tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN December 2, 2016 9:23am-3:01pm EST
that now more than 1,100 good-paying jobs will stay right here in america. and the president leekt made it happen. make no mistake about it. carrier chose to stay in indiana because america chose to make donald trump the next resident of the united states. and thanks to you, thanks to you we're going to enforce the laws of this country for the citizens of this country, we're going to build a wall and we're going to end illegal immigration once and for all. cheers and applause]
mr. pence: and thanks to you, and thanks to you we're going to have a president who will appoint justices to the supreme court of the united states who will uphold our second amendment and all the god-given liberties enshrined in our onstitution. so we're here to say thanks. mostly i just want to say to you from my heart as a fellow american, thank you for giving america a new president. thank you for giving america a new president whose strength, whose vision, whose leadership will make america great again faster than you could possibly imagine. let me say to my friends from
president-elect trump: thank you, thank you. [cheers and applause] president-elect trump: thank you, everybody. wow. thank you. so, i didn't know this, i love you, too. ook at this place. so, i didn't know what came with this position, and i didn't know that they close down the roads around the stadium for an hour and a half. we got to work out a new deal with our secret service, but we love them, right? thank you. thank you, everybody, for being o patient.
thank you. you're going to be happy. we're all going to be happy. i'm here today for one main reason. to say thank you to ohio. cheers and applause] president-elect trump: we won the state by almost 10 points. which they say is totally unheard of. in fact, i don't know if you know, but it's the beginning they say you have to win ohio. you must win ohio. right, you heard it. over and over and over. and we started off sort of even. then we were one up. two up. we didn't have much help at the top levels, you know that, right? and that turned out it didn't matter. but we had help with the people
and that's what really did matter. so i kept hearing you must win ohio. you cannot win the presidency without ohio. so we started really we were about even, right? at the beginning. then point by point by point, then we had a couple of little troughs, but with ohio there was no trough. it just kept getting better and better. better and bert. [cheers and applause] -- better. and the end result is incredible. i love you, ohio. this is a great place. great people. i have so many friends. thank you. thank you. in a true sense history called and the people of this great state answered. you are going to be very happy. we're going to say right now what are we going to do? we're going to make america great again. you watch. you went out and you pounded
the pavement, organized your fellow citizens, and propelled to victory a grassroots movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. this is what they say. today on one of the networks they said, maybe andrew jackson. i said when was that? it was like in the 1838? and then somebody else, well, that was great, but nothing like what happened here. so it really has been fun. and more importantly i heard mike saying about what happened today in indiana. we're going to do that all over the country. we're going to do it all over the country. carrier, thank you, carrier. today we made history and now the real work begins. that is the second reason that i'm here today. i'm going to discuss our action
plan to make america great again. we're going to discuss it. although we did have a lot of fun fighting hillary, didn't we? right? [cheers and applause] president-elect trump: by the way, the people are continuing to pour in. let them come in. we could wait, we could wait a half-hour, an hour, but i don't think we're going to do that, right? let them pour in. let's blame them for being late, right. i am here to announce
we're saving the jobs at the carrier plant from going to mexico. 1,100 jobs. [cheers and applause] president-elect trump: and i'm asking all companies to keep their jobs in america and we will work to make america a better environment for workers and businesses. and we will crack down on all foreign trade abuses that undermine your ability and your company's ability to compete. those days are over when those companies are going to leave. [cheers and applause] we have so many problems to fix in our country. but i know that if we setaside our differences and we do have differences, we're a very divided nation, but we're not going to be divided for long. i have always brought people together. i know you find that hard to believe. although this group probably doesn't find it hard to believe. but we're going to bring our
country together, all of our country. we're going to find common ground and we will get the job done properly. e'll get it done properly. and so importantly america will start winning again big league. e're going to win again. but to succeed we must enlist the effort of all americans. for too long washington has tried to put us in boxes. they separate us by race, by age, by income, by geography, by place of birth. we spend too much time focusing on what divides us. now is the time to embrace the one thing that truly unites us. you know what that is? america. america, it's america. cheers and applause]
president-elect trump: because when america's unified, nothing is beyond our reach. i mean that. you're going to see. you're going to see. we're going to have a country that was never so great. you watch. so many different ways. you hear a lot of talk about how we're becoming a globalized world. but the relationships people value in this country are local. families, cities, state, country. they are local. we'll compete in the world, we want to compete in the world, but we're going to compete in the world where it's a two-way road not a one-way road. the advantages are going to ome back to our country. and they haven't for many, many years. there is no global answer, no global currency, no certificate of global citizenship.
we pledge allegiance to one flag and that flag is the american flag. from now on it's going to be america first, ok. america first. we're going to put ourselves first. we seek peace and harmony with the nations of the world, but that means recognizing the right of every country, including our own, to look after its citizens. we would put other countries first. we had people running our
country that truly didn't know what the hell they were doing. ok. didn't know what they were doing. we're going to defend the american worker. look what's happened right here. they forgot about the american worker. they for got -- forgot it was the american worker who truly built our country. we're not going to forget, believe me. one of the reasons we're so divided today is because our government has failed to protect the interests of the american workers and their families. making it too easy for us to see ourselves as distinct groups and not unified as a whole. we're not unified. we're going to be. washington's politicians has spent so long appealing to competing interests, they have forgotten how to appeal to the national interests, combining
the skills and talents of our people in a common cause. we have unbelievable talent. but that is all about to change. our goal is to strengthen the bonds of trust between citizens to restore our sense of membership and a shared national community. global is wonderful, but right now we want to focus on our national community. never again will anyone's interest come before the interests of the american people. t's not going to happen again. over the last two weeks since our vicktry, i have spoken to many foreign leaders. and i will tell you they have such respect for us. they all tell me how this was amazing. they all tell me how they said
in their magnificent rooms in different countries throughout the world, these are the leaders, the prime ministers, the presidents, all of them, how they sat in their magnificent rooms watching in wonderment and hearing how people came to vote that didn't vote in 20 years. people came to vote that haven't voted before. and they had trump shirts on and they had make america great hats on, and they had buttons and they thought it was amazing. and honestly, one of them told me i truly respect the united states again. ecause of what happened. we're going to seek a truly inclusive society where we support each other, love each other, and look out for each other, and that means that people coming into our country have to be people that have the potential to love us not to
hate us. he we condemn bigotry and -- we condemn bigotry and prejudice in all its forms. we denounce all of the hatred. and we forcefully reject the language of exclusion and separation. we're going to come together. we have no choice. we have to. and it's better. it's better. we seek a future where every american child is fully included in the american dream. we're going to have our own american dream. and we're going to bring back the american dream. the problems that plague our inner cities or that afflict poor rural communities, we do have those rural communities, some of them are poor, we're going to help those people. we're going to rebuild those communities. they can be fixed and together
we're going to fix them. we're going to fix them. we have spent as of this week, according to the latest count, we have spent $6 trillion in the middle east. and the middle east today is far worse than it's ever been. you will see changes very quickly. you will see it. a shrinking work force, flat wages are not the new normal. and we're not even talking about flat. we're talking about wages where some of you in this audience, hardworking, incredible americans, were making more money 20 years ago than you're making today. today you're older and working harder. in many cases you have two jobs. some of that's because of obamacare. by the way, we're repealing and replacing obamacare.
we're going to usher in a period of true opportunity and growth. endless gridlock is not a way of life any longer. we don't have to accept that. government can be responsive. and we can become proud again of how washington works. d i have spoken to democrats and i said to them, look, we can't go on with this gridlock. it's gone on for so many years. they can't get together. we're going to get together. and i believe they want to get together. you know why? because it's time and the people are angry. they are angry. and they are going to get together. we're going to make joint decisions. we're. the nice part, our victory was so great, we have the house, we have the senate, and we have the president.
we want to get them onboard also. people are constantly telling me and telling you to reduce our expectations. those people are fools. they are fools. but this campaign proved that the old rules no longer apply. that anything we want for our country is now possible. anything. right? downsize the time to our dreams but to set our sites higher than ever before for our country. cheers and applause] president-elect trump: now is the time to push for real profound change that restores the full promise of america for all of its people and those people are great people.
i got to know them, believe me, over the last 18 months. and what we have created is the movement and it's a beautiful thing. take a look here. the roads are all gridlocked. all gridlocked, all locked down, all secured up, and people pour in. it's an amazing thing. now is the time to unlock the potential of millions of americans left on the sidelines, their talents unused, their dreams unrealized, and their aspirations totally forgotten. and these are people of great talent. this is the moment. this is our chance. this is our window for action. this is the hour when the great deeds can be done and our highest hopes can come true. we're going to do it, folks. e're going to do it. we're going to do it.
president-elect trump: i love you, too. look at this guy. i do love him. he's a rough looking cookie, though. we have a lot of love. believe me. going to a lot of love in our country. driven by these goals i'm working to assemble a detailed action plan for america. my plan begins with the bold structural reform to create millions of new jobs and rapidly expand our economic growth. you see what's happening with taxes. you see what's happening with regulations which are totally out of control. right now we punish companies for doing business in america. they are actually punished. that's why they are leaving.
by the way, i have to say this, we're going to reduce taxes to a point that our -- the middle class in particular, but for our companies. and we're going to reduce the regulations. but if a company wants to still leave the state of ohio or pennsylvania or how about north carolina, how well did we do in north carolina? right? remember when they said he cannot win north carolina. so we had just won ohio. we had just won florida. breaking news, donald trump has won florida. they say, whoa. we won it big. but then the people back there, the extremely dishonest press - [crowd booing]
president-elect trump: dishonest people. how about -- how dishonest -- how about when a major anchor who hosted a debate started rying because she realized that we won. tell me this isn't true. you know what? she doesn't understand, things are going to be much better now. he doesn't understand. that was a landslide.
and we didn't have the press. the press was brutal. -- hey, in the great state of ohio we didn't have the upper echelon of olitician, either, did we? i will say this. it was very nice, your governor, john kasich, called me after the election and was very nice. [crowd booing] president-elect trump: he said congratulations. that was amazing. he couldn't believe how much we won ohio by or the election by. remember, you cannot get to 270. the dishonest press. there is no road.
folks, how many times did we hear this? there is no path to 270. there is no press. cheers and applause] there is no path for donald trump. texas -- as a republican i'm supposed to win texas. as a republican i'm supposed to win georgia. as a republican i'm supposed to win the great state of utah. i love utah. love those states. remember when they said donald trump is going to loose to some guy i never even heard of. who is that guy? he is going to loose to this
guy. but the people of utah were amazing. we trounced them. e trounced them. by the way hillary came in second and that guy third. i'm still trying to figure out what was he going to prove? did he want to -- i wondered what the hell was he trying to prove? i guess he wanted us to loose the supreme court. that's about the only thing he was going to get. but think of it. they said, i'll tell you what. this two, three weeks before the election -- my friends from telling me the opposite. they live in texas and georgia. they said georgia is in play. texas is in play. that means like we're even. and then we won in a landslide both states. what happened? for weeks texas is in play.
you turn on the television two minutes later. donald trump has won texas. [cheers and applause] he's a very, very -- these are very, very dishonest people. [crowd booing] president-elect trump: i love this stuff. should i go on with this a little bit longer? i love it. how about it's like 12:00 in the evening and pennsylvania -- i'm leadling by a lot -- leading by a lot. and we couldn't get off 98%. they didn't want to call it. we're leading by so much that it's impossible -- if i lost every other vote. and they refuse to call it. then at 3:00, ill neafer forget, i watched a particular person, and we won wisconsin.
and we won michigan. and we won pennsylvania. right. and that person is doing the math. and that person was saying for months that there's no way that donald trump can break the blue wall, right? we didn't break it, we shattered that sucker. that blue wall is busted up. so i'll never forget it. it felt so good. more so because they kept saying there's no path and all this nonsense. i go out and see the people like this. and i say, how are we going to lose? how with we -- how are we going to lose? they are saying we win wisconsin. donald trump, 38 years or so,
donald trump has won michigan. then they are looking at the map they are saying, oh, wow. there's no way for hillary clinton to become president. donald trump is president of the united states. amazing. eally amazing. one of the announcers from espn. they cover football and boxing and everything. he went out and he said, i got to tell you, that event last night, meaning the election results, was better than any fight, any baseball game, any .ootball game he said that was the most
exciting event i have ever seen. it was politics. and then you look at the nfl. now they should start recovering. but their ratings were so far down. you know what the reason was? because this business is tougher than the nfl. let's face it. people liked t their ratings were down 20% or 21% and it was because of us. we had a lot of fun. the bottom line is we won. e won. whether it's producing steel, building cars, or curing disease. we want the next generation of innovation and production to happen right here in america and right here in ohio, right. cheers and applause] first on taxes, we're going to
massively lower taxes and make america the best place in the world to hire, to invest, to row, to create, and to expand. on regulation, we're going to eliminate every single wasteful regulation that undermines the ability of our workers and our companies to compete with companies from foreign lands. e're going to do this. we have the greatest competitors on earth. and by the way i put on some of the greatest businesspeople in the world. one of the network says why he put on a billionaire. at commerce. well, that's because this guy nows how to make money, folks. knows how to make money. i'd like to put on a guy that failed all his life, but we
don't want that, do we? no. i put on a killer. i have been honest. i said, i am going to be putting on the greatest killers you have ever seen. we need that. it's time. it's time. it's time. we have a great, great cabinet, i'll tell you. it's coming. wait until you see what we have next week. are we doing a good job with our cabinet and our people? cheers and applause] president-elect trump: i don't want to tell you, i don't want to tell you this because i want to save the suspense for next week. so i will not tell you, i refuse to tell you -- don't let it outside of this room. you promise? aise your hand, promise. so i will not tell you that one
, our great, great generals don't threat outside, right? of course the press is very honest, they'll never let this go. even though it's all lies, i got about seven stations left. e are going to appoint mad dog mattis as our secretary of defense. but we're not announcing it until monday, so don't tell anybody. mad dog. he's great. he is great. i asked one of the generals, loif the generals, i won't use his name but he probably would come forward, i said to him, you're a good general, yes,
sir, i am. i said, so, how do you compare to general mattis? how do you compare to mad dog? sir, he's better than i am. i loved t i said i love you to say that. they love him. we're going to be announcing him on monday of next week. keep it inside the room. but that's what we have. he's our best. they say he's the closest thing to general george patton that we have. and it's about time. it's about time. ok. [crowd chanting u.s.a.] president-elect trump: my people over there are probably saying you weren't supposed to do that. on energy, we will pursue energy independence and cancel the job-killing restrictions on
the production of shale energy. oil, natural gas, and clean coal. we're going to put the miners f ohio back to work. on infrastructure we will build new roads, tunnels, bridges, railways, airports, schools, and hospitals. including major projects in the inner cities. there's such potential in the inner cities. we're not using our potential. remember when i would make the speeches, i'd say what the hell do you have to loose? the african-american community was so great to me in this election. they were so great to me. amazing. i couldn't believe it. i started off at a low number.
and every week, boom, boom, boom. and i got it up to a number that's higher than all of the republican candidates for years. and it was great. the hispanic community, i did great with the hispanic community. great. higher than people that were supposed to have done well. i felt it. and is this really a big surprise? we did great with women, can you believe it? reat with women. -- a e of polls came in couple of polls game in in the early states and they said we don't believe it. he's doing well with women. but every time i went out i saw
those beautiful pink signs, right. women for trump. i knew we were going to do that. so we did great with women. we did great with everybody. we'll deepen our harbors and new lanes of commerce across the nation. we have harbors that ships can't even go into. we'll have two simple rules it -- they don't know that hillary lost a couple weeks ago. they forget. where do these people come from? h, well. they are taking her back home o mom.
believe me, that's just the beginning. that's just the beginning. our trade deficit now is nearly -- >> see the rest of this rally online at c-span.org. we'll leave it at this point as the u.s. house is gaveling in to debate 2017 defense policies and programs. for fiscal year 2017 for military activities of the
partment of defense, for militaryonstruction, and for defense activities of the department of energy to -- ribe military earn ersonaltrgths. thspeaker o tempe: the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, and the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, each will control 30 mutes the chair recognizeshe gentlen from texas. mr. thorerry: i ask unanimous consent that mbers may have five legislative days to revise a extend their rerks and insert extraneous mateal on the conference report to accompany s. 2943 the eaker pro tempore: mr. thornbey: iyid mylf five minutes. thepeaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized fo five mites. mr. thornrry: mr. speakeri am pleased toring to the house the conference report for the fiscal ar 2017 national defense authorizatioact. once t president signs this measure into law, it will be the 5 consecutiveear in whh congresses of both
parties and presidentsboth parties hae enactea defense authorizati i want to start by thanking the distinguisntleman from washingto, the ranking member, mr. smi. not only has he focused on what's gooor the troops and od for the country in is billthat has been his focus throughout this congre. and it s certainly be my pleasure toork with him towards thnd. we do notalways agree onhat is good for ttroops a what's good for the try. but we always agr that that comeirst and our work togeer has certainly been productive an appreciate that opptunity. he and i have aerrific on the armed svices coeement. 63 outstanding members, all o whom he contri to this product. and i certainly aeciate the contributions that have ma -- thy have made that have made ch aarge bill possible. mr. ker, this bill does
good tngs for the mennd women who serve our nation in the mitary and it ts our countries' national security. i wanto touch on a few of te highls, starting with the ct that this bill authorize the eside has request mo than w, that's not near enough. and my great hope is that the new inming ainistration will submit to congress a suppleal reest that can really get about the job of rebuilding the milary, which is sessential. the $3.2 billion in addition to what the presidentas ruested is focused and that is o exactly what the primary focus of this bill is. so, for example, it has -- it provides the full pay raise to which the troops are statutorily entitled for the first time in six years. that's in this bill. it stops the layoffs of
military personnel, which have been going on and at least prevents it from getting any worse. it starts to stabilize the readiness problems that are making it more and more difficult for our troops to accomplish their mission. and increasingly represents a danger to their lives. it improves the military health care system for the benefit of our troops and their families so that they will have a more consistent experience that they will get better care, more convenient hours, and a number of things that are in this bill. in addition to the reforms related to military health care, there are a number of very significant reforms in other areas. for example, in acquisition, we try to make sure not overwhelm we get more value for the taxpayer dollars, but that we are more agile in being able to get new technology into the hands of the war fighters
faster. we have commissary reform which maintains the benefit, reduces the burden on the taxpayers. we have the first comprehensive rewrite of the uniform code of military justice in 30 years, and that's a big part of the reason that this bill is the size that it is. we have organizational reform that streamlines the bureaucracy. and helps reduce the overhead so more resources can go to the frontlines. there are many items in this bill, mr. speaker, from replenishing munitions of which we have shortages, to dealing with the california national guard repayment issue that has come up in recent weeks. other speakers will give more detail about many of those provisions. i just want to take this moment to first thank the staff on both sides of the aisle for their work in producing this product. we have a unified staff on the armed services committee. we work together to solve
problems. and through the ups and downs of the political calendar and all of the other issues that impact our bill, they have done a terrific job in getting us to this point. and have served the nation by doing so. i want to express my appreciation to staff on both sides for that work. finally, i also want to pay tribute to the members of our committee who will not be with us in the next congress for a variety of reasons. they include the gentleman from virginia, mr. forbes, chairman jeff miller, chairman john kline, dr. fleming, mr. chris gibson, general doctor joe heck, mr. nugeynts from florida, ms. loretta sanchez from california, senator elect duckworth, ms. graham from florida, and mr. ashford of nebraska. and i particularly want to thank chairman -- subcommittee
chairman randy forbes, subcommittee chairman joe heck, ranking member loretta sanchez, for their leadership and years of contributions to the military of our country. we will miss them. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: first of all i want to thank -- this is an excellent product. it was not easy to pull together. it is a very large bill with a lot of very important issues. and as the chairman indicated, a lot of people contributed to it. certainly everybody on our committee, but then many members who aren't on the committee. in the house, of course our friend in the senate. but we all work together and found a way to get through the areas of disagreement and to get to a very good bill with the central thought that it is our job in passing this bill to give the men and women who serve us in the armed services all of the tools they need to do the job we ask them to do. i really want to echo the chairman's comments and thank
our staff, first of all, for the outstanding work that they have done in putting together this product. i thank the members for their contribution. and also perhaps most importantly thank mr. thornberry for his leadership as the chairman of the committee. i have been on this committee for 20 years. and we have had a tradition from the moment i showed up and from before then that this is a bipartisan committee that is focused on getting its work done. whatever the hurdles, difficulties, disagreements, we know how important it is to produce this bill. how important it is to our troops who are fighting to protect us and provide the national security that we need. mr. thornberry has upheld that tradition. we have had many chairmen in those 20 years. they have all had that first and foremost in mind. this is not a partisan committee. this is a committee that works together to get its job done. mr. thornberry's done an outstanding job of that. he's certainly been an excellent partner for me. and we even found a way to work with the senate. and then made that work. so i thank all those people who
contributed to this. the chairman's also right. i think the most striking thing about this bill is how much it does to help reform the way things are done at the department of defense. there is much on acquisition reform. all aimed at trying to get the taxpayers more for the money they spent. because the chairman is right. as in many areas of government, there are more needs than there is money. so what we have to do is try to figure out how to make that money go as far as possible. acquisition reform is a key part of that. we really struggled in the early part of the 21st century with a lot of programs that went over budget. we're still dealing with the legacy of some of that. we're very proud in the last few years that has declined as we have passed acquisition reform. as we have figured out better ways to get things in the field. into service more quickly. commercial off the shelf technology. that is critical if we're going to be able to use the scarce resources we have to the best of our ability.
