tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN December 11, 2019 1:59pm-4:00pm EST
the speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 227 and the nays are 189. the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. mr. burgess: i won that on a voice vote. i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the unfinished business is the motion to lay on the table the motion to reconsider he vote on the question of passage of h.r. 729 on which the ordered.nays were the clerk will now report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 729, a bill to amend the coastal zone management act to authorize grants to indian tribes to further tribal coastal zone objectives and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to table offered by the gentlewoman minnesota, ms. mccollum. 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
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 229 and the nays are 192. the motion is adopted. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i have a motion at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the motion. cgovern of mr. m massachusetts moves to adoption of house resolution 758. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman recognition? seek mr. engel: i have a motion at
the desk. the peaker pro tempore: clerk will report the -- mr. nadler: i have a motion at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the motion.ll report the the clerk: mr. nadler of new york moves to table the motion to reconsider. the peaker pro tempore: question is on the motion to table. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. arizona.eman from >> i seek the yeas and nays. i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. the members will record their 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
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. nadler: pursuant to house 5038ution 758, i call h.r. farm workforce modernization act of 2019 and ask for its immediate consideration. the clerk: h.r. 5038 a bill to amend the immigration and nationality act to provide for terms and conditions for nonimmigrant workers performing agricultural labor or services and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 758 in lieu of the amendment in the fate of a substitute recommended by the committee on the judiciary, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the rules
committee print 116-42 modified by the amendment printed in part c of house report 116-334 is adopted and the bill as amended is considered read. the bill as amended shall be debatable for one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member on the committee on the judiciary. the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler -- mr. nadler: i ask members -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler and the gentleman from colorado, mr. buck, each will control 30 minutes. the tchare recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield myself three minutes. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material on h.r. 5038 the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. nadler: i now yield myself
three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: h.r. 5038 the farm workforce modernization act is vital legislation that will address critical national importance, the growing labor challenges damaging the agricultural sector. solving this issue is crucial not only from an economic standpoint but to matters of national security. the less we grow our own food we become vulnerable to fluctuating market prices and increased national debt. food imports account for 32% of the fredge vegetables and 55% of the fresh fruits that we consume. systemic labor challenges are one of the main reasons in this increase in agricultural imports. the united states has seen a decline in the number of family farmworkers and fewer u.s. workers are turning to farm work as their chosen pursuit.
laborers day's farm are foreign-born. this has not reflected the needs of our economy. undocumented workers now comprise about half of the farm workforce but living and working in the state of uncertainty and fear which contributes to the destabilization of farms across the nation. h.r. 5038 addresses these challenges head on. the bill provides temporary status for current farmworkers with a pass to a green card. the bill addresses nation's future labor needs by modernizing the h-2-a temporary visa program and freezing conditions for all farmworkers. we have tried to solve this issue through legislation. i am pleased today that we have a bipartisan balanced solution, one that we should be able to
support. this bill is a victory for farmers who have suggled with persistent labor challenges for decades. it is a victory for farmworkers who have worked to grow and harvest food for our nation without a guarantee they can remain. no acceptable solution can fail to deal with this reality. h.r. 5038 is the right solution. i hope my colleagues will find the courage to vote today in favor of providing a seat at america's table for those who are responsible for providing the food that we serve on all our tables. i want to thank my friend and colleague, mrs. love green the chair of the immigration subcommittee for her commitment to the bipartisan process that led to today's vote on the farm workforce modernization act. i urge all of my colleagues to do what is right and support this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. i ask unanimous consent that
mrs. love green did contain the majority of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will control the time. . . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized. >> thank you for yielding me to discuss the farm workforce modernization. said last month in markup, this is of issues of great me and my district in eastern colorado. colorado is home to one of the agriculture economies in the country. we have some of the best melons southeast d in colorado, and no one bypasses a good colorado steak, but to get table, our the farmers and ranchers need help. how our ountless times farmers find reliable workers to crops.ndujar vest mr. buck: my republican colleagues and i are committed to crafting a solution to ensure nation's agriculture employers have a stable labor
supply. meesht my friend's work to solve a clear problem -- i appreciate my friend's work to clear problem. i appreciate their efforts to gives our ution that agricultural employers the labor and resource s they -- resources they need but this us is not the answer. my colleagues will tell us how they have worked to make the better, but this bill is the same fundamentally flawed ill that came before us in judiciary a few weeks ago. what's worse is that house leadership put this bill on the rule, nder a closed without an amendment process. there are a number of problems with the bill that a rigorous and thoughtful amendments could address, but in a will not be happening today. -- but that will not be happening today. most notely, we don't know most notably, we don't know how many people will be on a pathway to citizenship. and while i want to think that all our workers are good people,
don't know that. thathairperson will assert aliens seeking status will need to have a clean record in order on a pathway to citizenship but this is simply not true. 5038 allows an illegal alien to receive an agriculture to get on a and pathway to citizenship even if they have been convicted of two involving moral terp uesdayed, controlled substance possession or involved in prostitution or trafficking. we saw the democrats vote down representativeom chabot that would have made an -- unavailable for charged withey are d.u.i. you can't tell me that people advantage of this system if you reject amendments that bar
criminals from taking advantage system. 5038 -- lly, h.r. additionally, h.r. 5038 allows individuals to apply for legal a work permit which is not limited to agricultural more than an ttle affidavit that they worked for 1,035 or 180 workdays over the past two years. applicants will have worked less than six hours per four months over a two-year period. appreciate that my colleagues petitioned for a higher standard, preponderance of the evidence. owever, the underlying provisions haven't change. meetill allows for them to that prepond rance burden, including their own affidavit of history, as long as they
meet a just and reasonable standard. let me remind everyone here that it ting case law says that essentially requires adjudicators to accept a more on based on nothing than an individual's word. this is the same evidenceary unacceptly -- evidentiary standard used in the legalization bill which led to widespread fraud and even amnesty for one of the bombers.de center worker't an agricultural at all but a taxi driver in new york city. while i appreciate the to work on's efforts here, this change won't solve these problems. my friends on the other side of rejected also representative armstrong's amendment that would specify certified agricultural workers will only be eligible to work in agriculture. while the individual may receive status as an agricultural worker, there is no guarantee they won't immediately find a in another industry as soon as possible.
