tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 7, 2019 4:03pm-6:00pm EST
date on their vaccinations, or have food allergies or other medical conditions to provide safe care. this means v.a. must have the flexibility to determine how best to execute this program at each of its facilities throughout the country. if this means that it makes sense to build an onsite child care center, v.a. should not be barred from doing that. i think this amendment was written without considering its effects, which would limit further the expansion of the program, and prevent veterans from being able to access child care, and their health care when they need it. any of us who have been on this committee long enough know that v.a. has had trouble managing major construction projects. admittedly this is what we know on the committee. and i am just as outraged as my colleagues across the aisle when v.a. construction projects are
mismanaged and money is wasted. however, we are talking about minor construction that in many cases will be necessary to expand this program to all eligible veterans who need it. there are other ways in which we can ensure the money for this program is not mismanaged, and it doesn't need to be something as drastic as preventing construction, which will in effect prevent the program's expansion. i hope to work with my colleague, general bergman, and my colleagues on this committee to prevent mismanagement of construction projects. procurement of the $16 billion electronic health record and other contracts and programs at the v.a., and i pledge to work with the general to ensure funds for construction of child care facilities are not wasted. but i must say that i have to urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time.
the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. bergman: i yield to dr. roe. the chair: how much time? mr. bergman: one minute. the chair: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for one minute. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair. i rise in strong support of this amendment, to prohibit v.a. from constructing new structures to be used as child care centers. mr. chair, the v.a. has over 6,000 pieces of property, 1,100 of them are either not utilized or underutilized. and we all -- on the committee, including the chairman, have just witnessed a $600 million hospital in denver, colorado, explode into a $2 billion, i didn't say that wrong, $2 billion project. and both general bergman's amendment and mine, which would have provided greater flexibility to the asset infrastructure review commission, recognized that v.a.'s vast and in most cases outdated, misaligned and expensive to maintain
infrastructure must be dealt with holistically. i regret that my amendment was not made in order today, but i'm glad that general bergman's was. where v.a. has existing space, it is not needed for veteran patients -- that is not needed for veteran patients, they should consider repurposing that space to provide child care assistance. where existing space is not available, v.a. should use the authorities provided in this bill to provide child care assistance -- can i have another -- mr. bergman: yield two more minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two additional minutes. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair. where existing space is not available, v.a. should use the authorities provided in this bill to provide child care assistance off v.a. property, either through leases, sharing agreements and other means, rather than viventing in costly new buildings. mr. -- rather than investing in costly new buildings. mr. chairman, what happens is we've got an empty building if things change. if we lease that building, which this gives us the authority to do, we can let the lease expire,
the v.a. can go on and use their moneys for something else. general bergman is a ranking member of the subcommittee on oversight and to investigation and i thank him today -- and investigation and i thank him today and always for his leadership and vision on behalf of his fellow veterans. i'm pleased to spo -- to support this amendment today and i urge all of my colleagues to join me in support. with that, mr. chair, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. bergman: i yield back the remainder of my time, mr. chair. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. takano: mr. chair, i would just wish to point out to the minority ranking member and the ranking member of the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the veterans' affairs committee, general bergman, that his amendment would not even allow for the repurposing of existing facility space that may
exist at the v.a. it is so rigid that it would be difficult to even put, you know, protective electrical socketc., to prevent -- sockets, to prevent young children from electrocuting themselves. even minor construction would be prohibited by this amendment. i am pleased to know that he is serving -- that the general is serving on the oversight and investigations committee, and i do plan to work with the newrman, the gentleman from hampshire, and him to make sure that v.a. money is well spent. and as i said, this amendment would simply prevent reasonable expansion of this program and it's something that members of this committee and members of this house would not want to see happen. with that, i will -- i wish to close my argument and i have no
further speakers to present. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. >> mr. chair, i request the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in house report 116-6. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from nevada seek recognition? mrs. lee: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in house report 116-6
offered by mrs. lee of nevada. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 105, the gentlewoman from nevada, mrs. lee, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from nevada. mrs. lee: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, my amendment clarifies that every veteran is able to access child care services guaranteed by the underlying bill. regardless of whether they're using the services at a v.a. center, medical center, or a vet center that's not on the campus of a v.a. facility. i'm pleased to be joined in offering this bipartisan amendment by my republican colleague, congresswoman lesko from arizona. i'd also like to thank congresswoman brownley for leading this bill, as well as chairman takano and ranking member roe, for their assistance and leadership on this vital issue.
no veteran should be forced to choose between caring for their children or caring for themselves. in several states, including my home state of nevada, veterans use both the v.a. medical centers and the community-based vet centers to access the care they need. vet centers provide a wide array of social and psychological services to help veterans readjust to civilian life, and i'm very proud of the work they do to serve those who served all of us. for many of you who do not have access to a local v.a. medical center, for many of those, vet centers are the only v.a. facilities they can use. to ensure that all veterans and in particular women veterans are able to receive the care they need, our amendment would clarify that any veteran receiving care, whether at a v.a. facility or an off-v.a. campus vet center, would be eligible for the child care
authorized under this legislation. we never want any veteran to choose between receiving their care and the support they need, or caring for their child. our amendment would guarantee at that all veterans would be able to access care regardless of where and how they seek treatment. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? the gentleman from tennessee, i'm sorry. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair. i ask unanimous consent to rise in opposition, although i am not opposed. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair of i yield myself as much -- mr. chair. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: i rise in support of the amendment sponsored by congresswoman lee and congresswoman lesko to provide for child care assistance to veterans receiving readjustmenten counseling in a vet center.
the work done in vet senters are critical to veterans who are struggling to readjust to civilian life following their military service. i'm glad that this amendment will make it easier for veterans who lack child care to seek the support they need in vet centers and i'll be supporting this amendment. that said, expanding child care assistance to include the hundreds of vet centers across the country is a costly prospect. unfortunately because of -- because the bill did not go through regular order we do not know just how costly this project will be. i wish we could have received reviews and cost estimates on this proposal prior to voting on it and hope that moving forward bills will have the benefit of a work in committee before being moved onto the floor. with that, mr. chair, i will reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from nevada rise? mrs. lee: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm now pleased to yield one minute of my time to the gentleman from california,
chairman takano. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. takano: i thank the gentlewoman for yielding. i support this amendment because, by clarifying that vet centers are covered under the bill, we are ensuring that veterans seeking health care at any v.a. facility are allowed access at no cost child care. vet centers are particularly attract to have veterans that are uncomfortable in a more clinical setting. and they should be able to seek child care while they receive their mental health care --ed me health care at a v.a. vet -- medical health care at a v.a. health center. i thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from nevada. mrs. lee: mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from arizona, mrs. lesko. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. mrs. lesko: thank you. madam chair, i am proud to come to the floor today to discuss an
amendment to h.r. 840, the veterans' access to child care act, that i have co-sponsored with my colleague, representative susie lee from nevada. the veterans' access to child care act will provide veterans who need to attend regular or intensive mental health care appointments with no-cost child care during their appointments. our amendment will make sure these child care services are covered at our local v.a. clinics, such as the one in my district in peoria, arizona, along with the main v.a. facilities. no veteran seeking these types of mental health services should be left behind. it is our responsibility to ensure that all eligible veterans receiving mental health services are able to go to a facility operated by the v.a. health department even if it's
located separately from the v.a.'s general facility. my home state of arizona is blessed to be home to so many of our nation's veterans. i have 70,000 veterans in my district alone. however, it deeply troubles me that veteran suicide rates are 9 percentage points higher in arizona than the national average. expensive child care should not hinder arizona's returning veterans the ability to access needed mental health care or other prolonged service-connected disability care needs. we need to do everything we doon to help our nation's greatest heroes. they risked it all for us. it is inexcusable for us after our veterans have given so much to defend our freedoms, to permit policies that don't give them the best resources to recover and heal. we relied on them to protect us. now we must step up and help them. i want to thank representatives
brownley and rowe for their work on this -- and roe for their work on this legislation and representative lee for her effort on this much-needed amendment. i urge all my colleagues to support this amendment to give eligible veterans choice and access. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the -- the chair: the gentlelady yields. the gentleman tennessee. mr. roe: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from nevada. mrs. lee: i have no other speakers, i'm prepared to close at this time if my colleague is as well. i reserve. the chair: is the gentleman from ennessee ready to close? plm roe: i yield back the alance of my time. mrs. lee: i yield back the alance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields
back. the -- yields back. the squone the amendment offered by the gentlelady from nevada. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 6 printed in house report 116-6. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. barr: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 116-6, offered by mr. barr of kentucky. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 105, the gentleman from kentucky, mr. barr, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky.
