tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN July 29, 2021 5:00pm-8:32pm EDT
rules and pass h.r. 2497 as amended on which yeas and nays are ordered the clerk: union calendar number 73, h.r. 2497 a bill to establish the amache as a unit of the national parksystem and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. desaulnier, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. desaulnier will vote yes on h.r. 2497.
>> as the member designated by mr. carter pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. carter will vote yes on h.r. 24 # 7. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. stanton: as the member designated by mrs. kirkpatrick, punt to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mrs. kirkpatrick will vote yes on h.r. 2497. as the member designated by mr. grijalva, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. grijalva will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> as the member designated by mr. kelly of pennsylvania, pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. kelly will vote yes on h.r.
2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does massachusetts seek recognition? >> as the member designated by mr. auchincloss, pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. auchincloss will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> as the member designated by mr. fallon of texas and pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. fallon will voa yea. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? mr. butterfield: as the member designated by mr. carson of indiana, pun to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. carson will vote yes, he will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. fulcher of idaho, punt to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. fulcher will be voting yea.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from vai seek recognition? ms. wexton: smelgd mr. mceachin, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. mceachin will vote yes on h.r. 2497. as the member designated by ms. porter, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that ms. porter will vote yes. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from seek recognition? >> as the member designated by mr. katko, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. katko will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from connecticut seek recognition? >> as the member designated by ms. wilson, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that ms. wilson will vote yes on h.r.
2497. as the member designated by by ms. pressley, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that ms. pressley will vote yes on on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> as the member designated by mr. aderholt of alabama, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. aderholt will vote yes on h.r. 2497.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> as the member designated by congress member villa, pursuant to h. res. 8 i inform the house that congress member villa will vote yes. as the member designated by congress member napolitano, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that congress member
napolitano will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. jeffries: as the member designated by grace meng, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that congresswoman meng will vote yes 689 as the member designated by pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that congressman horsford will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts seek recognition? >> as the member designated by ms. kuster, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that ms. kuster will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek
recognition? >> as the member designated by by mr. david scott of georgia, pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. scott will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> as the member designated by mr. lawson, pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. lawson votes yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? >> as the member designated by by mr. steube of florida, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. steube will vote aye on h.r. 2497.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new mexico seek recognition? >> as the member designated by mr. aguilar pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. aguilar will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> as the member designated by mr. fulcher of idaho, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house
designated by ms. barragan pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that ms. barragan will vote yes on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? under ms. underwood: as the member designated by mr. rush pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. rush will vote yes on h.r. 2497.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. raskin: mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. levin of michigan, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. levin will vote aye on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. stanton: mr. speaker, as the member designated by -- >> mr. speaker, as the member designated by mrs. greene of georgia, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mrs. greene will vote yea on h.r. 2497. mr. gosar: as the member
designated by mr. gaetz, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. gaetz will vote yea on h.r. 2497. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. pallone: mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. donald payne, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. payne will vote yes on h.r. 2497. and as the member designated by mrs. bonnie watson coleman, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mrs. watson coleman will vote yes on h.r. 24 the 97 -- 2497.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. reschenthaler: thank you, mr. speaker. as the member designated by mr. hagedorn of michigan, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. hagedorn will vote yes on h.r. 2497. as the member designated by dr. green of tennessee, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that dr. green will vote yes on
without objection, the title is amended. federal bureau of investigation, the -- the unfinished business the unfinished business the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4300, as amended, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title . the clerk: h.r. 4300, a bill to direct the secretary of the interior to make free national parks and federal recreational lands passes available to members of the armed forces, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. steube of florida, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. steube will vote aye on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. stanton: as the member designated by mrs. kirkpatrick, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mrz -- ms. kirkpatrick will vote yes on h.r. 4300. as the member designated by mr. grijalva, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. grijalva will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? ms. malliotakis: mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. katko, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. katko will vote aye on h.r.
4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? mr. butterfield: as the member designated by mr. carson of indiana, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. carson will vote yes, he will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? is -- mr. keller: mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. kelly of previously, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. kelly will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. desaulnier, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. desaulnier will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. reschenthaler: thank you, mr. speaker. as the member designated by mr. hagedorn of minnesota,
pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. hagedorn will vote yes on h.r. 4300. as the member designated by dr. green of tennessee, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that dr. green will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? ms. velazquez: mr. speaker, as the member designated by chairwoman carolyn maloney of new york, pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house
that chairwoman maloney will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. fallon of texas, pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. fallon will vote yes. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts seek recognition? ms. clark: as the member designated by ms. kuster, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that ms. kuster will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. meuser: mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. fulcher of idaho, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. fulcher will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> as the member designated by
mr. david scott of georgia, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. scott will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. gosar: mr. speaker, as the member designated by mrs. greene from georgia, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mrs. greene will vote yes on h.r. 4300. and as the member designated by mr. gaetz from florida, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. gaetz will vote yea on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from connecticut seek recognition? mrs. hayes: as the member designated by ms. wilson, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that ms. wilson will vote yes on h.r. 4300. as the member designated by ms. pressley, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that ms. pressley will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from the great state of michigan
seek recognition? mr. moolenaar: thank you, mr. speaker. as the member designated by mr. aderholt of alabama, pursuant to h.res. 8, i inform the house that mr. aderholt will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new mexico seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, as the member designated by mr. aguilar pursuant to house resolution 8,
i inform the house that mr. aguilar will vote yes on h.r. 4300 the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? ms. underwood: as the member designated by mr. rush, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. rush will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> as the member designated by mr. lawson pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. lawson will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> as the member designated by
linda sanchez of california pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that ms. sanchez will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from virginia seek recognition? ms. wexton: as the member designated by mr. mceachin, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. mceachin will vote yes on h.r. 4300. as the member designated by ms. porter, i inform the house that ms. worther will vote yes. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, as the member designated by congress memberville villa, pursuant to
congresswoman grace meng pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that congresswoman meng will vote yea on h.r. 4300. as the member designated by chairwoman lofgren pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that chairwoman lofgren will vote yea. and as the member designated by chairman nadler, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that chairman nadler will vote yea on h.r. 4300 the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. raskin: as the member designated by mr. levin of michigan, pursuant to house resolution 8, i inform the house that mr. levin votes aye on h.r. 4300.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. pallone: as the member designated by mr. donald paip, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that mr. payne will vote yes on h.r. 4300. and as the member designated by ms. watson coleman, pursuant to h. res. 8, i inform the house that ms. watson coleman will vote yes on h.r. 4300.
i. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. beyer: as the member designated by ms. barragan of california, punt to h. res. 8, i inform the house that ms. barragan will vote yes on h.r. 4300. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition?
the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the gentleman from texas. >> reserving the right to object, mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized on his right to reservation. >> today there's been a number of items that i think people on our side have been kerned about with respect to the speaker's order with respect to masks. mr. roy: we all understand the importance of safety and keeping people healthy. but the orders that came out today put some kern into our staff members about what they can choose to do and empowering and putting our police and the -- in the tough spot of figuring out what to do to enforce these orders. we don't want this hanging over the heads of our police and staff this august. that's why i've been objecting and forcing more time. at that -- with that, at this point, i'm going to move on and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio seek recognition? ms. kaptur: yes, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that in the engrossment of h.r. 4502, the clerk be authorized to correct section numbers, punctuation, spelling and cross references and to make such or technical and conforming changes as neighbor necessary to reflect the actions of the house -- as may be necessary to reflect the actions of the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. without objection, the title of h.r. 2278 is amended .
the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks, and the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today with a heavy heart to remember former senator mikencey of wyoming. the senator was an exemplary statesman, whether promoting a
responsible budget as chairman of the senate budget committee or fighting for wyoming's energy sector -- the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order, please. the gentleman recognized -- is recognized, when you are ready. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today with a heavy heart to remember former senator mike enzi of wyoming. senator enzi was an exemplary statesman, whether promoting a responsible budget as chairman of the budget committee, or fighting for wyoming's energy sector, he was always putting wyomingites first. he served two terms as a mayor, time in the wyoming legislature and four terms in the senate. the senator was a problem solver, always willing to work with others to get the job done. in his 24 years on capitol hill, he had more than 100 of his
bills signed into law by four different u.s. presidents. he was a man of great faith and greater compassion. his kind-hearted ways made an impact on every individual he met. i had the privilege of traveling with senator enzi, a brother eagle scout, to nowm numerous nashville scouting jamborees. he stayed true to the scouting principles of got deuty to god, duty to country and service to others and he will be deeply missed. my heartfelt sympathy goes to dina, the enzi family, and his friends. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: are there any further requests for one-minute speeches? under the speaker's announced policy of january 4, 2021, the gentleman from arkansas, mr. westerman, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the nye mortgage leader -- of the minority leader. mr. westerman: mr. speaker, i
ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and submit extraneous materials. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. westerman: mr. speaker, i rise today with mr. newhouse and my colleagues to discuss the catastrophic drought situation facing the western united states. in my home state of arkansas, we usually have plenty of water throughout all four seasons. but the west is different. as the lead republican on the house natural resources committee, i have heard personal accounts from folks across the west about the crippling effects of western drought. both in the past and the present. this map shows the vast majority of the west is under severe drought. while we can certainly take short-term action to mitt grate drought, we -- mitigate drought we must ask ourselves two questions to solve this issue long-term. first, how did we get here? and next, how can we avoid another situation like this one? before we answer these questions, some important
context is necessary. decades ago water engineers understood that the ar i had west would remain -- arid west would remain dry and the rivers went through boom and bust cycles of floods, followed by intense drought. under the initial direction of president teddy roosevelt who signed the landmark reclamation act of 1932, dams were built to capture water in wet times for people to use during the dry times. major metropolitan areas like los angeles, phoenix, las vegas, salt lake city andden would not exist today if it weren't for these projects. consumers nationwide still enjoy the fruits, nuts and vegetables produced by these waters. yet starting in the 1970's, serial litigants began weaponnizing a series of well-intended laws to curtail these projects. the endangered species act act has been the -- has been the particular weapon of choice for many of the organizations that are actually headquartered in
the cities created by water projects. not only did litigation compromise existing projects, but it also prevented us from building additional dams. our current policies failed to measure accountability and results for environmental actions and our bureaucracy has a program sis by analysis approach when it comes to building new dams. we put a man on the moon in shorter time than it takes just to study a new dam today. our california republican colleagues did something about this. they they offered, with senator die an feinstein, an innovative law that streamlined dam studies and facilitated construction. the trump administration moved at a record pace to finish the never-ending studies on potential dams throughout the west. now the other side of the aisle is blocking re-authorization of that critical law and is blocking progress on a process that provides an all of the
above strategy to water supply. the drought is not only having impacts on our water supply, it's making a terrible situation worse in our poorlying manied forests. every night in the news we see news about fires that are destroying homes and destroying habitats of endangered species like the spotted owl. while water may not be abundant out west it's abundantly clear the administration has no plan. in contrast, we do. we have the trillion trees act, the re-authorization of the water intrastructure improvements for the nation act and bringing balance to the endangered species act to name a few so we can avoid the next drought. we have the ability to overcome and avoid drought but we must have the political will to act. the american people deserve nothing less. at this time, i would like to
recognize the gentleman from minnesota, mr. stawber, you're recognized. mr. stawber. or i yield to you. mr. stawber: thank you very much mr. westerman. i appreciate this opportunity. i rise today joining my colleagues concerned about drought conditions ravaging america and wildfires devastating my district and the west. whether it be northern minnesota, oregon, colorado or idaho we have a wildfire problem. the superior national forest in my district is forestland nestled among thousands of acres of lakes and rivers. with these resources, water -- filedfires should be -- wildfires should be few and far between, but instead we're seeing them expand more frequently than ever. our hot shot teams and firefighters are doing an excellent job but fighting a losing battle.