dditionally, the bill does nothing to stop potential social security fraud. individuals who have been fraudulently using a valid number, curity sometimes for many years, to obtain work status and benefits off without even so much as a slap on the wrist. this fails our adjudicators at scis to prevent them from ccessing the background database when someone poses a public safety risk. e need not ensure our investigators have all the information they need to ensure we are not allowing felons with individuals to remain in the country. the bill also provides a handout o the trial attorneys and presents an increased risk of litigation for agricultural h-2-a rs by giving workers a private right of action. the provision ignores current h-2-a's program's existing administrative process employment claims and fails to provide employers the opportunity to cure violations
go forward.t may this is fundamentally unfair to the hardworking farmers, who care nd ranchers about their employees. i ask my colleagues, would you fixed having the problem or do you just want to give trial attorneys another opportunity to sue? to lly, the bill fails achieve the desired results on a number of provisions that have he potential to truly help our agricultural employers. the author's promise to treamline the application process, address wage problems, and provide a year-round provide year-round industries a lasting labor solution. the bill streamlines data entry h-2-a applications but does nothing to encourage concurrent review of h 2-a -- h-2-a applications. the adjudication process the same. i appreciate my colleagues procedures and included a pool of 20,000 visas for year-round industries, sheep, ng dairy farmers, and goat herders. ut this falls far short of
industries' needs and fails to meet the problematic portion of existing law. once again, i am glad my colleagues are trying to solve this problem. truly want to support the farmers, growers, dairy men in my district and throughout the country. e need to find a solution that ensures our agricultural employers have a reliable labor pool. want to gues and i strike an ag labor agreement. nfortunately, this bill is fatally flawed, and i must oi ose it in -- must oppose it in its current form. i reserve the balance of my time. he speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: thank you, mr. speaker. yield myself three minutes. i rise in strong support of this bill today. am proud of the bipartisan work that was done to get us to this point. epresentatives newhouse, simpson, lamalfa, diaz-balart, pton, so many others on the epublican side, here, panetta,
carbajal, escobar -- i better stop, because there are more this.e who worked on we toiled on this legislation for almost a year. easy to not always find xhcommon ground even when u have a common goal, but if you to each other, if you work hard, you can get it done. several decades in failing to accomplish anything arena. this is a chance to solve a aoblem for america that needs solution. e -- it is the product of and i'll negotiation say, also, among stakeholders. we had the united farm workers discussing g and points of concern with growers farmers all ss and across the united states. you know, i grew up in a union i was taught to respect collective bargaining,
wages, n it comes to hours, and working conditions, the union and all those robust s had a discussion. and our bipartisan group decided o respect the work that they put into it. this bill is a compromise. i would exactly what have written, but it does workforce.he we have farm workers who've been here for a very long time their papers living in fear and some cases being arrested and deported. need to allow them to get an agricultural worker visa that is temporary and renewable so they can do the work we need them to do and that their employers need them to do. we also need to stabilize the program, which this bill does. t simplifieses and it also stable -- simple fiez and stabilizes wages. searchifies and
stabilizes wages. workable system, you ought to be willing to enforce that system. we have -- what we have in this bill is when these reforms are implemented, we will institute e-verify program on the i think re sector and that's the right thing to do. the ranking member on the subcommittee has raised a couple of issues and i want to deal them just briefly. you know, we have robust against krim nationality in in -- criminalality in this bill, and the bars we to note have put in this bill is substantially more than was in proposed by representative goodlatte that most republicans voted for in the last congress. anything have additional. we do. we have security bars. are ve criminal bars that additional -- i yield myself an seconds.l 15 any felony conviction, any
aggravated felony conviction, than two misdemeanors of any kind, we have the ability of he department of homeland security to simply deny the visa thehere's any concern about conduct of the applicant. this is a good bill. we should support it, and i time.e the balance of my the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. he reserves the balance of her time. the chair will now recognize the gentleman from colorado. r. buck: thank you, mr. speaker. i recognize my friend from mcclintock.mr. i yield mr. mcclintock three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the yielded three minutes from the gentleman from colorado. mr. mcclintock: i thank the gentleman for yielding. warns us r, history that nations which either cannot or will not secure their borders simply aren't around very long. and if we will not enforce our our borders aws, mean nothing. a rica ceases to become unique nation and simply becomes
a vast international territory mexico.canada and now, i understand agriculture's need for labor, especially in so tight a labor market as our blossoming trump economy has created. ago, the basero program come toseasonal workers america, be protected under our laws and provided with a in rful incentive to return the form of a significant financial deposit when the season ended. but that program could only work when our immigration laws are uniformerly enforced. instead, this bill ignores rewards anyone who's illegally crossed our borders both with amnesty and a path to citizenship as long as they claim to have part time in the agricultural secture for the last two years. two ctor for the last years. it rewards them for a pathway to citizenship.
