tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN October 28, 2019 6:30pm-8:59pm EDT
this is all-american competition we need when it comes to prescription drugs. to be clear, the cost of prescription drugs is the number one issue i get asked about in my district. people come up to me in the grocery store, they grab my arm they ask me why their medication has increased by 200% in costs in the last five years. connie, a constituent of mine in brighton, spends $10,000 a year on humira for crohn's disease even though she's on medicare. or joanna in my hometown was hospitalized for several days for complications because she could not afford her inhaler. her complex health needs require a number of medications so she rations her medications to keep them manageable and still spends hundreds of dollars each month. this is wrong and our constituents regardless of party are asking us to do something about it. democrats and republicans have both said the right things about the cost of prescription drugs. they have talked the talk.
they now must walk the walk. i'm incredibly proud to have brought forward this bipartisan legislation tonight. i urge my colleagues to join me in voting yes. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. but first, let's have some order in the house, please. take your conversations off the floor. those of you in the back of the room. thank you. the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter, pharmacist by profession, very valuable member of the health subcommittee and the energy and commerce committee, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for three minutes. mr. carter: i thank the gentleman for yielding. madam speaker, i rise to speak in support of h.r. 2115, the public disclosure of drug discounts act. i'm very glad to see this bill that was part of the metric act representative schakowsky and i passed out of energy and commerce be moved through the
house floor. this is important legislation that brings desperately needed transparency to our drug supply chain. so much of the debate around how we can lower drug prices in this country has been focused on drug manufacturers. this bill highlights the need for reforms throughout our entire drug system, our drug supply system. specifically, this bill shines a spotlight on the middleman in our drug supply chain, the pharmaceutical benefits manager. or p.b.m.'s. for context, three p.b.m.'s control almost 80% of the marketplace. and while originally designed to primarily process claims data, these companies are now some of the largest corporations in the country. for the year 2019, the major p.b.m. companies had a higher projected revenue than facebook, amazon, apple, netflix and google combined. again, for this year, 2019, the
major p.b.m. companies had a higher projected revenue than facebook, amazon, apple, netflix and google combined. in a time where patients are facing higher and higher drug costs, it's clear that more transparency of these middlemen is desperately needed, at the very least. this bill, h.r. 2115, will require p.b.m.'s to report information on all of the rebates, fees and discounts they extract before a drug ever reaches patients. p.b.m.'s argue that it is actually better for patients, that the p.b.m.'s extract all of these increasingly high rebates and fees because they pass those discounts on to the insurance plans, to lower premiums. while i completely disagree with that premise, this bill will finally allow all of us to see for ourselves how exactly how much of a cut these middlemen are taking out of the system. transparency is absolutely critical if we are going to lower drug prices for patients and this bill is a big step in the right direction.
i applaud representatives spanberger, arrington and bowl for their leadership on this bill, as well as congresswoman schakowsky. i urge my fellow members to support h.r. 2115, and i yield back. mr. burgess: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from illinois is recognized. ms. schakowsky: i'm prepared to close now. just by saying, the cost of prescription drugs is an issue on the minds of all of our constituents, in a bipartisan way, all across the country. and this bill will provide much-needed transparency around the activity of pharmacy benefit managers or p.b.m.'s. you heard very eloquent statements from our colleagues on this issue, and i will at that point -- oh, ok. i'm going to close now and just say that i hope all of our colleagues will vote for this
legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman from texas, a co-author of this legislation, jodey arrington, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. arrington: thank you. i want to thank my friend and fellow texan, dr. burgess, for yielding me time to speak. madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 2115, legislation i was proud to help lead and support alongside congresswoman spanberger, which will provide greater transparency to the discounts negotiated between insurance companies and drug manufacturers through what are known as pharmaceutical benefit managers or p.b.m.'s. one of the reasons why drug costs have spirals out of control is because discounts negotiated by p.b.m.'s are shrouded in secrecy. americans are left in the dark about the rebates and we have no idea where the value of those rebates go, but we know this, we don't know that they're going to our seniors, we know they're not going to them at the point of
sale. this has created a system that is confusing and overly complicated, particularly for our seniors. my greatest concern is that the value, again, of these rebates are being passed to our seniors who need the relief desperately. the answer to this drug affordability crisis is not to impose more government control, which would only further distort the market, further confuse our seniors, and increase costs on all americans. instead, we need to activate the forces of competition and provide patients with more transparency in this process, so that they are empowered to know exactly what their options are and what they're paying for each time they visit the pharmacy. this legislation will help ensure that rebates go towards reducing the cost of drugs for our seniors, as well as the cost to the american taxpayer. additionally, i'm thankful this legislation includes text of my bill, the shop r.x. act. this provision, which i carried
in committee with the support of both republicans and democrats, require drug plans for seniors to offer real-time information regarding the various options of drugs and their associated cost. by providing seniors with access to the readily available and relevant information they need in order to be real consumers, we will empower them with the knowledge to choose the options that best fit their needs and their budget. once consumers have more information, they will have more choices and insurers will have to compete for their business. which will ultimately bring down the cost of drugs. madam speaker, i believe this legislation will help transform a system from one in which patients are often powerless victims to one in which they have true bargaining power and real control over their health care needs. i'm proud to support it. i encourage my colleagues to do the same. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: thank you, madam speaker.
at this time i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman from montana, a value member of the health subcommittee, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. gianforte: i thank the gentleman for yielding. far too many montanans can't afford the prescription drugs they need. they shouldn't have to leave the pharmacy counter emptyhanded because costs are too high. montanans need access to affordable medications, which is why reducing drug prices is one of my top priorities. to lower costs, the need for more transparency in our health care system. we need to shine a light into the opaque drug pricing process. our commonsense, bipartisan bill before the house today will shine that much-needed light. the payment commission data act gives congress nonpartisan think tanks greater access to drug pricing data. armed with this data, they can better advise congress about who's being a bad actor in the
drug supply chain. it will help congress address prescription drug prices more effectively. we all want to ensure the american people can buy more affordable prescription drugs. i believe the bipartisan approach we have here should be a working model for how to move forward. not simply ramming through partisan bills. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this commonsense reform, to lower drug prices. i thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: thank you, madam speaker. i urge passage of this bill and 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 suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 2115, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative -- ms. schakowsky: madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois. ms. schakowsky: yes. i demand the yeas and nays on this legislation.
