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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Morning Hour  CSPAN  January 6, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EST

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the government did a host of things between 2009-2011 to squander the advantages given them after the surge. in,: i do not want to jump but the house is coming in. want to thank you for your time. now, we are giving our viewers live to the floor of the house. gavel-to-gavel coverage. here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. january 6, 2016. i hereby appoint the honorable ryan a. costello to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the january 6, 2015, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than
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the majority and minority eaders and minority whip limited to five minutes. but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez. for five minutes. mr. gutierrez: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, over the holidays the obama administration sent a very special christmas greeting to immigrant families. they launched a series of home rates targeting central american asylum seeker and immigrant families with children. as its new year's resolution, it is clear the obama administration is embarking on a new enforcement initiative to deport central americans who enter the u.s. in 2014. last weekend 121 children and adults were taken into custody and most were sent to private family detention centers, a kind of privately run
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for-profit family jail. they will probably be deported just like two million before them by president obama. how they are treated and whether they get meaningful due process remains a question mark. what is undeniable is that such rage strikes maximum fear in immigrant communities. the government is saying they could be coming to your house and coming at any time. already we are seeing signs of panic. we hear the children aren't going to school and parents aren't going to work out of fear. not even a week into the new year and 2016 has turned into one of fear and hiding. but let us be clear, deporting families will not solve the violence and corruption that push people from el salvador, guatemala, and honduras to risk assault, rape, and murder to seek refuge in the united states. deporting families will not weaken the gangs to ho terrorize and extort their own people in central america. deporting families will not solve america's immigration family. deporting families will not strengthen border security. deporting families will not create legal channels that allow immigrants to come with visas instead of smugglers.
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it will not reduce the insishable demand in the united states for the very drugs that fuel the gangs, the drug, the guns, the smuggling operation, and the ruthless violence in central america. the raids by the obama administration on families from central america must stop. they are a cruel reminder of a discreditedpolicy. we do not want to repeat the scenes from april of 2000 when med agents forcibly took elian gonzalez from his home. it should not be repeated. even the raid on the home of elian gonzalez was carried out after all peaceful means of negotiations were exhausted. surely there is a better way to take action when people have exhausted all their legal remedies than to send armed agents into neighborhoods, apartment complexes, and family homes. those who are being deported are the ones most likely to have no attorney, no understanding of the laws and practices of immigration courts, and now could be vulnerable to attack and murder
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back in central america. the fact is that some of the people the u.s. government has deported in the past years have ended up dead in days or weeks after their return. we have to make sure the same tragic fate does not wait for the individuals and families the government is currently rounding up. along with other members for congress i'm seeking answers from homeland security jay johnson. as -- jeh johnson. as to why this policy is needed and laurened to i still feel over immigrant households over the christmas holidays, and why family deengs centers are now filling up with new families arating deportation. this is not the democratic party solution to immigration questions nor should it be america's. we expect heated calls for raids and deportation from the other side. we hear their calls for walls, bigger jails, and further retrickses on legal immigration. we'll fight their efforts to erect religious or economic barriers to who can qualify for a chance to come to america.
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our party has rejected those calls with good reason. americans want order and legality in immigration, not deportations and families force fully split apart or exiled. we do not need to repeat that scene. multiplied by hundreds or thousands of times across our nation. what we need to do is not easy, but it is the right thing to dofment we need to take steps to solve the problems of gangs, weaken corrupt governments in central america, and people who have no hope for a brighter future right here on our continent. and serious aid is more than giving more money to the police departments of those countries. it is more than putting u.s. personnel in those countries to tell moms and dads, no, you can't seek refuge in the u.s. it's more than working with mexico at its southern border. we need to give mothers and fathers and children a way to live in their own countries. i have gone to the detention centers in texas and met with the moms and kids who were detained. when they came to the united
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states. one woman summed up their plight concisely by saying, in honduras my family and i, we could live in poverty, would you but we could not live in peace. raids will not bring her peace. raids will not bring us order. aids will only bring misery. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mooney, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to talk about a growing problem in the united states. employers across our country have millions of job openings but are unable to find workers with the skills needed to fill those jobs. according to a recent study by career builder, nearly 50% of employers nationwide cannot find skilled workers to fill
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open positions. many of these jobs are located in lucrative career fields like welding, emergency medical response, electrical engineering, robotics, and carpentry. this gap between employers and our workers is holding our economy back. it is exacerbating our unemployment problem, hurting our communities, and placing unneeded pressure on our families. the american economy needs qualified workers with the skills and drive necessary to fill these open jobs. and i believe part of the answer to how we address this problem is career and technical education. career and technical education, or c.t.e., is simply education that specializes in the skilled trades. applied sciences, information technology, and similar disciplines. career and technical education occurs in schools across america. in my home state of west virginia, about 65,000 students
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each year participate in c.t.e. courses. and those who do are much more likely to succeed. ver 80% of west virginians participants meet industry driven performance requirements for the skills they receive, and 95% go on to additional post secondary education, the work force, or the military. i hear about it, c.t.e., all the time as i travel across my district in west virginia and visit schools and community colleges. i have seen the classrooms and students whose eyes light up when they show off their work. i have spoken to the faculty and administrators who have committed their careers to training up a next generation work force. and i know that just a little more support will make a huge difference. while there is no silver bull tote our nation's unemployment problem, additional investment
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in c.t.e. is one way to help put people back to work and grow our economy. the skills provided by c.t.e. are some of the most highly sought after skills in our economy today. but ironically enough, these are the hardest jobs to fill in the united states because of the lack of adequately trained individuals. according to a recent study by the manufacturing institute, over two million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled in the next decade because of the skills gap. i believe we can help. that's why i joined with seven of my colleagues to introduce h.r. 4263, the teach act. also known as the technical education and career help act. my bipartisan bill will invest in our c.t.e. programs by providing new resources for the technical education teachers without authorizing any new spending. my bill will authorize the higher education act's teacher
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residency grant program to be used to help schools recruit and train high quality c.t.e. teachers. this is currently not allowed. my bill will increase the quality of training that students receive by recruiting mid career professionals in relevant technical fields. having teachers with real work experience in the fields that they teach will ensure students receive the best training. i'd like to thank congresswoman katherine clark for co-sponsoring this bipartisan bill with me along with representatives rod blum, tom macarthur, jim langevin, and amibera. our bill has been endorsed by a broad group of experts, including the alliance for excellent education, american federation of teachers, and association for career and technical education. and future farmers of america. my bill is an example that republicans and democrats can work together. my bill will help provide new
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hope to our communities by equipping hardworking west virginians and all americans with the skills they can actually use. we need to invest in career technical education now or we'll miss out on this important opportunity. i encourage my colleagues in the house to support the teach act and consider the important difference it would make across our great contry. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. traditionally we start the new year on a note of hope, notwithstanding troubled headlines and difficulties at home and abroad, the new year's an opportunity to consider the future afresh. to reflect on opportunities, past accomplishments, and new opportunities. i appreciate president obama beginning the new year with a continued focus on gun safety. his modest proposal was greeted with predictable opposition and scorn as some republican politicians attempted to distort it all out of
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proportion . to change the subject to a nonissue. the confiscation of guns of law-abiding americans when virtually all responsible american gun owners support reasonable background checks to make it more difficult for people we all agree should not be armed to get control of guns. it's interesting to speculate on what would have been the response in today's superheated contentious political climate with the efforts a generation go to reduce the highways from unnecessary auto deaths or the hundreds of thousands of people who became addicted to cigarettes and died of cancer and heart disease. there would have been screams of outrage, about the nanny state and political correctness. that government was going to take cigarettes away from people because it knew what was best for them. it was going to force people to pay unconscionable levels of tax that would fall on the poor. that a more aggressive auto
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engineering program was the government telling the private sector and the consumer what was best for them. and it would drive up the cost of automobiles. it would have law enforcement interfere with people having an innocent drink on a night on the town. and most telling would have been the argument that this really wouldn't make any difference. that none of these steps would stop people from smoking or reckless driving on the roadways. people would still die. well, those excuses for inaction are demonstrably false a generation later. we have cut the rates of adult smoking in half. and saved millions of lives, the carnage on our highways has been dramatically reduced an american families are safer. it's important to have perspective going forward. yes, there is no single solution to gun violence. but the fact remains that the united states is unique among developed countries that are unable to protect our families
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from unacceptable levels of death at the hands of the deranged or the careless. and there are things we can do to make a difference, and the public is willing to accept them. i begin this new year hopeful that we don't have to accept capitol hill as an island of denial whether it's threat from climate change or the potential to do something about gun safety to make our families safer. last year, there were times when we in congress came together and produced some constructive results. at the state and local level, people are not waiting for our republican colleagues to come to their senses to deal with carbon pollution or gun violence. they are taking action. i'm hopeful that we'll be able to broaden the conversation about what, in fact, we can do. tone down the rhetoric and find steps on issues both contentious and even those where there is basically no disagreement but we simply haven't gotten around to taking
