tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN February 4, 2016 9:00am-3:01pm EST
the boston globe had rankings of candidates based on polling and fundraising. they have donald trump in first, ted cruz in second. marco rubio in third, and on those rankings, john kasich in fourth, jeb bush, fifth, ben carson in seventh, carly fiorina in eighth, and jim go more ninth. how often do you updated those rankings? guest: those are mine. if you disagree, they are always subjective. it is fun to argue about. bring in the calls to argue. i polling, are you going to be viable organization? clearly some of those are weighed more than others. right now clearly organization polling matter more than the money raised right now. host: 15 minutes left in the segment if you want to bring in those calls to argue the rankings. doug in california, line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to commend comment
about mr. collins. he was dead on in his analysis of trump. it was refreshing to hear a republican. he had a lot of other good things to say, by the way. i was very impressed with him. i'm not a republican. probably the furthest away from that. donald trump is certainly a phenomenon. ike mr. collins said, he's unique in our history. for people to think that he's going to help them or help the country, what are they -- how are -- what are they basing this on? he is the 1%? he said in his speeches, if you listen to those, which they are very interesting, lately, he said his favorite thing is money, etc. let e never fails to
everyone know, maybe several times during the speech, how much he's worth. he holds grudges as everyone can see from his speeches. he's a lightweight himself. let's face it. he has nothing to offer the american people. people are being buffaloed. i find it very interesting that a lot of the trump supporters calling in to c-span mention that they support -- they either support bernie sanders or trump. now, what could be the two farthest things? it shows that somebody -- people want the outside candidate. host: pindell, jump in. guest: you can walk around
anywhere in new hampshire and run into an independent voter who is really trying to struggle with a decision on not only which candidate they are supposed to support but which ballot. there are a lot of those people right now trying to figure out they are supposed to vote for donald trump or bernie sanders. that is absolutely one of the most important dynamics to watch over the next coming days. independent voters are allowed to vote in this primary. if you are not even registered to vote, you are allowed to register to vote on a primary day and pick a party. they make up 40%, 40% of the electorate are these independent or so-called undeclared voters. about a third are actually democrats and they are going to vote the democratic pry harry, and a third are republicans and they'll vote in the republican primary. if they are in the middle, sometimes don't even vote. these independent voters like to go where the action's at. don't know where they are going to go right now. i was at a breakfast with clinton's campaign manager this morning. they don't have any sense in
terms of if there's movement one way or the other. this is a really important point. the caller is right. right now people really want outsiders. i think one thing that's been surprising to me about this particular campaign is we talked earlier the campaign ads don't matter. some level the amount of money raised doesn't matter given that donald trump has what he has. and bernie sanders is able to raise amount of money to be even with hillary clinton. but issues don't matter. i don't know how c-span callers feel about that. there's so much discussion about issues. issues have not mattered much in this race. what matters more, if you want to take the jeb bush line, that he can fix it. that's his campaign slogan. the first part of that is, does jeb bush get it? and i think a lot of voters right now want their candidates to just understand their anger. they want to understand maybe they are upset with the elites, frustrated with their own personal circumstances, but they
don't feel that washington gets it. i attend focus groups with republicans and democrats. they use the same word over and over again about washington. washington is just a game. they want someone to talk to them and channel some of their own anxieties. i think that bernie sanders and donald trump have done that remarkably well. host: line for democrats, bill's waiting in contract c go ahead. caller: -- kentucky, go ahead. caller: throughout the entire primary all i have heard is tax cuts for the wealthy. and yet everybody talks about how the wealthy has had nothing but tax cuts. 50% since reagan. really? and yet only thing that the republicans want to talk about is the fact that there's no money for government. yet there's plenty of money for wars. they want to privatize everything, but yet it's just to make somebody else wealthy.
look at your prison system. since they privatized it, somebody's getting wealthy off of it. host: james pindell, tax policy on the campaign trail. guest: as i said yerl, this is one area where we should be having a very robust debate. new hampshire cares a lot about taxes. there is no income tax, no sales tax. very fiscally conservative state. it's more probably disproportionately focused on taxes than other issues compared to different states. you're not seeing this. even the late fall i did a story for the "globe" about how jobs and the economy, this is before paris, maybe before paris, jobs and economy remain tonight number one issue in every early state. and nationwide. yet no major republican had really put out a detailed jobs plan. if you had put out tax plans,
including donald trump, who would raise taxes on some members of the rich depending on how you calculate it, particularly hedge fund managers. in terms of the carried interest tax. we are just not seeing that on the ground. what we are seeing is personal attacks, a personality contest. we are seeing these names emerge, the outsider lane, the conservative lane, clearly donald trump on the republican side. conservative lane teddy cruz and the establishment lane which right now marco rubio is leading. without real will i any distinction beyond just phrases. there's an interesting comment from john mccain's campaign manager a couple months ago, can't get it out of my head. he's like being conservative right now has nothing to do with your voting record, it has to do with your rhetoric. there's a lot of truth right now. donald trump right now is winning the republican polls right now and he was pro-choice. for a single payer health care system a few years ago. it has nothing to do with your record.
it has to do with your rhetoric. host: st. louis, missouri, line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm saying donald trump is absolutely the only person that should be elected to this country. and that's really something coming from an independent. i just am fed up with everything that's been going on. been fed up with it for a long time. since obama got away with that obamacare. but guess who did that? john roberts threw the deciding vote at the supreme court. so i think john roberts should have been thrown off the bench in some kind of way simply for that. he knew -- you're going to pay a fine, it starts at 600 something dollars, if you don't have health insurance. well, my daughter's one of them. they can't get health insurance. she cannot because her husband draws around $1,600 disability.
that then throws her out of any ability to get health care. i think the payment was $400 a month. it's the biggest joke of all time. i see why people are fed up. the main i thank thing, donald trump is the only person who has spoken about the muslim situation in this country. the only one who -- who had the guts to do t i never heard it mentioned from any other candidate and that bothers me. host: james pindell, two issues. how are the candidates talking about that issue in new hampshire? guest: in the first point which is interesting, we are going to have a lot of supreme court openings it looks like that this next president will decide. you're hearing more conversation about that on the trail, but it's not detailed as to who they may look for on the court. but more of an electibility argument.
you need to vote for me because i can beat the other side. do you know how important that is? it's so important because we have so many different supreme court seats possibly up the next president will fill. beyond that there hasn't been a lot of detailed conversation about how they would look to put on the court. in terms of the muslim comments from -- particularly from donald trump, i think you have to separate muslims, many of whom are great american citizens who pay their taxes and just want to live their life and raise their families just like everybody else, and those who want to attack us. this radical version of islam. i think you see a number of candidates, particularly on the republican side, being very careful not to paint with a broad brush except for donald trump. host: on that issue, president obama yesterday made his first visit to an american mosque. this from "usa today," speaking to muslim americans at the islamic society of baltimore, president obama called for unity
among american faith communities, recognize the contributions of muslim zints, and ask for muslims around the worrell to help combat the extremist ideology from groups like the islamic state. the first thing i want to say is two words that american muslims don't hear often enough, thank you. thank you for serving your contry. thank you for lifting up the lives of your neighbors and helping keep us strong and united as one american family. the story noting that president obama's remarks continue a not-so-veiled white house campaign to rebuff the campaign rhetoric of donald trump who has promised to conduct surveillance on mosques and prevent muslims from erningt the united states. it comes from an eight-day stretch obamas have spoken to jewish, muslim, and christian audiences. the president speaking at that prayer breakfast today. that's happening over on c-span2 if you want to watch it. we'll be dipping into it a little bit towards the end of our program today. time for a couple more calls.
jesse cameron, south carolina next. line for republicans. go ahead. caller: thank you. special say that interest folks wanting this, wanting that favor. we are going to be in a heap of trouble if we don't elect ourselves a lawful kind of leader, somebody like john lane. he done died on us. the next very best thing would be donald trump because he don't back down. folks is afeared of him because they all know he'll get her done just as sure as i'm sitting here. we need to put him in office. host: that is jesse, another donald trump supporter calling in. dianne up next, lebanon, tennessee. we have a couple minutes left with james pindell of the "boston globe." independent. caller: yes. i am from tennessee.
we are looking for a candidate who will truly represent we, the people. neither of which is the obama clinton sanders trio. i was for trump. to me he's messing up. i looked at cruz, he's beginning to mess up with their personal opinions. i'm now looking at the balance of the field, possibly rubio. hoping but keeping an open mind toward the republican field. i really like a previous caller agree with mr. cullen in some ways, i wish he were running for president. we just want something different from what we have had. we need god back in our contry. host: james pindell, any thoughts on those last two calls? guest: look, people are very frustrated. we talked about this before. who see washington, a, as not getting anything done. second, constantly playing a game that benefits themselves. look, six of the wealthiest
counties in the entire country are in the metro washington, d.c. area. washington is doing quite well and people feel like that these politicians who, particularly running for president, they don't get it. they are looking for a president who channels their anxieties and their fears and their worries or just actually talks to them as a human being versus seeing them as a pawn on the chessboard. that's nice to say, but that's what's going on right now. they are willing to overlook certain things. the idea that donald trump did so well with evangelicals even though he's not exactly -- he esn't claim to be an evangelical, been married three times, issues in the past. he does well with them because they see that in him at least he talks to them and he channels some of what is going on in their mind. they want a president that does that. which is going to be interesting right now because the whole argument from hillary clinton, by the way, is that she knows
how washington works and she knows how to get things done, but i'm not sure that's selling all that well. there are different dynamics in that campaign. you're not seeing a lot of republicans making this elechibility -- electibility argument. host: three candidates dropping out just in the past two days, rick santorum, rand paul, mike huckabee. rick santorum has endorsed marco rubio. how do you think the candidates dropping out of this race are going to affect the vote on tuesday? who benefits the most right now? guest: they are conservative candidates. i know rick santorum has backed marco rubio. whatever support he had here, he was about 1%, probably could go to ted cruz and help him consolidate more. rand paul is fascinating. his father got second place here with 23% of the vote. he was the hare apparent. he's no longer, he was the frontrunner 14 months ago in the state. he's now out. thank you for having me. just my schedule every four
years, this is one of my favorite things to do during primary week is to take questions from callers around the country to talk about this amazing, most magical eight days in american politics. host: we appreciate t part of that great team at the "boston globe." it's@jamespindell if you want to follow him on twitter. we'll let you get back to the campaign trail. in our last 45 minutes here on the "washington journal," we are ending with this question as we have gone through the iowa caucuses, we look ahead to the new hampshire primary, how would you change the presidential nomination process? are you satisfied with it? do you have ideas for how you would change it and different ways to do it? give us a call, let us know your thoughts. republicans, it's 202-748, 8001. democrats, 202-748-8,000. independents, 202-748,-8002. outside the u.s., 202-748-8003. start calling in now with your
thoughts and we'll be right back. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> the citizens of the granite state are not easily won. the country meeting places are hot beds of political iscussion. in village, town, and city voters brave bitter snow and sleet to cast their votes. >> thanks to the people of new hampshire. >> be back to new hampshire. >> first in the nation primary. >> new hampshire. >> new hampshire. >> new hampshire. >> he's from new hampshire. >> it's great to be back in new hampshire. >> one reporter has called new hampshire's primaries the most cherished of american political tribal rights.
>> governor, thank you so much for coming to new hampshire. >> this is a place where you can observe a candidate in the heat of a dialogue, in the heat of getting tough questions about their positions on the issues. it's not just a place where it's a scripted speech. >> new hampshire takes its first in the nation primary status and really seriously. >> this is one of a whole series of town hall meetings we'll be having. >> this is my 20th town hall meeting. >> welcome to our 115th town hall meeting here in new hampshire. >> every election cycle we are reminded how important it is for citizens to be -- >> home for political junkies and way to track the government as it happens. >> i think it's a great way for
us to stay informed. >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues, they are going to say i saw you on c-span. >> there's so much more on that c-span does to make sure that people outside the beltway know what's going on inside it. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our question in this last 40 minutes or so here on the "washington journal" today, simply how would you change the presidential nominating process? are you happy with how it's going now? do you have ideas for change? our question coming from an article in salon earlier this week. the headline, the way we pick presidential nominees in this country is profoundly stupid, is the headline. the story noting that some states will hold caucuses, others will hold primaries. some will hold open primaries meaning anyone can vote, and closed primaries, only registered party members can vote. some will be winner take all, which means the person who wins the popular vote in that state
gets all the delegates. other states proportion their delegates. their people, usually party elders and leekted officials, superdelegates, tied to a state's primary and vote to support whoever they want. not only is this highly convoluted and unrelenting, it's also unfair not just to the candidates but voters in states that aren't holding their primaries prior to march. we'll talk about more of that story as we go through this segment. it brings up the question, if you could change the presidential nominating process, how would you do it? fix the primaries is a bipartisan group that represents reformers who want to change the primary process. they have put out a list of some ideas on how to change the process. here's a few of those from their website. there's the american plan starting with small states and working towards large ones. the american plan would also incorporate random order to afford big states the chance to go early as well. there's the rotating regional plan, under this proposal the country is divided into four
regions, northeast, midwest, west, and south which take their turns voting first. and then one region per month from march till june. that's one option. a regional lottery plan. state order would be decided on lottery on new year's date. two small states would be randomly go first, followed by four regions, determined randomly. one other plan, the one day national primary plan. this plan simply calls for primaries and caucuses in all states on the exact same day. do any of those appeal to you? do you have ideas for a different plan? give us a call, send us a tweet, or post on our facebook page like sean did. sean wrote on facebook, there should be a national primary day where every state votes the same day in the same way. it will never occur, but it's stupid how it's done now. below that, robin writes, running for the nomination should be six weeks long and culminate in a single national election day for each party. then the campaign for president opens up to any party nominee
and should be another six weeks long. election day should take place over two days. one a weekend day and a national holiday. overturn citizens united is what robin adds in on her post on facebook. give us a call. let us know what your thoughts are. how you would change the system. if it was in your heands. jimmy is in athens, georgia. up first, independent. good morning. caller: it's funny that i'm first. i like the system the way it is. i don't want any major changes in the primary system. i guess that would make me a conservative. host: why do you like the system the way it is? what's your favorite part? caller: it's evolved naturally through history. just 100 years ago there were presidential primaries at all in this country. and it's just gradually evolved to what it is. and usually it picks out the best candidate. host: we want to hear from folks who like the system and don't like the system.
jimmy, one of the concerns about the current system is it gives outside influence to iowa and new hampshire, south carolina, those early states to, if not pick the nominee, at least pick -- to trim the field down to allow the rest of the country to select from even fewer candidates. your thoughts on that criticism? caller: that is a valid criticism. people in other states shouldn't let what iowans do influence their vote or what new hampshire is doing. there are still going to be plenty of good candidates when the primaries get to their state. i would like to put one word in support of citizens united because it seems that everybody in america hates citizens united because there's too much money in politics. well, if you don't like citizens united, all you have to do is vote for the candidate who gets the least amount of money and citizens united will not affect the elections at all.
host: jimmy in athens, georgia, this morning. some stats from the history on the winnowing of the field, trimming of candidates from iowa and new hampshire to the primaries and caucuses, past those two first states this. from david, who was on our program last week part of our coverage from the iowa caucuses, he's with the department of political science at the university of iowa. he writes that in 2008 the field of presidential candidates, both republican and democratic, was reduced from 16 with active campaigns at the beginning of the iowa caucuses, battling to just two viable candidates by the south dakota and montana primaries, which happened on june 3 in 2008. the republican nomination was decided soon after super tuesday, leaving republicans voting in later states no meaningful choice while democrats were limited to either obama or clinton. that's a concern about that outside influence of those early
states. what are your thoughts? do you like the current situation? do you want to change it? ellen is in knightstown, indiana. line for republicans. good morning. caller: yes. i think the iowa situation is not the problem. i think could be small things that would be done. but the real problem is we need to have term limits not only for the people that go to washington and the congress, but the supreme court. when you have people that spend their whole life doing nothing but politics and don't have to live by the laws they make, that's our problem. host: thanks for the call from indiana. a few tweets that have come in. just the past couple minutes. the g.o.p. needs toned this primary nonsense and get back to caucuses and conventions. karen says, do away with iowa hard money new hampshire going
first. then run regional primaries or let other states go first every four years. irish eyes on twitter who says, i vote for the one day national primary. jody says, i would make it mandatory for every american citizen to vote and put a none of the above option but every american votes. that's jody's comments on twitter. frank is next, i mississippi, line for democrats. good morning. aller: good morning. i think the president of the united states should be president for all the people in the country. can you hear me? host: yep. caller: how do the parties select their nominees for that, frank? how would you do it? caller: i think the current system was fine, but it just puzzles me how you pick iowa, new hampshire, and them places to select these people when you got 50 states in this country.