according to my good friend and one of congress' foremost leaders on wildfire issue, representative lamalfa, there are three factors causing this, topography, weather and forest management. humans can control only one of those, forest management. our loggers do an excellent job, when they're allowed. they take down dead treerks clear flash piles when possible and benefit forest health by working collaboratively with other stake holders to plant trees for -- three trees -- to plant three trees for every one taken, when they're alowsmed far too often they aren't allow. radical activist groups sue at every turn when our loggers are trying to clear trees. democrats continue to insist that more and more federal lands be taken away from management and instead they let fuel build up on our forest floor. meanwhile, the ongoing drought
crisis suffocates everyone. in northern minnesota we have farmers driving a day's journey to spend too much on hay, just so their livestock can survive one more year. i feel for my colleagues out west too as they struggle with drought-caused water shortages. instead, activists once again sue at every turn and lobby their democrat party allies to shut down the responsibilityable stewardship of water in the west. and what has the democrat majority done? nothing. not a single hearing on drought or wildfire held in the natural resources committee or in the house agriculture committee. there have been no democrat solutions offered, only silence. at best we get the canned talking points, logging is bad for the environment, why we need to stop managing our land. on the other hand, republicans have offered solutions and
provided resources to our constituents struggling with drought and wildfire. as a vice chair of the congressional western caucus and ranking member of the house natural resources subcommittee, i can say i'm proud of our republican actions. we have introduced legislation that would empower forest management and deliver water, our most precious resource to those that need it in the west. we've held the administration accountable on their inaction by sending letters and grilling radical nominees opposed to any kind of development. we've moderated forums and listened to the needs of those who work and live in the affected communities. mr. speaker, let's control what we can control. just listen to our resident forester, ranking member westerman. we need to manage our forests and that means our loggers, clearing trees. it's good for our economy, our
community, and our forests. we need to provide water resources so our western agriculture producers can survive. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. westerman: thank you, mr. stauber, thank you for your leadership on the subcommittee on energy and materials and your participation in all the things we work on trying to do conservation through the natural resources committee. i now want to recognize the gentleman from oregon whose district has been greatly affected by drought. he's the ranking member on the water, oceans, and wildlife committee, he's a water lawyer, he's got experience both firsthand and academic academically and i yield to mr. pence five minutes. mr. pence thank spunk, mr. westerman. the problem is drought and the
problem -- mr. pence: thank you, mr. westerman. the problem is drought and the problem is water across the united states. wells are going dry, leaving fish, wildlife, agriculture and homes without water. republican members have been working hard to bring attention to this issue. we organized a republican water forum where we spoke with expert witnesses across the west dealing with this issue every day. they are the ones from the communities directly affected. this problem does not exist in a vacuum. drought makes wildfires far more severe and severe wildfires destroy watersheds, in turn making out more vulnerable to drought. this horrific cycle will only continue until we find a better way to manage our forests and i think ranking members wearerman's forest resilience bill takes a huge step in that direction. my district right now is experiencing the largest wildfire, the third largest wildfire so far in the state's
history. it's burned some 400,000 acres and is now only 56% contained. some of my colleagues here are facing equally dangerous, destructive wildfires in their own district, all worsened by the drought. mr. bentz: the effects of the drought is devastating. trees and shrubs die from lack of water, businesses leave and communities are devastated. we need to do something. briefly, i want to talk about the drought in the klamath in my district. i spoke earlier this summer about the situation and how the bureau of reclamation announced that for the first time this year, the klamath would not in large part receive any water. this decision to allocate all the water that farmers had stored for their use instead to in-stream use is devastating to the people who live in those communities. upon their -- and their
livelihoods depend upon having adequate water. but this is in the klamath a regulatory drought because there's sufficient water in a lake that if shared would have at least offset some of this damage. this illustrates the challenge boseed by the endangered species act which was the foundation for the decision by the bureau of reclamation to allocate all of the water to in-stream and in-lake purposes with none of the water going to the farmers. i've asked secretary of the interior and other department of interior officials repeatedly to allocate at least a small part of the 350,000 acre-feet of water to the project. those requests have been denied. this denial has not only harmed the farmers, it's also harmed water foul who re-- waterfowl who reside in a refuge in the center of the project. last year we had more water than we do this year an even then waterfowl suffered devastating botulism outbreaks.
this will happen again this year and sadly it is totally preefntable if at least a small part of the water was allocated to the district. the short-term solution would be financial relief package that rep lamalfa and i are working on. i do hope that we'll be successful in getting that passed. the long-term solution, though, is to engage in far more careful storage of water and in utilizing other means of conservation and finally bringing balance to the endangered species act. i'd like to thank ranking member westerman for organizing this special order hour to bring attention to this incredibly important problem in the west. it's time for both parties to put politics aside and get to work on this issue. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. mr. westerman: i thank the gentleman for his comments, for his work, for his solutions, approach to what we can do to intervene in these drought situations. next i would like to recognize
mr. observer nolte from california who is no stranger to the dry conditions and to the effects of drought. mr. obernolte, i yield you five minutes. mr. obernolte: thank you to my colleague for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today highlight the serious problem that is occurring in my district and across the american west with conditions of extreme drought. this is certainly not a new problem for us in the west and certainly not a new problem for us in california. but it's being particularly acutely felt, and this is a problem that only our governmental intervention can solve. mr. speaker, since 1970, the population of my home state of california has roughly doubled and yet we have built essentially zero new water storage projects. so what we have in california is
not so much a problem with adequate water but a problem with inadequate water storage. and the blame for that can be shared across all different branches of government over the last 50 years. in fact, since 2014, money has been appropriated in california for the construction of new water storage projects, including innovative projects like the sites reservoir that would add over one million feet -- acre-feet of water storage to california. unfortunately, none of those projects have been built. solving this problem is going to require an all of the above stance toward accepting solutions from all different branches of government. that includes environmentalists, but it also includes projects like water storage. we're going to need to examine every single aspect of this problem to come up with a solution. and madam speaker, i am also
very concerned that we have been inadequate in our provision for not just water storage but water treatment in my home state of california. we need to examine many more comprehensive solutions for treating the water, the wastewater that currently exists to get that back into our water supply rather than letting it run out into the ocean or pumping it to other parts of our state which iswhat happens in many parts of my home congressional district. only we in congress working in conjunction with state and local government can solve this problem. i am hopeful that as our attention turns to infrastructure we will not forget about the need for water infrastructure in our country and in particular the parts of the west that are so severely affected by this drought. we need more money for water storage projects, but we also need money for water treatment and i urge this body to act on this very important issue. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, mr. o --
mr. westerman: thank you, mr. obernolte, thank you for bringing your expertise on water to the house floor. at this time i want to recognize the chairman of the congressional western caucus, someone who is no stranger to agriculture new york stranger to drought, certainly no stranger though importance of water. mr. newhouse from washington, i yield you five minutes. mr. newhouse: thank you, mr. westerman. i really want to thank you for partnering with the western caucus. to try to bring some attention to this really critical issue for our states out west and for all of our communities. thank you very much. water. it's perhaps our most vital resource in the american west and unfortunately, all of our states and our communities know all too well what the impacts are of severe drought and water shortages. with over 90% of the west in a catastrophic drought, the biden administration and house
democrats have truly failed to act. as chairman of the congressional western caucus, i represent members whose districts, like my own, are literally running out of water. water that is used to produce food to feed the world or to generate clean and renewable energy. water used to nourish our lands and our environment. water to come and clean and drink. we can no longer sit idly by as this historic drought ravages our communities. in april the baition announced the doctor biden administration announced a working group to find solutions to address the drought that playings the west -- plagues the west. this working group, led by the departments of interior and agriculture has yet to provide clear objectives or produce any sort of plan. earlier this month, members of the western caucus and republicans from the house
natural resources committee sent a letter to it's ad administration calling on them to provide to us the solutions and the ideas that they have for relief from the droughts' impacts -- impacts. as of this date, they have not delivered. so as drought conditions become more common, we must find modern solutions. for over 30 years, well before my election to congress, as a farmer, as a state legislature -- legislator and director of the department of agriculture -- department of agriculture, i've worked with nashville, tribal and local leaders to bring solutions for water delivery in my home state of washington. i'm proud of that work but we have much to do. as we continue developing and deploying water conservation efforts, certainly there is more work that needs to be done.
we must find short as well as long-term solutions to address this issue that threatens our economies and our environment and truly our way of life. drought is not a partisan issue and i urge it's ad administration and my colleagues, my democratic colleagues from the other side of the aisle, to acknowledge the west's urgent needs and to work with us to provide actual relief. not just talk to our communities who truly are struggling. so i really want to thank mr. westerman of the natural resources committee for drawing attention to this critical issue, shedding some light on it, and hopefully by educating more people as to the seriousness of this critical issue we can truly make some progress at bringing solutions forward that will help people all throughout the western united states. so thank you. thank you very much. mr. westerman: i thank the gentleman again.
