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tv   U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  July 23, 2019 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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seconds. mr. gottheimer: brad schneider, along with lee zeldin, chairman jerry nadler, congresswoman yan wagner have done an excel -- ann wagner have done an excellent way. we mustth allow false attacks on -- mustn't allow false attacks on israel. we must support a two-state solution, remains a bipartisan solution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. zeldin: b.d.s. supporters also claim that the b.d.s. movement is nonviolent. the b.d.s. movement does not distance itself from hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. b.d.s. supporters, individually, are not distancing themselves from hamas either. instead, their criticism is focused in on attacking israel and in many cases the jewish people specific.
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two fridays ago, a senior hamas official called upon palestinians worldwide, quote, our brothers in the diaspora are trying to prepare, warming up. a long time has past with them warming up. all of you, seven million palestinians abroad, enough of warming up. all of you seven million palestinians abroad, enough of warming up. . you have jews every where, and we must attack every jew on the globe, slaughtering killing. where are all the supporters of b.d.s. condemning these remarks? this is two fridays ago, calling for the murder of every jew in the world. during a closed meeting in october, 2017, between hamas chief and ga zann youth about reconciling with the fattah movement they said the time for discussion is over and hamas will discuss when they'll wipe israel out. hamas uses women and children as human shields.
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they deny humanitarian aid to their own people. they incite violence. they launched rocket into israel killing innocent silians. they declared jihad is an only fwation and the list goes on. the palestinian authority, not only do they incite violence they financially reward terror by policy. if you kill an israeli or an american, you get called a martyr. you'll have streets and football stadiums renamed after you. you and your family will get paid money. there are exiss ten rble threats all around israel, to the north, hezbollah, another designated foreign terroristing orny sarkse they built terror tunnels. they've amassed tens of thousands of rocks on the border between lebanon and israel. every year, hamas mobilizes palestinians in days of rage to attack israelis a at the boffereder to fire missiles at israel which often results in actual violence including death
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targeting innocent civilians. this past may, hamas fired approximately 700 rockets into israel killing innocent civilians. hamas has used incendiary kites and balloon which is destroyed 8,000 acres of israeli farms, parks and forests. earlier this year, hamas carried out an operation to murder israelis including a rabbi, a father of 12. where are all of the b.d.s. supporters in the united states, on college campuses, people who are involved in american politics, those who are at the united nations, those who are abroad, where is your voice? right now? if everything that you say about your cause is legitimate and reasonable, your concern is one that the entire world should be taking heed of and caution too. -- caution to. where is your voice condemning the actual violence right now, palestinian terrorists murdering innocent israelis and in some cases americans.
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the taylor force act that this a united states military academy graduate, a united states army veteran who was killed. the p.a. pays those terrorists and their families to commit those terrorist acts. we're here on this chamber to call out for exactly what it is. in bipartisan fashion. i appreciate chairman engel's work at the foreign affairs committee, chairman deutch is still here and many other voices around this capitol who believe strongly, on the other side of the aisle. we need to work together to combat the b.d.s. movement. this is an important next step. i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i reserve for the purpose of closing. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york, mr. zeldin is recognized. mr. zeldin: how much time doif
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remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has seven minute, mr. engel has 4 1/2. mr. zeldin: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. zeldin: with regard to the b.d.s. movement, the supporters, they make territorial claims as regards to the west bank, let's clear the record up, judea and sumeria, referred to as the west bank, contains disputed territory. israel ended up with this territory after it was attacked before there was a palestinian authority. time and again the p.a. has rejected peace proposals because they refuse publicly and privately to accept a jewish state in israel. that's on them. in 2008, israel offered to withdraw from 93% of judea and sumeria. as for gaza, hamas, the designated foreign terrorist organization, they're in charge. there is no israeli occupation
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there. this small strip of land is packed out with 1. million people living in subthird world country conditions because of hamas. as was pointed out earlier, hamas refuses humanitarian aid, uses women and children as human shields, calls jihad an obligation, murders innocent civilians. one of the most important reasons why we are here today is not only make a strong statement in opposition to the b.d.s. movement but to also refute all the lies that are being told out there. people will speak up to try to justify the hate that is filling the ranks of the b.s. -- b.d.s. movement and never tell you the other 100% of the story. and this chamber today comes together, republicans and democrats, both sides of the aisle, to make that powerful statement. there's a list of victims, we
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don't have enough time to go through it. list of victims of palestinian iolence and terrorism in 2019. we could look, 1,355 people who have been killed by palestinian violence and terrorism since september of 2000. 1,355 people. and never will the b.d.s. supporters take any opportunity to set the record straight on any of that. but we will here. i sthee brad is needer is with us as well, one of the bill's -- the main author of the bill. this is a bipartisan effort that i'm very proud to be part of today and i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman, mr. engel continues to reserve. the gentleman from zeldin is recognized. mr. zeldin: i have no other speakers, i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized to close. mr. zeldin: thank you, mr.
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speaker. thank you to all my colleagues. to chris smith for speaking today, if whip scalise. this is something that we're very passionate about. we also believe the strong statement that will be made here today with this vote is not the last step of this chamber speaking out. but i really hope we all can work together in bipartisan fashion to figure out ho how to do something about it. to pass legislation with teeth. but today is nothing short of progress. and it's something for all of us to be proud of around our country. and around the world. because it should be an american value to stand strong, shoulder to shoulder, with our great ally, our greatest ally in the middle east and israel. it is a beacon of hope and freedom and liberty and opportunity. americans in our day-to-day lives don't even realize just
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how much we are using israeli technology. american companies that have used israeli technology. we probably have used it multiple times just today. you can't boycott israel and at the same exact time spend your entire day using israeli technology. you can't boycott veil and go travel to israel. we're going to call out the hypocrisies that exist but ultimately as we splush this out, let's work together. this is about advocacy. it's also about education. when i came to congress in 2015, honestly, there were a lot of members of congress if you asked them where do you stand on the b.d.s. movement, their answer would have been, what is b.d.s.? now in 2019, here we are. july of 2019, coming together. we know what b.d.s. is the boycott, divestment, saxes movement. we know it's filled with hate.
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we know it's filled with anti-semitism if the found over b.d.s.to those who favor on college campuses from coast to coast. i urge my colleagues that we can pass this and pass legislation that has teeth in it. thank you again to brad schneider, jerry nadler, ann wagner, 350 co-sponsors, hopefully everyone today voting yes. thank you to mike reed, this is a resolution for all of us to be proud osm we should all vote yes and tell our constituents about it. and redouble our efforts to do something about it. right after that vote. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is ecognized 68 -- is recognized. mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume. as the chame of the foreign affairs committee, i'm really heartened by the outpouring of
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support we've heard from both sides of the aisle involving the u.s.-israel relationship, involving the unfair b.d.s. movement against israel. i want to thank all the people who have spoken in favor of this resolution. the gentleman from new york, mr. zeldin and other who was spoken. because it shows that when it comes to support for the u.s.-israel relationship, there is no different between democrats and republicans. israel should not be a political football. support the u.s.-israel relationship. we know that b.d.s. is very destructive, very unfair. very anti-jewish. anti-semitic. should have no place in public spectrum. so i think that this chamber is getting together. you look at the numbers we bring to the floor today, they speak for themselves. almost 80% of the house of representatives has co-sponsored
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this resolution. there are members not just from different sides of the aisle but from across the entire political spectrum from one end to the other supporting this resolution. saying that b.d.s. movement is unfair and the b.d.s. movement singles out israel. the b.d.s. movement is really supported by people who want to see the destruction of the world's only jewish state. that is not something that we can stand idly by and watch happen. so i've never been more proud of this body. i've been here for a while now, than i am tonight. proud of my colleaguesn both sides of the aisle. and again, i think the reas why we have that kinof support is clear. congress supports the u.s.-israel relationship. wesupport a two-state solution. we support therights enshrined in the first amendment. and we know that the global b.d.s. movement threatens the possibility of future peace between israelis and palestinians. it's that simple. we know that the global b.d.s.
