tv U.S. House Legislative Business CSPAN May 22, 2017 4:03pm-8:11pm EDT
20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. the house will resume proceedings on postponed questions at a later time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1188, the adam walsh re-authorization act of 2017, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 91. h.r. 1188, a bill to re-authorize certain programs established by the adam walsh child protection and safety act of 2016, and for other urposes.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks include extraneous materials on h.r. 1188, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: in preventing child victimization, congress, working in tandem with law enforcement, has long recognized the importance of monitoring sex offenders. in 1994, congress passed the jacob wetterly crimes against child and sexual violent offender renlstration act. this mandated states track violent sex offenders and establish guidelines for tracking those offenders. over the years, congress continued its vigilance in monitoring sex offenders, which ultimately culminated in a comprehensive piece of
legislation titled the adam walsh child protection and safety act of 2006. among other things, the adam walsh act established a national sex offender registry, provided for postconviction civil commitment of certain sex offenders, eliminated the statute of limitations for certain sex offenses against children and created an office at the justice department specifically designed to monitor sex offenders. today, i am proud to be here on the floor to champion the re-authorization of this landmark legislation. h.r. 1188, the adam walsh re-authorization act of 2017, authorizes funds for the department of justice's sex offender management assistance program and for the great work shals do.d states mar h.r. 1188 also contains numerous measures to encourage more states and tribal jurisdictions to comply with the requirements of the federal
system. in part by making changes to the law to address concerns some states have expressed. for instance, the bill lowers the duration -- excuse me -- the bill lowers the duration of sex offender registration requirements for certain juveniles and allows states to register juvenilesed a juted elinquent on a non-- juveniles adjudicated delinquent on some. they should be place on a state registry. the bill permits trnt methods for in-person -- alternative methods for in-person verification so they can locate offenders remotely. in most instances only requiring in-person verification once per year. h.r. 1188 allows parole officers and others to stay inportland of the conduct and pro-- informed of the conduct of sexually dangerous persons. strengthens others who were
victims of exploitation and trafficking as juveniles to have 10 years after becoming an adult to file suit for a civil remedy. mr. speaker, we must not forget why we were here. in 1981, adam walsh, a 7-year-old boy was be a ducked and brutally murdered in hollywood -- abducted and brutally murdered in hollywood, florida. as a father and grandfather, i cannot even imagine it. we are thankful for the work of the walsh family who have dedicated their lives to child advocacy and whose work is responsible for saving the lives of countless children. i'm also grateful to our colleague, mr. sensenbrenner, the author of the original adam walsh act, for reintroducing this re-authorization bill and for his tireless advocacy on behalf of our nation's children. scripture reminds us that children are a heritage from the lord. i urge my colleagues to support
this strong bipartisan legislation, and i reserve the alance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, i ask to address the house for such time as i might consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: i rise in support of h.r. 1188, the adam walsh re-authorization act of 2017. for those of us who have met john walsh and know of his family, it is both unspeakable and unimaginable of the feeling families have faced when a beautiful young child has gone missing and ultimately brutalized and killed. 's, 's what happened to john his wife and family's beautiful child in 1981. and so out of that came a life-long commitment to ending
this kind of violence against children, but more importantly, finding the nation's worst criminals who would brutalize families and fail to be apprehended. the adam walsh act, in particular, establishes a sex offender notification act as red -- often referred to soma. this bill is an important bill, and i want to thank the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. sensenbrenner, again, for his ergized and effective effort re-authorizing this legislation and his commitment to fighting for the needs of protecting children. we join him in that. reminded of the great work of the missing and exploited children and how they have continued their work for years and years and years as they
came into fruition, it seemed children were missing every day. violence was perpetrated but laws were brought about to make a difference. so i support this bill, and i rise some reflective thoughts. i'm glad this bill reflects changes to soma that were agreed to by the judiciary committee when it last re-authorized the adam walsh act in 2012 to improve the requirements for states to register sex offenders. for that was a very difficult system and some states were compliant and others were not. whatever everyone's belief might be of the sex registry prior to soma, many devoted substantial resources to identify the most effective methods to manage sex offenders. in the legislation, there was a certain way soma wanted to handle that, and, therefore, states were made to disregard those efforts in favor of a one-size-fits-all. one of the principled concerns
with soma it deprived states the flexibility in the registration. i am glad there is at least a recognition that states have put in good programs. nevertheless, my support is -- so i am delighted that that flexibility can be addressed. i also think that it's important to note that the bill has to address long standing combli take issues. as we -- implementation issues. as we know, there were fundamental concerns with soma and we are still working to achieve that accomplishment. commendably, h.r. 1188, however, would allow states discretion in determining whether juvenile sex owe feppeder information will be -- offender information will be accessible to the public via the internet. of course, it continues to be a teadfast legal prohibition and
structure to diminishing or hopefully diminishing the sex violence against children. it will reduce the time that certain but not all juvenile sex offenders adjudicated as a delinquent are required to register from 25 to 15 years. the bill has many merits and i think the changes that have been made are extremely positive. one, in dealing with flexibility and, two, with recognizing some flexibility as it relates to juvenile offenders. this is legislation that many have poured their heart into it because they believe that there should be a day of this kind of violence ends, and i hope my colleagues will support this legislation. with that i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time it's my pleasure to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. sensenbrenner,
the former chairman of the judiciary committee, and the chief sponsor of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sensenbrenner: thank you, mr. speaker. as the chief sponsor of this legislation, as well as the chief sponsor of the original adam walsh act of 2006, i rise in support of this legislation and hope that it is swiftly enacted. the adam walsh child protection and safety act, enacted in 2006, is landmark legislation intended to keep our communities and most importantly our children safe from sex offenders and their dangerous predecessors. -- predators -- i'm sorry. this bipartisan bill strengthened the sex offender registry requirements and enforcement, extended federal registry requirements to indian tribes and authorized funding for federal programs sbeppeded to address and de-- intended to address and deter child exploitation. the centerpiece of the adam walsh act is the national sex offender notification act.
the goal is to create a seamless national sex offender registry to detect and track offenders. it provides minimum standards for state sex offender registries and created the drew national sex offender website which allows law enforcement officials and the general public to search for sex offenders nationwide from just one website. .r. this re-authorizes two key programs from the original adam walsh act, grants to the states and other jurisdictions to implement the adam walsh section offender recommendation requirments and u.s. marshals to apprehend sex offenders. these are crucial to efforts to complete and enforce the
national network of sex offender registries particularly in the already past deadline for states to come into compliance. combeased on feedback from the . ates they can petition to be removed from the sex offender registry from 25 to 15 years and provides the juveniles do not need to be included on publicly viewed sex offender registries. it is sufficient for juveniles to be included on registries that are only viewed by law enforcement entities. i believe these provisions strike an appropriate ballance between being tough on juveniles and understanding there can be differences between adult and
juvenile offenses. there are unique challenges that the tribes face. h.r. 1188 provides technical assistance to tribes so they can access and enter information into the federal criminal information data bases. h.r. 1188 amends the statute of limitation to allow individuals who were victims of exploitation or victims as juveniles, they have 10 years after becoming an adult to file suit for civil remedy. with these commonsense changes, more states will come into compliance. with the passage of this legislation congress can send a strong message to all americans about our continued commitment to keeping our nation's children safe. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from rarity. the gentlewoman from texas is recognized.
ms. jackson lee: does the gentleman have any further speakers? mr. goodlatte: i do not have additional speakers and am prepared to close. ms. jackson lee: i yield myself sufficient time as i may consume. we will be doing a series of bills that are extremely important and i will make note of my interests in protecting children. but as well, to broaden our work as we work in the judiciary committee on matters dealing with criminal justice reform and specifically dealing with the issue of solitary confinement, alternative sentencing for young people and ban the box. i hope we will work on issues dealing with criminal sentencing reform reduction that are crucial and prison reform. there is a lot of work for us. people are waiting and in some
instances languishing in the nation's juvenile detention centers and various juvenile justice courts for a statement to be made by the federal government on our seeking a second chance for those who are in the juvenile justice system. as it relates to the adam walsh legislation, i thank my colleagues and the other co-sponsors for their steadfast work on these issues. nevertheless, as i indicated, let's do more with respect to dealing with the registration of juvenile offenders in terms of attempting to ensure that they will have an opportunity for rehabilitation. while i hope we may still work to make additional improvements to this legislation, i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i urge my
colleagues to again consider the importance of our duty to protect children from sexual predators in as an efficient and broad-based manner that we possibly can. and i want to thank the continued service of john walsh and offer again as we all do our deepest expression of remorse for the loss that he and so many families tragically have experienced at the hands of horrific sexual predators and those that would attack our children. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: i urge my colleagues to support this important bipartisan legislation. i thank the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers and the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee and the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy and the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. sensenbrenner for working with me and my staff on
this legislation. i urge my colleagues to support it. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1188 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid pon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? goodlatte grat i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1862, the global protection act of 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1862 a bill toll amend title 18 united states code to expand the scope of certain definitions pertaining to unlawful sexual conduct and
for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pusht to the rule, mr. goodlatte and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 1862 currently under consideration. woiment mr. goodlatte: i yield myself such time as i may consume. children are the most vulnerable and innocent members of our society and we have a duty to make sure our laws protect them to the fullest extent possible. h.r. 1862, the global child protection act of 2017, closes regrettable loopholes in existing child exploitation statutes to do just that. currently, dangerous sexual predators who violate children overseas can avoid culpability simply by engaging in what the united states code defines as
sexual contact rather than what the law defines as illicit sexual conduct. that is, they can go abroad, cause a child to sexually touch them and return and without exposure to the criminal liability. i'm sure my colleagues would agree it should not matter whether the offender engaged in sexual conduct or contact with a child. either way, he is a child predator. this is the definition of a loophole and putting children at risk. that is because these predators are aware of this loophole and able to share this information quickly in chat groups on the internet. they plot their foreign sex tourism accordingly to circumvent criminal liability. h.r. 1862 closes this loophole by expanding the definition of illicit sexual conduct to include sexual contact. no longer will they be able to
escape justice and continue to offend with impunity. this bill closes a leap hole for repeat off enders. only between 8% and 20% of victims of childhood sexual abuse report they have been abused. that is why it is vitally important that when we do become aware of these offenses and secure convictions, our justice system adequately punishes and deters this evil. current law provides that an offender of committing a sex offense against a minor shall be prison.d to life in in defining sex offense, this provision excludes two serious offenses. abusive ing offenses contact with a minor under 12 and does not apply to offenders
who commit sex crimes overseas. h.r. 1862 fixes these oversights and add these provisions into the definition of federal sex offense. when an offender has previously harmed a child and been punished for that offense and goes on to harm another child, the risk that he will go on to abuse again is extremely high. and we must ensure our children are safe from such a dangerous predator. that dynamic of deterrence is at the core of our system of justice. it is even more important here where the victims shall our children. children are one-third of our population and all of our future. we must prioritize their protection. and i commend the gentlewoman from alabama, mrs. roby, for introducing this important legislation, and i urge my colleagues to support it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance
of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i thank you, mr. speaker. members of the house, i rise reluctantly in opposition to and i regret this opposition because it would add a new offense -- new offenses to the current provision in the criminal code providing for mandatory life imprisonment for certain repeat sex offenders. now under section 23559-e of title 18 of the u.s. code, a defendant who has been previously convicted of a federal felony or state sex offense committed against a child and is guilty of a predicate sex offense against a
child must be sentenced to life in prison. h.r. 1862 amends section 3559 to add more federal predicate offenses on which to base imposition of a life sentence, namely sexual contact with a minor under the age of 12, aggravated sexual contact with minors between the ages of 12 and 15 and illicit sexual contact with a minor abroad by a u.s. citizen. the bill would also provide the requirement that a federal predicate offense relating to coercion to a minor be related to prostitution. instead h.r. 1862 would allow coercion or enticement of a minor into any criminal sexual
activity to serve as a basis for imposition of a mandatory life sentence. repeat off offenders should be subject to increased penalties and for some offenses, life imprisonment is appropriate. yet, congress should not mandate life imprisonment be the only sentencing option. for far too long, the federal criminal justice system has relied on an unsustainable system of mass incarceration that is largely driven by inflexible mandatory minimum sentencing. mandatory minimums are not necessary to impose appropriate sentences. the judge at sentencing has all the information he or she needs
to impose a sentence commensurate with the crime committed and the culpability of offender. arrived at this way, sentences may be quite lengthy, perhaps in some cases, life in prison, but these penalties must be termined on a case-by-case basis. accordingly, i urge and encourage my colleagues to join with me and others in opposing this legislation. and mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time, it's my pleasure to the the gentlewoman from alabama, the chief sponsor of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. roby: i thank the gentleman for yielding and making our
efforts to combat child exploitation a priority of the judiciary committee. one of the reasons i was eager to join the judiciary committee was to play a role in combatting crimes against children. i serve on the crime subcommittee where under the leadership of gowdy we are protecting innocent children and those who quo do them harm are brought to justice. it's not easy to talk about crimes against children particularly those that are sexual in nature. just speaking the term global sex tourism is enough to send chills up almost anyone's spine. because the subject is ugly and uncomfortable, most americans probably have no idea the extent to which children around the globe are at risk for exploitation. but it makes it so important to address the problem head on. . we discussed how loopholes
in current law are allowing child predators to evade pickuppishment for their abuse of children in the united states and overseas. certain types of sexual contact with children are not explicitly covered under the criminal definition of elicit sexual conduct. this allows child predators engaged in global sex tourism to evade punishment for acts that are clearly abusive. also, current sentencing code does not treat contact offenses against child victims under the age of 12 the same as it does those against victims between the ages of 12 and 18. mr. speaker, these loopholes were of course never spended. nonetheless, these technical flaws in the law are making it harder for authorities to put serial child abusers away where they belong. h.r. 1862, the global child protection act, aims to close these loopholes and better equip law enforcement to protect children and punish
abusers. specifically, this bill would expand the definition of illicit sktual conduct to include sexual contact, thus allowing authorities to crack down on global sex tourism and punish these individuals. the bill protects the youngest child victims by broadening the sentencing code to ensure that all types of contact offenses against children of all ages are treated with the same level of seriousness. to be clear, the current statute criminalizes the act of travel abroad to do terrible things to children, but it does not criminalize the people who force children to perform sexual acts on them. this bill very simply closes the loophole when it comes to sex tourism and soliciting sexual acts from a minor to include not just what someone would do to a child but what they would force a child to do to them. mr. speaker, i want to thank
our strong partners in the white house and the department of justice for their commitment to battling sexual exploitation here and abroad. last week i went with the chairman and others to go to the white house to listen in on human trafficking and exploitation hosted by ivanka trump. i appreciate her for inviting me and for federal lawmakers to being part of this important exchange. i believe her involvement on this issue can be instrumental in achieving results. also, it certainly wasn't lost on me that in his first official act, attorney general jeff sessions presented the president with an executive order strengthening the enforcement of federal law on international trafficking, including human trafficking. we have dedicated law enforcement professionals working hard every day to protect children and punish abusers, and we need to make sure they have every tool at their disposal to do their job.