appreciate him and thank him for the solutions-base aid approach he takes to problems -- solutions-based approach he takes to problems. hopefully we can continue to work together and to bring more people in across the aisle that recognize that we do need to have actions. not just about talking about things in d.c. don't solve farmers' problems in washington state. it doesn't fix forest fire problems across the west and across the country really. we need to talk and come to solutions and take actions. so i do really appreciate the gentleman's work and want to recognize and yield five minutes to the gentlelady from colorado who also lives in a place that's very prone to fire, subject to drought, and, mrs. boebert from colorado, i yield five minutes. mrs. boebert: thank you, ranking member westerman.
it's an honor to serve on the house committee of natural resources with you. madam speaker, the west is currently burning to the ground. we're seeing historic wildfires. meanwhile, the house of representatives, the peoples a house -- the people's house, is arguing over mask mandates and passing dead on arrival d budgetary bills -- dead on arrival budgetary bills. 93% of the west is under severe drought and it's past time we pass legislation that would provide effective solutions that our constituents are calling for on a daily basis. that's exactly what i've been working towards. in march, i was proud to introduce the western water security act. this legislation protects tribal groups, farmers, ranchers, agriculture -- agricultural districts, towns, small businesses, and other water users who rely on privately held
water rights that have been put in jeopardy by the federal goff. instead of joining my bill -- govern. instead of joining -- government. instead of joining my bill, democrats are trying to cure cao farthers. that's their priority. the lack of leadership in the house democrats is totally unacceptable. here's what i mean by. that under president trump, the hisser to historic multistate drought contingency plan was implemented, which among other benefits prevented water cuts and rationing while protecting the water levels of colorado's two largest reservoirs. under president trump the federal goff implemented -- government implemented title transfer authority, getting federal water facilities transferred to local, more capable water suppliers.
and under president trump republicans fixed obama's wotus regulations. providing water security to ranchers and farmers across america. in contrast, under the biden regime, we've seen bureaucrat laziness 1-0-1. an interagency working group was formed. yeah. how is that working for anyone? what have they done? no one knows. since april, my colleagues and i have questioned the biden regime's appointees and received no concrete answers or responses that were promised. and there's more appointees that are waiting for confirmation, like a potential head of the b.e]l.m., the woman who will be the director of the b.e]l.m., who is a known ecoterrorist.
this is all terrible and this is all under the biden regime. this regime is failing the american people and the cost is far too high. i urge my colleagues to join my western water security act and let us begin to protect private property rights. our water rights. while ensuring an abundant supply of clean water for future generations. madam speaker, we need to drain the swamp, not our reservoirs. and i want to thank the ranking member for yielding this time and for leading on this important issue. thank you. mr. westerman: i thank the gentlelady. i thank you for reminding us that we do need to have our priorities in order, that there are important things that we're failing to address here in congress. we're getting ready to break for the august break and nothing's going to have been done. nothing will have been done to address wildfires or droughts.
i don't think it's what the american people deserve, nor what they want. for this lack of priorities and lack of leadership. and i want to recognize the gentleman from california whoeneds agriculture because -- who understands agriculture because he's a farmer, he understands drought because he lives in california. heneds abundant water supplies because of where he lives in california and he also understands catastrophic wildfires and how that is related to lack of management. i yield five minutes to mr. lamalfa from california. mr. lamalfa: i thank mr. westerman, his work on the natural resources committee, where i was for several years, as well as working with the western caucus on this as well. so obviously it's been underlined during this time tonight that we are in a severe drought situation. the darker the color on the map, the more severe that area is. so my part of california is that portion right here at the border
here. oregon in that corner. so you see the dark brown is the basin. my colleague spoke about that a little bit ago on how dire that situation is. you see all over the map here, ok, that the whole west, much of it is in that brown color as well as in the -- called exceptional drought. the orange area is called extreme drought. so what do we do about these situations? we be proactive. in california, and i'll talk a lot about california, but it also -- that is of interest to the whole country, because so much of the crops that so many people in this country use come from california. so, we've had leadership in the past that produced the federal water project known as the central valley project and the state water project that california did. two of the biggest dams there, 4
1/2 million and 3 1/2 million acreser feet. an acre foot is enough to take care of two households or approximately 10 people for a year. and so we used to build these projects because we were forward thinkers then. and that water benefited so many of us. but when we talk about the drought situation, it also effects not just people and food supply and water supply, but also as my colleague and i, we share that area on the oregon border, where the basin is. so what does that mean for foiled -- for wildlife? we don't keep track of our water supply, we don't put it where it's the most beneficial. we get a situation like this. this is a refuge for ducks and other water fowl that is going to be dry this year. last year it was up there on a trip -- i was up there on a trip that during the year they had the deaths of 60,000 ducks and other water fowl and it's due to botulism because the water is so low and it gets that disease in
there. it wipes out the flock. which effects the whole pacific flyway. so this isn't just about farms and food and money and this and that. this is all about habitat. but the only habitat you hear about in california is such that might help the fish. the salmon. or the sucker fish. the sucker fish do not sustain themselves by a full lake. on at that lake. indeed, it needs to be lower. and they've been trying to run water down the river in order to wipe out a virus, a kind of a mold, by keeping it wet. in order to help the salmon. we see this also in the delta that flows through the bay area from those great watering sources that come through the sacramento a valley and the san joaquin valley. they're wasting so much water running through there to try to help the delta smelt. so much water is gone and the smelt, when they do a petroleum, a survey, they can't even -- troll, a survey, they can't even
find any anymore. so what are we going to do? why does this matter to all-americans? well, certain crops, 99% can umfrom california. 99% such as almonds, artichokes, celery, figures, garlic, raisins, can i which, honeydew, plums, sweet rice and walnuts. you're not going to find those easily imported from somewhere else or at least the quality that americans are used to. if we don't put our water situation in the state of california either due to environmental and regulatory concerns or building mortgage storage. we should be doing both. we need to be fix -- fixing this regulatory risk problems because the endangered species act has been weaponized against people that weren't for people. we need to pause for a minute and see, are these things that we're doing even helping the fish populations, and they're not. this year when the lakes finally run out, you know, in 2022 all
bets are off. because lake orville, lake shafta is pretty low. we won't have the water supply -- you can forget agriculture. we know that they will. agriculture seems to be the last in line for anything in katrina. but the urban areas are going to run out before too long. can you imagine trucking water into the ush yners -- urban areas? can you imagine trying to set up temporary plants along l.a.? they've been trying to build one in huntington beach, the environmental groups put the brakes on that all the time. it's amazing they're cutting their own throat. so when are we going to get focused on what works for people and their foot food supply and -- their food supply and the domestic wells. hundreds of thousands of domestic wells are going dry around california and we haven't seen seen the full effect -- haven't even seen the full effect of this year when many thousand morse will go dry. what do you do for those folks? -- thousands more will go dry. what do you do for those folks? we'll just import the food like imported oil is so great and
imported electricity. no. we have to be thinking a lot more because the environmental movement has decimated this. we talk about forestry for a moment, all those overcrowded forests create their own drought and they also don't let the water supply that would normally come down through the system and hit our lakes, it doesn't get there anymore. because we have an inventory of 10-1 what we should be virginia in our forests. so we have a lot of work to do. we have to -- virginia in our forests -- having in our forests. so we have a lot of work to do. we'll still do that. fish benefit from dams. yet all you hear about is tear the dams up. whether it's up in washington for mr. newhouse or my district, mr. benz's district, that seems to be the big push. where are we going to get thwart supply? how are we going to have water for fish in order to have the the -- it go down the streams when you don't have a dam there? we have to get our heads back together on what -- how things
really work. we're not going to have a food supply. we're not going to have a timber supply because it's all burning right now. until we get past virginia the endangered species act, the environmental organizations rule what we do in this country. so we have to get serious and i appreciate the time, i'd like it yield back. thank you, mr. westerman. mr. westerman: i thank the gentleman. madam speaker, may i inquire how much time we have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 27 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. westerman: thank you, madam speaker. i want to yield five minutes to another gentleman from california who understands agriculture, understands drought condition, water management, he's also a farmer. representative david valadao. >> i thank the gentleman from arkansas. madam speaker, i rise today to express my frustration with the majority's unwillingness to get involved in drought recovery and prevention in the western united
states. i am frustrated that my colleagues in the majority care so little about real people suffering from a lack of water. some of my constituents have been forced to bathe with bottled water, madam speaker. some of my constituents have been forced to abandon entire fields of crops because of -- they simply don't have enough water for them. some of my constituents can't drink the little water that they have in their wells because the water contains arsenic and isn't safe to drink. that is a looming crisis, madam speaker. this isn't a looming crisis, madam speaker. we are in the middle of a crisis. i'm here today with several of my colleagues in the minority most of which hail from western states and i know they share the same frustration as we. we have -- as me. we have repeatedly called for hearings on the western drought with no answer from the majority. we have tirelessly written letters to the biden administration officials, and western governors, requesting help work no backing from the
majority. we have introduced and put forward amendments to help prevent future droughts with no consideration from the majority. madam speaker, how many times do we have to tell our colleagues in the majority that my constituents and the constituents of many of my colleagues here today are hurting? we are tirelessly trying to bring action in every way possible. we just ask that you work with us to get it done. this shouldn't be political. this is about real people and the desperate need for access to clean and reliable water. madam speaker, this isn't the first time you've heard from me on this issue and it certainly will not be the last. madam speaker, i yield to the gentleman from arkansas. thank you. mr. westerman: thank you. i also agree with him that we haven't taken action. d.c. is fiddling while the west burns, again. here we are getting ready to break for august recess with nothing. nothing to show. nothing to tell the people in
the west what's being done. to mitigate these wildfire, mitigate the drought. i want to recognize the gentlelady from iowa and yield five minutes to mrs. miller-meeks who just got the v.i.p. act passed earlier today. ms. miler -- mrs. miller meeks: thank you, madam speaker. i thank my colleague representative westerman both for yielding me time to speak and also for his diligent effort in helping us pass the alexander lofgren v.i.p. act. mrs. miller-meeks: our nation is in crisis. right now over half of iowa is experiencing a moderate to extreme drought. this dire situation is mirrored around the country with thousands of counties across the west experiencing historic drought conditions. this situation has widespread impact on our way of life. for my constituents, it mean ours farmers and ranchers must fight even harder to make ends
meet after this pandemic. as drought conditions worsen, so does the cost of irrigation. less water means less yield. less in their pockets at the end of the day. and less in the ground for the next year. for our fellow americans out west, not only does this drought harm farmers and ranchers, but the real threat of wildfires is made dramatically worse by the lack of moisture. madam speaker, this is shameful and avoidable. the government cannot make it rain. but it can and should plan for the future. republicans have consistently advocated for increased water storage and regulatory streamlining which would help conserve water for the dry years. these measures have been largely opposed by our democrat colleagues and now as we move into the kawg -- into august experiencing another major drought season, this majority and this administration have no plan, no solution, and have taken no action to prepare for the next drought season. madam speaker, not only is there
no plan, but this current administration is actively making it more difficult for iowans to access the water they need. during this con -- during his confirmation hearing, environmental e.p.a. administrator michael reagan stated that the biden administration, quote, doesn't have any intention of going back to the original obama wotus. end quote. unfortunately, on june 9, the e.p.a. announced its intention to revise the definition of the watt ores they have united states and reopen the navigable waters protection rule this decision is misguided and undoes the good work and progress achieved by the trump administration. i have smoken with iowa iowans dozens of times about the issues created by the 2015wotus rule. wotus hurts american farmers, ranchers, home builders, businesses and just the average, ordinary property owner. and it's caused confusion and hindered economic development.