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movement threatens what's fair. we know the global b.d.s. movement is really a fraud. it's a fraud. it's israel-rate, it's jew-hating. we've had enough of that in the world. frankly, they should be ashame of themselves. so i would like to note that today's resolution is a very powerful rebuke of the global b.d.s. movement. more powerful than any particular legislative proposal. what we are saying today to those who want to see a peaceful end to the palestinian-israeli conflict, we're saying the global b.d.s. movement has no place here. so i'm glad to support this measure. i urge all members to do likewise. again, i thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. i have never seen congress as united as it is on this resolution and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house
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suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 2- as amended. -- 2- as amended. 246 as as amended -- amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. >> i ask the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in support of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. engel: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1837, the united states-israel cooperation enhancement and regional security act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1837, a bill to make immaterial prusmes to certain defense and security assistance provisions and to authorize assistance for israel and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, and the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. reschenthaler, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 1837. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i submit in the congressional record an exchange of letters between me and the chairs of the committees on agriculture, judiciary, veterans fairs, transportation and infrastructure, homeland security, and science, space and technology on h r. 1837. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of the united states-israel cooperation enhancement and regional security act. i want to thank my -- i want to start by i want to start by thanking mr. deutch for crafting this measure. this is another piece of bipartisan legislation that underscores the vitality and bipartisanship of the u.s.-israel relationship. the centerpiece of this bill is a provision that writes into law the 10-year memorandum of understanding president obama signed with israel before he left office. the legislation also enhances u.s.-israel cooperation on a
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wide range of issues, from helping veterans confront issues with ptsd, to advancing space cooperation, to developing new ways to get clean water. in addition, the bill advances other critical priorities. it helps ensure that the families of american victims of terrorism will get their day in court, so they can finally see some justice after their loved ones were so cruelly taken from them. and it includes a legal fix that will restore u.s. assistance to palestinians that has been cut off in recent months. when i traveled to the west bank in may, i saw the impacts of the funding cut firsthand. i visited a water treatment system in jericho that is ready to go into place, already paid for by the united states. but because of legislation congress passed last year, they can't take the tiny extra step needed to get it up and running. we also met with people seeking to enhance tolerance and understanding between palestinians and israelis.
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exactly the sort of peace-building efforts we should be supporting, unlike the b.d.s. movement. these have all had to stop work due to the assistance cut. in addition, i made -- i met with american military officials who are deeply concerned about the suspension of security assistance to the palestinians and the implication of that for israel's security. so i'm pleased that the legislation before us today provides a fix for this unsustainable situation, and with that i'd like to ask unanimous consent to place into the record two pieces that argue we must restore this assistance now. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this is a strong bipartisan bill that advances the u.s.-israel relationship. i, again, want to thank representatives deutch and wilson for their leadership, as well as all the other members who contributed to this fine piece of legislation. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: thank you,
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mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.r. 1837, the united tates-israel cooperation enhancement and regional security act, which i am a co-sponsor. we work together to further our shared values and interests. we already collaborate on a wide range of civil issues, such as energy and agriculture. and our security cooperation helps keep both of our countries safe as we counter threats from a wide range of terrorist groups as well as from iran. but still, there's much work we can do together. i want to thank mr. deutch and mr. wilson for this comprehensive, bipartisan update to the united states-israel partnership to confront the challenges both countries face in 2019 and
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beyond. h.r. 1837 expands our mutually beneficial cooperation, identifying several new or growing areas of cooperation where we can exchange innovations and help improve the lives and livelihoods of our people as well as our respective national interests. through this bill, the united states and israel will be better positioned to cooperate on critical fields, like research and development, energy, cybersecurity, international development, and foreign assistance, treating posttra metic -- posttraumatic stress disorder. in terms of our security partnership with israel, the bill authorizes u.s. foreign military financing to israel at $3.3 billion per year through 2024, the same levels agreed to n the 2016 u.s.-israel
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memorandum. it re-authorizes united states loan guarantees and extends war reserve stockpiles for israel. h.r. 1837 also codifies policies to ensure that the united states can transfer precision-guided munition and other defense articles to israel quickly in the event of an emergency. we all know that israel faces threats on multiple fronts, from iran, from hezbollah, hamas, and others. these adversaries aren't going to call ahead in the event of an escalation. we need to be prepared with appropriate authorities to ensure that if israel is facing a protracted or multi-front conflict, that the united states can help. mr. speaker, i yield the remainder of my time to my good friend, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, and i'd ask for unanimous consent that he
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be allowed to control that time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, is recognized. mr. smith: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank my good friend for yielding. i yield myself two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i rise to offer my strongest support for h.r. 1837, the u.s.-israel cooperation act, supported, introduced by mr. deutch, mr. wilson. i thank them for their leadership as well as eliot engel and michael mccaul. israel is by far our closest ally in the middle east, which we share common values, including a commitment to democracy and to the rule of law. sadly, israel often comes under attack at the united nations and in the region, both by words and by bullets. israel is judged by a double standard, by which real or imagined flaws are magnified while israel's virtues as a robust democracy are ignored.
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we must stand with israel, mr. speaker, and this bill is a means to achieve that. among other things, it would authorize -- and this is the core of the bill -- would authorize military financing for israel at $3.3 billion per year over 10 years, and enhanced cooperation with our key ally in a host of other areas from cybersecurity to agriculture to assisting veterans. it is mutually beneficial, allowing us to access israel's knowledge and the benefit from its leadership in sectors such as desalination technology, which helped make the desert bloom, which is the most evident ways that israel has impacted the land. it encourages energy cooperation in the eastern mediterranean which includes ongoing ventures with friendly countries such as greece and cyprus. it enhances the mutually
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beneficial ties which exists between our two great nations. this is a good piece of legislation. it is bipartisan, and i strongly urge my colleagues to support it and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i now yield four minutes to a valuable member of the foreign affairs committee and the author of this important bill, chairman of the middle east, north africa, international terrorism subcommittee, the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch, four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes mr. deutch of florida. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, chairman engel, for yielding the time. i rise today in support of h.r. 1837, the u.s.-israel cooperation enhancement and regional security act. i thank chairman engel for his support of this legislation as well as ranking member mccaul. i am especially grateful to my friend, congressman joe wilson, for introducing this bill with me. i also thank the 289 bipartisan
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co-sponsors of this bill. today we send a clear message, the bipartisan support for the u.s.-israel relationship, for the security and civilian cooperation between our countries, and for the ties between the american and israeli people remain strong and unwavering. today, we vote to strengthen and enhance this relationship while also providing victims of terrorism a riteful path to justice, and -- rightful path to justice, and saves the lives of israelis and palestinians. the security provision in this bill reinforces the ways in which the u.s. guarantees israel's right and ability to defend herself against any and all threats, in turn contributing to our own national security interests in the region. codifying the 201610-year memory -- 2016 10-year memorandum of understanding, we advance security in a volatile region. just as our alliance with
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israel is more than security, this bill is more than security as well. our bond with israel is rooted in our shared values. israel is a vibrant democracy where people vigorously debate and disagree on politics and policy. this bill enhances nonsecurity cooperation between our two nations, cooperation that's yielded impactful and tangible results around the globe in areas like energy and water, cybersecurity, health, and agriculture. it authorizes the united states and israel to work together on humanitarian and development programs in developing countries, and it expands the work that israel, the palestinians, and other arab states can do together to promote scientific and technological advancement and contribute to lasting regional stability. finally, this legislation provides a long-awaited path to justice for victims of palestinian terrorism. last year, congress passed the
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anti-terrorism clarification act, which was meant to do just that. unfortunately, that legislation has not yielded the intended results and instead created unintended foreign policy consequences. as a result, the palestinian authority refused to accept any u.s. assistance to the west bank and gaza, halting humanitarian programs runned by international n.g.o.'s and even our own usaid program could not continue. the very real impact of these cuts has been felt on the ground. i recently led a bipartisan group of members to visit a hospital in east jerusalem that provides some of the only cancer treatments to palestinians in the west bank. that hospital has lost 25% of its funding. also affected was u.s. funding for the training of palestinian security forces. these forces cooperate with the israeli defense forces to keep israelis and palestinians safe. this program, run by a u.s. general, saves palestinian lives and israeli lives, and
