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tv   House Session  CSPAN  November 13, 2013 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

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instruct house negotiators in regards to the farm bill. live coverage of the house here on c-span. the speaker: the house will be in session. the prayer will be offered by our guest chaplain. the chaplain: may it be your will that the members of this house faithfully represent all citizens of this great nation.
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as they strive to govern this land, guide them, o lord, with the pillars of humility and respect. help them to live up to the legacy of those who have come before and to always honor those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this nation strong and free. remind all citizens of our great nation to put people over politics, to elevate democracy over dogma, to value discussion over discord and to cultivate compromise instead of conviction. bless the members of this hallowed body with the knowledge that what binalds us together is stronger -- binds us together is stronger than what may pull us apart. that serving you is best accomplished by serving others. dear god, please allow your blessing of health and of peace to nfl our great nation, a--
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envelope our great nation, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day 'proceedings and you know -- day's proceedings and announces his approval thereof. the journal stands approved. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, purr -- mr. poe: mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1 of 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. the journal stands approved. the gentleman from texas. mr. poe: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentlewoman from missouri, mrs. wagner. mrs. wagner: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like everyone in the gali to join us in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god,
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indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick, is recognized for one minute. mr. fitzpatrick: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor and introduce a good friend and community leader in my home district, rabbi joshua gruenberg and to thank him for offering today's indication. the rabbi made the trip here to the nation's capital with his wife and his two children. i'm proud and pleased to welcome the rabbi and his family to the house of representatives. the rabbi is the chief spiritual leader at temple bethel in yardly, pennsylvania. since he joined the temple in 2011, i've gotten to know the rabbi quite well. he's participated in several of my local round table discussions on issues including israel and the middle east and has come down to washington to visit with me and to offer counsel. the rabbi is a warm and welcoming bucks county leader.
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he's helped build a strong foundation at temple bethel that will last for decades to come. i'd proud of the work he's done in our community and privileged to call him my friend. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house this enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 2747, an act to amend title 40, united states code, to transfer certain functions from the government accountability office to the department of labor relating to the processing of claims for the payment of workers who were not paid appropriate wages under certain provisions of such title. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will retain. the chair will entertain 15 further requests for one-minute speeches. on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from
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south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, millions of americans have received cancellation notices for their insurance policies as a result of obamacare's failed legislation. the "wall street journal" anticipates this number to reach 10 million by january 1. citizens living in the second district of south carolina are experiencing the brunt of the administration's deception. becky from west columbia is shocked. her world-class cancer care is at risk. frank will be forced to buy new health insurance with higher premiums of 33%. joe has been notified his wife will be removed from their current health care plan january 1, which results in a problem. that now we have two premiums to pay, two deductibles to meet and an additional thing to worry about while we are trying to raise kids and be responsible adults. these real life problems are affecting all american families. we must stop the damage by passing the keep your health plan act to assist families and promote jobs. in conclusion, god bless our
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troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. our prayers to be the people of the philippines, for typhoon recovery. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. speier: thank you, mr. speaker. the typhoon in the philippines has left a wake of unimaginable devastation. those living in the areas hardest hit by the storm are embarking on excruciating process of trying to pick up the pieces. mrs. davis: members of the san diego region's large fill pin o'community are determined to -- filipino community are determined to send aid to their country. the feeling of helplessness from my constituents that have family living in the area where the typhoon hit is profound. it is important that people understand where their efforts are most needed and where their donation will be best used.
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it is in these difficult moments like these when we witness unbridled compassion and empathy and i'm pleased that the humanitarian efforts which our military and aid communities do so well are under way. and at least 13 other countries have joined the effort as well. the help is not arriving as fast as those suffering from hunger, cold, illness and homelessness need. the filipino americans in our districts are looking to us to continue our role as leaders in humanitarian aid. let's continue to help those most in need. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from missouri seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, in recent weeks i've received far too many heartbreaking stories from the people of missouri's second district. about how government-run health care is impacting their lives.
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today i rise to put a face on the horrors of obamacare and tell jim and kim curtis' story who hail from arnold, missouri. this is their story, in their own words. and i quote, we, the working middle class, are the ones who are being hurt by this law. mrs. wagner: we struggle every day to make ends meet. but now, because of obamacare, we've received a notice from the insurance company that the plan we currently pay for does not meet the guidelines and we will no longer be covered on january 1, 2014. now we have to find an extra $500 to $600 minimum per month to cover the insurance that is comparable to what we had before. i have no idea how we will afford that kind of money and pay our bills and mortgage each month. mr. speaker, this is just one of millions of examples of real people being hurt by obamacare. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from guam seek recognition? the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, i rise in solidarity with the people of the philippines in the wake of the devastation caused by supertyphoon haiyan. i just returned yesterday from my district, guam, where we have a large filipino population, trying to reach relatives all to no avail. remember that we are the closest neighbors to the philippines. the images that we see on tv are horrific and unimaginable. we are strong allies with the philippines and have deep historic and cultural ties. as we have done in the past, we will stand by our allies in need and i commend the obama administration for rushing to the aid of the filipino people. and also i commend the efforts of the filipino community of guam, the government of guam, and the local nonprofits and
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businesses for mobilizing to provide resources to their counterparts like operation tomadachi, we are rushing to the aid of the philippines. this is how we demonstrate our commitment to the pacific partners. i appreciate and commend the efforts of our federal government to send significant resources to the impacted areas of the philippines and i urge this congress to reaffirm this commitment to the philippines and to support providing resources necessary to help them recover. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, obamacare has been nothing short of a painful government illness. on the first day americans were due to enroll in their health care plan, they just couldn't do it. errors flashed across the computer screens. it was a glitch here, a glitch there, everywhere a glitch, glitch, glitch.
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out of the 500,000 americans that should have been enrolled by now, only a handful were able to sign up thanks to technical incompetence, negligence and those glitches. americans will be penalized if they can't sign up but how are they supposed to sign up when the website doesn't work? computer glitches should take minutes to fix, not weeks. these glitches are just a sign of things to come when the government takes over america's health. if the government can't even get the website right, how will government get health care right for the american people? obamacare has the compassion of the i.r.s., the confident of fema -- competence of fema and the efficiency of the post office and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from the northern mariana islands seek recognition? mr. sablan: i rise to address the house for one minute, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. sablan: mr. speaker, the people of the northern mariana islands know that -- know the terror when a typhoon strikes.
