tv [untitled] April 18, 2016 7:01pm-8:00pm EDT
honor the life of congressman ray thornton who was a voice for the improvement of education in our great state of arkansas. serving six terms in congress for over 23 years, he served in two different congressional istricts, the 4th and the 6th. his distinguished career included service to the united states navy and leadership of arkansas state university and the university of arkansas and eight-year term on the arkansas supreme court and chairman of the arkansas lottery. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. could members take their conversations off the floor. >> he donated his professional papers to the university of arkansas. he will be greatly missed, his
countless contributions and legacy will live on as public service. e yield back, madam chair. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? >> request permission to address the house for one minute andry advise and extend my remarks. s-lehtinen rabet i rise in bomgarance of the rabbi rden. he brought the jewish community
together for over 60 years. a native of virginia. he served as a chaplain in world war ii and credited with his motivation to become a rabbi. the continuing friendship and alliance with the state of israel. the rabbi was committed to not only strengthening our ties with our great ally but to see the united states continues to support and defend the jewish state which is an idea i shared with him. i'm honored and privileged to have the opportunity to represent his temple and improve south florida. may his memory be a blessing. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition?
>> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and stepped. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. r. dold: i rise today to honor the chief of the north chicago fire department who is retiring. mr. urban is the first female fire chiefs and one of only two fire chiefs. she saved countless lives and did her duty. we should all aspire to be brive as firefighters. in addition to performing her duties, she has been a mentor and a friend to many firefighters throughout her time and leaving the station far better off than before she was
chief. i wish her all th best. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new hampshire seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. . a. guinta: this would provide significant boost to gun dealers and small business owners as bill. granite state's this is america's right to bear arms and essential freedom. my bill would extend the same federal law that allows purchases. for instance, a vermonter could purchase a handgun in new hampshire and transport it home as long as he or she follows her state's gun laws.
this bill would be a boon for states like new hampshire. enjoying second amendment freedom and enjoy second amendment freedom. they stand to benefit as to do sporting enthusiasts. i would like to thank the co-sponsors and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: squabt the chair lays before the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence for ms. jackson lee and ms. waters for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. he request is granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the
gentleman from new york, mr. gibson, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. gibbs: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have and include supporting material on the subject of this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. crib crib we are seeking to gain support for the posture act. the united states marine corps and the united states army. this is a bipartisan bill. yself and 52 others. we have the language of this bill has been introduced in the
united states senate. the predicate here is the belief in peace through strength, a belief of what we want to do is deter potential adverse sears and we need to restore capability and tonight we are focused in on the posture act. the co-authors and i, we share deep concern for the entire joint force. but today, we are focused in on the land forces and you will hear five general points. and they are number one, that the drawdown plan currently from the administration is a plan to continue into 2018 for several more years here and at the culmination of that, our land forces will be at pre-world war ii levels and given the unjernt
and ambiguous environment we live in, we believe this is very high risk and we want to change that and essentially preserve 67,000 troops and end strength in the united states army and united states marine corps. that is number one. second point is the assumptions that were made when the administration initially made the decision on the drawdown, we believe those assumptions are no longer valid. there has been much changed and you will hear that this evening. and the third point is that with our land forces, this is not something -- tass not like a light switch, turn it on, turn it off, if we stand down these 67,000 troops, it could take three to four years to reconstitute that force level and given the uncertainty, we
think that is too much risk for us to take on. and madam speaker, the fourth point and hear i'll speak of my 29 years in the military that this planned drawdown has consequence for our service men and women. in terms of the operational tempo and how long they will go for those deployments and the enemy's weapon of choice is the i.e.d.'s and we know that has led to significant challenge to traumatic brain injury. there is wide bipartisan support. and that's why these bipartisan authors are concerned about end strength. and the fifth point is this, when we preserve this because we
are imagining momentum and i like our chances, tease very important that this end strength come with the necessary resources so we don't hollow out this force. we are going to have a series of speakers now. my co-authors on the bill. and i want to begin with my original co-author and highest enlisted man to ever serve. tim walz, a democrat from minnesota and in 1989, he earned the title of nebraska citizen soldier of the year and after deployment to italy as part of operation enduring freedom, he retired from the army national uard and resumed teaching at a local high school. a member of the armed services committee and a member of the veterans affairs committee and i