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it's currently not receiving funding. mr. speaker, we have a moral obligation to ensure that americans injured or even worse, killed by terrorism have the right to seek justice in our courts, and we have a moral obligation, as well, to provide lifesaving assistance for those in need, and while this bill represents a compromise, i believe it will achieve both of these goals. today, we cast a vote to expand relations with one of our closest allies, a relationship that highlights the positive impact that the united states and israel can have in so many critical areas when we can work together. when we harness our mutual appreciation for science and education and technology, and when we work to advance security in the region. we do all of these because we know that whatever the politics and personalities, we are stronger as a nation when we stand together with our ally israel in support of security, peace, and democracy. i urge my colleagues to stand
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with me today and to support this good piece of legislation, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to the gentlelady from puerto rico, miss gonzales. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from puerto rico is recognized. miss gonzalez-colon thank you, mr. speaker. thank you for yielding. i yielding. i'm proud to support this bill, the united states and israel cooperation enhancement act -- regional and security act, that will make our bilateral security and economic cooperation stronger and more stable than ever before. on september 14, 2016, the u.s. and israel signed a memorandum of understanding, ensuring $3.3 billion of military and strategic support over a 10-year period. it reaffirmed the importance of ntinuing u.s. military
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assistance to israel, missile defense programs, in addition to shared technology and security interests. the bill before us codifies that assistance for the next 10 years while providing with the flexibility to increase that support shall israel be under imminent threat of a military attack. it strengthened israel's military edge and advances our collaboration on a range of issues such as cybersecurity and space exploration as well as authorizing $12 million for the u.s.-israel energy center. and throughout usaid, advances our common goals for promoting agriculture, education, and trade with other countries around the world. as our strongest and most capable ally in a turbulent region, israel is a -- an
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essential strategic partner. israel is also a hostile -- a target for hostile actors who call for their destruction. just two months ago, the palestinian islamic jihad and hamas terrorist groups launched over 600 rockets and mortars at israel civilians, killing four and wounding eight. may was israel's deadliest month in almost two years. in addition to the threats coming from these terrorist groups, israel faces a threat of a resurget iran whose proxies from iraq to syria to lebanon continue to grow in numbers, weapons, and strength. just recently, chairman deutch and i heard from -- heard firsthand from prime minister netanyahu some of these complex and serious essential challenges
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that seeks to undermine our strategic ally. mr. speaker, it is now more important than ever that the united states stand with the democratic jewish state of israel and what she represents which is freedom, democracy, and equality in that region. for that, i encourage my colleagues to support this bill. thank you, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from puerto rico yields back. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized to close. mr. reschenthaler: i would like to thank the gentlelady from puerto rico for her eloquent statement and her deep concern for the state of israel. thank you for that leadership. i would like to thank in closing mr. deutch, mr. wilson, chairman
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engel -- mr. smith: for their bipartisan work and staff to ensure the united states and israel can work together to respond to shared channels. i urge all members to support this legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i yield one minute to the gentleman from illinois, mr. schneider. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. schneider: i rise today in support of h.r. 1837, united states-israel cooperation enhancement and regional security act. israel is our greatest ally in the middle east and we worked jointly in a number of strategic areas. this bill strengthens our partnership and strengthens cooperation between the united states and israel. this bill also encourages the united states to designate a new coordinator of the u.s.-israel research and development and establishes a grant program on cyber security development that authorizes r&d on issues
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including post-traumatic stress disorder, agriculture and the development of health technologies as well as vital security assistance in accordance with the 2016 m.o.u. it provides a path to justice for american victims of terrorism and retain ours ability to provide vital assistance that promotes security and stability for both israelis and palestinians. i would like to thank my colleagues, mr. deutch and mr. wilson, for their leadership on this important bipartisan bill. i urge my colleagues to vote on this bill. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: the united states-israel cooperation enhancement and regional security act is an excellent bipartisan bill designed to further strengthen the relationship between israel and the united states. give american victims their day in court. and restore assistance to
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palestinians. soy strongly support it. i urge all members to join me in doing. so again, is a bipartisan bill showing again the strong support that the united states and israel have for each other and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1837 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. engel: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r.
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1850, the palestinian international terrorism support prevention act of 2019 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1850, a bill to impose sanctions with respect to foreign support for palestinian terrorism and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, each will control 0 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include in the record extraneous material on h.r. 1850. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ord. -- so ordered. mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i submit in the congressional record an exchange of letters between me and the chairman of the committee on financial services is on h.r. 1850. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. engel: mr. speaker, let me start bhi thanking mr. mast of
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florida and mr. gottheimer of new jersey for their hard work on this legislation. the united states designated both hamas and palestinian islamic jihad as foreign terrorist organizations more than 20 years ago. it's easy to see why hamas is responsible for the deaths of more than 400 israelis and at least 25 american citizens. as recently as may of this year, the group fired hundreds of rockets from fwa zha into southern israel, including at israeli civilian areas in tel aviv. in palestinian islamic jihad has taken credit for a number of terrorist attacks in israel, including an attack that killed a new jersey american student in 1995. both groups, particularly hamas, still get cash from abroad. these funds are used to build tunnel into israel and launch rockets at civilian moplations.
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it's simply disgusting. no one benefits from terrorism, mr. speaker. not israelis who just want to live in peace and security, not who want a state but are exploited by these terrorists. a palestinian state will never be built on the backs of terrorism. israel has the right to defend itself. the united states will continue to support that. in the meantime, we must do everything we can to prevent the loss of civilian life. that starts with cutting off the money to hamas and palestinian islamic jihad. this bill would help do just that. it would impose new sangs on those who support hamas and palestinian islamic jihad, the deep pockets enabling these groups to wage their campaigns of violence. of course we don't want to punish innocent civilians so this measure includes an important exception for humanitarian and medical assistance. this bill is designed to ensure
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that people in gaza get what they need and that hamas does not. it's a good, straightforward piece of legislation. i'm glad the house is considering it today. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 1850, the pal sin to -- palestinian international terrorism act of 2019. in so doing, i first want to note congressman brian mast's great personal sacrifice in the war against terror and how inspirational it is for each and every one of us to see him raise his voice time and again in this great battle of our age. i also want to thank my good friend from new jersey, mr. gottheimer, for his lead co-sponsorship of this legislation. h.r. 1850 would require the president to report to congress on those who knowingly provide financial and material support
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to terror groups such as hamas and palestinian islamic jihad and then apply sanctions. these groups in particular have vowed to wipe out our ally, israel, and their support of terror is well known. beyond that, the legislation requires listing of foreign couldn't i -- countries where hamas and the pal still -- palestinian islamic jihad engage in fundraising or laundering as well as those countries which fail to take adequate measures to freeze the assets of known terrorist groups. hamas, a designated terrorist organization, has killed over 400 israelis and 25 americans, rules the gaza strip with an iron fist. and uses its proximity to threaten israel with impunity. as a result, israelis live in constant fear of hamas rockets, tunnel, and other means of bringing violence to israeli
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citizens. earlier this year, in a single weekend, hamas fired over 600 rockets into israel. killing four civilians, including an american. as part of our close partnership with israel, the united states has long sought to help israel counter that threat. we worked together on development of the iron dome, rarle defense system, we continue to work together on countertunneling technology. again, now with this bill, we will help israel to counter hamas and the pal tinian islamic jihad by denying these groups the use of funds for their terror operations. for over a decade, mr. speaker, the executive branch across multiple administrations has sanctioned many individuals as well as a select number of foreign entities that are associated with hamas. all under the general authority of broad executive order.
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this bill will codify and standardize those sanctions in statute. and require the administration to comp rehence -- to assess whether other supporters of hamas should be sanctioned who have thus far remained unaffected by their support of this terrorist group. the bill also requires the president to report on whether foreign governments are supporting hamas. or the palestinian islamic jihad. mr. speaker, we know well that iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and hamas and the palestinian islamic jihad are among iran's many terrorist beneficiaries. in fact, it was reported just a few days ago, a senior hamas delegation was in tehran. this legislation will ensure that the iranian regime is held to account for its malign activity undermining peace and
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security in the middle east. bahrain's foreign minister said last week that were it not for iran's support for hamas, there would be a better chance of achieving peace between israel and the palestinians. the goal of this legislation is to cut off iran's support for terrorism and therefore make peace more probable. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's my pleasure to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. got mirme -- gottheimer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey, mr. gottheimer is recognized. mr. gottheimer: i rise in support of h.r. 1850, the palestinian international terrorism support prevention act, which i was proud to co-sponsor and introduce with my colleague, mr. mast and i thank mr. smith of new jersey for his leadership.