mr. speaker, it is our enduring responsibility to protect those among us who cannot protect themselves. we have an opportunity to do that today by passing the global child protection act and getting one step closer to closing these loopholes. of course, my bill is just part of a slate of judiciary committee bills aimed to combat child exploitation and human trafficking. i urge my colleagues to approve all these bills and take action towards stopping this growing, creasing growing problem here and abroad. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my pleasure now to recognize a distinguished former member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, for four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes.
mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to h.r. 1862. while i support the underlying goal of punishing sex offenders, the existing federal statutes already severely punish these offenses and this legislation unfortunately will impose a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. this expansion of mandatory sentences and life without patrol comes at the heels of attorney general sessions' memorandum of may 12, 2017, which has been roundly criticized for rescinding the holder memo. the sessions memo directs all federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges and the maximum sentence to include mandatory minimum sentences. this directive takes away from federal prosecutors and judges the ability to individually assess unique circumstances of each case, including any factors that may mitigate against imposing life sentence in every case. if life sentence is the most
severe form of punishment, second to the death penalty, and careful consideration should be given when this happens and judges should determine when this severe punishment should be imposed. i'd point out this punishment would impose not only on the ringleader but anyone involved in a conspiracy. we've seen how that works in drug conspiracies where a girlfriend who takes the phone message or drives her boyfriend to a deal would be included in the boyfriend's conspiracy and subject to the same draconian mandatory minimum the boyfriend is subjected to. in this case, the defendant would have to have a prior conviction but life without patrol would be the penalty upon a conviction with no consideration being given to how long ago the conviction occurred or how serious the conviction was or what the role the defendant played in the instant case. for decades now, extensive research and evidence has
demonstrated that mandatory minimums fail to reduce crime. they waste the taxpayers' money. they discriminate against minorities and often require a judge to impose a sentence so bizarre as to violate common sense. unfortunately, there are already too many mandatory minute mums in the federal code, and if we ever expect to do anything about that problem and address this major driver of mass incarceration, the first step we have to take is to step passing new mandatory minute mums or bills that expand mandatory minimums. mandatory minimums did not get in the code all at once. they got there one at a time. each one part of a larger bill. on balance it might have been a good idea, but, therefore, the only way to stop passing new mandatory minimums is to stop passing bills that contain mandatory minimums. giving lip service to a suggestion that would have preferred the mandatory minimum not have been in the bill and then voting for it anyway just creates another mandatory
minimum and guarantees that those who support mandatory minimums will include them in the next bill. that's how we became number one in the world on incarceration. locking up so many people that recent studies have shown that we lock up so many people that our incarceration is actually counterproductive. so many people in jail, so many children being raised with parents in prison, so many people with felony records, so much of the justice department budget being used on prisons that aren't doing any good that could have been used for constructive activities. we lock up so many people that the incarceration rate is actually counterproductive. mr. speaker, i support the underlying goals of h.r. 1862, to punish sex offenders against children, but i do not support expanding mandatory minimums, in this case, life without parole. as mr. speaker, this bill would not be controversial if it had not included mandatory minimums
but unfortunately it does and so i therefore urge my colleagues to vote no on h.r. 1842. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: first, let me make it very clear, there are no new mandatory minimums in this bill. the mandatory minimum that is already in the law is appropriate for those who are a danger to children, particularly where those -- these enhancements apply when they have abused a minor not once but twice. we're closing a loophole in the current law. we're adding to this provision, the sexual abuse of children under 12 years old, having already harmed two children, an offender poses two greater risks to vulnerable citizens. there are victims here and potential victims protect. as i mentioned before, child victims report abuse at a
shockingly low level. it's important this conduct is adequately deterred for somebody that already abused a child. clearly one conviction was not adequate. prosecutorial discretion in these cases acts as an appropriate buffer to ensure these provisions are being used reasonably. there are no new mandatory minimums in this bill. we simply close a loophole to make sure that people do not sexually abuse children under 12 years of age not once, not twice but more than twice and that's why this mandatory minimum would -- should have a loophole closed to include it. but there is not a new mandatory minimum sentence in this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman resever. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, it's my pleasure to yield to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee, for as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i agree with my good friend from virginia, the chairman of the committee, that the acts are heinous and it appears that there's no addition to the underlying aspect of section 355-e of title 18 that says a defendant who's previously -- been previously convicted of a felony, federal, state sex offense committed against a child and who is guilty of a predicate federal sex offense against a child must be sentenced to life imprisonment. but, again, the bill is not written that way. and i agree with everything my good friend from alabama. i want to congratulate her for her commitment as so many of us of women who've come to the united states congress who are mothers have a special interest
in children and in particular to avoid the horrific abuse of children and sexual abuse. that is an important cause. the underlying bill is important and crucial, but i maintain there is a lack of clarity into whether or not in fact there are additional mandatory minute mums. -- minimums, because it's limits.own in these aggravated sexual contact etween the ages of 12 and 15 and illicit sexual contact abroad. the dicregs is between the court and the prosecutor -- the discretion is between the court and the prosecutor there? i am not there except for the heinousness of tainting and
violating a child and i want that criminal brought to justice but i want that prosecutor and that judge and the defense under this existing statute to be able to address that question and to be able to address the vialness or the mitigating factors in that instance. i don't want repeat offenders. some have alleged that there should be a variety of responses to sex offenders. i am aware of the international travel icking and the to international places to have sex with a child. i can't imagine that will not fall on deaf ears or would not fall on deaf ears in a courtroom under the the existing statute of 355-e, and that is the imposition of life imprisonment. but there is merit to the
question of discretion and the assessment of the court. now, i might say with a little aside that there are some populations that don't get a fair treatment no matter what the case is. but yet i'm yielding to the court because i do think there is merit to this idea of one mandatory sentence after another. that that is the only response that one must get, the mandatory minimum. and in the backdrop of this attorney general who has seen no interest or expressed no interest in rehabilitation, in treatment, in real criminal justice reform, i'm frightened. i'm frightened about what will happen. the nation's u.s. attorney and
federal courts across america, will we again reinstitute the wave of incarcerated persons marching in under mandatory minimums? will the epidemic begin again? . there is a difficult posture to stand on the floor of the house when you are discussing a baby, . child, a 12-year-old there is no divide between my belief and congresswoman roby's belief. it should be answered and should be punished. may have a disagreement in what may be a process that re-enacts and restores our pathway towards mass incarceration. it's not clear in the bill, plain and simple. i heard the response of the chairman. it's nothing new. t should have been tied to
3559-c and just say, must sentenced to life in prison as it is. but it seems there is a refinement so more and more opportunities for mandatory minimums and no discretion for the judge. in a courtroom, a judge at sentencing has all the information he or she needs to impose a sentence. at that time, lock them up, throw the key away. i'm not sure what the department of justice is speaking about in terms of loopholes. there are some very fine men and women who head up u.s. attorneys' office over the years and decades and they have gotten their man or woman. so the question is with an attorney general that we have who stood in the way of criminal
justice reform in the last congress as we were on the ground doing great things, now i'm supposed to be convinced that he is in any way sympathetic to the mass incarcerations which disproportionately impacts african-americans. no, this is not a case that is a bill that points or focuses on african-americans. i'm very clear about that. i don't suggest that at all. but i know the ultimate results of mandatory minimums has a disproportionate impact on african-americans as evidenced by the census population in the federal prison bureau and in the federal criminal justice system and in state prisons across america. i want to work with my colleagues. i want to save children. all of us are brought to tears
when some heinous, vial human being wants to taint a child. but if a judge can't understand that, shame on them. the prosecutor doesn't understand that, shame on them. -e that ve got 355 expresses that which would include the illicit sexual conduct of a minor overseas, that should be stated in there and life in prison. i'm not sure where we're going, but i would hope we would 3559-e answers all the questions and that we don't find added mandatory minimums which impact communities disp proportionately
as the only solution of getting that person off the streets. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: i have no additional speakers and prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i am prepared to close as well. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you very uch. i'd like everyone to think about general way that expanding the scope of offenses subject to mandatory minimums is just as harmful as enacting new ones. it's the same thing. , i oppose ordingly
this legislation. those who commit crimes against children deserve to be punished and repeat ofeders -- offenders deserve to face increased penalties. there is no one in this house that agrees with that. but nevertheless, i impose mandatory minimum sentencing and therefore i must oppose this legislation. i believe that judges are the best suited to determine the just and appropriate punishment in each case. so for the foregoing reasons, i urge each and every one of my colleagues here to oppose h.r. 1862. and mr. speaker, i thank you and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, my friend and colleague, the ranking member asked that we look at this in a broad and general way, but that's not what this bill is all about. i ask my colleagues to look at this in the very specific way that this bill is designed to address a loophole in current law that allows sexual predators of children under 12 years old to avoid the sentencing consequences of their actions. we are about protecting children. this law is about protecting children. but predators know this loophole in the law and it needs to be closed. so that's what this is about. this is about making sure that sexual predators are taken off the streets and prevented from t abusing children once or twice, but many more times.