are they more intelligent than everybody else? host: that's the concern of the salon article that kicked off this question. it notes that iowa and new hampshire are both contributing a minute share of the total delegates at each convention because they have a combined total of less than five million people living in them, making up a total of 10 electoral votes. nevertheless, the candidates have spent countless days and months in those two states and south carolina all in order to try to store a quick victory that keeps the candidates afloat until mid march. meanwhile, the chances are that california with its june 7 primary, and a number of delegates, over six times that of iowa and new hampshire combined, will not get much of a say in the primary process at all considering that we haven't had a multiple round of voting at a convention since the 1976 republican race. we know the system as it is now. how would you change it? eileen is in new haven, indiana. line for republicans. good morning. caller: hi.
i think changing it is going to -- it's going to be too hard to do. because we are so locked into this system right now. hopefully, maybe we'd get out of the northern -- east northern and go to middle american to change the first primaries that. might help a little bit. diversity there. right now as far as change i think we need donald trump. he's the only one that could -- this country's in such a mess right now, i think he's the only one and i think he could get it done. even if it's only four years, i think we ought to give him a try. host: eileen, a story on your
candidate, donald trump, from cnn late last night, someone nominated donald trump for the nobel peace prize is the headline on that story, among the nominees this year, the greek island groups welcoming syrian refugees and escaped isis sex slave, turned women's rights advocate, the noshors who ended five decades of war in colombia. national security leaker edward snoweden, and donald trump, the republican presidential candidate who is hosting a reality tv show has been nominated for the nobel peace prize by a mystery patron according to a respected nobel watcher and director of the peace research institute of oslo. he said trump was nominated for, quote, his vigorous piece through strength, idea olgirks used as a threat, weapon of deterrence against red cal islam, isis, nuclear iran, and communist china. that's the story on cnn if you
want to read more. fayetteville, georgia, line for democrats. good morning. caller: yes. first i feel about it, if a guy come and ask me if he's running for president, do you believe in organized labor? do you believe in what i believe in? if you don't believe in what i believe in? i don't even want to have nothing to do with you. i think this would happen to the country. the 1%, working people, and throw them against organized labor and things helping them through life, and now they want to whine about everything. when i first got in the freight, i was a trucker, when i got into trucking, i was listening to jimmy hoffa, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. i was organized labor and i was in three strikes in 35 years. now i'm drawing $3,4le 7 a month. how long is it going to last? i don't know but i'm enjoying it.
i stood for something. if you don't stand for something, you're going to get tricked. why do working people in this country can't stand together? look at the people in the south? they don't believe in organized labor. i pay union dues. my union dues is a tax write off. i look at all the tv, football players, basketball players, all of them work under contract. why shouldn't the working people? host: that's eli in fayetteville, before we get into a union debate stick to this question, if you had the power to change the presidential nominating process, what we are going through right now from what we have seen in iowa to new hampshire and on to south carolina and across the country, how would you change the process? are you happy with the current system? do you think it gives outside influence to those early states? give us a call. we have about 25 minutes left in today's show before the house comes in. doug is in battle creek,
michigan. line for republicans. doug. good morning. caller: yeah. good morning. i love your show. i'd like to say that my idea probably wouldn't fit any better than some of the others. should be local rounds of states voting all around the same time, several rounds of state voting for who they like in their state. then take it nationally. i don't think one state to another. and three months later to another state. the biggest influence is influenza, the disease of money going into the voting pockets. you're not going to really hear what they want you to vote for because they are getting paid too much. why should they get paid extra or get donations when they are lready getting a paycheck by
the federal government? isn't that double dipping? host: that's doug in battle creek, michigan. can you keep calling in with your suggestions for how you would change the nominating process. phone lines are opened for you to do that. also want to note that president obama is speaking right now at the 64th annual national prayer breakfast. we are showing the entire event live on c-span2. we want to listen in a little bit to what the president's saying this morning. it prom: jesus is a good cure -- president obama: jesus is a good cure for fear. god gives believers the power, the love, the sound mind equired to conquer any fear. and what more important moment for that faith than right now? what better time than these changing tumultuous times to have jesus standing beside us,
steadying our minds, cleansing our hearts, pointing us towards what matters. [applause] president obama: his love gives s the power to resist fear's temptations. he gives us the courage to reach out to others across that divide. ather than push people away. he gives us the currently to go against the conventional wisdom and stand up for what's right even when it's not popular. host: that's president obama speaking at the 64th annual national prayer breakfast. we are showing it live on c-span2 if you want to watch t speaker ryan is also expected to
make remarks at that breakfast that's going on. started at 8:00 going on now live. but we have about 25 minutes left in today's program on the "washington journal." we have asked this question, how would you change the presidential dominating process if the power was in your hands? would you change it, if so, how? joel is in california. line for independents. joel, go ahead. caller: good morning. bottom line is we want our voices to be heard, our votes to be counted. we want to have a chance to vote for those candidates that are running early on. i in california don't get a chance. half will be dropped out. there might be one or two people standing by the time it gets to california. in my county alone, there is more voters than there is combined in iowa and new hampshire all together. the person you have from the "boston globe" said they are expecting a half a million. we have four million people in this county alone. this is one county in california. we are not -- our voices aren't
being heard and this is a scam. they should have it all on the same day. they have millions of dollars in their p.a.c.s. it's not like they don't have money to hit all these states. they should move the whole thing out to may or june, let them hit all the states. but all decide this is wrong. a few corn farmers in iowa and a bunch of people avoiding income taxes in boston, they work in boston, my headquarters is in boston so i know that whole area very well. most of the people there, they are influencing the entire nation. and it's wrong. it needs to be changed. this is horrible. and i'm sick of it. thank you. host: expressing his frustration as a resident of california watching this primary process. tim, flat rock, michigan, line for democrats. you're up. go ahead. caller: hi. i love c-span. i want to thank you so much for everything you do. i completely agree with the caller in california. we need to get rid of this new
hampshire, iowa thing and let all the u.s. residents vote at one single time. around june, july at the latest. because iowa and new hampshire, -- don't ving false know the word for t but just false words out there before we even get our say. host: tim in flat rock, michigan. the salon article that kicked oft discussion notes it's not even like this system is particularly ingrained in american. up until the 1940's. parties chose their nominees in smoke-filled back rooms. eisenhower's use of a writen campaign to launch his campaign was the first time primaries matters t would take another 24 years to have primaries and caucuses in all 50 states. iowa, ironically, was one of the last states to get onboard. we are asking if you could change it now for this election or the next leaks, how would you
do it? michael is in tennessee. line for democrats. michael. caller: yes. thank you very much. listen, i appreciate your vote. you-all are the best listeners of anybody. you take a question and you listen. host: appreciate that. caller: the primary process is important that people get an idea of who is actually running for president and give you a chance. and i understand about people -- i didn't get to vote, i wanted out of iowa. i'm waiting to get the vote i want out of new hampshire. and we get to judge back and forth, then we start adding more states. one of the things that i just told a young lady about the process i would like to see changed, when i was a child, not old enough to vote, it was always on saturday. and people come to the polls
early and stayed there all day. all of them did. and they stood out around and talked, some cast their votes right off the bat. they knew what they wanted, who they wanted, and left. but there were others that discussed politics all day long and then they cast their votes before the polls closed. it was actually democracy. a forum, a discussion, candidates weighed back and foverplet when they changed it to tuesday -- forth. when they changed it to tuesday, a workday, where they work people long and shut the polls down early, it was actually to limit democracy. host: do you remember when that change was? caller: it wasn't -- wasn't that back in the 19 of 0's. i'm 62 -- 1960's.
i'm of 2 -- 62 and i remember my granddaddy was a republican in a democrat county, and he was a republican so he would actually help count the votes. he wasn't really to win anything but he did sit on the election board in the local area there because he was an outsider. because of democrats. we always did vote on saturday and they took all day to do it. it was a democracy then. host: can i ask you about the tweets that came in, michael. j.j.j. writes in that the current lengthy system allows the media punditry to disproportionately sway us. their role should be informing us. do you think the system we have now is giving undue influence to the media? -- through the media? caller: the people that own the newspapers and the television networks are the same people that run the candidates. of course.
all these candidates are bought and paid for. you get the best smiles, i love jesus, and then -- you get something, but it's the same people. i don't have long to live. i'm 62 and if i live the full string, if i live to 80, i remember y 2 k like yesterday. it ain't far off, folks. host: i hope you live past 80 and you call us again. thanks for the call this morning. vincent is in bristol, new hampshire, line for republicans. vincent, new hampshire resident, your take on this question about possibly changing the presidential nominating process. caller: thank you. i'd just like to articulate some reasons why i think it's prudent to look at the process and tweak it but not alter it too much. one of the primary reasons, no
pun intended, has to do with the amount of money that it would otherwise take to get to the like that state gentleman from california whose headquarters are here in boston. the it would just narrow field to only the financially supported candidates that have the most backing. and it eliminates things like a bernie sanders upsurge on the democratic side, for example this year. or even back when gary hart came out of nowhere, including jimmy carter who came out of nowhere. those individuals had the opportunity to do retail politicking that were vetted by, yes, the people of new hampshire only, but the media covers that process diligently for a very long period of time during the
process leadling up to -- leading up to new hampshire and giving us the media the opportunity to give that impression to the american public in general. of doing retail politicking, both in iowa and in new hampshire, actually gives the american public the opportunity to see the individual in a one-on-one setting with actual voters who become informed about the issue rather than a low-information scenario that skets goetz only the data from the -- that gets only the data from the news or social media almost exclusively. you do not want to limit it to a ate that is either all one demographic, as is on the left coast, for example, or worse in a fully conservative environment in another location. host: your comments bring up one
of the points made by some of those who support the current system. simply the experience argument that folks in iowa have done this, gone through this process. folks in new hampshire know how to fork through the candidates and ask the question. is that a valid argument sort of we have done this so many times, we have the experience, trust us? caller: i think that's a valid observation. i also feel that the process can continually be tweaked and improved. i'm very much open to anyone who has ideas to do that. but to radically change it to a national primary or something that would require hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars rather than just $100 million, like jeb bush, for example, is just not the right thing to do. host: any ideas on tweaks? caller: five or six pieces from jeb bush alone in the mail every day. that alone tells me that he's
too heavily financed and backed by others versus, for example, a donald trump, who can't be bought. host: any ideas on those tweaks as opposed to major overhauls as somebody there on the ground and sees it every four years? what tweaks would you make? caller: as a matter of fact that's a good question and that's the one that i suggest be submitted to the country to consider. because the process has worked for over 100 years. and i think it's time given social media issues and opportunities that have come up and the technology changes and changes in laws that we should consider all aspects of it and see if we can improve the existing process because it ultimately vets candidates who have far more depth and positions that can be supported by a larger portion of the electorate that then flow to the
top, whether you like them or not, it's a process, a winnowing process, if the media could not be as biased one way or another, primarily on the liberal side, of course, it would be far more important. programs like yours give us the opportunity to at least consider things intelligently. host: appreciate the call from bristol. we are submitting it to the country for the next 15 minutes or so in the end of today's show. want to hear thoughts from viewers around the country. do you like the current system? what changes would you make. let's go to omar, gaithersburg, maryland. line for independents. good morning. caller: i just turned 20 years old, so this is the first time i'm going to be eligible to vote. the system, the way it is, is terrible. we champion ourselves around the world as a few democratic country. but we have an incredibly undemocratic system for voting. if it was up to me, if i could change things, i would just go
first i would get rid of the electoral college. that's not the primaries, i would get rid of that. for the primaries, i would just have a month, week, month, however long it takes to have everyone in the country vote at the same time and just have a popular vote system. as opposed to certain states voting in the primaries there's only two candidates left. i think that's silly. and also the way the media spins things, it's also -- it's dad -- it's not conducive or productive to inform voting. donald trump, for example, leading the republican primaries. you ask people why they are voting for trump, they'll say because he can't be bought. or because he's a successful businessman. you got to ask yourself, is that really enough qualifications to be the leader of the free world? i don't think so. i don't think that would even be enough qualifications to run a company. i think the media's also helps
the low information voting. we have to use our tools like social media and internet to really do heavy research on these candidates. then if we have this flat voting system, we all vote at the same time for the candidates, we would have the primaries, after we have our primary candidates, then we have the real national election. i think that would be much more better, much more efficient, much more democratic, and much more better picking qualified leaders as opposed to just kind of -- plus the party system also. i'd also do away with the party system in itself. the whole democrat, republicans because there is a loft people who vote democrat or who vote republican just because i'm a democrat, just because i'm a republican. host: on that point, wild and wonderful sends a tweet that primaries by design benefit the two major parties. if you want more choices, eliminate that party-based
primary structure. an argument for opening up to more parties and more choices. then another tweet this morning, mandatory voting and rotate states of first primary. no more iowa caucus monopoly. poor states need the money, too, is what one of our folks who is following us on twitter rights. thomas waiting in holly hill, florida, line for democrats. good morning. caller: hello. how you doing? host: good. go ahead. caller: i think we need to maybe use the primary system kind of few maybe as a test for a cycles to start voting online. for people that don't have a computer, maybe set up some computers in libraries that people can go. because right now the only people that are -- you talking
about people being included, the only people that are even being included in the primary system are mostly people that are retired and don't work because people that are out working every day, they can't just take off to go do -- be involved in that process. whereas if you were able to do it say one day and do it on computer, somebody would have to figure out a way to do it with social security number or something, that way it could be verified. it could be done. and it would include a whole lot more people than there is now. it would be a whole lot cheaper for the whole country. they were saying that jeb bush, the votes he got in iowa, he ended up spending over touchdown,300, or $2,400 per vote.
something's wrong with that. host: we are talking this morning the primary process continuing in new hampshire. a couple events that c-span is covering today. senator ted cruz will be out at 1:15. you can watch his appearance on c-span3. he'll be delivering remarks on drug addiction and recovery at the emanuel baptist church there in new hampshire. and then former governor jeb bush, just talked about jeb bush, he'll be in dairy, new hampshire. he'll hold a town hall at west running brook middle school. his mother, the former first lady, will join him there. live coverage starts at 7:00 p.m. on c-span. of course last night the primary continuing in new hampshire. the two democratic presidential hopefuls sparred wednesday over whether hillary clinton is enough of a progressive while she and bernie sanders both sought to manage expectations in a race that has now shifted to a very different terrain. this story from "the washington post."
talking about that town hall event broadcast wednesday night by cnn. here's a bit from that event. >> are you a democrat? >> i have made a decision to run for the democratic nomination to be president of the united states. i was for 16 years in the house democratic caucus. for nine years in the senate democratic caucus. right now i'm the ranking member of the budget committee, appointed by the democratic leadership and membership. a couple years ago i was very proudly the chairman of the senate veterans committee. of course i am a democrat and running for the democratic nomination. in terms of secretary clinton, i know the media is making a big deal about this. all that i said, which is simply true, i think it was in november in ohio, you may recall this, i don't know the context of it, secretary clinton said, some people call me -- paraphrasing, some people call me a moderate and i proudly say i am a moderate.