by reopening this rule, the biden administration once again threatens economic development and creates uncertainty for rural america. creating this uncertainty, especially in this drought crisis is a mistake. we should uphold the navigable waters protection rule and ensure that all americans have straightforward access to the water they need to thrive and especially to survive. thank you to the ranking member of natural resources committee, representative westerman, for organizing today's special order to highlight this ongoing crisis and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. westerman: i thank the gentlelady for highlighting how the drought is affecting the midwest, not just the west, and for pointing out that our colleagues across the aisle and the administration not only haven't taken any action, don't have a plan, they also won't listen to us who have plan who want to take action. that's why we're here. why we're making this case that we have to take action. we can't just stand by and not
try to do anything to help. again, i thank the gentlelady. she passed a bill with 420 votes affirmative, zero against. i think she know house to work in a bipartisan manner and she wants to do solutions to help people. i now want to yield five minutes to the gentleman from utah, another freshman member from the west, who certainly understands drought and natural resources. i yield five minutes to the gentleman from utah, mr. moore. mr. moore: thank you to the gentleman from arkansas. my bill this week was about 415-0 so i also know how to work in a bipartisan manner and i think that's probably what i appreciate the most about your leadership on the natural resources committee, is recognition in addition of the long-term challenges that we have but being able to come up with real solutions for the short-term. madam speaker, i rise today to continue the conversation that many of my colleagues have highlighted from their own individual districts.
coming from utah, we are experiencing the worst drought in our modern history. 99.9%, according to the u.s. drought monitor, of utah is experiencing extreme drought. the entire state is under this. the impact of this crisis cannot be overstated. the lack of water will reduce food, jobs, and increase the frequency and size of wildfires. unfortunately, our agriculture sector is bearing much of the brunt of this. farmers and ranchers in my state and district have had to reduce their water use by 70% to 75% compared to 2020 numbers. this will increase food prices for years to come. but it will also decimate rural economies which hurt ours state and our nation. the scope of this issue is magny fied by the rapid population growth taking place in the west. in utah, the population is expected to double by 2065,
increased water demand will strain our water -- water infrastructure and could cripple economic expansion we must pursue creative water policies that allow us to respond to the crises of today while preparing for the challenges of the future. i'm proud of the great work being done by state leader ins utah and our western states that are working toward this very goal. here in washington, we must carefully consider ways we can streamline, improve and update laws and regulations that make it difficult for states to build the water infrastructure projects they need to meet our ever-increasing demands. as this issue intensifies, it is incumbent upon us to give this crisis the attention it deserves to collaborate and work toward a solution that can enable our communities to prosper in these difficult times we owe this to our constituents our district, and our state states. thank you, ma car chair, i -- thank you madam chair, i yield back. mr. westerman: i want to turn
now to california, an area of california that's very dry, an area that has experienced a lot of forest fires and from talking to this gentleman, i know a lot of those forest fires could be prevented, that we could have an abundance of resources, yet we seem to waste and mismanage these resources. i yield five minutes to mr. mcclintock. mr. mcclintock: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i would like to speak on a related matter and that's how our forest service approach fires in our densely overcrowded and drought stricken forests. on july 4, like thing -- lightning struck a tree in the forest in alpine county, california, starting a small fire that smoldered over just a quarter of an acre of rugged terrain. instead of immediately attacking this fire, u.s. forest service decided to monitor it instead. that is to say, to do precisely nothing.
on july 16, 12 days later, that small fire of a quarter of an acre, now dhaild tamarac fire, exploded out of control and has consumed 70,000 acres as of this writing. one of the towns in its path is woodfords, california. in 19 # 7, the woodfords firedt responded to a report of fire on forest service land near their town, in the same forest. they too were turned away. in fact, federal officials threatened woodfords' residents with arrest for even trying to extinguish the small blaze. hours later that fire exploded to 6,500 acres, costing 25 family theirs homes. -- families their homes. apparently the forest service has linebackerred about -- has learned absolutely nothing in these years.
this stems from the premise that fire is nature's way of cleaning up forests and that active suppression of fire leads to a buildup of excess fuels. well, that's right, as far as it goes. because an untended forest is just like an untended garden. it will grow and grow until it shoaks itself to death and will ultimately be consumed by catastrophic fire. that is how nature gardens. the u.s. forest service was formed to remove excess growth before it can burn and preserve our forests in a healthy condition from generation to generation. in california, active land management reduced acreage annually lost to wildfire by more than four million acres a year in pre-columbian times to a quarter million in the 20th century. they marked off excess timber and auctioned it to timber companies which paid the federal government for foresting rights.
environmental laws adopted in the 1970's now require years environmental studies at a cost of millions of dollars before forest thinning can be undertaken. that essentially brought the the era of active land management to a halt. and the result, california's wildfire damage has returned to its prehistoric level. more than four million acres lost to catastrophic wildfire last year. you see, nature is a lousy gardener. 1988, when the federal burn policy pr deuced the disastrous yellowstone fire, president areagan reversessed it. i didn't even know the policy existed, he said. the minute this happened out there and don hodel went out there, he made it clear that no, we're withdrawing from that policy, that's what president reagan said. unfortunately, reagan left and the policy returned. and the devastation it has caused since then is tragic, a
avoidable and incalculable. especially given the hazardous condition of today's forest, sensible policy would give top prior toy extinguishing small fires before they can explode out of control into mega fires. scrambling to explain their obvious dereliction of duty, deputy forest supervisor john stanesfield complained they didn't have the resources to put out the small fire when a water drop by helicopter could have stopped it cold. yet they had the resources to photograph it by helicopter and they had the resources to do countless airdrops after they had allowed it to explode out of control. the federal government owns 96% of alpine county, leaving it with virtually no tax base and entirely dependent on tourism atracked by the national forest. the fire has not only taken people's homes and destroyed their businesses but severely damaged the forest resource that
alpine's entire economy depends upon for tourism. it is dangerous nonsense to monitor incipient fires in today's forest tinder blocks, even if they seem to pose in immediate danger. no person in his right mind would monitor a rattlesnake curled up in its bedroom because it isn't doing any -- doing much of anything at the moment. he'd kill it before it does. in our national forest,le on the forest service can prevent small blazes from becoming forest fires. and it's about time they did. i yield back. mr. westerman: i thank the mr. westerman: i thank the gentleman and i thank him for his leadership in the past. actually, getting bipartisan legislation in place, i remember a couple years ago i was out around south lake tahoe and i saw the fruits of the efforts of representative mcclintock working in a bipartisan manner with many groups to do the lake tahoe restoration act. part of what was in the
bipartisan win act. and i felt proud as an american, an american from arkansas, to be in california and seeing the forest actually being managed andinoing that -- andinoing it was -- andknowing that it was my colleague -- andknowing that it was my colleague, mr. mcclintock, getting that done. it looked like a park. from a forestry perspective, i maybe would have take an few more -- may be would have take an few more -- maybe would have taken a few more trees out. it's making great progress and that's because of solutions-based approaches to getting the job done and making a difference on ground. but we have 80 million acres of forest land in this country that is subject to catastrophic wildfires. when you mix that with the drought conditions that we're seeing today, madam speaker, it's a recipe for disaster. as mr. mccln tock talked about,
a -- mr. mcclintock talked about, a lightn nirvetion g strike -- lightning strike that was left to burn. we're seeing one of the worst wildfire seasons we've seen and i think america needs to understands how important healthy forests are to good watersheds. teddy roosevelt knew that. he talked about the importance of developing the west and protecting the watersheds and the timber in the upper parts of the watersheds. because that timber acts as a filter. it acts as a sponge that holds water and releases it slowly so you don't get all of it running off at one time. we have these massive forest fires. next comes the flooding and the landslides and the degradation to our streams. we want to help species like the chinook salmon.
but when we're washing the topsoil into the streams, they're not helping any kind of fish. whether we let wildfires burn right down to the edge of the stream, where if we were doing forest management we would just thin the forest, we would be the gardner and the caretaker. we have solutions, we've proposed legislation, but unfortunately congress has failed to act. not only has congress failed to act, but congress has failed to be able to come together and talk about these issues. and we need to do that. i hope that over the august recess that my colleagues across the aisle will have a change of heart. that when we get back here in september, that these bills will come to the floor. that we'll do real bipartisan work that's good for the environment, that's good for the economy, and that's good for america. we stand ready to do that. republicans are ready to work for the good of america. for rural america. and we want to make a difference.
we invite our friends across the aisle to join us. madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 4, 2021, the gentlewoman from #, ms. leger fernandez, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. ms. leger fernandez: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. leger fernandez: madam speaker, we are here today to call on the president, to call on the house, to call on the senate to pass immigration
reform. we hope to see immigration reform in reconciliation. we are here to tell the stories of why we must do this. of why we must do this not just for the immigrant community, and not just because it is the right thing to do, and not just because of the stories of each of those families who put their lives on the line, who study, our daca, our dreamers, our essential workers, not just for each of them. we are calling for immigration reform. because it is good for america. and we must move beyond the rhetoric of division. we must move beyond the rhetoric of hate. and we must move to the facts.
