Skip to main content

tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  June 18, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT

5:00 pm
conyers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. conyers: thank you, ms. lofgren. i appreciate this important debate and participating in it. members of the house, by imposing a nationwide ban on abortions performed after 20 eeks, h.r. 1797, the so-called pain-capable unborn child protection act, is nothing less than a direct attack on a woman's constitutional right to make decisions about her health. it criminalizes previability abortions with only a narrow exception for the woman's life. it fails to include any exceptions for the woman's health, and it utterly disregards the often difficult
5:01 pm
personal circumstance women face. when confronted with the needs to terminate their pregnancies. the amended version of 1797, made in order by the rules committee last night, attempts to address the nationwide outcry in response to comments by the bill's author at the judiciary committee's markup that, quote, incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low, end quoteation. as -- quotation. as amended, the bill includes a very limited exception for rape and incest that would only be available if the victim could demonstrate that she has reported the crime to the proper authorities. this reporting mandate isn't even required in the hyde
5:02 pm
amendment, and it ignores the many reasons why rape goes unreported, including the fear of the abuser, fear of how the legal system may treat the victim and shame. in short, the majority has determined that a woman's word is not enough to prove that she has been raped or the victim of incest. this pernicious legislation would also impose criminal penalties on doctors and other medical professionals. but let's consider the facts beginning with the sponsor's , mments that, quote-unquote incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy is low and there is no need for an exception. on the contrary, rape-induced pregnancy unfortunately, i'm sad to say, occurs with some frequency.
5:03 pm
for example, the rape, abuse and incest national network reported that during 2004 and raped 4,080 women were 3,204 hose rapes pregnancies resulted. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from california. ms. lofgren: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: reserves. the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: at this time i yield three minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. goodlatte: i want to thank the gentlelady from tennessee and the other pro-life women who are speaking out today. since roe vs. wade in 1973, medical knowledge regarding the development of unborn babies and their compass its at various stages of growth has -- compass its at various stages
5:04 pm
of -- capacities at various differed.growth has sunng xpert of dr. anand, as dr. anand has testified, if the fetus is beyond 20 weeks gestation, i would assume there would be pain caused to the fetus and i believe it would be fear and excruciating pain. congress has -- shows that the unborn can feel pain with limited exceptions. h.r. 1797 does just that. it also includes provisions to protect the life of the mother and an additional exceptions for rape an incest. the trial of late-term abortionist consider met gosnell and excessive reports of similar atrocities committed across the country remind us how an atmosphere of
5:05 pm
insensitivity can lead to horrific brutality. the grand jury report in the gosnell case itself contains references to a neonatal expert who reported that the cutting of the spinal cords of babies intended to be late-term aborted would cause them, and i quote, a tremendous amount of pain. the polling company recently found that 64% of americans would support a law, such as the pain-capable unborn child protection act. only 30% would oppose it, and supporters include 47% of those who identified themselves as pro-choice in the poll as well as 63% of women. in the 2007 case of gonzalez vs. carhart, the supreme court made clear that, and i quote, the government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman, and that congress may show such respect for the unborn through specific regulation because it
5:06 pm
implicates additional ethical and moral concerns that justify a special prohibition. as "the new york times" story concluded, throughout history a presumed insensitivity to pain has been used to exclude some of humanities privileges and protections. over time the charmed circle of those considered alive to pain and therefore fully human has widened to include members of other religions and races, the poor, the criminal, the mentally ill and, thanks to the work of sunny anand and others, the young. when newborn babies are cut with scissors they wimper and cry and flinch with pain. unborn babies cry and flinch from pain. delivered or not, babies are babies and they can feel pain at least by 20 weeks. it is time to welcome your children who can feel pain to your family. i urge my colleagues to support this. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee reserves. the gentlelady from california
5:07 pm
is recognized. ms. lofgren: madam chair, before i yield to the ranking member of the constitution subcommittee, i would just like to note that we do not need to change the law. dr. gosnell is convicted and he's doing two life sentences in prison for murder under current law. i yield to the ranking member of the constitution subcommittee, mr. nadler, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. madam speaker, we're back again considering cruel and unconstitutional legislation that would curtail women's reproductive rights. this bill continues a nearly total ban on abortion which the supreme court says violates women's rights under the constitution. just recently the u.s. court of appeals for the ninth circuit struck down a nearly identical arizona statute saying, quote, since roe v. wade, the supreme court case law concerning the constitutional law with respect to the decision whether or not to undergo an abortion has been unclear regarding unbasic
5:08 pm
point. a woman has the constitutional right to choose to terminate her pregnancy before the fetus is viable. it is per se unconstitutional, closed quote. perhaps most cruel this bill even fails to provide an exception to protect the woman's health. the exception for a woman's life is so narrowly written and convoluted that even if a physician could -- they wouldn't know that a condition qualifies. so the morally arrogant authors of this bill would tell a woman who faces permanent injury or disability that she must bear that calamity by carrying her pregnancy to term. recently added language is supposed to take the heat off the recent offroar from the rape and i sest amendment to the bill. but it is only if the bill -- only if the victim first reported it to the authorities. in the best of all possible worlds, every assault would be
5:09 pm
prosecuted and every rapist would be prosecuted. there are reasons why rapes and incests don't get reported. the humiliation, the harassment, the psychological trauma. why force victims -- why force women to be victimized twice? the only reason we have been given by the supporters of this bill is that women lie about having been raped. so the sponsors are telling us not only that women are not competent to make this very personal decision for themselves and that we here are nor competent, we should substitute our judgments for theirs, but there are women that are too honest to be believed when they say they are raped. this bill would use the term of assault to direct an unnecessary and cruel barrier to a raped woman. congress should not side with her abuser to force her to care that abuser's child to term. the incest exception applies to when the victim was a minor when the incest occurred. why? do they believe it was nice and consensual sex that when her father that gets her pregnant
5:10 pm
at age 8 doesn't count? these restrictions are new. the rape and incest exceptions in the previous legislation passed by this house have no such conditions or restrictions. even the hyde amendment, embodied in the labor-h appropriation bill says, established in the proceedings section shall not apply to abortion if the pregnancy is from the act of rape osh incest. no -- rape or incest. now they want to redefine rape and incest to satisfy an extremist base that wants to outlaw all abortion. i hope we can agree that no woman should be forced to care her abuser's child. reject this cruel and unconstitutional language. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves. the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i yield two minutes to one of our bright young attorneys, mrs. roby of alabama. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from alabama is recognized for two minutes. mrs. roby: thank you, madam speaker. and i thank the gentlelady for
5:11 pm
yielding. i rise to support h.r. 1797, the pain-capable unborn child protection act. this bill would at least prohibit dangerous late-term abortions of unborn children at 20 weeks. that's the stage of development which we feel pain, and i say we, mr. speaker, for a reason. many supporters of this bill are taking to facebook and twitter, using the #theyfeelpain to illustrate the brutal reality of late-term abortion. i applaud their efforts and i appreciate the many notes of encouragement i've received from constituents back home in support of this bill. i certainly hope that they will keep those facebook posts coming to get the word out about what we are doing here today. but i use the phrase we feel pain because i'm afraid too often we speak of this issue like it's someone else we're talking about, some other species. mr. speaker, we're talking about human beings, human beings, babies far long enough in development to feel touch, to respond to touch.
5:12 pm
we're talking about us. we were all 20 weeks at one time. every member in this chamber was, and we all reached a particular point of development at which the prayerful hope for life becomes precious, potential and viability. these babies right now are in nicus all over this country, having been premature, the babies are laying in a protective environment trying to reach the hold the fingers of their mommies and dadies. right now under federal law other babies at 20 weeks are still at risk of being brutally and mercifully killed. madam speaker, this must end and this must end because we feel pain. i reached out a few hours ago via facebook, madam speaker, to my constituents to ask for stories about children that were born at or near 20 weeks and i want to share one. constituent named terri writes that her baby was born at 24 weeks weighing only two pounds, three ounces. after struggling initially, her
5:13 pm
child grew strong and healthy and that was 19 years ago. her son is now an adult living out west. i ask my colleagues to support and vote yes for h.r. 1797. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: madam chair, i'd like to yield to the democratic leader, congresswoman nancy pelosi from california, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, do you ever wonder what the american people think when they tune into c-span to see what business is ing attended to on the floor of the house? do you ever wonder what the american people think when they're saying, what is happening to creating jobs, what is happening to an agreed budget to promote growth, reduce the deficit for our country, what is happening to make progress for the american
5:14 pm
people? do you ever wonder about that when they tune in and see debate on bills that are going no place? do you -- they think, well, here it is just another day in the majority-controlled, republican-controlled congress? another day without a budget agreement. another day of ignoring the top priorities of the american people by the republican majority. our constituents have made it clear time and time again, we must work together to create jobs, to strengthen the middle class and to grow the economy. our -- yet once again republicans refuse to listen. instead we are debating legislation that endangers women's health and that disrespects the judgment that the american women and their doctors on how to make judgments about women's health. this bill would deny care to women in the most desperate circumstance.