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we know of the recovery after. but none of us has known a storm with the power and intensity of typhoon yolanda. so our hearts and prayers go out to the people of the philippines who are suffering through this terrible tragedy. that's swept down upon them. we have families and friends there, some, thank god, we know are safe. the fate of others we wait to learn and whether their homes are stanledsing, whether they have food, water. all we know for certain is the people of the philippines need our help and america's rising quickly to assist. our government immediately committed $20 million, disasters teams are on the way. much more will be needed from our government and from individuals alike. but i'm sure we will all do whatever we can to assist the survivors who have lost so much and now face a long task of rebuilding their homes and lives. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my
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remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, on friday the national park service released a draft general management plan for the ozark national scenic riverways in missouri's eighth congressional district. the general management plan seeks to limit my constituents' access to the rivers that they have enjoyed for generations. this plan from the park service would shut down public access points to the rivers, it would eliminate motorized boat traffic from certain areas, further restrict boat motor horse power in other areas, close several gravel bars and propose additional areas to be designated as federal wilderness. the outcry i've heard from my constituents is unanimous. mr. smith: they believe the ozark national scenic riverways are already overmanaged and overburdening my constituents and they do not want the national park service to further intrude on their access to their public rivers. mr. speaker, i urge the park service to reject changing
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management practices on the ozark national scenic riverways so that my constituents can continue enjoying their rivers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio seek recognition? without objection, so ordered, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. mrs. beatty: thank you, mr. speaker. many of my republican colleagues are still obsessed with ending health care for the american citizens. i come here today to tell you, while the administration, experts and my colleagues in congress are working on making sure that all americans have insurance. i say to you, while they talk about glitch, glitch, glitches, yes, we're all disappointed with that. when they talk about the face of the stories, let mel at the you, last -- let me tell you, last week during our week at home, i
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held a teletown hall conference. many of my constituents called in and asked questions about the affordable care act. you know why? because they had a college student who can stay on their insurance. you know why? because there were women who had pre-existing conditions now that can be covered. you know why? they were seniors, they were mothers, they were parents. and that's what the affordable care act is about. so i say to you, listen closely, america. because the affordable care act will make a difference and that's what we should have in this wonderful america that we live in. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? . steve: for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? mr. mchenry: to address the house for one minute. steve: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mchenry: since the affordable care act was introduced president obama claimed time and time again, if you like your insurance can you keep it. over the last six weeks i have heard from numerous
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constituents across western north carolina that that was not what they were experiencing. unfortunately they had canceled policies because of oo obamacare. steve, pastor in hickory, received notice husband plan with a premium of $695 is being canceled. his new plan's premium, $1,500? marcia in claire month had her current plan cancel. the replacement was 1 3% more in cost. milton a retiree from denver had his policy canceled, the replacement, not only has high deductibles and co-pays, but also precludes him from seeing his curn doctor? i heard from terry a self-employed woman whose premiums were $359 a month until obamacare canceled these plans and her new premium is $759 a month. i ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to join with us in passing the keep your health care plan, to hold the president to his word that if you like your plan you can keep it. steve: the gentleman's time has
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expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. steve: without objection, so ordered, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize november as national alzheimer's disease awareness month. over five million americans nationwide are living with alzheimer's. the disease who afflicts the victim but also the family. a disease whose origins are unknown but whose end is absolutely certain. it's a disease that takes your mind, dignity, and eventually your life. in 2013 alzheimer's will cost the nation $203 billion. this number is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by 2015. mr. speaker, i commend the work of the western new york alzheimer's association, local advocate nancy swiftton, who worked so hard this month and year-round to highlight the effects of alzheimer's disease. alzheimer's disease is a public health crisis that can't be ignored. i urge my colleagues to raise
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awareness about alzheimer's in their own communities and to support the bipartisan hope for alzheimer's act to improve diagnosis and treatment of alzheimer's disease. i yield back the balance of my time. steve: for what purpose does the gentleman from montana seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. steve: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute >> mr. speaker, i rise to congratulate vance home grun, a member of the congraduated cutney tribe from montana. mr. daines: he was recently recognized as a 2013 center for native american youth champion of change for his work to preserve the language in his school and community. i had the opportunity to meet with vance last night and learn more about the work he's doing on the flathead reservation. vance was introduced to a language camp by his aunt when he was 11 years old and been determined ever since to become a flupet speaker in his tribe's language.