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. proceedings will resume on questions previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. the motion to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2440 and the motion to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2115. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20,
the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2440, as amended. on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title. the clerk: h.r. 2440, a bill to provide for the use of funds in the harbor maintenance trust fund for the purposes for which the funds were collected. and to ensure that funds credited to the harbor maintenance trust fund are used to support navigation and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the wules and -- rules and pass the bill, as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the the ntlewoman from illinois, ms. schakowsky to suspend the rules h.r. 2115 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title. the clerk: a bill toll amend title 11 of the social security act to provide greater transparency of discounts provided by drug manufacturers. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 403, the nays are 0. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title amended. -- the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i send to the desk two privileged reports from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the titles. the clerk: report to acompmy house resolution 655, resolution providing for consideration of house resolution 296, affirming the united states record on the armenian genocide. report to accompany house resolution 656.
resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 823, to provide for the designation of certain wilderness areas, recreation management areas, anconner is vation areas in the state of colorado and for other purpose, providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 13773, protect for current and future generations the watershed ecosystem and cultural heritage of the grand canyon region in the state of arizona and for other purposes. providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 2181, to provide for the withdrawal and protection of certain federal land in the state of new mexico and providing for proceedings during the period from november 1, 019, through november 11, 2019. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to remove my name as co-sponsor for h.r.
3495. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that my name be removed as co-sponsor of h.r. 3495. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to remove my name as co-sponsor of h.r. 3495. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
he house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 647 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will read the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6347, bill to amend the public health service act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care at al pathic and osteopathic medical schools, nursing schools and other schools, including physician assistant program, promote education and research in palliative care and hospice and
support academic careers in palliative medicine. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. schakowsky, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. burgess, each will control 20 minutes. he house will be in order. the house will be in order. please take your conversations off the floor. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois. ms. schakowsky: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks around include extraneous materials on h.r. 647. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. schakowsky: mr. speaker, i'm going to begin by yielding to the author of this important
engel, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. engel: i thank my colleague for yielding to me. i'm proud to sponsor h.r. 647, the palliative care and hospice education and training act. which has 296 bipartisan co-sponsors and endorsements from 54 national organizations including the american cancer society and the american academy of hospice and palliative medicine. the goal of palliative care is to provide patients relief from the symptoms of a serious illness. this form of medical care and accompanying treatments and cures. often an interdisciplinary team of health care providers consisting of doctors, nurses,
social workers and chaplains provide palliative care. in this capacity, these professionals often help patients with medical decision making and care coordination. palliative and hossties pair -- hospice care has been shown to improve health outcomes for patient bus not many people are aware of benefits. furthermore our nation has a shortage of call did -- qualified palliative anjos pis care professionals. palliative care and hospice education and training act will help remedy these issues. this bill will create programs to train the next generation of providers in palliative and hospice care. it will also better educate patients, family, and health professionals about palliative care benefits and encourages the national institutes of health to expand research in this field. nearly every one of us has felt
the pain and stress of a serious illness, either personally or standing beside a loved one. by passing this bill, we'll take an important step forward in bring regular leaf to patients suffering from serious illnesses. i want to thank chairman pallone and ranking member walden for their leadership on this issue and congressman reid and congressman carter who co-authored this bill with me. i would like to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a letter of support from 54 national organizations and 35 state organizations. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. engel: i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the jerusalem from illinois reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of h.r. 647, the palliative care and hospice
education and training act by representatives engel and tom reed, co-sponsored by many members of the house. this helps build our palliative and hospice care work force by establishing and supporting palliative care and hospice education centers through federal grants while enhancing research in palliative care at the national institutes of health. one and a half million medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in hospice care for some time during 2017. with the american population age, we need tone sure that our work force is prepared to handle the influx of patients transitioning into palliative and hospice care. the bill's sponsors and advocates have worked hard over the past few years to get this legislation to the president's desk. as chairman of the energy and commerce health subcommittee last year, i made it a priority to move this bill. i also think that this bill complements the house of
representatives' work on the opioid crisis. it is appropriate that we're passing this bill now as we come to the one-year anniversary of passage of the support act. the bill before us today can address the issue from a different angle with a growing scrutiny on doctors prescribing opioids in the midst of the opiate crisis, we must remember that there are patients with legitimate chronic pain. while the use of on yats can lead to substance use disorder, these patients still need access to their pain medications, particularly if they have been successfully maintained and managed on on yats in close consultation with their doctors. this bill will ensure that we have a palliative and hospice care work force that is adequately trained to manage patients with serious illness, which appreciately includes some aspect of chronic pain or the need for pain relief. i am disappointed that we did not include a provision that
stake holders believe is necessary in order for this bill to become law. senate language include this small but necessary change and i expect that this issue will be revolved prior to the bill's arrival at the president's desk. with a commitment to including this legislative language, i urge members to support h.r. 647 and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlelady from illinois is recognized. ms. schakowsky: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 647, palliative care and hospice education and training act. this bill, introduced by representatives engel, reed, clark, and carter, would establish palliative care and hospice education creventers to mprove training of interdisciplinary professional and faculty members,
professionals and faculty members in palliative care. the bill would promote career development of physicians who practice hossties and -- hospice and palliative medicine. it also helps train the next generation of practitioners by authorizing funds to train and retain nurses. social workers. pharmacists. and others who are pursuing advanced degrees in palliative care and related fields. help 47 will also -- will patients facing serious conditions at the end of their life and improve hospice care availability and treatment. i just want to say this bill is personal to me. my father, who hied with me at the end of his life, we were the beneficiaries of hospice and it made all the difference at the final days of his life.