5:15 pm
sad and desperate circumstances. it is yet another republican attempt to endanger women. it is disrespectful to women. it is unsafe for families and it is unconstitutional. at the start of the congress, the republicans take great pride, and we join them in that pride in reading the constitution, start to finish. it's a great day. it's a great document. but then the republicans proceed to ignore it. one example, this clearly unconstitutional bill. each day republicans claim they want to reduce the role of government except when it comes to women's most personal decisions about their reproductive health. leading groups of medical professionals and experts across the country believe that this legislation is dangerous and wrong. that is the message we have seen from doctors who point out that this would put medical
5:16 pm
professionals in an untenable position in treating women in women in need. that is the same message we heard from religious organizations whoville called on us to offer compassion and respect to a woman and her family facing these difficult circumstances. i have a copy of a letter from 16 national religious groups that were sent to speaker ne to me as democratic leader, which i wish to submit for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. pelosi: more extremism, more deadend bills and the challenges faci allerics. the american people want bipartisan. they want progress. they don't want obstruction and delaying tactics. enough is enough. let's vote no on this dangerous bill and let's get to work
5:17 pm
together to work on a fair budget that replaces the across-the-board cuts of the sequester, with a plan to create jobs, grow the economy and strengthen the middle class as we reduce the deficit. let us act now to put people to work to strengthen the middle class. let's discard this assault on women's health and work together to make real progress for the american people. i urge my colleagues to vote no and yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from california reserves and gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: when we talk about what is dangerous, let me tell you what is dangerous in rome, condoning the actions of dr. gosnell or what we found out from delaware or virginia or west virginia. the house of horrors goes on and on. at this point i would like to
5:18 pm
yield three minutes to a member of our house republican leadership team, the gentlewoman from missouri. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. mrs. wagner: i rise today in support of life, in support of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. life begins at conception and throughout the years, the science and technology have evolved and continue to advance, we are changing hearts and minds. we have more and more evidence that life does indeed beginning at conception. we know that after three weeks, the baby has a heartbeat. after seven weeks, the baby begins kicking in the womb. by week eight, the baby begins to hear and fingerprints start to form.
5:19 pm
after 10 weeks, the baby is able to turn his or her head, frown and even hiccup. grasp 11, the baby can with his or her hands and by week 12, can suck his or her thumb. and week 20, not only can the baby recognize his or her mother's voice, but that baby can also feel pain. while killing an unborn child is unacceptable at any time, it is especially terrible at the 20-week mark when the child is able to feel the pain of an abortion. but madam speaker, it is not only the pain of the child that we must be concerned with, but also the pain of the mother. the other side has deemed abortion a right. they couch that they are champions for women, telling women they have the right to with their bodies whatever they want. the problem here is that everyone talks about the right
5:20 pm
to choose, but no one discusses the implication of that choice. i recently had the opportunity to speak with joyce zunis who had multiple abortions between the ages of 15 and 26. she told me that the doctor told her would be over very quickly and they didn't tell her about what the physical and the sick coling call implications that would stay with her for life. the doctor didn't relay the physical risks that she suffered later, that does not include the emotional damage she suffered, seclusion and the inability to trust anyone. madam speaker, i am for life at all stages. i am for the life of the baby and i'm also for the life of the mother. and i will continue to work towards the day when abortion is
5:21 pm
not only illegal, but is absolutely unthinkable. and i yield back. >> i have a parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i have a parliamentary inquiry. can the speaker inform us when we might consider legislation to address the needs of a generation of college students whose interest rates are about to reset in a few weeks and double instead of this bill which is a direct attack on women's rights? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has not stated a parliamentary inquiry. for what purpose does -- the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: i would yield to a member the judiciary committee, congresswoman sheila jackson lee 2 1/2 minutes.
5:22 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, to those who are gathered here today, i have already heard my leader indicate partly why we are here, taking away from the serious work of this place and trying to provide jobs for the thousands and millions of americans who are unemployed. but i have another question, i want to know why we are on the floor of the house debating a dangerous and inhumane legislative initiative. i also want to know why there are those who would rise arrogantly to suggest they know my heart.
5:23 pm
why is someone suggesting in this body that i have not experienced pain or do not know pain or do not know the pain of my constituents, the same question can be asked, how do they know when a mother, whose health is in jeopardy, is feeling. why would they suggest that we could not or that we are saying to some woman, that you can't do with your body as you desire. it is between your god, your doctor and your family. how outrageous this legislation is. it is patently unconstitutional. griswold said about the right to privacy. there is another case that specifically said the health of the mother had to be taken into consideration. this violates any kind of adherence to the health of the mother. r us to refer to the heinous disgusting actions in pennsylvania, suggest that i
5:24 pm
don't care about it, i am glad that the justice prosecuted this villain and since that -- and september that doctor to jail but i don't want america eye doctors and mothers to be turned around into the jail house because we are arrogant. let's be very clear. a young woman a diabetic who discovered months into her pregnancy that the fetus had no chance for survival and wanted to induce labor but her physician said she could not survive it and had to use another procedure. if it had not used the procedure like an abortion, she would not be able to have children again. do we want to go back to the time when women are running into back alies? can -- alleys?
5:25 pm
can i get another 15 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: at this time, i recognize mrs. hartzler from missouri for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. mrs. hartzler: we do a lot of things here in washington and discuss many types of legislation and sometimes the impact of what we do gets lost in the debate and this bill impacts people and why it's important. here is an gin justice occurring in our -- injustice occurring in our society. the doctor gives medicine in the womb to that baby because can feel pain. the baby can be brought to full term. another unborn baby who is six months along down the street at a clinic does not receive and
5:26 pm
eas these yeah and ripped apart limb by limb who crushes the skull to complete the abortion. this is wrong. i rise today in support of h.r. 1797 the pain-capable unborn protection act, which will prohibit an abortion of an unborn child that has surpassed 20 weeks on the basis that children at this stage of development can feel pain. in light of recent trial of dr. gosnell, we have seen firsthand the very gruesome nature of what is currently taking place in america's abortion industry. the aatlanta that abortion involves not a choice but the taking of a human life. late-term abortions are painful and they are happening all around the nation. a leading expert in fetal pain has said the fetus has the ability to feel pain from 20 weeks of gestation and the pain
5:27 pm
may be more intense than perceived by full term and older children. this pain is inflected through a ocedure known as d and e and the doctor tears apart the baby of the child after removing him from the womb and crushes the child's skull. science and the american public are reunited. this gruesome practice has no place in our society. they say the unborn child can feel pain. there's also risk to the mother. drawing a line at 20 weeks is not arbitrary. the child suffers great pain and the mother is placed drastically in danger. a woman seeking abortion at 20 weeks is 35 times more likely to die from abortion as she was in the first trimester. at 21 weeks or more, the chance
5:28 pm
of death is 91 times higher. jennifer morvalley was a victim of a dangerous abortion procedure. this was done in a complex in baltimore last february, a tragic end to a young mother and agonizing death for her child. as a society, it is time to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves and to stop this heinous practice. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady will suspend. the gentlelady from tennessee will reserves. ms. lofgren: i have a parliamentary inquiry. >> when will the house consider legislation to address the veterans -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady has not stated a proper parliamentary inquiry. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: madam speaker, i would like to recognize a many
5:29 pm
valued member of the judiciary committee, congresswoman judy chu from california for two two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for two minutes. ms. chu: imagine a world that the federal government prevents women from receiving medical procedures that would save their lives. innocent law-abiding americans would live or die by government decree. if you think this is a fantasy, think again and take a good look at the abortion bill being pushed by republicans today. with only a narrow exception to protect life, but not the woman's health. it could very well be a death sentence to countless women in the most desperate of circumstances. this bill is a blatant attack on a women's right to choose and the people who will pay the most will be those who are in most of
5:30 pm
need of help. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this nationwide 20-week abortion ban bill and i call on the republican party to stop pushing bills that endanger american women. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves. the gentlewoman from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: i yield one minute to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. scalise. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for one minute. mr. scalise: i thank the gentlelady from he tennessee for yielding. i rise proudly in support of life and strong support of h.r. 1797. scientific studies have proven that babies can feel pain after 20 weeks after conception and passage of this bill is major defense of life. the gosnell trial focused on the horrors of late-term abortion and the capable unborn child act sends a loud message that our
5:31 pm
great nation stands up in defense of life. i'm proud that americans for united life ranked louisiana as the number one pro-life state in the nation. if a woman who is pregnant and murdered, not only is the murder charged of the mother but also the murder of the unborn child. it is a proud day we are standing up here in defense of those babies after 20 weeks saying this country will not allow those babies' lives to be terminated. i proudly support this legislation and i urge my colleagues to support it as well and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady reserves and the gentlelady from california is recognized. . the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: madam speaker, i
5:32 pm
would like to recognize another member of the judiciary committee, mr. deutch of florida, for two minutes, i yield him two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. deutch: i thank my friend from california. madam speaker, today i want to give voice to real women and girls who sought abortions after 20 weeks. the sad truth is that for disenfranchised women it often takes more than 20 weeks to overcome the roadblocks encountered on the path to what a constitutionally protected procedure. they may struggle to pay for the procedure. they may risk losing their jobs that they request time off or lack full information about their bodies having never received sex education or seen a gynecologist. each woman facing these decisions is unique, their voices have gone unheard of in this chamber but they are americans that deserve laws that protect em. so before this vote i wanted to share their stories. sandra and her husband had no
5:33 pm
car, internet. it found weeks to find an abortion provider. they had to save up for the procedure, for childcare for their kids, for the 80-mile taxi ride to west palm beach. by that time the facility they found could not help her. they had to start over, save up even more, take even more time off to see a fort lauderdale doctor who could help them. at 17, helga was in a witness protection program. she was raped as a child and later bore a daughter who was taken in by protective services. after leave drug treatment in florida, helga was 20 weeks pregnant but she wanted a chance to put that past behind her and it was only the compassion and generosity of her abortion provider, her doctor who gave her that chance. today she's taking care of herself and reconnecting with her daughter. at 13, michelle often had irregular lahr -- irregular
5:34 pm
periods. she got scared and told her mom. she didn't know she was pregnant. her disabled mother was barely able to feed michelle and her four siblings so they agreed she needed to have an abortion. the whole process took time. finally at 22 weeks she secured an abortion with a provider, a doctor who could assume the costs. i ask my colleagues, please answer these women with down this and vote bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from south dakota, mrs. noem. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from south dakota is recognized for two minutes. -- noem: mrs. noem: thank you, madam speaker. we heard the minority leader saying we needed to do with bills that dealt with jobs and the economy that the american people care about. well, the american people support ending late-term
5:35 pm
abortions. just look at the graphic up here that says 64% of americans believe abortion should not be permitted in the second three months of preg assistancey. 80% of americans believe abortions should not be permitted in the last three months of pregnancy. americans recognize that h.r. 1797, the pain-capable unborn child protection act needs to be passed. it needs to be done because it is the right thing to do. i've always been pro-life. i believe as a lawmaker i have a duty to protect those that are the most vulnerable. recently we've seen atrocities in this country committed against unborn babies, babies born alive. atrocities against these babies and their mothers. the details of that trial only highlight the need for us to protect women and to protect these babies from people like gosnell and prevent crimes like this from ever happening again. this bill stops abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, right after the sixth month. scientific evidence shows that babies can feel pain at this point of the pregnancy. we're talking about babies that
5:36 pm
if they were born and simply given a chance they could survive outside of the womb. they just need a chance. the topic of abortion is very personal for many around the country. it stirs emotions on both sides. if we disagree on this issue i hope we can do it respectfully. unfortunately, i don't find a lot of the rhetoric i heard today very respectful. they say it's a war on women. i am not waging a war on anyone. i am not waging a war on my two daughters or any woman in this country. regardless of your personal belief, i how about that stopping atrocities against little babies is something we can all agree to put an end to. this legislation would do exactly that and i ask my colleagues to support its passage. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee reserves. and the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: madam speaker -- excuse me -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady -- for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> i have an parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry.