mr. barr: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today in support of my amendment to h.r. 840, the veterans access to child care act. let me just first say to my good friend the ranking member of the house veterans affairs committee i appreciate the opportunity to -- and the privilege and the response to believe the serve in this congress on the house veterans affairs committee so we can continue to advocate for the veterans of the sixth congressional district of kentucky and throughout the nation. this amendment would require the secretary of veterans affairs to conduct a study on the effects of child care assistance provided in the underlying bill on access to health care services and compliance with treatment protocols. while i certainly support the underlying bill, this amendment is a common sense measure that would improve the legislation. we should always be willing to evaluate and aless whether or not the policies we enact are
actually producing their intended results. this amendment, by requiring the secretary to conduct a study after one year of the effects of the child care assistance on the actual access to the covered health care services, and the requirement to report the findings of that study after 18 months to congress, this will ensure that the policies we implement are actually successful in increasing veterans access to care. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and i would like to yield one minute to the ranking member of the veterans affairs committee, my friend, dr. phil roe. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. roe: i thank the gentleman from kentuckying, my next door neighbor, for doing this. we are pleased to have him on the veterans affairs committee, mr. chairman. i rise in support of this amendment to require v.a. to study how the provision of child care assistance impacts access to and compliance with care. it's important we closely monitor any taxpayer funded
program to ensure it's meeting its objectives and i'm grateful for congressman barr's foresight in ensuring we do this for this program as well. congressman barr has been a strong supporter of our nation's veterans and i'm pleased to welcome him as stated to the veterans awares committee this congress. i thank him for his leadership on this amendment and hope that all of my colleagues will join me in supporting this amendment. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. barr: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition even though i do not oppose the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, i rise in support of this amendment offered by the gentleman from kentucky. mr. takano: a new member from the committee on veterans
ffairs and i believe the co-chair of the caucus. it's important to study the effects of this program so we can determine if veterans are better able to access health care because of this benefit. as the veterans -- veteran population becomes increasefully diverse, the v.a. of the year 2030 that i envision must be prefire department provide health care to women veterans, fathers of young children, stepparents, and grandparents. and to make sure veterans are able to access their health care while also caring for their children. congress and v.a. need reliable data to inform these decisions and determine whether other barriers to health care access exist for veterans who care for young children. if the data from this study demonstrates that veterans are less likely to miss appointments vand healthier outcomes, better health care jut comes, it could be used to inform further v.a. policy decisions to expand the
program. i whole heartedly support this bipartisan amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. barr: we're prepared to close. the chair: the gentleman is reprepared to close. the gentleman from california. mr. takano: i have no further speaker, i'm prepared to close, i yield back the balance of my tile. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. barr: i appreciate the chairman's kind words and appreciate the chairman's support of this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from kentucky. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. [no audio] clause --
it is now in order to consider amendment number 7 printed in house report 116-6. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. cisneros: i have an amendment number 7 made in order by the rule. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. clip amendment number 7 printed in house report 116-6 offered by mr. cisneros of california. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. cisneros, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. cisneros: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank my colleague, ms. brownley, for her steadfast leadership on this issue and mr. takano for working with me to ensure consideration. finally i would like to thank mr. welch of vermont for co-sponsoring this amendment. i rise to offer an amendment which would require the second he tear of veterans affairs to
study how the v.a. can provide childcare assistance for veterans who receive covered services at nondepartment facilities. i'm a strong supporter and co-sponsor of h.r. 840 because i'm committed to advancing policies that make it easier for veterans to take advantage of the benefits they deserve. as a vet reason with two young twin boys, i know that am bung, young kids can often derail the best of plans. providing safe, affordable, convenient child care for vet ans who are parents and fwrarntes eliminates one of many barriers to health care our veterans can make when they make appointments. i rise to make sure my constituents are not left behind. orange county, california, is home to the largest veteran pop ligs in the country, approximately 130,000 veterans, without its own v.a. hospital. this leave miss of my constituents without easy access
to high quality care our v.a. system provides. my amendment would direct the v.a. to conduct a feasibility study to determine how the department of veterans' affairs could provide childcare assistance for veterans who receive health care services far from v.a. medical center campuses. this includes my constituents seeking care at the anaheim community based orthopedic clinic. i urge my colleagues to join me in support of this amendment to ensure we do not overlook veterans who could benefit from child care services. thank you, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to rise in opposition though i'm not opposed. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: i rise in support of congressman cisneros and
congressman. we's amendment to require v.a. to conduct a study to assess the feasibility of v.a. provided child care assistance for veterans receiving community care. this is a critically important amendment. for decades, v.a. has had the authority to refer patients to community providers when veterans are unable to get the care they need in v.a. medical facilities for various reasons. last year, almost 40% of appointments in the v.a. health care system occurred in the community. clearly, v.a. cannot meet every need of every veteran patient in every community across cross this country without the assistance of community partners. that is not the fault of the v.a. health care system. it's a strength. veterans in need of child care assistance should not be denied such assistance when they are referred to a v.a. community partner rather than a v.a. provider. i'm disappointed that another amendment offered by congressman case that would have simply lifted this barrier to care for these veterans who must seek care through community partners was not accepted. however, i'm encouraged that the
issue will be re-examined through this study. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this amendment today and with that, mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. cisneros: i yield one minute to my colleague from california, mr. takano. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. takano: thank you. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i support this amendment because it will allow congress to receive the critical data and information it needs to determine how to expand this program and the feasibility of expanding this program to community-based outpatient clinics and v.a. centers. v.a. facilities that are away from the main v.a. medical center campuses but critical for veterans in rural areas to access care. while this bill specifically prvidse that -- provides no cost child care benefits to veterans receiving care to the v.a., doctors, nurses and v.a. providers, i would like to work with my colleagues on the committee at a future date on
whether it may be feasible to provide no-cost child care to veterans receiving treatment from community providers or even look at ways we can provide incentives to community providers to offer no cost child care on site with a contract with the v. toomplet provide care to veterans. i thank the gentleman for offering this amendment amendment and i support it whole heartedly and urge my colleagues to do so as well. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i'm prepared to close. i strongly support congressman cisneros' amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. mr. cisneros: i have no further speakers, i'm prepared to close. i want to reiterate that this is a simple amendment to require a study by the v.a. within one year. i urge my colleagues to adopt this amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from -- it is now in order to consider amendment number 8. printed in house report 116-6. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. cisneros: i have an amendment, number eight, made in order by the rule. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number eight offered by mr. cisneros of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 105, the gentleman from california, mr. cisneros and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. . mr. cisneros: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to quickly thank the chairman, mr. takano, for urging in his testimony before the
house committee of rules that this amendment be made in order. i rise to offer an amendment which would include intensive health care services related to physical therapy for service-connected disability and the definition of covered health care -- in the definition of covered health care services. physical therapy is an important aspect of any healing process and is often necessary for veterans suffering from sustained pain or discomfort from a service-connected disability. this experience can often commitments and long commutes to achieve results. for my constituents, access -- accessing physical therapy services at v.a. health clinics, receiving regular physical therapy means making a regular commitment to be stuck in traffic on the 405 to drive to the long beach v.a. hospital. my amendment will ensure that veterans in need of physical therapy for a service-connected disability are specifically afforded access to child care services. v.a. benefits are not truly benefits if the cost associated with child care during regular
appointments place too large a burden on veteran caretakers. veterans and their families face many obstacles when transitioning back to civilian life, but access to health care should not be one of them. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair. i ask unanimous consent to rise in opposition, although i'm not opposed. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. roe: mr. chair, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair. mr. cisneros, i share your concern. i've been on the 4050 -- 5 and i certainly -- 405 and i certainly understand that trip. i rise in support of this amendment, to include physical therapy for service-connected disabilities under the definition of a covered health service. caring for service-connected conditions is the reason the
v.a. health care system exists. service-connected conditions should always take priority. i thank congressman cisneros for recognizing this, for his amendment. i am proud to join him in supporting it. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. cisneros: i yield one minute of my time to my colleague from california, mr. takano. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. takano: thank you, mr. chair. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i support this amendment because it provides an important clarification that veterans receiving physical therapy for a service-connected disability will be able to access no-cost child care. when 50% of the veterans treated in v.a. facilities suffer from chronic pain, physical therapy is a vital part of their treatment that will reduce the need for prescribing opioids. we are in the midst of an opioid epidemic in this country and many of our veterans sadly suffer from opioid addiction because they were prescribed these powerful drugs to treat pain. we should encourage other
treatments like physical therapy that can address the root cause of pain and make it easier for them to access this care, which often requires multiple treatments over time. i thank the gentleman for this important amendment and urge my colleagues to support it. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair. caring for service-connected conditions is the reason the v.a. health care system exists. i strongly encourage congressman sis never -- cisneros' amendment, encourage my colleagues to support it also. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. cisneros: mr. chairman, i have no further speakers and am prepared to close. i just want to reiterate that this is a simple, commonsense amendment. i urge my colleagues to adopt this amendment. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye.