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action. there are clear opportunities for us to broaden that agenda. we can avert a crisis in gaza from lack of water and adequate sanitation. we could pass representative murphy's bipartisan mental health bill. we could link food and farm policy with new awareness and research. . let's not have 2016 have the opportunities for cooperation and progress drown with political vit reel. let's cooperate where we can, focus on solutions even where we can't and set the stage for giving americans what they deserve, a government not in denial, a congress willing to cooperate and face problems large and small to make rogress rather than reveling in discord and hyperbole to win
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votes in contentious primaries. let's focus on what we can get done and do it. we'll feel better and the american public will be better served. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. dold, for five minutes. mr. dold: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize january as human and sex trafficking awareness month. mr. speaker, let's call sex trafficking what it is, it's modern day slavery that exploits our society's most vulnerable. unfortunately, sex trafficking is the fastest growing business of any organized crime in the world. this isn't a far-away problem. in the united states, it's an estimated $9.8 billion industry, and sadly children aged 1 to 14 are the largest -- 12 to 14 are the largest at risk for sex trafficking. this is absolutely disgusting. last year we passed important legislation aimed at stopping
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sex trafficking, but the fight is far from over. it is our collective obligation to do everything that we can to put a definitive end to this modern day slavery which is why we must come together as a country, we must come together as a congress to do everything we can to stop this disgusting crime. mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize mental wellness month . to this point our government's approach to mental health has consisted of ineffective and disjointed policies. too often those in need of care end up either in jail or on the streets because adequate services are simply not available. i am proud to be a co-sponsor of the helping families in mental health crisis act which would help fix the nation's broken mental health system and care for those most in need. this bipartisan bill would improve effectiveness and efficiency in federal programs
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that help people with a focus on early intervention and prevention programs in addition to suicide prevention. i want to thank my friend, tim murphy, for his leadership on this bill. i'm glad that the administration this reck week recognized the importance of mental health programs in reducing gun violence, but we need a long-term legislative fix if we're really going to make progress on solving the mental health crisis in our nation. that is why in recognition of mental wellness month, i call on my colleagues to pass this bipartisan bill and to stop playing partisan games with people's lives. mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the waukegan high school junior reserve officer training corps that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this week. waukegan's program is the oldest jrotc program in the nation and was created before
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the national jrotc program was enstated in late 1916. its initial purpose was to prepare high school young men for military service during world war i. this organization has come a long way over the past century as half of the cadets of this 777-member corps are young women. waukegan high school jrotc offers a curriculum not only of military training but also of good leadership and citizenship skills. students receive an education of flag and military structure, self-discipline and guidance on personal, financial and college and career planning. go on to cadets, 75% postsecondary education and 10% serve in our military. congratulations to the waukegan high school jrotc for this program and for leading in helping a strong and positive
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representative for our waukegan community. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. kelly, for five minutes. ms. kelly: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to applaud president obama's executive actions taken this week to reduce gun violence in america. these policies will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous individuals and prevent gun trafficking, which also -- while also protecting the second amendment rights of responsible law-abiding citizens. with over 30 americans killed by a gun every single day, inaction is not an option. in my nearly three years in congress, house republican leadership has refused to do anything on gun violence. not one hearing, not a single vote. facing congress' inertia, president obama did what was necessary to address the threat to our long-term national
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security and our economic stability. while we can't stop every criminal from committing every crime, we can take actions that will save lives, and president obama's executive actions will do just that. under these commonsense changes, everyone who profits from the sale of firearms will be required to obtain a license. it shouldn't matter if you sell a gun in a store or online or at a gun show. it's a sale of a dangerous weapon, and the seller should make sure the buyer is safe, responsible and law-abiding. it is a sobering fact that the majority of gun deaths in the united states are suicides. expanding federal funding for mental health services and streamlining states' abilities to report data to the background check system are essential to keep guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill. president obama's executive actions make essential strides in advancing smart gun technology. if you can use a thumb print to get into your iphone, there's
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no reason that the same technology can't be invented so that guns won't fire without the right fingerprint. if a gun will only fire if it's held by the right owner, stolen guns would be inoperable, drastically decreasing firearm deaths. similarly, just like there are child-proof caps on aspirin, there should be child-proof guns. this will help protect children from accidentally discharging firearms. smart gun technology is centuries' old. smithand wesson invented the first child-proof trigger more than 50 years ago. while president obama's executive actions are crucial eps in reducing the deaths plaguing our -- plaguing our nation, there are gaps in existing gun laws that leaves us vulnerable to gun violence. these are holes that only congress can plug. i have two commonsense bills which will complement president obama's executive actions and
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help bring a reduction in firearms' mortality. the first bill, h.r. 224, the recognizing gun violence as a public health emergency act, would require the surgeon general to submit an annual report to congress on the public health impact on gun violence. the bill currently has 135 co-sponsors, and i hope this commonsense proposal can get an up or down vote this year. for the past 20 years, the center for disease control and prevention and the national institutes of health had been prevented from conducting research on firearms. this lack of data has limited academic research on guns and prevented congress from obtaining the data it needs to craft impactful legislation. the second bill, h.r. 225, the firearms safety act, would close the loophole which prevents the consumer product safety commission from creating rules regarding the safety of firearms. quite simply, if the consumer
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product safety commission can regulate teddy bears, bicycle helmets and car seats, it should be able to regulate firearms. simply improving safety law quality and improving safety will reduce accidents, misfires and deaths, saving thousands of lives. these bills will give congress the data it needs to pass meaningful and impactful gun violence prevention legislation and ensure firearms are as safe and consumer-friendly as possible, all without obstructing the second amendment rights of responsible gun owners. it is simply unacceptable in the united states of america that gun violence is the leading cause of death for people under 24. it's time for us to come together to end the gun violence that's taking a generation of young americans. i applaud president obama's leadership and his important actions to curb the violence plaguing our communities. actions he took because
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congress has done nothing. congress must now carry the torch and pass meaningful gun violence prevention legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus, for five minutes. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i have voted over 60 times to repeal or replace all or portions of obamacare. i have voted numerous times to defund planned parenthood. these issues have always been held up by the parliamentary rules in the senate which is the ability of a north number of senators -- minority number of senators to block bills coming to the floor. but not now, not today. under reconciliation procedures, a simple majority vote can move the bill out of the senate chamber. so today we will vote to repeal
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and replace major pieces of obamacare that distort the market, raise prices and deprives our citizens of choice. the bill today will eliminate the individual mandate and the employer mandate. government forcing our citizens to buy a product that they do ot want is un-american and costly. i say good riddance. we were all aghast over the recordings released highlighting planned parenthood's selling of baby body parts. as a member who believes that individual distinct life begins at conception, planned parenthood's lack of remorse are even concern to highlight their dark business. today we send a bill to the president's desk to defund planned parenthood. many of my constituents have told me, we gave you the house majority in 2010. what have you done? we gave you the house -- we
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gave you the senate majority in 2014. what have you done? why can't you get something to the president's desk? well, today we do. we send a bill to the president's desk that repeals obamacare, defunds planned parenthood and it's about time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker. happy new year to all of my colleagues. and what the new year gives us, mr. speaker, is an opportunity to refresh, to regroup, to look forward to opportunities in this instance in this august body to protect the american people. and so today i rise with a great deal of applause and enthusiasm, words that i think do not conote the presentation made by president obama yesterday. for it is not often the
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american people can see the deep bs of our heart -- deepness of our heart, the affection we have for them and the concern that we have over loss of life. the president did all of that, expressions, ry pierced the hearts of americans and should have pierced the hearts of members of congress, republicans and democrats. there is no doubt that thousands are dying through gun violence. there is no doubt that people with guns kill. there is no doubt that more people get guns who should not have guns. and so i am particularly excited about the president's thoughtful and collaborative work, along with attorney general lynch and a number of my colleagues and certainly the house judiciary committee. in particular, our ranking
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member, john conyers, and those of us, democrats on the committee and particularly those on the crime subcommittee, which i have the privilege of serving as the ranking member. we have worked together to have an agenda on criminal justice. well, the issues dealing with guns deal with criminal justice. hy should we run away from the wide and well-known proposition that there are people who are getting guns without background checks? tragically in my own community, an officer off duty was attempting to sell guns in an open parking lot or in an open area of which he thought he would be protected. what ensued, a gun battle. i don't know how those individuals purchasing that gun could have had a background check. but i would say that that is certainly not representive of the many law enforcement that i've engaged with who've
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already said that guns kill and that so many guns in america, more guns, we understand, than there are people, provide for a deadly mixture. so i think it is important for the american people to know that the federal government has been working. unlike some have said. in 2015, nics received more than 22.2 million background checks, an average of more than 63,000 per day. by law, a gun dealer can complete a sale to a customer if the background check comes back clean or has taken more than three days. i think in this instance we need to look at the legislation of mr. clyburn who indicates you must have a background check, but i also think we should look and work legislatively with the president. why would we be against hiring 200-plus more a.t.f. officers? why would we be against putting more resources into mental health? i'm very proud i introduced 4316.