we put together an excellent product. also as the chairman mentioned we do have the full pay raise for the troops that they need and desperately desoy. i guess i'll close by saying i think that's the thing that we see from this bill. it prioritizes the men and women who serve in the military. to try to make sure we provide for them, give them all the training they need, and all the support they did so that when we ask them to do something they are trained and ready to do it. i really believe that's the most important thing that we do on this committee. we can have many, many debates about what our national security strategy should be. where we should employ our forces, what equipment we should provide for them. the one thing that we have to agree on is whatever we decide the mission should be, we have to make absolutely certain that we provide the men and women everything they need to be ready to carry out that mission. that we do not send them into a fight unprepared. i think we're doing a very good job of that. there are many challenges ahead as the chairman noted.
we have a lot of demands. we do not have an infinite amount of money. we're going to keep working hard to figure out how to make that money go as far as possible. i want to thank all the people who worked on this process. this, i think, is an example how congress should work. how legislation should work. people working together, having differences, working them out, producing a product that improves our nation and in this case improves the quality of national security. again i thank the chairman. i think this is an excellent bill. i urge passage. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the sea power and projection forces subcommittee, the gentleman from virginia, mr. forns. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. forbes: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the national defense authorization act. fiscal year 2017. i want to thank chairman thornberry for his leadership in bringing to the floor this national defense authorization act. and for his incredible contribution to the national
defense of this contry. i would like to recognize the efforts of congressman smith as the ranking member for his dedication and commitment to get this bill to the floor. during the last eight years, our military readiness has been impacted and our force structure has declined. for example, naval aviation is only three in 10 navy jet aircraft fully mission cape afpblet aircraft carrier gaps in critical regions persist. navy ship deployments have increased almost 40%. and submarine command continues to outpace ability. as to the air force our b-1 fleet was pulled back from the persian gulf this year because of the engine maintenance issues and replaced with b-52's over 50 years old. these are disturbing trends. it's obvious we need to increase readiness and invest in critical capabilities to ensure our nation is capable of projecting force and deterring conflict in the future. a 350 ship navy is a minimal
investment in ensuring our navy's and nation's strategy priorities. i orch our n d.a.a. does a good job -- ndaa does a good jofpblet with the force struck fuhr for the army and marine corps and 2.1% pay race for the service members these are good first steps. we have a long way to go with getting our military to defend our nation. with the election of president-elect trump, i'm optimistic as to our ability to make our military truly great again. with this being my last ndaa i want to thank all the members of the house armed services committee and most specifically ranking member joe courtney. i have often said our sea power subcommittee is likely the most bipartisan subcommittee in congress. i think that ranking member courtney has been a resolute supporter of our national security and i'll miss working with him on a daily basis to improve our nation's military. once again thank chairman thornberry and urge my colleagues to support the national defense authorization act. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut virginia tech for three minutes. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise to offer my strong support for the 2017 defense bill conference report. . despite the extremely polarizing congress, they have managed two defense bills this year and last. the degree of difficulty accomplishing that feet cannot be overstated. congratulations to you both. as ranking member of the sea power subcommittee, i'm particularly pleased with the final bill. working together, members of the subcommittee produced a strong mark that makes important investments in new shipbuilding as well as introducing new acquisition reform that will strengthen our navy. nine new ships are authorized in the final bill, continuing to boost the number of our fleet that is on path to 300 fleet ships by 2021. as the secretary of navy publicly stated, they will have
a new assessment that will call for raising that target even higher. today's bill provides a sound footing to take on that task with enough work in shipyards that has amphibs, detroyers in high level in short order. they did not rubber stamp the administration's budget. it pluses up critical procurement funding for the virginia class submarine program to make sure the two-year build rate continues on its current pace. given the important role submarines play, we can't let that build rate slip by underfunding procurement. this has a new multimission vessel that will replace the aging training ship at our nation's maritime academies. this program is vital to ensuring we retain a maritime work force in the future and this agreement puts us on that path. i am particularly pleased that the measure also includes language that i helped to author with chairman forbes in the house bill to enhance the national sea base deterrence fund. our language adds new authorities to the fund that
will help reduce costs in the hio replacement submarine by building key component. the navy estimates that we could save as much as 25% of the total cost of the missile compartment alone with this new authority. at a time when we're looking to grow the fleet while also meety the multigenerational commitment, this approach to reducing cost in shipbuilding is absolutely vital. i want to conclude by saluting chairman forbes as he begins a new chapter in his life. i have seen firsthand the impact he's made on our fleet, our shipbuilding industry and most importantly the lives of sailors, marines, airmen and mariners touched by his work which has always been conducted in a bipartisan manner. i want to thank him for his service and express my hope we'll see him continue his work in these areas, whatever opportunity comes his way next. i also want to salute the staff and in particular lieutenant commander jonathan sebick, who is a fellow in my office who spinnish up his duties.
he did a great job advising not only my office but the subcommittee. i want to thank the members of the panel for their hard work on this year's defense bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from south carolina, mr. wilson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for two minutes. willson contreras thank you, mr. speaker. thank you -- mr. wilson: thank you, mac thornberry, for yielding. i am in strong support of the national defense authorization act of 2017. generations of my family have served our nation in uniform. my father was a flying tiger in india and china in world war ii. i served for 31 years in the army reserves and the south carolina army guard. i have four sons who served overseas on the global war on terrorism. i know firsthand the positive impact this year's ndaa will have on our troops, veterans and military families. after passing this bill, i look
forward to telling my constituents at fort jackson that jason mcintyre joint face, neighboring fort gordon, the thousands of veterans and countless families concerned about the safety of our citizens that congress has done its job and has for the past 54 years by passing a defense authorization bill. in this bill, readiness is first, protecting our service members overseas and training missions at home. cybersecurities are enhanced protecting american families and encouraging public-private partnerships. we are fully resourcing our special operations and providing critical support to fight islamic terrorists, including counterpop go anda measures. we have increased oversight by requiring a report from the president on iran as it aggressively acts on icbm's. this bill is clear. if our enemies attack our soldiers and american families with new and unconventional attacks, we'll ensure our military has the tools to
respond. as chairman of the subcommittee, i'm very grateful as the military -- as a military veteran and a grateful dad that this is a very positive ndaa. i'd like to close, again, by thank chairman thornberry for his remarkable persistence throughout this year's reforms. we also have been fortunate to have the visionary leadership of subcommittee chairman randy forbes who has successfully promoted a vibrant navy. i, additionally, wrant to thank our ranking members, adam smith and jim langevin, for their bipartisan manner this bill will enable president-elect donald trump and the incoming defense secretary jim mattis to establish peace through strength. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from guam, ms. bordallo, the ranking member on the subcommittee on readiness. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from guam is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. bordallo: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.
he speaker pro tempore: -- ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. bordallo: i want to thank the chairman and ranking member and the committee staff who has worked many nights on this defense bill. this conference report works to address readiness shortfalls, a process that takes time and will continue to require stable, consistent funding. unfortunately, that is something that we are not afforded under sequestration and reliance on continuing resolutions. i also appreciated the efforts to fight in conference for the provisions that were important to the territory of guam. in particular, i am pleased that the restrictions are lifted for remaining water and waste water civilian infrastructure projects as well as for the construction associated with the cultural artifact repository and that military infrastructure
projects were authorized at the president's budget request level. and i want to thank, again, ranking member smith for working with me to get a provision through conference mandating a review of distinguished asian american and pacific islander veterans who may have been unjustly overlooked in the medal of honor consideration. we must never overlook the past contributions of our brave men and women in uniform. and to that end, i am also heartened to see the inclusion of the guam war claims. it is time that we bring resolution to the people of guam after 70 years and all u.s. citizens who have suffered under enemy occupation during world war ii. we have advanced this legislation this far in the past numerous times, but i hope that my colleagues in the senate will also pass this critical legislation.
ultimately, finding an offset for this legislation has helped to bring resolution to the matter. the people of guam deserve to close this chapter in our history. so i look forward to this bill passing the house as well as the senate before being signed into law by the president later this month. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the tactical air and land supports subcommittee, the gentleman from ohio, mr. turner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. turner: i rise in support of the national defense authorization act of fiscal year 2017. mr. speaker, consideration of this important bill comes at a critical time for our nation and for our military. under the leadership of chairman thornberry, this bill, if funded, begins the process of rebuilding our military and restoring readiness back into the force. the bill stops the harmful in
strength reductions in our military service and begins the process of reversing this damaging trend, reducing our military capacity. i want to thank chris gibson for ending those in strength reductions. the bill provides $600 million to address shortfalls of critical missions. i want to repeat that we had to put in $600 million in shortfalls in munitions. that's how much we're suffering in our military and in spending. the bill also continues to address the needs of the national guard and reserve components by authorizing an additional $250 million for equipment modernization for the guard and reserve. additionally, this bill calls for continued action to eradicate sexual assault in the military by providing greater transparency in the military criminal justice system. it also acknowledges the need for intensive treatment for male victims and continues to address critical issues of retaliation. this bill also includes important provisions on the protection of child custody rights of our members of the armed forces. however, it is important to note that military services submitted over 22 billion
dollars of unfunded requirements for fiscal year 2017 alone. i'd hope we would be able to address these modernization shortfalls as we did in the house-passed bill. this bill falls short of the house-passed bill. it is also essential we begin to correct these funding shortfalls in the next congress. currently we have a lack of readiness and a heightened level of risk. i look forward to working with the new trump administration in regards to an early supplemental request to fully fund these requirements and i'd expect the house-passed bill would be used as the minimum starting point in order to start the process for rebuilding our military and working with our allies to create credible u.s. deterrence. it saddens me we will pass this bill and then pass a c.r. that underfunds our military. before i conclude, i want to thank our subcommittee's ranking member, ms. loretta sanchez, who has truly been my dear friend. we will miss or guidance and
friendship. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to mrs. davis from california, the ranking member on the subcommittee on military personnel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for three minutes. thank you, -- mrs. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank chairman thornberry and ranking member smith during this process. this will provide the military services flexibility to recruit and retain members of our armed forces and to continue our commitment to taking care of military families. one provision i would like to highlight expands maternity leave for military members up to 12 weeks in conjunction with the birth of a child and authorizes six weeks of leave for the primary caregiver in the case of adoption. for the first time it also grants 21 days to the secondary caregiver for both the birth of a child and adoption. the conference report also begins to reform and modernize the military health care system by standardizing military
treatment facilities across the services and increasing access for beneficiaries. the conference report reforms tricare into an h.m.o. and a p.p.o. system. but unfortunately, it establishes a two-fee structure for the next 50 years, thus creating an inequity and defined bin fit for military retirees. i sincerely hope we can continue to work towards a better solution in the future. although it is not perfect, this bill is a necessary step toward ensuring our service members, retirees and their families continue to receive the best, most efficient and most economical health care possible. while i do agree with the in-strength military services in the conference report, i'm still concerned how it is paid for, especially with the possible continuing resolution until april. if the f.y. 2017 defense appropriations bill does not contain $3.2 billion in o.c.o. for this increase, particularly the army, may be forced to
reprogram from other critical accounts or give pink slips to dedicated soldiers. lastly, i want to thank joe heck for his two years of leadership and bipartisanship on the subcommittee. his dedication to working with me and other members of the subcommittee on behalf of our service men and women and their families is a credit to himself and his values as a public service and i will miss working with him. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the subcommittee on strategic forces, the gentleman from alabama, mr. rogers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for two minutes. mr. rogers: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to commend you for your leadership in bringing the 55th consecutive ndaa across the finish line. this legislation includes vital provisions, such as pay raise for our troops, apicksed to the in-strength and it begins to address the readiness crisis that is literally claiming the lives of our men and women in uniform. a special thank you goes to my
friend and the subcommittee ranking member, mr. cooper. he's a pleasure to work with. roll tide. the conference report includes critical provisions resulting from oversight of the strategic forces subcommittee. for example, regarding the national security space, it enables rational -- a rational transition to the end of o reliance on the russian rd-180 engine. the agreement prioritizes for u.s. replacement of the rd-180 engine. it rejects the air force strategy to pay for three new launch systems to commercial providers. in fact, the air force should only hold its industry day and take no further action until the new administration has a chance to conduct a full cost, analysis. legal it gives the air force one final opportunity to meet war fighter requirements and bring order to the department's weather collection practice. the analysis. it gives conference report proh fund forg the administration's misguided proposal to accelerate dismantjlt of retired nuclear weapons,
authorizes an additional $100 million in funding to pay -- to help pay and address the massive infrastructure problems and deferred maintenance backlogs for the n.s.a. gives the air force one final chance to prioritize the strategic missile warning system and concerning missile defense, the conference report restricts funding for the army's lower tier air and missile defense radar modernization program. the chief wanted more acquisition authority. the bill gives it to him and i expect him to use it. i'm also proud to see the conference report includes language to repeal the cold war missile defense act, which sought to limit u.s. missile deployments and provides full funding of the request of our allies in israel for $600 million per co-development of iron dome, aero 3. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back and request consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. .
mr. smith: i would like to yield 3 1/2 minutes to mr. langevin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for two minutes. mr. langevin: -- the speaker pro tempore: 3 1/2 minutes. i apologize. mr. langevin: thank you, mr. speaker. i also begin by thanking ranking member submit, chairman thornberry, and chairman wilson for the tireless work on this bill. as well as the -- all the work on behalf of the staff of the full armed services committee. and my personal staff, katherine mitchell, and amanda. mr. speaker, there's a lot to be proud of in the conference report before us today. this legislation both provides for the needs of our war fighters and ultimately take strong steps torts strengthening our national security. -- towards strengthening our national security. the emerging threat capabilities of the ndaa first and he foremost recognize the importance of the cyberdough
nain. after careful consideration, my colleagues and i came to the conclusion that the execution of cyberspace operations and the readiness of cybermission forces warrants a new unified combatant command. now currently -- subunified command under stratcome. the bill reiterates the importance of transparency and regular updates to congress. cyberoperations. internal policies and authorities. and other relevant issues and activities. this sets the stage for creating a formalized framework for oversight of u.s. cybercommand next year. the legislation also formalizes e relationship between the principal cyberadvisor to the secretary of defense and cybercommand. aiding the successful execution of their respective roils and responsibilities -- roles and responsibilities. we have come to realize how important these distinctions are to both parties, thus it clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the
assistant secretary of defense of special operations. research and development, by e.t.c. colleagues and i strive to champion innovation wherever possible. this bill authorizes a demonstration pilot program that allows select d.o.d. laboratory directors more flexibility in the day-to-day operations of their labs. this will ensure they could use best management practices to violence science and technology breakthroughs with greater levels of agillity. as director of energy technologies continue to mature and be ready to be fielded in the near future, the bill designates a senior official to -- within the d.o.d. reduce redundiancy, and advance key policy considerations for uses of such technology. earlier this year the global engagement center was created by executive order within the state department and tasked with coordinating u.s. counterterrorism messaging with our allies around the world. this year the e.t.c. portion of the bill formally authorizes
the global engagement center and expands the scope of its mission to include countering propaganda of state actors by permitting the d.o.d. to transfer funds to the organization. mr. speaker, it's time we counter the dangerous rhetoric of both isil and russia are using to influence populations across the world and here at home. finally, mr. speaker, this legislation continues to address the critical policies and programs within the scope of emerging threats and capabilities. beyond that, i'm also particularly pleased that this bill makes the necessary investments in our nation's -- navy's nuclear submarine force, the most survivable leg of the try add. the virginia -- triade. the virginia class submarine and ohio class are critical to our nation's defense. and i'm very pleased that they are prioritized and properly resourced in this legislation. so with that i want to again thank the leadership of chairman thornberry, ranking
member smith, and chairman wilson. i thank my colleagues for their work on this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the subcommittee on readiness, the gentleman from virginia, mr. wittman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. wittman: thank you, mr. speaker. i stand today in strong support of s. 2943, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017. first i'd like to thank chairman thornberry and ranking member smith for their leadership here and also our readiness subcommittee ranking member, ms. bordallo, thank you for your help. and constant and tireless efforts in this endeavor. the efforts behind the 2017 national defense authorization act were truly bipartisan. mr. chairman, throughout the year we heard testimony from all of our service branches about the necessity to address our military's alarming readiness shortfalls. their accounts were sobering to
say the least. we now confront the maintenance, sustainment, and readiness issues we put off until tomorrow. today we have the responsibility of reducing the risk for our war fighters by making sure that they are well trained and have combat ready equipment. there are a number of provisions in this conference report that name to bolster our military readiness. in addition to the pay raise, and increases in end strength, this report directs several assessments of the military department's plans to rebuild readiness, enhance exercises, and modernize training requirements. it also provides for increased military construction above the president's budget request. it provides the department of defense with flexibility for hiring civilians to fill critical manpower capability gaps, in particular at our defense industrial base facilities or depots, arsenals, and shipyards. and it increases funding to the military service operations and maintenance accounts. critical elements of what we need to do to restore readiness.