this bill has the support of 294 bipartisan co-sponsors, as well as 89 different organizations and i would certainly urge all my colleagues to endorse and support and vote for this mportant piece of legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois reserves. mr. burgess: i'm pleased to recognize mr. reed, the co-author of the bill, for three minutes. mr. reed: i thank mr. engel and the members of the energy and commerce committee for your leadership and my colleague, mr. carter, for pushing this bill through and dr. burgess in leading the floor debate. i rise in strong support because as we all know, when loved ones
become deathly ill, we are helpless and we want to step in but not sure how. when my own mother became sick, there isn't anything i wouldn't do to cure her. t the women taught me what truly mattered to her was the comfort of her home, the comfort of her family and that quality time to be spent with her loved ones and her friends. surrounded by wonderful team of family, friends and in particular, hospice-care providers, we watched as her wishes were met. they made sure her symptoms were managed and physically comfortable. but more important, with the hospice volunteers who stepped
in and a much needed break by the loved ones that were caring for her. the experience changed my perspective on death and dying. i'm thankful for the staff and volunteers who stepped in to give my mom and countless others quality of life when their days and her days were limited. we must enissue there is a work force to care for those closest to us who are aging. estimates show there will be no more than 1% growth in the next 20 years. while the number of people eligible for pal yeahtive care will increase by 20%. without a boost for education and training, there will be one
physician for every 26,000 seriously ill patients by 200. this bill promotes a strong work force. and advances training for those health care providers providing health care. i thank my colleagues and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and vote yes this evening. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from -- the gentlewoman from illinois is recognizeded. ms. schakowsky: people who have used hospice care are a great, wonderful blessing to our families and i support the legislation and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlewoman from illinois reserves. the gentlewoman from texas. mr. burgess: i recognize mr. carter for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. r. carter: i rise in the bill. and i'm proud to be a co-lead on this legislation. asist. rs with farm and whether you are talking about patients with cancer, aleds i'mer's, it's critical and valuing the patient's quality of life. hospice care is an important piece of our health care system. the need for quality, well twained providers is only growing. george washington university health care institute present
difficulties that it could increase by 20% by establishing hospice education centers to educate new providers. this bill is a critical step in meeting the needs of future parets. this enhances the research and improving our ability to help patients. and it establishes a nationwide campaign to inform patients, their families about services. this is critical to ensuring they have a clear picture so they can make informed decisions of the care they want. this bill is an important step that will values and improves patients' quality of life. i applaud for leadership on this
ill and i urge support of h.r. ill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois is recognized. ms. schakowsky: i'm prepared to close. mr. burgess: i yield the ball aps of my time. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentlewoman from illinois. ms. schakowsky: you can hear from the testimony that you heard about this bill that will make hospice care more available. that we urge passage of this legislation and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman from illinois yields. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 647 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 on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? ms. schakowsky: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1781 the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1781, a bill toll amend titles 18 and 19 of the social security act to provide the medicare payment advisory commission and medicaid and chip with respect to certain rebate information. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. schakowsky and the gentleman
from texas each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois. ms. schakowsky: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 1781. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. schakowsky: i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1781, the payment commission data act of 2019. this bill will provide the medicaid and chip ayment with access to drug pricing and rebate data under medicare parts b and d as well as medicaid.
they are independent, nonpartisan commissions that advise congress on the medicare and medicaid programs. this drugck access to pricing data and limited in their to provide information to congress on the skyrocketing congress. h.r. 1787 is a simple but critical fix to ensure that the commissioners have the access to this data in order to analyze and report to congress on these important issues. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: i rise in support of the payment commission data act of 2019 which was introduced
by our colleague, representative carter of georgia. this bill provides the advisory ommission known as med pac and certain mac-pac with drug information. it is area congressional agency to advise congress and it is a nonpartisan branch agency that provides policy and data analysis and makes recommendations to congress on issues affecting medicaid and he children's health nurns program. despite getting similar data, we were price todd learn while this data could be shared with the government accountability office and the congressional budget
office, it could not be with shared leading us to this effort to correct this in a bipartisan way through h.r. 1781. by provide iging these drug information, they will be better analyze in the medicare and medicaid programs. these commission is will make better recommendations to congress on how to address drug pricing. in a legalitier to chairman eshoo, and chairwoman medpac said that a statutory change giving us access to this data would enhance our data on issues relating for prescription drug costs. the letter outlines a number of ways that this data would
support congress and support the intended purpose. i would like to submit this letter for the record. the bill continues the work of the last congress where we markedal discussion draft of the health subcommittee. drug pricing remains an shoe and this bill will allow the house to act on recommendations to help lower drug prices for americans. i urge members to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from illinois is recognized. ms. schakowsky: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: i recognize the gentleman from georgia and luable member of the house health subcommittee, five
minutes. mr. carter: i rise in support of my bill h.r. 1781, payment commission data act. the advisory commission and the who serve as nonadvisory panels came to us, they didn't have the data to study drug rebaits. this bill ensures that they have access to make informed decisions. this increase is extremely allowing them to analyze how competition in our drug market is working and part d plans are managing the prices. they will turn that new knowledge into new recommendations of how we as congress can bring down the cost of drugs for patients. this is good governance. i think this bill as well as the
bill we just spoke about h.r. 115 are shining example ps are lowering the cost of drugs. we have worked for all year to advance a number of good, bipartisan drug policies that could make a difference. there are dozens more bipartisan reforms that can get robust support here in the house. the issue is too important to be sacrificed in the name of electoral politics. today is proof that we can pass drug bipartisan reforms. i call on my colleagues, let's build on today and continue to advance it bipartisan policies that we know can become law and make a difference of patients. and k tom o'haller ran
rice, and others for their leadership. i urge my fellow members to support transparency and to support h.r. 1781, and i yield back. . . . noo mr. burgess: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois is recognized. ms. schakowsky: i'd like to point out, mr. speaker, that this evening, early evening, and now we have passed a total of five pieces of legislation. a couple of which were also out of the ways and means committee. i think it's a tremendous success. and a bipartisan success. so i want to thank chairman frank pallone and the chair of the house subcommittee anna eshoo. ranking member walden and nking member of the health
subcommittee mr. burgess for the hard work. but i also do want to just take a moment to thank the staff on both sides of the aisle, on the democratic staff, we have stephen holland, jacqueline boland. imberly. una lee. tiffany, and weverly gordon. these bills will strengthen our health care work force and increase transparency and prescription -- in prescription drug prices. they are all critical. i'm very proud we were able to work in a bipartisan way to hopefully right now to have them pass. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois yields. the question is, will the house
suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1781 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. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
mr. payne: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor anita clark, the serviceerend fred handy award winning. ms. clark was honored on october 25 by the montclair, new jersey, branch of the naacp. few hon nooree -- honorees have been more dedicated to serving the public good ms. clark has spevent her entire life helping the underserved and the most vulnerable residents of essex county.
she started in child development at the newark day care center. she has worked for social services and served as the director of a needs-based youth summer camp. during her 30 years in the essex county judicial system, she helped single mothers get child support and work to keep juveniles from becoming criminals. she is a respected and beloved resident of my district as well as a great friend and family member and a loved one. and this honor is well, well deserved. we are very, very proud of the work that ms. anita clark has done for her community throughout her time in essex county. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition?
>> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to recognize hancock day school for being recognized as a blue ribbon school for 20189. this prestigious award recognizes around 350 schools across the country for their commitment to academic excellence and closing the achievement gap among diverse gruchese students. mr. carter texas to commemorate the award, hancock day school will receive a flag that's a symbol of excellence in teaching and learning. recognized throughout the savannah community as a stalwart of high quality education i'm proud to see hancock receiving national recognition it deserves. the school was founded in 1953 and serves pre-k through eighth grade students, using the hancock way, teachers are giving autonomy -- are given autonomy to teach, prix of busy work and
red tape, while they push students to succeed and refuse to water down any part of the curriculum. the school's founder said students need to grow a little new wood each day and they are certainly succeeding. to teach, students, and staff alike at hancock, congratulations on your award and keep up the good work. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to recognize the surfside sunset beach nourishment project to the residents of orange county, california. due to flood control measures and other shore protection andujar were works made by the federal government, the 17-mile-longshoreline between newark bay no
onger receives natural sand. mr. rouda: stage 13 of the to help the in -- soil line. unfortunately the government has neglect ned project which -- project in recent years, preventing the project moving forward. this project hasn't been funded by the federal government for 11 years. let me repeat 1. 1 years. as the surfside sunset project is one of many important army corps projecters in people of corning county i'll -- orange county i'll continue to advocate for its prioritization by the army corps and congress. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> last week we celebrated
timber innovation day. the forest products industry plays an important role in many communities around the nation, including pennsylvania which is blessed with some of the finest hard woods in the world. mr. thompson: u.s. hard woods were valued at $135 billion and employed roughly 700,000 people nationwide. in addition to its significant economic footprint, the industry also provides numerous environmental benefits because managed forests support proactive stewardship. unfortunately, times have been difficult for many timber producers in recent years. while the industry continues to diversify and trade negotiations progress, identifying new markets for american forest products remains essential. the timber renovation act is one initiative i've been proid to support that does just that. it encourages new marks by supporting research for wood products and construction. with that, i'd like to thank our producers for the work they do and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i'm here today to draw attention to the habitat for humanity organization of salem county in south jersey. habitat for humanity in asemi-- alem county south jersey has been active since its creation in 1982 and as one of the oldest branches they have built over 40 homes with many more in progress. in addition, habitat for humanity in se lem county has a branch of restore which promotes sustainability in home improvement by selling new and gently used materials and furniture. i want to acknowledge their dedication to our community and to the welfare of those around
them. the habitat for humanity nonprofit organization has made great strides in our district by building and renovating homes, so more citizens can have access to affordable housing. we are all proud of them in south jersey, proud of what they've done. they are truly stars and truly have made a difference in individual's lives. mare god bless them. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in cognition and celebration of -- 79 years ago today the greek prime minister replied no to the fascist forces looking to enter greece initially in their quest for total conquest of the continent. with this historic response,
greece rejected submission to the axis powers, proving it would not go easy. through the invasion of the greek homeland, ultimately that happened, the fascist forces could not contend with the ferocity of the greek resistant. mr. bilirakis: the delayed invasion marked the first access set -- axis setback in the entire war and precipitated a fatal delay in thier nan -- german invasion in russia. serving as the turning point for axis powers in world war ii. mr. speaker, i celebrate the bravery and resistance of greek warriors which serbs as an example for all freedom-loving people. i yield back, thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for ne minute.
ms. jackson lee: i rise to join my colleagues in the congressional black caucus and the many member os of thisee -- of the united states congress in honoring john conyers. i look forward through over the next couple of weeks to paying tribute to him on this floor, for he is deserving of the honor an recognition of the service of 53 years in the united states congress. john conyers, throughout newspapers across america, called a civil right ice con, a man who won re-election time after time with 80% of the vote. all from -- i offer my deepest sympathy to his beautiful wife monica and his sons, john and carl. mostly i say to america where those who are voiceless, john conyers was there. but those who were silent, who tried to be heard, john conyers was there in every important piece of legislation for the last half century, john conyers was there. voting rights, fair house, clean
air act, clean water act. yes, he's an icon but he's a person of this nation. honored, servant, former former military, he is to be honored and i look forward to saluting him in days to come. may he rest in peace. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> as we approach veteran days i rise to bring awareness again to the alarming rate of veterans' suicide. this country owes all our veterans an armed services personnel a limitless debt of great grathtude for their sacrifice, many they've made on our behalf. our country wouldn't be the nation it is today if it weren't for the many ways in which they valiantly served. veteran suicide remains an urgent crisis that devastate taos many across our nation
every single day. the statistics are staggering. we know now that we lose up to 6,000 veterans to this unspeakable tragedy every year. mr. johnson: for far too long, our country's brave men and women who fought overseas lose their battle to suicide when think return home and they leave families. there are few things more heart breaking ton to hear of another brave soldier taking their life, and we natchryly ask, how could this one have happened in is there more we could have done? here in congress we have a moral obligation to ensure our veterans are given top priority and the resources and quality health care they need and deserve. we'll continue to work on that priority. we'll continue to advocate for all those who serve. and we'll continue to draw attention to this terrible crisis in america. may god bless and watch over all our troops and all those who serve the cause of freedom. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to
address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: works the -- without objection the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: today the house approved h.r. 2440, the full utilization of the harbor maintenance trust fund act of 2019. nearly every section of our nation's infrastructure is in disrepair including our nation's water ininfrastructure, a true lifeblood of our economy. this year as he did last year, president trump proposed drastic cuts to the army corps of engineers budget. but our appropriations committee rejected this proposal and those cuts. today i stand with my colleagues on the transportation committee to call for greater investment in our water infrastructure. for our part the house passed f.y. 2020 energy and water appropriations bill that included $1.6 billion from the harbor maintenance trust fund, an increase of $147 million above fiscal year 2019 and $722
million above president trump's paltry and unrealistic budget qusm big, medium, and small ports across the doesn'try are economic ebb gins that anchor progress. they rely on leadership from this congress to fund their maintenance. i congratulate representative defazio for his hard work in writing h r. 2440 and hope we continue the the moment toum utilize the harbor maintenance trust fund act. i ask unanimous consent to submit a letter from the port of cleveland for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? . . without objection, the gentleman s recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to raise awareness about an issue that's important to our nation and essential to my district. strawberry growers in plant city, florida, are under attack. for years, mexico has spent
millions subsidizing their strawberry production. this has allowed them to export strawberries at a cost our local growers cannot compete with. consequently, imports of mexican strawberries have increased by approximately 80% since 2010. furthermore, current trade agreements don't allow seasonal growers to bring anti-dumping claims. mr. spano: this means our growers are left with a right against unlawful dumping but no means of enforcing it. plant city, florida, is known as the winter strayberry capital of the world, and produces more than 85% of all the winter strawberries grown here in our nation. it's imperative for congress to correct this shoo situation and pass legislation -- this situation and pass legislation that gives our growers the protections that they need and deserve. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy the nuary 3, 2019, gentlewoman from michigan, mrs. lawrence, is recognized for 60
minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mrs. lawrence: mr. speaker, i rise to ask consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include material on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. lawrence: mr. speaker, i rise today to pay tribute to congressman john conyers. he was one of the 13 founding members of the congressional black caucus. and i stand here today, joining the chair of the congressional black caucus, karen bass, in recognizing that he served for 53 years in the u.s. house of representatives, making him one of the longest serving house members in history, and the first african-american to hold the title of dean. congressman conyers was born in detroit on may 16, 1929.