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he's been working with tribal departments, organizations, and youth groups for the past six years to help preserve the salish language. he teaches language classes at high schools and leads an organization to teach language and culture. i commend vance for his commitment to preserving and increasing awareness of this important part of his tribe's culture and history. i congratulate him on his well deserved award. vance, well-done. thank you. i yield the remainder of my time. steve: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. despite my significant frustration with the roleout of the affordable care act, i remain committed to increasing access to affordable health care for every granite stater. to that end i support efforts to ensure that folks who like
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their current health plan can keep them for another year. ms. kuster: in new hampshire granite staters already have the option of renewing their current plans and i believe families across the country should be able to do the same. and i will support good faith efforts to do that. but the the affordable care act is not a perfect law and i'm committed to improving it, make no mistake. we cannot go back to the days when insurance companies were free to deny insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. or simply because they were female and their rates would be higher. or to drop people from their plans because they got sick. or to drop people from their plans because they grew older and were not living in their own home with the family. i will continue to work with anybody who is serious about making this law work. and to ensure that granite staters have access to the
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quality. affordable health care that they deserve. hank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman is recognized? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i got a letter from someone in my district. says you have probably heard about health care reform and wondered what it means to you. this letter is to let you know you are my choice hlt insurance plan from blue cross choice health plan is nongrand fathered. this means you purchased it or made significant changes to it after march 23, 2010, the day the affordable care act became law. as a result the law requires your insurance plan expires. mr. mulvaney: this is not the saddest part of the letter. the fact she was made a promise no one is keeping letter. someone does need to be held accountable for making promises to citizens not kept, but beyond that somebody needs to be held accountable for allowing an environment to grow up where citizens of this country are afraid to have
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their name spoken on the floor of this house for fear of retribution from their government. we'll deal with health care. we'll do the very best we can. beyond that, we need to figure out a way to create a environment where people are free to speak their minds on issues such as this. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. hahn: thank you, mr. speaker. following one of the worst natural disasters to hit landfall, we stand as a world community in support of the people of the philippines. last week typhoon yolanda tore through the philippines, tragically taking thousands of lives and leaving millions without food, waterer or shelter. the road ahead will be difficult, but the resilient spirit of the filipino community far and near will overcome this challenge. as a representative of one of the largest filipino communities in the united states, my heart goes out to the families in my communities
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whose loved ones suffered through this dreadful storm. my office is working to connect families with the state department to help them locate and get news about their loved ones. i am pleased by the significant humanitarian efforts from both my home district and around the world. we are a nation founded and guided by the principles of humanity. we must not forget our brothers and sisters in the philippines for far too many are still without food, water, and shelter. if the infrastructure is down, come on, let's start thinking outside of the box and do everything in our power to provide food and water and critical support today. thank you. the speaker protell pron for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the achievements of the rhode island institute middle college high school. the first middle college established in rhode island and first american charter school dedicated to the nursing
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profession. my grandfather was a proud nurse at st. joseph's hospital for many years. as a four-year program thins constitution helps to bridge the fap gaap between high school and college, providing students who have graduated ninth grade with an innovative learning experience that allows them to graduate with a high school diploma and nursing credentials so they can enter the work force. it first opened its doors two years ago and today provides a quality education for 27 young people from my home state of rhode island. if we are serious about getting our economy back on the right track, we need to find new, innovative ways to make sure young people have the opportunity to go to college or begin their careers equipped with the skills they need to compete in a global economy. the nursing institute middle college is showing us one way to achieve this goal. i want to applaud the work of the chief executive officer, their entire faculty, staff, and all the students. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman
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from kentucky seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, opponents of the affordable care act in congress have spent the past few weeks reveling in the problems of the federal exchange website, in my state of kentucky where we have created our own, change, we have had tremendous success. as of last week nearly 415,000 people have explored the website and assessed their options. more than 42,000 are now enrolled in health plans. many of them for the first time. and 843 small businesses have begun applying for coverage for their employees with 309 already able to offer coverage to their workers. we are six weeks into a six-month open enrollment period and while the failures of the federal health care website are frustrating, they are far from fatal. the true danger to the more than 42,000 account kentuckians who gained coverage under the law and the hundreds of thousands more who will, is what opponents of the law are proposing in its place, a return to the broken system that failed tens of millions of americans each year.
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mr. speaker, i encourage my colleagues and the american people to keep a healthy perspective. we did not enact the affordable care act to launch a website. we did it to ensure every american has access to affordable quality care. we should work together to accomplish that goal. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from hawaii seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. ms. hanabusa: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i join my colleagues from california and guam in expressing my support for those devastated by superstorm typhoon yolanda haiyan. we do know the united states has already committed $20 million and the u.s. estimated it may probably cost 300-plus million dollars to send aid to the philippines. we know there are military has shown that its humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities are bar none and they show that in march, 2011 when the
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earthquake hit japan. mr. speaker, members of congress must stand with ready to support the efforts to aid the people in the philippines. hawaii's filipino community is the largest minority that we have. and many have relatives from the area. typhoon haiyan ripped through the area where our first immigrants came from. we need to show the world, mr. speaker, that the united states is, again, the great nation that it is because it does not turn its back on people in the need -- in need. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. elieson: mr. speaker, the relationship between the united states and pakistan has been a long and beneficial relationship in general. but i rise today based on the representations of many of my breathe nts to
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concerns about the status of religious minorities. i support a strong u.s.-pakistan relationship and experience kindness, generosity from the pakistani people myself and their beautiful diversity. in addition the pakistan sunni muslim majority, there are shiia muslims, christians, hindus, and others pakistan's a country with rich religious diversity. the situation for many religious minorities is of great concern. this is particularly true for shiia muslims, although all have expressed concern. shiias face daily discrimination at work, school, and the political process. according to the human rights commission of pakistan, more than 500 people were killed last year in secretarytarian attacks against muslim secretaries, mainly -- secretaries -- sects, mainly shiia. mr. speaker, this is a crisis and something must be done and i urge people in pakistan and
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their leadership to do something about it now. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the importance of the special diabetes program. mr. schiff: which represents 35% of the federal investment in type one diabetes research and encourage my colleagues to support a multiyear renewal of the program at current funding levels. type one diabetes among americans under the age of 20 rose by 23% between 2001 and 2009. people with type one diabetes, including one of my constituents, 8-year-old charlie, need daily finger sticks and insulin injections to stay alive. as part of the jufe nigh diabetes research foundation's promise to remember me campaign, i recently met with charlie and his father and another constituent, nancy, whose 17-year-old daughter also has type one diabetes, to
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discuss their daily struggle with the disease and their hopes for better treatment options and someday a cure. the special diabetes program has delivered groundbreaking research for type one diabetes, including artificial pancreas systems, revolutionary technology in the research pipeline that will automatically control blood sugar levels, keep patients healthier, and help avoid many dangerous and costly long-term complications due to diabetes. . i support the program and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. woodall: mr. speaker, by direction of committee on the rules, i call up house resolution 403 and ask for its immediate consideration. the clerk: house calendar number 7 , house resolution 403, resolved that upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill, h.r. 2655, to amend rule 11 of the federal rules of
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civil procedure to improve attorney accountability and for other purposes. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provision in the bill are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and on any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on judiciary and, two, one motion to recommit. section 2. at any time after the adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill, h.r. 982, to amend title 11 of the united states code to require the public disclosure by trust established under section 524-g of such title of quarterly reports that contain detailed information regarding the receipt and
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disposition of claims for injury based upon exposure to asbestos and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the judiciary. after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. no amendment to the bill shall be in order except those printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the
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whole. all point of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one hour. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. and for the purpose of debate only, i'd like to yield 30 minutes to my friend from florida, mr. hastings, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: mr. speaker, i also ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: mr. speaker, i think back to a time when i was a teenager and i came into the gallery and i'm convinced i came in during a rule because the reading clerk was standing there reading line after line after line of material i didn't
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understand at all. i thought, why in the world is line by line by line of legislation being read? haven't the members already looked at that legislation? haven't they already had time to study it? what i now now ks -- what i know now, mr. speaker, is that the rule is the only piece of legislation this entire body that has to be read word for word here on the floor of the house. my colleague from florida and spent a lot hours up there at the rules committee sorting things out, but the rules matter. the process matters. and i will be able to confess to you, mr. speaker, i think sometimes we get that process done a little better, sometimes we get that process not done quite so well. but today we have a rule that brings two pieces of legislation to the floor. two very important pieces of legislation to the floor. that this structured rule provides for h.r. 982, which is the further asbestos claim transparency act, the fact act. and it brings a closed rule for
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h.r. 2655, the lawsuit abuse reduction act of 2013. now, i want to say, mr. speaker, i was just talking with a group about what the rules committee does and talked about the importance of an open process. and how closed rules don't give folks as much opportunity to express their views on the floor. it is going to be a closed rule on the lawsuit abuys reduction act, h.r. 2655, because for 11 days, mr. speaker, the rules committee solicited amendments from the entire body, asked anyone who had any ideas about how it is to improve this legislation, to submit those amendments so that we could consider them in the rules committee. over that period of 11 dis, -- days, mr. speaker, not one member of this body offered any ideas about how to improve this bill. we would have liked to have made amendments available and in order for this bill but none were submitted. so while we say this is a closed rule on the bill, it's only because no amendments were submitted to improve upon it.
