in congress, i became a part of this history. it was in 2013 that the united states supreme court struck down this crucial provision of the voting rights act in the shelby county versus holder decision. opening the door for states to reduce, i'm going to say that again, mr. speaker. opening the door to reduce the electoral power of minority communities. and with that door opened, many states are taking this opportunity to passal wave of laws, including strict voter i.d. requirements. early voting cutbacks. and registration restrictions. making it harder for many
hardworking americans to vote. that's just not right. every citizen should have the right to vote. following the 2016 election, president trump falsely claimed that millions voted illegally. perpetrating the myth of voter aud long used to justify restrictive legislation that suppresses voters in low income areas. i stand here today to tell you that it is not true. and when the congressional black caucus hears the president of these united states using terms like voter fraud or illegally voted, we can read between the lines, mr. speaker. intent, in ng his my opinion, to suppress the vote he is signaling the support for efforts that will make it even harder for poor people, people
of color, women, elderly people to vote. one of the fundamental rights that we have, to vote. while the legislative maneuvers to restrict our citizens' fundamental rights should shock the country. it has not. and that's why we are standing on this floor today. that's why we are asking democrats and republicans to work together to correct this wrong. we've witnessed the history of some 50-plus years of what happened to many people in some of our southern states. mr. speaker, it's just not right. that's why we are here today. as former president barack obama said, this is something that has constantly been disproved. as a matter of fact this is fake news. one of my colleagues came to the
floor tonight and said this is not a democrat or a republican issue. well, let me say it a little differently. this should not be a democrat or republican issue. but if it were a bipartisan issue, we wouldn't be standing here in this special order hour demanding and asking that we come together as democrats and republicans. and restore the voting rights. so let me be very clear. the congressional black caucus, through the leadership of our chairman, congressman cedric richmond, through the leadership of our power of the hour chair congressman mark veasey, and the other members of the congressional black caucus, one of the largest minority caucuses in this house, we stand ready to advocate, we stand ready to
protect those that we come here to protect. so as elected officials, we have a responsibility to ensure the rights of one person, one vote. and part of this responsibility includes making it easier, mr. speaker, not harder, for citizen to vote. and we will not stop our quest in ensuring justice for all americans. thank you and i yield back. mr. veasey: thank you, representative beatty. really appreciate you participating again and your comments. we are going to take your call and continue to push, push, push on this issue. with that, i would like to invite my friend and colleague up from the great state of pennsylvania, representative dwight evans, to also speak about this subject. of course throughout the history of african-americans,
philadelphia and pennsylvania has played a critical role, glad that my colleague from pennsylvania is stepping up and speaking about this very timely issue of voter suppression in the wake of shelby county. >> i would like to thank my colleague from the great state of texas for his leadership. leadershipened he and representative stacey plaskett have been providing. right now as members of congress we are in what i call an article 1, section 1 moment. article 1, section 1 in the constitution grant this is power. we need to harness the power of the process to ensure that accountability and transparency for philadelphiaians and pennsylvania and all the american people.
we know that voting is a fundamental right and we know that the federal government should not be in the business of dealing with personal information of voters nationwide. philadelphia, pennsylvania, americans have a right to privacy. myself and my colleagues before you today intend to do everything we can to ensure privacy is guaranteed and protected. the trump administration has yet to instill confidence and garnish respect from the american people. voting is a right and cannot and will not be taken away. the right to vote is a core american value. and guiding principles that must be protected and not tampered with in any way. believe me when i tell you president trump, we know what you are trying to do here. we see the actions of your administration for what they
are. our neighborhoods are at risk of voter suppression. and we cannot and will not stand for it. last week, i was proud to join my colleagues -- my colleague, the chairman of the congressional black caucus, chairman richmond, and the united states senator from new jersey when they stood up last week and introduced a piece of legislation to revoke the president trump's executive order. i'm proud to stand with the governor of my state and my friend governor tom wolf who has been very outspoken in speaking out for pennsylvanians across the commonwealth and clearly told the president he will not disclose personal p-a voter information. i want to leave you with a quote from dr. king. we may have come over here on different ships but we are now in the same boat.
i lived my entire life in the city of philadelphia. and know that it is a sanctuary city. we are no longer -- we are much stronger when we celebrate our differences and use them as strengths to uplift us. we will not accept this voter suppression. ogether we will ensure our voices are heard loud and clear. we have an obligation to build a stronger tomorrow for all of us neighborhoods. mr. speaker, i join with my colleagues from the congressional black caucus to send a message, a message and a voice that we will not just sit here idly by. we will not allow this process to just run roughshod. as i said from the beginning,
this is an article 1, section 1 moment, where we all recognize that we in congress democrat and republican alike recognize that we have an obligation and responsibility to the american public. and this is not about partisanship. this is about a fundamental right. we don't take it lightly. so i applaud the leadership of my colleague from the great state of texas for what he's providing here and all the members of the cob gregsal black caucus. i thank you and yield back the balance of my time. hank you, mr. speaker. mr. veasey: i want to thank the gentleman for his comments, appreciate him taking time out to talk about this critical announcement. as soon as everyone in communities aaround the country that are concerned about voter suppression and other tools and tactics that have been used to suppress the african-american vote, we went to action and appreciate that you are you are -- that you were oner of the
first people to step up and appreciate your participation tonight. th that, mr. speaker, i also want to add in comments from my colleague who was not able to make it here this evening, congresswoman eddie bernice johnson, who represents the 30th congressional district of texas, who is my next door neighbor she represents dallas and the southern suburbs of dallas and i appreciate her also weighing in on this topic as well. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. veasey: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the foundation of american democracy is that no matter who you are, we are all equal once we step into that voting booth. and the courage that has been displayed by brave foot soldiers that risk and in some cases gave their lives to guarantee the constitutional promise was fulfilled must never be
forgotten. and it's really important to point out, i mean, we have representative john lewis who is a hero of the civil rights movement, but i always encourage people to watch the documentary "eyes on the prize" so they can see how people were treated, how people were treated by law enforcement, how people were treated by people that were in positions of power, people that were act i in the community, people that belonged@lions club or the elks club, the way they treated people who were simply trying to register to vote. there is one scene that i'll never forget about a woman that was trying to go and vote and she was being kicked and shoved and hit and knocked to the ground by law enforcement. in alabama. for simply trying to exercise her right to vote that was given to her in the early 1900's when women in this country were
