tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN June 9, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
since my friends in the majority sailed past the statutory deadline for passing a budget without even looking back. nearly one month has passed since house republicans began considering an appropriations bill without first agreeing to top line spending levels. republicans made passing a budget a top priority this year. they insisted that we would return to regular order. i really wish the american public understood the irregular -- the regular order concept. yet here we are, working woupt a road map, and instead passing new rules to stifle debate on the house floor, on controversial issues like equal rights. but i'll get to that in a bit, mr. speaker. for now, i'll just say it's disappointing because instead of
considering appropriations bills funding critical investments for american families and communities, the house majority has again chosen to take care of the itself. the partisan mishmash we're discussing today is no different. here's an example. this legislation forces the library of congress to continue to use the pejorative term, illegal alien, in its subject headings. mr. speaker, in another life as a member of the judiciary i refused to use that term when scussing persons that were before me. i can't help but laugh at the absurdity of this. we, and i mean congress, can't have a conversation about
comprehensive immigration reform , yet we're forcing the library of congress to readopt politically charged rhetoric, for what? how is this a priority? the legislative branch appropriations bill is certainly not the appropriate place for political debate on immigration. this legislation continues to fund the energy and commerce select panel to target planned parenthood. which thus far has conducted a completely partisan political witch-hunt and come up empty. this legislation continues to fund the select committee to investigate benghazi, which has already spent $7 million on just four hearings over the past two years in order to smear secretary clinton. and what has it produced? nothing. i'll note that the benghazi committee has overlapped a
number of previous investigations and also found nothing. you want to cut wasteful spending, mr. speaker, look no further, defund the benghazi hearing. i'm happy to say that the bill provides $563 million for members' representational allowances for the coming fiscal year. this is a 1.5% increase over the current level. but when we consider the fact that the m.r.a.'s have been cut by nearly 17% since 2011, that 1.5%up to $312,000, a mere increase is clearly inadequate. and i can make the argument that because of that we're unable to pay young people that come here and keep them with their institutional memory and in addition, we're unable to provide efficient services for our constituents. but yet we cut that $312,000 out
of the budget and now we're going to add back a little bit and claim that we're being efficient. i won't even go into the salary and the cost of living adjustment but to say that people find it surprising that we're entering with this legislation in 2017 year nine without a cost of living increase for members of congress. i wonder if that's causing some to live in their offices. i wonder if that's causing them to breach tax considerations when they do that and perhaps even ethical considerations, but won't go into that. furthermore, a 1% cut across the board to the bill's spending levels, such a cut would essentially wipe out this already diminutive increase. members should vote this amendment down. with salaries frozen where they
are, i just got through saying we can't retain the best talent. we continue to lose staff. i have three staffers that were perfect for their jobs that had to leave because they couldn't afford to live on the salary that we were paying them. sad note here, mr. speaker, the median rent for a one bedroom apartment in washington, d.c., was $2,160 per month last december. and i'll remind the members of this body that many staffers start here at $30,000 or less annually. do the math. we need to take better carer -- care of our people. mr. speaker, before i yield back i feel compelled to mention speaker ryan's new rules governing the appropriations process on the house floor. three weeks ago something particularly shameful took place
in this room as we debated the military construction and veterans' affairs appropriations bill. an amendment offered by our colleague and friend, sean patrick maloney, reached the vote threshold needed to pass. republican leadership apparently caught off guard held open the vote for nearly eight minutes in order to make republican members change their vote. they allowed this to happen in the back of the room and the amendment failed. and what contentious subject was the amendment focused on? i'll tell you, prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against lgbt q employees. this episode demonstrated just how little courage some members of the republican party have. a week later, my friend mr. maloney, offered his amendment
again. this time to the energy and resource -- water resources development appropriations act, and it caused such a hubbub that the legislation collapsed on the floor. i'll say that again. a provision ensuring that lgbtq contractors can't be fired solely because they are lgbtq proved so contentious to republicans that they defeated their own appropriations bill, i might add a good bill, to prevent it from taking effect. and as a result, beginning this month, house republican leadership is closing down the process and requiring all members to submit amendments for appropriations measures to the rules committee in advance, and has announced regular order is being suspended in order to make sure republicans quote, aren't
caught off guard by, quote, embarrassing, unquote, amendments. for instance, ensuring basic civil rights to american citizens. remember speaker ryan's pledge to return to regular order? where is that commitment now? i ask my friends should consider that the reason these amendments are embarrassing to them is because their position is in and of itself embarrassing. i'll note that sean patrick maloney offered his amendment again for the current legislation, but this time republicans won't even allow it on the floor for a vote. so, sean, offer it again and again so we can continue to point out how ridiculous this is. this entire process is quickly turning into a joke. enough already. why don't we pull the tent, wait until after the conventions and
november election, start all over again, because we're doing nothing here. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves 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. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. for such time. mr. woodall: mr. speaker, it's not widely known but i have believed in the five years i have been in this institution if you were to lock my friend from florida and myself in a room together, we could solve most of the issues that ail this nation. that there really is more common ground in this institution than folks are willing to let on. i find myself in the very uncomforter for theable position today of disagreeing with almost every conclusion that he reached. while i agree with so many of the fundamental issues that he believes brought us to this point, for example. regular order is bringing these appropriations bills to the floor. the 1974 budget act lays out this process clearly. it lays out the process for passing a budget, and it lays
out the process if the disagreements over that budget become too great how we can proceed with the appropriations bills. that's exactly what's happening here today. exactly the way we envisioned it in 1974 when we passed the first congressional budget act, it continues to roll on that way today. this is a success. this is not a failure. my friend's absolutely right, it's been nine years since congress last received a pay raise. i'll say to my friend that gi down to town hall meetings and i say one day i'm going to come down here and tell you that i have so satisfied you and your needs that i think i deserve a pay raise, too. but i listened to my friend. my friend talks about how the process is broken and we can't pass budgets. my friend talks about particularly shameful episodes that go on here on the floor of the house. my friend talks about failure to do the right thing and shenanigans that go on from leadership. i tell you i failed to find anything in those few minutes
that i thought my constituents would find worthy of a pay raise. and i regret that, mr. speaker, because these men and women that i have a great pleasure of surrounding myself here, these representatives that come from 434 other very different districts across the contry, they work hard and they are honorable men and women fighting their hardest for their constituents who often disagree with me and mine. we did have a very important vote two weeks ago, mr. speaker. you remember it well. i heard my colleagues trumpeting victories for equality, trumpeting historic votes in favor of equal opportunity. when they passed an amendment, and not 20 minutes later they voted against sending that bill to the senate so that that amendment could become law. hear me again, we have big
debates in this chamber about serious issues that matter. and at some point has to be incumbent upon each and every one of us if we get what we want in the amendment process, we need to support the final bill and get it moving to the president. i don't need to be right about policy, i need to make a difference on policy. and like it or not, there are only two ways to change the law of this land from this chamber. one is sending a bill to the president's desk and winning his signature. and the second is sending a bill to the president's desk, receiving his veto, and overriding it right back here in this chamber. neither of those processes for change, mr. speaker, even begin if we don't send the legislation from this floor. i say to my friend from florida, i'm not scared of tough votes.