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this bill is the gun violence reduction act, this evening, to add those 200-plus a.t.f. officers. i ask my colleagues to join me. i introduced that with congresswoman robin kelly. and the mental health resources to increase the resources yesterday. yesterday, h.r. 4315 with representative karen bass and congresswoman napolitano. mr. speaker, how many more need to die? do we still need an amnesia check on connecticut, columbine, and many places beyond. guns must be restrained. the president's mission is correct. more data for secure technology. more ncis data to run through those background checks appropriately. remember south carolina, charleston, south carolina. remember the message. he got the guns because three days had passed and he killed
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nine people worshiping in a church. so it is important, mr. speaker, that congress owns up to its own responsibility. not one that says the second amendment is being undermined. it is not. you can never undermine our constitution. it is a procedural structure that we are not engaged in. we are only trying to provide a guide post to save lives of children and families. so i'm looking forward to working with the judiciary committee in the house and senate to look at constructive legislation. finally, mr. speaker, let me say that i am saddened that again we come on the floor with planned parenthood legislation that talks to the very heart of america. quality of health care, protecting women in terms of cervical cancer. this is a nonstarter. vote against it. protect american women, protect families and children against gun violence. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr.
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thompson, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the dam located in pennsylvania's fifth congressional district in forest county. this vital flood control project is estimated to have prevented more than $570 million in flood damage over the past seven decades. the dam located in forest county which officially 1941. ed on january 9, as a result of the flood control act of 1936 and 1938. the dam itself was located on the creek just over one mile from the allegheny river. it is key to flood protection along the allegheny and upper ohio rivers. mr. speaker, this dam is so important that during the 1972 tropical storm agnes, which
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caused damage all across the commonwealth of pennsylvania, it is estimated to have prevented more than $60 million in additional damages. today the dam and lake it created serves purpose beyond flood protection. the lake and area around it amount to more than 3,000 acres available for camping, hiking and fishing. it is a hot spot for boating, water skiing, and other families -- and others for families each summer. i want to thank the people at the tionesta dam and the best for the future. mr. speaker, i rise today in recognition of efforts by the allegheny national forest located in pennsylvania's fifth congressional district in addressing invasive insects which are threatening the forest ash, beach, and hemlock trees. invasive species are a major concern for national forests across the united states. with the emerald ash borer decimating white ash, woolley
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affecting the pennsylvania state tree, eastern hemlock, and the each bark beetle killing beach trees. steps are being taken to proactively manage and treat trees. over the summer i met with local forest service and help apply treatment to eastern hemlock trees. in other areas of the forest, the best approach is to harvest these trees while they still have value. that is what is proposed across 4,000 acres and forests which includes high percentages of these tree species. the harvesting project itself will spread across the forest, four counties, adding up to a total scope of more than 100,000 acres. i appreciate the approach of the allegheny national forest personnel, their hard work, dedication, and their continuation to advocate for such proactive management practices. i will continue to do what i can in the house and as chairman of the house
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agriculture subcommittee for conservation and forestry to help our national forest address these invasive species which threaten both the health of the forest and the timber resources which have helped build this nation. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. ms. kaptur: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to pay tribute to an exceptional american and extraordinary human being who led with quiet strength. reverend chris hatageorge of toledo, ohio, who was laid to rest this week. father hatageorge served the toledo community so wisely and so generously for over half a century. ankoring his service at holy trinity greek orthodox cathedral which he helped to
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elevate from a church to a cathedral during his service. he was 91. what an incredible life. surviving are his beautiful fe, whom he married in 1948, daughters, patty and angie, on, william, sister, presbyteria, six grandchildren, and two great granddaughters. he worshiped them all. was born in yngstown, ohio, immigrants from the greek island of salmos. when he was growing up he served as an altar boy. when the family went visiting with friends, children asked what he liked to play, he said, i'd like to play church. and so father chris would be the priest. and as he said in a "blade" interview back in 1998, he would married his brother to one of the girls. and he would have a bag of
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marbles that he would use as his censor. father hatageorge attended holy cross of greek orthodox theology in new england and ordained in 1948. he had served as pastor in a broad range of communities, including indianapolis and detroit before arriving in toledo. how lucky we have been. he has served as pastor starting in 1960 and pastor emeritus after 1991. and has been the leader for more than half of the north toledo landmark churches' existence. as i mentioned, it is now a cathedral due to his efforts. e had such an influence beyond the congregation he so dutifully served. the pastor recognized the changing needs not only of the congregation but of the community, and as he saw his
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own congregation transition from u.s.-born members whose forebearers arrived decades ago to more recent greek and cypriot immigrants. as his son said, i always call him a peacemaker. he served as board member of the toledo council of churches and was active in the international institute, building good will with every step and every word he uttered. he raised his article of faith far beyond the congregants of his own cathedral. he planted his congregation's commitment in the heart of toledo and maintained it there at a time when it was really needed, before the community had transitioned to the new century. when it was struggling. and he led his community to oversee renovations to the church building as it was elevated to a cathedral, including the construction of a beautiful educational center and the purchase of surrounding property while supporting the
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parish leaders' decisions to stay put and not move. not suburbanize. he felt that that congregation should control its own destiny and to grow where it was planted. father chris was enthusiastic when the parishioners decided to throw a festival in 1971. and the holy trinity's greek festival has become an annual affair in our region, bringing people back to the city and being so much a part of the revitalization of toledo long before it was popular. he was a true leader. such a leader for us. there are many generations who knew father chris, said the reverend larry lagaekus, who became pastor in july, 2014. i quote him directly, for. so people in their 80's, they remember working side by side -- father hadi
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hadgigeorge. others see him as a great grandfather. personally, this congresswoman sees him as a friend. our community is forever indebted to him. and the greek american community he shepherded as an essential building block of the city of toledo. we would be so much less without having their faith filled commitment. may his family draw strength from his beautiful life. and from the lessons that he taught us and from the city that he loved and the cathedral to which he gave his life. may his family be blessed and may he rest in peace. i would like to place in the record as well the obituary that was printed in the toledo blade -- "toledo blade" this week and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia,
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mr. jenkins, for five minutes. mr. jenkins: mr. speaker, with the recent announcement of new policies to restrict firearms, president obama has yet again used executive overreach to force his agenda on the american people. congress has already rejected these policies in a bipartisan fashion. and this action is another example of the president's overstepping his constitutional authority to circumvent the people's voices in congress. the administration's assault on americans' constitutional rights must stop. time and time again our courts have defended the second amendment and congress has voted repeatedly to reject new restrictions on our constitutional rights.
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for more than 200 years the second amendment has been protected and championed by americans, the courts, and congress. and we must stand together to defend and project our constitutional rights. as a staunch supporter of the second amendment, i am outraged by president obama's actions and will fight to stop this executive order. in my home state of west virginia, using guns for sport and hunting is a way of life. we respect firearms and are taught at an early age how to use them. in many families, fathers and mothers teach their children how to hunt and when they are old enough they receive their own gun as an important coming of age tradition. west virginians are not alone. families across this country have these same traditions and sport.