that's what she said. all i said you can't go and say you're a moderate on one day and progressive the other dafmente some of my best friends are moderates. i love moderates. but you can't be a moderate and a progressive. they are different. >> you asked me this question the -- >> i did. coming up again today. >> i said i'm a progressive that likes to get things done. and i was somewhat amused today that senator sanders has set himself up to be a gatekeeper on who is a progressive. because under the definition that was flying around on twitter and statements by the campaign, barack obama would not be a progressive, joe biden would not be a progressive. jean shaheen would not be a progressive. even the late great senator paul wellstone would not be a progressive. i'm not going to let that bother me. i know where i stand. i know who stands with me. i know what i have done. but i don't think it helps for the senator to be making those kinds of comparisons because
clearly we all share a lot of the same hopes and aspirations for our country that we want to see achieved. i don't think it's appropriate that planned parenthood endorses me or the human rights campaign endorses me, they are thrown out of the progressive wing and put into the establishment. that's just not -- that's just not anything we need to do. host: just a few minutes left this morning on the "washington journal." we are asking if you could change the presidential primary, the nominating process for the candidates, how would you do it? we asked this question with just five days to go before the first in the nation primary in new hampshire. here's the front page of the new hampshire union leader. retail politics, dollars and cents. a picture of marco rubio greeting customers at a diner in new hampshire. we want to hear your thoughts in these last couple minutes here. ann's been waiting in woodstock,
illinois. line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i agree basically with the gentleman from california. what i would suggest is that they can declare that they are running in december. then come june -- excuse me -- yeah, then come june they can have their primaries and their convention and let's just vote in september and get it over with. for the general election. as far as not being ablele to vote because you're working too hard, there's plenty of ways you can vote now. absentee voting. early voting. if you want to vote, you'll vote. thank you for taking my call. host: ann in woodstock. michael is in new york. line for republicans. your thoughts? caller: good morning. i think the caucuses are crimetory. there are people who are disabled who can't attend the
caucus. and there's no mechanism for people to be able to do an absentee ballot. who do the ballots represent? don't believe they are actually representing the voting public. they are representing their own interests within their own parties. it should be a national primary or a regional primary. host: did you get a chance to watch our coverage of that caucus out at teddy roosevelt high school in des moines on monday night? caller: no, i did not. while you mention that, i noticed that the process in iowa, the voters come out and vote, and then there are two or three more processes before the delegates are actually assigned. apparently, if they don't
continue to show up, thole those delegates can go to someone else that don't really represent what the voters cast. host: talking about the caucus process. amy weighs in on twitter. all primaries should be held on the same day and popular votes tallied nationwide to determine the candidate. no winner take all. to ed back in california. line for independents. good morning. caller: hi. i believe in truth, facts, results. given some thought, the obvious solution is rotate the states. alphabetically. you don't want to do nationwide because only -- for the same reason you don't want to get rid of the electoral college. only the large cities would be voting for presidents. if you rotate them alpha -- every year alphabetically, start with alaska, once alaska's the first state it goes back to become the 50th state and you rotate it through. this way all states get their chance to be able to vote -- to be part of the primary to be
first in the primary. host: what about that argument from one of our earlier callers that when it's california's turn to be first in the primary process that it's just going to be so expensive to try to conduct a primary in california that it would remove from that process candidates who don't have a ton of money behind them. that the smaller states allow a springboard for perhaps a lesser known or less well funded candidate? caller: that's what i mean by rotate because this way instead of iowa being the first state every year, if you rotate the states every year, every state gets a fair shot at being the first in the nation. yes, you're going to have states that are going to have a large population. some small population. the larger population, will cost more money. but they are not going tonight first in the primary every year. you keep on rotating and rotating. this way everybody gets a fair shot. again, you don't want to do -- you don't want to do a nationwide because as the other
gentleman said, only the candidates that are well funded would be able to afford to do that. number two, they would only hit the larger population states. small states and low population states would never have a say. host: it would take 200 years to get tonet of the -- if a bet under your system for those states to go first. -- alphabet under the system for those states to go first. caller: i thought it through because i guess i can't think it through far enough. ok. i apologize. host: don't apom guise. i'm interested in your thought. i want to hear from you and all our callers. appreciate the call from anaheim. ed will be our last caller in today's "washington journal" because the house is about to come in. live coverage begins now on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays beforehe house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., february4, 2016. i hereby appoint the honorab alexnder mooney toct as speaker pro tempore on this day . signed, paul d.yan, speake of the hou of representatives. thspeaker p tempore: the prerill beffered byur aplain, fathr conr. chaplain conroy: let us pray. we give you thanks, o merciful
od, for giving us another day. weive you thanks for thos that gathered at the national pryer breakft and those across this land who join their prayerntentions withthe many who attend. ess the members of this people's house now as they gath too the legislative workhey are called to do. may their payers this day be thentic and heard by you, the living may their work be fruitful and beneficial to those whom you favor, the poor. and may they do be done in humility and charity knowing that we are all earth and vessels through whom your spirit might shine forth and finally, may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen.
. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentlewoman from new york, ms. stefanik. ms. stefanik: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, today i rise to pay tribute to the life of edward "rob" ted ber rhett.
born on september 14, 1991 and passed away january 30, 2016, far, far too early. ted was a loving son, brother to six, and a loyal friend to countless more in our community. ted had a unique ability to light up any room he entered. his lighthearted, joyful spirit uplifted everyone he met. a graduate of christian brothers academy in syracuse in massachusetts, and hamilton college, ted thrived as an athlete and always looked for ways to give back to those less fortunate. had he a passion and deep admiration for america's heroes and valued team red, white, and blue's great work enriching the lives of veterans in need. i had the great privilege of knowing ted personally and inspired by his kindness, humor, and love for his family and contry. mr. katko: heal be remembered as an honorable young man, making a lasting impact on those who loved him. may his name be forever remembered in the congressional record and the great united
states of america. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, today i rise to urge swift consideration of h.r. 677, the american heroes coal act. this bill includes two of my bills, h.r. 2691, the veterans survivors claims processing and automation act, and h.r. 732, the veterans access to speedy review act. the claims and appeals backlog plaguing veterans in my district and across the nation is unacceptable. the veterans survivors claims processing and automation act will allow a veteran surviving family to mourn their loss and grieve without unnecessary bureaucratic steps in the benefit claims process. the veterans access to speedy review act will allow veterans to voluntarily use videoconferencing technology to accelerate the appeals process. veterans and their families
deserve to have their claims reviewed and receive the benefits that they have earned and deserve in a timely and efficient manner. i came to washington to fight for pragmatic solutions to meet our nation's most pressing needs. mr. rue i: these two bills are -- mr. ruiz: these two bills are pragmatic solutions for our veterans. join me in honoring our veteran by bringing this legislation to a vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? ms. stefanik: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. stefanik: mr. speaker, from lake george to the st. lures seaway, to the pristine waters of lake champlain, and all the beautiful mountains and maple trees that run between, my district is home to many ecological treasures, and many of these natural wonders if fallen under siege to invasive species that threaten the health and beauty of these natural habitats. our environment is our lifeblood
in upstate new york, and we must protect it from these predators to boost our economy and to ensure we protect our environment for future generations. this friday, i am proud to join with stakeholders who have been working tirelessly on this issue across my district and across new york state at an invasive species summit in clayton, new york, together we will explore best practices and information sharing as well as working on innovative new solutions to stop this epidemic. by working together at the federal, state, and local levels, i know we can preserve our natural pressures for generations to come. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yield back. for what purpose does the gentleman from delaware seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the life of vernon j. austin, a u.s. capital police officer for 20 years and a constituent of mine from
delaware. sadly mr. austin left us far too soon at the age of 44. vernon came there a military family and from a young age drawn to the service of our country. mr. carney: in 1991 he joined the u.s. army reserve and in 1996 he began working as a capitol police officer. spent the rest of his life protect the capitol and those who work here. mr. austin commuted each day from magnolia, delaware. i speak for every one of my colleagues and the staff who walkthrough these doors each day when i say to mr. austin, thank you. vernon austin put his life on the line for us and we owe him a debt of gratitude. our hearts and prayers go out to mr. austin's wife and his five children. mr. austin's neighbors in delaware, his family here on capitol hill share in their grief. vernon austin leaves a legacy of service to country that serves as an inspiration to us all. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise to honor the life of a respected constituent of mine, whom i was proud to have called a dear friend. mr. newhouse: james troll was the kine of leader who could be depended on to bring people together and advance solutions on behalf of their community. he was passionate about water issues. it was his life's work. he served as the district manager of the sunny side valley irrigation district for 34 years. he understood the complicated western water law like no one else. jim was a valued leader in our community. he was kind and was loved by those who knew him. while jim will be missed by many, we can honor his legacy by striving to follow the kind of eadership he embodied in his
life. as we remember jim, the passage from profit isaiah comes to mind. for i will miles per hour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground. i ask my colleagues to join me in remembering my friend, jim trol. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the life of phil neighbors. he was a pillar in the community and i had the pleasure of working with him frequently over the last 10 years. mr. conaway: he dedicated his life to three things, god, family, community. he and his wife had two children together and four grandchildren. it wasn't uncommon for phil to run straight to a city event from his grandson's baseball games or ballgames. he always made time for both his family and the city. a graduate of angelo state nuft. he led the chamber of commerce for the last 10 years.
he was the bridge between the air force base anti-community. helping create a bond and. he loved our military and always willing to support our military in any way he could. a deacon of the baptist church, he led the church's college program and many missions trips to mexico. he was a self-less servant, a trait that extended beyond the city, state, and country's borders. we lost phil too soon, days before his 64th birthday. pleads join me in remembering the extraordinary life of my friend, phil neighbors. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. last month i received notice from michael, the director of the office of national drug control policy, that after a year of hard work from federal, state, and local officials, jefferson county, west varks, was designated as a high
intensity drug trafficking area. mr. mooney: this will bring critical resources to jefferson county to combat the drug epidemic that is ravaging our communities and way of life. i would like to thank a few people for helping secure this designation. tom, the deck execkive director of the washington-baltimore hidta bureau. he was kind enough to come to rom knee, west virginia, to participate in a round table discussion i led with local officials. the jefferson county sheriff who leaves jefferson county law enforcement in combating drug trafficking every day and worked hard on this hidta application. u.s. attorney, who prosecutors dangerous drug dealers and gave his invaluable input to the hidta application also. i would like to thank the entire west virginia delegation for helping to lock in this designation. senators capito, mansion, my colleagues,. every american need to do their part to fight back defense the
drug addictions plaguing our country. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on february 4, 2016 -- 2016, at 906 a.m. that the senate passed with an amendment, h.r. 907. that the senate passed with an amendment h.r. 3033. with best wishes, i am, signed, sincerely, karen lst haas. -- karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and submit extraneous materials on bill h.r. 766, provide
requirements for the appropriate federal banking agencies when requesting or ordering a depository institution to terminate a customer account, provide for additional requirements related to subpoenas issued under the financial institutions recovery -- reform, recovery, and enforcement act of 1989, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 595 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 766. the chair appoints the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mooney, to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 766. which the clerk will report by title.
the clerk: a bill to provide requirements for the appropriate federal banking agencies when requesting or ordering a depository institution to terminate a specific customer account, to provide for additional requirements related to subpoenas issued under the financial institutions reform recovery and enforcement act of 989, and for other purposes. the chair: prile, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from missouri, mr. luetkemeyer, and the gentlewoman from california, ms. waters, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri. mr. luetkemeyer: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: without objection. mr. luetkemeyer: i'm proud to offer h.r. 766, mr. chairman, it's a bipartisan piece of legislation that provides transparency and accountability among federal banking regulators and the department of justice.
this legislation comes in response to the abuse of authority by d.o.j. and fdic and other banking agencies under the action called, operation choke point. which seeks to deny legally operating businesses the financial services they need to operate and survive. the notion operation choke point is limited to payday lenders or banks serving them is far from the truth. this initiative has spread across many industries, including tobacco shops, gun manufacturers, and dealers, pawn brokers, even a coal mine and auto dealer. even attorneys and data companies that serve these industries have been impacted. while regulators will tell you this activity has stopped, operation choke point remains a very live issue. for more than a year i have asked americans impacted by this initiative to submit their story t our email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. i heard from a payday lender
that received account termination mts from his financial institution. they have served businesses has operated since 1998 and registered with wothe the state of missouri and u.s. treasury department. . before that, tobacco shop in florida. the underlying problem here cannot be overstated. the federal government should not be able to intimidate financial institutions into dropping entire sectors of the economy as customers based not on wrongdoing but purely on personal and political otivations and without due process. we have d.o.j. and fdic memos that prove these motives that are driving operation choke point. the committee on oversight and government reform did a fantastic job of taking two reports that take the different agencies' own emails and show what is actually going on and are motivation for those actions. this program sets a dangerous
precedent that should not be permitted under any administration. the former chairman of the fdic, appointed to the board by president carter and named chairman by president reagan stated in committee that operation choke point is the most dangerous government program he has seen in his 45-year career as a banker, a bank consultant, as a regulator. h.r. 766 offers a straightforward approach to a complicated problem. first, it dictates that banking regulators cannot suggest, request or order an institution to determine a banking relationship unless the regulator has reason beyond gravitational risk. the bill also strikes the word affecting and replaces it by or against. this modest change will help ensure that broad interpretations of the law are limited and that the intent of the statute penalizing fraud against or by financial institutions are restored. it's essential that d.o.j. and financial regulators maintain the ability to pursue bad
actors, and i fully support these efforts. this is something they must continue to do. but the checks and balances in this legislation would ensure accountability and would not hinder the ability to pursue those suspected of fraudulent activity. the provisions contained in h.r. 766 are reasonable and in fact the fdic uses authority to already put them in place. agency policy now requires staff to track and document account termination orders which must be made in writing and cannot rely on risk. the willingness of the fdic to put these standards into place tells other regulators that they can and should follow suit. i'm proud the house has worked in a bipartisan fashion to address this issue, including the passage of limitation of amendments by voice votes in the 113th and 114th congresses. republicans and democrats alike have talked to regulators about the dangers of such a program and many of my friends on the other side of the aisle have expressed their concerns to me privately as well. this bipartisan legislation
takes a responsible approach to curbing the malpractice we've seen, and i want to take this opportunity to thank chairman hensarling for his outstanding support as we've gone through this 2 1/2-year process and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 766. with that, mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. waters: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. waters: thank you very much. mr. chairman and members, if you listen carefully to my colleague on the opposite side of the aisle, mr. luetkemeyer, you would think that the major point of this bill is the choke point controversy. considerable time was spent by my colleague on the opposite side of the aisle talking about choke point. well, i do not want that
discussion to obscure the real problem with this very bad legislation. r. 766 eliminates core provisions of the financial institutions reform, recovery firrea, cement act, or that the justice department has used to investigate and prosecute bank fraud. and this is what this discussion should be about, bank fraud. firrea has proven to be the justice department's most effective tool for holding wall street accountable. we hear a lot of talk about wall street. we went through 2008 and the subprime meltdown and the bailout and all of that and most of the members on both sides of the aisle agree that we had to rein in the practices of wall street.