to our colleagues who want to be protected from tough votes, i say you need to get another job than running for congress. i'm sure there are other folks who will have you. if you don't want to take votes, don't become a united states congressman. the toughest votes are the best votes we take in this institution. they tell us who we're as a people. but the issues on which we're voting are too important to reduce to a bumper sticker tag line that goes on a campaign commercial that's going to be useful for six months or less. let's have the big debates. let's do the big things. and then let's send those bills to the president's desk so that they become the law of the land. we can talk and we can talk and we can talk. and so much of that talk centers around bringing change to america. whether it's restoring the value of old or bringing a new value, it relates to bringing change to america. but that change cannot start
until we change a little bit about ourselves. vote for the amendments. vote for your conscious. send those bills to the white house. -- white house so we can get this process going. with that, 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: mr. speaker, before yielding i'd like to address very briefly my friend, and he is my friend, i agree with much of what he said. he said fundamentally much of what i said. he did not agree w but he pointed to -- with. but he pointed to the fact that the maloney amendment that passed, and then we turned around and voted against it. there were other measures in that bill that some of us didn't care for that caused us to vote against it as well. and among them was one that was particularly offensive to me since i represent one of our national parks, and that was carrying guns on national parks. i could go on there were at
least seven other riders that were put on by the majority that caused me angst. i'm not sure about everybody else. additionally, i agree with my good friend that he and i could solve many of these problems, but one thing that i know that he favors, and i know that he that with me and that is as often as possible that we have open rules in this boddy. and where we're headed is in many respects not in that direction. i yield to my good friend from california, ms. lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: would members please remove their conversations from the floor. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, this ill picks a fight with the librarians.
in the bill we seek to compel the library of congress to use an outdated and dehumanizing term to reference people who aren't citizens of the country. although the term alien is used in our statutes, it's outdated and deeply insulting to people born abroad who worked hard to contribute to our economy and communities. in fact, this fall the republican party in california itself decided not to use the term illegal alien in its platform. in this bill, the republicans in the house look like they're doubling down on vilifying immigrant communities. now, as part of a long-standing often used process for reviewing and updating subject headings, the library of congress apolitically decided to use the term noncitizens and unauthorized immigration instead of the term illegal aliens. the library makes these types of changes all the time. it's one of 90 such
modifications proposed en masse by the library this last march. when a subject heading is changed, reference to previous headings are retained so researchers can use them, but mandating the term illegal alien, which is what republicans are doing in this appropriations bill, is entirely political. the rider countermans the library's professional judgment. it's noteworthy the library chose not to use undocumented immigrant because they didn't want to be political. they just wanted to be fair. applying these standards in the past, the library of congress changed the subject classification, quote, negros, unquote, to african-americans, the way we discuss african-americans today. the catalog used to say cripples. that makes me cringe.
that was changed. first handicapped and then later people with disabilities. but in this political season, it seems there is no limit to the racial invective that is being hurled around and this bill plays into that. now, to my knowledge, congress has never before told the library of congress what the heading in their card catalog has to be and that we would do it in this case to promote a term that is so offensive to people is a darn shame. now, in the past we've used the appropriations process to shut down the government. republicans have done that repeatedly. i would hope that the republicans in the house would not want to go down that path with this. it is true. this term is used in the statute. our colleague, representative
castro, has a bill to correct it. i would urge that bill be taken up and this unwarranted measure be rejected and i would ask unanimous consent that the letter from the american library association be placed in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentlewoman's time has expired. 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: my friend from florida made reference to regular order earlier and, again, he and i very much see eye to eye on that issue. the gentlelady who just spoke is one of my great friends on the judiciary committee. i'd like to read the offending language that folks are referring to. it says this in its entirety. to the extent practicable, the committee instructs the library to maintain certain subject headings that reflect terminology used in title 8 united states code. to the extent practicable, the congress directs the library of congress to use the laws passed
by congress. that's the offending language. my friend serves on the judiciary committee. if the judiciary committee did as she is suggesting and change the law tomorrow, this language would reflect those changes passed by the judiciary committee tomorrow. this isn't the appropriation committee's jurisdiction, and we can, as an open appropriations process allows, make every political point that we want to make on every topic under the sun. but long-standing policy is not changed in annual appropriations bills. it's changed by authorizers, like my friends on the judiciary committee, and i urge them to get to work on it. all the examples the gentlelady cited, i'm with her 100%. we have made those changes and we are the better for it, but let's not suggest, again, to my friend from florida's point,
why don't folks think congress is deserving of a pay raise? i listened to my friend describe the motivations that folks had for including this language. they were not described as motivations in friendly or admiring terms. the language that says from congress to the library of congress use the laws passed by congress. with that i reserve the balance of my time. ms. lofgren: would the gentleman yield? mr. woodall: i'd yield. s. lofgren: i'd like to insert the fact sheet from the american library association indicating that it is the library's belief -- the library of congress' belief that it would need to change its policy already under way on this. so if the gentleman is saying that the fact sheet language in the doesn't -- doesn't require a change on the library's part, i think that would be news to the library and maybe -- mr. woodall: reclaiming my time. i'm not suggesting anything of the kind. i'm suggesting that the