none of these readiness provisions were included arbitrarily. they were specifically targeted to begin to reverse the decline in the readiness of our armed forces and bring them closer to achieving full spectrum readiness levels. that is an absolute must if we're to combat and deter the threats to our national security from around the world. mr. speaker, in that vain i strongly urge s. 2943, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017, and encourage my colleagues in the house to support it as well. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: i -- the gentleman from texas reserves. gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i'm pleased to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, the ranking member on the committee on education and work force, also was enormously helpful with a number aspects of this bill. i appreciate his help and support. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. scott: i rise in support of the national defense
authorization act for fiscal year 2017. i have the honor of representing the hampton roads area of virginia. the heart of our nation's shipbuilding industrial base. i want to underscore my support for the shipbuilding and ship maintenance provisions in the bill. including the language urging the secretary of the navy to speed up the procurement schedule for aircraft carriers to ensure our carrier fleet does not again be reduced to just 10 carriers. these provision also not only significantly benefit my region, but will be critical to our nation's security. i want to particularly commend my colleague from virginia, the chair of the sea power subcommittee, mr. forbes, and the ranking member of that subcommittee, mr. courtney, for their hard work on the shipbuilding aspects of the bill. as ranking member of the committee on work force -- education and work force, i'm pleased to see that the final conference report eliminated three matters of grave concern that would have adversely
affected working conditions for shipyard workers and employees of government contractors. the first provision eliminated from the bill would have severely undermined the workers' compensation benefits many shipyard workers now receive. the second problematic provision would have authorized taxpayer funded employment discrimination. a third provision eliminated from the bill would have significantly diminished the application of the executive order on fair pay and safe workplaces. this order will now remain in effect and it will help level the playing field so that those contractors who willfully and repeatedly violate workplace safety, labor, and civil rights laws will not gain competitive advantages over those law-abiding contractors who faithfully comply with employment laws. in closing, mr. chairman, i want to recognize the exceptional work made by the ranking member of the committee, mr. smith, with the cooperation of the chair of the committee, mr. thornberry, to produce a bill that addresses
the defense needs of our nation, but also ensures that workers are treated fairly. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington hoifs. the gentleman from -- reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to a member of the conference committee, a combat veteran who has played a key role in formulating this bill, the gentleman from new york, mr. gibson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. gibson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of this conference report. i thank the chairman and the ranking member for their leadership. this may very well be the most significant piece of legislation to come out of the house armed services committee since goldwater-nick ohms. i say that for five minutes. number one, it reforms the strategy planning process reclaiming article 1, section 8 responsibilities for the congress with regard to providing strategy guidance. two, it empowers the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. i think this is really important for unity of effort. efficient use of resources. also for civil military
relations. three, bold acquisition reforms. it's been mentioned in terms of agillity, transparency, accountability, we bring forward major reforms here. and quite frankly we're empowering the services. this is some of the testimony we received. and in the process we have had provided incentives and also consequences for noncompliance. i think this is all going to be good news for the taxpayer that's counting on us to get this right. fourth, decisive steps to improve readiness. we're entering a new era, mr. speaker. a the the drawdown is over. we're increasing in strength and i think this is important on a congressional delegation trip i led this summer, listening to the commander the in the european command, this bill and all the resource that is come with it is going to help strengthen deterrence. this is also a good bill for nato. and i mentioned resources, this was so important to the joint chiefs and to their senior enlisted advisors. they said, they welcome the end
strength, but it had to come with the resources. they did not want to hollow out the force. we have listened and we have done this. money for training. it's a very dangerous business and it's important that the training be realistic. we reinforced the account for the c.t.c.'s. flying hours and the spare parts that come with t five, mr. speaker, the pay raise, which is so justifiably earned. i'm proud of this bill. i want to thank the staff. this staff on both sides of the aisle is second to none and it's been a great privilege to serve on this committee. god bless this nation. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: may i inquire how much time each side has remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington has 13 minutes. the gentleman from texas also has 13 minutes. mr. smith: thank you. with that i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from california, a mefment committee, mr. garamendi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. garamendi: i thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the chairman of
the committee, mr. thornberry, the ranking member, mr. smith, and the members, my colleagues, for exceptional piece of work here. it's extremely important bill. do i support it. i do have some reservations i'd like to speak to at least one of them at the moment. i want to bring to the attention of the members section 671 of the ndaa concerning the ongoing bonus clawback issue affecting thousands of california national guardsmen. i'm pleased that a permanent legislative fix is one step closer to the president's desk, i think some of the language needs to be clarified further to ensure that guardsmen are treated fairly. first and foremost i have concerns with the standard used to determine if a guardsman's debt should be waived or not. the current language says the d.o.d. needs to produce a preponderance of evidence to demonstrate fraud on the part of the gartsman and withhold their bonus. what does that mean in practice? we're not sure. this is vague and subject to
interpretation. i believe this standard must be better defined and will continue to work on that in the future. i'm also concerned about subsection c-1-b which gives the department of defense far too much leeway in determining which cases warrant review. secretary carter has pledged to review every case, this gives d.o.d. the option of ignoring about 2,000 cases. that would be a problem. our job isn't yet done. there will be a hearing next week on this issue. will attempt to get further clarification to protect those men and women that accepted a bonus, went to war, performed their duties, and are now subject to a callback. that should not happen. one more thing to bring to the attention of the committee is the strategy arms portion of this -- strategic arms force of this bill which continues a trillion dollar project of recapitalizing our entire nuclear arsenal. we should pay attention to that in the future. it's extraordinarily expensive and dangerous w that i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations, the gentlelady from missouri, mrs. hartzler, for purposes of a colloquy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. hartzler: thank you for yielding. thank you for your leadership on this bill as well as ranking member smith and hardworking dedicated staff. this is a great bill. it is a win for our troops and it is a win for national did he fence, and i fully support it. . the russell amendment passed this house but was not in the final bill. the attacks on this commonsense language has been dishonestly and grossly inaccurate. the truth is that this language uses existing federal civil rights laws to clarify hiring practices of religious organizations when they partner with the government through grants and contracts. religious charities are selfless and crucial providers who often go where no one else
will go to help the vulnerable. they resettle refugees, counsel victims of sex trafficking, pray for soldiers in war zones and comfort veterans suffering from ptsd. the white house has lotted these partnerships with the government and senate democrats nearly identical provision in ndaa in 2013, most opposing this voted for in the past. we need to protect these vital partnerships, and i look forward to working with the chairman next congress to address these most basic of interests. mr. thornberry: will the gentlelady yield? mrs. hartzler: absolutely. mr. thornberry: i want to reiterate this issue for house majority conferees for many years. organizations of faith have been able to both contract with the federal government and hire, according to their faith practices. that's been especially true with religious universities, chaplain services and refugee service providers. yet, executive action, under
the current administration, has created a direct conflict between the white house policy and these long standing legal protections for these organizations' religious tenants. while the ndaa was always an imperfect vehicle for this discussion, majority conferees believe these executive orders must be reviewed and we look forward to working directly with the incoming administration to address the concerns, not just for d.o.d., but for the government nationwide. and i certainly appreciate the leadership of the gentlelady from missouri on these very issues. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield 1 1/2 minutes to ms. bordallo of guam for the purposes of a colloquy with the chairman, mr. thornberry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from guam is recognized for a minute and a half. ms. bordallo: i thank the ranking member for yielding and wish to engage the gentleman from texas, the chairman of the armed services committee, in a colloquy.
mr. chairman, let me first start by thanking you and the committee staff, again, for working diligently with us to address a number of provisions important to our territory, our island and u.s. posture in the asia pacific region. i especially appreciate your support for our efforts to address work force issues through the inclusion in the house bill of a targeted remedy for the h-2-v visa denial issue, particularly affecting military health care and construction projects on guam. though the house judiciary majority and minority approved the language, it is my understanding that the provision was not included in the final conference agreement due to concerns raised by the senate judiciary majority. as we look towards next year, will the chairman commit to working with me to address this issue to ensure the realignment of u.s. marines to okinawa is not adversely impacted?
mr. thornberry: will the gentlelady yield? ms. bordallo: i yield to the gentleman. mr. thornberry: i want to thank the ranking member of the subcommittee for her hospitality. i learned a lot about the issue that she raises during my recent visit to guam, and i understand the work force issues there much better as well as the unacceptable impacts it's already having on our military activity on guam. our strategic presence there, mr. speaker, and the u.s. marine realignment are critical national security interests. and this issue must be addressed soon. we need to ensure an adequate work force is available to support the current military presence as well as the activity associated with the increase. and i look forward to working to work with the gentlelady from guam and to the members on the other side of the capitol to find an acceptable solution in the coming year. ms. bordallo: i thank you, mr. chairman, and i appreciate that you took the time to stop on
guam in october to see and understand the strategic value of our island and also better understand firsthand some of the unique challenges. it was a real honor for your visit to the people of guam. and i thank you both you and our ranking member smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the personnel subcommittee, general dr. heck, the gentleman from nevada. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nevada is recognized. mr. heck: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of the conference report to senate 2943, the national defense authorization act of 2017. this conference report contains significant policy and funding priorities to continue our commitment to maintaining the readiness of our military personnel and their families. included in this conference report are many important initiatives. specifically, it provides a fully funded pay raise.
this is the largest pay raise for our military in the last five years and the first full pay raise in four years. after three years of lower pay raises than allowed by law, it is time that we give our troops and their families the pay increase they deserve. it stops the troop reductions in our armed forces, thereby increasing readiness while reducing the stress and strain on our force and the families. it reforms the military health system to ensure that we have a ready medical force and a medically ready force while providing a quality health care benefit valued by its beneficiaries. it modernizes the uniformed code of military justice to improve the system's efficiency and trarns parentsy while -- transparency while also enhancing victims' rights and it protects the economy sear system while improving it so that the system remains at good value for the shoppers. in conclusion, i want to thank
the ranking member, the gentlelady from california, mrs. davis, for her contributions and support in this process. it's truly been an honor and a pleasure to work with her. i also want to work the subcommittee members and offer my sincere appreciation for the hard work, dedication of the subcommittee staff. lastly, i want to thank the chairman, the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, for his support and for entrusting me with the great privilege and honor of chairing this subcommittee. i strongly urge my colleagues to support the conference report to senate 2943 and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for two minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the ranking member and i rise in support of the conference report to s. 2943, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017. this act is designed to meet the threats we face today as well as the future, and i thank
the chairman of the committee as well as -- chairman of the committee from texas as well as the ranking member from washington, both having worked together in this enormous task to be able to defend our nation. the results of our work here today will reflect our strong commitment to ensure the men and women of our armed services receive the benefits and support that they deserve for their faithful service. building on these efforts, this bill contains initiatives designed to provide resources and support for these men and women. this legislation recognizes the reality that we live in a dangerous world where threats are not easily identifiable and our enemies are not bound by bonders. in confronting this type of enemy deserves a well-prepared ready military of which i strongly support. mr. speaker, i'm delighted and very pleased that the work that we did together with the chairman and the ranking member , amendments i offered are in this legislation. the jackson lee amendment expressing the sense of
congress regarding the importance of increasing the effectiveness of northcomm in fulfilling its critical mission in protecting the homeland in the event of war and working with local authorities. the jackson lee amendment calling for a report on american efforts in to combat boko haram in nigeria and the countries in the lake chad region by way of provision of technical training and evidence-gathering strategies, to name a few. having gone to the region, having been dealing with the missing girls for now four years-plus, we know the devastation there. the jackson lee amendment requiring the department of defense to conduct outreach programs to address small business concerns -- small business concerns owned and controlled by women veterans and socially and economic minorities. the jackson lee amendment to require an annual report to congress listing the common grounds for sustaining protests, including and relating to bids.
this is important to pass this legislation, mr. speaker, and let me just personally thank the gentleman from washington for always welcoming members and the ideas and needs that they have for their districts and also for this nation. we are better for it, and we're better we're preparing the men and women of the united states military to keep them safe. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield one minute to a valued member of the committee, dr. wenstrup. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wenstrup: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of the conference report to accompany senate 2943, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017. congress has upheld its constitutional duty to provide for the common defense by passing the ndaa 55 years in a row and i'm looking forward to making this the 56th. this bipartisan bill contains a number of vitally important provisions to support our troops deployed overseas, stop
the dangerous drawdown of the military and begin rebuilding our force for the future. it increased the in strength of our armed forces, give our troops a substantial pay raise and restrains restrictions on the administration's ability to bring detainees from guantanamo to u.s. soil. one provision i'm particularly proud of is the joint trauma education and training dr.ate. too often we take for -- doctorate. too often we take for granted doctors and surgeons. they work in grueling conditions. the joint trauma education and training doctorate will support partnerships, allowing military trauma surgeons and physicians centers, ith civilian maintaining medical readiness and deemployability for future armed conflicts. by connecting the department of defense with civilian hospitals, these partnerships will serve the needs of our military medical professionals and our local communities to the benefit of the whole nation.
i urge my colleagues to support this important bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentlelady from california, ms. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. lee: thank you very much. i want to thank our ranking member for yielding and for your tremendous leadership on smeeven these very critical issues. mr. speaker -- on so many of these critical issues. mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition of the national defense authorization act which would authorize another $618 billion in spending to our already out-of-control defense budget. it would also expand funding for wars that congress has never debated, and once again, my republican colleagues have used an adjust books spending gimmick to further expand the already bloated pentagon budget. enough is enough. instead of writing blank checks to the pentagon, congress needs to live up to its constitutional obligation to debate matters of war and peace. we need to rip up the 2001 blank check for endless war.
we need to stop funding wars without end with no debate on the cost and consequences to our troops or to the american people. mr. speaker, i do have to say that i'm pleased that my amendment, which i co-authored with my good friend, congressman burgess, to report on the odd readiness of the pentagon, that bill and amendment passed, but much work remains. by calling our speaker to act to bring some accountability to pentagon spending and to bring forth an authorization to use force to support or oppose these new wars, we need to do our job, so i urge my colleagues to vote no on this bill and reject this wasteful spending. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington rereserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: meerks i'm pleased to yield two -- mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the vice chair of the subcommittee on readiness, ms. stefanik. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. stefanik: i rise today to express my strong support for the f.y. 2017 ndaa conference report. i want to first thank chairman thornberry for his dedication
and continuous support for our troops and for his leadership during the conference committee process. i am proud to support this critical bill that truly hits home for my district and for our brave men and women in uniform across our great nation. my district is the proud home of fort drum, and this bill provides for the ongoing combat operations where troops from the 10th mountain division continue to selflessly serve, and it also fully supports our navy's nuclear community from operational capabilities to nuclear training sites in new york. one of the most important provisions is the full 2.1% pay raise for our troops. to our nation's dedicated and brave service members who risk it all to provide us with protection and security and to their loved ones who are anxiously awaiting their return. this bill prevents a possible readiness crisis by investing in our military personnel and preserving their expertise. in order for our military to continue its superiority in any
battlefield and through countless combat deployments, this bill ends the misguided drawdown of troops. it ensures we have a land force's in strength to face the world's challenges and protect our nation. every day i am grateful and humbled to represent so many brave men and women in uniform and their resilient loved ones. i encourage all of my house colleagues to vote in support of this vital bill, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. . mr. smith: we have no further speakers. ail close. i reserve. could i inquire how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington has 6 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from texas has six minutes. sorry, 6 1/2 minutes. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to a very valued member of our armed services committee, the gentlelady from arizona, ms. mcsally. miss mcsali: i rise today in strong sport of the ndaa and thank chairman thornberry for
his leadership on this issue and being a member of that committee. as a retired air force colonel and a-10 pilot i'm trouble by the atrophying of our military. we once had 134 fighter squadrons. today we have 55. we had 946,000 total force military and civilian airmen, now we're down to 660,000. we're short 700 fighter pilots, 4,000 maintainers, and critical new missions. yet the world isn't getting any safer. this bill takes crucial steps to reverse the readiness crisis, help ensure our military has the training, manpower, resources they need to keep us safe. it increases end strength. it fully protects the mighty a-10 wart hog, our best close air support assets and includes critical language i authored to require a fly off between the a-10 before a single-a-10 can be retired. it funds the air force's only dedicated electronic warfare assets and fully funds vital
munitions we need for the future like cyberintelligence and electronic warfare. i'm proud to have work on the committee with chairman thornberry and chairman mccain on these important issues and i thank him for his leadership. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this critical bill. support our troops. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: at this point i'm pleased to yield a minute and a half to the distinguished chair of the house committee on small business, which has made a number of contributions to this conference report, the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabot. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. chabot: i also rise in strong support of this conference report because it provides for our national defense and also supports america's small businesses. as was mentioned as chairman of the house committee on small business, i have seen first hand just how vital small
businesses are in providing the department of defense with the goods and services it needs in a cost-effective and efficient manner. also included within this conference report are contracting reforms which will provide small businesses with greater access to defense contracting opportunities, as well as extend such important programs as sbir and sttr research programs. finally this conference report calls on agencies to provide cybersecurity resources to small businesses to protect themselves from cyberattacks, which is becoming a greater and greater threat to businesses all across this country and really all across the world. i want to thank chairman thornberry for his hard work, his leadership. he's done a tremendous job in getting this crucial legislation finally across the finish line. i also want to thank all the members of the small business committee, many of the small business provisions included within this report came out of our committee with strong, if
not unanimous, bipartisan support. working together through regular order, we have been able to strengthen the small business industrial base which is so fundamental to the health of our nation as a whole. again i want to thank all the members of mr. thornberry's committee for their hard work on this. it's a job well-done. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i have no further speakers other than myself to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. just want to make three issues. some of them were raised during the course of the debate. first of all i like a lot of what is in this bill. it's also important what is not in this bill. there were a number of issues that were extraneous to the actual business of national security that had been put in by one side or the other that in conference we were able to remove. and one of the most prominent
ones was one raised earlier, the so-called russell amendment, having to do with the ability of companies and businesses that are receiving government contracts to discriminate. and i was very much opposed to the russell amendment. i'm happy we agreed to take it out. i just want to explain a little bit exactly what it is. it's really rather simple. all the executive order that the president did accomplished in this was, all these executive orders saying if you do business with the federal government you cannot discriminate against certain classes of people. i don't remember all the different classes, but certainly one of the big ones is you can't discriminate based on race. so in other words, if you're religious tenants are racists, if say, for instance, you don't like black people and don't employ them and don't want to do business with them, we as the federal government have decided that that's not acceptable. and we will not allow you to do business with the federal
government. all this executive order did was added the lgbt community to those protected classes. so basically what we're saying is, not only is it not acceptable tock racist, it is also not acceptable to be homophobic. i completely agree with that. i would hope our country would get to the place where it would agree with that as well. if you feel that you must discriminate against people simply based on their sexual preference, then we're not going to do business with you. that is a policy that i think we should have. and that is the -- what the executive order does. to reverse that in the defense bill i think would be an abomination, thrick since we made such progress within the department of defense. we finally got rid of don't-ask, don't-tell. so that gay and lesbian people can serve openly in the military. they have served in the military for decades. i'm sorry, the house is not in order. if we could --
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members will please take their conversations off the floor. mr. smith: and now they are allowed to serve openly. we have recently allowed transgender people to serve openly. this is a tremendous step forward. the russell amendment would take us back. i want to emphasize that alt executive order does is says, ok it's not all right to be racist. it's also not all right to be homophobic. that is a principle we should stand for as a country. even within that executive order there are many exceptions that already exist. even know i'm a lawyer and lawyers have tried to explain this to me, i don't fully understand all those exceptions, but religious groups are aloud to discriminate based on the tenets of their belief within the existing executive order that was already passed. so even the people who are pushing the russell amendment, they already have what they want even though in my opinion they shouldn't, there is no need to further emphasize the fact that we're going to allow people who do contracts with the federal government to
discriminate against the lgbt community. i think that is basically wrong and should not be allowed. second point i want to make is on the money. we have heard over and over again about how underfunded everything is. and i get that. but we're spending $619 billion on the department of defense. far and away more money than any other country in the world. and we have been spending more money on defense for decades than any other country in the world. we ought to be able to build a military that can protect our national security interests for that amount of money. and not only should we be able to, we're going to have to. we're $19 trillion in debt. i forget what the deficit is this year, but it's somewhere in the $500 billion to $600 billion range. we have a president coming into office who is promising trillions of dollars in additional tax cuts. we also have a crumbling infrastructure in this country. and it is just as important that we maintain the strength
of our country at home. that we have a transportation infrastructure, education infrastructure, a research infrastructure that continues to make us strong as it is that we have a national security it apparatus that will protect our interests abroad. if we spend all of our money on tax cuts and defense, then we will wind up with a very hollow country. we have got to make some tough choices going forward. and i believe that we can meet our national security needs, frankly, for less money than we spent. there are greater efficiencies. there are programs that we don't need to continue with. those are the choice that is we are going to have to make in the years ahead because right now we're planning on more programs and more national security than we could possibly have money for in the next decade. we cannot continue to duck the tough choice that is get us a national security apparatus and a department of defense that we can actually afford that also provides for our national security. lastly, i just want to close where i started and say the
product of this bill, i don't know how many pages it is this year, but it's a lot. requires a lot of work. the people you see sitting behind us are the staff that do that work. tirelessly. night after night. it is a year-long process to put it together and negotiate with the senate to get there. we have the most outstanding staff that i can imagine. i want to make sure that we thank them for that incredible work that they do. not just for us, but for the men and women who serve in the military, and again i want to thank chairman thornberry. we work in a bipartisan manner on this committee. and as many of you are aware, that's not easy. i have been here 20 years. and the country and this place have steadily become more partisan. it's become more and more difficult to do anything. to pass any kind of bill where democrats and republicans actually work together. national defense authorizing act is a shining example of the way the legislative process should work. and many people are to thank
for that but it all starts with the chairman. it all starts with mr. thornberry and also with senator mccain on the other side being dedicated to the principle, number one, of bipartisanship, of working together. and number two, of the absolute commitment that we will get our job done. sometimes it takes until december. i think we went all the way up to december 16 a couple years ago. we're way ahead of schedule this year by those standards. sometimes it takes a long time, but we always get it done and it's a credit to those chairmen that we do. again i'll urge passage of this very important bill. i thank the chairman again for his great work and all the staff for the work they did to make this possible. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman virginia tech. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i completely agree with the distinguished ranking member that to produce this bill requires a great deal of effort by a number of people. starting with him, other
members of the committee, other members of the house. t is also essential that our staff, who support our work, be thanked as he has done a great job. i agree with him also about the leadership of senator john mccain, a man i think unique in the country's military history at this point. his leadership along with the ranking member, senator jack reed, have been essential not only in this bill but in congress being able to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. i know there are disappointments with this bill, mr. speaker. there are things that people would like to see in here. a lot of them not really core defense issues, but those matters had to be dropped to get this bill to this point. i am confident that the new administration will review the executive orders that the
ranking member was talking about and that those unconstitutional restrictions for the first amendment will be reviewed, modified, or repealed. all of that facilitated getting this bill before us today. i'm also hopeful that the new administration will send us a supplemental request because there are desperately needed modernization items from ships and airplanes and munitions and other things that are not authorized in this bill. but are needed desperately by our troops. so i hope and i expect that we will do better in the coming year to, again, fulfill our responsibilities under the constitution. mr. speaker, i would just end with this. i believe the first job of the federal government is to defend the country. the constitution puts specific responsibilities on our shoulders. to raise and support, provide and maintain the military
forces of the united states. the most important part of that responsibility deals with the people. and this bill, if it's nothing else, supports the men and women who volunteer to risk their lives to defend us and protect our freedoms. for that reason alone it deserves the support of every member of the house. i hope it will receive that support and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 937, the previous question is ordered. the question is on the adoption of the conference report. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the conference report is adopted. without objection -- mr. thornberry: on that i demand 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 arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device.
pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 , this 15-minute vote on the adoption of the conference report will be followed by a five-minute vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal, if ordered. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] ouse of reestis.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 375, the nays are 34. the conference report is adopted. without objection, the motion to the motion s laid upon the to reconsider is laid upon the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal which the chair will put de novo. the question son agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. so many as are in favor say aye . those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the ayes have t the journal stands approved.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on december 2, 2016, at 9:55 a.m. that the senate passed without objection amendment h.r. 6014. that the senate passed senate 3492. that the senate passed senate 10 that the senate passed senate 2058. with best wishes i am, signed
sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 1808, an act to require the secretary of homeland security to conduct a northern border threat analysis and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: order in the house. members please take your conversations off the floor. members, please take their conversations off the floor.
for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the purpose of inquiring of the majority leader the schedule for the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the speaker. i'm pleased to yield to the majority leader, mr. mccarthy of california. i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members, please take your conversations off the floor. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. mr. speaker, on monday the house -- mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, with all due respect the house is still not in order. i want to hear the gentleman. i think others want it hear him as well. the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order.
the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. speaker, on monday the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for learning business. votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on tuesday and wednesday the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business. on thursday, the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business and no votes are expected in the house on friday. mr. speaker, the house will consider a number of suspensions next week, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business today. the house will also consider h.r. 5143, the transparent insurance standards act of 2016, sponsored by representative blane luetkemeyer, which specifies u.s. objectives regarding
international insurance standards tone sure our state -based system is preserved. additionally, the house expected to consider the final water resources and development bill as well as continuing resolution to fund the government. i thank the gentleman. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information. . as the gentleman knows, current c.r. expires on december a 9. he announce -- december 9. he announced the c.r. will be on the floor next week and the my understanding that december 9 may be our last day in session. so, i presume we need to act before the 8th. does the gentleman have a perspective on the specific scheduling of the c.r.? and when it will be on the floor? i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the appropriations committee is continuing to work on the c.r., including the length of time and when.
but as soon as the done, it will be posted. and it's our intention to have it done next week. and it would be our hope that we could finalize it on thursday. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. i want to make a comment that i know the c.r. will be the hicle, i know mr. tom cole made a comment and i've talked to him about it with which i agree, i am disappointed, our side is disappointed, i think some on your side are disappointed, with whom i've talked, that we were unable to do an omnibus appropriation bill which would reflect the work of the committee on our side and indeed the work of the committees on the other side of the aisle. a c.r. is not helpful to management, obviously, not knowing specifically what resources they'll have available for the balance of the year. and very frankly, although there will be anomalies in the bill to
reflect the changes from the -- from last year's funding levels, they will undoubtedly not take care of a funding stream which will be appropriate for good management in the federal government. i would hope in the year ahead that we would certainly work owards having a bipartisan appropriation bill done, bill by billing, both individualsides have had trouble doing that from time -- both sides have had trouble doing that from time to time. a c.r. is a failure, forgetting about who is at fault, it's a failure to operate the government in a way that is rational, reasonable and most effective. so i want to make that comment. i don't know whether the gentleman agrees -- i know the gentleman agrees with me on trying to do the regular order. but the unfortunate we didn't get there -- it's unfortunate we didn't go et -- didn't get there. i'll yield if he wants to say anything on that. mr. mccarthy: i thank the
gentleman for yielding. i agree with the gentleman that we should go through regular order, get our appropriation bills done. it's our intention -- as jast the gentleman knows, -- as the gentleman knows, with the new schedule coming out, especially loading more days in to make sure that as we come in to the next congress we start with appropriations and get that work done. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. as a constructive suggestion, i noticed that the gentleman has scheduled, and i want to thank him for his communication with our office so we could work together on trying to get the schedule together, that you have put -- we have four working weeks in june. as you know, essentially the appropriations committee tries to get its work done by the end of may in terms of its bills. don't get all of them done by the end of may, so we can start moving them to the floor. and so i congratulate the gentleman for putting sufficient time so that we can do that in june and july, so that all the bills hopefully, the objective i would suggest, ought to be to have all the 12 appropriation bills sent to the senate prior
to the august break. so i thank him for his schedule on that. could the gentleman tell me, originally march 31 was, as i yurend, the c.r. date. but -- as i understood, the c.r. date. but that's somewhat flexible now. can he tell me what date he expects the c.r. to expire on? i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as i menged earlier, the promings committee -- mentioned earlier, the appropriation committee is continuing to work on the c.r. that would be including the length of the time -- the gentleman is correct that march was the date we were looking at. i believe that date will change. but as soon as discussions have ended and we're able to post, it will include the date of the length of the c.r. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend. one of the thing that we are certainly very hopeful of, your office and my office have been
having a lot of discussions about that, as is leader pelosi and speaker ryan having a lot of discussions, on the word of -- wrda bill. this deals very critically with the flint crisis that has been ongoing now for almost two years-plus. i'm very concerned that although we apparently have an agreement on the dollar figure, can the gentleman tell me whether that dollar figure will in fact be appropriated within the structure of the wrda bill? i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as the gentleman knows, i do want to thank him for his work with his staff on this issue of the flint crisis. when we were dealing with wrda and the continuing resolution just short months ago, the speaker and the minority leader, nancy pelosi, are continuing to talk. it is our intention that it gets solved inside wrda and we're
hopeful that we can close out on that, even today. and as soon as it's finished, it will be posted as well. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. n the event -- we say within wrda, in the event that that does not occur, would the gentleman believe that we would deal with the assurance of the funding in the c.r. itself? i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as soon as it's finished we'll be able to put out -- it out. it's our intention, on the work we agreed with with members on your side of the aisle, and i know speaker ryan has had discussions with him as well, and he feels very comfortable with where we are and with funding on that, as soon as we're able to finish that up, i think everybody will be quite happy with the outcome. i think this is a work on both sides of the aisle compromise to find common ground and to actually solve a problem. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman.
i want to say to the gentleman, i appreciate the fact that our offices worked together, that the speaker and the leader's offices have been working together and the committees have been working together. i would urge, however this money is appropriated, whether it's appropriated within the c.r., whether it's appropriated in the wrda bill itself, that the money needs to be made available before we leave this week. because this is a time that's dragged on for too long and the people of flint are still in dire distress, which is terribly unfortunate given the length of this crisis. and the clauses -- causes of this crisis in some respects. i asked you eader, this and you responded that the 9th was the date, but do you see
any possibility of going beyond the 9th, that we need to warn our members about? because we are hearing that both on the senate side and on our side that there is every expectation that next week will be the last week that we will be in session in the 114th congress. i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the gentleman knows better than i, he's been here longer than i, that we can always set a date, but congress has a problem sometimes ever making that date. it is our hope that we can be finished by december 8, but no one predicts to -- what happens on this floor. it's always my intention that members understand, if the work is not done, we will not leave, so we will not leave until we get a continuing resolution done and get wrda done and i believe we can. the prior work that we have done working together, and knowing where both of them are right now , that we can finish this up and be done on time. i yield back.
mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. he of course mirrors my words when people would ask me, when are we going to conclude, and i'd say, we're going to conclude when we finish our work. whether finishing i guess one's work is a subjective jufment judgment, but certainly these -- judgment, but certainly these two pieces of legislation need to get dnd -- done and hopefully we can get those done and then i'm looking forward -- this will be the last colloquy, if we don't have a further week, this will be the last colloquy. i want to say to my friend that we've been able to work on a lot in the 114th congress. we've had real, substantive differences. we'll continue to have those differences. but i look forward to working closely with the majority leader when in fact we agree and when we disagree to try to work constructively on trying to get toon agreement. -- get to an agreement. this election has caused us, i think, some real challenges. the election itself was a
challenge. i know we'll have a lot more to say on that afterwards, but i want to thank the gentleman for the ability to work together constructively on behalf of the american people, where we've been able to do that. unless the gentleman would -- i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i first want to take a moment and congratulate you on your re-election to whip and hopefully this is our last colloquy. but -- for the year. but you know as much as -- mr. hoyer: i know how much you look forward to them. mr. mccarthy: yes. it is the highlight of my week. i look forward to the next congress. i do enjoy working with the gentleman. even when we disagree. because you're honest and forth right with your disagreements. you're willing to work where we do find common ground and we're going to have philosophical differences. but we're going to have the same commitment that we're going to try to find a way to move forward. at times we are going to disagree. but those times that we do agree, we work very well together and i admire you, you
work very hard when you disagree. that's just part of what i think the american people expect. we've got a lot of work to go before us. the election is over. i think it's time that this country comes together. we're going to have a lot of work, as you know, the gentleman knows, with the new schedule. members are going to be here much more than they have in the past. and we're probably going to be on this floor with legislation a little more than we were last year. i look forward to that. look forward to working with you on ways that we can work together. i yield back and i wish you a very merry christmas. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. return that wish of merry christmas. this is not our last week. we're going to be here next week, so maybe we'll say that then. but do i look forward -- and the people look forward, this election has been a deeply troubling one for all sides, i think, in many respects. i think it's our responsibility to try to bring some degree of confidence to all of our
constituents, whatever they believe, whoever they voted for, that we are going to move forward in a constructive, positive way, to make america an even greater country than it is now. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet on monday, december 5, 2016, when it shall convene at noon for morning hour debate, and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the students of university of detroit-gentlemen's win high school. they love this country and they found a special way to pay
tribute to our veterans. young men and women of the university of detroit-jesuit are volunteering their time to serve as paul bearers for homeless veterans at great lakes national cemetery in my district. the final resting place for local military members who don't have families and are typically buried alone. the students have never met these veterans, but they have a genuine sense of patriotism and gratitude for what they've done for our country. their mission is simple. to give the proper burial that every veteran, every person, deserves. mr. speaker, no one else came forward, these young men and women stepped up to say thank you. mr. bishop: our district, our state, our country could not be more proud. our veterans are the backbone of what makes this nation great and we owe them the deepest respect and gratitude. even at the end of their journey. so thank you for our men and women of the military and thank you to the young men and women of the university of detroit-j
esuit for honoring their service to our nation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise to continue a series of one minute -- one-minute speeches about a topic. today i will be discussing applications of the national science foundation's funded research into arctic species, in order to survive in subzero temperatures of the arctic, small organisms such as fish, insects, plants, fungi and bacteria, have involved -- evolved proteins that lower the freezing point of water solutions in order to protect themselves when temperatures drop. mr. mcnerney: studs of the proteins of these species will aid in the development of aircraft de-icing systems, pyro preservation of food, frost bite prevention and other innovation. these organisms and their ability to survive in extreme temperatures will yield
information of great value to society. i applaud the n.s.f.'s funding of such important research. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from the state of washington seek recognition? mr. newhouse: i rise to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. reichert: mr. speaker, late in the afternoon on wednesday, mr. gutierrez responded to a zomistic violence call, despite the potential danger he knew lay ahead, he went forward with courage and resolute focus on saving lives. sadly sacrificing his own life in the end. tragically he was one of 133 law enforcement officers this year to die in the line of duty.
that's a 20% increase, mr. speaker, over last year. officer gutierrez has served in law enforcement 17 years and he's one of the few who accept the calling to serve. the men and women who wear the badge, like officer gutierrez have, have continued to show resilience during difficult times, vand maintained an unshakable commitment to perform their critical mission of keeping our families safe and protecting our freedoms. whether we are relaxing at home or protesting in the street. wednesday wednesday was no exception. what became an 11-hour standoff with the tacoma police department, they were assisted to make sure the surrounding area was secured. what's exceptional about this demonstration, myrick, of bravery is that it's not -- mr. speaker of bravery is that it's walk out of the
house with the badge to protect our communities, protect our kids at school. i ask all of us to keep our law enforcement officers in their prayers, mr. gutierrez's family and the tacoma police department. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to call on congress to give the people of puerto rico the most basic of rights, the right to vote for our national leader. mr. grayson: in all of the world's democracies, puerto rico is the largest territory by population that cannot choose our national elected official. 3 1/2 million americans in puerto rico have no say in who serves as president of the
united states. women and african-americans were once denied this basic voting right. now it's american citizens who reside in puerto rico who suffer this disenfranchisement. the contradictions are painfully clear. puerto ricans participate in the presidential primary process. they send pledged delegates to each major party's convention, but they do not participate directly in the choice of president of the united states. if these same american citizens move to the mainland, yet, they can quickly and easily help to elect our national leader. but they're denied this very basic right to help choose the president and vice president merely for living where they do. the solution to this problem is a simple one and we've accomplished it before. 55 years ago the district of columbia was granted electorates to the electoral college with the passage of the 23rd amendment to the constitution. like puerto rico now, the district of columbia was not and is not a state. i ask for unanimous consent for 0 seconds more, mr. speaker.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. grayson: we must give puerto ricans the right to vote for president. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent, mr. speaker, to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the service of owen holmes on the eve of his retirement from california state university-fullerton. dedicating his life to education, owen has received the robert and louise collaborative teaching award, served as an education policy fellow at the institute for educational leadership andoen was the inaugural a-- and owen was the inaugural awardee for the crawford award for innovation. and i had the pleasure of working with owen on many issues, gearnt tolling,
childhood obesity, the strategic language initiative, water hazard mitigation, the advancement of teaching and learning in mathematics and science, all to help the university's education experience. and on the cal state, d.c. scholar's program and bringing students from the university here to our nation's capital where he orchestrated that effort. throughout his over 30 years of service, he's touched the lives of thousands of students and improved government relations and advocacy at cal state-fullerton. i am pleased to have the opportunity to work with owen over the years to help make csuf one of the nation's largest and most inclusive institutions of higher education. thank you, owen, for dedicating your life to improving education. we wish you a happy retirement. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the
gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise to recognize the 150th anniversary of general mills, an iconic minnesota company. mr. paulsen: on the banks of the mississippi river, a bold and ambitious flour mill was founded, immediately becoming one of the largest in the country. then in the 1920 earks the company recognized that milling industry needed to adapt. and so it expanded its scope and its vision and was renamed general mills, turning its attention to food an consumer products and now brans such as cherrios and betty crocker became staples across the united states and the world. for 150 years, general mills has made wonderful contributions to our great state. general mills embodies the minnesota spirit of hard work, innovation, perseverance and generosity. they are an outstanding corporate citizen, representing the best of minnesota and having an impact around the world.
mr. speaker, as minnesotans we take great pride in general mills' success over the past 150 years, and we wish them continued success in the future with their leadership. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from american samoa seek recognition? ms. coleman: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. coleman: mr. speaker, i want to take this minute to applaud the passage by unanimous consent of the filipino veterans of world war ii congressional gold medal act, which i was proud to co-sponsor. i want to thank both senator hirono and representative gabbard for their efforts in seeing this measure get sent to the president's dembing. they did a fantastic job, and i could not be more proud to work alongside other women in congress who worked so hard for those they serve. this has been a long time coming, and i'm happy to see that we're finally recognizing
these heroes to help the united states win the war in the pacific. the countless sacrifices and efforts by those men and women of the philippines who answered the call to arms for the ideals we hold so dear to never be forgotten. with passage of this important legislation, the people of the united states can finally say thank you to those brave men and women. i look forward to seeing the president sign this legislation into law and once again thank those men and women of the philippines who fought alongside the united states in defense of freedom. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. lamalfa: thank you, mr. speaker. we're all very pleased to see the passage of the national defense authorization act today, and that is how the -- this is how the process is
actually supposed to work. the house and senate came together in conference, have a document we can send to the white house and we urge the president, after previous veto threats, to pass this measure, to sign this measure so we can put these important priorities in place. such as stopping the decrease of our american troop levels. this has funding to do that. very importantly, finally, 2.1% pay raise for our troops, largest in several years. other good highlights of this include the stoppage of any funding to close down guantanamo bay which helps keep us safe on american soil. we are not going to do anything to reduce the housing allowance, instead, keep our soldiers and their families on base. so there's much to be happy about this -- with this. one of the things i'm most happy about is california's cal guard, the national guard will not be seeking to take back the bonuses. this has strong measures in it,
like my colleague, representative denham and i sponsored a bill to do this, this has a lot of pieces to do that and mr. denham's bill, to stop the taking of the bonuses. i urge the president to sign it. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. thank you, mr. speaker. it is an honor to be here, and even after the voters have spoken, it's an honor to find
when you and your positions actually don't make you special, they just make you completely in accord with over 70% of your constituents, not ncluding newspapers, but the people have spoken. as president obama referenced a number of times, elections do have consequences, but what he failed to remember was that, es, butted we had elections to congress that also should have consequences when we're accountable every two years, a president's only accountable every four years. but at this time i do want to yield all such time as he may
consume to my friend, mr. graves. mr. graves: thank you. mr. speaker, i want to thank the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, for yielding time. mr. speaker, i've had the opportunity to come on the house floor a number of times and give an update to this body about the profound impacts of the flood we had in august of this year in south louisiana. just to remind you of a few statistics. this was believed to be a 1,000-year storm. there were trillions of gallons of water that fell in louisiana. it was estimated to be about 31 inches of rain in about 36 hours in some areas of south louisiana. that's more rain in 36 hours than an average american gets in a year's time. if that were a snowstorm, mr. speaker, that would have been 25 feet of snow. we have been working now for months working to try and make sure that we have an efficient recovery, make sure that these
people can get back on their own two feet, that they can recover from this absolute travesty that happened in south uisiana, this once in a -- once-in-a-lifetime event. we saw incredible response, rescue activities but that wasn't about government. that's the amazing thing. this was the community coming together rescuing themselves, feeding one another, sheltering one another, clothing one another. this wasn't government that came and saved the day. while there were great first responders from our police departments and fire departments and others that came and helped out, the reality is well over 90% of the response and rescue activities were done by other members of the community. they weren't trained, they weren't asked to do it. they just did it and so you saw great spirit of recovery happen. then what happened is the federal government stepped in and began taking over some of the sheltering, began taking over some of the recovery
activities, and we have seen a complete stop. here we are over 100 days after this flood event and fema's telling people that they may get a trailer unit in january or february. mr. speaker, it's wintertime. people are living in tents. heard about a veteran over the weekend that's living in a car wash. we have people living in their stripped and gutted, uninsulated homes and they can't get trailers. mr. speaker, a guy by the name of darrell whitehead that lives in denham springs, louisiana. mr. whitehead had a trailer senting in his front yard for five weeks, a trailer fema brought and they can't let him -- well, they couldn't let him move in. he stared at this thing for five weeks. i made phone calls. chief of staff made phone calls. we had other caseworkers in the office that made phone calls trying to get fema to simply get this guy in his trailer. mr. whitehead, already a victim
of the flood, has been revictimized by fema, by having a trailer sitting in his yard, not giving him a place to go for five weeks and just have to be sit there and tortured to stare at it because they needed a sink installed. mr. speaker, in is ridiculous, and this isn't an isolated case. i can tell you case after case after case where this is how fema has revictimized people that were flooded from this disaster. now a sheriff ard, very concerned about this high percentage of sheriffs' deputies that were flooded. he came in and simply said, look, we have to get these deputies and their families in a safe, stable situation so they can focus not on figuring out where their family is sleeping at night or what they're eating but focus on law enforcement, focus on safety and security of the community that's been devastated by this flood, so he came to fema and said, look, i have a plan. ave trailer dealer who's willing to give us trailers -- don't quote me on the numbers
but i'm within the ballpark -- trailers for $36,000. i'll buy them back from you for $27,000 in a year and you can find a piece of land, you can put all these trailers at, you can have a sheriff's deputy group housing area. . instead fema says, no, what we're going to do is get these trailers for $100,000. that's how much fema's paying for these trailer units, to buy them, store them, transport them. $100,000 versus $10,000. i have spoken to the secretary of homeland security, the deputy secretary, assistant secretary, regional administrator of fema, nobody can figure out how to do this and they're allteling them no. so we have displaced deputies, we don't have the proper law enforcement focus in the community because the deputies appropriately are worried about their family and where they're going to sleep and eat. and we've got fema spending 10 times, 10 times the. a money that the sheriff has found a solution for -- the
amount of money that the sheriff has found a solution for. this is absolutely ridiculous what's happening. so, lastly, mr. speaker, in september of this year we did appropriate a portion, a down payment money to help with the recovery effort. and certainly it's a step in the right direction, as i've said several times. not anywhere near the level of funding that should be put forth through a cost-efficient, cost-efficient recovery effort. we're going to end up spending more money by low balling these numbers and having fema revictimize people for months here than if we had just appropriated the right amount to begin with. but right now we're negotiating a second payment. under h.u.d. rules, requiring that the funds focus upon low and moderate income only. i want to be clear. low and moderate income folks need to be -- need to help -- need help in recovery. what about the middle class and upper class and job creators and businesss? focusing only on low and moderate income begins a partial restoration. flood waters didn't recognize
only one socioeconomic class, only one race, it flooded everybody. and the recovery should treat everyone the same. we shouldn't be splitting this up and only recovering certain folks. it's inappropriate. the state of louisiana's plan in complying with the national environmental policy act and overhead and administrative costs are saying it's going to cost 30% of the money just to deliver this program. complying with all these crazy federal rules. 30% of the money gets eaten up. that's crazy. these people are rebuilding homes that were right there, many cases within the same four walls that are there now. why are we spending $100 million on environmental compliance? who comes up with this stuff? and it's further delaying people getting back into their homes. this is crazy. mr. speaker, we've got to have a more commonsense, appropriate process to recovery. mr. speaker in closing i just want to say that i've heard a
lot of people in this country talk about how surprised they were with the outcome of the recent elections that we had. it's not a surprise to me that people are frustrated. because what we're experiencing in south louisiana today, being revictimized by fema, revictimized by the s.b.a. and our recovery effort, it is cause for extraordinary frustration. this is not what anybody in america wants, having to deal with the bureaucracy, wasting money and taking months and spending 10 times to do what the local officials or our community could do for a fraction of the cost at a fraction of the time. people want government to be response to have them. people want government to be efficient. we can do better than this. and the election results didn't surprise me because i ran because i was frustrated. and i understand the sentiment, unfortunately more so than most right now, because watching the federal government absolutely screw up this recovery effort is revictimizing folks in south louisiana.
thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back and want to thank again the gentleman from texas. mr. gohmert: i certainly appreciate my friend, mr. graves, bringing up a real problem. and we've seen it in louisiana and not just in southern louisiana, but other parts of louisiana with massive flooding. and not even talking about katrina. but there was a massive amount of waste under hurricane katrina that also affected my district in east texas. i have 120-mile border that i share with something called louisiana. and we've seen the same problems. we have had a flood, a massive flood, one time the largest atural lake in america, but -- largest freshwater natural lake besides the great lakes, but a natural dam apparently was
exploded many years ago. but it's still one of the great treasures of the state and our country. and it had a massive flood and i was visiting over in carnack, texas, last week with some of the emergency, local emergency people that are trying to take care of the issue. and the local folks there in harrison county are acting very responsibly, local government is acting responsibley. but you have outrageous things like my friend, mr. graves, was talking about. one family, for example, they got a loan to buy a new mobile home that wasn't destroyed like the last one with the flood, had been too much water, so they got new mobile home and got the loan. well, as we've heard with fema,
in this case there were requirements that the mobile home be lifted up much higher, the elevation had to be much higher than where it was. and in the process of lifting it , the mobile home fell and completely destroyed and they still have to make payments on loan. obile home for the and they have no home. they were doing everything within their power to comply with the governmental other ents and bureaucratic nightmares, i was hearing stories about how some of the churches in east texas banded together, the baptist men came in and did amazing work.
yes, i understand women too. i think they called themselves the baptist men. but anyway, they came in and did extraordinary work and when people didn't have any plumbing, they had nothing, they brought in portable showers and restrooms and provided the help, long before fema could get there and do what was needed. and to hear people who were so affected by massive floods say, if we ever have another disaster like that, before we call fema, we're going to call the baptist men, because they come in and they get stuff done, they help people where it is, and they don't care who you are, all of your background information, they see who's hurting and they help them. that's the way it used to be. then we became too reliant on letting the government figure everything. because there were people in the
federal government that realized , if we can make the federal government the ultimate insurer of everything, your school loans, your home, your flood insurance, we'll start small, but we'll work up until maybe one day we can even have the government behind everyone's health insurance. because if you really want to take away people's freedom, you really want to have big brother government dictating every aspect of your life, the way to do it is have the government insure all those aspects of your life. because once someone has the pay in the event that you are harmed, then they have the right to tell you how to avoid them having to pay.
and there goes your freedom. so, the more power of insurance that has come to the federal government, many thought, no, we can give up some of our liberty, just for a little more security, but benjamin franklin, with all the wisdom that man had, he understood back then, basically those who are willing to give up liberty for security deserve neither. for too long in this country people have been giving up their liberty in order to get security only to find that they're not even secure. just like mr. graves was talking about. you know, we thought, jee, if we set up a -- gee, if we set up a federal emergency management agency to help take care of emergencies, it will be fantastic.
if we will set up a corps of engineers to help with our water projects it will be fantastic. if we set up an e.p.a., environmental protection agency, to protect the world, the environment, it will be a great thing. but the longer these agencies exist, the less sensitive they are to what they were supposed to do. we found it right here in the capitol. about seven years ago the architect of the capitol, who works for the house and senate, had decided that we all work for him and started making demands. one of which was, i could not cook ribs and share them with other members of congress as i had been doing for a quarter -- once a quarter, and most of the networks had wanted to do
stories on my cooking ribs. no, we're not going to do a tv thing on this. it's just between the members. well, i am grateful that steve scalise got involved and he got paul ryan to help, the speaker was able to persuade the bureaucracies here on capitol hill that we can make this work and have it safe if we work with each other and was able to get people to work together so that my colleagues, they tell me, many of them, they're the best meat they've ever tasted. some say the best ribs they've ever tasted. i have enough of my late mother and that i enjoy cooking enjoy people enjoying what i cook. it's probably the only time here on capitol hill when i actually
leave a good taste in people's mouths instead of a bitter taste. but, as we continue to seay buses by the federal government, and then we see -- see abuses by the federal government, and then we seay buses going on across -- see abuses going on across the country, the federal government, even though it's badly abused its authority, isn't it supposed to protect us from other abuses? and the answer is yes, if they're federally related. well, when you have the electoral college and electers , ected as part of that system it is critical that that be a protected system of voting, just as the constitution would require, and as the law actually requires.
by jennifer mathis and another says, before donald trump's stunning victory on november 8, liberals call for acceptance of election results. but since the election didn't go as they planned, some have taken to harassing and intimidating electers in an attempt to change the election results. some of these threats may actually violate federal law. yet the justice department acts strangely uninterested in investigating. which takes us back to having billy clubs, th standing, trying to intimidate voters at their place of voting, and the department of just us, which was supposed to be justice
, said, no, no, no, that's fine for them to do it. there's no problems with them doing that. if anybody else were to do that, neighing, we'd probably go after them -- yeah, we'd probably go after them. but this is the new black panther party or such as that, so, yeah, it's fine if they do it. we've got to get back to being a nation where the laws are enforced evenly across the board and if the laws don't make sense, like our own rules here on the capitol hill, if things do not accommodate people fairly and equally, they're just arbitrary decisions like we got from the architect of the capitol, when the visitors center was being built, or when people a were just wanting to -- people were just wanting to have a life up here, we should be stopping the bureaucrats and getting rules that apply across the board, fairly across the board. .
yes, here we make the rules and we should have rules that apply to everybody, but when you have an arbitrary dictator, they don't get applied quite so evenly. but here we have a justice of tment, and this report electors that are going to be voting very soon in the electoral college to elect the president and their very lives are being threatened. some of them had to move their families, and this justice department is not interested in protecting the integrity of the election. that's the problem we've been suffering for quite sometime around the country. they were not interested in enforcing the law fairly across
the board, so we end up all the worse off for it. is article goes on to say in georgia and idaho the threats have become so extreme that the secretaries of state both released statements calling for the harassment to end. i absolutely know without doubt that if hillary clinton had won rules set , as the it up, with a republican form of government -- little r. not the republican party. but with a republican form of government, just as ben franklin asked after the constitution came together with what most of the members of the constitutional convention said was divine providence or the finger of god without the
finger of god being involved, they could never have come up with that constitution, anklin says, a republic, madam, if you can keep it. we had found and our founders had wisely, so many of them sought truth in scripture, a bible they would use to argue positions, and they realized probably a complete perfect democracy is not best for governing people because if it's a true democracy, then the law gets changed on whims. if someone becomes the object of scorn and it's a true democracy, they're not governed that we currently have
in our constitution which indicate you can't have ex post facto laws. you can't make a law criminalizing things after the fact has already occurred. our constitution guarantees against that. well, in a perfect democracy, ere is no such ex post facto law. a majority can make a decision to criminalize conduct that previously occurred so that when the person committed the act they were not violating the law, they were acting in accordance with the law and it was later changed. of course, we have had people violate the ex post facto law like president clinton shoved through in 1993 taxes on social
security, taxes on money that had already been earned under different rules of taxation. es that with a a violation of the -- that was a violation of the constitution that was not thrown out, but it was clearly a violation of the constitution . so those things do happen even in a republic, but with a republic, as the founders gave us, this idea of liberty could take hold. it wasn't just might makes right, somebody powerful intimidate the rest in devoting to string you up or to throw you out of the community. no. you had to abide by existing laws, and your conduct, if appropriate under the law at the time, could not be changed to punish you for something
that happened before it was a crime. so much is in the constitution and that wisdom is being cast aside but that wisdom gave us the electoral college without which you would never see the presidential candidates going to all the different states. they would never go to all the different cities that they have because the elections would be decided by the big urban areas nd you can look on the map that shows most of them have red for republican, blue for democrats. years ago it was the other way around. red depicted democrats, but since so many of them were becoming socialists, they were offended that the red made it look like the red communists so somewhere along the way -- an't find who decided who made
but red change -- became republicans and blue democrats. colors don't matter, but if you look at the counties that voted for hillary clinton you quickly you see that she was a fringe candidate. she was fringe on the west coast, the big cities on the west coast, a fringe candidate on the east coast, the big cities on the fringe of the nation. fringe up in the very north, the big cities in the very north. fringe along the southern order and basically just a fringe candidate which, i guess, would make the democratic party when you look at who voted for the democratic candidate you'd have to say, this is now a fringe party in
the united states. you have the republican party that apparently, according to the votes of the majority, represents over 90% of the geographical united states and you have this other people, this fringe party, that represents the fringes around the edge of the country basically. you know, there are a few larger in the middle, but there -- but they're a bit of an anomaly because what we see is mostly a fringe candidate and a fringe party. so it will be interesting to see where we go from here. obviously we have a justice department that is not interested in protecting our constitution, protecting the election process as they are mandated to do. and frankly, when you have a department of justice that
selectively enforces the law and so totally disregards other they're he law, then really not a department of dodge. and if this administration -- department of justice. and if this administration had continued on, then we would seriously need to look to proside a more appropriate name to the department of justice, because this is not -- it has not been a department of justice. when you look at what appeared to have been crimes committed by i.r.s. personnel, like lois committed jury before congress, crimes across john fund my friend wrote in his book about illegal john fund heard say, perhaps the biggest fraud
in america about our elections is the fraud that has been telling people that there is no illegal voting going on. there is certainly illegal voting going on, and many have hosen to look the other way. but a majority of the geographic and a majority of the electoral college elected lectors indicate they want the law applied across the country fairly. section 11-b of the voting rights act makes it a crime for anyone to, quote, intimidate, threaten or coerce or attempt to intimidate, threaten or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote. while this has been applied in
the past to ordinary everyday voters in federal elections, the language is not limited only to such voters. electors who are casting their votes for president and vice president are also protected by section 11-b since the electoral college is an essential part of the federal voting process. this is supported by section 14-c of the voting rights act which says that voting includes all action necessary to make a vote effective in any primary, special or general election, unquote. obviously, the votes cast by americans on november 8 will not be effective if the electors they chose are intimidated from casting their votes in the electoral college. federal law which is 3 u.s.c. section 7 requires electors to cast their votes on the first monday after the second
wednesday of december, which this year is december 19. these are recorded as certificates of votes signed, sealed and delivered by december 28 to the president of the senate and the archivist of the united states congress. or united states. congress is required to meet on january 6 in a joint session to count the electoral college votes. and as we know from so much of the lame stream media like cnn, mainstream media like cnn, msnbc, there was out rage when donald trump said he couldn't say before-hand about the outcome of the election if there were indications of massive fraud in the election. but as we heard from the lame stream media, oh, that would threaten the very foundation of this country. it would destroy the basis for
this country. it was just such a threat to our very existence. well, now those same people that said those things are, according to they themselves, they are risking this country, they're putting the very foundation of our country at some nd we all know now raised this during the election but it was not clear until a recount began to be demanded by a third party candidate but we can now say clearly the evidence is in. i used to try felony cases as a udge, years before that as a prosecutor, we can now rest our case. jill stein was nothing more than a sham candidate for -- to help hillary clinton.
try to pull votes away from others to help hillary clinton win the election. clearly that is what she was. some suspected that. some raised that issue. and now obviously she has no chance of winning anything in a recount. nothing. she has no chance of winning anything after a recount. so clearly the only reason she's doing it is to continue her effort to help hillary clinton become president despite the will of the american people through the electoral college, through the law as it was designed and set up. electors across the country should not be getting threatened. the justice department should be outraged, but they're not. they're not bothered in the least that the lives of the electors who will decide the
presidency are being threatened and that a constitutional crisis is at hand. 90% ows yet again why over of the -- except for the fringes -- americans have said we want a change. we want america that can actually move toward dr. king's dream of people being judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. . i hope and continue to pray that we will get there. this quote in the article, the u.s. justice department, which is charged with protecting all voters, should act to quash this outrage immediately. obviously they're not interested
in quashing an outrage. they have done more to stirrup racial disharmony in this country, they have done more to supplant and subvert the intent of the constitution, the clear meaning in the constitution, and an not wait to have administration that will at least make an overt effort to enforce the law as it exists. he president in his first term told people over 20 times, i can't just do amnesty. that has to be done by congress. somebody figured out after his first term, it appears to be when it first kicked up heavily, look, who will stop you? sure, it's against the law, sure it's against the constitution for you to do amnesty, to do
xecutive orders that take away a rewrite -- or rewrite laws that was passed by house and senate, signed by another president, you just write them like any good monarch would, who's going to stop you? somebody figured out to present that to the president, that had to be what happened. because he had said so many times he didn't have the power to do it what he ultimately started -- to do what he ultimately started doing. and you realize, gee, that's right. the soon to be leaving harry reid will surely protect president obama from the senate allowing anything that follows he law coming out of the house to enforce the law, the senate will be able to stop it. so if congress wants to cut off funding for what the president's doing illegally, the senate democrats will protect the president. and protect his illegal conduct and so you won't have to worry.
you can do whatever you want. amnesty was often granted by not even an executive order. it was granted by a series of memos by the secretary of homeland security. jeh johnson. so he rewrote the law with memos . so it will be nice to get back to having enforcement of the law because this article yesterday, a united bedard, says nations mix of illegal immigrants are now flooding through the u.s.-mexico border, especially from haiti and pakistan, raising concerns of terrorism, costing americans billions according to a new report and senate testimony. they have a quote here from my friend, representative henry
cuellar from texas, democrat. but a great man. he said, it is because people from different parts of the world, africa, middle east, other parts of the world, are now realizing that if all you have to do to get to the southern border is get to the southern border of the united states, and there's a process there, you can claim a legal defense, you just get to come in. i mean, people, the smuggling organizations know exactly what they're doing. and as the border patrolmen who slo -- have told me during the late hours, early mornings, talking to them out on the border, the drug cartels control every inch of the mexico-u.s. border. they do so from the mexico side. but they control what happens on the u.s. side under this administration. and we saw routinely there were
groups that came across who were not threats criminally, but they either wanted jobs or they wanted u.s. welfare. and they knew that under this administration we would not turn them back and say, no, you cannot come in illegally. they would not interdict and he force the law -- enforce the law. they would say, come on in, we have some questions to ask you before we give you a slip of paper, send you on your way, or house you or, as some of the border patrolmen said, you know, we end up sending them wherever they want to go in the united states. they call the border patrol logistics. they get them to our side of the border and we ship them anywhere they want to go. so, it's no wonder that we would have a request for this administration asking for
to process money was i know $2.2 billion mentioned, but i saw another article where it lists the different components that the administration wanted to do, you add up all the different requests and different ways that this administration wants to use the money from american to take and it is money away from americans who are here legally, who are working, who are struggling to provide for themselves and their family, take their money away and give that to people who are coming in illegally. there was a law found -- i found out about in engflnd visiting with some of their -- england in visiting with some of their social security type folks in
their government, they have a law that you're supposed to be there for five years contributing to that social security type system for five years before you can ever make a claim for a dime of it. i hear there are abuses of that system. because they may not have the est control over it. but, it is a system that we have in this country, some other countries, you're taking money from people that earned it and giving it to people who are breaking the law. if you do that long enough, that place that at one time was a shining light on the hill goes broke. the light goes out. and once that happens in america , as friends from other parts of
the world have said, if you lose your freedom in america, the rest of the world has no chance. a you realize historically united states of america, where people will go fight for freedom , they'll create strength, a strong economy in their own country, strong enough because they enforce the rule of law across the board, and become strong enough economically that they will go shed their blood, spend their money to get freedom for people who are suffering under the forces of evil. every now and then you have a president like jimmy carter who will say, let's get rid of the shah and then welcomes the ayatollah khomeini as, as he said, a man of peace, which opened pandora's box, radical islamists had been put in a box for many decades, but president
carter was complicit in helping because he's a well-intentioned man. a good man. well-intentioned. maybe a little anti-israel. .ut he wanted to help folks and out of his ignorance on radical islam, he, for the first time in many decades, placed radical islamists in charge of a massive military and a whole country. and since then the world has been paying a very heavy price for what happened. so, we have a job to do, we took an oath in this body to support and defend the constitution of the united states. and as donald trump was saying yesterday in ohio, our devotion is to -- our oath is to one country. we say a pledge to a flag. well, that used to be true.
it used to be that people earned enough history -- i loved history. people like coach sam parker inspired me to love history. and we learned it and we knew what it took to keep a republic, madam, if we could. but kids, because of federal intervention in education, we've not helped our suffering schools. we have made them subjects to this master federal government. you do what we say or we don't send you any of the money you sent to us. we'll fix up our offices, we'll fix up the massive bureaucracy and we will dictate to you from on high what we want done,
regardless of what congress says . they're not as bad as the corps of engineers, the e.p.a., f.d.a. has been recently. but they've really not helped, as i said to president bush's secretary of education, very nice person, but she had helped, i think, texas schools when she was in austin. but when she came here and disregarded the 10th amendment and the constitution that did not innumerate education as a federal power, and so it was reserved to the states and the people, she began acting unconstitutionally. as i explained to her, you know, you ought to come to glade water, texas. there's an amazing school there hat helps between 120, 130 special needs kids.