as a practical matter, we can expect claimants will have very scrutiny to n no the veracity of their claims. we can expect that once amnesty, they'll then leave the fields for higher paid competitionn direct with american workers and we can expect a new wave of illegal to take s coming here their places with the full expectation that they, too, will with tely be rewarded amnesty and citizenship. secure our borders, uniformly enforce our immigration laws, and provide foreign seasonal labor with the opportunity to work and the incentive to return to their countries when that work is done. and if they wish to become american citizens, we ask that they follow the law as millions of legal immigrants have done throughout our history. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair will now recognize the gentlewoman from california. >> i would just note that we write the laws and we get to decide who can come and who can't come and that's what this bill does. ms. lofgren: i would like to now yield to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee, a member of the judiciary committee, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentlelady for her leadership. having been the ranking -- ranking member of the immigration subcommittee over the years, i understand the momentous task and the excellent work that has been done. this does -- this bill does what republicans have always asked, for immigrants to work, for people to seek status. it provides status to hardworking agricultural workers. it provides them a certified agricultural worker status. they go -- undergo background checks and pass strict criminal and national security bars. they have the opportunity to access the lines of citizenship. they don't get in front of
others. they risk or are protected from reckless deportation. the industry is protected, the farm industry, the production of food is protected. i'm delighted that my amendment regarding temporary protective status him that pacts-dourans and haitians and others and also as i attempt to work on t.t.p. -- t.p.s. for our guatemalan friends, this bill ensures a fair way to deal with farm workers. it stops the outrage of deportation. it stops the outrage of threat and it does what cesar chavez says, that we cannot have achievement and forget producer gress and prosperity for our community. -- progress and prosperity for our community it. honors their work. i ask my colleagues to -- community. it honors their work. i ask my colleagues to support this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. >> i yield three minutes to my friend from washington, mr. newhouse. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. newhouse: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my good trend
from colorado for yielding some time. mr. speaker, if you talk to any farmer in this country, one of the biggest issues they will raise is something they're concerned with, their labor force. a secure and legal labor force. that's what brought together a bipartisan group of members of congress, representatives from agricultural groups around the country, as well as agricultural labor groups around the country, to come up with a bill todale with the labor situation that we have in this country. to provide a certain legal labor force, something that is simple in saying that, but very, very complex in order to get to the solution. this has three titles. number one deals with the current work force. we have come up with something that the president has asked for. a merit-based system. to provide legality to our current work force. it requires a history of ag labor, it requires fines, because people broke the law to get here. and it requires people to stay engaged in the agricultural
industry. itle 2 simply is reform to the program. it makes it more responsive, more efficient. it will cap the ever-skyrocketing wage growth in this country to $3.-- 3.5% a year. some states next year are facing a 9.5% increase. on top of that, it will allow full-time employers like dairies to be able to take advantage and utilize the h-2-a program. and third, it will require a phase-in of the e-verify system. something that republicans have wanted for a long time. and something that i think will remove an incentive for people to illegally cross the border and will do a lot to improve the security of our country. this bill provides certainty for farmers and farm workers. mr. speaker, i would like to ask your permission to include in the record some letters of support from the national association of counties, the
chamber of commerce of the united states, the americans for prosperity, the national association of state departments of agriculture, the committee on migration, and included in the letter to leadership, a list of over 300 agricultural organizations across this great country in support of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. newhouse: thank you, mr. speaker. i urge my colleagues to take the step, do what we can to improve the labor situation for farmers and ranchers across this country, and thank you for your time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, i recognize the gentleman from california who has worked so very hard on this bill and represents an area where agriculture is king, the gentleman from california, mr. kosta, one minute. mr. costa: i thank the gentlewoman. today is a monumental and historical day. this bipartisan farm worker work
force modernization act will truly help people throughout the country. i want to thank chairperson did he do lofgren and dan newhouse for their -- zoe lofgren and dan newhouse for their work. chairperson lofgren with congressman pa net', cox and myself -- panetta, cox and myself held a workshop where organizations from farm country, as well as the u.f.w., the farmer league and others, presented what needed to be done. and lo and behold, it's happened. my colleagues ask, why do we need to have the urgency of this bill? well, last month i visited with united farm workers in mo dero, california, and told -- mow der -- mow dera, california, and tome -- modera, california, and told them the hope of this legislation. i saw their hope to become free of fear. fear of deportation. the hope for the american dream and all that that entails, of
immigrants past and immigrants present. are shared in this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. costa: mr. speaker, i urge that we pass this bill today. the senate must pass it and the president should sign it into law. it's the right thing to do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. lofgren: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. buck: thank you, mr. speaker. i recognize my friend from florida, mr. yoho, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. yoho: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to commend my colleague, mr. buck. ms. lofgren for attempting to do something to solve a problem that has gone on for a long time. that has not been solved. unfortunately this bill will not solve that problem. this bill will create the same situation we've had since 1986. because this bill focuses on amnesty, not on a guest worker program that our producers need. i appreciate your efforts, but, again, i've worked around agriculture since i was 15. picking vegetables, loading vegetables, talking to farmers. as a veterinarian, working for 30 years in that profession, i
know the dairy situation, i know these and i've talked to the migrant and i've talked to the producer. this bill will not fulfill that need. this bill will allow people to get amnesty, they will leave agriculture and they will go in another industry. therefore they're not going to solve the labor shortage of this country. that is why there's alternatives out there. we've got to work bipartisan, that we've got strong support in industry and it solves this problem, it creates a dedicated work force for agriculture. as you go through this bill, you see amnesty after amnesty and, again, it does not solve the problem. our bill allows people to enter the country legally, they're automatically enrolled in the e-verify system. this bill promises to put the e-verify system, once it's implemented, we've heard that rhetoric out of washington before. once it's implemented we'll fix it. this is the wrong way to go. because this bill, again, will not create a predictable, certain and reliable work force
for our agricultural producers. and i hear over and over again the biggest challenge to our producers is the labor shortage. we're getting to a point in this country where the next generation will not farm because of the unpredictability that this body has created and this bill will not solve that. and we're getting to a point where we're either going to import our labor or we're going to import our produce. a nation that imports its produce is not a secure nation. this bill will not fix it. this will make it worse. and with that, i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the chair will now recognize the gentlewoman from california. ms. lofgren: mr. chairman, i would like to ask unanimous consent to put into the record a statement by representative sylvia garcia, a member of the judiciary committee, and a former cotton picker, in support of this bill. and i would just note for the prior speaker that the florida agra women, the florida
blueberry growers association, florida fruits and vegetables, florida nursery, florida strawberry and florida tomato exchange think this bill will work. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's request will be granted under general leave. ms. lofgren: i would now like to yield a minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. castro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. castro: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 5038, the farm work force modernization act. i'm very proud to support congresswoman lofgren, members of the hispanic caucus, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who help make this bill possible -- helped make this bill possible today. there are, in the united states, four or five major industries that would not exist the way they do but for immigrant labor. documented and undocumented. one of those industries is the agriculture industry. and this bill would recognize the important work that
undocumented workers do in our agriculture industry. it would recognize that their work deserves respect, that it is dignified, that it has a place in our country and that they have a place in our country. it would do so by allowing for a path to legal status for these workers. for two million folks, it would mean that they would no longer face the threat of deportation. that they and their families could rest assured that in the middle of the night, they would not be taken away from their children. this legislation is important to our country and i hope that all of my colleagues, republican and democrat, will support it today. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair will now recognize the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield 2 1/2 minutes to my friend from michigan, mr. upton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. upup thank you, mr. speaker -- yupyup thank you, mr. speaker. you know, early -- up upup thank
you, mr. speaker. you know -- upup thank you, mr. speaker -- mr. upton: thank you, mr. speaker. the president acknowledged that the ag community in his words, needs people to help with the farms. that's what this bill does. as much as most of us would like to wave a magic wand and fix a very broken system, you know what, we failed. but it's not for the lack of trying. we simply haven't had the votes, whether it's more or less, border security, whether it's too comprehensive or too less, we can't even fix the dreamer issue. come on. this ag bill, it's going to pass, thank goodness. and i want to thank jimmy panetta and dan newhouse, other members of the bipartisan problem solvers caucus, particularly chair lofgren, who helped deliver legislation here to the house floor this afternoon. would i like to do more? you bet.