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now, on h.r. 982, the fact act, mr. speaker, we had five amendments submitted. five amendments, all democrat amendments. one was withdrawn. so there are only four that were in order for our meeting last night. one was confessed actually just to try to eliminate the effectiveness of the bill altogether. and so we excluded that one because if folks don't like the bill, they can just vote no, they don't have to destroy the bill from within, they can just vote no on the final passage. but all the other amendments we submitted were made in order. these are not amendments i intend to support on the floor but i think it's important that peoples' voice be heard. so again, three amendments are made in order. that's 75% of all the amendments that were submitted and they're all amendments offered by my friends on the democrat side of the aisle, rules committee thought it was important to make those amendments in order. now, we'll talk a lot, mr. speaker, in the debate that comes after the rule about the content of these bills. one deals with frivolous
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litigation, whether or not judges will be required to allow folks, for whom -- who had to defend against frivolous lawsuits, to recover the costs of those suits. today, mr. speaker, if someone files a frivolous lawsuit against you, you can have that lawsuit tossed out but you've got to go back to the court a second time to recover all of the costs that it took you to have the frivolous lawsuit tossed out. it's a tremendous burden on small businesses in our nation. this bill seeks to solve that. and the fact act, our asbestos litigation act, aims to provide some transparency to the asbestos trust funds. i don't know if you're family, mr. speaker, but when it was discovered, all of the health damage done by asbestos, the lawsuits began immediately. and would have driven every one of those companies that either used asbestos or produced asbestos into bankruptcy, leaving no money at all for
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victims who had health problems that they then sought compensation for. so, federally we created, within federal bankruptcy courts, these asbestos trust funds that allowed these companies, these manufacturers of asbestos, these folks who utilized a process that included asbestos, to deposit money into a trust fund and not go out of business, but provide certainty that victims would be able to recover from those funds in the future. there is some concern, mr. speaker, that the process as it exists today does not allow for folks to see who is getting those dollars and whether or not the victims who have the most urgent needs are receiving those dollars first. our great concern, mr. speaker, is that when those trust funds are depleted, they're gone forever. as you know, asbestos-related illnesses often don't present themselves for years down the
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road. so we have a stewardship obligation to these trust funds to keep them protected for future claimants. this bill requires a degree of transparency, a quarterly report from the trustees of these trust funds, to see who is making claims on these funds, who's receiving claims out of these funds, again, just so we can be good stewards of those trust funds and ensure that they're available for future years. i don't sit on the judiciary committee, mr. speaker, but i heard from the ranking member of the constitution subcommittee last night, i heard from the chairman of the full committee last night, in the rules committee, as we held a hearing on both of these bills, and i'm glad that we're able to bring them to the floor today, mr. speaker. two bills, structured rule, one rule is closed because no amendments were provided. the other bill is receiving 75% of all the amendments that were submitted. just one amendment excluded by that rule. with that i reserve the balance
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of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: i thank you very much, mr. speaker, and i thank my good friend from georgia for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i listened to him and he was very clear about, one, the process and, two, the basic substance of both measures that are on the floor today. and to a relative degree, i agree with much of what he has said. i know that my friend from georgia is an advocate of an open process and in all due respect to him and the committee , a structured rule, whether members have offered suggestions for change or not, are not open rules. however, in this particular case, he is correct that of the five amendments that were offered by members of my party,
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three of them were made in order and none were offered on the first of the two measures. but, mr. speaker, with only 15 days left in this session of the 113th congress, we're here yet again doing more of the same. which is nothing. it has been reported that some among my friends across the aisle have even joked that the house shouldn't be in session in december at all. instead of addressing our nation's serious immigration needs, and i might add a footnote there, there is a substantial loss to our economic undertakings by virtue of us failing to do the things that we can and should do, either
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comprehensively or step-by-step to deal with the immigration circumstances of this great nation. we could be passing something. the senate did last week, where we can end discrimination in the workplace. or we could do something that all of us know needs to be done, we could work on ending sequestration. i was at two meetings this morning. one dealing with homelessness and the other dealing with the need for food. and in each instance the parties that were the experts cited to w sequestration has impacted their nonprofit organizations in trying to assist the homeless and the needy as it pertained to food. so we could be working on trying to stop this meat ax approach that is set in motion.