those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 9 printed in house report 116-6. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? mr. davis: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 9 printed in house report 116-6 offered by mr. rodney davis of illinois. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 155, the gentleman from illinois, -- 105, the gentleman from illinois, mr. rodney davis, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. davis: thank you, mr. chairman. i obviously rise in support of our amendment. before i offer my comments, i would like to yield to the ranking member of the committee
on veterans affairs, dr. roe, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair. i rise in opposition, although i m not opposed. the chair: the gentleman has been yielded two minutes. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair. i want to thank congressman davis, first of all, for his commitment to our nation's heroes. i was able and privileged to attend, to be in his district last year. i saw his commitment to that and the respect that they have for him and i want to thank him for bringing this up. he does a terrific job for our nation's heroes in his district and it was a privilege to be there. i rise in support of congressman davis and congressman panetta's commonsense amendment. the bill we are considering today defines a veteran who is eligible for child care assistance as a veteran who is the primary caretaker of a child
or children. however, this amendment rightly recognizes that most children have two parents and either of them could be considered a primary caretaker of that child. i thank congressman davis and congressman panetta for that clarification and i am happy to support this amendment today. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. davis: i'll reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. for what purpose does the gentleman rise, from california? mr. takano: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition, even though i'm not opposed to the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. takano: i thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in support of this amendment offered by the gentleman from illinois, which would ensure either parent to a young child would be considered the primary caretaker for a child. and therefore eligible to receive the child care benefit. this amendment is necessary,
especially in instances when a veteran is receiving mental health services with a spouse. in instances like this, a veteran could not rely on the spouse to watch a child if it was important that a spouse participate in the treatment. this will also relieve a significant administrative burden on v.a., and the veteran. as long as a veteran is a parent to a child and in need of child care, that veteran would be eligible. as lawmakers, we should strive to make sure that veterans we authorize are not confusing to the v.a. and conduct oversight to ensure our constituents are not confused when the v.a. rolls out a program. this amendment will make it more clear to v.a. and veterans that in families where one or both parents are veterans, they are eligible for this child care benefit when receiving services from the v.a. i support this amendment and urge my colleagues to do the same. and i reserve the balance of my time.
the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: thank you again, mr. chairman. in my short time here in this institution, i found when you offer an amendment to a bill that has jurisdiction of a committee that you don't sit on, it's always good to have the chairman and ranking member be in support of your amendment. so i want to thank chairman takano and ranking member roe for their help and their team's help in help -- teams' help in helping us craft this commonsense solution. i really want to thank my good friend and colleague, jimmy panetta, who is a main co-sponsor of this amendment. jimmy and i have worked together on a wide variety of issues but not many more important than making sure that our families, our heroes get access to the child care and the services that they need. this veterans' access to chailed care act also, mr. chairman, -- to child can -- to child care act, also, mr. chairman, builds on a pilot program and provides services to our heroes, our
veterans, through increased access to child care while our veterans attend the appointments that they need to attend to. the intention of this amendment, as you heard from the chairman and the ranking member, is to make sure that the v.a. does not determine that this bill is meant that there's only one primary caretaker in the family. and then arbitrarily have a bureaucrat at the v.a. decide who that caretaker is. without this change, some veterans that this bill is intended to help would not be able to access child care over a technicality. our amendment, as you heard, clarifies this language to help eliminate barriers to mental health services for our veterans with families. when our veterans face a mental health crisis, i want to ensure that they are not alone. and that we are doing everything we can to properly support them and their families. and while we've been successful in passing legislation that prevents many veterans from having to drive long distances to access care, it's possible that in some cases a veteran in my district could have to drive
four hours to the nearest v.a. hospital and ensured access to child care will encourage them to get the services that they need. i don't want a technicality to get in the way of our heroes. i want to make sure they get access to the services they need. that's why i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment. i urge all members to support our amendment to h.r. 40 and i yield back the balance of my ime. the chair: the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: mr. chairman, i have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment ffered by the gentleman from illinois. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. illinois. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. it is now in order to consider amendment number 10 printed in house report 116-6. for what purpose does the
gentleman from the northern mariana islands seek recognition? small business administration -- mr. sablan: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 10 printed in house report 116-6 offered by mr. sablan of northern mariana islands. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 105, the gentleman from northern mariana islands, mr. sablan, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from the mariana islands. mr. sablan: thank you. mr. chairman, i rise today to offer an amendment clarifying the elemental health services furnished by the v.a. are included in the list of covered health care services under h.r. 840. making it easier for veterans to get mental health services by providing child care while they are receiving treatment just makes sense. most parents are not going to
use the mental health services the v.a. provides if it means leaving their kids at home alone. worrying about their children will only worsen the mental stress for veterans in need of care. so i support h.r. 840. but i want to make sure that child care the bill offers will be available to veterans in my district who can only receive mental health service by video conference. we do not have a v.a. psychologist in the marianas. for that matter, we do not have a community-based outpatient clinic or a vet center or a v.b.a. specialist. services that veterans in the rest of america can take for granted. so my vets must sit in front of a video monitor to get mental health counseling. not the best arrangement in my opinion. so, we should at least try and make sure veterans in the marianas or anywhere else in the nation receive -- or anywhere
else the v.a. only offers telemedicine, instead of real person to person care, that those veterans do not have to worry about the safety and well-being of their children. let us be sure there is no ambiguity in h.r. 840. i ask my colleagues for their support of my amendment so we can be sure that even vets receiving mental health services by video can have the costs of child care covered. thank you, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair. i ask unanimous consent to rise in opposition, although i am not opposed. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chair much i yield myself as -- mr. chair much i yield myself as -- mr. chair. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. i rise in supportf this amendment to provide mental health provided by telehealth
under the definition of a covered health service. the v.a. health care system is an industry leader in telemedicine and should be commended in its use to increase access for care -- to care for veterans who would otherwise have to travel great distances regular basis to receive the care they need. i wt to thank my good friend, congressman sablan who is a tireless advocate in the marianas, he has been an amazing supporter of the veterans there who really have very limited services. i thank you for introducing this amendment, to make sure that veterans accessing telehealth care also are eligible for child care assistance if needed and i'm pleased to join him in supporting this and with that, i yieldack the balance of my ime. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from northern mariana islands is recognized. mr. sablan: i would like to
hank the chairman of the committee, the gentleman from california and the ranking member, the gentleman from tennessee, for their leadersp and the house this bill and and i'd like to yield as much time as he may consume to the chairman of the house veterans affairs committee, mr. takano of california. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for so much time as he may consume. mr. takano: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to make note that we just have gotten a release, the v.a. has exceeded one million video telehealth visits in fiscal year 2018. that one-year achievement represents a 19% increase over
the previous year. i congratulate the v.a. for that amazing achievement. i want to support -- i want to make note of my support for my good colleague from the northern mariana island, mr. sablan's amendment, because as v.a. expands its footprint, and we have seen how it has expanded its footprint significantly, and it remains at the forefront of providing treatment for telehealth services. we need to make sure the v.a. has the ability to make those services as successful as their in-person services. in districts like mr. sablan's where veterans are separated from services by the pacific ocean, telemeantal health is often the only -- tele meantal shelt often the only way veterans can access help. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from northern mariana islands.