yield as much time as he may consume, mr. walz. mr. walz: thank you to my good friend from new york. it's a phrase we throw in here without a lot of authenticity, but a gentleman who served here in congress, i'm proud to stand with you. and you heard the gentleman's comments why we think now is not the right time to draw down this land force. the size of the force this nation needs should not be predicated. his rise of isis and china has built a new island and a belligerent russia and this is a deter rant not just to aggression. whether it be in haiti to respond to natural disasters or
ebola. the best trained and most efficient and most ready force to uzbekistan our diplomacy is this land force. we were concerned about this. the gentleman and i co-authored a piece of legislation. we said let's let the data speak to itself. if they can assess this force is enough that needs to be done by the joint chiefs of staff, that's the way it should be. they came back with some alarming things that they talked about and one of them, we are heading down the wrong path. there is a belief that we can olve all problems. and will not be on the ground with ebola and will not be there when we need that defending force and 15 years of war puts
an incredible stress on that. and turning on and off the lights. i used the one, this is like unning the car out of gas. keep it ready to go. we will not be able to carry out the missions. and i would like to highlight about the integration of the national guard to the active components and the use of the national guard. those of us who lived through the years and practiced artillery training with toilet paper rolls because we didn't have the capacity to train. it is not a good use of taxpayer dollars and without the full capacity of what they need. for many of us, this is not only a national security issue, it's
a smart fiscal issue. we have paid with treasure and blood. if the force shrinks too much. and all the speakers you are going to hear tonight, madam speaker are going to temperature you about this. it becomes difficult from a personal side and the professional side of soldiering. you can't develop the wider things that you need for all contingencies. we have come very good but the small people get rotated. those are new skillsets that need to be incorporated in. let's just pause in the draupdown, let's keep the force where the commission and the commission says it needs to be. let's give the force to rotate out and do what it needs to be done and in a way that makes sense and again i want to be clear, those critics who say we
are asking to buildup the military, we asking to stop a drawdown and putting this nation n a predictment and we in this chamber have a moral responsibility never put a warrior in that position. i want to thank the gentleman for bringing this forward. i want to thank him for willing to champion this forward. we know this is about educating and about having a debate. the gentleman from new york brought up a critical point. without the numbers to train and equip and that's probably worse than nothing and that's not what we are asking for and to highlight the gentleman's commitment to this, he is looking at ways to pay for it and make it work.
eliminate programs at the program. and beef up what they need to do. ensure the president has to address future steps. i'm proud to stand with the gentleman on the posture act. it's presented dated on data and speakers you are going to hear, it's what the thirst are telling us and again, i think it does come back to the gentleman's opening comments. . those adversaries need to be september a strong message that we're as strong as ever, our commitment is as strong as ever, our force will be the best trained, the best fighting force the world's ever seen and we're just asking to give them the numbers to do their job. so, madam speaker, i would encourage my colleagues to take a look at this, to get on board, to talk with the gentleman, myself and the other co-sponsors of this, and let's put that next president in a position to be able to secure
this nation, to be able to forward project american power in the name of humanitarian or human rights and continue to give our young warriors what they need with that i yield back my time to -- need and with that i yield back my time to the gentleman. >> i thank the gentleman. you heard in really compelling terms, and you saw witness to why it is that we have the finest fighting force in the world. mr. gibson: we separates us from the rest of the world -- what separates us from thed rest of the world is our officer corps. this is an incredible collection of professionals that provide advice, analysis and recommendations. and really, i would put our noncommission officer corps up against any other noncommissioned officer corps in the world. and i want to say, beyond that, he's a phenomenal representative here in the u.s. house and i want to thank you for that tremendous testimony and for your great leadership. and i now want to turn to another great warrior, representative steve russell,
and steve russell is, madam speaker, an aisha: ranger. he's served in -- airborne ranger. he's served in airborne, light and infantry assignments. he's been deployed to kosovo, kuwait, afghanistan and iraq. madam speaker, in 2003, then lieutenant colonel steve russell commanded the task force in iraq that was instrumental in the hunt and capture of saddam hussein. he's in his first term, off to an amazing start. i yield him as much time as he may consume, mr. steve russell. mr. russell: thank you, madam speaker. i want to thank my brother combat infantryman, warrior and colleague from new york, mr. gibson, for his leadership in this effort. madam speaker, in 1940, our nation faced tough decisions. lawmakers in this chamber debated over our constitutional requirement to defend our republican -- republic.
