tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 4, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EST
we expect a debate on th early . live to the house floor here on c-span. compassionate and merciful god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. bless the members of this people's house. give them strength, fortitude and patience. fill their hearts with charity, their minds with understanding, their wills with courage to do the right thing for all of
america. in the work to be done now, may they rise together to accomplish what is best for our great nation and indeed for all the world. for you have blessed us with many graces and given us the responsibility of being a light shining on a hill. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentlelady from hawaii, ms. gabbard. ms. gabbard: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to
address the house for one minute. the speaker: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in recognition of the service of arkansas state university agricultural economics professors dr. greenwall. this marks the 20th anniversary of the agribusiness conference which the doctor has faithfully directed the past two decades. this premiere agribusiness focuses on global agriculture, farm policy, commodity outlook and bioresearch. dr. greenwald makes the program pertinent regularly bringing state ag leaders and university alumni to the event. mr. crawford: while attending arkansas university myself, i had the privilege to be in the doctor's class and i now serve on the agriculture committee in this body. i experienced the same kinds of concepts and examples i learned in dr. greenwald's classroom. thank you for and honor the
service of dr. greenwald. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, last month the social security administration announced proposed to close the field office in apple hurst, new york. mr. higgins: this is ill-conceived and threatens intermall students and individuals with disabilities to access critical services. in response to this, i plan to introduce the social security administration accountability act, which would require that the social security administration provide congress and local communities with adequate notice and justification for field office closings. this bill would require that congress receive a report which includes caseload data, service population, staffing levels at field offices as well as the process by which offices are selected for closing. mr. speaker, the recent f.y. 2014 budget appropriated an
additional $11.7 billion to the social security administration for administrative expenses. we should provide financial stability to alleviate field offices throughout the country. i urge my colleagues to support this request and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, madam speaker. i rise today with a heavy heart in remembrance of a dear friend and one of miami's legal giants, tom tu. tom passed away last week at the age of 73 from pancreatic cancer and unfortunately common and terrible disease. om was the co-founder of his law firm and worked closely with my husband, dexter, for many years. he specialized in securities litigation, having represented the florida department of insurance and the securities and exchange commission as well
as having testified before this body on five occasions about securities and insurance fraud. tom led a full life, including forming an intercollegiate boxing league and supporting the athletic program of our hometown, university of miami hurricanes. tom's lovely and energetic spirit will be greatly missed. he's survived by his loving daughter, christina, brother, jeff, sister-in-law maureen, his longtime partner marta and his longtime secretary, jo ann. we will miss you, tom. you were a good friend to all. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? mr. gutierrez: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. gutierrez: i rise to pay tribute to my friend who passed away this weekend in puerto rico. victor served as undersecretary of housing of the commonwealth
of puerto rico from 1972 to 1976 and was an excellent engineer. his wife has been a math teacher for many years and they rised five children, all who graduated from prestigious universities. and i want to say to his family and to all of those who are going to miss him dearly that we are saddened by his passing and his death. to the family, we know that many people talk about infectious smiles. victor's was truly an infectious smile. he always had something positive to say, always contributed to helping everyone else and never asked for anything for himself. i don't know what more you can say about a human being. i know he's resting in peace and i know that i look forward to being with him when i, too, leave this world. thank you, victor, for all
ou've done and [speaking spanish] thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from hawaii seek recognition? ms. gabbard: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. gab art: thank you, madam speaker. on january 21, i attended a sisters in arms forum in hawaii and i met a warrior and a hero. her name is staff sergeant mary valdez. i watched in awe inspired as she stood at attention with her right hand raised, tears streaming down her face as she swore to defend the constitution, to obey the orders of the president, to obey the orders of the officers over her. her strength and love for our nation was palable for -- palpable for everyone in the room after being savagedly raped before her 2011
deployment to afghanistan. she pressed charges, she took him to trial and the man who raped her was acquitted and still serves in our united states army today. when she spoke after her re-enlistment, tears streaming down her face, she said, i loved being a soldier, i love this army. her courage, resilience and commitment to fulfilling her duty is what makes our military the strongest in the world. we owe it to staff sergeant valdez and all service members to bring about reform so they're not faced with this kind of adversity. they are fulfilling their duty and their responsibility every day. we must fulfill ours. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. payne: madam speaker, i rise today to remind every
member of this chamber that just over a year ago this congress voted to provide $50 billion in much hurricane sandy relief, including to my home state of new jersey. i fought very hard for that money, and now this congress has the responsibility and obligation to ensure that the federal sandy recovery funds are being distributed properly to the people who need it the most. constituents from my district are still displaced from their homes and are awaiting much-needed help. according to the fair housing of new jersey, individuals are being denied claims. there is a need for more transparency on the standards being used to distribute these funds. also, a report on where and who the funds are going to is obvious. -- obviously needed. i urge my colleagues to make sure that proper oversight is
conducted and that the funding gets to those communities who are in most dire need, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. hahn: thank you, madam speaker. this is the third month that my colleagues and i have asked that unemployment benefits are extended to help our communities. those benefits expired on december 28, and more than 1.7 million americans, including 253,000 in california alone, have already lost access to these benefits and another quarter of a million will be hit by the end of the month if we don't act. madam speaker, if we act now, we can still help our friends and our neighbors who are trying to support their families as they find a new job instead of taking away what may be the only way they can afford food. there are more than a million americans trying to do just that, and we should do everything they can to help them return to the work force.
