tv U.S. House of Representatives 12052017 CSPAN December 5, 2017 11:59am-4:27pm EST
and say, no, i will not be pushed into the shadows, can we fully claimed the promise of equality that is our promised birthright as a records. i love charlie more than i could ever put into words, and i cannot stand by and do nothing while someone tries to make our love into something shameful and wrong. it into something worthy of contempt. andlove is just as real true as anyone else's, and we deserve the right to live full lives in public without having that love turned into a weap on, a weapon used to deny us the basics of freedom. what happened to us was wrong, and we do not want another couple to go to the pain and humiliation the experience. nobody deserves that. we did not, and neither do any of you. >> live coverage continues from outside the supreme court
online. go to www.c-span.org, and you will see the icon to click on our live coverage. the supreme court oral argument having today. we have been getting protesters and speakers outside all morning. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. eternal god we give you thanks for giving us another day. once again we come to ask wisdom, patience, peace and understanding for the members of this people's house. give them the generosity of heart and the courage of true leadership to work toward a common solution to the many issues facing our nation. as true states men and women, may they find the fortitude to make judgments to benefit all americans in their time of need. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and
glory. amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will please rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from texas, mr. hurd. mr. hurd: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, ne nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and
justice for all. the speaker: the chair will for tain up to 15 requests one minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask to address the house for one minute. the speaker: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: chief justice ernest fenny jr. passed away. he started his storied career as an educator and then became a renowned civil rights attorney was south carolina's first african-american chief justice since reconstruction. my first judicial commitment for the state senate was with justice feny. after meeting with a former congressman had been my classmate in law school. a graduate of south carolina school of law, the justice was selected to the south carolina house of representatives in 1972. as a member of the house he made history as a founder of
the legislative black caucus. he served as the first caucus chairman. in 1976, the justice was elected to first african-american circuit court judge. in 1985 he became the state's first african-american supreme court justice since reconstruction. justice feny became chief justice in 1994. south carolina is grateful for the life and service of justice feny and we lift up his family and friends and our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> request permission to address the house, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. green: mr. speaker, i rise to remind every american that the window to purchase health care on health care.gov will close in 10 days.
i ask you to apply before december 15. financial assistance available and the department of hulet services said eight in 10 consumers qualify for a plan that costs less than $75. although the signup period was cut in half by the trump administration, nearly 2.8 million have enrolled so far this year compared to 2.1 million last year. that's an increase of 33%. this doesn't include numbers from states that don't have their own exchange. mr. speaker, the affordable care act is still the law of the land and i encourage my republican colleagues not harm the a.c.a. by including provisions in the tax bill and instead work with democrats to improve the law. millions of americans depend on us to do the right thing, mr. speaker, and i yiled back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the
gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise today on world soil day to highlight the importance of soil quality for our food security, healthy ecosystems and overall well-being. as vice chair of the house agriculture committee and chairman of the nutrition subcommittee, i know firsthand the importance of good management practices to keep this essential resource healthy. this year's theme is caring for the planet starts from the ground. globally 815 million people are food insecure and two billion people are nutritionally unsecure, but we can mitigate this through soil health. 95% of our food comes from soil. soil is a finite resource and on a human scale it's nonrenewable. however, despite the essential role soil plays in human livelihoods, there's a orldwide increase in the degradation. population pressure with inadequate governance over this essential resource. world soil day, 2017, aims to
aim awareness by addressing the challenges in soil management. today we encourage people around the world to engage in proactively improving soil health. happy world soil day. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to deprem. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. schakowsky: mr. speaker, i rise today against the trump administration rule allowing corporations to decide whether their employees can access birth control. this morning 500,000 comments were delivered in opposition to this rule. it's astonishing to me we are having this debate in 2017, women's access to birth control. birth control is not health care alone. it's the right of women to control their own bodies, plan their own families, chart their own futures.
obstetrician and gynecologist from chicago submitted a comment -- women are able to control when and how they become pregnant are able to pursue graduate degrees and pursue the greater social and economic good fortune for our country, end quote. . speaker, 99% of women of reproductive age, birth control san essential part of their lives. this -- is an essential part of their lives. this is a direct assault on women. women in america are watching. i thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one inute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, yesterday afternoon 58-year-old san marcos, texas, police officer kenneth copeland was shot in an
ambush style attack while he was serving an arrest warrant for a violent crime. the 19-year veteran of the force was working on his day off, doing what he loved, protecting and serving the community. this wasn't unusual for officer copeland, a father of four. he worked about every day simply to provide for his family and help the short-handed department. as guns blazed around them, fellow officers sprung into action, loading copeland into a patrol cash and rushed him to the hospital with their sirens blazing. but it was too late. another member of the thin blue line murdered simply because he wore the badge. mr. speaker, this is the sixth peace officer in texas murdered this year. the first in san marcos history. we must do everything in our power to stand by the men and women in uniform that wear the badge. peace officers like copeland are the last strand of wire in
the fence between the law and outlaws. we mourn his sacrifice, but we thank the good lord that such a man as officer copeland ever lived. and that's just the way it is. i'll yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, today i rise to recognize and welcome the newly constructed naval ship, the u.s.s. little rock, to my home city of buffalo, new york, where it will be docked until its formal commissioning on december 16. for the first time in history, the united states navy, the commissioning of a new u.s.s. little rock will take place alongside the original u.s.s. little rock, which served during the second world war and for the last 40 years has stood as a tall and honored exhibit at the buffalo and erie naval and military park. mr. speaker, i'd like to take this moment to thank the brave men and women of the united
states navy and the crew of the u.s.s. little rock for past and present for their service. on behalf of buffalo and western new york, it's an honor and a privilege to serve as the site from which the u.s.s. little rock will embark on its next mission. this new vessel will make a formidable addition to the united states navy fleet and with icated crew tasked -- back with a vengeance. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> many decades ago we swore it wouldn't happen again. yet, it happened in rwanda in 1990. bosnia in 1995, darfur in 2003 and it's happening right now in burma. mr. hurd: the word is genocide.
it's unclear how many row hingea men, women and children have been lost to beatings, arson and indiscriminant firing because the government is refusing access to human rights investigations. but we do know is that since august, over 600,000 rohigyan civilians have been fled to neighboring bangladesh to escape mass rapes, killings, disappearances committed by the burmese military. these are crimes against humanity and the very definition of ethic cleansing. there is no place for genocide in 2017. the international community needs to increase the military rohingya. he not only are the camps contaminated with disease, but the mass exodus and horrible conditions are a breeding ground for terrorist
recruitment. i ask my colleagues to support the resolution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york -- sorry -- illinois rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> mr. speaker, this year we're begin experiencing gun violence that destroys lives, tears aparts families, is leaving a stain on our nation. sadly, after thousands of senseless deaths after sandy hook, after the pulse nightclub, after las vegas, after so many more, this body has taken no action. just the now tragically routine moments of silence and then back to business as usual. but this week congress will in fact take action. action making it easier for dangerous people to carry concealed guns throughout the country. mr. schneider: it's inconceivable to me this bill is what comes to the floor from the debate about gun safety.
concealed carry reciprocity allows people from constitutes with the loosest safety standards or no safety standards at all to carry a fire across the country irrespective of local laws. i'll give one example. in my state of illinois, people who have two d.u.i.'s within five years cannot get a concealed carry permit. but this bill would override our state law, rendering ours and every other state legislature virtually helpless to protect their own citizens. rise against the concealed carry reciprocity bill. i ask my colleagues to do the same. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, today i rise in support of the concealed carry reciprocity act. the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners in my
north texas district do not end when they cross state lines. mr. marchant: the second amendment protects the rights of my constituents and of all texans and people throughout our country to keep and bear arms. this week the vote -- the house will vote on legislation allowing gun owners with a state issued concealed carry license to freely travel between state lines. many states already acknowledge the concealed carry permit of another state. the concealed carry reciprocity act simply ensures the rights of private citizens to be upheld regardless of the state that they're in. i co-sponsored this legislation. i will continue to stand up for it and i urge the passage of this bill that will protect our constitutional rights. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house
for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, today i rise to suggest a new rule. all my life i heard the republican party preach family values and fiscal discipline but in the course of a single week, mr. speaker, we've seen the republican party in this house vote to add more than $1 trillion of new debt because tax cuts for rich people matter more, and we've seen the republican president and the republican party in the senate choose to support a creditably accused pedophile because power matters more. so i'll tell you what, mr. speaker. new rule. after today, the republican party can choose to support massive new debts and it can support politicians who abuse kids but it cannot lecture the rest of us about it. the rest of us have listened to our last lecture from republicans about family values orificecal discipline. from now on that party has no
credibility on either issue. so i'll tell you what, when it comes to family values orificecal responsibility, please keep it to yourselves. we've heard enough of it. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in recognition of ms. sue stivers of columbia in the first district of kentucky, heralded as the may tree ark of adair county, she's been an outstanding contributor to the livability and prosperity of her hometown. her extensive involvement in working to better her fellow citizens lives with the cooperative extension service is a testament to her steadfast dedication to a life of serving others. she's not only helped local businesses to thrive as executive director of the adair
county chamber of commerce but is involved in one of the main components of life in the area, lindsey wilson college. an honorary alumna and longtime member of the board of trustees, sue has continually pursues giving back to her community and has had an influence on people from across the commonwealth, country, and tpwhrobe. i'm honored to recognize sue for her tireless service as she continually made columbia and adair county a great place to call home. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, the chief reason the american experiment in liberty and democracy has been so successful is our belief in god-given, inalienable rights. one of these fundamental freedoms is san individual's right to keep and bear arms.
while the original intent of the second amendment to the constitution was the defense against abusive tyrannical government the central principle is to empower americans to protect themselves, their family, and as we witnessed in the southerland springs shooting, their communities. annual murder rates as concealed carry has gone into effect, violent crime has increase -- has decreased and gun ownership has increased. citizens defend themselves with lethal force against criminals twice as often as police do every year. the concealed carry resip rossity act which i co-sponsor allow law-abiding citizens who are licensed to carry firearms to legally travel between states and closes gaps in our national background check system and keeps guns out of the hands of convicted felons. i urge my colleagues to support it and i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the taylor force act, offered by mr. lamborn. it's named after army veteran taylor force, killed in tel aviv last year by a palestinian terrorist wielding a knife. mr. lamalfa: as part of the pay to slay policy in which families of terrorists are rewarded for killing israelis and americans, the family of the killer receives $1,000 monthly stipend. the arch monthly income in the area is only $150. this doubles or triples their income overnight. payments to famloifs terrorists have reached $355 million in 2017. both the -- what the taylor force act does is ceases any
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules or on which a recorded vote is ordered or votes objected to under clause 6 of rule 20678 the house will resume votes on postponed questions at a later time. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3731, the secret service recruitment and retention act of 2017, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3731, a bill to provide overtime pay for employees of the united states secret service and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the
gentleman from florida, mr. rutherford and the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, each will control 20 minutes. e chair recognizes the the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules or on which a recorded vote is ordered or votes objected to under clause 6 of rule 20678 the house will resume votes on postponed questions at a later time. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3731, the secret service recruitment and retention act of 2017, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3731, a bill to provide overtime pay for employees of the united states secret service and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. rutherford and the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. rutherford: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks.
. mr. rutherford: i yield myself such time as i may consume. this bipartisan legislation was introduced by my distinguished colleague mr. cat coe and negotiated between the house judiciary committee and the house oversight and government reform committee. it it would make small but significant changes to make sure the men and women of the united states secret service are fairly compensated for performing their duties. this bill is necessary because under current law many secret agents have hit the lawful cap that restricts overtime pay in some circumstances. this means that the brave men and women standing post, for example, at 2:00 a.m. in the morning, are doing so for free. this is without question an untenable situation. h.r. 3731 makes two important changes to the law to address this problem. first, it raises the overtime cap to ensure these agents are paid. number two, it includes a reporting requirement directing the government accountability office to study the service's implementation of the recommendations of the protective mission panel, or p.m.p. this change is intended to help address the recruitment and retention issues at the secret service.