and here we have a bill today that would basically protect them and take away the very tool that is used in order to make them accountable. after using firrea to secure settlements against wall street, including a $7 billion settlement against citibank, a $5 billion settlement against goldman sach, a $13 billion settlement against jpmorgan chase, and a historic $16 billion settlement against bank of america, now h.r. 766 seeks to stifle the justice department's investigative powers over financial fraud. in fact, there are still ongoing settlement negotiations with banks like wells fargo and goldman sachs that were
announced just this week. without investigatory powers and extended statutes of limitations granted to the justice department by firrea it would be impossible for us to identify and rectify the fraudulent activity that set us up for a crisis 10 years ago. apparently h.r. 766 supporters believe that actually holding banks accountable for fraud was too much of a burden for them, replacing our system of too big to jail with one where our biggest banks are now too frail to fine. h.r. 766 also invites the next crisis by imposing burdensome requirements -- listen to this. imposing burdensome requirements on the justice department's ability to investigate bank fraud, allowing fraud schemes to continue at the expense of
consumers and the financial system. the justice department's ability to identify and root out fraud would be critical in averting future crisis, and .r. 766 would be a free pass for banks who make their money by breaking the law. that would include banks like plaza, commerce west and four oaks, all of whom knowingly aided fosters, despite the many red flags raised by their financial activities. at commerce west, in particular, the bank admitted fraud for failing to file suspicious activity reports with regulators even after the bank's own employees determined that one of their customers was routinely submitting fraudulent checks to the bank. according to the justice department's complaint, the bank also failed to heed the warning of other banks that pointed out to commerce west that some of their customers
were fraudulent, had -- were fraudulent businesses. urthermore, h.r. 766's account closure provisions are a solution in search of a problem as regulators are not forcing financial institutions to close customers' accounts. every federal bank and regulator have been cleared except in rare cases involving national security or systemic risk. the responsibility for closing accounts is a decision for financial institutions. ome financial institutions are simply deciding that they'd rather lose a customer than invest in the resources needed to ensure that our financial system is not being used for money laundering or other criminal activity. in order to protect our economy from the next financial crisis, regulators have to have the necessary tools to prevent fraud and protect consumers. americans are still reeling from the effects of the financial crisis, and we should be in the business of seeking ways to continue to hold banks more accountable for their
misconduct, not rolling back the federal government's most effective tool for protecting consumers, investors and taxpayers from bank fraud. banks that break the law don't deserve get-out-of-jail-free cards. the administration will veto h.r. 766, and so i'm going to urge my democratic colleagues to oppose h.r. 766. and i just want to say that despite yesterday, we had five bills that had been rolled into one that i warned our members of congress about because of what they literally did, particularly in terms of allowing corporations to not have to disclose information contracts that they were giving to -- not the
bonuses or the contract but -- the stock he -- i'm sorry. about the stock that they were given to their employees. and i talked about how bad that was. this is worse. this is worse because we're able to call names and to point out banks because we have the information. it's real. we're able to point out how the ustice department has been effective in making these banks accountable. so why in the world would we take away the justice department's tool that is firrea. why would we prevent the justice department from going after these banks who know they're dealing with crooks and fraudsters? so i would ask for a no vote on this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the lady reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. luetkemeyer: thank you, mr. chairman. with that i'd like to yield to the distinguished gentleman
from south carolina, mr. mulvaney, the co-sponsor of the bill, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. mulvaney: i thank the chairman. i thank my friend from missouri as well. we've been working on this for 2 1/2, three years. the bill is fairly simple, mr. chairman, in what it actually does. just takes a second to read the line, an appropriate federal banking agency may not formerly or informerly to terminate a specific customer account without a really good reason. what people think about that, mr. chairman, the fact that we have to debate this frightens me. the fact that we have to bring a bill to the floor of the united states house that says the federal government regulators cannot force a bank to close an account without a good reason should frighten people. you heard mr. luetkemeyer talk about many of the companies that had been impacted, gun manufacturers, pawnshops. it's now spread, mr. chairman,
to individuals. we're hearing reports that individuals engaged in legal businesses, every single one of the victims are engaged in legal activity, and we're hearing now that individuals who happen to practice -- they engage in legal poker playing in las vegas, nevada. completely legal endeavor. you may not like it. completely legal. having their bank accounts shut off by the federal government. my dad told me when i got to this job, he said the difference between the government when i was your age and the one you were going into, i was never afraid of our government. your children will grow up afraid of our government because of things exactly like this. we're debating a bill on the floor of the house that says the government can't force banks to shut down legal business banking accounts. it's outrageous but it's real and it's happened for a long
time and it's happened, by the way, mr. chairman, because this administration has not been able to accomplish their agenda through a legislative process so they're doing it now through a regulation. there was a report our committee put out. it's an excellent report. there are emails in the regulators -- i'll read one. i never said this to you but i'm sincerely passionate about this. i literally can't stand payday lending. they're abusive, fundamentally wrong, hurt people and do not need to be associated in any way to banking. a completely legal business, mr. chairman. i hope that we have bipartisan support for this. we had co-sponsors on both sides and i encourage a wholehearted support of this so we can get the federal government out of making decisions like this. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the lady from california. ms. waters: mr. chairman and members, i'd simply like to point out that mr. mulvaney just continued in the vain that
mr. luetkemeyer started out in obscuring the real point of this bill. they're going to keep telling you it's all about choke point. what they're not going to talk about is taking away the justice department's ability to use firrea to go after these banks that are committing crimes. and so i don't want the members to be misled. and ask them why they are refusing to talk about the main point of this bill? i will yield now four minutes to the gentleman from minnesota. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. ellison: i thank the chair and ranking member of the committee. this is also a situation where -- i have even seen myself some closures of accounts, which i think were not adequately justified. but this bill doesn't just solve that problem, it solves a whole
lot of problems that are not problems. so they take what could be a legitimate issue, and then they use that little hole in the tent to push in a whole bunch of other stuff that will literally weaken the whole system. my good friend from south carolina, if that was all the bill said, it wouldn't be that bad of a problem. but that's not what it says. in fact, it weakens financial protections, and lets bad actors in the system off the hook. if we are concerned about small accounts being closed, we should focus on that issue, but this particular bill goes way beyond that. as members contemplate how they want to vote on this bill, they better think about and read this bill carefully, because it goes far beyond just simply calling for a justification for arbitrarily closed accounts. so, again, that's why i oppose the bill. i oppose the bill, i oppose this bill, the financial institutions
customer protection act, h.r. 766. this bill would dot opposite of what it's asserted in the title. h.r. 766 would not protect customers of financial institutions. instead it would make it more difficult to hold financial institutions accountable. and it will achieve that goal in a bait and switch way by acknowledging what may be in some cases a legitimate issue of arbitrary account closures, but then coming in, sneaking in the backdoor, all this other stuff to weaken the financial system. many americans, including those who saw the movie "the big short" cannot understand how so few people went to jail for the schemes that caused the financial crisis. the people made loans they knew would fail. sold those bad loans to investors and caused the financial crisis that caused our economy, $14 trillion. 12 million people lost their jobs. 11 million people lost their homes. who went to jail for this
mortgage fraud? well, i think there's only one person i have been able to find and i would be happy to find anyone else, theresa giaducci from "the real housewives of new jersey "and football player, irving frier, straw buyers in michigan. that's the only people i could find that went to jail for this. other people who committed massive fraud, they paid fines but they walk away. i'm incredibly frustrated by the fact the department of justice is not pursued more criminal prosecutions of people at the multinational corporations who caused the financial crisis. but the answer to that problem is stronger enforcement. not to take away the most important tool federal prosecutors have to pursuit financial fraud. -n's this things qualify rea, people -- fir rea, what -- firrea, it's the financial
institutions reform recovery act. it's specifically designed to hold people accountable for their fraudulent activity. this bill weakens that. in an orr wellian twist says firrea cases cannot be brought when fraud is committed against a bank. i'll say it again, this bill, if this bill passes today, firrea cases can only be brought when fraud is committed against a bank and not by a bank. and that is bad. it also limits law enforcement's subpoena power. don't we want to be able to subpoena these guys? why would we want to be able to weaken that? ms. waters: i yield an extra min. the chair: the gentleman virginia tech. mr. ellison: we need to enforce the law not weaken it.
members, they are dangling a shiny little object in front of you by saying they are going to stop arbitrary account closures. this bill is way more than that. i urge a no vote. the chair: the gentleman yield back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri. mr. luetkemeyer: with that we want to recognize the distinguished member from indiana, mr. mers, for one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. messer: i thank the gentleman from missouri for his work on this very important bill. the constitution is clear. the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. and yet time and time again this administration has attempted to circumvent the constitutional rights of americans to further their political agenda. today under the guise of protecting consumers, the department of justice and the federal deposit insurance corporation are targeting payments -- payment companies to choke off credit for certain businesses they deem high risk,
including ammunition and firearm stores, lending institutions, and other lawful businesses as well. instead of protecting consumers, this initiative is restricting consumer choice and crippling legitimate businesses. this policy makes financial service providers responsible for policing their customers, and that's not fair to either banks or their consumers. this commonsense legislation we are considering today will protect consumer access to banking services. and restrict the administration from using highly substantive notion of risk to undercut constitutional rights and terminate the accounts of lawful businesses. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from missouri reserves. the lady from california. ms. waters: i yield to a valued member of the financial services committee, the gentleman from
washington. the chair: the gentleman from shington is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as a fellow washingtonian might i just observe that you make that dyeas -- dais look good. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 10 minutes. >> i want to start out today by thanking my friend, the gentleman from missouri, congressman luetkemeyer, for taking this issue on. mr. heck: we had a problem in a lot of communities around the country with businesses getting access to the banking system. and i know he worked this very hard last year. he investigated. he talked to banks and businesses and regulators. and he actually negotiated a solution with the fdic that he had pushed and pushed until they actually adopted it. it was a good solution. and in fact part of this bill would seengsly codify that. what it would say is, you can't use firrea to go after whole
sectors of the economy. it has to be specifically and individually based. you have to have a reason to believe that an individual business was engaged in fraud if you were going to use the banking system to get at them. good solution. constructive solution. my hat's off to you, sir. unfortunately this bill, as has been suggested earlier, goes farther. section 3 makes it a lot harder for the department of justice to investigate financial solutions because as has been suggested it takes direct and specific aim at the powers under firrea. as the gentleman from minnesota had indicated. it puts limits on them as to when subpoenas can be issued. to me, frankly, that is a solution in search of a problem. firrea has been the key statute in going after fraud that in fact helped lead to the great recession and the crisis and the wiping out of $13 trillion in network. frankly, i am one of those
people who believes we need more rosecutions not fewer. for all the damage and harm done to americans throughout this land. i am very reluctant to embrace any language that substantially weakens or obstructs firrea's ability to investigate fraud. i do agree with my friend that investigations and our oversight of them could be improved by requiring a paper trail. and i worked with him to see if we could find a compromise that did that. but we couldn't. so ultimately we had to disagree and this is a disagreement that i will characterize as being a very strong one. for the truth of the matter is in the last two calendar years alone, firrea was the operative statute which led to $40 billion in fines and recoveries being levied. truth be told, it is very, very likely, if not highly unlikely, that any of those $40 billion in
fines or restitution could have been recovered if the language of this legislation had been in effect. $20 billion of which was restitution to harmed parties. people who lost their homes inappropriately because they had had fraud perpetuated upon them. i don't think that's what the american public wants right now. i think the american public is still eager for some accountability, for the actions and behavior that led to the great recession. ms. waters: i yield an additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. heck: i join in the chorus of my colleagues who suggest that this bill is actually not just a step backward, but two giant steps backward. there is an issue here that could be worked on. this is not the right solution. and i might add it's not going to become law because it's already been indicated by the executive branch this probably isn't going anywhere. so i would entreat you in the spirit of trying to find a solution to a real problem,
please, let us setaside, vote no, and not enact that which is a solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist. and in fact does considerable harm to the american public and to our ability to hold people accountable who have been harmed. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the lady reserves. the gentleman from missouri. mr. luetkemeyer: thank you, mr. chairman. it's certainly rewarding and heartwarming to see that the ladies and gentlemen on the other side of the aisle continue to support our bill from the standpoint they recognize that there's a problem. operation choke point exists. our bill is a solution. the only thing they seem to have problems with is the part that we try and do something with d.o.j. with regard to firrea. and to settle that and enlarge on that discussion i'm proud to turn over to -- for three minutes, the distinguished gentleman from wisconsin, mr. duffy, who is our oversight chairman who provides some information with regards to that very thing. mr. duffy. the chair: the gentleman from
wisconsin is recognized for three minutes. mr. duffy: i appreciate the chairman yielding. i' grateful to mr. luetkemeyer's work on this important issue. our financial systems are the bedrock of our economy. when financial systems work, our economy works. and we have seen when our financial system doesn't work things come crashing down. so to make sure our financial system is safe and sound, we have empowered regulators to keep an eye over them. to make sure we don't do things that are too risky that can endanger the financial system and then therefore the economy. one of the problems, though, is that those regulators have stepped outside that traditional role and have tried to impact policy decisions that should be made in this institution by rules and regulation that is come out from their oversight capacity. i look at the liberals, or the progressives inside the fdic, who in line with the
administration said i don't like gun dealers. i don't like ammunition manufacturers. who cares about the second amendment. i don't like them. if you don't like guns and you don't like ammunition and you don't like short-term lenders, if you want to get rid of those things, have a debate about it. have an argument. introduce a bill. and let's vote on it. let the american people see it. but the administration knows they'll lose because most americans like their guns. they like their second amendment. so instead of going through this institution, they very craftly thought wow, just think if we were able to, as regulators, put pressure on banks so banks would stop banking legal businesses that we don't like. guess what happens if they can't bank? they'll go out of business. and we'll have less guns. less ammunition. and we'll have less short-term lending. and that's exactly what they
have done. but we didn't empower the fdic to make policy decisions. we said, hey, keep the banking system safe and sound. like so many corners of this administration, they have expanded that authority to advance their liberal progressive agenda. i know my friends across the aisle who i like very much and are friends of mine, are trying to focus on big banks and wall street. but, mr. chairman, to the ranking member i would say, listen, big banks aren't being affected by choke point, it's the smallest, little businesses in our communities that don't have the power to stand up and fight back and push back. they are the ones affected. big banks on wall street, they don't get hit by this. it's the little guy. this is a bill that mr. luetkemeyer crafted that stands up for the little guy. the little one who doesn't have the lobbyists and the money to come to town to talk to members of congress that are being affected by this liberal progressive agenda that they know can't get passed by law so they do it by regulation.
one more horrible example of how our government isn't working and how this institution isn't representing the people that we were sent here to represent. this is a great bill. let's pass it. let's join together and let's stop operation choke point. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. . the chair: the gentleman reserves. the lady from california is recognized. ms. waters: thank you very much, mr. chairman. again, you know, my friends on the opposite side of the aisle will talk about guns. they will talk about choke point. they will talk about unfairness, you know, to businesses based on the bank's ability to close accounts. they will talk about everything except the real point of this legislation. i don't know why and i don't know where it came from and i don't know who convinced a serious public policymaker that
somehow you are to take away the investigative power of the justice department, a justice department that has proven that it could use firrea, that is the financial institution's reform, recovery and nforcement act, to investigate banks that are guilty of fraud. i don't know where this would come from, and given what we have gone through in this country, starting in 2008, i don't know why any serious public policymaker would want to do that. what have we witnessed in this country based on the predatory practices of banks? we have seen whole communities devastated. we have seen foreclosures and people lose their homes. we have seen homes underwater.
we have increased homelessness. we have seen the targeting of some of the most vulnerable communities in our country. based on the fraudulent practices of banks and the justice department has a tool and they're using this tool. why would any credible member of congress want to take away the justice department's ability to investigate and to fine these institutions? no, ladies and gentlemen. this is not about choke point. this is not about guns. this is not about any of that other stuff that they are trying to make you believe you should pay attention to. every legislator and every public policymaker should ask themselves -- do i want to be a part of ever allowing this institution to once again revert back to the practices
that caused people to lose their homes, that threw this country into a recession, that ill have us reeling from the negative impacts of those decisions by banks? why would anybody want to take away the justice department's investigative powers? in addition to that, this bill will not even allow the justice department to exercise its authority to subpoena. why would you want to do that? it doesn't make good sense and, again, you can talk about choke point all night long. you can describe it as being unfair to businesses. you can talk about what we need to do, but that's not what this is about. i know why you don't want to talk about it. because you got to be ashamed of it. you got to be ashamed of the fact that you are leading this institution to do away with investigative powers of the justice department. and let me just say this.
the department of justice has relied heavily on the powers granted under firrea, to pursue billions of dollars of mortgage fraud cases since the financial crisis. in these cases, financial firms defrauded the government by knowingly selling faulty mortgages while representing them as high quality. without firrea, investigations would have stalled and taxpayers would have been left on the hook for even more losses. firrea powers were also instrumental in securing the historic $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement, as many of our colleagues know. there are still many problems n the mortgage servicing industry. mortgage services end up wrongfully kicking americans out of their homes. i'm going to reserve the balance of my time so i can catch my breath and continue to talk about what this bill is
doing. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. luetkemeyer: thank you, mr. chairman. could i inquire how much time is remaining on each side, please? the chair: the gentleman from missouri has 19 minutes, and the gentlelady from california has nine minutes. mr. luetkemeyer: thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to make a few comments here. it seems like the ranking member, as eloquently as she has spoken, continues to deflect from the bill that we're talking about with regard to talking about mortgage servicing assets, the mortgage crisis that we had a few years ago. that's not in this bill. we're talking about operation choke point which is recognized by the department of justice, the oversight and government reform committee has a report from their own email, within their own agency, there was a discussion among the legal staff believing they didn't have the ability to do what they were doing and yet they did this. mr. chairman, for everybody
watching today, it should send a chill down your spine. when you have the leading law enforcement person in this country that believes and knows that they're doing something wrong and still does it, that, mr. chairman, cannot happen. with that, mr. chairman, i'm excited to be able to introduce and yield two minutes to the distinguished member from florida who's also a co-sponsor of the bill and a member of the financial services committee, mr. ross. the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. ross: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the chairman, mr. luetkemeyer, for introducing this legislation by prohibits the department of justice from cutting off financial support to law-abiding businesses through its operation choke point, created under the guise to root out banking fraud and money laundering operations. operation choke point has morphed into an instrument to pressure and force banks to end relationships with legitimate businesses that the administration continues to be a risk. now, this country is made up of
all walks of life and entrepreneurs and small businesses and yet this administration has targeted these small and legitimate businesses. i have a cigar retailer at home who was told by his bank they can no longer do business there. i have a pawnshop that was told the same thing. they don't receive a note from a bank saying, quote, due to operation choke point we must end our financial relationship with your business. no. they are just discontinued from doing any banking relationship without notice whatsoever. what we have done with the department of justice and the fdic is ability to deny due process, then we need to correct that. we have an obligation. as the chairman points out, we should be outraged over these administrators doing these to our legitimate businesses. this legislation, introdiced by my colleague, will prohibit -- introduced by my colleague, will prohibblet them by asking them to terminate a customer account or prohibiting an institution from maintaining a banking relationship with specific customers unless the
agency has material reason to do so and that reason is not solely based on reputational risk. this bipartisan, commonsense legislation passed the financial services committee by a vote of 35-19. and voting to pass h.r. 766 today, lib voting to rein in -- i will be voting to rein in this out-of-control administration and the assault on small businesses, legal businesses, not only in florida but across the country. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from missouri reserves. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. waters: thank you very much. let me draw the attention to my members, to all of the members about what is being attempted on the opposite side. they keep talking about choke point and how they want to save payday lenders and rent to own and pawnshops and all of that. i may have some issues about that but that's not what this is about. today is about the fact that they refuse to tell you what's
really in this bill. they cannot stand up and defend why in the world they would be taking away the justice department's ability to investigate bad banks. they cannot tell you why they are ignoring the lessons of 2008 and predatory lending, and what the justice department has been able to do using firrea and investigating and fining and getting settlements. they cannot tell you why they would ignore the fact that many innocent middle-class folks who work every day and who fought hard to make down payments and signed on the dotted line for mortgages didn't know that they were being tricked into signing mortgages that they could never really keep up with and that the interest rates would reset and go higher and higher and they were going to lose their
homes. they cannot defend the predatory lending practices. they cannot defend the fraud. they cannot defend the undermining of the average american family. they cannot defend the fact that americans lost their homes. and so they're going to keep talking about choke point and how they have to protect payday lenders and how they have to protect pawnshop owners and how they have to protect rent to own and all the businesses they hold so dearly and they want to -- this really doesn't have anything to do with that. if they want to have a real discussion about choke point, we're willing to do that, but this is not the time to do it. this is not the time to use this to hide behind the fact that you want to protect the big banks. as a matter of fact, this is so outrageous it basically says instead of the justice department or anyone going after the banks, it would protect the banks by saying
that you can't go after the banks and you can't -- you have to protect them and you can't go against them. and so i'm simply saying over and over again -- i don't care how many members they call up and i don't care how many members come and talk about choke point. somebody needs to tell us why they can't talk about taking away the investigatory powers and the power to subpoena from the justice department, a justice department that has proven that it's willing to use this investigatory powers in order to deal with these big bad banks. and so listen very carefully and listen to all this choke point stuff that they're trying to ram down your throat. listen and look them in the eye and see if they can look you back in the eye and defend what they are doing. don't you allow them to mislead you, members of this congress, into thinking that this bill is all about protecting payday
lenders and rent to own and pawnshop owners and all these businesses that they care so much about. this is about stripping the department of justice of their power to investigate and subpoena. this is about pulling the rug out from under the citizens of this country who have tried to own homes and who have not been protected by their own government until we had reform. and this is about saying they don't care what the justice department has been able to do to rein in these practices. they're going to come here today with the bill and tell you it's all about choke point. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from california reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: thank you, mr. chairman. at this time i'm very happy to yield three minutes to an outstanding member of the committee, the gentleman from colorado, mr. tipton. the chair: the gentleman from
colorado is recognized for three minutes. mr. tipton: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank the chairman for yielding his time to me. we found some common ground. the ranking member was just talking about listening to operation choke point. i think that's important for every american because we're talking about freedom. we're talking about reining in an out-of-control bureaucracy. we're talking about actually preserving freedom in this country, to take it back for the american people and for businesses as well. i want to applaud chairman luetkemeyer for his leadership on this issue. it prevents federal banking agencies from pressuring banks and credit unions to terminate customer accounts with legal businesses. although it is important to be able to prevent fraud in the banking system, operation choke point has largely been abused by the agencies and their regulators. pressuring and manipulating financial institutions based on personal prejudices of federal bureaucrats. in my district and many others across the u.s., legitimate businesses have found
themselves shut out of the banking system after years of long-standing relationships with banks and credit unions. oftentimes derisking means these legal businesses are further shunned by other financial institutions. fearful of civil and criminal liability as well as greater regulatory scrutiny. thankfully, this legislation puts commonsense restraints on regulators that have been running amuck by requiring federal banking agencies to provide a material reason other than reputational risk for terminating a customer account. this bill establishes the necessary clear standards to avoid further abuses. instead of relying on implicit or explicit threats from regulators, this legislation requires written justification of any request to terminate or restrict customer accounts. it's clear that despite several letters, hearings and warnings by congress, financial institutions continue to face unwarranted pressure from the regulators. these requirements provide the necessary oversight to ensure
banks, credit unions and their customers are treated in a fair manner. i'm happy to lend my support to this bill, encourage my colleagues to support this commonsense measure and, again, thank the gentleman from missouri for his efforts on this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlelady from california is recognized. . ms. waters: i continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: i'm very pleased to jackson lee two minutes to another outstanding member of our committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. williams. the chair: the gentleman from texas virginia tech for two minutes. mr. williams: mr. chairman, thank you for the time. i rise today to support h.r. 766. the financial institution customer protection act of 2016. as a small business other for 44 years, i have seen it all or at least i thought i saw it all. i'm deeply trouble over a federal government program i believe to be at best immoral and at worst illegal, operation choke point.