but you know at the moment this is -- but you know, at the moment, this is the only step we can do on a bipartisan basis this year. let's just face it. if we can't pass a narrow bill, when is it going to happen? this is the first step. so let's get it done. this bill is going to provide a long overdue and desperately needed overhaul to the h-2-a program and it builds on the july, 2019, d.o.l.'s proposal for h-2-a reforms. key provisions include a freeze on the adverse effect wage, which has led directly to dozens of farm closures in my district, in michigan, a streamlined a modernized application process to encourage more widespread adoption, creating a year-round h-2-a visa program, allowing all of agriculture to utilize the program. now is the time, finally, to a -- to at least boldly act to pass a real ag labor reform to ensure that our ag community has the work force that it needs to remain the envy of the world.
i would urge all of my colleagues to support this and i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair will now recognize the gentlewoman from california. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, it's really a great honor to recognize the next speaker, a freshman member, but a person who has worked very hard behind the scenes to help advance this bill, and that is representative schrier of washington for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from washington for one minute. ms. schrier: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i'd like to thank my colleagues, representative lofgren and representative newhouse, for their very hard work on this bipartisan bill. the critical needs of our farmers and farm workers have gone too long without being addressed by congress. as the sole member in the entire northwest on the house agriculture committee, i am proud to represent the apple capital of the world, as well as
farmers and growers on both sides of the cascades. and i can tell you, they are hurting. when i hear -- what i hear from the farmers across my state is that a stable work force is critical to their ability to put food on our tables. as a domestic work force is dwindling, more and more growers have been forced to turn to the burdensome and bureaucracy h-2-a program for the -- bureaucratic h-2-a program for the workers they need to harvest and grow their crops. farm workers are critical. if the cherries ripen and there's no one to pick them, our farms and our farmers will fail. crops don't wait and millions of dollars and futures are at stake. this important bill will provide a stable work force for our farmers and a path to legal status for farm workers and their families. this is the kind of winning, bipartisan legislation that's exactly what our country needs. i encourage my colleagues to vote yes. thank you. . the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlewoman yields. the chair will now recognize the gentleman from colorado. thank you, mr. chairman -- mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to my simpson.om idaho, mr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. simpson: thank you, mr. chairman. from colorado nd for yielding the time. i rise today in favor of h.r. 038, the farm workforce modernization act, and i want to and herairwoman lofgren staff and the committee staff and the staff of all the ommittees -- all the members, their personal staff that have been working on this bill for, i don't know, eight or nine months. all want the same thing, and we're here today addressing issue, ure's number one their number one issue and that's their labor force. now, you'll hear a lot during havedebate and you already about this is amnesty and indent servitude. it's neither of these things. the argument is best and sincere. what this bill does. it legalizes the current workforce so long as you get and have a he law
clean criminal record and can same work the experiences our former colleague, bob goodlatte, said have to qualify. if you want to access further legal status you work four to years in agriculture and then pay a fine and get in line while you continue to work in agriculture. amnesty n't sound like to me. who y farmers back home desperately need this, the law streamlines the h-2-a program to make it more affordable. it doesn't do everything we want, but it makes it better than what we have today. much better than we have today. it freezes wages for one year and then capping future growth. there will be a single online portal for farmers to access workers. it will also set up a year-round for our dairy men, which they don't currently have. ome people have said this is a great bill for dairy men. this streamlines the h-2-a all of agriculture. so it's good -- so it's a good bill for all of agriculture. to my friends in
on my side of the aisle, almost all of us support e-verify and is.s what, here it we got e-verify in this bill. agriculture is the backbone of economy and without this bill, how can we pretend to say we care about rural america? this bill has the support of the u.s. chamber of commerce, the prosperity, cato institute and over 300 which have groups already been entered in the record. this is the voice of rural america saying they need this. vote on this bill, and i want to work with all of my colleagues to keep moving this bill forward so we can -- so that it can ultimately be signed into law and solve a critical problem in america. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. reserves.man the gentlelady from california. ms. lofgren: madam speaker, you many people have worked hard on this bill and i am happy to yield a minute to someone of work e great deal and helped us get here today and schrader resentative
of oregon. the speaker pro tempore: for how long is he recognized? one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. schrader: thank you very speaker.am i rise in strong support of h.r. 5038, the farm workforce act.nization this compromised bill represents the kind of legislation this body can put together and pass bipartisan support when members put aside their differences and choose to work together to solve a very serious and difficult issue. we'll is legislation, finally begin to address the labor crisis that's been plaguing american agriculture by providing a stable and legal workforce so they can continue to grow the best food and fiber world. in my home state of oregon, we're especially crop state. manual labor for nearly every crop we grow. the labor shortage is the number face.sue my farmers in many of our ag industries like nursery crops or the dairy just heard reference the labor is needed year round. step 038 is a critical
forward, not only providing workforce stability for our path to ut providing a lawful permanent residents. proud of the work that oregon has done to help make this legislation a reality. in the colleagues senate are paying close attention, move this bill in short order. i urge all members to support bill today, and i yield back. ms. lofgren: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. you, madam thank speaker. i yield two minutes to my friend diaz-balart., mr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. diaz-balart: thank you, madam speaker. the gentlemanhank from colorado for yielding me some time. i rise to strongly support this bipartisan bill. you've heard it today that congress for decades has been talking about the broken h-2-a system, the system our farmers use to get the workforce that they need to grow our food. we've been talking about it for decades. it is broken. creates an economic issue for our farmers and for the country, it also creates a national security issue. we were forced to
start having to import our food, our food. so isn't it time to kind of just stop talking and start working nd bring forward real bipartisan solutions? that's what this bill does. perfect? no. that's what this bill does. this bill, again, helps our farmers. inally brings help to our farmers. it regularizes, also, our helps workforce which our farmers and helps our communities and helps our economy and helps our national security. again, this is crucial for those folks who work hard every tired of who are hearing from congress, just how broken the system is. we finally have a bipartisan we've been es what talking about for so many years. that's why i'm proud to support this bill. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from california. onceofgren: madam speaker, again, a freshman member who has to helpehind the scenes