language that folks are describing as offensive says from the congress to the library of congress use the laws passed by congress. if we don't like the laws of the land, we have a process to change them. and for better or worse, that process begins in the committee on which the gentlelady serves. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. i'm sorry, i reserve the balance of my time so that i can continue my discussion with my friend from florida. mr. hastings: all right. ms. lofgren: i ask unanimous consent. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady will suspend. the gentleman from georgia reserves his time. the gentleman from florida's recognized. mr. hastings: i yield to ms. lofgren for unanimous consent. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: i ask unanimous consent to place in the record the mission from the american library association entitled support the library of congress autonomy. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i'm
very pleased to yield to my good friend from california, the ranking member of the ethics committee in this body, ms. sanchez, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for three minutes. ms. sanchez: thank you and i'd like to thank my colleague, mr. hastings. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the consideration of h.r. 5325, a deceitful effort by house republicans to yet again dehumanize an entire group of people. it pains me to even say the phrase illegal alien outloud because it is prejor tiff, it is offensive and it has no place in our modern discourse. the library of congress is correct to leave this phrase in the pages of history and never to have it uttered again. the importance of the library of congress' decision to discontinue and remove the outdated phrase cannot be emphasized enough. libraries nationwide and around the world look to the library of congress' subject headings
and other standards to publish information. as lawmakers representing a country of immigrants, congress should not assist in the dissemination of information that perpetuates racism and promotes hate. of course i'm not at all surprised that congressional republicans would resort to inserting themselves into decisions that are normally served for librarians, not politicians and republicans say they want to keep government out of people's lives but want government to intrude and dick de standards only when it -- and dictate standards only when it is for their views. they want to block president obama's immigration falls in line with the concerted effort to move our country backward. we are better than that. instead of promoting antiquated and deplorable language, we should be tackling any number of important issues.
affordable education, tax reform and promoting job growth, not telling librarians and educators how to do their jobs. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady 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: going back to my friend from florida's case that we have hardworking men and women here that haven't had a pay raise in nine years, if we're part of a body that perpetuates racism and hate, i don't want a single one of us to have a penny. i don't want a single one of us to get a penny. my experience is that's not at all who we are. that's not who we are at all. my quick text search of the u.s. code -- and i'm a lawyer but i haven't read the code cover to cover. illegal alien is referenced 32 times. even in a single title. let's go change it. if you want to get rid of it,
let's go in and get rid of it. don't act like it's beyond our control and only if we can fix the library of congress, suddenly we can solve it all. it's the united states code. you don't like the code, change the code. tell me we're ineffective and get that done, we're talking about a title change here, we've already done. already this congress we eliminated the last reference to oriental in the united states code. we do these things together, but we don't do them by accusing one another by promoting racism and hate. mr. hastings: if the gentleman will yield? mr. woodall: i'd be happy to yold to my friend from florida. mr. hastings: the library of congress has made 90 subject head changes so why this one? why does it have to stick and can't be changed? mr. woodall: reclaiming my time. i say i have no idea that the library of congress was in the subject heading change business. it wasn't until i read a press lease about this issue
exists. it exists in the united states code that is the law of the land for the greatest free nation this world has ever known. you want to talk about shame on us, shame on us for letting the librarians decide when the debate begins and when the debate ends. it's the united states code and the responsibility falls to one body and one body only and that body is here. i want to go back home, mr. speaker. i want to tell my constituents they're getting every dollar's worth out of this institution and candidly, i believe they're getting more value today than they were yesterday and they got more value yesterday than they did a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. i think we're getting better. i'll give you a small example. we talk about leg branch funding as this is a self-serving institution. that's nonsense. we came here with one job and
one job only and that's to serve our constituents back at home. this cycle we passed the fast act, the first long-term transportation funding bill in 20 years. we did it together. we couldn't do it alone. we did it together. mr. speaker, after 17 years of kicking the can down the road on the sustainable growth rate, that medicare tag line that threatened care for every single senior citizen on medicare, 17 years of kicking it down the road, we came together and abolished it forever. forever. we did it together because that's the only way to get it done. the visa waiver improvement program, mr. speaker. s. 139, the bill that made it easier for people with rare diseases to get involved in clinical trials. can you imagine, can you imagine a government that in the name of helping people said, oh, no, you can't try that new cure? it might hurt you. when your response is, mr. government, i'm dying. it's my only chance of
survival. we fixed that. one of many things about what's best about this institution, mr. speaker. time and time again we come together to solve real problems that real people have asked of us. that's what this funding bill is about. i hope we're going to move past this bill today. i hope we're going to get back to regular order. it pains me that in election year threatens the free and open debate this institution prides itself on. but i think that's just fear. i think we're better than that. i think we're going to get past it. that's not the debate today. with that, 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: mr. speaker, would you be kind enough to tell both sides how much time remains? the eaker pro tempore: gentleman from florida has 14 minutes.