faced with a decade of depression, declining budgets and enormous domestic needs, president roosevelt recognized that the nation was woefully unprepared to defend herself given the alarming developments in asia and europe the previous two years. congress acted and although assured we could stay out of the war, this body passed the unprecedented selective service act of 1940 to increase our defensive posture. while some would call it timely, we were still woefully unprepared for the horrific attacks on our naval, land and air forces in 1941. when the blow fell, we had for the first time a sizable forward deployed force based in the philippine islands, in december, 1941. that allied force of 150,000 soldiers fought bravely for five months until their medical
supplies, food and, finally, ammunition were exhausted, prompting the largest vendor of u.s. forces in american history -- surrender of u.s. forces in american history. tens of thousands of these allied soldiers died in brutal captivity, all simply because our nation could not get to them. while we had future capacity, we had forfeited our defensive posture through cost cutting policies the previous decade, and we had exhausted our time. as unprepared as we were in 1940, it could have been even worse had the president and congress not acted when they did. but here's something to ponder. our current land forces are actually 30% smaller today than they were in 1940, when you compare them to a percentage of our per capita population. if we live today in an
atmosphere of peace, maybe we could take such gambles. instead we see russians reigniting the cold war, iranians destabilizing the middle east, north koreans firing nuclear missiles with the aim to range the united states, and islamic jihadist death consult extremists committing acts of barbarity akin to the middle ages. we also see tensions rising with our trading partner china and seeds of potential unrest in the pacific. and what does the president and this congress intend to do if we do not act to prepare for this dangerous world? this year it would cut the united states army by 30,000 more soldiers and our marines by another 8,000. instead, our bipartisan answer to these cuts in this congress is a resounding no.
whatever savings we might imagine we safeguard, whatever tension we may imagine we could trim, whatever goodwill we deceive ourselves of that would go after, we assuredly would be eroded by an unexpected attack on our nation as she has voluntarily chained herself down into a weakened condition. rather than slacken our posture, we must slacken our chains. we stand together with much work ahead, but this bipartisan effort is a refusal to see our nation further diminished. as we pass this measure into law, let us do it with the echo of these sobering words from novelist, historian and nobel laureate, alexander, a survivor of torture and tyranny. and i quote, i would like to call upon america to be more careful for her trust and prevent those because of short sightedness and still others
out of self-interest from falsely using the struggle for peace and for social justice to lead you down a false road. because they are trying to weaken you. they are trying to disarm your strong and magnificent country in the face of this fearful threat. call upon you, ordinary working mesh, do not let yourself -- america, do not let yourselves become weak, end quote. pass the posture act and prevent some horrific blow from birthing in our future. thank you, madam speaker, and thank you, mr. bib -- mr. gibson, for your outstanding leadership on this issue. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. gibson: i thank the gentleman. i thank mr. russell. what we heard, madam speaker, just moments ago here is what i mentioned at the outset, talking about the changed assumptions when the administration first made these decisions. of course, they were working based on the 2012 defense ance.egic guide
the 2013 strategic choices and management review, and also the 2014 q.d.r. madam speaker, i think we just heard very persuasive argument on how just in the last several years, so much has changed. the reason why this chamber is coming together in a bipartisan way, to move forward on this posture act, and now, madam , i want to turn to representative ellmers. she's not on the committee of armed services, but you know what? this lady works incredibly hard for our nation and for our service men and women. she studies all the time. i have had countless discussions with her. she's always wanting to know the detail to make sure that fort bragg, that the service men and women who serve there get all the resources that they need. she takes their combat readiness so very seriously. because she knows that the lives are on the line there and
