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tv   U.S. House of Representatives 11072017  CSPAN  November 7, 2017 1:59pm-4:00pm EST

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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 225. the nays are 184. with three answering present. the journal stands approved.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on armed services be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 3891, and ask for its immediate consideration by the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3897, a bill to amend title x united states code to provide for the issuance of the gold star installation access card to the surviving
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spouse, dependent children, and other next of kin of a member of the armed forces who dies while serving on certain activity or reserve duty to ensure that a remarried surviving spouse with dependent children of the deceased member remains eligible for installation of benefits to which the surviving spouse is previously eligible, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the consideration of the bill? without objection, the bill is engrossed, read a third time, and passed. and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the house will be in order. members, if you would take your discussionings off the floor -- discussions off the floor.
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the house will be in order. members please take your discussions off the floor and be eated. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to pursuant to clause 8 suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered. or votes objected to under clause 6 of rule 20. the house will resume proceedings on postponed questions at a later time. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3911. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 281, h.r. 3911, a bill to amend the securities exchange act of
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1934 with respect to risk-based examinations of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from michigan, mr. huizenga, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. huizenga. mr. huizenga: thank you, mr. speaker. first, i'd like to point out the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. please take your conversations off the floor. the house will be in order. the gentleman may proceed. mr. huizenga: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask knack that all members may have five legislative days to evise and extend their remarks
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and to include extraneous materials on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. huizenga: thank you. mr. speaker, nationally recognized statistical rating organizations, or nrsro's as they are known, have been heavily criticized for the role that they played in facilitating the financial crisis. in the years leading up to the crisis, the government adopted a series of policies that had the effect of conferring a quote-unquote, good housekeeping seal of approval on the rating agencies and their products. including designating certain agencies as nationally recognized, a label they put on, and hard wiring references to their ratings into numerous federal statutes and regulations. these regulatory privileges and the perception that the government had placed its blessing on the rating agency's assessments led to a sense of complacency among investors and
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a failure of private sector due diligence that contributed to mispriced risk and a collapse of market confidence when ratings of certain asset-backed securities were called into question during the prime credit meltdown of 2007 and 2008. mr. speaker, i'd like to point out the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: please take your conversations from the floor. the gentleman may proceed. mr. huizenga: thank you, mr. speaker. as a result, the dodd-frank act mandated myriad regulatory requirements on these nrsro's aimed at enhancing their disclosure and transparency. while some of these provisions may have been constructive, several created new barriers tonetry and further entrenched the type of rating agency that served investors or the
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economy well. the dodd-frank act follows a quote, registration not regulation approach, while it does not require the served s.e regulate or evaluate the rating agency's methodologies or models, it does seek to ensure that ratings are based on an objective application of the methodologies and that commercial considerations do not influence ratings decisions. specifically, section 932 creates the office of credit ratings at the securities and exchange commission which imposes more stringent conflict of interest regulation on credit rating agencies and gives the compliance officers at these rating agencies additional responsibilities including filing annual reports with the s.e.c. while credit agencies must be held accountable, these increased reporting requirements have a burden, have given a burden to small credit rating agencies and have hurt investors who bear the true costs of these rules. that one size fits all annual reporting requirements imposed by dodd-frank on all nrsro's placed unnecessary burdens and
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compliance costs on small nrsro's that there is a -- who in no way were a cause of the financial crisis. as a result of the annual reporting requirements, large nrsro's that can absorb these compliance cost vs. gotten bigger and -- costs have gotten bigger, and smaller nrsro's for whom these compliance costs really impose a disproportionate burden, they have been prevented from entering the marketplace and providing necessary competition. on may 15 of 2013, former securities and exchange commission chair mary joe white, wrote a letter on behalf of a unanimous commission to chairman hensarling of the financial services committee to request the provisions of h.r. 3911 as a legislative proposal, and i quote, rather than focusing on each of the designated eight review areas, allowing a risk-based approach would permit this s.e.c. staff to tailor examinations, as a result staff could focus limited
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resources on these specific risks rather on each of the tha designated eight areas, some of which may not present a risk for a particular firm. close quote. consistent with former chair white's request, h.r. 3911, statutorily changes the annual reporting requirements so that they are risk-based instead of requiring the burdensome review of all eight review areas currently mandated. this approach is a commonsense balance that still ensures large nrsro's are regulated while smaller nrsro's are provided necessary relief to enter and thrive in the marketplace. the legislation unanimously passed the financial services committee last month, and we're was pleased to be part of that. at this time i'd like to commend the party works of representatives wagner and mr. foster of was pleased to be par important bill. i encourage all my colleagues to vote in favor of h.r. 3911. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves.
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the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee, is recognized. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. kildee: i think the house should note that the speaker and two gentlemen controlling the time are from the greatest state, great state of michigan. i think we're in good hands. i rise today in support of h.r. 3911 which is offered as my colleague has said in a bipartisan fashion by representatives wagner and foster. this legislation would allow the securities and exchange commission to focus on the most high risk areas when conducting examinations of certain credit rating agencies known as nationally recognized statistical rating organizations. credit rating agencies did, in credit rating fact, play a central role in the subprime mortgage meltdowns by routinely assigning inflated
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credit ratings to high-risk structured mortgage products. these ratings which were issued by agencies operating under conflicts of interest allowed banks to assume unreasonable amounts of risk and resulted in the loss of trillions of dollars when the mortgages underlying those risky investments began to default. in the wake of the ensuing financial crisis, the dodd-frank act strengthened oversight of credit rating agencies, including by directing the s.e.c. to create an office of credit ratings responsible for conducting annual examinations of the rating organizations. currently, each rating organization examination must include review of eight topic areas designed to assess the adequacy of each agency's internal controls, conflicts of interests, and rating
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methodologies, among other areas. this legislation, h.r. 3911, is responsive to former s.e.c. chair mary jo white's 2013 requests to the financial services committee for legislation that would allow the s.e.c. staff to take a risk-based approach to annual rating organization examinations. such an approach would allow the s.e.c. to focus valuable resources on the areas where problematic conduct is most likely to exist. h.r. 3911 is designed to strengthen regulatory efforts rather than provide a basis for reduced accountability. and so i do urge the s.e.c. to use the discretion afforded under h.r. 3911 to focus on areas that present the greatest risk of misconduct. it is vital that our ratings
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organizations are accountable. i believe this bill is an important step to ensure that the inflated ratings that led up to the financial crisis are not repeated. i support h.r. 3911. i thank representatives foster and wagner for their bipartisan work on this bill, and i at this point, mr. speaker, reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan, mr. huizenga, is recognized. mr. huizenga: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i am pleased to yield as much time as she may consume to the gentlewoman from missouri, the author of this bill, and chair of the on ncial services oversight investigation, mrs. wagner. mrs. wagner: i thank my friend and colleague, mr. huizenga, for his support. and, mr. speaker, i also wish to thank the ranking member and
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congressman foster for his support of this both in the 114th congress and the 115th congress. makes the rating ganizations, nrsro's risk-based. in 2008, the financial crisis taught us many lessons. t also highlighted how nrsro's regularly gave high ratings to mortgage-backed securities. as we know these mortgage-backed securities led to the financial collapse which some economists put on par with the great depression in the 1930's. in 2010, with the passage of dodd-frank and in an attempt to not have mistakes, they aimed
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at enhancing their disclosure and transparency. unfortunately, the one-size-fits-all annual reporting requirements mandated under section 932 of dodd-frank placed unnecessary burdens and compliance costs on small nrsro's that were in no way the cause of the financial crisis. contrary to what some might believe, more regulation doesn't solve everything. in fact, it doesn't solve most things. after the office of credit ratings was created in 2012, the new requirements went into place, and smaller nrsro's found it difficult to enter the marketplace. ironically, the large credit rating agencies which, again, have a hand in the financial crisis, are getting bigger, driving out small credit rating agencies and making it clear that these new regulatory requirements missed their