mr. speaker, this legislation will ensure that the secret service is able to recruit and retain an elite group of dedicated law enforcement officers, and this is an issue that rises above party affiliation or ideology. the protection of the president, the first family, and others is something that obviously we all should want as american citizens. and i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker. i ask to address the house for such time as i might consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: and that would be unanimous consent. thank you very much, mr. speaker. let me first of all thank my good friend, mr. katko, who is the original sponsor, and i am proud to be an original co-sponsor of this legislation. we serve on the homeland security committee and have
oversight over secret service as does the aspects of this legislation as it relates to judiciary have oversight as well. so ensuring that our men and women who put their lives on the line daily are protected is an important initiative. as i said earlier, i'm proud to be an original co-sponsor along with my colleague, mr. katko from new york. the secret service recruitment and retention act of 2017 is intended to provide overtime pay for employees of the united states secret service. currently the premium pay for protective services under the overtime pay for protective services act of 2016 has severe earning limitations or otherwise caps which many of these men and women have reached. due to earnings limitations put in place through 5 u.s.c. 5547, many secret service employees are not receiving timely or full payment for the hours they work. the requirements of protective operations directly contrast with the intent of an annual pay cap. as the protective mission
continues uninterrupted coverage for our protectees beyond the control of the secret service. i think that's an important point, and i want my colleagues to know that i wholly support that our protectees are protected wherever they go. but i'd be remiss if i did not express my concern on the number of trips that these secret service today have had to make on outings for entertainment, mira lago, which i think is over 100 times, and the enormous amount of money and burden that's being placed on the federal government. this does not mean i do not want these individuals to be compensated. might i stop for a moment and thank the secret service who i've known and have seen working over the years that i've served in the united states congress in many different ways, let me personally thank you for your service and for your professional service, dedicated service, and long-standing service and commitment to sacrificing your life for your
protectee. i would say that this problem often requires individuals to work over the amount of premium pay for which they're able to be legally paid due to the annual cap. we have seen the extent to which the secret service members are stretched in this administration alone, providing for the president, his family members, and other high officials require depth within the agency to ensure protectees e covered as well as their respective post when pulled away. these various family members and president go in many ways off of the path of their government service related to the people of the united states. it is my hope that we are able to eventually work collaboratively on a more permanent fix to this problem since the secret service cannot administratively control protecting overtime -- protective overtime, which is dependent on the schedules of the protectees. raising the pay cap will aid the secret service in reducing attrition rates and retaining personnel which is what this bill purports to do. i truly want to make sure that
happens. exit interview data indicates the pay cap issue is the number one concern among employees leaving the secret service. we must ensure that we are employing the best available candidates when dealing with the protective -- protection of america's highest diplomats. therefore, pay should not be a deterrence in the recruitment and/or retention of secret service agents and it's crucial we retain them. departing employees said raising the pay cap would have had an effect on their decision to leave. they would have stayed. they are leaving for other positions in the federal government with equal pay and less travel. the u.s. secret service is currently protecting historical number of protectees. about 25% more protectees than during the obama administration. in comparison to the previous presidential administration, bush 41 to obama, for the first six months in office trump administration protective service had more travel stops and days that i any other president. as such, the operational tempo for protective activities have
remained higher than normal. protective overtime hours for special agents are about 15% to 20% higher when compared to c.y. 2015, the last non presidential campaign. r c.y. 2017 as of 9/30/17, the secret service has 1,200 personnel will exceed the statutory pay cap. this is estimated at 10.5 million, the same costs are protected for 2018 if the protected tempo remains unchanged. i therefore support this bill and urge my colleagues to do the same. any way we can help protect the protectees and keep these well- committed, dedicated agents willing to sacrifice their life from leaving so we can also recruit is a vital step forward. i hope not only is this bill passed by the house but i also hope pass quickly by the senate
to be able to be signed by the president of the united states. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. rutherford: mr. speaker, i now like to yield five minutes to my good friend, john katko, also sponsor of the bill from new york. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. katko: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 3731, the secret service retirement -- recruitment and retention act of 2017. because i believe in the need to pay the hardworking men and women of the united states secret service for the critical work that they perform and dedication to the security of marek's leaders. -- america's leaders. while most know they protect the president and first family, not many know the substantial roles and countless hours worked by special agents, uniformed officers, technical personnel and intelligence professionals. these require extensive travel
often on short notice as well as sometimes working multiple weeks in a row without a day off because the security of our nation's leaders depend on our constant vigilance. this legislation demonstrates an important recognition of the men and women who wake up every day to dedicate their lives to the protection of america's leadership and financial systems. this agency has struggled to improve employee morale in recent years due in large part to strict overtime pay caps that prevent adequate compensation for their work. it is very common nowadays at the secret service for agents starting as early as june to be working multiple hours of week of overtime and sometimes as many as over 100 hours a month for free. because they have reached the cap. this in turn leads to challenges in retention and recruitment. further exacerbating staffing shortages. in 2017, the agency estimates that 1,200 employees at secret service will exceed the statutory pay cap, losing
approximately $10 million in overtime pay unless we in congress step up. i wish to thank each of the bipartisan co-sponsors for their support of this bill, which took the cooperation of multiple committees to bring to the floor, and i want to thank my colleague, ms. jackson lee for her continued support on bipartisan measures. it's a sign when you join a hand across the aisle good things can happen. in particular, i'd like to thank chairman goodlatte of the judiciary committee for bringing this legislation up today, as well as chairman gowdy and ranking member cummings of the oversight and government reform committee for their support. i'd like to thank mr. rutherford for managing this bill on the floor today and i thank chairman mccaul and ranking member thompson and ranking member watson coleman of the homeland security committee for the recognition of this legislation's importance to the secret service and support. further, i'd like to explicitly thank two staffers who were instrumental in moving this bill. kevin ortiz of the oversight
and government reform committee, and robert of the judiciary committee. mr. speaker, this bill provides overdue relief to the agency -- an agency whose dedication knows no bounds. as we enjoy this holiday season, i can think of no better christmas gift to the hardworking men and women at secret service than the fair compensation owed to them for their hard work in securing our nation. for this reason i strongly urge all of my colleagues to support this bill, and i urge the senate to quickly take up and pass this bill. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: thank you very much. mr. speaker, it's my pleasure to yield to the distinguished gentleman of new york, the ranking member of the house judiciary committee, mr. nadler. three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 3731, this bill would raise the cap on overtime pay for secret service agents through next year.
these agents pursue the unique duo role of the secret service, which consists of protective and investigative functions. secret service agents are most commonly known for their role in protecting the president, vice president, their families, and other dignitaries. their duties, however, also involve rotations into units that investigate threats against our financial system, certain types of identity theft, and related cyber crimes. the bill before us today is before us because demands on these agents have increased significantly under the trump administration. president trump seems to travel to properties in florida and new jersey and virginia almost every weekend, and the number of individuals in the trump administration under secret service protection has exceeded 40. in comparison to just over 30 under the obama administration. protective overtime hours for special agents are 15% to 20% higher than those during the last nonpresidential campaign year. because of the increased
workload, many secret serviceperson ell will hit the statutory -- service personnel will hit the statutory pay cap. this change is necessary to allow secret service agents to be compensated for the extraordinary rigorous and time demands placed upon them as they work diligently to fulfill their critical mission. the adjustment is necessary for the retention of well-trained agents, and the recruitment of new ones. i also note that the bill would require g.a.o. to conduct a study of the secret service's implementation of recommendations concerning training and personnel made three years ago by the secret service mission panel. congress will benefit from receiving a progress report on this effort. the various provisions of this bill will help make the secret service a more effective agency in supporting its duo mission. i support this bill and ask my colleagues do the same. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. rutherford: mr. speaker, i would like to now yield three
minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. jody hice, who is a member of the committee on oversight and government reform. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hice: i appreciate the gentleman for yielding and, mr. speaker, we all know the united states secret service is one of the federal government's premiere law enforcement agencies. the agency's critical mission is to protect the president, his family, and other senior government officials. the agency personnel may also provide protection at high-profile events. it has a zero-fail mission, therefore, it's vital that secret service is fully staffed with nothing but the best. unfortunately, the agency has faced tremendous staffing problems. the committee on oversight and government reform released a bipartisan report in 2015 finding the secret service has faced challenges related to hiring and retaining personnel. the report states that the
staffing crisis threatens to jeopardize its critical mission. staffing issues have persisted. although the agency has implemented a series of reforms to help get its hiring and attrition problems under control. the consequence of these hiring and attrition problems is that the agency does not have enough personnel to fulfill its zero-fail protective mission. this means existing personnel are working excessive overtime. with all the overtime, many secret serviceperson ell have reached a cap on -- service personnel have reached a cap. as a result, agents are not paid tore overtime hours -- for overtime hours. if during so would have reach a cap. these maxouts, as they are known, contributes to the agency's low morale and unsurprisingly calls the rate of attrition to spike.
congress first lifted the pay cap for the secret service in 2016 to help the agency handle the demands of staffing the presidential campaign. however, nearly 1,300 employees are at risk of exceeding the cap in 2018 this bill extends the pay cap waiver provided last year until the end of 2018. employees will receive compensation up to the basic pay currently fwiven to members of the executive schedule level 2. every secret service employee who has exceeded the cap or what is at risk of doing so because of excessive overtime will receive additional compensation under this bill. i want to be clear. this bill is narrowly targeted to fix a problem currently facing the agency and does so in a timely manner. the secret service cannot
continue to rely on expensive overtime and congress fully expects the agency to get its hiring and attrition problems under control. to this end, the bill also requires a report by the government accountability office focused on secret service implementation of recommendations found in the 2014 protective mission panel report. i request 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. heist: the recommendation, which include reforming the recruiting and hiring process, hiring additional personnel and implementing zero tolerance disciplinary system are instructive and will help the secret service develop a world class human resource system. in close, i'd like to thank the house judiciary committee, the homeland security subcommittee -- committee, along with the oversight committee on putting forth this important legislation and bringing it to the floor in a timely manner. i appreciate the extra time and i urge all members to support
this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves, the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: it is my pleasure to yield throw minutes to the distinguished gentleman from maryland, the chairman and ranking member of the government oversight and reform committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i thank the gentlelady for yielding and rise to support h.r. 3731, the secret service recruitment and retention act of 2017 which congressman katko and i co-sponsored. mr. cummings: the bill would authorize an increase in the annual sally ry and overtime limit for the men and women of the secret service. so they can be paid for the significant overtime they have already worked in 2017 and will be working in 2018. last year, the committee on oversight and government reform unanimously passed the overtime pay for protective services act of 2016.
the bill authorized overtime pay for more than 1,400 secret service agents and thousands of hours they worked in the 2016 residential campaign year. although non-campaign years are usually significantly less demanding, the size of president trump's family, their frequent travel and the need to secure their multiple residences have caused more than 1,000 secret service agents to reach the annual pay in 2017. these demands on the secret service will remain extremely high and require substantial resources. in december, 2015, the oversight committee unanimously adopted a report concluding that the secret service, quote, is experiencing a staffing crisis that threatens to jeopardize its critical mission, end of quote.
our report found that this was due in large part to, quote, significant cuts imposed by the budget control act of 2011, end of quote. the report recommended that congress ensure that secret service has sufficient funds to restore staffing to required levels. providing this much-needed overtime pay relief is an essential step toward fulfilling the committee's recommendation. the hard working men and women of the secret service put their ives on the line every day and make tremendous personal sacrifices for our country. we cannot expect the secret service to recruit and retain the best of the best and be the elite of the elite if they are not even being compensated for the hours that are demanded of them. congress has responsibility to provide the resources they need.
i'm proud to join my colleagues in this bipartisan effort to do just that. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. ruther spord feather thank you, mr. speaker. we have no other -- mr. rutherford: mr. speaker, thank you. we have no other speakers on this and are prepared to close after the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman from florida and the speaker. let me also acknowledge mr. cummings for his leadership on this legislation. i believe the combination of members sponsoring this legislation and the work of oversight, homeland security, and judiciary clearly speak to almost the cry sthoifs issue and what we are dealing with. as we come to a close, mr. speaker, i'm hoping that my colleagues will vote for this legislation in resounding you were ins and i hope the senate will hotline this legislation so
that it can immediately get to the desk of the president. i would also ask that we recognize that we must do everything we can to protect our united states secret service personnel and ensure an effective process for recruitment and retention of the agents. i'm glad there's an element in this legislation that would allow for review of all these issues and that the congress will have a role in assessing how we can work with the secret service agency to improve its performance, its retention and certainly to say to those hardworking agents is -- agent, we appreciate you by way of compensation. these agents play a vital role both here at home and abroad. their keen attention to the tails and adequate response cannot be measured in dollar signs. beyond protecting the president, vice president and other individual the secret service plays a vital role in
representing the united states interests around the world through criminal investigation activity that span the gamut from financial crime, identity theft which is ex-pe then rblely grown in the united states, counterfeit, computer fraud and computer based attacks on the nation's financial, banking, and telecommunications infrastructure among other areas. congress is standing up to make its voice known and to make appropriate changes. i think it is appropriate for the administration in this instance, the commander in chief, to stand up as well and review the ex-tense i have travel and the burdens that are being placed on the secret service agents and their families. they're not complaining, but i think it behooves any good leader to look at what can be improved and what can be corrected in order to ensure the astuteness, the excellence, and the safety and security of the protectees and those agents that
are out there on the line, sacrificing, or willing to sacrifice, their life. for all these reason, i therefore support this bill and thank you, mr. speaker, i ask my colleagues to vote for this legislation. h.r. 3731. and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. rutherford: mr. speaker, i want to thank the gentlelady from texas for helping to bring this bill to the floor today. i congratulate my good friend from new york, mr. katko, on this legislation. it's going to be very important to our men and women of the secret service who put their lives on the line every day and -- in dedication to their service. with that, mr. speaker, i want to encourage all of my colleagues to support 3731 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3731 as amended.
those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed -- >> mr. speaker. i'd like to ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: repeat yourself please, sir. mr. rutherford: i'd like to request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking a vote by the means of the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. rutherford: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3317, the safe act of 2017, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3317 a bill to
amend title 18, united states code, to increase the penalty for female genital mutilation and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. rutherford, and the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. rutherford: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 3317 currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rutherford: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rutherford: i rise in strong support of h.r. 3317, the stopping abusive female exploitation act or safe act. this legislation increases the criminal penalty for female genitalia mutilation of a minor from a maximum of five years to a maximum of 15 years.
it also encourages states to adopt laws to require certain professionals who work with children to report suspected mutilation cases. female genitalia mutilation or f.g.m., is internationally recognized as a human rights violation for girls and women. it is an extreme form of abuse against women and girls, often causing serious and permanent health complications, including shock and death. across at least 30 countries, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to f.g.m. more than three million girls are estimated to be at risk every year of being subjected to this procedure. even though it is outlawed in 42 countries. congress first passed legislation making this horrific practice illegal in 1996.