fort bragg could not ask for a stronger advocate. and i'm very pressed -- impressed and very thankful for her support in going above and beyond, not being on the committee in jurisdiction, to be here tonight and to really make her voice heard all throughout this land and why we need to get behind the posture act. so i'll just say last before i turn it over to her that, look, part of what i know that representative ellmers is working on is a very important supporting element for our land forces, the 440th, which is based out of fort bragg and pope army airbase. i know from firsthand experience, this is an incredible outfit. we're concerned about some decisions that about are being taken here and i want -- that are being taken here and i want to yield now to the gentlelady for as much time as she may consume. mrs. ellmers: thank you to my colleague, mr. gibson. i just want to start right off by saying, madam speaker, that
our colleague, mr. gibson, has been a tireless voice for our military and certainly has been a resource for me and has always been more than open and honest with me when it comes to decisions that are facing our military and national security. i just want to thank you, sir, for your service. but then also coming to washington to serve your country yet again, and to be such an advocate for the military and to be such a support for the rest of us who are trying to help in that capacity as well. i am here tonight to discuss this -- in this special order the introduction of the posture act. and i thank the gentleman for this great piece of legislation. the posture act is an important piece of legislation that will prevent further troop reductions and improve military
readiness. as a representative of fort bragg based in north carolina, i have the unique perspective to see how this troop drawdown is directly impacting our national security. it is my top priority to ensure that we restore our military's end strength, not only to serve as a deterrent, but also so that our military can appropriately and effectively respond to any threat represented to our country or our allies. the posture act will ensure that our troops are ready and prepared to defend our nation at moment's notice. i would also like to thank mr. gibson for his help raising awareness about the serious issues facing fort bragg, including the deactivation of the 440th airlift wing. the 440th airlift wing provides unparalleled support for fort bragg paratroopers, more specifically, the famed 82nd aisha: global response force --
airborne global response force, a unit mr. gibson knows well, as he was the commander of this force just a few years back. because of the potential deactivation of the 440th airlift wing, i have been having this very very discussion about maintaining military readiness. and maintaining sufficient troop levels. for the last two-plus years. this certainly is not the first time i have stepped foot onto the house floor to rail against the air force's ill conceived decision to deactivate the 440th. in fact, i have stood in this very spot and stressed my concerns about this -- the threats this decision poses to the readiness of the fort bragg paratroopers. unfortunately what i thought was going to happen is indeed taking place as we speak. while the air force has promised they will continue to provide necessary airlift support for fort bragg, the air force is already falling well
short of this promise. fort bragg aims to complete 10,000 jumps a month, to prepare troops for combat. but the air force's decision to prematurely hollow out this wing has prevented them from meeting this jump goal. last month only 6,100 paratroopers jumped from air force planes. in fact, the air force has even fallen short on fort bragg's 8,000-jump minimum, a number they consider to be their threshold for proficiency. . this is another consequence of how drawdown can and will affect the military readiness and training. not only have i met with the leadership but i met with our nation's top military officials and still to this day i do not understand why the air force insists on making decisions based on zero strategic merit.
and this is happening at the 8th airborne corps was leading the fight against isil. members are set to deploy this summer. meanwhile, we are on the track to have the smallest-sized army since the end of world war ii. russia has become aggressive and china's is growing in southeast asia all the while our president insists on drawing down our military. this is not the time to be cutting our military. this is the time to strengthen it. mr. gibson's bill ensures we will have appropriate end strength to keep our nation and our allies safe and secure. i look forward to continuing to work with mr. gibson and standing by him in this capacity
as i believe strengthening our military is one of the most important issues facing congress today. with that, i yield back. crib crib i want to thank the gentlelady for her strong voice and the attention to detail that she puts into this and this is so critically important and very instrumental in the momentum we have had. your great voice, your hard work and we will continue to push forward and make sure that the entire installation at forth brag has to take care of their servicemen and women and the families. and i want to go too representative steven night. he is a veteran, representative knight was born at edwards air force base in california.