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intended mark and placed unnecessary requirements on smaller nrsro's. mr. speaker, a move to a risk-based model will alleviate the burden on small nrsro's will provide competition while continuing to maintain oversight and transparency over the industry. the marketplace needs this fix. as the chairman noted, in a 2013 letter, s.e.c. chairman white concurred with these conclusions. and let's be clear. this bill does not eliminate reporting requirements for credit rating agencies. instead, it simply makes the criteria required in annual reports risk-based. secret rating agencies will still be held accountable while allowing real competition in the market. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support the legislation that is both bipartisan and common sense,
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something we don't often see in washington, d.c. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman reserves. mr. huizenga: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee, is recognized. mr. kildee: i continue to reserve. i don't have more speakers. i don't know if the gentleman has speakers but i continue to reserve. mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, i am prepared to close and would like to reserve at this time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. kildee is recognized. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. i would just reiterate two things. one, i think here is an opportunity for us to demonstrate that there are times when we come together to deal with specific problems in a bipartisan fashion. we ought to encourage it, and i am pleased to be a part of it. and to, again, reiterate the point that this legislation is not intended to weaken oversight and in fact is intended to focus oversight on those areas of greatest risk and it's my hope and belief
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it's the approach the s.e.c. will take upon passage and enactment of this legislation. it's the step in the right direction, and i urge my colleagues to support the legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. huizenga is recognized. mr. huizenga: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to echo the words of my colleague from michigan. bipartisan, unanimous bill coming out of financial services committee deserves the support of this house and we are very pleased that we have been able to strike this accommodation, this balance between making sure that those rating agencies which really did have a hand in causing our economic downturn are separated from those smaller institutions that really had nothing to do with that. and now with this overregulation that has occurred due to dodd-frank, i have really been put at a disadvantage and ironically have lowered competition in this space. so we believe we are restoring some commonsense provisions
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back into the law, and with that i would like to encourage all of my colleagues to vote for h.r. 3911 and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3911. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, i request a recorded vote, the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, i
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move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2148 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 288, h.r. 2148, a bill to amend the federal deposit insurance act to clarify capital requirements for certain acquisition, development, or construction loans. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from michigan, mr. huizenga, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. huizenga. mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, at this time i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. huizenga: mr. speaker, in response to the 2008 financial crisis, the basel committee on banking supervision, an organization that frankly most
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citizens might not have any idea exists, much less the effects and the influences on their banking lives, while the committee on banking supervision agreed to modified internationally bank regulatory standards, known as the basel accords. this was going to increase bank capital requirements and on june -- july 9 -- sorry -- of 2013, the federal banking regulators here in the united states including the federal verve, the federal deposit insurance corporation, fdic, the o.c.c., they all issued a final rule to implement most of the so-called basel 3 recommendations, including modifications to requirements. it has commercial real estate known as hcvrca -- unfortunately, we have a lot of
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acronyms in the financial space. you will be hearing these in the next several minutes. while these regulations, rules -- the regulations characterized as loans that finance the acquisition, development and construction of real property. loans that finance the acquisition, development and construction of one to four family residential properties, projects that qualify as community development investment and loans to businesses or farms with gross revenue exceeding $1 million hvcre pt from this classification. the treasury department released its first report in response of the president 2017 core principles for regulating the united states financial system, informing the administration's perspective to regulate the financial system. the report entitled, quote, a financial system that creates economic opportunities, banks and credit unions, unquote, calls on regulators to simplify
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and clarify the deanything of these hvcre loans to stringent postcrisis capital requirements and construction limits related to such loans but does not identify specific language. and changes. additionally in september of this past year, the o.c.c., fdic and the federal reserve imposed a rule to simplify the calculations for these hvcre's. the proposal would change the definition of hvcre and replace it with a new definition related to high volatility adc it's ion loans, hvc been dubbed. this is making it difficult for banks to comply. while we appreciate the various banking agencies to attempt to simpleify the loans, their
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proposal actually broadens the number of loans subject to higher capital charge. this increases the amount capital banks will be required to carry for these a.d.c. loans. hardly a simplification. increases in risk waiting on these loans have had a significant impact on institutions' capital ratios and as a result have increased costs to borrowers. if the loan is classified as an hvcre loan, the lender will face a lower return on the capital as a result of the higher capital reserve required. meaning, they will have to hold more capital. to increase pricing on the loan. h.r. 2128, the clarifying commercial real estate loans act, introduced by my colleagues representatives pittenger and scott, helps reduce the basel capital rules and the construction loans. the bill clarifies the type of
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loans that should and should not be classified as hvcre's and which types of equity can be used to meet capital requirements. currently, that uncertainty is creating confusion and affecting commercial real estate a.d.c. loans by increasing borrowing costs and reducing credit availability which may be contributing to a slowdown in the commercial real estate lending. i commend the bipartisan works of representative pittenger and scott on this important bill and having passed the financial services committee by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 59-1, there's no reason we shouldn't have the same overwhelming bipartisan support for h.r. 2148 today. so i encourage all of my colleagues to vote in favor of h.r. 2148 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee, is recognized. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kildee: thank you. i rise today also to support h.r. 2148. i want to start by thanking the
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gentleman from georgia, mr. david scott, and mr. pittenger of north carolina, for their work on this bipartisan legislation, a bill that deals with capital rules for commercial real estate loans, including acquisition, development or construction loans. . it's critical federal bank regulators maintain the strong capital rules that have been implemented after the enactment of dodd-frank. these rules have made the u.s. financial system much safer while protecting consumers, investors, and taxpayers in promoting stable economic growth. unlike some proposals that have been introduced that would gut the regulatory framework of dodd-frank, i am pleased that this bill reasonably seeks to resolve a valid concern raised by community banks that certain capital rules relating to high
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volume tillity commercial real estate, or hvcre loans are far too complex. this is an issue that financial regulators like the fdic have so acknowledged that must be addressed and fixed. the problem was highlighted in their economic growth and regulatory paperwork reduction act report which was published earlier this year. in september financial regulators released a proposal to revise the capital rules to make the calculations more straightforward. this is a good step in resolving this issue. although i am supportive of h.r. 2148, there are some concerns that i have heard and that i can appreciate, including that it could promote for more rigid definitions relating to capital rules. highly technical standards
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are important, though, to demonstrate congressional intent . the congress may not highly tect if bank regulators promptly correct the problem in their own. in addition, according to the fdic inspector general, commercial real estate loans generally account for more than 1/3 of community bank lending. the g.a.o. found that the failure of many small banks in the last crisis were, quote, driven by credit losses on c.r.e. loans, particularly loans secured by real estate to finance land development and construction, end quote. we have to be cautious and we these e sensitive to risks. notwithstanding, however, those legitimate concerns, we should keep in mind these in mind, i s ep legislation and hope legislation and hope that it will send a clear signal to the regulators that they should consider and address any proposed rule ir
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without delay, that is fully sensitive to the risks i have discussed. importantly, in committee, congresswoman maloney offered an amendment proposed rule without delay that i was pleases adopted. this amendment better aligns this bill with the regulateors' proposed rule to fix this issue. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation, h.r. 2148, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. huizenga: at this time, i'm pleased to yield five minutes to north leman from carolina, the north carolina, the vice chairman of the terrorism and elicit financing subcommittee of the financial services committee and sponsor of this legislation, mr. pittenger. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is pittenger. mr. mr. pittenger: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise in support of h.r. 2148, the clarifying commercial real estate loans act. i'd also like to thank my colleague, chairman huizenga, chairman of the capital markets committee, for his leadership p. mr. on
