Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives 11072017  CSPAN  November 7, 2017 11:59am-2:00pm EST

11:59 am
so please tell us what is the board currently -- does the boorned currently have the tools necessary to facilitate efficient and effective recovery? ms. jaresko: i will try to be clear. i believe the board has the tools and promesa gives us the tools. that said, when there are disagreements, the use of those tools ends up in costly and time consuming litigation. today more than ever that time and that cost is not helping puerto rico. so we ask for clarity of the tools that we have. whether it is in the appointment of a c.t.o. through title 3, whether it is the implementation of our contract policy review or whether or not it is the implementation of the fiscal plans in full when certified. mr. la are a dore: so what -- mr. labrador: so what else do you need to be successful? ms. jaresko: i think we would appreciate a legislative affirmation of those and/or conditioning of appropriations on those powers as you see fit. >> you can continue watching this online at c-span.org as the house is about ready to
12:00 pm
gavel back in. take you live to the floor, and today work on a number of bills including legislation that would redefine the term "joint employer" to ensure that franchises and temp agencies are not held liable for the working conditions of employees. also today, several bills on veterans' medical care. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] cappingscappings. -- [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offer bird the guest chaplain, chaplain michael j. halliard, south texas veteran system, san antonio, texas. the chaplain: merciful and loving god, source of life and constant guide to your people, we ask your blessings on our esteemed representatives as they continue to help govern a course for our nation and its citizens.
12:01 pm
in these days of disrepute and impropriety, keep them steadfast in their deliberations. inspire them to continue their journey to promote the values upon which this great nation was founded. justice, liberty, equality, freedom, and peace. as your blessings of goodness transcend into a dynamic of creativity, help us to see signs of hope born of pain as we often find ourselves present in the midst of uncertainty and suffering. ay the vacuous space left by catastrophic occurrences open the minds and hearts of all to deeper compassion and a new level of human understanding. may all that is done here today be for our american democracy while reflecting your resplendent honor and glory. amen.
12:02 pm
the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? >> pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? mr. wilson: i nand the yeas and nays. the speaker: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will please rise. the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postpone the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from north carolina, mr. pittenger. mr. pittenger: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
12:03 pm
the speaker: without objection, the gentleman from florida, mr. rutherford, is recognized for one minute. mr. rutherford: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to introduce my colleagues to our guest chaplain for the u.s. house of representatives, reverend captain michael halyard of jacksonville, florida, previously of jacksonville, florida, i should say. upon his return from iraq just recently, he's been redeployed to san antonio, texas, and that is a loss for northeast florida. reverend halyard is a respected community leader who devoted his time to community, country, family and faith. reverend halyard serves as a staff chaplain and served as an assistant professor at the united missionary baptist church in jacksonville, florida. he's part of the army national guard where he served as chaplain since 2009. he serves his nation, leading worship services and by
12:04 pm
providing support for grieving families. mr. speaker, i ask my colleagues today to welcome reverend halward and may god bless him and our -- halyard and may god bless him and our nation and especially those who he may be serving in texas, particularly sutherland springs, texas, today. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, the administration has announced it will terminate temporary protected status, or t.p.s., for nicaragua with a, while extending this protection for honduras for nearly six months. an announcement on haiti's t.p.s. is coming.
12:05 pm
i am greatly worried about these decisions but over 100,000 honor durans and haitians -- hondurans and haitians could be forced to go back to the instability in their countries. or years the u.s. has been providing funding for honduras. and for haiti, which continues to be impacted by devastating natural disasters. this is precisely why congress enacted t.p.s., so that we can provide a safe haven to those who are unable to securely return to their home countries. mr. speaker, the decision to send these individuals back would be a setback to our lateral relations with those nations. i ask the administration to xtend t.p.s. to haitians and hondurans residing in our country.
12:06 pm
thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to shed light on the appalling state of our immigration detention centers. devoid of health services and basic medical standards, these i.c.e. facilities are cruel and inhumane. mr. quigley: these centers are also very expensive, daily operations cost $165 per detainee and $2 billion yearly. despite detentions that can cost nearly $9 a day. i.c.e. funding has doubled from the bush administration until today and transparency has fallen by the wayside under the current administration. all while conditions continue to deter yor ate. inhumane treatment of the undocumented cannot be rewarded with repeated budget increases.
12:07 pm
it goes against our country's most fundamental values and cannot continue. we must cut i.c.e.'s budgets until these concerns are addressed. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? mr. hultgren: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hultgren: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to honor mrs. jean gaines for her 40 years of service at the geneva chamber of commerce. under her leadership the chamber has grown substantially to the benefit of our community and to our state. to those who know jean gaines, she's described as intelligent, alert and fun-loving, a good mix of qualities to steer them. through hard work she's developed multiple festivals and business activities including the festival of the vine and the opening of the geneva visitor center. her contributions made the chamber a vibrant organization and a model for many other chambers throughout the state of illinois and the country.
12:08 pm
her family has also had a hand in the chamber's success. her husband, john, daughter, christine, and son-in-law, jerry, her son, mark and her grandsons jack and luke, have worked in countless events in support of our local business community. jean, congratulations on 40 great years of service. your hard work helps american businesses succeed and we're grateful and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition >> mr. speaker, i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and if necessary to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. mr. brown: mr. speaker, i rise against the g.o.p. tax plan that benefits the top 1% by raising taxes on millions of working families. it eliminates important tax incentives for middle-class families and those who strive to join the middle class. this bill would no longer allow americans to deduct interest on student loans, making college
12:09 pm
even more expensive. by capping the mortgage deduction, it keeps the american dream of owning your home in economically vibrant areas of my state out of reach. the bill ransacks medicare and medicaid by $1.5 trillion, and if you have a sick child or family member with disabilities or long-term medical needs, you'll struggle just to make ends meet. while the tax cuts for billionaires and corporations are permanent, the help for working families would disappear over time. raising taxes on middle class families isn't the kind of tax reform our country needs. this isn't the relief they were promised. this isn't the relief they deserve. working moms and dads can't simply hope that corporate tax cuts turn into profits that trickle down to them. mr. speaker, we need to invest in economic growth, not in hurting working families across america. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition?