the federal prohibition of female genitalia mutilation act made it illegal to perform f.g.m. on girls younger than 18 years of age in the united states. in 2013, congress passed another aw to -- the transport for female genital mutilation act which amended think 1996 legislation which made it a crime to knowingly transport a girl out of the united states for the purpose of f.g.m. yet the practice still continues. according to some estimates, the numb of girls who have undergone f.g.m. has tripled over the past two decades. in 2017, after 20 years on the books, the first charges were filed under the f.g.m. statute against a doctor in michigan who performed this disfiguring assault on two 7-year-olds. by increasing the criminal exposure for this crime, we send
a message that our country will not tolerate the mutilation of our young girls and women and we will do what we can to prevent it. i'd like to thank mr. troth from the great state -- mr. trott from the great state of michigan for introducing this legislation and urge my colleagues to support it and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to speak for such time as i may consume. the speaker: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the gentleman from florida for managing this bill along with the previous initiative and let me thank mrs. maloney and mr. troth for their leadership on this -- and mr. trott for their leadership on this legislation. protecting young girls is important to our community. this is intended to amend 18 u.s.c. section 116 by raising
the penalty such that the maximum penalty for the crime of genital mutilation is 15 years. given the abhorrent nature of this practice, states should have in place laws that require health care professionals, school employees and other professionals that work with children to report any suspected practice of female genital mutilation to the appropriate law enforcement entity. this legislation is important as a means for congress to appropriately punish those that commit this crime. female genital mutilation cutting is internationally recognized as a violation of human rights of girls and women. it is currently a crime in 26 states including michigan and texas. . around the world at least five girls are mutilated, cut every hour. an estimated 100 million girls and 140 million women worldwide are living in the consequences of f.g.m. despite the fact it's been banned in the united states since 1996, people continue to
engage in this abusive practice. recently michigan was faced with prosecution eral under this statute whereby a michigan doctor was charged with performing female genital mutilation on two girls that pr crossed state lines. because this practice has no medical benefits, it has no place in our society, and those who commit these horrendous crimes should be held accountable for their actions. i therefore ask for support of this bill and urge my colleagues to do the same. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. rutherford: i would like to yield three minutes to my good friend, mr. trott from michigan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. trott: i want to thank my friend from florida for managing this bill. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 3317, the safe act, legislation that will increase the federal penalty for female genital mutilation from five years to 15 years this. past april just north detroit reports of this appalling and
brutal practice surfaced in my district as a lifelong resident of southeast michigan, i was horrified to lrn that three local residents -- to learn, three local residents, including two physicians, professionals we trust with our children, were charged for allegedly performing and participating in this barbaric practice. the subsequent federal prosecution has shed light on an evil practice that has no place in southeast michigan or the united states. this person who claims to be a physician is a monster and has reportedly committed this heinous act hundreds of times. this despicable practice has no place in our society and we must ensure our federal laws reflect this principle. we must make it clear to americans and the rest of the world that this practice will not be tolerated. the centers for disease control and prevention estimate that over 500,000 girls in the united states have undergone or at risk of f.g.m. that's 500,000 girls too many. we must set a zero tolerance
against this practice. this is gender violence and oppression, and it is time for the government to punish such egregious behavior accordingly. my bipartisan safe act will increase the federal penalty from five to 15 years, putting it more in line with other developed countries. we need to protect our girls right here at home and increasing the penalty will go a long ways towards accomplishing this goal. i want to thank the co-author of this bill, my friend from new york and colleague, congresswoman maloney, for her work. also i want to thank chairman goodlatte for his effort and leadership in moving this bill through the committee process. mr. speaker, today we can take a this owards eradicating barbaric practice and urge my colleagues to support passage of h.r. 3317. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: thank you very much, mr. speaker. it's certainly a pleasure to yield to a good friend and champion of these issues dealing
with vulnerable women, that is the distinguished gentlelady from new york, carolyn maloney, who is the original sponsor of this legislation along with mr. trott. i yield two minutes to the gentlelady. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. maloney: i thank my good friend, sheila jackson lee, for her extraordinary leadership on this issue and so many others. i thank you for yielding to me. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 3317, the stopping abusive female exploitation or safe act. it is a bipartisan, noncontroversial issue and i hope this body unanimously supports it. as it will save the health and protection and stop abuse of girls in our country. i am the democratic lead on this bill and first want to thank my friend and colleague from michigan, representative trott, for his devotion, extraordinary leadership, and commitment on
bill to the floor. female genital mutilation is an issue that affects women and girls in the united states and around the world. i want to express my regret that he has decided to retire from this body. we will miss his leadership in congress. his district, i'm sure, and state will miss it. i must say i believe our country will miss it. it is one thing when a woman championeds -- champions a woman's issue, but to have a like-minded man join you and lead you is a very, very special expression of leadership. i'm deeply grateful for your leadership on behalf of the girls and women that this bill will help. female genital mutilation is a errible, abusive practice that causes immense physical and emotional pain and damage to young girls that can last a
lifetime. it is a federal crime, 22 states have crimes against it, yet it is still being practiced in our great country. it is illegal in the united states. while we condemn this practice around the world, we really need to do more to stop it right here at home. may i have an additional -- ms. jackson lee: an additional minute. mrs. maloney: in 2012, 500,000 females in the united states have been subjected to or at risk of female genital mutilation. and that number is rising. it is up to us to bring that number to zero. this bill creates a harsher and more appropriate penalty, increasing the current sentence of five years to 15 years imprisonment. stricter penalties for performing the procedure are
critical to eradicating this horrific abuse. i not only thank my colleague, but also chairman goodlatte and ranking member nadler. also our sponsors in the senate, feinstein and grassley. this is an important bill. i hope this entire body supports it. it will literally save the lives of many young girls in our country. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas reserves. ms. jackson lee: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from florida. mr. rutherford: we have no more speakers on this bill. we'll reserve until the lady -- ms. jackson lee: thank you very much. i'm delighted to yield again to the ranking member of the house judiciary committee, mr. nadler. the speaker pro tempore: how much time? ms. jackson lee: three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i rise in strong support of h.r. 3317. i unfortunately, this bill is
needed to help protect young women and girls from the horrible practice of female genital mutilation. h.r. 3317 would increase the maximum penalty from five years to 15 years for female genital mutilation to appropriately punish those who commit this horrible crime. f.g.m., female genital mutilation, is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and young women. it is currently a crime in 26 states, including new york. in addition to the prohibition in the federal criminal code. around the world at least five girls are mutilated in this way every single hour. an estimated 100 million girls and 140 million women worldwide are living with the consequences of genital mutilation. despite the fact that female genital mutilation has been banned in the united states since 1996, people continue to engage in this abusive practice.
recently the first prosecution was initiated under the federal statute. a doctor in michigan was charged with performing female genital mutilation on two girls who had been brought across state lines for this purpose. those who commit these horrendous crimes should be held accountable for their actions. i support increasing the maximum penalty under federal law from five to 15 years in order to reflect the severity of these injuries and their long lasting consequences and perhaps to better deter these crimes. therefore i support this bill and i urge my colleagues to do the same. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida reserves. -- texas, sorry. ms. jackson lee: the gentleman has no further speakers? thank you very much. again, let me thank the gentleman from florida for managing and joining me in the managing of this legislation. again thank the co-sponsors, mr. trot. let me also express my appreciation for your -- mr.
trott. let me also express my appreciation for your service to this congress and excellent bill that's on the floor. and mrs. maloney, let me thank you as well for the leadership on this legislation. i think it is important to note that these are dastardly acts against women and girls. as i indicated, across the nation, across the world, rather, we're talking about 140 million women and 100 million girls that have been subjected to living with the consequences of f.g.m. it was banned in the united states since 1996. but we know this act still goes on. we must do everything we can to protect victims, particularly the most vulnerable people in our society, our children. this was not a mandatory minimum. this is upwards of 15 years. penalty for erving a horrific crime. this bill will certainly do that to try to protect these children here in the united states.
beyond serving as a deterrent for many of our society that continue to engage in the of female genital mutilation, this legislation will also provide appropriate punishment for violation of the f.g.m. statute under 18 of fema mutilation, this legislation will u.s.c. 116. for all these reasons i ask my colleagues to support this bill. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas yields. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. rutherford: i first would like to thank the gentlelady from texas for helping to manage these two very important bills on the floor today. i, too, want to congratulate mrs. maloney and mr. trott on h.r. 3317, to ban this horrible procedure of f.g.m. and really elp to protect the women and girls of the united states. thank you very much. that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass that 3317, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid pon the table. the gentleman from florida, mr. rutherford: we ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman ask nor the yaints? mr. rutherford: the yaints. the speaker pro tempore: a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on questions previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. suspend the rules and passing h.r. 3731. suspend the rules and passing h.r. 3317. speaker's g to the
approval of the journal. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. the remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. speaker's approval of the the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from florida, mr. rutherford, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3731, as amended, on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3731, a bill to provide overtime pay for employees of the united states secret service, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from 407. the florida, mr. rutherford, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3317, as amended. on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3317, a bill to amend title 18 united states code to increase the penalty for female genital mutilation, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be 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.] 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 409, the nays are 0. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. 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.]
vote, the yeas are 224, the nays are 183. one answering present. the journal stands approved. without objection, and pursuant to clause 11 of rule 1, the chair removes the gentleman from oregon, mr. walden, as a conferee on h.r. 1, appoints the gentleman from michigan, mr. upton, to fill the vacancy. the clerk will notify the senate f the change in conferees. the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 371, an act to make technical changes and other improvements to the department of state authorities act fiscal year 2017.
for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass s. 1266. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 1266 an act to authorize the secretary of veterans affairs to enter into contracts with nonprofiting orny asians to investigate medical cents of the department of veterans' affairs. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. please remove your onversations, members. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, and the gentleman from california, mr. takano will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. roe: i yield myself such time as i may consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of s. 1266, enhancing veteran care act. s. 1266 would authorize the department of veterans affairs to contract with a nonprofit entity specializing in civilian accreditation or health care evaluation to investigate and assess deficiencies at v.a. medical centers to coordinate any such investigations with the v.a. inspector general and the government accountability office this bill is sponsored by senator james inhofe of oklahoma and it is companion legislation mark 1244 sponsored by wayne mullin. i'm grateful for both of them for their work on this organization. we are familiar with the challenges and scandals that have plagued the v.a. system
since 2014. i along with ranking member walz and other committee members, our senate colleague secretary shulkin and others have been working tirelessly to transform the v. ample health care system into a modern, high-performing health care organization that our vet dreans serve. s. 1266 is in line with those efforts and would provide the v.a. an additional avenue to identify and resolve problems in the care our veterans receive in v.a. medical centers. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: thank you, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: since 2014, the veterans affairs committee has held countless hearings focused on v. ample medical centers who were found to have covered up wait times or failed to
consistently provide high quality care to veterans. many of these failures were brought to light by whistleblower allegations and were later substantiated by government accountability office studies an v.a. inspector general investigations. solutions to these failures were only uncovered through multiple inspections of medical centers, facility, their policies, and their employees. congress relies on the hard work of medical inspectors and investigators at the v.a. o.i.g. and the g.a.o. to review allegations and issue recommendations regarding how v.a. and congress should work to correct deficiencies at medical centers and hold v.a. officials accountable. with limited resources, the i.g. and g.a.o. have completed a staggering number of investigations and reviews that have led to significant reforms of the v.a. system.
they should be commended for their excellent work. the enhancing veteran care act gives the secretary another tool for developing solutions to problems at v.a. medical facilities. the v.a. secretary should be able to contract with nonprofit government -- with nongovernmental inspectors and auditors when deemed appropriate. however, i strongly believe that granting the v.a. secretary the authority to contract with nongovernmental inspectors and auditors should not result in cuts to the i.g. or v.a.'s budgets. we need to ensure v.a. inspectors and the v.a.o.i.g. have the resources to continue their thorough and timely investigations. . i'm kerpped about these nongovernmental organizations not being required to follow federal laws that rirl transparency. i believe these nongovernmental bodies should be held to the
very same level of transparency as the i.g., g.a.o., and v.a. investigators. including requirements that published their methods for conducting audits and reviews alongside their findings and recommendations. without transparency, congress and the public will not have the same level of confidence in their findings. if we have the opportunity to consider this legislation in committee, we could have received testimony from v.a., the i.g., and g.a.o. on this legislation and done more to address concerns around transparency. while also ensuring that investigative efforts are not duplicated. i encourage the chairman to continue his inclusive approach by seeking to bring all veterans related bills through committee for due consideration. however, these concerns will not prevent me from supporting the enhancing veteran care act. i trust the secretary will
xecute this authority in a manner that supports and supplements government-led investigations. veterans should have full confidence they will receive high quality health care at v.a. facilities. manner that supports and supplements government-led investigations. rigorous and transparent investigations and audits will help guarantee these high standards are met. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i yield three minutes to my good friend, markwayne mullin, the house companion bill, h.r. 42. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. mullin: thank you, chairman roe, for allowing this to come to the floor. leader mccarthy. i also thank my fellow senators from ok o ok for their great getting this passed in the senate. as the sponsor of h.r. 4 t. the house companion bill to senate 1266, i getting this passed wan colleagues to support and pass this in favor of today's bill. nearly a year ago we debated
this bill on the floor and saw vote.s by voice i look forward to another strong response from the house and sending this bill to the president's desk and it becoming law. this bill simply authorizes the department of veterans affairs to contract with nonprofit organizations that a credited health care organizations in order to investigate the v.a. medical centers. this bill would allow the v.a. to get a second opinion from outside the agencies in order to get the best information and provide the best care for veterans. just like patients sometimes need to get a second opinion on their diagnosis, the v.a. should also be able to bring in someone and get a second opinion. our veterans deserve care equal to the finest civilian hospitals. let's bring in more transparency to the v.a. by allowing them to invite the people that evaluate those private hospitals to take a look at the v.a. and make recommendations when problems arise. this is a commonsense bill that
will help improve the care for our veterans. and we hope that all will support. i urge this bill -- passage on this bill and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. takano: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to my good friend and ranking member of the ubcommittee on oversight investigations, the gentlewoman from new hampshire, ms. kuster. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. ms. kuster: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of s. 12 , enhancing veteran care act. currently the department of veterans affairs can contract with qualified and accredited third party nonprofits to investigate a v.a. medical certainty deficiency in its facility. only the secretary of veterans affairs, however, is directly capable of authorizing these third party investigations. unfortunately, this process is needlessly cumbersome and delays the improvement of medical centers. this bill is an important reform
because it empowers the veteran integrated service network, directors, and v.a. medical certainty directors to initiate these third party reviews. the manchester v.a. medical center in my home state of new hampshire currently face as number of questions regarding the services it provides and the facilities it manages. while secretary shulkin has initiated reviews of the facility, it took a number of whistleblowers to put their reputation and jobs on the line to force action. legislation like the enhancing veteran care act could have streamlined this process and made both the facility and the visn more accountable to the needs of veterans in new hampshire. v.a. must be better at assessing its own shortcomings. ultimately the veterans in the granite state and across the country deserve the highest standard of care. i'd like to thank senators inhouse and lankford for introducing -- inhofe and lankford for introducing this
legislation, and senator shaheen, one of the co-sponsors, for helping advance the bill through the senate and attentive to the needs of our granite state veterans. i proudly support this legislation and urge all of my colleagues to support this bill and immediately send it to the president's desk. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman fromtown it be. -- from tennessee. . roe: i have no other spreerningsd to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: i have no further speak earns urge my colleagues to vote in support of s. 1266, enhancing veteran care act, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. ardon me, tennessee. mr. roe: spreerningsd to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: mr. speaker, i want on the othereagues side of the aisle. this has been a team effort on r side of the aisle.
