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tv   U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  October 22, 2019 3:59pm-6:00pm EDT

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jackson lee is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker, i thank the gentleman from virginia for his kind remarks in support and as well, i thank dr. burgess as well for his involvement and commitment to this legislation. i'd also like to thank the chairman and ranking member of the full committee, judiciary committee, for helping us move this bill very quickly and i thank the staffs of both the majority and minority who worked so very hard on moving this bill forward and i acknowledge in particular the staff on the subcommittee on crime for their particular help in leadership on this. i am glad we're talking about ealthy sport and the recognition and acceptance of those who work so long and so hard, many from their early years to be olympians, to play
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baseball, basketball, football, track, and the many sports that come under the olympics mandate. this bill in particular i wish to remind our colleagues again provides relief, but we really hope it is a deterrent and works to move other nations, the european union, to be able to establish these kinds of responses to doping. this act establishes criminal penalties for participating in a scheme in commerce to influence a major international sport competition through prohibited substances or methods. it also provides restitution to victims of such conspiracy, athletes in particular, many of them who have suffered great losses because of this fraud. it protects whistleblowers from retaliation by criminalizing participation in international doping fraud conspiracies, whistleblowers will be included
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in existing witness protection laws and establishes coordination and sharing of information with the u.s. anti-doping agency. to establish a matrix if you will, a format. so i want to say that we all have an interest in ensuring our country and our athletes are not defrauded in international sports competitions. this bipartisan bill would fill an unfortunate gap with regard to u.s. law enforcement to hold accountable those who engage in such fraud. it would also serve as a deterrent to those considering engaging in doping fraud conspiracies and would provide a mechanism to gain visibility in a wider net of for the national corrupt practices that are connected to coping fraud. i leave my i leave my colleagues with the visual that so many of us, if we were not able to be at the olympics, watched as our athletes were able to stand under our flag. the emotion of that moment. the emotion of the athletes, the
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emotion of those of us watching. the excitement of standing in honor of your nation and representing your nation, anyone who has talked to an olympian knows that that is one of their greatest hons honors. so let's give them that been greatest honors. so let's give them -- greatest honors. so let's give them that honor. i certainly will end as my friend commented here on the floor, i will end with the healthiness and the upstanding of the world series and those who will play in it. and i will take the opportunity at this time to say, go, astros. i urge my colleagues to support the underlying commonsense measure, and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas yields back the balance of her time. the question is, will the house suspend the ruse and pass the bill, h.r. 835, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3
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of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider slayed on the table. -- is laid on the table. -- to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2426, the copyright alternatives
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and small claims enforcement act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2426. a bill to amend title 17, united states code, to establish an alternative dispute resolution program for copyright small claims and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. cline, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries. mr. jeffries: 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 objection, so ordered. mr. jeffries: i yield myself such time as i may consume. today we will vote on h.r. 2426, the copyright alternative small claims enforcement act, otherwise known as the case act. a bill that will allow creators to protect their cop wherey -- copyrighted work under law. copyright infringement is not a
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victimless crime. photographers, illustraters, visual artists, authors, songwriters and musicians all rely upon their protected works to put food on the table, clothing on their back, and support their families. when their copyrighted work is used unlawfully or pirated, that is the functional equivalent of a burglary. but small creators victimized by infringement often find themselves in a tough spot. they have a right to enforce their work under copyright law, but are often unable to do so in a practical sense. on the one hand, you have the notice and takedown process that can be inefficient, cumbersome, and as many small creators will
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tell you, often pointless. on the other hand, there is the article 3 federal court system that can be expensive, time-consuming and often out of reach for many working class and middle class creators. for instance, the average cost of litigating an infringement case in federal court is pproximately $350,000. but the total amount of damages that can be awarded, for instance, in a case act-eligible matter cannot exceed $30,000. in that instance, the cost of litigating a case could be more than 10 times the damages that are at issue. according to a survey by the american bar association, which supports this legislation, most lawyers will not take
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infringement cases with damages at or lower than $30,000. as a result, many petitioners are functionally unable to vindicate their rights under law. in other words, these creators are given a right without a remedy. the case act will provide a viable alternative. this legislation would establish a voluntary forum for small copyright claims housed within the copyright office. disputes would be heard by a new entity called the copyright claims board, made up of intellectual property experts with experience representing both creators and the users of copyrighted material. unlike federal court, the cases before the board will have limited damages, parties would not have to appear in person,
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and can proceed if they choose without an attorney. these provisions address the significant burdens that currently exist, imposed by federal court litigation. making this system more user friendly for all, regardless of your side, but inclusive of working class and middle class members of the creative community. and both sides must agree to participate in order for the small claims tribunal to have jurisdiction. is a voluntary system where either side can opt out. simply put, the legislation allows for copyright disputes to be resolved in a fair, timely and affordable manner. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from virginia, mr. cline, is recognized. mr. cline: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cline: i would like to thank the gentleman from new york for his leadership on this important issue. the united states constitution expressly calls for the protection of creative works in order to promote innovation and creativity. under that lofty authority, congress established the copyright system and, as was the hope, copyright intensive industries have become critical to our economy. reportedly contributing more than $1 trillion. unfortunately in the system that we have today, many small businesses and individuals are unable to enforce their copyrights because they do not have deep enough pockets. tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire lawyers to litigate a copyright claim in federal court. sadly, this forces individuals to stand idly by as thieves profit off of their work. our founding fathers wouldn't want a copyright system that discourages creators. after all they wanted to create a system that fosters the
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creation of artistic works. that's why so many members of the jish committee helped craft -- judiciary committee helped craft legislation to stop the theft of copyrighted works and so many members of the house have joined in support of it. h.r. 2426, the case act, would establish a copyright small claims proceeding within the copyright office to provide a less expensive alternative to costly federal court litigation. the proceedings would be simple. conducted remotely. handled by a panel of copyright experts. and limited to straightforward cases of alleged copyright infringement. damage awards would be low, reaching a maximum of no greater than $15,000 per work, with a total award per case capped at $30,000. participation in such a small claims proceeding would be completely voluntary and anyone falsely accused of infringement could simply opt out of the small claims proceeding. the case act includes a number of other safeguards to prevent abuse.