bring us here today, one minute to the representative from mr. crow. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. crow: thank you, madam chair. proud to stand here with my colleagues to support the farm on force modernization act behalf of farmers and farm workers in colorado. are doing all they can to move forward despite the administration's trade war, 15% reductionto a in colorado agricultural exports in 2019. stifled the migrant seasonal farm worker program when farmers need it the most. throughout this year, i have met farmers in my district, ncluding robert secada in brighton, colorado, and his farm was started in 1945 by his father. other western workers, modernizing the guest worker program is crucial for farm success as a family and contribution to our local economy. this important piece of bipartisan legislation will do that. the bill will establish a program for colorado farm status andearn legal
improve the h-2-a program by ensuring critical protections workers and establish mandatory nationwide the for all farm m workers. i commend representative lofgren and those who worked across the to get this very important bill done and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from colorado. thank you, madam speaker. for a moment i thought we were on the plane to denver. all the coloradans here. to yield three minutes to my friend from california, mr. lamalfa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. la mamalfa: thank you. we are often on the same plane. i rise to speak in favor of this bill. something needs to be underlined here. in a divided congress, a divided has been a unique opportunity to have a true ipartisan solution to a longtime decades' old problem, so i am proud of the work that have been able to get in the room, members, staff over any months to come to an
agreement that is a pretty darn good solution towards an ongoing problem. this isn't a border bill. bill.sn't a daca it's not a fence bill or an amnesty bill. this is a narrow bill with to do with having a stable workforce for agriculture in this country. california. so many of the crops are very labor intensive. i am a farmer myself. from this bill. we don't need that kind of labor. just to disclose. fromo many crops that come california and others like it, needful sely labor crops, would disappear. we will end up importing them we don't here else if have this workforce to continue. bill makes for a legal workforce, a documented workforce. why wouldn't we want that? but heaven knows. you same the word amnesty, people go running for the hills. running for cover. is not an amnesty bill. how could it bill when it has certified ag the
workers to come in, to be vetted before they get that to have tion, benchmarks to become a legal permanent resident and, yes, at end, there is an opportunity for citizenship that would the process works probably take 18 to 20 years to accomplish. so for those that are really a cerned about it being handout for citizenship or whatever, it's still a steep but also by and large most look at people would these ag workers are pretty good people. they're not perfect. there are issues here and there, but they're providing a needed service that i don't see a lot of americans being willing to do. not in this age of xbox and all where no one ings is willing to go outside. i worked in the heat and sun. some ot even as tough as of the other crops. but for what we're talking really need to move forward. this will help our dairies who need year-round labor.
we're losing our daries in california. we will -- dairies in california. dairies in our country that -- let's talk about the workers themselves for a moment. humane is it for the process by which they have to come across the border, pay these horrendous amounts of money and the issues that in coming ject to across? no. we don't want that. we don't want them coming across illegally. coming across with a certificate that they've been vetted. e-verify in it. how big of thing is that for republicans, conservatives, across this country? when this is phased in we will verifyingd process of who is coming in to do the work. we desperately need the labor. a long process. it will be a long process to continue to bring the labor in, but i think if we -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. we want to be here 10 years from now then vote bill.this
if we want to make a solution, this is one we can get right here in this atmosphere in d.c. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from california. ms. lofgren madam speaker, i'm to yield -- ms. lofgren: madam speaker, i'm one minute to d the speaker of the house, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the house is the yielded -- is recognized for one minute. he speaker: i commend the chairwoman for her tremendous leadership on the farm workforce act.nization i join with mr. lamalfa, my friend, my italian american from california in his strong remarks for this bill. it is bipartisan and it is for us to pass it. so i proudly join all of our bothagues -- colleagues on sides of the aisle to support this bill. n historic victory for farm workers and for growers which ensures that america can continue to feed the world. i salute, again, chair zoe ofgren for her months of
relentless leadership, without which we would not -- this bill possible.be i also want to commend the eadership of the united farm workers. they -- mr. rodriguez has been working on this bill for almost generation, 17 years. sent a eresa romero statement of support for this legislation which very clearly and the t the need answer that this bill is about and i would like, without the united o submit farm workers' statement of support for the farm workforce the nization act for record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. he speaker: thank you, madam speaker. so many members brought their vision, their voices, their this process. thanks to all of you for strengthening the bill we have today.floor we thank our friend for doing doing the nds for outside organizing that makes the inside maneuvering successful. by ave all been successful
words of si se puede. the bill provides a path to egalization, as mr. lamalfa referenced, for currently undocumented farm workers. country -- fiedz our feeds our country should be condemned to second-class status. the agricultural workforce of the future by updating, expanding and strengthening the h-2-a farms have o ensure stable, secure workforces. and critically, it demands fair, humane treatment for farm workers. securing fairness in pay, improving access to quality ousing, and ensuring robust safety and heat illness protections. any in this chamber, particularly, i know firsthand from california, help lead the farm workers for decades. this fight is not only about ensuring fair wages and fair but about honoring the
spark of divinity within each person which makes us all worthy dignity and respect. this bill honors the two million arm workers who are the backbone of our economy and country, powering our farm food y and producing the on our tables even as they persevere through harsh working low wages.and as the united catholic -- as the nited states conference of catholic bishops wrote last month in support of this bill, of workote, the dignity of farm workers and their families is a central concern. workers produce the food that we eat and contribute to community, end of quote. this legislation is a critical workers, for for growers, and for the farm economy, but our work is not done. zoe lofgren and members from every corner of the country will continue to work to the farm economy, protect workers and their families and maintain america's agricultural preeminence
in the world. we remember the words of late cesar chavez. this, to make a great dream come true, the first equirement is a great capacity to dream. the second is persistence. for your, madam chair, persistence. thank you, arturo, for yours. i'm pleased that the this bill, ip of thanks our members for their persistence on this legislation, strong h i urge a bipartisan vote and thank you for your leadership on this as well. thank you so much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: thank you, madam speaker. i yield three minutes to my friend from arizona, mr. biggs, who was a leader in arizona, in the legislature, on these issues and others and is known throughout our caucus for his common sense and leadership and i anxiously await his remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for