finally given the right of suffrage. nd it's really in their memory that congress initially passed the landmark voting rights act of 1965. for years, both republicans and democrats re-authorized the voting rights act, agreing that equal access to the polls must be preserved for generations to come. but sadly, mr. speaker, in 2013, that tradition dramatically changed. the supreme court ruling in shelby county versus holder struck down section 4 of the voting rights act and made congress responsible for updating the v.r.a. the court has left it to congress to create a new formula for determining which states and other jurisdictions should be covered under section 5 of the voting rights act to ensure protection against discrimination. but four years later, we can confidently say the supreme
court ruling set into motion what most of us feared. that minorities and low income americans would be -- would have to face unfair and punitive barriers from exercising their most base exright as american citizens and that is the right to vote. and in the years shelby county decisions, republican legislatures nationwide have been empowered to unleash an avalanche of purposely restrictive laws that have been aimed to keep again mostly black and latino voters away from the polls. even when you do discovery and when you look into why these laws were passed by state legislature, it's clear what the intent was. it's a tactic that the republican party has indirectly endorsed since they believe that trying to earn the vote of the growing minority population that they would rather instead keep them away from the polls altogether and prior to shelby,
states with a history of voter suppression and discriminationer to practices were required to preclear any changes in their election laws with the department of justice prior to enactment, but now an absence of an updated v.r.a., states are no longer require -- no longer require the d.o.j.'s approval. i want to talk about tick has served as an ink bait -- texas has served as be a incubator for the suppressive tactics that republicans nationwide have been eager to enact for years. i saw up this close and personal from the eight years i spent in the texas legislatures. in the texas legislature. where i saw texas republicans enact sb -- s.b. 14 which severely restricted the types of i.d.'s voters could bring to the polls in order to cast a ballot. texas republicans claimed that limiting acceptable i.d.'s would prevent widespread in-person
voter fraud. as vice chair of the voter identification and voter fraud select committee in the texas state house, i witnessed how texas republicans failed to produce any piece of evidence to prove that massive voter impersonation was occurring statewide. hearing after hearing, you can go back and look at the record, going back to 2005. i asked a question, my other colleagues that served on the committee, that was concerned about some of the voter suppression tacticses, asked the question -- tacticses, asked the question, show us evidence that voter suppression is taking place. we have time here during this legislative session. that was what we would ask over and over again. and not one person could bring any evidence of the thank this had happened -- evidence that this had happened. limiting voter i.d.'s and instead favored an approach that would exclude student i.d.'s, but actually say that it was ok
to use a concealed handgun license as a form of i.d. what's interesting about that is that these student i.d.'s, campus law enforcement, which in the state of texas, from where i'm from again, -- where i'm from again, if a kid has alcohol or if someone is roaming around campus and the police need to be able to verify who they are and identify them, that student i.d. that's issued by a state university in the state of texas serves as i.d. for law enforcement personnel on those campuses to be able to verify whether that student is in fact who they are and belongs on that campus. that same i.d., again, that's issued by the state of texas could not be used to go and vote. it doesn't make any sense. when the law was enacted, of course the d.o.j. blocked the
measure. however, hours after the shelby decision, governor perry enacted texas restrictive voter i.d. law. and i became a named plaintiff in the case. because i knew that despite republicans' claims that the law would disproportionately disenfranchise latino and african-american voters. the state's own estimates showed that. that it would potentially disenfranchise 600,000 texans who were registered but do not have one of the required forms of i.d. and there are lots of different reasons why people may or may not have an i.d. if they were born in a foreign country and they're now american citizen, they may have access -- have a hard time getting access to some of those documents. they may not have the money or the transportation to be able to go to the county that they were born in, to be able to get the documents that they need. in order to get one of these i.d.'s. again, there's costs and there are transportation and
geographic barriers that may take place. you may have people that were born in the country, that were orn to midwiveses and -- midwiveses and -- midwives and there are people that weren't even raised in cities, they were raised in small towns outside of cities. they may not have those proper forms of i.d. remember, segregation was very rampant back then in texas and many people were born by midwiveses -- midwives, were born out in their houses and what have you. there's variations of spellings of last names. i have in my own family. there were so many other examples of that. i'm proud to report that two federal courts, including the fifth circuit court of appeals, which is easily considered by most to be the most conservative court in the country,
have found the law to be discriminatory in its intent and its effect. despite this vict i -- this victory, we knew that texas was only the beginning. we heard about so many other laws around the country that exclude people from being able to register to vote, unless they have a passport or unless they have their birth certificate, which makes it almost impossible for nonprofits to set up a table at a busy grocery store, for instance, on a saturday and do any sort of voter registration. there are all sorts of issues out there. there are organizations like king street patriots, for example, -- for instance, that pride themselves on their ability to try to suppress the minority vote. again, texas was only the beginning and sadly, mr. speaker, unless we can find a new way to come together to do what's right when it comes to suffrage in this country, it seems like this is going to be something that we have to fight for a long time. ow sadly, i'm ashamed to say
that our president has also taken a page out of the republican playbook and has begun to perpetuate the same myths about widespread voter fraud, that sadly we've been fighting since reconstruction, mr. speaker. very, very, very sad. nearly three months after winning the presidency, president trump could not handle the fact that despite winning the presidency, he lost the popular vote. and unsatisfied with the results, president trump does what he does best. he went to twitter to blame his unpopularity on widespread voter fraud. and worse, now he's created this presidential commission on election integrity. it's a sham commission that will no doubt work to justify claims that elections are being
compromised by our own citizens and serve as catalyst to continue the wave of voter suppression and intimidation that we've wpsed across this country -- witnessed across this country. i'm proud that the congressional black caucus, the congressional hispanic caucus, and the asian-pacific american caucus have all gotten together to introduce legislation, to ensure not a single dollar from the taxpayers is spent towards this phony commission. and again, i think that everybody should be concerned about this commission. any commission that wants to gather private information on citizens, put it in a database. information that, quite frankly, people -- mistakes that people made back when they were in college. there are a lot of people out there that i know, that i went to high school, college with, people that i've known around the fort worth and dallas community for a long time, all around the state of texas. they made mistakes when they were younger.
maybe it was d.u.i. maybe it was some other sort of issue. but they've assimilated themselves back in society. they're working, they're paying taxes. the fact that this database would want to take the mistakes that they made in their youth and put them in this database, and to look into whether or not they're committing some sort of fraud is just something that, again, it doesn't matter if you're democrats or republican. there are a lot of people out there that made mistakes when they were younger. it's awful that this could come back to haunt them. the fact is that the voter fraud myth has been defunctioned by various reputable research organizations, including the aclu, the brennan center, the campaign legal center, the pew research center, to name a few. but that has not changed the fact that republicans and now our president want to turn back the clock on voting rights. it's really, really sad, mr.