previous congresses have extended unemployment benefits time and time again with bipartisan support. why is it that a program that we know helps members of our community and strengthens our economy is suddenly disposable? let me remind you that these are unemployed workers who deserve our help. i hope that we are allowed to vote on this bill and extend these vital economic lifelines. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? the gentlelady is recognized. ms. sanchez: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to highlight the success of california with the affordable care act in bringing some of the highest enrollment numbers across this nation. i'm not surprised to see california leading the way. after all, we are the golden state. however, there is so much work still to be done by the 31st of
march, which is the deadline for enrolling people this year. and i am going to work very hard, along with my california colleagues. i've reached out to our cover california executive director, peter lee, and asked him to make sure that we enroll every single eligible californian. with only eight weeks left for open enrollment, i am making it my top priority that every qualified resident of my 46th congressional district is given the opportunity to enroll, and i strongly encourage all of my fellow colleagues to do the same. to make good on the promise of quality and affordable health care, it's not enough to educate. we must make sure everybody is enrolled. and i give back the rest of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? ms. castor: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady is recognized. ms. castor: madam speaker, i rise to urge the republican leadership here in the house to immediately take up the bill to provide flood insurance relief to millions of americans across the country and to develop a long-term solution for the flood insurance trust fund. last week, the senate passed by a broad bipartisan vote a bill to provide just such relief by a vote of 67 bipartisan members in the affirmative. i urge the house republican leadership right away to take up the senate-passed bill in the house for a vote. we already have over 182 co-sponsors, bipartisan co-sponsors that are ready to act. madam speaker, there is great skepticism that this republican-controlled house of representatives will act to protect the middle class and to boost our economy across this country. well, let's prove them wrong and let's work together to pass
a flood insurance relief bill as soon as possible. we can work together to solve this problem. i yield back the balance. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from hawaii seek recognition? ms. hanabusa: request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. hanabusa: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, happy lunar new year. as we say in hawaii -- this is the year of the horse, which has as one of its characteristics decisive action. it is said that it is not the year to procrastinate, and the lack of procrastination will bring success. remember what president obama said in his state of the union this year that we are in the year of action. the people of this great nation has been waiting for us to show action. some have just given up hope on us, and you just can't blame them. let us show them that we are
capable of doing the job that they sent us here to do by at least addressing critical legislation like creating jobs, restoring unemployment benefits, addressing the minimum wage, reforming the immigration system and of course, avoiding the default. let's show them, madam speaker, that we are able to do this because we can. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the entlelady is recognized. >> madam speaker, restoring the about yment insurance is
helping people. mrs. wilson: lower unemployment means lower lifelong earning not only for workers butles -- but also their children. it means a los of dignity that's impossible to quantify. mr. speaker, today with nearly 30 million meshes either unemployed or underemployed we have a moral obligation to solve the crisis. unemployment is rampant in both red states and blue states, creating jobs means creating dignity. we have bipartisan options to build a full employment society, including proposals to spur public-private investments in infrastructure and close the skills gap. but we must act now. the mantra of this congress should be, could be, and must be jobs, jobs, jobs. i yield back the blabs of my time.
rerks solved that at any time after adoption of this resolution the speaker may declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole demole -- committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of the bill h.r. 3590, protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunt, fishing and shooting and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and groiled the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on resources. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against the bill are waive. no amendment to the bill shall be in order except those in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order in the report, shall be considered as
read, shall be debate initial time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by a proponent and opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to demand for division in the house or the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as have been adopted. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one hour. >> thank you very much, madam speaker. for pumps of debate only, i yield 30 minutes to the gentleman.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: i apologize for being two minutes late, i apologize to you and the staff and my friends on the rules committee for being late. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five lennell slative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: house resolution 470 provides for structured rule for consideration of h.r. 3590. this rule makes in order 11 amendments which provide for discussion and opportunities for members of the minority and majority to participate in this debate. yesterday in the rules committee, we held a, what i consider to be an open discussion about this bill where amendments were fully discussed and debated and i am pleased to say that there will be these 11 amendments as a result of the action by the rules committee. madam speaker, the rule before us today -- the bill before us today represent ats year-long, bipartisan, bicamera legislative
process to protect our public lands and preserve traditional hunting, fishing and recreational shooting for american sportsmen and sportswomen. specifically, h.r. 3590 improves access to federal lands for hunting and fishing. it protects second amendment rights enshrined by the constitution of the united states and promotes sportsmens views, giving them a seat at the table an innovative advisory committee to collaborate with the secretaries of interior and agriculture on better -- on ways to better serve and conserve wildlife, habitat and traditional outdoor activities. american sportsmen are some of the strongest stewards of our nation's unparalleled natural resources. we have an abundance of natural resources but they all must be in a protected and stewardship role and that is what the american hunter does for this country.
they dreblingt conservation projects, they protect wildlife and habitat and sportsmen are leading adhave cats to -- advocates to make sure we leaf a stronger, my vibrant nature for future generations and i must add we teach our children and the next generation the same so the legacy we leave is prepared for our future. additionally, according to the 2011 national survey of fishing, hunting and wildlife associated recreation, american sportsmen contribute roughly $90 billion in economic activity either -- every year. these resources sustain thousands of american jobs and protect our nation's rich outdoor heritage. they also provide many of our rural areas of this country with needed jobs.
jobs for people who live in rural areas who care very much about conservation and their local areas to keep them natural. unfortunately, all too often the federal government erects unnecessary barriers which prevent americans from participating in many activities also that should be available on federal lands that is why h.r. 3590 is important. it streamlines government regulations to allow for greater access to our nation's public lands so that all americans can enjoy everything that our great out of doors have to offer. as a sportsman, myself, i will tell you i have enjoyed our national parks. i have enjoyed tate parks. i have enjoyed the out of doors and in particular as a young boy scout growing up, all the way through being an eagle scout and adult leader, that i have utilized these resources which
has allowed me to gain not only an opportunity to know more about america but to be able to pass it on to my sons and others. it is a great way to spend an afternoon or weekend or a week with your family, the out of doors, and learning more about america. today i want to thank the natural resources committee chairman doc hastings, who is from washington he understands the west and he understands the out of doors. his leadership on this issue was essential as well as the congressional sportsman's caucus co-chairman, bob latta, from ohio, an benny thompson from mississippi. -- both of these men met with me and the committee early on to make sure we would be prepared for their bills to come to the floor as a package with the understand that on a bicameral, bipartisan basis we would move
this legislation. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on the rule and yes on the underlying legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. >> madam speaker, i want to -- i thank the chairman of the rule committees, mr. sessions for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. mr. mcgovern: i rise in opposition to the rule and the underlying bill and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: madam speaker, this bill is a solution in search of a problem. it's an omnibus bill that's been cobbled together in a back room by the republican leadership while the resources committee has considered some of these bills, not every bill made it through the committee process. two of the measures in this bill were never reported out of committee and no committee considered this omnibus bill. so much for regular order. madam speaker, we have a number of major time sensitive issues we should be tackling here in this congress.