three minutes. mr. biggs: thank you. i thank the gentleman for yielding time to me. many of us have heard from farmers and agricultural suppliers around the country about their need for labor, to ensure their products can be harvested, processed and sold. i've heard time and time again interest business owners who prioritize hiring american workers but repeatedly find themselves without the labor necessary. this problem is worthy of a broader conversation in congress, including how with you address the root of the problem and any relation to the welfare state we have created here. my main concerns today however go beyond addressing true labor shortages and instead focus on the rewards this legislation provides to employers who have chosen to use illegal labor and to aliens who have chosen to work illegally in the united states. this bill creates a new pathway to legal status for illegal aliens who have been working in the agriculture industry in the united states. any alien who merely applies for legal status under the program, whether they are truly eligible, will immediately receive work authorization, protection from removal and the ability to
travel outside the united states. those who meet the requirements will be rewarded with pathway to lawful permanent resident status and ultimately citizenship. foreign nationals around the world wait years and spend thousands of dollars to receive those same benefits. this legislation is an unacceptable slap in the face to all those who follow our immigration laws. we're still -- more still, this legislation does little to root out fraud, instead incentivizing it. the ability to receive work authorization and other benefits upon application will likely lead many individuals to submit applications even if they are not eligible, but they will have no fear of doing so, because there are no penalties attached. aliens can withdraw their fraudulent application without prejudice to any further application. this legislation also condones and turns a blind eye to instances of immigration fraud by waiving inadmissibility for aliens who falsely claim to be u.s. citizens. the other concerning provisions
is -- provision is that it creates a grant program to allow illegal aliens -- it prohibits use of e-verify to check a new hire's employment eligibility until that person is actually hired. it requires use of the program in a way that demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the mechanics of the e-verify system. it allows aliens to prove work history with only a sworn affidavit from someone who has direct knowledge of their work history. it fails to impose any real penalty for months and years of illegal work. and it fails to impose any real penalty on employers who knowingly violated u.s. law for their own benefit. at a time when our immigration system is rampant with illegality, when we have little control over our southern border and there are crisis levels of individuals trying to illegally immigrate, we should not be promoting legislation that rewards years of illegal behavior. for these reasons i oppose this legislation and urge my colleagues to do the same. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the
balance of his time. the gentlelady from california. ms. lofgren: madam speaker, i ould like to yield a minute to someone who has been through a lot, he's a senior member of the house and the most seen -- she's a senior member of the house and the most senior woman in the house, served the most time, and that is the gentlelady from ohio, ms. kaptur. one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: i thank you so very much, madam chair, for yielding to me and for your distinguished leadership on behalf of the american producers and farm workers who are the subject of this important bill. i have a sense of how long you've worked on this and for too long i have borne the painful witness to the polite of our continent's my -- plight of our continent's migrant farm workers, as well as the problems our growers are having. but for these hardworking migrant workers who endure harsh working conditions at jobs the american people simply are not interested in and won't do,
these workers endure very harsh conditions to make sure that food gets to our tables. from farm to table. we could not feed this country without these workers. many of these workers leave their families and journey to the united states in hopes of finding decent work at a respectful a win -- respectable wage. yet far too often are subjugated to ex employtative serfdom and that is why i stand heartened that the farm work force modernization act has been brought forth to this house floor. this bill has strength, as others have talked about. it re-authorizes -- it regularizes the work force, it addresses very serious issues. ms. lofgren: i yield an additional 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional 15 seconds. ms. kaptur: this bill regularizes the work force, addresses the very serious issues of heat illness prevention and decent lodging. and also has other necessary provisions that demand our support. we must address the condition of these workers, they cannot be prayed upon and i look forward
to continuing -- preyed upon and i look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to improve conditions not addressed in this bill. but i want to thank the chairlady for her fantastic work to speak up for some of most's -- some of america's most forgotten workers. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. mr. buck: madam speaker, i reserve and have no further witnesses and i'm prepared to close whenever -- ms. lofgren: may i ask how much time remains on each side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california has 15 1/4 minutes. the gentleman from colorado has 4 had 1/2 minutes remaining -- 4 1/2 minutes remaining. ms. lofgren: i would like to, first, make a comment in lieu of the testimony that was going to be given by representative clay from missouri. unfortunately, or fortunately, i don't know what they're voting on, the financial services committee is meeting and he has been detained there, voting in
that committee. but he was here to talk about an important thing that the financial services committee helped us with in the crafting of this bill. and that's the improvement in the availability of farm worker housing, while lowering employer costs as it relates to housing. and that's a win. we need to make sure that h-2-a workers who come to the united states have a decent place to live while they're here working. now, preserving the existing housing stock, including by adopting h.r. 3620, the strategy and investment in rural housing preservation act, which authorizes $1 billion to rehabilitate housing that's aging out of the usda intend teves program is included in this bill. incentivizing newhousing by tripling funding for usda section 514 and 516, rural
housing loan and grant programs, and doubling funding for section 512 rental assistance programs, increasing the usda per project loan limitation, and granting operating subsidies to 514, 516 property owners who house h-2-a workers is going to be a real important boost to rural america. not only will it increase the amount of housing, the quality of housing, but will also inject new economic activity in rural america. and we all know that economically rural america is suffering in terms of jobs more than other parts of the country. so this is a win-win-win. it's a win for farmers by lowering their costs. it's a win for h-2-a migrant workers, they can have a decent place to live. and it's a win for people who live in rural america, who are
going to be building these facilities, who see an injection of funds to improve their economies. so, mr. clay could not be here to talk about his bill, but i'm talking about it in his -- on behalf -- on his behalf. with that, i would reserve. if you have no additional speakers -- then i would like then to recognize for three minutes someone who has worked on this bill for a huge. a time, not only he, but his staff, and that's the selinas tive for the valley, jimmy panetta. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. panetta: thank you, madam speaker. chairwoman lofgren, thank you for your amazing leadership on this bill. it is an honor to have you as a colleague, it's an honor to have you as my direct neighbor to the north in california. thank you very much. let me also take this time to thank representative dan