the eldest of four sons of john and lucile. he attended detroit public schools and graduated from northwestern high school. after graduating, he served in the national guard and then joined the u.s. army. he was inspired by his friend, dr. martin luther king, to run for office and was elected to the house of representatives in 1964. his first hire was civil rights hero, rosa parks. as a human rights and civil rights champion, mr. conyers opposed the death penalty and fought the police brutality and he also led -- co-led, led a co-sponsor for the veeting right - voting rights of 1965 --
1965. mr. conyers also assisted in passing the help america vote act, the violence against women, the motor vehicle bill, the jazz preservation act, and the martin luther king holiday act. i am joined today by a number of my colleagues who will be joining me to give remarks and it's with honor that i now bring forth my colleague, donald payne, whose father served with ohn conyers. mr. payne: mr. speaker, let me first thank the gentlelady from detroit for her leadership on this issue tonight. we felt it was only fitting that she lead us in this special order hour for mr. conyers. former e to honor the
congressman, john james conyers, ,fter his passing on october 27 2019. i'd like to start by offering my thoughts and prayers to his wife, monica, and his sons, john and carl, during this time of loss. mr. conyers spent 53 years as a congressman from michigan, mostly from districts in and around the detroit area. mr. conyers was the third longest serving congressman and the longest serving frican-american congressman in united states history. he helped found the congressional black caucus with some of the -- our nation's most prominent civil rights leaders and colleagues, such as shirley chisholm and william lacy clay sr., the father of my esteemed
colleague, william lacy clay jr., from missouri's first district. during his life, he had several accomplishments in and out of congress. he joined voter registration drives in selma, alabama, in 1963, a year before the landmark 1964 civil rights act even became law. as a congressman, he led the martin luthermake king jr.'s birthday a national holiday, and succeeded through perseverance and continued efforts to make that happen under insurmountable odds. he helped calm revolters in his district during detroit's racial strife of 1967. he was a vocal opponent of apartheid in south africa, a political system of legal racial
discrimination that he just, and as many of us in this great tolerate ld, wroo not -- nation, would not tolerate. and he fought for restrictions on gun ownership to prevent violence. because he knew what it meant in so many of our communities, to have these lax laws. at one point mr. conyers was called the leading black voice in congress. he was also known as one of the best dressers on capitol hill and a lover of jazz. he even got to congress -- he even got congress to declare jazz a national american treasure in 1987. he was a dedicated public ervant, honored korean war veteran, champion of racial equality and a strong figure in this house on behalf -- for half a century. his legacy will be remembered
long after his passing. the work that he has done on this floor and in these halls has been second to none. he cared about this nation. he cared about his colleagues and he cared about his constituents in his district. we will miss him dearly. mr. conyers was one of a kind and we are saddened by his loss. so we are here to honor him in the manner in which he should be , as an esteemed member, former member of this house. with that, i yield back. mrs. lawrence: thank you, to my colleague. so many facts that we need to share about john conyers. cluding the fact that he and -- he in his 52 years of office, he represented michigan's first congressional district, michigan's 14th congressional
district, and michigan's 13th congressional district. also during his time in congress, he chaired the house oversight committee, and also the house judiciary committee. and served as dean of the house. at this time i would like to bring forward my colleague and the amazing john lewis, who will have comments about the passing and honoring of our colleague , john all are mourning conyers who impacted so many of s in this country. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i wanted to thank the young lady from michigan. well, you're still very young. for bringing us together to
. nor john conyers the former dean of the house of representatives. and the co-founder of the congressional black caucus. ohn conyers was born at a time when we needed someone to stand up, to speak up and speak out and to get in the way of what i call good trouble, necessary trouble. as a matter of fact, john conyers and martin luther king jr. were born the same year. , faith, maybe history maybe god almighty placed two of them here -- the two of them here to work together. before being elected to congress , mr. conyers served in the
korean war, and on the staff of representative john dingell. when the people of michigan , he ed mr. conyers in 1964 brought congress to the front line of the civil right it's -- front line of the civil rights movement and he took civil rights, voting rights, labor rights and human rights to the united states congress. john conyers, perhaps more than any other member of congress, he made trips over and over again to the south, to identify the truggle going on in the south. he came to alabama, to georgia, mississippi, and other parts of the deep south. mr. speaker, representative
conyers was one of two members of congress, both from michigan, who voted on the original and every single re-authorization of .he voting rights act he could give us the back story of every major law from the civil rights act of 1968 to the 20-year effort to establish a national day of service honoring my friend and leader, dr. martin luther king jr. when rosa parks, a person who i got to know so well, was forced to leave our home state of alabama after the montgomery bus boycott, mr. conyers more than nyone else gave her a position on his staff and she was very proud and pleased to work in the office of john conyers. she served in his district
office for 23 years. the record should be clear, john conyers loved music, but he loved jazz, he loved jazz more than any other form of music. he loved this institution and he dedicated his life to realizing the dream of what our nation could be. he was of the people and he was for the people. on this difficult day, i offer my deepest condolences to his beloved wife, son, family and the people of michigan who mourn his loss. may he rest in peace and in ower. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much, congressman. some other facts people may not know about john conyers.
he worked for the lincoln auto factory and was a member of the u.a.w. he became the director of education for u.a.w. local 900. and as a first -- as the first african-american, he was the chair of the first african-american to chair the house judiciary commefment he also included the racial justice act and the police accountability act during that time. at this time i want to bring forth another one of our members of congress who have fought many fights and have stood up and know the story of justice in our country. danny davis. thank you so much. mr. davis: thank you very much. let me first of all thank you for organizing this special order. that gives all the rest of us
the opportunity to come and pay tribute to my hero. as a matter of fact, i'm old enough to remember in a very vivid way, the late 1950's and early 1960's, when it was people like john conyers, martin luther king, john lewis, whitney young and other heroes of the period. so john, although he was elected in michigan, he was really all of our congressman. he was the representative for all of us. we didn't have 55 african-american or black members of congress at that time. but we had those voices that were strong, vibrant. those voices that gave hope.