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i want to thank chairman engel and mike mccall, original co-sponsors of our legislation for their support and leadership. hamas is a heinous terrorist group responsible for the murders of innocent israeli and american citizen which is has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the state department since 1997. it is well known for firing rocks and digging tunnel into israel and using women and children as human shields. in may, terrorist groups fired more than 600 rocks at israel in 36 hours. it is critical to the united states and our allies continue to isolate hamas and palestinian islamic jihad by cutting them off at the source, including iran. as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, the iranian regime provides more than $7 million annually to the terrorist groups hamas and gaza. just yesterday they met meth with the chiefs of hamas and renewed iran's commitment in supporting this organization in its struggle against israel.
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iran is also a principal funder, helping the group amass a stockpile of more than 8,000 rocks aimed at israel, an arsenal even larger than that of hamas. it's claimed credit for multiple terror attacks in israel, including a gruesome suicide bombing that killed new jersey student alesia flato. a graduate of a school in my district. and i will say forever that her memory should never be forgotten. h.r. 1850 would require the president to submit to congress an annual report for the next three years, identifying foreign entities who assist hamas. the palestinian islamic jihad or a successor, and impose two or more sanctions. it would crack down on governments that support these groups by suspending u.s. foreign aid making it harder for them to receive lens or technical assistance. this bipartisan bill will strengthen existing sanctions to weaken groups that threaten our ally israel and further
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destabilize the middle east. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in supporting this legislation and in the fight against terror and i yelled back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: the senate has passed without amendment h.r. 1837, an act to extend authorizations for the september 11 victim compensation fund of 2001, through fiscal year 2092, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i urge members to support the legislation and yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. schneider. the speaker pro tempore: mr. schneider of illinois is recognized. mr. schneider: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i want to thank the chairman for allotting me this time, and commend my colleague, mr. gottheimer and mr. mast, for bringing this bill. i rise in support of this bill and applaud the house for taking action for combating terrorism in the middle east. this sanctions individuals and foreign governments that knowingly and materially assist hamas and palestinian islamic jihad or an affiliate or entity. these dwrupes have been designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the department of state since 1997. there's no disputing that they have and continue to sew instability and terror including by launching countless rockets and mortars israel, attack from subterrainian tunnels. to achieve two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security, we can't let extremists to control.
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and we must confront them. this bill does not target the vast majority of palestinian people who long for peace. rather, it solely goes after hamas and p.i.j. and those who assist their terrorist activities. i urge my colleagues to support this bill, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume for the purposes of closing. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized to close. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. let me, again, thank our ranking member, mr. mccaul of texas, and our colleagues who worked so hard on this good bipartisan measure. i want to thank mr. mast for whom i have you enormous respect. i thank mr. smith who is always there fighting the good fight and always consistent in saying what he believes. let me just say, the actions of
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hamas, of palestinian islamic jihad are a constant danger to innocent israelis and innocent palestinians. they're also a terrible roadblock which stands in the way of israelis and palestinians ever finding peace. these terrorist groups don't want peace. they know their violent tactics will never contribute to a peaceful resolution of. they want to see israel wiped off the of map, plain and simple. we need to crack down on them, and we immediate to crack down on those who stand behind them in the shadows, quietly fueling their violence they carry out. this bill would give us more tools to cut off the flow of resources, and that's why it's so important. i'm happy to support it. i urge all members to do the same, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1850, as amended. those in favor say aye.
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those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. engel: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 358, calling on the government of cameroon and armed groups to respect the human rights of all cameroonian citizens, to end all the violence, and to pursue a broad-based dialogue without preconditions to resolve the conflict in the northwest and southwest regions of cameroon. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 358, resolution calling on the government of cameroon and armed groups to respect the human rights of all cameroonian citizens, to end all violence, and to pursue a broad-based dialogue without preconditions to resolve the conflict in northwest and southwest
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regions. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on house resolution 358. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this measure. as i mentioned before, i yield myself such time as i may consume. i want to start by thanking ms. bass and mr. smith for bringing forward this resolution, which calls on the government of cameroon and armed groups to respect the human rights of all cameroonian citizens, to end all violence, and to pursue a broad-based dialogue without preconditions to resolve the conflict in the northwest and southwest regions of cameroon. since october, 2017, the region
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has been mired in conflicts tween cameroon and armed separatists. perpetrating abuses. without they didn't settle with a conflict, innocent civilians continue to suffer. according to unicef, more than %, -- 80% of schools are closed. children are being denied access to education. in addition, 1.3 million people, including approximately 650,000 children are in need of humanitarian assistance. this resolution urges the government of cameroon to respect the fundamental rights of all cameroonian citizens and follow through on initiatives developed to address grievances in the anglophone renal. it urges separatist groups to engage with cameroonian government officials, civil society and religious leaders
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to engage in efforts to resolve the conflict and to stop committing human rights abuses and inciting violence. for several months, the swiss government has been attempting to mediate a peaceful resolution to this crisis, and i'm pleased this resolution demonstrates congress' strong support for negotiated settlement. i'm glad to support this resolution, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 358, calling on the government of cameroon and armed groups to respect fundamental human rights and pursue dialogue to resolve the crisis in the anglophone region of that country. i want to thank congresswoman bass, karen bass, the chairwoman of the africa global health, global human rights subcommittee, of which i serve as the ranking member, for this
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resolution. it's a bipartisan resolution, and, again, i thank her for her leadership. mr. speaker, i would note in the last congress i chaired a hearing on the cameroon crisis as it was festering, seeking a way forward for peace. sadly, that effort and all efforts made by the international community have been elusive thus far. the conflict in cameroon has its roots in long simmering tensions between that country's francophone majority and the anglophone minority, concentrated in the northwest and southwest regions. in 2016, protests by anglophone teachers and lawyers over marginalization and the lack of government services were met with a heavy handed response. the government failed to genuinely address those legitimate grievances which further inflamed tensions. brutal fighting between government security forces and local armed groups, who called
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for separatism, continues. today, there are over 500,000 displaced persons in the anglophone region. mr. speaker, entire communities have been burned to the ground. humanitarian convoys struggle to reach local populations or even blocked and attacked by armed groups. over half of the health facilities and hospitals have been damaged and forced to close. children have been out of school for over two years. according to the u.s. department of state, the human rights report for 2018, and i quote, government security forces were widely believed to be responsible for disappearances of suspected anglophone separatists, with reports of bodies dumped far from the site of the killings to make identification difficult, closed quote. this in turn is fueling resentment and violence.
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this resolution reiterates the u.s. position that all parties must immediately cease fighting and come to the negotiating table without, i say again, without preconditions. the swiss-led mediation process is a hopeful step in that direction, which deserves support. i'd also note the critical role that has been plagued by the catholic church. in particular, cardinal toomey, in trying to reach common ground and the need to support such efforts. hopefully, by weighing in, congress can help promote the cause of peace and justice in the republic of cameroon. i urge my colleagues to support it and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i have no other speakers, so i'll reserve for the purpe of closing. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. smith: mr. speaker, we have no further speakers.
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we'd yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tpore: jafflet new jersey yields back -- the gentleman from new jersey yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized for the purpose of closing. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i'd want tothank ms. bass and mr. smith for theirard work. mr. smith is working very hard to be on the side of justice. for too long, the people in ameroon's anglophoneave been marginalized by the government and conflict between the government and separatists have brought chaos and fear to those living in the region. this resolution supports a negotiated settlement to the conflict that respects the basic human rights of its citizens so cameroon can become a country that is more peaceful and stable. i urge all members to join me in supporting this bipartisan piece of legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back the balance of his time.