5:37 pm
>> under house practice and procedure, is it not customary for someone on the committee of jurisdiction to manage time on the floor? ms. israel: is it because they have no women on the house judiciary committee that the gentlewoman from tennessee manages the time on the floor? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is engaging in debate. the gentleman has not been recognized for debate. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: madam speaker, i am pleased to recognize a member of the judiciary committee from new york, an excellent lawyer and new member of the house, representative hakeem jeffries for 1 1/2 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. jeffries: this is a violent assault on reproductive rights on americans and an intrusion
5:38 pm
into the doctor-patient relationship. it is a continuation of the republican war against women and an unconstitutional effort to repeal a 40-year supreme court decision. it is dead on arrival in the senate. the white house and the president will veto it. a majority of the supreme court will declare it unconstitutional, and so why are we here wasting the time and the money of the american people on a futile and extreme legislative joyride? this is not berry goldwater conservatism. this is not even ronald reagan conservatism. this is conservatism gone wild. we can only hope for the good of the country that our friends on the other side of the aisle can get the extremism out of
5:39 pm
their system today so that we can return to the business of the american people tomorrow. i urge a no vote and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves. the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i yield one minute to mr. fortenberry from nebraska. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nebraska is recognized for one minute. mr. fortenberry: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, there is something especially disturbing about the cruel violence that accompanies the definition of unborn children who could survive if given a chance. this is not some exercise in the extremism. the fact is we're having this debate at all demonstrates that our society is actually failing women and our culture is very deeply conflicted. there is something very dark about the topic of late abortion. it is uncomfortable to enter into this conversation, but we
5:40 pm
must. during the past several decades, the marvels of science, madam speaker, have opened up a window to show us life in the womb which the prophets of old, by the way, tell us is sacred. the images of children developing week by week, month by month, speak to us more eloquently than any words can. madam speaker, there are some lines that we should all agree should be drawn. i think we are capable, i hope we are capable of agreeing that a child in the womb deserves our protection. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from tennessee reserves. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: madam speaker, i am honored to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from the district of columbia, delegate holmes norton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from d.c. is recognized for two minutes. ms. norton: i thank the gentlewoman from california for yielding to me. anti-choice groups tried and
5:41 pm
failed to use d.c. to nullify roe vs. wade just last year. they are now choosing a single criminal case in philadelphia to go after the reproductive health of all the nation's women. we will defeat this bill too with its vulgar science, man-made myths about rape in a bill reported to the floor by an all-male majority of the judiciary committee. they are already losing ground. changes forced on them in the language of the bill and the stripping of the bill of its manager, of its rightful manager. this bill is part of a parade of 20-week abortion bills moving through conservative states. none will succeed. they will not succeed not only because they are clearly
5:42 pm
unconstitutional but because women won't have it. the bill goes down the same road that helped elect barack obama, president of the united states. in the end, whatever happens here, women will win. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves. the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i yield two minutes to the chairman of the republican women's policy committee, mrs. ellmers from north. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mrs. ellmers: thank you, madam speaker, and thank you to my esteemed colleague for handling the time here on the floor on this very important issue. madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 1797, an important bill that will protect women and unborn children. this legislation is supported by reliable scientific research that shows that an unborn child at 20 weeks gestation can feel
5:43 pm
pain. coupled with a now known dangerous acts of an boorsics like kermit gozz -- abortionist like kermit gosnell, congress must act. an unexpected pregnancy can be a crisis situation. not knowing what she should do or what choices she can make, that is why it is vital to put into place protections for women and ensure that people like kermit gosnell can never harm again. we have a duty to protect the american women and the unborn children of this country from harm. i urge my colleagues to vote for this important bill and support h.r. 1797. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from tennessee reserves and the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: madam speaker, i'm honored to yield to a leader
5:44 pm
for women's health, the gentlelady from california -- colorado, ms. degette, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from colorado is recognized for two minutes. ms. degette: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, at a time when americans want their elected officials to focus on jobs and building our economy, here we are again focusing our efforts on limiting a woman's ability to make her hone health care decisions. as -- her own health care decisions. as i heard from women across this nation, women don't want politicians imposing their extreme beliefs on them when they're making tough decisions. i keep hearing about polls from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. well, here's a poll. we just heard about it today. congress' popularity is at an all-time low of 10%, and bills like this are exactly why. last session we wasted a lot of the american people's time debating and voting on legislation designed solely to
5:45 pm
take a woman's health care decision out of her hands and that of her doctor and instead to allow politicians to step in and substitute their judgment. now, this time it did take the majority six months of the new session, but here we go again, same back down that rabbit hole. today, we're voting on another extreme policy that's dangerous to women's health, interferes with the doctor-patient relationship and is also patently unconstitutional. as introduced, the bill provided no exceptions for victims of rape and incest, but last week after some of us bill's hat out, the sponsor added a protection for rape and incest victims. but even this latest attempt is deeply offensive. the bill now requires a woman to prove she had reported the rape to authorities in order to have access to a legal medical procedure. let me say that again. a woman would now have to prove
5:46 pm
she actually reported the rape to obtain a necessary medical procedure, making her a two-time victim. this kind of logic demonstrates the almost willful ignorance towards the health needs of women across the nation, and it shows how the proponents have no respect for a woman's ability to make her own decision. vote no on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves and the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: madam speaker, i would like to ask how much time is remaining on each side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee has five minutes remaining, and the gentlelady from california has seven minutes remaining. ms. lofgren: madam speaker, i would be delighted to yield to my colleague from california, lois capps, a nurse and valued
5:47 pm
member of our delegation, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for two minutes. mrs. capps: i thank my colleague from california for her leadership in opposing this unconstitutional and cruel bill and i rise in strong opposition to it. you know, this legislation ignores the very real medical challenges that are sought by so many women. erecting barriers to women who are trying desperately to access medical care, who are making some of the most personal and difficult choices and decisions, this is a cold-hearted political maneuver that is being played out upon this house floor today. women need the confidence to be able to make these difficult decisions in consult with their doctors, with their families, with their spiritual advisers.