you know there was so much hope and possibility being expressed during that period, that those of us who were emerging had no idea that there was anything that we couldn't accomplish. any changes that we couldn't bring about. any possibilities that did not exist. nd that to me was the true essence of john conyers. i was tremendously impressed with john because he was always for the underdog. he was always for the little guy. always for the little person. always representing those who were left out, those who were unheard, those even who were
unheard of. i don't think there was any place in america where action was going on that john didn't go. as a matter of fact, at the time when we were electing the first african-american mayor in the city of chicago, john was there every week. we thought he had move t.d. chicago, that he didn't live in detroit. every week from the time i guess he left here, and churches and churches and block parties and every place that you could possibly turn, there was john conyers. best n has given the very that you can give. -- and sons, d --
and other members of his family, we say thank you for lending all f us john. and i guess the poet had john in mind when he pened the words i end with. there are hermits that live alone, in the peace of their self-content, there are souls apart in that sprung a firmment. there are pioneer souls that blaze their path where highways never ran. let me live by the side of the road and be a friend to man. let me live in a house by the side of the road where the race good, go by, men who are men who are bad and good and as bad as i. i would not sit in the scorner's
seat or hurl the cynic's ban, let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man. i see it from my house by the side of the road, by the side of the highway of life, the men who press with the ardor of hope, the men who faint with the strife. but i turn not away from their smiles nor their tears, both parts of an infinite plan. let me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend to man. let me live in my house by the side of the road where the race of men go by, men who are good, men who are bad, wise, foolish, but then, so am i. so why would i sit in the scorner's seat, or hurl the cynic's bans? let me live in my house by the
side of the road like john conyers and be a friend to man. yield back. mrs. lawrence: thank you, that was beautiful. we continue in our effort to capture the life of a great man who served in this house. again, another fact. nce 1989, john conyers had introduced h.r. 40, the commission to study reparation proposals for african-americans act. this h.r. bill would establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery in the united states. the legislation has now been taken up by our colleague from texas, congresswoman sheila jackson lee. i now want to bring forth my
colleague, dwight evans, who will have a few remarks. dwight evans has shown to be a voice of reason, hard work, and compassion in his service to congress. mr. evans: mr. speaker, i want ing hank my honorable friend congresswoman lawrence, for her leadership on someone who really set a tone, not just in detroit and michigan but the entire nation. thank you for your leadership. mr. speaker, i knew chairman conyers not as well as some of the members who have spoken, but i did know him. we each represented the largest
industrial arge state. philadelphia and detroit have many of the same problems such as poverty, gun violence, a loss of good manufacturing jobs, and access to health care. i didn't tell my colleague congresswoman lawrence that when she mentioned may 16, i was born on that same day, so there's that connection there. the chairman was one of the 12 founders of the congressional black caucus, and from pennsylvania the person who was one of them was robert n.c. nics, elected in 1958. of 8 years ago, as a result the chairman, we have built on the backs of those founders. today there's 54 of us in the caucus.
including the house majority whip, two senators, four chairs of house committees, and one of our former members became a two-term president of the united states. the chairman helped to lay the groundwork for this progress. he co-sponsored the voting rights act of 1964. 65 -- i was elected in 19 was 10 years of age. in 1965, the voting rights act banned discrimination at the ballot box. he was a fierce critic of the vietnam war that led to a clash with president lyndon johnson. it even won him a spot on president richard nixon's eni
list. it's interesting to have this conversation today because as i saw , congresswoman, i this on tv, he played an important role in the impeachment proceedings. i want to let you know i saw that on my black and white tv. once again, we are building on the back of the work that he and other members did in 1973 and 1974. the chairman, we should thank the leading role in creating the federal holiday that honors dr. marlin -- martin luther king. he introduced a bill four days after dr. king was murdered. so when congressman lewis talks about that, he knows what he's talking about. the fight took 15 years but he
succeeded. the chairman also played a leading role in another long fight, the struggle to end apartheid. in south africa. with a congressman from pennsylvania by the name of william gray. recall, mr. speaker, meeting president mandela. i say all these things because there is a connection to all of us who are here today. and i think that we should honor the chairman for all that he has contributed to this nation. i want to close how i recall the chairman urging skeptical african-americans to get involved in politics. he used to say, register. vote. run for office. it's power that counts.
he used to say, register, vote, run for office, it's power that counts. there's an election, mr. speaker, eight days from now. it's an important one for all of -- it's an important way for all of us to honor the legacy of chairman conyers. to honor everything he worked for in civil rights and the vote. i recall him loving music so much as he -- he talked about john coltrane. and i think it's important to recognize that the chairman did so much for all of us. so i feel really a sincere obligation and a commitment to have my voice -- to add my voice to the foundation that he has laid. as a person who has only been a member of the congress for three years, it is the foundation he
laid that i have the opportunity to stand here today. and that so many of us, not just in the congressional black caucus, but members who are in this house, he has contributed to all of us. o i want you to use your voice and be heard. as he would say, vote. i thank you, mr. speaker, for hat opportunity. mrs. lawrence: i thank my colleague for mentioning so many of the many accomplishments that conyers had. i want to add to to the that, his legislative record extends to introducing medicare for all act. legislation to establish a government-sponsored single payer health care option to control costs. additionally, he championed the sues of reparations to
establish a commission that i mentioned earlier. he fought for justice that also extended to international issues. he was an early leader in the anti-vietnam war movement, in addition to the anti-iraq war movement. this time i want to bring forth a colleague of mine, a hardworking freshman that is this order recognize that he has not -- that he is a freshman. stephen horsford from nevada. thank you. mr. horsford: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chair and the anchor for this special order hour, congresswoman brenda lawrence, for your commitment, your dedication and for your service, not just to the people of detroit but to the people of this great nation. i join with my colleagues not only in the congressional black caucus but this body of government as a whole in
mourning a giant in the legacy of representative john conyers. representative john conyers was a force to be reckoned with, a leader of the civil rights movement who stood tall in the house of representatives for more than a half century. the longest serving african-american congressman. during his 53 years as the representative for the part of michigan encompassing detroit, congressman conyers fought for the people of his state tooth and nail. congressman conyers was known s of known as the dean of the -- he was known as the dean of the house of representatives and he paved the way for all of us who are here this evening. and i really believe that we stand on his shoulders. speaking to his legacy, he was a co-founder of the congressional black caucus. and so the fact that we are now
54 members in number, representing more than 84 million people across the country, it was the vision of people like congressman conyers and others who allowed the congressional black caucus to come forward. he also led the charge to declare, as has been stated, a national holiday in honor of the great reverend martin luther king jr. a day congressman conyers fought for tirelessly, that we now hold in our hearts as a day of remembrance for the legacy of another fearless leader. he also served on two powerful committees as chairman. the house oversight committee, the just passed or lost passing of the great chairman of that committee, chairman cummings, and the house jeshary committee -- judiciary committee, which has great responsibility. in both he never shied away from speaking truth to power. as has been stated by my good