we should be extending unemployment benefits for the 1.6 million americans whose benefits expired on december 28 and the 72,000 more who lose them each week we fail to act. we should be raising the minimum wage to help the too many americans who work two jobs and still struggle to make ends meet. we should be finding common ground on comprehensive immigration reform to finally fibblings our broken immigration system. and we should be bringing to the floor a clean bill to raise the bt ceiling which yesterday treasury secretary lew said we'd hit by the end of the month. default on the national debt risks another downgrading of our credit rating but we are not considering any of these items today. instead we have before us another cobbled together lands bill that goes much further than just expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands. it undermines a number of
commonsense, long-standing environmental laws to protect the beautiful lands that outdoor enthusiasts love. and it's loaded up with an array of unrelated provisions like making it easier to import polar bear trophies. madam speaker, let me remind my colleagues that 75% of all federal lands are open to recreational hunting, fishing and shooting. there are ample opportunities for hunters and fishermen to pursue these recreational activities. h.r. 3590 effectively everrides several important, commonsense conservation laws and elevates hunting and shooting ahead of all other legitimate uses of land. and it does so without including several important bipartisan re-authorizations sought by outdoor sportsmen and women and conservation groups. not only is the underlying bill bad policy, the process bringing this bill up is lousy desm spite the fact that the omnibus bill wasn't considered by any committee, the rule committees
decided to close down the amendment process. the truth is that this rule makes in order every single republican amendment while only making in order one third of the democratic amendments. so much for openness and so much for fairness, madam speaker. i am particularly disappointed that last night the rules committee failed to make in order an amendment that i was proud to offer with mr. holt of new jersey. and several other of my colleague that would have re-authorized the land and water conservation fund. the land and water conservation fund program uses royalties from oil and gas drilling to protect and preserve access to federal and state lands. the state program has been has been important to the creation of 35rks and -- parks and recreational facilities in my district. the holt amendment re-authorizing lwcf is critical. this program will expire soon and needs to be re-authorized. the holt amendment isier main
and doesn't require waivers yet the republican leadership blocked it along with 2/3 of the amendments offered by the democrats. h.r. 3590 is a bill in search of a brofpblee saw a similar package last year that went nowhere in the senate and i expect a similar fate for this year's version because gutting nvironmental laws is a nonstarter to for so many members. madam speaker, we should be focusing our time on the real challenges facing our economy. we should be extending unemployment insurance. it is unconscionable that we are just sitting here doing things like this, things that are going nowhere, while so many of our federal americans have lost their unemployment benefits. what are they to do? these are people looking for jobs and can't find them. we should be raising the minimum wage, we should be giving the american people a raise. my friends on the other side of the aisle complain about all these government social
programs. the fact is in the united states of america you can work full time and still earn so lit that will you are require -- that you will require things like food stamps and other government subsidies. we should stop subsidizing places like mcdonald's or wal-mart who don't pay their workers a livable wage. we should raise the minimum wage you work in this country full time you ought not to have to live in poverty. we should pass a clean extension of the debt ceiling so we don't ruin this economy. these are the things we should be talking about. these are the things we should be debating. those are the priorities facing our country. and we're doing nothing. so i urge my colleagues to vote no on this rule and on the underlying bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: madam speaker, thank you very much, and i appreciate the gentleman from massachusetts in not only his arguments, many of which were
made in the rules committee last night as we properly went through, i believe, rather me particular yussly in answers to -- meticulously in answers to what the gentleman brought up. three democratic amendments were withdrawn. one democratic amendment was nongermane and several other democratic amendments i think we effectively said they will be tackled either in another piece of legislation or because they are a larger bill that needs to be heard by the committee, updated and it in to be done l is set in 2015 with its expiration. the chairman, doc hastings, very meticulously addressed his thoughts on that and told the rules committee that in fact that he did believe that it would need to be updated on a bipartisan basis.
doc hastings, as the chairman also stated that the majority of his bills that he had brought to the committee, at least under his chairmanship, were done on a bipartisan basis, where there was an agreement within the committee to move the bills. disagreements by parts of the legislation that garnered out of respect out of the committee. it was the rules committee that made the decision based upon testimony that they heard upstairs, listening to the committee chairman, understanding the committee's thoughts and ideas and then moving appropriately. the gentleman from massachusetts does make other points about job bills, and i would point to a congressional budget office, nonpartisan c.b.o. report that came out today that talks about the effects of a new update about
the affordable care act which is known as president obama alluded to here obamacare. the word obamacare, when used in that context, will push the equivalent of about two million american workers out of the labor market by 2017 as employees decide either to work fewer hours or to drop out altogether, according to the latest estimates from the congressional budget office. and they said that there's a major jump in the nonpartisan agency's projection, and it suggests that the health care law's initiatives and incentives in it are driving business and people to choose government-sponsored benefits rather than work. quote, the c.b.o. estimates that the a.c.a., affordable care act, will reduce the total number of hours worked on by
net by about 1.5% to 2% during the period of 2017 to 2014, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor given new taxes and other incentives that will face -- that they will face from the financial benefits that some will receive. c.b.o. analysts wrote this in their new economic outlook. they further stated that the rollout problems with the affordable care act, known as the a.c.a., last year will mean only, some constituented, six million people will sign up through the state-based exchanges rather than the seven million that the c.b.o. had originally said would sign up. what this means is that the laws were passed as a result of president obama, nancy pelosi being speaker of the house and
harry reid as being the senate majority leader, they passed laws which are substantially reducing the number of people who actually work in america. there were a net some 230,000 people that lost their job this last month. the affordable care act continues to be the number one reason why american businesses and small business employers do not hire more workers in this country. the gentleman is correct that democrat leadership as well as ranking members from the ways and means committee and the budget committee have approached the rules committee nd asked for us to extend by 1.3 million people the number
of people who would be extended long-term benefits. i had a discussion with both sandy levin of the ways and means committee and chris van hollen, the ranking member of the budget committee, and told them that the republican party in the house of representatives has, since the president initiated this action and it was passed in the house, that we saw were there would be millions of people who would lose their jobs, that we would have unemployment at the numbers that we have and there's not one unintended consequence in this. these were well-known, they were well understood, they were simply ignored by the democrats and the media as a possible probable outcome. so i told both these gentlemen when they came to the rules committee that i would be very pleased to engage with them on a private basis as a member of congress, them as a member of congress on a way we can add 1.3 million jobs if we were