newhouse. his courage, his willingness to be bold on this bill was phenomenal. and let me thank both of your staffs for the amazing amount of work that they did on this bill. let me thank both -- all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that have worked on this bill, especially fred upton and the problem solvers caucus, who are supporting this bill. this bill, the farm work force modernization act, is a step in the right direction. for our agriculture, for immigration reform, and, yes, even this congress. this bill would protect our existing a -- our existing ag workers and it promotes an enduring ag work force. this bill does that by allowing those who have worked in ag to stay working in ag and the opportunity to earn a pathway here in this country. it does that by modernizing an outdated system for temporary workers and adding three-year visas for year-round workers. it does that by ensuring a number of visas, fair wages, a supply of housing, and safe
working conditions. by passing this bill, finally, finally farmers will have access to a dependable and experienced work force and farm workers will get not just the legality but the dignity that they deserve. i'm not only proud of the product in this bill, but all of us here in the house of representatives should be extremely proud of the process behind the formulation of this bill. for the past nine months out of this year, farmers and farm workers, democrats and republicans, came to the table, sat at the table and stayed at the table to grind out the details in this bill. now, yes, it is not a perfect bill. but it really is a darn good bill. a bill which is the result of a compromise. that is why this bill is a huge step in the right direction. for farmers, for farm workers, for our agricultural communities, for our country, for democrats and republicans in this congress, and for who we are as a democracy, built on a
nation of immigrants. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado continues to reserve. mr. buck: yes. ms. lofgren: i'm prepared to close if the gentleman would like to -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized to close. mr. buck: thank you, madam speaker. i would first ask unanimous consent to make ranking member collins' statement part of the record. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's request will be covered under general leave. mr. buck: madam speaker, once again, i appreciate my colleagues -- colleagues' desire to fix this problem and provide our farmers and ranchers with a long-term solution to the labor supply problems in this country. however, this bill only masks the existing problems and creates a whole host of new issues that will have to revisit in a few yorse and polarizes americans further. my colleagues and i can agree that we need to fix this problem. potentially allowing criminals a pathway to citizenship isn't the way. allowing possible social security fraud isn't the way.
preventing our employers from curing problems and giving trial hand-out isn't the way. madam speaker, i truly want to help all of our farmers and -- hers ms. lofgren: madam speaker, this is the time to act. for many years, under the leadership of different speakers, with different majorities, we've talked about dealing with this issue and that's all we did. we talked. you know, there's never a perfect piece of legislation. but as mr. panetta said, this is a darn good piece of legislation. it was the one that was crafted together and, you know, a lot of people across america might be surprised that republicans and democrats sat down in a room along with stakeholders who often don't agree with each
other and we worked things out. we came up with a plan that will work. we know it will work because we have a list of close to 300 agricultural entities, farmers all across the united states who are asking to us please pass this bill. they know it will work. . i know this is covered under those leave, a list of who care about immigrants who pass this king us to bill. farm worker justice, justice for migrant women, the national the tic workers alliance, forest workers center, the ervice employees international union. there is a letter here that's in the record -- i'm putting in the explaining why this is an important thing to do. ow, there's been some who
suggested privately or even in public the ranking member of the committee in the rules committee last night, well, we hould be covering chicken processing plants. we did just one thing in this bill, and that was to deal with agriculture. we didn't expand the definition of agriculture. we didn't -- there may be issues in other parts of the american focusy, but we decided to on just this one thing, agriculture. processing, not trucking, forestry.ng -- not just agriculture. nd that's why i think the laborers international union has sent a letter in support, which e will make a part of the record, endorsing this bill and in ng that this bill works the agricultural sector and they hope we will vote for it. may be other issues when you come to other parts of the economy. we should address those issues
going to ut we are have to do that by sitting down, case, s we did in this with the unions, with the employers, with the stakeholders issues, how are the can we craft a bipartisan solution that makes america strong, that makes our economy work. confident we have a chance to do that. now, i just want to say, some of he comments made -- although 'm sure made in good faith -- about the bill are incorrect. elements, the suggestion this will be riddled with fraud incorrect.ply these anti-fraud measures are the same that were included and in, fact, in some cases are tougher than were included in he goodlatte bill that members supported in the last congress. security al national bars are stronger than were included in the goodlatte bill
last congress. these ard, also, that farm workers who worked in the fields, who've allowed us to eat a salad s and to have that they are somehow -- they should get in line. i tell you a sad thing, there is line for them. there is no line, and so we're bill.ng a line with this we're allowing them to get right lawfully, aw and live pay taxes, and do the jobs that do, that their employers will need them to do and without fear. i cannot forget going out and workers who are so afraid because of afraid to , they are leave their homes to go to church on sunday morning. that's not the kind of situation we want to have in america. write the laws. we can make sure that these law.iduals comply with the
we have e-verify in this bill. e have a system that will work for farmers, for farm workers, and for america. a period of over months. we've done it bipartisan. american e support of agriculture, and i hope we have he support of a broad bipartisan group when this bill comes to a vote today. et's not disappoint the people who are counting on us. let's stand up and get something on this measure that we have failed on over and over again. madam chair, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. all time for debate has expired. to house resolution 758, previous question is ordered on the bill, as amended. question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those in favor say aye. opposed, no. it.ayes have third reading. the clerk: a bill to amend the immigration and nationality act
for what purpose does the gentleman from washington, mr. recognition? mr. smith: madam speaker, pursuant to house resolution 758 conference report on the bill s. 1709 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the title of report the the bill. the clerk: senate 1790, an act to authorize appropriations for 2020 for military ctivities of the department of defense, for military construction, and for defense of vities of the department energy to prescribe military personnel strength for such fiscal year and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 758, the conference report is considered as read. from washington, mr. smith, and the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, each 30 minutes. the chair now recognizes the entleman from washington, mr.