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the copyright office is authorized to limit the number of cases one person can file, and will review the allegations for sufficiency before forwarding them to the accused infringer. if an accuser files in bad faith, he or she would have to pay fees to the party falsely accused of infringement and be barred for one year. several other provisions of h.r. 2426 would protect against inadvertent default judgments. they include requirements that the accused infringer be physically served. the ramifications of not responding and the accused be given several notices and changes to respond to the allegations against them. most importantly, before a default judgment can be granted, the copyright owner must establish that their copyright was actually infringed by the accused. the bill is intended to provide a streamlined, inexpensive alternative for parties to resolve small claims of copyright infringement outside of court. h.r. 2426 accomplishes all of
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these goals. i'm proud to join my colleagues, congressman jeffries, ranking member collins, chairman nadler, congressman martha roby, and johnson, judy chu, ted lieu and brian fitzpatrick, to provide an important avenue of relief to the creaters in our communities who provide such significant support to our local economies. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries. mr. jeffries: thank you. let me first just thank the distinguished gentleman from the commonwealth of virginia, mr. cline, for his leadership as it relates to the case act. and let me now yield four minutes to the distinguished chair of the house judiciary committee, chairman nadler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler, is recognized. mr. nadler: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 2426, the copyright alternative and small claims enforcement act of 2019,
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or the case act. this important bipartisan legislation would establish a voluntary small claims court within the copyright office to hear copyright suits seeking $30,000 or less in total damages. today many small creators, especially digital artists, are unable to protect their rights, because the cost of pursuing infringement claim in federal court is far greater, as much as 10 times or more than the damages they could ever hope to receive. few attorneys would take a case with such limited damages, because they would not likely recoup their costs. it is a fundamental principle of the american legal system that a right must have a remedy. but if it costs $250,000 to recover a few thousand dollars from someone who has infringed your copyright, then what remedy do you really have? the case act would provide important protections for the many independent creators who are currently unable to protect their work in federal court. it would establish a small claims board within the copyright office, to resolve infringement claims seeking $30,000 or less in total
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damages. with claims officers appointed by the librarian of congress. the proceedings are designed to be less expensive and much easier to navigate, even without an attorney, than federal court. they would enable parties to represent themselves or to seek pro bono assistance from law students. the board would conduct its proceedings entirely by telephone and the internet and no one would need to travel to a hearing or a court house. the bill caps damages at no more than $15,000 per work infringed and no more than $30,000 total and the board would work with the parties to settle their claims. importantly, the proceedings would be voluntary. plaintiffs can decide whether this is the proper form to file their claim, and defendants may opt out of the process if they prefer to have their case heard by a federal judge. the sponsor of this legislation, the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries, has worked tirelessly to ensure that this legislation includes revisions and suggestions for many members and stakeholders. the revisions include various heightened and due process protections and provisions
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intended to reduce potential abuse of the system, all of which has made a good bill even better. for far too long, it has been virtually impossible for small creators to vindicate their right to a just measure of damages. today we have an opportunity to take an important step in helping independent photographers, film makers, graphic designers and other creators to protect their work. i would like to thank mr. jeffries and ranking member collins for their outstanding leadership in the case act. i would also like to thank the copyright office, which conducted an exhaustive study on the issue, and whose recommendations formed the basis for the bill. in addition, i appreciate the support of colleagues on both sides of the aisle, including the gentlelady from california, ms. chu, who has introduced similar legislation in previous congresses, and who has been tireless in her work to protect creators' rights. i am proud to be a co-sponsor of this important legislation and i urge my colleagues to support the bill. i yield back. .
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom new york seek recognition? the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. cline: we reserve and are prepared to close. mr. jeffries: i reserve and am prepared to close. mr. cline: i thank the gentleman for his leadership on this issue and thank the chairman for his remarks. again, this bill is a purely optional system and allows anyone who doesn't wish to participate to opt out. the copyright office considered this feature in its report back in 2013 and highlighted shortcomings of an opt-in regarding agreement to participate in the system. the opt-out system provided in
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the case act does not change the voluntary nature of the small claims process it creates. it is simple and respondents would be made aware. this will be explained in the notice that they receive. again, mr. speaker, i would say this is a bipartisan initiative that had several different members on both sides participate. i thank them for their hard work and thank the staff for their hard work as well. this will go a long way toward furthering the protection of eative works as our founders found in the u.s. constitution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. jeffries: the case act is the product of more than 10 years of careful study by this house and the united states copyright office. as chairman nadler indicated, i
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thank the copyright office in laying the foundation for the case act. once again, i urge my colleagues to support this legislation so creators, authors, musicians and authors have a forum for small copyright claims where they can assert their rights and defenses. this bill has the support through co-sponsorship of more than 150 members of this house on both sides of the aisle. i thank each and every one of them. the bill is endorsed by dozens of groups including the american ar association, the afl-c inch o, naacp, copyright alliance, united states chamber of commerce, association of american publishers, the authors guild, creative future, nashville songwriters, the
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ecording academy, the latyip american academy. and the songwriters of north america as well as many, many more. i want to thank all of them for their advocacy and for their efforts. article 1 section 8 clause 8 of the united states constitution gives congress the power to create a robust intellectual property system. in order to in the words of the framers of the constitution, promote the progress of science and useful arts. the founders recognized that ciety would on benefit if we incentivize and protect creativity and innovation. in doing so, the creative community will continue to share their creative brilliance with
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the american people and the world and experience some benefit from the fruits of their labor. imes have changed. since the provisions were written into the constitution in 1787, but the constitutional principle remains the same. and that is what the case act is all about. i want to thank the many co-sponsors of this legislation including my good friend on the judiciary committee ranking member, doug collins for his tremendous leadership and jerry adler and hank johnson and ubcommittee ranking woman, martha roby, judy chu and many,
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many others. on the senate side i'm grateful for senators john kennedy, dick mazey thom tillis and hirono on this companion legislation. and last congress, we came together democrats and republicans, the left and the right to pass the historic music modernization act that was signed into law by president trump illustrating that we can come together. and in this instance, i'm grateful that the same coalition has come back together in support of the working class and middle class creative communities. and i urge all of my colleagues to support this bill. and i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2426 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. . in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative -- the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? mr. cohen: i move to suspend the rules and pass the national p.o.w./m.i.a. flag act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 693 an act to amend title 36 united states code to require that the p.o.w./m.i.a. flag be displayed on all days that the flag of the united states is displayed on certain federal property. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen and the gentleman from virginia, mr. cline, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. mr. cohen: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and include their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. i yield myself such time as i
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may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. cohen: i rise in support of s. 693 the national p.o.w./m.i.a. flag act. this bill would require the national league of families, p.o.w./m.i.a. flag to be every day at certain specified locations. the flag must be displayed on six designated days, armed forces day, memorial day, flag day, independence day and veterans day. the flag must be flown at the world war ii memorial, korean war memorial, vietnam memorial and post offices on every day that the united states flag is displayed. current law requires the p.o.w./m.i.a. flag to be displayed on these designated days at the capitol, the white house, the world war ii, korean, korean memorial and each national cemetery and secretary of state and veterans affairs
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and each major military installation and each veterans affairs medical center and each post office. this bill strikes the provision to display the flag from current law and replaces with a mandate that the flag be flown on all days in which the united states flag is displayed. this is an appropriate tribute to those who served in uniform and made the sacrifice of being held prisoner and for those who remain missing sm the p.o.w./m.i.a. flag not only remipeds every american of these individual sacrifices but acts as a symbol to achieve as the statute says, the accounting of americans who happened to be prisoners of war or missing in action still unaccounted for. i will look at these flags and think of sam johnson, great member of this house and john mccain, a great american, honest
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american and great leader. aaplaid senator warren who introduced this bill and congratulate chris pappas who introduced the identical bill in the house and worked this bill through house passage. i thank him for his leadership. and i urge the house to pass this bill and the president to sign it into law. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. cline: i yield myself such time as i consume. i thank the gentleman from tennessee for his leadership and i thank congressman pappas for his introduction in the identical in the house. many americans may not be aware 82,000 americans are listed as prisoners of war, missing in action or unaccounted for as a result of military conflicts. displaying the p.o.w./m.i.a. flag invites everyone to reflect
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on that number and appreciate the sacrifices made for the freest country on the planet. s. 693 would require the p.o.w./m.i.a. flag to be displayed when the american flag is displayed including the white house house, capitol, vietnam veterans memorial and every national military installation as designated by the seeing of defense and every u.s. post office. i look forward to passage of this bipartisan bill and to seeing the p.o.w./m.i.a. flag fly along with the stars and stripes to remind us that freedom comes at a cost and we owe more than we know to the brave men and women who gave their lives and liberty. with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. cohen: i yield three minutes to the author, the gentleman from new hampshire, mr. pappas.