one of them, if he touches something shiny, he's had a big day. and you mandate that they have to do a test for that child. had a child in a st. louis school in tyler, told her she needed to come visit because they had as a goal that by the end of the year this young man would be able to stick a fork in a piece of food and get it to his mouth, the goal they believed was reachable. but because the federal government was involved and they say, you don't get any of the money you sent us from texas unless you do exactly what we say, that was not allowed. they allowed an alternative test that if he could point to a sticker that had a picture of food on it, by the end of the year, then he would pass the test and that school would get back money from the federal
government that those texas taxpayers had sent to it to siphon off for whatever they wanted. so by the end of the year, that young man, special needs, severe special needs, he was able to point to a sticker that had a picture of food, but he could not feed himself. that is the kind of insanity that's only gotten worse over the last eight years. i thought a silver lining to president obama being elected president was at least he's going to end no child left behind, because that would mean returning the power to the states and the people that knew what they were doing. who years ago, we were far more of ar higher in the studies
the capabilities of schoolchildren. we have dropped -- we're not doing so well. and there may be improvement one year over another, but if you really want to leave no child ehind, then you need to stop andling the teachers unions coddle the teachers by letting them do what they know is best. subject to local control. and if they're not doing their job, you don't have to go begging to washington or a teachers union, you can go to the school board and if the school board won't do the right thing, you can run against them and get elected and then fix it yourself. when sunny bono in california ran up against -- sonny bono in california ran up geans city
manager that was so bigoted he would not let sonny have the license to open his restaurant, that's how he got involved in politics, he found out who hired him, fired the city manager, it was the mayor, so he ran for mayor, the first thing did he was fire the abusive city manager. that's how a republic system is supposed to work. it's a form of democracy, not a pure democracy, so that we can have laws, we can keep people from having their conduct criminalized after they committed it. . but we have got to hit the ground running at the first of the year and start the process of trying to heal america. president obama did not make the school system better. he made matters worse. had a voucher program here in d.c. that minority kids --
minorities are the majority here, minority elsewhere, these poor kids suffering from a broken school system had more than enough money to properly educate the kids, but kids were the victims of the bureaucracy. what else has this justice department done? they've gone around and stirred up racial tensions where there shouldn't have been. they stirred up rumors that, for example, if you were a black young man in america, you are 20 times more likely to be shot than if you were a white person in america of that same age. it's simply not true. of we saw different parts
the country when we had the black mayor, black police chief the country not a racist. not out to harm blacks in america, but try to do justice by them. and they ultimately found in most cases that had been brought actually the police were justified in what they were doing. since police are composed of human beings, there's going to be some rotten apples. then. ne every now and i would contend from my experience handling thousands of felony cases that the law enforcement officers i dealt with have a much tinier percentage of problems than the general population of america.
when we find a police officer who is abusive, who is problematic, he or she should be punished. but after 9/11, america was jarred awake for the first time in decades to really beginning again to appreciate the job law enforcement officers have done for us, to keep the peace, to allow us not to be beat up by a bigger bully on our block, but allow the law to be enforced more equally and fairly. never perfect. there's always room for improvement. and people begin to appreciate our first responders without contempt because they were stopping traffic. and began to appreciate our military more because it was willing to go down and lay down their lives for people in this country, which jesus said is the greatest love.
and he absolutely knew. e laid down his life for us. but in the last eight years, we .ave become so racially divided the regret i have going back to mount pleasant is that the most choked up i got going back to my old high school that was so good to me, so good to me, did such a great job of educating me, my brothers, my sister. i love coach willie williams and i saw him after so long and got a hug, just touched deeply. and somebody said, did you take a picture? i didn't think about a picture. i wasn't thinking picture. here was a man that coached me, who would not put up with anybody using race.
didn't matter to coach williams. he expected us to perform. i wish i got a picture. i got to do that. what a great man. we have other information that was damning, department of homeland security report that exposes the administration's claim that as many as 81% of people attempted to cross the border illegally were apprehended and found out that it is not like 81%. it may be more like 54%. shockingly, the report authors found that the estimated apprehension rate between ports of entry in 2005 was only 36%. and that was 2005.
it has not gotten better even though tricks of adjusting the tatistics have gotten more multiplied. we have got to defend our nation. we have got to enforce the law. we have got to keep this country as a shining -- get it back to being a shining light on the hill instead of being overwhelmed by people who want to violate our law. they don't want to do it, but failing to enforce our borders will eliminate our ability to be the most generous country when it comes to visas and legal entry. no country, no other countries are massively larger in size geographically and size population-wise, no one awards
more visas than we do. over a million. and yet that will end up coming to an end as the failure to enforce the law -- there were problems in the bush administration, the clinton administration, bush dministration before that, but it has just gone crazy under this administration and we have to get it under control. one other thing, i continue to hear some in america say the days of the united states being a manufacturing powerhouse are over. i know from history and apparently donald trump from ust his business instinct that if a strong country cannot produce the things it needs to
defend itself and defend freedom, then it will cease being a free country after the next significant conflict. it's just a fact. and the battle of the bulge, so many don't realize that even as late as that occurred in world war ii, it had a good shot of prevailing and driving the allied forces from the bulge in the middle out to the water's edge, but one of the most fundamental problems was they ran out of fuel. well east texas was the largest known reserve when it was discovered, and it provided plenty of oil. our tanks had fuel. but as we became more dependent on other countries, that became a problem. but american ingenuity has
allowed us to find more natural gas and more oil. and now in west texas, natural gas is far cleaner and i hope under donald trump, we use more of that. but if we get back the factories -- and we just didn't lose them from the rust belt. lost a lot of steel plants -- lufkin industries. it got bought up by ge. they didn't care. bought them up and took their patents and told me the headquarters for their operation was in italy,, this is a company that doesn't pay us taxes but the head of it is close friends with the president. well, it's time we got back to manufacturing steel in america, steel pipe in america, manufacturing what we need to make tanks, planes, cars, buses.
do that here. it's time we got back jobs to make paper. we have renewable resources here that we quit using. they are not redwoods or pine trees. you can find places in east texas where there were no trees and yet after the timber industry came in, they became forested again. we can become great again, but we have got to be more responsible and we have to protect our borders from those who want to do us harm and violate our laws. , a f we would do that little girl in my county would be alive today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair would entertain a motion to adjourn. mr. gohmert: i move that we now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to
detained immigrants can be held longer than six months without a ail hearing. >> documentary contest is in full swing as this year we are asking students to tell us what is the most important issue for the new president and the new congress to address in 20717. joining me is ashley, a former tudent cam winner of 2015. ashley, tell us about your student cam documentary.
>> my partner and i produced a documentary where we covered homeless veterans on the streets .f orange county california and not having anyone who cares for them were not ok. so we decided we are going to talk about this issue within our community and we decided to make a c-span documentary about it. i encourage all seniors in high school and encourage juniors in high schoolers to use this platform to raise your voice to say that your generation deserves to be heard in the government and if there is a better place to speak to these issues. i think my advice for the students who are on the fence of starting this documentary is to really look into your community and see what is affecting those
around you because they are the ones who you love, they are the ones you surround yourself with every day. and so, if there is an issue that you see happen every day on the street, that is where you can start. be a part of this documentary, because you want to be a voice for your community. >> thank you for your advice and tips. if you want more information on our student cam documentary contest. go to our website studentcam.org . >> an update on the situation in afghanistan, you will hear from from commander of u.s. forces in the region who briefed reporters. his comments followed by question and answer session are ust under an hour.
>> we have about 45 minutes and 10 minutes of opening comments. i will be calling questions for general nicholson. all yours. >> good morning everyone. it's great to be back with you again. i want to thank you for covering our mission in afghanistan. what i would like to do this time since my last update with you in september is review 2016 and where we have come and little bit about the way forward. our main objective in afghanistan is to prevent the country from being used as a safe haven for terrorist to attack the u.s. or its allies. first is the u.s. mission is with a vournt terrorism called operation freedom sentinel and the resolute support mission which is to train, advise and assist the afghan security forces. the u.s. mission, we are focused on c.t. operations for the
central asia, south asia region. this counterterrorism effort has two lines of effort. for the first a unilateral and the u.s. is focused on al qaeda and islamic state. the second is with our afghan special forces whom we vizz and assist as they conduct operations. our shared goal with our afghan partners is the defeat of al aeda and there are 98 u.s. designated terrorist groups globally. 20 of them are in the region. this represents the highest concentration of terrorist groups anywhere in the world. while some of these groups may have larger numbers in other countries like isil in syria, the number of groups in one region is the highest concentration in the world. the danger in that is that these groups mix and convert. so, for example, islamic state
today is formed of members of and some c movement former members of the afghan taliban. so this year, our u.s. c.t. forces conducted operations and conducted 350 operations against al qaeda and islamic state in 2016. is ly 50 al qaeda and a q leaders facilitate were killed or captured and when they are captured and go into the afghan judiciary and detention system. additionally, about 200 other members of al qaeda, al qaeda islamic state were killed or captured as well. our c.f. forces rescued the son of a former pakistani prime minister in a raid in eastern
afghanistan. we have killed a total of five of these 20 terrorist groups in afghanistan. on october 23, u.s. forces lled the a. q. amir of afghanistan. these individuals are directly involved in planning threats against the united states in the last year. there is the strike in pakistan against the amir of the taliban and designated u.n. terrorist. and killed the head of the union group. it is the group that perpetrated the horrendous attacks in pakistan against the school in which they killed over 130 children and the university where they killed dozens of professors and students and a pakistani air force base. with respect to i.s.k. we call green sword series of
operations. they have specifically targeted this isil affiliate in taliban. they have been led by american forces working with our afghan allies. these operations have killed the top 12 leaders of islamic state, including their amir back in july. we reduced their force by 25% to 40%. about two dozen command and control facilities, training facilities were destroyed, financial courier networks were disrupted and the sanctuary which was nine districts were shrunk down to three. on the one hand, we are focused on keeping military pressure on these networks. likewise, we are focused on helping the afghan security forces to build their capability to defend their own country.
as we shift now to resolute support, this is the largest and longest nato operation in our history of nato. it is primarily focused on training, advising and assisting the afghan security forces. they have taken over responsibility since the end of 2014. 39 nations in the coalition or one quarter of the world's nations have been together in the region for more than 10 years helping our afghan partners. in july at the wausau summit they committed. they pledged $800 million to support the afghan security forces through 2020. and we still have significant commitments to troops in afghanistan, about 6,000 from our allies which complement the allied contribution. this gives us for mile-an-hour years. in october, international donors
met at brussels and expressed an intent to commit another $15.2 billion in support of developmental needs in afghanistan. so if i were to sum that up, i would say these events represent both progress and protection in terms of our way forward. so the first we just discussed, the protection through u.s. counterterrorism efforts, to help protect our homeland and prevent future attacks and prevent another 9/11. the second reason where there is progress. the evolution of the afghan security forces during the past year. five years ago when we started building the afghan security forces, we had about 140,000 u.s. and coalition troops in the country. we are now down to less than 1/10 of that. today, it is the security forces for securing their own country with the assistance of our advisory and c.t. effort.
we have seen progress in the couple of areas. first i would mention are the afghan special forces. 17,000 special forces arguably the best in the region and they conduct about 70% of the afghan army's offensive operations. they operate independently of the u.s., about 80% of the time. when i mention the c.t. operations, many of those are conducted with the afghans, but the majority are on their own, they are selected and trained. this includes a special mission wing, which is an afghan air force wing which is capable of night flying operations and they provide all the day and night helicopter forces. the afghan air force is imagining capability as well. they have incorporated the mb-35 helicopter and now conducting most of their escort and resupply missions for the army across the country.
and this was something that previously was exclusively done by u.s. or coalition forces. so before march of this year, before march of 2016, the afghan air force had no ground attack aircraft. beginning in april, we added eight aircraft and also more importantly added 120 afghan tactical air controllers. not only are they adding the attack aircraft but the capability to control those aircraft on the ground. they ran the first a-29 combat mission in april but nearly 20 air crews have been added. so this will continue to grow over the next years in the future. characterize how the afghan security forces performed. they were tested and they prevailed. they were tested and prevailed. this year, they went in the year with a campaign plan which last year was a reaction to enemy activities. this year they went in with a
campaign and executed it largely to the end of july and beginning in august, we saw the enemy try and made eight attempts to seize provincial capitals. every one of these attempts failed. the president calls 2015, the year of survival as the forces didn't have this but 2016 was more of an anticipate other year in some respects than 2015. this took the form of a sustainable security strategy which the afghans developed this year and identified a fight, hold disrupt and identified areas of the population this they would fight for and other areas where they were doing autonomy of force and disrupt the enemy. i mentioned the eight attempts to seize a city. cities and provinces.
on the 6th of october the afghans faced four attacks on their cities and defeated each one. this ability to deal with cries sees, this is a sign of an arm that is growing in capability and maturing in terms of its ability to handle complex on the battlefield. so this is -- when i say they were tested, it's obvious they were and prevailed in terms of defending their cities and continuing to secure the majority of the population of the country. so shifting to that, when i look at my security assessment at the end of 2016 going forward, i believe what we are seeing right now is equilibrium but one in favor of the government. the afghan security forces have a hold of 64% of the population.
this was down slightly from my 68% that i talked about in september. the decrease has not met more control of the taliban. we see them holding less than 10% of the population. slightly more is now contested. they still hold roughly 2/3 of the population. the enemy hold, less than on 10% and the balance is contested. since the start of the taliban's campaign in april, the afghan security forces have prevented them from accomplishing their strategic objectives and have been unable to mask because of afghan and coalition power and therefore they resorted to small scale attacks in checkpoints in cities. this did not succeed in causing any cities to fall. they have conducted high profile attacks that have resulted in large numbers of civilian
casualties but the overall number of high profile attacks is lower than last year. inside kabul, we had 18 high profile attacks this time last year attributed to the taliban in kabul, this year only 12. a reduction of about a third. we have seen a new element this five or six. overall reduction in taliban attacks. in promises to safeguard civilians, the vast majority has been caused by the snurgs. 61% to 72%, these statistics are united by unama and nations. the taliban have intentionally destroyed bridges and roadways resulting in disruption of trade
routes. the taliban has destroyed afghan's infrastructure. while the enemy controls slightly more terrain than before, they do not control more of the population than they did in april. additionally, the afghan security forces have inflicted high casualties on the enemy during this year. as we look forward to 2017 and areas for improvement, one of the important areas is they were looking at or the two areas are leadership and corruption. so these do play some portions of the afghan security forces and what it has led to is poor sustainment of soldiers in the field. because of corruption in the supply system, young soldiers don't always get the ammunition, food or water they need to conduct the fight. this is a specific area of focus that we are working with the
afghan leadership on. i have spoken to them and president ghani is serious about addressing this. as we go into the winter campaign, the army and police will replace ineffective or corrupt leaders. president ghani is dedicated to this and they are making necessary leadership changes. the afghan government arrested a senior official for bribery and suspended another for corruption. they have referred these cases to the anti-corruption justice center which has been opened this year and tried its first cases to root out corrupt government leaders and improve the security institutions. as i look forward to the next year, what are the things we are most concerned about in terms of risk? in addition to improving the corruption and leadership situation, we also are concerned about the stability of the afghan government going forward. i know you have been tracking
closely with the ongoing political revolution. my message is that we respect your political process, but don't allow that process to undermine security gains which have been made this year at such great costs and one possible risk of afghan political instability is a fracture that we have not seen happen within the security forces. second concern will be the maligned influence of external actors. and we are concerned about the external enablement of the terrorist groups in pakistan where they enjoy sanctuary or support from outside governments and we are aware of the convergence. i mentioned the 20 groups, 13 in afghanistan and seven in pakistan. the coming together of these groups into strains or the fact that sometimes they cooperate
and the hole becomes greater than the sum of the parts, these groups participate from alliances or capabilities and networks and requires pressure to prevent them from becoming worse than they already are. we tracked very closely the nonsecurity factors which affect afghanistan's future and we are encouraged by the $15.2 billion pledge from the brussels conference and this will focus on the afghan economy. we track the dem gaffics and the narcotics trade is a concern. corruption again and taliban reconciliation and re-integration or reconciliation or we don't control these influences as a security lead, they have an impact on the success of our mission going forward. so in conclusion, the capable
afghan security forces and continued u.s. c.t. president will protect our homeland from terrorist attacks and other disruption eminating from the region. a secure afghanistan coupled with regional and international development efforts helps ensure regional stability. we are stabilizing what was once a deteriorating situation and have the international support to progress even further in the coming years. the afghan leadership remains focused on the future as the men and women of the security forces fight daily for a safe and stable afghanistan. their resolve is bolstered by our continued commitment. we have great partners in president ghani and the ministries and we enjoy a close working relationship going forward. our dedication to them sends a clear message to the enemies of peace and stability in afghanistan and the world, frankly, that they will not win.
it lets the people of afghanistan that we are with them and realize their future and result of the wausau summit we have four more years of commitment and support to enable that progress and protection. thanks for covering the story. i look forward to your questions. >> i appreciate your point about the afghan forces thwarting attacks on the city but it seems to be happening far more often. after 16 years of wars war how is it acceptable that we repel attacks. how is it acceptable? >> it is important to remember how far we have come. few years ago, we had 140,000 and growing afghan security force. we have grown them to 300,000
troops and we have drawn down to 1/10th to what it once was. this security force is attempting to grow itself while fighting a difficult war. and i think your point is we saw an uptick -- there was one attack that occurred in 2015 and briefly took the city. the afghans retook. this year, attacks on cities, all of them failed. able to deal with simultaneous crises around the country. snurgs.an insuring -- they are fighting the fight and that's a significant difference from when we began this 15 years ago or even just two years ago. >> do you think there needs to be more nato troops and will you
recommend that to the incoming administration? >> important to remember, 39 nations in this coalition in afghanistan. so we have strong international commitment. we go through every six months on the nato side review of our progress and recommendations for the future. in the time i have been in command, i have submitted these recommendations twice and this is reviewed by the alliance and my assessment of our current capabilities, we have adequate resources to conduct this mission. and this is acceptable for what we need to conduct. i can't speak for the alliance or u.s. administration on any decisions they might make of the situation going forward. >> we saw recently in -- the question that came up with the umber of afghan casualties and
tracking 20% over the last year. there was a report released that 5523 and doe number you have numbers that you can give us? >> the numbers they use come from the afghan government who provide them to us and we provide them. what i would be able to offer you is whatever the afghan government has said. we would be happy to get you the latest figures. but i have nothing to add to what you have already seen. i might say if you reach out to them, they might provide you greater clarity. >> and second question if i may, afghanistan got hardly any mention during the election campaign. have you received assurance about where afghanistan is?