this has been a team effort on the veterans' affairs committee to work to try to improve the care that our veterans get and our nations hero's throughout the country. involvement on both sides of the aisle on our committee is unprecedented, i think, on the committee to work toward a single goal and purpose. many times we have differences of opinion, but this bill is just another tool that the v.a. will be able to use to improve the care that veterans get. i received a letter today from a gentleman in new mexico who had a very different experience, six or seven years ago, with the v.a. he was even hesitant to go back. he went back to his v.a. hospital and had a very pleasant experience. i think things are changing for the better due to the hard work of the leadership at the v.a., the people that work at the v.a. every day, and this committee. i want to encourage all members to support this legislation. mr. speaker, with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass s. 1266. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative -- mr. roe: i request a recorded
vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman request the yeas and nays. mr. roe: yes, sir. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise. remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion are postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? the . speaker, i move that house suspend the rules and pass house concurrent resolution 90, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 90. concurrent resolution condemning
ethnic cleansing in the row hingea and calling for the house an end to the attacks and an immediate restoration of humanitarian access to the state of rakhine in burma. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i'm going to ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and to heir remarks include extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, for decades now the burmese military, the government there, has systematically oppressed the people known as the rohingya. this is a muslim minority that lives in rakhine state in burma. a 1982 citizenship law denies
the rohingya people citizenship even though most of them have lived in the country for generations. ofy have been denied freedom movement. they have been denied access to education. the rohingya have been of marginalized by every -- at every level by the burmese government from the top to the bottom. and making matters worse, burma's military is now engaged in a new brutal crackdown. a crackdown on the rohingya that the u.s. has rightly deemed ethnic cleansing. we have more than 600,000 rohingya people driven from heir homes in recent months, forced to cross the border into bangladesh. hundreds have been killed. journalists denied access to large areas of rakhine state
that number is very much higher than reported. at least 200 villages have been burned to the ground. land mines have been placed inside burma's border with bangladesh. maiming refugees who are seeking safe haven. there are reports of rapes and all types of violence committed against the rohingya by the burmese security forces. and importantly, this resolution not only condemns the attacks against civilians but burma's services, led by general lang, it also reaffirms the crimes committed against the rohingya as ethnic cleansing. recently secretary of state tillerson made this strong but warranted determination a decision that deserves our praise here. services, led by general lang bangladesh also deserves credit for opening its boarders in
order to handle the human refugees that are streaming out of burma. but its government has to honor its promise to build shelter for new arrivals and provide medical services. in response to this crisis, secretary tillerson recently announced an additional $47 million in humantarian assistance for burma and bangladesh, bringing the total assistance to more than $150 million there this year. and it's very much needed. state counselor assistance to ml peace prize winner and de facto leader of burma, must make it a top priority for her to provide for the safety of those in burma, including the rohingya. the safe and voluntary return of the victims displaced in bangladesh must be a top priority. but to get to the point where the rohingya will feel safe
enough to return to their homes, the burmese government and the burmese bill miltary must honor their -- military must honor the responsibility to ensure their protection of all the people of burma regardless of their ethnic background and religious beliefs. the violence against the rohingya must stop and those responsible for those atrocities must face justice. of of human rights has long been our nation's top priority in burma. including freeing aung san suu kyi. today that must include the rohingya. this is a moral issue and a national security issue. no one is secure when extremism and instability is growing in this part of the world. i'm going to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this measure and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: let me first thank my
good friend and fellow new yorker, mr. crowley, and our former chair of the asia pacific subcommittee, mr. chabot, for offering this important resolution. i also want to thank ed royce, chairman of our foreign affairs committee, for his sustained focus on this tragedy and his leadership in quickly bringing this measure to the floor. mr. speaker, we continue to see reports of rohingya refugees fleaing -- fleeing the bangladesh and widespread hunger and malnutrition for those left behind. the burmese military and security forces are waging a brutal campaign of violence against unarmed civilians, including women and children, killing, raping, and destroying lives and livelihoods. the rohingya people have been marginalized for decades, but the unthinkable violence and human suffering since august is ethnic cleansing, pure and simple. a description the trump administration now agrees with, although they were far too slow to say sorks and possibly even genocide. over the past four months, more
than 600,000 men, women, and children have fled to neighboring bangladesh to find refuge in a country with tremendous needs of its own. this is more than 10 times the the of refugees administration will allow the administration will allow into the united states this year. the same administration that ended america's participation in the u.n. effort to develop a global compact on migration. all this right in the middle of the world's most serious refugee crisis in history. us. say shame on we should be us. we should be doing more. bangladesh deserves our deep gratitude for opening its doors to the rohingya at a time when our government slams the door shut. but it's not clear that anyone is interested in returning right now. in fact, there are reports more rivals in bangladesh each day on fishing boats for those that can afford passage and on
makeshift rafts for those who cannot. people are leaving burma out of fear, and they are leaving because they are hungry and they're leaving because they know if they stay they will die. the burmese government has not set appropriate conditions for the voluntary, dignified and safe return, including an independent united nations fact fighting mission and addressing citizenship issues. the united states congress has long defended the rights and freedoms of the burmese people. championing burma's now leader, new leader, aung san suu kyi during her many years of house arrest, supporting burma's historic decision and remaining a committed partner in burma's ongoing democratic transition. with the measure before us today, this body will continue to speak out on this issue. we support freedom and respect for human rights in burma. this measure condemns the horrific actions by the
military and security forces, calls for an immediate cessation of violence and urges the restoration of humanitarian access. it also calls for aung san suu kyi to exercise moral leadership, something that's needed now more than ever. we reject the army's claims that what's taking place in burma is a so-called counterterrorism measure. that's nonsense. it's a textbook ethnic cleansing, that's what it is. we should also encourage other governments to stay engaged and continue to address the pressing needs of these refugees, needs that will only grow as long as this situation remains unresolved. lastly, we must also urge our own administration to hold members of the burmese military and security forces accountable for these atrocities, and i have introduced sanctions legislation to do just that. i support this measure and urge my colleagues to do the same. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yield back or
reserve? mr. engel: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. rohrabacher. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. rohrabacher: thank you very much. i rise in support of this resolution, and i compliment both our chairman and our ranking member for how they have ensured that our committee worth of support. 3,000 americans were slaughtered before our eyes by a global terrorist movement using islam as an excuse for their cowardly murder of innocent people. people of every faith were butchered, and just in order to terrorize the west, terrorize into fanaticism. defeating this evil force has been our commitment to ensure
the battle did not evolve into a war between islam itself and the rest of us which would put muslims against all christians and people -- as well as people of our faiths. george w. bush, president of the united states, reached out at this moment after 9/11 to ensure that the plot by these radical terrorists did not succeed in polarizing the world. been eatest success has preventing that polarization that would pit all the world against islam and muslims against all the people of the rest of the world. but that battle to make sure that does not happen must continue and it's essential to keep open the ties of the people in the muslim world who are appalled by the terror and the brutality of these fanatics who commit such monstrous crimes. it's unvital for our own security that we aggressively
condemn terrorism and human rights abuses when it is against muslim people, when the muslim people are the victims, they need to know we're on their side just as we expect good muslim people to be on our side when we confront this terrorism in the world. we did that, of course, when the serbian christians were killing ethnically cleansing muslim people in kosovo. today we are -- we reaffirm to the muslim people of the world and to ourselves that we loudly proclaim that we are condemning the slaughter of the rohingya people who reside in the southern states of burma. if these attacks by the burmese military continue, we must follow this condemnation, this strong condemnation today with sanctions. in the meantime, not one bullet our weapon should ever be made available to the burmese military and in the meantime the burr mees military officers and the government officials ho are engaged in this
particular policy of genocide against the rohingya people, they must know they will be held accountable for their crimes against the rohingyas because it's not a crime just against rohingyas, it's a crime against humanity. again, i commend our leadership of our committees, both the ranking member and the chairman, for making this an important issue for this congress. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: mr. speaker, it's now my pleasure to yield three minutes to the author of this resolution, a longtime advocate for the people of bangladesh and burma, the democratic caucus chair, and my fellow new yorker, mr. crowley. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. crowley: i thank my friend and colleague from yielding for yielding me -- from new york for yielding me this time. i want to thank the chair for his work on this effort. i want to thank my colleague from ohio, mr. chabot, for his work on putting this resolution
together. i know mr. levin and ms. mccollum and others have also expressed such tremendous interest on this issue and i am very pleased and happy about that. in late august after attacks on our posts, burma's military and security forces launched a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against the rohingya in burma. the response has been grossly disproportionate. the attacks by the military against the rohingya, civilians has been systematic, it's been organized, and it has been ruthless. amnesty international says that the mynamar military has killed hundreds of rohingya women, children, including babies, raped women and girls and carried out targeted burning of
entire villages. and that's just what we know of. the authorities have terrorized the rohingya people so cruelly, so cruelly that more than rohingya, have fled burma to neighboring bangladesh. even before the attacks, the rohingya were often effectively denied access to proper health care and education, as the chairman has indicated. many just barely getting by. but the most disturbing thing of all is that at least so far there is no light at the end of this tunnel. still today, burma's authorities are blocking adequate humanitarian aid to many who need it. denying critical food aid to many men, women and children. and as a result, those rohingya that do remain in burma are
getting hungrier, they are getting weaker, and they are becoming even more vulnerable. but instead of trying to resolve the issue, many authorities are denying that this has happened at all. so mr. speaker, i've had enough. i think we've all had enough. the united states certainly cannot solve every problem in the world, but there are some things that we can and that we must do, and imposing sanctions against the perpetrators of atrocities in burma is one of the things that we must do. doing so will send an important signal that we are watching and we are not standing by idly. it will signal that we want to see the recommendations of former secretary general kofi annan carried out. it will single that there is a cost to pay for carrying out
atrocities. it will signal that the world will not turn away. thank you. mr. speaker, the united states holocaust memorial museum recently released an important report on the rohingya called, they tried to kill us. the title should say it all. they tried to kill us all. what clearer message do we need before we act? the time for action is now. i also want to thank the government of bangladesh for the humanitarian relief to the rohingya people that they have offered. i want to call on our friend, aung san suu kyi, to do everything that she can to protect the rohingya from further ethnic cleansing and genocide. i want to thank pope francis for his courage in speaking out and using the term rohingya. i urge all my colleagues to support this measure. i thank my colleagues on the foreign affairs committee for givings this issue the attention that it needs and
deserves. and thank you, mr. speaker and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: you know, mr. speaker, in the spirit of what our colleague, joe crowley, brought up today, there is a new urgency, there's new urgency to this argument and a new urgency to us getting point across to the government of burma and let me speak for a minute as to that issue. because many people at this moment are in grave danger. ny people who are in certain areas in rakhine state are in danger at this moment. they are at risk of mass killings. state security forces as well as armed civilian perpetrators stand poised, so the situation right now, it's possible that
we've not seen the worst of this in terms of mass killings. as we speak, the government of mynamar confines 120,000 rohingya men, women, and children to more than 35 internment camps in these eight townships in rakhine state which we are most concerned about at this moment. they have been confined for the last five years, as we know, and they've been denied aid and they've been obviously deprived of their dignity. but since august 25, the government of mynamar has obstructed as shared with this body today by joe crowley, has blocked food aid, humanitarian aid to some of these internment camps, systematically weakening that population. they are at grave risk, and this is notice to the government of burma. the authorities there continue
to block the delivery of this humanitarian aid, this food aid to these women and children. if this does not end now, it will constitute acts of genocide. it must end now and also, of course, the authorities there continue to enforce restrictions on freedom of movement and severe restrictions on the livelihoods of these people. it is more than worse the extent to which the burmese government and security forces have continued to thwart international observers from moving in to these camps and have thwarted international organizations. the world should demand access now for impartial fact finders and any continued resistance can only reinforce our suspicions that burma has
something to hide and that the evidence will show, will constitute acts of genocide if this continues. it must end now. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, who chairs the foreign affairs subcommittee on the middle east and north africa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. thank you, chairman royce, and thank you, also, to ranking member engel for both of your leadership and bringing this important resolution to the floor. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.con.res 90, condemning the ethnic cleansing of the rohingya, calling for an end to the attacks in burma, and the immediate restoration of access of humanitarian aid. i'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this resolution. i want to thank our previous speaker, my colleague, joe crowley, as well as our republican colleague, steve chabot, sitting in front of us, for authoring this measure.
we are seeing condemnations of the atrocities occurring in burma from across the world, mr. speaker, as well as calls for the nation's de facto leader, aung san suu kyi, to make greater efforts to stop the violence there. last month, our u.s. administration issued an official determination that the burmese military's actions constitute ethnic cleansing, and rightly so. the atrocities being committed against this ethnic minority have been well documented, and they deserve the utmost condemnation. the reality on the ground is shocking, mr. speaker. over 600,000 were forced to flee to neighboring bangladesh. the systematic massacre, the rape, the pillaging all in an effort to eliminate any trace of these muslim minorities in burma. . know one is safe, no rohingya is safe, yet the world continues to
sit back and watch as these individuals are targeted for extinction and eradication from the history books. we as a united states congress can do more. we must do more. we expect responsible nations and responsible actors to do more to end this persecution. last week pope francis met with aung san suu kyi and burma's top military commander, delivering the message that these atrocities must be stopped. the dalai lama has spoken out against this systematic campaign. now it is time for us in the u.s. congress to add our voice and send a strong message of our own. and this resolution does just that. thank you, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, it's now my pleasure to yield four minutes to my good friend, senior member of the ways and means committee, and senior member of the congress, the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. thank you, mr. engel.
thank you so much for yielding.. thank you so much for yielding. i rise today in support of this resolution. at the same time i want to express concerns about the full thrust of the resolution. it makes it clear that the military in burma is the main perpetrator of the crimes committed against the rohingya people. on november -- in november, secretary tillerson called the violence against the rohingya, i quote, ethnic cleansing. holding the military responsible. some have urged that aung san suu kyi does not control the military, and there is a danger that the military would use the present crisis as a way to dismantle the civilian government. it has also been said the civilian government is working within a deep traditional bias against the rohingyas, and some see them as illegal immigrants from bangladesh. others point out the pressure on
the civilian government could lead to burma moving closer to the chinese. still others point out that talks about rohingya's returning to burma must be afforded time to work out and the process has only begun. but none of to burma must be these factors undermine the realities of the persecution of the rohingyas. as a u.n. official has stated, it is a textbook example of ethnic cleaning -- cleansing. the pope was under great pressure to not mention the rohingyas by name. he expressed his deep concern while visiting the country. and later in bangladesh the pope i ng specific said that, and quote, none of i
quote, none of us can fail to be aware of the gravity of the situation, end of quotes, and called for, quote, decisive measures to address this grave crisis. a few years ago i was part of he codel organized by leader pelosi to myanmar. one of the highlights of the trip was meeting with aung san suu kyi who had been freed after almost two decades of house arrest. we discussed her unique role in moving myanmar toward a nation of freedom, human rights, and peace. the resolution earlier introduced by senators mccain and durbin, expressed the overriding need for the world to step up to the plate of the rohingyas. i introduced the same resolution in the house. these resolutions reflect what many esteemed historical figures have said. theologian executed by the nazis said, i quote, silence in the
face of evil is itself evil. desmond tutu said, and i quote, if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor, end of quotes. i weasel said, i -- elie weasel said, i hope, neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. silence encourages the tormentor. never the tormentor. and i quote with the statement of martin luther king who said, i quote, an individual who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. end of quotes. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york reserves. gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr.