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mr. pappas: i thank the gentleman for yielding and thank him for his words and mr. cline for his words in support of this legislation. i rise in support of s. 693. i had the privilege of visiting longest p.o.w./m.i.a. in meredith. there on the shores of the lake, participants have been gathering every thursday evening to honor and remember service members listed as prisoners of war, missing in action or otherwise remain junk accounted for. zosent matter if it is in the winter or summer, every vigil brings out supporters who call on us to remember these heroes. vigils happen all across our great country to make sure no sacrifice is forgotten. flying with the stars and stripes. this flag was conceived during
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the vietnam war. it was adopted by congress as quote, the symbol of our nation's concern and commitment to resolving the fate of americans still missing and unaccounted in southeast asia yeah and sending the uncertainty. it has become an enduring national symbol from conflicts throughout our history. that's why i was produce to introduce this companion legislation in the house along with my colleague, which would display the p.o.w./m.i.a. flag along side the american flag throughout the year. under current law, the current p.o.w./m.i.a. flag is required to be displayed only six days per year. this flag is representative of profound courage and sacrifice and only right that those who serve their country admirably are appropriately remembered. this bipartisan legislation passed the senate unanimously
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and endorsed by rolling thunder, the national league of p.o.w./m.i.a. families, the veterans of foreign wars, the american legion, and american ex-prisoners of war. it is fitting this bill has garnered a strong show of support. i urge my colleagues to pass this legislation and continue working with a common sense of purpose when it comes to military veterans and members. this flag is displayed because we must honor the 81,000 service members our government says are missing or unaccounted since world war ii. let's ensure these discxds difficulties plays are across federal properties and let's communicate our support and commitment for our nation's heroes and families. you are not forgotten. i yield back. . . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. cohen: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. cline: mr. speaker, we have no further speakers and i'm prepared to close. mr. cohen: then i'd like to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for five minutes to close. mr. cline: thank you, mr. speaker. again, i commend those who have pursued the introduction and passage of this important legislation and, along with the comments of my colleague from new hampshire we will never -- they will never be forgotten and we will continue to fly the pow-mia flag alongside the american flag. and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. as mr. cline said, this is a straightforward bill that would rightly require that the flag be flown effectively every day at certain locations of great
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significance to our country. it's an appropriate to honor all those who served -- served and those who remain missing because of their service to our nation in bar time. therefore, i -- wartime. therefore i urge prompt passage of s. 693. i thank mr. paps a fo -- paps a for his work on the bill -- pappas for his work on the bill. 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 senate bill 693. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. opinion -- 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 on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 724, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 724. a bill to revise section 48 of title 18, united states code, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr.
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deutch, and the gentleman from pennsylvania, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. deutch: 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 objection. mr. deutch: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. deutch: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 724, the preventing animal cruelty and torture act, or the pact act. i want to give special thanks to my florida colleague, congressman buchanan. he is a longstanding friend of animals in congress and i'm thrilled that he agreed to introduce this bill with me, to create a federal law punishing those who abuse animals. i also would like to acknowledge congressman holding, the hard work by groups like the humane society, humane rescue alliance, who have helped collect 290 bipartisan co-sponsors for this bill.