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our behalf. this bipartisan legislation makes commonsense reforms to the high volume tillity, commercial real estate loan process and it clarifies the existing regulations to help simplify real estate financing in high volume tillity -- volatility markets, including economically depressed urban communities. the complexity of the hvcre definition combined with the failure of federal regulators to clarify and define hvcre rules and how and where they are to be applied is made certain these development loans have become way too expensive. this has increased borrowing costs and reduced credit availability. these directly impact local communities. we have seen fewer jobs, less economic growth, and increased costs for community projects. addition to setbacks, the local banks and developers. my bipartisan legislation
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addresses many of these concerns by broadening the types of equity the developer may place owards the heightened risk requirements of an hvcre loan. we also clarify which types of loans should and should not be classified as hvcre. we must codify and improve the hvcre rules to ensure market and industry stability. thank you to congressman david scott, congresswoman carolyn maloney, and ranking member waters who actively worked with me on this important legislation. please join us in supporting this commonsense bipartisan legislation. thank you. i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee, is recognized. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. i would now like to yield as much time as she may consume to
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the gentlewoman from new york, a distinguished member of the financial services committee, mrs. maloney. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. maloney: i rise today to support h.r. 2148, which clarifies and simplifies the capital rules for commercial real estate loans. this bill addresses an important issue which is that the capital requirements for commercial real estate loans are overly complex for banks and unnecessarily punished -- unnecessarily punish certain types of commercial real estate loans and thereby the overall economy. i have had many community bankers and real estate developers complain to me about this and i think that they have a point. and now even the regulators agree that these rules are
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overly complicated and need to be simplified. so there is broad consensus that this is a long time, legitimate problem that needs to be fixed. i want to thank chairman hensarling and ranking member waters for all their hard work on this issue. i also want to thank mr. pittenger and mr. scott for working with me during this arkup on an amendment to strengthen the bill. the current capital rules punish commercial real estate loans that are considered high volatility by requiring banks to hold additional capital against them. they have to hold capital worth 150% for these high volatility loans as opposed to the normal 100% for other commercial real estate loans. these high volatility commercial
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real estate loans, or hvcre loans, are usually made so that a borrower can purchase vacant or undeveloped land which they then build on or hold for a longer time. but the capital rules for these hvcre loans were extremely complex and led to a great deal of confusion about which loans were considered high volatility and which were not. and the regulators finally did propose a rule to simplify the treatment of high volatility commercial real estate loans just a few weeks ago. this bill addresses the same issue as the regulators proposed rule by simply filing the capital rules for commercial real estate loans. i offered an amendment to the committee that further aligned of bill with the best parts
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the regulator's proposed rule which i think ultimately strengthened and improved the bill. the bill would simplify the capital rules by removing the o-called contributed capital requirement which requires very complicated calculations and forces banks to project the value of the property years into the future. which is extremely difficult if not impossible to do. even the regulators have concluded that this entire contributed capital requirement is unnecessarily burdensome and does not add protection at all. so removing it will streamline the capital rules for banks and make it easier to finance job creating projects. the regulators have proposed to remove this entire requirement, and i agree.
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under current law, banks have to hold more capital when the property is vacant and not producing any income. so the bill clarifies that when a property does start to produce sufficient income to cover the debt service payments to the bank, then the loan is much safer and thus is eligible for capital relief. removing the 150% surcharge and going back down to 100%. think this bill is a very good, commonsense bill that fixes a legitimate problem and i urge my colleagues to support the bill. i believe it will make access to capital more fair and will get out into the community creating jobs. i congratulate all of my colleagues that were part of this colleagues to process and bill. i now yield back to my
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distinguished colleague, mr. kildee. mr. kildee: thank you. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan. mr. huizenga: i'm pleased to yield such time he may consume to the gentleman from pennsylvania, the vice chairman of the financial institution subcommittee of financial services, mr. rothfus. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time he may consume. mr. rothfus: i thank mr. huizenga for yielding. i want to start by thanking the gentleman from north carolina, mr. pittenger, for leading on this important legislation. i rise today to express my support for the clarifying commercial real estate loans act, the financial institution subcommittee has spent a signature amount of time analyzing the state of bank lend lending. not surprising -- bank lending. not surprisingly aside from from major banks to major corporations, we foundback lending in today's environment is weak. we need to jump-start economic growth once again so we're going to need to find ways to address some of the unintended consequences of the rules coming
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out of washington, d.c. the high volatility commercial real estate loan designation is one such feature that has inhibited growth and opportunity. the complexity and am big wit of hvcre makes it hard for banks to comply. is drives up borrowing costs for real estate developers and prevents these entrepreneurs from engaging in the types of activities that create jobs and opportunity. this legislation will bring clarity and common sense to hvcre requirements and i ask that my micolleagues support the clarifying commercial real in this ns act important legislation. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. kildee: no further speakers. continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from michigan. mr. huizenga: i'm prepared to close at this time. like to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. thanks to my friend, mr. huizenga, for his work on this. and to mr. pittenger, thank you
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so much. and to mr. scott as well. this is a piece of legislation, again, as the previous legislation did, that demonstrates that we do have the capability of solving a problem and coming together around specific issues when we can. in this case we have legislation that i think strikes that important balance in maintaining important regulations and standards in place to prevent the kind of catastrophes that we have seen in the past. but also in this case anticipates that there is a legitimate problem that needs to be solved, particularly in this case in ensuring that development can occur in those places where it's often very difficult to see development take place. this is something that is absolutely critical. something that makes a great deal of sense. this legislation strikes a good balance between those competing interests. i urge my colleagues to support it. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. huizenga: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i want to encourage all of my colleagues to support
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h.r. 2148. commend my good friend, mr. pittenger, on his great work on this. to point out that this ll came out of the financial services committee on a bipartisan vote of 59-1. we think that this is a commonsense, reasonable accommodation for a problem that's been created by dodd-frank and glad on a bipartisan basis we can address that. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house services committee on a bipartisan vote of 59-1. we think that suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2148, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid pon the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 918. as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 918, a bill to amend title 38, united states code, to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to furnish mental health care to certain former members of the armed forces who are not otherwise eligible to receive such care, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, each
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will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 918. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 918, as amended, which was introduced by my friend and longtime committee member, congressman coffman of colorado. there have been a number of different names for stress related military health conditions throughout our nation's history. battle fatigue, combat stress reaction, shell shock, posttraumatic stress disorder. too often we see military personnel returning home with difficulties adjusting to civilian life. for many returning service members, these stressers affect
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one's postdeployment, especially those receiving other than honorable discharges. under current law military personnel who separate under this status are not eligible for health care, benefits or general services typically offered to honorable or generally discharged veterans through the department of veterans affairs. mr. speaker, i want to be clear, i firmly believe that discharge status is an important tool for military leadership. a tool which helps reserve order and discipline among the ranks. removing the proverbial bad apples from the bushel is key to maintaining a cohesive unit structure. however, there seems to be an involving trend of soldiers who receive other than honorable discharges as a result of their military experience rather than simply being a bad or
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ineffective soldier. in fact, coorled to the medal of honor -- according to the medal of honor society, there are no fewer than eight medal of honor recipients who received other than honorable discharges. h.r. 918, as amended, would provide that those combat veterans who receive other than honorable discharge statuses would be eligible to receive critical mental health assessments and services from the department of veterans affairs. it's only right, mr. speaker. again, i appreciate the hard work and forward-thinking of my friend who's also a veteran from colorado, mr. coffman, and i urge my colleagues to support this measure, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walz: i'd like to thank the gentleman from florida for his long service to this nation's veterans as well as his family's service to our veterans.