steve chabot, chairman of the subcommittee -- chairman of the committee on small business. he's a senior mefment committee on foreign affairs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. chabot: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the chair yielding the time. of of oday in support h.con.res. 90. this is a bipartisan bill condemning the burmese military systematic attacks on the rohingya in rakhine state. i thank especially congressman crowley of new york for working together in bipartisan manner on this legislation, and chairman royce and ranking member engel, and so many others. as someone who has chaired the foreign affairs committee on asia and the pacific and been to burma and met with aung san suu kyi and followed burma very closely, what's happened there is truly shocking and disheartening. and really a blot on the world and how this has been handled up to this point in many ways.
the rohingya have long been at the fringes of burmese society. that the burmese military regards them as outsiders. who don't even belong in burma at all. that the that's why the military used some attacks back in august by a rogue group of rohingya as a pretext to terrorize the entire rohingya population. it is this campaign of terror and violence has demonically worked over 600,000 rohingya have fled burma for bangladesh, and 250,000 of those people are children. further, credible human rights organizations and the media have documented numerous horrors and abuses, including rape and murder and torture and the most unspeakable things have happened there. together these atrocities amount to what's been called a textbook example of ethnic cleansing. unfortunately, burma's
constitution ensures that the burmese military controls much of the government in burma. while burma's civilian government has proved incapable action to ppropriate address this violence. since the action to address this violence. since the burmese military began its ethnic cleansing campaign, it's gone on and on. i would urge my colleagues to support this legislation. do everything we can to stop these horrors. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. million engel: i yield three minutes to my good friend, the chief deputy whip of our house democratic leadership, the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. ms. schakowsky: i rise today in strong support of h.con. resolution 90. i'm very grateful for this debate today because we need to raise this issue so the world knows that right before our eyes, right now, ethnic cleansing is happening halfway
around the world in myanmar. i was privileged to go two weeks o to both bangladesh and myanmar to be an on-the-ground witness to what is going on. in my district i have probably most of the 1,000 or so rohingya in the chicago area, and even have in my district the rohingya cultural center, which i visited this weekend with senator dick durbin, who was also on this congressional delegation. so we listened to people in bangladesh and we heard about unspeakable atrocities. and i recorded some of them. we talked to a 20-year-old woman who was holding her hijab on her face as she cried and told about in front of her eyes how her husband's throat was slit and killed. his brother was killed. and then they grabbed the baby
out of her arms and in front of her, killed that child. it was just one of the stories. we talked to grandmother and her child -- granddaughter next to her covered with burns that are now scars from a few months ago. she is so scarred she cannot speak and her grandmother wishes only that she would be able to talk. met with the prime minister of bangladesh. the prime minister a. woman, who we -- prime minister, a woman, who we thanked for allowing of bangladesh. he 620,000 rohingya to cross into bangladesh. but they want to go home. the bangladeshis want them to go home. and right now that is impossible because villages have been burned and the almost complete prejudice against the rohingya people, they won't even use the name rohingya 620,000 rohingya in myanmar, in burma, to refer to these individuals. thousands upon thousands of stories like that are coming out of rakhine state where the
rohingya made their home. we were not permitted, we thought we were going to be, to go to the -- displaced persons camps which are really prisons, concentration camps, in northern rakhine, where people have been thrown out of their homes and their homes and jobs destroyed. we went to the capital of a hingea, the rakhine state, we went to what is essentially a ghetto surrounded by barbed wires, blocked by police where people cannot get health care. they can't go to the stores that they used to have in the village. they can't go education. they are running out of rice right now. this is happening now in the world. we need to do something about it. i'm proud of this congress for standing up today and saying no more ethnic cleansing. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from new york
reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on africa, global health, global human rights and international organizations. mr. smith: i thank my good friend for yielding. rise in very strong support of h.con.res. 90, the scridges and violence imposed on the rohingya ethnic minority in burma is brutal, horrific, and preventable. i do welcome like the rest of my colleagues, the administration's determination that the attacks against rohingya are ethnic cleansing because it is. i respectfully submit it certainly rises to the level of genocide. the genocide convention couldn't be clearer. if you look to destroy an ethnic group, there are other categories as well, it's all about the group, in whole or in part, and even the thought -- the contemplation of doing so can rise to genocide. here it's happening. of it's happening because
who they are as a group. so i think there needs to be a further refinement of that determination to the point of being genocide. the responsibilities for of who they are as a group. so this humantarian crisis falls squarely on the burmese military and some extent on the endemic and widespread intolerance expressed in burmese society for the rohingya. after the state department's determination of ethnic cleansing, it should not hesitate to impose sanctions against the burmese military leaders and all others who are responsible for this bloodbath. like many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, i am deeply concerned that this crisis may destabilize the n.l.d.'s ruling coalition and set back burma's democratic transition. i'm concerned about china's interests in burma because a robust democracy on china's border does not fit the goals of the chinese leadership, i'm concerned that outside jihadi groups will exploit this situation to open yet another
front. i am concerned like my colleagues about the stability of bangladesh, whose fragile economy, now hosts well over 500,000 new refugees. we're all most concerned about the rohingya, women, and children and men who suffer horribly during this crisis. the roots of this humanitarian crisis are long. a durable solution for the rohingya in burma will be a difficult task. but we must make the effort, as we all know there are other ethnic minority groups in burma, who have also faced atrocities over the years at the hands of the burmese military. a democratic and multiethnic future should be burma's best hope for prosperity and stability. the burmese military remains the op obstacle -- object stickle to that future. i yield back the balance of my time. -- the obstacle to that future.
i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's my pleasure to yield two minutes to a champion for human rights, especially the rights of women and girls, the gentlewoman from from minnesota -- the gentlewoman from minnesota, ms. mccollum. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. mccollum: i thank the ranking member, the chair, as well as the authors of this piece of legislation, mr. chabot and mr. crowley for their work on this important issue. . last month i visited burma and bangladesh on a congressional fact finding mission. our conversation with camps and survivors, the persecution of the rohingya people in the rakhine state is a humanitarian crisis and demands robust american leadership. this resolution is an important first step in demonstrating that congress will not tolerate human rights abuses against the rohingyas. our delegation you is a, however, there -- saw, however,
there is a path forward. the burmese government and the military must fully implement the recommendations of the former u.n. secretary general kofi annan's advisory commission. burma must work with bangladesh and the u.n. must fully work to return voluntarily the rohingya refugees with a guarantee of a safe return and a fair process to allow the rohingyas to apply and secure citizenship. that must be established. and finally, there must be an independent investigation to ensure accountability for the atrocities and the buses that have taken place. -- and the abuses that have taken place. mr. speaker, i saw people suffering in both burma and bangladesh and the suffering must come to an end. they are crying out for action, and the united states and the international community must help them secure justice, and this vote today is just the
beginning. i encourage people to support this, and i yield the time back. toilet -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i reserve the balance, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i'm prepared to close. the plight of the rohingya will not be forgotten. i think we heard it from both sides of the aisle with the impassioned speeches today, nor will we dismiss the suffering of burma's many other ethnic groups that have been violated by the burmese military. we've seen 600,000 rohingya from burma flee to bangladesh escaping burma's security forces. this ethnic cleansing and perhaps even genocide is a direct result of the failure of burma's government to protect the rights of all people within
their borders. this resolution calls for the reimposition of targeted sanctions against those violence. for these i ask my colleagues to support the legislation. i yield back the balance of my time and i thank chairman royce for once again working with him in a bipartisan fashion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: well, thank you, mr. speaker. o in closing, and yielding and yielding back such time as i may consume, i just wanted to, again, thank joe crowley, our colleague, and mr. steve chabot for their work on this measure and mr. eliot engel as well, our ranking member of the committee. they've all long been leaders on this issue, and i thank them for authoring the measure. and i think all of us know that even before this latest
resurgence, this massive displacement, this ethnic cleansing, many considered the rohingya to be one of the most persecuted minorities, one of the most persecuted populations on the planet. but i think this particular resolution rightly shines the light on the abuses committed against them, calling for an nd to all violence, and i urge my members here but also we urge the government of burma to consider that we are at a point of crisis. if the government there does not reverse course immediately, it will do irreparable damage to its standing in the world and earn it a place among the most egregious human rights abusers in modern history. so what we ask is a reversal of these policies. so i urge all colleagues to
vote in favor, send a clear signal that the u.s. will not turn a blind eye toward these atrocities, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 90, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. royce: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, dear, mr.
speaker, i have made a decision to retire from my position as a member of the united states house of representatives from michigan's 13th congressional district effective today. signed sincerely, john conyers jr. the speaker pro tempore: under clause 5-d of rule 20, the chair announces that -- to the house that in light of the resignation of the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, the whole number of the house is 433. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1164. this is the taylor force act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1164, a bill to condition assistance to the west bank and gaza on steps by the palestinian authority to end violence and terrorism gainst israeli citizens. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, will each
control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i'm going to ask that all members legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, thank you. today, members, we consider the taylor force act. this is bipartisan legislation that honors a courageous and patriotic young american, taylor force. taylor was an eagle scout. he he was a west point graduate who served his country with distinction in afghanistan and iraq. before he enrolled in vanderbilt's m.b.a. program, he was a young man with big dreams and loads of potential.
then, taylor's life was tragically cut short at the age of 28 when he was murdered by a palestinian terrorist while on a business school trip to israel. i had the honor of meeting, again, with taylor's parents, stewart and robbie, who are on -- stuart and robbie, who are on capitol hill today. they have worked so hard to make this bill a legacy for their son, to ensure that no other family has to experience what they have experienced. they have been so generous with heir time, their spirit, their story. we are grateful for all of their efforts, and we wish them comfort as they continue to mourn the heartbreaking loss of their son. we need to be clear about
responsibility for this vicious attack. the palestinian authority gives salaries to palestinians who attack innocent people like taylor. if the attacker dies, then the attacker's family is compensated under their law. i know it's hard for us to adjust to this, but it is palestinian law to reward palestinian prisoners in israeli jails with a monthly paycheck. the palestinian leadership also pays the families of palestinian suicide bombers. it goes without saying that these policies clearly incentivize terrorism. in fact, this perverse pay to sleigh system uses a sliding scale. the longer the jail sentence --
in other words, the greater the mayhem created there, the greater the reward. the highest payment goes to those serving life sentences to those who prove obviously most brutal. this system is a disgrace. it is also the result of an abiding climate of hatred that palestinian leaders continue to foster toward jews, towards israelis. as one witness told our committee, incitement is the term we usually use, but hatred is what we mean, teaching generations of palestinians to hate jews by deem onizing and dehumanizing them -- demonizing and dehumanizing them. that is what democratic israel faces, and it's not getting any better. yet, for a generation, we have
given economic aid to the palestinians in large part to try to stabilize their society to promote peaceful coexistence between the palestinians and israelis. this goal is undermined every day that the p.a. makes ayments for acts of terrorism. this must stop. this bipartisan bill cuts off assistance that directly benefits the palestinian authority unless the p.a. takes credible steps to end acts of violence, stops payments for acts of terrorism, revokes the laws requiring these payments or tax actions comparable to revoking the laws, and publicly condemns these acts of violence. our bill also requires consistent reporting to congress that clearly explains
how the administration makes its determinations. if our assistance is being withheld, the administration must report which of the p.a.'s dangerous actions are continuing so that congress can determine how to apply pressure going forward. too many grieving families go to sleep every night knowing that money is changing hands as a reward for violence that killed one of their loved ones. with this bill we are using the weight of u.s. law to help see that no more families, american, israeli, or anyone join their tragic ranks. we do this in the name of one brave american, taylor force, to honor the memories of all victims and importantly help prevent future victims. we also do it in the hopes of
peace. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this bill, in strong support of this bill, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i first like to thank ed royce, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee. i agree with everything he said in his remarks. i want to thank him for his hard work on this legislation. we worked closely together to make this bipartisan bill as strong as possible while also taking care to limit any unintended consequences. that's what we've been doing on the foreign affairs committee and that's why we've been so successful in passing legislation. we do it in a bipartisan way. let me begin by saying that the palestinian system of so-called martyr payments is downright disgusting. we're talking about a system that involves paying people on a sliding scale based on the
death and destruction that they cause. it's simply sickening. these payments clearly incentivize terrorist attacks, and they further threaten prospects for peace, pushing e chance for a palestinian peace out of reach. this bill was named for taylor force, a victim for palestinian terrorism. he was a west point graduate and a veteran of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. he was stabbed to death in jaffa in 2016. the question we face is, how do we compel the p.a., the palestinian authority, to end the martyr payment system? in 2015, appropriations bills began to include language cutting off funds for the palestinian authority by the amount that they spent on so-called martyr payments. but that didn't curb the practice. we stopped giving the palestinian authority direct
assistance, but the palestinian authority hasn't budget. now we are considering this legislation, which cuts all funds that directly benefit the palestinian authority. if the palestinian authority continues to make these payments. this will make it crystal clear to the palestinian authority that martyr payments, so-called martyr payments are unacceptable, period. at the same time, the bill allows the united states to can't humanitarian and democracy assistance which is in our interest and the interest of our ally, israeli. it also includes -- our ally, israel. it also includes a proposal that exempts childhood vaccinations from this bill and overall i think the taylor force act strikes the right balance. chairman royce and i worked hard to come up with a piece of
legislation that both sides would support. the foreign affairs committee unanimously passed this legislation so the message should be clear -- this is not a partisan issue. we must send a message to the palestinian authority that these so-called martyr payments, which are killing payments, must stop. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this legislation that ensures no unintended consequences, and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. rice: i am going to yield three minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. lamb born, the author of this important legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. lamborn: thank you, mr. speaker. this legislation is named after taylor force. i want to say what a special honor it is today that his parents are with us here today. i would like to especially thank the speaker and majority leader for bringing this legislation to the floor for a vote and i also
want to thank chairman royce and ranking member engel for their leadership and strong bipartisan support. i introduced this bill last congress and reintroduced it this congress with representative liezel din because we must ensure that american taxpayer dollars don't incentivize terrorist attacks on our own citizens as well as israelis. this commonsense measure now has 170 co-sponsors. i think most of the american people are aware of taylor's story by now but it bears repeating again as we prepare to vote on this legislation in the people's house. last year a 28-year-old american student named taylor force was visiting israel on a school trip. while walking near the beach in tel aviv a 22-year-old palestinian stabbed him to death in a terrorist attack. taylor force was an eagle scout. west point graduate. and a veteran of both iraq and afghanistan. he represents everything any parent could want their son or
daughter to be. as we know, mr. and mrs. force lost their treasured season in this terror attack. they were left with only photographs and memories. the terrorist who murdered taylor was killed shortly after by police. but the killer's family was left with something else a lucrative financial rere-ward. the palestinian authority, led by president mahmoud abbas, gives financial awards for terrorist attacks. the more people killed in an attack the higher the financial award. families of terrorists receive a pension for life which is trip they will average salary in the west bank as well as receiving free tuition and health insurance a clothing allowance, and a monthly stipend. more money goes to these kind of payments than go to the entire civil service of the palestinian authority. this must be stopped. i urge my colleagues to support
this legislation and send a strong and clear message as possible that the united states will not allow our taxpayer dollars to be used to incentivize terrorist attacks. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, it's now my pleasure to yield three minutes to the raking member of the middle east subcommittee and valued member of the committee, the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. deutch: i thank my friend, the ranking member from new york. thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 1164. taylor force act. mr. speaker, the pursuit of a negotiated two-state solution to end the israeli-palestinian conflict requires a commitment to peace. but it is impossible for the palestinian authority to demonstrate that commitment to peace while paying terrorists for a tax on innocent civilians. but that's the reality today and that's what this bill seeks to