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yet we find ourselves passing bills that won't do anything and aren't going to go anywhere. h.r. 2655 in fact is, as my colleague pointed out, no member offered any amendment to it. it's so bad that nobody didn't even want to fix it. the bill is nothing more than a partisan solution to a problem that doesn't exist. the american bar association, the preeminent bar association among lawyers in every category in the united states of america, wrote the following. quote, no serious problem has been brought to the rules committee's attention. there is a need to reinstate -- there is no need to reinstate the 1983 version of rule 11 that
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proved contentious and diverted so much time and energy of the bar and event. the a.b.a. continued that the bill, quote, is not based on an empirical foundation and the proposed amendments ignore lessons learned. the proposed changes would, and i quote them, impede the administration of justice by encouraging additional litigation and increasing court costs and delays. this bill not only prevents judges from calling balls and strikes, it forces members of balks on everyll pitch even before the ball can reach the plate. the judicial conference, the preeminent conference of the united states courts in this country, this is the body that's responsible for proposing the
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necessary changes in the federal rules of procedure, they ask federal judges about these proposed changes. 87% of the judges asked preferred the existing rule 11 to the 1983 version. 85% of them support the safe harbor provisions. 91% oppose mandatory sanctions for every rule 11 violation. 84% think that attorneys fees should not be awarded for every rule 11 violation. and here's the big one, 85% believe the amount of groundless litigation has not 1993 rule. the these are men and women who face these issues on a daily
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basis. they know better than most, and almost in this house of representatives, and believe that rule 11 has plenty of teeth as it is. this bill would substitute the judgment of congress for that of other judges. when the judicial conference of the united states opposes the changes in this bill, you have to wonder who the bill is really been fitting. it's not -- benefiting. it's not just the judges who oppose this bill, there is a long list of groups that includes attorneys, consumer protection groups, and public interest advocates all in opposition to this bill. as late as this morning, i received an additional letter rom the organization that is the national employment lawyers association, and in sum and
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substance, they feel that they represent farms, fields, schools, factories, executive office, military service, hospitals, and many others and feel that they are a unique voice in this category and they stand in opposition because they think it will proliferate the amount of litigation that is unnecessary in our overburdened courts as it is. the court already has discretion to award sanctions, attorneys fees, and expenses. mr. speaker, h.r. 2655 will create more hurdles with deep pocketed businesses and can drag out litigation that is already too expensive and time consuming. my friends across the aisle have produced a number of anecdotes in support of this bill, but most of the cases cited are demand letters of state law cases, neither of which are subject to federal rules of civil procedure.
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furthermore, lawsuits are too complicated to expand with carefully selected and characterized facts. just because a particular fact pattern is entertaining, or seemingly silly, does not mean the case makes for a good headline, doesn't mean that real people weren't really injured. the most famous example that i can think of is the woman who sued mcdonald's for her coffee being too hot. when you say it like that, it sounds like, you know, you want coffee to be hot when you get it, but what's skipped over when we say it that way is that the coffee caused third degree burns. and that the lady had to be hospitalized for eight days, received skin grafts, and then two years' of medical treatment.
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well, that hot coffee doesn't sound so silly when you look at it from that standpoint. speaking of bills opposed by -- people, the supposedly second portion of this rule, h.r. 98 , the fact act, is ironically titled because it was drafted without regard to any of the facts. there is no evidence of systemic fraud tore that systemic failures -- or that systemic failures encourage fraud. the g.a.o. in its study was unable to identify endemic and overt instances of fraud that would justify these kinds of changes. most of the information supporters seek is available through the standard discovery process. this bill seriously compromises the privacy of victims in order to provide offenders with litigation short cuts.
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claims of wanting to increase transparency are really laughable since offenders involved in these suits are allowed to maintain their privacy. this bill further victimizes people who have already been through so much. human error is not fraud. isolated incidents are troubling, but fraud prevention procedures are already in place and functioning adequately. and asbestos victims oppose this bill. my friends across the aisle would know if they had provided victims an opportunity, they would have known what they had to say, but they did not provide that opportunity. i ask the chair of this committee last evening whether or not the victims had been afforded an opportunity to make a presentation, and he agreed with me when i pointed out to him that staff had allowed that they could have a private meeting but they did not have
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an opportunity to testify during the proceedings. a favorite to be tactic of my republican friends to they have done this asbestos victims, and they have done it to judges. when it came to shutting down the government, they ignored the overwhelming desire of hardworking and working poor americans. they continued to ignore the economists and ground grading of our credit rating over the debt ceiling. they disregard the science of climate change despite erratic, catastrophic weather patterns and rising sea levels, and i am sure -- sure all of us recognize the most recent typhoon that has devastated the
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philippines, and i am hopeful that we along with others in the world will hasten to the rescue. america's always to be commended for our efforts when tragedy strikes other nations, and i would call on other nations who have not done so to become add heernt of the kind of philosophy that we have, and i hope that we can help those in the philippines to recover rapidly. if my friends continue to ignore the world as it is in favor of the red tenet paradise they believe it to be, they will have no one to blame but themselves when the country decides it's time to ignore them. i wish to say one additional thing regarding the privacy concerns. yesterday i called comcast television. i wanted to order the miami heat who were playing, the
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champions of basketball for the last two years, were playing last night. so i thought it's not robbery, that i would order the nba game of last evening. well, lo and behold last evening and this morning before i left to attend meetings, the comcast system is down and not working. i was told that i would get a phone call yesterday. and i didn't get any phone call. so i called this morning and i was told i'll get a phone call today. but i missed the game last night. incidentally the heat won. i did see that in the paper this morning. but i'm concerned about the privacy measures because when i called comcast, after giving them my account number and after telling them who i was and what my address was, and this is through three different automatic systems, then the young man came over the
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telephone and when he came over the telephone, after doing all of this, the account, my name, where i live again, he then asked me for the last four digits of my social security number. a former colleague of ours, who mestheli, bruce vento, whose wife has written actively among with others for us to see how this identity problem might persist if we pursue this course. this bill would make the private information of asbestos poisoning victims readily available on the internet, and therein lies the difference. different now any information that anybody needs is already in the courthouse, and they can go to the courthouse and achieve that information. but this is part of what we an when we say this bill revictimizes as bests to victims all over again. if an employer or identity thief wants to get the
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information on a regular lawsuit, they have to physically now go to every courthouse in the country and look through paper records. but with this bill, if alcee hastings applies for a job at x. corporation, the manager at x. can search for my name on the internet. learn that i got money from an asbestos trust, and then decide if he or she wanted to, not to hire me out of some misplaced fear that i'm someone who just goes around suing their employer, or they kohl refuse to hire me because they fear i'll be sick a lot or drive up their group health insurance. an identity thief could learn the last four digits of my social security number. that's the same piece of information that i gave to comcast yesterday, and that my
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bank an credit card companies use to verify my identity during customer service calls. what part of that do you not understand if you put it on the internet then anybody can utilize it? risking employment discrimination and identity theft for asbestos poisoning victims just because my colleagues on the other side want to stick it to the trial lawyers seems awfully crass to me. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. woodall: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. to say to my friend, i absolutely share his passion for privacy protection. in fact, i had to leave a hearing we were having in the government oversight committee today, mr. speaker, where we were looking at the obamacare website and talking to the chief information officers and chief technology officers about how this beb site had gone live
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without having -- website had gone live without having been vetted for security protections. how we sit here today we have not fully run through those security processes. i share the gentleman's concern. i remember the gentleman is an attorney as well. i remember when i was in law school and they gave you access to the nexus database when you showed up for law school. you could dial up anybody in the country. it's showing you social security numbers. we really do have to have a national conversation, mr. speaker, about where we are headed. those last four digits that knowledge, private are out there all over the internet today. my birthday is broadcast everywhere on the internet. my mother's maiden name is out there. all those things that folks used to ask me to proeffect me have become part of the public domain. what the gentleman says about a need focus on that and protect folks is absolutely right. we absolutely need to do that.