5:48 pm
politicians have no place in that equation. if we really wanted to protect life, let's support efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, improve maternal health, improving funding for w.i.c., early child care, support for women who are raising children and families, raising children in difficult circumstances. let us trust women to make decisions that are right for them. and let us show a little compassion, instead of offering condescending lectures to a very courageous witness who shared her life story. it is long past time that this congress learn to trust women to make their own decisions. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from california reserves and the gentlewoman from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: i continue to
5:49 pm
reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves and the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: i yield to the gentleman from massachusetts, a former prosecutor and valued member of our congress, mr. keating, two minutes. ifments the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. keating: for 12 years i worked with victims of rape and incest and if you think you are carving out an exception for rape and incest, you're not. if you were truly carving out an exception, you wouldn't be making it contingent on things that silence victims, things they have no control over. i -- like being traumatized, like being threatened with your life if you talked, like not knowing the law because you are a minor and victim of statutory
5:50 pm
rape. these are reasons why more than half the rapes are never reported. as a district attorney, i have had cases where the victims didn't even report, yet we were able to convict the perpetrators with other evidence. reporting wasn't even necessary to convict criminals, but in this bill, it's necessary for a crime victim to exercise their constitutional right to privacy. fundamentally, those who support the language in this bill don't understand that rape and incest are crimes. these are crimes of violence, crimes that should bring penalties to the perpetrator. this bill brings penalties to the victim. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
5:51 pm
gentleman yields back the balance of his time. gentlelady from california reserves. the the gentlewoman from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. at this time, i will continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee continues to reserve. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: i wonder if the gentlelady has additional speakers, because i would reserve. we have no additional speakers at this time and if she has additional speakers -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: we have no additional speakers. and if you want to complete, then i will close. the speaker pro tempore: if the gentlelady would suspend. the gentlelady from california has four minutes remaining and the gentlelady from tennessee has five minutes remaining. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lofgren: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i think this is in many ways a very cad day for this house --
5:52 pm
sad day for this house. as we know there was an uproar in the country relative to a statement that few women become pregnant from rape. that, of course, is not correct. there is no science to report that. and of course this week, we have a bill that's been altered to add a very limited exception for rape anding seft that would be that le -- and incest would be available if the victim reported the crime to the authorities. this actually makes the ituation for the victim of violence, victim of rape more onerous than the perpetrators of the violence, something that i think is really quite wrong. the bill attacks the rights of
5:53 pm
women guaranteed by our constitution, to seek a safe legal procedure when they need it. now -- i have two children. i was thrilled when i became pregnant. most women are thrilled and look forward to a safe childbirth, but for some, pregnancy can be dangerous. and the restrictions that are imposed in this bill do not have adequate health exceptions, can endanger these women. at the subcommittee, we heard from a witness, a professor at george washington university, ms. christie zink about her story. she courageously told her story about seeking abortion care after her much-wanted pregnancy was diagnosed with severe
5:54 pm
anomalies after the 21st week, meaning that the many wanted child would not survive and in fact her health could be compromised had she proceeded. under this bill, she would not have the opportunity to preserve her own health. she would be required to carry a nonviable fetus to term. and i think that's wrong. i don't think that's something that the country is asking the congress to do. ou know, the idea that the exception for incest only applies to those under 18 is another mystery. if a girl is molested and raped by her father at age 18, is she less worthy of the protection of her health and the right to get
5:55 pm
abortion care than her sister at age 17? i think not. it simply makes no sense at all for that provision. i'd like to comment also briefly on the repeated discussion of dr. gosnell. he is a monster. there's no one that i have heard in this congress or in this country who defends what dr. gosnell did. in fact, he's in prison serving a double life sentence for murder. , we don't illegal need to change the law to put someone like dr. gosnell behind bars. in fact, he is behind bars right now. i think that the use of this case as a rationale to denying
5:56 pm
american women health care that they may need is wrong. i would urge a no vote on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlewoman from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. this has been an interesting debate and i have to tell you we have heard every descriptive word coming from the negative of why our colleagues on the other side of the aisle that this debate is inappropriate. i do think that some of the most interesting has been the parliamentary inquiries to ask about what we are doing about jobs and student loans and veterans and i have to tell you all, i agree this obama economy has been brutal to especially women and the female work force and indeed we would love to see our colleagues in the senate and the administration work with us on those issues. but let wre refocus us on why we
5:57 pm
are here. we are here because it is imperative that we take an action and that we address these gosnell-like abortions. we have stood on the floor today and we have talked about what transpired with the conviction of dr. gosnell in philadelphia. 21 felony counts, performing illegal abortions beyond the 24-week limit. manslaughter for the death of a woman seeking an abortion at his clinic. three counts of killing babies born alive and dozens of other heinous crimes. e have heard about how the heads are punctured and we even heard the statement from his attorney who said 16 to 17 weeks should be the limit. we are going at 20 weeks.
5:58 pm
we have heard of other atrocities, whether they are the case in texas, the case in new mexico, nurses, pro-choice nurses out in delaware recently quit their jobs to save their medical licenses because they said the clinic was unsafe where meat-market-style assembly-line abortions were happening. another abortionist, leroy ahart stated that he performed 20,000 abortions on babies after 24 weeks gestation and he is appy to do abortions on babies at seven months gestation. at eight weeks, babies feel pain. when they have these prenatal surgeries, we know they are anesthesia and these
5:59 pm
abortions are incredibly painful. so that is why we stand today. we want parity for these babies, for these unborn children. we can see them. we have seen some of the ultrasounds. what is so amazing when you see the ultrasounds and people are awaiting for the arrival of these precious children, they go ahead and name them. they're expecting them. they are waiting for them. and they know that these children feel pain when they are harmed. science tells us so. the american public is with us on this. 64% of all women think abortions should be eliminated when these
6:00 pm
unborn babies feel pain. out of all americans, 60%, 60%, this is a gallup-"usa today" poll say second trimester bortions should be eliminated. 80% say third trimester abortions should be eliminated. so for those reasons, that is why we stand here today to support these women and these unborn children to end these atrocities, to stand together to make certain that that first guarantee, the guarantee to life the guarantee to life so you can pursue liberty and enter into the pursuit of happiness. that is why we stand why we
6:01 pm
stand here today. madam speaker, i have been honored to work with my colleagues. i know some don't like the fact that a former judiciary committee member has come to the floor to handle this bill. i have been honored to join by so many pro-life women as we have discussed this issue as we have come together to stand for this. i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 266, the previous question is ordered on the bill as amended. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. he yeas have it. the clerk: bill to amend title 13, united states code to protect pain-capable unborn children in the district of columbia and for other purposes.
6:02 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it, the bill is passed. for what purpose does for what purpose does the gentlelady from tennessee rise? mrs. blackburn: i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1rk the chair declares the house in recess for a period less than 15 minutes.
6:03 pm
6:04 pm
6:05 pm
6:06 pm
6:07 pm
6:08 pm
jury as evidence of guilt. an innocent person would have said, i didn't do anything. twe twelve the supreme court said the prosecutor was ok to do that, if he wants to envoke his fifth amendment privilege he has to say it. the court was slightly divided on that. justices -- some of the justices said even if he had invoked it, they could have presented it to the jury. it's been seen as a pretty tough criminal justice and criminal procedure decision for the court.
6:09 pm
host: there was a decision about fair housing, they agreed -- or rather, this is something they're looking ahead to. tell us what the court will be looking at in the future. guest: the court is trying to fill out its docket for next term. there's not a lot of what people would classify as blockbuster opinions on that docket yet. they're going to have a lot of cases come in over the summer. everybody has 90 days to file after their last appeal with the supreme court so they kind of trickle in over the summer while the justices are gone. but the case you mentioned is interesting, it has to do with whether you can file a fair ousing act claim based on a -- whether or not the effect on a protected group, like a racial minority, is actually, doesn't have to have an intended,
6:10 pm
redevelopment property doesn't have to be intended to affect disproportionately a racial minority but if it does can you file a fair housing claim? so it's got a lot of implications for lenders, developers, the real estate industry as a whole. coming up.ctions stuff like that. host: and another thing we saw was d.n.a., taking d.n.a. from people who have been arrested. what are the implications of this case? guest: this is kind of -- it's an intriguing case. the case involves a maryland man arrested after basically threatening some folks with a shotgun. maryland passed a law that says anybody who is arrested for a violent crime, and it the fines that as burglary, arson, murder, robbery, so basically what is really what the court
6:11 pm
calls serious crimes. that once you're arrested, the police can take a d.n.a. sample from you, no matter what. and that d.n.a. sample is not tested until you've been arraigned, but if you're found innocent, it's destroyed and not used any further. the court basically ok'd the practice but they did so on kind of a strange theory. what they said was, like fingerprinting or taking a mug shot, the d.n.a. is actually a way to identify the person that the police have in custody. justice scalia wrote a scathing dissent taking issue with that identity theory he said, look, they arraigned the guy without even -- without even checking the d.n.a. sample. unless the state of maryland thought they didn't know who they were arraign, this wasn't used to identify the person. it was used to solve a crime, which in fact it turned up a
6:12 pm
match on a rape tissue unsolved rape case from 10 years ago. and he was subsequently tried and convicted for that rape. so where justice -- what justice scalia said you're not allowed to do searches and seizures if it's for a criminal investigatory purpose. you can search them if to the make sure they don't have weapons for officers safety but he said all maryland wanned to do was solve an unsolved crime and they had no real evidence that this guy was connected to that crime until they ran the d.n.a. through this national database and came up with a hit. host: do you know what the implications for this are yet? "the new york times" ran a piece showing police are assembling records of d.n.a., at the local level, some jurisdictions have databases they operate under their own rules and some are taking d.n.a. from victims. guest. one of the things about the -- guest: one of the things about the supreme court opinion, it hued closely to the maryland
6:13 pm
law. it's a law with a lot of pr texts built. in if you're not convicted, the d.n.a. sample is destroyed. if you are, you know if you're not -- if there's not probable cause and they throw out the arrest before then, it's thrown out. and there's a lot of protections like i said built into the maryland law. but these instances that the "new york times" talks about are far less regulated, far more off the cuff. what i think this shows, i think what scalia was worried about in his dissent, in overreaching and these local law enforcement agencies doing what they want and seing this decision as a green light to start connecting d.n.a. samples and compiling databases willy nilly and having an unregulated system start to develop in the country, i think you can temper that a little bit by kind of overlaying the decision that the majority handed down looks at basically three things, it asks, what's the fwoth's interest in taking the d.n.a.
6:14 pm
samples. it asks, how intrusive is it? in this case it's a cheek swab and the court said that's not very intrusive, it's not drawing blood, it doesn't puncture the skin, it's over in a few seconds, not a big deal. and it also asked basically what's the expectation of privacy? and it says in a case of somebody arrested for a serious crime, you don't have a huge expectation of privacy. the court last term decided a case that said when you're taken into custody and taken to jail they can do all sorts of invasive searches making sure you're not carrying contraband or weapons. one example that the "new york times" mentions is people who are actually victims of crimes and that police then ask them for a d.n.a. sample because they want to eliminate them as a suspect. if that d.n.a. sample go into a database, you have to overlay this framework that the supreme court issued in this case over
6:15 pm
that, so you have to ask, how invasive is it? it's still a cheek swab, not that big a deal. but what's the expectation of privacy? if you're a homeowner who gave a d.n.a. sample specifically because the police wanted to rule you out from a crime, your expectation of privacy is fairly limited, i would think, to what the police told you they were going to use it for. so using in it a database trying to match unsolved crimes might be overstepping. i would think that's where the supreme court might come out on this. in the future. but it's hard to tell. so you have to kind of look at it from both ways. but i think there's a real concern -- >> and the house returns for votes on the bill that will ban abortions after 20 weeks. passage of h.r. 1797, and motion to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1896. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will
6:16 pm
be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is vote on passage of h.r. 1797 on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 77, h.r. 1797, a bill to amend title 18, united states code, to protect pain-capable unborn children in the district of columbia and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. 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.]