end. under current palestinian law, p.a. pays salaries to terrorists and their families, more money for worse crimes. typically well exceeding the mean salary for palestinian workers. if a terrorist is sentenced to life in prison for an tai tack that kills israeli citizen, he'll get a four-times higher salary than if he'd been sentenced for a lesser attack. this is blatant terrorism. the same type of terrorism we've seen tear through shopping malls, nightclubs and places of worship around the world. in march of last year we saw the cansquenses of this incitement and incentive to taylor. taylor -- incentive to terror. taylor force, a west point grand and vanderbilt graduate student who had fought in the wars in iraq and afghanistan was stabbed
to death on a promenade in jaffa. taylor by all accounts was loved. he was humble, enjoyed playing the guitar, an eagle scout and army veteran. his father described him as an all-american kid who made sure that everyone around him felt good. and a friend of his in nashville said simply, he made people better. but rather than unambiguously condemn this attack against innocent civilians, as any responsible government would tchork p.a. has rewarded these types of attacks by paying more than $1 billion to convicted terrorists over the past decade. it is the job of the palestinian authority like any responsible government to deliver services to its people. including welfare to those who need it most, like a grieving widow who suddenly has to take care of her family without the breadwinner. but this is not welfare. the current law tells palestinian, you die in a car stent, your family gets nothing. but if you die driving your car
into a group of israeli civilians you family will be faken care of for life. that's not welfare, that's incentive for terror. it's pay for slay. it must end. i'm proud of the bipartisan manner in which today's bill was crafted and it is written in a way to target those funds that target the palestinian authority, creating real incentives for p.a. to end these practices without damaging the vie sal u.s. -- vital u.s. investments in humanitarian assistance and people-to-people programs that are essential to our overall objective of peace. taylor force served our country to advance and protect peace. his life was take bin terrorists seeking to undermine peace. it is our duty to call up -- all on the p.a. to end this practice. mr. engel: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. deutch: it's our duty to call on the p.a. to end this practice and demonstrate a real commitment to peace a peace where israel can live safely and
securely as a jewish and democratic state next a state that does not seek its destruction. this legislation honors taylor force's name and hem memory by stopping an abhorrent practice. the p.a. must end these payments to terrorists and i urge my colleagues to support this effort to make them stop. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen who chairs the foreign affairs subcommittee on the middle east and north africa and is our chairman emeritus. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to our good friend ranking member eliot engel and i want to thank our colleague in colorado, doug lamb born, for offering this important bill. sadly as we have heard, taylor force is the name and face of the disgusting and reprehensible practice in place by the
palestinians that we know as pay to slay. taylor force, as we've heard, was an eagle scout a west point graduate a veteran of two wars, who served our nation bravely and with distinction. it was a life cut tragically short at 28 years old when he was murdered by a palestinian terrorist while in israel. and while the world condemned this attack and while taylor force's friends and family mourn his loss, the palestinian leaders failed to take responsibility. instead, the palestinian leadership continue to incite violence, continue to support terror, because make no mistake, mr. speaker, as long as the palestinian authority or the p.l.o., whatever name they want to use, make payments to terrorists, they are supporting terror. how can you conclude otherwise? it is irresponsible, it is shameful to think that the
american taxpayer and the u.s. government are in any way, shape, or form helping to support this pay to slay program. this is why this act will ensure that this, until pay to slay is ended we will not be a willing contributor to the palestinian scheme. this is just another tool that congress has given the administration to use in order to hold the palestinian leaders accountable. however, i do believe that we should not allow for exceptions, not allow for carve outs in this important bill because that flexibility sadly is sometimes used to circumvent the spirit of the law and the congressional intent. i would like to remind ourbdy that the administration already has the tools it needs to withhold assistance to the palestinian authority and the west bank and gaza, we must exercise existing authorities and send a message to the palestinians once and for all. i urge the administration to use
all of the tools at its disposal to not waive provisions of u.s. law, to not selectively enforce some laws and apply others. and that means ending all assistance to the palestinian authority, all, it means closing the p.l.o. office in d.c. until pay to slay has ended and until the palestinians stop their incitement and stop their support for terror. so i urge my colleagues to support this important and tragic measure and i urge the administration to use these tools that we continue to provide to it. i thank the chairman for rapidly bringing this important bill to the floor and the ranking member. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. going to ok i'm not close, i would like to just add something, i yield myself such time as i might consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i think points have been maden both sides of the aisle with which we all agree. if the palestinian authority is serious about peace and is serious about a two-state solution and is serious about living in peace with israel, then i think they have to be serious about not paying people who murder, not paying people who are terrorists, not paying over and randomly go stab somebody. taylor force happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, no other reason. that should not be left to stand. i think our colleagues have all talked about what a wonderful young man he was. exemplary american. someone who played by the rules, kept this country safe, did the right thing. respected his own faith. we should respect him and all the other people as well. now it's my pleasure to yield
five minutes to my friend on the financial services committee, a rising star in congress, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. got himmer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. gottheimer: i rise in strong support of h.r. 1164, the taylor force act. i want to thank chairman royce and my friend and colleague and real leader for our party and for this issue, ranking member eliot engel for all of their hard work and leadership to bring this legislation to the floor. all of us in congress could learn from and emulate their friendship and bipartisan working relationship. especially when it comes to our foreign policy and support for our vital ally israel and our fight against terror around the world. i commend the gentleman from colorado, representative lamb born, for introducing this important legislation and i am proud that ranking member engel and i were the first democrats in the house to co-sponsor this measure. mr. speaker, i serve on the house financial services
subcommittee, subcommittee on terrorism and ill list finance. day in and day out my colleagues and i track the flow of money to terrorist groups, like hamas, hezbollah, and isis, through ill list financial networks. for years the palestinianian authority has engaged in an equally shameless practice out in the open. payments to terrorists inspires those to go out and kill civilians including those like taylor force. israeli civilians live under the threat of stabbings, suicide bombings and vicious attacks. palestinian lead verse not just j -- just refused to call for an end against the attacks or speak out against those who promote health -- promote violence, they support and defend those who promote terrorism in an elaborate system whereby the palestinian authority, quote, pays to slay. that's because they have provided payments in some form
or another to terrorists and their families as well as various other awards and titles and hon isks. but the -- and hon risks. - hon orifics. i've read the laws and seen the accompanying payment charts. there's literally a payment schedule. for the -- based on the severity of the terrorist attack. to encourage more severe and gratuitous violence and terrorist attackity. for instance, a terrorist who slayed three people in 2015 including 18-year-old american citizen ezra schwartz, who was spending his gap year in israel and planned to attend business school at rutgers university in new jersey would be rewarded by the p.a. with a monthly salary, of well more than $3,000. november some of these payments total hundreds of millions of dollars that the p.a. redirect from its own budget to pea for the -- to pay for the murders of
jews and foreigners. this will this legislation is carefully targeted to achieve maximum leverage over the p.a. to end the furneding of terror. this legislation stands in stark contrast to partisan, one-sided and offensive harm-filled bill under the guise of promoting human rights that would cut aid to israel for cracking down on terrorism. israel has the right and obligation to defend itself and its civilians who have been the targeted victims of brutal attacks and murders while going about their daily lives. the united states ought to condemn palestinian incitement. members of both parties have been working together to do just that. since 2015, congress has reduced the amount that the p.a. and p.l.o. from the economic support
fund. this has resulted in the reduction of our foreign aid and not brought an end to this practice and may i join congressman tenney and 33 of our colleagues demand that secretary of state address these terror payments directly with abbas during his visit to washington, d.c.,. the p.a. may be more receptive to international pressure. and this urges the secretary of state and united states representative to the united nations to highlight this issue with the international community to condemn these acts of violence. the united states must use every tool at our disposal to counter violence and terrorism. they may well continue down the path of hatred and terror. so long as they pay citizens to murder citizens they will do so without support from the united states taxpayer.
there is no question that they should be asked about that. i ask my colleagues to join me in standing with the families of victims of terror to bring an violence.ystem of i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. chris smith, chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee of africa, global hope and global human rights. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i thank the chairman and ranking member for working so well to bring this legislation to the floor and lee zeldin and one of the principal co-sponsors. i am proud to be a co-sponsor, this is a very, very important bill that will serve as a measure of justice for the memory of taylor force and many others who have been victimized over the years by palestinian terrorism subsidized by the
palestinian authority. it is well past time for us to apply real pressure to the palestinian authority for continuing incitement for anti-israel and anti-american violence. this bill takes aim at the p.a. s incentivizing of murder. when you pay someone to kill somebody else and pay their family, that's a crime. so this is just ought to see this as a step in trying to say we mean business, those who authorize those payments ought to be held liable for these crimes. two years ago, congress deducted the p.a. oomplet compensatory payments to them and their families. there has been no change in the p.a.'s twisted and perverted policy. by conditioning most u.s. assistance to the p.a. on its commitment to cease payments to terrorists, the taylor force act takes the necessary and
important step to guarantee that american taxpayer dollars are not being used to reward terrorism. mr. speaker, the p.a. cannot be a partner for peace until it stops subsidizing terrorism and this increasing talk of a new peace initiative in the region, we must be absolutely clear that there can be no true peace until palestinian public policy stops implicating a culture of death. years of diplomacy and public pressure aimed at stopping incitement have not succeeded. congress must act now with the power of the purse. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i yield two minutes to my good friend and valued frank ell. ms. frankel: thank you, mr. engel. mr. speaker, i rise in support
of the bipartisan taylor force act which eliminates the united states' aid to the palestinians unless they end payments to terrorists. and i thank my colleagues, the chair and the ranking member for their leadership. today, we are condemning an evil system that rewards terrorists based on how many innocent civilians they maim or kill. n recent decades, 1,600 people have been killed by terrorist attacks like leeanna, a high-spirited girl, a friend to many, on a break to exams, they were online for a night of celebration at a disco in tell aviv. when a bomb went off and snuffed out 20 other innocent israelis. as a reward for this attack, the
suicide bombers' family received thousands of dollars from the palestinian authority. and this authority which continues to give hundreds of millions of dollars to terrorists and their families. fund.of the so-called this legislation which correctly exempts humanitarian and democracy promoting programs tells the palestinian authority no more pay to slay. i urge adoption of this bill. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yield back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. zeldin, member of the committee on foreign affairs, co-author of this measure. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. zeldin: it is a privilege to serve on the house foreign affairs committee a great bipartisan committee under the
leadership of chairman royce and ranking member representative engel and i'm grateful they brought this legislation to the house floor for consideration today. as a co-chair of the house caucus, i israel would strongly encourage all of my colleagues to support this important bill. m thinking of values, what drove taylor force to sign up 49 states military academy in west point to deploy and to combat and protect and defend our freedoms and liberties, willing to lay it all on the line, willing to risk everything for our flag, for our constitution, , just for family back home
joined here, certainly with us here in spirit, his parents who are in the gallery and they know that the legacy of taylor force's service and sacrifice is one that is already showing a change in policy between our nation and those in that region because as we think of values -- the values of the palestinian authority is one that inflates violence and rewards violence and treats terrorists like they are heads of states and calls them martyrs. i stand with taylor force. the house foreign affairs committee stands with taylor force. this entire body when this comes for a vote, stands with the parents of taylor force and our
effective and better leveraging our money because we should not provide one dollar of taxpayer funds if that money is going to towards not only inciting violence but financially rewarding terrorism. the united states taxpayers not only want to make sure that their money isn't going to financially reward palestinian terrorists when they murder innocent israelis, but this is also about americans, u.s. tax dollars going to an entity that financially rewards terror. i was moved greatly, as i was listening to the representative ros-lehtinen and the need to use all resources that are available to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our nation's greatest ally and change behavior of those bad
actors. yield back. mr. engel: if there are no other speakers, i'm prepared to closed. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, let me close by saying that this bipartisan legislation seeks to compel the palestinian authority to stop incentivizing acts of terrorism against innocent victims including american taylor force. ow, the encouragement of thugses to just randomly try to kill people for no other reason than just to try to perpetrate violence needs to be stopped. hile the palestinian authority seems to be encouraging in knife attacks and against jewish
israelis, being at the wrong place at the wrong time leaves everybody vulnerable. taylor force wasn't scombrueish but happened to be american and a soldier and warrior and a very good nice, decent human being. he didn't deserve it. no one deserves to be a victim of terror. certainly, if the victims of terror are going to cry out and help them, we have to put a stop to this disgusting practice of calling these murderers martyrs, they are murderers. they have no regard for anything. and time for us to say enough is enough. in its current bill, the united states -- it allows the united ates to avoid any unintended consequences, which is the right thing to do. i hope the palestinian authority will use this opportunity to
stop these martyr payments and move away towards incitement and move towards a two-state solution. this bipartisan legislation seeks to compel the palestinian authority to stop acts of terrorism, to stop aiding and abetting acts of terrorism against innocent victims including american taylor force. mr. deutsche said if someone drives their car and hits somebody, nothing happens. but if someone drives their car a kills somebody, they get martyr payments. there is something perverse and just wrong and something the united states needs to put its foot down and say we will not tolerate violence. and finally, let me say this bill aptly named, is a tribute to taylor force and i met his parents and to all the people
who knew him, he was the driving force behind this legislation because when we heard what had happened, it was so disgusting that we felt we needed to get together and do something. i want to thank the force family and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and chairman royce and this is something every member of congress on both sides of the aisle should vote for. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield myself, mr. speaker, such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: in closing, mr. speaker, let me thank my friend and colleague, elliott engel, for his eloquence in explaining the enormity of the tragedy here and the meaning of this terrorism. i think mr. engel has been such
a diligent partner in helping us move this bill through and helping us run the committee in a bipartisan way and i want to thank him as we pass this act, for all of his work on this issue through the legislation, through the hearings. i think it has had an impact and the understanding of the members here. . i also want to thank senator lindsey graham, i've talked with him about this issue, he originated this bill in the senate. i know also how passionately he feels about this, as does elliot and myself. i look forward to working with our senate colleagues to ensure that the bill that we pass here n the house or the senate bill either one, bottom line is that
the taylor force act must become law quickly. that is our objective. and the purpose of our aid as we understand it is to advance u.s. interests around the world. that is why we give aid. i think all of us can agree that that does not include paying people to commit crimes of terrorism. the palestinian authority is flat out undermining u.s. interests by compensating and incentivizing violence as articulated by our friend, mr. engel. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill, which ensures that there are consequences for this disgraceful policy and ensures that the u.s. plays no part even indirectly in participating in
this behavior. the p.a. giving compensation for violence is beyond the pale, it is long pastime that we treat it that way. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1164 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, this ebill is passed, without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: i now move that the house suspend the rules and pass .r. 2658 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2658, a bill to
provide humanitarian assistance to the venezuelan people to combat widespread corruption in venezuela and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include any extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i also ask unanimous consent to place in the record an exchange of letters with the chairman of the judiciary committee on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection fpble mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: this bill represents broad bipartisan skrn here in the -- concern here in the house for the worsening humanitarian crisis in venezuela. it calls on the secretary of state and the usaid administrator to develop a humanitarian assistance strategy to help the people of venezuela.