speaker. the commission recently requested sensitive voter information as part of their fake investigation. and we are already seeing the effects. out of fear of having their social security, voting history, party affiliation, again, their criminal background, history that i talked about, in a concentrated voter base, news sources have already reported voters de-registering to vote. that's sad. because that's exactly the type of voter intimidation that republicans want to nationalize. house republicans have purposely dragged their feet on updating the v.r.a. and ignored their duty to uphold the constitution and ensure the sacred right of all americans to be able to cast their vote. even as these courts begin to rule against the purposely prejudice tactics of these g.o.p. state legislatures, it is up to us to bring our voices together and lift the veil on
their true intentions. it is our duty now to stand up against these discriminatory practices that are being implemented nationwide, because the president's sham commission will have its first meeting this wednesday. and we have to send one message loud and clear. we will not allow voter suppression to become normal. we have to make that clear. and want to thank my colleagues for working alongside me in this fight. because every member of the congressional black caucus is talking about this in their district when they're going back to town halls, various other events that are out and about in their respective areas that they represent around our country. to let them know what is in store. i have to tell you, mr. speaker, i'm confident that we will once again be able to ensure that the sacred right to vote is not denied to a single american.
it's been overcome a lot. we're going to continue to overcome this. just like we have after reconstruction, like we did in the 1960's. and we're going to fight this all the way until we get the fairness that we want. i want to remind everybody that there's going to be a voter suppression forum tomorrow that members of the congressional black caucus, along with the house judiciary democrats, they will host a forum on this very topic. voter suppression in relation to shelby county, the name of the hour we're working on right now. and memberses will hear from the kentucky secretary of state and others about the president's voter fraud commission. and the bipartisan backlash that the facing. the for -- that it's facing. forum will be live streamed on the house judiciary democrat
facebook page. so i invite all americans to join in this very important and crucial conversation that is going to be taking place on wednesday. with that, mr. speaker, i want to thank everybody, again, that came out to participate for this special order hour on voter suppression. in wake of what happened in shelby county. and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise and ask unanimous consent for five legislative days for all colleagues to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. collins: mr. speaker, tonight, as we come before the
body, we had come back on a topic we've been here before on. really the hidden enemy, i guess, if you would, of people in trying to get a drug pricing system, in something where their community pharmacist, independent pharmacist, it's that middle man called the p.b.m. the pharmacy benefit manager. that is simply snuck in many years ago. it originally started as a good idea. so that you could collaborate, you could get better drug pricing, could you get it to the consumer through rebates and through construction. as in all things, i guess, good ideas and agreed get in the way sometimes. now we're at a point to where this is an issue that i want to continue to highlight. we're going to do so in several ways. we're going to talk about issues. i've spoke with colleagues on he floor before about the -- just really terrible actions of many in the p.b.m. community, especially the largest ones, that control over 80% of the
market. there's only three of those that really control almost the entire marketplace. and control plans that folks would understand very quickly, they control where you go, how much you pay, the formularies. it's down to that kind of problem. last year when the world began to wake up to these issues of pricing, they began to go and say, why are these drugs costing, the epipen and all this, became aware, what they began to find out was these were problematic issues but they began, if you wanted to look at the baseline, you had to look at the pharmacy benefit managers and you had to understand what they were doing, causing a great deal of problems. e have to go back to basics. independ and community pharmacists fill a need. they are some of the most easily accessible health professionals, particularly in rural areas. this is an area i have talked about before. we talk about the health care
chain being a complete chain and it's not just the doctors and hospitals and down to the -- the pharmacists that is typically the face of health care for those after they have gone to their doctors or come out from the hospital to get the medicine that will continue to keep them healthy. you see, community pharmacists ve dispense roughly 40% of prescriptions nationwide and a higher percentage in rural areas like mine. they regularly interact with people outside of the pharmacy, they go to church with them, shop with them at the grocery store they sponsor the little league teams. they are the closest personal relationships to the health care chain. they're a trusted source of medical care and advice. pharmacists are able to better treat patient's illnesses, identifying risk factors early on. they play a key role in ensuring a patient properly uses their medication. 3% perform critical care while
providing medication adherence services. patient's failure to take their prescriptions contributes to 125,000 deaths annually. counseling by a trusted pharmacist is proven to be the most effective method for ensuring patients take their medications, saving thousands of lives an billions of dollars an yowlly. independent and community pharmacists provide multiple ver vis -- services and we talk about these services and the importance of community pharmacists. i would be remiss if i didn't mention the passing of someone known well in the pharmacist community for his contributions there. while i did in the know john carson personally, his death had reverberations throughout the pharmacist community. he was from san antonio, texas and ran his pharmacist there for 50 years. he and his wiff were killed in a tragic car accident but the
legacy he leaves behind lives on. tonight we mourn his pass bug elebrate his achievements. i could have probably every mber of this body talk about pharmacists, instead i'll provide -- i'll provide evidence that shows the impact they have. 65% of community pharmacists offer home or work delivery. 83% provide med case therapy and management services. 67% provide monetary support to five or more community organizations. these are the guys you see sponsoring little league teams, chili cookoffs and are true participants in our neighborhoods and towns. unfortunately, the community pharmacists are in jeopardy across the country in part due to anti-competitive behavior and the lack of transparency surrounding practices of the pharmacy benefit managers. they have taken our community
pharmacists and they have abused their trust. pharmacy benefit managers especially in the system we have today are the -- are trying, i believe, personally, to get rid of independent pharmacists because they have their own chain, their own distribution, they own the supply chain. when they d that they want to take everything else out. we have talk a b -- about that on many occasions here. as we continue tonight we're going to talk about these issues as we go from pharmacists and what they done well, some new issues that have come to light, some lawsuits, also some audit that was come out that have shown the real problem that we're seeing with this community and also that they're having but also just being run out of business, trying to get up -- imagine, mr. speaker, if you were just trying to get up every day and run your own business and you had a swrinet conglomerate tell you and tell your customers that they can't come see you anymore. not give you a reason, that they were mistaken, they make you
correct their own mistake. i don't know how it erpts in the rest of the world but that ain't the way business is supposed to operate. at this point in the evening we have several of my friends from georgia, tine i'm going to go first with my friend from south georgia, another one who has been with me on many of these occasions, seen this up close and personal, can talk about the issues we have tonight, someone we've been working with and a lot of things that have been going, austin scott. i yield, mr. scott: huang, mr. collins. i rise in support of our nation's community pharmacies that play a critical role in our health care system. many of these independent businesses operate in uns served or rural areas like the georgia's eighth congressional district which i represent. access to care is already hard in these areas and would be worse if these pharmacies didn't exist. ey can give advice on drug
interactions and help with late-night pharmacy runs for sick children. there's a personal relationship between pharmacist patient and physician. pillars in their commun, they are also the businesses that contribute greatly to local economies. it's crucial that these pharmacies have an equitable playing field against large-scale competitors and middleman managers from trying to run a successful business in a channeling and complex environment. i want to reiterate, mr. speaker, all they ask for is an equitable playing field. no advantages, just equality. where i'm from, local pharmacists are often a fixture in their local community. they have known most of their customers all their lives. they instill a level of trust that's unparalleled. i frequently stop in at local community pharmacists when i'm back home in the district and never fail to appreciate the unique value they add to customer's lives. unfortunately on some of these visits i'm troubled to find how
community pharmacies are finding it difficult to serve the people who have depended on them for years and to compete with some of the largest enities in the health care mark place. take, for example, the prevalence of preferred networks. many medicare beneficiaries are told, told by pharmacy benefit managers, or p.b.m.'s, which pharmacy to use based on exclusionary arrangements between those p.b.m.'s and for the most part big box pharmacies. what most people don't know is that in fact in several instances, these big box pharmacies actually own the p.b.m.'s that are creating these preferred networks. patients must pay higher co-pays if the pharmacy they want to use is excluded by the p.b.m. who again, as i said , in many cases actually owns the larger pharmacy that they force you to do business with. the majority of the time, the home ton pharmacy is not given the opportunity to participate in the network in the first
place. another issue i hear about is the burdensome d.i.r. fee. most americans probably assume that it's a simple transaction when they purchase medication from their local pharmacy. they goe go in, pay a co-pay, and that's the end of it. but for the pharmacy, the transaction is anything but clear andcism. pharmacy benefit managers use so-called d.i.r. fees to claw back money from pharmacies on individual claims long after the claim is thought to have been resolved. that means that a pharmacy often doesn't know the final reimbursement amount they will receive for a claim for weeks or even months. anyone who runs a pharmacy or any other small business for that matter knows you can't operate when you don't know what your reimbursements are competition is stifled, these small businesses suffer, so do hardworking americans when they have had their choice to use a community pharmacy instead of a big box business. taken away from them.