mr. sablan: i have no further speakers, i yield back the balance of my time and ask for support for h.r. 840. the chair: the gentleman yields back. it is -- the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from northern mariana islands. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider consider amendment number 11 printed in house report 116-6. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. crud: mr. speaker i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 11 printed in house report 116-6, offered by mr. cloud of texas. mr. cloud: pursuant to house resolution 105, the gentleman from texas, mr. cloud, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes.
the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. cloud: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of my amendment to h.r. 840, the veterans access to child care act. in 017, the congressional budget office estimated that under similar legislation to to -- to what we're considering today, each year the v.a. would need to process 665 claims for reimbursement of child care each year. the v.a. has a history filled with delays and difficulty in processing claims for veterans as my staff and i have worked with veterans in our texas 27th district, we too often hear from veterans about the trouble they've encountered with the v.a., from delays in processing benefit claim, wait times and scheduling appointments, veterans have often waited mt.s, sometimes years, from hear hearing back from the v.a. on their requests or receiving reimbursement for payments due them. should this bill pass, the v.a. will have to process a considerable amount of child care claims each year. therefore we must ensure that
there is oversight in the v.a.'s pro-- progress in paying providers for child care. my amendment would inject accountability into the program by requiring the v.a. to submit an annual report to congress on how the process og of claims is going. specifically it would include data on the number of child care claims filed each yearing the number of staffers required to process the claim they can average cost of each claim and how long it takes the v.a. to process a claim. if there's a backlog of unprosessed claim the v.a. must report on the backlog and how it's working to resolve the needs of affected veterans. finally the v.a. must report any improper or duplicative payments made for the program. ult mallly, my amendment would close the gap in this legislation by giving the house veterans affairs committee and the v.s.o.'s important day that they otherwise wouldn't have. i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from -- for what purpose does the gentleman from
california rise? >> i rise to claim time in opposition even though i'm not opposed to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is -- without objection the gentleman s recognized for five minutes. mr. takano: i rise in support of the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. i think all of us can recount concerns raised by our constituents about v.a. payment processing and late payments to health care providers. although i'm not aware of any issues with respect to v.a. payments to child care providers under the pilot program, i do think it is important that v.a. report to congress on whether -- it has experienced problems with making timely payment and ask for resources to address payment processing. the more data we collect from v.a., the more we'll be able to determine what solutions are needed to improve v.a. programs and services. i do thank the gentleman for offering this amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman
reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. cloud: i thank the chairman for his support and yield one minute to the ranking member. the chair: the gentleman yields to the gentleman from tennessee for one minute. the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in support of this amendment to require an annual report on the processing of claims for child care assistance. while v.a. has made improvements in recent years in the speed in which community providers are being reimbursed for services they provide to veteran patient, however claims processed -- processing remains an area where v.a. struggles, to be kind to them. struggings. we must take steps to ensure that veterans and childcare providers awaiting reimbursement pursuant to this bill are not left waiting. like many veterans and community providers have been previously. i'm grate to feel congressman cloud for his leadership in sponsoring this amendment and look forward to joining him in his support. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time.
the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time they have gentleman from texas is recognized. >> i urge passage of the amendment and yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california is ecognized. mr. cloud: -- mr. takano: i have no further speakers, yield back the balance of my time and urge support for the amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed too. -- is agreed to. for what purpose does the entleman from california rise? >> i now move, mr. chairman, that the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion that the committee
it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 840 and has come to no esolution thereon. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent that the clerk be directed to make the change in the engrossment of h.r. 494 that i placed at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the change. the clerk: strike section 1 and insert the -- the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the change. the clerk: strike section 1 and insert the following. his may be authorized at the tiffany joslyn grant and anti-bullying act of 2019.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection the change is agreed o. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york 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, the gentleman is ecognized. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to honor a young man from my district in new york's hudson valley who passed away last week while serving his country. coast guard chief warrant ficer michael kozlowski,
originally from new york, was only 35 years old he died of injuries sustained in a crane accident serving in alaska. mr. maloney: he leaves behind his wife of 15 year bree, and four young children he dedicated his entire adult life, 17 years, to protects our country as a member of the coast guard. we owe mike and his family an enormous debt of gratitude for his service and making the ultimate sacrifice in defense of his country. i spoke to mike's wife earlier and she said the community of homer, alaska, has been at her side, and family has flown in how fitting to be reminded that as americans we still rally to our heroes and their families at these difficult times. i ask all of us to join in prayer for michael and his family. we'll be closely monitoring the ongoing investigation in this incident and offering our assistance as needed. and our hearts go out to
michael's family, his friends, and the entire coast guard community. we thank them for their service. we remember michael for his sacrifice. and we pledge that he will not be forgotten. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from indiana rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise to urge a vote on h.r. 962, the born alive abortion survivors protection act. this bill would require doctors to provide medical attention to children who survive an abortion attempt. unfortunately, h.r. 962 is needed more than ever with the passage of a radical law in new york state that essentially legalizing infanticide. ms. la rorsky: it allow -- ms. walorski: it allows abortion
up to and even after birth. similar bills are being debated right now in states like virginia where the governor spoke of making newborn's comfortable while doctors and patient december side if they should be left to die. we have to stand up against this radical legislation to protect the rights of all infants. this is not a partisan issue. it's simply what is right to do. congress must pass the born alive abortion survivors protection act and i urge this speaker of this house to schedule a vote as soon as possible. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for ne minute. ms. jackson lee: i rise this afternoon to recognize and acknowledge gun victims in america. this week in judiciary we held
an important hearing on beginning the first steps toward real, commonsense gun safety legislation. in listening to witnesses from law enforcement, victims and near victims, representatives from the health profession, and yes, those who advocated for the second amendment. i would argue that in this tribute to gun victims, recognizing the pain of their families and those lives lost, that no one is challenging the second amendment. but with 100 persons a day dying by gun violence in the united states, it is without question that we must move squibbingly on universal background checks. we must move quickly on making illegal bump stocks. we must move quickly on the question of assault weapons. we must move quickly on closing loopholes and straw purchases. and we must work with the mental
health community to ensure that we address that very sensitive question to help people who are disturbed and challenged. mr. speaker, i honor those who have lost their lives and i honor them by our action. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to express my disappointment at new jersey transit. new jersey transit promised the public that the atlantic project would be finished by early 2019, but recently it announced that the atlantic city railline would be closed up to five months. that's not an inconvenience. that's a disaster. my constituents want service to
be restored immediately, and they want, most importantly, the truth. that's why a majority of my new jersey colleagues and i are sending a letter of admonishment to new jersey transit. mr. speaker, this is a time for new jersey transit to do the right thing for the sake of our commuters, to do the right thing for the sake of our workers, to do the right thing for the state of new jersey. mr. van drew: people's livelihoods and the quality of their lives depend on the atlantic city railline. i thank you and i yield the balance of -- city rail line. i thank you and i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to plead with my colleagues to address the ongoing crisis at our borders. just last week, federal agents made the largest fentanyl bust in u.s. history at a checkpoint
along our border with mexico. these drugs were headed into our communities. some of our colleagues will say the fact is that the bust occurred at a legal point of entry is proof we are doing enough to keep our nation secure and our neighborhoods safe. i ask you, if these drug dealers are bold enough to try to sneak this much contraband through a known checkpoint, how much are they smuggling through the dark borders? mr. burchette: whether it's the promise of working entitlements or the prom of is of an illegal drug market, we must demagna ties the attraction to our country for those who disregard our sovereignty and rule of law. we must secure our country and deal with the human trafficking and narcotics trafficking crisis that exist at our southern border. thank you and i yield back the remainder of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island rise?
the gentleman is recognized for one minute mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, on tuesday the president gave a state of the union address that was short on details but long on hypocrisy. his remarks were long, self-be a sushed and divorced from reality. much like one year ago, his speech was north worthy for things he didn't say. he didn't mention the environment and our responsibilities to respond to climate change, to strengthen social security, or education for young people. these are the real challenges facing working people today. they are also the things the president has ignored during his time in office. the people of this great country deserve better, and democrats are committed to delivering for the people. that means cracking down on corruption in washington and reducing the influence of money in our political system, raising wages by rebuilding our infrastructure, lowering health care and prescription drug costs, ending the epidemic of gun violence, and taking on the chaffle climate change. let's get the job done and
restore government of, by, and for the people of this great nation. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. does anyone rise to be ecognized? for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> mr. chair, a couple days ago, the president gave his state of the union address that did nothing to promote unity t rather use fear to further the divisive agenda by repeating lies about his manufactured emergency at our southern border. however, there was no mention of the real crisis. the real crisis stems from the president's inhumane family
separation policies. mr. cisneros: eight months since his cruel zero tolerance policy came to light, the number of children ripped away from parents at the border continues to rise. at first the administration said nearly 3,000 children were separated from their parents. now, we are learning that it's been thousands more. the administration also claims that they can't easily find the parents of the children they ripped away and they don't think it's even worth the time to locate them. this inhumane policy in how they treat these children goes against everything this country stands for. the president and this administration need to do everything that they can to ensure the reunification of these families. the prolonged separation of these children has cared irreparable damage to their health and well-being. that, mr. president, is the real crisis you have created at the southern border. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from arizona, for what purpose does do you seek recognition?
>> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to discuss briefly some of the accomplishments of the trump administration that were pointed out in the state of the union address the other day. i think it's imperative that we recognize that over five million jobs have been created in the last two years, over 300,000 in the last month alone. mr. biggs: the economists have predicted and projected 175,000 jobs and yet almost twice as many jobs were created. there is a record 157 million americans employed in this country. the unemployment rate has remained at or below 4% for 11 straight months. that hasn't happened in almost 50 years. there's been half a million manufacturing jobs since president trump became president. and there are more manufacturing jobs created in
2018 than any single year in the last 20 years. we've seen the judiciary be restored to, in my opinion, norm alis i. with the confir -- normalcy, with the confirmation of ustice gorsuch and calf gnaw and -- kavanaugh. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: are there any further requests for time? under the speaker's announced the of january 3, 2019, gentleman from north carolina, mr. walker, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. walker: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and introduce extraneous material into the record on the topic of this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
mr. walker: -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walker: thank you, mr. speaker. there has been a great deal of talk in the last few months on border security, what it takes to secure our border, and what it takes to protect the safety and the security of the american people. today, we're taking a few minutes with different members to share very powerful but very impactful stories from their district. this is not hyperbole or set up for historyonics. but this doesn't always cut outlets. th our media many of the folks they will be eferring today in this special order, and our first speaker is mr. greg pence, who represents indiana's sixth district, is on transportation and foreign affairs. more impressive to me is that greg pence is a veteran of our marine corps and he is a
successful small business man. with that i yield two minutes to mr. greg pence. i rise today to urge this body to act on the national crisis that currently exists along our southern border. this crisis plays itself out not only in the border towns of california, arizona, new mexico, and texas, but in communities across the nation, including my very own indiana's sixth district. the statistics speak for themselves. in my home of bartholomew county, the sheriff's office booked 34 individuals with an immigration detainer two years ago. last year, that number jumped to 132. hoosiers also feel the effects of the border crisis in the
form of an opioid crisis that now kills more americans than car accidents, gun violence, or breast cancer. this crisis is tearing families apart. the department of corrections says one in three hoosiers residing in state prisons are battling addiction to opioids. in the last year, customs and border officials have reported dramatic increases in meth, heroin, fentanyl along our southern border. these are some of the very drugs that claimed the lives of ore than 1,800 hoosiers in 2017. president trump is right. we must create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern, and secure. it's not just the border states feel the effects of illegal immigration. it's communities like ours in the sixth district of indiana. that is being ravaged by the
massive scourge of drugs coming across our southern border. we must end this crisis. it is time to secure the southern border and build the wall. thank you and i yield back the remainder of my time to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. walker. mr. walker: thank you. i appreciate your expression of how it's impacting the state of indiana. one of our new members, very accomplished gentleman himself, an aerospace engineer, representing the first district of oklahoma, has also worked within the mcdonald system and on -- in multiple restaurants throughout oklahoma and also on the national leadership team, we will yield 2 1/2 minutes to mr. kevin hern. if you'll share a little bit about your state of oklahoma. mr. hern: thank you. my constituents have been calling the office in overwhelming numbers. they tell me to stand with our president to get the funding our customs and border
protection agents have asked for. i got a call from a police recruit in tulsa just this week who's seen firsthand what illegal immigration places the burden on those in harm's way every single day. with unregulated borders, we open the country up for human trafficking, undocumented women and children are especially vulnerable to traffickers. 90% of our heroin in our country comes illegally from mexico. with dangerous drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin come gang activity, violent crime and a serious problem of addiction. in december, tulsa law enforcement officers found two pounds of heroin and 16 pounds of methamphetamines in nnection with the sin loa -- sinaloa drug cartel. there is a fix for all of this. build a wall.
a physical barrier, which i might add, most of my friends from the other side of the aisle have historically supported. it will stop illegal entry in its tracks. there is no replacement for a physical barrier. last month, the president told the american people that we need a wall, not because we hate the people on the outside, but because we love the people on the inside. i agree. how can we keep our people safe when we don't know who's coming in to this country? let's start prioritizing the american people and their safety. i urge my colleagues to rise above partisanship for the sake of our citizens. we can stop the human trafficking crisis. we can catch the drug smugglers. weapon keep our people safe, and -- we can keep our people safe, and at the end of the day the only way to pass bipartisan legislation to secure or borders and build a wall. i yield back to the congressman from south carolina. mr. walker: thank you, mr. hern. appreciate your time. our next speaker today is
representative brad wenstrup, in some circles he's called colonel wenstrup, a great man, my classmate that came in. he's -- has been awarded the bronze star as well as the combat action badge for his service. in fact, it was on a baseball field a year and a half ago that that combat action badge showed itself off again when he was the only one equipped to be able to put a tourniquet on steve scalise and save his life. my fellow classmate, mr. wenstrup from the second district of ohio. mr. wenstrup: i rise to support the security and the safety of all of our fellow americans. border security isn't or shouldn't be a partisan issue. that's why my colleagues across the aisle have supported fencing in the past. this is an american issue that affects every part of our
nation. sometimes in very visible ways. sometimes in ways less visible. i represent southern southwest ohio, not a border state but it's deeply and tragically impacted by the lack of border security. in the last couple of years, there was a woman from my district area who was being deported. and theage bishop called the senator on her behalf. he has every right to do that. someone who is being deported under the obama administration. they set a date, when the date came she didn't adhere. the archbishop had every right to engage in that if he felt he should reach out to the representative but i met with the archbishop and asked, where were you in the case i'm about to tell you about, where were you when someone was in need because of the actions of someone who is here illegally? last year i met a her of a 15-year-old girl. the mother told me about their neighbor, a neighbor they trusted.
that they had picnics with. and they told him you have nothing to worry about. you're here legally. turns out he was a 41-year-old illegal immigrant, previously depored but reentered illegally. gained employment by using the social security number of a 69-year-old woman from arkansas. one day he knocked on their door and since their daughter knew him she opened the door and he went in and beat and raped her. her innocence taken forever. her life changed forever. he got eight years. she got a life sentence. and it didn't need to happen. tragically one of my local prosecutors tells me there have been multiple cases like this in our area over the last few years. these are the families i think about when someone calls the border wall immoral. as president trump said in his
address, we don't build walls because we hate people on the outside. it's because we love the people on the inside. but really we love the people on the outside too that want to come here legally. to be part of our american family. legally. so this isn't about keeping people out of our country. this is about controlling access so we know who and what is coming in to our country. sitting idly by and make nothing effort to resolve these problems is wrong. it's a disservice to those who have suffered violence at the hands of criminal who was entered our nation illegally. these victims are real. and so is their pain. we owe it to them to enforce our laws. to my colleagues, esay come to the table. let's negotiate a solution. smartly enhance our security and drive on to the betterment of all americans so that rather than being a borderless and lawless country, america will be the beacon of hope for those who desire to come to this great
country of ours legally. i yield back to the gentleman. mr. walker: thank you representative wenstrup. it's my belief that that kind of common sense will prevail with the majority of the american people, knowing -- knowing our job and continuing to work to keep safe the american people is a high priority. next speaker tonight, a member in his sophomore term but has uite already an accomplishment in the political arena, serving under president george w. bush and serving as chief of staff to the chairman, representative jody arrington. mr. arrington: i thank the gentleman, mr. walker, for his service and leadership, not just to this body but to myself permly. he's a spiritual leader and mentor for so many. we have a lot of ways to measure success.