the gentleman from georgia has 11 minutes. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question , i'm going to offer an amendment to the rule to bring p legislation that would disban the select investigative panel of the energy and commerce committee. mr. speaker, this panel is just another waste of taxpayer money. three house committees, 12 states and one grand jury have already investigated the charges against planned parenthood and none found evidence of wrongdoing. mr. speaker, this panel is conducting a purely partisan political witch-hunt and should be disbanded. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text in the amendment 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: to discuss our proposal i'm very pleased to yield to a very good friend of mine, the gentlewoman from illinois, the distinguished ranking member. select investigative panel, his schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois is recognized. ms. schakowsky: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding to me. i rise to urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question so that mr. hastings can offer h.r. 769, a resolution to shut down the select panel that we call the select panel to attack women's health. house republicans created this panel based on a lie. a fraudulent videotapes that had been discredited by three house committees, 12 states, and a texas grand jury that actually indicted the video maker. they have used this fraud as a retext to conduct a lethally dangerous witch-hunt against
scientists who are conducting promising research on diseases like alzheimer's, m.s., and the zika virus. panel republicans are bullying witnesses and abusing congressional authority in a manner not seen since the days of senator joe mccarthy. but this time people's lives, not just their livelihoods, are at stake. republicans have issued dozens of unilateral subpoenas without first seeking voluntary coppings -- cooperation. republicans are demanding the names of researchers, students, clinical personnel, and doctors, and medical students, amassing a database that could be released publicly at any time. republicans refused to put rules in place to protect these names and have reneged on public promises to do so. instead, they have publicly released names and confidential documents. they issued a press release naming a doctor who has already faced decades of harassment and violence. disclosed the time, place, and location of his appearance
before the panel, and fueled the flames by comparing him to a convicted murderer. they have repeatedly used inflammatory rhetoric comparing researchers to nazi war criminals. and echoing words of anti-abortion activist that is were also used by the gunman who shot 12 people killing three at a planned parenthood clinic in colorado springs. republicans have demanded and obtained information that they have no right or need to know, including records of victims of rape and personal financial information. the republicans are abusing power and putting people's lives in danger in pursuit of their agenda to limit legal abortion and a woman's right to choose and to shut down fetal tissue research. fetal tissue research has historically been -- had broad bipartisan support.
it is the basis for the key vaccines that have saved millions of lives, including the polio vaccine. the so-called investigative panel has already had a chilling effect on research, drying up the supply of needed tissue for research on multiple sclerosis and threatening other diseases, including alzheimer's and -- mr. hastings: i yield the gentlelady an additional one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. schakowsky: all i really need is the time to say this. we should now be ending this dangerous and unjustifiable witch-hunt. it is time to say no to this panel and it is time to say no to the previous question so that we can finally have a really strong debate on this house floor and finally defund this panel. i thank you and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from georgia investigated. mr. woodall: i advise my friend from florida i do not have any speakers remaining. prepared to close when he is. hastings: i do van digsal speakerment the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to the distinguished the gentlewoman from texas, my good friend, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas investigated for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: sksh -- texas is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: i want to thank the distinguished gentleman from florida for his management of what is a difficult and trying legislative process. to my distinguished friend from georgia as well for his service, both of you on the rules committee. it pains me to come to the floor on an appropriations bill when i know that there is so much opportunity for us to be able to work together. i know my good friend from
georgia will understand the pain in which i speak and also he will attest to the fact in many instances on the appropriations process we have an open rule and we allow our members to express themselves on behalf of the people of their congressional districts, more importantly the higher goal and that is the people of the united states of america. let me first express my pain that this bill is the first bill that has come to the floor. when i know that there was vigorous debate and possibilities for the energy and water bill. certainly in my congressional district that has seen itself under inches and inches of rain, seeing people die, losing individuals through these enormous rains and flooding because we need the kind of infrastructure that comes under energy and water, and that bill not being able to pass. seeing the funding for access to health care, community centers, community health clinics not yet
come to the floor. seeing the funding for infrastructure and transit so needed in our urban centers like a houston, texas, not coming to the floor. and then, of course, the department of justice that is dealing in the middle of commutational sentencing, dealing with youth justice programs, dealing with a number of issues that are paining americans and they need our leaf. yet the bill that comes to the floor i must again painfully say an appropriations bill that i will not be able to support. it is a bill that really keeps the wheels going in this place. it is not a more important bill, but it keeps the wheels going so that we can do the people's work. but here is what is happening that i think is dastardly reflection on what we have come . to let me be very clear as a senior member of the judiciary committee dealing with the mechanics of lawmaking, dealing with laws that ultimately provide people's civil or
criminal justice relief or constitutional relief. i want to tell my colleagues who wrote this language that the issue dealing with the lie brare riff congress is administrative. the idea that noncitizen and unauthored immigration has any impact on creating a comprehensive immigration system , which i have introduced legislation along with my colleagues joining with them over the years, it has no import and impact of law. it is truly an administrative task that the library of congress is attempting to comport with national experts of librarians. everybody loves a librarian. they give our children knowledge, students knowledge, all of us knowledge. we love -- mr. hastings: i yield an additional one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for an additional minute. ms. jackson lee: they give us their best expertise. why we would intrude in an administrative process when it goes into nothing that impacts the scheme of the administrative
-- the legal structure here in the united states. it is to denigrate. it is to insult. and we understand that the word illegal does conknow tate that you have violated a criminal act in certain instances. there are those who are undocumented, noncitizens, etc., unauthorized that have not violated any criminal laws. let me also say to you that the defunding of the planned parent hood foolish investigation is warranted. why? because in my own home state of texas in houston, the indictment did not go to planned parenthood. which was the attempt. but it went to the perpetrators of fraud on planned parenthood. there is nothing to investigate. if you want to investigate, then investigate the lack of access of millions of women in the state of texas who were using those clinics that the planned parenthood had. so my point is this is a bill --
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: vote against the underlying rule and bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: i advise my friend from florida that i'm prepared to close when he is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: 5 1/2 minutes. mr. hastings: thank you, very much, mr. speaker. i yield my southwest balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 5 1/2 minutes. . hastings: mr. speaker, i rarely speak from the well of the house. from come down here like my god georgia and many of us in this institution, those of us that
have studied the interconstitution -- institution genuinely love it and recognize that it is fundamentally what makes our nation great. when we speak of congress, we're talking about the house of representatives and the united states senate. for a substadges period of time -- for a substantial period of time, both in the control of democrats and republicans, we have carried ourselves in a way that has caused us to appear dysfunctional and in many stances validly those that look at us feel that we're unable to get things done. my younger friend from georgia pointed out a significant number of things that we did do, and
he's correct about that. but he also knows there are significant number of things that we have not been able to do largely for the reason that we are not acting in a bipartisan manner in an openly transparent manner in many instances in order to provide for all of the members of this body to have input. i came to the well because as i near my 80th birthday, i'm in a different category than many of the younger members in this institution. many of the younger members of this institution have young families. we, the 434 of us that are seated, and we will swear in the 435th a little later today, and the delegates from the
territories and the district of olumbia, are in a variety of categories as americans. some substantial number of members in this body are multimillionaires. a significant number of members of this body easily qualify to be in the middle class or the upper class. and there are some members here who are in the lower class in our society. fortunately for us, in the 22 years that i'm here, i have seen this body grow in its diversity. more women on both sides. african-americans. latino americans. asian americans. native americans. a part of this body from different walks of life. some of us own our own homes here in the metropolitan virginia, maryland area. some rent apartments. some in basements.