the obama white house has single-handedly cut itself from financial institutions and perfectlyly legitimate businesses which they serve. this congress has not passed any legislation granting the executive branch such immense power. mr. speaker, all of us here have born witness to the obama administration's willingness to bypass the lawmaking branch of our government, but this is a new low. operation choke point is the worst example of the obama white house telling americans what is best for them. and there is no appeals process. mr. speaker, mr. chairman, this is the worst form of government intrusion i have ever seen and i can think of. operation choke point is another example of this administration's going around congress to create laws rather than do their job to enforce the laws we already have on the books. as a second generation small business owner, i support h.r. 766 which will rein in this abuse of power. operation choke point is un-american. it's deceiving, and it's simply wrong. i urge my colleagues to support
this bill and do away with operation choke point once and for all. let's save small business. let's save main street america. in god we trust. i yield my time back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. waters: mr. chairman and members, after the justice department finally began to use the financial institutions reform recovery and enforcement act that we refer to as firrea, to create some semblance of justice for financial crisis bank fraud and misconduct, my republican colleagues respond by restricting the department of justice most powerful tool for holding banks accountable. you know, this is an interesting debate that we are having. and we are sitting here wondering why it is not one member on the republican side of the aisle who have taken to the floor to debate this bill will
talk about firrea. and will talk about the justice department and what you're doing in stripping away their powers. you w, i know why, because know that if, in fact, you really got up and talked about what you were doing, you would lose all of the vots even -- votes even on your side of the aisle. this is outrageous. so you're hiding behind choke point. and not one member on the opposite side of the aisle have the guts to get up and say i can't do this, i'm going to talk about what this bill is really about. so they continue to march down here, taking their orders to talk about choke point. choke point. choke point. no, no, no. this is about stripping the justice department of its investigatory powers and its subpoena powers. firrea is the last line of defense between consumers and
investors, and bank fraud. central to the d.o.j.'s ability to investigate fraud and to build cases against financial institutions is its subpoena power, power that h.r. 766 singles out for unprecedented and burdensome restrictions instead of bolstering the justice department's ability to investigate mortgage fraud, h.r. 766 seeks to actually protect the banks and to insulate them from accountability. wow. wow. can you just imagine that anyone could go home to their constituents and say, i just voted for a bill that would actually protect banks and insulate them from accountability? i just voted for a bill to strip the justice department of its power to investigate?
bank fraud should be met with the full force of the federal government. and h.r. 766 is a dangerous step backwards for an economy still reeling from financial crisis error, fraud, and misconduct. every regulator has been clear that account closures aren't the result of pressure from regulators but banks that have decided that for some customers they would rather lose their business than investigating the anti-fraud practices to protect our financial system from money laundering. and so, look, you've got people on that illing to work part of the public policy would you like to see some changes in, but this is not it. cupple that discussion to overshadow what you are doing, to strip the justice department of its powers to investigate, what you're doing is you are setting up a situation to take us backwards
and to harm so many people. have you forgotten the lessons already of 2008? have you forgotten already what this country went through? have you forgotten that the citizens of this country had to bail out the biggest banks to keep us from going into a depression? went into a recession, we tore up communities. we threw people out of their homes. we increased homelessness. and now you want to come back and give the banks an opportunity to do what got us into trouble in the first place? well, i can't imagine that you are prepared to defend that. the common thing throughout many of the proposals is that even in the aftermath of the financial crisis, my republican colleagues would have you believe it is the big banks that are the ones in
need of protection, protection from the consumer financial protection bureau. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. all members will be reminded to please -- the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. all members will be reminded to please address your comments to the chair. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm now pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from arkansas, one of those knowledgeable members of our committee, mr. hill. the chair: the gentleman from arkansas is recognized for two minutes. mr. hill: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to address h.r. 766. before i talk about what my constituents have asked me to talk about, mr. speaker, which is the problems with operation choke point, for do i take my instruction from my constituents at home, i do want to call my stinguished ranking member's concern to this report about this bill which says, or a federally insured financial
institution against an unaffiliated third person. i have to say, mr. speaker, i don't understand where the gentlewoman from california is coming from in terms of gutting firrea. it was certainly my privilege to serve at treasury when firrea was negotiated with the congress and enacted into law. i rise today, though, to support h.r. 766, the financial institution customer protection act. which helps to target and stop the egregious abuse of executive power and what's been known as operation choke point. bank examiners want our smergs banks across the country to be conscious of reputation risk. something every institution large and small takes very, very seriously. our boards of directors of our bappings understand that just like credit risk, reputation risk is important. we don't need to be lectured on the dangers of doing business with some high-risk customers.
but in operation choke point, we find subtle and not so subtle pressure from regulators to terminate business relationships rather than to expose that reputation risk. i have heard from pawn brokers in arkansas, legally licensed in state and federally regulated businesses that they are victims of operation choke point by having their banks servicing limited or cut off. just last week, mr. speaker, not two years ago, a firearms dealer in my hometown of little rock was dumped by his payment processor for having -- and now has a more expensive -- mr. hensarling: yield an additional 30 second. mr. hill: just recently not in the past was dumped by his payment processor and is now having to pay more in interesting, having less control of his cash. these are small, legitimate business that is do businesses
with our banks and they are being penalized by the prejudice politicized agenda of this administration. this is not the only example and is reminiscent of the i.r.s. targeting of conservative groups. so it's great pleasure i support my friend from missouri's bill. it's a reasonable target approach. i urge all my colleagues to support it. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: how much time is remaining, please? the chair: the gentleman has 10 minutes remaining. mr. hensarling: the other side has used up their time? the chair: zero. mr. hensarling: i'm happy to yield three minutes to my friend, the gentleman from texas, mr. neugebauer. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. neugebauer: i thank the chairman. mr. speaker, i rise today to support h.r. 766, the financial institutions customer protection act of 2015, offered by my good friend from missouri, mr. luetkemeyer. this legislation is critical to ensure small businesses across the country are able to access
basic banking services without the threat of being targeted at the political or ideological whims of washington bureaucrats. as my colleagues have mentioned, h.r. 766 prohibits the federal government banking regulators from formally or informally prohibiting banks to serve lawful and legitimate businesses. let me repeat that. keeps them from prohibiting banks from serving lawful and legitimate businesses. over the last several years, we have seen an effort by the department of justice in cooperation with the federal banking regulators to target certain categories of lawful merchants. these merchants include gun stores, short-term small dollar credit lenders, and others. this effort has been optionly named operation choke point. operation choke point has used a perverse interpretation of the financial institution's reform, recovery, and enforcement act or currently refird to as fin a to force banks to federal nate that banking relationship with certain categories of patients even if it's unlawful behavior
isn't present. representative luetkemeyer's bill would clarify the original intent of firrea. unfortunately, the minority leader and the ranking member of the committee have been spreading misinformation about the impact of h.r. 766. so i'll spend the rest of my remarks outlining exactly what the bill will do and what it will not do. it does not discriminate any type of fraud. all of these criminal statutes comprising finra's -- firrea's predicted offenses are untouched by this bill. h.r. 766 does not prohibit the department of justice from holding financial institutions accountable. firrea does not -- are still available for the pursuit of any frauds committed by bank insiders against the bank. additionally the bill provides that firrea's civil tools also apply to fraud committed by the bank against an unaffiliated third party. in other words, where a bank defrauds a purchaser of a
mortgage backed security, as well as alleged by the big bank settlements, firrea's civil tools remain available to the department of justice. h.r. 766 does prohibit the use of firrea tools where fraud is committed by a bank's account holder but not by the bank itself. this is the type of self-affecting fraud the department of justice asserted that gave rise to operation choke point. in other words, the fraud must be committed by the bank or against the bank for firrea to apply. i hope everyone will read page 6, lines 21 to 25 of the bill. finally, h.r. 766 does limit the liability -- the ability of the attorney general to delegate issuance of firrea's civil subpoenas. as a result rblingts firrea subpoenas must be signed by the attorney general or deputy attorney general rather than a low lank ranking department of justice attorney. unfortunately, we have another example of the minority not actually reading the text of the bill before making public statements. going forward, i hope the
minority will steady the -- study the text of the bill instead of relying on false statements and talking points of the senior -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: how much time is remaining, mr. chairman? the chair: seven minutes. mr. hensarling: i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, i have had the privilege to serve in this body for a number of terms. but i have not lost my ability to be outraged. operation choke point is an outrage to the american people. -- ill stand up and dethe defend the small mom and pop shops on main street from the billions of dollars and the
thousands of lawyers that the so-called justice department who wake up one day and decide that notwithstanding current law they are going to put them out of business. fortunately, mr. chairman, we have one outstanding member of congress, the gentleman from missouri, my colleague, mr. luetkemeyer, who is standing up for these people. he's standing up for these people by authoring h.r. 766 and he's saying enough is enough and we must say enough is enough. fortunately, mr. chairman, a number of democrats on the other side of the aisle have actually joined with our side to say that justice must prevail, that the rule of law must prevail. i suspect that's why the ranking
member, bless her heart, had to spend so much time speaking herself because she probably couldn't find any other speakers to come and help her out. it is an outrage, mr. chairman, that this administration continues to trample on the constitution. clearly we know the president has his pen, he has his phone but he clearly doesn't have a copy of the constitution. for legally constituted businesses to have to fear that in the dark of night they'll be shut down by the awesome power of the obama admferings is an outrage. all americans should be an outrage. -- should be outraged. when will we have the ranking member and others stand up for the rule of law? we're losing the rule of law to
the discretion of regulators. if there was any justice in the obama justice department, somebody would be indicted over operation chokepoint. perhaps, mr. chairman, they should indict themselves for bringing forth something we haven't seen since the nixon era. what else is going to be in the bag of dirty tricks? somebody has to stand up against the elites in washington who bypass article 1, section 1 of our constitution. all legislative power is vested in this body, it's not vested in the justice department, mr. chairman. they're supposed to enforce the law, not make the law, and to make up one morning and find out that your wang account, that your access to funds b have been choked off by an oppressive federal government, lawlessly, has to be stopped.
where's the justice, mr. chairman? i ask you, where is the justice? and now, just yesterday, i learn on the other side of the capitol, we had a senator from massachusetts who invoked the names of three dead african-americans who tragically lost their lives and used that bloody shirt to attack this ill. and then this very same senator turned around and put out a fundraising appeal. on h.r. 766. the american people have not lost their ability to be outraged at those who may possess ivy league degrees and washington, d.c. addresses, who
have the arrogance to tell them what is best for them and their businesses and their lives and their families. it is time that we respect the rule of law, it is time that we respect the constitution. it is time that we choke off operation choke point, put it into the dust bin of history, the history of dirty tricks, the history of lawlessness. and that's why it's so important, mr. chairman, that all members, democrat, republican, conservative, and liberal, let their voice be heard by casting their vote for .r. 766. why do members outsource their legislative authority to the unaccountable and unelected? sooner or later, mr. chairman, the shoe is going to be on the
other foot. who will stand for justice today? we will look closely as the names come up on the big board. and the american people are watching and they want to know, who is going to stand with me? who is going to stand for the rule of law? who is going to stand for the constitution? who is going to stand for the little people in america? i'm proud to stand with chairman luetkemeyer and the republicans of the house financial services committee to ensure that operation choke point is choked off once and for all and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five minute rule. it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consist of the text of rules committee pribt 114-41.
that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part b of house report 114-414. each such amendment hay be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for gigs of -- for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in house report 114-141. mr. sherman: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1
printed in house report 114-141 offered by mr. sherman of california. the chair: the gentleman from california and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. sherman: this is two bills that have been put together. one deals with operation choke point and for reasons explained by the majority it is important that we pass that part of the legislation. the other is a -- imposes restrictions on firrea and for reasons eloquently expressed by the ranking member, i do not support that part of the bill. i frankly do not know how i'm going to vote because these portions of the bill, one is important to pass, and the other is a restriction that i cannot support. i will point out, all of us who want to deal with operation choke point, it is unfortunate
that these two bills have been put together into one because we know the president isn't going to sign this bill if it's got the firrea portion in it. so it is my hope that we put on the president's desk a bill that protects american businesses from operation chokepoint a bill that the president can sign. and i want to use the time allotted here to try to improve the operation chokepoint provisions because i hope they are ultimately signed into law. now, why are those operation chokepoint provisions important? as the majority has explained, various businesses that are currently unpopular with the bureaucracy are being targeted. and it is extremely powerful tool to destroy a business, to cut off its access to financial institutions. today, they come for the gun stores and the tobacco dealers.
and i don't have friends who are gun store owners, tobacco dealers. and so some would say i should be quiet. but i do not know who the next president of the united states will be and as i listen to the record i know if they have the power, they will come after the planned parenthood clinic the environmental organizations, woe be to a congress that yields extreme power to the executive branch in the expectation that the executive branch will use it in a way that they favor. knowing that the tide turns and the other party could be in control of that brampling. so it is important that we improve the operation choke point provisions of this bill. everyone who talked about the operation chokepoint of this bill focused on mom and pop businesses, every bit of
discussion in committee focused on that. that's why it's important that this bill not have an unintended consequence never discussed by anyone in committee and that is it would affect our anti-terrorism and national security efforts. so in the words of the democratic "daily whip," from whip hoyer, the sherman amendment clarifies that the underlying bill does not prevent banking regulators from requesting a financial institution to determine -- to terminate a relationship because the customer poses a national security threat, is engaged in terrorist financing, or is domiciled in iran, north korea, syria, or another state sponsor of terrorism. i think there's -- it is a step forward to improve the operation chokepoint portions of this bill. i think that as further improved, those provisions should and i believe will be -- and i believe will become law.