as the authoritarian venezuelan government digs in its heels and consolidates its power, the people of that once-wealthy nation last year experienced a 65% increase in maternal mortality a 30% increase in infant mortality, a 76% increase in malaria cases, severe shortages of basic medicine persists, they have right now about 5% of the basic medicines that they used to have. a 2016 report shows that three out of every four venezuelans had lost an average of 19 pounds due to lack of proper nutrition. due to lack of food. despite all of this, president maduro continues to deny the existence of a full-fledged
humanitarian crisis while plaming any hardships on his opposition or the international community that seeks only to support the people of venezuela in their pursuit of democracy and basic human rights. i applaud the administration for sanctioning those in the maduro regime complicit in the rampant corruption and anti-democratic measures that have stifled the will of the people there, but we must address the specter of the complete collapse of the venezuelan economy and the resulting humanitarian crisis. i encourage my colleagues to upport this measure by mr. december santos, which will address the crisis while signaling support for the democratic and human rights aspirations of the people of venezuela. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is
recognized. mr. engel: i rise in support of this measure and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. engel: i authored this bill, the venezuela humanitarian assistance and defense of in the c governance house with our chair emeritus, ms. ros-lehtinen. i want to say of the woman of florida, there's no one in this body who has done more to champion the human rights of those in florida than the gentlelady. i also want to thank her ngtime staff leader, eddie acevedo, who is in his last week on capitol hill, he's been a consistent collaborator with my staff and his work here will be sorely missed. i also want to say that i appreciate chairman royce's steadfast commitment to the venezuelan people and his support for this legislation. i also want to thank senator
cardin for authorizing -- for authoring this measure in the other body. i hope we'll be able to work with the senate to be able to get this bill on the president's desk. mr. speaker, with this massive energy resources -- with its mass i energy resources, venezuela should be one of the wealthiest countries in the world. unfortunately, irresponsible policy pus in place by president maduro and his predecessor, hugo chavez, have brought the country no near economic collapse and created a dangerous humanitarian crisis. statistics tell a tragic story. maternal deaths in the country increased by 66% from 2015 to 2016. while infant deaths increased by 30%. there were 240,000 confirmed malaria cases in venezuela in 2016 which is a 76% increase over 2015. a survey carried out by three
reputable venezuelan universities found that nearly three quarters of venezuelans lost an average of at least 19 pounds in 2016 as a result of lack of proper nutrition. despite massive shortages of food and medicine, president maduro continues to reject efforts to bring humanitarian assistance into the country. last summer, mr. maduro handed control of the country's food supply over to the venezuelan military and while many venezuelans starve, some of the military brass are making money hand over fist by selling the country's scarce food supplies on the black hark. that's like letting the fox into the chicken coop. in short, president maduro is running venezuela into the ground. it's horrific for that country's people and a concern for our own security as this country and our neighborhood becomes less and less stable. so i support targeted sanctions that hold corrupt and abusive
venezuelan officials accountable. but that must only be a part of our policy. we also must be focused on getting food and medicine to those in most need in the country. this bill calls on usaid and the state department to develop a strategy to provide humanitarian assistance to venezuela while at the same time instructing our ambassador at the united nations to work with partners of the u.n. security council and throughout u.n. system to multilaterally address the country's crisis. this is urgent business, mr. speaker. we need to put usaid, u.s. aid and the united nations on the path toward providing humanitarian assistance to the venezuelan people. we want to chop off the government, which is a cancer on the venezuelan people, but we don't want to hurt the venezuelan people.
i urge my colleagues to join congresswoman ros-lehtinen and myself in supporting this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. royce: i want to thank mr. eliot engel for authoring this bill along with ileana ros-lehtinen and also thank albio sires and ron desantis, the co-sponsors of this measure. i yield five minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, chairman emeritus of the committee on foreign affairs, primary republican co-sponsor. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. chairman. thank you to the ranking member for those very sweet words. thank you, mr. speaker, for the time. i echo what ranking member engel said about my trusted staff director, eddie acevedo. this is his last week with us he starts on monday, got the whole weekend to party on, starts monday with usaid and he's been
my partner from all of these battles and in favor of freedom and democracy and against autocratic regimes, which brings us to this bill before us, mr. speaker. and i rise in strong support of this bill, h.r. 2658, the venezuelan humanitarian assistance and defense of democratic governance act of 2017. i'm proud to be as the chairman said the republican lead on this important legislation. i've been proud to work side-by-side with the author of the bill, ranking member on the foreign affairs committee, mr. eliot engel, in putting this bill together. elliot has been a leading voice -- el rot has been a -- eliot has been a leading voice in this , as has our i steamed chairman. eliot has focused on this hemisphere, especially venezuela. i want to thank him for his leadership on this issue.
i want to thank his trusted advise orr, sitting two seats away from him on all western hemisphere related items, eric jacobstein. he's my buddy from haiti. we've enjoyed as much as one can enjoy going to an island nation that needs so much help, the people of haiti are beautiful and it's been a join joye to travel with eric and with eddie. and throughout the years, eric has worked closely with us, with our office, we work in a bipartisan manner. that's the tone that our esteemed chairman has set for the committee. and eric and eliot, that's the way we work as well, and their knowledge and expertise on this topic has been instrumental to our committee. and the bill before us, mr. speaker, h.r. 2658, it is simple. it is straightforward, it is important. maduro, like chavez before him two thugs, has turned venezuela
from a once vibrant and thriving nation into a country on the wrink of utter collapse. the results have been disastrous for the people of venezuela. there's food shortage, water shortage, there's a severe lack of medicine, severe lack of medical supplies, the lack of goods and services everywhere you turn that people need to get proper nutrition they need proper care, they can't find it. it's a crisis that maduro and his thugs have denied exist because he's eating very well, the other day he was making a public declaration, televised, he opens up the drawer, takes an empanada and he's stuffing his face. the people are starving but recognizing that would mean he's failed so they refuse to recognize this. the venezuelan people suffer from severe malnutrition, they're subject to price controls. it's unbelievable the prices of items there.
if they can ever get the food or services they need they -- the people can't afford them. they're subject to substandard and unhygienic conditions. this has led to a sharp rise in infant mortality and really mortality rates across the board in venezuela have gone up. in short, the majority of people in venezuela are living in misery. what was once the bread basket of the whole hemisphere, people don't have food, they're living in misery, the regime is not only to blame but it is ensuring that the humanitarian situation gets even worse. it was maduro who ordered the supreme court to block a law from the opposition that would have helped facilitate humanitarian aid from n.g.o.'s and other international entities. as a result, it is ever so difficult to get the supplies needed to respond to this crisis, get to venezuela, to the people who so desperately need it. that's why, mr. speaker this bill is so important.
it directs usaid, the institution where eddie will be a partner in, in just a few short days, and our great department of state, to develop a plan in order to determine if and how the u.s. can possibly help with some of the humanitarian assistance through credible and independent n.g.o.'s, nongovernmental organizations, that are operating in venezuela, or neighboring countries, to ensure that this assistance does get to the people who desperately need it. it will also direct our ambassador to the united nations to use our full voice, our full vote, our full influence of the united states to place the humanitarian and political crises in venezuela on the agenda at the u.n. mr. speaker, this body alongside our friends in new york at the u.n., we have worked to hold rogue regimes accountable for failing to allow humanitarian assistance in their country, whether it's syria or yemen this
body has spoken in a unified manner that humanitarian assistance should not be prevented from reaching the people. ut on venezuela, if i could have 30 seconds. mr. royce: i yield 30 seconds. ms. ros-lehtinen: on venezuela seems we hold a different standard and that is unacceptable. for too long, venezuela has been shielded from criticism and action at the u.n. by its cronies like the corrupt castro regime in cuba. this is the kind of situation to which the u.n. was created to respond. to date, the response has been inadd kuwait and void of substance. we have to lead on this issue. there are millions of people suffering in venezuela and we are in a situation to help. and i would like to point out to our chairman and ranking member that we had excellent news in
the minutes that we have been speaking that the senate foreign relations committee approved the nomination of our former committee chief of staff for assistant secretary of state for verification and compliance and now goes to the full senate. and i know that she will be with us on these measures that attacks atrocious regimes and help alleviate the humanitarian crisis. thank the chairman, and ranking member. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's my pleasure to yield three minutes to a good friend, the ranking member of the western hemisphere subcommittee, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. ceres. mr. serrano: -- series series i . se in support of h.r. 2658
i would like to thank ranking member elliott engel and chairman royce for all their hard work for being there for the people of venezuela. mr. sires: and i thank representative ros-lehtinen even though we are going to miss eddie and we will continue to fight in the defense of human rights throughout -- wherever he is. the situation in venezuela continues to deteriorate. a country with the world's largest known oil reserves where people are struggling just to survive. citizens risk their lives every day to report what is happening inside the country. we see the tensions are growing and government security forces shoot first and ask questions later. it is clear that the failed untry's policies and
totalitarian policies have brought suffering. maduro and his cronies traffic money and drugs and do nothing to help the millions of suffering people. multiple people report a growing health crisis. and infant mortality rates are on the rise. to hold the madurea regime, both the obama and trump administration have sanctioned senior first for their actions for money laundering and illicit activities. and the o.a.s. and the european union that maduro is destroying democracy and violating human rights. these sanctions are not against the people but targeted against
the individuals who are committed to destroying the lives of millions of innocent civilians in exchange for money and power. i'm supporting this important and timely legislation to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in venezuela and codifies president obama's sanction related to corrupt first in the country. the united states needs to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people and be able to assist to hold the corrupt officials accountable. i thank my colleagues for their hard work on this issue and urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2658. i wish eddie, good luck, thank you for all of your hard work. you will be missed. i hate to see that dynamic duo split, but we will continue to work. thank you, chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: you are not alone mr.
sires. i yield five minutes to the chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on the western hemisphere and co-sponsor of this bill. mr. cook: i rise in strong support of mr. desantis' house resolution 259 and mr. engel's h.r. 2658, which both speak to the ongoing political economic, social and humanitarian crisis in venezuela under the dictator of nicholas maduro. once the richest country in south america, venezuela has a total unpaid bond debt of over $1 billion and in default of multiple loans. the regime is response i will for human rights abuses, including killings, mass
arbitrary detentions and torture of the political opposition. ey have detained five sit go executives as well as u.s. tizens and religious missionary joshua holt. american adverse areas are among the main supporters of venezuela. more than a dozen of high ranking officers and agents are reportedly in venezuela. venezuela continues to receive financial support from russia and china. nezuela also poses 5,000 russian-made portable surface-to-air missiles and largest supporter of arms. humanitarian crisis is not contained to venezuela alone.
the crisis in venezuela has led to mass immigration. last year, u.s. received 18,000 requests from venezuela seeking to escape the brutal regime. ves of refugees have fled to chile, argentina and brazil hreatening to create a refugee crisis. they refuse to accept aide from the international community and using its citizens as political pawns at the expense of their health and safety. i commend the efforts of the trump administration to take a principal stand to support the people of venezuela and sanction the most principal actor. they threatened the elections in venezuela and would only take
place these sanctions. i wholeheartedly reject this threat and remain committed to the sanctions and continuing to put pressure on the maduro regime. i express my strong support for these two bills. the u.s. supports a free democratic and independent vengs waila that is accountable to the people. we stand ready to assist the venezuela people and provide humanitarian assistance and we urge more action from our partners in the region and the international community to resolve the crisis in venezuela. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is ecognized. mr. engel: it's my pleasure to yield two minutes to my good friend and member of the ms. priations committee,
wasserman schultz. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. wasserman schultz: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i rise to commend my sister and so many fights, ms. ros-lehtinen, who we will miss, but we aren't not letting her get away that quickly because we have a year to go and many fights and fun to engage in. i'm here to talk about something not very pleasant and that is the absolute necessity to adopt h.r. 2658, venezuela humanitarian assistance and fense of governance act of 2017. as the legislation was introduced, the maduro regime has no respect for political freedom, human rights or the basic needs of their own citizens and the consequences of the people are becoming more and more devastating.
it is uncon shonalable that they e refusing to alieu food and medicines. this would be to ensure that they are helped even if their government would prefer their people die rather than receive aid. the sanctions that have been imposed in the maduro regime have been steps in the right direction. the government has demonstrated time and time again they won't do the right thing so we must continue to apply stronger and stronger pressure. this legislation would strengthen the president's ability to tighten the screws on maduro in order to return to peace and prosperity, its democracy must be restored. elections have been manipulated and undermined and essential that next year's presidential election pros fairly and freely. we need to empower the state department to work with our
allies and partners and the people to help them take their country back. many have fled the chaos to freedom and safety in my congressional district. the infusion of our friends and neighbors has dubbed my hometown -- additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. wasserman schultz: many have fled the chaos in their country to freedom and safety in my district. the infusion of our friends and neighbors have dubbed my hometown, as west venezuela. we have welcomed them to our committee. we are joining them to fight for their country and friends and family members who remain there. this legislation is an important step in that battle and i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized.