this will stop that. this will close that loophole. this is not the place. sexual predators on children under 12 years old and this is not the place to have a broad discussion about mandatory minimum sentences. let's fix this problem and we can and will. but this problem needs to be addressed and needs to be addressed now for the sake of protecting our children. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1862. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection -- mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman request the yeas and nays? mr. conyers: yes, i do. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1842, the strengthening children's safety act of 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 1842, a bill to amend 18 united states code to include state crimes of violence as grounds for enhanced penalty when sex offenders fail to report certain information as required by federal law, to include prior military offenses
for purposes of sentencing provisions and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative daze to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 1842 currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: i yield myself such time as i may consume. for victims, the effects of child abuse is terrible. nd is likely most one of the underreported crimes in the united states. that is why we have to do all we can to prevent these crimes. we promote prevention by monitoring sex offenders and
enhantsments on those who have shown the abuse on children. h.r. 1842 closes two significant loopholes to help accomplish these goals. first, the bill closes a loophole in the statute that criminalizes a sex offender's failure to register. under current law, a sex offender who fails to comply with registration requirements is gilty of a crime and those in noncompliance status commit a crime of violence, a tribal crime of violence or a crime of violence of territory. this is logical since offenders who have been convicted against crimes of violence and children e more susceptible to more
sentences. it makes no sense that a person convicted of a crime of violence under the d.c. code is subject to enenhanced penalty given their pro pencity for violence regardless of what jurisdiction convicts them must be held accountable when they fall off the radar. the bill ensures that those offenders who had been convicted of sex crimes under the uniform code of military justice are exposed to the same enhancements as those convicted of the same crimes in federal, state and tribal courts. the way the u.s. code is currently written, many of these federal statutes unintentionally fail to cover significant sex crimes committed under military law including certain child pornography offenses. repeat offenders are subject to
the same sentencing enhancements no matter where they were convicted in order to protect our children. h.r. 1842 is commonsense legislation that closes loopholes, promotes uniformity and will help keep our children safe. i thank the gentleman from texas, mr. ratcliffe, a member of the judiciary committee for introducing this important bill. and i urge my colleagues to support it. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: members of the house, i rise in opposition to h.r. 1842 a bill that is intended to address gaps in our child protection laws. now this bill makes a number of changes to the federal criminal code, but unfortunately makes the same error that was
previously made that results in the expanded imposition of mandatory minimum sentences. i don't know where we get this notion that mandatory minimum sentences is a solution. 2250-d 2 amends section of the criminal code which provides for enhanced penalty for sex offenders who commit a crime of violence while in noncompliance of sex offender registration and reporting requirements. in addition to the federal crimes of violence already included in that statute, this bill would add state crimes of violence as predicate offenses that in turn would require the imposition of a mandatory
five-year prison sentence to be served con -- skiffle for failing to register or complying with sex offender registration and reporting requirements. h.r. 1842 would also add prior ilitary child offices to several resiff different provisions most of which carry mandatory minimum penalties of at least 15 years or life itself. perhaps we should expand coverage of enhanced sentence or the offenses added by this bill but do so without expanding the umber of mandatory minimums. the judges, not the congress, not us, are in the best position
to impose sentences for even the most offensive criminal violations because they know the facts and circumstances of each case. there's an increasing bipartisan national recognition that mandatory minimum sentences are not only unfair, but they are also counterproductive. . instead of expanding mandatory minimums, we should eliminate them. those will stand and still receive appropriately lengthy entences, but they will not be t by a one-size-fits-all basis. we want to examine the facts, the circumstances in each case and the judge is in the best
position to do that. we should not be assuming that pass these re and will not aws that help and will make it difficult for judges to do their work. unfortunately, this bill takes the opposite course, and that's why i must oppose it. i encourage my colleagues to think about what we're doing 1842. opposing h.r. urge support against this measure and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time it's my pleasure to yield to the gentleman from texas, mr. ratcliffe, such time as he may consume.
he is the chief author of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. ratcliffe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 1842, the strengthening children's safety act of 2017. mr. speaker, there are few things more shocking to the conscience or sickening to the soul than crimes against children, the most innocent, the most vulnerable members of our society. in my time as a federal prosecutor, the child exploitation images that i was forced to review as part of the evidence were by far the most disturbing and difficult part of that job. all these years later, i still can't erase those depraved images from my mind, and i doubt that i'll ever be able to do that. but crimes against children should stick with us. they should haunt us. and then they should spur us to take action. if we do anything here in congress, it should be working to protect children. we talk all day long in this
chamber about the future of this country. well, mr. speaker, the children are the future of this country. we need to put our words into action. so today i'm introducing h.r. 1842, the strengthening children's safety act of 2017, a bill which closes two sets of loopholes in federal child exploitation laws to make sure that all dangerous sex offenders are treated the same and are subject to the same enhanced penalties under the law. right now, mr. speaker, current law establishes minimum national standards for sex offender registration and notification in all 50 states and the district of columbia, in u.s. territories and tribal jurisdictions. if a sex owe feppeder knowingly fails to -- offender knowingly fails to register, they face a fine and imprisonment up to 10 years. there's also an enhanced penalty of five years to 30 years imprisonment if the offender, while in that noncompliance status, also
commits a crime of violence under federal law, under the uniformed code of military justice, the law of the district of columbia, indian tribal law or the law of any territory or possession of the united states. but here's the problem, mr. speaker. right now only individuals committing crimes of violence against these federal, military and tribal laws are subject to the enhanced penalty. while individuals committing the same crimes of violence under state law are not. mr. speaker, hopefully we can all agree that child predators committing crimes of violence should be subject to the same enhanced penalties regardless of whether these crimes are being charged in federal court or at the state level. so this bill adds similar state crimes of violence to that list to ensure that the enhanced penalty applies equally to all dangerous offenders. mr. speaker, the second portion of h.r. 1842 addresses enhanced
sentences for individuals with prior sex offenses. fortunately, our child exploitation laws consistently do call for higher sentences any time a defendant has a prior conviction for federal or state sex offenses. but currently, these sentencing provisions do not consistently include all similar sex offenses convictions that arise under the uniform code of military justice. h.r. 1842 amends those federal child exploitation laws to include all child sexual exploitation offenses under the uniform code of military justice in the recidivist provisions as appropriate. again, i think it's critical, mr. speaker, that we close this loophole to ensure that all prior child exploitation convictions are penalized for repeat offenders. many issues in congress these
days are partisan, but it is my sincere hope, mr. speaker, that members on both sides of the aisle today will be able to come together to support stronger protections for children who are sexually abused. i urge all my colleagues to support this important bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, as usual, we are indebted to the gentleman from virginia who for years was the chairman of the subcommittee on crime in the judiciary committee and still carries with him the understanding and the experience that leads him to be on the floor today. i'm pleased to yield him four minutes in support for his position. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to h.r.
1842. while i support the underlying goal of punishing sex offenders, the existing sentencing laws already provide serious punishment for this conduct. unfortunately, this legislation expands nine mandatory minimums to additional offenders. this expansion of mandatory minimums comes at the heels of attorney general sessions' memo which has been roundly criticized for rescinding the holder memo and directing all federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges and the maximum sentence to include mandatory minimum sentences. the sessions' memo takes away from federal prosecutors the ability to individually assess the unique circumstances of the case and any factors which would mitigate against seeking the harshest sentence in every case. once that offense triggers a mandatory minimum, and once that's charged, the sentencing judge loses any discretion to assess the unique circumstances
of the case and upon conviction must impose the mandatory minimum in the code. this legislation is remarkable in that it extends a number of exceptionally high mandatory minimums to most defendants. the mandatory sentence of life without parole is expanded to apply to more cases, the mandatory sentence of 35 years is expanded. in other cases, the mandatory minimum would triple from five years to 15 years. these are grave sentences and the judge should have discretion in determining when they should be imposed. these sentences would apply not only to the ringleader but to everyone who may be involved in the activity and subject to a conspiracy conviction. the mandatory minimum eliminates the ability of the judge to consider the individual circumstances of the case or the culpability or the role of the defendant in that case. for decades now, extensive research has been done on
mandatory minimums and the conclusions are they do not reduce crime. they do not protect anybody. it wastes the taxpayers' money. it discriminates against minorities and often requires judges to impose sentences so bizarre that they violate common sense. when you see how these have worked in drug cases, you can be reminded of president obama's policy to consider for commutation those who are essentially first offenders who have been convicted of nonviolent, low-level activity in a drug case. he will consider them for commutation after 10 years. now, that seems reasonable but what you ought to ask, how did the low-level, nonviolent first offender get so much time after 10 years they need help from the president? the answer is mandatory minimums, the judge had no choice but to impose that
bizarre sentence. unfortunately, there are already too many mandatory minimums in the federal code. if we ever expect to do anything about the problem and address that driver of mass incarceration, the first step we have to take is to stop passing new mandatory minimums or bills that expand existing mandatory minimums. mandatory minimums in the code did not get there all at once. they got there one at a time, each part of a larger bill which on balance seem like a good idea and therefore the first step we have to take in reducing mandatory minimums is to stop passing new ones or to stop passing bills that expand mandatory minimums. for these reasons, while i support the underlying goals of h.r. 1842, to punish sex offenders -- sex offenses against children, i oppose expanding the application of severe mandatory minimums such as the 15 and 35 and life imprisonment. mr. speaker, this bill would not be controversial without the mandatory minimums, but
unfortunately they're in the bill and i therefore urge my colleagues to oppose the legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: once again, this bill has no new mandatory minimum sentences. these are not low-level offenders. these are not nonviolent offenders. these are violent sexual predators, and these added offenders, which this bill does, to close, again, a loophole, these added offenders have committed the exact same crimes with the exact same conduct as those already covered in existing law. this bill aims to apply the mandatory minimums equitably and that i think should be an important goal for all of us. again, there are no new mandatory minimums in this bill. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and i am -- i
reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, it's now my pleasure to recognize the gentlelady from texas, who is the ranking member of the subcommittee on crime in the house judiciary committee, for as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i'd like to thank the gentleman from michigan for his leadership and as well the gentleman who is the proponent of this legislation which on its face provides for an enhanced penalty of sex offenders -- for sex offenders who commit a crime of cry slens while in reporting requirement -- violence while in reporting requirements and that offense can apply to that in the
military code of justice, tribal law, state law, federal law. it also adds state crimes of violence as a predicate offenses that in turn will require the imposition of a mandatory or enhanced sentencing to be served consecretarytively to any sentence imposed for fail to register or comply with the sex offender reporting requirements. i believe, as my colleagues have said, that the underlying premise of this bill will join us together in linking arms. there is no doubt. it should be the rule of this congress and the rule of elected officials from state to local government, the u.s. military code of justice, the tribal law to protect our children. and certainly the idea of noncompliance with sex registration should be addressed in any court proceeding dealing with these offenders. the issue, i believe, is the
question, again, of what do we gain by the implementing of mandatory minimum? in this instance, it's an enhanced five-year sentence, but there may be a number of reasons in terms of an individual moving from state to state where the person is not registered and, again, i have to turn my attention to where we are and where we stand on this day, may 22, 2017. it makes a difference. it makes a difference if we have an attorney general that does not seem to have any , any st in rehabilitation interest in ensuring that the mass incarceration ends, the desparate treatment of different races and ethnic groups in the criminal justice system ends. as been noted already, the previous policies of attorney general holder that were fair and did not add to the
enhancement of crime, which allowed discretion by prosecution -- prosecutors of not adding up on the particular defendant any number of offenses that will create 200-year and 300-year sentencing and therefore having people languish in prisons across this country. . building up the record of private prisons and seeing teeming numbers in our federal prison system. that's what we are facing now. and so there is no doubt that the present law, i believe, does in fact cover the efforts of the proponent of this legislation. obviously there will be a difference of opinion but i believe that there is sufficient
coverage in the underlying this ation without adding particular enhancement. i would hope that our colleagues who are in support of this bill, just as i respect their commitment to fighting against sexual violence, sexual contact, sexual, if you will, criminal acts against children, would recognize that a discussion about mandatory minimums does not in any way diminish one's commitment to the underlying premise of this legislation. there are too many variables, unknown variables with the leadership of the attorney general and his indication as to what kind of treatment of underlying crimes he wishes to have newly appointed district attorneys, or u.s. attorneys, excuse me, many of whom are not
appointed, not confirmed, so we can again overcriminalize america, overcriminalize the acts of individuals, and create another, you will, siege of mass incarceration. we'll have a number of other bills that will be on the floor with the same concerns that will be expressed. so again, let me say that i support the idea of fighting against child sex trafficking and violent crimes, sexual crimes, perpetrated against children. i support the opposition to such and the incarceration of those and bringing those individuals to justice. i do believe, however, that there are many ways of dealing with this, including the incarceration, without a continuous either enhancement or continued increase of the numbers of mandatory minimums that are continuing to be added to individuals who are
recidivists and who are convicted of federal, state, or military crimes in this instance. mr. conyers: would the gentlelady yield? ms. jackson lee: i'm happy to yield. mr. conyers: i want to thank her for her consistent understanding and explaining why mass incarceration is at the base of all of the debate that's going n and i'm hoping that more and more people that listen to these discussions that we have here in the house of representatives ill begin to understand that mass incarceration is not the answer to our problems. as a matter of fact, they compound the problems. i salute her for her tenacity and understanding and explaining
this situation to everyone that can listen to our discussions here. i thank the gentlelady. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman for that very thoughtful addition in his kind words. i think what i want to say in concluding to mr. conyers, mass incarceration is real. we have lived with this for decades. we finally had got ton a point that judges recognized that there are many different ways to al with individuals who were recidivists sentencing regardless of whether or not the previous conviction was federal, state, or federal court or now tribal. next week will have 10 more bills with mandatory minimums. we'll all agree with the underlying premise. lock the bad guys up. but we do believe there is some
value to the discretion of judges and courts and i don't believe anyone on this floor, none of us, republicans or democrats, would have any argument, none, in the underlying promes of our absolute responsibility, without question, defending and protecting children from these vile individuals. but i don't have the facts inside the courtroom and there is not a one size fits all. and that is what mandatory minimums are. and all it does is loads our prison systems with bodies, one after another. and the court, and i conclude with this the courts have asked for discretion. and i would hope that in the federal system that those who are appointed have in fact both the wherewithal, the knowledge, the sense of justice, and the right to make the decision based upon the laws and based upon the
violence of what has been engaged in. this is not in opposition. this is a plea for collaboration. mr. conyers, if i can just say one thing personally, and i said i was ending, but i have a -- there are neighbors that i know in my community that have been accused of certain things. they are dignified citizens, not this particular underlying act, but other things. dignified citizens, family persons, former military persons. and they're languishing under a mandatory minimum and it is disgraceful. make very clear, it is not a sex offense, not an offense of violence. it's minimum at best. but they're operating under a mandatory and it literally is disgraceful how this has
destroyed their lives. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman is recognized. >> i have no speakers remaining and am repaired to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i too, mr. speaker, am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. of the ers: members house of representatives, h.r. 1842 is a well intentioned bill. meant to ensure that repeat sex offenders are punished for their crimes, whether their prior offenses are state, federal, or military. and while i believe that repeat shouldenders of any kind receive appropriately lengthy sentences, i disagree with the imposition of mandatory