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the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 358. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and to nd their remarks and insert extraneous material on h.r. 2943, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2943, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 118, h.r. 2943, a bill to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to make all fact sheets of the department of veterans affairs in english and spanish. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, each
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will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of mr. cisneros' bill, h.r. 2943, as amended, which would direct the secretary of veterans affairs to provide all v.a. fact sheets in english, spanish, and tagalog. one of my chief priorities as chair of the committee on veterans' affairs, is to premove barriers to stand between veterans and their benefits. a language barrier should not prevent veterans from accessing the benefits they earned and the burden should not be placed on veterans through request and wait for v.a. to provide a translators. mandating fact sheets be provided in spanish and tagalog will break down a significant barrier that stands in between latin ex and filipino veterans
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and their benefits. mr. cisneros' bill mandates all fact sheets be available in english, spanish and tagalog. our veterans answer the call to serve from places around the world, including the philippine peens, and parity week, -- philippines, and parity reek, where english is not predominant. panish is commonly spoken and understood. this fix is easily -- easy, it does not come with increase cost. the department of veterans affairs produce fact sheet which is explain many v.a. programs and benefits. v.a. fact sheets provides key facts such as eligibility cry tier ark documents needed to help support their claim and links to the appropriate application forms. these sheets explain the process for getting a v.a. guaranteed home loan, a applying for
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composition, using g.i. bill benefits and obtaining burial benefits for veteran and their family members. brochures explain fact sheets to veterans and care givers. they advise veterans on the supporting documentation they need to help them apply for benefits so they are correctly identified as eligible or their claims are successfully adjudicated. during the codel i led to puerto rico this past weekend, i met with veterans who told me they are not receiving information on v.a. programs and when they do receive information, it is in english, not spanish. the one veteran who received a brochure on the mission act in spanish said it was incomplete compared to the english materials. this disparity should not exist. veteran, regardless of the language they speak or where they live, should be easily able to understand how to access
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their benefits. i ask my colleagues to help our veterans who have done so much to serve our country and join me in supporting h.r. 2943 as air mended. mr. speaker, i reserve the of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: thank you, madam speaker, i appreciate it very much and i really commend the chairman for bringing these bills forth in committee but also i commend the speaker of the house for bringing the bills today and the majority leader as well and the minority leader. these are very important bills. i rise today on this particular bill to support h.r. 2943 as amended. this bill which is sponintoird representative gil cisneros of california would require the department of veterans affairs to make all fact sheets
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available in english, spanish and tagalog. during the markup of this bill, the committee adopted an amendment that ranking member roe offered to further require v.a. to post all fact sheets on a clearly identifiable, easily ccessible location on v.a.'s website and require v.a. to report to congressed on the department's language access plan to assist veterans with limited english proficiency. this would ensure that the entirety of our veteran population, as well as their families and care givers, are able to easily access and comprehend importance information about v.a. benefits. it would also ensure that any barriers to care that might exist for veten rah -- veterans with limited english skills, madam speaker, are identified and brecken -- broken down. i'm grate to feel representative cisneros for introducing this bill and i'm proud to support it
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today. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and i reserve the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: i would like to yield three minutes to my good friend and member of the veterans affairs committee, also a veteran himself, the author of this legislation, the gentleman from california, mr. cisneros. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cisneros. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank chairman takano for his work on this and ensuring this passed out of committee on a bipartisan basis. i would like to thank the gentleman from florida for his support on this bill as well. madam speaker, it's an honor to rise today to rise today and ask my -- an honor to rise today and ask my colleagues for their support on h.r. 2943. so many veterans have come from puerto rico as well as the philippines, the v.a. actually does have a hospital in puerto
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rico and in the philippines. this legislation would direct the v.a. secretary to make all department of veteran affair fact sheets available in english, spanish and tagalog. according to the u.s. census, as of july 1, 2017, the u.s. 59%, ic population is making people of hispanic origin he largest minority. with those changing demographics trending toward a more racially and ethnically diverse majority, veterans population is diversifying as similar rates. the share of veterans who are hispanic is expected to nearly double. during my time in the service, many of mir proud brothers an cysters in warms of filipino discent. with spanish and tagalog a first
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language for an increasing number of veterans and their families. it's important that the fact sheets offered by the v.a. are made available to everyone. this bill would serve as an initial step in ensuring veterans and their families with limited english proficiency have full access and information on the v.a. services without burdens or barriers. i urge my colleagues to join me in support of my bills to ensure we don't overlook veterans and their families who may need these important fact sheets. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilirakis: i'm prepared to close. i would like to say this is a very important bill. we were just overseas and met with the troops and we had quite a few servicemens from puerto rico. now, i like to say that most of them spoke perfect english but
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they may not and that doesn't -- they should have access to all the information in their first language. so with that, madam speaker, i urge the passage of this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from fleal yields back . the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i'm prepared to close and i will render my final comments. our veterans and their survivors deserve the best care possible. the v.a. benefit application process can be confusing. congress has taken action to reduce confusion and ease the application process. i remember when only a few years ago, initial claims were taking more than a year. today, initial disability claims are being completed in less than 160 days. this is in part due to streamlining the application process and providing more information to veterans. now, as i learned during the codel to puerto rico, in
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emergencies like hurricane maria, veterans need to know how v.a. can help them prepare for the next storm. they need to know that they can get additional supplies of medication. veterans need to know where to go in an emergency when communications are disrupted. they also need to know how to apply for assistance and emergency benefits after a disaster like hurricane maria. because these disasters will happen again. the v.a. fact sheet on natural disasters, which tells veterans and their families which website to go to and where to call when their veterans are interrupted due to natural disasters is only available in english. yet both the philippines and puerto rico experience natural disasters like hurricanes, typhoons and earthquakes. mandating that v.a. fact sheets are made available in more than one language is yet another example of ways we can eliminate barriers for our veteran, streamline the application
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process, and help them get to the right resource when there is an emergency. providing fact sheets in tagalog and spanish could even save lives. madam speaker, i whole heartedly support h.r. 2943 as amended and again ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2943 as amended? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. without objection the title amended. -- the title is amevended. for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? mr. takano: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and
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insert extraneous materials on h.r. 2942, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: i move that the -- the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2942 as amended the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will read the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 126, h.r. 2942, a bill to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to carry out the women's health transition training pilot program through at least fiscal year 2020 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker. women veterans are the the
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fastest growing demographic within the veteran population. yet, they underutilize v.a. health care resources. this is primarily due to misperceptions about eligibility and availability -- and available resources. many women leaving the military may not realize that they are eligible to use v.a. services. nor that v.a. offers extensive gender-specific care such as mammography, prenatal and maternity care, infertility and trauma care, including military sexual trauma, otherwise known as m.s.t., and combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder or ptsd. women's and u.s. training program works to address issues experienced by women when accessing v.a. health care. this successful improvement to
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the transition assistance program, t.a.p. program, is run the u.s. -- by the usaf and v.a. women can attend an additional day of tap to learn about counseling and women's care and other services to ensure they receive a warm handoff between the department of defense and the vote rans administration. now, mr. cisneros' bill would expand the women's health transition pilot program to more locations and authorizes the program through the end of fiscal year 2020. this great legislation has my full support. madam speaker, although women are the fastest growing cohort of veterans, women veterans are less likely to seek care and services at v.a. this bill aims to address that. and make v.a. more accessible and responsive to women veterans. madam speaker, this pilot program educates transitioning
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servicewomen about the v.a.'s health care services. the data collected if this pilot program can be applied to the transition assistance program to better meet the needs of all transitioning servicemens. i'd like to thank mr. cisneros for his hard work on this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilirakis: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in support of h.r. 2942 as amended, the helping expand and launch transitional health or health for women's -- women veterans act. i want to thank and congratulate representative cisneros on this very good bill and again, i thank the chairman and ranking member for bringing this bill forward. women are joining the armed services in record numbers, madam speaker, and are an important part of the military and veterans community.