another issue i appreciately hear about is the lack of transparaphernalia sni generic drug reimbursements. generic prescription drugs account for approximately 80% of expense, the reimbursement is unregulated and a mystery to all of us. if it's unregulated with transparency that's fine bum it's unregulated without any transparency. pharmacists are often reimbursed for generics by what's known as the maximum allowable cost list created by pharmacy benefit managers. but the medologies to create the list are not disclosed, nor are the lists updated oan a regular basis which frequently results in pharmacists be reimbursed below the acquisition cost for various medications. in recent year, these extra costs that affect prescription drug costs have affected consumers.
a generic cline, antibiotic that's been around for tech kids. it is a generic that's been around for decades. in 2012, 30 capsules of it cost approximately $15. in 2017, the same dosage costs $115. that's a price increase of 667%. i want to give you a real word example of the impact this has on low income patients in the world. i have a wonderful ob/gyn in my area, he told me that prior to the price increase he would simply keep the drug in his office and when he had a patient that needed it, he could simply give the patient, if it was a low income patient, the drugs instead of having them go to the pharmacy. to pick them up. with a 667% price increase they could no longer afford to simply
give patients the medication they need. nitroglycerin tablets is another example. they've been used to treat chest pain and stop a heart attack have seen similar price heeks in the last few years. again, a drug, a generic, been around for decades. decades. no excuse on the price increases other than flat out greed. a drug that's even more common that's been affected by the lack of transparency in the drug market is insulin. as you may know, million os americans with diabetes rely on insulin. they have to have it. or they will simply die. according to the american diabetic association, price of insulin in america has nearly tripled over the past 15 years, making the drug yearly unaffordable for many diabetic patients. the dramatic price hikes of insulin is ironic since in the early 1920's, fred lick banning, one of the scientists who helped
first develop insulin, sold the patent for the drug for $3 because their goal was to make the drug affordable and easy to access for everybody in the world. now nearly 100 years later, one bottle can cost over $400 in the united states while it costs a fraction of that in other countries around the world. in canada and mexico, the same dosage of the drug costs less than half or sometimes even a quarter of what it costs in the united states. i understand that there's a tremendous cost in developing life-saving treatments and new drugs and next development that's going to save a cancer patient but these are generic drugs that have been around for decades. these traumatic price increases, the international price disparities, they're occurring again on drug that was been around for decades because of this pricing scam uh p in place
by the pharmacy benefit managers. in coming months, i look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to address the lack of transfirn -- transparency in the pharmaceutical industry, giving community pharmacists an equitable way to compete giving americans the choice of drugs and which pharmacy they choose to purchase those drugs from. i'd like to thank you for your team, i yield back the remainder of unused to im-- unused time to mr. collins an thank him for hosting this special order today. mr. collins: i thank my friend. we have been talking about this, what's amazing is, the more we have this, the more we talk about community pharmacies and the issues we fine, people are starting to understand. it's a real problem that exists here. i'd like to submit remarks from my friend congressman john duncan for the record and ask them to be included at this time as well. more than 250,000 individuals are employed on a full-time or
part-time basis by community pharmacists yet their livelihood is being threatened by the antibiotic competitive methods of p.b.m.'s. many people may never have heard of p.b.m.'s. let's give them a definition. they're middlemen for drug companies. they control the pharmacy benefits of more than 253 million americans. p.b.m.'s process prescriptions for groups that pay for drugs and control the form lair for what drugs are covered by specific plans. the three biggest produce no trangable product. let me repeat that. these three produce no trangable product. net they have a major impact on the way you and i access medication and on maul business pharmacies and other small business p.b.m.'s you don't
believe me, just the other kay i was watching a business show and it was a p.b.m. a transparent p.b.m. that would talk through fees an rebits, we show everything. i challenged the three big ones to do it. they don't want to because if you started looking at actually what they did they are what i said many times, they're monopolistic terrorists, that's all they are in this market. mr. speaker, as an example of the major power, market power, p.b.m.'s have, i'd like to point you to expressscript's annual revenue. they have $101 billion. mr. speaker, i'm a conservative free market businessperson. i love to see a business actually make money. but you don't do it the way they're doing it. i'm not decrying their profit. however, i am calling into question the business model of raking in mass i profits on the backs of patients and small business pharmacists. you don't do it that way. . i've brought this up on many occasions. i only get excuses and
everything from the p.b.m.'s, going online, talking about how great they are. never addressing the real issue. the problem is relegated to the wayside far too long, it is coming into sharp focus. anthem, an insurer, is currently suing to end its contract with express grips. it fails express grips with held billions in savings. this lawsuit and stories surrounding it have called into sharper focus p.b.m. tactics that community pharmacists have been grappling with for years. we're going to hear firsthand about how that has been going on. through a variety of practices they make life difficult and undermine competition for our neighborhood pharmacists and the patients that they serve. for example, p.b.m.'s have maximum allowable costs. to determine the maximum amount a pharmacist will be reimbursed for certain generic drugs. however their price determinations are hidden and there's no transparency in the process. p.b.m.'s commonly manipulate
drug prices called spread pricing. i would encourage those who listen to this and want to be a part -- to look this up. everything we're talking about is actual fact. p.b.m.'s charge employers a higher price for a drug than necessary and reimburse pharmacies at the level which is typically lower. spread pricing allows p.b.m.'s to skim money from the difference between the high rate they charge prescriptions and the low rate they reimburse pharmacies. spread pricing is artificially racing the acquisition cost of pharmacy drugs by overcharging at the expense of retail pharmacists, consumers and health plans. you see, when we understand this, people say, why is this a problem? why are we talking about it? this lack of transparaphernalia is also a problem when pennsylvania's administer tax-pair funded programs. like medicare part d, tricare or the federal employee health benefits program. currently we can ensure that the savings generated by cost saving rebates received by the p.b.m.'s are being passed along to government programs. p.b.m.'s can receive rebates to
acquire prescription drugs at lower than advertised costs and p.b.m.'s can then charge the government the full cost for the drug. even if a p.b.m. has significant discounts. this deceptive practice increases the cost of prescription drugs for beneficiaries of federal government prescription drug products. let's break that down, mr. speaker. when we talk about federal programs, federal drug programs, these taxpayer funded programs, you're talking about my taxes, your taxes, everybody else's taxes. that is why this is important and needs to be addressed. this is what is the problem. this lack of transparency is unacceptable and jeopardizes the quality of care for millions of patients across the united states. northeast georgia has a vibrant pharmacy community. but its farmry sis are being threaten -- pharmacies are being threatened by the unfair practices of the p.b.m.'s. several pharmacists tell me if something doesn't change, we're going see more and more of those pharmacies disappear within the next few years. i introduced the prescription drug transparency act to help address this situation. my legislation preserves