minimums. we are not the court. we are not the judge. we do not hear the facts and circumstances in each case. good common l to sense and good legal analysis that we oppose this legislation that would amplify the difficulties that we already know exist and i hope that we will oppose this measure and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: the gentlewoman from texas cited a personal experience she had with someone she knows who has been convicted of a crime and given a mandatory
minimum sentence, not a violent crime, not a sex crime, and not relevant to this bill. which does not add any new mandatory minimum sentences. it simply makes sure that the sentences already imposed under the law are equitably applied regardless of where their prior offenses took place. this -- these are sexual crimes. these are violent crimes. and these offenders should receive the exact same sentences for the exact same conduct as others who are already covered under the current law. i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation to protect our children and get sexual predators off the streets and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1842. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmive, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. >> i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: i move to suspend the rules and pass hrment r. 883, the targeting child predators act of 2017. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 90, h.r. 83, a bill to amend title 18 united states code to provide a certification process for the issuance of nondisclosure requirements
accompanying certain administrative subpoenas to provide for judicial review of such nondisclosure requirements and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 883 currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: over the years, we have as a society made great strides in combating crimes against children. as with many other crimes, however, law enforcement often strugtols keep pace with modern technology. that's why h.r. 883, the targeting child predators act is both an important and a timely piece of legislation. while many of the bills we have discussed today have been aimed
at prevention and punishment, h.r. 8 3 provides law enforcement with the tools necessary to stop ongoing abuse occurring in realtime and to locate offenders. because of the sever i have to sex crimes commit against children and the often irreparable harm they cause, we must take steps to ensure that law enforcement has the ability to swiftly locate sexual predators. in 1998, kuok recognized this urgency by passing the protection of children from sexual predators act which permitted the f.b.i. to use administrative subpoenas in cases of child exploitation that legislation was intended to enhance the f.b.i.'s ability to investigate online child exploitation offenses in an expeditious manner. administrative subpoenas are especially useful in child exploitation cases because they are not burdened with grand jury secrecy obligations so the information may be shared among
law enforcement to quickly locate offenders in emergency situations. under current law the f.b.i. is permitted to use an administrative subpoena to obtain noncontent information from internet service prviders in child exploitation cases. h.r. 883 allows the government to prohibit the recipient of a subpoena from disclosing the existence of the subpoena, provided the government certifies there is reason to believe that disclosure may result in endangerment to the life or physical safety of any person, flight to avoid prosecution, destruction of or tampering with evidence, or intimidation of potential witnesses. presently if agent -- if agents want to obtain this information with a nondisclosure provision it must go through the courts which defeats the purpose of a speedy mechanism to obtain noncontent information. portantly it contains a rule
to insist that the government obtain a court order prohibiting the company from disclosing the subpoena to the target. alternatively, the company may initiate such proceedings itself in a relevant court to challenging the nondisclosure requirement. aen in disclosure provision is vitally important in child exploitation cases. if a bad guy who has taken a child knows that law enforcement is onto him or is looking for him, what might he do to get away? what might he do to that child? h.r. 883 is an important bill which promotes congress' original intent to ensure law enforcement has quick access to this information. it is narrowly tailored to ensure that its provisions apply in cases where time is of the essence and it provides a mechanism for companies to challenge the nondisclosure requirements. i commend mr. desantis, the gentleman from florida, and a member of the judiciary committee, for introducing this bill and i urge my colleagues to support it and i reserve the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: i reluctantly rise opposition to h.r. 883, the targeting child predators act of 2017. you see, the child exploitation and abuse are reprehensible crimes committed against the most vulnerable members of our society. unfortunately, these offenses have been increasingly facilitated by the use of the internet in recent years. h.r. 883 would change the administrative subpoena statute to facilitate the prosecution of criminals who commit these terrible crimes against
children. without question, i support the goal of pursuing these criminals, but nevertheless, i am concerned that this bill would eliminate judicial oversight of nondisclosure orders currently required prior to the issuance of administrative subpoenas. section 3486 of title 18 of the nited states code authorizes investigators to request a 90-day order of nondisclosure from a district court judge. the order of nondisclosure for the recipient, such as an internet service provider, from alerting the target of the investigation of the law enforcement's inquiry. .r. 883 would extend the
nondisclosure period from 90 days to 180 days to allow investigators more time to complete their investigations before the target is informed of the inquiry. and although i like to have more information about why it's necessary to extend this time period, it is particularly problematic combined with the other significant change to the law made by this very legislation. h.r. 883 would allow investigators to require nondisclosure of internet service providers without the approval of a judge. thereby, eliminating any judicial oversight prior to the
issuance of the subpoena. the administrative subpoena authority is an extraordinary power given to certain agencies by congress under the limited circumstances. while the legislation would llow a recipient to question this in court, i am concerned about the bill's elimination of judicial approval on the front end. i understand the desire to do more to facilitate the investigation of these crimes and that the online context for them has raised issues that we hould continue to examine, but i do not believe we have been given enough investigation justifying this bill, at least in its current form. elimination of prior judicial
approval of nondisclosure orders is a step we should undertake only based on evidence and careful deliberation. a bill such as the one before us warrants at least a legislative hearing to consider its potential ramifications. i don't think that's asking too much that we have a hearing on this matter before we decide what to do with the proposal ather than not have one at all. and so our committee has not had the benefit of any such hearing on this legislation, nd i think this is not a proper way for the members of , house judiciary committee
who are mostly lawyers, should proceed. and so accordingly, i would oppose h.r. 883 and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time it's my pleasure to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from florida, mr. desantis, the chief sponsor of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. desantis: thank you, mr. speaker. every year thousands of children are victims of cyberexploitation. as a former prosecutor that handled child exploitation cases, i know just how important it is to preserve evidence that can bring predators to justice. after speaking with florida law enforcement officials about the challenges they face when tracking suspects online, i introduced the targeting child predators act. it's a sensible reform that can better protect our children by preventing suspected child predators from destroying evidence and covering their
tracks. when tracking a suspect and child predator online, law enforcement far too often hits roadblocks that can critically threaten their investigation. internet service providers who have been issued a lawful, duly issued lawful subpoena from law enforcement will often inform the suspect that police investigators have requested their information. once notified that they are the target of an investigation, child predators can wipe their systems clean and go into hiding, leaving law enforcement empty handed and potentially putting their victims at further risk. the targeting child predator act is a necessary amendment to our code requiring i.s.p.'s telling ays before them their information has been requested by law enforcement. this is narrowly targeted to child exploitation cases where the destroying of evidence can jeopardize an ongoing investigation. additionally, the targeting child predators act provides
jew dish review of subpoenas and affords both i.s.p.'s and suspects due process as required by law. the target child predators act will protect our children were those who wish to exploit them while maintaining the constitutional rights of suspected criminals. this is an issue that should garner wide bipartisan support from the house. i urge my colleagues to step up. let's support our vulnerable children. let's target child predators and let's vote on this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased now to recognize one of for a istent leaders good criminal justice system and that is the one and only texas, ms. y from sheila jackson lee.
and i yield her as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i think the work we are doing in judiciary certainly has far-reaching impact. d it's important to try to make more efficient the way that we address these very heinous acts against our children. as a strong advocate for children throughout my career, i agree we in congress must do everything within our power and authority to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse. the targeting child predators act of 2017 is intended to assist investigators in their pursuit of online predators. i fully support efforts to locate and prosecute individuals who commit such heinous crimes. however, i believe we should discuss the proposal before us with more information from all who would be impacted prior to approving the changes that the law this bill proposes. this has a lot of moving parts
and participants, particularly in relation to online, internet and a variety of providers that are stakeholders in all of this. this bill would modify a powerful, yet historically prosecutorial tool, the administrative subpoena. it allows certain investigators investigating specified crimes to obtain private records without approval. i can account for the fact, mr. speaker, there are many instances this may be a vital approach. we know that we live in a very difficult time, and a number of incidences dealing with national security and others may be impacted by such, but obviously there are other subpoenas that are attendant to those particular acts. but the administrative subpoenas, as indicated, allow them to investigate federal
investigators specified crimes to obtain private records as indicated without judicial approval. although investigators do not need signoff from a judge before issuing such a subpoena, there is one layer of judicial review that prevents them from abusing this subpoena power. that is the judicial consideration of nondisclosure orders prior to the issuance of subpoenas. at present, a district judge must determine if circumstances exist to justify issuance of a 90-day nondisclosure order in connection with administrative subpoenas. in the terms i understand this proposed bill, investigators could require nondisclosure by subpoena recipients for a longer period, 180 days, and without first receiving the approval of a district judge. effectively eliminating judicial consideration of nondisclosure orders prior to the issuance of subpoenas. subpoena recipients would have the ability to seek judicial review of the nondisclosure requirement only after receiving the subpoena. i believe that this provision
raises concerns that remove the wisdom of district judges from this process at the time the gag orders are imposed. congress authorized the use of these subpoenas to allow investigators to obtain information quickly and expeditiously. and i think they work that way. the intervention of judicial review has not proven to be an obstruction so much so you might remove it and the wisdom of the court. congress also expressly requires the investigators seek the approval of a district judge for nondisclosure orders connected to the subpoenas. i share my colleagues' desire to locate and prosecute those who commit child exploitation and abuse crimes. in essence, let's get them, but i do think the willingness to remove judicial review is one of question. those individuals who hide behind computer screens and committing abhorrent acts against children on the internet must be apprehended and need to answer their crimes. i think the judge will be well
aware of house sensitive this is and use best discretion to get moving and allow the process to proceed. i think this question is -- this nation is a land of laws. we abide by the rule of law. congress has a right to draft laws. but i do think in this instance the rule of law, abiding by the rule of law, allowing for the active participation of the court and the wisdom of the court is not too much to ask in a nation that believes in democracy, believes in the rights of the offenders and as well the victims. so i am very concerned about this bill, and i would hope we would have the opportunity to have this addressed or the issues addressed or addressed in the senate and i look forward to those issues being addressed in the senate so that we can together handle the concerns that are being expressed but have a bill that does not remove judicial
oversight and the wisdom of the court. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i have no additional speakers, and i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves, and the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i am prepared to close as well. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you. members of the house, the most oblematic aspect of h.r. 883 eliminate ould prior judicial approval of nondisclosure orders. i am firmly opposed to that and while i fully support efforts to investigate crime, particularly those perpetrated against children, i cannot support this bill without knowing more about how it will ffect an already extraordinary
investigative power. let's have a hearing. that's what our committee is for. judiciary committee should inquire into this very carefully, and in the absence of such evidence, i must urge at this time our colleagues . in me in opposing h.r. 883 mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time to urge my colleagues to support this very important, very targeted legislation. this is not some broad authority. this is very targeted under circumstances where the sexual predator has the child and the authorities need to get information from third parties now so they can find that child and they need those third parties to not disclose
information that they are yielding to the government about their whereabouts and other information about them because of the emergency circumstances that are at play here, where you're dealing with someone who has a child and needs to be found so that child can be saved and that is the purpose of this legislation. it's a good purpose. this legislation should be supported by all the members of the house. i urge them to do so and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 883. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. . in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid pon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek
recognition? mr. goodlatte: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 695, the child protection improvements act of 2017, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 87, h.r. 695, a bill to amend the child protection act of 1993 to establish national criminal history background check system and criminal history review program for certain individuals who, related to their employment, have access to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 695 currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without
objection. mr. goodlatte: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: we have spent a great deal of time this afternoon discussing legislation designed to detect and punish sexual predators. these bills are strong, well crafted, and laudable, and i urge my colleagues to support them. however there is a another -- there is another facet to this problem, which is prevention. this may be the most important action we as congress can take in the realm of child exploitation laws. we must do all we can to prevent child exploitation from happening in the first place. that's why i'm pleased to bring h r. 695, the child protection improvements act, before the house today this legislation is extremely important in that it makes permanent a successful pilot program that allows youth-serving organizations access to f.b.i. fingerprint database searches. in 2003, the protect act created the child safety pilot program
which ran from 2003 until 2011 and provided access to f.b.i. fingerprint background checks for a variety of child-serving nonprofits this epilot conducted over 105,000 background checks during its existence and 6.2% of potential volunteers were found to have criminal records of concern. while that may seem like a small percentage, mr. speaker, it works out to over 6,500 individuals. in addition, over 40% of individuals with criminal records of concern had crimes in states other than where they were applying to volunteer. meaning that only a nationwide check would have flagged these individuals' criminal records. the criminal offenses detected among some of these checks included contradictions for criminal sexual conduct with a child, child endangerment and manslaughter. 6% of these individuals showed a different name on their record than the one they used on their
job application. h.r. 695 allows organizations such as the ymca to submit fingerprints to a designated entity which in turn submit them to the f.b.i. for processing. the system protects privacy rights by ensuring that the specifics of a criminal record are never disclosed without explicit consent by the applicant and it provides opportunity for individuals to correct errors in their records directly with the f.b.i. importantly, the bill does not mandate that youth-serving organizations use this process. it merely makes the process more accessible and more affordable for organizations that wish to use it. mr. speaker, the harsh reality is that there are individuals who will put themselves in positions where they are entrusted with children so they can then betray that trust in the worst way imaginable. that is why bills like h.r. 695 and other bills we have
discussed today are so important. i want to thank the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. bishop, for introducing this bill and i urge my colleagues to support this strong, bipartisan legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: i rise in strong support of h.r. 695, the child protection improvements act. i tip my hat to the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. adam schiff, the author of the bill, who we will hear from shortly. we have a special responsibility to protect our young people and vulnerable adults. for that reason, i'm pleased that we're considering this measure which would provide a
robust, easily accessible, cost effective background check system for organizations that work with youth and vulnerable adults. i support it for a number of reasons. to begin with, it will facilitate more comprehensive criminal background checks which provide a critical layer of protection. these checks help identify individuals who could potentially harm participants and programs for children, young people, and vulnerable adults as well. background checks also serve to ensure the integrity and accountability of the organizations that sponsor these programs by reducing potential threats. results from background checks that search criminal histories nationwide are more reliable than background checks that only
search criminal histories in a few states. i think that's obvious. secondly, the state background checks are no substitute whatsoever for the f.b.i.'s fingerprint based system which is the only nationwide database that allows a search of criminal histories in every single state. currently, this database can through the ed state law enforcement agency and many states limit the ability of organizations to access the system with some states completely even forbidding access, no access whatsoever. as a result, organizations must navigate a labyrinth of state
laws or rely on private companies to perform background checks of employees and volunteers. h.r. 695, on the other hand, would provide organizations with he ability to access the f.b.i.'s superior system without impacting the autonomy of states or the organizations. states would be able to continue or establish their own background check systems, and organizations would not be required to perform f.b.i. background checks of potential applicants or volunteers. finally, the need for this legislation is clearly justified by the child safety pilot program which we implemented over a decade ago.