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in recognition of the brave services these women are providing our country, it is incumbent on us to ensure that they are aware of the many benefit afforded to them. unfortunately, far too many women veterans are unaware of the health care services available for women through the department of veterans affairs health care system. that's why v.a. and the air force partnered together to create a women's health transition training pilot program. the pilot program provides servicewomen who are on the verge of leaving the military with information about the care they may be eligible to receive from v.a. how to enroll in v.a., and how to successfully transition to civilian life. it helps women make informed decisions about their health care by educating them about the benefits available. as of june 5, there have been
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50 pilot sessions, madam speaker, and the women who have attended those sessions are reported a 90% -- 98% satisfaction rate. the health for women veterans act would extend the women's health transition training pilot through fiscal year 2020 to ensure that women leaving the military continue to benefit from it. this bill is sponsored, again, by representative gilcieser inos of california, i thank him for his work. a very, very important bill. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from california virginia tech. -- is recognized. mr. takano: i'd like to yield three minutes to my good friend and member of the veterans' affairs committee. as i said before mr.cieser inos -- mr. cisneros himself. i yield three minutes.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california for three minutes. neros: madam speaker, i want to thank chairman takano and ranking member roe of the health veterans' affairs committee for working with me to ensure my bill passed out of committee on a bipartisan basis. today i rise to ask my colleagues for their support on my bill h.r. 2942, the helping expand and launch traditional health or health for women's veteran act. introduced with my colleague and fellow viet kong won whoa han -- congresswoman hool la an -- congresswoman holahan. despite being the fastest growing cohort in the military community, many service women face unique challenges with their v.a. benefits. studies have shown that women
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veterans on average connect with the v.a. nearly three years after military service which can result in higher rates of physical and mental health issues. in a male dominated v.a. system, it's not surprising why women veterans often report they are uncomfortable seeking women specific care. my bill would require the department of veterans affairs to extend an ongoing initiative work with the air force and the transitional assistance program which educates transitioning service women about women's health care at the v.a. specifically the bill would mandate an extension of the program across all military service branches and require a report on the feasibility of making it permanent. participants of the pilot program report an increased likelihood to include v.a. health care and show high rates of confidence with the v.a. it is time our women's service women's and veterans receive the care they need and this bill would do just that. i urge my colleagues to join me in support of my bill to ensure
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that when service women transition to civilian life, they are provided with the information that will help them navigate their v.a. benefits in a commonsense way. with that, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: i have no other speakers and i'm prepared close. this is an outstanding bill and i'm glad we worked on this bill because we have a lot of women veterans that need this. i want to make it permanent. let's pass this bill as soon as possible and get it to the senate. thank you. i yield back, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back. the gentleman from california virginia tech. mr. takano: madam speaker, i'm also prepared to close. i say in my final remarks i urge all my colleagues to support our women veterans by joining me in passing this very important legislation, h.r. 2942, as amended.
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i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2942, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and to heir remarks insert extraneous material on amended., as the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3504, as amended. the chair: the clerk will
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report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 35034, a bill to amend title 38 united states code to provide for improvements to the specially adapted housing program and educational assistance programs of the department of veterans affairs and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. takano, and the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. takano: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, the veterans' affairs committee is proud to bring to the floor h.r. 3504, as amended. the ryan kules specially adaptive housing improvement act of 2019, which is named after arm yvette ran ryan kules. madam speaker, we are honored to have ryan with us today. ryan's vehicle was struck by an
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explosive device in 2005, which took the lives of jerry -- sergeant jerry mills and sergeant donald haas. and took ryan's right arm and left leg. he was able to use the v.a. specially adaptive housing program to modify his house to suit his needs and the needs of his wife and children. however, the program simply didn't provide enough assistance. leaving ryan and his family owing more than $90,000 out-of-pocket for improvements. the v.a. special housing program offers grants to service members and veterans with certain severe service connected disabilities. the grants assist with building, remodeling, or purchasing an adapted home. however, portions of the program don't reflect the needs of today's veterans which is why i'm proud of our work on the house veterans' affairs committee to make the s.a.h. program work for today's veterans.
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h.r. 3504 as amended does this by prioritizing grants for seriously ill veterans, doubling the cap on the total number of grants issued to a veteran, increasing the total applications authorized, and increasing the maximum benefit for up to 50% of the cost of a specially adapted home. in addition, this legislation doesn't stop there. h.r. 3504, as amended, including legislation from representative luria regarding expanding the program to cover blind veterans. i was shocked to learn that the existing program only covers blind veterans who also have lost a limb. h.r. 3504, as amended, includes representative luria's housing access for blind veterans act. i heard from a blind veteran in puerto rico last weekend about some of the challenges that he faces. as puerto rico continues to rebuild after hurricane maria,
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allowing disabled veterans, including veterans with visual impairments to apply for specially adaptive housing grants can help repair and improve their homes and lives. i thank her for her work and ranking member roe's support. also h.r. 3504 as amended include representative sablan's g.i. bill access to career credentials act. this legislation expands the bill to cover preparatory courses for professional tests, allowing veterans to more easily obtain career credentials. finally, h.r. 3504, as amended, includes a modernization of the work study programming, streamlining 9 payment process to make work study programs easier for veterans to participate in. i thank ranking member bilirakis and the chairman -- chairman levin for bringing this legislation to the committee fully paid for. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3504, as amended. i reserve the balance of my
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time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilirakis: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. madam speaker, i'm proud to rise today in support of my bill, h.r. 3504, as amended, the ryan kules specially adaptive housing improvement asket 2019. our highest calling as a committee is to empower those who have been injured in defense of our country to live independently and productive lives. the specially adaptive housing program, or s.a.h., grant program is one way we do that and this bill makes several needed improvements to that program. s.a.h. grants are awarded to certain severely injured service members and veterans to help them adapt their homes to increase their comfort and independence. quality of life issue, madam
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speaker. s.a.h. grants can be used to make all kinds of home adaptations, including installing grab bars, wheelchairs, ramps, and lifts, lowering counter tops, widening hallways and doorways. my bill would make needed improvements to this program and provide pryorization -- prioritization when processing s.a.h. grants for veterans with serious illnesses like a.l.s. it would also double the number of times a veteran can use an s.a.h. grant and increase the base amount of funding available to veterans by 15%. finally, this bill would authorize v.a. to provide additional funding for veterans 10 years after they use their s.a.h. grants to make additional home improvements as they age. of course they might want to get into a bigger house because their families grow and they should have that opportunity to do so.
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this bill also includes h.r. 3640, the house access for blind veterans act, which was introduced last week by dr. roe and representative elaine luria of virginia, the chair of the subcommittee on disability assistance and memorial affairs to provide additional s.a.h. funding to veterans who are legally blind. so important that we do this. i'm proud to have named this bill after ryan, my friend ryan kules, an arm yvette ran. i had the privilege of meeting him today and his wonderful family, beautiful family. on november 29, 2005, while he was serving in iraq, ryan's vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device, an i.e.d., and ryan sustained multiple injuries, including the loss of his leg and arm. he is a true hero, madam speaker. those injuries made eligible
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for the s.a.h. grant program following his separation from service. many of the ideas in this bill came from ryan's own experiences with the s.a.h. program. i'm grateful to ryan for his service, for his continued advocacy, and for allowing us to use his name for this important legislation. i want to thank the wounded warriors project and paralyzed veterans of america for their help with crafting this bill. as well my friend and chairman who is the co-sponsor of this bill who does an outstanding job in committee. we work in a bipartisan fashion. representative mike levin of california. madam speaker, this bill also includes the test of h.r. 3535, the g.i. bill work study improvement act. this bill was introduced by my friend representative rodney davis of illinois, representative susi lee of neverauskas, and ranking member roe of tennessee to improve
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v.a.'s work study program. the idea for this bill came from the student veterans and school officials who attended a g.i. bill forum that representative davis had and representative roe was in attendance. of course, he's the ranking member of the full committee. i commeentcommend representative davis for taking the concerns of this student vet ran's constituents to heart and acting to address them by improving the way that payment -- those payments are made to eligible g.i. beneficiaries. the best ideas come from the people, madam speaker. as you know. this would entail changes to the current process where the student veterans are paid work study benefits by v.a. to a new process where student veterans are paid directly by their school. makes sense. this will be done by block granting work study money to schools allowing them to
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administer the payments to student veterans. this will improve timeliness and accuracy of payments to student veterans. finally, h.r. 3504, as amended, also includes the text of my bill, h.r. 2221, the scholarship improvement act which would expand eligibility for the friday scholarship to certain survivors of members of the national guard and reserve. representative andy barr worked on this bill as well, he was a great advocate, he's a great advocate for the national guard and reserve, madam speaker. the current fry scholarship provides post-9/11 g.i. benefits to senior vaiving spouses and dependent children of service members who have died while on active duty. the ld like to thank tragedy assistance program for survivors for bringing this idea to our attention and again,
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chairman levin for being an original co-sponsor of this bill. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important piece of legislation today and i reserve the balance of my time, madam speaker. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: at this time, i would to yield two minutes to my good friend, representative rodney davis of illinois. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. mr. davis: thank you, madam speaker. thank you to my good friend mr. bilirakis of florida. i want to thank the chair, mr. takano, and also dr. roe, ranking member and former chair of the v.a. committee, because it was at a meeting with dr. roe in springfield, illinois, last summer, that he heard from my constituents who represent the 13 colleges that -- who
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represented the 13 colleges that i'm blessed to represent in central illinois. they got together and they talked about the g.i. bill work study improvement act language that's included in this bill right now. section 5 of the bill -- of this bill contain ours improvement language. i want to thank suzy lee, my colleague, and my colleague mike bost of illinois because this legislation creates a block grant program to disburgs funding that would normally be used by the v.a. to administer their work study program. we heard from college administrators it wasn't going well as is, they were leaving veterans behind, didn't know if students would be able to enroll, colleges didn't know when they'd get the money. this is a fix that came directly from listening to people serving our veterans at our educational institutions. this is what boinchship looks like. it's an idea that comes from people who are affected and
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those who are affected are our heroes that protect our great nation. this change is necessary. this change is bipartisan. this change is long overdue and i want to thank everybody again. i urge a yes vote on this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i want to just add that i hear equal number of names mentioned from both sides of the aisle who have contributed to the content of this bill. and i'm very -- this is what bipartisanship looks like. i'm very proud that we have brought this bill out of committee on a unanimous basis. and that i've heard each side mention multiple names of members who have contributed language to this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized.