so i ask support for an amendment that makes it clear that a bill that was discussed only in the sense of domestic businesses, only in the sense of ma and pa and main street, does not have an effect that the author never included on national security policy. i yield to the gentlelady from california. ms. waters: i'd like to thank the gentleman from california who has shown his concern about that chokepoint provision of the bill. he's absolutely right. both of these issues are in this bill. and we cannot divide it in the way that we're moving forward and it means that if this bill passes, no matter what the concern may be, that the overriding concern must be about stripping the justice department of its investigater to power and its subpoena power. it must be about undermining the
justice department's ability to hold these big banks accountable. i yield back the balance of my time. don't think you can divide this. his is one bill. mr. sherman: this bill will be going through the legislative process. it's important that we improve the operation chokepoint po visions. i have enjoyed working with the gentleman from minnesota and i hope that he will see fit to accept this amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. does the gentleman from texas rise in opposition? mr. hensarling: i ask unanimous consent to claim time in opposition those i'm not opposed. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognize. mr. hensarling: i want to thank the gentleman from california a very thoughtful member of the house financial services committee. i wish to accept his amendment, i believe it adds greater granularity and specificity on a very important issue and since i
think he lost an amendment yesterday, i want him to at least bat if you were. -- to at least bat .500. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now ined or to consider amendment number -- now in order to consider amendment number 2. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in part b of house report 114-414 offered by mr. gosar of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 595, the gentleman from arizona, mr. gosar and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. gosar: i rise to offer a
commonsense amendment that will protect customers of financial institutions and increase transparency between them and the federal government. i applaud the committee for bringing this bill to the floor to protect consumers and businesses from an overreaching federal government. i'm especially grateful to representative luetkemeyer for his work on this bill and i'm proud to be a co-sponsor. my amendment will increase transparency by requiring the financial institutions, provide notice to customers if their account is ordered terminated by a federal banking regulator. customers have the right to be informed when the federal government has instructed a financial institution to close their accounts. in the base bill, federal banking agencies are required to notify the financial institution and provide written justifications as to why the termination is needed. my amendment would simply require the depository institution to share that justification with the consumer. or customer. one of the ways the federal government has abused its powers in the past regarding customers
of financial institutions is operation chokepoint. operation chokepoint was an unconstitutional program created by the obama administration to put pressure on banks and payment processors to shut town industries like gun stores and pawnshops. president obama and -- that president obama and the attorney general didn't like. after continued tissue continued pressure from mr. luetkemeyer and myself and other members of congress, the fdic announced in january of 2015 that some changes to this terrible program were to be made. this was a positive step, this bill and my amendment are still very necessary. congress needs to codify this customer protection to prevent future abuses by an overreaching federal government. my amendment will help put an end to the abuses of operation choke point. president obama has been stuverage in his assault on the second amendment and operation choke point was another way for the president and d.o.j. to infringe on the rights of lawful gun owners and businesses. american citizens do not want big government to have the power
to arbitrarily terminate their accounts at financial institutions based on ideological opposition to individuals or organizations. this simple, commonsense amendment supported by americans for limited government, the national rifle association, gun owners of america and eagle forum, is about protecting consumersened crine -- and increasing transparency. c.b.o. informed me this amendment will not score. there's no reason not to pass this amendment or this bill that will increase transparency and protect consumers throughout the nation. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and h r. 766. i thank the distinguished chair and ranking member and with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the chair: does the gentlelady claim time in opposition in the gentlelady from california virginia tech. ms. waters: mr. gosar's amendment is a dangerous amendment to an already highly problematic bill. as o.c.c. deputy controller noted in 2015 testimony before our committee, he said, and i
quote, in the rare cases where customer has engaged in suspected criminal or other illegal activity, the o.c.c. may order the bank do an enforcement action to terminate the customer's request, quote-unquote, h.r. 766 creates a national security exception for customer notice, but it leaves the term undefined. in the case where illegal activity does not pose a threat to national security, mr. gosar's amendment would potentially force banks to tip off someone engaging in criminal activity, frustrating regulator's oversight of federal anti-money laundering laws. mr. gosar's am exacerbates an already highly problematic proposal, and i would urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment. mr. chairman and members, again i just want to point out since i have time on this amendment that this bill is not about all of
this anyway. they keep focusing on choke points and come up with these questionable amendments, etc., such as mr. gosar's. this is about the republicans on the opposite side of the aisle stripping the justice department of its authority to go after these too big to fail banks and taking away their investigatory powers and their subpoena powers and threatening the citizens of this country once again to the kind of predatory lending that helped to almost bring down this economy starting in 2008. i ask for a no on this amendment and i'm going to ask for a no on the bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from arizona virginia tech. mr. gosar: i thank the chairman. i'm miffed, absolutely miffed that a consumer would not have the ability to understand that their account was actually closed. i am totally miffed at personal
rights and responsibilities. and the coordination with the justice department. once again this is the second amendment i have offered on financial services with the same pe of attitude that i have actually seen in defiance of a commonsense amendment. i oppose the gentlewoman's objections and i would ask everyone to vote for this amendment. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. waters: mr. chairman and members, i would ask the members of this congress to not pay attention to what has been attempted by the opposite side of the aisle. again, i challenge them and i ask them to talk about firrea. i asked them to talk about the bill that takes away the investigateor powers of the justice department. i asked them to explain why they would take away subpoena powers from the justice department. i asked them if they remember
what happened when this country went into a recession almost a depression because of predatory lending. i asked them did they want to have their names and their vote behind big banks that are guilty of fraud who have been fined, enormous sums of money, by the justice department because they were found guilty. and i'm asking them to talk about this. so this is a distraction. this is obscuring the real bill that's before us. forget about this choke point part of the bill. we have time to work on that. there are some members on the opposite side of the aisle that share some of those concerns, but not in this bill. they coupled it with this take it away of the department of justice power because they knew that they could somehow divert the attention over to this so-called choke point and talk about this administration and talk about guns and talk about
payday loans and talk about rent to own and pawnshops. this is not about small business protection. this is about using the choke point argument as a way to divert attention away from what they are really doing. ladies and gentlemen, you can't go home and explain to your constituents why you would protect the too big to fail banks, why you would take away the power to make them accountable. they have harmed this country. they have harmed our citizens. they have caused people to lose their homes. they have increased the homelessness with their predatory lending. we have reformed -- reforms that we are trying to implement and i know every trick in the book has been played to try to undermine dodd-frank and keep us from having the kind of reform because there are people who are just very close to the big banks and they are not going to cross the big banks. as a matter of fact, they use too much of their career to protect the big banks.
this is an outrage and i want the members of this congress to understand we've got time to have a discussion about choke point and all of that. we have members on both sides of the aisle who would work with you on those issues. this is not it. you should not have placed this part in this bill. you should not have had to try and make believe that this is all about choke point , when in fact, the real big deal in this bill is about how you're going to protect the biggest and the worst banks. we have pointed out to you in this discussion all of the big fines that have been done against these banks. these banks say, no, we didn't do it. did these banks say i'm not going to accept this? i'm going to fight you? no, they rolled over because they are guilty and you know they are. please do not be diverted from the real meaning of this bill. this bill is about crippling -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. -- the gentlelady's time has expired.
the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. the question is on the amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. accordingly, under the rule the committee rises. the chair: the committee of the whole house on the state of the union has had under consideration h.r. 766 and pursuant to house resolution 595 i report the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. the speaker pro tempore: under the rule, the previous question s ordered. the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration the bill h.r. 766 and pursuant to house resolution
595 reports the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. under the rule the previous question is ordered. is a separate vote demanded on any amendment to the amendment reported from the committee of the whole? if not, the question is on the adoption of the amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to provide requirements for the appropriate federal banking agencies when requesting or ordering a depository institution to terminate a specific customer account. to provide for additional requirements related to subpoenas issued under the financial institutions reform, recovery, and enforcement act of 1989, and for other purposes. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? >> i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the
gentlelady opposed to the bill? >> i am opposed. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady qualifies. the clerk: ms. castor of florida moves to recommit the bill h.r. 766 to the committee on financial services with instructions to report the same back to the house forth with with the following amendment. add at the end, the following, section 4, effective date, a, in general. sections 2 and 3 shall take effect on the date that the attorney general -- the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? without objection, the reading is disposed of. the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. miss cassor: -- this is themembers, time amendment to the bill. which will not kill the bill or send it back to committee, but if it's adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage as amened. -- amended. i rushed to come to the floor to offer this motion to recommit
because this bill h.r. 766 is so outrageous. under this bill, the republicans in congress are poised to give a get out of jail free card to big banks and wall street interests when it comes to fraud. republicans propose to take away tools and investigateor powers from the department of justice in cases of fraud. and undermine the department of justice's ability to prosecute mortgage fraud and other crimes to the detriment of american families and our neighbors back home. you know, americans expect that the big banks that have broken the rules are held accountable for any of their financial misdeeds. however, the house republicans are trying to give their special interest friends a break they do not need at the expense of hardworking americans. now, shortly after i was sworn in to congress in 2007, my neighbors started to come to me
and express a sincere problem that was happening. it started in florida, almost earlier than anywhere else. the financial crisis took hold and people began to lose their jobs or their employers cut back on their hours, they couldn't keep up with their mortgages. and the deeper we dug into t. we began to see a -- into it, we began to see a pattern of fraudulent pracktisses -- practices by many in the mortgage loan business. after 2007 i had six foreclosure prevention workshops. and at that time i will never forget looking into the eyes of my neighbors who asked for a little bit of breathing room, a little bit of help. we came to washington, we asked for that help on behalf of american families. not to get -- let them off the hook for their mortgages but give them a little breathing room. the response here in washington
was instead a huge multibillion dollar wall street bailout. and when we asked could -- as part of that wall street bailout of the big banks, could you allow homeowners to have a little more breathing room so they could stay in their homes? but no, that couldn't be part of the multibillion dollar wall street package. that was a lesson to everyone across america who really holds the power here in washington, d.c. next week i'm still going to have another foreclosure prevention workshop with my local partners because people are not healed and the fraud continues. on monday of this week i sat down with my u.s. attorney in the middle district of florida. one of the busiest districts in america. especially when it comes to fraud. do you know what u.s. attorney lee bentley said? he said we need more tools to fight fraud. they are winning big cases and
big settlements when it comes to medicare fraud and mortgage fraud and rooting out waste in the system. so it's appalling, you bring h.r. 766 to take away those investigateor tools, the subpoena powers for white collar crime? today the house republicans are aiming to weaken the vital financial fraud fighting law, the financial institutions reform recovery and enforcement act, this is irresponsible. and how r house -- house republicans should be called out for it. republicans will eliminate authority of thousands of federal prosecutors to issue subpoenas for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting any big banks or other financial institutions that engage in financial fraud or other financial crimes. so i'm offering an amendment, a motion to recommit, that instead sides with our hardworking families back home. my amendment will prevent the legislation from taking effect
until the department of justice and banking regulators certify that no financial institutions covered by the act have broken the law by taking advantage of service members or by perpetrating abuses in the mortgage market. that's the very least that my republican colleagues could do. in the meantime, american families who are appalled at this kind of action in the congress should know that the democrats are united for opportunity for hardworking americans, especially service members and homeowners seeking to enjoy the american dream. meshes should be appalled that they want to take the finance, cops off the beat. instead, i ask my house republican colleagues to join us in working to build an economy that works for all americans, not just the privileged few. i urge a yes vote on the motion, side with american families and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. hensarling: i claim time in opposition. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. hensarling: i think i've finally found common ground with my friends on the other side of the aisle and that is we lament how few prosecutions there have been after the great financial crisis. how about all of the former democratic officials who used to run fannie and freddie who took tens of millions of dollars of bonuses only to see hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer bailouts. where are those prosecutions, mr. speaker? how about all the democratic lawmakers who came and said let's roll the dice, let's roll the dice for taxpayer bailouts? guess what, the dice were rolled and taxpayers were rolled as well. where are the prosecutions there? eight years, eight years the obama administration justice department. but they're trying to take you
away from what this is truly about. it is about, again, operation choke point. it is about the awesome resources and power of the federal government being used to crush small businesses that somehow appear on the obama administration's enemy list. today, those small businesses dealing with ammunition sales, coin dealers, dating services, all on the enemies list. fireworks sales, payday loans, pharmaceutical sales. it's all right here in the fdic supervisory insights. and it says that even though you're perfect -- you're a perfectly legal business, a perfectly legal business if we don't like you, we're going to crush you and there's nothing you can do about it because we're the federal government. mr. speaker, there is something we can do about it. we can pass h.r. 766 and the
motion to recommit, all it says is that the justice department gets to decide whether the law is ever enacted. it's not worth the paper it's printed on. when is this body going to quit outsourcing its constitutional authority to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. it is an outrage, operation chokepoint is an outrage, it is an affront to the constitution, it is an affront to the rule of law, it is an affront to all of the hardworking mom and pop shops all across america, it strikes fear in the heart of americans, it is time to stand up for the constitution, it is time to stand up for the rule of law, it is time to stand up for those who do not have choice -- voice, for those who do not have power. reject this motion to recommit and enact h.r. 766. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
without objection the previous question is ordered. the question is on the motion to recommit. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. ms. castor: i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: the yeas and nays are asked. -- are requested. those in support of the request for the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20 the chair will reduce to five minutes any time for -- the time for any electronic vote on pass act of the bill. this is a 15-minute vote. [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.] this is a 15-minute vote.
order. the house will be in order. please remove your conversations from the floor and please clear the well. without objection, the gentlelady from hawaii is recognized. ms. gabbard: mr. speaker, today we are gathered rising in memory of the 12 united states marines stationed at the marine corps base in my district who were tragically lost the night of january 14 in a training accident. we must never forget the risk that our service members take every single day, whether they're in training or in
combat as they put their lives on the line for the security of our
nation. major shawn campbell, college station, texas. captain brian kennedy, philadelphia, pennsylvania. captain kevin rouch, st. louis, missouri. captain steven torbert, florence, alabama. sergeant dillon similina, chaska, minnesota. sergeant adam shuler, guarders in, pennsylvania. sergeant simpler, woodruff, south carolina. sergeant william turner, alabama. corporal matthew drown, spring, texas. corporal thomas jardis, fort myers, florida. corporal christopher orlando, massachusetts. ance corporal ty hart, oregon.
may we offer them a moment of silence to honor their service, support their loved ones and our entire u.s. marine
corps in this tragic loss. the speaker pro tempore: please ise for a moment of silence. without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the question is on the passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. mr. hensarling: mr. speaker. i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote.