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as west virginians, we know that law-abiding citizens are not the problem and our country was not founded on the principles of taking away rights from the people. our rights cannot and should not be taken away. this administration is determined, determined to attack our way of life, our traditions, and our constitutional rights. i wish i could say this is a surprise, but time and time again this president has used executive actions and regulations to eliminate policies and rights we disagree with. sadly, we have seen this far too often with the environmental protection agency, the e.p.a., which has aggressively, aggressively used regulations and rules to destroy our coal mining communities, in particular in
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my state of west virginia. i have fought to stop the e.p.a. and will fight to stop president obama's executive actions on gun control. as a member of the house appropriations committee, i will use the power of the purse to eliminate funding for these new actions. as a member of congress, i am dedicated to working for our state and doing what is right for the people of west virginia and i will continue to support our constitutional rights, including the second amendment, and push back on the administration's overreach into our lives, businesses, and communities. mr. speaker, i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. farr, for five minutes. farhan khan permission to revise and extend -- mr. farr: permission to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. farr: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise to honor a good friend, richard smith, and i'd like to
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yield to my colleague from the central coast of california, mr. denham. mr. denham: i thank the gentleman from california, mr. farr, my good friend. as we both recognize an amazing life of a good friend and acknowledge and honor the life of this personal friend, beloved community leader, rich smith. he's the loving husband, father and grandfather who passed away peacefully in the comforts of his home surrounded by his family on december 27, 2015. born on december 19, 1946, rich was raised in walnut creek, california. growing up, rich's family was involved in agriculture that played a major role in his life. he obtained a bachelor of science degree in ag science and management from the university of california-davis, in 1968. originally rich was interested in the technical aspects of agriculture. he worked in a lab performing
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analysis on soil, plant nutrition. never did rich believe he would be the owner of a successful wine company, but in 1987 became a reality when he and his new bride, claudia, purchased a vineyard. today, it's owned and operated by the smith family and is located in the highlands in monterey county. the business consisted of almost 3,000 acres of vineyards and continues to evolve in all aspects. rich leaves behind a tremendous legacy that can be celebrated and appreciated by everyone who visits this magnificent vineyard. rich had a generous spirit and provided lasting contributions to the community. he was a local hero to celineas valley and he demonstrated time and again a desire to share his resources and talents with others. i was one of those that he shared his talents with. as he encouraged, supported and
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advised me to run for political office. rich's motto always was, treat people the way that you want to be treated. all that we're lucky enough to spend time with him found he lived by those words. rich will forever be remembered for his kindness, generosity, leadership and love. and on kindness and generosity, he and claudia were kind enough and generous enough to host 23 years ago, then my fiancee, now wife, sonia, in our wedding at the vineyard. on leadership and love, as i was in the state senate, rich provided leadership for not only the state of california but the silinas valuey the wine industry, creating a wine mecca, pioneering monterey
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county to be a leadership in wine production as well as a new tourism corridor. his love for family and his community is unmatched. he's a friend that's going to be forever missed. not only was he a leadership -- he a leader, a very kind man, a very tremendous man, but he had a sense of humor. i will never forget soon after our marriage his daughter, sonia's best friend, was being married at the vineyard as well. funny episode happened where sonia passed out in the middle of the wedding. ich seized the moment to rib me a little bit and my new mother-in-law, he made it clear that he thought that sonia might be pregnant on that day. it was a funny gesture that as a young man made me a little
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nervous at the time. he will always be a friend and sorely missed. i'd like to yield to my friend, sam farr. mr. farr: thank you. we both got to know rich through politics. it's amazing he was a supported both. you being a republican and my being a democrat. you being in the state legislature and i in the state legislature. rich was always the go-to guy to really do the sort of the technical issues that drill down deep on a lot of controversial agriculture issue. he was always based on good science, good farming practices, the idea of conservation in the best sense of the words. he also was paties patory in my daughter's wedding because the wines served were from rich's vineyards. in fact, i brought a bottle of his wine today here on the floor to show the world this man did some great things. his wines were served also at
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many, many charitable events that they did at their vineyards. he and claudia were, you know, kind of -- claudia was very interested in getting the whole ecotourism involved, to get people out into seeing how agriculture is really produced, and wine visits are obviously a good way of attracting people. and the knowledge of it. we're really going to miss him. he was a great person. i'm glad we can get a national park right across. god bless richard smith and the great wines we make. mr. denham: we yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from missouri, mrs. wagner, for five minutes. mrs. wagner: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. wagner: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of life and in firm opposition to
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planned parenthood's unconscionable activities. but as i begin my remarks, i want to be very clear about one thing -- the vote that the house will take today is a victory for women's health while also serving as a cry to end the monstrous actions of an organization that continually attacks our most vulnerable -- unborn children. there are more than 13,500 publicly supported alternatives for women's health care in the country, and 588 in missouri. alternatives that treat women without performing abortions, alternatives that will have more access to federal money for women's health care. this means that in missouri alone, there are 45 health
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clinics for every planned parenthood clinic in the state. so please, please don't be distracted by political rhetoric. we are strengthening our support for women's health and we are stripping federal taxpayer dollars from an organization that performs more abortions a year. while i have long fought to stop this atrocious practice, i was especially shocked this summer by videos of planned parenthood's cold indifference and barbaric murder of the society's most vulnerable members. it is our duty as lawmakers, as citizens of a great nation, as friends, as neighbors, as family members to protect those who cannot protect themselves. and it is a tragic shame to watch employees of planned parenthood so willing to sell the body parts of unborn
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babies. these are truly some of the most horrifying and heartbreaking videos i have ever seen, even throughout all my work in combating sex trafficking, sexual assault and abuse. the united states is a nation that seeks to protect the least among us in numerous ways, from medical research, assistance for the needy, to elderly care. it is time that we do the same for our precious unborn children. mr. speaker, today is an historic day when we will finally stop taxpayer dollars from funding planned parenthood's abortions. surely no member of congress can in good conscience claim that we should fund these heinous activities with your hard-earned dollars. after seeing these horrible videos, i was compelled to take action. i joined congressman sean duffy and congressman chris smith in
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sending a letter to chairman upton and goodlatte requesting an immediate investigation into planned parenthood's actions. i'd like to thank house leadership and the committee chairmen for granting our requests and for the work they have done on their committees already. planned parenthood has shamelessly tried to defend the indefensible before these committees. they have shown no remorse for the actions described in these videos, apologizing only for the tone of them. in response, they have effectively dared congress to ct, and today we do. today congress said enough is enough. today we pass legislation that will give the president a very stark choice -- continue paying for acts that are so disturbing, so horrifying and so disgusting that they have required congressional vestigation, or simply
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respect life and respect the taxpayers' hard-earned dollars. mr. speaker, the heart of my team's mission statement, which rrently hangs in my office reads, to confront injustice and serve as a voice for the most vulnerable in our society. defunding planned parenthood is the right thing to do. today i will give voice to the voiceless. i will proudly cast my vote for life, for these innocent angels, and i will continue to fight for the day when abortion is not only illegal but is unthinkable. mr. speaker, i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house noon today.til
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>> their meeting has been under way for about 20, 25 minutes or so. mr. cole: that important oversight would not occur or occur every other year. most authorizing committees already perform executive -- effective oversight of the programs under their jurisdictions. 2015 house authorizers have 760
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oversight hearings. clearly the problem for authorizers is not a lack of time, it's getting their bills through the bill process. through congress and to the president. last year we were able to generate the national defense authorization act. the medicare access and championship re-authorization act of 2015 -- chip re-authorization act of 2015. a long-term highway authorization, and esea authorization. all of which demonstrate authorizers have time for oversight. it's unclear whether h.r. 1610 does anything to strengthen the authorization process. as currently drafted, section 106 would actually preclude annual authorization bills like the m.d.a.a. and further diminish its oversight authority. besides relaxing oversight by annual appropriations in particular -- biannual appropriations would harm phil take powers away from congress. the constitution vests the power of the purse in this chamber, closest and most accountable to the people.
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biannual budgeting limits that responsibility. additionally, there are practical considerations which make biannual appropriations unworkable. under the system making precise projections about agency needs is already difficult. formulation of the present budget begins 15 to 18 months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. even on an annual baycy, estimates of discretionary outlays and fee collections will miss the mark. extending the budget lead time to 27 or 30 months would decrease the reliability and quality of the estimates, limit the executive branch's ability to foresee future needs, and increase unanticipated funding requirements. supporters of biannual budgeting in appropriations often site many states tuesday a two-year budget process, making it viable for the federal government. but this is a poor analogy, in my view. unlike states, the federal government fulfills numerous functions no state can or should. it serves a population of well over 300 million people,
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provides for the national defense on the global basis, conducts international relations, and the like. further, states operating under biannual budgeting have steadily declined since the 1940's as my friend, mr. hastings, pointed out. from 44 states in 1940 to only 19 today. unfortunately i'm skeptical a shift to biannual appropriation also solve any of the problems that plague the budget process or improve the authorization or appropriations process. instead, it would undermine the constitutional power of the purse and strengthen un-elected agency bureaucrats. it would weaken oversight across the board. it would lead to decisions based on faulty estimates. and would likely lead to increased spending, a view it is worth noting shared by previous chairmen of the house budget committee when they served in this body, chairman nussle and chairman spratt. mr. chairman, thank you. i look forward to answering any questions you have. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. spreel.