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mr. bilirakis: i am prepared to close, i have no other speakers. that is a great bill, named after a great hero, a great american hero. when we need to pass this bill and i want to thank the leadership of the chairman and the ranking member for bringing it to the floor and again, we got to get this done for our reheros and we've got to get it to the senate and pass et as soon as possible. because it's so badly kneed. i appreciate it very much. thanks for all your support. thanks for the staff support. and i yield back the balance of my time. i encourage members to vote positive on this particular bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: madam speaker, i'm proud of this moment that we have chosen as members of the house to move forward legislation that addresses adaptive housing for veterans who have truly been heroic.
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i can't think of a single american who would stand in the way or would criticize members for -- members of our body for addressing such an urgent need. i want to congratulate all the member who was done even greater honor to the person for whom this bill is named by addressing issues related to the work study program. the available -- the availability of benefits to our veterans and their educational process. so with that, i urge all of my colleagues to join me in passing h.r. 3504 as amended. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back . the sque, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h. -- the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3504 as amended?
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those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid n the table.
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for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 549 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 549, a bill to designate venezuela under section 244 of the immigration and nationality act to permit nationals of venezuela to be eligible for temporary protected status under such section and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. muesar sell powell and the gentleman from georgia, mr. kline, each will criminal 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. mucarsel-powell: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without
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objection. ms. mucarsel-powell: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. mucarsel-powell: i rise in strong support of h.r. 549, the venezuela t.p.s. act of 2019. this vitally important bill will provide help and support to those who cannot return to their home clint of venezuela. years-long political and economic turmoil in venezuela has resulted in the world's fastest growing migration, staggering poverty and chronic shortages of medicine. millions of venezuelans are malnourished and the united nations estimated that seven million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. four million venezuelans have been forced from their home. most have remained in the region and neighboring countries but tens of thousands are here in the united states seeking refuge. it is long past time to grant temporary protected status for venezuelans currently living in the united states.
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my district has one of the largest venezuelan populations in the nation and i understand very well the crisis in venezuela. i came to this country from ecuador when i was 14 years old, having seen firsthand the damage that authoritarian and corrupt leaders in south america have caused their countries. i have good friends and family who are still in there, suffering in caracas and other places and they are desperate and i can hear it in their voices every time they update me on the crisis. in miami, i have met with reporters who have had to flee home because a free press does not exist in venezuela. just yesterday, more rolling blackouts hit the country, jeopdizing the lives hospital patients and sending the country into pure darkness. even if nicholas maduro, the leader of this brutal narcoregime, for to -- were to leave today and a legitimat
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president, juan guaido, were to be swornn, extraordinary and temporaryonditions exist that would prevent venezuelans from returning safely. maduro's regime launched venezuela into catastrophe. the poverty rate in soaring and the nation's health system is near collapse. just imagine, nearly a third of venezuela's physicians have fled the country and an astounding 79% of hospitals are experiencing shortages in supplies to assist the country's mounting medal needs. this de situation is only exacerbated by massive food and wer shortages. malnutrition is widespread. esecially among children and pregnant women. frequent nationwide blackouts ntribute to the detierary -- detieraryation of already impfrired communities. this is one of the worst crises we have seen in the western
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hemisphere. one thing is clear, we havto help our nezuelan brothers and sisters in the united states. these conditions in vezuela warrant a designation of c.p.s. and through h.r.49, congress will take this necessary action. i commend my colleagues, representative darren soto and mario diaz-balart, for introducing this bill and i thank representatives donna shalala and debbie wast was, chairwoman lofgren of the immigration subcommittee, and chairman nadler of the judiciary committee, for their support and hard work in helping move this bill forward. i urge my colleagues to support the vns way la t.p.s. act of 2019. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. we stand in solidarity with the
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people of venezuela and i share many of the comments of the gentlelady from florida but i must rise in opposition to h.r. 549. h.r. 549 statutorily designates venezuela for inclusion in the broken program known as temporary protected status. pursuant to the immigration and nationality act, the secretary of d.h.s. can designate a doesn'try for t.p.s. if there are circumstances that would prevent the safe return of aliens to that couldn'tly or if cauntry is temporarily unable to adequately handle the rurp of its nationals. mr. cline: when d.h.s. does so, nationals of the country who are inside the united states on the date of the designation, whether legally or illegally, may apply to stay here and receive employment authorization. d.h.s. has estimated there are 270,000 such venezuelan nationals currently in the united states. over 100,000 of whom are here illegally. t.p.s. is usually initially
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designated for a period of 18 months and then redesignated in 1 month increments after the secretary reviews the conditions in the country to determine whether the conditions for the initial t.p.s. designation continue. if the secretary determines the country no longer meets the conditions for the t.p.s. designation, the secretary is required by law to terminate the designation. there are currently over 415,000 t.p.s. recipients from 10 different countries in the united states. despite the fact that congress intended t.p.s. to be a temporary protection, over time it has become a permanent, automatically renewed, status with some countries being designated for t.p.s. for decades. for instance, honduras was initially designate for t.p.s. back in 1999, due to hurricane mitch which struck the country in october of 1998. somalia was initially designated
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in september of 1991. based on armed conflict. the current administration applied the law under section 244 of the i.n.a. regarding mandatory termination of t.p.s. designation the conditions no longer exist and terminated t.p.s. for sudan, nicaragua, haiti, and el salvador. the d.h.s. secretary gave those populations at least 12 months to wind down and prepare for departure. but a lawsuit was filed and activist federal courts issued an injunction. i oppose h.r. 549 but do not do so lightly. there is no doubt the people of venezuela are suffering. they are in a dire situation as a result of the socialist policies of longtime president hue go chavez and his successor, nicholas maduro. but i hold out hope for regime change in venezuela and know the administration is watching the situation closely. if congress is nevertheless
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inclined to statutorily designate venezuela for t.p.s. we should not do so without reforming the process to ensure renewal is not a rubber stamp. otherwise we risk being in the same position we're currently in regarding other t.p.s. designations. no administration will terminate it and 25 years from now, members of congress will call for green cards for venezuelans here on t.p.s. another concern is two federal circuits, the sixth and the ninth, have held the mere grant of t.p.s. as an admission for purposes of the immigration and nationality act. the effect of those rulings is that t.p.s. holders meant to be here temporarily can now get a green card, pursuant to family or employment-based even if they entered the country illegally. also problematic is the fact that the fee for a t.p.s. application is statutorily capped at $50. last week, the immigration
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subcommittee held a hearing regarding he long wait times for processing immigration benefits applications. large volume is the biggest driver of longer processes timing, but there's also not enough money to hire additional staff. since it is a fee-funded agency, u.s. citizenship and immigration service should be allowed to set the fee commensurate with the cost of application adjudication, which is obviously more than the mere $50. . lastly, i must point out the hypocrisy of designating a country for temporary protected status after the majority recently passed h.r. 6 which create created a green card path for 417,000 aliens in the country on temporary protected status. if the majority had its way, congress would amend the i.n.a. to remove the word temporary from the t.p.s. statute and start handing over green cards immediately. madam speaker, i oppose h.r. 49 and urge my colleagues to do
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the same. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. mucarsel-powell: thank you, madam speaker. i appreciate the concerns mr. kline has -- cline has brought up. i would like to remind him that the immigration and nationalist act and this bill provides the authority to terminate t.p.s. for venezuela. venezuelans right now are clearly eligible. t.p.s. was created specifically for the situations we are seeing. t.p.s. was created to address situations where extraordinary and temporary conditions in a country prevent its nationals from returning safely. with that, i would like to yield to my colleague, representative soto, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for three minutes. mr. soto: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentlelady from florida.