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it's appropriate we are here the week of veterans day bringing important legislation to the floor. once again, a committee that understands our responsibility, it's not political or partisan. it's keeping the promise. with that i rise in support of h.r. 918, the veteran urgent access to mental health care act, offered by mr. coffman. this one in particular is near and dear to my heart. your leadership is why we are making progress on this. as you heard the gentleman from florida say, the issues that come with service in this nation's military can be physical injury or they can be the mental injuries of war. we also understand with that comes changes in behavior and there's reasons that people are removed from service, and i am incredibly proud of what this committee has taken this issue head on, of those who are removed because of issues that they started to acquire from
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their service in uniform. this legislation is going to ensure those people with less than honorable discharges get the care, specifically focusing on military sexual trauma. the idea we have warriors in uniform who are assaulted in many cases by fellow service members and because of the inability to reintegrate in that unit they are discharged with less than honorable paper precluding them from getting the services that they've earned. with more than 20 veterans a day -- and i think those numbers are probably low -- taking their own lives, this issue of making sure all service members and all veterans have access to mental health care, removing those barriers is of prime importance. secretary shulkin has made the first step in this. mr. coffman has continued to make sure this committee stays focused on this, continuing to add more and more access. for that this legislation ensures the initiative becomes permanent. it puts it into law, and takes
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us the next step forward. for that i am grateful. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. and i agree with the ranking member 100%. this needs to be done. it's long overdue. and thanks to my good friend, mr. coffman. it's going to get done. i'd like to recognize mr. coffman for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. coffman: mr. speaker, as we approach veterans day, our nation is still faced with the epidemic of veteran suicide, and while the v.a. has made it a priority to address this problem, there are still many combat veterans left without access to v.a. mental health care services. here is what we know. an average of 20 veterans commit suicide daily. a veteran -- v.a. evidence suggests a decrease in suicide risk among those who have received v.a. health care
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services, and in may, 2017, the government accountability office found that 62% of the over 91,000 service members who were separated from misconduct from 2011 to 2015 had been diagnosed with ptsd, t.b.i. or other conditions that would be associated with misconduct. 13,282 veterans 23% or received an other than honorable discharge, leaving them without access to v.a.'s critical mental health care services. as a marine corps combat veteran, i'd like to live by the rule we never leave anyone behind. unfortunately, the military routinely use the other than honorable discharge to rid itself of combat veterans who were designated as having disciplinary problems and who often had documented medical histories of ptsd. rather than providing them with
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the treatment and rehabilitation they so desperately needed. while the correlation of their mental health care condition and their minor misconduct could be linked, this made no fact to their character of discharge. mr. speaker, my legislation, h.r. 918, veteran urgent access to mental health care act, seeks to help this. those have been able to seek v.a. care for a service-connected disability. however, due to the way these combat veterans were discharged and because of a failure to connect the dots between their minor misconduct and their mental health condition, the department of defense's failed to recognize this as a problem. h.r. 918 will stay with tradition and correct this disconnect by authorizing mental health care services for these other than honorably
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discharged veterans. and it requires a mental health care assessment and directs the secretary of v.a. to have a determination process to trigger their reviews for v.a. benefits. mr. speaker, before the rate of veteran suicide increases any more, it's time to right this wrong and permanently authorize mental health care services for some of our nation's most vulnerable veterans. when someone puts on the uniform, they take an oath to defend our freedoms. we in turn as a nation promise to make sure they receive the care and the services they need after returning from the battlefield. as we approach veterans day, i encourage my colleagues to keep that promise for these conduct 918.ans and support h.r. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, chairman roe and ranking member walz for your
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support of this legislation. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time it's my pleasure to yield three minutes -- excuse me -- to the ranking member of the subcommittee on economic opportunity but more importantly probably the most effective voice in this congress on veterans' mental health and suicide, the gentleman from texas, mr. o'rourke. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. o'rourke: i'd like to thank the gentleman from minnesota, our ranking member on the committee, for yielding. mr. speaker, we have a crisis in suicide amongst veterans today in this country. the official estimate, which i agree with the ranking member, is probably an estimate that is too low. it's 20. i think the real number is much higher than that. but 20 a day we know for sure are taking their own lives in this country after they have put those same lives on the line for this country. amidst that crisis, we know those veterans who have an other than honorable discharge are taking their lives at twice the rate of those veterans who have an honorable discharge. thanks to mr. coffman, my colleague from across the aisle
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from colorado, thanks to the bipartisan support of the house veterans' affairs committee, the leadership of the chairman and ranking member, we are beginning to address that. ensuring that the 22,000 veterans who have an other than honorable discharge since 2009 who incurred posttraumatic stress disorder or military sexual trauma while in service to this country will now be able to see a mental health care provider. before this they were precluded from that. i want to thank the trump administration and especially secretary shulkin for doing the most they could do administratively to see these veterans in crisis in emergency rooms, but we need to take the next step and ensure they have preventative care, continuous care and continuity in that care going forward so that we save more of these lives. given what these veterans have laid down for this country, what they have done for the united states making us stronger and better, serving at less than 1% since 9/11 so that so many others do not have to serve, the least we can do is
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make sure they have access to the care that they have earned. i want to thank mr. coffman, his team, the minority and majority staffs for incorporating the best ideas from both sides of the aisle to make sure we have a bill that will become law, that ensures we do our best for our veterans. i also, mr. speaker, want to thank our colleagues on the other side of the capitol in the senate, especially senator murphy, who worked on the companion legislation, to make sure we have something for the president's desk. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: we reserve, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: i yield two minutes to a veteran herself, a veteran to the conflicts of iraq and a strong voice for our veterans and specifically for our veterans with mental health issues, the gentlelady from hawaii, ms. gabbard. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlelady from hawaii is recognized for three minutes. ms. gabbard: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my fellow veteran and friend and colleague from minnesota for being such a strong advocate on this issue. and our friends on the other side of the aisle who have been pushing this issue forward constantly year after year as we continue to do so until this issue is resolved. so many of our service members have selflessly put their lives on the line to protect and defend our country. our country owes them a debt of gratitude, something they were often reminded of every year around this time as we head into veterans day, but unfortunately too often our fellow service members are coming home and they are being prevented from receiving the care that they've earned through their service. they bear the brunt of the human cost of war with an average of 20 veterans committing suicide every single day. their families carry this sacrifice and this cost throughout their lives. the rate of mental health and substance use disorders has
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been steadily rising since 2001. this legislation is bipartisan, and it would require the v.a. to provide urgent mental hark services including an initial mental health assessment to veterans who participated in combat operations or who have survived sexual assault or harassment. it would also expand those services to those who received a discharge under certain other than honorable conditions who haven't received a character of service or discharge determination yet. we've heard already about the high numbers of veterans who fall into this category, and about how negatively this discharge has affected their lives. when they come home they're working on their transition to a successful civilian life. this discharge takes away their access to health care. it takes away their access to services and benefits that they have earned through many times multiple deployments. services that are in place that
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help set our veterans up for success upon their return home. in addition, this bill would require the v.a. to provide services at non-v.a. facilities for veterans who live in rural or underserved communities. i can't state how important this is enough because it affects those veterans in my districts in places -- different islands in the state of hawaii who are separated literally by a body of water rom the v.a. clinic. the bill would mandate the v.a. to ensure they provide annual reports to congress on those services that they have been providing to our veterans. this is such an important piece of legislation. i urge all of our colleagues to stand up and support its passage and see it through to its enactment because we cannot afford to leave our men and women in uniform behind. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota.