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mr. mcclintock. mr. mcclino tock: i think we all agree the current budget process is -- the house budget committee has begun a comprehensive overhaul of that process. i cannot stress enough that the budget committee believes there needs to be a total and complete rewrite of the 1974 congressional budget act and that this is the top priority of its work this year. we are very concerned consideration of a biannual budget bill or patchwork changes make consideration of comprehensive reform this year much less likely. we would strongly urge the house to give its budget committee the time to develop and recommend a complete replacement of the process. but in the meantime, we should certainly avoid making the problem worse. i commend the author and supporters of the bill for searching for a better way, but i'm very concerned that h.r. 1610 runs afoul of the one law we have no control over, the law of unintended consequences. at the heart of this bill is
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the universal frustration felt by all of us that the budget process consistently breaks down because of its complexity and magnitude. h.r. 1610 attempts to address this by changing the annual budget process to a two-year cycle in which the budget resolution, the appropriation bills, and the reconciliation instructions are adopted in the first year of the session to cover the next two years. well, we desperately need a process that produces responsible budgets and appropriations, but we need to ask if this measure doesn't take us farther away from that goal. this bill doubles, both the time span and the amount of money at stake in the budget and reconciliation and appropriation bills. the difficulties of dealing with these tough fiscal issues are already enormous. this bill raises the stakes by a factor of two. the nature of the fiscal process is quintessentially one of give and take and compromise. i think people are much more likely to compromise if they
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know they'll be able to revisit the issue in a year. i think they are much less willing to compromise if they know the outcome will be locked into the law for the next two years. i think both sides under this measure would be far more likely to dig in their heels on these tough issues under a two-year process knowing they won't be able to revisit them next year. proponents are rightly critical of congress' preference to kick the can down the road on fiscal bills, particularly during an election year. but let me ask you, doesn't a two-year budget process institutionalize this problem? assuming you can reach agreement in the first year, which this bill by the way makes much less likely, a two-year budget puts the second year on autopilot by design. proponents believe that congress doesn't have enough time to do oversight because of demands made by the annual budget process, and this reform would free up the whole year to do that. but as has been pointed out, we do a lot of oversight right
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now. the house conducted more than 7 of 7 oversight hearings last -- 767 oversight hearings last year alone. what gives it teeth is the money congress appropriates. otherwise oversight is just hot air. right now agency administrators must abeer before congressional committees every year to justify and defend their programs in order to receive funding. if an agency's spending is inconsistent with congressional intent, congress can address that issue that year in the appropriations process. when an agency is dependent on congress for its budget, it is by necessity more responsive to congress. why would we render congress impotent to act one year out of every two? true, the two-year budget gives agencies greater certainty of what they'll be able to spend, but doesn't that come at the expense of congress now having far less certainty of what those same agencies will actually need and far less control over how they are
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spending it? furthermore, it is, as been pointed out, to pier one year in the future, far harder to anticipate conditions and needs two years hence. under the biannual budget, agencies would start their budget process 28 months before the beginning of the second year and 40 months before the end. the natural result, as been pointed out, will be an explosion of supplemental bills in the second year which is the very antithesis of good budgeting. i think the proponents of biannual budgeting tacitly admit these shortcomings. we heard the suggestion to modify the proposal by retaining the annual cycle for reconciliation and appropriation bills and only imposing the two-year cycle on the budget resolution. but the irony is the budget resolution hasn't been the big problem. in 32 of the last 40 years, congress has enacted a budget resolution, all be it sometimes slightly late. the appropriation bills have
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been the heavy lift. we have separately enacted all of our appropriation bills only four times in the last 40 years. there is a reason why most states are abandoning two-year budgets in favor of annual appropriations. the states that retain biannual cycles are by and large the smallest states, and even among them it's hardly a panacea, one is hawaii that's run up the second highest per capita debt in the contry. so in conclusion, let me just point out -- i know there are a lot of people who believe that it would be -- they look at this, the budget process and say it would be impossible to make it any worse. but i think there is a way. we could craft a process that makes compromise and concession more difficult by doubling the time span and money steakt. we could require that congress kick the can down the road every election year, precisely when the american people are paying the most attention. we could make congress impotent to act on its oversight findings every other year.
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we could make the final year of each session dependent on information between 28 and 40 months stale. and we could bypass the comprehensive review that the house budget committee's already begun that seeks to reform all aspects of the budget process. i would suggest perhaps we should take a word of advice from hip pock crow tiss, first do no harm. mr. woodall: i thank the gentleman. >> i appreciate the opportunity to be here, mr. chairman. and testify on h.r. 1610, the biannual budget enhanced oversight act of 2015. second time i have joined with mr. ribble in sponsoring this concept because it actually gives congress the opportunity to return to doing the people's business in an efficient manner. mr. schrader: every member that's testified before this committee right now says the process we have isn't working. the definition of insanity is
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continuing to do that. with the resent election of the new speaker of the house, part of the mantra i understood from the majority party we were going to do things different. if a bill has a certain number of sponsors, the members think it's worthwhile to consider, not only do they get a chance at hearing, they get a chance as a markup and for that bill to show up on the floor. i don't see what's wrong with that. there is no guarantee this will pass. no guarantee at all. we have members that are very concerned. i think their concerns are misapplied. as has been pointed out, we had difficult time passing budget bills. it's a purely theatrical political process. yourself served on the committee, mr. chairman, mr. ribble and i have, members here. it's unfortunate. i was co-chair of the budget process for my state of oregon for six years when i was in the state senate, and it actually had meaning. it actually was substantive. we did it biannually at that time. we made sure that we set targets so that agencies knew what they were and we could hold them accountable, more so
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in the off years than has been implied so far. last session of congress i think is a good point to go from. we were able to pass a lot of good things bipartisan manner. there is an opportunity to do good work together. doc fix. nclb, long-term transportation bill. implement some social security disability reforms. i think those are great things. this has been done in a highly partisan atmosphere. yet the budget process still is it dysfunctional. i don't understand why we would want to fight this battle every single year. most businesses and responsible households have a longer time frame for their budget. they don't budget year to year, or six months down the line, or retroactively like we seem to do with a lot of our tax issues. they have longer term budget horizons. you can appropriate in between. you can make changes. we did that in oregon when needed. but there is a certainty out there that this budget process lacks right now that good
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business sense would indicate is totally irrational and not helpful at all. there is no certainty. i know budgeting will -- biannual budget will go allow the agencies to do their job. i would respectfully suggest to my appropriations colleagues here when i was in the state legislature, my agencies in oregon spent a lot of time preparing for their dog-and-pony show before they came before us. they spent time in their office testing and role playing how they would respond. is that what you want your agencies to do with your taxpayer dollars? no. you want them to actually be doing the job you have assigned to them. i am a big fan of the appropriations process in the united states congress. it's one of the few areas where there has been historically some pretty consistent bipartisanship when it gets to making those tough decisions. a lot of my members are on that committee. it's pretty impressive. that, unfortunately, -- unfortunately, does not have to go awafmente in the off years there is an opportunity, i think, for these members to
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actually work closer together. when i was co-chair of the budget back in oregon, not only did the agencies have certainty to do the job they were assigned to do, they knew they were getting reviewed. we could judge them on their outcomes. not whether i like that program or not. or i was personally vested in t but did they produce good results? and in the off years, we could into the deeply program not just -- delve very deeply into the program not just the oversight. but members of each of the subcommittees could go deeply into those programs that weren't performing like they were told to or expected to. that's the power that the appropriations people will have as a result of biannual budgeting. much more thorough investigation rather than just deciding if there is a slight increase based on inflation and caseload from the year before and whether they are someone in the leadership likes their program. i think it will empower these folks much more dramatically than what we are seeing right now. we are not going to see comprehensive reform. my good colleague from wisconsin has pointed that out. i respectfully disagree with my
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good colleague from california. it's not going to a frankly the majority is not inclined towards comprehensive reform. i'm not i agree with them, but something of this nature, let's do it. let's do something that we know will systemically change how we do things in a positive manner. i think it gives much more power to the legislature. much less to the executive because we are going to be going deeply into these programs. the executive branch, yeah, they want this sort of thing to happen because they want to have their agencies to be able to do the work. if they are coming before us, we are spending six months every year with this dog-and-pony show, they are not going to be able to do the work. and if we are just looking at the top lines, we are not going to get the information we need to protect the taxpayer and give them what they need, which is good budgeting process. i respect fully suggest with the limited budget dollars we have available to us, we give the agencies a chance to do their job and hold them accountable every time we can.
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there is nothing in this bill that says appropriations people can't meet more off to do what they need to dofment thank you. mr. woodall: we have a loft folks who testify before this committee. some folks have found their passion. recently he everyone on this panel has found their passion long, long ago. and shares it. that's the sponsor of the bill, my friend, mr. ribble, i heard dr. price say, distinguished between biannual budgeting and these two-year budget agreements that we have been operating under now for four years. but it seems to me those of us who have frustration with the inability to get the appropriations process finished or time or even finished at all, this oversight we talk about is only vanual -- valuable if it occurs. if we are governing with continuing resolutions, i would argue we are not experiencing any of that oversight that the appropriations process should provide. to mr. hastings' point about
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finding some test cases, can we use this biannual budget agreement that has been crafted as a test case whether or not this would lead to an appropriations outcome? >> we are already into the third year of a biannual agreement. mr. ribble: the agreement that speaker boehner associated. so when it gets pulled away from the politics of the day, they go to a two-year budget because they get the certainty. quite frankly i think mr. price rightly commented that in an annual appropriations process, having that second year number early benefits them. there is no reason right now the appropriations committee cannot move forward with the second year appropriations already. they can start right now. because they now have a top line number. that's one of the key advantages. you can argue, and i think there is room for that argument in that debate, about whether it should be annual appropriation, biannual budgeting, or biannual appropriations and budgeting.