12:10 pm
mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, ongratulations to ambassador haley, the former governor of south carolina, for lifting the resolution of lifting the cuban embargo. rather than bow down to the cuban communist dictatorship, ambassador haley stood up for them and for the oppressed people of cuba. the united states continues solidarity with the cuban people in the hope one day they will be free to choose their own destiny. the economic catastrophe of cuba is due to the communist totalitarianship, not the embargo. as cited by margaret thatcher, socialism will work until you run out of spending other people's money. ambassador haley's service has
12:11 pm
ushered in a new moral authority. donald trump's commitment of peace through strength will make the world safer for american families. along with vice president mike pence who is here in the capitol building today. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, are there students in our country who think college has become too affordable? parents who feel that saving for their children's education has become too easy? mrs. davis: i know my constituents would answer with a resounding no. why would anyone support a tax bill that would make college even more expensive for our students? when will we start working
12:12 pm
together to put interests of average americans before the interests of large corporations? according to the ways and means summary, the republican tax bill would increase the cost to students attending college by $65 billion, that's billion with a b, over the next decade. this administration promised to put money back in the pockets of americans who need it the most, and this misguided tax ill does the exact opposite. mr. speaker, education is a cornerstone of our global competitiveness, and this republican bill would only make college less affordable and less accessible. i urge my colleagues to reject this assault on the middle class. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? without objection, the
12:13 pm
gentleman is recognized for one minute. honor speaker, i rise in to dr. billy graham who celebrates his 99th birthday. the decision he made 83 years ago. mr. pittenger: on november 1, 1934, at a tent revival in charlotte, north carolina, young billy graham accepted jesus as his personal savior and committed his life to telling others about jesus' love and forgiveness. guiding his decision to impact countless lives around the world. while presidents have sought his counsel over many decades, dr. graham is remembered most for honoring and following his lord and master. on a personal note, i first met dr. graham back in 1971 when i served as his caddie at the byron nelson proapple. that was a fun time -- proam.
12:14 pm
that was a fun time but i admire his walk with jesus every fer since. happy birthday, dr. graham. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to the republican tax plan. this bill is nothing but a giveaway to america's wealthiest and corporations on the backs of the middle-class families. the g.o.p. tax plan gets rid of commonsense policies that the american people rely upon. ms. matsui: it eliminates the student loan deduction that helps young people pay for college. it eliminates the medical expense deduction which helps families dealing with diseases like alzheimer's afford care. it eliminates the deduction for teachers that helps them purchase supplies for the classroom, and it sharply reduces the state and local tax deduction that my constituents in sacramento rely upon. meanwhile, when the national
12:15 pm
debt grows as a result of the g.o.p.'s unfunded tax breaks, republicans will turn around and justify cuts to earn benefits like medicare and social security. middle-class americans shouldn't be punished so that the megarich and corporations get a break. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to commend president trump for his attention to the opioid epidemic sweeping our nation and his declaration of a public health emergency. as we work to address this epidemic, i was happy to welcome the director of the drug control policy to cecil county. my home state of maryland has been hit morely hard by the opioid crisis. mr. harris: last year 89% of all
12:16 pm
intocksation deaths in maryland were linked to opioid abuse and the use of opioids quadrupled over the last few years. governments are still pushing for the legalization of marijuana. it affects the brivense young adults and encourages the experimentation with other drugs. why should we increase access to an aticketive gateway drug? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i have grave concerns with the so-called tax plan the republicans are peddling.
12:17 pm
it should be kaled the working tax scam. working americans are being sold a bill of goods. mr. cardenas: this will not cut taxes for working, middle class families. s that tax cut for wall street and a tax hike for main street. what does your family get? more cuts for children's education. deep cuts to your health care. and deep cuts for life-saving emergency services. over 50 million tax paying households will pay more taxes every april 15 due to this tax scam. let me repeat that another way. this tax scam gets rid of credits and deductions for the middle class and keeps loopholes for corporations to shift your jobs overseas. mr. chairman, i'm completely opposed to this tax scam that cuts taxes for big corporations and forces big cuts to medicare, education and social security. this tax scam is wrong. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek
12:18 pm
recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. on saturday, the nation celebrates veterans day. originally called arm usties day, november 11, 1919, marked the end of world war i. in 1926, congress passed a resolution for an annual observance and november 11 became a national holiday in 1938. in 1954 it was renamed veterans day. mr. speaker, we all want to thank our slet rans for their service to this nation. there's no better way to do so than to care for them when they return home. that's why i encourage my colleagues to support the veterans ehealth and telemedicine support act, the vets act. this bill will be on the floor this afternoon and it will allow v.a. health professionals to practice telemedicine across state borders to care for more of america's veterans. this nation has the technology available today to provide care for veterans no matter where
12:19 pm
they reside. this bill upholds a promise to be there for our veterans. i urge my colleagues to support the vets act and work to give our veterans access to the best care possible no matter where they are. where they live. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize the -- a constituent of mine, dr. joaquin frank. dr. frank is a faculty member at columbia university who earlier this month, along with his international research colleagues was awarded a 2017 nobel peace prize in chemistry. dr. frank becomes the third constituent from my new york's 13th congressional district who has received this tremendous honor and crowning acheevement from the royal swedish academy
12:20 pm
of science. dr. frank's work and success is the foundation for scientists to explore and illuminate an almost imaginable world that exists beyond -- much beyond what you and i can imagine. we will see new medicines, curative therapies and access to more information than we have ever seen before. the true product and potential of unrelenting intellectual curiosity. mr. speaker, it is my pleasure to congratulate my constituent, dr. joaquin frank, and his research partners at the distinguished recipients of the 2017 nobel peace prize in chemistry. thank you and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection the gentleman s recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to
12:21 pm
recognize the volley -- to recognize diwali, known as the festival of lights, and the hindu new year. the hindu people come together dressed in their finest. they decorate their porches with colorful designs, preparing sweets and savories. on the night before diwali, they ask to have their ignorance expelled and enlighten their souls. lights, candles and fireworks are an integral part of the festivities. mr. fitzpatrick: i was honored to attend several celebrations in my district. as i traveled from celebration to celebration, i got to share in the absolute joy of my constituents as they celebrated with friends and with family. i was moved to be asked to participate in the lighting ceremonies and i was in awe of the beauty of the festivals. mr. speaker, i'm proud to represent a district that is so
12:22 pm
diverse and so rich in its culture. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> today i come to the people's house floor in strong opposition to the ryan-mcconnell billionaires first tax plan a plan that overwhelmingly benefits the super rich and well-connected in scam -- and scams the middle class and our most vulnerable americans. mrs. beatty: don't just take it from me. according to the institute on taxation and economic policy, working families in my home state of ohio will see their taxes increase by $1,000 per year. while the wealthiest americans, people like president trump, would see their taxes decrease by as much as $747,000, according to the tax policy
12:23 pm
center. and not to be overshadowed the tax policy center also includes at nearly 80% of the bills benefits the pockets of the wealthiest americans and it eliminates the medical expense deduction, student loan deduction and the new market tax credit. that does not seem like fairer taxes to me. instead of raising taxes on the middle class, what we should be doing is allowing for a better future, better opportunity, better jobs, and better wages for all americans. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to remember the life and contributions of judge robert lee burg jr. he was born in birmingham in 1932. he received his bachelor's degree from vanderbilt in 1954
12:24 pm
before attending the university of alabama school of law. he was in private practice in mobile for over 20 years and was later appointed circuit judge of mobile county. he was a dedicated member of the mobile community. during my time as an attorney in mobile, i had the privilege of practicing in his court where he conducted himself with immense dignity and professionalism. judge burg recently passed away but his impact will live on. mr. speaker, on behalf of the alabama's first congressional district, i want to share my deepest sympathies with his wife, mary, and his three daughters. judge burg will never be forgotten. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 206 the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 7, 2017, at 9:47
12:25 pm
a.m., that the senate passed, with an 5e789 -- with often amendment, h.r. 1370. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 3031. signed sincerely karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, by direction of the house committee on rules i call up house resolution 607 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 198. resolved, that at any time after adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2b 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. 3043, to modernize hydropower policy, 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
12:26 pm
one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on energy and commerce. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five minute rule. it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on energy and commerce now printed in the bill. the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. all points of order against the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. no amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute 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 whole.