smith. mr. smith: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and insert heir remarks and extraneous material on the conference report to accompany senate 1790. withoutker pro tempore: objection. mr. smith: and madam speaker, i minutes.elf two the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. this was not an easy process. this is an incredibly important piece of legislation. it authorizes the department of defense. it basically gives the authority to the men and women who work at the department of defense to our national security policy and defend this country. of money, a a lot lot of policy, and a lot of people interested in it. problem that we have divided government. we have a republican president, a republican senate, and a house who do not agree on a lot of issues. those are the issues that tend focused on. but with this conference report reflects for the most part is on a lot. agree about 90% to 95% of what we were
egotiating, there was substantial agreement on doing oversight of the pentagon, to make sure our taxpayer dollars and to make sure that the men and women serving n our armed forces that we are asking to put their lives on the line to defend our country will have the training, the and the support they need to carry out that mission. there are more provisions i can in this bill that will help them do just that. we all in a bipartisan way hould be very proud of that accomplishment. ultimately, the biggest difference between where the at crats in the house were and the republicans in the senate were at, we believe in ore aggressive legislative oversight. particularly when it comes to matters of engaging in military action. remain deeply concerned about the war in yemen. war.it is not our saudi arabia and to a lessor degree the u.a.e. are engaged in that but we do support them. we want to make sure we are not supporting them in a way that is our values and contrary to peace in the region. we were not able to
get the president primarily to agree on that, but i think it is need to continue to put pressure on. we also believe that congress houldn't go to war without congressional authority. we will continue to fight about that. aumf.e the 2001 the 2002 aumf still on the books. 18 years later. we need to update that and we need to make sure we don't go to with iran without authorization. i yield myself 30 seconds. we pulled together what is an excellent piece of legislation. the two big things i want to ighlight in the moments i have left, we finally repeal the widow's tax. after 25 years of claiming we bill oing to do it, this does it. and we also give paid parental for all federal employees. i believe these things, both of to e things are integral national defense. the people are the ones who give us the national security. taking are of widows, care of employees is incredibly important. it was not easy to do.
did it in this bill. i urge adoption of the conference report. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: thank you, madam speaker. three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. thornberry: madam speaker, i rise in support of this conference report. the most important thing i can say about it is that it is good and it is good for national security. when it comes to a defense all rization bill, that's that really matters ma. this is a good -- that's all matters.ly this is a good bill and it deserves the support of everyone in the house. of credit -- much of the very for navigating a difficult political process goes forgetting -- th for getting us to this point. inhofe teful to senator and senator reid as we've worked through a host of issues, but it's also all of the conferees and members of the
committee and especially the staff who have ad to help us work our way through these things. essentially all year. to all of credit them that we are in this place. this bill does a lot, as chairman smith just for the men who serve and their families. on peoplelot of focus here. for example, 3.1% pay raise. of provisions related to childcare for the military. increase in professional license spouses. military housing reform, ncluding a tennants bill of rights. reforms to the movement of household goods. additional steps to combat and harassment. a number of provisions related to military health care, to quality of care that they get. compensation for medical at military treatment facilities. repeal of the widows tax, which
something that congressman joe wilson, among others, has pushing for for a number of years. those are just some of the hings related to our military folks that are in this bill and i can't think of another significant issue, military families -- issue families have brought up to over the past year or two or three that does not have some provision in this bill. in addition, for the civilians t d.o.d. and the rest of the government, it has paid parental leave so we can be in a better with big o compete employers around the country. people.r our in addition, it does a lot to rebuild and repair the damage that is done by military.tion to our it helps us prepare for our adversaries. very importantly, to authorize space force.
as this house has voted for twice, including two years ago yet, now with this bill, it takes effect. to ell as further reforms the pentagon. not just to get more value out of our money but to get top hands of theto the war fighter faster. there's a lot of good in here, nd it deserves members' support. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. yield two minutes to the gentleman from tennessee, the chair of the subcommittee on cooper.ic forces, mr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. cooper: i thank the chair. a space o establish force, madam speaker, to keep a.t.m.'s e, to keep y-o-u safe. keep space force is not a trump idea. true, he tried to hijack it when voted on a near unanimous corps.o support a space
trump's belated support for a space force does not make this a idea.ican focus on space has been bipartisan since the first command in 1985, an initiated that was terminated in 2002 when america got by the war on terror. our adversaries and potential adversaries were not distracted, however. since 2002, they have anti-u.s. ly pursued strategies against our defenseless satellites. made space a war fighting domain. on behalf of the free world, we respond. what's the difference between a space corps and a space force? one word. the language in this year's ndaa is primarily the old space corps the house ich passed this year unanimously. the strategic forces provisions bill support the core mission of our nuclear forces to provide a strong deterrent. also preserve nuclear safety as we modernize