and when we move to those facts, we know and we learn that immigration reform is good for this country. i often talk about the fact that we need to ignore those who would divide us, those who would seek to demonize another for political gain. because we know in new mexico especially, we know that there is no other. there is only an us. [speaking foreign language] and when we look at some of these numbers, we recognize that. when we notice the immigration reform will bring a $1.7 trillion benefit to our economy, that it will raise annual wages for everybody by $700, that it
would create 438,000 jobs for americans, so there is an economic reason for doing this beyond who we are as a nation of immigrants. you know, this issue effects every community in our nation. and it is so important in my own community that the first meeting i had after i was elected was with somos. we are a united community. somosunpueblounido. i heard directly the voices of my sisters who are undocumented. i heard their voices tell the
story of what it was like to work. tell the story of what it was like to be exposed to covid. but they knew they had to go back to work. because they did not have a choice. because they did not have any other way of providing for their children. so they put themselves in harm's way to care for us. they put themselves in harm's way to ensure that our grocery stores were stocked. they put themselves in harm's way to make sure that our elderly were cared for. and they asked me a favor. they said, [speaking foreign language] -- we ask that you will take our stories to washington, d.c. that would you take our stories and use your voice there to repeat them. and so my voice right now is not mine. it is theirs.
today we stand in the people's house and use our voices to share the community stories, to highlight the benefits of immigration reform and hopefully, hopefully to get a close -- it closer to making it a reality. there's an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in in the united states -- immigrants in the united states. they have the dreamers we've talked about. they're undocumented students, children, adults who have only known this country as their home they have u.s. citizen family members. as noted they are caregivers, health care workers, education and small business owners. the immigrants in the united states are a reflection of us. they do the things we do. they're doctors, they're lawyers, they're students,
they're children. they're american. justed a american as any of us -- just as american as any of us and they each deserve an opportunity to reach their fullest potential. and year after year after year immigration reform becomes a political football. year after year after year 11 million, 11 million people are held hostage by political games. you know, the congressional progressive caucus has advocated and fought for padgettway to citizenship for -- pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants for years. it is one of our priorities that we get it passed. it's one of our priorities that we address immigration reform in the american families plan, in the american jobs plan. the congressional hispanic
caucus has been fighting this battle for decades. since they were for other purposessed -- they were formed. and they have not given up and the congressional progressive cause cuss has not given becausn because we know we must carry those voices and those voices must be all of our voices. let's talk a little bit about what happened during the panama -- pandemic. immigrants, immigrants carried us through the pandemic. when we stayed home, immigrant farm workers continued to go to work in the fields, risking their lives to keep our country fed. undocumented essential workers in our grocery stores kept the shelves stocked with food that was picked by the immigrant farm worker. dreamers, dreamers taught our youngest. they kept them engaged over that zoom screen.
sp the pandemic fueled the rise of anti-asian hate crimes but what else fueled that rise of hate? anti-immigrant, racist be, xenophobic rhetoric from the trump administration. asian americans, despite those attacks that were leveled at them, they continued serving their communities in the face of those racist, violent attacks. and yet during the first round of stimulus checks, these immigrants who we just described, who kept us going through the pandemic, they were left behind. they were made to feel like they were not part of our country, that they were not part of our recovery. and like they were and other -- and other -- an ot, h -- an
other. i want to see if we can get congressmen to engage in this role that immigrants play for us. i yield as much time as you need and desire. >> thank you so much, congresswoman leger fernandez, for convening this special order hour to discuss the urgent topic of immigration reform. last week i had the opportunity and privilege of visiting the u.s.-mexico border and bear witness to the system that undergirds our immigration policy and practices. i gained a fisthand understanding of how our federal policies impact the conditions at the border. while there, i visited catholic -- a catholic charity shelter that centered its work around caring for newly arrived asylum seekers. this shelter operates on the shoestring budget and relies on fema to retroactively reimburse spending for essentials like food, a funding process that is
never certain. and most of the workers there were volunteers from across the country. mr. bowman: while their facilities lacked resources t abundant with care -- resources, it was abundant with care. i then saw inside a well-funded customs and border protection or c.b.p. facility where law enforcement put over 10 men who had not been tested for covid together in one small cell. sleeping on the concrete floor, even when other cells were sitting empty. for context, the current yearly funding level for c.b.p. is more than $15 billion. in new york's 16th congressional district, which i represent, 1/3 of my constituents are born outside of the united states. i represent thousands of undocumented constituents,
refugees and immigrants living and working in the bronx and westchester. who have to navigate our immigration system on a regular basis with fear from i.c.e. agents. in our home state of new york is elise island which reads, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. the reched refuse of your teeming shore. send these the homeless, tell pest tossed to me, i lift my lamp besides the golden door. the u.s.-mexico yet these newcomers are a darker hue than those who came to ellis island with welcome arms. we send our tired and our poor to prison-like detention centers without proper medical care,
little field and produce. and retraumatize and experience already those who made a scary and life-threatening trek across the border. i heard stories of mothers traveling with their babies across the river carrying babies on their heads as they waded through the water. imagine the desperation in your country where you come to this country with no guarantee that you are going to be able to remain here. we need to re-imagine our immigration system and support -- and the support we provide to our immigration neighbors. if we want to live up to the ideals of our country, our system must be rooted in care and inclusion, not mill tar
isation, surveillance and forced deportation. as a plaque man in america, we have been experiencing mass in incarceration since the end of slavery and our brothers and sisters coming in are experiencing mass incarceration and mass deportation under the hands of c.b.p. the differences in funding and capacity at the catholic charity shelter which relies on zone aigs versus the c.b.p. facility is disheartening. listen to this, the vast majority of apprehensions, over 90% was determined by border patrol to not be criminals. over 90%. border patrol told me this. the vast majority of this region
goes to law enforcement. we need a fundamental shift in our priorities to move away from funding detention and militarization at our border and past u.s. policy and the latin american countries and corrupt governments have contributed to violence and economical oppression which forced people toll flee their home countries to seek asylum here. our asylum is connected to our foreign policy and our capitalism. we have stolen land and resources from foreign countries and caused their political and economic systems to be disrupted and taken over by violence. the guns that go to these
countries come from here. we have caused this harm and disruption and those who are looking for peace looking to flee into our country and we need to have a pathway for citizenship for the undocumented immigrants as part of the next reconciliation package and the families deserve a path to citizenship. and once they detain someone, they pass them over to the i.c.e. agents and the i.c.e. agents put thumb in detention and can't receive calls from families and friends and can't receive visits and when someone has funds a way to make a connection with the detention center, the person who was in the detention center is lost,
often never to be found. the young adults in laredo deserve a pathway. the high schoolers in my district who fear they won't be able to file for daca status, deserve a pathway to citizenship. from texas, to the bronx to westchester, to st. louis, missouri there are millions of people who should be able to stay in our country and help our communities thrive. we have the power to provide stability and this congress and we cannot wait any longer and i'll end with this. during the last administration, there was so much fear instilled in our immigrant families and communities that one student in the bronx thought that her mom ran away -- was deported from
home but the mom ran away so she wouldn't be deported. the student felt into a deep depression and committed suicide because she thought her mother was taken from her this is inhumane and it is evil and our immigrants make us a stronger nation, not a weaker one. it is time for 21st plan to rebuild south and central america and those who come in here should be welcomed with opened arms. and if we are to live up to the ideals of our democracy and our constitution we must welcome them with open arms and with love so we can build a nation back better. thank you so much, madam,
congresswoman leger fernandez and i yield back. ms. leger fernandez: thank you for going to the border because it is only when we go to the border but go to the border not with the intent to create a wedge issue but with intent to listen and open our arms and see what is going on. and the seeking of refuge. i went to the border with a bipartisan delegation. it was beautiful. it was a bipartisan delegation and it struck me. meeting with the young children who were alone. it struck me that the seeking of refuge and sending your child alone to a place that you believe is safe is as old as the bible itself. remember, moses' mother put her
child in a basket and sent him down the nile because that was the way to save his life. when we think of that, let's remember the tears and the pain and the heart of every parent who sets out on that journey to seek asylum and let's remember that it is the law of this land, it is the law of the united states and of the world to allow asylum and grant asylum when you fear for your lives. and what we have now is a broken system. trump took a sledge hammer to us. but we must demand that it be put back toying. see thank you for sharing your thoughts with the nation today. i would like to yield to the
congresswoman from washington, representative jayapal. and thank you for serving as the chair of the congressional progressive caucus that allows us to have this conversation today. ms. jayapal: thank you so much. you have been a joy in congress to have your voice, to have your passion, to have your advocacy and this is what makes me some proud to be the chair of the congressional progressive caucus of the advocacy of representative bowman and you and 94 members that are part of the congressional caucus and special order hour that we host and this is about the issues that matter. and let me be very clear. progressives have been at the forefront for fighting comprehensive immigration reform
for a long time. we are extremely diverse and have members who are part of the hispanic caucus and asian-american caucus and black caucus and we represent the diversity in this country today. when i think about immigration, this is personal to me, for multiple reasons. i'm an immigrant myself and only two dozen members of members that is a naturalized and there were only six of us at that time and moved toll 12 and now 24. and that is good that we are mere and representing the voice of immigrants who come from all over the world seeking refuge because that is the identity that the united states has as a place to seek refuge. i came here when i was 16 by myself. my parents had a few thousand
dollars in their bank account and sent me by myself at the age of 16 because they believed this was the place that i would have the most opportunity. it isn't just that. in washington state, i started what was a grassroots effort to organize against the bush administration at that time, the bush administration cracking down on immigrants, arab-americans, south-asian-americans and curtailing civil brits and i ended up starting and founding what became the largest advocacy organization one of the largest in the country. and john lewis would say the first thing when i came to him, i got arrested multiple times fighting for immigration reform
and civil disobedience calling attention to the pain of the country when we treat immigrants with the cruelty that we have treated both democratic and republican administrations through the past to today. donald trump did something to the immigration system that was beyond anything that had been done before. but we should be clear that much of the cruelty has existed prior to the trump administration coming in starting going back to the history of exclusionary law in america and going to welfare reform. that was the so-called reform that began the criminalization of immigrants in the united states. and so the work we do here in congress as representatives of our communities on so many levels is incredit apply important because we get to change the conversation about what the issue is and what we
get to do and we get to change the conversation about where to put the priority for legislative fixes to the issues that we are fixes ing. and we have an opportunity coming up in the reconciliation package to do the right thing for immigrants and do the right thing for america. let's be very clear, america would not survive without the labor and the toil of immigrant communities. and that is why i am so excited about the opportunity to actually advance a path to citizenship for dreamers, g.p.s. holders, essential workers in the upcoming reconciliation package. this is an opportunity to face the truth about who it was who was going through the covid-19 pandemic. it only underscored how our
economy rely on the work on immigrants. immigrant workersville filled a broad swath of duty from picking and preparing the food we heat and cleaning our homes and serving as front-line medical professionals and the heroic teachers that educated our kids over zoom. we are talking about 5.2 million undocumented imdprants who were serving as essential workers and daca workers working as teachers. and they put food on our taicials. and over 200,000 working as health care practitioners and registered nurses and we put as one of our top five priorities in the reconciliation package, a road map to citizenship.