this program documented the effectiveness of nationwide background checks for youth serving organizations. based on a comprehensive review of thousands of criminal history records spanning an eight-year period, the program demonstrated the people who might pose a risk to the safety of children nevertheless attempted to work with children. for example the program identified applicants who, to oid detection, used aliases, incorrect dates of birth, or wrong social security numbers. some of these applicants had serious criminal histories, including even homicides, sexual
assaults, child endangerment, and even rape. more than a third of criminal history hits were from out of state and more than half of the people with criminal history hits failed to disclose them on their application. h.r. 695 would give organizations access to the f.b.i.'s comprehensive background check system and thereby help ensure the safety of our youth and others, and accordingly, i hope that all of my colleagues will join me in supporting this important measure and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time, it's my pleasure to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from
michigan, mr. bishop, one of the two chief sponsors of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, chairman goodlatte, for your great work in bringing this matter forward. mr. speaker, protection of children is not a partisan matter. and i'm grateful to the committee, the committee staff, and chairman goodlatte for his leadership in this matter. and bringing this forward. the school -- with school ending and summer camp starting this is the time to bring awareness to and pass the child protections improvement act. every year, millions of people work with or volunteer to help our children wherever they are as camp counselors, local youth sports coaches, mentors, you name it. all across america there are organizations where people can make a difference in the lives of our nation's youth and our children can absolutely benefit from these programs. take the boys and girls club, mentor, or the ymca just to name
a few. these groups an dozens of others which exist in virtually all of our districts, have come to congressman schiff and to me asking for help. just like any parent they too want to ensure that people working wo -- working with our kids are decent work clean backgrounds and good intentions. mr. speaker, that's where congress comes in. we have a duty to ensure every youth-serving organization in america can afford and access the best background checks on staff and volunteers. so they can properly vet people who might have traveled across state lines. this means utilizing the f.b.i.'s gold standard database. shockingly enough, not every organization has the option today, but we have the ability to change that. the child protection improvements act would allow all youth-serving organizations to utilize the f.b.i. fingerprint-based background check. we're eliminating the red tape that prevents access in some
states so every organization can adequately look out for our children, no matter where they live. for those who are justifiably concerned about the cost, it should also be noted that the cpia is fiscally responsible as it does not authorize any new spending. the program will be supported by fees assessed by background checks, by requesting nonprofit organizations. mr. speaker, every kid deserves a childhood when they can ex-pler, grow, and do fun things beyond the walls of their home and school. as a father of three myself, i ask my colleagues to support this commonsense measure to catch potential threats and keep our kids safe. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i yield myself such time as i may consume and i want to thank my colleague from michigan for his contribution. but i'd like to turn now to the author of this bill, the
gentleman from california, mr. schiff, the ranking member of the intelligence committee and i yield him as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. schiff: i thank the gentleman for yielding. and rise today in support of the child protection improvements act. i'd like to thank representative mike bishop of michigan who has been an excellent partner, working with me on this bill. the first version of which was introduced in 2007. i'd also like to thank chairman good lat and ranking member conyers for their work on the bill as well. i volunteered with big brothers, big sisters many years ago and i was paired with an extraordinary young man named david who is now himself a big brother. i've always said that i learned as much or more from david and the program as he ever learned from me. the experience also helped me understand the huge amount of trust we put in volunteers at organizations all around the
country. in the vast majority of cases that trust is well placed but unfortunately there are exceptions. for that reason, in 2003, congress created the child safety pilot program to demonstrate the feasibility of allowing youth-serving nonprofits to access f.b.i. background checks. the f.b.i. maintains a database of criminal histories from every state in the nation, searchable by fingerprints. an f.b.i. search is really the gold standard when it comes to background checks as it cannot be evaded by using a fake name and will find convictions from every state. i believe that the i believe the gold standard in protecting people. between 2003 and 2011, youth-serving organizations were able to run over 100,000 background checks through this pilot program. and 6% of the volunteers were
revealed to have criminal records of concern. applicants were found with convictions for everything from murder to child abuse to sexual assault. and frequently, those convictions were from out of state, so only a national background check would have found them. h.r. 695 ensures that every child-serving organization in america will have access to the most comprehensive and effective background check possible. h.r. 695 will protect the applicant's privacy and does not allow the criminal background to be disclosed. we have demonstrated that background checks for nonprofits can be conducted quickly and accurately and time to create a system that will be permanent that will protect children and other vulnerable populations while ensuring the privacy of all volunteers. i urge the passage of this bill
and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: we have no additional speakers. and i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm prepared to close as well. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: oh, excuse me. i want to recognize the distinguished gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee, for four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for our minutes. ms. jackson lee: let me congratulate mr. schiff and mr. bishop and as was indicated on the floor, thank you, mr. conyers. this bill is corrective and effective. this bill would allow a more come prince i have criminal background check which will help
identify the credibility of sponsors of these programs. many of us have worked with the boys and girls club and many other organizations that work to help children. these nation-wide criminal background checks are more reliable checks than nationwide checks are. many states currently limit the ability of organizations to access their data base and force organizations to depend on private companies to perform background checks of employees and volunteers. if anybody has been on the board of a nonprofit dealing with children, you realize that you want to put most of your resources investing in the programs to help these children. h.r. 695 would alleviate this burden of expense and allow organizations to access the f.b.i.'s morrow bus system. in the child safety pilot program which we implemented 10 years ago, it demonstrates the effectiveness of background
checks. the program has effectively exposed applicants who use aliases and incorrect dates of birth, some of whom have serious criminal backgrounds. that is the preventive way to protect our children by ensuring a healthy, robust vetting of individuals who want to engage with our children. h.r. 695 bo allow organizations to access the f.b.i.'s comprehensive background check system and create a more accurate determination of individuals who want to work with children. volunteers, we welcome, but we want to make sure they are there to help our children and improve the lives of our children. h.r. 695 is a very important contributor to that effort. with that, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: we have no requests
for time. and i am pleased to make my closing remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: ladies and gentlemen of the house, the child protection improvements act is a reasonable bipartisan piece of legislation intended to protect our children and vulnerable adults from harm and give those who love them, peace of mind. although we still have work to do to address the accuracy and reliability of some criminal history records and given the individuals an opportunity to challenge incomplete or inaccurate records, this is a good bill. nd for those reasons, i urge everyone in this chamber to support the bill. and mr. speaker, i yield back
the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: i want to commend the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, and mr. bishop. i want to thank the ranking member of the full committee and the ranking member of the subcommittee and the chairman of the subcommittee for working on this important legislation. with me and the committee staff, i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense bill. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 695 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed. and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and we pass h.r. 1625. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1625 a bill to amend the state department basic authorities act of 1956 to include severe forms of trafficking and persons within the definition of transnational organized crime for purposes of the rewards program of the
department of state and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. this bill -- this is the human trafficking target act that we speak of here, 1625. it authorizes the state department and federal law enforcement to target international human traffickers. and they can do that by offering rewards for their arrests or conviction anywhere around the globe. mr. speaker, i think for all of us with some of the cases we have had in our districts, some
of our constituents, some of the victims, this is pretty close to all of us. it has touched many of our communities, because trafficking in persons here in the u.s. and worldwide is a major global crime, a global crime that destroys countless lives at home and abroad and the most vulnerable, the most vulnerable are destroyed by this. many of these persons and they are primarily women and children, are trafficked into international sex trade by force or by fraud or by coercion. and i'll remind everyone, out in southern california, in l.a., the average age of a girl being trafficked is 14. in orange county, average age is 14. so when i say force, we are talking about abduction. when i say by fraud, that's a
situation where they get one of these romeos, they call them, to go out and convince some girl, get her out of state and sells her to a criminal gang, the gang sells her to the crime syndicate, now her fate is sealed, or through coercion, and we have heard these case is, at 14, young people are gullible. what is going to happen what this criminal organization is going to do to her sister or to her parents if she does not go along. this transnational crime includes forced labor and involves significant violations of public health, human rights' standards worldwide and every other kind of moral standard you could think of. and that's why as chairman of the foreign affairs committee and representative of the 39th district in california, i have
over the last few years made working on this issue and moving legislation on this horrific crime a top priority for the committee. and we have had bipartisan support throughout for this legislation. we have enacted many bills in recent years, including the international megan's law last february. and held committee hearings in washington, l.a. and orange county to hear from victims. at a field hearing in fullerton, we heard from angela, who was trafficked from the phillipines los kersed ser sri tude in angeles and worked 14 hours every day without a weekend or holiday off and was forced to sleep on the hallway floor until a neighbor alerted law enforcement. i helped establish a human
trafficking advisory committee. i established that in the 39th district for l.a., orange county and san bernardino. we have local law enforcement involved in that as well as the federal authorities, victims' rights group and community advocates in california tom address these concerns and try to come up with solutions. and mr. speaker, we've made progress, but there is still so much work to be done. and if we are going to end human trafficking, it will take all of us working together. i thank ranking member engel and congressman connolly and the co-author of my legislation, representative frankel for their work on this measure. trafficking in persons is perpetrated and perpetrated by ransnational criminal enter --
the traffickers operate inside and outside our borders, but the profits from the trafficking industry contribute to the expansion of organized crime and terrorism here and worldwide. and that is why combatting human trafficking requires a global approach to identify and apprehend the world's worst ofeders. this target act does that and rgets them through the state department. rewards issued under these programs have led to the capture of major terrorists and international criminals. i'll remind the members that y ousef was convicted in the ombing of the 1993 world trade center. another who kidnapped and killed american citizens and major international drug traffickers, all of them convicted with the
help of this particular program that we want to expand now and apply here. a reward on one's head creates real fear for terrorists and criminals. at one hearing, a state department official testified that one captured narcotics trafficker told d.e.a. agents he would no longer trust anyone in his organization after the u.s. put a $5 million reward for his capture. i remember the quote, he said he felt like a hunted man. well, mr. speaker, we want human traffickers to know the fear of being hunted. and i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. connolly: i applaud the leadership of our chairman, mr. royce and my good friend, the gentlelady from florida, ms.