-- success in life. and in this job. i can tell you one -- tell you one of them is to main ain a healthy relationship with our lord and savior, thank you, and i want to say that publicly. this is a serious issue, it's one that we in texas have a lot of knowledge and experience with, unfortunately, and that's border security. and it's also the humanitarian crisis. we're on the frontlines, representative walker, and we see the drugs and gang and criminal activity pouring in to the great state of texas. not just along the immediate impact zone just immediately across from the southern border, but in communities in west texas in district 19 and not just my population centers but in rural areas, communities as well. here's a statistic that's pretty startling. since 2011, 180,000 illegal
immigrants were charged in the great state of texas with 290,000 crimes. i talked to local law enforcement officers, sheriffs, police chiefs and others. in my communities over the last few weeks. and they are telling me that the volume of drugs coming into our ommunities are off the charts. and that crime increased exponentially, not just property crime bus vimet crimes. and gangs. and cartels, the sinol oombings cartel and others, in my -- the sinoloa cartel and others, in my district in west texas, they're showing up in our back yards, it is scary. and here's the sad fact. this country has the resources
and tools to do something about it. our president has asked for those resources and tools. he has a comprehensive border security plan. and we have to have the political will and we have to be able to put our country first, especially when it comes to the safety and security of our people. i've heard representative walker, people say drugs are only coming through ports of entry. you can tell from this map they're coming all across the border at various places. just a month ago there was 700 unds of cocaine that was caught at the border and we had our largest drug bust up in my district in a little town called denver city about 22 kilos of cocaine. we've got to do something about it. i beg of my colleagues to do the right thing. and put their country before politics. thank you for your time and i
yield back. mr. walker: thank you, representative arington, i thank you for your kind remarks and sobering ones a at the same time. we do have a problem with illegal drugs and illegal aliens. that's why we continue to message through this. just two nights ago, sitting right about there, was my sister-in-law whose brother was a united states army veteran and a good friend of mine that one day messed his knee up he had surgery, next thing you know he was addicted to painkillers, opioids, opioids led to heroin, heroin, unable to come off heroin, led to him committing suicide three years ago. that is a real problem. , if we weretoday is able to redouse a small percentage of the drug a small per crenage of the murders thombing sexual assaults, only a small per creptage, my question is, would a border structure still not be worth it?
to me that's a very commonsense question. how much does it need to be reduce before it's relevant to all of us. our next speaker this afternoon is a solid new member, former district attorney from the state of mississippi, already serving on foreign affairs and homeland security, certainly my privilege to introduce and hear from representative michael guest. mr. guest: i want to thank the gentleman for yielding. as a former district attorney i have seen firsthand how damaging markets and synthetic drugs can be to individuals, to families, and our communities. in 2017, drug overdoses killed 72,000 merps. more than car crashes and drugs -- more than car crashes and gun violence combined. the most dangerous of these drugs, fentanyl, is 50 times more potent than heroin an accounted for almost twice the number of fatal overdoses in 2017. last year law enforcement officers in mississippi seized
over 800,000 dosages of fentanyl. the fentanyl seize was enough to kill nearly 14% of the population of mississippi. this lethal market is smuggled into our country by transnational criminal organizations or drug cartels. just last month, federal law enforcement officials seized over 250 pounds of fentanyl at the nogales port of entry on the united states-mexican border. as we continue to aggressively police our points of entry, drug cartels will attempt to gain access through the areas of the border that are not secured. forcing us to devote manpower to police these unsecured sections of our border. it is apparent that drug cartels want to profit from the addiction and the destruction these drugs are having on american lives. this congress has not only opportunity but also the duty to act. to help limit the flow of drugs
into the country and to protect our citizens by securing our southwest border. thank you and i yield back to the gentleman from north carolina. mr. walker: thank you, representative guest, i appreciate your passion in sharing some of the firsthand experiences you're seeing in the great state of mississippi. our next two speakers are border states that certainly have a perspective on what is going on as we see even right now. one is an accomplished medical doctor who served in practice there in the state of texas for nearly three three decades. one of our -- let's put it this way, he's not one of our lud members but is often considered one of our more effective members. it's my privilege to yield to the great doctor, representative michael burgess. mr. burgess: i thank the gentleman for yielding and for the recognition. i spent the last several hours in a hearing on the energy and commerce committee, a hearing called by the democrats on the eversight and investigation
subcommittee and the hearing was evaluating the fail yours they have trump administration on the child separation policy. let me share with you some of the statements of the witnesses, these were pediatricians, these were aclu lawyers. statements like, the trump administration policy was intentionally hurtful. that it was an incredibly difficult position that people were in. that parents have a right to eep their children safe. and that this was nothing more than government sanged child endangerment. look, i want to share a story with you, just like mr. walker, i had a guest here at the state of the union. the other night when the president was here. my guest was chris from keller, texas. he sat up in the gallery right behind us here. i met chris probably a year and a half to two years ago. he came to see me one day,
brought in, actually brought his mother because his mother was concerned because he had suffered an injustice in his life and he was upset and couldn't get over it and he kneed to talk to someone and a member of congress is the last person i can think to talk to but maybe you can help. so he told me -- i practiced medicine for 25 years, i've heard sad story. i've been in congress for 15 years, and i've heard some sad stories. this was the saddest i can recall ever having heard. chris was in iraq in tauai when they had the big election where everyone was going down the road with ink-stained thumbs he helped make that happen. he helped pull that off. chris continued his service in various forms and was in iraq when he got word that his wife was ill. and his wife was as it turns out very, very ill. and he had to come home and he
did. he cared for her for the last few months of her life before she succumbed to breast cancer. he said he made her a promise right at the end of that illness that he would always, always, always take care of their daughter. now chris is a single dad. he's got an only child. child, 12, 13 years old, light of his life. everything, everything in chris' life was wrapped up in his daughter. his daughter came home one day and said she wanted to go spend the night at a friend's house. chris said no. she said please, daddy, you never let me do anything, please let me go. and, after multiple entreaties, chris agreed she could go over to this friend's house and spend the night. at some point during the evening, the girls went out to a convenience store across the street. she drops her cell phone, goes back to retrieve it and she was
hit by a car. there were a number of cars coming down the street at that point. one was going faster than the others. all of the other cars stopped. corissa at hit inflicted substantial injury upon her. the driver did stop. the police were called and the driver of that vehicle was in the country without the benefit of citizenship. so the driver of that car was taken down to the police station, drug and alcohol tests were administered. search of the search of the records reveal previous infraction with customs and border protection o'immigration and customs enforcement. come into the country illegally before. there was that. he had had speeding tickets and he had been arrested driving without a license. in fact, this time the only citation he received was driving without lance and he was released after 35 minutes. chris came in to see me several
months lately and literally at the end of his rope and i'll never forget as he told me this story, and he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, congressman, i put on the uniform of my country. i served my country. i did my job. mr. congressman, if you had been doing your job, my daughter would be here today. i got to tell you, as i was walking chris back to his -- where he got a cab to the hotel after the state of the union address and we've actually corresponded on a fairly regular basis and he's a very likable individual. i told him as we walked off the hill to get to where the -- he could catch a cab, where the capitol police, bond their barrier and he said, i have really enjoyed meeting you, congressman, and you have been
great to me. i said, chris, i'd give anything if we had never met. this is not a manufactured crisis. this is a real crisis affecting our citizens, our constituents. the people on the panel today, they were very concerned about the trump administration's policy from last june, but you know what, this is not a new deal. there has been a problem on our texas border, particularly in he lower reeo grande valley -- rio grande valley sector for years. the previous administration had problems. the clinton administration had problems. the carter administration had problems. it's a difficult problem and it does need to be solved. president trump has outlined a reasonable approach that, yes, includes sensors, yes, includes increased personnel. yes, includes all weather roads in areas and, yes, it does include a barrier. and without that there cannot
be success in securing our southern border. as a consequence, our citizens cannot be safe and secure in their homes. i thank the gentleman for providing the time tonight and leading this hour. i -- i hope -- i hope chris does get some measure of peace eventually but clearly this is a problem that's affected a great many lives of people in our districts. -- nk we all could have thank you. mr. walker: i did not job putting on my uniform every day, congressman, if you had been doing your job my daughter would be here today. i hope that message resonates in all 434 members that are currently in the house. congressman, if you would do your job, these children, these daughters, these sons, these mothers, these wives and husbands, they would still be
here today. truth tellers in the house, representative from arizona's fifth district, retired attorney who also served in the arizona legislature for 14 years, a bold voice in the united states house. >> thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, congressman walker, for holding this special order. i want you to know i continue to be astonished our democratic colleagues turned a blind eye to what is happening in this country because of what's going on the border. unlike many in congress, i've been down to the border multiple times. mr. biggs: i grew up just a number of miles, 60, 70 miles from the border myself. been down there many times. a couple weeks ago i took eight congressmen with me. we toured the border. we met with multiple ranchers and their story is very similar. we got to talk to one guy.