one million of these undocumented workers are daca recipients. a judge ruled against the daca program stopping the government and throwing the status of hundreds of thousands of daca recipients back into limbo. this isn't what they want but yet a reminder why we need to pass the dream and promise act that we passed multiple times in the house of representatives. this cannot wait. we cannot wait. and so it's time for us to act in the upcoming package. they only have temporary status or are waiting to adjust their status. when we talk about immigrant essential workers, the crucial that we recognize that many of them do have legal status and
have been waiting in some cases in waitinglines for -- projected to last -- waiting lines projected to last over 80 years to transition to a road map to citizenship. i know that when i became a citizen, madam speaker, it was after 17 years of being on multiple visas and by the time i became a u.s. citizen, it was impossible for me to uproot my family, my parents, and bring them to the united states to be with me. and that is why they still live in india and i live here. i have not lived on the same continent as my parents since i was 16 years old. every day essential immigrant workers put their own health and the health of their families at risk, showing up to work on the frontlines so that we and our families could stay safe. and they do all of this knowing full well that a simple traffic stop could tear them away from their families and communities that they -- should they get
covid, that they likely wouldn't have access to health care. for instance, t.p.s. holders have been serving on the frontlines even as the former president rescinded their t.p.s. designation and threatened to rip them away from their communities. recognizing the tremendous contributions of immigrants, countries like france actually abilitied -- acted to expedite citizenship for essential immigrant workers. not only is that the right thing to do, it's also good for our communities and for our economy. most of these workers have lived alongside us as friends and neighbors for over a decade. they are deeply rooted in our communities. many have u.s. citizen children and family members and tearing them from their homes and their families would leave gaping, irreplaceable holes in communities across the country. moreover, if doing the humane thing isn't enough for you, and if doing the popular thing isn't good enough for you either, then
look at the economic benefit. in 2019 immigrant essential workers had an estimated $860 billion in spending power and that's after paying up to $239 billion in federal and payroll taxes, as well as an estimated $115 billion in state and local taxes. so it's clear that immigrants are helping to sustain our communities and bolster our economies. now, you and mr. bowman were talking about the importance of going to the border. and i just have to recall some of the worst cruelty that i saw in the last four years. i was the first member of congress to go into a federal prison where mothers and fathers who had been separated from their children, in many cases babies as young as 3 months old under the previous administration and the previous president, when they were imprisoned, these parents were
imprisoned and separated from their children, and when i went to see them, a couple of weeks into this crises, as the first member of congress to do so, and imette with hundreds of parents -- and i met with hundreds of parents, mothers and fathers who did not know where their children were, some of them were given slips of paip that are had names of children on -- paper that had names of children on them but guess what, they weren't their children, because d.h.s. had lost all trace of which children belonged to which parents. and what we know today is that there are still hundreds of children who are separated from their parents, their parents have been deported in some cases. and they will never be reunited. and this was by design. this was a cruelty of epic proportions. perpetrated by the last president. and everybody who went along with those policies. not all republicans did, by the way. i remember when laura bush spoke out against this and said, this is not who america is.
well, i have a different perspective on that because we've had a lot of things happen in america that remind us that we have a bad side to america as well. but we have resilience, we have refuge, we have humanity and when that trumps, that is the best of america. the reality is, madam speaker, i went down to the border as well. multiple times. in fact, i see my colleague over here, i think he called me, i forget what he called me, but i think he called me a congresswoman coyote. no, i'm not yielding to you, mr. gaetz. but appreciated that. because i helped children come across the border as a member of congress. how could anybody be against that? these were children traveling alone. and had i not been there as a member of congress, they wouldn't have gotten over and been able to be processed. because the last administration actually closed all of the ports
of entry. so when i went to tijuana and imette with so many -- and i met with so many of these people, i remember a 15-year-old boy who had been shot in his knee and his mother said to him, just go as quickly as you can, because his brother had already been killed by gangs. just go. just go. just try to get there. and this was a strapping young boy and he wept as he played me the message that his mother had left him so that co-listen to it over and over again -- so that he could listen to it over and over again in the shelter that he was in. to get away from gangs. and violence. this is what we're dealing with. and so that's why i've introduced the road map to freedom, resolution, which lays out a positive 20/20 vision of who america is -- a positive
20/20 vision of who america is and -- a positive 20/20 vision -- a positive vision of who america is and can be. unless you were a native american, either you came as slaves in ships against your will and were forced to work and your labor was taken, or you came as an immigrant in some category. and the reality is, madam speaker, there are many things that we have to do. thang goodness thissed a -- thang goodness this -- thank goodness this new administration closed a sent where are women were being -- center where women were being sterilize without their consent. thank goodness that for-profit, private detention center was closed in georgia. we had that resolution that was my resolution on the floor and it passed with bipartisan support. members on the other side of the aisle as well who couldn't stomach that, couldn't stomach that. so we have an opportunity here
to do something really tremendous in the next reconciliation package. and i know firsthand that our immigration story is one of struggle and resilience. immigrants push bold -- pushed bolders up mountains and we succeed because we have to. there is no other option for us. and it is that strength of courage that comes out of struggle that is what defines america, defines immigrants in america. so i look forward to doing everything i can to make sure that the congressional progressive caucus continues to push for bold prorks agreesive immigration reform -- bold, progressive immigration reform, and we make sure we get a path to citizenship for our essential workers who have been taking care of all of us through this pandemic. i thank you, representative leger fernandez, for your tremendous work, for your leadership, for your heart and your passion, and i yield back to you. ms. leger fernandez: thank you very much, representative jayapal.
and i really do appreciate the congressional progressive cause -- caucus' support for making sure that we include immigration reform in the reconciliation. and we can do that. because it has a direct economic benefit to this country and it has a direct economic benefit that will be reflected in the budget. and we support it. but i think the other thing to remember is the country supports it. the support for doing immigration reform is huge. 67% of voters support the dream act. 83%, 83% of americans support a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth. 65% of voters support citizenship for undocumented farm workers lt it is something that the country -- workers. it is something that the country supports because they understand the immigrants, they are us, they live with us and care for us and are us and americans know
that and they support that. so then we must ask, why are we not doing this? and we will work on that. and i would now like to yield to the congresswoman from michigan to tell us the stories and to raise her voice about the immigrant experience. congresswoman tlaib. ms. tlaib: thank you so much to my good colleague from new mexico. i'm a proud child of immigrants. both my parents imgrainted -- immigrated from palestine. my dad's journey actually was from palestine as a young boy, he grew up his teenage years in nicaragua from nicaragua at 19 years old came to the united states. my father with fourth quarter grade education couldn't ever experience human dignity anywhere except until he came here and worked for ford motor company and became part of the united auto workers, the u.a.w.
that's when he felt for the first time human dignity in the workplace. my father in the 197 1970's -- 1970's used to be in detroit. if you came up to him before he got in that ford and would pull up his arm and say, which watch you want? because he hustleled. that's how he provided for his family. much later of course met my mother who only went up to eighth grade because she was trying to provide for her family, which is a farming family in palestine. when she came to this country pregnant with me, never could have imagined their daughter ever becoming a united states congress member and coming here with that lived experience and understanding the importance of bringing truly loving and caring for our immigrant neighbors. the human impact on doing nothing in regards to immigration is real. i grew up in southwest detroit. 20 different ethnicities. i want you all to know what that feels like, right? this is a majority black city with a little bit of beautiful brown spice here and there
and -- it was just incredible to grow up in such a diverse community where i felt like it made me a better mother, a better advocate, a better american. because at that moment i appreciated things that my immigrant neighbors have seen through their lens and my black neighbors through their experience in this country as they were fighting against racism and continue to do so and discrimination. and so it is so incredibly important as we think about this. not to allow others to allow us to fear our immigrant neighbors. to allow our country and policies to blame them for everything wrong in our country. when we all know they helped build it. i also want to take a moment because i think it's incredibly important to know that i grew up in board community -- border community. right there in detroit on other side you can see canada. what does that mean? people focus on the southern border. what that means is border patrol and immigration enforcement
right there in our community. why this is important is because i want you all to know, as they're supposed to be patrolling that border, making sure that illegal drugs and substances don't come in, that's not what they did. this very, very broken customs and border patrol system and structure is so racialized a that they turned on this beautiful southwest detroit community. they turned on my latino neighbors. they turned on my muslim brothers and sisters. and many of them, just trying to experience and live in this border community. you know, the 9-year-old aclu investigations revealed just how incredit incredibly racist the agency is. the report revealed that even though c.p.p.'s mandated mission is to police the border, only 1.3% of their cases in michigan involved attempted entries from the canada border that was illegal.