friend, congressman evans, one of his early mottos was register, vote, run for office. it's power that counts. so we will continue to harness this power, to promote the ideals that congressman conyers espoused during his career. and i wanted to note, i don't think i shared this with congresswoman lawrence, but there's a group called the detroit connection. and because so many people tend to come to las vegas to retire, we have a big contingency of detroit people. and they have an event every year called the detroit connection. they raise money, they provide scholarships, and i was so honored one year to have congressman conyers come to las vegas and attend the event for the detroit connection. d it made that group -- it
made them feel so good to know that their champion and their representative was still there. so we will use the privilege of serving. i know i will as one of the new younger members, to continue to fight for equality and justice for all. just as congressman conyers did during his 53 years here on capitol hill. tonight we honor him with our words. but tomorrow we must honor him with our actions. congressman conyers, we will continue the good work you started all those years ago. may you rest in power. thank you. and i yield back. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much. i want to enter into the record the statement by the honorable eddie bernice johnson and her statement about the congressman. she said, i pay tribute to the life and legacy of a
distinguished public servant and colleague, john james conyers jr. who passed away this weekend. and she asked that her colleagues join her in extending the sympathies to congressman conyers' wife, monica, conyers' son, john conyers iii and carl edward conyers, and all whom he influenced over the course of his life, may he rest in peace. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. lawrence: now i would like to bring forth my colleague, my michigan delegation colleague. it is significant to note that rashida tlaib, congresswoman tlaib, actually represents the seat that john conyers retired from. and i'm proud to introduce my colleague, rashida tlaib. ms. tlaib: thank you so much. and thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today with a heavy heart,
in joining my beloved colleague who also represents the city of detroit, in paying tribute to our wonderful late congress member, john conyers. the longest serving african-american in the united states congress. a true civil rights icon and visionary, and the man who will forever be our congressman. the honorable john conyers jr.'s mission to make sweeping changes in civil rights by fighting on behalf of the people started well before he ever stepped into the united states house floor. one of the things that he said is, we've got to -- at the passing of rosa parks, his dear friend, he said that we've got a tremendous legacy to fulfill. you can't maintain a democracy and an empire simultaneously. he said, rosa, you taught me that. but when he first was sworn into the congress in 1965, during a
time of great social unrest in our country's history, he embarked on what we would -- what would become a 50-year tenure of service to our people, that would result in that mission being accomplished and then some. indeed, his more than 50 years of service brought forth the vision of reparations for african-americans, the centering of voting rights, a continued push for universal health care, the creation of the congressional black caucus, and the inspiration of not just those in detroit who worked tirelessly for it, but he directly impacted many, many countless americans across the country. when i first was elected to succeed congressman con yng -- conyers, i knew i had a tremendous legacy to carry. it is a -- it's that tremendous legacy that propels my work on behalf of michigan's 13th congressional district, that i fight for every single day. i remember when i was in his presence, of greatness. he never exhibited anything less
than grace and kindness. he always paused and took time to talk to the residents. he taught me that. sadly, the last time i spoke to him was at his 90th birthday celebration in detroit. he was joyful. and, yes, he still had the presence of greatness. as congresswoman brenda lawrence saw for herself as well. detroit and our district will sorely miss him. may he rest in peace as we continue to fight for what he fought for so long and unwavering -- with unwavering strength, for jobs, justice and peace. i pray that his wife, monica conyers, and the family find strength during this difficult time. thank you. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much. as we share the amazing honor of representing the city of detroit, a place that john conyers loved and gave his life
to. i would like to also, without objection, introduce into the record a statement from our chair of the black caucus, karen bass. outlinesment reads, it his life and his history, it fought s about how he apartheid and that he confronted president nixon about imposing sanctions against south africa. it became -- when it became clear that the president wouldn't act, he joined a congressman in introducing legislation to that end, and was even arrested at a protest in front of south africa. he impacted so many people in his district and throughout the country. america's a better country today because of the legislative and advocacy work of representative
john conyers jr. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. lawrence: thank you. at this time i would like to bring forth a chair of this amazing body, a chair, a member of the black caucus, an amazing leader, congressman scott. mr. scott: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady for holding this special order and recognizing the legacy of congressman john conyers. i want to join those who are honoring his legacy. he served in congress longer than any other african-american. he represented michigan and the nation for over 50 years. he was a founding member of the congressional black caucus. and he served as dean of the house. he was a giant in civil rights. he often bragged about being the only candidate for elected office ever endorsed by dr. martin luther king jr. and he also for many years, for many years rosa parks worked in
his detroit district office. as a legislator, he was a true champion of civil rights and leaves behind a legacy of fighting for transformative change that continues today. his five decades of service in congress are marked by a core of fundamental belief in equity and justice for all. for many years, i worked with congressman conyers on the judiciary committee and most recently we worked together to address segregation in our public schools. we also fought together for equity in education, as well as criminal justice reform, voting rights and breaking down barriers to employment. i want to send my condolences to his family, his loved ones and the entire detroit community and all who are mourning the loss of a life-long champion for a better america. thank you, and i yield back. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much for those kind words and informative message. at this time i would like to bring forth a woman in our
congress, the longest serving woman in congress, marcy kaptur, ho served with the dean of congress and would like to reflect. ms. kaptur: i would like to thank congresswoman brenda lawrence for inviting us to come to the floor this evening to share our sorrow with the conyers family and the people of greater detroit that congressman conyers represented here so forcefully throughout his entire career. i would like to extend sympathy to his wife, monica, to his sons, john and carl, that he used to come through, walk through congress, even when they were small, and he would take them on the train from one side of the capitol to the other. i can still see them doing that. as others have mentioned, he . rved from 1965 to 2017
so from the civil rights movement at its apex, that fervor came into this chamber. and john served over half a century in furtherance of america's betterment. he was the 44th dean of the house. he became its most senior member , and certainly the longest serving african-american in the history of the united states of america. i think most members would agree he truly was a drum major for justice and also a drum major for jobs and fair wages for all workers. his service was anchored by those parallel visions. and i can still remember coming as a new member to congress. there were three men who were serving at that time. john, another john, john dingell, and a man named william ford. and the three of them together in my mind actually formed the
northern apex of the civil rights and labor rights movement in this country. and america was bettered by all of their services. they worked in tandem, they had been forged by the same set of experiences and coming to us from what we in the midwest call motown. motor city. that's a place that is unlike any other in the united states of america. it has a rich history, it has a history of struggle. and it produced famous singing the s like the supremes, detroit tigers and lots of jazz. john loved jazz. if you think about what he represented, detroit is not really a tea and crumb pets city, my apologies to all those who enjoy tea and crumpets. it's really a heavy duty town. a very pluralistic community.