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i prefer the latter. i'm opened to try to make a step in the right direction here. to try to get the -- this thing working correctly. i made some suggestions to our appropriations committee. we are working behind the scenes to try to find a path forward. one of the things that i suggested was to apply to the congress -- i say congress, i'm not talking about the house, i'm talking about the congress, an enforcement trigger that requires the congress to stay and do its work until those appropriations bills are moved. if we would do that, you would be surprised -- we probably could get both of these things done. we could have appropriations and budgeting done. some of the concerns and fear that is are out there about biannual would melt away like the morning dew. if we could get that done. sometimes congress works better -- was surprised a year or so ago, two years ago after the senate failed to pass any budget at all, we put into a debt limit increase another
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piece of legislation that i had worked with jim cooper on, congressman cooper from tennessee, called no budget, no pay. a piece of it. like a miracle in 20 days the u.s. senate after three years of not doing anything passed a budget. and in a enforce f-trigger moved the -- and that enforcement trigger moved the senate to get involved. quite frankly, the 233 co-sponsors, those co-sponsors are the voices of 700-plus thousand people in each of those districts. they are saying we need to fix this. mr. woodall: mr. mcclintock, i apregree with mr. schrader, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. the frustrations that we have, our shared frustrations from missing deadlines to having power navigate down pennsylvania avenue to the white house, on and on, do you anticipate the reforms that
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happen in a comprehensive package even beyond biannual budgeting addressing -- mr. mcclintock: i can tell you that chairman price is absolutely devoted to bringing a comprehensive reform to the floor this year. we all agree this process isn't working. but so many of the arguments in favor of the biannual budget are predicated on the assumption a two-year budget will be magically much easier to pass. i think quite the contrary it will be harder because as i doubled.stakes are congressman ribble said something that's very important. he said, you know, we could meet these deadlines if we just kept the house in session until we pass them. i have seen that in the state legislature in california. we can't negotiate and make all of the discussions that are necessary if we are scattered to the four winds from one side of the continent to the other. i think that's a tacit admission, it's not the annual budget process that's at fault,
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it's other matters such as those that allow the congress simply to pass the deadline and go home. you keep us in session day after day, i'll guarantee you we'll work out abagreement. like i said i have seen it in california. those are the days when it required a 2/3 vote to pass the annual budget. mr. woodall: the annual budget. it's been 20 years ago this year, the last time congress passed all the appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year. many of the objections i hear to biannual budgeting come from my friends on the appropriations committee. when biannual budgeting is compared with appropriating if i understood correctly, dr. price, you would oppose both biannual budgeting and biannual appropriations. mr. cole, you might be able tole to late biannual budgeting but would insist upon annual appropriations, is that a fair characterization? mr. cole: i'll let my colleague respond. mr. price: i was stressing that
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while i support this two-year budget agreement and the one before that, and think that has helped us get past these very partisan, very politicized budget resolutions that simply -- they not only make bipartisanship impossible, they make appropriations impossible. literally. can you not pass appropriations bills to those levels. so we have these budget resolutions that are largely political documents. and at the very end of the session with a shutdown looming, we renegotiate those numbers for discretionary spending and we stitch together these appropriations bills. as i said, not ideal, but better than the alternative. now, -- but those are simply -- those budget agreements consist simply of an adjustment in the discretionary spending caps. the annual budget resolution does a lot more than that. in terms of setting revenue and entitlement spending levels.
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the reconciliation process, lots of other things. if you're looking for something closer to the ideal, i would look back to the five-year agreements of the 1990's. because those agreements were comprehensive. they didn't just deal with discretionary spending levels, they did deal with revenue. they dealt with entitlements. they produced -- we still had annual appropriations. for that matter we had annual budget resolutions. by the five-year agreements set parameters which were successful, that along with pay-as-you-go rules. so we had four years of balanced budgets. we had a roaring economy to help with them that, but that was all interrelated. the fiscal responsibility in this body had a lot to do with the cycle that set in in the 1990's. yes, i think we would still need an annual budget resolution. but the heart of the matter is annual appropriations.
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as mr. ribble said, that might be facilitated with the right kind of multimultiyear budget agreements. mr. woodall: as a member of the budget committee i feel targeted as if shout budget committee has failed. i sometimes sense that same accusation, defensiveness coming from the appropriators. that someone of the process that is has succeeded even with others have failed. mr. cole, it has been 20 years since we finished the appropriations process on time. mr. cole: this year, for example, every single appropriations bill was passed by the appropriations committee in plenty of time to go to the floor. we all know what derailed the appropriations process on the floor and had nothing to do with appropriations. it was confederate flag issue that stopped it. that i think speaks very poorly of the congress collectively. i don't think it affects the appropriations committee one way or the other. you asked a specific question.
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first, obviously, the bill would be more palatable to me if it allowed for an annual appropriations process. i would still oppose it. i also have the same concerns that my colleagues pointed out from a budgetary standpoint. i think you also lose the opportunity to talk about i think one of the fundamental problem with expenditures around here, that's entitlement spending. and tax expenditures as my friend talked about. if you're an appropriator, you say, well, why don't we bring -- why didn't ways and means bring real entitlement reform to the floor? we bring appropriations bills every year. the times that we have not brought those to floor, again, they normally have been leadership decisions by democrats or republicans when they were respectively in power, because they either didn't want to subject people to difficult votes or -- that's a leadership problem around here, quite frankly, i think both sides of the aisle share. i think normal members ought to
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be concerned about how much of their ability has gravitated to the leadership. i don't care who is in power in a given moment. if you're writing appropriations bills in the speaker's office, you're making a big mistake you don't have the staff for it, expertise for t. and i can assure you nobody in leadership goes to committee receipt meatings on a regular basis. that's why you want people who have gone to the hearings and built up expertise over years doing these things. people think partisanship makes that impossible. it's a factor. we live in a much higher polarization and much more intense partisanship than some earlier years. appropriators usually can sit down and get the deal done. they usually find a common middle ground on expenditure to money. what tends to complicate things is when we add a lot of extraneous issues that we all believe in, but if you're going to put in the appropriations process, you're going to make it extremely difficult.
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my friend and i could probably sit here and come to an agreement on the expenditure of money. he could put some things on i don't thick. i could do the same. that's what complicates the appropriations process. it's not the spending of money. it's the policy issues that the authorizers usually have not been able to resolve themselves and turned to the appropriations committee as the mechanism to get it through. i would simply like them to deal within their respective lanes of jurisdiction. we are there about spending money. we are not there to legislate every way. in saying that i don't mean we should give up our ability to, frankly, micromanage the executive branch. i think you can do that very effectively with dollars. there are other issues that far transcend that that we have allowed to get into the appropriations process. both sides have done that. i'm not trying to cast aspersions either way. that makes life more difficult. again, the oversight -- we know we can do this. we just demonstrated, the appropriations committee
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brought every single bill through the entire committee on time. so that's not the problem. the problem is on the floor not in the appropriations committee. mr. woodall: before yielding to my friend from north carolina, i see don is in the audience today. former staff director here at the rules committee. decades of service to the american people on capitol hill. now with the bipartisan policy certainty. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to have the bipartisan policy center's testimony entered in the record with a copy of their report governing in a polarized america, a bipartisan blueprint to strengthen our democratcy. without objection i'll put that in the record. the gentlelady from north carolina. miss forks: -- ms. foxx: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to thank our witnesses today for their frank contributions to this very useful discussion. we had a similar hearing on this issue last congress. at that time i hadn't yet come to a position on this issue. but after studying the issue
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and hearing the perspectives id out at that hearing and today, i believe a move to biannual budgeting is premature, particularly if it's not paired with additional budget process reforms. each day my constituents cry out for congress to use, quote, the power of the purse. end quote. unfortunately, it is clear that after congress's consistent surrender of legislative power of the president over the past few decades, the power of the purse has become illusionary at best. a budget process document from the peterson pew commission on udget reform stated that a conof biannual budgeting would be it delegates authority to the executive. we will not see an effective power of the purse restored to its rightful place with congress by cutting in half the
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opportunities congress has to utilize it. eliminating the budget and appropriations process every other year would also run counter to our emphasis on regular order. members of the house support regular order because it gives congress several opportunities to influence the outcome of legislation and policy. ceasing consideration of appropriations bills covering the full spectrum of federal agencies that generally eventually pass in some form and that are typically considered under an open process, would disempower members. while they may have the opportunity to weigh in on an authorizing legislation, past experience shows us that legislation is less frequently enacted and has a far less immediate impact. finally, we have to admit the real problem. and it is not time.
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since we have done it repeatedly, both executive agencies and congress clearly have the staff and expertise to do an annual budget process. truly scarce resource is political will. when congress has failed to complete the appropriations process in the past, it's been because it is feared making the tough decisions necessary and punted to future years. my colleague on the rules committee and chairman of the .h.s. appropriations subcommittee has rightly stated the issue. i would admit there would be frustrations included in completing the process on time, such as late votes or working on the weekend, but those would be worthy investments in genuinely fulfilling our responsibility to our constituents.
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there's certainly reforms to the budget and appropriations process that could make it more effective, such as reconsidering the number of appropriations bills or implementing no budget, no way permanently. i'm very supportive of the budget committee's work to reform the budget act and hopefully we are able to strengthen congress' role in the budget process and produce pressure points that force congress and the president to confront our fiscal realities. perhaps in that context a discussion on biannual budgeting could have merit, but it must be accompanied by the president's return to congress the power of the purse. and acceptance of new limitations on his authority. and i agree this is not a partisan issue, it is not associated only with this president. but with all presidents.