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>> i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from washington state, mr. kilmer who since coming to this congress has focused on the issue offense care for veterans and for that i am grateful. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. kilmer: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding, i thank my colleagues across the aisle for working on this issue. i think it's particularly powerful when what happens in this marble building isn't some distant, theoretical policy conversation, this actually affects people in each of our districts. i first learned about this issue about a year and a half ago. i was at home talking to a group of veterans at the university of washington-tacoma. they were discussing the service to our nation and some of the challenges they had experienced in coming home. and then the conversation took an unexpected turn. one of the veterans talked about -- about a service member who was a friend who has gone overseas and in his words had seen quite a lot. he said when the veteran came
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home he wasn't quite the same person he had been. unfortunately those challenges led to some substance issues and then to an other than honorable discharge. as a consequence that veteran was unable to get mental health care treatment through the veterans administration. here was a veteran, someone who sacrificed for his country, who was unable to get the service he is earned due to a condition that he most likely developed through that service. so coming back to this washington, i was honored to co-sponsor this bill and appreciate the work of representative coffman and other colleagues in advancing this important bill this bill is simple. it allows veterans discharged in an other han honorable status to be screened for medical treatment and if found to be eligible for treatment, while i appreciate that the v.a. adopted this voluntarilien its -- on its own, we need to make sure this becomes law to ensure that
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future administrations help those who served our nation and might otherwise be denied needed treatment. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. > i reserve. mr. walz: i would suggest that as we approach veteran days, one of the best ways we can honor those who gave service in this country that we conduct business as it was done on this legislation, with common goals, common value, smart thinking put into it to each the goal of caring for a fellow citizen and doing the right thingism urge my colleagues to support h.r. 918. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. >> i'm prepared to close, mr. speaker. i encourage members to support this legislation and let's get it through the senate as well and get it on the president's
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desk. thank you very much and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 918 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 11 p 3 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the -- of the lil. -- of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1133, a bill to authorize the secretary of veterans affairs to provide for an operation on a live donor for purposes of conducting a transplant proceed wrur for a veteran and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i ask unanimous
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consent that all members have five days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 11 3 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognize. mr. bilirakis: i rise in support of h.r. 1133 as amended, the veterans transplant coverage aid act of 2017. this bill is meant to remove an unnecessary barrier to care for veterans in need of transplants involving a living donor. last year, mr. charles nelson a 100% service connected veteran from texas, sought a kidney transplant with his nonveteran son serving as mr. nelson's live donor. rather than travel from his home in texas to v.a. transplant centers in either nashville, tennessee, or portland, oregon, mr. nelson requested to receive his transplant at the university
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hospital in san antonio using the choice program. however, his request was denied by v.a. because austin was not a veteran and therefore v.a. did not believe the department had the authority to pay for this portion of the transplant procedure with choice funds. mr. nelson, eventually received his transplant in san antonio using his medicare benefits, private donations and personal savings to cover the cost of his and austin's care. to prevent any other veterans from being unable to access transplant care in the community under choice, h.r. 1133, as amended, would amend the choice program to allow v.a. to pay for any care or services a live donor may require to carry out a transplant procedure. for an eligible veteran, notwithstanding that the live doe far may not be eligible for v.a. health care.
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i'm thankful to my friend, congressman judge carter, john carter, from texas, for his dedication to solving this problem for his constituent, mr. nelson, and for veterans and families across the country. this is how congress should work. he's a great representative. i'm proud to serve with him. with that, mr. speaker, i urge all my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 1133 as amened and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walz: the gentleman was very clear, by allowing the v.a. to provide health care to non-v.a. eligible doe no, sir, veterans can more easily receive transplants from family and friends. family and friends are often the best match and are typically more willing to be a live donor. under current law, a veteran can
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only receive a donation from another veteran this makes great common sense. it's the right thing to do i understand possibly why they put that in there but all of us know it's going to be that exact scenario, it's going to be a family member or someone near that will went to do the transplant. if the best place to do that is a v.a. hospital and they can get them , in it makes great sense. i thank representative carter for bringing this forward. this is improve caring, making sure we're focusing on the issues that we can make a difference on and with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i yield five minutes to the gentleman from texas, judge john carter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. carter: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank both of you for rising in support of this. when mr. nelson and his family came to me with this, the first thing i thought was, that's the dumbest thing heard.
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you got a child willing to give you a live kidney, a transplant, and he's eliminated as a donor because he's not a veteran. it's hard enough to find live transplants as it is. and common sense and everybody that ever knew anybody that got one knows the best source is a family member. because it's got the best chance for a match, best chance for success. and yet the v.a. had a limitation that you had to be a veteran. now what are the chances of all your family being veterans when you have -- all of a sudden you have reinal failure and have to have a kidney? that's got to be off the wall, that's ridiculous. with that i filed this bill to correct this mess. my colleague has given a great description of the -- of what happened to the nelsons.
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but more importantly, common sense, and i like to mention that, tells us that you can't eliminate the most -- the best pool of donors that a family has because of their lack of bag veteran. and we all know, we heard mr. o'rourke say previously, we're down to about 1% of our nation actually serves in the military anymore. so this is a -- this is a commonsense fix for a commonsense problem. and i'm really, really proud of my staff, they've worked really hard on this i think -- they stayed at it, stayed at it. we've got the attention of the v.a. and i am happy for their cooperation. i want to thank the committee, they were overwhelmingly supportive on both sides of the aisle. i urge my colleagues to fix a common sense problem and allow a son to give a kidney to his
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father at a facility that's most convenient to the family, which is all common sense, so that our have the rans who have given their all for us have the right to have the best health care available to american citizens and that's what this bill will provide. so there's such a good explanation by my colleagues, i won't go into details, i just want to tell you, when off constituent come in with a commob sense problem, we have a duty and responsibility to fix it. common sense is in short supply in washington, d.c. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i don't have any other speakers. mr. walz: thank you. thank you, judge carter. everybody make note of this, common sense is going to prevail. we're in full support of h.r. 1133, i urge my colleagues to vote accordingly.
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i give you back the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: againing mr. speaker, once again i urge my colleagues to pass this very important bill. and encourage the senate to pass it as soon as possible so we can get it on the president's desk. thank you, i yield back the balance. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules -- house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1133 as amended? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended this eintill passed, without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. bilirakis: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1900 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1900 a bill to ezz tig -- designate the veterans memorial and museum in columbus, ohio, as the national veterans memorial and museum. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, each will
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control 20 minutes. mr. bilirakis: i ask that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 1900 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bilirakis: i rise in support of h.r. 1900 as amended. h.r. 1900 as amended would designate the veterans emany moirl and museum in columbus, ohio, as the national veterans memorial and museum. the national designation is appropriate because this will be the only memorial and museum in the nation that will honor our veterans throughout our nation's history. i want to thank our distinguished ranking member, mr. walz, of course, for working with the bill's sponsor and our chairman, chairman roe, and of course mr. stivers the bill's sponsor, and me to ensure the memorial museum will maintain the highest standards after it receives the national designation. h.r. 1900 as amended will
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require the museum to provide a report to congress that would include information on its organizational and financial projections. the bill specifically states that after five years if the memorial and museum is not operating satisfactorily, then congress may withdraw the national designation. we hope that doesn't happen. moreover, h.r. 1900 as amended makes it clear that the museum and memorial is not affiliated with the national park system and that the bill does not authorize federal funds for the museum. with that, mr. speaker, i urge all my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 1900 as amended and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walz: i rise in support of the manager's amendment to h.r. 1900 as amended, the national veterans me moirl museum and me
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moifrl act. when i came to congress this is how i thought things were supposed to work. citizens come together, come up with a great idea derek side to honor our nation's veteran they talk to their members of congress they bring it here, we all work together, we come up with a plan to put it in place and we come to the floor to pass a piece of legislation. this is one of those times where that little cartoon that i'm just a bill sitting on capitol hill actually worked that way. for that, i am grateful for the work that's been done. i'd especially like we put guardrails in place before we designate the museum hat it truly is the national veterans museum. this demonstrates the intent to create a stunning state of the art institution in the heart of the country that honors veterans and educates the public. just as important to the success of this effort is the responsibility of the house
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veterans affairs committee to be established and operating at the highest possible standards. as museums and cemeteries run by the national cemetery association. the legislation we are voting on today does exactly that. i acknowledge the efforts of the gentlelady from columbus, ms. beatty and mr. stiffers. you truly represent what it means to be a representative. your good faith effort to continue and improve on a piece of legislation taking in the concerns the people had to make it work, is to me incredibly encouraging. i thank you for that. this is going to be a spectacular museum and monument. under the bill before us the museum will submit a report to congress before it opens. it will have vision and veteran outreach and a provision that we are adding that allows congress to remove that designation after
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five years. we will not need to do that. we put this in place as part of our responsibility of oversight. with the addition of these provisions, i believe the committee has done due diligence to confer this national designation. it has put in place the necessary guardrails to ensure this will be built in columbus, ohio to the highest standards and this will be the national veterans museum and memorial. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i want to commend the ranking member and we had a little issue in committee, but we didn't stall the bill. we worked it out and moved forward. let's get the senate to pass it after we pass it today. and i want to yield whatever time he needs to mr. stivers from ohio, the sponsor of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. stivers: thank you, mr. speaker, and i would like to thank the gentleman from florida
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for everything he's doing to lead this bill on the floor stood. i would like to thank the ranking member for his good-faith effort and his work and we worked in a collaborative way to address his concerns and i thank joyce beatty and pat tiberi for their work in a bipartisan fashion in making this bill a better -- helping this bill pass the house and i hope we can get it passed in the senate as well. i'm proud to speak in support of the bill that will designate the national veterans memorial and useum being built in columbus, ohio. the national veterans memorial museum will serve as a landmark to honor, connect, inspire and educate all americans about the service and sacrifice of our nation's 22 million veterans.