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 250, the nays are 169. the bill is passed, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair lays before the house communications. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, due to my recent appointment to the house budget committee, i hereby
resign my position on the house science, space, and technology committee. signed, sincerely, bill johnson, member of congress. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, in light of my recent appointment to the house transportation and infrastructure committee, i hereby resign my position on the house small business committee. signed, sincerely, mike fost, member of congress. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, in light of my recent appointment as chairman of the select panel resign t lives i hereby my position on the house budget committee, signed, sincerely, marsha blackburn, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resignations are accepted. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. sessions: the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. please remove your conversations from the floor. the house will be in order. the gentleman may proceed. mr. sessions: i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the purpose
of of making an announcement. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: yesterday the rule committees announced two announce. s outlining processes for two bills, the national interest act and 2017 the commonsense nutrition disclosure act of 2015. the amendment deadline for h.r. 329 has been set for monday, february 8, at 3:00 p.m. the amendment deadline for h.r. 2017 has been set for 10:00 a.m. on tuesday, february 9. amendments should be drafted to the text of each bill, posted on the rules committee website. please feel free to contact me or my staff at the rule committees for any questions. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions, seek recognition. mr. sessions: by direction of the house republican conference
i send to the desk a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore:: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 60 , resolved that the following named members be and are hereby elected to the following standing committees of the house of representatives. committee on the budget, mr. guinta to rank immediately after mr. stutzman and mr. johnson of ohio, committee on transportation and infrastructure, mr. boss. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resolution is agreed to and a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i offer a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 603, resolved that the following named members be and are hereby ranked as follows on the following standing committee of the house of representatives. one, committee on small business, mr. ta chi after mrs. lawrence and mrs. adams after
ms. clarke of new york. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. sessions: i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table the bill h.r. 30 -- >> i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table the bill h.r. 3033, the reed act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill and senate amendment. the clerk: h.r. 3033, an act to require the president's budget to include a line item for the re-research of disabilities education program of the national science foundation and to require the national science foundation to conduct research on dyslexia. senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the reading is dispensed with. is there objection to the original request of the gentleman from texas? without objection the senate amendment is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
minute for the pup of inquiring the majority leader the schedule for the week to come and perhaps thereafter. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hoyer: i yield to my friend, mr. mccarthy from california, the majority leader. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. mr. speaker, on monday, no votes are expected in the house. on tuesday, the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on wednesday and thursday, the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business. and on friday, the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. mr. speaker, the house will consider a number of suspensions next week, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business tomorrow. mr. speaker, the house will also consider h.r. 3293, the scientific research in the national interest act, sponsored by representative lamar smith. this bill will go a long way
toward providing greater transparency and accountability of the national science foundation. it is essential that we ensure precious federal dollars are spent on federal grants that promote science but do so in a way that's in the best interest of the united states. additionally, the house will consider h.r. 3442 the debt management and fiscal responsibility act sponsored by representative marchant. this requires them to report to congress on the stat thousands of nation's debt and their plans to address our nation's fiscal problems prior prior to the nation reefing its debt limit. with more than $18 trillion in public debt, we have a responsibility, beth democrats and republicans, to show the american people a path to solvency. finally, mr. speaker, the house will consider h.r. 2017, the commonsense nutrition disclosure act sponsored by representative cathy mcmorris rodgers. this important bill addresses harmful menu labeling regulation that will burden every grocery
store, convenience store and pizza restaurant in the country. instead, our approach will provide a reasonable and flexible way for these businesses to provide customers with nutritional information. i thank the gentleman and yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information with respect to the legislation that is going to be on the floor next week. i would simply say, with respect to one of these bills, on the debt management and fiscal responsibility act, that i don't know whether that bill requires the house to do the same, but certainly both the executive and the legislative branches of overnment need to have a responsible fiscal program and analysis so that in fact we can move forward fiscal balance.
and i look forward to having that discussion next week on the floor. r. leader, we had a prayer breakfast this morning. i was a moving and very, think, unifying time here in washington. we had republicans and democrats and a lot of people from around the world attending. we talked about coming together. talked about respecting one another, talking to one another and serving our country and our people in a way consistent with our various faiths. in that context, i'm going to ask you some questions on the scheduling but i'm hopeful that the speaker has indicated that he wants to consider some broad
issues. he refers to five in particular, national security, jobs and economic growth, health care, poverty and opportunity, and restoring the constitution. i'm not sure exactly what that last phrase means. but in any event, i think all of us want to make sure the constitution is honored. nd certainly adhered to. however, it also appears that, and we had this discussion last week, that substantive legislation that is translating thoughts and objectives and visions into legislation, may not occur in 2016. i don't know that to be the case but i fear that to be the case. that we will not offer to the american people in this critically important election
year specifics as to what we might do. i mentioned specifically the affordable care act which i know the gentleman's party believes is not good policy. whether or not we were going to consider an alternative to do what your party has said it's going to do for the last five year, and that is repeal but replace with policies. i think that would be a useful discussion for us to have. and do so in a way that respects the integrity of each person's view as to what the best nterests of our country are. in addition, one of the pieces of legislation would be the voting rights act amendment. i bring that up now because speaker ryan said yesterday as i understand it that he was for doing a voting rights bill.
i don't know that he went into specifics. we believe that we need to address this bill because we believe substantially undermined by the recent decision of the supreme court some few years ago. but he indicated that that was not going to be brought to the floor because of mr. goodlatte's opposition to that or perhaps the failure of whether goodlatte to address that in -- of mr. goodlatte to address that in committee. i bring that up specifically because i know, mr. leader you made the observation that -- and i think this -- you're quoted as saying that you believe the two parties can achieve consensus on that legislation, but may not be able to move it forward this year. that -- excuse me, that speaks of the criminal justice system reform, not the voting rights. i think we can reach consensus on the criminal justice reform
and i think both parties believe areashere are substantial that need to be addressed in criminal justice reform. . senator cornyn has indicated that and republicans in this house and democrats in this house have indicated that. my question to you is -- with respect to the issues that i -- k we all success discussed, poverty, economic opportunity, criminal justice reform, job creation, long-term fiscal agreements so we can replace the sequester with a permanent rather than every two years resolution, comprehensive tax reform, which almost all of . have said we're for mr. camp brought a bill on that.
restoring voting rights, which i mentioned. taking action to address gun violence, which we're in favor of and i think clearly your side has indicated that mental health is very much a component of that and you want to address that. and addressing our national security challenges, which i agree with the speaker. that is a primary responsibility and concern of i think everybody on this floor of this house. my question, therefore, mr. ader is, do you expect any substantive legislation rather than simply ideas that both parties might express and put out to the public but legislation that would be transparent, specific and on which we could have debates about alternative policies? do you expect in the relatively short time that we have this year to have legislation on the floor dealing with one or more of those subjects? and i yield to my friend? mr. mccarthy: well, i thank the
gentleman for yielding. i did take notes because you raised a lot of different issues. first point, you talked about congressman kenny marchant's bill before, asking the administration to put a path, i agree with you. and that's why i believe any budget that comes before this floor should balance in the 10-year window, and i'm proud of the fact on this side of the aisle we've been able to do it because that shows you the path and solvency about how to deal with this debt and the big changes. in the areas you talk about what speaker ryan lays out, these are big, new, bold ideas. and what the speaker says it's going to go through committee, and every member of this body, your side and ours, will be participate because the legislation will come through
committee. now, knowing these are bold ideas and the time what we have here, some will get done and some may not get done by the end of this calendar year, but that doesn't mean that we can't finish the job and if we want to save this country, put us onto a path of solvency and increased growth, these are areas that we find need to get done and we look forward to you working with us to get them done. and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. we agree that we ought to work together. he and have i worked together, as a matter of fact, on very significant legislation just a few weeks ago that passed perhaps more than a month ago that passed this house. so that i think the american public wants that. my urging to the majority leader would be, each of these ideas obviously ultimately if we're going to make them policy have to be translated into legislation, and the gentleman says all of us will be able to participate. frankly, as the gentleman well knows better -- as well as i do that legislation has to come to
the floor for all of us to engage and hopefully with the ability to offer amendments and our ideas on how to perfect legislation that may come out of the committees. so i would hope that we would see that. the gentleman mentioned the budget. . t me ask the gentleman we hear, everyone said we want to accelerate the budget process. i think that is a good idea. i always felt we need to move the budget and the appropriation bills earlier than we have historically done so we can get them to the senate and a time where they can work on them and bring them back in order to have the appropriation bills done, all 12 of them, one after another. in my view, we're going to have a bipartisan effort on that. not add poison pills or the so-called riders in there so the senate will consider them and be able to work their will
and then we can go to conference and get that done all prior to october 1. i don't know whether that's possible but i think the gentleman would say that would to do if in a good fact we can get that done. when does the gentleman expect the budget, the start of the process, to be on the floor? i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: just speaking to the budget chairman, he's trying to move that process up. it's a goal. if we can reach that goal before -- in march, the first part of march, get that done, we can move up the approps process. as you know, it's difficult to move too fast because you have the committee hearings. you want the input. you want to be able to have the accountability and oversight of all the agencies. so have those hearings to come in where both sides of the aisle are in those committees to be able to produce something that is very productive. yes, it is our goal to try to move the process up this year and as soon as we have that
scheduled for the floor i'll let you know. mr. hoyer: am i correct, then, in saying that our target is the first week in march or the second week in march? mr. mccarthy: we're looking at that time frame, yes. mr. hoyer: appreciate that information. let me discuss a number of other specific issues if i can. first of all, the speaker indicated that he wanted to see legislation on the floor by march 31 in the house on puerto rico. as you and i both know, puerto rico is facing a fiscal crisis of its own and is going to need some authority to deal with that crisis so that neither the americans living in puerto rico are disadvantaged nor the children and others, whether it's the educational system, the health care system, providing power, whatever other services are necessary, will not be adversely impacted.
can the gentleman give me any idea as to what progress we're making towards seeing legislation on the floor by march 31? and i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank my friend for yielding. as the gentleman knows, we are committed to addressing this issue. we have had numerous meetings and we've also had committee hearings, even this week, chairman bishop and the natural resources committee were hard at work finding a path forward. we are committed to getting this done. i will not prejudge the committee of what the solution will be, but i know they're hard at work and we continually monitor it week to week and as soon as we have it schedule i'll notify. yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that thought. again, i would reiterate that , the voting rights issue speaker was supportive of some legislative treatment addressing of that issue.
does the gentleman have any idea when that might occur? i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: well, i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank the gentleman's referring to an article that we both read. i'm not sure if you were in the meeting. mr. hoyer: i was not. mr. mccarthy: one thing that speaker ryan has laid out for this body is that it's not top-down, it's bottom-up, that we go through regular order, that committees are there to do the work and if you look at the metrics of this last year, if you take the 25-year average it's usually about a little over 300 bills come through committee to this floor and we're well over 500. we show we're turning that path and prove they're coming to the floor. what the speaker said, he may have a personal opinion but he wants it to go through committee so all voices are heard and have opportunity for amendments and when it gets out of committee we can move it to the floor. so i'll let you know when it
will be scheduled. mr. hoyer: mr. cantor when he was majority leader, when he had your position, indicated he was receptive to addressing it. i believe the speaker -- i was not there either. the gentleman's correct, but he's reported as having said it needs to be addressed. and i understand bottom-up. but if bottom doesn't work you never get up. i refer to the export-import in the laid sang win committee because -- sanguine in the committee. when the majority of your party when it came to the floor was for it. so it's one thing to say that we ought to work bottom up, but if the bottom is a stopper, it creates a gridlock, then frankly this body does not get to do what its responsibility is and that is to reflect the will of the people as we did on he export-import bank.
so i sympathize with the bottom-up and that's the way it we have a k, but ockage to the people's representatives of working their will and reflect the united states citizens' views, then democracy's not working. we saw that in the export-import bank, in my opinion, and which i worked on very much to get to the floor. as i said repeatedly, it would enjoy the majority support. in my view, if a voting rights bill will get to this floor, it will enjoy the majority's support. mr. sensenbrenner was the sponsor. president bush was president when we passed in 2006 the voting rights act and it passed overwhelmingly through the house, overwhelmingly through the senate and was signed by president bush.
certainly sympathetic to make sure we follow regular order but if regular order precludes democracy from working, then it's irregular order and not in the best interest of our country. lastly, mr. leader, if i can -- all of us are concerned about zika. this has been recently we're all focused on zika and can the gentleman tell me whether or not there are any planned efforts to address what is clearly a very serious health crisis that confronts not only us but certainly south america, latin america and other parts of the world as well as ourselves and i yield to my friend? mr. katko: i want to thank the gentleman for working ex-im
bank into the colloquy. mr. hoyer: you gave me such an opening. mr. mccarthy: i win the bet today. the gentleman brings up a very serious issue and this is something that should no the be taken lightly. it should not be partisan in any shape or form. that's why the kerr on energy and commerce has already put to have hearings, has already scheduled and sent out some letters. susan brooks has a bill that she's been working on dealing with this as well so, yes, we want to get out in front of this. i know we've been talking to the administration as well and i look forward to working with you in dealing with this issue because this is not something that should lay by the wayside. this is something we should get out in front of. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i certainly agree and working together to address it and i yield back the balance f my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it
adjourn to meet at 2:00 p.m. on monday next and that the order of the house of january 5, 2016, regarding morning hour debate not apply on that day. the speaker pro tempore: no objection. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i feel compelled to give voice to the millions of americans who continue to be dumbfounded and frustrated by this administration's handling of iran. shortly before president obama's final state of the union address, news broke that 10 u.s. sailors had been captured by iran's islamic revolutionary guard. remarkably, the president did
not even mention our sailors in his speech. while tv's across the world became littered with pictures of our sailors on their knees at gun point. even worse, iran's supreme leader celebrated this incident last week by awarding medals to those iranians who captured intruding americans, quote-unquote. once the situation once the situation was resolved, senator kerry had the audacity to thank the iranians and president obama then released billions of dollars in saxes to the iranians. this is another embarrassing episode of weakness and capitulation that serves to embolden our enemies and increases the further likelihood of further conflict. it's time for the president to set aside what i would describe
as his disdain for our military and treat our service members with the respect they deserve. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from oregon seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> my home state of oregon sits on a fault. we are due, some say overdue, for an earthquake. oregonians are well aware of the dangers facing our state and i applaud the president and interior secretary joule for recognizing this potentially devastating threat to the west coast. on tuesday, the white house convened scientists, public officials, and private companies at a summit to discuss how to improve warning systems and resilience to earthquakes. ms. bonamici: oregon was well represented by the oregon
director of emergency management and by representatives from the university of oregon and intel. the university of oregon manages the usgs seismic network and assists local governments in preparing for disaster resilience. intel is a lead for the efforts to involve the private sector in helping businesses and communities prepare for an earthquake. we all know that better warning systems can save lives and save property. i look forward to continuing to work with all of my colleagues in congress to help communities prepare for earthquakes an related hazards. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield become the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: i rise to wish melissa traylor a happy 110th
birthday. 1906.s born february 6, she moved to detroit where she attended beautician school, eventually opening her own hair salon, working for around three decades before retiring in the 1960's. melissa later moved to florida before eventually moving back to erie county in 2006 to be closer to her nieces and nephews. mrs. traylor remained active even after her 100th birthday, flying in an ultra light airplane with her nephew when she turned 101. i'm looking forward to traveling to the erie area and joining family and friends and other local and state officials in wishing melissa a very happy birthday. only one out of 10,000 people live to be 100 years old. only one in seven million turn 110. i wish ms. traylor the best as
she continues her wonderful life. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from ohio seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, rise today to recognize black history month. black history month is an opportunity for our nation to honor the contributions and accomplishments that african-americans and civil rights organizations like the naacp have etched in the cornerstone of this america they helped change. mrs. beatty: the naacp is the nation's oldest and pre-eminent civil rights organization, established in 1909 to curb the rampant discrimination plaguing our country. today's naacp envisions an america not defined by color. mr. speaker, i stand here today
to ask congress to help make the naacp's dream a reality. let's restore the full protection of the voting rights act. fix our broken criminal justice system and end the school to prison pipeline. we must continue to move forward to ensure equality of opportunity for all americans and not just the privileged few. during black history month, mr. speaker, and every month, let us recommit ourselves to ending the journey and having a more just and perfect union and lastly, i lute the naacp and its chair person, roslyn brock and my olumbus chapter naacp chair, nana jones. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without
objection the gentleman from texas is recognized for one inute. mr. poe: brook was a victim of human trafficking and child pornography at the age of 7. the nanny was selling brook on the marketplace of sex slavery in the united states. a small child sold for sex in the united states, shameful. brook was scared, feeling alone, and didn't tell anyone about her plight. no one spoke about sex trafficking then. but sex slavery has been going on in the united states for a long time. women and children forced into this scourge. brook, with the help of her mother, has spoken out against this evil. congress has also spoken out. congress passed a law last year that will change the way we address human trafficking in the united states. the justice for victims of trafficking act will provide and ensure that america provides grants to rescue and restore survivors like brook.