6:17 pm
6:18 pm
6:19 pm
6:20 pm
6:21 pm
6:22 pm
6:23 pm
6:24 pm
6:25 pm
6:26 pm
6:27 pm
6:28 pm
6:29 pm
6:30 pm
6:31 pm
6:32 pm
6:33 pm
6:34 pm
6:35 pm
6:36 pm
6:37 pm
6:38 pm
6:39 pm
6:40 pm
6:41 pm
6:42 pm
6:43 pm
6:44 pm
6:45 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 228, the nays are 196. the bill is passed. without objection, a the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. the unfinished business is vote on the motion of the the
6:46 pm
gentleman from washington, mr. reichert, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1896, on which yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1896, a bill to amend part d of title d of the social security act to ensure that the united states can comply fully with the obligations of the hague convention of 23 november, 2007, on the international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. 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 epresentatives.]
6:47 pm
6:48 pm
6:49 pm
6:50 pm
6:51 pm
6:52 pm
6:53 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are --
6:54 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 394, the nays are 27. 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 gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> i have -- i present a privileged report for printing under the rule. the clerk: report to accompany h.r. 2410, a bill making appropriations for agriculture, rural development and related agency programs for the fiscal year september 30, 2014 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the union calendar and ordered print. oints of order are reserved.
6:55 pm
the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. rogers of kentucky for monday june 17 through wednesday june 19. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. without objection, the request is granted. the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? the gentleman will suspend. the house will come to order. please remove your conversations rom the chamber.
6:56 pm
without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. conaway: the house just passed the pain-capable unborn child protection act, which will protect the unborn from some heinous conduct by certain physicians. i have good colleagues -- mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. the gentleman may proceed. mr. conaway: mr. speaker, i know there are good citizens on both sides of the abortion issue and heartfelt. but a caring society cannot tolerate the conduct by the physician in philadelphia and those like him who would the most barbaric abortion methods to take the life of children that are 20 weeks or older and this bill goes a long way towards addressing that cruelty that we cannot let stand in this country. i'm proud of my colleagues who
6:57 pm
voted for that this evening and appreciate the passage of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> i rise today in support of the 2013 farm bill, which will help ensure safe and affordable food supply for all americans. i represent one of the largest agricultural districts east of the mississippi and i represent florida's dairy and citrus and beef cattle ranchers. this bill will serve them well and serve florida taxpayers, too. it includes much needed reforms to agricultural programs. it provides relief from unnecessary federal mandates and saves the taxpayers $35 billion ap reduces the size of government by eliminating or consolidating more than 100 programs.
6:58 pm
i'm pleased this bill addresses the growing problem in my district of citrus disease, diseases like greening have wiped out one quarter of the citrus acreage in florida. if we don't reverse this soon we won't have enough crop to sustain our crops. florida will lose jobs and our economy will suffer. but this will impact all americans because if florida isn't growing oranges, you won't be putting orange juice on your table. if we want to have a safe and abundant food supply, we need to pass the farm bill. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from washington seek recognition? >> address the house for one minute. the chair: without objection. ms. herrera beutler: i rise today to bring attention to the dredging of our nation's small ports.
6:59 pm
my tical issue and in district and this is a jobs issue in my region and for those long waterways throughout our nation. the issue is this, ports are lifelines across the river and pacific coast in my district and they are being choked off by lack of maintainance to dredging. one of my local newspapers commented if a farmer was unable to ship his wheat because a road became impassable, the federal government would rightly fix this issue immediately. it is no different for the dire circumstances facing our nation's navigable waterways. we need to address this issue as soon as possible. as a member of the appropriations committee, i have taken the action in search of a swift solution and it included million dollar trust fund for dredging in our energy and water
7:00 pm
development appropriations bill. we must maintain our maritime ports. nd with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: are there further requests for one-minute speechs? under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate this time to ddress my colleagues about one of the most important issues we face in this country, and that's hunger. we have a problem in the united states of america where about 15 million of our fellow citizens are hungry. 17 million are kids. this is the case in the richest, most powerful nation on the planet. we should be ashamed of ourselves. food is not a luxury, it is a necessity and everybody in this
7:01 pm
country ought to have a right to food. and that should not even be controversial. yet we have a farm bill that we will begin debating tomorrow that cuts snap, which used to be the food stamp program, cuts it by $20.5 billion. that's billion, with a b. what does that mean? it means two million people who currently receive the benefit today, tomorrow, will lose it. it means that over 200,000 kids who are eligible for free breakfast and lumpling at school today, will lose that benefit tomorrow. those aren't my numbers. those aren't the numbers of some liberal think tank, those are numbers by the congressional budget office, c.b.o. they say that if the farm bill passes, and if those numbers stay in, two million of our fellow citizens will lose their food benefits. mr. speaker, i find that unconscionable.
7:02 pm
we have -- we are trying to emerge from one of the worst economic recessions in our history, record job losses over the last few years. we have had people of all backgrounds lose their jobs, find themselves working now in jobs that don't pay very much, struggling, trying to keep their families afloat. one of the, kind of the -- one of the lifelines during this difficult economic time has been the snap program. it is -- it has enabled many families to be able to put food on the table. you can't use snap to buy a flat screen tv you can't use snap to buy a car. you can only use snap to buy food. that's what this is all about. and in the farm bill, for whatever reason, it was decided that rather than looking for savings and the prop insurance
7:03 pm
program, which we know is rife with abuse, rather than looking for savings in some of these special giveaways to agribusinesses, these sweetheart deals, rather than trying to find savings there, to put toward balancing our budget, it was decided to go after almost exclusively this one program. snap. mr. speaker, i heard up in the rules committee, during our onsideration of the amendments today, people -- a number of people said, all we're doing is eliminating category call eligibility. -- categorical eligibility. a lot of people don't know what categorical eligibility is. this was a republican idea to kind of streamline a lot of bureaucracy and paperwork at the state level. so if you walked into the -- if you qualified for welfare, you
7:04 pm
would automatically be enrolled in the snap program. doesn't mean you'd automatically get a benefit, it means you would be enrolled in the program and if you qualified for the benefit, you would get it. it was one-stop shopping for people who were poor, people who found themselves experiencing a difficult situation. it's saved states lots and lots and lots of money. it has made it easier for people during this economic -- during these -- during these economic difficulties to be able to get the benefits that quite frankly they're entitled to. when you eliminate categorical eligibility, you put an extra burden on states. states end up having to pay more for additional bureaucracy. there'll be more paperwork. there'll be more confusion. the other thing that happens when you get rid of categorical eligibility is you will make it more difficult for people who are eligible to get the benefit. and therefore, many people who
7:05 pm
are still experiencing tough times, who are eligible for a food benefit, will not be able to get it. mr. speaker, this used to be a bipartisan issue. and i remember during the 2008 farm bill, one of the things that saved that farm bill was the food and nutrition part of the farm bill. congresswoman rosa delauro, who i'll yield to in a few minutes, working with then-speaker nancy pelosi and i was happy to play a little bit of a role in it, helped fight to up the nutrition program in this -- in the farm bill in 2008. as a result of that, we were table pass the farm bill. and as a result of that, we were able to help millions and millions and millions of families. that's a good thing. but for whatever reason new ork 2013, programs to help poor people have become controversial.
7:06 pm
my republican friends have diminished and demeaned this program called snap. they have diminished the struggle of poor people. i said in the rules committee today that the -- i reminded my colleagues in the rules committee today that the average food stamp benefit, the average snap benefit, is $1.50 a meal. $1.50 a meal. $4.50 a day. that's like a starbucks, one of those fancy starbucks coffees. that's what this is. not some overly generous benefit, it's not even an adequate benefit, quite frankly, but in some cases it is a lifeline for families. that's what it is. you know, there are a number of us over this last week have been trying to dramatize the fact that this is a modest benefit, that we have lived on a food stamp budget for this last week. two more days to go.
7:07 pm
i've lived on $1.50 a meal, $4.50 a day. it's hard. it's hard to be poor. it's hard to shop when you're poor. it's thoord plan meals when you're poor. it is -- given the opportunity between being poor or being, you know, able to be self-sustained, to be able to buy whatever food you want, whenever you want it, you would prefer the latter. nobody enjoys being on this benefit. some of my friends say this creates a culture of dependency. well, i remind those people who think that that there are millions and millions and millions and millions of people in this country who work for a living, who earn so little that they still qualify for snap. they rely on snap to put food on the table. and by the way, that's not enough. so they go to food banks and food pantries to be able to add to their ability to be able to
7:08 pm
put food on the tables for their families. you know, in 1968, there was a cbs documentary entitled "hunger in america." and it created quite a stir because a lot of people in this country looked the other way and didn't realize that hunger was as bad as it was. george mcgovern, a liberal democrat from south dakota, and robert dole, a conservative republican from kansas, get together and helped create -- got together and helped create the food stamp program now known as snap, helped create w.i.c., expanded meals in schools, made sure that poor kids had access to meals during the summer. they worked in a bipartisan way and proudly in a bipartisan way doing what they could to make sure that nobody in this country went hungry. and i -- in the late 1980's,
7:09 pm
the late 1970's, we almost eliminated hunger in america. i mean, this kind of bipartisan coalition produced incredible results that almost eliminated hunger in this country. and then in the 1980's, we started taking steps backwards and today we have 50 million of our fellow citizens who are hungry. you know, i would say to my friends who are thinking about how to vote on this farm bill, you know, we should not have to choose between a good and adequate nutrition part of the farm bill and good and adequate farm programs. they should go together. in fact, you know, all you can buy with snap is food so who benefits from food purchases? farmers grow food. so farmers benefit.