some in one rooms. some gathered together because of their expenses here. my friend is right, i'd like to go home and be able to show to my constituents and to his that we did everything that we could here to make for more efishency. but i can cite the glut all over our agencies and at the very same time i make no apologies to anybody for how hard i work or how hard he works and the fact that we're entering our ninth year without a pay raise. now, i think it's wrong for members of the house of representatives to live in their offices. i think that there is an ethics provision that needs to be addressed and a tax consideration that needs to be addressed. and the public does not understand that nearly 100 members, including the speaker of the house of representatives, live in their offices. something is drastically wrong with that. most of them are there for the reason that they can't afford to live in this town and somehow or
other we're deserving, as are our staffs, deserving of being paid appropriately. mr. speaker, in closing, i'd like to remind my friends of the importance of the legislation we're debating today. this legislation allows us to run our operations here in congress. unfortunately, with this legislation my friends in the majority are continuing their trend of putting politics above policy. for this reason i urge my colleagues to vote no on the rule and oppose the underlying measure, and i want to make it very, very clear the remarks that i made are my remarks. they are not the remarks of the democrats in this institution, but i know this, i have had a lot of members on both sides of the aisle say to me that they know that i'm correct. courage, friends, courage. that's what it takes. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. 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: i love watching my friend from florida speak. the only thing i love more watching him is talking to him one-on-one when the cameras are turned off. it's not as easy it ought to be in 2016 to come to the floor of the house and speak one's mind. folks are worried about what the newspapers are going to say. folks are worried about what the news are going to broadcast. folks are worried about what the twitter verse is going to do. a lot of folks will tell you one thing when the cameras are on and another thing when the cameras are off but alcee hastings is the same, folks. he comes from a place of conviction and i love serving with people like that. and truthfully, mr. speaker. if folks knew that it wasn't just their member of congress that was like that, but it was
the one next door and the one down the road and the one down the river and the one upstate, i think we'd have a very different discussion about whether congress is working or whether congress is failing. but, mr. speaker, when i try to sort those issues out, i don't have to go back home to figure out why folks are disappointed. i don't even have to go back to the public record. i don't have to go even further than this one debate on this one legislative day. just an hour together, mr. speaker, i've heard members suggest that this house is using tactics not seen since joe mccarthy. i wouldn't pay for that. i've heard members suggest that this house is perpetuating racism and hate. i wouldn't pay for that. i've heard that there are d.c. ardly things happening in the works of this institution -- dastardly things happening in the works of this institution.
i'm not going to work for that. i heard we've been involved in activities particularly shameful. mr. speaker, i think we've all got a great relationship with the men and women who send us here to serve them. we have a special relationship and a relationship that i think men and women in this chamber work exceptionally hard to make good on. but when we use the credibility that we develop in that relationship to tell folks that we are broken, to tell folks that we are worthless, to tell folks that greatest experiment in self-governance that world has ever known is failing, they believe us. they believe us. mr. speaker, the discussions that we have, the differences that are brought to light on this floor, those are not failures. those are successes. the back and the forth, the fights that we have, the headlines that get made when
folks just can't agree, they are not fail ours, those are successes. when the framers put together this constitution, mr. speaker, they made it hard. they made it hard to change the law of the land. it was supposed to be the rare thing that happened when we all came together and found agreement. and when we did, it was going to be in the best interest of a young nation. heard my , i've colleagues challenge us to defeat this bill deal as if funding the united states self-serving action. i don't know who the self-serving members of this institution are, mr. speaker, because i have not met them. my friend from texas came to the floor and she said if we don't get our work done, n.i.h. will not be funded and she's right. she said, if we do not get our work done, justice reform will not happen.
she said if we do not get our work done, families struggling to respond to floods in her part of the country will not get the dollars, and she is right. she is right. mr. speaker, we're talking about changing the appropriations process to allow a little less openness and i regret that. we're talking about it because in the name of doing that energy and water bill that she spoke of, in the name of passing those bills that are essential to the function of the country, in the name of doing that responsibility, the constitution places squarely on our shoulders, we have folks who pass amendments to bills only to let those bills fail. i would tell you as someone who believes in an open process, who believes in an open process that if we can have that festival of democracy that is an open rule on an appropriations bill, let's have
it, let's let the votes fall where they may and then send that bill to the senate and on to the white house and make it the law of the land. but if in the name of making a point we prevent this institution from doing its constitutionally mandated business, if in the process of making a political point we prevent this institution from providing the money for that fundamental research, from providing the money for that flood relief, from providing the money for essential justice reform, i tell you we have not honored this nation with an open process. we have failed it. and the question then falls to us. are we going to have an open process that allows every member to speak out on behalf of their constituency to fight for what may be best for this nation that we all love or are we going to have election year politics decide that being able
to print that press release is more important than getting our work done? i happen to know the answer, mr. speaker. i happen to know the answer because i happen to know each one of these members on a personal level. there's not a one of them who wouldn't turn in their voting card tomorrow if they could take a vote on the biggest issue that matters to them today. there is' not a one of them that wouldn't turn in their voting card tomorrow if they could make a difference for this generation and the next generation today, and i love that about them. i love that about each and every one of them. passing this bill let's those folks come to work and get this job done. passing this bill will honor the men and women who sent us here. passing this rule allows us to get to the underlying bill that will keep the lights on, not just for constituents' service back in every district of this land, but the lights in what i would argue is the greatest
deliberative body, the greatest embodiment of self-governance this world has ever known. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question is. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on questions previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. adoption of house resolution 770, ordering the previous question on house resolution 771, and adoption of house resolution 771 if ordered. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the adoption of house resolution 771 on which the --
770 on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar 122, house resolution 770, house resolution providing -- to establish an oversight board to assist the government of puerto rico, including instrumentalitys and managing its public finances and furps. -- and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the resolution. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker: the house will be in order. members will please take their seats. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir. i have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a letter received from ms. patricia wolf, elections administrator, state of ohio, indicating that, according to the preliminary results of the special election held june 7, 2016, the honorable warren davidson was elected representative to congress for the eighth congressional district, state of ohio.