four home invasions. more than 15 burglaries. endless vandalism. trespassing daily. he was not unique. another family set up their own cameras and sensors so they can say, we watched them, we watched the people coming across. this is footage hour after hour of footage. you know what, these were young men coming across with carpet slippers so you couldn't see their footprints. i didn't see the moms and children coming across. i saw the young men carrying bundles of drugs across. on monday, the "washington examiner" published an article detailing the fear of border residents living in new mexico. they, like those in arizona and texas and california, have been burglarized. they find groups of illegal aliens squating in their barns, bundles of drugs on their land, but they won't call the authorities because they fear retaliation from drug cartels. many of the people we met with
said we'll meet with you on condition you don't reveal this meeting to the press because every time the press reveals something, we are retaliated against by drug cartels. yesterday at the end of a judiciary committee hearing, about gun violence, one mocrat said after going on a tirade about the importance of protecting every life. every life is valuable. i agree with that. but she is valuing some over others. why wouldn't she focus on policies that would help lives of all americans through border security? in 2015, a young man from my congressional district, grant, was shot and killed by an illegal alien. not only should that murderer not have been in possession of a firearm, he shouldn't have been in the country. he'd been deported before. yet, he comes back because the border is porous. for some reason, no democrats are willing to ensure that
criminally violent aliens like grant's killer aren't released back in our community. i introduced a bill called grant's law, to ensure no criminal alien can be released from custody. i can't get a single co-sponsor from the other side of the aisle. two weeks ago, 250 pounds of fentanyl and 400 pounds of additional drugs were nterdicted in know gal -- in nogales. that's the number one sector for drug seizures in this country. 40% of all drugs interdicted are in the tucson sector. st today, in another region, 300 people crossed. today. two hours ago. i'm told by experts that we only interdict 15% of dangerous drugs. and fewer than 50% of the people that are crossing. i call out -- i call out for my colleagues across the aisle, help us. help this country.
i'm tell you, walls work. we have to stand with the president. i stand with that president. i stand with the people of america. i stand with the people in my district. i stand with the people who believe and understand that we have to get border security, and the most foundational, fundamental thing we can do is build a wall. with that, thank you. i yield back. mr. walker: thank you, representative biggs. we acknowledge there are problems with ports of entry. we have no problem increasing training or border agents. not opposed to that at all. what we don't understand is why there is not an all-of-the-above approach, a commonsense approach that would allow us to continue to reduce and sometimes eliminate some of the issues that we're seeing. our next speaker is a classmate of mine, serving faithfully on the agriculture and ed and labor committees, a business owner who is responsible for creating thousands of jobs from
the land he comes from, augusta, georgia, representing georgia's district, representative rick allen. mr. allen: thank you, congressman walker. thank you for your work here today. and telling the story. and we heard so many stories about people that have been affected by this problem at our southern border. and yet my friends and colleagues continue to fight to resolve the crisis at our southern border, end illegal immigration and save innocent merican lives. i'd like to share about a story. a hard worker. a georgia resident. he was violently shot and killed in 2017 at the hands of three illegal immigrants living just south of georgia's 12th district. mr. mentaya, who worked for a tree service company, reported
suspicious activity to the equal employment opportunity commission, aleneling that illegal workers were being employed as part of a scheme to defraud that company. by doing his duty and reporting this illegal activity to proper authorities, mr. mentaya was senselessly murdered by illegal immigrants who reportedly collected more than $3.5 million of illegal profits. folks, this is a very real crisis we are facing in our southern border. and we simply cannot allow lawlessness to consume this nation. in his state of the union on tuesday, president trump said it best. the lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security, and financial well-being of all americans. we have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens. think about this. if you put in the most advanced security system in your home,
would you take down the front door? i'm 100% with the president. and with that i yield back. mr. walker: thank you, representative allen. i appreciate your sincere words. one of my friends, another member actually from georgia, serves on the energy and commerce. carter's ns pharmacist. became a mayor and a general assembly member. my privilege to represent representative buddy carter. mr. carter: well, i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to discuss an important topic to our nation's homeland security -- the crisis of our southern border, and it is indeed a crisis. in this most simple form, it's paramount to know who is coming
in and out of our country in order to keep our fell countrymen safe. however, -- fellow countrymen safe. however, it's impossible to do so when people are avoiding checkpoints and bypassing immigration laws. mr. speaker, i've ben to our border. i served -- i've been to our border. i served on the homeland security committee my first session here. we took a trip to the border. we went to california. first time i had ever been to california. we went to san diego. san diego, you need a barrier. you need a wall. you need a fence. you got three million people in san diego county. three million people in tijuana. separated by a highway. it makes perfect sense to have a barrier there, a fence. then, we went to arizona. rugged terrain. mountainous terrain. there you need technology. you need boots on the ground. you need blimps. you need drones. all of those things. when we were in arizona, we visited a farmer, a rancher here who showed us an area
where they had a fence. in that area where they had that fence, they had cut it off. it was a 10-foot fence and they aught it off at five foot, put ramps on it and had driven a truck over it. you got to have a fence. you got to have technology. we went to mckenna, texas. first time i had been to that part of texas. went to the rio grande river. now, i grew up in south georgia. to me the rio grande river is this giant river you saw in a john wayne movie. well, it's anything but. it's a narrow, winding river that in some areas is knee deep. people walk across it. you are going to have to have barriers in some of those areas. you are going to have to boots on the ground. you are going to have to have technology, blimps, drones, all of those things. what we're talking about is securing our borders. everyone says, he wants to
build a wall. yeah, you need a wall in certain areas. you need a barrier. but you need technology. but most importantly, you need security. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, they want to deny the president the ability to deliver on a campaign promise. that's not what this is about. this is about securing our borders. we need to focus. we need to focus about what we're talking about here. this is real. this is serious. let me tell you how serious it is. i've seen examples of it. i've seen examples that it creates in my own district, my own congressional district in coastal georgia. just over a month ago, three illegal immigrants were charged with conspiracy to murder a legal, naturalized citizen who threatened to turn them in. now, folks, if you want to know
how people feel about illegal immigration, ask someone who has become a citizen exwho's gone through the process -- citizen, who's gone through the process. don't ask me. ask them what they think. i guarantee you they're going to be opposed to it. they did it the right way, and we invite them here. we need them here. we want them here. but they did it the right way. they are as much opposed to it, they are as much offended by it as anyone. it's stories like these that caused me to introduce the tax identity protection act. the treasury department's secretary general noted that up to 1.4 million illegal immigrants could be fraudulently using social security number bus the i.r.s. refuses to do anything about this, saying they can't accurately determine which
numbers are mistakes and which are fraud. i introduced the tax identity protection act. it would require the i.r.s. to find ways to better determine illegal immigrants using stolen social security nurbles. i'll be rebro enthusing -- reintroducing that bill in the 116th congress and i hope my colleagues will support this legislation that strengthen ours national security and protect ours personal identities. immigration is important, it's important to the history, the culture, the progress of our country. but it's past time for us to fix our broken immigration system. and ensure that people seeking a better life in america are coming through the lawful channels. i want to thank my colleagues for holding this important and timely special order today. folks, this is serious. this is important. we need to focus. keep our eye on the ball here. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back.