going to extend the unemployment compensation. i believe it is immoral for this country to have as a policy extending long-term unemployments to people rather than us working on creation of jobs. a job is the most important attribute i believe in a free enterprise system of a person, a family circumstance, for a husband, a wife, children when they're able at the appropriate age to be able to have a job, to learn to take care of themselves, to be able to meet their needs, to be able to become engaged in their community and have self-respect enough to know that jobs are important. i think too much time we have been hung up on instead of the creation of jobs we talk about the symptoms that are related to unemployment and long-term unemployment. in this case the president of
the united states thoughtfully articulates the need for us to make sure we help people but i believe he errs on the side of pushing nonjobs bills coming to the table as the president said when he was candidate, when he was president, working with republicans and democrats on well understood ways on ways you can create more jobs. but the president has chosen not to do this. it continues to be a five-year pattern. i would note that when we had many of these same issues or similar when president clinton was in office, he worked with republicans. grant it, they were republican ideas. balance the budget, welfare reform, cutting taxes, reducing rules and regulations, and i do admit that is a complete republican agenda. but we saw where one democrat
president joined with republicans to work for a great opportunity for us to grow our economy, to face down other nations who are willing to not only grow their economies at our expense but to add american workers and a brighter future for all americans. the republican party, house leadership, speaker john boehner, majority leader eric cantor have repeatedly stood at this podium for five years and we have a constant theme and that is, let's work together. not on raising taxes, not on more rules and regulations, not on job-killing health care ideas but rather initiatives that the private sector, c.e.o.'s, small business leaders say will help them to understand better the things
that they need to go employ americans. instead, the democrat majority chose to do a bill, the affordable care act, that at that time more than 55% of americans opposed. we were told, wait till you learn about it, you're going to love this. not just read it to learn what's in it. but the longer you have it out there it's going to be a real attribute. i tell you, we'll find out this october when instead of eight million americans will lose their health care and have to make decisions, there will be 80 million people and it will be at that time perhaps slightly before when the american people understand it was one party, one group of people, they are called the republicans who tried to warn us, who tried to hold -- some 47 some individual votes on pieces of
the affordable care act that ruined employment, that make taxes even higher and move jobs overseas. and this is why the republican party is here today moving this bill. we will be with a water bill tomorrow on the floor, and we will continue down the pathway of showing the differences of what we are for. we're for the marn worker. we're for growing jobs. we believe g.d.p. is an embarrassment and we believe that unemployment is immoral, and we should add jobs. so i am going to join my colleagues, sandy levin, my colleague, chris van hollen, and craft something on this floor but it's got to net add over a million jobs because that's what america needs, a real answer, not rhetoric. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reservices his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: madam speaker, first of all, let me just say to my colleague from texas, i think the republican party, and
especially the republican leadership in this house should be ashamed of the obstructionism that has gone on to block every major initiative that this president has put forward to try to create jobs. i think they should be ashamed of their indifference toward working families in this country. my colleague talks about the affordable care act. millions and millions of people now have health insurance who believe did not have it. that's just a fact. you may not like it but it's a fact. being a woman is no longer considered a pre-existing condition. with regard to health care. that's a fact. that's a good thing. that's a good thing. i would like to think my republican colleagues would cheer that. millions of young people can stay on their parents' insurance while they're looking for a job, until they have the security of health care. that's a good thing. and c.b.o. says -- continues to say that the affordable care act will reduce our deficit and
repealing it, as my republican friends will want to do, will increase the deficit. that's nuts. i repeat, what we should be talking about on this floor is extending unproiment insurance for those who -- unemployment insurance for those who lost it. 1.6 million people lost it on december 28. 73,000 people lose it each additional week it passes. this is shameful. that's what we should be talking about. my colleagues say we should have a pay-for, notwithstanding the fact that george bush extended long-term benefits on a number of occasions and they never asked for a pay-for, but my colleague from maryland, mr. van hollen, came to the rules committee with a pay-for with the savings from the farm bill. my friends say it's not enough. i don't know what's enough. how long does this indifference have to continue? we need to do immigration reform. we need to raise the minimum
wage so that when you work in this country you don't live in poverty. and with regard to atlanta water conservation fund, we want to extend it for five years, not a year at a time. we want to give communities an opportunity to plan. hat's a good thing. my friends have blocked that mr. speaker, i'm going to urge that we defeat the previous question. i will, if we defeat the previous question, i will offer an amendment to the rule to bring up h.r. 3370 the bipartisan house companion to the flood insurance premium increase relief bill that the senate has already passed. to discuss -- i want to say to my colleagues, that's an issue we should be talking about now. that's more important than this bill that's before us that's going nowhere and to discuss the urgency of passing flood insurance relief, i yield two
minutes to ms. castor of florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. castor: i'd like to thank my colleague from massachusetts for yielding the time. and also urge all my colleagues to vote no on the rule and the previous question so that we can take up and vote on the senate-passed bill from last week that would provide relief to families and businesses across america from these unconscionable increases in flood insurance rates. it would also give us time to work on a bipartisan solution. madam speaker, for the past few months, i have offered on every single piece of legislation, moving through the rules committee to this floor, an amendment that would provide relief to families an businesses across america on the flood insurance relief. here's why it's important. we're dealing with the unintended consequences of a bill the congress passed in 2012 that people were not aware of, it was going to reallyi sock our neighbors with these high flood
insurance increases. fema did not follow through on what their responsibilities -- on their responsibilities, so the best course of action now is to pause and kudos to the senate that passed last week by a broad, bipartisan vote, 67 bipartisan members in the senate, passed a flood bill which the -- with the input of real stores, families, businesses, chambers from all across the country. it's vital that the house take up this bill right away. let me give you a few examples -- examples from back home in the tampa bay area. paul page lives in russ kin, florida. he says, my name is paul page, i'm a retired 30rk% disabled veteran living in russ kin, florida. i need your help now. i purchased my home in december of 2012678 my flood insurance was $1,400 year. thanks to the new bill anymy flood insurance is rising to