frankel tore taking up the lead on our committee. i rise in support -- i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: i rise in support . h.r. 1625 t me start by again thanking both of my colleagues for their leadership and i'm proud to be an original co-sponsor of this bill to help bring human traffickers to justice. human human trafficking is an abhorrent practice. increase little perpetrated by criminal enterprises that desprives -- deprives people of their most precious gift -- human autonomy. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness presume autonomy. without autonomy, identity is
lost. nd the ability to pursue those ilalienable rights thomas jefferson wrote about in our declaration of independence do not exist. they're nullified. the major transnational crime threatens the united states security and humanitarian interests all over the world. this bill would allow the state department to pay cash through the rewards for justice program for information leading to the arrest and conviction of human traffickers worldwide. these cash rewards are a proven method for cracking open international criminal networks. congress originally established the program to gain more information in terrorism cases, expanded it to include other crimes as well. with this legislation we will give law enforcement the ability to use this valuable tool in the fight against human trafficking. over the last two decades, the united states has actively
fought human trafficking through provisions laid out in the victims of trafficking and violence protection act, which established the annual trafficking in persons report, and subsequent re-authorizations. human trafficking is nothing short of modern day slavery. as the report demonstrates, human trafficking affects unfortunately every country in the world. including, of course, the united states, as the distinguished chairman described. as ranking member of the house oversight and subcommittee on government operations, i join with james lankford, now senator from oklahoma, to investigate the abuse of foreign nationals employed by government contractors. together we introduced the end trafficking in government contracting act, which was enacted as part of the fiscal 2013 national defense authorization act. whether it takes the form of forced labor or sexual
exploitation, every case of human trafficking deprives an individual of their basic human rights. more than 20 million people fall victim to this heinous crime every year. a disproportion share of the vic -- disproportionate share of the victims are women and children. only a very small fraction will ever see their traffickers held accountable. we must and can do more to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. i will give -- it will give law enforcement a proven method to help finally bring an end to this modern day slave traffic. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i'll reserve the right to close, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. connolly: mr. speaker, at this time it gives me great pleasure to yield 3 1/2 minutes
to my good friend, lois frankel of florida, co-author of this important piece of legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. frankel: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, mr. connolly. and of course to the chair of our committee for his fine work. and our ranking member. mr. speaker, as we've heard already, human trafficking is a global crisis of epic proportions. an estimated 12 million to 20 million men and women around the world are being subject to slavery of some sort. in fact, it's the number two crime, criminal enterprise on earth. have seen the effects of this human trafficking up close. i want to talk about a couple of visits i made when i went to peru. i went to a couple of shelters there.
which were now the homes of young girls who had been trafficked. there t one i went to, were girls in their mid teens who had been raised in families that were very, very poor. their families were approached by these traffickers who told them they would take their children, take their daughters, to quote-unquote the promised land. they were going to take them to an area in peru where they would be educated, well fed, well nourished. and what they really ended up doing is taking these young girls and basically enslaving them. they found themselves in people's homes, where they would be locked up literally for years. and from the time the sun came
up to the time the sun went down , these children told their stories of having to, for example, peel potatoes, peel potatoes day and night. no education, no mingling with their peers. just deprived of the joy of childhood. at another shelter we went to, we visited young girls again who had been saved from their slavery. they had been kidnapped off the streets. they were now teenagers. they had -- when they were 9 and 10 and 11, i mean, it's just -- it was hard for me to hear these stories. i'm sure it will be hard for to you hear these stories. but when they were pre-teens they were kidnapped off the
streets. some of them were locked in trunks, they were beaten, they were forced into missions to become sex slaves to minors -- miners. again, children deprived of their education, deprived of their innocence. when i think back of them, i'm haunted. i remember looking in their eyes, looking in their eyes and saying to myself, how could this happen? how in our civilization do we let this happen to innocent children? when i returned home to the united states, i heard another story. i heard a story from a young woman named -- may i have some more time? mr. connolly: i yield the gentlelady another one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. frankel: thank you. i heard a story from a young
woman who had been -- had a work visa to come over here from indonesia to work in a hotel. on her way over, she was kidnapped by traffickers and forced into commercial sex slavery for two to three years, on the i-95 corridor. and the way she escaped was through a bathroom window. so, i want to just say thank you, mr. royce, for letting me have an opportunity to join you in this legislation, which is oing to target these sex and labor traffickers. give a powerful tool to stop what we call modern day slavery. i am very proud to support the target act. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: let me thank the gentlelady. i thank you. i thank you especially for the trips that you have made
overseas, not just here in the united states, to do this investigative work. but overseas to expose it. and for being the original lead democrat co-author with me on this bill. i also want to again thank jerry connolly for his work. i do want to yield two minutes to the chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade, and that's judge poe of texas, who has done a great deal of work over the years on this issue as well. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman and thank the speaker as well. this is an excellent piece of legislation. like ms. frankel has mentioned during her comments on the floor, we had the opportunity to go to peru together, to visit children who were way up in the mountains being protected from those people who wanted to traffic them, not only in peru, but other parts of south america. i had also the opportunity to go
to costa rica and meet some young girls who were being trafficked in costa rica and into other foreign countries. remember one girl named lily. she was 7 years of age. when i met her. she did not talk at all. even though she had the physical ability to talk. but she did not talk. because of the trauma that she had been through before she had been rescued and put in that shelter in costa rica. there are a lot of little girls like lily throughout the world. and including in the united states. societies must make the decision ow that we will not tolerate the stolen innocence of young children.
by those who sell them on the marketplace of slavery for money . whether that's the trafficker, he slave master, or the buyer, the consumer. we as a world cannot tolerate that. the united states has taken the lead on international trafficking and i believe in trafficking here in the u.s. this legislation, the target act, makes it clear that we're not going to tolerate this conduct and that those people who act this way, in the slave trade, are going to be held accountable for their conduct. and the consequences for what they do is not going to be pleasant. plus, we are going to rescue those young children. so i support this legislation, mr. speaker, and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is
recognized. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, let every member of congress as a parent, let every american as a parent ask himself or herself, how would you feel your loved one, your child, were made prey by human traffickers? imagine the heart ache. magine the terrible grief. the trauma and tragedy of such a situation. and now remember, 20 million fellow human beings go through hat experience every year. this is a crime that is repugnant to all human value. thanks crime we can stop -- this is a crime we can stop. this is a subject matter that can bring us together, require
thive of whether we're democrats or -- irrespective of whether we're democrats or republicans, for the sake of that human autonomy that is celebrated in the declaration of independence and enshrined in the constitution of the united states, and the united nations declaration of human rights. so let us take this step today. let us rededicate ourselves to the idea that all human autonomy is sacred and that that is what we too are dedicated to support and uphold. i urge passage of the legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: well, let me say that , for republics in europe and our united states, we credit our civilizations with having eradicated slavery some 150
years or more. but clearly judge poe uses the right word here, slavery is in act what is committed in these acts, and i can tell you, my chief of staff, having worked in relief efforts in south asia and in cambodia with underaged girls as young as the ones described by judge poe, 7, 8, 9 years old, this is the most -- the most vulnerable people on this planet are being sold into slavery. , d as long as force and fraud coercion is used to prey upon the most vulnerable, as long as profits from these victims' suffering, from the ill gotten gains are used to build out
criminal networks, to snare more and more of these children, as long as trafficking in persons is a global crime that extends beyond the capacity of certain governments, then it requires a global response and, again, as my colleagues have said, requires that the united states therefore lead. so this bill targets human traffickers around the world through the department of state's successful rewards programs, by offering rewards for their capture anywhere on earth. it lets the victims of human trafficking know we will not stop until they're free, and it tells the predators that we will not stop until they are behind bars. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the ruse and pass the
bill h.r. 1625. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended. the bill is passed. and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid pon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to file a rule. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 348, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 95 to amend the federal insect ti side and the federal water pollution act clarify congressional intent regarding the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters and
for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, proceedings will resume on motions to suspend the rules previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. h.r. 1862 by the yeas and nays, h.r. 1842 by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as 5-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1862 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1862, a bill to amend title 18 united states code to expand the scope of certain definitions pertaining to unlawful sexual conduct and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the
question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 372, the nays are 30. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1842 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 89. h.r. 1842 a bill to amend title 18, united states code, to include state crimes of silence as grounds for penalty when sex offenders fail to register or report in certain information as required by federal law, to include prior military offenses for purposes of recidivist sentencing provisions and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house
suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: the chair announces the speaker's re-appointment to the library of congress 2 u.s.c. and the order of the house of january 3, 2017 of the following individual on the part of the house to the library of congress trust fund board for a five-year term. the clerk: ambassador richard
fred risks of san francisco, california. the speaker pro tempore: the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to section by, 20 u.s.c. 76 h-a amended public law and the order of the house of january 3, 2017 of the following member on the part of the house to the board of trustees of the john f. kennedy center for the performing arts. the clerk: mr. mcarthur of new jersey. the speaker pro tempore: the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to section 4003-e of the 21st century cures act and the order of the house of january 3, 2017 of the following individual on the part of the house to the health information technology advisory committee. the clerk: mr. patrick sincho
nmp g of culver city, california. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. he house will come to order. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i rise to congratulate brian cooper, who is retiring from the office of the parliamentarian after 35 years on capitol hill. ryan's first job came in 1982 when he was hired in the staff room of the longworth building
working in distribution services. since thn, ryan held a variety of positions in congress where he learned the legislative process and the inner workings of house operations. skills that earned him a job at the house parliamentarian office where he currently serves as chief clerk. ryan has spent his career committed to assisting with an orderly and accurate legislative process, observed in a fair and nonpartisan manner. i ask my congressional colleagues to join me in congratulating ryan cooper on his long deserved retirement and wish him all the best including his artistic endeavors, traveling and spending more time with his family and cheering his famous baltimore sports team.
god speed ol ryan cooper. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> permission to address the ouse for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for ne minute. >> madam speaker, in our increasingly competitive world, the importance of education for our k-12 system has only grown. it is vital we recognize the importance of career and technical education in addition to colleges and universities. that's why i'm proud to be the lead democrat on the bipartisan strengthening career and tk any call education for the 21st
century act. this bill which passed in committee last week will increase funding for career and technical education by % over the next six years to modernize these initiatives and ensure students have the skills employers are looking for. through investing, this bill will help families across the country join and stay in the middle class. i'm proud to work with my colleagues from both parties including congressman thompson from pennsylvania, to build a more promising future for millions of americans and i hope this bill will receive consideration on the house floor. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. will the members kindly take their conversations off the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> permission to address the house the for one minute.
great aening on lish teacher on being name minnesota's teacher of the year. this is a tribute to his enthusiasm both inside and outside of the classroom. mr. beauman began teaching 17 years where he devoted his tenure as an educator to enriching students in the classroom. what sets him apart is the meaningful and empowering connections he develops with his students. mr. paulsen: cory was an adult that showed me i was smart and cared about my ideas. he was honest, funny and made me believe in myself. madam speaker, no doubt that mr. bowman has touched his students' lives and can inspire students for future success. and i thank him for dedicating
himself on empowering our young students and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. langevin: mr. speaker, as co-chair of the congressional oster youth caucus i rise in honor for the alum news that i'm hope to host. kenneth hales from the ocean state where he attends rhode island college and works with children with disabilities. we must ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential. all children need the support and love of a family, yet finding forever families is one of our biggest challenges. it is our moral duty to care for
these children as we would our own including by supporting permanence si for foster youth. i thank my co-chair and the leader of our caucus, karen bass for bringing young people to capitol hill and i urge my colleagues in honoring foster care month. 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 texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: it looks like tush issuing president has brought his brutal crackdown on human rights to washington, d.c.,. for years, he has attacked turkey's democratic institution and undermined the rule of law. eredo sday, several of
began vial he eventually protestors. these boyd guards beat peaceful demonstrators and kicking a woman lying on the ground. this type of behavior is unacceptable. he is becoming a dictator and one of the traits is to violently quash opposition. he doesn't believe in the democratic principles of free speech and peaceful assembly. we will have no foreign tyrant violating these sacred rights on american soil without consequences. and that's just the way it is. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? . . without objection, the
gentlewoman is recognized for ne minute. >> madam speaker, tomorrow, 50 miami-dade boys from the roles of excellence project will visit washington, d.c. they are all college-bound and earned the promise of a four-year scholarship from the program. 5,000 role models is a program that will turn 5 years old january, 2018. mrs. wilson: there are 6,000 participants in miami-dade county, and 2,000 in jacksonville school district. the program's goal is to mentor minority boys, beginning in elementary school, middle school, high school, all the while guiding them along a carefully charted path to manhood and sending them to college. madam speaker, in this season of
youth violence during which boys get entangled in the school-to-prison pipeline, we're proud of the project and the tens of thousands of boys it has helped to become successful, contributing men in society. for example, barry jenkins, director of the oscar-winning film "moonlight" is a 1998 graduate of the program. i look forward to welcoming these young men here tomorrow and hope you will get a chance to meet them also. if you do, give them a hug and tell them that you love them. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, madam speaker. may is a.l.s. awareness month and it's a time many lend their voices to the fight against a.l.s. and help raise awareness about this devastating disease.