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there are so many groups and people from across the country who have supported this bill. people like lisa vanderpump, who added her passionate commitment to animals to our effort. and groups who rescue animals literally in every corner of our country every single day. i'd also like to acknowledge and thank one person in particular, mr. speaker. a high school student. one who's so committed to helping animals, caring for animals, that when she learned about the pact act, she started an online petition hoping to collect a few thousand signatures. that petition urging congress to pass this bill gathered over 729 ,000 signers. and i'm thrilled that that young activist, sydney, is with us in the gallery today. now, of all the divisive issues here in washington, the pact act is one on which we can all agree. we must make animal abuse a
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federal crime. this bill has received so much bipartisan support because americans care about animal welfare. we form deep relations with our companion animals and are rightfully outraged by cases of animal abuse. animal rights activists stand up for living things that do not have a voice. that's what the pact act does. americans expect their law enforcement agencies to crack down on this horrific violence against animals, and law enforcement officers agree. which is why the pact act has been endorsed by the fraternity rder of police, the national sheriffs association and local law enforcement agencies across the country. they have asked for if federal law, to bolster their efforts -- for this federal law, to bolster their efforts to target animal abusers, because they understand the direct link between animal abuse and violent crimes. this link is why the f.b.i. now collects data on acts of cruelty against be a mals for their -- animals for their criminal database, right alongside felony crimes. when i first came to congress, one of the first bills i voted on was the animal crush video
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prohibition act. a bill that nearly unanimously passed. it made it a crime to create or distribute animal crush videos, which depict horrific acts of violence. this bill today takes the next logical step and criminalizes those acts underlying that crime as well. the senate passed the pact act by unanimous consent in the last two congresses. and i am proud the house is finally doing its part to pass this important legislation. today anyone who inflicts serious bodily jerron animals will be committing an act for -- injury on animals will be committing an act for which they can be condemned. when this passes, they also will be violating federal law. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. as a point of note, the chair would remind members that unfortunately and regrettably, the rules do not allow
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references to persons, great americans, in the gallery. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. thank you again, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 724, the bipartisan preventing animal cruelty and torture act, or the pact act, introduced by representatives ted deutch and vern buchanan. in 2017, pennsylvania passed a law which increased penalties for animal abuse. i was honored to help push that legislation over the finish line in the pennsylvania state senate. i'm proud to once again help legislation that will better protect our nation's animals. in 2010, congress passed the animal crush video prohibition act to address the trade in obscene videos of live animals being crushed, burned or subjected to other forms of
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heinous cruelty. while this was an important first step, the law only bans the trade in video depictions of cruelty, not the underlying act of cruelty itself. the pact act addresses this gap by prohibiting the underlying acts of animal cruelty that occur on federal property, or affect interstate commerce, regardless of whether a video is produced. as a former district judge, i frontlines of our lines of our judicial system. i witnessed firsthand the connection between animal cruelty and violence toward people. in fact, the f.b.i. recently recognized that addressing animal cruelty is critical to protecting our communities. the pact act would give federal law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to combat extreme animal cruelty. this bill would give the f.b.i. the authority to act against animal cruelty that is discovered while investigating
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another interstate crime, such as drug smuggling or human trafficking. the pact act would not interfere with enforcement of state laws related to felony animal cruelty provisions. the legislation focuses solely on extreme acts of animal cruelty and exempts normal agriculture and hunting practices. the pact act is endorsed by the national sheriffs association, the fraternal order of police, and the association of prosecuting attorneys, as well as more than 100 law enforcement agencies. and in the senate, the pact act by my good friend, ood pennsylvania senator pat toomey. and it passed in both the 114th and 115th congresses by unanimous consent. in the house, it currently has more than 300 bipartisan co-sponsors. i urge my colleagues to support the pact act so we can better protect our nation's animals
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from abuse and torture. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. deutch: mr. speaker, it's my pleasure to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from iowa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. axne: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, representatives, for this bill. i'm very excited to be able to vote for it today. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the pact act and am grateful for the support that it has. as a long-time animal lover and advocate, somebody who worked to take care of the puppy mill issues that we've got in my own state of iowa, i know more than anybody that there's nothing like bringing animals to the forefront, that brings people together. this is absolutely a bipartisan issue. and while the animal crush video prohibition act prohibits train in obscene video depictions of live animals being tortured, as representative deutch said, the bill did nothing to prohibit the underlying conduct of the cruelty itself.
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this is what the pact act does. it strengthens the animal crush video law by prohibiting animal cruelty regardless of whether a video is produced. there's documented connection between animal cruelty and violence to people. in fact, studies show animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and it's linked to domestic violence as well as child and elder abuse. the pact act gives federal law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to combat extreme animal cruelty and to protect our communities at the same time. whether it's the veterinarian in my own state of iowa ranked 49th when it comes to animal welfare laws, who was recently arrested for debarking dogs by shoving rod-like objects into their vocal chambers without an he is esia, or whether it's -- anesthesia, or whether it's in nebraska where a man was accused of burning a cat by holding it under scalding-hot water, across
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this country, people are torturing animals and it absolutely has to stop. so tomorrow, on make a dog's day, which is in support of encouraging dog adoption, let's do these companion animal friends of ours one better by unanimously -- by unanimous vote for the pact act today, and put an end to the horrible acts of cruelty that should not be allowed in this country. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, mr. speaker. i wish to yield four minutes to my good friend, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. fitzpatrick: thank you mr. speaker,. i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i join with my bipartisan colleagues here to proclaim that animal abuse is unacceptable and must end. which is why we are all proud to be supporters and many of us original co-sponsors of the pact act, because it strengthens
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federal law regarding animal cruelty. and was previously mentioned, the animal crush video act of 2010 banned the creation and distribution of these despicable videos. however, it did not make the actual animal abuse itself a crime. the bipartisan pact act goes a step further and outlaws this malicious animal cruelty, regardless of the presence of video evidence. mr. speaker, as a former f.b.i. agent, my agency's profiling studies demonstrated how violence against animals is a precurser to human violence. and that's why we're fighting aggressively against egregious animal cruelty. and why it is so important. law enforcement supports this legislation because it provides another tool for them to use. more than 100 law enforcement agencies and organizations across our country have endorsed the pact act.
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we must stand up against defenseless animals and over 300 co-sponsors, both democrat and republican on this bill. i commend senator toomey, our colleague from pennsylvania for introducing the companion bill in the senate. we must pass the pact act as soon as possible so it can be signed into law and make sure that this national abuse doesn't happen. we will end animal cruelty and continue to be a voice for the voiceless. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. deutch: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from oregon, the chairman of the animal protection caucus and an original co-sponsor of the pact act and great voice for animal rights, mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the courtesy. it is a breath of fresh air for
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us in sort of say troubled times in our nags' capitol where there is so much discord and disagreement and seems like we can't agree on fundamental facts. is tuesday or wednesday? animal welfare is one of those issues that brings people together on a bipartisan basis. i am pleased that the bipartisan animal welfare caucus has been involved in advancing this. animal cruelty has been an area that i have been involved since the beginning of my tenure in congress. we fought in farm bills for years to try and advance protections against animal cruelty. i am pleased that we are here today dealing with something that, you know, congress has lready acted to make these provisions illegal. but what we haven't done is make
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these al to detect horrific crush videos. it was horrifying when we bought this legislation to the floor r people when sick people do in portraying these horrific acts of cruelty. what we find is it is linked to larger issues. people who abuse animals are often linked to horrific instances of violence against their family and community. dehumanizing to us all and to the cruelty that is involved there. we need to enact this illegal n to make it
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to have the actual creation of the depiction of the animals being abused. for example, with the pact act would allow for charges to be brought against a puppy mill operator who is drowning unwanted analysis. it would take strides to protect our overall communities from violent crime. i would hope that this would also signal more activity on the floor of this house because we have a range of legislation that is teed up and ready to go that has broad bipartisan support. i appreciate the fact that we are getting 290 or whatever the number is, but you know, life is short. we ought to be able to move these items with broad
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bipartisan support to the floor. we shouldn't necessarily be here just renaming post offices on a monday. i mean these are substantive issues that matter to people. we ought to be moving them through. i think this is an important first step and am pleased to add my support to it. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. deutch: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from michigan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> today we are standing here today in support of the pact act to make it a crime to commit abuse that has already been detected in videos or videos that we made illegal. we need to render the acts illegal and need to enforce protection and need to support
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enforcement at large and need to stand up for the rights of animals and stand up against animal cruelty. i come from the great state of michigan. and this is something that i have heard from my residents, from all corridors throughout my district. we are home to great equine farms as well as other establishments that care for animals and that is a message we want to put forward and stop animal abuse on the front end and domestic abuse that may arise it. i led the department of justice appropriations process that directs the use of department of justice funds to enforce our nation's animal cruelty laws and today with the pact act we are realizing another important step in protecting the rights of animals and stopping abuse before it starts. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields. the gentleman from pennsylvania
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is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. deutch: i'm prepared to close so i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: i have no further speakers and am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: i again just urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 724 the pact act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. deutch: mr. speaker, we should do everything we can to prevent the torture of animals and take steps to hold those accountable. he pact act will put an end to torturing animals and thankful to be on the house floor at this grat filing bipartisan moment. and i urge my colleagues to join
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me in supporting this bipartisan bill. i would like to acknowledge every companion animal that has brought love to my staff members since the pact agget was first introduced. those would be thomas, jefferson, dizzy, stella, dock, veering gill, , tony, s, poe sidon duane wade and my dearly departed jessie, for all of them and every animal who brings joy to everyone in this chamber. let's do our part to prevent cruelty and torture and pass the pact act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house pass
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the bill h.r. 724 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 and the bill is passed 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 georgia seek recognition? mr. johnson: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1123, the divisional realignment for the eastern district of ar cab saw act of 2019. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: a bill to amend title 28 united states code to modify the composition of the eastern judicial district of arkansas and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, jea georgia, mr. johnson and the gentleman from from pennsylvania each will control 20 minutes. mr. johnson: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks
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and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. and i yield myself such touch time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. johnson: this bill would amend current law to reduce the number of operating divisions in the eastern district of arkansas from five to three. this legislation introduced by congressman rick crawford of arkansas has the support of every member of the arkansas congressional delegation. the bill was prompted by the closure in 2017 of the only federal court houses in two of the divisions. the three new divisions created by h.r. 1123 would align with the three remaining courthouses in that district. the new divisional lines are based on caseload history and travel times to the remaining courthouses.