$5,400 a career. or james smith in south tampa owns property, his freem yum will go from $2,000 a year to $9,000 a year. or frank and shirley davis in shore acres have st. petersburg just listed their home for $175,000 but they're going to have an annual, new annual premium of $4,000 that's now negated any chance they have of selling their home. this is happening all across the country. and madam speaker, this republican majority -- people have called it the do inform hog -- to-nothing congress. they are skeptical that the republican-controlled congress can respond to middle class families and provide economic relief where it's needed. here's a chance for the republican majority to step up and address a very severe economic issue for families and businesses all across this country. the longer the republican leadership puts this off, the greater economic harm it will
cause to families and bies across america. vote nonthe previous question and the rule the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expire. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you, madam speaker. i have great respect for the gentlewoman from florida and would like to affirm that she has come to the rules committee and it is the rule committees that has been pondering these questions and will continue to. the rule committees, as of several weeks ago, attempted to work with, on a bipartisan basis, through the financial services committee, and there were some -- there were not agreements that were done there on a bipartisan basis. so i think the committee of jurisdiction needs an opportunity to be able to faithfully look at it and come up with an answer. i think a backstop would be simply to delay thing fours years because of this government's inability to effectively do what they were tasked with doing. but notwithstanding, i very much
appreciate the gentlewoman and her constant comments, not just to me but also to members of the rule committees, understand that we do have to come up with an answer on this. i wish today were that answer. we'll continue to work at it. i appreciate the gentlewoman very much for her continued insistence with me and i have also told one of her colleagues, one of my colleagues, the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, as well as members of the rule committees on the republican side that we'll continue to work on this and i expect us to be successful. i yield -- i reserve think him -- my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: madam speaker, i think the rules committee ought to stop pondering and maybe start act. with that, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. keating. the speaker pro tempore: two minutes for the gentleman from massachusetts.
mr. keating: i heard the gentleman from texas say, and i appreciate his intensity, that he believes there's a flawed insurance policy that is government-sponsored and if that's the case it should be delayed. and he was willing to shut down government to do it. i want to talk about something that's a flawed government insurance plan that's scientifically proven to be wrong. no debate about it. and that should be delayed too. i have a family in my hometown in massachusetts that just bought a house. they bought it for $240,000. they had a $400 bill, the predecessors did, for flood insurance. they were shocked, i was shocked, that bill is now increased to $44,000 a year. $44,000 a year. if you take away the value of their home in about two or three years of payments for flood insurance at that rate, it's the whole value of their home. now, i want to also tell you that it's a government taking,
in effect, to have this policy in effect. because if they go to sell that home, and someone has to get a mortgage, as most people do, to buy it. the value of that home will be diminished. someone will probably have to pay cash, maybe pay $100,000 for a $240,000 home. that's government reaching in, taking the value of their nest egg. of all their life savings. the place they live. away from them. now i said it's scientifically proven. i want to show you. i want to the university of massachusetts in dartmouth. their coastal study experts there. scientists, engineers, said, what fema did inest tablying the maps these rates are based upon are flaw. they used the pacific ocean methodology on the atlantic ocean. that's how fundamental the flaws are. now my county in plymouth that i represent, by taking this through the appeal prosssess and bringing in the study that i was
able to obtain from umass, they took the whole county of plymouth in massachusetts -- i ask the gentleman 30 seconds. mr. mcgovern: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is yielded. mr. keating: the whole county is delayed. it shouldn't just be my county that's delayed, fema doesn't have the time to do the whole country. it should be all of massachusetts, the northeast, all the coastal area, all the river areas in this country. they should be treated with fairness. all we need on this is a vote. there are 182 co-sponsors. about a third of them republican. let's get it to the floor, let's be fair, an when we have scientific evidence about a flawed insurance plan, let's make sure we get a vote on it. i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you, madam speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts.
mr. mcgovern: i yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from california, ms. waters. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady for three minutes. ms. waters: thank you very much. madam chair and members of congress, we should not have to even debate this any further. it is outrageous that we have learned what we have learned about the failed implementation of fema with the biggert-waters plan and not do something about it. let me just say this i joined with mrs. biggert and we tried to reform the national flood insurance program. we went about it in a way that we thought would make it possible for people to be able to afford to pay for the national flood insurance program and not in a way that would cause them to lose their home. it passed through this house, it passed through the other house, it went out to fema. and what did fema do? it did not do what we instructed them to do first of all, we said, have a study on
affordability. the second thing we said was, look at the way you do mapping and remapping. we encouraged them to get good data, to be able to do this work. they have failed us and they have failed the citizens of this country. not only have they failed the sints of the country, middle class people in this country, homeowners, are now about to lose their homes. california families facing a floot insurance premium increase $1,700 a year to $22,000 a year. 1,100%. se of over i was down in louisiana, we have representatives of florida, new york, and on and on and on and they're begging this congress to do something about these unintended consequences. i was co-author on the bill, the bilge ert -- biggert-waters bill. i know what we intended --
attempted to do. these unintended consequences are just that. they should not be happening this way. this is not a partisan bill. s that bill that's got support from democrats and republicans. you heard the previous speaker talk about 183 members on this bill. the senate passed it out with flying colors. and now it's on us. what are we going to do? are we going to allow middle class families to lose their homes because fema has not done its job and has not done it correctly? are we going to allow tease families to be put out of homes that they have lived in for years because now with these inkeysed premiums, they can't sell them? this is unconscionable, we can do better than this i could go on and on and tell you about the families and letters we have received. it's time for the house of representatives to consider this legislation. we must address this problem now before one more family suffers from increased premiums,
depressed home prices or the inability to buy or sell their home. bring it to the floor. i have talked with the chairman of our committee. i would like everybody to address concerns to the chairman, get this pill to the floor, that we can have our homeowners and constituents. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i thank you very much, in fact, once again, the gentlewoman from los angeles, i believe represents a truth, we need to get this done. i think the committee last year, as i recall, began a process of relooking at it, trying to work through this issue and it is my belief and hope, and i have told members of the committee, that i intend to stay after this. but that the financial services committee, it does have the jurisdiction and we're looking for an answer rather quickly.