pharmacy access for patients by allowing pharmacists to know the sources p.b.m.'s are using to set reimbursement rates for community pharmacists. p.b.m.'s prices are often based on incentives for manufacturers not disclosed for long periods of time. oversight of p.b.m.'s ensure taxpayers aren't footing the bill for generic prescriptions by providing transparency into drug acquisition costses are determined. the prescription drug transparency act also prevents p.b.m.'s from forcing their customers to fill or purchase prescriptions from pharmacies owned and controlled by the same p.b.m. let me go back over that real quickly. the p.b.m., the pharmacy benefit manager, are allowed to force customers to fill or purchase prescriptionses from pharmacies they own -- prescriptions from pharmacies they own and control. there is no transparency here. they're simply controling a system and running the market out. this means patientses can keep the pharmacists they like rather than being improperly
incentivized or coerced to use a p.b.m.-owned pharmacy. finally, it would require p.b.m.'s to update their pricing lists every seven days. codifying current c.m.s. rule for medicare part d in expanding it to tricare and others. this legislation is vitally important to improving fairness and transparency in drug prices and drug reimbursement to pharmacists. i tell you this. i have heard story after story and we'll continue these tonight. the community pharmacists may be muzzled by p.b.m.'s, those that are -- there may be fear of retaliations but i won't let those concerns go unnoticed. we're going to continue to take this plight to the floor, to be a voice of transparency and fairness for community pharmacist the, for patients and for taxpayers. because if they think they can pull a fast one on the federal government, at the cost of taxpayers, then they've got another thing coming. they may go in and intimidate and strongarmour community and independent pharmacists. they may threaten them to keep quiet. they may tell them not to go to
their elected officials or have a voice to say that we think there's a better way or just to be able to compete on a fairness level, without anything else except just let us compete. the p.b.m.'s may try to strong arm them into silencing them into submission. but they're not going to be able to silence me. they can't audit me. and they can't do that to the american pharmacist who is simply trying to be a part of this system. there's nobody thatkind that better than my friend -- that can understand that better than my friend from georgia. he's pharmacist by training. he left that behind so he could help us continue this fight for patient care and health all across this country. he's a champion never sense of the word of this industry, because, as the old saying is, he is one. he comes tonight to talk further and guide the insight in this -- i'm glad to recognize the gentleman. buddy carter back to this fight tonight. good to have you back. mr. carter: thank you.
i thank the gentleman for hosting this tonight. of for his advocacy on part community pharmacy, but, more importantly, on the part of the patient. because that's what this is about. this is about patients. about patient care. about escalating prescription costs. that's what we're talking about here. about unfair trade practices. now, look, this is america. i, like my colleague mentioned earlier, i'm not opposed to anybody making money. that's great. more power to them. but where there is a problem with transparency, there is a problem with p.b.m.'s. there is a problem with escalating drug prices. i want to mention that i've been a practicing pharmacist, as representative collins mentioned, for over 30 years. i've worked with my neighbors and my friends to really provide a helpful voice for their needs.
beneficiaries are facing increased costs of prescription drugs without much of a basis of notification as to why these costs are skyrocketing. my friend, representative collins, my friend, representative scott, others, even on the other side of the aisle, representative peter welch, representative elijah cummings, representative dave loebsack. this is a nonpartisan issue. everybody has to have prescription medications. whether you're a democrat, whether you're a republican, whether you're an independent. doesn't matter. and everyone is the victim of escalating prescription drug costs. the problem is we have to understand where that's coming from. i want to thank representative collins for his legislation, the prescription drug price transparency act. to bring about greater transparency and the role that pharmacy benefit managers, the p.b.m.'s, have in the drug pricing structure. many people don't understand the structure. or where the additional fees are
originating from. which is often a direct result of a lack of transparency between the manufacturer and the dispenser. let me repeat that. many people don't understand the structure. i'll be quite honest with you. i've been working with this for over 30 years and i still don't understand it. in fact, i've got numerous examples of where c.e.o.'s have said they don't understand it. it's intentionally, intentionally complicated so that no one understands it. i had the opportunity last year as a member of the government oversight committee, the oversight and government reform committee. had the c.e.o. of a pharmaceutical. they are a manufacturer of enpen that went up in price. the epipen cost $600 for a dual pack. and i asked her the question, i said, ok, when it leaves you, the manufacturer, you're the beginning, you're the
manufacturer. i said, how much have you got in cost? she respond, i've got $100, maybe $150 in cost. i said, ok, you're the beginning. i'm the end. i'm dispensing pharmacist. when it gets to me it's $600. $150 at the beginning, $600 at the end. what happened in between? what happened in between? now, a lot of times it's lost on some of my colleagues here and on the average american, because all they're concerned about is what is the co-pay. if the co-pay's $15, or if the co-pay is $0, ok. but keep in mind, somebody somewhere is still paying that $600. and in a lot of cases it's the federal government through medicare part d. or state medicaid plans. somebody somewhere is paying it. when you have the c.e.o. of a manufacturer, when i ask her a direct question, what happens in
between that $150 and that $600 and she says, i don't know. and i'm the pharmacist and i say, i don't know either. somebody somewhere's got to know. and i can tell you, the middleman. e most immediate impact that we can have on prescription drug pricing is to pass this bill that representative collins has and to have transparency in drug pricing. you know, sunshine is the greatest disinfectant of all. and if we have sunshine, we will have lower drug prices. if we have transparency. i want to give a couple of other examples. my colleague, representative collins, mentioned about three p.b.m.'s controlling 80% of the market. that's not competition. when you've got three companies that control 80% of the market. did you know that express grips, the number one p.b.m. in the
country, that they had gross venues almost equal to mcdonald's, ford motor company, and pfizer pharmaceuticals added together? added together. this one p.b.m. again, i'm not opposed to anyone making money. more power to them. but how are they making it? nobody knows. why don't we have transparency? everybody wants lower drug prices and we've all got to do a better job. pharmaceutical manufacturers have to do a better job. pharmacists have got to do a better job. g.p.o.'s have got to do a better job. until we have transparency, we're never going to be able to get it under control. i want to give a couple other examples. the manufacturer of the hepatitis c drug, that's had so much criticism about the price, it is too expensive.