12:27 pm
all points 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. any member may demand a separate vote in the house on any amendment adopted in the committee of the whole to the bill or to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. 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. section 2. upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill, h.r. 3441, to clarify the treatment of two or more employers as joint employers under the national labor relations act and the fair labor standards act of 1938. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on education and the workforce now printed in the bill shall be considered as adopted.
12:28 pm
the bill, as amended, shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill, as amended, are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any further 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 education and the workforce, and, two, one motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for one hour. >> mr. speaker, during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purposes of debate only. i now yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. byrne: house resolution 607
12:29 pm
provides for consideration of h.r. 503 and h.r. 3441, the save local business act. h.r. 3043 would modernize federal regulatory permit, processes for the licensing of hydropower projects, specifically the bill would designate the federal emergency -- federal energy regulatory commission, ferc, as the lead agency for these projects. i'm a proud supporter of an all of the above energy strategy that allows for not only american energy independence but for american energy dominance. hide row -- hydropower should be part of that strategy. in the pacific northwest especially, hydropower is a clean and reliable energy source that's particularly abundant. there's remarkable potential for the hydropower industry in this region and around the united states. in 2015, hydropower accounted for approximately 6% of total
12:30 pm
u.s. electricity generation and 46% of electricity generation from renewable resources. however, less than 3% of dams the u.s. produce electricity. that shows just how great the potential is here. through this legislation, we can help ease regulatory burdens and streamline the permitting process by naming ferc as the lead agency for coordinating all federal authorizations. this will result in balance and more timely decision making and reduce the current duplicative oversight regime. so how does this benefit the average american? well, having a reliable power source is essential to the world today. even more, this legislation also has the potential to lower energy costs and create good-paying jobs. by doing so we can help americans put away and keep more of their hard-earned money. .
12:31 pm
they employ a work force of 143,000 people and that number would certainly rise under the legs as we unlock our -- legislation as we unlock our potential. now, some of my colleagues have expressed concerns that this legislation could hurt the environment so i want to address that. first, hydropower is an entirely clean source of renewable energy. increasing hydropower production actually helps protect the environment and promote better public health. second, the legislation makes clear that these permitting reforms should have no effect on the clean water act, the fish and wildlife coordination act, the endangered species act, the rivers and harbors act, and the national historic preservation act. those laws and their protections will remain in place. this is simply about promoting a relyable power source, lowering energy costs, -- reliable power source, lower energy costs and unlocking the
12:32 pm
potential of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. this rule will provide for consideration of four amendments including one minority and one bipartisan amendment. the other bill covered by the rule is h.r. 3441, the save local business act. as the sponsor of this legislation, i am thrilled to see this body take an action to protect millions of jobs and provide clarity to america's workers. jesus said that no man can serve two masters, and there's real wisdom behind what he said as there's wisdom behind everything he said. his teachings are important every day, but that basic principle seems particularly important in the context of this legislation. for decades, there was a commonsense legal test that determined when two or more separate businesses could be considered joint employers and
12:33 pm
held jointly responsible for the same group of employees. employers had to share direct and immediate control over essential terms and conditions of employment. as a former labor and employment attorney who practiced in this area for decades, i can assure you this was the standard that everyone knew and appreciated. ell, in 2015, the activist national labor relations board issued a ruling that up ended this cornerstone of federal labor law and created a vague and totally unworkable new joint employer policy. making matters even worse and more complicated, federal agencies then incorporated the new standard in their regulatory agenda. under this new standard, two independent businesses could be considered joint employers if they make a business agreement that, quote, indirectly or
12:34 pm
potentially impacts their employees. under some of these standards, it could actually be reserved power. just think about the uncertainty and ambiguity this standard could cause. it's hard enough for people to even agree on what exactly those terms mean. imagine how confusing it is for main street businesses to understand and follow that. this is not some abstract issue. in fact, i have been hearing and talking with job creators and workers in my district about this for years. i've sat around the restaurant tables and heard real stories and concerns. bob, the owner of an oyster house in my own district, had this to say about the confusion caused by the new joint employer standard. he said, quote, if we hire an outside landscape company to keep our lawns lush, i could be considered a joint employer if i showed the landscapers where
12:35 pm
to mow. or if i contract a food supplier for certain ingredients, i could be part of a lawsuit if one of their workers complains about overtime pay. the uncertainty is nothing more than governmental overreach that is crippling eateries like his and discouraging growth throughout the restaurant industry, closed quote. this example is not unique in my district. these stories exist all over the country, from seattle, washington, d.c., to miami, florida, and we heard a whole bunch of them in the hearings we held in committee. this is why this bill has earned support from both sides of the aisle. this is not a partisan issue, but instead, this is about protecting jobs and providing clarity to workers. workers shouldn't have to wonder who their employer is. they deserve better than a vague and confusing rule that the american action forum found threatens 1.7 million jobs.