mr. walker: thank you, representative carter, appreciate your passion on this issue and laying out a heart fealt case why border security is so important. so many times we hear the argument that there are as many and in some places even a higher percentage of assaults, crimes, murders, etc., in communities with american citizens as there are with some of the illegal immigrants. my question is, does that make it ok? see that's the thing we have to take a look at, from a commonsense perspective is that when we do begin to reduce this it allows us to have the resources to be able to concentrate on some of the areas as well. a class member from arkansas, quite a distinguished history, prior to his congressional service, mr. hill was a commercial banker and an investment manager for two decades but not only that president george h.w. bush appointed mr. hill to be execive
secretary to the president's economic policy council where he coordinated all white house economic policy. does a great job, works hard on our financial services committee as well. i'm proud to introduce my friend from arkansas' second district, representative french hill. mr. hill: i thank my friend from north carolina, i appreciate his distinguished service on behalf of the citizens of north carolina, his leadership of our republican study committee in the last congress. and his leadership is our -- in our -- as our conference leader for this congress. and i greatly appreciate his personal engagement to help continue this conversation with the american people about the need for enhanced security along our southwest border. like my colleagues you've heard from, i've been to the southwest border four times as a member of congress. i worked in texas for nearly a decade. i'm very familiar with the southwest border in texas. but as a congressman i've gone
four times to get at the root of what is the balance that we want tweench border fencing, barrier, the use of technology, screening technology, and enhancements at our ports of entry, of the manpower issue, and mr. speaker, we need all of that. and that's in fact what we've produced. time and time again on the floor, just in the last year, mr. speaker, we have proposed these kinds of commonsense border security issues. and we have not gotten sufficient votes to pass them. so this is why we find ourselves hearing from the border patrol and officials at homeland security that we need additional barrier construction, additional boots on the ground, new judges, additional screening technology, all the things i hear about from county judges, county sheriffs, federal law enforcement, to make our border in fact safe.
but tonight i want to reflect on the impact on my home state of arkansas. you know, i see it every day. i have two young adults now, mr. speaker, a 19-year-old and a 22-year-old, and when i was in high school, i didn't know anybody who had died of a -- of a drug overdose. i didn't know anyonwho had committed suicide ong my peers. in my high school. and i'm oken hearted tonight to report that any kids in their age grp have seen dths from deadly addiction to these drugs that are coming over or border, our southwest border. it break misheart. to seehem at funerals when hey should be at soccer games. so the opioid crisis has killed more than 100 americans a day, caused them 45,000 deaths alone
last year. almost as many as we lost in all of the vietnam conflict. a third of these deaths were attributable to fentanyl, much of which is manufactured in china, this congress, bipartisan last year, decided to get screeni equipment to our postal service to interdict an try to stop fentanyl. senator cotto and i want to increase penalties, criminal penalties, for fentanyl p mr.ion and dealing, because speaker, in this small sweet&low pact we're all familiar with, one -- packet we're all familiar with, one gram has enough, if it were fentanyl, to kill 500 americans. yet that's what confronts our kids as it's laced into heroin, pressed into pills, soaked into marijuana on our streets of our country. coming across the southwest
border. so my ds have suffered from it. i've watched their faces, i've hugged a lot of moms whenever i think of this issue i think about nate gordon, who lost his life, whose mom i visit with, who helped me on my round tables, on helps me cope with how to talk to our parents about this deadly addiction that's overtaken our country. nate was a kid who got addicted and he tried to beat and -- beat it and he beat it and then one night it took his life. and his mom doesn't have her son anymore. but she's dead tated her life to helping parents to helping parents to educate kids, to get people in treatment and that's what he need. we need an entire community to bond with this congress, to fight drug addiction. i spoke to our attorney general,
my friend from north carolina, and she told me that over 1,000 illegals have been arrested in arkansas recently tens of thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of pills and over 1,000 pounds of drugs. so this is something that challenges our whole country. we have to work together. i commend our president for keeping it at the forefront of the american people and i commend you for inviting us here to visit about it tonight. i yield back. mr. walker sprk thank you, representative french hill, appreciate your work and appreciate your friendship in this house as well. a new member from texas, someone who represents in the southwest texas area, i believe represents portions of austin, texas, as well. someone who is new but no less experienced. former first assistant attorney general and former federal prosecutor. it's my pri ledge to yield three or four minute here's to chip roy from texas' 21st district. representative roy? mr. roy: i thank the gentleman for yielding time. i thank him for his leadership
on this important issue. we're here because we're discussing the importance of border security for the united states of america. a question of our sovereignty. the basic duty of a sovereign nation to secure its borders. i had the great privilege of spending some time with the men and women of the border patrol in the rio grande valley sector in texas this past week two days with my fellow texas freshman congressman dan crenshaw. what i saw was alarming. what we learned from border patrol is that there will be upwards of 400,000 people crossing the border through the rio grande valley sector alone this year of the 400,000 people, 200,000 of them, give or take, won't even be apprehended because the men and women of the border patrol don't have the tools they need. don't have the fencing and barriers they need. don't have the ability to drive a vehicle parallel, lateral, to the rio grande river. don't have the radio signal to be able to communicate on the
border. we found that the 200,000 people that will be apprehended, 90% of them will be captured and released. because we have judicially mandated capture and release. today. we have a judge, judges that have told us that we've got to capture people and then releasest -- and then release them back into our communities without going through the proper process to truly vet asylum and truly vet what we're dealing with. and the result of that brings tragic consequences. the gulf cartel in mexico will make $130 million this year, $130 million, trafficking human beings across the rio grande valley sector. they're integrated with farc. they're integrated with 2015 network. they have operational control of our border along texas. and we're just acting like there's nothing to see. the speaker of the house had us in session for -- for less than
48 hours last week with a handful of show votes. and what do we have this week? more votes just that are kind of plodding along with suspension votes. we're not having a robust debate. this chamber is virtually empty. we're not having a robust debate about our border and our national security. and about the lives of american citizens and the lives of the migrants who seek to come here. there are migrants today that are endangered and enslaved to the cartels. there were 54 people found in a stash house last friday when i was with border patrol in a house in houston who are now being held hostage by cartels to pay their money back because the cartels brought them into the united states. how is that compassion? somehow that somehow beneficial to migrants? that's the truth. this is the facts. when we talk to our men and women in border patrol.
and let's talk about the women, the young girls. that are abused on the path. i was on the rio grande river and i spoke to a 10-year-old and 11-year-old girl my son charlie is going to turn 10 this year. these girls were traveling with no parents. they want to have a better life. i want to welcome folks to the united states of america. but you've got to have legal channels to make it work. both for our safety and the safety of the migrants who come here. it's extraordinary we're even having this debate. i cannot believe that this body, the people's house, is ignoring the great tragedy going on on our southwest border with real human lives. and it's not just the my grants. it's american citizens. like jared vargas. in san antonio, texas. which i represent and i'm proud to represent it. jared lost his life last july. to the hands of somebody here illegally. his beautiful mom laurie is
still broken hearted, having lost her wonderful son. her -- his twin brother who goes to college in kerville in my district lost his twin brother. his sister lost her brother. because an illegal immigrant who was here, who was caught, released, caught, released, stopped by law enforcement, let go, two days later murders jared vargas. how can we allow this to happen in the greatest country, in the most powerful nation the world has ever known? how can we allow american citizens to die at the hands of illegal immigrants who were here, who shouldn't be here, who have broken our laws previously, die at the hands of the terrorists who are moving drugs in and out of our country through cartels, die because of dangerous fentanyl and dangerous heroin coming across our borders at the ports of entry and yes,
between the ports of entry. which the data fully backs up. it's not just coming through the ports of entry. it is in fact coming across on loads across the rio grande river which is not policed. we have a duty to defend our border. and one last point, fencing, walls, work. in the rio grande valley sector, in the eastern section next to the gulf of mexico, there's 35 miles of fencing. in the western section in mcallen there's far fewer fencing and far fewer roads. 95% of the traffic comes through the mcallen portion. we have a duty to defend our borders. american citizens like jared vargas who lost his life and the vargas fam willly who is now without their family member and the united states of america deserve better and the migrants who seek to come here deserve better. thank you and i yield back.