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there was only one amendment last night that was offered to deal with privacy. it was going to give a unique identifier to folks instead of listing names so we can have the transparency to see if folks were trying to game the system and take opportunities away from future victims. that amendment was withdrawn. we didn't have an opportunity to talk about that. my great hope is that this bill will pass the house today. we'll be able to have a similar bill come out of the senate, and if regular order has a chance to prevail on capitol hill, conference committees will give us another chance to take a bite at that apple. i think the gentleman brings up very real concerns and again we'll have an opportunity to talk about those today. the gentleman says, mr. speaker, there is some bills that are just so bad nobody wants to fix them. you want to say the gentleman i'm sympathetic to that sentiment. there are a few i could rattle off right now that are so bad i wonder if it's even possible to fix them. but the bill the gentleman was talking about was the bill to eliminate frivolous lawsuits.
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lawsuits, mr. speaker, when we had these penalties in place back for 10 years, between 19 and 1993, more than 70% of judges said that they utilized this procedure, that they awarded damages in frivolous lawsuits. 70% of judges, mr. speaker, utilized this provision that we are trying to bring back into being to punish filers of frivolous lawsuits. this is not a bill for big business, mr. speaker. this is a bill that has been key voted by the national federation of independent businesses. if you know nfib, now he most of my colleagues do, this is the trade association that represents the mom and pop shops, mr. speaker. these aren't the big working out of a glass building downtown folks that you think are out to get the consumer, these are our friends and neighbors. these are folks who are employing our sons and daughters. these are folks who create most
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of the jobs in this country. and they don't key vote a lot of bills, mr. speaker. you can go to their website and see the number of bills that they key vote, but they have picked this one out, they picked this one out. my colleague from florida says some people believe it's so bad it can't be fixed. they have heard from lawyer association after lawyer association after lawyer association who says they don't like it. . we're hearing from the mom and pop shops who can't defend against -- and understand, mr. speaker, today if a frivolous lawsuit is filed against you and i don't mean frisk louis because i think it's silly -- frivolous because i think it's silly. i mean frivolous because the judge in the case says it has absolutely no merit, no merit on either the facts or the law. when the judge says it has no merit whatsoever, but you've had to pay to defend yourself against it, this bill says the fellow who filed it ought to
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make you whole. you know, punitive damages are something we often hear about from the trial lawyer bar. this bill doesn't have punitive damages. this bill doesn't say, if you try to bankrupt the mom and pop company that's down the street from me, we're going to punish you. i think probably it should. but they didn't want to go that far. they said, if you're trying to destroy the mom and pop company down the street with a frivolous lawsuit, you have to make them whole. if a judge decides that your case has no merit, no merit, not a possibility of merit, but no merit on either the facts or the law, the poor small business owner who's being harassed by that lawsuit should at least have the chance to be made whole at the end of that process. national federation of independent businesses, small mom and pop shops, that's who cares about this legislation. again, folks are going to vote yes, folks are going to vote no,
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but i think it's important that we say, mr. speaker, this is the purview, this is the -- those things that are important. the gentleman from florida says, hey, there are more important things we could be working on. there really are important things we need to have on the floor of this house, but if you're the small business owner who is about to lose your entire lifetime of work because someone has filed a frivolous lawsuit against you, i promise you there is no more important bill this your life than the one that's before us today -- bill in your life than the one that's before us today. i have to say to my friend who talks about sequester, i think that is an important thing. i happen to be the rules committee designee to the budget committee, mr. speaker. i happen to be the chairman of the republican study committee, budget and spending task force. in fact, we're having a meeting with -- to fix the debt to campaign next monday afternoon, to talk about what those options are for dealing with long-term problems. the budget committee right now is in conference with the senate, trying to find a way to restore funding to discretionary
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spending programs that we all believe have been ham-handedly reduced. and instead find savings on which we can agree on those long-term mandatory spending programs that rarely, rarely, mr. speaker, have an opportunity to seay gressive oversight, see things that kim prove -- a-- see aggressive oversight, see things that can improve them. i say finally, mr. speaker, to my friend from florida, as the designee to the budget committee, as the chairman of the budget and spending task force, i'd say i don't believe it's failure to raise the debt ceiling that threatens america's credit rating. i think it's out-of-control spending that threats america's credit spending. -- credit rating. it only takes a stroke of a pen to raise the debt limit to infinity, mr. speaker, but i promise you that's not in the best interest of the american economy. we all know we have spending challenges in this country. we all know that we've made promises to veterans, to
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seniors, to the infirm, to the poor, that we don't have the money to keep. i think that's immoral. if you don't want to help somebody, then say you don't want to help somebody. but do not promise someone that you will be there for them in their time of need and pull the rug out from under them when they need the promise to be fulfilled the most. we can do better. this body has done better. 1983, republicans and democrats came together, extended the fiscal lifetime of social security by not doing things that hurt seniors in that day, but doing things that raised the retirement age for me, i was 13 at the time, raised the retirement age for me from 65 to 67. why? that's a pretty modest step that made a big impact in the life of the social security trust fund. there are big issues that we need to discuss here on the floor. i hope we will bring those issues to the floor. these -- our committees in the house have been moving things in
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a responsible way step by step throughout the summer. we could use a little partnership from the other side of the hill but i hope we'll focus on what we have before us here today, mr. speaker. an opportunity to make a difference for future victims who are applying to the trust fund, and an opportunity to make a difference today for small businesses who are being victimized by frivolous litigation. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the chair will remind all persons in the gallery that they are here as guests of the house and that any manifestations of approval or disapproval of proceedings is in violation of the rules of the house. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, at this time i yield 3 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from virginia, my classmate, colleague and good friend, mr. scott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman from florida for yielding time. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this bill. i'm acutely aware of the
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devastating impact that asbestos exposure has had on working men and women in this country. because i represent an area with several ship yards. the last few decades, in my district alone, several thousand local ship yard workers have developed asbestos, lung cancer and diseases from asbestos exposure that occurred between the 1940's and the 1970's. hundreds of these workers have already died and asbestos deaths and disabilities are continuing due to the long period associated with the illness. i believe we cannot consider legislation affecting victims of asbestos exposure without remembering exactly who caused the problem. court findings show that companies made willful and malicious decisions to expose their employees to asbestos. there are several examples. in one case, in 1986, after hearing both sides, the new jersey supreme court declared, quote, it is indeed appalling to