12:36 pm
even the progressive policy institute issued a statement saying that the expanded standard, quote, may do more harm than good, closed quote. i also want to make one thing perfectly clear. this legislation does not remove a single worker protection. all worker protections provided by the national labor relations act, the fair labor standards act, and the equal pay act, remain unchanged and are still available. i also want to dispel the myth that this legislation is some departure from the norm. in fact, this legislation simply restores the agreed upon legal standard that existed for decades. the reality is the new standard has so much confusion and ambiguity that no one really knows what the law is. there are at least nine different legal tests
12:37 pm
nationwide to determine joint employer status under the fair labor standards act, and there are more to come. this patchwork of standards creates regulatory uncertainty, especially for job creators doing businesses in multiple states. unfortunately, ultimately this legislation is about providing clarity to workers and job creators. it's about protecting the rights of workers and ensuring employers have clarity on their responsibilities to their employees. and it's about preserving the small businesses that are the backbone of our local communities. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support house resolution 607 and the underlying bills, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: well, thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from alabama, mr. byrne, for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore:
12:38 pm
without objection. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i rise in strong, strong opposition to this rule which provides for consideration of two deeply flawed pieces of legislation. h.r. 3043, the hydropower policy modernization act of 2017, is yet another attempt for them to not have people have safe and clean drinking water. it would undermine states' rights and tribal rights in deciding whether to grant or extend a license to operate a hydropower plant. simply put, this puts profits ahead of public interests. by giving the rubber stamp commission more power than other expert agencies, the bill rigs the process in favor of power producers at the expense of states, tribes and our environment. this bill prioritizes profits over clean water and healthy fisheries and should be strongly defeated. protecting our families and our environment should always be
12:39 pm
our first priority. in another giveaway to corporate interests, house republicans are also bringing to the floor this week h.r. 3441, the so-called save local business act, under the false claim that it eliminates uncertainty for workers and protects small businesses. the truth is a very different story, mr. speaker. joint employment standards ensure workers can hold employers accountable for violating wage and hour laws, child labor or refusing to collectively bargain. this bill represents a significant and dangerous break from that standard and would undermine the rights of american workers. this legislation rewards companies that rent employees from staffing agencies instead of hiring them directly and allows them to evade responsibility for upholding the rights of those employees even though they profit from their work. this bill is not about helping workers or small businesses. this is all about giving powerful companies even more power over their employees. mr. speaker, what's just as troubling as the content of the
12:40 pm
underlying bills is the process speaker ryan and his republican leadership team routinely use to call up this terrible legislation. today we are considering the 49th completely closed rule of the 115th congress. that's right. today house republicans are breaking their own record for the most closed session in congress in history. it's astounding. this is something you would celebrate in putin's russia, not here in the united states. since he first took the gavel in 2015, speaker ryan has continued to shamelessly break his promise to all -- his promise to allow a fair and open legislative process here in this house. and speaker ryan's first speech as speaker in october of 2015 he said, and i quote, we need to let every member contribute, open up the process, let people participate. the neglected minority will gum
12:41 pm
the works. a respected minority will work in good faith instead of trying to stop the majority, they might try to become the majority, end quote. speaker ryan and i disagree on a great many issues, but i strongly agree with what he said in that 2015 speech. we do need to let every member contribute and open up the process here in the house. we do need the majority party to respect the minority party so we can actually work together on bipartisan solutions. but in the two years since speaker ryan took the gavel, he has sadly failed to deliver on his commitment to open up the legislative process. things have only gotten worse. in fact, speaker ryan is the only speaker who has not allowed a truly open rule, to give members the opportunity and the chance to do what their constituents sent them to do, offer different perspectives and ideas on how to improve legislation. with each new closed rule they
12:42 pm
bring to the floor, shutting out amendments for both democrats and republicans, the cynical hypocrisy grows louder and louder. instead of the people's house this has sadly become only the people who agree with paul ryan's house. i guess my question for the speaker would be, did you mean what you said? did you forget all those promises you made? or did you absolutely have no intention of keeping those promises once you were in power? every single member of this house of representatives was elected to represent the people of their district. but we cannot do that if the party in the majority blatantly uses strong arm tactics like these that prevent us from doing our jobs. in 2015, speaker ryan also said, and i quote, we need to return to regular order. we are the body closest to the people. every two years we face the voters we represent them. we are supposed to study up and do the home work they cannot do. so when we do not follow regular order, when we rush to
12:43 pm
pass bills a lot of us do not understand, we are not doing our job. only a fully functioning house can truly represent the people, end quote. where do i begin? i mean, literally just a few months ago speaker ryan and the republican leaders of this house were recklessly steam rolling their health care bill to the house floor without holding anything close to the number of hearings that we held when the affordable care act was passed. instead, they led a haphazard process where the bill was drafted in secret behind closed doors, locked doors without any input from rank and file members of congress of the american people. mr. speaker, that is not regular order. that is unconscionable. that disrespects this house. and today we -- when asked by a reporter about this record breaking closed process, speaker ryan responded -- and let me quote him again. this is today.
12:44 pm
absolutely, we have an open process, end quote. really? let's review his record this congress. zero open rules. zero. 49 completely closed rules. open process, open process my foot, mr. speaker. i guess in the age of donald trump words simply don't matter anymore. black is white. up is down. open is closed. and politicians can say whatever they think sounds good and they think they can get away it, facts be damned. if speaker ryan was serious about a fair and open process, he would not turn this house into a rubber stamp of donald trump. he would let us be the independent voice to people of our districts elected us to be. he would not routinely shut out the voices of democrats and republicans. he would let this house actually debate the serious legislation and issues that come before us. with one closed rule after another on each bill that comes to the floor, speaker ryan has completely shut out both
12:45 pm
democrats and rank and file republicans, routinely blocking amendments we offer. this is not how the congress is supposed to work. our constituents deserve a congress that actually debates the bills that will affect their lives. they deserve better, and i refuse to sit by while the republican leadership makes a mockery of this house. american voices will not be silenced. you know, the speaker made grand promises of openness, inclusiveness and regular order, but we just lived through the most closed year in the history of this institution, and the year isn't even over yet, mr. speaker. republicans ought to remember that they will not always be in the majority. i don't think a democratic majority could be this bad on basic process, even if we tried. but any member who votes for this record breaking closed rule today had better not have crocodile tears for regular order and openness when they find themselves in the minority someday in the future. anyone who supports 49 closed
12:46 pm
rules and zero open rules in sangle year loses all credit -- in a single year loses all credibility on the issue of openness. my republican friends should be ashamed, ashamed of diminishing this house and diminishing its members and their thoughtful ideas. i urge democrats and i urge republicans to take a stand and vote no on this closed rule. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. byrne: i'm proud of the work the committee on rules has done and the leadership in this congress. unlike our democratic colleagues who would shut the doors and refuse to accept late amendments from members, the chairman of our committee has made it a point to ensure every single member as the opportunity to submit their amendments and come to the committee to share thoughts and concerns. under this model of transparency and openness, the committee has spent countless hour, countless hours, listening and considering
12:47 pm
member testimony. n fact, we welcomed over 330 members to testify this congress alone before the rules committee. we made in order 864 amendments, including 403 from democrats, 340 from republicans and 40 bipartisan amendments. unfortunately, our friends across the aisle have become more interested in derailing legislation than fixing legislation. for instance, they politicized open amendment process by offering poison pill amendments they had no intention of supporting regardless of outcome. these tactics have fundamentally changed the way we do business. instead of offering thoughtful ideas, their dilatory tactics are one purpose and one purpose only, to score political points. the rule committees will not let these political games get in the
12:48 pm
way of fulfilling the promises we made to the american people who elected this majority. that is why the chairman of our committee has made it a priority to listen to all members. i would ask all of you who ever come to the rule committees to watch our committee listening to all members. we were also committed to moving the pro-growth agenda forward. as a result of our efforts we have had a record of success in this house. we have passed almost 400 bills out of the house. this further underscore that the house is here to work. we are here to serve. and we're here to get results. but the proof is in the facts. john adams said facts are stubborn things. as of november 7 of this year, just the first session of this congress, we have provided for the consideration of 864 amendments on the house floor. under speaker pelosi, during the
12:49 pm
entire tie ty of the 11th congress, both session, she only made in order 778. you tell me who has an open house and who had a closed house. there's in shame on this side at all. there's great pride in the work we are doing for the american people and we're not going to let anyone get in the way of our making sure that we pull fulfill the promises we made. mr. speaker, i now yield five minutes to a distinguished member of the rules committee, the gentleman from washington, mr. newhouse. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. newhouse: first i want to thank my friend, the gentleman from alabama, for letting me participate in this very important debate today. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the rule. specifically, to voice my very strong support for one of the bills of the underlying legislation. that would be h.r. 3043. which is the hydropower policy modernization act of 2017.