he served in the united states army from 1985 to 1987 and was a track systems mechanic in germany. when his tour ended, he served in the reserve and his service a member 5 to 1993, of the house armed services committee. and i now yield to the gentleman as much time as he may consume. night night thank you for taking a -- mr. knight: and that's what you have done in your tenure here in congress. i rise in support of h.r. 4534. the posture act is not just somethinge are asking for but the bare necessities. i can say on personal experience when i enlisted in 1985 and
enlisting into the army, i expected that we had such a great military and all of these things that were going to help me in my endeavors. a as i went to germany, my job was, if sometng happened, if the russians were going to come over, we were supposed to guard. and anyone who served, you know what that line is where we are going to stop the russian army d told us we were going to be outrun 11-1 at that time. and that's not a -- something that an 18-year-old wants to know the first assignment that might happen in the cold war that you are going to go to a spot and be up against an 11-1 army. we had 781,000 active army
folks. if we fast forward today where we areending people in rotations every 12 months and 18 months and sending them two, three, fo different rotations during their enlistments and we have such a smaller active army and i know that folks will be taing about the total structure. and i think that is great we have the reserves and national ard as part of the total structure. i believe in that. i believe that is something that should happen. but comparing apples from 1986 to today. that is getting down to a point where can we fight on two fronts? can we help and do all of the missions that the army has done for the last 200 years? i would say we are getting down
to that point, we will go underneath that level and won't send them into combat or humanitarian situations with our best effort, with our best foot forward. this is the absolute -- the absolute end to where we should draw down. let's look at what we are looking at today. we aren't looking at some of the larger countries but rogue states. russia and china are out there and doing things that we keep our eye on. their technology is advanced, the amount of money they have spent on the military has jumped dramatically over the last 20 years and some of the things they they are bringing forward is as technologically advanced
as we are. technologically we would say we are ahead. today, we have rogue nations and rogue leaders that want to do things to us and our allies. i say in a time where we are drawing down and continuing to draw down when we have this type of rogue nations and superpowers and have these type of groups that want to do bad things to us and our allies, is this actually the time that we should draw down to an unsafe level. i thank you, commang gibson. he is a true hero. but in this regard, he is trying to unite all of congress behind what he has believed and what he has done his entire life. i think the congress should listen. i think the congress should say,
yes, we have these levels and can't go below them. as we are watching everything on the news on a daily basis, we would say those levels are too low, too. i thank you for your leadership and i yield back. crib crib thank you to t service for our nation and great work on the house armed services committee. it is very compelling and very significant. i'm now going to recap and move to close and i will say that i appreciate very much the time and a busy schedule. colleagues tonight. we are here for h.r. 4534 and that is the posture act which stops the obama's administration for our land forces. and this is a bipartisan bill. myself and 52 others in this
chamber including 42 republicans d 107 democrats led by tim walz, democrat from minnesota and chairman turner was not able to be here today but he has been instrumental in not only craft this but build support for it for the past several months and as i mentioned, tonight, you heard five points why it is so important that we put the posture act into law and stop this drawdown. we gave historical figures in some context of where we are today. we know at present, our land forces are about about the same size that we were on the 11 of september of 2001. during the ramp-up and now seen a resetting.
however, the plan now from the administration is to continue that drawdown all the way down to pre--world war ii levels and that would be down by 2018 and that takes 67,000 troops out of the formations and madam speaker, we heard some very significant tonight from some of the speakers and we know that we have senior leaders in our armed forces now that have described this as a very serious risk, very significant risk and you heard from representative walz when he talked about the commission on the future of the army, which representative walz, humble man, he was the author for that and brains of that and we are here because of his work on that score. the results of that commission really need to be paid attention to. and it was here that not only were we able to get a better
understanding of this risk but we helped bring together all components of the army, the regular army, the national guard and army reserve, the commission that the army helped and i want to reinforce how important leadership is, our chief of staff army, our secretary of army, acting secretary of army right now, they have put a major priority ol really pulling together everyone that serves in the airplane and our secretary the army and commandant and that are charted the way forward. the general accounting office, the g.a.o. report documented what our research has shown over these several months and that is there is too much risk in continuing this drawdown to