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us that the company had so much information on the hazards of asbestos, as early as the mid 1930's, and it not only failed to use that information to protect the workers, but more egregiously it also attempted to withhold this information from the public. a few years earlier the superior court appellate division of new jersey in the same case held, quote, the jury here was justified in concluding that both defendants fully appreciate, defendants, fully appreciating the gravity of the risk, nevertheless made a conscious and cold-blooded business decision in utter and flag rapt disregard of others to take -- flagrant disregard of others to take no remedial action. in 1999, the florida supreme court found, and i quote, the clear and convincing evidence in this case revealed that for more than 30 years the company concealed what it knew about the dangers of asbestos. in fact, the company's conduct
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was even worse than concealment, it also included intentional and knowing misrepresentations concerning the dangers of its asbestos-containing product. that's who we're talking about and those are the types of companies that will benefit from this legislation. any suggestion that people are getting paid more than once is absolutely absurd. the fact of the matter is that because of bankruptcies, most of them are not getting anywhere close to what they would have been awarded. now the bill before us does not help those victims. it actually hurts them. the bill is nothing but a scheme to delay the proceedings and to allow the victims to get even less than they get now. because of the delay, many of the victims will die before they get to court. this helps the guilty corporations because they've inflicted this harm on innocent victims, because if the plaintiffs die before they get to court, their pain and suffering damages are extinguished. so if you can delay cases enough
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so that plaintiffs will die before they get to trial, the compingses will not only get to -- the corporations will not only get to delay their payments, they'll also have to pay, had they finally get to pay, they'll have to pay much less. they have made -- these people are the ones who made the conscious and cold-blooded business decisions, those are the ones who will benefit from the bill at the expense of the innocent hardworking victims and regrettably many of those victims are veterans because they were working on navy ships. for these reasons, mr. chairman, i encourage my colleagues to oppose the rule and the underlying bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question, i'm going to offer an amendment to the rule .o bring up h.r. 3383
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my good friend, representative esty's measure. the caregivers expansion and improvement act of 2013. to discuss a bill, i now yield to the distinguished woman from connecticut, ms. esty, 2 1/2 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. ms. esty: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you to the gentleman from florida. mr. speaker, last week when i was back in my district, i didn't hear about asbestos. i didn't hear about rule 11 sanctions. i heard about how harmful the government shutdown was, about the need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and the hope that this congress would focus on job creation-creating measures. but i also heard -- job-creating measures. but i also heard from folks in my district about the costs they face caring for their beloved family members. veterans who have proudly served our country. many of these veterans receive care at home as they prefer.
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but some families are simply not able to provide home care for financial or other reasons. now, these veterans could seek long-term institutional care through the v.a., but that is much more expensive. the v.a.'s f.y. 2014 budget request estimates that long-term institutional care costs the v.a. over $116,000 per veteran per year. caregivers of the post-9/11 veterans are eligible for a stipend which costs much less than the cost of long-term care. more than 10,000 veteran caregivers and their families have been helped so far and that is a very good thing. but there are more who should qualify. there are more veterans in need and we shouldn't leave them behind. i introduced the caregivers expansion and improvement act which would expand the eligibility for veterans' caregiver benefits to family
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caregivers of all veterans. according to the c.b.o., approximately 70,000 caregivers of pre-9/11 veterans could be eligible for this program. and let's stop kidding ourselves into believing we're not already spending more taxpayer dollars to provide care through other v.a. programs. let's work together on a solution for all our veterans. some who in fact were exposed to asbestos and suffer from disease. i urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question so that we can consider the caregivers expansion and improvement act, to honor our obligations to care for our veterans. and obble -- an obligation which did not end on veterans day. thank you and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from connecticut yields back. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: to say to my colleague, i very much appreciate her concern about the family members of veterans. so often we craft a
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one-size-fits-all solution in this body. and if you want to care for your loved one at home, there's very little help for you. now, if you want to institutionalize your loved one, if you want to dump your loved within off on the state, well, then we have a program for you. but if you want to nurture your loved one, but you just need a little help, if you want to keep your loved one by your side, but you just can't do it alone, very few opportunities that you have within our federal system today. one exception to that is the pace program which is championed by bob dole back in the day that allows you to bridge some of the different federal programs that are available to you and utilize those within your home, within your family, rather than having to institutionalize your loved one. i don't think there's a man or woman in this body, mr. speaker, that does not both have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for our veterans, but also feel they -- feel a debt of service to our veterans. i point out, we always talk about the hyperpartisan u.s. house of representatives, you
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know we moved our veterans affairs spending bill in this house, mr. speaker, back on june 4. june 4 we passed in this house with only four members voting no. talk about things that bring you together, mr. speaker, as opposed to divide you, that's the kind of commitment that this institution has to our veterans. i can't tell you why we haven't been able to get that signed into law. i know the senate has not yet acted on that bill. i think it would be something that would bring them together too and i would recommend that to them. but 4 -- but 435 members of this body, only four members voting no on our bill to try to fulfill that commitment, make sure our veterans are returning -- our veterans, our returning men and women have the kinds of resources that not just they deserve but that we have committed to them. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i would advise at this time my colleague that i have no further
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speakers and i'm prepared to close if he's prepared to close. mr. woodall: i'm prepared to close. mr. hastings: all right. thank you, mr. speaker. i understand why we're here. i understand that my friends across the aisle evidently don't mind wasting the body's time, their resources and money passing bills that are going to go nowhere. in fact, later this week, i believe on friday, i know we go to the rules committee on thursday on a provision, that's going to take its 46th vote to defund, delay or repeal the affordable care act and the patient protection and budget we've all got our thin it. roles. it's a shame in my judgment that our friends across the aisle would like to rehe had