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will be the only public museum that exists with the exclusive role of sharing the experiences of veterans across all eras, conflicts and branches of military service. why would we want to do this in columbus, ohio? first and foremost, ohio has the sixth largest veteran population in the united states and easily accessible to almost anyone in the united states. we are within a 10 hour's drive of almost 60% of the veterans in the united states. and i believe that it's going to be a great opportunity to have not everything in washington $-- d.c. ohio is a great place of military history. it is selected to be the future home of united states veteran affairs archives in dayton and
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records dating back to the revolutionary war are kept there. that's one of the earliest adopted service organizations. this museum will also be and is supported by veteran service organizations around the country. we want to thank them for that. and a lot of veterans have worked hard to make that happen. colonel tom moe, a vietnam veteran and a p.o.w. who flew 85 missions is leading outreach for the national veterans memorial and he is part of the veterans advisory committee working closely with the v.s.o.'s to make sure this museum is truly a national reflection of veterans and their stories. additionally, the columbus downtown development corporation is managing this project. led by a 501c3
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national board of directors including veterans, veteran service organizations and families of america's veterans. this mission will remain focused on ensuring the museum conveys the refer rans owed to our veterans. i would like to take this opportunity to thank chairman roe for his leadership in this leadership. and allowing this to go through regular order through the veteran affairs committee. you know, there were hearings, it was a collaborative process and we worked to address some issues from the other side of the aisle. we worked in a good faith effort and we came up with a good solution to ensure this museum will have the highest standards and will be representative of the national designation in a way that we can all be proud of. i'm convinced that both the majority and minority staff
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wanted to make this museum the greatest it could be and i thank them for all their efforts. we were able to hear from v.s.o.'s testifying in support of this museum that including the american legion, the v.f.w., the paralyzed veterans of america. i believe that through their testimony and our work, there was a lot of great information that was exchanged. and we are excited to move forward with the national veterans memorial. i would urge all of my colleagues to support this. one last point is that this museum was funded with private donations. and it requires no federal funding to open the doors. and i believe that's another competitive advantage. i thank chairman rowe ranking member walz, chairman bilirakis and members of the veterans affairs committee and my colleague, joyce beatty and pat
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tiberi from columbus. i urge my colleagues to support the legislation and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: at this time, i yield four minutes to the the gentlewoman from, a staunch and truly effective advocate for her constituents for veterans across this nation, the gentlelady from ohio where this museum will reside in her district. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from ohio is recognized for four minutes. mrs. beatty: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to join my colleague congressman steve stivers and thanking congressman bilirakis in allowing this to make it possible to be here today. mr. speaker, i'm honored to rise to offer my enthusiastic support for the national veterans emorial and museum act, h.r. 1
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900, dedicating it as a museum with the exclusive purpose of sharing the experience and voices of veterans across all air as, conflicts and branches of the military. as you have heard, it will be housed in my district. so i'm especially pleased that it is being built in a partnership, a partnership with private companies and government and a partnership by the veterans of central ohio and across the nation. the museum concept was the brain child of the nation's good friend, world war ii veteran, legendary astronaut and former u.s. senator from ohio, john glen n. john also chaired the veterans committee. senator glen n were here today, he would share with us how this
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museum will honor, connect, inspire and educate all americans about the unified service and sacrifices of our nation's more than 40 million veterans. i salute this congress and my community for recognizing the need for veterans of all air asto have a museum to collectively call their own. i could not stand here without, again, thanking my colleague and veteran, congressman steve stivers for his relentless work, for his leadership and his partnership throughout the development of this project. this project certainly shares with us what bipartisan work can do. i also would like to thank and thank theberi
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leadership of chairman roe and ranking member walz and also the subcommittee leadership. because they expressed their concerns, we addressed the concerns in a very constructive bay. and that's what partnerships and leadership is all about. and because of their good work, it has strengthened the operations of the project and the viability of the project. h.r. 1900 has the support of the american legion, the paralyzed veterans of america, the v.f.w. so today, i ask my colleagues to support this legislation and to come to columbus when it's open to see it in person and how it honors the stories and sacrifices of our nation's veterans. i thank you, mr. chair. i thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i yield two minutes to the gentleman, mr.
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davidson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. davidson: thank you. as an army veteran and former army ranger i'm proud to join representatives stivers and beatty and the ohio delegation in today's designation of the veterans memorial museum in columbus ohio as the national veterans museum. i thank my colleagues to do this not just for ohio but something for our nation and our nation's veterans. this museum is squarely focused on telling the personal stories of those who have served, including those who have lost their lives serving our country. national veterans memorial and museum will be the only one of its kind that uses personal belongings, letters and memories to bring the stories of our service members and their families to life.