sivaldi excused express grips of not wanting them to go down on the price of sivaldi. they said, you never wanted us to go down on that price because you're getting a percentage rebate. the higher the cost of that medication, the higher rebate you're getting. my colleague mentioned about the lawsuit that anthem has against express grips. they're not going to renew their contract with express grips. because they're suing them for billions, that's billions with a b, of dollars saying, you owe us billions of dollars. these are real-life examples of what i'm talking about. that's why we need to pass the drug transparency act that representive collins, that representative collins is pushing so hard. and has been. and we thank him for that. i want to also talk about some other bills here.
continuing in the theme of transparency. we have an opportunity to address the issue of retroactive d.i.r. fees. and the impact they have on drug pricing. my colleague, representative scott, mentioned d.i.r. fees and callbacks. d.i.r. fees are having a negative impact on the ability to provide accurate and comprehensive services to the beneficiary. those fees are a large unknown for pharmacists. and don't provide clarity on drug costs to the patient or whether they'll be able to accurately meet the needs of their patient. ultimately the patient ends up being penalize and that's an issue that needs to be addressed. ultimately what this boils down to is the patient. the patient, mr. speaker. the patient. let's stay focused on what we are supposed to be focused on and that is the patient. we talk about drug costs we talk about health care. we want accessibility, we want affordability. we want patient-centered health care.
that's what we want in prescription drugs. accessibility and affordability. yet they need to come down in prices and again the most effective, the most immediate impact that we can have is to have transparency. transparency in the middleman. and what they're doing. that's the reason why congressman morgan griffith's legislation is help envelope bring being stability. pharmacies would no longer be penalized for providing the same quality service they always have, simply because p.b.m.'s have shifted cost under a lack of transparency. . with this legislation we can keep costs down for beneficiaries. i want to talk about another piece of legislation that another good friend, representative brett griffith, brett guthrie, from kentucky, has introduced. h.r. 592. e pharmacy anded me -- pharmacy in medical -- medically
underserved areas act. with this billmark individuals who seek consultation, especially senior, can contribute to receive quality input and expertise. there are many underserved and rural areas of the country where patients don't have access to a primary care provider but have access to a pharmacy. pharmacy, pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals that we have. that's why provider status is so important. that's why we call this farmly in medically underserved areas enhanced tissue enhancement act. pharmacists can continue to serve those underserved areas and fill a role that's vital to the health care in these areas. i also want to compliment and commend representative griffith again on his efforts to keep patients' access to compounded medication intact. in june he introduced a preserving patients access to
compounded medications 2017. this bill will provide further guidance for f.d.a., patients and compounding pharmacies about what constitutes pharmacy compounding and what is regarded as drug manufacturing. lastly, the leadership of the energy and commerce committee has been critical in advancing legislation both in the 114th and 115th congress that will lead to research and development of new drugs and treatments. i commend my colleagues on their hard work and thank my good friends for the opportunity to speak tonight on the issue that's very important to me. mr. speaker, the president has identified escalating prescription drug costs as being one of his biggest priorities. he has said himself, you were on the other side of research and development you need to be where -- you need to beware because we're coming after you.
p.b.m.'s, you're on the other side of research and development and we are coming after you. this is too important. it's too important to the patients. who are trying to get these medications who need these medications, all we're asking for here is transparency. all we're asking for is to shine the light on what's going on. i know they make it difficult to understand. it's a shell game. it's nothing more than a shell game. again, i want to commend my colleague, my friend, representative collins, for his untiring advocacy on the part of community pharmacists and on the part of citizens who need and depend on their community pharmacists. thank you, mr. speaker. yield back. mr. collins: i want to thank my friend, he's brought out so many things.
one of the things we talk about, when we talk about transparency and the list we talk about, one thing they come back at us, it is going to increase costs. if you do this, it increases costs. in texas, actually happened in 2013, they did their top 200 drugs. there were in the area of $200 and in just a matter of three year, the average price of those 200 drugs dropped -- dropped to below $100. we're both from georgia. that's going down. that's not going up. it's because they're actually strog show what they're doing. that's why this -- wouldn't you agree that's why we're having to do what we're doing here? mr. carter: there's no question about it. if i may -- if i might just give two examples. first of all, there's an example of caterpillar. caterpillar has done away with p.b.m.'s they dove -- they've done away with third parties and are doing it thems. you know what it resulted in?
stable drug pricers in last few years as opposed to the increases most companies have seen. caterpillar, when they cut out the middleman have seen stable drug prices. they said, we can do this better and they've done it better. keep in mind, the sec thing i want to point out is keep in mind, why were p.b.m.'s created? they were created to process claims, insurance claims. but what's their purpose? they will tell you, our purpose p is to keep drug prices down. our purpose is to keep drug prices down. mr. speaker, how is that working out for you? they're not keeping drug prices down. they are keeping drug prices up. they are one of the reasons why drug prices are going up. one of the primary reasons. i can remember when i started practicing pharmacy in 1980, and i'm proud to say i'm that old, i
started practicing pharmacy in 1980678 we used to buy directly from the drug companies. i'd buy directly from upjohn from squibb, from whoever. there was no middleman there. new i can't even do that i have to go through the p.b.m. i have to go through all these different layers and layers in order to get the medication. if p.b.m.'s, if their purpose is to control drug prices, then what's going on? because drug prices are escalating. what a tangled web we weave. mr. collins: it is that. the interesting thing, the middleman produces nothing on their own name don't produce anything. they're simply, you know, i think -- i would describe it like i see it in northeast georgia, like a tick on the back of a dog. they simply suck profit off and do not do what you just said. they don't do what they just said.