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as chairman of the judiciary subcommittee with jurisdiction over the courts, it is a priority of mine to ensure that people across this nation have ready access to the federal judiciary. in the context of a bill such as that under consideration here today, i mean that in a very literal sense ensuring that jurisdictional lines are appropriately drawn so that those residing in their bounds are not unduly burdened to travel time to a courthouse. but this must be balanced against closing courthouses where resources are not being used efficiently. i'm satisfied that such a balance has been achieved here given the support this bill has gotten from the judicial conference, the judicial council of the united states court of appeals for the eighth circuit and the chief judge of the
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eastern district of arkansas. i'm pleased to support this legislation and i urge my colleagues to support it as well. and with that, i reserve the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1123, the divisional realignment for eastern district of arkansas act of 2019 introduced by my republican colleague representative rick crawford. h.r. 1123 reduces the existing divisions in the eastern district of arkansas from five to three limiting the burden caused by two courthouse closures. it allows the eastern district f arkansas to balance its case load, account for gee graphical distances and align the work generated by correctional
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facilities. h.r. 1123 is supported by the judicial conference, the judicial council courts of appeals, the chief judge and all the members of the arkansas delegation. i urge my colleagues to support this measure. mr. speaker, i would reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. johnson: may i inquire as to how many speakers he has remaining. mr. reschenthaler: just one. mr. johnson: in addition to yourself? mr. reschenthaler: two total, one more speaker. mr. johnson: i reserve the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: i yield two minutes to my good friend and the gentleman from arkansas, the sponsor of this measure, mr. crawford.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. crawford: it won't take two minutes to say what i have to say. i thank each side of the aisle to support h.r. 1123. i want to thank chairman nadler and ranking member collins for marking up this important legislation. following the efforts to reduce space, the federal space. the eastern district of arkansas has been required to maintain the divisions mandated by the statute. this reduces divisions in the eastern district from five to three aligning divisions with remaining courthouses. the new districts have been designed to justice considering highway access, geography and case load history. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. . .
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i will reserve the balance of my time. so that i can close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. reschenthaler: yes, mr. speaker. i have no spurt speakers and i'm prepared to -- no further speakers and i'm prepared to close. i'd just like to say that again, i urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 1123, the divisional realignment for eastern district of arkansas act of 2019. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. h.r. 1123 is a straightforward bill that better alliance the divisions of the eastern district of arkansas with the current operations of that district. so i urge my colleagues to support the bill and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1123. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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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 -- without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 650. resolution providing for consideration of the bill, h.r. 4617, to amend the federal election campaign act of 1971, to clarify the obligation, to report acts of foreign election influence, and require implementation of compliance and reporting systems by federal campaigns to detect and report such acts and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed.
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the chair announces the eaker's appointment of the order of the house of january 3, 2019, of the following member on the part of the house to the board of visitors to the united states coast guard academy. the clerk: mr. cunningham of outh carolina.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. engel: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 598, the georgia support act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 598. a bill to support the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of georgia and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinzinger, 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 have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 598. the speaker pro tempore: without
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objection. mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i would first like to submit in the congressional record an exchange of letters between myself and the chairs of the committee on judiciary -- committees on judiciary and ways and means on h.r. 598. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. engel: i'd like to start by thanking mr. connolly and mr. kinzinger for authoring this excellent bill. this measure comes before us at a crucial time, as president trump takes a sledgehammer to our country's standing in the world. it falls to the congress to uphold our relationships with our friends and partners, strong alliances and ad and partnerships make a -- and partnerships make a stronger and safer america, and it's important for our national security to make sure that our friends can defend themselves against hostile adversaries. that's especially true for a country like georgia. who is fighting president putin's aggression every single day.
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and 08, russia invaded occupied parts of georgia, flagrantly breaking international law and violating georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. and now, over a decade later, russia hasn't let up the assault on georgia. cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, human rights violations, this is what the people of georgia endure from putin's regime all the time. so we must support georgia's efforts to protect itself. the georgia support act calls on the u.s. to continue to support georgia's democratic institutions, territorial integrity and sovereignty. it also provides critical assistance for georgia's struggle against russian aggression, supporting efforts to boost cybersecurity and counter russian disinformation. and it slaps sanctions on those responsible for human rights violations in the russian-occupied georgian region
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. we should be strengthened our relationship with georgia and bringing it -- strengthening our relationship with georgia and bringing -- bringing it into the fold of nato. this shows that congress stands with georgia of the i strongly support this measure -- georgia. i strongly support this measure and i urge all members to join me in doing so. and with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. kinzinger: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kinzinger: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 598, the georgia support act. legislation i introduced with my colleague, mr. connolly. georgia's been a strong ali to the united states and ensuring their territorial sovereignty is essential to european security and american interests. since the russian invasion in 2018 -- 2008, georgia has been embroiled in a battle for its very right to exist, due to putin's flag ran the aggression. -- flagrant aggression.