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in addition to world class interactive exhibits that will serve to educate the next generation about the value of military service, this will be connected to an online data base featuring the collection. the national veterans memorial and museum will serve to honor r men and women by providing celebrations and reunions. ohio has a proud history of honoring our veterans and our current men and women in uniform. we are home to the united states air force museum and united states veteran affairs national archives. it is fitting that ohio should be the place for telling these stories. i appreciate the bipartisan support on this bill. and i urge my colleagues to support it. and with that, i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: mr. bilirakis: it's the way it's
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supposed to work. i'm very excited about this. -- . walz: it is at nationalvmm dog. we will be open here soon in the spring and i'm going to take mrs. beatty up on this. i think of the count less veterans who will talk and tell the story. this is an important piece of our history and it's important for us to preserve these stories. with that, i encourage my colleagues to support this piece of legislation. and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: the value of their service, we need to teach our children the value of military service and they can appreciate it. these are true american heroes and i'm looking to visiting mrs. beatty in columbus and thank you and of course the general, the
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general for doing a wonderful job and i thank the ranking member. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1900 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the les are suppose -- rule is suspended and the bill is passed. mr. bilirakis: i move to pass h.r. 3123. the clerk: h.r. 212 a bill to amend title 38 united states code to improve the ability of health care professionals to treat veterans through the use of telemedicine and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, and the gentleman from minnesota, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: we have some debate bills on the docket today. i with unanimous consent that members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous
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material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of h.r. 2123rks i believe telemedicine -- i believe telemen sid represents the future of medical treatment. through v.a.'s many different telehealth modalities, v.a. doctors and nurses have been better able to serb veterans in remote, rural, or medically underserved areas or veterans with mobility issues or other issues that make it difficult to travel to and from the v.a. medical facilities for appointments and followup care. more importantly, veterans who have had access in accessing care through telehealth show improved outcomes, include
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degree creases in hospital admissions. it's my hope that all veterans have access to v.a. telemedicine when and where appropriate. however, the continued expansion of telemedicine across the v.a. health care system has been constrained by restrictions on the ability of v.a. providers to practice telemedicine across the state lines without jeopardizing their state medical license. h.r. 2123, the veterans ehealth and telemedicine support act of 2017 would remove those constraints by authorizing the v.a. providers to practice telemedicine at a location in any state regardless of where the provider or patient is located. this would provide v.a. clinicians the statutory protection they need to continue providing high quality telehealth care to veterans, patients across the country without fear of threnlt
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penalties imposed by the state medical licensing boards. i'm grate to feel my friend and colleague representative lynn thompson from the great state of pennsylvania for his leadership on this issue and for bringing this important bill forward. i'm also grate to feel my fellow committee member, julia brown lee of california, the ranking member of the subcommittee on health for her work and advocacy on v.a. telemedicine. with that, i urge my colleague to join me in supporting h.r. 2123 and i reserve the balance of my time. mr. walz: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of h.r. 2123. since its inception, the veterans health administration has been a leader in health care. this would ensure it continue this is history of leadership by allowing providers to engage in delivery of telemedicine all over the country. these are paper barriers, not
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bare yoferse technology to allow us to deliver care. telemedicine and medicine in general is changing so rapidly we need to make sure that barriers are not put in place. especially rural veterans and many of us have all over. i was last week did a field hearing in international falls, minnesota, which by the way will be one degree tomorrow for all of you, just so you know. those folks are veterans. they've served. but they are miles from a v.a. facility. but the technology that we have and we know it works allows them to get that. if we have veterans sitting on state borders if we have veteran in remote areas, it makes it difficult. it will give v.a. the tools it needs to remain a leader in the use of telehealth technology. i'm particularly thank to feel representatives thompson and brownley for their leadership, identified a problem, worked on it, making sure the bottom line that every veteran, regard lofse geographic location, fwets the
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best, most advanced care possible. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, the sponsor of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you to the chairman and ranking member for your support and kind words. i do rise in support of h.r. 2123, the veterans ehealth telemedicine support act, also known as the vets act. years ago, a constituent approached me to discuss the barriers to care his fellow veterans were experiencing through the v.a. system. as an active duty soldier he told me stories of his friends coming home from the employment and falling through the dracks in the system. they were suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, t.b.i.'s, depression. others had trouble traveling to v.a. medical centers due to injuries sustained in combat. too many of them ended up taking
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their own lives. i broke my heart to hear the stories of this soldier's friends and comrades not receiving the care they deserved. what made it more difficult was the constituent soldier was my son. after numerous conversations trying to figure out how to help service members when they return home, we determined that expanding access to telehealth would be a great start. many of our veterans live in rural areas and are unable to travel far distances. allowing them to see their health care prvider in the comfort of their own home would increase access to care. this is why representative julia brownley and i introduced the vets act. will allow v.a. provider to practice health care across state lines. it also commissions a report to study the effectiveness of telemedicine programs utilized by the department of veterans' affairs. while the v.a. made major strides and is a lead for the advancing telehealth access, outdated barriers limit its growth.
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currently, each state has its own licensing requirements for health care providers to practice medicine within its borders. for example if a doctor practices in pennsylvania and ohio he must hold a license from each state. v.a. licensing requirements are different. as long as a doctor is in good standing in any state, they can practice in-person care within the v.a. system in any state. this is not -- this resip rossity is not afforded to telehealth. these seeking to provide telehealth to patients must be licensed in the state where the patient is he kated. hese outdated -- since 2002, more than two million veterans have received telehealth care through the v.a. in 2016 alone, more than 1% of veterans receiving v.a. care utilized telehealth in some aspect. 45% of these veterans live in rural areas. veterans who have access to telehealth are overwhelmingly
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pleased with the quality of care and access they received. those receiving at-home care, for example, through telehealth cite an 88% satisfaction rate. while the v.a. has done a great job of expanding telehealth across access to veterans across the country, more needs to be done. our veten -- veterans deserve the best care available to them and this starts with the passage of the vets act. i thank representative brownley, committee chairman dr. phil roe, ranking member tim walz, chairman bilirakis, for bringing this bill to the floor today. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the bill to give our nation's veterans access to quality, proven health care. i appreciate the -- i appreciate that and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: i have no further speakers. mr. bilirakis: i yield one minute to the gentleman from colorado, mr. coffman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. coffman: i rise today in support of h.r. 2 -- h.r. 2123,
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the veterans ehealth and telemedicine support act of 2017. under caurnt law, v.a. providers must possess a license by a state to practice medicine in a v.a. facility, however v.a. providers are restricted from practicing telemedicine across state lines this limits their continued expangs of telemedicine and as a result reduced the act cisseability of health care for so many veterans. as technology continues to evolve and congress considers what the v.a. of the 21st century should look like there's no doubt that the methods -- that methods like telemedicine coupled with a more responsive flexibility, regulatory flexibility is long overdue. geographical location in our country inst no longer a challenge thanks to modern technology. v.a. health care providers should have the opportunity practice telemedicine across state lines to provide medical advice to our veterans that is
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more timely and responsive to the patient's needs. mr. speaker, i enurge -- encourage my colleagues to support the psage of h.r. 2123 and yield back the remainder of my time. mr. bilirakis: i yield to the general from the great state of michigan, representative bergman, one minute, please. mr. bergman: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 2123, the veterans ehealth and telemedicine support act. for veterans in my district, the challenge of receiving timely, quality care from the v.a. is at times impossible. winter has already arrived in northern -- in upper michigan. travel is complex and sometimes hazardous. some of the most rural degheeography in the country, veterans in michigan's first district are forced to travel hours into wisconsin or hundreds of miles down into mid and
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southeast michigan to keep simple doctors appointments. innovative health care solutions like telemedicine are long overdue. veterans in my district will help validate the requirements for and the quality of such innovations. h.r. 2123 will allow v.a. licensed health care providers to practice teled my sin at any location , in any state, regardless of where the provider or patient is he kated. this bill will make it easier for veterans in my district and across the country to access health care services in a convenient setting that fits their schedule, ultimately putting the veteran first. i've long said if a program or policy can work in michigan's first district, it can work anywhere. i urge support of h.r. 2123 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: i have no other speakers. mr. bilirakis: we're prepared to close. mr. walz: it makes sense, removing some of these barerers
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-- barriers it makes sense to use the technology to improve care. with that i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2123 and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bill raw can us: this puts the veterans first as the general said. the veteran has a choice. as to whether to use the telemedicine or go see the dr. because it doesn't work for everyone. but in any case this is a great bill. puts the veteran first. i urge my colleagues to pass this particular bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2123. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman rise. mr. bilirakis: i move suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2601 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar 291, h.r. 2601, a bill to amend the