caterpillar you brought up caterpillar, i'll bring some numbers for caterpillar. they started moving away from p.b.m.'s they expected they could save as much as $150 million in drug prices. they went back and did their own form form lairs, worked it out and just the company saved $5 million to $10 million per year in just cholesterol lowering statins alone. one they have most widely prescribed medications. just in that right there. when you see how p.b.m.'s claim to save money, you look at the caterpillar model and there are other models oout there looking at this say, we can do this in a better way. i appreciate your input tonight. i think that has been, you're just highlighting this, that there are ways to do this. this is not the only way and to go into state legislators and county offices and county governments and the federal government and say we're saving
money while all along we're seing this tangled wove d.i.r. fees and callback and no transparency, it isn't amazing to me they're spending so much on advertising right now. not amazing they're trying to claim what we're saying is not true but they never address the point thafle never say this is not true. they simply say, we're saving all this money. i encourage the energy and commerce committee, take these bills up. hold hearings on these things. they're not going to deny them. they're going to find out that the unfortunately, what is supposed to be a help has been falling backwards and actually, it really, frevpb the federal government, those community and independent pharmacists might -- mr. carter: if i could just mention one thing, i one remiss if i didn't mention because the gentleman brought up an porn point and that is, what value are they bringing to the system? what value p.b.m.'s brings to the system? that's what i would ask.
pharmaceutical manufacturers need to do a better job. they need to bring prices down. but i will kit them some slack. at least they are using their profits to go back into research and development. at least they're doing that. p.b.m.'s don't put one red cent into research and development. not one red cent. i repeat what i said earlier. i'm not against anybody making money. but mr. speaker, this is causing escalating drug prices, the lack of transparency is causing the problems that we're experiencing right now. the most immediate, most effective impact that we can have on prescription drug prices is transparency. sunshine is the greatest disinfectant out there. and we need sunshine. thank you, my friend. thank you for what you're doing for the patients.
thank you for what you're doing for the people who are struggling to pay for their prescriptions. that's what this is about. mr. collins: it has always been bt that. i have come to this well, to this floor on many occasions to talk about it. when you look at the impact they're having on d.i.r. fees that are coming back after the fact, and not at the time of, when there's no really need or call for it, the -- according to the community oncology alliance, pharmacists lose $58,000 per pracktoins average to d.i.r. fees each year. this makes a complete -- think about that. mr. speaker, if you had a business in which you had $58,000 just stuck away for no apparent reason, this is just -- we wonder why this is happening. we wonder why people can't get their drugs. we wonder why people ask, why can't i get this drug? this is this -- it is this area right here. d.i.r. fees and i do applaud my
friend, mr. griffith, from virginia, who has introduced this bill and i'm a proud co-sponsor with him of it. it is amazing when patients, when this happens in medicare part d, is the beneficiaries are going through this process and what happens, it increases a problem called the doughnut hole, they're hitting that doughnut hole sooner, forcing them to pay out of pocket for their drugs. when patients pass through the doughnut hole, c.m.s. takes on most of the cost of burden sharing. here's with where it gets important. when c.m.s. picks it up, the costs increase from $10 billion to $23 billion in 2015. you cannot tell me d.i.r. fees are not part of that problem right there. you cannot tell me that what they're doing is now taking, they're simply reaching into your pocket, mr. speaker. maybe you can feel it right now. you can feel the hand going into your wallet, tax money being taken out and being taken away, sucked away by p.b.m. through
fees an d.i.r. fees and getting into it through medicare part d and a $10 billion to $33 billion increase from 2010 to 2015. pharmacists are at a distinct disadvantage when d.i.r. is taken and collected from pharmacists after point of sale. there's a lack of transparency in the detail provided and the retroactive nature of this creates cash flow problems for pharmacists. think about having something you think you have one price on and they say, no, you messed it up. we have talked about so many different things how much p.b.m.'s can come in and audit their competitors. how they can send out letters to a pharmacy's clients and say this pharmacy is no longer taking this preprescription plan. when the pharmacist points it out, you're right you still have the plan they feel farm siths had the audacity to ask, would you send a letter to these
people you just sent a letter to and tell them you're mistaken and the p.b.m. says, no we can't do that, you have to do it on your own. is this america? where do we operate like that? and we wonder why our health care system and these community pharmacists are bearing the brunt of it. at the end of the day it's about people. about moms and datsdz. about kids. -- and dads. about kids. it's about those folks who want a health care system that works and one of the most visible parts of the health care system is the community pharmacist, the one who dispenses drugs, asks them how they're doing, asks how are the kids, and are you taking your medicine. and maybe we ask them questions that we may not want to ask our doctors. we may ask them, really what does this do to me? and as long as they're being
assaulted with d.i.r. fees, and generally pummeled out of business, the p.b.m. will continue to just drown our community and independent pharmacies. as long as that happens, there'll be myself and others in this well speaking the truth and pushing our committees to do something about this because at the end of the day, businesses ought to operate properly. when you're affecting the taxpayer dollar, when you're doing after taxpayers and doing so in a way that takes pharmacists out of the loop, you've threatened them and done everything else you can to them, before the day is over this congress will continue to fight and there are many members who are learning what's going on and it's now time i challenge this body and the committees of relevant jurisdiction, take this issue up because we're not going to stop and we'll be back soon, mr. speaker, with some more details on this issue and how it can be affected. with that, i will yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back.
under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham, for 30 minutes. mr. abraham: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. m here to talk mr. abraham: i'm here about the f.a.a. known as the air act. this bill has two components, modernization and privatization. president trump, being the great usinessman, astute businessman has told us how we need to modernize our airspace and everything that allows us to ontinue to have the safest and busiest airspace literally in the world.
and i agree wholeheartedly with our great president that we need to modernize. the issue i have is with the privatization part. as mentioned, our airspace is he busiest it has ever been. between 87,000 and 88,000 flights per day take place in the airspace of the united states of america. we have been asked to compare air traffic toll system with that with our great neighbor in the north. but the issue with that is that nada only has a small, small fraction of the air traffic that we have here in the united is is accessible and
is ected by the fact by the directly aaccountal to congress and more accountable to the american people. that toll of air traffic services to a private corporation as this air act wants to do will put the interest that is right now under the control to a board of directors that may not have the interest of the american taxpayer and the consumer. under the plan that is in the air act, this corporation will not be answerable to congress. and they need to provide reports
every now and then. and under this plan, congress a seen its oversight over commerce.of major and there is very little oversight from the president. discussions by the corporation to are dues air traffic services will be subject to scrutiny to the department of transportation and as stated the president will have limited authority to take command of the airspace unless there is a declaration of war. on the cost and the funding un sernts, i have a problem ment this will cost the federal government which by the way is
overxpayers, $21 bill quon e 20-window budget wind of window. and that is with a b. the administration's fiscal 18 udget, ash ever and the states of estimates a cost over the same 10 year period. problems.dget but the problem is that this revenue is critical to filling the trust fund which pay for the program which communities rely on to pay for the sfralk
runways, those types of things that are essential for an airport to work. the f.a.a. bill before us, but izes which is great, still uncertain, which makes up for the shortfall. i don't see it in this bill. mr. speaker, i represent a great swath of the great state of louisiana. good. good people a lot of them in a rural community that are far away from metro areas. concerns with this air act, raising money from user fee will be insentivized to the east coast and west coast.