pre--world war ii levels. that is point one. we heard from the speakers, how much of the world has changed and we can understand why it brought forward the argument but sotch has changed. it is clear to all of us that we need to adopt the posture act and we pointed out this evening that this is not like a light switch or something we can turn on or off and if we decide to move forward with the 67,000 troops, we know we are looking to three to four years to get back to where we are today and that would signal to our potential sad versus areas the wrong message. and the nourget point is how important it is that we have the right-sized formations because that impacts how often they stay
and all of this has impacts on families and traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress and serningfer certainly what this country is unified. by enacting the posture act, we are supporting our supporting members and veterans. and the last point and this has been made clear to us by all the leadership in the army and marine corps by preserving the end strength, it has to come with the necessary resources that they are manned, equipped and trained and look towards the modernization of the force and the future. we heard from the c.b.o. they initially assessed this at $6h million. there may be a new assessment coming forward. but what was mentioned by
representative walz, our committee is very keenly going through the budget, a budget of over $600 billion when you look at the department of defense and looking for ways to make sure we do this in the best way possible for the taxpayer. let me close with this. we are going to be submitting for this, a series of letters, including from the association of national army and the reserve efrl officer association and lastly, the legislative strategy we have building out support, our support is when the bill will be unveiled here that this bill would be included in the underlying bill because we think it is important that we get this done this year. with that, i want to thank you for your leadership and thank you for this opportunity to come
together with my colleagues to talk about such an important issue for the american people. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries is recognized as the designee of the minority leader. . mr. jeffries: i ask that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. jeffries: thank you, madam speaker. it's an honor and a privilege once again to come to the house floor on behalf of the congressional black caucus and join with my distinguished colleague from ohio, representative joyce beatty, as we anchor this congressional black caucus special order. the c.b.c. hour of power, where for 60 minutes we get an opportunity to talk to the
american people about issues of great importance to the african-american community, our democracy, and certainly our country. and today we're here to discuss , tragically, the house g.o.p.'s continued failure to demonstrate the ability to govern in a basic fashion, that is, to pass a budget required by statutory law as of april 15. that deadline has come and has gone and we are still waiting for the house majority to present a budget to this body for our consideration. we were told for years by people, including the current speaker of this great house, that the most fundamental
tenant of legislative governance is the passage of a budget. and yet, even with republicans in firm control of both the house and the senate, it seems that this congress is still unable to get its act together. it's a stunning act of legislative abdication of basic responsibilities and we're going to explore that tonight, not just from a procedural standpoint, but from the standpoint of how this is indicative of this majority's unwillingness and inability to do the business of the american people. it's now my honor and my privilege to yield to my distinguished colleague, my co-anchor, my classmate, the eloquent quent and --
gentlelady from the great city of columbus and the great state of ohio, representative beatty. mrs. beatty: thank you, mr. jeffries. i always look forward in engaging in our congressional black caucus' special order hour. and tonight, for our dialogue, or our debate on house republicans' repeated failure to pass a budget. but first, let me say, as your classmate and colleague, being able to be the voice for your constituents and my constituents, and america at large, it is an honor. and i think it is so important when we think about how important the work of this ngress is, for us to take on challenging house republicans'
road to ruin. madam speaker, tonight the congressional black caucus is going to discuss the importance of why we should pass a budget. and not only that, i am sure mr. jeffries and i will have a dialogue about the value and the importance of having a budget. we know that, as members of congress and especially as members of the congressional black caucus. because we know specifically that a budget creates jobs, it raises the paychecks of hardworking american people, while reducing the deficit in a balanced and responsible way. madam speaker, let me just take a moment to point out that this is not the first time that the congressional black caucus has held a special order hour on the subject of republicans'
inaction. earlier this year, the congressional black caucus came to this house floor imploring republican leadership to do their job. the job america wants us to do. and that was to enact commonsense gun control legislation. and to date, madam speaker, republicans continue to fail the american people by putting forth or bringing forth commonsense gun control legislation. it's still hanging out there, waiting for action. and now again, here in the ohio -- in the house of representatives, the people's house, we are faced with another instance of republican failure. under law, as spelled out in title 3 of the congressional budget act, congress is directed to complete actions on the concurrent resolution on the budget by april 15.