and i will continue to work with the gentlewoman from los angeles, i'll continue to work with the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, judge hastings, and i'll continue to work with ms. castor from tampa on this issue. i know that my dear friend from new york, congressman meeks, has spoken with me a number of times about this, it is my hope that the financial services committee will come with a recommendation, a piece of legislation on a bipartisan basis that we can address this and we'll wait until that is accomplished. and that is what i have told mbers of the committee and i will continue to be engaged in this >> the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: we don't have to wait for the financial services to act, the rule committees shares jurisdiction on this bill. we should bring it to the floor now. with that, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks.
mr. meeks: thank you, madam speaker. last week, i received hundreds of calls and emails from my constituents across the rockaway peninsula, broad channel, jamaica bay in new york's fifth congressional district. most had been struck hard by the devastation of superstorm sandy and were eagerly hopeful that relief was finally under way with the senate passage of the flood insurance relief bill. my constituents then asked, how long will it take and when will the house pass the senate bill? why is the house not taking up the senate bill? why is it being delayed? when will the house leadership -- let's put politics aside. if there's ever an issue that should not involve politics, it is this issue because this storm struck democrats and republicans, it struck everybody, rich and poor. everybody was affected by it. when will we put those differences aside so we can get
something done? why, they asked, madam speaker, it is time for us to respond to these americans who have suffered too long and who need relief now. from citizens who havehear been devastated from the unintended consequences of the biggest-waters flood insurance act which led to dramatic increases. it is time that we on this side of the capitol take up this legislation and address the problem before one more family suffers from increased premiums. depressed home prices or the inability to sell their home. what took ope unlike place when we asked for relief, so i hope it is not the most extreme wing of the republican party that is blocking or stopping real relief while our
nation's homeowners and pass this reform legislation today. mr. speaker -- madam speaker, it is time we pass the homeowners flood insurance act and time to get it done and we need it done today and right now for relief for american citizens. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i reserve. mr. mcgovern: i yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, mr. murphy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida for one minute. mr. murphy: last week the senate passed a bipartisan bill to fix the national flood insurance program to protect homeowners. it is beyond time for the house to follow suit by passing this bipartisan bill which will help millions of americans facing steep rate increases, including thousands of residents across the palm beach coast. homeowners do not need to face rate increases. any proposed rate hikes must be delayed until the affordability
study gives congress a better understanding of how unaffordable rate hikes would negatively impact the flood insurance program. i urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question so we can pass this bipartisan commonsense solution that will provide relief for homeowners across america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the alyields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield to mr. pascrell. mr. pascrell: mr. chairman, i appeal to you to make this an urgent issue. urgency i think is very critical here. so i rise in opposition to the previous question so we can consider the homeowner flood insurance affordability act. in the wake of hurricane sandy, over 74,000 national flood insurance claims were submitted
in new jersey from policy holders. $3.5 e, the nfip has paid billion in sandy claims and has served as a lifeline to thousands of new jersey residents whose lives were turned upside by the storm. the funds paid out through those claims have helped our neighbors rebuild homes, businesses, regardless of what political affiliation, persuasion. we were all affected by this. estimates indicate that the total cost of sandy will be $12 n $5 billion and billion. so it is true that we need to make changes to make sure that the nfip remains solvent. the rollout of the 2012 reforms to nfib have issues. i'm hearing from constituents in little ferry particularly, which were devastated by sandy.
this is destroying property values, disrupting the real estate markets in the communities of new jersey and across this country. that's why it is so critical we visit flood insurance reform bypassing h.r. 3370. this legislation will prevent premium rate hikes until fema completes the affordability study. the affordability study called for by the original biggest-waters flood insurance reform legislation. giving fema a chance to implement an affordability framework. the bill establishes an appeal process for remapping and creates an advocate position within fema. just last week, a bipartisan majority in the senate did approve this bill. it is time to bring this legislation to the floor. i appeal to the chairman. this is urgent, not simply
because we have had two major storms in the last few years but because americans are affected one way or the other, if not by a storm off the ocean, a snowstorm or even worse. i ask you, i ask you specifically, do what you can to make this -- put this in front of us as soon as possible. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you very much. and i appreciate the gentleman from new jersey, my dear friend, who joins with other of his colleagues who in fact most politely and appropriately have brought this issue to the rules committee. i will tell you there was an assertion made a minute ago ta i was unaware of and that is a jurisdictional issue that the rules committee has. i have been tried to be forthright the whole time and i believe it is the right thing for the men and women of the
democratic party and the republican party who have approached me. i have consistently tried to invoke myself into the process with an answer through the committee, which i thought was the committee of jurisdiction solely of jurisdiction. i will look at the the gentleman from massachusetts, the gentleman from new jersey, both very dear friends who see me every day and i see them. i'm not trying to evade. i'm not trying to pass the buck on this. i have indicated i would be willing to be a part of this compromise and will look back at the gentleman, my friend, mr. pascrell and tell him i am personally involved in this and i'm delighted that the senate came up with their answer, which was a short-term answer, not a fix. and i believe that there's a fix that's tried to be looked at right now, one which is i think more amenable to the circumstance.