>> outlining a policy going forward, counterterrorism and training and advising and assisting the afghan forces. this is the course we are on. and this administration will hand it off to the next administration. >> in your opening statement, you mentioned -- you didn't mention russia and iran. and tell us what's the nature of russian and iranian influence in afghanistan. have you ever seen evidence they are linked to any terrorist group in country? led ssia has overtly legitimacy to the taliban and narrative goes like this. the taliban are the ones fighting islamic state not the afghan government and the afghan
government and u.s. counterterrorism effort are the ones are having the debatest effect against the islamic state. so this public legitimacy that russia lends to the taliban is not based on fact, but it is used as a way to essentially undermine the afghan government and nato effort and bolster the belligerence and not helpful and the afghan government has addressed with russia. shifting to iran, similar situation. there have been linkages between the iranians and the taliban. in the past this might have been based upon hedging strategies concerned about the outcome. i know the afghan government is engaged in dialogue over this issue. so as a neighbor, they have other equity as water rights, trade and the security situation. e're hopeful and sheg now as a
commander, these outside actors will act in a positive way to help bolster the capability. and so this -- and again, let me finish where i started. the afghan government and the u.s. counterterrorism effort are the ones taking on islamic state nside afghanistan. so as pressure is applied against islamic state? syria they do not see afghanistan as a place they can move to, because that enclave will be reduced and defeated within the next year. >> have you seen any relations between the islamic state in afghanistan and isis, heavy flow of fighters? >> we do see a connection. islamic state is a recognized
affiliate of the central islamic state in syria. so they apply for membership and . ey receive this and pledge went through the application process, if you will. they were acknowledged and recognized and isil's publication. so we have seen support provided to them in terms of advice, in terms of publicity and some financial support. we have not seen fighters move to afghanistan. and of course, as i mentioned, by defeating islamic state, afghanistan will not be a safe haven for any islamic state fighters that leave. >> can we get your reaction to he announcement that general mattis is the next defense pick. >> i have known the general for
10 years. he is highly respected across the ranks and so we all congratulate him. i don't want to make any comment. he will go through a confirmation process and as far as his -- any policy issues going forward, that would be a matter for the transition. >> any particular story about him? >> he is a soldier's soldier or marine's marine. i first met him in afghanistan. we were in a tough fight in 2006 and he is a very inspirational leader and inspired me as a soldier on the ground as we talked about that very tough fight. and we wish him the best of luck. >> can i get your reaction what teakted president-elect trump's raise of sharif have on you to
fight against the taliban? we know the pakistanis have supported the group which have killed u.s. troops in afghanistan. what affect did that conversation have on you in? >> i can't speak for the transition team. i refer you to anything having to do with that. i look forward to meeting the new chief of army staff. i'll meet him upon my return to the region here next week. and there are many areas of mutual cooperation with respect to the border. and so looking forward to working closely. >> the attacks gone down or up? >> they still pose the greatest threat to americans and to our coalition partners and to the afghans. they hold five american citizens hostage right now.
this is worth remembering as we think about the network and they remain a principal concern of ours and do enjoy sanctuary inside pakistan. >> if i could ask you about the influence issue. or there been any practical tangible reaction in response to that in afghanistan. can you explain about that and how iran is doing to support the taliban and how that has had any real impact. >> any external enablement of an insurgency is going to sustain that fight. if the insurgency was in afghanistan exclusively and didn't have external bases, it would be a different nature to that conflict.
obviously external support enables and shrinkens them and i mentioned the legitimatey piece we are concerned about. the legitimacy piece is an important factor. 87% of the afghan population thinks taliban rule would be bad for the country. the same percentage support the afghan security forces. it's important to recognize that taliban are not welcome by the people of afghanistan. the external factors whether russia or iran publicly legitimatize a movement not by the people, they are not advancing their stability in the region. this to us is what we all want. we want a stable, prosperous, secure afghanistan. we think this will be positive. we would hope actors like the ones i mentioned would support hat instead of legitimizing be
ligrens. >> what is russia's motive? >> competition with nato. we just would like to see a change in their behavior in erms of not legitimizing the enemy. >> looking on the ebb my, do you have any numbers? >> i don't have any numbers, but they have suffered high casualties. >> i have a couple of follow-ups. you mentioned 17,000 members of the afghan forces were conducting 70% of operations. >> offensive operations. >> that's a pretty small with respect to the a.n.a. can they sustain that. >> they are selected and trained. we are concerned about that and
for that reason during the winter campaign, the regeneration effort focuses on special forces and in discussions with president ghani and his security ministers, we are looking at the growth of the afghan special forces over the coming year. we need to maintain high quality. it's not something you want to rush. look at the years provided in the wausau commitments, four years, we believe we can help to grow the special forces so they can sustain and actually increase the tempo of operations going forward. this year, the 10 commando battalions, they were able to successfully defend these eight attempts against cities and conduct offensive operations against the taliban. as we increase the number of commandos and special forces, not only will they be able to defend the sovereignty of their country but real debate the
enemy to more remote areas of the country. increased special forces and the growth and size and capability of the air force will give the afghan security forces an offensive punch that they don't have right now but have in a smaller quount and this will grow over the coming years and will begin to change the nature of the fight. >> whether it's the officers' academy which you just visited, you discussed the resources right now being adequate for a not rate level of risk. would additional resources from the united states, how could that reduce the level of risk and do these things which about improving the leadership or grow the numbers in the special forces. that would seem like more training and resources would move that process along. >> the force generation cycle we
call it for nato is a semi-annual process. i submit a report which lays these out. we go to the alliance and say here's the capabilities we need. we saw some nations increase. the germans, the italians have increased their commitments and targeting these specific areas. for example, the british provide an excellent advising capability. we have seen other -- the germans added an advising package to assist the 20th division. we reorganized our u.s. advisory structure. so as we are going from 9,800 to 8,450 this month, we are reorganizing as we transition to cover some of these issues.
we are adding teams in each of the cores in the american zones of responsibility. so this is going to enable us then refine and target the specific areas where we need help. one of the biggest areas in terms of leadership is the ntral -- a centralized merit based selection process. president ghani has established along with chief executive abdullah, a method for more central controlled merit-based selection. so this process is actually being put together right now. the first example was the selection for the afghan -- sergeant major of the army. and so this was a merit-based process which there were many outstanding candidates came in. they sbude with a panel of
leaders from across the security forces. one was selected. president approved it. this process was very, very important because it was a -- it wasn't a decision made by one individual but very open and transparent process. president ghani praised this process. we are going to be using that in the coming year with them to allow them a merit-based selection process. graduates of the school, which you mentioned. they graduate and making sure they get to the right units instead of going back to an administrative assignment. so getting these properly trained leaders to the point where they will be effective is extremely effective. but these are the kind of details we are working with the
afghans. a lot of it is really saying what did we learn and what do we need to fix and then where we need -- want to augment, i try to reorganize the resources we have and go back to the nations nd ask for more. you have of questions had small arms and two side bomb on the suicide vests. going to early november, you had two green beer as killed and a couple of air strikes that killed a large number of civilians. can you talk about what happened there and there were some reports that the afghan commandos in the beginning of your statement were routed or abandoned their positions with the green beer as and then i have a follow-up about the air force.
>> on the specific incidents you mentioned, those are under investigation and we'll certainly share the results of that when they are complete. any comments i would make are getting in front of those investigations. i would say right off the bat as soon as that incident occurred, we undertook a complete review of our protection measures around the country in terms of local, national contract employees and this individual is a local national contractor. we are revetting and rescreening those individuals before they are able to resume their positions and reviewing our procedures. force protection is right up there with the accomplishment of the missions i outlined. and again, as we complete those investigations, we will be sharing the results of those. you asked about the commando attack. we take every possible effort to
avoid civilian casualties. i believe the incident you are mentioning recently, i made a statement within 48 hours, 72 hours of the incident that we believe it was likely that there were civilian casualties and we are investigating that. we are doing a joint investigation with the afghans and those results will be available soon and will release those. i would comment on that, some of the investigation showed that the enemy was fighting from civilian homes and so our forces, when i say ours, afghan special forces and the american advisers in self-defense responded to those fires and we believe that may be one of the civilian casualties. it was self-defense and it was self-defense because the taliban were fighting from civilian homes. the civilian government said
please stop doing this. it is counter to the taliban's public message in april. they said they would try to reduce civilian casualties but yet they were fighting from civilian homes which invited a response which may have contributed to civilian crarkts. that's point number one. there were dozens of taliban killed or injured in that fight. there was a significant fight. again, i don't want to get too far into the details, but that was a preempttive strike by the afghan special forces against a taliban enclave that could have been used in another attack which never materialized. taliban endangering civilians and afghan forces take the fight to the enemy to present -- prevent an attack and the way they fought unnecessarily
endangering civilians was a contributing factor to the incident. >> talking about the afghan air force and something that you are constantly building on. the most experienced fleet in the afghan air force and there are some reports that you will be replacing them with black hawks. how does that factor in keeping this force going forward without going two steps back? >> as you know, the decisions on the mi-17's were made prior to crimea and ukraine. the afghans traditionally had a core of mi-17 pilots who were trained and some of them very experienced. so earlier before crimea, ukraine, before stanchingses, there was international support for continuing with russian-made a-frames. that changed after 2014 and the sanctions being imposed.
the issue now is the sustainment of that fleet to continue. president obama forwarded to the hill a request in a supplemental for purchase of u-860 alpha helicopters and can be modified with an improved drive train to enable to operate better in the environment but will involve a transition for the pilots. in addition to the equipment that's being purchased, not just the uh-60. so an increase close air support capability and lift capability and then a transition program for the pilots and for the maintainers. so i already mentioned in my opening remarks about the fielding 120 afghan tactical controllers. it's a comprehensive program to not only get the air frames there but the poilts and the
tasks trained so we will field a complete capability. we need to sustain the mi-17's to field the bridge. we are getting help from some allies on this and partners on this. the australians and others are helping to fund maintenance on the mi-17's to bridge this period. > you don't want to keep the mi-17's. >> it is a great a-frame that the afghans use and are comfortable with. the issue is going to be the ability to maintain them. maintaining the a-frame -- keeping the a-frame in the inventory and not being able to maintain it would not be positive. the afghan government has gone to the russians and asked for their assistance and they have not provided it.
they got help with maintaining the a-frames and not agreed to do it. and because of the sanctions on russia, the maintenance of this leet is going to be difficult. >> there are still a large number of troops in afghanistan and the continuing fight with the taliban, do you think there is room for adjustment of the rules of engagement or do you think or you don't think that's necessary at this time? >> in june, president obama gave the additional authorities and was called strategic effects but what it amounted to is i can use u.s. combat enablers to support the afghans in support operations. previously we could use them to prevent a defeat. now we can use them to enable them to take the initiative and go on the offense. these authorities we've used
every day since they were authorized. these authorities are extremely important and give us what we need to do our mission on the ground. the u.s. troops always had, if they are in an advisory capability or advisory role and they find themselves in a situation such as i was discussing with tom, where they are threatened or under fire, they always have the right of self-defense so there is no estriction at all on the troops for that. >> so you don't think it's necessary to further change the rules of epgagement? there are some in congress shing for that
>> i think the package of authorities we have is adequate to do our job. >> can you tell us where in afghanistan the taliban has gained new territory and then can you tell us a little bit about what's going on in helmut province since you were last here? do we still have u.s. advisors there? >> i'll take it back to the statistics i quoted upfront. the afghan strategy is to focus on the most densely populated areas to hold them, hence the fights around the cities. and so the areas that we would ll remote or less populated,
that's where the taliban are more likely to be found. in the case of helmut, the enemy has fought hard because they receive much of their funding area. opium provides about 60% of the taliban fund, we believe. so the control of these areas is very important to the taliban. they tax the farmers they texas the narcotics traffickers, and this is how they derive their revenue. so this -- there's a nexus here between the insurgency and criminal networks that's occurring in helmut such a difficult fight. i think it's important for observers of this, i would suggest, don't look exclusively through the lens of taliban versus government but in that case consider there's more going on here.
jenny colson: especially with the criminal enterprises that have been profiting enormously from the opium production. we see criminal networks, coupled with insurgents, fighting to retain their freedom of action to continue to make money. this has been a big part of what's going on and the money generated from the opium industry is what fuels the insurgency and why we see so much fighting going on in the province. this is my personal own vation, having been there a -- observation, having been there a few years. this is part of it. the other areas where we see the taliban try to extend their influence is areas where there's mining or other thing where they can extract revenue. so when you look at opium cultivation, mining, extortion and kidnapping, this is how this movement funds itself. so again it's revealing about the true nature of the taliban.
and the way they rely on criminal networks and these kinds of activities, drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, to raise money. and this really reveals who they really are. >> we're about out of time. reporter: i think the 215th corps there, right? how has that progressed? jenny colson: it's a very tough fight. what we did last year, at the end of the fighting season, because of the casualty well, did a regeneration effort with with six of their battalions, get them back in the fight. we're going through a similar process this year, that started this week. so we have companies coming off the battlefield they go onto the base they get replacements, new weapons, refurbish their equipment and get back in the fight. so this, we're calling this
process force regeneration. s the centerpiece of our winter campaign. the winter campaign will run for the next four months. and that's roughly the time last year we took to regenerate. this didn't come up but what we see in terms of recruitment, recruitment has roughly kept pace with losses, plus or minus, but roughly. so this is enabling them to make the system effective and then by focusing on the supply and procurement system and fixing the corruption and diversion that goes on there, so the supplies get to the troops and they can reyen rate, this is our main focus. it continues to be -- these are the two areas we can't to watch closely as we go through the inter. reporter: general, since early october, 11 americans have been killed in action in afghanistan,
in combat. what message does it send the enemy that this january, the united states is going to withdraw more than 1,000 troops. is it sending the wrong message? jenny colson: first off, our condolences go out to all those family, these american heroes who have givener that lives in afghanistan. it's been a listening tight fight, 15 year, but i think it's one, we've got to remember, their actions, their sacrifice, are protecting our homeland. the 9/11 attacks emanated from this region. al qaeda, a group that did that, is still there. reduce significantly, their leaders have been killed. osama bin laden was killed in 2011. we just killed fa reek al katari who was working on external operations. the fight continues to protect the homeland. when you think about the height of our commitment, there are 100,000 troop, to now being down to 9,800 troops. one tenth of what it once was.
the forces that we have are adequate for us to do the mission. i would point out that we can draw upon additional capabilities to require them from over the horizon. we have cone this numerous time this is year to do these terrorism operations, for example against the islamic state or against al qaeda, we can call forward additional forces as required to go after these forces. so i think the message i would ask that people remember is that the daily service and sacrifice of ourer is vess members over there is protecting our homeland from, not only from al qaeda but the rest of the terrorist groups who threaten all americans. >> thank you, general, thank you for taking the time to do this. god speed. >> look toward to -- look forward to seeing some of you in theater, take care. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
>> coming up later today, the israeli defense minister and egyptian foreign minister will be speaking at the broongings institution, an annual event that seeks to bring together american and israeli leaders from government and business. that will be live at 6:30 eastern on our companion etwork, c-span2. cuban leader fidel castro died late last month, earlier this week there was a memorial service in cuba. join us at 8:00 eastern for remarks from raul castro, fidel castro's brother and current
leader of the island nation. later, an oral argument from the supreme court on immigration detention in the case of jennings v. rodriguez. the court will decide if detained immigrants held for deportation can be held for longer than sex months out a bail hearing. you can see that tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> c-span's studentcam documentary contest is in full swing. we're asking students to tell us, what's the most important issue for the new president and the new congress to address this 2017. joining me is ashley lee, a former student cam winner of 2015 for her documentary help for homeless heroes. ashley, tell us about your student cam documentary. >> in 2015, my partner and i produced a documentary where we covered issues of homeless veterans on the streets of orange county, california. we the decided these people who have given so much for our
country, now they're living on the streets, not having families or anyone to care for them was not ok. we decided we were going to talk about this issue within our community and decided to make a c-span documentary about it. i encourage all seniors in high school, even juniors in high school, and middle schoolers, use this platform to speak your voice, to raise your voice, to say that your generation deserves to be heard in the government and if there is a better place to speak these issues, i think my advice for students who are on the fence of doing this documentary is to really look into the community and see what is affecting those around you because they are the ones who you love, the ones you see the most this ones who you are around every day. if there's an issue that you see happen every day on the streets, that's probably where you can
start. be a part of the documentary because utcht to be a voice for your community. >> thank you, ashley, for your advice and tips on student cam. if you want information on our student cam documentary contest, go to our web seist, tudentcam.org. >> a look at the u.s. capitol earlier today the house approved the 2017 defense programs and plcy bill. the measure heads over to the senate for consideration. defense authorization is just one of the topics discussed today as democratic leader nan - at nancy pelosi's weekly briefing, this is just under 20 minutes. ms. pelosi: good afternoon. as you know, on wednesday, my house democratic colleagues extended the honor to me to continue to serve as house
democratic leader, which i am honored and delighted and humbled and grateful. our caucus has been energized by members who have stepped forward wanting to get to work and i'm pleased that our caucus is building consensus and creating new roles in leadership, on committee, and at the d-triple-c. that's why i'm a little bit late, we were finishing some of that. that interest in working and participating is muse toik my ears. there's hard work ahead but with the strength, wisdom and resourcefulness within our caucus, i know house democrats will meet the challenges ahead. that's why democrats are eager to work with republicans to swiftly pass a bold infrastructure bill to rebuild america and create good-paying jobs. however, congressional republicans are clearly more interested in dismantling medicare than building job creating infrastructure.
with chairman price headed to the h.h.s. speaker ryan moves closer to realizing his dream, and america's nightmare, of shattering medicare guarantee and protecting generations of american seniors. democrats will fight them with all of our strength just as we did in 2005 and 2006 when president bush tried to privatize social security. now republicans are even threatening to gut and privatize the v.a., a deeply radical and destructive move that could hurt veterans across america. we've heard from the veterans, paul wyckoff executive director of iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, who said the worst case scenario for veterans is the dismantling of everything they worked to create. there's a growing fear it's all going to get burned down. the executive director of the american legion said veterans deserve to go to the v.a.
we oppose privatization. veterans service organizations have already communicated their eagerness to work with both sides of the aisle to prevent this disastrous privatization scheme. we are again very pleased with the work that was done with the cures act that was replaced, had a big, strong vote that made resources available for precision medicine, brain research, and with great pride, vice president biden's moon shot. cancer moon shot. long overdue. $1 billion in opioid treatment funds, we've been calling for that funding for a while. we've gotten bills but we haven't gotten money. improvements in mental health and substance use disorder service. we hope this congress will meet its commitment to robustly fund these commitments in years ahead. the way the bill is written,
it's through this coming year, with a commitment for what comes next, but we want that commitment to be a guarantee. with that, i'd be pleased to take any questions you may have. >> republicans are moving ahead with plans to repeal parts of obamacare. they mentioned they wanted to go through regular channels, which would likely require some democratic input. are democrats ready to work with republicans on crafting what that replacement would look like? ms. pelosi: i do think the republics have some suggestions we would be open to having some conversations about how we can approve the affordable care act. it is important to note, though that you can't say, i'm going to have no pre-existing condition discrimination or we're not -- we're going to have no lifetime limits in the rest but undermine the rest of the bill. o what is the agenda, mandate, the republican idea? we're alms ready to listen as
would have been if democrats had been in power to say what improvements we can make but we're not going to be party to dismantling of the affordable care act. the dismant -- the affordable care act is not only important for the 20 million people who have affordable care now who didn't have it before. it's important for the over 125 million people who have pre-existing medical conditions which have barred them from care and insurance. it's also important to anyone who has a lifetime limit, so if you have a precondition, you will fall into that category too. if your by be i is born with a -- if your baby is born with a condition, lifetime limits on the care of that child would be a disaster. so it's important to note that you can't keep the good things without keeping the big pool of people who contribute to it and make the whole country healthier.
it's about the health of america as much as it is about the health care or the health insurance of america. so again, we're always listening, but we're not going to dismantle. it's an exiss ten rble threat to the access of care in our country would be a problem. if there are things we can do orking tooth, of course. >> [inaudible] ms. pelosi: it's hard to come up with a system. say there was no health care system in our country or we were just forming a new country, you'd probably have single payer and it would have public options. i still think that that would be a good place to go is public options. but that's not what it is. you have -- you have -- it's important to note this. 75% of people in our country have their health care through their employer. of the remain 25g%, 20 million
of them are in the affordable care act. other people are on medicare, medicaid, and the rest. but since there is an expansion of medicaid, notern el jeble for medicaid within the affordable care act has access they should have. let's take it this way. employer-based care insurance. of those people, they all benefit from no pre-existing conditions, no lifetime limits, your child can stay on your policy until you're 26 years old, no longer being a woman is a pre-existing medical condition. so understand that this does not -- this is not just about the 2 million. it's about the vast majority of our country benefiting from that. and so whatever it is we do impacts all those people in addition to the 20 million. but if they're fwing to come
forward with something that says we're turning away these 20 million, i think that's going to be a big fight in our country. many more people are benefiting from it than who might say they support it right now. but when you ask them, do you want it to be repealed? it's like 20%. 20%. eporter: [inaudible] ms. pelosi: they keep the calendar but i don't know if the work will be finished. a brief conversation with the speaker, but not this positive of the issue in temples of when but how things were going. we have to do this continuing resolution and when is that going to be ready? supposedly by monday.