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for over a decade, russia's illegally occupied parts of georgia, which constitutes 20% of georgia's territory. putin has constructed military bases, erected border fences across civilian farms, and restricted transit between the occupied regions and georgia. the subsequent occupation has displaced thousands of ethnic georgians. those who refuse to leave their homes now face extreme human rights abuses. furthermore, russia continues to mettle in georgia's political processes and seeks to sew discord and chaos among the population. our legislation reaffirms u.s. support for georgia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the continued development of democratic values in georgia. it also pushes for an increase in security assistance to georgia, greater cybersecurity cooperation between our nations, and an enhancement of georgia's ability to combat russian disinformation campaigns. most importantly, this bill
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authorizes the president to impose sanctions on those individuals responsible for human rights abuses in those regions. passage of this legislation is an opportunity to show support for an ally that's been one of the greatest contributors to the u.s. mission in afghanistan and one that has endured putin's blidgerans for over a decade. by deepingen -- deepening u.s.-georgia security cooperation, we send a strong message to putin to think twice before interfering in georgia again. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from in -- the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield four minutes to the author of this important bill, the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. connolly: i thank the speaker. and i want to start by saluting our distinguished chairman, thank you so much to our chairman for bringing this bill to the floor. and for managing it today. he's just returned from an arduous trip.
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i've been on that trip. i know how tiring it can be. what some , even personal danger one puts one self in on that trip. i salute the chairman for his stan ma and commitment to american foreign -- stamina and commitment to american foreign policy, being on the floor here today. i thank him and salute him and his able staff. i also, of course, want to thank my co-chair of the georgia caucus and co-author of h.r. 598, the georgia support act, mr. kinzinger, who has been a wonderful partner and always willing to look at an issue thoughtfully and put himself sometimes at political risk in showing intestinal fortitude and we salute you too, mr. kinzinger. this legislation asserts the united states continues -- united states' continued support for the independence and sovereignty of georgia. it supports georgia's continued democratic development, including free and fair
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elections, and affirms u.s. opposition to russian aggression in the region. which is not, as has been noted, theoretical. russian troops occupy areas of georgia. russia has fomented unrest, aided separatist movements and committed serious human rights violations, including ongoing detentions and killings. russian forces continue to harass civilian communities along the administrative borderline, and impede the right of the return of internally displaced persons. even moving that administrative boundary line arbitrarily. just a few weeks ago, tensions flared over a reported build-up of military equipment and personnel near the a.b.l., the administrative borderline, in russian-occupied -- in the russian-occupied south. h.r. 598 bolsters jming's territorial integrity -- georgia's territorial integrity by authorizing sanctions against those complicit in human rights
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violations in these occupied territories. as chairman of the u.s. delegation to the nato parliamentary assembly, i'm very pleased that the georgia support act recognizes that georgia has been a longstanding nato-aspiring country and a contributor to nato's troop levels. i've traveled to georgia three times in the last three years. including for the spring meeting of nato's parliamentary assembly. and i believe that georgia is a key partner for nato's security. this act builds on previous efforts that congress has undertaken to support georgia's territorial integrity. in the countering america's adversaries through sanctions enshrined a we nonrecognition policy for russia's illegal occupation of georgiaan territory. in the -- georgiaan territory. in the 114th congress, the congress passed h.r. 660, which
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dge poe and i introduced, to express support express support for georgia's full territorial integrity. the resolution was a clear and unequivocal statement in support of sovereign territory of georgia, and reiterated the longstanding policy of the united states not to recognize territorial changes affected by force. as dictated by the stimson doctrine, going back to 1932. authored by then secretary of state henry stimpson. as the house of representatives passed the crimea annexation nonrecognition act, h.r. 596, earlier this year, the georgia support act is another clear and unequivocal statement by this congress on the issue of territorial sovereignty. this act expresses congress' support for the vital u.s.-georgia partnership, which is a strategically important relationship in a very critical part of the world. i urge my colleagues to adopt this legislation and, again, i thank the chairman for his distinguished leadership on this
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issue, and my partner, mr. kinzinger. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. kinzinger: i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's now my pleasure to yield one minute to the chairman of the subcommittee on europe,ure asia, energy and the environment, -- eurasia, energy and the environment, mr. keating. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. keating: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my colleague and chairman for yielding. has a long and rich d history as an important u.s. partner and a key player in the region. unfortunately georgia most dramatically came onto the world stage with news in 2018. that russia had invaded and occupied regions within its territory. since that time, russia has continued to illegally occupy georgia. s of today georgia stands on the frontlines of russian aggression, along with ukraine,
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and it's imperative that the united states assist georgia in its efforts to stand up against russia, to address the humanitarian concerns in those areas, to fight against russian disinformation and to keep moving georgia towards its goal of a strong and sovereign democracy. i'm proud that we're here today to continue to support the development of democratic values, as well as the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the republic of georgia. georgia's been a strong partner and friend to the united states and i'm proud that we're showing our support by moving this legislation forward today. i urge my colleagues to support the georgia support act, and i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. kinzinger: do you have any speakers? thank you. mr. speaker, in closing, again, conley -- hank mr. connolly for his great work on this. i want to thank the chairman for and for it to the floor
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his friendship and for the whole in this congress who supported our georgian allies. earlier and ned it's worth noting, georgia has a strong commitment to nato and and they are not full nato members. it tells you what kind of people they are. in a tumultuous region. increased u.s. support is a significant step towards ountering the global threat of russia every day. this bill passed in the 115th -- in a bipartisan bipartisan margin overwhelmingly, so i urge my colleagues to support this again.ation yet thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. closing.urpose of the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. r. engel: this is a good, strong, bipartisan bill to support georgia as it fendz off aggression -- fends off russian aggression. i want to thank mr. connolly and kinzinger for their work on
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this measure. history, k back at when the soviet union existed, the soviet part of the yolk really felt f russian aggression on their necks. when the soviet union broke up and russia tried to influence ll the surrounded countries, georgia resisted with good cause because georgia does not want to part of -- a country that subservient. so it really to me is so is so nt important for the united states to support georgia. it's in a difficult neighborhood. right near russia. faces constant threats every said, i and my colleagues russia is now occupying a large part of the territory, and it not be left to
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stand. i stand. i personally said this many times, think that the west made a mistake back in 2008 when eorgia tried to become part of nato and was turned down. i believe that both georgia and ukraine should be part of nato. i think that's very important, nd i think that is part of the nato and was reason why we see such russian aggression in both ukraine and georgia. i hope all members will join this passage.ng the people of georgia need to know that the united states them ss stands with against putin's aggression, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the 598, as amended. 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 bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. engel: mr. speaker, i move suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 552, calling on the government the russian federation to provide evidence of wrongdoing release united states citizen paul whelan. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of resolution. the clerk: house resolution 52, resolution calling on the government of the russian federation to provide evidence f wrongdoing or to release united states citizen paul whelan. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the mr. eman from new york, engel, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinzinger, each minutes.rol 20 the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. engel: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to evise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material resolution 552. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. s we stand here on the house floor, an american citizen is being wrongfully held in a prison without trial, without any evidence of his his sed crime, denied rights, suffering, deprived of he so ical attention desperately needs. vladimir putin is treating paul whelan, a u.s. citizen, who has been unjustly in russia for almost a year. there's been no evidence offered that mr. whalen has done anything wrong -- mr. whelian done anything wrong. paul's family in michigan wants safely,im returned home and congress must stand with justice.demand h.res. 552 sends a strong message from congress. russia to either offer up some legitimate evidence that ustifies why they have mr.