where the fight for organized labor was rooted. and something that we know well in our region, the strike at a place called river rouge, that began the work in our country to value labor through contract, not just happenstance, but by an actual contract. and john conyers was a part of the development of the law that allowed for the dignity of labor. but it was born out of the struggle in detroit, a very rough and tumble world, and one of his early jobs was with the united auto workers, which our family has had members in for many generations now. and he and i shared that affinity. he was not an arrogant man but he was rooted, again, in the fight for justice during the best years of his life. when he arranged for the funeral
in detroit of rosa parks, and the history of the montgomery bus boycott is written, i don't think a lot of people really know that he actually had hired rosa parks in his office from 1965 to 1988, and i can recall in 2005 attending the funeral of rosa parks and what a central role john conyers played in that magnificent ceremony. but through it, the continuing education of the people of the united states of america as to what the civil rights struggle and our struggle as a people has actually been comprised of, a constant struggle. i have to say, onle the humorous side, he loved cars that drove fast the. and i happened to be in one of those cars one time, 90 miles per hour on i-75. i don't know how we ever didn't
get a ticket. but he was always moving forward. i would guess we shared thousands, i started adding it up today, thousands of airplane flights between washington and michigan as we went to our respective hometowns. i always found him to be very cordial, very friendly, full of a d humor and he was perpetual anchor for us on moving america forward, a leading strategist in that endeavor. so i hope it is of some comfort to his loved ones and the people he represented that his being and his indefatigable spirit are now freed from earth's bonds and that his soul may rise high and shower our precious world with peace and justice from sea to
shining sea. we will have an attachment for the record honoring the magnificent life of the late ongressman john conyers. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much, congresswoman. at this time we'll bring up mr. steve cohen who represents the great state of tennessee, bring his remarks. mr. cohen: thank you, mrs. lawrence. i i was freshman in 2007, was the only member of the house who chose judiciary as their first committee choice. at least the only democrat. that gave me the opportunity to be on john conyers' committee, him being my chairman for 10-plus years. that was a blessing to me. he taught me much. i would consider him my mentor. he taught me about life. he taught me -- taught me about judiciary issues and the congress, an he taught me about
life. john conyers was a spirit. i sometimes thought of him as kind of a hippie buzz he had these ethereal thoughts about the way people ought to be and about caring about people and about justice and about civil rights that was unlike thoughts you'd hear from most people but he was ahead of the hippies. he was ahead of bernie sanders. he was ahead of so many people. we talk here today so many people about him being -- which is all true -- longest serving african-american member of congress. but it was more than that. he was a voice for truth on this floor before people realized the truth was the truth. he was a voice for truth when people just though he was an african-american guy talking about african-american issues. but it wasn't african-american issue, it was human issues. it was the essence of america, about justice and freedom and opportunity and right and he
espoused it at an early time when a lot of people didn't get it. people get it now they realize dr. king got a holiday. dr. king was great. but people hated dr. king for years. people didn't know about rosa parks, per se. he gave her a job. he put her on a pedestal, which she deserved to be. tell you a story about john conyers. when i was a freshman, and i have an african-american district, some people weren't co-crazy about me being up here, john conyers took me under his wing from day one. and i had a resolution to apologize for slavery and jim crow. i had that resolution because i had suggested it to bill clinton in 1997 and wrote him a letter when i was a state senator and suggested he should sponsor such a thing and have a dialogue about race in america. i got a response from bill
clinton but it was gibberish. and he didn't act upon it. but when i got elected to congress and i was going through my letters as a state senator in my office i came across that letter. i said to myself, i am a congressman now and i can do something about it. i don't have to write bill clinton and get a meaningless response. so i introduced that resolution. heart felt. appropriate. some people didn't want it to come to the floor. some didn't want a white person to sponsor it. some thought i was using it for politics to get re-elected. the fact is my political consultant told me not to do it hsm said you've got this race won. don't do it. it can only hurt you. i said you don't get it. i'm doing this because it matters to me. it mattered to me since 1997 when a state senator. so one day i had my cell phone, low on power, and i had a
staffer bring from longworth, where my office was, a charger and i charged it up in the judiciary committee. went back to longworth, couldn't find my cell phone, i'd forgotten where i'd left it. i realize id had left it charged in the judiciary committee. so i went over there at the end of the day, only time it ever happened to me. it was about a week or 10 days before my election in august. just to put it in perspective of it. and i went there and john conyers was having a meeting with his staff on what to do the next week. we were in the midst of interviewing people on the bush team, alberto gonzales and some lady from liberty university who had done some stuff that was questionable. we were taking on the bush justice department which had done some egregious things. and i was a freshman and pretty much in awe of john conyers.
and so i was in the back room and he was in his office, he said steve, come on. in i was 10 feet high. i was going into a meeting with john conyers of what was going to go on the next week. they were tossing around ideas about maybe bringing up an impeachment of george bush and some other issues. and i decided to throw out, kind of a doug flutie hail mary pass. i said how about if we have an apology for jim crow and slavery. and without a blink john conyers said that's a great idea. put it on for next week. that's how it got scheduled. we came here, john conyers managed the time. it passed on a voice vote. i regretted that because i wanted to have everybody vote on it. but john conyers said and properly so, take your victory when you can get it. we had a man on the other side, republican, who brought up some
insane babble about some christians being thrown off a boat in the mediterranean by some moroccans or something. what this had to do with slavery and jim crow was beyond any of us. i wanted to respond to it. mr. conyers said let him be just pass this and move on. he was right. my proudest accomplishment as a freshman and one of my proudest accomplishments in this congress was to pass that resolution. it would not have happened but for john conyers' sponsorship and support. so i thank him for being a mentor and teaching me so much, giving me that opportunity. he did love jazz. we talked about jazz all the time. he played jazz in his office. he had jazz musicians come up to any proceedings we had in washington, have them perform. i learned different jazz people that i had previously not known about. he came to memphis to support me in my first term as the first congress forne come there.
he was honored with a fourth of april foundation award which goes to great, courageous leaders in civil rights on the anniversary of the assassination of dr. king. he was given that award. and he came to memphis also just to support me. and he was a proud kappa coming in his red coat and all the kappas were there with him and the kappas loved him. he was a kappa, and they loved it. i thanked him for his service. i think about him almost every day. we used to sit here together on the floor. and he would ride the keas lators when he'd leave judiciary committee, sometimes i ride the keas lators now and think about john conyers. it's not the quickest way to go butconyers did it and i do it. so thank you john conyers for teaching me so much, for being a great lead eark man beyond his years in terms of his knowledge and his spirit and ahead of his time with his ideas of civil rights and justice and fairness
for all people. god bless you. mrs. lawrence: thank you so much. as we wrap up now in our tribute , he hn conyers, the dean was many things. he was a u.a.w. labor member. he was a military veteran. he was a fighter for voters for rights, for health care, for reparations, for racial justice. he was a lover and promoter of jazz. but most of all, i stand here today as a member of congress representing michigan's 14th district, he was detroit. he was motown. he was a person whose thumbprint will remain throughout history as a political voice, a leader and a beloved man and a history of our city and of metro detroit.
i want to say to the family, we send all the love and respect and to say in closing, john conyers, rest in power. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlewoman have a motion? mrs. lawrence: i make a motion to adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow for morning hour debate.
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