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veterans access choice and atability act of 2014, to improve the access to have veterans to organ transplants and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, each will control 20 minutes. mr. bilirakis: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 2601 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. 34r bill -- mr. bilirakis: i rise in support of h.r. 2601 as amended, the veterans increased choice for transplanted orquans and recovery, or victor, act of 2017. which is sponsored by my good friend and fellow committee neal dunn from the great state of florida. offeredrans medical has
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organ transplant since 1972 an bone marrow transplant services since 1982. however, since congress created the choice program in 2014 to address access to care concerns at v.a. facility, the committee has heard an increasing now complaints about the v.a. transplant program from veterans who are concerned about the lengthy travel required for many veterans to reach a v.a. transplant center and bureaucratic barriers to receiving transplant care closer to home. according to the journal of the american medical association, a greater distance from a v.a. transplant center was associated with a lower likelihood of receiving a transplant ant a greater likelihood of death among veteran transplant patients. that can't happen. this is unacceptable. in my opinion. h.r. 2601 as amended represents
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a commonsense solution. that's what we're all about today. commonsense solutions for true hero. it would require v.a. to consider whether there's a medical compelling reason to roir a veteran to travel outside the organ procurement and transplantation network region the veteran resides in to receive a transplant from the v.a. transplant center. or whether the veteran faces an unusual or excessive burden in receiving a transplant from a v.a. transplant center before we referring a veteran to a v.a. transplant center rather than a ommunity transplant center. this would increase to transplant care and the communities living far from centers. with that, i yield back. -- i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: i yield myself such
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time as i may consume. i rise in support of h.r. 2601, the victor act. this legislation will alimb nate barriers for certain veterans seeking services by allowing access to a transplant center when a provider determines there is a reason to do so or when the veteran would face unusual or excessive burden. that's smart and common sense. making the case that the transplant facilities are good, but diverse society, a diverse geographic spread of veterans and certain cases come up that make it medley wrong to transport someone to a transplant facility. this is smart all in the interest of the best care for our veterans. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i yield two minutes to the sponsor of the dunn my good friend
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. duncan: i thank chairman bilirakis and chairman roe and sergeant major walz from minnesota. it has been great to work with them. i'm honored to speak in support f my legislation, h.r. 2601, the veterans's choice or victor act. when it comes to receiving an organ or bone marrow transplant and the current policy often runs counter to the medical interests of the patient. there are only 14 facilities in the use where veterans may receive a transplant and not all of these perform these transplants. this often represents the difference between life and death. unfortunately due to government bureaucracy, our veterans are often forced to travel hundreds
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or thousands of miles in order to get a chance to receive a new liver, heart or kidney. that travel alone could prove fatal. traveling isn't the only obstacle. oftentimes it is the program itself. the limited size and scope mean veterans have a lower chance of getting a transplant and greater chance of dying. the victor act allows veterans who need a transplant the ability to access a federally certified transplant center close to their home if the veteran and the doctor agree that it is medley safer. it will make it easier for veterans to access life saving medical care by allowing them a number of ways to qualify for care closer to home. as a surgeon and veteran, i believe this is good medicine and good public policy. the status quo puts rod blocks
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in front of this and the victor act increases care for veterans. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: no further speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i have one more speaker, representative from the great state of illinois. i yield him two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> the v.a. requires veterans in need of organ transplants to travel to v.a. transplant centers to receive their transplant. waiting times average 32% longer than those non-v.a. transplant centers. in addition, we have reports that show that further the veteran is from the v.a. transplant center the less likely the veteran is to receive the organ transplant and could prove fatal.
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we owe it to our nation's heroes to provide them the best possible care regardless of where they live. i support legislation offered by my friend and colleague, dr. dunn, to solve this problem. i'm amazed we waited this long to realize we had one sm the victor act allows veterans who live more than 100 miles from one of these veae v.a. transplant centers to seek care at a federally certified non-v.a. facility. i'm proud to co-sponsor the victor act. and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: no further speakers. mr. bilirakis: no further speakers. mr. walz: makes great sense we are in full support and i urge my colleagues to join me in passing this and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i urge our members to support this piece of legislation. the speaker pro tempore: will
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the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2601 as amended. those in favor say aye. , those opposed, no. the rules are suspended and the bill is passed and without objection bill is laid upon the table. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 609 resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 2201 to amend the securities act of 1933 exempt micro offerings from the registration requirements of such act and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. bilirakis: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3634. the clerk: h.r. 3634, a bill to amend title 38, united states code to ensure that individuals may access documentation verifying the monthly stipend
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paid under the program of the department of veterans affairs. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, each will control 20 minutes. mr. bilirakis: i ask all members have five legislative days to resize and extend their remarks and include extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bilirakis: i rise today in support of h.r. 3634 the securing electronic records for veterans of 2017 or serve act. nder the post-envelope -- 9/11 g.i. bill, veterans are provided a monthly allowance where they are taking the majority of their classes at the e-5 with dependents' rate. for many students, this living stipend attainment can be their
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only source of income and prove that they will receive this payment while in school is important for them to show purposes of showing income to rent an income. the serve act would help address this problem and would require the secretary to electronicically provide documentation that verifies the amount of monthly housing stipend an individual receives under the g.i. bill. they could use this documentation as proof of income when applying for housing. mr. speaker, this is a commonsense bipartisan bill that will help student veterans secure housing and eliminate roadblocks to a student veteran's academic success. i thank representative himes for introducing this particular bill and it has my support. with that, i reserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in strong support of h.r. 3634 requiring the v.a. to provide electronic documentation of v.a. housing stipend. i thank representative himes in crafting a piece of legislation that makes sure as currently the v.a. does not provide sufficient information about the exact amount of housing stipend that they receive. many veterans rely on the housing stipend to pay for housing and it could be necessary for them to show proof of their housing allowance as proof of income. without this proof of income, veterans find themselves unable to find housing. this is once again, it is being used a lot today but i would concur, a commonsense piece of legislation that the v.a. can
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provide to allow our veterans to more easily use their their earned benefits. i urge support and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. bilirakis: i reserve. mr. walz: at this time, it's my honor to recognize for four minutes the gentleman from connecticut, the author of this piece of legislation and staunch supporter of our nation's veterans, mr. himes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. himes: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of the securing electronic records for veterans ease act, the serve act, veterans and their families face challenges when they transition and we know we have an important responsibility to do what we can to help. finding housing should not be an ordeal especially if it is causing difficulties including the stipend that veterans get
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from uncle sam. proof of income for housing kept coming up as a big challenge. nick quincy, a marine and founder of the student veterans' lub at sacred heart said if he had a wish list to make the experience better, the number one item would be fixing the lack of verification for the monthly housing stipend and therefore giving him better access to housing. nick and other veterans have no proof of income that a property manager that a landlord could consider credit worthiness. mr. speaker, this bipartisan would help veterans obtain proof of it while using the post-9/11 bill. this is a commonsense fix to this problem and requires the v.a. to make documentation for the post-9/11 g.i. bill
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accessible and available online. stupid veterans will use this documentation to provide documentation to potential landlords. this bill would provide a permanent solution to the inadequacy of statement of benefits. official form, accessible online and builds upon existing website functionality. the site provides access to certification letters for v.a. compensation and v.a. benefits. this fix could have a big effect. close to 1.1 million veterans using this who would be eligible to benefit from this. our veterans have earned this benefit. we need to make sure they don't face bureaucratic hurdles that prevents them from taking advantage of all the benefits they have earned. i thank dr. roe and ranking member waleds in bringing this bill to the floor and their work
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on behalf of all of our nation's veterans. with that, mr. speaker. thank you, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. bilirakis: i reserve and prepared to close. mr. walz: prepared to close. i thank the gentleman from connecticut. good piece of legislation, speed the benefits that were earned by our nation's veterans and i urge our colleagues to support h.r. 3634 and i yield back. . mr. bilirakis: i thank the sponsor of the bill, mr. himes, for holding the round tables and town halls. it means so much in identifying the problem. so i appreciate all the support for this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from flar yields back. the question is, will the house uspend the rules and pass h.r.
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3634. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid pon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. bilirakis: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3705 as amended. the clerk: union calendar number 293, h.r. 3705 a build to direct the secretary of veteran affairs to require the use of certified mail in plain language in certain debt collection activities. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, mr. bilirakis and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extou

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