96% of those arrested by c.p.p. in michigan were recorded by agents of being nonwhite. i want to explain this to you all. my president this beautiful cuban, black, mixed person, he's an incredibleable advocate, works at auto -- incredible advocate, works at auto industry. he's out there with a guy coming in from germany in a visitor visa. he's in this car and showing them a border. the riverfront -- just the walkway and just showing, hey, that's canada, this is my community, this is which are live. and he's driving around and of course c.p.p. stops him. and he goes to the guy that's here on a visitor visa, like, hey, you know, i know you're from germany, don't worry, just have your immigrant documents ready and everything. but guess what. they didn't ask the guy from germany for any immigration documents. they asked the u.s. citizen born brown for those immigration documents. not only that, one of my neighbors running around in her own local park in her own local park, just asking where's your
immigration -- people are now being asked to carry their documents with them. this has never happened for a very long time, up until 15, 20 years ago. to my good colleague in new mexico, you should know this, this is a community that has never seen these kinds of i.c.e. and immigration operations at schools, which is illegal. it's against our own federal policies. they were doing them near churches. literally near churches. again -- against their own federal policies. so it's really incredibly important to understand just how broken those systems are. but we can continue to talk about the contributions and the benefits of immigrants and our immigrant neighbors but i don't want to make it out so -- of course it's an economic benefit. you know, many meese of the food on the tail is done from immigrant hands touching it. most of it. you look around, everybody knows, everybody knows who is
building our country and agricultural community relies on our immigrant neighbors. but they don't want to do that but they want to blame instead of my colleagues to focus on making a pathway to citizenship. they are plameing them. but guess what? poverty is increasing. we haven't been able to focus and put people before process and do tax breaks for billionaires. and guess what? we plame our brown and plaque community for everything going wrong in their neighborhoods. that's not how it works. and i'm here bus i wanted to talk about jacqueline, if i may, and jacqueline was opening it up to me. seven-year-old who died after
arriving in the united states in 2018. she turned seven years old on her 2,000 mile journey from mexico and given new shoes. her and her father went in search of a better life. her family lived in guatemala and they made $7 a day. and one of two children to die in c.p.b. custody that month alone. where is the morality of understanding that people are coming here for better opportunity and we have no path pathway. this broken immigration system is hurting all of us and we need to wake up. my beautiful neighbors in southwest detroit, they have my back and they are the ones who when i got up in the morning and
they knew what was going in the community. and they still are an integral part of my community and neighborhood. when i look around, i see beauty, people who want to live and thrive in my country and i can show all kinds of economic benefits but it's not enough because people want to plame my imdprant neighbors and you keep putting corporations before our people period. you hook at the budget, you see how much we are spending on defense versus how much do we address infrastructure issues and the broken education system. i mean i have a school district right now where the majority of them have garbage bags because they have no clean water. our kids don't have clean drinking waters in schools. and not pause of the broken
immigration system. if you hook at what president reagan, clinton, they created some sort of pathway. it wasn't perfect. but thisville fix needs to stop and that is the lazy approach of legislating in this country. i grew up here and detroit taught me. you only have the backs of the people you represent. and help them get and fix what is broken inside not looking far away and saying it is their fault. and to bring everybody else except the fact that we haven't had the courage to say the economic died in our country is real, that our folks are paying high cost of auto insurance and number of issues regarding their home and education systems and
so many other systems. i'm passionate, not only as a child of immigrant parents, i was my mother's until i was 12 years old. i went in to translating for my mother and this cashier looked at her and was looks at me and hooks at me and i'm 12 years old and he said she needs to needs to learn english. and i said i'm not translating what my mother, what you are saying to my mother. why, because with her heavy her accent, you are dehumanizing and even though she tries. and beautifully speaks that english language. people should appreciate it more. and so, i say this because i
have lived this experience and my mother is a naturalized citizen and freedom of raising this daughter who is a united states congresswoman should be celebrating and honoring, although i know what is happening to her and people are yelling at her to take off her ja hmp ab. that's what we are doing, the same one who put it on our table who open in revived neighborhoods who haven't seen life. and i'm tired of it. and our country offers something that others don't. we should understand that. and create a fair, just and humane system. not one that hurts them and
children to die that targets women and separates our families. it is simply wrong. and the most i can do is push back and say we are a nation of immigrants, all of us. and i'm tired, tired of the hate, racism and i'm here to thank you to the congressional progressive caucus for speaking truth to power and i yield to my colleague from new mexico. ms. leger fernandez: i think it's important to remember that they are not just here because we offer something more and immigrants are here because we need them.
we have heard because of music and because they bring food, poetry and art and laughter. but they also bring incredible economic benefits. i talked about the $1.7 trillion and the new jobs, the $700 in increased wages for everyone. the six years of additional life that we give social security, all those are economic benefits. do we know that three-fourths of the undocumented imdprants in the labor force are actually essential? that means they are the essential workers. but not just that, but they are health care workers. 38% of the home health care
aides caring for our loved ones, 29% of our physicians, 23% of nurses, they are taking care of us. but not only that, they are entrepreneurs and they are starting our businesses right now, 25% of new firms in america are opened by first-generation america immigrants. three million interviewers employ them across the nation. it is immigrants and children of immigrants who we have just heard who come and serve in congress, but they also start over half of all fortune 500 companies. but, yet, they are subject to the hatred that are brought
tears to my colleagues' eyes. and they are subject to that hatred in order to detract to talk about what we need to talk about and what we have been doing in this congress when we pass the american rescue plan. instead of being able to tell your communities we passed the american rescue plan and putting shots in the arms and kids back in schools. they want to talk about the border. the border isn't threatening. but that's what they want to talk about because they don't want to get to the work at hand. but we are going to get to the work at hand and we are going to push immigration in the reconciliation and we heard about the manner in which families have been torn apart and separated at the border by
the trump administration. i have a bill that will not only reunify those families, but as we are seeing it, will make sure that they receive assistance and receive the kind of care that we must do whenever you are traumatizing a young child and they need that help. we are going to push to make sure that e who pays taxes receives the tax credit. because those immigrant families are working and paying their taxes and not getting the benefit of the child benefit tax credit. we are going to push for that. we are going to make sure that we highlight who our immigrant brothers and sisters are because
they are us. and i want to remind us here today that back when this country was founded, even with all of its faults and flaws and they were original since in how we started, that even back then our founders talked about what this house should look like, they said that it should be a mirror, a portrait of america. and they said that we should make sure that we, congress, has the right to pass the voting -- the laws regarding how we vote into office, because they did not trust those states. and this was back in the founding and did not trust those states because they knew they would fight against our house
look like the miniature of the american people, a portrait. and that is the other thing we are going to fight to do, to make sure we get the voting rights in h.r. 1 passed and h.r. 4 passed because that is how we continue to push for immigration reform because we know america wants it. we have talked about the polls, 84%, 67%, there is great, great support for that. and only because we are not able to exercise our values of self-governance that we have not passed it. we have this moment in reconciliation. and it is a priority of the national progressive caucus and the national progressive caucus. i am looking forward tore listening to the president's
words after a recent meeting to say that he will be supporting this and we call upon the senate to support immigration reform and reconciliation. and with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 4, 2021, the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. gates gaetz for 30 minutes. mr. gaetz: the gentlelady from new mexico said that the border is not threatening to us, that those who would cross our border illegally carry with them their laughter and poetry. unfortunately laughter and poetry is not the only thing they are bringing on the edges
of that laughter, they are carrying covid more and more of them unable to be tested, screened because so many are being coming. and they are carrying the rhymes of m.s.-13 and too much fentanyl and too much death for our fellow i listened as the gentlewoman smeared our c.b.p. officers as racist, which is something, considering how many of them are nonwhite. i spent time with them recently, my colleague who is with me tonight, ms. greene, spent time. they are patriotic americans who deserve better from every member of congress than they just heard. the gentlelady from washington also talked about her visit to a federal detention facility under president trump.
imagine that. a republican president, a democrat congresswoman, and a desire to oversee and inspect the operations of our government and i'm glad that ms. jayapal this gentlelady from washington, was afforded that opportunity. but unfortunately, today, i was not. congresswoman greene was not. congressman gohmert, congressman gosar. we were labeled trespassers. by federal employees of the federal bureau of prisons. there is a great deal i want to discuss about the need for oversight with the federal bureau of prisons, specific circumstances regarding january 6 detainees, but before having that thor rogue discussion -- that thorough discussion, i would yield to the gentlelady from georgia to offer any remarks regarding the mischaracterizations of our brave border patrol officers and the crisis at our boarder that democrats would ignore as they create a pathway for citizenship
for people who did not come here legally. i yield to the gentlelady. mrs. greene: thank you. thank you, mr. gaetz. madam speaker, it was very concerning to me to hear my colleague describe border patrol as treating people that are coming across our border illegally differently because of their skin color because that's not what i witnessed in my recent visit at the border of california and mexico. as a matter of fact, i'm very proud to report to this house and to the american people that the border patrol agents i spoke with and talked to, that the detention facility i visited, is amazing. and i'm very proud of our country. america is the most generous country in the world there is no other country on this planet that allows hundreds of thousands of people to try to enter their country, cross their border, against their laws, and then treat them so well. the detention center i visited
in california houses 1,100 illegal aliens at the cost of $73 million to the american taxpayers. and that detention facility was immaculate. the people being hold in this detention center have the right to talk to attorneys. any time they want. they have an entire library filled with books and resources and computers so that they can educate themselves. they have translators of every language, whenever they need them. they have food. they can request food. any time they want to eat they can go outside in the fresh air and the sunshine any time they want to. they have laundry facilities. they have a gym. they have a full-sized basketball court. it was beautiful. they had -- they have ipads that they can speak through facetime technology to their family members and their attorneys any
time they need to while they wait their request for amnesty or while they wait their court date because they broke laws in our country. these are illegal aliens that are not taxpayers that are not citizens. and they are treated so well. but my good colleague here from florida and i, along with our other colleague, congressman louie gohmert, congressman paul gosar, we visited a federal prison here in washington, d.c., today where we were told in the lobby that we were trespassing. as members of congress it's our duty for oversight over these types of facilities. we vote to fund them. and it is our dew and our right to go there -- it's our duty and our right to go there and check on the circumstances and the people and the type of facility and the maintenance and the order that they are receiving. i know this is of particular
interest to you and some of your colleague, today we didn't see that. i would say the lobby of this prison was not in -- anywhere near the conditions as far as cleanliness and order, that i saw in the detention center in california. so i'd like to yield back to mrt further. mr. gaetz: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. we have an obligation here to approach issues, bipartisan, when it is opportune. on the issue of prison reform, republicans and democrats joined together to pass the first step act. it was in fact the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries, who led the democrat effort in that endeavor. thess essence of that is, equality in access to information. republican administers shouldn't bardems from being able to have reasonable observations of the ongoing workings of our government. similarly, the biden government should not have the opportunity to exclude republicans. it begs the question, why were