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whelian in prison or whelan in prison or immediately release him and let him return to the united states. can't let this go on any longer. languishing in a cell with no understanding why e's been subjected to this horror, sadly this injustice is what life is like in putin's russia. judicialno independent process, there is no rights for efendants, there is abuse, mistreatment, corruption. it's critical we all keep this in mind. for's why it's so important the united states to stand trong and condemn putin and upholding our commitment to the rule of law. stephens fornk ms. her -- ms. stevens for her hard on this measure. representative, she's been pushing for paul's release as has the entire delegation. is a good piece of measure
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i support. i ask all members to do the same, and i reserve the balance of my time. the peaker pro tempore: gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. kinzinger: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kinzinger: mr. speaker, i support of h.res. 552 which calls on the government of to russian federation release paul whelan, an american citizen, from their custody or evidence of lling his alleged wrongdoing. on december 28, 2018, paul to an traveled to moskau attend a friend's wedding when he was arrested on allegations of spying. 10 months, he's maintained his innocence as he awaits trial, which is expected start in january of 2020. whelan suffers from a painful medical condition which he is supposed to have surgery. whelan has been living in
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pain as he's declined to have the surgery in russia. bicameral isan, resolution calls for the russian federation to immediately from his ul whelan unwarranted detainment. further, it calls for due and unrestricted access mr. nsular services for whelan. i'm proud to co-sponsor this resolution, and i urge my do so in to supporting it, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i now yield two minutes to the author of this resolution, the gentlewoman from michigan, ms. stevens. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. stevens: thank you, mr. chairman, for yielding. y bringing up my resolution today, h.res. 552, we are making lear to the russian government and president putin that congress will not tolerate the u.s. nite detention of a citizen without evidence. or nearly 10 months, my
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constituent, paul whelan of novine, michigan, has been held prison without adequate due process. paul was detained last december to be held in a horrifying prison. the ve repeatedly asked russian government to provide with a fair and transparent judicial process to no avail. department has been unwavering in their work on behalf, especially ambassador huntsman. has not an government provided timely updates about paul's case. him select hiset own attorney, and they have not unrestricted consular access. paul's fourth be pretrial detention hearing. enough.s prison, y months in
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paul's health is deteriorating. wondering, y is everyone is in the dark, but especially paul. it is long pastime that we bring and get to his family him the medical care he needs. this bipartisan resolution calls on the russian government to provide evidence of his else release paul immediately. this is our sense of congress. must be our sense of congress, for we stand up for abroad.s i thank my friend, mr. walberg, for the ng me and michigan delegation, and i urge my colleagues on both sides of to pass this timely resolution. hank you and i yoeyield back te remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. kinzinger: mr. speaker, i
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minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. you.alberg: thank and, mr. speaker, i rise today house resolution 552 and call on the russian provide evidence f wrongdoing, or to release united states citizen paul whelan. colleague, congresswoman stevens, for her issue. this important paul whelan is a veteran. a michigan resident who's been held in russian captivity 10 months without charges. nd i repeat, he's been held in russian captivity for nearly 10 without charges. throughout his entire time, paul due process.given e's had multiple pretrial
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hearings in which his detainment repeatedly been extended ithout any new or credible evidence. while in captivity, he's been in need of serious medical health has d his deteriorated. an unacceptable for american citizen to be detained without ength of time charges and without proper care.l paul's entire family, including my parents who live in district in manchester, michigan, are deeply concerned and safety as h they should be. whelanith members of the family on many occasions and they have been pillars of have endured also much agony. united today, saying this is not a partisan issue. is an american issue.
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democrats, we and are committed to raising case and about paul's advocating for his freedom and send a strong and owerful message today by passing this resolution. i encourage my colleagues to together, pass this esolution, and tell russia it is wrong as to what they're doing. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. yield three now minutes to chairman of the ubcommittee on europe,ure eurasia, the environment, mr. keating, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. keating: thank you, mr. speaker. thank the chairman for
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yielding. on december 28, 2018, the government of the russian u.s. citizenrested paul whelan. in those 10 months, the russian overnment has refused to provide any evidence to the espionage charges against paul. instead in those 10 months, the subjectedvernment has paul to physical and psychological pressure. russian 10 months, the government has repeatedly prevented paul from speaking with the u.s. embassy or with his family. ights that are afforded to russian prisoners here in the u.s. russian 10 months, the government has denied paul's examined or treated by a private physician. government.ssian i say government because i people, the russian particularly those that are speaking up and demonstrating and democratic
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government there, they would be today.g with us for 10 months, the russian has refused to respond to the concerns of the united nts of the states, u.k., canada and ireland. or 10 months, paul's continued detention has caused indescribable pain and torment, but for his paul, parents, his two brothers, and sisters. 10 months of injustice is 10 months too long. in our committee, the committee on foreign affairs, we look for areas of common ground to work with with russia. but actions like this, depriving a u.s. citizen of the most basic rights, makes that all the more difficult. on behalf of paul, on behalf of his family, i hope you will join
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me in supporting house res. 552, and calling on the government of russia to allow a fair and transparent judicial process without delay. facilitate paul's medical care and allow for unrestricted visits with the u.s. embassy. and above all, i hope you will ail all join with me on-call -- you will all join with me on-calling for the government of russia to release paul and send him back home to his family. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. kinzinger: mr. speaker, if the gentlemans into further -- i'm prepared to close. mr. speaker, in closing i want to thank mr. whelan's family for continuing to fight for his release and for bringing this matter to our attention. he's a pawn. russia quite clearly has a terrible track record of taking care of people, whether it's bombing hospitals in syria intentionally, or whether it's
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just abusing people in other world, events wail,events wail, or impress -- venezuela, or imprisoning americans, it's obviously their track record. but i urge my colleagues to pass this, with my democratic and republican colleagues, and support this resolution. and i thank the chairman for bringing it up, the family for fighting and everybody who spoke. with that, mr. speaker, i'll yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognizes -- is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume for the purpose of closing. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i want to, again, thank representative stevens for her hard work on this measure. paul whelan, an american citizen, as my colleagues have mentioned, has been enduring mistreatment in a russian prison, without the russian government offering up any evidence that he's done anything wrong. h.res. 552 calls on the russian government to either provide some evidence of wrongdoing, to explain mr. whelan's
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imprisonment, or release mr. whelan immediately so he can come home to the united states and receive the proper medical treatment he so urgently needs. he and his family have suffered enough as part of putin's political games. i thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their strong support for this resolution. it's a good measure. i urge all members to support it 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 suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 552. those 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 resolution is agreed to, 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