then it takes a few days to get on the kallen tar and go to the senate and our day -- are they in agreement as to what that, how that will work? d so that, i think is more affecting when we leave than the issue you bring up. we could end next week but i think we're on alert it could go another week. you had a question yesterday, i'm trying to do people who haven't. [inaudible] ms. pe he see: i had this conversation with the speaker an hour or two ago. we are almost all in agreement, our disagreement is, the republicans want to drop the buy america provision from the bill that would be problematic for
us. of course they have the votes so they can go forward if they wish but we have a very big concern about that. and that's part of what was holing up. we were supposed to have it resolved probably by about now and i don't know if that's happened since i've come in the room. but that's still a problem. now, what i'm interested in for the bill, of course the whole bill because it's about jobs, is about flint. flint is in the -- an authorization in the wrda bill but we have to see what the language is in the c.r. because it's one thing to have the authorization, it's another thing to have the money. that's where we're interested in -- in the juxtaposition between the wrda bill and the continuing resolution. but i'm very hopeful that we can have a wrda bill, it would be important for our country. one way or another, we're going to get the flint money, i feel confident that the speaker will
keep his promise to us in that regard. now it's a debate between the house and senate about how things are paid for and the rest. that's what that is. reporter: you guys are in the same -- i know you added some ower level leadership. [inaudible] ms. pelosi: thank you for your question. we just had a very, very positive meeting with the caucus. we had a wonderful coming to terms between ben ray lujan and sean patrick maloney, the two of them very open to each other's ideas. they created how we can work together in a stronger way and t was a las vegasly thing. they wanted to move for the election right now but we set it
for monday so i said we'll wait for monday. i'm pleased that we'll elect three members of the policy committee. somebody said we're doing what chuck did, no, we did -- no, chuck did what we did last time. we expanded it, there are more members who will be elected, freshmen, to the leadership and a person fewer than five terms. these are substantial places. it took me 15 years probably to get to the leadership table. these people get there in freshman year or couple of terms. so it's -- i'm, frankly, liberated by it because more people want to take responsibility and in no way would they consider this lower level, especially from their perspectives in the congress. it's a big honor. their invig ration is important
to it all. and as we go forward, as we did in 2005 and 2006, working very closely together as the opposition, which is a different role than we've had in the last few years, our unity is very important. so we will be strategic, we will be unified and we will be unwavering in our support of the -- of america's working families. that's what joins us together. everything else is part of who we are. but what unifies us are our values and those values are about america's working amilies. reporter: the white house classified additional information, what additional involved?n is ms. pelosi: you want to say that seven senators are asking for the declassification of it and you want me to tell you what is
that information? you want me to go to jail. let me say -- i appreciate your question. let me -- i want to -- i knew they had some questions. i want to talk about this in this way. i know the chair of the committee, eric swalwell, hofede the future forum, travel the country listening to young people, millenials, is also a member of the intelligence committee. nd he is working with elijah cummings, our champion in find ought the truth of what's going on in some of this, they are talking about calling for an -- i'll let them make their own announcement but to take us to a place where we find out, did a foreign government, and i know that we did, what is the role of a foreign government in
undermining our election? that would have been a necessary investigation even if hillary clinton had won. it isn't about who wins or not. it's about what the interference is i said this before, we've witnessed it. i knew, i said at the convention in july, i know that it's the russians, i know because i paid for the investigation of our own hacking, i know it's the russians. i don't know that from any classified information, i know it from our own investigation. two or three months later, the highest level of confidence from our intelligence community says the russians hacked our committee. every day, emails came out from the democratic side, i frankly think there could have been more aggress i coverage of the fact that a foreign government was hacking our committees, but it just was like something that was
going on and -- but the fact is, something awful was going on. what's interesting to me is, the director of the f.b.i. did not, he did not want to sign that consent -- consensus report because it was too close to the election and he didn't want to upset the election but he had no trepidation or hesitation or qualm about putting forth a letter that said it may be insignificant 12 days before the election. which others revealed was coming a couple of days before. so that's why our distinguished chairman, champion ranking member, elijah cummings has been in the lead asking for an inspector genre port about that particular letter and the howing of it in advance and elijah cummings and eric swalwell are going to be working for some call for us to
investigation or whatever, i'll let them make their own announcement because they're shaping it. i wouldn't even be able to tell you what it is because they're doing it. to uncover what is happening. it's about our democracy. part of the russian agenda is to undermine democracy. not just in our country but in other countries as well. o hack, to alter, and to disclose. and it's just not right. and i think that it's shameful that this was able to go on. so evidently a foreign government understood mining our democracy without more things said about it at the time. so that will happen. ut i can't -- this classification is up to the president. and probably, i mean, and --
just so you know this, the president can declassify something by just saying it. all the power in the world. it's a mighty power, actually. whatever -- if the president said something that was highly classified information, say by mistake or something, he would not be vulnerable because his very saying it declassifies it. i haven't seen the letter. i think there should be more information known to the american people, whether that's by declassification, whatever, maybe that's the investigation that mr. swalwell and mr. cummings are going to have. thank you all very much. >> can you talk about obamacare? ms. pelosi: i have to go. how about the double overtime. ohio state and michigan. >> ohio state won that one. >> be with us later today when
the israeli defense minister and egyptian foreign minister speak at the brookings institution. it's an event that happens every year to bring together american and israeli leaders. it's live on c-span 2. idel castro died late last month. earlier this week, there was a memorial in cuba, we'll show that to you starting with remarks from raul castro. that's tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. and also tonight, supreme court oral arguments, jennings v. rodriguez. that's tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. this weekend, the c-span cities tour, along with our cox communications cable partners look for the literary life and history of tempe, arizona. learn about man's relationship
with wildfires and efforts to change the narrative of fire and its role in the environment with steven pine, author of "between two fires: a fire history of contemporary america." >> for 50 years, this country, after the great fires of 1910, which traumatized the u.s. forest service, tried to take fire out of the landscape and the problem was that we took good fires as well as bad fires out. in the last 50 years, which is rather a long time, half the history of our engage. , we've tried to put good -- of our engagement, we've tried to put good fire back in and that's been difficult. >> and hear about the challenges of writing history. >> i'm the person who tells that story. i'm going to do it as best i can, as honestly as i can, as balanced as i can. but i get to do something fundamentally creative and say this is what i think happened. >> then on american history tv on c-span3, hear about the lives of u.s. senators barry goldwater and harl haden through their
collections of personal and political papers from rob spindler, arizona state university archivist. >> when you look at hayden's career, he was responsible for co-sponsoring and writing a huge amount of legislation that benefited the citizens of arizona and the citizens of the united states. his legacy was very much a legislative legacy. barry goldwater was really a personal who is an -- a person who is an icon for the western united states. he was a person who represented the interests of the west. >> and jared smith, cue rator of history at the tempe history museum, shows us the contributions made to the city's early history made by charles hayden, credited with funding tempe. >> sharls hayden was born in
connecticut, comes out west, travels over the santa fe trail, 4e run -- he runs freight, makes it to arizona in the 1850's. >> the c-span cities tour, saturday at noon eastern on c-span's book tv and sunday on book tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. paul we'd feled the metropolitan area transit authority, testified before a government and oversight reform committee about d.c.'s current maintenance he told the committee that two independent prosscoot yours have been appointed to determine if they falsified inspection reports. this is just over 2 1/2 hours. mr. mica: two of our subcommittees are holding a joint hearing today, the title
of this hearing is, safe track, it deals of course with washington metro and oversight of lamada, safety and maintenance issues. pleased to convene the hearing this morning and the order of business is, we'll start with opening statements from members and then we'll go to our panel of witnesses and after we've heard from all of them, we'll go into questioning. with that, we'll begin the hearing and let me recognize first chairman chaffetz, the chairman of the full committee, mr. chaffetz, you're recognized. mr. chaffetz: i thank you, chairman. i want to just take a point of personal privilege here. this is -- the last hearing -- this is the last hearing mr. mica will chair in the united states congress. he's served with great distinction for 24 years in this body, served as chairman of the
transportation and infrastructure committee. he's poured his heart and soul into this nation, into this body, over more than two decades. so we want to say thank you, we want to say thank you, and we want to say thank you for the tremendous service that you have dedicated over the years and you've been a great inspiration to a lot of us. and it's an honor and privilege to serve with you. we wish you and your wife nothing but the best, but it is an honor to be with you. this last hearing that you're going to chair and we wish you nothing but the best. god bless you. thank you very much. i yield back. [applause] mr. michael: mr. connolly. mr. connolly: speaking for the democratic side of the aisle, i also want to wish you god speed
and thank you for your service. we have a reputation for not always being able to collaborate on a bipartisan basis up here but when you and eserved together, you as chairman and me as ranking member, of the committee, we did work well together and i think you did an awful lot of good here and on the transportation committee as well. i'm going to miss you personally and on behalf of the democratic side of the aisle, thank you for your service to the country. mr. mica: thank you. all the members of the committee, it's been a pleasure. mr. meadows, mr. jordan, and others i've had the opportunity to serve with. a few minutes ago, we got to thank some of the staff for their work this year and you can't operate an important committee like this without shotgun tremendous staff on both sides of the aisle. we've been blessed. while there may be some cheering
from the bureaucrats that mica is finally gone, i can assure you i still will be very active engaged and involved but there's no better committee to serve on, i have chaired transportation but this committee, dating back to 1808, performed such an important service for the american people, it really does, it's not an authorizer, not an appropriator, but it tries to make things right, get things right and hold people accountable. that's so important in our structure of government. it's been my pleasure to serve and then i'm not finished yet. either with this hearing or in service to the people of this country, this great country. so i thank you for those accolades. i wish i'd more of them during my service. [laughter] my weird assistance
of hue nor, -- humor, sick sense of humor, humor my wife says most people don't understand that i have is an inherited thing. i try to keep a light side of it along the way but we do have an important mission. with that being said, we need to get to our work here and this is important work, and without objection the chair is authorizes to declare recess at any time. kind of figgetting -- kind of fitting in the last hearing here, it was on transportation, i was honored to have this subcommittee which is responsible for transportation oversight for the house of representatives, under my watch for the past term. and unfortunately today we're back to where we've been before and we've been some four times.
this is our fourth hearing on oversight of, unfortunately, some of the problems with the d.c. metro and this congress. those hearings go back to february of 2015, then we did another one in july of 2015. in april of 2016. and again this is our fourth. if you woke up this morning in metropolitan area of the district of columbia, northern virginia, and maryland, first thing i was greeted with is my colleague gerry connolly on the radio blasting what we all found out in the report that was released yesterday. some of the highlights of the ntsb report, we'll hear more about that on the falls church derailment. and what is particularly
rubbling in that report is that unfortunately some of the information about that deterioration of the rail ties and lines in the area was reported and known for more than a year. and there are questions about possible falsification of reports, intimidation of employees, some folks were trying to do the right thing and were -- the safety issues were ignored. that's a very, very serious matter. so we'll talk more about that. again, it's the latest in a whole series of safety issues that we have addressed in these past hearings and again the latest report not from us but from ntsb highlights that almost 17,000 open track defects are
still waiting to be repaired, and some of these date back to 2008. in a briefing on its investigation the ntsb informed our committee that the state of metro's rails is deplorable. metro's current state of disrepair is -- and that's their term, not ours, but we caven join them in that evaluation, metro's current state of disrepair is the result of years and years of deferring maintenance needs, negligence in some cases. unfortunately, we've seen cases of gross mismanagement and then also most troubling for the taxpayers is runaway costs. first deflt's safety
message has been encouraging an we know he's been on the job a short period of time but metro has to continue to improve its performance. we are now halfway through the safe track rebuilding ski jile but the system continues to be plagued by safety incidents on almost a weekly basis. on july 5, we had a second signal violation and a wreck. on july 29, a train with 6 passengers on board derailed. on september 13, a crowded train nearly 40 minutes with almost no announcements from the operators to the riders. on october 20, two f.t.a. safety inspectors were almost sfruck by
a train that violated speed restrictions. parking tinue to see incidents and want to hear more about then status of where -- of arcing incidents -- dents, and we want to see -- incidents, and we want to see where we were there. one of the first junctures we had a loss of life. it's been, unfortunately, now common place that things are so bad they've even created a ebsite and that website is metro on fire.com to find out if metro is in fact suffering from smoke or fire incidents at any particular time. these incidents and service disruptions continue to keep entire system in constant turmoil.
early in january, 2015, the previous chairman of the metro's board praised the outgoing manager for rebuilding the safety culture from top to bottom. after years of rebuilding around the $5 billion metro forward capital plan, that was his pronouncement. four days later, unfortunately, enfante plaza la incident happen where we had a loss of life and injured 91 people. from d to know both today in the tnesses and also future, we've got to be certain a things are heading in different direction with this important system. when you see headlines that show
the staggering safety lapses on a regular basis, and i said to the staff, just pull me some of he clips about some of these issues, the most recent, and then i said, are there a lot of them? i said, well tag them. you can see just page after page. now these are just "washington post" articles. i don't know why you guys didn't get the times too but this is ust "the washington post." so, this is, again, an incredible array of headlines that icles that cite -- cite that the system is broken. we've hard report -- had reports
that even brand new rail cars are breaking down. i've heard one report, 5,000 to 10,000 miles is the breakdown record of the new cars, an average of about 7,000 miles on car, as opposed to 20,000 for the normal period in which a vehicle should not experience hose problems. .o we do have multiple problems i was stopped by an individual i was getting a subway the other photos and d some actually there's a photo and a video but meab they can put up the photo that he took of the workers, can we get that put up?
well, you can count about 15 workers, well, 15 individuals employed, about three people working in this scene. actually he also supplied me, we don't have it up there a video showing time lapse the people are there but not working. and that raises a great question when the peculiar is seeing this kind of operation with lots of people standing around, we've got some serious issues with even the folks that are there. i think that the current -- i thank the current director for made good on as some of his challenges, in fact, i think he's eliminated 20 senior manager positions and reduced some of the head count
by a thousand. but you can see there's still a long way to go with some of these people -- with some of the people who are not performing. i'm going to ask some questions too about contracting some of this work based on performance and payment, i understand the -- also that the union contract is not up for the some of these workers still in limbo. we'll hear on that. but there's got to be a better way to get better results and performance from those on the -- those on the job. do want to thank, again, the new director for the reforms he's initiated. maybe we could reterm this hearing, let's make washington metro great again. and that's something we have challenge and opportunity to do. we put an incredible amount of
money into the system. i googled last night the history of the system and it's been around for 40 years, started with 4.7 miles. and it really is one of the -- it was created as one of the finest rapid transit systems in the world and we should be very proud of this system. it serves the nation's capital and this region. and it's a shame that we are -- we find ourselves in this particular situation. o i continue to work in an unofficial capacity to make certain that happens and hopefully this hearing will help us rebuild metro and restore public confidence in an important transportation system. he second largest carrier of commuters in the nation, important in the everyday life of people in this region and to the united states of america.
so i look forward to working with you all and i can turn to mr. connolly and i'm sure mr. connolly will be very warm and fuzzy this morning. you're recognized. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. chairman. before i begin that my colleagues, mr. beyer, mr. delaney, and ms. comstock, be allowed to participate in the hearing. >> reserving the right to object. mr. connolly: and if the clock can go back to 5:00 for me, that was a u.c. request. thank you. i appreciate this opportunity by again to discuss safety the nation's transit system. each time the committee revisits this topic and exercises its federal oversight prerogative with regards to metro, we're reminded of the close relationship between the
functionality of the federal government itself and the health of the nation' capital trans it system. -- the nation's capital transit system. it should come as no surprise hat we have a interested interest in the success of a transit system that delivers more than a third of the area's federal work force every day. in march, when metro announced it would shut down for 24 hours to conduct emergency inspections, the first question was how would the federal government's office of personnel management accommodate that closure, unlike any other transit system in the united states this one is so dependent on the federal work force. for its customer base. the federal government is the primary stake holder in this transit system. and i look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that federal support for metro is commensurate to its fundamental reliance on the system. as federal stake holders, i
think our organizing principle should be the failure of metro cannot be an option. when this committee held a hearing on metro in april, the system was in crisis. all lights were blinking red. the hearing and witness testimony enumerated the system's mounting crises and leadership -- in leadership, safety, customer confident confidence and finance. it was clear the situation required bold and immediate action and the status quo for metro was the rail to perdition. the purpose of the hearing today is to examine whether metro has stepped back from the precipice and whether and how the system can set a trajectory for safe, reliable and sustainable operations. unfortunately, the leadership crisis in metro has eevolved rather than diminished. after going 10 months without a general manager, the metro has somebody at the helm and he's demonstrated he understands that the problems plaguing metro are
systemic. one does not have to agree with every major decision he's made to appreciate the fact that thank god he's willing to make them. he came to the position with desperately needed, relevant experience. even though the board fought about what really was required and prefered a green eye shade accountant to somebody with experience in operations. we were fortunate we didn't go down that road. the enduring leadership cry uses a-- crisis at metro resides in the board of directors. some board memberssome bent on proving that the governing body is incapable of resuscitate, much less managing, metro. threats to scrap a midge expansion of metro to dulles international airport pits jurisdiction against jurisdiction and fractured the true regionalism necessary for metro's success and i assure you, mr. evans, it will have repercussions up here, among
your allies and your partners. it's destructive and not welcome. aye spent the last 21 years of my life working -- i've spent the last 21 years of my life working on metro-related issues, as a as a supervisor then commissioner. i approved the local operating subsidy every year without question. and help creed ate the local tax districts to fund construction of new silver line with the full approval of metro and metro's board. in congress i've worked diligently with my congress to save the $150 million annual federal commitment for safety improvements which is matched by the virginia localities and maryland and d.c. and helps secure financing for the silver line working with then secretary ray lahood to reduce costs and to secure funding for that silver line.
it is personally painful to witness members of the lamata board so mismanaging this institution and fall back on the parochialism some condemned. from a congressional perspective, threats to cancel major federal investment, rampant parochialism and political theater on that board destabilize efforts to secure and increase an appropriate level of federal support up here. it's not like we have that many friends. to fracture the support we've got jeopardizes everything you need on capitol hill. general manager weisfeldt deserves credit for taking initiative within six mops of beinging -- of becoming a general manager, for taking on a lan to do six month -- doing
sex years of maintenance in one year. accidents have exposed dire problems in safetrack. the safety problems at metro go far beyond the replacement of high voltage cables and defective insulators. i welcome the safetrack metrics that incrude the replacement of 26,000 cross ties since the beginning of the maintenance list. however, this week, the national transportation safety board released a report on the east falls church derailment in july. it found once again that metro track inspectors were not conducting inspections in accordance with written policy and responding to defects in realtime. indeed, the ntsb found clear evidence that metro safety inspectors deliberately false fied reports, endangering public safety once again.
in the report, ntsb reiterated its recommendation to the department of transportation, the federal department of transportation, that f.r.a., not f.t.a. ought to have responsibility and oversight for metro. the report stated the f.t.a. oversight model lacks minimum safety standards and the resources to provide assurance that corrective action plans are completed, unquote. i've repeatedly shared my concern that the f.t.a. does not have the tools necessary to provide robust oversight of metro. i think the derailment at falls church is a case in point. the customer confidence picture continues to worsen. ridership is down 13% in this fiscal year. safetrack has been disruptive to commuters and pending proposals for increased fares could only hasten the vicious downward spiral. i might add, loose talk about closing large sections of the
system continue to contribute to the loss of consumer confidence and ridership confidence. will it be there in the future? apparently not. as the general manager noted in his f.y. 2018 proposed operating budget, the current budget challenge, a $290 million budget gap, is declining real ridership which has been on a down tward -- downward trajectory since 2009. there's a way to improvement reliable to go a long way to restoring faith in the system. going forward, staff reduction, service cuts and fare increases are not going to bring about long-term stability. metro is the only major transit system without a dedicated source of funding and the system relies on a patchwork of subsidies for local jurisdictions. metro receives 47% of its operating budget from local and state subsidies but not a federal subsidy and 0% from a
dedicated source of revenue. 0%. our hometown of boston, transit system, to use -- sees those fig you are in reverse. 0% from local subsidy, 64% coming from a dedicated source of revenue. in my role as chairman of fairfax in 2004, i helped launch the blue ribbon panel on metro that called for a regional sales tax to address the shortfall for capital mainsen -- maintenance and enhancement. there's an appetite for metro to eet certain metrics before new commitments are made. however, it will not solve problems if we continue to ignore the problem the culture of indifference that pervades the work force and the sab sense of stable revenue any system needs to operate.
i look forward to hearing from witnesses today and thank you for your indulgence, mr. chairman. mr. mica: thank you, mr. connolly. mr. moe me does. mr. meadows: before i begin, i want to recognize not only the outstanding service that you state ofided the great florida and the congress as a hole but as a personal friendship to me, as a guy who had no idea what went on behind the scenes, you took a young guy from north carolina and invested in me in a way that, quite frankly, i'll never forget. you and pat are dear friends, it's been a difficult year. i want to let you know i sincerely appreciate your friendshyo
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