7:10 pm
from those purchases. they're not -- they're not separate and distinct. in fact, they're very, very much related. and this marriage between nutrition, and farm programs has resulted in the passage of many important farm bills over the years. but for whatever reason, we find ourselveses in a situation where that kind of coalition is breaking apart. and i regret that very, very much. i want a farm bill, i represent a lot of agriculture in my part of massachusetts but i want a farm bill. i want a good farm bill. but i'm not going to vote for a farm bill that makes hunger worse in america. that's not the legacy i think we want to have here in this congress. i think what we want to be able to do is tell our constituents that we passed a good farm bill that not only helps our farmers but also helps people who are struggling. you know, there is nothing
7:11 pm
wrong, in fact, there is everything right about our dedication to helps the least fortunate among us. those who have said that, well, you know, we don't want to be known as the food stamp congress, i would respond to them as follows -- i am proud to live in a country that has a social safety net. i am proud to live in a country where we don't let people starve. i am proud to live in a country that has programs like snap, like w.i.c., like school feeding, to make sure our citizens have enough to eat. why is that all of a sudden controversial? i want to tell you that snap is not a perfect program. there happen some abuse in the program, to be sure, and to the redit of usda, and secretary
7:12 pm
of agriculture vilsack under his leadership, there's been a concerted effort to go after those who abuse the program. and anybody who abuse this is program in my opinion ought to have the book thrown at him. this is -- these are taxpayer dollars going to support a program to help people get enough to eat and when people abuse the program or misuse it, you know, we ought to throw the full extent of the law at them. they ought to be fined and in some cases arrested when they abuse taxpayer dollars. but i will also say to my colleagues that snap, according to the general accountability office and according to a whole bunch of other studies, is one of the -- has one of the lowest error rates of any federal program. i only wish some of the missile programs in our pentagon, under the pentagon's jurisdiction, had as low an error rate, had as low of a record of abuse of taxpayer dollars as the snap program has.
7:13 pm
this is a good program. this is a good program. it can be better. we should make it better. but let me say this. if you want to make it better, then maybe what we ought to have done in the agriculture committee is have a hearing. when people say that there are reforms in the farm bill with regard to snap, i cringe, because how did you get to that number? how did you get to the so-called reform when there wasn't a single hearing in the subcommittee on nutrition? there wasn't a single hearing in the full committee on agriculture. it is important that we make this program as perfect as it can possibly be it is important we try to make sure every bit of abuse and fraud is taken away from this program. but there's a right way to do it. we deliberate. that's what we're supposed to do in congress, to hold hearings, listen to all different sides, listen to how you can improve the program. and then we come together and
7:14 pm
make those improvements. but we ought to be -- we ought to also understand that we need a larger discussion in this country on how to end hunger. we need -- we need to understand, as we debate the farm bill, that snap is one tool in the anti-hunger toolbox. it doesn't solve everything. doesn't solve everything. what it is is one program to help alleviate hunger. what we need and i've called for is the president of this eunited states to bring us all together under the us a pises of the white house conference on food and nutrition. let's talk about this issue holistically. let's take on beg issues of how to end hung for the america. let's deal with that. and convening such a summit, the president could bring all the different agencies in our government that have a piece of the pie in terms of battling
7:15 pm
hung for the america, because not all of these programs fall under one agency. they fall under multiple agencies. let's bring them together. let's figure out how to better keck the dots. let's call in state and local goths, let's call in business the philanthropic community, our hospitals, our schools, our nutritionists. let's call in our food banks and food pantries and all the n.g.o.'s that have been out there struggling to end hunger for decades. let's get everybody in a room together and lock the door. until we have a plan. if you want to end hunger they are first thing is you ought to have a plan. . and we do not have a plan in this country. so until we get to that point where we have a plan, what we ought not to do is take away from these programs that at this point do help alleviate hunger. we ought not to undercut the
7:16 pm
importance of snap. we ought not to throw two million more people off the program and hundreds of thousands of kids off of free breakfast or lunch programs. what do we do -- i asked the question when i was raiding the c.b.o. numbers about how many people would lose their benefits, my question was, where do these people go? what do they do? what do they do without a food benefit? they just show up at food banks? two million more people just show up at food banks? talk to your local food banks. talk to your local food pantries. they're at capacity. they can't take any more people. this notion that somehow charity will just pick up all the slack is a bunch of nonsense. talk to the charities. talk to the churches. talk to the synagogues, talk to the mosques, talk to the food banks and food pantries. they can't handle what they're dealing with right now. just one final thing, then i'm
7:17 pm
going to yield to my colleague from connecticut, i also want my colleagues to understand another thing. over the years we have used snap as kind of an a.t.m. machine. to pay for other programs. and as a result, come november of this year, if we cut nothing else, if we cut nothing else, people's benefits are going to go down. the average family of three will lose about $25 to $30 a month. that may not seem like a lot of money to some of my colleagues here in congress, but $25 or $35 a month might be a week's worth of groceries. it might be what keeps somebody afloat for a week. it is a big deal. to somebody who is in poverty. and we ought not to diminish that. we ought not to diminish that. it 'd also say, you know, really troubles me when i hear
7:18 pm
eople demonize these programs. and again, diminish the struggle of those need to take advantage of these programs. listening to some of my colleagues testify before the rules committee today, you would think that our entire federal deficit and our debt is all because we have programs like snap. they are wrong. they are wrong. you know, snap didn't cause the debt that we have right now. what caused the debt are two unpaid for wars that are in the trillions of dollars. tax cuts for pealty people that weren't paid for -- for wealthy people that weren't cade for. a medicaid prescription drug bill that wasn't paid for. bad economic policies. not that. not this. this is a safety net and it's a safety net that, yes, can be
7:19 pm
improved but it's a safety net. and one of the things that we in congress are supposed to be focused on is how we help people. help people who are in need. donald trump doesn't need our help. he's got all the money in the world. he's fine. but there are lots of people who don't live on wall street but who live on main street who are just holding on by their fingertips. who are, you know, in some cases -- their sundays are spent trying to figure out how they're going to just put food on the table for their families. there is not a congressional district in america, not a single one that is hunger-free. there is not a community in america that is hunger-free. and if you've ever met a child who is hungry, it breaks your
7:20 pm
heart. it just shouldn't be. it just shouldn't be. we are a better country than that. and so rather than going after this program, rather than going after w.i.c. and snap and programs to help poor people put food on the table, we ought to be talking about the larger question, about how to end hunger now. and having said that, let me yield some time to my colleague from connecticutting who has been a leader on this -- connecticut who has been a leader on this issue and who in 2008 helped boost up the nutrition components of the farm bill which made it a better farm bill and helped millions of people. i yield to the congresswoman. ms. delauro: i want to thank my colleague, congressman mcgovern. and i want to say a thank you to you. you have been steadfast and courageous on this issue and i know the strong and personal relationship that you had with
7:21 pm
senator mcgovern who with every fiber of his being was devoted to making sure that both in the united states domestically and overseas, that people, and particularly children, had enough to eat. and i think it was so special that he partnered with a bob dole of kansas. and when you take a look at the federally commissioned report that you spoke about, when you take a look at the people who were involved, the strength of that commission on hunger in america, was its bipartisanship -- in america was its bipartisanship. since this effort has begun, members of both sides of the isle have focused on this as a substantial problem and therefore as a nation we have to come together to try to address it. and unfortunately today, in the
7:22 pm
environment and the atmosphere in this body, in this institution, in the congress, there seems to be not much view that this is a problem and one that we have the opportunity, the capacity and the ability to do something about. and what we lack, as you've said so often, in the past is the will, the political will to do something. and we are highlighting tonight the severe, the immoral cuts made to anti-hunger and nutrition programs. and particularly the food stamp program in the house farm bill. and again, as you pointed out, millions of families, they're struggling in this economy. we've had the worst recession since the great depression. and people are trying to survive. we're looking at an
7:23 pm
unemployment rate that is 7.5%, we are looking at incomes which are not increasing, but wages that are decreasing. and why we would pick this oment, this moment to -- really to throw more people into poverty, and you can take a look at all kinds of statistics, and i'll quote some in a few minutes, that talk about the food stamp program and how it has kept people from falling into poverty and how it has kept kids from going hungry . and we will choose this moment to increase that poverty number. and to say to children, and disabled and seniors, i'm sorry, you're on your own.
7:24 pm
that's what this is about. it is immoral. you know, you talked about the 50 million americans, almost 17 million children suffer with hunger right now. it's a problem across the country. we talk about my district, the third district of connecticut. connecticut statistically is the richest state in the nation. we have a very affluent portion of the state which is known as fairfield county, sometimes referred to as the gold coast. lots of people on wall street come to live in fairfield county. in connecticut. and yet in my congressional district, the third district, one out of seven, one out of seven go to bed hungry at night. they don't know where their next meal is coming from. one out of seven individuals
7:25 pm
nationwide take part in the food stamp program. people today who never thought they would have to rely on food stamps are having to do so because they lost their job, they lost their income and they're looking for a way to feed their families. i was at the christian cornerstone church in milford, connecticut, just a few days ago. a young woman, penny davis, she was working, taking care of herself, taking care of her family, she lost her job, she didn't think much about it, she would get another job. she hadn't been able to get another job in this economy. in the meantime, in the interim, she's become separated from her husband. she's now responsible for herself and her family.