12:50 pm
this legislation, which is sponsored and spearheaded by my good friend and fellow washingtonian, representative cathy mcmorris rodgers will improve the licensing process for the u.s. hydropower resources by promoting accountability as well as transparency. by requiring greater cooperation among federal and state agencies as well as reducing needless duplication of efforts. mr. speaker, i am a strong, steadfast supporter of hydropower. i admit that which has america's first renewable electricity source has provide our country with low cost, clean, reliable energy for over a century. my own home state of washington, nearly 70% of our energy is derived from hydropower. there are still some misguided, extreme efforts to breach our dams and remove these critical
12:51 pm
sources of eelect -- of electric generation, i believe that we need to increase our use of clean and renewable resources by passing this, the hydropower policy modernization act, we can take a very major step in doing just that. mr. speaker, ferc, or the federal energy regulatory commission, serves as the lead agency to coordinate hydropower reviews and convene stake holders to participate in a collaborative, transparent, public proceedings. however, ferc lacks the authority to improve hydropower licensing processes. including the ability to resolve disputes among agencies and enforce scheduling deadlines. far too often it is those federal and state agencies as well as other bureaucratic bodies that stand in the way of moving these licensing efforts forward. in fact, in response to a house energy and commerce committee subcommittee hearing, ferc
12:52 pm
reported that there are 26 cases, separate cases, where the commission has finished its environmental review and is currently waiting for action to be completed by another agency before ferc can issue a decision on any particular project. mr. speaker, the licensing process for these projects should not be taking 10 years or more. natural gas fired facilities and other energy vors being approved in considerably less time. meanwhile, less than 3% of the dams in this country produce electricity. so i will continue to support efforts to increase hydropower generation that will provide our country with reliable, stable, and clean energy. we can usher in a new era of u.s. energy independence derived from our very first renewable energy source by streamlining these processes.
12:53 pm
so i urge all of my colleagues support this rule and particularly its underlying legislation, h.r. 3043, the hydropower poll city modernization act of 2017. i want to thank mr. byrne and also thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back me balance of my time. -- yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: the gentleman from alabama said how proud he is of the rules committee and the process in this house. oh my god. the fact that the gentleman would get up and say that with a straight face, i mean you take my breath away. it is unbelievable. it is unbelievable. today we are considering our 49th closed rule of the 115th congress. officially making this the most closed session in congress. in history. and the gentleman is proud of that more than half of the rules republicans reported out of the rules committee have not allowed
12:54 pm
any amendments. that means that no member, democrat or republican, can offer their ideas on the house floor. the gentleman says, well we're just, we want to prevent killer amendments from being made in order. so all the republicans that offer amendments in the rules committee have killer amendments? it's ridiculous to say that about the democratic amendments. and in total, just so the gentleman understands this, in total the rule committees has blocked more than 1rks300 amendment this is year. 1,300. they're all killer amendments? they're all not deserving of debate in the people's house? we blocked 1,300 amendments, including 955 democratic amendments. you blocked 260 republican amendments. 121 bipartisan amendments. you know, blocking these amendments has a very real impact. a bad process produces bad policy. shutting out input from the vast majority of members both democrats and republicans may make it easier for you to jam
12:55 pm
your agenda through the house but that speed comes at the expense of the policy itself. when you block amendment, you're shut do you think debate on incredibly important issues. issues that this house of representatives should be debating and voting on. here are a few examples of germane amendments that the majority didn't think were worthy of a debate and an up or down vote in the house. these are totally in order. my bipartisan amendment to require a presidential determination and congressional action to increase troop levels in afghanistan. longest war in american history. thought that maybe it's worth some debate. ier main. the rules subcommittee said no to that. a bipartisan amendment to phase out the 2001 authorization for the use of military force. blocked that. and the amendment to ensure the u.s. doesn't withdraw from the paris climate agreement. i know my republican friends think climate change is a hoax, they don't believe in science, but you know what?