it's often referred to as lou gehrig's disease after the baseball great was diagnosed with the progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. recently, i had the chance to meet with people from pennsylvania to talk about a.l.s., including michael bonn who has a.l.s. and his wife and caretaker karen, and jane kauffman who is a longtime advocate for the a.l.s. association. she and her daughter have been visiting with me since i was first elected to congress and their advocatecy continues to build hope while their organization aggress ily searches for new treatments and cures. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1361 which would ensure access to complex technologies such as power wheelchairs, components and accessories. when you've lost the ability to walk, move your hands, or hold
your head up, these technologies are critical. thank you, madam speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? without objection the gentlewoman is recognized if -- is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, i rise today to recognize national maritime day. since america's founding, our men and women who serve as mariners have dedicated themselves to protecting our economy at home and abroad, whether it be through enduring delivery of goods, supporting us during times of peace, or standing up during times of war, the maritime industry has held strong. the port of los angeles, which i am proud to represent, has made countless contributions not only to california, but to every other congressional cricket. as a member of the committee -- congressional district. as a member of the committee on homeland security i work to ensure the safety of the port of los angeles so it can continue
to serve as america's port. the ports employ twice as many people, men and women, as the hollywood entertainment industry. today i'm proud to honor those men and women who have served and serve as u.s. merchant mariners. i ask that we continue to support the maritime industry today and every day. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. frup does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? without objection the gentleman s recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 2288, the veterans appeals improvement and modernization act of 2017 a bill that addresses the department of veterans' affairs broken appeals process. as of april 1, 2017, the number of pending apeels for disability compensation with the v.a. has reached 470,000. that's more than a 20% increase
since fiscal year 2015. at current funding levels, an using its current operational structure, the department of veterans' affairs estimates it will take at least phi years to address the backlog of appeals claims. mr. bergman: that's unsatisfactory. we can do better, we must do better. our veterans deserve better. they've risked their lives to protect the freedoms we hold so dear and it's up to us to make sure they receive the benefits they earned and deserve. h.r. 22 8, modernizes the -- h.r. 288 modernizes the appeals process to address backlog claims and prevent this backlog in the future. it takes a giant leap toward a more efficient department of veterans afairs and i strongly urge my colleagues to support it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition?
without objection, the gentleman s recognized for one minute. >> sabotage. sabotage. a lot -- a plot is afoot in washington and it's time to sound the alarm. it's time to let the people know. it's time to ride, like paul revere, across our nation and awake ven americans to this sinister scheme. president trump is sabotaging the affordable care act. trump has threatened to cut subsidies to millions of americans, creating more uncertainty today by stalling in court. he has refused to fund the high risk corridors, causing insurance companies to flee states like iowa and kentucky. mr. soto: he's cut the public notices to keep those in need of health care in the dark. and he's cut the signup period
in half to prevent more americans from signing up. is sabotage, destroying the health care market worth it? is robbing millions of americans of health care coverage worth it? is that the price trump is willing to pay for repeal, to give tax cuts to billionaires? mr. trump, obamacare works. if you break it you own it. when you sabotage health care for millions of americans, you're responsible and the people ought to know. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: i'd like to gently remind members to direct their remarks to the chair. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker if history has taught us anything over the years, it is that freedom is not free, it comes at a great price. it's easy to take for granted
the freedoms we enjoy but this military appreciation month, i pray we all reflect on the sacrifices the men and women of our armed forces have made for our in-- for our liberty and our security. specifically i'm reminded of the 5,100 dedicated men and women serving as dyess air force base, home of the seventh bomb wing and the 40,000 veterans in my district in west texas. -- in west texas. it's with them in mind, madam speaker, that i would like to express my gratitude for those who have served. my sorrow for those who did not make it back home. and my condolences who have lost someone dear in service to our great country. let us never forget them. let us always remind our children and grandchildren of the sacrifices of those who gave up their today so that we could have our tomorrow. god bless our men and women in uniform and god bless these united states of america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the
gentlewoman from the virgin slands seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. plaskett: as i stand here and give this one-minute, our world stands as a crossroads. 20 million people stand at risk of starvation at the hands of what the -- what has the potential to become the worst humanitarian crisis since world war ii. famine in south sudan, impending fa anyone in somalia, yemen and nigeria. funding is needed to avert the destabilization of the entire region. earlier this year, bipartisan group of members proposed that the u.s. allocate $1 billion in emergency funding for response. thanks to those efforts, congress pledged to provide $990 million in emergency funding in fiscal year appropriations. foreign aid is an investment. it makes our country and those
overseas fighting for us dramatically safer. with leadership comes responsibility. providing aid is a moral imperative. madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for ms. esty of connecticut for today, mr. lewis of georgia for today and nor muhouse of washington for today and the balance of the week. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentlewoman from the virgin islands, ms. plaskett is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. ms. plaskett: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their
remarks and include any extraneous materials on the subject of this special order. ma'am, it is with great honor i rise today to anchor the c.b.c. special order hour. for the next 60 minutes, we have a chance to speak directly to the american people on issues of great importance to the congressional black caucus, congress, the constituents we represent, and all americans. tonight, we will highlight the president's actions to undermine our national security, including but not limited to abruptly firing f.b.i. director comey in order to ease pressure on the russian investigation -- on the russia investigation just one day before sharing classified information with the russian officials. madam speaker, many in this country believe congress continues to have trouble accomplishing the basic rirltes of its job. and up until a few weeks ago, we were still scrambling yet again to complete spending legislation to prevent a government shutdown. if the only measure of national security success during the
president's first 100 days were avoiding catastrophe, then ok, mr. trump, president trump, has succeeded. no talks on the u.s. -- no attacks on the u.s., no nuclear wars. these are good things and in the moment we can breathe a sigh of relief. wever, these outcomes owes more to the national defense machine built by the president's predecessors. president trump's first major budget proposal will be released tomorrow. it's reported to include massive cuts to medicaid and will call for drastically and un-- drastic and unprecedented changes to medicaid. as for programs that provide health care to low income americans, trump's draconian budget plan would follow through on a plan by house republicans to cut more than $00 billion over 10 years. the congressional budget office has estimated that this would cut off medicaid benefits for 10
million people over the next decade. that is unacceptable. the dysfunctional relationship between congress and the trump administration has helped to bog down and complicate the fiscal 2017 budget process and has stymied the work of this congress when it comes to passing legislation that will help our constituents. a recent survey found that 48% of americans now prefer increased government spending in areas like health care, veterans care, education, and infrastructure. things that the people of my district, the virgin islands, desperately need, with 15% unemployment rate and 33% of our children living in poverty. it is time for congress to get back to work for the people that have put us here. i want to highlight three pieces of legislation that i've introduced that will help my constituents in the virgin islands in various ways. with a special counselor having been appointed to look into the
distractions the white house has created it is time that congress focus on our jobs and proceed to hold hearings on these bills, followed by a vote on the house floor and hopefully the -- hopefully these commonsense bills will be signed into law by the president. health care, president trump and the republican congress are planning to cut more than $800 billion out of medicaid funding over 10 years while converting the program to a cap block grant to the states and territories and eliminating a.c.a.'s medicaid expansion. hese and as a member representing the virgin island, we need to get back doing the work of the people and that's working to pass laws that better the lives of our constituents. i introduced improving the treatment of the u.s. territories under the federal health care program which would eliminate existing inequities that territories face.
and numerous bills that my colleagues that are assisting their constituents and all americans in areas of health care. we need to bring those bills to the floor and vote them up or down. veterans, there are few places in the united states with higher per capita rates than the united states virgin islands. i'm committed to ensuring a full and equal access to health and housing and employment benefits. our constituents have deployed more than 30,000 times since september 11 and 120,000 military veterans live in the territories, yet none are allowed to cast a ballot to choose their commander in chief. puerto rico, guam, virgin islands, a combined population greater than 22 states. we represent those americans in the u.s. house but cannot vote
for their interest on the house floor. our constituents are denied representation in the u.s. senate and are barred from the general election for president and vice president. thus, when the presidential vote was tabulated in 2016 it was as if four million americans we represent do not exist. there is a time, however, when our people are counted when the country goes to war. i have introduced house resolution 91, which proposes an amendment to the constitution of the united states regarding presidential elections, voting rights for residents of all united states territories and common welts. education. we have to fix the education system and have to give our young people better choices. we need to allow our children to be able to be educated in a place that is hospitalable to learning. that does not occur in many places in the united states. the president eel budget cut would remove support to schools
for after-school programs, for summer-youth programs. we continue with this if we want national security. national security is the security of our young people to be educated and grow safely. that is not happening in the virgin islands or any place in the united states. i introduced the cleng act act of 2017 which will allow college students who are residents of virgin islands to receive more reasonable tuition rates at participating four-year institutions of higher education. it's time for congress to stop doing business as usual. and everything from national security to infrastructure investment, congress needs to focus on doing its job and doing it with more than in the next fewer months. moving forward, we as members of congress we need to deal with our legislative and budgetary responsibilities with more
thoughtfulness and foresight. i would like to invite my colleague, congressman dwight evans representing the wonderful city of philadelphia and the people of pennsylvania. he is a legislator of many years, although he comes here as a freshman, none of us consider him as a freshman having served in the pennsylvania legislature for more than 20 years. and i ask him. what do we have to lose? national security. at this time, i yield five minutes to mr. evans. mr. evans: i thank my colleague from the great virgin islands and i appreciate her leadership. i would like to thank my colleagues for bringing forward tonight.mportant topic national security is an issue of utmost importance to all of us. the bottom line is this.
if the president thinks it's ok to share classified information with our adversaries, we have a big problem. i will be emphasizing that point. if the president of the united states shared classified information with our enemies, then the lives of our american people are at risk. regardless of our parties, if president trump did willingly share national security information, than the president doesn't understand the consequences of hits actions and it proves how much we stand to lose as a result of these actions. the bigger question now that people are asking is do you think the president is in so much trouble? it is clear from the news that the russian investigation is the gift that keeps giving. but i want to be really, really clear with you. i did not vote for president
trump. i did not support him when he was running. i fought hard to stop president trump from becoming elected. if you want to know, i think the president is in trouble. i will tell you this president trump and administration is not ready for prime time. the campaign is over. the president needs to focus on governing. we have not seen him do that yet. he needs to learn how to govern. we know that the comey firing has sent a potential signal of presidential clution with russia. for this reason, i call for a special prosecutor and independent commission so that the american people truly can know the trump-russian connection. i'm glad to see the former f.b.i. director, bob mueller, named as special counsel to
oversee the investigation. but we need to make sure that congress is able to conduct the independent investigation into the trump administration. ties to russia and interference in the 2016 election. the american people deserves to know the facts. the american people deserve to know the facts. i was in my district over the weekend, lower marion, and all anyone asked about was the comey-russia. they wanted answers and wanted to get to the bottom line of this. i want to. but i want to do this to raise the dialogue on the issues that really matter here, the issues that we really have a lot to lose. for example, last week, i hosted a briefing on middle neighborhoods, they are neighborhoods caught between bust and boom. communities doing just well
enough that our cities aren't focusing resources or attention on them. of course we need to get to the bottom line between russia and president. and the american people deserve the facts. at the same time, i want to make sure we are fighting in ways we can make a difference and make an impact on our communities in need. we need to find ways to tackle food insecurity, help our public schools, expand access to capital, credit at every corner and build stronger neighborhoods block by block. this will not be easy. we need to work together. it is in our collective interest to ensure national security is not a partisan issue. it should be a bipartisan issue. so i stand here in the well of this house, madam speaker, to indicate that i want to ensure
that national security is important. i hope, madam speaker, that the president also understands that it is important. i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. ms. plaskett: thank you so much, congressman. you know, i think it was very interesting that you were saying that the american people and people you spoke with over the weekend want the truth. and i think that's what we want. we want the facts. we want to hear what has happened so the people in the united states can make a decision about what happens next. i'm not here to ask for impeachment or any rash decisions but asking that the american people be able to see a transparent congress, a transparent process that allows them to then speak to us as members of congress as to what he they would like. almost two months now, several colleagues of mine, we wrote a
letter to the department of justice, to the acting attorney general, requesting that he institute ar special counsel, a special prosecutor in this mat matter. we are grateful. but a special counsel cannot replace independent outside commissions and vigorous investigation. the appointment speaks to the agency investigating the gravity of the president's abuse of power in trying to shut down the f.b.i. director. the american people need to understand that while the special counsel can bring charges against those individuals if the facts prove to be so in collusion with the russians, it cannot do anything with the president except for a report. and this congress needs to remember they are a separate
branch of government than the white house. this congress seems to be acting as if it is part of the white house and an extension of 1600. and we have a separate set of rules, separate power and separate responsibility. as such, madam speaker, it is important we demonstrate to the american people that we are acting that way. a special counsel cannot replace a truly independent outside commission, because it is the commission which would then be able to make a decision about our president. i say it's our president because we all respect the office of the president and we want the world to know that we respect and hold in reference the individual who holds that and hold him accountable for that position that he holds. an independent outside commission as special counselor,
mueller's decisions will be reviewed. congress must create an independent outside commission that is completely free of the trump administration's meddling. a special counsel cannot be used as a pretext for republicans to shut down investigations by congress or hide the facts of the president's wrongdoing from the american people. now i have heard the justice department and others talk about this being a criminal investigation, that the special counsel is using it as a special criminal investigation and as a lawyer, as someone who has been a prosecutor, i understand that the burden of proof for criminal charges are much different than this congress would hold. and so this congress must not abdicate its responsibility. because their work needs to be done. jobs need to be created. infrastructure needs to be put
in place so commerce can be done in this country. health care needs to be put in place for americans. we cannot lose more americans' health care. we need more americans on health care. and settle the issues of immigration and my, god, criminal justice reform. we agreed, both republicans and democrats to address criminal justice and our young people are dying not just from the justice department and what is happening on the street. i understand that a bill is going to be coming on the floor asking for minimum mandatory sentencing for a slew of charges, which will increase the cradle-to-death pipelines of prisons in this country. these are the things that we as congress need to be concerned with.