my question and my concern, what happens to all of us in between that east coast and west coast. i'm worried we will be left out of the mix and the equation because we will not be as able to crit to ooser fees. decisions to the justified, this private corporation and will ce minimal scrutiny from the the department of transportation. and reduction in revenue and this is as he awe lewded to and his makes it harder to make it harder. all of thinks factors, they will
exacerbate the problem for air avel for 95-plus people in america and thinks hard. ey have a hard time making times meet. and traveling to a large city to catch an early flight to catch a flight to some other part of the united states. the taxpayers seems to be on the hook. under the planning, the federal government would hand over the assets to the private corporations, free of charge. and this will negate hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayers' investments that the
they will sell as they see fit. it will create a unfunded liability from the department of defense to upgrade its systems to be interoperable. what if they have one set of systems and they have to be talking to each other. and again, who pays for that. again rgs the taxpayers would be on the hack to bring the department of defense up to speed. again, something we need to look lowestly at this bill. the bill is not restricted of how much debt it can take on and this is a potential and this ill would say it won't happen.
these are the same type of promises we got from presentedey ac i have alluded to the national security issue. under the plan, the oversight if the air trafpblg safety sunsets after two years. my question with this air act, what happens after the two-year window. who watches the gate? and i do worry about that? hat happens if there are major security breaches? hen it comes to the operation of our skies, safety, safety, safety, it trumps everything
because we have lives at risk every day. and i go back to my opening remarks. have the safest system, airspace in the world and i'm concerned that this could be concerned if this is controlled y a private entity that is motivated by raising revenue. ntrol of our airspace is a control. department of the defense share airspace, training systems, equipment and information, divorcing h.c.c. functions from the federal government and unaccountable third-party into the coordination of our air pace
will make us more vulnerable. the private corporations that e air act is tounting will have access to sensitive information in our airspace without the same a standards of protection that are required of federal agencies. i worry about leengs. there is also a labor issue that really is nobody is looking at in this air act. know many air traffic controllers. i fly a lot. these are good, dedicated people and i admire the work they do to safely operate our skies. owever, the major labor unions
negotiated to get every carveout they wanted. i'm a small government guy. i'm the guy that stands up on the curve and ace we need less government. this limited others where i personally believe ta our federal government should be involved, but those are national defense and national security and terstates, maintenance. let's let the state and local government do a better jobs. in our national airspace where we have military operating tens of thousands of times a day, we need to look at our safety record. it has been emproximate useable and they are doing a
phone noneal job. this corporation that is in this air act that we will be acked to -- on, we will be required they will continue to contribute to these health benefits and health care and collective . rgain with their union these l use it will keep labor provisions that we are giving them in this bill, that is not a good ringing endorsement. let's not have a high prid here y keep it the way it is. the airspace in america, no one
can compare the size, the tratching traffic, the complexity, it is a foam work of art and again in a very safe manner. trying to compare us in america with any other system, whether t be the united kingdom or canada it is like comparing ples to orangesment this you can't compare them at all. i wrote this down. fncht a.a. 016, the handled 16 million million flights, think about from, by is the private corporation which 5.5 es canada only handled
million. whether a o to say system similar to cappeda's could be adopted. airspace.wn in canada i lost communications and that s not any shine on the candidate and large swaggets. but again when i'm talking to them, it may be one other aircraft in the system or the area would mean, back in the united states. . i've been in areas like dallas, houston, chicago, where it is so busy that you have to wait to get a word in edge-wise. but when you do, you get very succinct instruction.
you get vectored properly the right way. you get separation from the small guys like myself, from the large guys like the big airline carriers. and, again, this routine happens thousands and thousands of times a day. and it happens without incident or accident. so again, we've got a system that is working. again, i'm all for modernization. we need new equipment. we need better equipment. for our airports, for our air traffic controllers, and again, if it makes the system work more efficiently, i'm all for that. why take the air traffic controllers that have done such a great job for so many years out of the loop? the modernization should be a goal of any system. and it doesn't just mean our air space. anything we can do in government
to make it better and more efficient, i'm all for. again, i'm your less government guy. but in this instance, privatization of our air traffic controllers is not the answer. especially when it means handle -- handing over the control of our air space to tax -- air space, taxpayers' air space, to a private board, unaccountable to the federal government, and, i don't know, mr. speaker, but you know, history tells me that running back to congress for bailout when times get tough. i hope that doesn't happen, if this bill should pass. again, i'm opposed to the bill. but we know what has happened so many times in the past when we've allowed situations like this to develop. can the federal government do a better job in implementing nextgen technology? nextgen technology is the next generation. again, with he live in a phenomenal world -- we live in a
phenomenal world of technology. and i am living proof of a pilot that used to fly with what we call steam gauges, where we had to look at things much differently. now i fly a cockpit that is completely digital. i'm in awe of what i'm flying in my little airplane as compared to what i was flying just a few years ago. but we want that technology to be handled in the proper way. f.a.a. management issue can be fixed by this congress. i go back, we have invested billions of dollars in this next generation technology. i think we don't want to take that pile of money and that technology and hand it to this private corporation and say, here, guys, it's yours now. this is not what we are paid to do up here in congress. we are paid to watch the taxpayers' money. and hopefully that is part of
our job, is to watch where this money goes and to make sure it is spent wise will. -- wisely. the uncertainty and the lost time of transfering this air traffic control to a private board will only cause delays. i go back to what we've done in the past, with other entities, where we have tried to move from a federal or a government agency to a private agency. or vice versa. the transition time is usually lengthy, it's usually inefficient. mistakes are made. and here, mr. speaker, we're not talking just about civilian travel. we're talking about our department of defense. so it becomes a safety issue and a national security issue. modernization and privatization are not synonymous. they are actually two diverse courses that really have no business in the same bill. we should continue to take steps
to provide adequate funding for the f.a.a., and remove barriers for modernization. while maintaining u.s. air space as the safest and most accessible in the world. again, mr. speaker, i want to commend everyone that's worked on this bill. there have been i'm sure countless hours. and there are some good things in this bill that we need to do. i've addressed the modernization issue. but it's the privatization of our air traffic control that gives me pause and that gives me great concern. some of the issues i have mentioned here in this short period of time. so, i want to take a step back from this air pact. -- act. i want to work with my colleagues. see what we can do to get it right. and keep our skies safe. and once again, i'll say, i'm
the guy that wants less government. this is one of the few areas where government has done a good job, will continue to do a good job, and of those 87,000 flights a day, keep them safe. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. at this time do i entertain a motion for the house. mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i recommend that the house adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question isen -- 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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washington journal at 7:00 a.m. tuesday morning. join the discussion. announcer: tonight on c-span, senator tom kotten on russian military strategy in europe. then representative frank pallone on access to prescription drugs. then we have this week in congress. to anr tom cotton spoke event on russian military strategy in europe. this is a 50 minute event. >> good morning, everyone. i may senior fellow here in the national security program. i run the missile defense project here.