12:56 pm
you ought to have the guts to debate it but you blocked it. blocked an amendment prohibiting funding for troops in syria. blocked an amendment to create the national russian threat response center. and the list goes on and on and on. these aren't killer amendments. these are important issues that get blocked time and time again. so these issues are at the very core of our responsibilities here in congress. you blacked them from even being -- you blocked them from even being considered by the full house. this congress and this congress -- in this congress the majority has blocked over 1,300 amendments from coming to the floor. you're proud of that? that's disgraceful. i truly hope that breaking the closed rule record is a wakeup call and that some of you over there will decide to do things a little differently around here and a little better around here, starting next week with your tax bill, but i'm not going to hold my breath. mr. speaker, at this point i'd like to yield two minutes to the
12:57 pm
gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. the speaker pro tempore: the chair would request that all members direct their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, i want to urge members to vote no on the republican effort to roll back the joint employer rule that the obama administration promulgated. this joint employer rule is an attack on workers an it's an attack on franchisee businesses. for people watching, mr. speaker, understand that when a franchisor, when a the big headquarters, tells a franchisee, we're going to tell you the size of the sandwich, going to tell you the kind of oil to use, how to schedule your workers, we are going to basically control your enterprise though you're supposed to be an independent business, what the obama
12:58 pm
administration says is we're going to treat you as if you're joint employers. if there's a wage theft or if there is unfairness on the job or if there's some problem that comes up with workers, then the company, the big company the headquarters will be also held responsible for solving the problem. what the republicans do today, mr. speaker, is say, no. we might impose all these conditions on you per the franchisee agreement but if there's problems, it's going to be your problem, franchisee. this is absolutely unfair. workers are going all over this country, trying to get higher wages, there's a whole movement for them to get livable wages for people who work, every single day and our -- at our fast food chains, they're going to their local franchisee owners to asking for those -- to ask for those wages if but if the franchisor says you can't pay
12:59 pm
any more than this, we're going to restrict you in a multimillion number -- multiple number of way, we're going to make you sell food items at a cost you can't sustain, like the dollar menu, those things cost more than $1 folks. but the big headquarters says you've got to only charge $1 as a promotion. the fran tchiese has to eat that. -- the franchisee has to eat that. when workers say we need more money, the big company makes that impossible. then workers are left holding the bag along with the franchisee. the joint employer rule holding both sides responsible for those wage thefts or pay for hours, these things make a more fair process and require the big headquarters to take responsibility as well. so we are to -- we urge a no on this. this is an anti-worker bill. this is an anti-small business bill which is somewhat surprising to me given that my friends on the other side of the aisle say they're for small business. but really, they're just for big business. if you have any doubts about
1:00 pm
that, look at the tax bill they're putting out there i guess i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. byrne when i was given statistics earlier i left one very important one out. of the almost 400 bills we passed in this house this year, 80% of them have been bipartisan. 80%. so this record production of bills we have had in the house this year has benefited both sides of the aisle as we have worked together to come up with commonsense policies for the american people. of am very, very proud that work and that progress we have made in this house. the gentleman from minnesota acted as if of that this bill, the save local jobs bill, is something to benefit big companies. let me tell you who i -- virtually all of us supporting this bill have heard from. small businesses in our district that are begging us to pass this bill. i have had dozens of meetings in
1:01 pm
my own district. i know of hundreds of meetings have been held across the country between members of this house on both sides of the aisle and small business in their districts, please pass this bill. this isn't for the big businesses in america. this is for the small main street businesses in our communities. and for the people that work there. at this time, mr. speaker, i would like to yield two minutes to one of the newest members of the house, already made a distinguished mark here, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. norman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. norman: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in adamant support of the rule and particular h.r. 3441, the save local business act. let me say for my good friends from massachusetts, the amendments that he's referring to that have been rejected, they have been rejected because they are against small business and for big government, which the mesh voters -- american voters have rejected and will continue to reject. it may be cliche to say that
1:02 pm
small and local businesses are economy, butof our at the end of the day there is no denying that statement. small businesses truly are econt the engine that keep our economy moving. when they suffer, our whole economy suffers. just take the last eight years with the minimal growth we have had. since 2015, with a national labor relations board adopted and the definition of the joint employer standard, upending decades of precedent and redefining who an definitio is, there's been much confusion and ambiguity. for example, since then there have been over 65,000 letters sent to congress expressing confusion and asking for clarity in the aftermath of this rule. this is unacceptable. locally-owned franchises are america's unseen small businesses. in my district alone, the fifth district in south carolina, there are roughly 2000 establishments that provide over
1:03 pm
15,000 jobs with an economic input -- output of over $1 billion. small business development, economic growth, and entrepreneurs will continue to be hurt by the national labor relations board's excessive broad definition of the term, joint employer. ntil congress finds a concrete solution with this piece of legislation, it will continue to do so. this bill, mr. speaker, provides clarity for small and local businesses solution with this piece employer, nt as to what it meas necessary clarity for employers and employees alike. i strongly encourage all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bipartisan bill helping small business all across the nation. i congratulate the congressman alabama for proposing this bill employers and employees alike. i strongly encourage all i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized.
1:04 pm
mr. mcgovern: i yield to the gentleman from minnesota for a unanimous consent request. mr. ellison: i offer this letter from the united steel workers urging a no vote on the joint employer bill. and submit this for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: thank you. mr. speaker, i'd like to ask unanimous consent to insert into the record a letter from the signatureor wall and ceiling contractors alliance which say this legislation would not benefit small businesses. that create good jobs. it actually would place such employers at a permanent competitive disadvantage to inscrupulous companies that seek to thrive solely at the expense of their workers and taxpayer funded social safety net programs. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. i mcgovern: mr. speaker, would also -- i want to go back to this point i have been making about how this is now officially the most closed congress in histry. and -- i history. --
1:05 pm
i think people need to keep that in mind before they vote for rule. the chairman from alabama, in this age of trump history. i think people need to keep that in mind before they vote for rule. the chairman from alabama, in this age of trump you can twist things all kinds of different ways. brag about all this great bipartisanship here. in that number that he was referring to, number of bills that were supported in a bipartisan way, a big chunk of them are things like naming post offices. suspension bills that are not controversial. hats off to teachers day. histo i think people need those types of bills. but on major legislation whether it's health care or whether -- this crummy tax bill they'll be bringing up, this place is polarized because they block out any competing ideas. let me again reiterate for my colleagues, the rules committee has blocked more than 1,300 amendments this year. that's just this year alone. i already mentioned amendments on the aumf, climate change, afghanistan, and more. i think those are important subjects. the members offering these amendments, i think no matter what you believe about these amendments, deserve the right to be heard by the whole house and
1:06 pm
to receive and up or down vote. here are a few more examples of the germane amendments that my friends on the republican side on the rules committee blocked under the closed instruction rules. they blocked an amendment to prohibit the repeal of daca. 800,000 people, lives now are in the balance because of donald trump rescinding the protection for these dreamers. he said congress, do you it. you fix it. well, we tried to bring an amendment to the floor to have a debate and fix it, and if my republican friends don't want to vote for it, vote no. but they blocked t they blocked an amendment to bar funds from being spent on the stupid idiotic wall the president seems enamored with along our border. they blocked an amendment to increase funding to fight rural domestic violence and child abuse. they blocked several amendments to ensure the trump family doesn't profit off the presidency. we all know that they are.