if that effort fails, i will continue to stay in touch with not only the ranking member of the committee, mrs. slaughter, but also my friends who approached me today. i will very respectfully acknowledge that what they are doing here today to come to the floor to do this is appreciated. what i would say to them is, i don't know that voting against the rule would get this process done. it's not included in the rule. but i will tell each of my friends that are here today, i'm going to continue working on this and i intend to have an answer quickly. and i appreciate the gentleman. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. deutch: last week the president called on congress to embark on a year of action in which we all work together to
put opportunity and financial security within the grasp of america's families. just a few days later, the senate took bipartisan action to protect thousands of homeowners in my home state of florida and across the country from massive premium hikes on their flood insurance. these hikes are breaking the backs of america's families and bringing down home values when our market is picking up again. there is no question that the financial health of the thousands of families who could lose their homes as a result of these premium rate increases has to be a priority, an urgent priority of this house. rather than gutting on environmental protections, let's focus on homeowners. let's pass the act so fema can reform the flood insurance program and protect america's families at the same time. it is urgent that we move forward. i thank the gentleman for making this an urgent priority. the way to do it is to let us proceed with this today. thank you, and i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield one minute to the the gentlewoman from connecticut, ms. delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from connecticut, one minute. ms. delauro: the homeowner flood insurance affordability act overwhelmingly passed the senate with bipartisan support. it needs to pass the house of representatives. we need to stabilize flood insurance rates before families are further impacted by fema's poor implementation, inaccurate mapping and incomplete data which has led to unimaginable increases in premiums. we came together in 2012 to reform the national flood insurance program, to put it on the path to stability. but congress never allowed the punitive insurance program that fema is now imposing. a constituent of mine from
milford, connecticut, anticipates paying 5,000% higher than he was paying and i have heard from many constituents. the senate legislation would delay these increases until fema completes the study ensuring that new rates are affordable for families as was called for in the 2012 law. 182 members of this body, republicans and democrats, support a similar bill. we can get this done, we need to get this done and we can do it today. i call on the speaker to stop fiddling while rome burns. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield one minute to the the gentleman from illinois. mr. enyart: i rise today to urge my colleagues to bring the homeowner insurance affordability act up for a vote.
it is crucial that we fix the critical problems created by the rushed implementation of the insurance act of 2012. we cannot insure the national flood insurance program long-term viability. opponents of senate-passed flood insurance bill says it benefits wealthy americans who buy beachfront property. i urge those opponents to come to my southern illinois district. my district borders more than 150 miles on the mighty mississippi. the folks who live there are not owners of second homes, nor vacation rentals but middle-class families in jackson county, union county, alexander county and america bottoms. without reform, people in my district and across the u.s. will see their property values plummet. many of these properties have been family homes for
generations and have never once endured flooding. i urge that we pass this act now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: madam speaker, i continue to reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i'm proud to yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, a co-sponsor of the homeowners flood insurance richmond.ity act, mr. mr. richmond: i take mr. specials at his heard and i believe him to be sincere to see this problem fixed. i remind mr. sessions and congress that we don't have time to wait on this issue. every day is a sale that is delayed or doesn't go through because the flood insurance is so high and the new purchaser doesn't want to pay for it and the owner is short selling the
house because they have to get out of it and they can't afford to wait. when we talk about home ownership, we are talking about responsible americans, 1.7 million americans in this country that saved up to participate in the bedrock of the american dream. and now government and fema and now congress is turning their piece of the american dream into a government-made nightmare and we have the ability here today to fix this. and the part about it is, right now, we're not asking for politics. we are not trying to be overdramatic but asking for a solution and we want to fix it. in fact, we are here today talking about a republican bill that solves the problem. that's because for me, it's not about politics, but about people, it's about purpose and about making sure that not rich people who own riverfront,
lakefront, it is about our seniors who live on main street who saved and sacrificed and did everything right and played by the rules and now fema has decided that we are going to create new flood maps and the sad part is, if you are a community and you built levees and increased your flood protection and did it with your own money, fema doesn't count it because they didn't pay for it. so communities who have saved money to help themselves, like we do in america, that if we have a problem, we fix it, so my communities that put up millions of dollars to build levees don't get recognized because the government didn't pay for it. i would ask all my colleagues, let's do what's right and let's help people and put people over politics. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: the gentleman from louisiana is most accurate when he describes not just the
problem, but problems which are associated with the way fema has initiated this process. i will not sit here and beat anyone up over what they or did not do. i recognize i have disagreements myself. i have had disagreements with myself as a member of congress from dallas, texas. what i would say to the gentleman, and he is sitting right next to the ranking member of financial services committee, these are issues that have to be resolved. and they are larger, i believe, than what you have heard me say today. i think they are trying to look at solving more than the extension problem, but trying to solve some problems. i could be wrong about that. i'm not in the negotiation, rhyme around the negotiation. but the gentleman but the gentleman has come to the floor today for the right
reason, with a good message, that everybody is impacted in these areas. we don't need to say one group of people or another, or people who live in high rises or low rises, but what we do need to say and acknowledge, and i do, each of my colleagues, i have been approached by colleagues on the republican side and democratic side, i intend to stay after this issue and i respect the gentleman for the way he approached it today. i owe the gentleman an answer to this too, i'm part of the problem, just as he is, and we have got to find a solution. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from florida, ms. frankel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. frankel: we have a crisis, in florida and across this nation, where our constituents are facing skyrocketing jumps in flood insurance premiums, making home ownership unaffordable.