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and agree to house -- house concurrent resolution 32, expressing the sense of congress regarding the execution-style murders of united states citizens, ylli, agron and mehmet bytyqi in the republic of serb in july, 1999. -- serbia in july, 19 9. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 32. concurrent resolution expressing the sense of congress regarding the execution-style murders of united states citizens ylli, agron and mehmet bytyqi in the republic of serbia in july, 1999. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, and the gentleman from new york, mr. zeldin, 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 in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.con.res. 32.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you. i want to start by thanking mr. zeldin for authoring this resolution. this measure is one particularly close to my heart. i have had in my career in congress, i've had long dealings with the albanian community, both in the balkans and in america. so this one really hurts, since i know the family of these three brothers who were murdered. ylli, agron and mehmet bytyqi were three brothers from new york state who were killed execution-style by serbian officials after they mistakenly crossed the unmarked serbia-kosovo border. their boardy -- bodies were discovered with their hands bound behind their backs in a mass grave in 2001. serbian president promised me
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three years ago that his government would bring the murderers to justice. but this hasn't happened. in fact, there isn't even a serious criminal investigation under way. this is appalling. and sadly it's part of a pattern we see with serbian war criminals responsible for crimes against the people of kosovo. the brothers are -- the bytyqi brothers are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to postconflict justice in serbia and we had a hearing on the foreign affairs committee several weeks ago about this very topic. approaching three years ago, the belgrade-based humanitarian law center released a dossier detailing the murder of nearly 000 cose vans killed by -- kosovoans killed by serbs and dumped in a mass grave. the u.s. government has raised this atrocity with the serbian war crimes prosecutor, but once again, no one has been held accountable.
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although i believe with all my heart serbian authorities know who is responsible for this. let's be clear. if serbia wants to join the west and its institutions, they must deal with their past and prosecute those responsible for war crimes. i encourage our e.u. friends to hold serbia to this standard when considering serbia's candidacy. today's resolution makes it clear that serbia must fully investigate the bytyqi brothers' case and bring justice to their families of these murdered new yorkers. their family currently lives in new york in mr. zeldin's district. it also calls on the u.s. government to encourage and assist a successful prosecution of this case. so i strongly support this measure and again want to thank mr. zeldin for his excellent work and partnership with me in trying to push the serbian government to find justice for these new yorkers.
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i urge all members to support this measure and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. zeldin: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. zeldin: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.con.res. 32. i wish to start off by thanking the house foreign affairs committee chairman, eliot engel, for his long-time passion and advocacy on this very important issue for my district, as well as grace meng, who also has been supportive. this execution-style murder of ylli, 25 years ealed, -- 25 years old, agron, 23 years old, and mehmet bytyqi, 21 years old, has greatly impacted my own district. these were three brothers born in the united states, resided in hampton bay, new york. this year marks the 20th anniversary of the bytyqi brothers' murder. in july of 1999, these three
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brothers went overseas toward the end of the kosovo war and were arrested by serbian authorities for illegally entering the country when they accidentally crossed into serbian-controlled territory. the brothers were kidnapped, murdered and dumped into a mass grave in serbia by government officials still serving today. since taking office, i've been committed to helping the bytyqi family receive the justice they have long deserved. in february, chairman engel and i traveled to munich to meet with serbian president where he once again promised to resolve the case of the bytyqi brothers. despite many promises by serbian officials to resolve the case of this state-sponsored murder, there has been no justice served. this resolution notes that progress with this investigation should remain a significant factor which determines the further developments of u.s.-serbian relations. the bytyqi brothers gave their lives to fight injustice. now we must return this favor and deliver justice for their
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family. i'd like to again thank chairman engel and lead republican mccaul for their leadership and assistance on this issue. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: yes. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. zeldin: i have no other speakers. i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. zeldin: i once again encourage all of my colleagues to support this important resolution and for those in serbia listening to today's floor debate, it's an important lesson 20 years later that we have not forgotten we will not forget, we will continue to strongly encourage them to do the right thing. this issue is not going away. if they wish it away, on a bipartisan basis we will continue to advocate to fight this injustice. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules -- the gentleman from new york is
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recognized. mr. engel: yes. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume for the purpose of closing. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: this is a good measure to seek justice for the senseless murder of three innocent american citizens, three new york -- innocent new yorkers. . we cannot allow this horrific crime to continue to go unpunished. as mr. zeldin mentioned, and others that we've worked with, we have raised this repeatedly with the government of serbia to no avail. they know exactly who killed these american citizens. they know what happened and why their bodies were dumped in a mass grave. they are withholding it and it is unconscionable that these american citizens cannot get justice, their families cannot get justice. and we will not stop. i know mr. zeldin and i won't and other people won't, until we get justice and we get answers as to who killed the american
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citizens, the bytyqi brothers, who were born in the united states of america. so i hope all members will join me in supporting this resolution . and with that, 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 agree to house concurrent resolution 32. those 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 concurrent resolution is agreed to, and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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pursuant to house resolution 646 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole on the state of the union for the further consideration of h.r. 2513. will the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, kindly ake the chair? the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the further consideration of h.r. 2513, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to ensure that persons who form corporations or limited liability companies in the united states disclose the
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beneficial owners of those corporations or limited liability companies and ordered to -- in order to prevent wrongdoers from criminal gain, to assist law enforcement and detecting, preventing and punishing terrorism, money laundering and other misconduct involving united states corporations and limited liability companies, and for other purposes. the chair: when the committee of the whole rose earlier today, a request for a recorded vote on amendment number 5 printed in 247, b of house report 116- offered by the gentleman from ohio, mr. davidson, has been -- ad been postponed. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on these amendments printed in part b of house report 116-247 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. amendment number 1 by mr.
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burgess of texas. amendment number 4 by mrs. maloney of new york. amendment number 5 by mr. davidson of ohio. the chair will reduce to two minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote after the first vote in this series. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 1 printed in part b of house report 116-247 by the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the ayes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in part b of house report 116-247 offered by mr. burgess of texas. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote.
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