tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Houses Debate on Afghan Evacuation... CSPAN October 26, 2021 6:32am-7:00am EDT
coverage on c-span now, our new video app. >> the house unanimously passed legislation to award a congressional gold medal's mislead to the 13 u.s. service members killed in afghanistan during the evacuation of u.s. citizens in -- and afghan allies at the airport. that bill now heads to the senate. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition?
ms. waters: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 5142, as amended, to award posthumously a congressional gold medal, in commemoration to the service members who perished in august on august 26, 2021, during the evacuation of citizens of the united states and afghan allies at hamid karzai international airport, the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 41 -- h.r. 5142, a bill to award posthumously a congressional gold medal, in commemoration to the service members who perished in afghanistan on august 26, 2021, during the evacuation of citizens of the united states and afghan allies at hamid karzai international airport, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. waters, and the gentlewoman from missouri, mrs. wagner, will each control 20 minutes.
the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. waters: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on this legislation and to insert extraneous material thereon. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. waters: mr. speaker, i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from missouri is recognized. mrs. wagner: i thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. wagner: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 5142, a bill to posthumously award congressional gold medals in commemoration to the service members who perished in afghanistan on august 26, 2021. mr. speaker, during the 20-year war in afghanistan, we lost over 2,000 brave men and women, more
than 20,000 service members returned home wounded in action. i believe in my heart that every single soldier we lost in afghanistan was a tragedy. we must remember their sacrifice. in the waning days of this war, the biden administration made decisions that put u.s. service members in harm's way and unfortunately, mr. speaker, on august 26, we lost 13 more service members and more than 20 were injured. 11 marines, one navy corps man and one was killed by an isis-k bomber outside the hamid karzai international airport on this terrible day in august. mr. speaker, i represent the people of missouri's second congressional district. on august 26, my state lost a hero. lance corporal jared schmitz.
this courageous young man had been stationed in jordan on his first deployment when he was called into afghanistan to defend the civilians fleeing the taliban's advance. he was eager to be one of the brave men and women on the front lines, making a real difference for the americans and allies trapped in a terrifying and dangerous situation. lance corporal schmitz felt a calling to be a united states marine. so much so he had gotten his parents' permission to enlist at just 17 years old. he was just 20 years old when he lost his life in the terrorist attack at the airport in kabul. lance corporal schmitz and the 12 others we lost in august went above and beyond the call of duty to protect those stranded
in afghanistan. i sadly don't believe we will truly understand why lance corporal schmitz and his fellow soldiers died. nevertheless, their families and all americans deserve answers, mr. speaker, and those who made the decisions that resulted in the senseless deaths will be held accountable. in the meantime, i am grateful for their service and their sacrifice that is being commemorated by this legislation. the bravery and valor shown by these service members are unquestionable, and i hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this bill. and i look forward to standing next to the family of lance corporal schmitz as they're presented with a congressional gold medal, commemorating their
son's service and valor. i thank you, mr. speaker. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri reserves. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. waters: i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized. mr. cicilline: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. mr. speaker, as we mark nearly two months since the bombing that killed more than 116 innocent afghanis and american military personnel at the hamid karzai international airport, i rise in strong support of this legislation to award posthumously a congressional gold medal to the 13 u.s. service members that gave their lives that day. those individuals, sergeant johanny rosario pichardo, sergeant nicole gee, staff
sergeant darin hoover, corporal lopez, corporal humberto sanchez, lance corporal david espinoza, lance corporal jared schmitz, lance corporal rylee mccollum, lance corporal dylan merola, lance corporal kareem nikoui, navy corps man maxton soviak, and staff sergeant ryan knauss. mr. speaker, as we recognize these extraordinary heroes and also understand that this honor cannot come close to filling the void left by their loss, i cannot think of anyone more deserving of such a distinction. these brave service members represent the very best of america. knowingly putting themselves in harm's way to help evacuate thousands from the region. a true embodiment of the american spirit.