7:26 pm
she didn't know what she was going to do. she called on the christian cornerstone church. to alled on the food bank help her, to see what she could do. she spoke eloquently about wanting to work and not being able to find a job. and so today she's ac -- she's accessed a program that she never thought she would have to use, the food stamp program. why can't we be there to help people bridge that gap? because the genius of this program is that in difficult times the numbers of participants go up. but when the economy gets better, those numbers come down. and the numbers are coming down. so why at this moment would we jeopardize these folks'
7:27 pm
livelihoods, they're well-being and their -- their well-being and their ability to eat and feed their families? we've got a wonderful, wonderful phrase these days that we use about people being food-insecure. plain and simple and you know this, congressman mcgovern, this is people being hungry. they're hungry. makes you feel good to talk about food insecurity. but it's hunger and i talked about my district, but let's take a look. ssissippi, 24.5% suffer food hardship. they're hungry. nearly one in four people. west virginia and kentucky, that drops to just over 22%, one in five. in ohio, nearly 20%. california, just over 19%. the estimates of americans at risk of going hungry here in the land of plenty are appalling and we have the moral
7:28 pm
responsibility to do something about this. and our key federal food security programs become all the more important at this time, which as you know and i know and so many others know, it is true of the food stamp program. it is the country's most important effort to deal with hunger here at home. and it ensures that american families can put food on the table. 47 million americans, half are kids. this is about helping low-income children's health and development, reducing hunger in america and continuing to have an influence so that those youngsters can have positive influences and opportunity into adulthood. you stated it, food stamps is one of the lowest error rates of any government program at
7:29 pm
3.8%. i was upstairs at that rules committee meeting as well. you know, i loved the discussion about program integrity. many, many times in the agricultural appropriations committee, where i did serve as chairman for a while, and still am a member of the committee, probably 16 years, 18 years on that committee, program integrity. let's cut back on the waste, the fraud and the abuse. and the only programs that get debated in those efforts are i.c., food stamps, other nutrition programs. no one bothers to take a look , no one fense bill bothers to take a look within the farm bill, of other instances of waste, fraud and abuse.
7:30 pm
we believe in program integrity for every program in the federal government. not just one or two or pick out the programs that you don't like. and focus in on them. you talked about -- i did have -- i have sat on the appropriations committee and agriculture for the last 16 or 17 years. i chaired that appropriations committee. i was part of a conference committee on the farm bill in 2008. . in fact, as you've heard me say in the that appropriators don't usually get onto a conference committee but the then-speaker, nancy pelosi, appointed me there particularly for the nutrition issues. some of the conferees were
7:31 pm
nervous. as they said tissue as i said they thought i was some sort of invasive species in this context but we worked hard on that farm bill and you know it because you worked hard on it. we said it was a safety net and it is a safety net, the farm intill a safety net but it is a safety net for american farmers and for american families. and we need to have that safety net and because of then-speaker pelosi's strong support, we passed a farm bill. we supported nutrition, anti-hunger programs, we made investments in the programs that targeted specialty crops and organic productions. and we were there and we voted for that bill. and i am for that bill but that's not the case this time around. it's a different set of circumstances and a different environment which is why, like you,ky not support this farm
7:32 pm
bill. the changes you talked about in addition to the $20 billion in cuts to beneficiaries, you talk about the eligibility program. nd the tool that states use to streamline the administration of the program. went back years in working this system out. they would unravel all of that. and then they liked to talk about the food stamp program and the low-income energy assistance program. and they're two separate issues, categorical eligibility and the tie with food stamps and the liheap program, the low income energy assistance program. they'll say if you automatically -- if you get liheap then you're automatically on the food stamp program. it's not true.
7:33 pm
you have to qualify. you have to qualify. i want to get to a couple of points to talk about qualifying and what people are forced to qualify and those who are not. -- who are not forced to qualify for the benefits that they receive in this farm bill. it's important, i think, to note that we were able to get funding for the food stamp program in the economic recovery program. you worked hard at that, i worked hard at that the chair of the appropriations committee at that time, mr. obey, fought for those dollars. now that has come to an end, the economic recovery program. so come the beginning of the next fiscal year, every single recipient of food stamps will see, it's $37.
7:34 pm
we got confirmation. it's $37 a month in a cut. nd this is what's happening in this farm bill -- and what's happening in this farm bill will only add on. important to note, our colleagues will say, we have a deficit and we're going to use this money and we're going to pay down the deficit. very interesting to note, the past 30 years, every major deficit reduction package signed into law on a bipartisan basis was negotiated to the principle of not increasing poverty or inequality and deficit reduction. simpson--- simpson-bowles, the latest iteration of a deficit reduction package so many people said went too far in changing the aspects of the social safety net, did not cut the food stamp program to achieve its deficit reduction.
7:35 pm
we need to follow this bipartisan effort in the same way that we did in these instances on deficit reduction and follow that bipartisan road the same way we did in the recognition of the problem and the willingness to do something about it. i've got two other points. you may hear from some that the direct payment, they'll say, we're cutting direct payments in the farm bill, and that -- and that the bill also makes very real reforms to the crop support program. the bill finally ended direct payments, saving about $47 billion over 10 years. but the commodity title of the bill only says that they're saving $18.6 billion. why? why the differential? because the rest of those
7:36 pm
savings are being plowed back into this commodity support program. it creates a brand new program ich is called a price loss program to protect the commodities if prices change. so in essence, that safety net is working for farmers. and i don't begrudge that. we want to provide a safety net for farmers, that's fine. but there's -- but where's the safety net, where's the safety net for the benefits of the food stamp recipients? they're not there. because the food stamp beneficiaries have nowhere else to go. as you pointed out. nowhere else to go in the farm bill to be made whole. those who were receiving direct
7:37 pm
payments, they're going to get -- they're going to be made -- they're going to be held harmless if you will, through crop insurance and a new program a shallow loss protection program that protects them if the commodity prices begin to fluctuate. where is the protection for the food stamp beneficiaries? it's not there. so the only people -- so the only people who are going to lose benefits are the most vulnerable in our society today. it's wrong and it's immoral. now, the bill, as i said, expands the crop insurance program. i think it's important for people to understand that crop insurance, again, safety net, good concept, very good, i wish it applied to our part of the country as it does to other parts of the country but i
7:38 pm
don't know that the american taxpayers know this about the rop insurance program. taxpayers, u.s. taxpayers, foot the bill for over 60% of the premiums for beneficiaries. plus, u.s. taxpayers pick up the tab on administrative and operating costs for the private companies that sell the plan, including multinational corporations, some of whom trace back to companies in tax havens. switzerland, australia, bermuda, ireland, bermuda, that's where these companies have their headquarters. so they're making out like bandits. we pick up the tab, they don't pay their fair share of taxes in the united states. it really is quite incredible.
7:39 pm
and because when you and i talked abouting congressman mcgovern, that $4.50, there's an income threshold, there's a cap on the amount of money they can receive on the assets they hold this program and crop insurance where 26 individuals receive at least a million dollars in a subsidy, at least $1 million, they're protected statutorily and we can't find out who they are. we don't know who they are, but they have no income test, no cap, no income threshold, no asset test that they go through, they just get the money. they get the money. and you know what? they're eating and they're eating well. more than three squares a day, i'll bet. but not our kids.
7:40 pm
not our kids. our kids are going to bed hungry. and this program, by the way, does not even require the minimum conservation practices that other farm programs have on the books. it is pretty extraordinary when you think about a family of four, when you have to qualify for this program for eligibility, it is at less than 30% of poverty and that means that a family of four has to live on $22,000 a month. you know, our colleagues in this institution who are taking the food stamp challenge, doing it for a week, some may do it for less, some may do it more, but you know what? they're not doing it every ingle day.
7:41 pm
let me just -- there's serious problems with this farm bill. there really are very, very serious problems. and it needs to be addressed, it should never have come out of committee with $20 billion in cuts. never. shouldn't have happened. i might also add that the president, as my colleague, i know, knows, has issued a veto threat primarily because of the food stamp threat. just a couple of quotes enge are important, u.s. conference of catholic besh shops said last year, quote, we must form a circle of protection around prals that serve the poor and vulnerable in our nation and throughout the world. catholic leaders last month wrote, quote, congress should support access to adequate nutrition and food for those in need and oppose attempts to weaken or restructure these programs that would result in reduced benefits to hungry people. the groups that are -- that we
7:42 pm
received a letter today with -- asking us, and asking representatives, there are -- there must be 80 or 90 organizations probably over 00 organizations who are saying don't do this, including the bulk of the medical profession. we've got red for this -- bread for the world, jewish council for public affairs, american academy of pediatrics, american public health association, share our strength, and the list gos on. harry truman said, quote, nothing is more important in our national life than the welfare of our children and proper nourishment comes forth in attaining this welfare. i will close with the piece that was put out today by the center for budget and policy priorities. research shows that, and i quote, that the food stamp program is the most effective program pushing against the
7:43 pm
steep rise in extreme poverty. one reason the snap program is so effective in fighting extreme poverty is that it focuses its benefits on many of the poorest households, roughly 91% of monthly snap benefits go to households below the poverty line. 55% go to households below half the poverty line. that's about $9,800 for a family of three. one in five snap households lives on a cash income of less than $2 per person a day. and how they -- earlier in the article it says, -- it says that the world bank defines poverty in developing nations as households with children who live on $2 or less per person, per day.