and the national security issues that our president has are things we need to continue to look at. personnel is policy. the same reflects the wisdom that any president's agenda depends on his political appointees to refine and implement that vision. trump's white house has failed in this requirement. that failure may not even be the president's failure at this a e, but by building dysfunctional white house and failing to staff with the appointees to oversee and direct foreign policy. the failures of trump's political failures likely means incoherence on the national security front for some time. with the white house lunching from one crisis to the next, its actions and words are
disconnected. bad personnel decisions have dogged the trump administration during the first one00 days. lynn, mack far land hardly did well. low-level hires have continued poor performance. there is no policy, no doctrine, no strategy that mixes his desired end with the government's ways and means. that should be of concern to my republican colleagues who want this republican president to succeed. if you want him to succeed, you need to help him and the help needs to come in terms of the personnel he puts in place and the transparency and as they said, cleaning the swamp, getting rid of the swamp so there can be those professionals carrying above reprove ut the
trump's staff has been dysfunctional, supposedly over distractions over personnel picks. his has deprived agent soifs undersecretaries, secretaries, deputy assistant secretary, special teantwhors carrying out the president's agenda. in the absence of an entire team, the uniform military leadership and career civil servants of these agencies have carried on, but with significant friction given the personal disdain for these people during the campaign and afterwards. the personnel failures have worsened the second category of the failures, those of process. there was personnel, we also have process failures going on right now. the n.s.c. was codified in 1947, along with the modern defense department, c.i.a., and joint chiefs of staff, to correct perceived process failures in world war ii. the big idea behind the national security act was to create a
process that could withstand poor personnel by ensuring the institution of the presidency was well served by its national security agencies and could therefore make better informed decisions. despite its aspirations to run the white house like a fine tuned machine, the administration has uniformly failed to implement processes for its agenda. at times, an example of being the 63-hour rush to strike syria with cruise mice isles or the announcement of the tax plan before details were ironed out, the white house seems at war with the idea of process as its budget, planning and coordinations were toxic features of the washington swamp to be rejected at all costs. the biggest process failure has been those that affected the entire government. trump's failure to develop detailed budgets, let alone to agree with congress on the funding levels and priorities, nearly led the country to the
brink of the government shutdown. all indications point to the impasse being settled but the outcome will likely be a continuing resolution once again that punts all the major budget decisions and keeps agencies in limbo on major programs, including if we're talking about national security major weapons systems acquisitions, spending on important training and exercise, and outlays for service members and military families. this is something that is going to cause all americans to suffer spectacularly in some cases. one of the president's biggest campaign promises on america's border with mexico has stalled for lack of funding and proposals will remain stuck in the process for months if not years. the homeland security department
would have caught and corrected had they been there or had a chance. in some cases the failures have had deadlier consequences. president trump ordered a risky yemen withrations on scant process or coordination. the raid went badly as military operations sometimes do. instead of taking responsibility, the white house blamed the military. disconnect between thee white house, department of defense and u.s. pacific command resulted in a confusing saga regarding the movement of aircraft carrier resulting in the delusion of any deternlt value that president trump's words might hold in moscow or beijing. the personnel and process failures contribute to policy .ailures across the the most obvious trump foreign policy failure is there is no
policy, no doctrine at this ime. but most importantly here on the home front. we as americans deserve a coherent, comprehensive process oriented as well as personnel driven with career intelligent individuals at the helm and within the ranks of each one of these agencies. because we have a lot to lose. if we go into wars that have not been sought out, not been process driven, our young people deserve better. our world deserves better. the world is looking to america to still be the ones although we seem to be abdicating our responsibility, whether it be in war or other forms of diplomacy that we engage in to keep this a safe place, famines going on in sudan and yemen and other
places, it is the american might, the might of our aid and our support to them, that keeps democracy alive not just on the ground and in fact, but in the hearts and minds of those who yearn for it in other places. that's the national security that the this america needs to be engaged in and it's that kind of national security that this congress needs to be concerned with. we need to get back, we have a week of bills that are dysfunctional in themselves. that do not serve the best interests of the american people. this congress needs to stop scuttling legislation, scuttling bills that their colleagues are trying to put forward. vote them up or vote them down. let the american people know where you stand on every issue. we need to stop the voice votes that are going on in committees. that allow members to hide behind what their positions are with their constituents. i know it's not easy but that's why we're all adults here. because we want to be put on our
big girl pants and be the kind of people who can stand for what we believe. let's bring the bills forward. let's support the infrastructure, jobs activity as well as national security and support for the world abroad. that's what we have to lose if we do not hold this president, this white house, and all of his agencies and his cabinet accountable for the work that they are doing. at this time, madam speaker, it appears that we do not have additional members who would like to speak on this special order hour and i would ask at this time that you would hold the record over for any additional members who may want to submit at a later time up to ive days written statements. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, general leave is granted.
ms. plaskett: madam speaker, how much more time do i have at this time? the speaker pro tempore: the entlewoman has 35 minutes. ms. plaskett: at this time, madam speaker, i yield back to the house any additional time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president. for what purpose does the -- under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2017, the gentleman from michigan, mr. bergman is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. bergman: thank you, madam speaker. before i begin, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous materials on the topic of my special order. the topic of today's special
order is to recognize the importance of armed forces day and memorial day. i'm not going to give a history lesson here tonight, but rather a series of personal remembrances that started when i was about phi or six years old in the early 1950's because my father, a world war ii veteran, nd some of his fellow veterans organized the local v.f.w. in minnesota where i was born, and we would spend memorial day on the morning visiting three cemeteries in our local town. at each cemetery, the co-lar guard would post the colors.
the rifles would give their report. and taps would play. everyone who attended. and when i say everyone who attended, that was really the whole town that came out in a long train of automobiles to go to these three cemeteries, to honor the veterans who were no longer of this earth. i remember the solemnness of that day. i remember the tears for family members and friends who had passed on. those who had worn the cloth of nation, of our nation, both in peace and in war. those kind of memories as i stand here and talk tonight are very vivid in my mind.
some years later, in the mid 1980's. we were -- 1960gs, we were involved in involved in vietnam, i was a sophomore in college. because of the fact that my parents had both stepped up during world war ii, i felt, and with their support, it was the right thing to stand up and take the oath that sent me into the marine corps to serve our country. when you go into harm's way you don't know what the outcome is going to be but you do know that those you serve with are going to give it their all and you're going to remember them and honor them for as long as we walk this earth. i was very fortunate to have absolutely spectacular commanding officers along the way that taught me what it was
like to be a young leader and what it meant to take care of your marines. most notably, my commanding officer in vietnam who, thankfully, is still with us, he was the kind of individual that made the tough calls because he understood the sacrifices needed and the outcomes that were required. ne by one we all pass. memorial day is our opportunity o remember, share story, share tears, share laughter, for those who have now gone on into god's hands. the past and the present set the tone for the future.
as david french said, sacrifice sustains our nation far beyond the battlefield. as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. in times of stress, in times when we are under great dew duress, that ability to sharpen -- under great duress, that ability to sharpen not each other's bodies but've other's souls carries us on. we remember on memorial day those who have made that effort. in the marine corps, we believe a lot of things, but three words encompass them all. honor. 2 courage. and commitment. tonight we honor those who fought for our country who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave
their lives in the service of our country. and those who have passed on since their service. it's our job to make sure that their sacrifice wasn't in vain. courage. there is moral courage and there is physical courage. you never know until the time comes whether you have the physical courage, but you do find out. it's the moral courage that we know from the beginning and is predecessors, it sets our attitude and mindset in stone, that we know that we have that and when it's tested, we are ready. commitment. our commitment is always to the mission and to one another. we never leave anyone behind.
never. no one is more invested in peace than our men and women in uniform. they take the risks. they make the sacrifices. and they bear the cost of the battle in full force. those rows of white headstones across the bridge in arlington remind us of their commitment every day and for that, we hold them more than great -- we owe them more than gratitude, we owe them every effort to keep our world at peace. on memorial day in 1982, president reagan said that war will not come again. other young men will not have to die if we will speak honestly of the dangers that confront us and remain strong enough to meet those dangers. it's not just strength or courage that we need, but
understanding and a measure of wisdom as well. we owe it to our men and women who have fought and died for our country, to take a stand. to prepare for peace, not by ignoring the dangers we face and placating the enemies of freedom, but by facing them head-on. at this time i'm honored to yield to my fellow members who will be presenting and speaking tonight and i'd like to yield to the distinguished gentleman from minnesota, representative lewis. mr. lewis: i too am honored to join my colleagues here tonight to recognize the bravery and the sacrifice of those who serve in our military. i also want to thank general bergman for his years of dedicated service and his
leadership tonight. while may is military appreciation month, it is important that every month we continue to recognize those who are fighting and still putting their lives on the line each and every day. since the founding of our country there have always been brave men and women who understood what it takes to protect our freedom and our way of life. they are patriots who represent the very best of america. i am especially grateful to the members of my family who served. my father, james, served in the army during world war ii. and my two brothers, rick in the navy, and reg in the marines, served during vietnam. like many of us, i recall seeing my older brothers go off to war in vietnam. and i vividly remember the difference between the blue star and tragically gold star families during that conflict. throughout our nation's history we have paid a heavy price for
freedom. it is has not been he's -- it has not been easy. one week from today we will remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. on memorial day we remember those who gave their lives in the service of these united states. our fallen soldiers were born in different generations, fought in different wars, faced unique challenges, but they are all part of the fabric and history of this great land, america. through their service and selflessness, our nation's sons and daughters have kept our country strong and free. thank you to the fallen. thank you to the veterans and those currently serving here and abroad. and god bless america. yield back.
. bergman: it is our job not just to remember, but to carry the torch of freedom forward so that the sacrifices of our brothers and sisters have not and will not be in vein. -- vain. grief is not the end of all. our dead brothers still live for us. life, not think of death. of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and the joy of spring. , would strongly encourage all all of our american citizens next monday, the 29th of may, the official observance of this year's memorial day, to take your families to a local
.emetery, walk around look at those headstones and those gravestones. explain to your children and your grandchildren and anyone else who may have questions the meaning and the significance of the many flags that fly next to those headstones. hose folks, those comrades sacrificed it all so we can be here today. it is up to us to honor them, to emember them, and to carry on, to ensure that the challenges we ace as a country will be defended against and protected
for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr. bergman: madam speaker, i move that the house now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning
women in politics. >> c-span's washington journal live. washington journal, tom coburn discusses his book on limiting the power of the federal government. and then al green on his recent call to impeach president trump. also, a documentary filmmaker, michael kirk will join us to discuss his pbs frontline felt to discuss steve bannon. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal. join the discussion. president trump and first trump visited the western wall in jerusalem's old city. the president also met with the israeli prime minister who praised the trump administration on iran.osition before a private dinner, the two le