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in 2016, olene escaped the evil maduro tyranny in venezuela. she received death threats, including a failed attempt on her life. her brother, however, was captured an tortured -- and tortured by the venezuelan national guard. the crime? supporting the opposition party. olene is now one of my constituents in orlando with her daughters and her husband. she's active with her local groups, advocating for freedom in venezuela. she holds on to hope of returning home one day soon. another one of my newest constituents, celine, was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. due to the shortages of medicine, food, and lack of fudgesing -- functioning quality hospitals in venezuela, all caused by maduro's destruction of the economy, she
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moved to orlando to continue her cancer treatment. celine hopes to beat cancer, return to venezuela, and see her family again. like olene and celine, hundreds of thousands of venezuelans in the united states fear for their lives. they ask for our compassion until the horror ends. our bipartisan venezuela t.p.s. act would protect all eligible venezuelan nationals from deportation. it allows them to contribute to our american economy all while they continue to work to fix venezuela. the world is now witness to the ruthless suppression, starvation, and human rights abuses of maduro's rule. the administration has been a loud voice condemning maduro. vice president mike pence said during a visit to florida recently that the white house is discuss discussing t.p.s. secretary of state mike pompeo also mentioned t.p.s. protections could be in the
quote
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near future. and today the house has a chance to fulfill those promises. senators marco rubio and bob menendez are leading this bipartisan effort in the senate as well. granting venezuelans t.p.s. is one of the most bipartisan immigration acts each of us as members of congress can take right now. and i plead with members of both sides of the aisle to take this opportunity to come together to do the right thing. it's our moral responsibility to support these brave venezuelans and their families who are already citizens here in the united states. this is the next step to helping the people and restore freedom and the rule of law in venezuela. i urge all of my colleagues in the house to vote for this bill for venezuela libre. with that i yield back, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. cline: thank you, madam speaker. it's my pleasure to yield four minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. diaz-balart.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. diaz-balart: thank you very much. let me first commend my colleague from central florida, mr. soto, for his leadership and his perseverance. i also want to thank my colleagues from south florida, many of which are here today in support of this important piece of legislation. look, i know that there are concerns about an immigration system that's absolutely broken in this country, and it is. i know that there are concerns about teen even the t.p.s. system. i get that. but we got to take a step back. what we are dealing with here is a very specific, unique situation. which is why congress today will have this opportunity to vote on it. you know the situation, you have heard the situation about the humanitarian crisis in venezuela. over three million people who have fled venezuela because what was the wealthiest country in south america because of the radical socialist policies of the two last dictatorships, now it has become among the
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poorest. where people don't have access to basic issues of whether it's health care or even food, medicine. you know all that. but you see, there is something else. the extreme repression that is taking place in venezuela. that is the real reason that people are fleeing. that is the reason that venezuelans are dying. that is the reason that the heroes in venezuela have hit the streets. that is the reason why this young, young leader has come to the forefront leading his heroic people. and this administration has recognized that fact. this administration i'm so grateful has applied tough sanctions against the dictatorship. has shown great solidarity with the people of venezuela. so i ask you, let's not confuse this with all of the issues of immigration and the broken immigration system. really? with what's going on in venezuela, should we be sending
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venezuelans back to that dictatorship? r could congress act in a very specific circumstance to give them the ability to stay here at least while this dictatorship, this horrific situation is taking place in venezuela. that's what we are dealing with. not the horrors of complications or messed up the parts of the immigration system which has issues, obviously. it's this very specific issue. thanking in particular my colleague, mr. soto, i would just urge my colleagues in the house to take a step back. these are specific circumstances dealing with this dictatorship in venezuela. the administration has shown solidarity. congress has the opportunity to do the same. i ask for an aye vote. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. mucarsel-powell: yes, madam speaker. i yield two minutes to my colleague, representative
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wasserman schultz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentlewoman for yielding. i rise today to urge the house to pass the venezuela t.p.s. act of 2019, which would grant vens willian nationals urgently needed protected status in the united states of america. the maduro regime has perpetrated egregious human rights abuses, inflicting an economic and humanitarian crisis of the people of venezuela. vens willians fleeing starvation, violence, and political persecution have sought refuge in the united states. my district has the largest venezuelan population in the u.s. so many of my south florida neighbors know the brutality of the maduro regime first hand and fled here seeking safety. the stories are heartbreaking. children kidnapped from playgrounds. family members dying of hunger, violence, and lack of medicine. individuals who were jailed for speaking out against the government. businesses confiscated.
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extending t.p.s. will ensure venezuelans are shielded from the imminent danger of deportation and can obtain work permits. president trump has called the maduro regime a nightmare of poverty, hunger, and death. he said in june he was looking, quote, very seriously as extending t.p.s. to venezuela. a recent letter said the administration is monitoring theation in venezuela. there was no commitment to extend t.p.s. to vens willa. in meantime this administration deportsvens willian nationals sending them back to the nightmare of the maduro regime. it is past time we support the venezuelan community and recognize the urgency of t.p.s. president trump could grant t.p.s. to vens willians today. the house of representatives will take action today to protect our neighbors and friends because their lives are on the line. i urge my colleagues to vote for this legislation to ensure that venezuelans are granted
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this essential protection. i say viva, venezuela. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. cline: i thank the gentlelady from florida for her remarks and her sharing the concerns of the president for the socialist regime of maduro. i would note that there are very few detained noncriminal venezuelans with removal orders. there is no mechanism currently in place for directly removing aliens to venezuela. i now yield four minutes to the gentlelady from puerto rico, congresswoman gonzalez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for four minutes. miss gonzalez: thank you, madam speaker. thank you for yielding. i rise in support of h.r. 549, the venezuelan t.p.s. act introduced by my friend darren soto. i need to sponsor this bill essentially allowing venezuelan nationals living in the united states to be eligible for temporary protected status.
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this status will extend travel authorization, allow lawful employment, and ultimately prevent their removal from the united states. the crisis in venezuela is dire. in neighbor, i had the opportunity to travel to colombia with other members of congress to visit a humanitarian aid center on the border with venezuela. i saw firsthand the appalling conditions that latino american brothers and sisters are enduring. believe me, it is worse than anyone can imagine. , e hunger, the need experience in the country are unprecedented and heartbreaking. over 90% of the population is living under poverty. seven million people need humanitarian assistance. and diseases that had been previously eradicated have, unfortunately, returned. to make matters worse, there is
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a shortage of 85% of necessary medicines to treat those diseases underground, while infant mortality rates have increased by 30%. and maternal mortality rates have increased by an alarming 60%. this is unacceptable, madam speaker. the main obstacle at hand lies in the hands of maduro and his ruthless dictatorship. he's holding the people of venezuela hostage, depriving them of basic humanitarian rights. additionally, the numbers of venezuelans migrating to puerto rico have doubled since the crisis began. and can be expected to continue increasing as long as maduro remains in power. i will continue working to move this bill so that venezuelans can have a temporary safe haven in a country where they can
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live freely. i do understand the house needs to do something about this, and i urge my colleagues to do the same and support this bill. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. mucarsel-powell: madam speaker, i would like to yield two minutes to my colleague, representative donna shalala. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for two minutes. ms. shalala: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in strong support of this lifesaving bipartisan legislation to designate temporary protected status for vens willians. maduro's evil regime has plunged venezuela into catastrophe. the once thriving country is in free fall. with venezuelans now suffering from the largest economic, political, and humanitarian crisis in the entire hemisphere. just in 2018, nearly 30,000
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venezuelans applied for asylum in the united states. becoming the number one country f origin for asylum claimants. and so many venezuelans have come to south florida where they have contributed so much to our diverse community. in my district, there are approximately 17,000 venezuelan-born residents. . my constituents cannot safely return. a recent u.n. report details the shocking abuses, including killing at the hands of ma did youro's death squad. granting t.p.s. for them is the right thing to do. t.p.s. has bipartisan support in the house and in the senate. we now have an opportunity to take real action to support os

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