7:44 pm
this is the united states of america. this is not a debate about process. about t a debate deficit reduction. it's not about politics. this is a debate about our values and our priorities in this great nation. let's go back to the days of george mcgovern and bob dole and those who came forward to say, there are those in this country who are starving, there are those who who are without food. we sit in the most deliberative body in the world, we can do something about it. let's do something about it. and i thank the gentleman. mr. mcgovern: i thank my colleague from connecticut for
7:45 pm
her eloquent remarks and i think tomorrow, hopefully we can do something about it. i will have an amendment, i hope, if the rules committee makes it in order, to restore snap cuts, to reverse the $22.5 million worth of cuts. and members on both sides of the aisle will have an opportunity to vote up or down on it. i think it's -- i think how we vote on that is a statement of our va -- of our values and whether we think that government has a role, indeed, that our community has a role to be there for the least among us. i tell people all the time that hunger is a political condition. you know, you can't find anybody in this place who is pro-hunger or at least will admit it but somehow the political will doesn't exist to end this scourge once and for all. we could end this -- the maddening thing about this problem is that it is solveable, and when people say
7:46 pm
to me, well, we can't spend any more money, my response is, the cost of hunger is so astronomical that we need to figure out a way to end it. if that means spending a little bit more in the short-term, you know, to help extend ladders of opportunity to people to be able to get out of poverty, then we ought to do it. but hunger costs. kids who go to school who are hungry don't learn. senior citizens who can't afford their medication and their food and take their medication on an empty stomach end up in an emergency ward. one of the pediatricians at boston medical center told me about young children who have gone outfood for periods of time, who end up getting -- gone without food for periods of time, who end up getting something that's nothing more than a common cold but their
7:47 pm
immune system is so compromised they end up spending several days in the hospital. if you're not moved by the moral imperative to end this problem, then you ought to be moved by the bottom line which is it costs us a lot of money to not solve this problem. there was this great film that just came out a few -- couple of months ago called "a place at the table." two great young film makers, christie jacobson and laurie silverbush directed this film, and it documents hunger in urban, rural and suburban america. it shows the face of hunger in america. young, middle-aged, old, i mean, it is there. and it is heartbreaking. we brought up to our democratic caucus a meeting a few weeks ago, some snap alumni, people who grew up and were on food stamps and who came back to say thank you for investing in them. for helping them get through a
7:48 pm
difficult time. and many of them now are doctors and lawyers and engineers and professors and, you know, very successful in paying back much more than we invested in them. we want success stories. we want success stories. this place, this congress should be about lifting people up, not telling us how bad things have to be. not telling us that we have to put people down in order to move forward. transform over people. because that's what we do when we cut programs like this. we ought to be thinking big and bold and about how do you end hunger and how do you end poverty in this country? and there is a way to do it. we saw what happened in the 1970's with george mcgovern and robert dole. things have obviously changed. let's perfect this program. let's connect the dots so that we are creating a circle of protection that actually helps lift people out of poverty. our goal, i would like to think the goal of those of us on the
7:49 pm
democratic side and the goals on the republican side is to help people become self-sufficient, to succeed. that's what we want. that's what we want. but you are not helping people succeed when you take away food . i mean, that's what is at stake in this farm bill. i know the gentlelady grease with me -- agrees with me and i know she feels very strongly about this, but we will have an opportunity hopefully tomorrow to be able to have a debate and a vote up or down on whether we should, you know, cut this program in a very draconian way, to throw two million people off the benefit, hundreds of thousands of kids off free breakfast and lunch. what happens to those people? what do we tell them to do? go to your local charity? i yield to the gentlelady. ms. delauro: i will just say, you were talking about the effects. it is about growth and development. there's wonderful material which we sent out to our colleagues from dr. deborah
7:50 pm
frank who talks about, you know, what happens to children, what happens -- it is concentrating but it is their ability to grow, to develop, you know, to be physically well. and the cost of dealing with, you know, what happens to the health issues, only adds to our health care costs. i'm of the view, if you can't deal with the humanity, let's deal with the economics of this. and the studies, the studies are so clear about what happens with the absence of food, particularly with children. mr. mcgovern: i would say to the gentlelady that, the point she raises -- the points she raises are very, very important. because the health of our children should be first and foremost. and we are now experiencing this country, a record level of obesity. and there is a tie-in between
7:51 pm
food insecurity and hunger and obesity. people who are struggling in poverty do not have the resources to be able to buy nutritious food. sometimes they live in food deserts and rely basically on food items that just kind of fill up, you know -- empty calories. so now, you know, we're dealing with that. if we looked at this issue holistically, we could solve a whole bunch of problems in this country. and i believe -- i'd like toity that there's a lot of bipartisan -- i'd like to think that there's a lot of bipartisan consensus on what we can do. because end ining hunger and in promoting better nutrition, in trying to build those ladders of opportunity to help people get out of poverty, perfecting these programs to go after the waste, to go after the abuse, to go after those who are outliars in this program, who -- who choose to try to rob the
7:52 pm
american taxpayer, let's go after them. but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water here. let's not just turn our backs on the success stories. ms. delauro: i would just say this to the gentleman, the program has worked very, very hard, as you know, over the years to decrease that error rate in this program. i don't see the same concentration and the same effort in other programs. and i mentioned here the crop insurance program. there's an article in the paper today that talk about the program is rife with fraud. and why aren't people interested in looking at that effort? and the billions of dollars that we are losing every year? for the life of me i don't understand it. people who view themselves as fiscal hawks, that we have to watch every dime and every dollar, but is only focused on
7:53 pm
nutrition programs, anti-hunger programs. one of the -- i think you may have alluded to this earlier, congressman mcgovern. ou know, i think so many times that those who would cut these programs and do it in such a have much just don't espect for the people who find themselves in the position to have to participate in the food stamp program. they think they're dogging it, they think they don't want to work and they think they're looking for charity. and it is such a misconception. and a lack of understanding. of the difficult economic times that people find themselves in
7:54 pm
today. and sometimes we ought to walk in people's shoes and understand the lives that they're leading and what they're trying to do. like those of us here who believe we work hard and we care, etc. people work hard, they care about their families, they want to make sure their kids are eating and quite frankly when it comes to feeding your kids, you'll do whatever you have to do in order to make that happen. mr. mcgovern: and let me say to the gentlelady that i couldn't agree more. met with countless parents who have been -- who have tearfully told me the anguish that they experience when they're not quite sure whether or not they're going to be able
7:55 pm
to put food on the table for their children's dinner. or for their breakfast or for their lunch. i'm the parent of two children, an 11-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son. i can't imagine what it would be like to not be able to provide them food. i mean, i think as a parent, nothing could be worse. because your kids are your most important -- the most precious and most important things in your life. and so, i mean, this is for real. this is real life. ms. delauro: and in connecticut, a woman, three boys, 18, 14 and 12. she said that they eat one meal a day. hamden, connecticut, a woman who says that she has just enough food to feed her children, she has to say no if they want to invite someone
7:56 pm
over. she sometimes says she feeds the boys a little bit more because they're hungrier than the girls. now we've heard about this internationally, where the shorted when et it comes to food. it is happening here. and we have the obligation and i know you take it seriously, i our colleagues need to have that sense of moral responsibility, to turn this around and do something that's better, do the right thing. say no to $20 billion in cuts to a food stamp program. mr. mcgovern: i thank the gentlelady for her comments and for her passion and for her efforts on this issue. i hope that my colleagues on a bipartisan way will indeed say no -- in a bipartisan way will indeed say no to these terrible cuts. it's hard for me to believe
7:57 pm
that we're going down this road. that we're going down a road where two million people are going to lose their food benefits, hundreds of thousands of kids are going to lose their access to free breakfast and lunch and we're all just kind of saying, it is what it is. well, it isn't. this is a big deal. and i don't, you know, quite know why it's easier to pick on programs that help poor people versus programs that help rich people. i mean, you outlined earlier all these kind of little sweetheart deals and special interests, kind of giveaways. that kind of go untouched. the whole crop insurance issue, the oversight is not what we all think it should be. but yet, you know, a lot of times lucrative interests get those moneys. and get those benefits. and maybe there's a political consequence if you take on a powerful special interest. and maybe they won't show up to your fundraiser, maybe they won't, you know, they'll contribute to a superpac and
7:58 pm
say that you're bad. by contrast, you know, poor people don't have a superlobby, don't have a superpac. and so maybe there's a debate going on, you know, where will i get the most heat and not what is the right thing to do? ms. delauro: the most disingenuous thing is there are a number of people in this body who talk about this issue and then themselves are getting .ubsidies and whether they have commodities or whatever it is. and that's been information that's been in the paper. they will deny food stamps to families who have no wrble but they're taking in, sometimes in some cases several million dollars in subsidies that are coming from the federal government. then it's ok. mr. mcgovern: and where's the justice in that? ms. delauro: there is no justice in that. mr. mcgovern: i received a postcard from a young mother
7:59 pm
who is on snap and who is going to watch this entire debate unfold and she sent as you very simple message to me, it said, don't let congress starve families. i mean, we should be about lifting people up. this is not about a handout, it's about a hand up. this is not about a culture of dependency. ms. delauro: we have an abundance of food. mr. mcgovern: this is about making sure that there's an adequate safety net in this country to deal with people who have kind of fallen on hard times. ms. delauro: with farmers and with families. mr. mcgovern: absolutely. we want to a farm bill that supports our farmers, that supports small and medium sized farmers in particular, that helps promote good nutrition, that helps deal with the challenges that farmers all across this country face. but it cannot sacrifice, it cannot sacrifice, you know, the well-being of some of the most
8:00 pm
vulnerable people in this country. and i thank the gentlelady for her participation. ms. delauro: i thank the gentleman. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentlewoman from missouri, mrs. hartzler, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. . mrs. hartzler: father's day was this past sunday and i'm thankful i had the opportunity to spend time with my father and sister and her family and thanked him for the role that he has meant and continues to mean in our lives and also an opportunity for our daughter and i to do something special for my husband. father's day focuses on the importance of fathers in this country. the presence of a father has a tremendous impact on the life and every child

60 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on