mr. royce: i reserve the right to close, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i'll close for our side and let me close that venezuela is in crisis and cannot wait any longer to take action. bypassing this bill, we can gin to provide the ven swale an people with the resources they neat. the united states cannot do it alone. sustained leadership is to address from the u.n. secretary general, members of the security council and other international partners. it's easy to talk about another country in the abstract, but these are human beings who are dying, who are sick, human beings just like us and behooves us to really make sure that while we condemn the brutality of the regime that has a
stranglehold on that country, we feel only sympathy for the people and it's what this bill tries to address. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. want to again commend my partner from florida, representative ros-lehtinen who has done so much work with me through the years and our chairman, ed royce. this is important bipartisan legislation that comes out of the foreign affairs committee a dialogue we set and a blueprint for people coming together and working together. that's what the american people want to see. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i consume. so i would just like to thank my colleagues, mr. engel, the
author and congresswoman ros-lehtinen, the co-sponsor of this measure for their leadership and for bringing the bill here to the floor because the world is watching with great sadness as president maduro continues to run his country into the ground, denying his citizens access to basic food, denying them access to medicine, his obsession with consolidating ower has resulted in venezuela's collapse and a collapse created by his wrongheaded mismanagement that has left his country in dire economic straits. even more disturbing to me ma did youro's lieutenants continue lining their pockets while the citizens of venezuela go without food and medicine. his bill reit rates the body's
supports to developal strategy to address their immediate humanitarian needs while supporting democracy and human rights. i yield back. . . the speaker pro tempore: the house is will the house -- the question is will the house pass the bill as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, -- mr. royce: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, i move
the house suspend the rules and pass house resolution 259 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 259. resolution expressing concern and condemnation over the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in venezuela. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: and i ask unanimous consent all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i want to, mr. speaker, i want to recognize congressman desantis for his work on this resolution. the world has watched as venezuela's economy has nearly
collapsed, bringing about a humanitarian crisis on top of the existing political crisis that we see there. maduro's decision to sideline the democratically elected national assembly, by forming this so-called constituent ssembly made up of his lieutenants, has cemented venezuela as a full-fledged dictatorship. the administration made clear through a combination of sanctions and regional engagement that maduro's violation of venezuela's constitution continues to destabilize not just venezuela, it's destabilizing this entire region. and the sanctions also have made clear that maduro's regime's corruption and his involvement in drug trafficking is known and will not be tolerated. venezuela's once prosperous
economy is isolated. it is suffering record high inflation rates. the humanitarian crisis fueled by shortages of food and shortages of medicine has resulted in the resurgence of diseases. a big increase in infant mortality. and all of this is led -- has led to even more unrest, fueling the potential of another major migration crisis right here in the western hemisphere. the destabilizing effect of the maduro regime must end. the resumption of talks this week between the opposition and the maduro regime cannot be just another way for the regime to buy time. the international community, regional leaders and this body must be united in our insistence that maduro take serious the need for resolution of this serious political and humanitarian crisis. passage of this measure will send a strong bipartisan message
that congress stands with the venezuelaa -- venezuelan people. that congress stands in favor of democracy and transparency. and against corruption and against human rights violations. this resolution calls on regional leaders and the organization of american states to continue to pressure maduro to release political prisoners, to dissolve the unconstitutional constituent assembly, and most importantly, to schedule fair and transparent elections now. i urge my colleagues to join me in support of this measure. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, thank you. i rise in support of this measure and yield myself as much time as i may consume. let me start by thanking our chairman again, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, ed royce of california, for his leadership and for moving a second measure forward today on
the crisis in venezuela. i'd also like to thank mr. desantis for authorizing this resolution, which expresses deep concern about the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in venezuela. i again want to thank ileana ros-lehtinen and chairwoman from florida who is really our leader when it comes to things in the western hemisphere. and let me just say, when venezuelan president maduro chose to move forward with the sham constituent assembly election in july, as far as i'm concerned he took the final step in making his country a full-blown dictatorship. the majority of venezuelans stayed clear of polling stations and chose not to participate in what was yet another effort from that government to distract from the country's real problem, which, as we have been saying, is a humanitarian crisis created by president maduro and his predecessor, hugo chavez, and
increasingly dangerous human rights climate. just last week the venezuelan human rights group joined human rights watch in releasing a report documenting abuses in the country that have taken place over the past year. i'd like to mention a few statistics from this report that shows you just how repressive the venezuelan government has become. 5,400 people have been detained in relate to anti-government protests in early april. 3,900 of them are still subject to arbitrary criminal prosecutions and measures that limit their freedoms. and 757 civilians were prosecuted by military courts in violation of both venezuelan and international law. even more alarmingly, 124 venezuelans were killed and 2,000 injured this year while taking part in anti-government protests. the human rights watch report
states, and quote, in 53 cases involving at least 232 people, detainees were subjected to physical and psychological abuse , with the apparent purpose of either punishing them or forcing them to incriminate themselves and others. in some of these cases, the abuses suffered by the detainees clearly constituted torture. these include electric shock, severe beatings, being hung in stressed positions, sleep deprivation, asphyxiation and sexual abuse, including in some cases rape. by an august report, the office of the u.n. high commission for human rights expressed a similar sentiment, pointing to, quote, the existence of a policy to repress political dissent and instill fear in the population to curb demonstrations, unquote. i think it's important to point
out that year after year democrats and republicans have come to the house floor to call attention to the erosion of democracy in venezuela. as my colleagues have said, venezuela should be the leader in south america, the most prosperous country in south america, with huge oil reserves. instead it's a basket case because of maduro and because of chavez. for many years it seemed that the united states was an outliar in raising our voices, while many in the hemisphere remained silent. fortunately that's changed. leaders throughout the americas have been increasingly willing to stand with the people of venezuela. it's hard to find a silver lining for venezuelans, it's such a dark time. but i do hope from the strong resolve of our friends in latin america and around the world in rejecting venezuela's sham constituent assembly, and calling out human rights abuses in the country, they will
realize that we care about them, that we know what's going on, that we're not going to let their repressive government sweep things under the rug. in november the european union put in place a wide range of sanctions on venezuela, including an arms embargo, visa bans and asset freezes. our friends in canada imposed sanctions on human rights violators in the maduro government and on october 26, canadian foreign minister hosted the limba group of foreign ministers in toronto to seek a hemispheric solution to the crisis in venezuela. the o.a.s., the organization of american states, has also played a critical role in increasing pressure on the maduro regime, particularly under the leadership of o.a.s. secretary general almagro. but we cannot rely on the o.a.s. alone. the united nations, both at the security council and through the offices of the secretary general, must do much more to
bring attention of venezuela on the world stage and hold its leaders accountable. and today the house of representatives here in washington goes on record again underscoring our commitment to the people of venezuela and condemning the destructive policies of the maduro regime. with this measure, we're saying enough is enough. i again thank mr. desantis for authoring this resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield four minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. desantis, a member of the foreign affairs committee, and author of this measure. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. desantis: mr. speaker, i want to thank chairman royce for moving this through our committee and i'm glad that we're getting a lot of support for this resolution on the house floor today. president trump, when he spoke at the u.n. in september, said that the problem with venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that
it's been faithfully implemented. and i think the results speak for themselves. you have a country that's in chaos, that's a basket case, and you have an autocrat doing whatever he can to cling to power. think about what's going on in venezuela. you have the country with perhaps the largest oil reserves in the world, and yet they have massive fuel shortages. you have hyperinflation that's over 2,000%. diseases that we thought had been eradicated like malaria are now coming back. there's massive food shortages such that wide swaths of the population are losing 10, 15 poundses a year. and of course -- pounds a yeemplet and of course, -- a year. and of course, they're very likely, the government of venezuela, to default on their debt. they're repressing a great many, many people. and of course maduro is aided in
s effort by his patron and advisor, raul cass trorks the cuban dick -- castro. the cuban dictatorship. we cannot forget their role in this. they're central in what's going on there. we've been talking about the things cuba did to our diplomats. that's not been fully resolved to my satisfaction. cuba's role in this is very nefarious and you really have the worst elements of latin america on display in venezuela. so i think what this resolution does, it says that this congress stands foursquare behind the people of venezuela and their rights and their desires to live in a successful, free and democratic country. and we do call on the president to continue some of the actions he has taken. some aggressive actions in sanctions key individuals. we want the trump administration to clearly be on the side of the people of venezuela and to make clear that maduro's failed
socialist regime simply cannot continue in this way. so please pass the resolution. i hope that what we've done today is just one step, but i hope the u.s. can do more to aid the people of venezuela. they're fighting against some tall odds and a lot of power coming down on them. but we got to do something. so with that i will urge everyone to support the resolution and i will yield back he balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: in closing, mr. speaker, let me say we've spent a lot of time talking about venezuela on the house floor today. i think that's a good thing. i think it's good that people know what's happening in venezuela. i think it's good to know that the tyrants in venezuela know that we know what's happening in venezuela. the eyes of the world are
watching venezuela and its government. president maduro must make a real commitment to free and fair elections and we lease all political prisoners -- release all political prisoners. in particular i would like to note the detention of american citizen joshua holt, and to urge his immediate release on humanitarian grounds. . i think it's important for us to raise these issues on the house floor, so i urge my colleagues to support house resolution 259 and i yield back he balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: one of this body's preeminent experts on this hemisphere. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you,
mr. speaker. i thank our wonderful chairman. i thank our ranking member, eliot engel. this committee is a model for other committees in the u.s. house of representatives. we truly work in a bipartisan manner, and it is because of the leadership of mr. royce and mr. engel. they set the pace. and mr. speaker, i rise in support of this bill before us today, house resolution 259, by my florida colleague, congressman ron desantis, who has been very active in the issue of human rights in our western hemisphere. and his bill expresses concern d condemnation over the dire political, social, economic and humanitarian crisis that's taking place in venezuela today, and i'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this important resolution and i thank my florida congressional colleague, ron desantis, for his leadership on this issue, on the issue of the lack of
freedom and democracy in my native homeland of cuba and what he's helping the people of nicaragua with a achieve and having separation of powers. there's been a real problem throughout the hemisphere, mr. speaker, and by approving this important measure, which is bipartisan today, this body will once again demonstrate that we stand in solidarity with the people of venezuela and their fight for justice, for freedom, and democracy. these are -- these are values that we hold so dearly in our country, and we take it for granted that we live in this great country where we can express our thoughts in this wonderful republic, but in so many places in our very own hemisphere, mr. speaker, they don't have that luxury. and venezuelans have been deprived of these key values of justice, of freedom, of democracy for far too long. first, at the grip of hugo chavez, a failed socialist
leader, and now with his hand-picked successor, another failure of a man a leader, nicholas maduro. the maduro regime has hijacked all institutions in venezuela. it has run the economy so far in the ground there's hardly any food, medicine or even basic necessary its. inflation is at an all-time high and people cannot afford their daily life. the economic situation, it's in turmoil. it's heading toward an even deeper downward spiral because maduro is of corrupt and incompetent and they only care about filling their own coffers and staying in power no matter what. all the while the people of venezuela continue to suffer. but this does not seem to trouble maduro. it does not seem to trouble his cronies. they are enritching themselves
on the suffering of the people of venezuela. and -- enriching themselves on the suffering of the people of venezuela. they are filling their coffers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. royce: i will yield the gentlelady an additional minute -- two minutes to the gentlelady from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, sir. they are using this humanitarian crisis that they have created to defraud organizations that are looking to bring much-needed food into the country. so this resolution in front of us, mr. speaker, it's bipartisan. it's strong and it calls on the administration to support the people of venezuela, to continue to impose targeted sanctions on those responsible for the destruction of democratic institutions in venezuela. and this resolution also urges important boyds like the
organization of american -- bodies like the organization of american states, and we will soon have a new u.s. ambassador to that esteemed institution, to support the principles of the intraamerican democratic charter and to have a council and calling for the release of all political prisoners. so i think mr. desantis for offering this resolution. i urge my colleagues to offer their strong support and to join us in sending this unified message to maduro that his actions will not be allowed to continue without a strong u.s. response. and what is that response, mr. speaker? i call on the administration to use more targeted sanctions. we have sent to the administration a list -- a very long list of names. so has senators rubio, menendez. mr. sires has joined me. mr. royce, mr. engel. there are many more people.
thugs, cronies of maduro who are enriching themselves with the suffering of the venezuelan people. they want to come to the u.s. we should not extend that courtesy to them. so there are consequences to these acts. we will continue to pressure the maduro regime until democratic order is restored in venezuela and this grave humanitarian crisis is resolved once and for all. i thank the gentleman for the time. i thank mr. engel, and i thank my friend, mr. acevado, and eric on the democratic side for their help and more importantly the author of this resolution, our great congressman, ron desantis, and i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: yes. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: so let me again thank congressman desantis. let me thank congressman engel and congresswoman ros-lehtinen as well for their work on this resolution. i think it's a heartbreaking
situation what's going on in venezuela today. it's -- it is rather astounding that venezuela sits on the world's largest proven oil reserves and yet here we have a situation where its citizens lack medicine and food at this time. i think the recent report that 20% of the country's medical professionals have fled venezuela amid maduro regime's self-inflicted political, economic, and humanitarian crisis is indicative of the problem. inflation right now is reaching 720%. support of this resolution will send a strong unified message that congress stands with the venezuelan people that we call on regional leaders and the entire international community to hold maduro accountable for this crisis and to release political prisoners and importantly to hold elections immediately.
i therefore urge my colleagues to join me in support, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 259, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. royce: mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? collins mr. speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report for filing under the rule. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 645, providing
for consideration of the bill h.r. 38, to amend title 18, united states code, to provide a means by which nonresidents of a state whose residents may carry concealed firearms may also do so in the state. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute peeches. the clerk: leave of absence requested for -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request is granted. the question is on the motion to adjourn. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. collins: i'm happy to make the motion the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the house
$100,000 in cash prizes will be awarded. the grand prize of $5,000 will go to the student or team with the best overall entry. for more information, go to our website, studentcam.org. >> earlier today the house rules committee considered concealed carry hund gun legislation. scheduled on the floor tomorrow. it would allow gun owners with concealed carry permits ion