signed, sincerely, karen l. haas, clerk. the speaker: the house will be in order. members, please take their conversations off the floor. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio seek recognition? ms. kaptur: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from ohio, the honorable warren davidson, be permitted to take the oath of office today. his certificate of election has not arrived, but there is no contest and no question has been raised with regard to his election. the speaker: without objection. will representative-elect davidson and members of the ohio delegation present hemselves in the well. all members will rise and the representative-elect will please approach and raise his ight hand.
do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely , without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? mr. davidson: i do. the speaker: congratulations. you are now a member of the 14th congress.
without objection, the gentlewoman from ohio, -- the gentlewoman from ohio is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: mr. speaker and members, it's my privilege to welcome congressman warren davidson, his wife, lisa, and their two beautiful children, rachel and zach, to washington, d.c. to the davidsons, their extended family and their friends who are here to support them, we all wish you hearty congratulations. to congressman davidson, on behalf of a grateful nation, i want to extend our gratitude for your many years of service in the united states army. thank you for your dedication to duty, honor and country. though i am dean of ohio's delegation, it seems just like yesterday when i was in your shoes. this moment will you never forget. you've worked hard to put together a winning coalition, to win a hard-fought campaign, and that takes the dead -- a
dedicated person and a very giving family to make the necessary sacrifices. to accomplish worthy objectives during your time in congress, you'll want to find issues that you can build coalitions around and then enlist others on both sides of the center aisle in that cause. perhaps the belft advice i can give you is -- best advice i can give you is to stay close to the people where you came from. in troy, ohio, clark, miami and butler counties, and as daniel webster's words inspire us through the ages, dedicate our efforts to a higher cause, developing the resources of our land, calling forth its powers, building up its institutions, promoting all its great interests and seeing whether we also in our day and generation may not perform something worthy to be remembered. welcome to the united states house of representatives and to warren and lisa and your family, and i would like to yield a minute or more to my ear colleague, the longest serving member on the
republican side, steve chabot from cincinnati. the speaker: the gentleman will suspend for a moment. members, staff, please, take conversation -- conversations off the floor. order. the gentleman is recognized. mr. chabot: thank you. i thank the gentlelady for yielding time and i want to thank her for her kind words to our now colleagueer warren davidson. as the two longest serving members from ohio, she and i worked together for many years and particularly on matters important to our great state, ohio, and i look forward to continuing to work with her in the future. mr. speaker, warren davidson is an american success story. born and raised in the great state of ohio, warren enlisted in the army right after high school and while serving in germany he witnessed the fall of the berlin wall. he impressed his superior officers with his dedication and leadership qualities and thus earned an appointment to west point. where he continued to excel -- compel, in fact, -- excel, in fact, finishing in the top 10% of his class. upon return to active duty, his
reputation earned him positioning in some of the army's most -- positions in some of the most -- in some of the army's most distinguished units. the 101st airborne division being one. for many people that would have been a successful career, but warren had more to accomplish. in 2000 he returned to ohio to help out with the family manufacturing business. to prepare himself to run the business he earned an m.b.a. from the university of notre dame, where not surprisingly he graduated with honors there too. warren brought the same work eth and leadership abilities that he -- work ethic and leadership ability that's employed in the army to grow and -- that he ememployed in the army to grow his family business. he has grown it to an enterprise employee below -- employing more than 200 people. and now warren brings the lessons that he learned and the wisdom that he gained both in the military and as a small business owner to the people's house. to congress. personally i think that the house will benefit tremendously from his experiences and i look
forward and i know you also will look forward to working with him. with that, mr. speaker, i'd like to welcome warren davidson, his lovely wife, lisa, and their children, zach and rachel, to the united states house of representatives. warren davidson. the speaker: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. davidson: mr. speaker, distinguished colleagues, honored guests, a pretty good welcome. thank you all. my new colleagues, surely you know how surreal this moment
is. not all of you had the same side of the special election, it's a little different. but you've all been here and been given the trust of your come represent them and serve here. i'm sure you understand how surreal it is, having already been here. i'm really honored today to have a lot of folks with me. we all know that politics is a team sport. and i have no greater teammate than my wife, lisa up there -- isa, up there. . r family was able to join us daughter, rachel, son, zach, has been able to come on the floor. took a fast route to the floor here. my sister, robin, her husband,
larry, and close to 100 other friends and family that were able to come here. so, having run campaigns, you all know that it takes maybe a battalion-sized element to put a whole campaign together. in some way they're representative of all the hard work that goes on to win a campaign. i could not have been here without them. thank you all. to really have come from the background, just enlisted in the army, going to west point, serving in some great units, growing small manufacturing companies, doing all these things that we heard about, is pretty nice. been focused on raising a family, growing kids. in october i was not planning to run for congress. to come from filing 10 minutes before the deadline, jumping into a very competitive race, i
understand that not a ton of you guys wanted the speaker's job and you got drafted. but about 15 other republicans wanted the district rep job. o it was very competitive. really thankful to have won the race and been able to come here and the really an honor to be able to stand here and talk with you guys, my new colleagues. i look forward to getting to know every one of you guys on both sides of the aisle. i hope you'll take the chance to get to know me. you can probably appreciate drinking from a fire you had hoast, i think i had about -- hose, -- from a fire hose, i think i had about two or three hours before my first meeting, while a lot of you guys had a couple of months, from november to january. really hope to get to know you all. the founders intended us to have a strong congress and especially with the presidential race the way it is, congress truly has an opportunity to show real leadership and to be able to have the chance to be here and do the work, incredibly
consequentialal, face the challenge, perhaps be part of solving some great things, is an incredible honor. let's get around to it. i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker: ubbeds clause 5-d of rule 20, the chair announces to the house that the whole umber of the house is 435. without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is the vote on ordering the previous question on house resolution 771, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 123, house resolution 771, resolution providing for
consideration of the bill, h.r. 5325. making appropriations for the legislative branch for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2017, and for other purposes. the speaker: the question is on ordering the previous question. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
are 181. the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. >> mr. speaker. i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a record vote is requested. those faring a recorded vote is requested. those in -- those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a railroaded vote is ordered. this will be a five-minute vote. fund fund -- [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentlemanfrom utah wish to be recognized? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material on h.r. 5278. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 707 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 5278. the chair appoints the gentleman from idaho, mr. simpson, to preside over the committee of the whole.