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enact some of the same tired, political drama rather than actually accomplish something. more do a great deal here in the house to address the significant needs that our country has. and let me tell you how this particular measure is going to play out. the rule is going to pass. it will be debated here on the house floor today. oth measures having to do with asbestos and with so-called lawsuit measures. after they pass the house of representatives, then it's bound over to the united states senate where nothing is going to take place. now, i'm not -- i don't have any way of predicting the uture, but this particular
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methodology for legislation back and forth and it's just as much a problem when the house passes something that the senate doesn't do anything but than when the senate passes something that the house doesn't do anything about. and i can calculate the numbers on both sides. i just personally think it is wrong for us not to let this process work its will on behalf of the american people. and therefore, passing legislation just to have portions of either of our base satisfied is not my idea of something to do. what we're doing here today is nothing other than wasting time. now, mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my amendment to the resolution in the record along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. hastings: and mr. speaker,
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i urge my colleagues to vote no and defeat the previous question. i urge a no vote on the rule and the underlying bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i say to this body, there are actually more that my friend from florida agree on than we disagree on. i may not say that at a town hall meeting back at home, but i say it here because at its core we all share a vision of what this nation can be what this nation should be. but we do get mired in the rhetoric. it is interesting that we have a bill today that those folks who represent mom and pop businesses say it's so important to them they're going to make sure that every single member of this house knows that they're keeping score on this and they want a yes vote on
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that legislation. yet, we have other bills here that the trial lawyers are saying are so important to them that they're going to write letter after letter after letter saying this is not in the best interest of the country, we should move in a different direction. i say you those are the kinds of bills we ought to be working on. now, are there bigger picture bills out there? absolutely there are. i'd like to see a bill that solves social security forever, we end this business about social security's going to go bankrupt and once and for all we solve that issue so no senior's ever concerned about that again. we don't have that bill on the floor today. we have an opportunity to stop frivolous lawsuits. i'd like to see a bill on the floor that balances the federal budget. i'm old fashion that way, mr. speaker. i think if you want to spend it you ought to raise it. if you don't want to raise it then don't spend it. we don't have that bill on the floor today. we have a bill on the floor to make sure that trust funds, intended to protect victims of horrible, horrible
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perpetration by industry have an opportunity to collect what little money there is left from those businesses that perpetrated those harms. and i think we should support that bill today. mr. speaker, one step at a time we really can make a difference. i've been reading with great dismay that some of the colleagues that i was elected with three years ago have decided they're not going to run for re-election. they've been here three years and they found that while they came here to make america a better place, while they came here to serve the men and women back home, while they came here to make sure that their children grow up with the same freedoms that we grew up with, they decided it might not be happening. we can and we must do better, but rather -- in fact, we had a
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committee hearing last night. my colleague from florida, mr. webster, said i think comprehensive ought to be a dirty word. said comprehensive ought to be a dirty word because what i hear is, we're throwing everything in the kitchen sink and i want you to pass all or nothing on the house floor. it doesn't have to be that way, because i promise you if you put together a 2,000-page bill, mr. speaker, there are parts of it that my constituency believe is in the best interest of america. but if we pass bills 10 pages at a time, 20 pages at a time, maybe even 30 pages at a time, mr. speaker, if we move one idea at a time we get a yes or no vote from each side of the aisle, we pass it, the senate passes it, the president puts his signature on it, we can make a difference. and i believe that that momentum matters. i hope we get a yes vote on the rule, i hope we get a yes vote on the underlying bills, i hope we get bills coming out of the farm bill conference. i hope we get bills coming out
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of the water resources and reform development act conference. i hope we move these things forward, we begin to build that momentum. we're at a stumbling place, mr. speaker. there's an impediment in our way. i read some white house sources this week that said they recognize that we've not come through on the promise if you like your insurance you can keep it, and they were looking for solutions but they weren't going to come to congress to look for solutions. they were going to look for administrative solutions and they were going to try to fix it on their way. as we've heard on this floor many times, the affordable care act is a law of the land. obamacare is the law of the land, and administrative branch shouldn't be able to unilaterally change the law of the land. the constitution gives that responsibility to us. we've got to step up and take responsibility for those things that the constitution invests in us and article 3 courts are one of those things. we're taking that responsibility up today. mr. speaker, we have an
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opportunity, not to be republicans and democrats, but to be representatives of americans in the greatest body in this entire land, the closest to the american people, the u.s. house of representatives. we have a chance to announce our position, the house position and move that to the senate and then lo and behold, we have an opportunity to work with the senate, not to adopt a republican position or a democrat position, but a congressional opinion. an article 1 constitution opinion that we then march down pennsylvania avenue and say to -- be he, ve, he she, say yes or no. we set up these roadblocks, mr. speaker, where it's not house and snats, it's republican and democrat -- senate, it's republican and democrat, it doesn't serve america well. i hope we're going to have bipartisan votes on these two bills today, mr. speaker. we are exercising a
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constitutional responsibility to direct the courts. we can vote yes, we can vote no, but it is not something that is preferable to what we are about. it is essential to the responsibilities that the constitution has placed with us, and i promise, my colleagues, this institution will be a better institution if we pull out that rulebook called the united states constitution more often and start with those priorities that it has invested in us, not the priorities that some interest group has invested in us, not the priorities that the news media has invested in us, not the priorities that the republican party or the democratic party has invested us but the constitution invests in us, we will restore the faith of the american people in this institution. these two bills do that, mr. speaker. i encourage a strong yes vote on the rule that has made in order all of the amendments that were offered, save one.
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let this body work its will, support this rule, support the underlying bill, vote your conscience on the amendments to make the bills better if you want to, but let's get our constitutional responsibilities done. with that i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back the balance of his time. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. hastings: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. hastings: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of adoption. 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
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commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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