their legacies live on in the thousands of afghan refugees they saved who now have an opportunity to live lives free of violence and persecution. and so as we represent these extraordinary american heroes and recognize them with the congressional gold medal, let us all live lives worthy of their sacrifice and service to our great nation. i urge all my colleagues to vote yes and to join me in honoring these great american heroes. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from missouri is recognized. mrs. wagner: -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. wagner: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from michigan, the sponsor of this bill, ms. mclain -- mrs. mcclain. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. mcclain: thank you, mr. speaker. war is an incredible teacher, a
brutal instructor. we learned lessons about triumph, sorrow, loss, and pain. war teaches us to appreciate the simple things we take for granted. like the ability to speak your mind, freely practice your religion, even seeing your loved ones once a day. it also teaches us that in war there are no unwounded soldiers. there are those that came back with both visible scars and invisible battle wounds, and there are those that did not come home at all. today, we pause to honor the 13 american service members who lost their lives during the evacuation efforts at the kabul airport in afghanistan on august 26, 2021. these 13 fallen warriors, along with many others, made the ultimate sacrifice. each of them knew their duty and they accepted the risks.
not many answer the call, but they volunteered anyways. sent to evacuate americans and afghans that struggled to get past the taliban checkpoints in kabul and through the airport gates, fearing they would be left behind and left for dead. they knew the mission and valiantly forged ahead. helping hundreds to safety, overcoming their own fears. when a suicide bomb attacked them and took their lives. the terrorist act took the lives of at least 170 afghans, 11 marines, one navy corps man, and one army special operations soldier. including lance corporal david lee espinoza of laredo, texas, sergeant nicole gee of california, staff sergeant taylor hoover of salt lake city, utah, staff sergeant ryan knauss
of tennessee, corporal hunter lopez of indigo, california, lance corporal rylee mccollum of wyoming, corporal dylan merola of rancho kuch amonga, california, lance corporal kareem nikoui of california, corporal daegan william-tyeler page of omaha, nebraska, sergeant johanny rosario pichardo of lawrence, massachusetts, corporal humberto sanchez of long port, indiana, lance corporal david espinoza -- excuse me jared schmitz of wentzville, missouri, navy corpsman maxton soviak of berlin heights, ohio. i could not be more grateful to their service to our nation. while we as a nation grieve for the service members we lost, we often forget about the families who have lost even more.
to be a gold star family is an honor no one wishes for. we owe our sincerest gratitude to the families who eagerly awaited these 13 service members' return. we can never thank them in a way that will make up for their loss. awarding the congressional -- awarding the congress' highest honor is a small token of appreciation. thank you to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who joined me on this effort. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri reserves. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. . ms. waters: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is rebg recognized. mr. cuellar: i thank the chair woman for her leadership. today we honor fallen
servicemembers to award them with this congressional gold medal and proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation h.r. 5142. on august 26 an explosion from the suicide terrorist bombing killed 13 of our servicemembers. one of those servicemembers was my constituent, lance corporal espinoza. his mother and stepfather and brothers and sisters mourn his loss and are endlessly proud of david. while we attended his funeral, we knew that families across the united states also mourned their loved ones. david joined the marine corps to protect our nation and
demonstrating the selfless acts of service to his country. he embodied grit, dedication, service and value. lance corporal david lee espinoza be honored and never be forgotten and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from missouri is recognized. mrs.wagner: can i make an inquiry of the time left on my side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri has 131/4 minutes. mrs.wagner: i yield two minutes to the the gentleman from michigan. meyer meyer i rise in support interviewed by my colleague. this bill will award gold medal
to u.s. members killed in the final week of the afghanistan aevacuation. and servicemembers were killed in a killed marking one of the deadliest days. the selfless and brave americans were put in an impossible situation. they he pit phaoeuz what it means to be a hero and knew the risks and stayed at those gates to keep them open buying time for more lives to be saved. the chaos of those days and the danger cannot be overstated and we owe a debt of gratitude for the sacrifice that they never have been forced to have been made. and americans on the ground displayed in our final days and
every american should demand accountability from the senior first. today we honor the 13 lives lost and keep those families and those who loved them in our prayers. and the grateful nation honors them today. i thank my colleague from michigan for interviewing this important legislation. and i yield back. ms. waters: i'm prepared to close until mrs. wagner yields back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri is recognized. mrs.wagner: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. brian mast. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized
mr. mast: i was asked by somebody about this piece of legislation the congressional gold medal of the 13 killed on august 26 and why not a gold medal for the thousands that have been killed on the war on temporary, the ones that i wear on my wrist and those that we see the markers for in arlington national cement cemetery. and we could give every one of them a thousand gold medals and wouldn't represent a thousand of what we owe those of what we give to those. this gold medal isn't with that, but what we owe to the living. this will gold medal is a rule of america's leaders being weak. that's why we are awarding this
gold medal. we owe our fighters strength. we owe them that we never be intimidated and never back un, or restreet or never surrender. as leaders, if we can't promise that to our fighters, then we owe it to them that we never ask them to leave. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri reserves. the gentlewoman from california. ms. waters: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from missouri is recognized. mrs.wagner: i yield two minutes two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. waltz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized mr. waltz: as we reflect on 13 mr. morrison: killed in action,
13 more gold-star families, they did their mission. they did their jobs. their operation and mission was to secure kabul international airport to evacuate our embassy and those who worked with us and those to evacuate and they did their job. they went above and beyond. after pulling grueling long shifts in august heat in afghanistan and everybody who has served there knows how difficult it can be, they were working with grassroots veteran organizations who stepped up to do frankly what should have been done and to help those who had stood with us and stood for that flag for 20 years.
they, on their own time, at great risk were getting people out. they knew the dangers and everybody who served there knew it was a matter of time they were going to be hit and yet, they did it any way. i'm proud to support this legislation but we owe them answers and owe their families. why were they defending an airport in the city of 4 million people. and why were the assets pulled before our employees were out? why? why? why? so many questions and so many answer and i tell this body, i will not rest and i will never forget and we will get those answers of those 13 gold star family deserve and there are lib
accountability for 13 more dead americans. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri reserves. ms. waters: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri recognizes. mrs.wagner: i ask unanimous consent to insert written remarks by mr. luetkemeyer, my friend and colleague from phoeuz. the speaker pro tempore: the request will be covered by general leave. mrs.wagner: i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from tennessee mr. burchett. mr. burchett: the congressional gold medal and least we can do for the 13 servicemembers killed. one of those 13, ryan knauss was
from my district and his family is nays of mine. his grandfather called me shortly after and described the scene we have seen it in movies and he had to live it. the car pulls up and army officers got out and informed that his grandson had perished in afghanistan. my momma endured that very same thing when she was a young girl and her brother roy died fighting the nazis. it's in my head pretty thick. he was killed by helping complete strangers and that's what he loved to do and loved helming force. and knauss was the final
american military kargt in afghanistan. we were devastated by his loss. on september 11, they held a great local tribute to this fallen hero. on september 21, i attended his funeral as he was laid to rest. we honor him and 12 fellow heroes further bypassing this legislation. the true heroes are the men and women of our armed forces. they keep us free and safe every day. i thank you for allowing me to speak and i yield the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri reserves. ms. waters: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri is
recognized. mrs.wagner: i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague from texas, a classmate of mine, the gentleman from florida, mr. weber -- texas, mr. weber. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. weber: little that we can do here today can make a difference of what those families endured. we can opbld supply a small token of our appreciation. the greatest fighting force of our men and women. i want you to think with me here. when the world has a calami t-frp y and doesn't matter if it is a hurricane, tsunami or earthquake or rebellion, invasion, when the world has it and they dial 911, who is it
that answers? united states of america, isn't it, with the greatest fighting force that this world has ever known. when america is safe, the world is a safer place. to the families, the gold star families that their family members gave all, we owe them a debt of gratitude. may god bless them and may they rest in peace, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri reserves. ms. waters: i continue to reserve. mrs.wagner: i'm prepared to close. and i would simply urge my colleagues to support h.r. 5142 to award hose humanously a congressional gold medal to the
servicemembers that perished in afghanistan on august 26, 2021. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. waters: i would ask all of my colleagues, all of the members of this house to support this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california yields. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 5142 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 >> the house comes back today at 12 eastern to work on funding to reauthorize and expend federal programs preventing family and
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