the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 52 8, which the clerk will report by title. clip a bill to establish an oversight board to assist the government of puerto rico in managing its public finances and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read for the first time. the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop, and the gentleman, mr. grijalva, each will control 30 minutes. the house will be in order. members will please take your conversations off the floor. members please take your conversations off the floor. the chair recognizes the gentleman from utah.
mr. bishop: thank you, mr. chairman. for introducing and allowing us one of the most significant bills that's going to come in here in a long time. it's going to be an excellent solution to a very, very difficult problem. i would like to introduce this by recognizing the sponsor of the bill, the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. duffy, for five minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. duffy: thank you, mr. speaker. i first want to thank congressman bishop and the whole resources committee for all of the hard work they've put in to this bill. this has been a months long process of working with democrats and republicans, the administration, treasury, puerto rican elected officials, all coming together to negotiate, discuss, to philosophize, and then eventually come up with what i think is an excellent resolution to the burning crisis in puerto rico. i want to take a moment to talk
about what's actually happening on the island. puerto rico is 73 -- is $73 billion in debt. that's over 100% of g.n.p. they have almost $2 billion of unpaid bills to their vendors. so what does that mean? it means that schools are closing down because we don't have fuel for energy in the schools or for school buses. hospital wings are closing, emergency vehicles aren't being run because the island doesn't have money to pay its bills. this is a true economic crisis tarks true humanitarian crisis that's taking place in puerto rico. so the question becomes does this institution act to help puerto rico or do we continue to negotiate and refine and tweak a bill that will never come to the floor that will never make it to the senate that will never gain the president's signature.
do we let the perfect be the enemy of the good? i think this is a great bill that's going to get puerto rico on a path to prosperity and opportunity, economic growth, that's going to help the people in puerto rico who have a dream of living in puerto rico stay in puerto rico. with their families and their communities. on the island that they love. but right now, there's despair. we have thousands of people leaving puerto rico every month to come to the mainland because there's no opportunity. . this is what debt does to economies. it absolutely crushes them. and it crushes people. so what do we do? we were we have a two-pronged approach. number one, the elected officials in puerto rico have known this issue has been coming for years. and haven't been able to get their hands around it. haven't had the political will to fix the problem.
and so we are going to put in to effect an oversight board, to actually work with the island government, to get its finances and its budgets under control. and that oversight board is going to have an opportunity to work on the debt restructuring, which is the second prong of this bill. $73 billion in debt. they can't pay it. people might want to wish that all the bond holders could be paid, they might dream about all the bond holders being paid, but the bottom line is, puerto rico doesn't have enough income to pay its bond holders. they can't pay their vendors, let alone their bond holders, so we set up a system where the island and the bond holders have a form in which to negotiate a settlement, a resolution, to this massive debt. if they can't come up with a resolution or a solution to the debt, they can access the court system and the courts can help them resolve the disputes in
regard to this massive debt. but if that system that's going to allow for debt restructuring and an oversight board that's going to bring puerto rico to a place of economic health. and when you can get to a place of economic health, you can start to have a conversation about economic growth. and when you have economic growth, you actually help people, you help families, you help communities. now, there are some who have said that this bill is a bailout. let me tell you what. i have a definition of a bailout and a bailout happens when this institution sends taxpayer money to somewhere else. or to somebody else. the bottom line is, this bill doesn't spend any taxpayer money bailing anybody out. there's no taxpayer money that's involved. we do here is say, hey, listen, if you invest in puerto
rican bonds and you might have got a great return on your bonds, but you maybe bought it 50, 60 cents on the dollar, you took that risk. and if there's a loss, you, the bond holder, are going to bear on that bond. but the taxpayers aren't going to bear that loss for you. i think this is a great exro age -- se, a great pack compromise, a great package that's going to bring economic health and growth back to puerto rico. i want to thank mr. pierluisi for all the insight he's given on what needs to be done to make this work and the elected politician, the speaker of the puerto rican house who has been so gracious with his insight into how we structure a package that that's going to grow puerto rico. i want to thank mr. bishop as well in resources and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself five minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. grijalva: thank you very much, mr. chairman. the united states flag has flown over puerto rico for more than a century. those born on the island are american citizens and more than 200,000 have served in the
united states military, including roughly 10,000 serving today. millions more live on the u.s. mainland, but consider puerto rico their home. mr. chairman, we're here today because our fellow americans are suffering and it is our constitutional responsibility to help them. they are suffering from the effects of a debt crisis more than a decade in the making. a devastating combination of mismanagement, unfair federal policies, and desperate budget cuts has destroyed the economy on the island. the monstrous burden of puerto rico's $70 billion debt is swallowing the funds needed to provide health care, education, transportation and public safety for the commonwealth's families. almost 100,000 people have left the commonwealth last year to look for better economic opportunities, which only makes the situation on the island worse. about 80% of children in puerto
rico live in high poverty areas, compared to about 11% of children on the mainland. the island's poverty rate is about 44% and unemployment is 13%. if congress fails to act, the island and its people face another decade of further economic and social collapse. that our fellow citizens of puerto rico should not be -- should not have to endure this coming humanitarian crisis. our colleague has described the status quo as a recipe to lose an entire generation to forced migration to the mainland. after six months of difficult bipartisan negotiations, four hearings and a series of draft bills, we are here today to consider h.r. 5278. h.r. 5278 will provide the tools necessary to get the economy of puerto rico on a more stable footing and allow the commonwealth to regain access to credit markets. the bill would allow