we there? following january 6, which was not a good day for our country which included violence that all of us condemn, there has been an unprecedented targeting of americans who have a particular viewpoint. their bank records are turned over to federal authorities by financial institutions they thought they could trust. they've seen themselves ripped from their bed at night, pulled out of their places of employment, harassed, questioned, many of these people were not even in washington, d.c., on january 6, but maybe they forwarded the wrong email or liked the wrong photo or shared the wrong meme. what's happening in america where we take these exquisite national security authorities and turn them inward on our own people? so we have two principal areas of concern. first, are the january 6
detainees given access to evidence? we don't prejudge for a moment the snens -- the innocence or guilt of anyone beyond the american principle that everyone is innocent until proven guilty but access to exculpatory evidence could show interesting things. could show there was a difference between those who believed they were part of a fully peaceful endeavor and those who might have been animating violence. in the 14,000 hours of tape could also show us who was animating that violence. whether they were connected in any way, directed in any way, by federal agencies. it raises great suspicion that we're unable to get access to this information as members of congress. it raises even more suspicion that people deprived of their leb liberty right now in the absence of any conviction cannot get that very information. the second category of --s deals
with people in our federal facilities. as congresswoman greene and i arise riefed at the federal facility in washington today we did not preduj -- rejudge whether all the people in that facility were january 6 detain years or might have been there for other reasons. i often find on a congressional delegation you learn a lot, maybe you didn't show up to learn by having boots on the ground and having that real time, effective, roll up your sleeves style of oversight. we have heard unconfirmed reports of beatings. of deprivation of access to nutrition to religious services. to counsel. and as i stand here today on the floor, i'm embarrassed to have to admit to my constituent, i don't know the answers to those questions because the attorney general won't answer them he was won't show up in the judiciary committee for an oversight hear, he won't show up to theover sight committee. when we show up at the department of justy he won't
answer our questions. when we show up at the federal bureau of prisons, instead of giving answers, instead of providing a tour which is exactly what republican and democrat administrations have done in years past, they said we were the problem. and it begs the question, why would people charged with misdemeanors be held in a federal facility if otherwise that same federal indexing would result in a release with the bail system or on someone's on recognizance or with supervised release? congresswoman greene, here's my concern, hypos the -- hypothesis, that i hope isn't true. that this biden government wants so badly to have the specter of january 6 to function as a basis to continue targeting our federal americans that they would use people as political props. that they would deviate from otherwise standard practices in sentencing and in pretrial
behavior so that they can continue this fiction that somehow we're under this grave national security threat from maga or white supremacy or america first or whatever the new smear of the day is. so i would yield to the gentlelady from georgia for the purpose of engaging in a colloquy with me, congresswoman, you know, do you have a perspective on why the department of justice and federal bureau of prisons seems to willing to deviate from normal practices with these, you know, otherwise pedestrian crimes in the instances of people who did not engage in violence? mrs. greene: mr. gaetz, i believe that's a great question. my fear is that this country, our agency, the department of justice and other agency, intelligence agency, they are taking a two-tier track to the justice in the united states of america. one where trump supporters are being targeted, these are the
stories we are hearing over and over and over again, which is why we're asking questions, questions need to be asked. compared to the catch and release that we have seen with antifa and b.l.m. you see, i haven't heard stories of big tech combing through antifa and b.l.m.'s social media pages, their friends' page, their family pages, reading text messages. i haven't heard stories, i haven't seen it on the news, and i'd like to see it if there are some but i have not heard stories of antifa members and b.l.m. members who eye rhee yoted in the streets, who looted, who attacked police officers, federal monuments, police precincts, i haven't heard stories of them being kept in jail for long periods of time with no chance, or have any idea of when their court date is. i haven't heard stories of
republican members of congress sharing bail bond link, encouraging fundraising to get these january 6 detainees out of jail. you see i haven't heard those stories, and i'm interested if there are some, but i haven't heard them. i've only heard stories targeted at trump supporters and people that committed violence here at the capitol. another question that i have, mr. gaetz, and maybe you've seen it, i haven't, i haven't seen or heard of one of these detainees or any of the arrests charged with insurrection. yet this is the term that we hear over and over again, but do you know, mr. gaetz, if there's been any charges of insurrection? mr. gaetz: i thank the gentlelady for yielding back. i'm unaware of any such charge. the charges that concern me the most are the charges that are misdemeanor in nature that would normally result in a quick pass through the criminal justice system and then having someone go on with their lives.
those charges are resulting in enhanced confinement, conditions that are not observable, and civil rights that are not identifiable when we are inquestionstive to the united states department of justice. the gentlelady from georgia compares, perhaps improperly, the b.l.m. riots of the past summer with the circumstances of january 6, i mean, dozens of people died as a result of the b.l.m. riots. this was not the case at the capitol. and we're not for violence of any kind. there are plenty of places in the world, like cuba, where political violence is necessary. by the way, the very same b.l.m. crowd that was burning down america, that was calling this nation racist, they have totally embraced the cuban regime. so i guess socialism runs thicker than politics, runs thicker than blood for sure.
so with the department of justice under, frankly, both president trump and president biden, unwilling to treat the b.l.m. terrorism for what it was, to then turn on people who potentially were not violent, charging them, holding them derek prieving them of -- holding them, depriving them of the normal array of civil rights we would afford any american. it does make it harder to make the american case to the world. we have already seen global leaders suggest that whatever their human rights violations, hey, america has got folks from january 6 locked up so vladimir putin can kill his enemies. so other despots can justify the horrendous things they do to their people. in the words of one of our late, great chairmen in this body, we are better than this. we should be better than this. but we did not find better
today. today we found a federal government that was arrogant and recalcitrant. and i would yield to congresswoman greene to perhaps opine on the conditions we think people might be suffering, based on the attitude we encountered today. mrs.greene: i address the house and madam speaker, we let the jail know we would be there just like we let the department ofjustice and we asked many questions. the questions i had today were simple questions, questions about what time did they get their food, what kind of food do they get and access to religious materials, simple questions. when do they get to go outside, i had simple questions like
that. being in this chamber when january 6 happened, it was a day that i did not like. i was very upset by it and i was scared by it and over 500 people charged for things that they had done here at the capitol. and i'm very much interested in their right to due process and they deserve their day in court. but the issue for me is this. i just couldn't believe the defiance and in the attitude of the people that worked in the prison and i never saw that attitude, i have only been here seven months and visited the detention center in california, all of the people were so proud where they worked and the job they are doing and how they are taking care of the of the illegal aliens but we didn't see that in the people that worked
that. we saw an attitude in front of cameras and the press, they gave us an attitude of defiance and told us we were trespassing and when we walked outside, they locked the door and would not let us back in. we were there to ask questions about the january 6 detainees and the prison overall because this is an important part of our job, oversight as members of congress. so that was really concerning to me that they would display this behavior in front of the press that we had no right to be there, that we were trespassers and they walked us out. that gives me great concerns, really great concern that they don't care about what anyone thinks and they give no authority to members of
congress. mr. gaetz: speaking of no caring, would the gentlelady reflect on her concern about showing up at the department ofjustice and being deprived of access even to the lobby for a meeting with a senior official like the attorney ep generally? mrs.greene: we had let them know ahead of time, mr. gaetz, and mr. gohmert, mr. biggs and we have let them know. we let them know with our visit and standing outside the door and weren't allowed past the bike rack to go near the door and qunt. for me, that was a lot of concern. i have had a lot of death threats and all threats of my life, my husband, my children,
terrifying things, i could see coming down each way, many people and i couldn't believe and why would the department ofjustice leave people of members of the congress in the piddle of the sidewalk and not bring us in the lobby to see if we had questions answered but as a woman, i couldn't understand why we were left out there. so that was very alarming to me. and swrus to never given an answer. we had simple questions and not difficult questions and asking how this is being investigated and we want to know why the other riots aren't being investigated. january 6 affected the capitol and congress but all the riots affected the american people and
businesses that they worked so hard in and burned their communities. it cost them so much money. there is many people that died. there are officers that vr injures and billions of billions of dollars. i'm concerned about that two-tier track system that should not exist, bus mr. gaetz, this is the stuff we see in communist china and communist cube cuba and i have fear of that in the united states of america. mr. gaetz: it certainly is something having listened to our democrat colleagues for that president trump was grave danger and would fall under a rising
sense of more productive sectors of our economy growing. but the biden administration is doing far more damage by concealing their actions by deviating by process and process and really by having an approach that is more indicative of regimes that don't really respect checks and balances and institutional balance and dproaght. we are joined by our coal eeg from texas mr. gohmert. judge dpoam earth is a senior member of thehouse judiciary. as a judge, he has towered a number of correction facilities and been involved in drafting legislation. and he joined congresswoman
locked the door after accusing us of being trespassers, which is a crime. and so, they may want to look at hobbit is that is calling us trespassers. obviously they've got some serious training they need to go through. but this is nothing new. and this has nothing to do were january 6, other than we have been alerted there are people being mistreated. i have been alerted of people being mistreated before and took action to see if that was true. if they are being mistreated, then something needs to be done. back when president george bush was in office and there were
abusees by the justice department, i was on the side of the democrats. abusing peoples' civil rights and we have been be lit thed and accused of accused of what occurred on january 6. there were atrocious things that happened and there needs to be punishment for that. but there has been concern that there were people that didn't even know they were doing anything wrong and not doing anything wrong have had their homes invaded after their door opened and one constituent last week called my office here in washington to say that her
nephew, where she was in east texas or january, 5, 6, 7, no thought of coming to washington and did have a picture of trump on facebook and her nephew said the f.b.i. is asking who it is and wondered if maybe she looked familiar and apparently very similar to this will woman and thought his aunt would get a kick out of that and she says dpee, it does look like me. lol, don't turn me in. and days later, she has a visit from two f.b.i. agents who demand to know where she was on january 6.
the only contact she has with january 6 events was her nephew sending her that text message. she was not that woman and you could see the difference but somebody to have have been monitoring those text messages and got me bent out of shape in the second term of president bush. you can't just go spying on american citizens. it's not right. and i guess it's possible that they got a fisa warrant to spy on an american citizen, but i would have hoped that the fisa judges would be have been circumspect after we found out after abusive those fisa judges were and signing off on the
warrants. the you have got to describe the thing to be searched, the thing to be seized and wikileaks let go on verizon and we want everything that verizon has and the judge says, they want everything that they have on their customers and signs the warrant. we cannot keep a republic with judges that have that much disdain or inconsideration of the constitution they are sworn to follow. and after being lied to by d.o.j. and f.b.i. is another indication, we have a tremendous amount of cleaning up to do to save our republic. i appreciate you having this special order.
mr. gaetz: i appreciate. i seek unanimous consent to have all five legislative days. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. gaetz: i believe this brings us to the end. i avow we will continue to press these questions and demand accountability from an administration that is out of control pursuant to section 11-b of house helps
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