1:07 pm
we can't even have that debate. they blocked an amendment to protect asylum seekers and human trafficking victims. they blocked an amendment to ensure victims of incest can have access to abortion care. i could go on and on. they blocked -- congressman grothman's budget amendment twice. he's a republican. it was germane. he even testified before the rules committee, but you blocked t last week you blocked representative jimmy duncan's amendment to allow doctors to practice medicine out of state on a volunteer basis. germane. it may be a good idea. deserves to be debated. you blocked it. is that a poison pill? is that what the gentleman was referring to? process matters. it matters for this reason, because when you have a lousy process, you end up with a lousy product. i know it's not sexy to talk about process, but it is important.
1:08 pm
it is important that we do our jobs, we debate these issues, and then we listen to democrats and republicans come before us ideas, some we may agree with, some not, but let's have that debate. what is wrong with that? a radical idea ideas, some we in this place? to get up and say i'm proud of this? i'm proud that we're now the most closed congress in the history of our country? that's something to be proud of. i think that's something to be ashamed a radical of. and i think it diminishes this house of representatives and diminishes every single member of this house, democrats and republicans alike. this is supposed to be a deliberative body, let's deliberate. let's not negotiate things in the backroom and then rush it to the -- -- to the floor. you don't have a monopoly on good ideas. there are people in your own party that have good ideas, and i think we do as well.
1:09 pm
if you want true bipartisanship and end the polarization, open the process up a little bit. that would be helpful. my time. i reserve the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. byrne: i'm very pleased and proud of the bipartisanship we have had in this house this year to pass these bills. let me note just two very substantive bills. one last week and one today. last week we passed a bill that got rid of this ipab group that will take money, proposed to take money out of medicare. it was co-sponsored by 45 democrats and dozens and dozens of democrats voted for it on the floor last week. today the save local business act is bipartisan in its sponsorship and i predict on the vote on the floor today. how important is that? let me read to you just a few of the organizations that support this bill. the american hotel and lodging association. the asian american hotel owners association. associated builders and
1:10 pm
contractors. associated general contractors. the u.s. chamber of commerce. the coalition for a democratic workplace. the coalition to save local businesses. the latino coalition. national association of home builders. national association of manufacturers. national association of chain restaurants. federation. il u.s. travel association. the capital research center. generation opportunity. hispanic leadership fund. the independent women -- institute for liberty. james madison institute. the national taxpayers union. the tea party nation. food marketing institute. national franchisee association. national apartment federation. u.s. travel association. the association. retail industry leaders association. and the workers fairness institute. coy have dozens and dozens more -- i could have dozens and dozens more. the truth of the matter is these are very important bills we bring to the floor and most are bipartisan. the ones we have today are bipartisan bills. mr. speaker, i would say to you that this house has a lot to be
1:11 pm
proud of of the great work we have done this year. and i'm most proud of the fact that in most of those cases we have been working together. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: we can work together and come together in a bipartisan way to pass a post office bill, to name a post office after somebody. but my friends didn't think it was important to come together and work with us on improving the affordable care act. otally cut out of the process. and i'm willing to bet that when the tax bill comes up, the tax bill that's going to give wealthy people a and i'm willing to bet big tax and raise taxes on a lot of middle income families, that will be a very closed process as well. yeah, hats off to teachers day. naming post offices. stuff that, you know, i mean western civilization as we know it doesn't hinge upon. there's lots of bipartisanship here. had a couple of bills
1:12 pm
yesterday that passed unanimously. we had votes on them. hey were not noncontroversial. -- they were noncontroversial. there is no bipartisanship or openness here. let me repeat so my colleagues understand this. this is the most closed session of congress ever, ever in history. and the year's not even over yet. today we're considering the 49th closed rule of the 115th congress. officially making it the most closed session of congress in history. more than half of the rules the republicans have reported out of the rules committee have not allowed any amendments. they blocked over 1,300 amendments. speaker ryan now is the only speaker who is not allowed an open rule. boehner, pelosi, hastert, and gingrich allowed open rules. this is the first time we never had one. so, mr. speaker, again i would say to my colleagues process
1:13 pm
matters. this is really a sad day for this house, for this institution. and i hope my republican friends think about it a little bit because you are doing great damage to this institution. that makes me very, very sad. with that i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. byrne: when we adopt this rule--let me tell you who will be happy, tens and thousands of small businesses and their employees across america. that's going to be happy. you know what? we're not here to make ourselves happy. we're here to make the people that sent us here and expect us to do their business, we're here to make them happy. we're going to make them happy today as we have done over and over again this year by passing legislation that works for them not for us. so there may be some unhappiness in the room because we have made
1:14 pm
every little amendment in order for this floor. we even made the amendments that mattered to the american people. more importantly we passed legislation that matters to the american people. i'm very proud of that. and the american people indeed are happy. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i want to remind my colleagues as well, the bill the gentleman from alabama was talking about, his bill, in the rules committee last night, the rules committee thought it was appropriate to block three germane amendments from the ranking member of the ed and labor committee. that's the process that we're dealing with here. the ranking member of that committee cannot -- does not have the opportunity to bring his ideas to the floor and debate them and get a vote up or down on it. that is not right. the rules committee, unfortunately, is becoming a place where democracy goes to die. where every good idea is routinely shot down and it has to stop.
1:15 pm
mr. speaker, i'm going to ask my colleagues to defeat the previous question. i want to say to my colleagues that a month ago i stood at this very podium following our nation's deadliest mass shooting in las vegas asking my colleagues to defeat the previous question so we can begin to study gun violence. and now i stand here again and yet another unthinkable tragedy begging my colleagues to allow us to take this small first step following sunday's deadly mass shooting at first baptist church in texas. 26 people in that church lost their lives to gun violence and that's from one single shooting. on an average day 93 americans are killed with guns. i'd like to ask my colleagues, again, what will it take? if the deaths of those children in sandy hook weren't enough for congress to take action, if the 49 lives lost in orlando weren't enough, if the 58 lives lost in las vegas weren't enough, and if the 26 lives lost in texas on
1:16 pm
subaren't enough, then nothing may be -- then nothing may ever be enough for congress to have the courage to dot right thing. i'm -- to do the right thing. i'm hoping that's not true. today we can decide to take the first step in fighting gun violence with one vote f we defeat the previous question i will offer an amendment to the le to bring up h.res. 367, it's time that we start having serious discussions about this problem. moments of silence, calls for prayer are not enough. we have been doing that. it's time for us to get serious. i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my amendment and extraneous material into the record immediately prior to the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. byrne: i have no further speakers, i'm prepared to close. if the gentleman is prepared to close, i will reserve and allow him to do so.