madam speaker, floods are not partisan and home ownership makes communities safer, more secure and more economically vibrant. madam speaker, let's fix this crisis now. i yield the rest of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: madam speaker, i reserve my time. the speaker: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield one minute to the gentleman from massachusetts, my colleague, mr. lynch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts for one minute. mr. lynch: thank you, madam chair. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise today to urge a no vote on the previous question so this house can bring the homeowner flood insurance affordability act up for a vote this bipartisan legislation will provide critical relief for family who was been devastated by outrageous flood insurance increases required by recent changes to the flood insurance program. fema's insistence on moving forward with these extreme rate hikes without first completing an affordability study and certifying that their mapping
techniques are accurate has require -- as required by congress in the biggert-waters act has created a crisis for working families who can't afford to pay five or 10 times more for flood insurance. before we ask the american tax payer to pay one cent more in premium well, need tone sure that fema is implementing the flood insurance program in a fair and lawful way. we're not asking to repeal that law. we're just stg -- asking for a time out while we figure this out. we're asking that we do an affordability study so we don't force people out of their homes. there's no sense doing it after the people are gone. we need this done the right way we can help middle class homeowners across the country by vote nothing on the previous question and bringing up the homeowner protection act. thank you and i yield pack. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. sherman. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman is recognized for one inute. mr. sherman: i'm here with the ranking member of the financial services committee. he and i represent a city built in the desert. suffering from a drought. we interrupted our rain prayer meeting to come here and to talk about how flood insurance is critical to the national interest. we should not burden our economy with a situation in which people can't buy their home, sell a home, live in their home. it's firearm us to defeat the previous question motion -- it's time for us to defeat the previous question motion and bring a bill to the floor of the house that had overwhelming bipartisan support in the senate, that has 182 co-sponsor here's in the house. it's time to stop partisan ranging and deal with bipartisan
-- wrangling and deal with bipartisan legislation. i yield back. the speaker: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. sessions: with great respect to the gentleman, i would once again offer an explanation and that is, what they're talking about with this motion to recommit is not germane to the bill and would not go back to the committee of jurisdiction. and so by voting against what would be the rule or the motion to -- for a motion to recommit would not accomplish what the gentleman is trying to do and that is why i've tried to take, madam speaker, as i have tried meticulously with speaker after speaker, my friends, my colleagues, that have a strong opinion about this, i have tried to say to them, that i do recognize that while i don't
believe i have the jurisdictional elements within the rules committee, that i will continue to work on this and believe that there can be an answer. i would respond back to the gentleman from los angeles and tell him, thank you for coming to the floor but an answer for this really needs to come from the committee that we need to then work through the rules committee and get it on the floor and i am committed to that entire process. i'll continue to do that. and i thank the gentleman from los angeles, my friend, for him taking time to come down but i don't want him to believe that by winning a vote on the motion to recommit that it will have any impact on that endeavor. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized and advise head has one and a half minutes remaining. mr. mcgovern: i have no further requests for time. i ask if the gentleman has further speakers? mr. sessions: i thank the
gentleman, i have no fufertsqus for speakers so i will let the gentleman go ahead and close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my amendment in the record along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: i urge my colleagues to vote no and defeat the previous question. i appreciate the chame of the rules committee expressing his willingness to ponder and reflect and consider and speculate on this legislation but look, time is of the essence here. and if the house votes to defeat the previous question, we can bring this up. there's no reason we can't bring this up. and the rule committees has jurisdiction over this issue too. and if there were any glitches here, frankly the rules committee can be immediately -- an meet immediately and waive the rules because that's what my friends do on so many other bills. one of the frustrations we have
on our side of the aisle is my friends on the majority keep bringing bills to the floor that mean nothing, that are going nowhere. this issue of flood insurance is a big deal. you've heard from members from all across the country. they want action now. not sometime in the future. they want it now. by voting to defeat the previous question, we can bring this up, we can deal with this, we can help some people in this country for a change and do the right thing. i urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question and if they don't defeat the previous question, defeat the rule. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas who is advise head has five and a half minutes remaining. mr. sessions: thank you, madam speaker. i will once again do the very best i can and with great to my and appreciation very dear friend from massachusetts, who has been a part of, since i recall, at least early december, the discussion in the rules committee with the gentleman, his colleague, my colleague from
florida, mr. hastings, judge hastings, pushed this issue appropriately. members of the committee from florida have graciously pushed this issue forward. the bottom line is, is that i believe the gentleman and i need to meet to speak about the jurisdiction he refers to. the jurisdiction that i believe that the rules committee has is not related to the policy. the policy which is what the provisions that are contained within the problems that we are talking about today, the policy issues are within the jurisdiction of the financial services committee. today, we're on the floor of the house of representatives with a rule with the jurisdiction todd natural resources committee. the motion to recommit is not germane to the natural resources
committee. so voting -- or believing that you could, through a motion to recommit, winning that and getting this bill on the floor is simply -- through the previous question -- is simply not something that i believe is realistic or something that we should even suggest to people that would happen. what we are talk about today is a bill with the jurisdiction through the natural resources committee. i would like to confine my remarks now on the bill that is before the house. madam speaker, i have had the pleasure of growing up as a lifelong texan. but had the opportunity to visit and live in other states in our great united states. i've had an opportunity to visit national parks, national lands, land that is owned by all the american people. as an active eagle scout, a
father of two eagle scouts, and my father is an eagle scout, we have been in national parks all over this country. that's what this legislation is about today. it is about national parks and the use therein. some number of bill that was been cobbled together, yes they were cobbled together to come up with a policy that policy that's trying to be worked on through a group of men and women here in the united states house of representatives on a bipartisan basis. as well as a bicameral basis. we had an understanding that we would try and do this about this week, early last year. so i want you to know that what we're doing is bringing forth a bill which is important to people in how they deal with their families, recreation, as well as the importance of vital economic help to various areas of the united states. i've witnessed the educational
and recreational opportunities we're talking about today and they possess near limitless opportunities for not only my generation but the next generation of merps who want to enjoy -- generation of americans who want to enjoy america. i think we, today, by this bill have given us a refleshed new opportunity on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to address that issue and that's why i support increasing access to public lands for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting so others may have the same opportunity. so, i am a yes and would encourage my colleagues to be yes on what the legislation is about today. not something that's not germane and another issue which i have tried to appropriately address here today. and it is urgent but that's not what we're doing right here, right now. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on the rule, yes on the underlying legislation and to be part of moving this bill to the
senate, then on to the president's desk and i yield back my time and move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. p those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. . pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will reduce the time for any electronic vote on adoption of the resolution. s that 15-minute vote. -- this is a 15-minute vote. a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: on that i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having risen a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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