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i again thank my colleagues. i think already the testimony has raised some important new ssues on why don't we have ways and means bring entitlement reform to the floor. for us to deal with. i'm frankly tired of explaining problem that our real is not the annual spending, which is only 1/3 of what we spend each year. but it's truly in what is automatic pilot spending that's going on. i hate two words that are used often and i really won't even say them. one is the m word and the other one is the e word. and i honestly don't like those words at all because, again,
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they are not in the constitution. we have the discretion every year in this body and in the senate to decide what money should be spent. frankly, we should be doing that every year instead of putting anything on automatic pilot. my first month here i made that speech. i couldn't believe people were talking about how we divide these two spending pots. i think it's really important. i think it's very important that we highlight this every chance we get for the american public. and that we be held accountable to do something about this. i'm big on that, too. i do have some questions i'd like to ask. and i'll start again with my colleague from the rules
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committee who is also on the appropriations committee. it mr. cole -- mr. cole, those who have concerns of biannual budgeting, and some of that has been talked about today, should identify other potential improvements to the process. but you're so intimately aware of the existing process, would you make some other suggestions on ways to improve the appropriations process? again, i think the issue that was brought up today about doing something about the bills that are on -- the spending that's on automatic pilot. would you make some other suggestions? mr. cole: they would be very technical and really i think around the edges. i'd like to see all the amendments preprinted so that we know what's coming. i think that makes it easier to estimate the amount of time. i think it minimizes the tendency to do gotcha amendments.
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although i think they are going to a members have to have the courage to vote up or down on things. if you want to bring something to the floor under an open rule, then the other side or people with a different point of view on your own side are going to have opportunity to ask difficult votes on amendments. that's fine. but you have to have the courage to do it. second, this is just me, but i would never allow a continuing resolution. i would get rid of that. that is the big abdication of responsibility. i will tell you three years ago when we operated by a continuing resolution, as my friend pointed out, there is a big difference between an omnibus and a continuing resolution. an omnibus, those bills have at least all gone through committee, been subject to amendment. it's not an automatic pilot. a number of years ago when we did that, i say this with no particular an must toward anybody, but the appropriations committee wasn't even consulted. that was a leadership decision
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to do a continuing resolution without talking to the chairman of the appropriations committee. they had no idea what they had given up. no earthly idea how much power they had ceded to the executive branch. the only thing had he had control of was a top line number. if you want to make people do the job, make them do the job. don't give them an easy way out. i would mandate, again this is st -- those bills as soon as they are marked up in committee they move to the floor immediately. there is no sense holding them around because there is going to be -- let's get them to the floor and find out. i'm not exactly sure the mechanism, but we've got to sit down and decide this whole issue of riders and what's appropriate and what's not. again, it's appropriate to me if we are talking about managing money inside of an agentcy. if we are watching lots of other things, we are limiting that agentcy. that's fine. we go into other areas where,
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again, if you can't move it apros the floor in a straight up bill out of an authorizing committee, why in the world do you think we are going to be able to get it through an appropriations committee? sometimes we can't, but this leads to much more dysfunction than it does to actually reaching a policy objective. so i would recommend that we sit down and study. those are just, again, at the end of the day i think you hit it precisely in your t this is a question of political will. and political courage. and this is also a question of going into areas that are, quote, the third rail and all the entitlement and all the tax areas and having the courage to vote. and the appropriation process insofar as it is dysfunctional, it's largely dysfunctional because we have problems, i would argue, in other areas. the committee actually does its work pretty well when it's allowed to do its work. ms. foxx: i want to say to you, i should have said this at the beginning, that i do compliment the appropriations committee
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for having done its work last year and getting every bill out. i agree with you, it's unfortunate that we were not able to get votes on all of hat legislation. i want to compliment all of you for doing that. i want to say to my colleagues, know that mr. ribble has pointed out that there is bipartisan support for this legislation, but there is also bipartisan opposition to this legislation. i very much appreciate dr. price's comments today and particularly our colleague, mr. hastings. i think he and i find ourselves sort of in the same place. i always think it's important that we highlight that because people think we always disagree on everything. and i think it's important -- mr. mcclintock, you talked a little bit about your concerns and you're always so
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articulate. i always learn from you when you speak. but we have talked a lot about the congress' role in the budget process, but i think we agree that the president is a major impediment for this process as well. and i think the comprehensive reforms your committee's undertaking are vital. would you give a little more of your thoughts on how we can ensure the president and executive branch give back some of the power to congress and make some constructive contributions? mr. mcclintock: the term regular order is thrown around here a lot. i hope it doesn't lose its meaning because it refers to a process. it was established in the constitution, evolved over two centuries of practice to be a pretty good way to resolve differences among very diverse opinions. and to separate the powers of government in a manner that preserves our liberty.
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the president's role in the budget is the chief executive officer of the country, country's government, i should say, is to estimate what does he think it's going to take to faithfully execute the laws that he is responsible for administering. once he's done, that the president has no role in the process. from then on it is the sole prerogative of the representatives of the people to decide how much money we will give tim hymn to run the government. he then enters the process at the very end by deciding whether to sign or veto that legislation. i think we short circuit that separation of powers when we hold behind closed door meetings between legislative leader anti-president. certainly there is going to be a constant stream of discussions going back and forth. but congress needs to restore its role in the most important function it serves and that is
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to appropriate the moneys necessary to run the government. very much.hank you mr. ribble, if you can do this fairly quickly, i don't want to abuse my colleagues' time, but you -- your reasoning for this, you say, is that it would help us do our appropriations process better. but if we haven't been able to complete 12 appropriations bills by september 30 in past years, why do you think that this change would make it more effective to change the process, not the frequency of the process? what is it about this that would make the appropriations process better? mr. ribble: sure. thank you for the question. i recognize that right now the
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system is so broken it's not getting done at all. i would accept the fact that under a biannual appropriations and biannual budget system that it might actually take a bit longer to get done. if you would add enforcement trigger that requires congress to put in the requisite number of days to do the america people's work, there is adequate time in the calendar to do this work, whether you're doing it annually or biannually. one thing that amazes me in all this is the lack of acceptance of the fact that the bulk of this is arithmetic. it is just arithmetic. it's not all that complicated to be honest. you're adding and subtracting and adjusting the numbers based on requests from the executive branch. so the time that we have is there. we choose beour congressional calendar to not put the will of the -- by our congressional calendar to not put the will of
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the american people's first and priorities first, but the members' convenience. all we have to do is change the calendar and we would have the time. mr. mcclintock very articulated stated this moments ago. so it's not for lack -- i hear the lack of will and all that. i get all that a little bit. but we put ourselves deliberately in a three-day workweek. when you have a three-day workweek, night going to get stuff done. maybe we should do what the american people do. work five days a week. sometimes if you don't get work done, work a little bit of overtime. actually dot america people's work. there's time to do it. it's mathematics. ms. foxx: thank you very much. i will have to tell you that i work a seven-day week. at i really do take offense the notion that you have to be in washington to be working. i do not believe -- i work just
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as hard on the days we are not in washington as when we are in washington. and so i get very frustrated by that approach that if we are not in washington we are not working. mr. ribble: duly noted. the problem is, when we're gone we turn it over to staff and leadership rather than to members. ms. foxx: again, please don't keep saying to the american people that if we are not in washington we are not working. because i think most of us when we are home are listening to the people we represent, participating in activities that are important for us to participate in, and learning the kinds of things that we need to learn. because everybody can't come to washington to tell us what it is we need to know. and so i really do take offense at the fact that we have to be in washington to be working. and i think that hurts the
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image of the congress of the united states and is one of the factors that makes us have such a low rating. frankly, i cherish the time in the district. not because i'm home with my family, but because i am with the constituents. so i think we can walk and chew gum at the same time, most of us can. thank you. mr. ribble: history would prove we are not. mr. woodall: the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: thank you very much. i don't mean to beat up on mr. ribble, this past weekend i to go to -- on the same day rubbing errands to the bank, grocery store, and to the and in each place i
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wound up there as many as 15 or 20 minutes talking with people who had all sorts of questions. i'm sure you have the same thing. really, our job is almost 24/7, but i take your point and i'm sure dr. foxx does, too. i join her in saying that, you know, one point you made that i really like is that we should do overtime. when we do overtime i think we should get paid time and a alf. maybe we could -- mr. chairman, thank you so much for entering into the record the information that mr. wilson brought to us from the bipartisan policy center. i think it's very informative. additionally, i'd like to compliment our witnesses. we have a rule that witnesses are supposed to and in each pre present their testimony in advance of the hearing. it helps us to be informed. in this case the outstanding witnesses that have appeared here, our colleagues have done that. and i can say to them that i
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read their testimony and heard their testimony as well. and am deeply apreesha tifment mr. chairman, if you'll permit me a moment of personal privilege, joining my staff this week is a young lady from australia. and there is a program, i don't know how many of you participate in it, if you do not, i would urge that you give onsideration to it, it's uni capital washington brings australian students here to work with congresspeople. they are usually as many as 15 of them. i have had the good fortune for seven years of having one of those interns. today ms. brumby from melbourne is one of those people that have joined us. i might add she informed me that australia has annual budgeting. mr. schrader, i wanted to ask you when you were commenting you used the term at that time