1:17 pm
mr. mcgovern: how much time do i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 7 minutes remaining. mr. mcgovern: we are bringing to the floor today two bills that i think are bad bills, but nonetheless they represent the thinking of the republicans in charge of this congress. but what is particularly distressing to me is that on one of those measures, it's being brought to the floor under a completely closed process. as i mentioned last night, the chairman, the ranking member of the ed and labor committee came before the rules committee to offer three germane amendments and the rules committee said no. you don't have the right to have a debate on your ideas even though they're perfectly germane on the house floor. i think that's housey -- i think that's lousy. as a result we come today and make history. this is now officially the most closed congress ever in the history of our country. and my friends on the other side of the aisle are getting up and
1:18 pm
talking about how proud they are. they talk about bipartisanship. what they don't tell you is most of the bipartisanship are on things that really don't mean a lot. naming post offices, bills that ass by, you know, 435-0. on big things, on important issues, they block us. i mentioned some of the things they blocked. i know a lot of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle care deeply about the dreamers. since donald trump decided to throw their fate into the balance. they want to do something to help these young people who -- many of whom came when they were 1-year-old 2 years old, and know no other country as their home but this country. we tried to fix that legislatively. as the president said he wanted us to do. and the republican majority blocked us. they blocked us. we tried to offer an amendment
1:19 pm
again to say let's not invest a gazillion dollars on a stupid border wall, let's invest in our people. let's build up our infrastructure. let's construct the finest rail way system in the united states, in the world, over the next decade and they blocked us. we had an amendment to increase funding to fight rural domestic violence and childhood abuse, they blocked us. we had an amendment to say, we need to ensure that this culture of corruption we see in the white house doesn't grow even bigger. that the trump family doesn't benefit from the taxpayers. they don't benefit financially from the taxpayers. and we were blocked on that as well. then we've been blocked on amendments to debate wars that have gone on for years and years and years. the war in afghanistan is endless, the longest war in american history, we can't have a debate on the floor. we're told it's not important, it's not the right time. the bottom line is, what my
1:20 pm
friends on the other side of the aisle are doing is they're running this place in a very authoritarian way. saying it's our way and that's it. it's our way or the highway. and you don't matter. well, we've had enough. we've had enough of being shut out. and we're not going to shut up. we are not going to sit by and allow this pattern of closed rules and closed processes to continue without a protest. this is a serious matter. and for the speaker of the house and his press conference to get up and say, we have a very open house. i mean, where is he living? that does not reflect the reality. maybe donald trump can say those kinds of things that don't reflect reality but the speaker of the house ought to know that today under his leadership this has become the most closed house ever. and it diminish this institution
1:21 pm
and diminishes every single member of this institution. so vote no on this rule. i urge my republican friends who care about process, who want this place to be more deliberative, to vote no. send a message to your leadership that you've had enough. you want more bipartisan legislation, you want a less polarized congress, open the process up a little bit. i have news for you, if you do, maybe the popularity of congress will go up a little bit. i mean, i think we're at like 12% or 13%. maybe we might get up to 15% or 16%. but it's the right thing to do. i mean this is not the way we're supposed to run the legislative body. when you do it this way you end up with lousy legislation. your health care bill was a disaster. reflect nod input from anybody. thank god the senate said no to it. and we see the same thing going on with the tax bill.
1:22 pm
i urge my colleagues to vote no on the previous question, so maybe we can bring up a little bit of a debate on the need for a select committee to study gun violence but please vote no on this please send a message to republican leadership that enough is enough. we're tire of of these closed rules. with that, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair would again ask members to direct remarks to the chair. with that, i recognize the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: mr. speaker, this has been a very open process. at the beginning, you recognized me for an hour. and i gave, as is customary, half of my time to the other side so that they could present their side. in our committee, the rules committee, we let anyone who wants to come, any member who wants to come, and basically say whatever they want to say for as long as they want to say it. we don't really have any rules
1:23 pm
in the rules committee because we want to have it so open, we want to give everybody such an opportunity that we let everybody come and say whatever they want. and then we take it all into account and we make some amendments in order and some ol not. because we've done our job so well this year, we've had so many bills before this house, the house has passed them all, that this house is just about a record breaking house in terms of what we're passing. and yes, our friends over in the senate haven't passed a lot of them. i don't think the american people like that. i think the american people want the senate to get to work like the house has been at work. no, i will not yield. i will not yield. this is important work. and we're here to do it. and not play games. the bills that are under this rule are very important bills. i heard a lot about climate change. the gentleman may suggest that people on our side of the aisle don't understand science.
1:24 pm
i'm not a scientist but i do understand climate change. i do understand from the people that are worried about it a lot of people are legitimately worried about it, the one thing you can do about that is have alternative sources of energy. hydroenergy is one of those sources. you don't release any carbon molecules in the air when you generate electricity using water. so one of the things -- one of the bills addresses that. the other bill, my bill, to save the local business act, it's a very important bill. a bipartisan bill. there are bipartisan sponsors on this bill. and as i said earlier, there are tens of thousands of businesses arn america, hundreds of thousands of employees at those businesses, that are aching for us to pass this bill. so far from being small things that don't matter, and by the way, saying nice things about teachers isn't a small thing. i think it's a big thing. these are important pieces of legislation. i'm proud of the work this house
1:25 pm
has done to make sure we consider and pass them. mr. speaker, i again urge my colleagues to support house resolution 607 and the underlying bills. i wreeled back the balance of my time and move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. 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. mcgovern: on that, 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 rizznch, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 and clause 89 of rule 20, this -- and clause 9 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote will be followed by five minute votes on adopting the resolution, ifed or ertered, and agreeing to the speaker's aproufl -- approval of the journal. this is a 15-minute vote.
1:26 pm
[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.]
1:27 pm
1:28 pm
1:29 pm
1:30 pm
1:31 pm
1:32 pm
1:33 pm
1:34 pm
1:35 pm
1:36 pm
1:37 pm
1:38 pm
1:39 pm
1:40 pm
1:41 pm
1:42 pm
1:43 pm
1:44 pm
1:45 pm
1:46 pm
1:47 pm
1:48 pm
1:49 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 233, the nays
1:50 pm
are 182. the previous question is ordered. the question season -- is on adoption of the resolution. all in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes -- >> mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will stand. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
1:51 pm
1:52 pm
1:53 pm
1:54 pm
1:55 pm
1:56 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 232, the nays are 180.
1:57 pm
1:58 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 233, the nays are 182. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
1:59 pm

38 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on