restructuring of all outstanding debt without favoring any particular creditor. require transparent audits, combined with annual fiscal plans and budgets. and temporarily pause the ongoing flurry of litigation to allow the oversight board to begin its work and create a space for voluntary negotiations. as i have said throughout this process, this is not a bill that i or democrats would have written. the oversight board is too powerful and is yet another infringement on the sovereignty of the people of puerto rico and they have a right to find it offensive. the provisions undermining minimum wage and overtime rules don't belong in the bill. what's worse, they threaten the effectiveness of the overall legislation. provisions that should be included, like full pension protections and earned income tax credit, equal funding for medicaid and zika response, are missing. but the reality is that this is the only bill that would attract enough support for my colleagues across the aisle to
pass. in a congress which they control. there is no other avenue available to address the crisis. this compromise is a bill we can and should pass. when measured against the perfect bill, this legislation is inadequate. when measured against the ing crisis in puerto rico, this legislation is vitally necessary. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 5278 and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. chairman. i am happy now to yield two minutes to one of the senior members of our committee, a senior member of his delegation, and someone who happens to be celebrating today not home his anniversary but also his birthday. what better way of giving a birthday present to the representative from alaska than to allow him to speak on the floor on the subject of puerto rico. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from alaska. the chair: the gentleman from alaska is recognized for two minutes. mr. young: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 5278
and may i commend mr. bishop, chairman bishop, for his kindness and recognizing my birthday and my anniversary. i'm quite proud of that. i'm 83 years old. i still can kick tails and take names. keep that in mind. but this is a bill that i do support. it's been worked together with the puerto ricans, it's been rked together with mr. pierluisi. i would say most all of the people involved in this recognizes not everything -- it's not everything we would want. but the bill that can help puerto rico today and now. it is not a bailout. that's for some people who keep saying it's a bailout. it does not allow taxpayer dollars to be used for paying down the puerto rican debt. i held a hearing for this in february, the problem in puerto ico, and the oversight board concept was clear, that was
needed, that was testified in favor of. i understand some reluctance in puerto rico. let's get this ship righted. once we get it righted, restacked, the sails full of wind, then puerto rico will have a chance. i do support the process. the bill combats the immediate yy sis. it will help -- immediate yy sis. it will help out -- immediate crisis. it will help out puerto rico. we need more long-term solutions, though, about the economic zones of puerto rico and how we improve the economy there so they can continue to grow. i want to compliment mr. duffy's amendment. i'll be with that, on mr. duffy and his work on this legislation. i do believe a hub zone is very necessary in the contracting program. and the people of puerto rico, as i mentioned, i've been involved on this floor of the house -- 15 years ago we had a vote about statehood. passed by one vote. i'm a big supporter of statehood. always have been. didn't occur. we didn't allow. but right now this problem has to be addressed. i do compliment mr. bishop again and mr. duffy.
members on that side of the aisle. let's take our american people and puerto rico and give them the recognition necessary. let's help them now so we can go forward. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. chairman. at this point i'd like to yield to the gentlelady from new york , representative velez kess, for five minutes -- velazquez, for five minutes. the chair: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for five minutes. ms. velazquez: thank you, grijalva.mber i just want to take this opportunity to really thank you for the important role that you have played throughout this process. mr. chairman, i rise in support of the bill. when i was elected to congress, i understood there will be tough votes. for me, this is one of those
votes. for those of us with ties to puerto rico, this is a profoundly personal issue. there is plenty of blame to go around for this situation. san juan has played a role. but washington and wall street have equally contributed to this crisis. it is a crisis that is already harming working families who call the island home. and if left unaddressed, it ill grow immeasurably worse. so, today we stand at a fork in he road. the bill before us empowers puerto rico to restructure 100% of its debt. the only other route sends puerto rico to the courthouse. where it will be at the mercy of creditors who will inflict further suffering on the island. now some will suggest that if
we oppose this bill, somehow a third option will magically appear before us. that is nonsense. the stark reality we now face promesa, her than there are no other options left. that does not mean that this is a perfect bill. it's not even close. it makes no sense. this bill includes an attempt to pay puerto rican workers less than those on the mainland. it is offensive that puerto rico must put a $375 million price tag for an oversight board its residents do not want. and the bill does not address economic growth incentives and health care parity, issues at the core of puerto rico's crisis.
t despite this, i see no alternative. if we do not act, puerto rico will unravel further. basic services are being cut and these cuts will deepen. more schools will close, more police and firefighters will be terminated. and those who will pay the price are puerto rico's most vulnerable, its children, its seniors, its working families. we have a profound responsibility to prevent this catastrophe from worsening. those suffering on the island are my brothers and sisters, my fellow puerto ricans. but my friends, they are also your fellow citizens. 200,000 puerto ricans have fought and shed blood in every
military conflict since world war i. now these citizens need our help. this is a responsibility we cannot ignore. you see, when the united states took puerto rico and, remember, we did not just obtain a pretty island, we also took on a responsibility to care for the people who live there. now, will the me say this -- let me say this, living up to that responsibility does not end with this vote on this bill today. decisions made by washington over decaded has corroded puerto rico's economy. it will require more work by congress. until we end the colonial