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when you were in the senate in oregon. have they changed their budgetary process? or is it still annual? mr. schrader: it's a modified hybrid. i thought going to any sort of annual sessions was fairly fiscally responsible -- what they do, they still have biannual budget, but there's tweaking that goes on in between. i think that's fine. that's probable lith type of approach i recommend we do here. there's nothing in what i think mr. ribble and i are proposing that would state appropriation's committee is not meeting every single year. it's a question of focus. where can their attention be best laid to make sure they are actually getting at what's going on and yet not hamstringing the agencies are doing their job. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent to introduce the statement that occurred before the committee
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on budget back in november of and rudolph titute penner is the person's testimony that i would like introduced. mr. woodall: without objection. mr. hastings: he says, it was his personal experience working at c.b.o. and in the executive branch that the most intense scrutiny of programs where he had some responsibility came in the annual appropriations process. moving to a two-year budget might reduce rather than intensify that insight. another one if you would permit me unanimous consent to include the school of public policy testimony at that same hearing, phillip joyce. mr. woodall: without objection. mr. hastings: thank you very much. mr. joyce says, he says that speaking to chairman price and ranking member van hollen and
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members of the budget committee, thank you for inviting me to share my views on proposals to create a biannual budget process for the federal government. this reform is hardly perennial. in fact, i have lost count of the number of testimonies i have written on biannual budgeting going back 25 years to my time as an analyst at c.b.o. his own bottom line was he's sympathetic to the goals of those who advocate biannual budgeting but skeptical that these are positive effects will be realized. i won't go further into it. i found it instructive. additionally, mr. chairman, david leerman is editor of budget and i ask unanimous consent to put in the record his views which don't address biannual budgeting but address the annual budgeting that we undertake and the title of it without reading anything from it is, impossible dream. i ask unanimous consent to
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include that in the record. mr. woodall: thank you very much. mr. hastings: i'd ask any of you to respond to what hapts when economic, environmental, or other circumstances change dramatically from year to year? how would agency budgets respond? i invite either -- all of you to give me your views on that. >> the same way they do right now. mr. ribble: the congress doesn't give up the power of the purse. it simply can rescind monny, reprogram money. the congress can do what it wants if they can get 218 members in the house and 60 members in the senate agree and send it to the white house. >> that is a antithesis of good budgeting. mr. schrader: -- mr. mcclintock: continuing mr. schrader's analogy from earlier, that family that's run
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up an enormous debt, that's struggling to make ends meet and goes to'd crit counselor, they are not going to sarkse let's look at what you're planning to make 10 years from nourks spend it now. what that credit counsel your will say how much are you bringing in this month? how much are you spending? and let's sit down and try and figure out how we can bring those two together. you do it on the shortest possible basis. you don't expand it because as yogi berra once said, predictions are very difficult. especially when they involve the future. mr. schrader: what that credit counselor will tell them is a plan to reduce their debt over a period of time. he's going to give them a budget who are riseon -- horizon that is going to be more meaningful to them. that's what we are talking about here. setting a time horizon for the big investments that aren't going to change every year. mr. ribble's point and the ranking member's question, i think how we adjust the v.a.
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budget just last year is a good example of how we could change things if something comes up that's serious. mr. hastings: let me ask mr. price, there seems to be a strong desire among many members to return to, we keep hearing it, i think we are sincere, on both sides, when we speak of regular order in the house. or at least to move away from so-called topdown decisionmaking structure. would biannual budgets serve this purpose? mr. price: no. i think they would move away from this purpose. and i stressed a couple of respects in which that would almost certainly happen. one has to do with what we have just been discussing. namely the need for extraordinary measures for adjustments outside the regular order. be much more frequent. much more frequent to biannual budgets.
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i think mr. ribble's right. the neck nisms would probably remain the same, but frequency of usage would greatly increase. the need for supplemental appropriations, the need for reprogramming. i have done a lot of reprogramming requests, both as chairman and ranking minority member -- ranking member on homeland security. we are very consciencious about those things. i would never say that's a particularly transparent process or that it has much public input. it's a regrettable adjustment sometimes that we have to make on a very short notice. regrettable in the sense that it's not subject to the full process that appropriations goes through. the second way in which this would, i think, not serve the regular order is the way it jacks the decisionmaking up to leadership. in both parties. mr. hastings: mr. price, you testified moving oversight into the second year of a biannual budgeting cycle would degrade congress. i was here 15 years ago when
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you testified it before us. can you elaborate on the point of congress' ability to conduct effective oversight rather than improve it with your experience, you and mr. cole, as appropriators? mr. price: well, the conduct of discussed s yearly in this body how to make it more effective an consequential. do i believe what i said in my testimony the most effective oversight i have seen, this includes my work as a political scientist, before i came here, and once i was in the process here, appropriations is the epitome of oversight anti-main reason for that is it is tied to actual funding decisions. we work with the house democracy partnership with parliamentarians from all over the world. and they regularly express
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amazement at the potency of the power of the purse. they are in great envy often of the kind of leverage that the power of the purse gives the congress to shapepolicy. and that's tied to the actual funding decisions made each year. and those aren't just funding decisions. often there will be conditions attached to funding. you're going to produce a report that is overdue or you're not going to get the money. or you're going to do in the case of homeland security, you're going to produce a cost benefit analysis of each segment of that border fence as to what the alternatives are and how this spending is justified before you spend the money, before you get the money. now, those things would be much, much less frequent, less potent, less effective in a biannual setting. that's all i can say. i just think it would change the process in very significant
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and mainly negative ways. mr. schrader: i think it's an illusion that the president or executive branch will have more power here. clearly right now under a c.r. which i think is an abomination like mr. coal talked about, the executive branch gets to continue spending with no oversight basically. no ability for us in congress to change the priorities that we think need to be changed. c.r. is bad. that's what we are doing now. let's not pretend we are appropriating judiciously every year. it's been 40 years, we have done it four times. similarly with an omni must, any of us get consulted? no. that's a deal cut with the president of the united states. we give away our power every time we do an omnibus. i would respectfully suggest, again, that going to biannual budgeting where we look at the tough issues, make -- maybe takes longer like has been talked about here, but congress, republicans and democrats, get together, make those tough decisions, set those top lines so our
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appropriator friends can know what the score is two years in advance. mr. cole: thank you very much, mr. ranking member. there is an enormous difference between a c.r. and an omnibus. i would grant my friend's point that not every member got to participate that i know mr. price and i wish every member could with a bill on the floor and their ability to bring an amendment. but an omnibus has gone through -- we have a process of negotiation. we have gone through the full committee. so the bill represents the position of the house. and if you think the executive branch has everything it wants under an omnibus, go compare the president's original budget with the budget that we actually passed and operating under. you'll find there are polices where it's plused up well beyond what he asked for and places that he has considerably less money. you'll find that there is restrictions in some areas as to how that money can be used. the regular process is better,
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but an omnibus is enormously better. st point, we under a c.r., frankly, we do very little favors to the executive branch because while they have a great deal of latitude, they also are required, and will make exceptions, but we make it difficult for them to manage changing circumstances. i think a c.r. is a very two-edged sword. it diminish's congress' influence, but also diminishes the ability of the executive branch to manage effectively with changing circumstances because we could never put enough anomalies in the c.r.s to account for all the adjustments that need to be made in a $3.5 trillion budget. mr. hastings: thank you very much. mr. chairman, thank you for the indulgence of time. will i end, but i had so many other questions. i just wanted to point to one aspect. under 1610 a new president would have to present his or her budget request for the next
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two years within weeks of ntering the white house. he or she wouldn't get a chance to introduce another budget for two years. presidents generally haven't provided the bull detail under the existing -- full detail under an existing timetable for an annual budget. i was going to ask did you realistically think that they could do that for a biannual? one other question that i will ask a response to is the budget resolution requires attention to the nondiscretionary parts of the budget. how will shifting to an every other year help the focus congress on sustainable fiscal policy? mr. ribble, you have last word. mr. ribble: thank you, mr. ranking member. on your first question best to ask the president because he supports it as did every president since ronald reagan.
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to your second point, regarding oversight on nondiscretionary mandatory spending. what this is more likely to do is open up floor time that we actually can bring things to the floor anti-congress can focus its efforts on these very things. all summer, all this summer we are-e we are going to spend every single week doing appropriations. it's a very important piece of work that this body does. we have 81 work days here in washington, d.c., this year. 81. that's it. so getting to what you need to get at, you get at by opening up that congressional calendar so you can do it. mr. woodall: the gentleman yields back. gentleman from alabama. mr. byrnes. mr. byrnes: i want to say to the panel, i have been in congress in two years. this is the best discussion i have heard since i have been in cofpblgt i appreciate the quality on all sides. get right to my questions. mr. ribble, i'm a co-sponsor -- >> can you continue to watch this rules committee meeting live online at c
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on c-span our regular coverage of the u.s. house of representatives are coming in for legislative work. this afternoon taking up the budget reconciliation bill. it would repeal parts of the 2010 health care law. including the insurance mandate, medicaid expansion, and that tax on medical devices. it also would defund planned parenthood. the senate has passed the bill. the president threatened to veto the bill. live coverage of the house now on c-span with a vote set for this afternoon.


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