as we heard mr. jeffries remind us. concurrent resolution on the budget, this means it is supposed to pass both the senate and the house by april 15. neither chamber has considered a budget resolution for 2017. madam speaker, i don't know about your constituents, but in my district, ohio's third congressional district, my constituents expect congress to work. so let's take a look at it, madam speaker. what happens when people refuse to do their jobs? if postal workers don't deliver, you don't get your mail. if farmers don't farm, people don't eat. if teachers don't show up, our children don't learn. people all over america take
their jobs seriously. and they expect us as their elected officials to also do that. so it's time for house republicans to get america off the road to ruin and back on the path to prosperity. when speaker ryan took office, this is worth repeating, congressman jeffries mentioned this earlier. when speaker ryan took office, house republicans stated that passing a budget was a basic function of government. however, the statuary deadline of passing a budget resolution by april 15 has come and gone, although house republicans made passing a budget a top priority for this year. so, in the republicans' own words, they can't even accomplish the basic functions
of government, their job. madam speaker, why do we care that we don't have a budget? well, let me give you the answer. the importance of setting a budget is that it lays out the blueprint for the appropriation possess. it outlines government spending for the year. without a budget we have 12 appropriation bills working their way through congress without guiding principles on overall spending. if we cannot as a congress perform the basic functions of governing, how are we going to tackle the much more complicated issues such as income equality, edcation quality -- education quality, tuition affordability, tax reform, and so many others? well, once again, house republicans have demonstrated the degree to which the sharp
division within their conference are impeding congress' ability to work for the american people. instead of coming together with democrats to pass a budget resolution that will create jobs and grow the paychecks of hardworking american families, they've just decided not to pass a budget. this decision was made despite the fact that president obama submitted his budget request to congress back in february. as you may remember, madam speaker, the republican majority here in the house of epresentatives and the republican controlled senate took the unprecedented step of refusing to receive the o.m.b. directorer for a formal hearing to present the president's budget. well, madam speaker, how did that turn out for us? well, we all know how it turned
out. the republican conference failed the american people and set us on a road to ruin. by not pat passing a budget -- by not passing a budget. mr. jeffries, i look forward to us continuing this dialogue tonight with other members of the congressional black caucus. thank you and i yield back. mr. jeffries: thank you, congresswoman beatty, for a very thorough presentation and for pointing out that the speaker himself, the republican majority have indicated that they should be judged based on their capacity to complete basic -- the basics of their job responsibilities, which is the passage of a budget resolution. in fact, it was then congressman ryan who in 2012 stated that failing to enact a budget has serious consequences for american families. and there are at least three
current health crises that we're trying to deal with in america and throughout the world, where republicans have abdicated their responsibility. the zika virus, the flint water crisis, and the opioid addiction that is ravaging communities in the is it inner cities, in suburb -- in the inner cities, in suburban america, and all throughout rural parts of this country. and yet house republicans have failed, not just to put forth a budget that would provide a road map to deal with these issues, but they've chosen to simply ignore these crises in a manner that represents such a of what eparture responsible members of congress should be doing at this
particular point in time. i'm thankful that we've been joined by the distinguished gentlelady from the great lone ar state who has always been thoughtful and ilconsequent -- eloquent on issues of importance, not just to her district, which is anchored in houston, texas, but through her membership and leadership on the homeland security committee, as well as the house judiciary committee. she's been so thoughtful and effective on a great many of issues in the context of our safety, our well-being, criminal justice reform, of course, and the protection of civil liberties. all issues fundamental to our democracy, in the same way that a budgetary road map is fundamental to our democracy. let me now yield to representative sheila jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: let me thank my colleagues for their eloquence, but more importantly, for the congressional black caucus, for
taking up the mantle of the moral compass of justice. one would argue that justice is tied to our committee, the judiciary committee, but as i look at this congress and i look at a very small document called the constitution, one can anchor the responsibilities of this body, both the house and the senate, mr. jeffries, in the bill of rights. and i'd like to just very briefly take us on a journey that indicates that our moral compass is broken. because the budget that was supposed to be passed on april 15 by midnight has not. to the gentlelady from the virgin islands, let me thank her. she'll have her own distinctive story and her eloquence about the fairness to the territories. i've just lisped as i've come in to the -- listened as i've come in to the presentation by the gentlelady from ohio who knows full well that we need a
budget to ensure that there is full employment in america. and then i work extensively with my colleague on the judiciary committee, and we will not pass or fund prison reform without a budget. i rise today, however, to weave in and out of my comments about the moral compass that is broken, to indicate that my district, the 18th congressional district, in houston, texas, in harris county, is under a terrible emergency disaster. we are under water. we are under water. we're again facing an enormous rainfall that has been listed as historic and possibly catastrophic. let me acknowledge my mayor, mayor turner, and county judge, judge emmett, for the work that has been done so far