grants to educate the public, law enforcement and doctors an educators to identify, prevent and prosecute human trafficking. monsters that hurt victims will be prosecuted. the sellers and the buyers. and most pornly, the victims of slavery will be rescued, resterd -- restored and treated as victims of crime. mr. speaker, congress has said our children are not for sale. and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from the great state of california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this week in washington was one where many came together in order to express their faith and in fellowship and also to pray. mr. lamalfa: it culminated in a national prayer breakfast where the president and our house
speaker were there with many congressional and international leaders. all there with a theme of, less of us, more of god. expressed several times. spoken of by our president as well. and also he spoke of unity, as many did in that gathering. unity that i think is best expressed by this verse from the bible. second chronicles 7:14. if people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked way, i will hear from heaven and forgive them and heal their land. indeed, less of us, more of god. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is
>> governor, thank you so much for coming to new hampshire. >> this is a place where you can observe a candidate in the heat of a dialogue, in the heat of getting tough questions, about their positions on the issues. it's not just a place where there is a scripted speech. >> new hampshire takes its first in the nation primary status really seriously. >> this is one of a whole series of town hall meetings that we'll be having. >> this is my 20th town hall meeting. >> welcome to our 115th town hall meeting here in new hampshire. [cheers and applause] >> and yesterday in new hampshire, ohio governor john kasich campaigned in raymond, durham and took part in this town hall meet the candidate business forum in manchester. we'll show you what you can
until the ted cruz event gets under way. we expect that around 1:15 eastern. john kasich: and i thought they wanted me to run around and learn. i thought i was going to win. after the effort, they commented to one another, we may have left him in the oven too long. it was a tough thing but i love coming here. and i was with bruce one night. this was when i knew the campaign was coming to an end. i don't know where we were but we were with this lovely, lovely crowd and this lady was wonderful. we were in the kitchen. i remember the sink was right there and she's talking to me and things are gallon great. i'm thinking, here's my town chairperson. this is going to work out. and she looked at her watch and said, what time do you think the candidates are going to get here? and that's when i kind of knew it was over. and by the way, speaking of the kitchen sink, i came out of the gym just a few minutes ago and
i thought i saw another kitchen sink get thrown past me because that seems like that's what they've been doing. it's great the negative ads that i'm experiencing because in 2010 i was running for governor and, boy, they threw a lot of negative ads at me then. an around schwarzenegger, who's -- and arnold schwarzenegger, who's been a buddy of mine for many, many years, came to support me. i said, arnold, they're really attacking me and he looks at me and he says, john, love the beatings, love them. and so i sort of do. i don't think i can add anything to what you said, bruce, other than, you know, it's funny when i came back to new hampshire this time i was with bruce and we went up into the hotel room and we talked for about 10 or 15 minutes. i had fallen out of touch with him. the great things about politics, sometimes you maintain relationships. you know, we did talk
occasionally but not very often. so we got up there and i said a bunch of things. he looked at me and said, not much has changed in you in 17 years. so my mission has always been pretty much the same. fight for people who often don't have anybody to fight for them. create jobs. that's the most important thing because if you don't have jobs you don't have anything else. and when you have a good economy, make sure that everybody has an opportunity to rise, not just the usual suspects but everyone. and bruce, the only thing you missed is i served on the defense committee for 18 years and that was a marvelous experience. i was a reformer there as well, working with johnson and the recently former chairman of the house and intelligence committee from michigan, peete hookstra. we grounded the b-2 bomber at 20 planes as opposed to 30 that the pentagon wanted. i wanted 13. i get i lost. i had to go all the way to 20.
let's call it even. but good things came from that. and then after 9/11 i was invited to the pentagon for a meeting with the former secretaries of defense and i had a couple ideas in that meeting and the secretary's office called and i started taking people from the silicon valley to solve some of the technology problems in there. so i went to congress at the age of 30, by the way. it was unbelievable and so i saw the buildup. i saw the soviet aiming all the nuclear weapons at us. i went to the soviet union. i saw the wall fall. i saw us beat saddam hussein and drive him out of kuwait. i saw the brush fires in then, of rica and course, after 9/11 being in the pentagon so i've had a whole lifetime and almost a whole arc of seeing things in this world and now, of course, our enemy's different but you have to adapt and all that. . let me stop and take whatever questions you might have.
yes? questioner: our biggest enemy i feel like right now is the opiate epidemic. i'm a registered nurse who have seen about 400 people die in the past year. i was just wondering, what is your plan to combat this problem? mr. kasich: is it mia? about six years -- before i was sworn in as governor, i've been governor now going on my fifth year. so with six years ago, i was down in southern ohio and these ladies asked for a meeting with me and they came in and they were carrying picture frames with their kid's picture in it. boys and girls. and they all had something in common. their kids were dead. and they asked me if i would help them. frankly, what shocked me was, why wasn't anybody helping them? up until then? so, i moved quickly and worked with other people, as i always
do. we went down there and we shut down pill mills. you know what a pill mill is? yeah, we shut them down. we also took the licenses away from these, quote, doctors. and i strengthened our medical board. this was a thing that needed to be fixed as well. because i think our medical board had gone too easy on some physicians that were not acting responsibly. and then, let's see, we busted a bunch of drug dealers. we busted more drug dealers than ever in our history, with the highway patrol being very alert to all this. and then i realized, there's a lot other things that need to be done, so we have created protocols, voluntary protocols established by the health professionals themselves. so if you have acute pain, there are limits to what you should be prescribe. if you have chronic pain, the same deal. there are now protocols as so what we think is appropriate. because i happen to believe it's the prescription drug
problem that has led the gateway to heroin. and i actually believe that we had almost an entire generation that we have lost on this prescription drug thing. when i was a kid, when you and i were kids, carl, ok -- [laughter] -- let me give you an example. when i got my wisdom teeth out, i remember going home and, you know, i was in pain and i laid there and i moaned, get some special care from my mother. she brought me jello and ice cream and then i went to bed. i woke up the next day, i could have gone to school, but i moaned, wined a little bit more. at noon i finally went. we didn't have any oxycontin. now you get your wisdom teeth out and they give you 25 pills. this is really crazy. everybody that i know that ever goes through surgery, i get really, really upset about, be careful, because you can develop an addiction i think
relatively quickly or -- i'm not a doctor. maybe it's not relatively quickly. but let's not spend a lot of any of oxycontin or these other pills. that was a good step forward. then we strengthened our pharmacy board, so that they would be in touch to find out how all these prescriptions were going and then we shut down the ability of people to emergency room shop. because they'd go from one emergency room to another emergency room. we changed that. and then, let me see. then we did something that i think is going to be really significant. if you go into the pharmacy and you order, the pharmacy board has to log out of their computer, log in to the pharmacy board, then log back out and log back in to what you're doing. so we now have an interface, i think we spent about $1 million. and you can take this interface and you don't have to log out to communicate with a pharmacy board. because we want to see what's happening out there. and being able to see who's doing the right things and the
wrong things. and then we're in the schools, with a program called start talking. and that's where we go in there and we actually have a program called five minutes for life, highway send our patrols dressed up in their uniforms, all polished up, and they go and meet with students who are athletes. and then we recruit them as ambassadors to go into the school and keep their peers from not doing drugs. and then we're in the schools trying to get the teachers and the parents to talk about don't do drugs because there's a 50% chance if you hear that, a kid won't do drugs. and now i'm thinking, because i learned this from new hampshire, we're checking this out because we don't understand exactly where we are now, but i would love to put drug education in the health education, which you're doing in this state. which is really good. our people have met with your folks, they've shared all the information that we know and we listen. and then finally, we have a lot of money to rehab people. because we don't want to flush
them down the drain or have them be in a revolving door of being in and out of prison. it's pretty comprehensive. there's a lot of stuff there. it's a very tough battle. now we've got this problem with fent normal where people apparently smuggle this stuff out of the hospital. i don't know if any of you know what it is. but it is a drug that they administer to people who are dying of cancer and they figured out if you take it and lace it with heroin, you have a longer high and people are dying from that. that's our newest problem. i think we're doing -- look, it's tough. but we're doing everything we could possibly do -- [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] there nor kasich answering a question about drug abuse. we'll take this opportunity to take you live to an event in new hampshire. ted cruz will be speaking at vane at the emanuel baptist church in new hampshire, talking about addiction and recovery stories. it appears to be just getting under way. our road to the white house coverage live here on see spafpblet -- on c-span.
>> addiction shattered my family. both of my parents struggled with heroin addiction. homeless, we were living in cars, hungry. my parents were in and out of jail and prison. and finally i was put in foster care after my mom went to sprissen. their suffering was my suffering and my sister's suffering. we were whiplashed back and forth in a constant flux in foster care and with other family members. and as so many of you know, loving someone with a substance abuse disorder can be agonizing as you struggle to find treatment, not knowing where to go, you struggle with relapses, you struggle with recovery and the shame. i'm very proud that my mother found recovery and she had 19 years in recovery before she passed away eight years ago today actually. a major milestone and something that my whole family celebrated every day. and she found that through a drug program and a judge that had the foresight to connect her with a treatment she so
desperately needed instead of going right back to jail. jessica: my dad was not so lucky. he never found treatment or recovery and died much too young at the age of 48. 31 years later, 31 years ago, i was put in foster care and now i'm an adult, i have young children of my own, i work in addiction policy, i work with -- i'm sort of a daughter of all these different fields. starting in prevention and working on treatment and criminal justice reform and recovery support services. and i am frustrated. i'm frustrated that in three decades we have not made as much progress as we should have and we are still faced with these same challenges and so many new families going through what my family went through. so long ago and continues to struggle with. this crisis is sort of at an all-time high, really. we have 129 people dying a day of overdoses in our country. that's equivalent to two commuter planes crashing every single day.
and admissions for opioid treatment have increased 500% in the last year. of the 22.7 million people who need treatment, only 10% will get it. 10%. can you imagine if only 10% of those that need diabetes treatment or cancer treatment or alzheimer's treatment received the care that they needed? 10%. that's 129 sisters, sons, daughters, mothers. but what if, what if by working together we treated addiction across this nation like a disease, with individualized treatment and follow-up with each patient? what if every child in our nation's schools had the adequate dosage of prevention, starting early, and continuing every year through their adolescence? what if when he robust recovery services for those in recovery, from recovery housing and schools to community supports? what if medication assisted treatment was available to those who need it? what if we treated individuals
with substance use disorders in communities and treatment systems instead of haphazardly through our jails and prison, only to shackle them with criminal histories that make recovery so much harder? what if science infor other purposesed our handling of this deadly disease? i think we are within reach of each of each one of these. coming together today to raise awareness and bring change we need, we are getting much closer. it is my pleasure to introduce our first speaker today, we're oined by governor. the governer is a great leader on these issues. he actually was a speaker at our very first addiction policy forum almost two years ago in washington, d.c. so we're so glad to be joined by him today. the governor endorsed secretary clinton for president and is speaking here today on her behalf. he's changed the national conversation about opiate and
heroin addiction after dedicating his entire 2014 state of the state speech to this epidemic. he's called for renewed focus on treating addiction like the health care crisis that it is, rather than relying solely on law enforcement to solve the problem. since then, vermont has expanded treatment options for thousands, distributed overdose rescue kits that have saved hundreds of lives, and begun implementation on innovative new programs that allow nonviolent addicts to enter into treatment rather than the criminal justice system. and he's greatly expanded medication assisted treatment throughout his entire statement so now i'd like to welcome the governor.
[applause] governor shumlin: thank you very much. this and many other issues is why i'm working so hard. but listen, on this one it really matters. i don't want to give you a long speech. i'd really much rather have a dialogue. i want to make a few comments to open things up. listen, what are we politicses really good at? talking. listening to ourselves talk. so rarely listening to anybody else talk, so one day i'm sitting in my office, this is many months ago, when this campaign was just starting for the secretary, and my phone rings and my staff comes running in. the secretary clinton wants to talk to you. what does she want to talk to me for? i have no idea. i said, great, put her on. i've never spoken with her before. i pick up the phone. and i figure it's going to be another one of these many
politicians going through new hampshire, talking about how great they are. she said, you know, governor, i'm calling you because i've heard about the things that you're doing over there to fight opiate addiction and something really strange has happened to me. she said, when i go to new hampshire, when i go to iowa, when i go to all these states, something has changed dramatically since last time i went out as a candidate. i'm meeting mom, i'm meeting dads, i'm meeting brothers and sisters, i'm meeting neighbors and friends and they're just telling me horrific stories, she said, they're from all walks of life. they're rich and they're poor. and they're middle class. they're all colors. they're all parties. the disease seems to know no exceptions and they're telling tragic, tragic stories. about losing family members to opiate addiction. and i hear that you're doing some things in vermont, can you tell me what you're doing? and then she did something that i rarely have known
politicians to do. she just listened to me talk about all great things that i'm doing, that we're doing together in vermont. for a while i thought maybe she'd hung up the phone. because usually politicians interrupt you so they can talk. and she just listened. at the end of that conversation, i said, i'm happy to happy in -- help in any way i can on this issue. four weeks later, she came out with a five-point plan on opiate addiction that is exactly what i love about hillary clinton. she listened, she took it into that extraordinary brain of hers and basically came out with a policy on opiate addiction and alcohol addiction, that if implemented will finally give us the help and -- from the federal government that we need to finally take this battle on, this disease on, and treat it as a disease and not a crime. what was her five-point plan? it was mirrored on some of the things she'd heard from me and i'm sure some of the things she
heard from people much smarter than i am on this subject. because i am no expert. but the plan's smart. $10 billion, five-point plan. first, criminal justice reform. i said, listen, when i was having the same experience you're having, in vermont, by the way, it's great to be over here in eastern vermont today, but i said, you know, in western vermont, when i go out d talk to folks, i find that there are industry tos that just make you want to sit -- there are story ises that just make you want to sit down and cry. so i started asking folks, i went in to treatment centers, i went into our prisons, i went in and talked to addicts all over the state. they told me that we were doing almost everything wrong. so i said, well, where do we start? and addicts told me this, and i passed it on to the secretary and it's in her plan. she said, listen, what folks said to me is that when you're busted, when you've bottomed
out, when the blue lights are flashing, that's the most likely chance that we have to move someone from denial to treatment. and know i have alcoholism in my family. and we all know how much denial can come with that. but you can put that on steroids when it comes to opiates. and what we were doing in vermont was the blue lights were flashing, we throw new handcuffs, we haul you off, it takes four or five months to wind your way through the criminal justice system and then we usually put you in jail. and by the time you get to the judge, you're back using, you're back abusing and you've lost that window of opportunity. so instead, we put third party assessors in every county in vermont. and when you get busted, they come in and determine as experts, is this someone that will hurt you or is this someone that's more likely just to hurt themselves? and you all know as family members, as community workers, as law enforcement, 99% of
folks won't hurt you. they'll just hurt themselves. and we say to those folks in vermont now, if you're going into treatment, if you get into our program with all the wrap-around services, we'll get you back into a productive life, you stick with us, we'll stick with you, you'll never see a judge, you'll never see a criminal record, and you'll never see a court. and it's working. we've saved $50 million in the last three years on putting folks in prison, instead moving them to treatment. guess what? they've got hope. they've got a job. they've got life and they're getting back with their families. so that's hillary's first plan. criminal justice reform. second, we said, we got lines for treatment. let's not tell you this story, because i'm from new hampshire. i'm in new hampshire, my dad's from vermont, but his doctor is up in hanover. when he got diagnosed with cancer and he's since passed away, you know, they tell you now, this is a cancer that you might inherit for the kids and
everybody else in the family, or this is a behavioral cancer. they told him his was behavioral. that he'd smoked for years and years. he had cancer of the asolve gus and it was going to take his life buzz they'd do everything they could for him and we did. we did everything we could. why is it that when my dad is diagnosed with cancer that's created from a behavior that we all know isn't very smart, smoking, that we say, we will do everything we can to keep you on this earth as long as we can and you will not stand in line? but if you're an addict, to opiates, we say, get in line, we might serve you sometime, usually sometime later. so hillary's plan, is build out treatment centers, give states like new hampshire a 20/ 0 match in funds. get rid of the waiting lists. treat this like any other
disease, stop the discrimination, line up and let's make sure that there are not lines for treatment but -- instead of having lines for treatment we've got lines for folks saying, there is hope for my future life and we're going to get to work in treatment. that makes good sense. that's plan two. treatment for everyone. federal government, 80/20 match. that's huge, so states like new hampshire can get into the treatment business. third, we have founds that not right to let people die in the streets. so we've gotten rescue kits. i had the first state police orce in america, local police, sliffers, firefighters -- sheriffs, firefighters, ambulances and e.m.t.'s. everyone will take it. we've saved hundreds and hundreds of lives. i was speaking with your police chief. they saved 33 lives right in this community in 2015. because they had rescue kits. hillary says, 20/80 match,
at the same time that in 2015 per rma spent $422,000 congress person lobbying congress to get their way. and get this. a year ago the f.d.a. aproved a drug. it's oxycontin on steroids. it's going to be our next big enemy. their own advisory panel, 13 docs, voted 11-2 to the f.d.a., do not approve this one. they did it. this year they voted to give oxycontin to kids. you cannot make this stuff up. so we need pat who has the guts to take this one on -- a president who has the guts to take this one on. it's hillary. i ask you here in eastern vermont, give hillary a shot, she'll get it done. thank you. i'd be happy to take any questions you might have. yes?
uestioner: [inaudible] what you're saying is the biggest pusher in the country is the f.d.a.? [inaudible] mr. shumlin: that's exactly why i think hillary clinton will appoint an fdic that's not in the pocket of big phrma but in the pocket of america. that's the way it should be. uestioner: [inaudible] mr. shumlin: we can argue about that. all i can tell you is that in my view -- [applause] in my view, i would argue that the entire washington political establishment gives big phrma too much power. and that's why they spend $422,000 per congress person to lobby them. but i have to say, i'm proud of president obama. he's gone out and said, $10
million to fight this disease this week. he's just put his secretary in charge of bringing together rural communities to help solve rural problems. i think we're making some progress. what else is on your minds? yes? questioner: hello. my name's holly. i'm a person in long-term recovery. and i love the stuff you're doing in vermont. with the vermont recovery network. i didn't hear in the five-point plan, what is hillary's plan or your plan to support the peer recovery supports and protect the investment in treatment? mr. shumlin: that's a great question. first of all, thanks for all that you're doing and for your courage in speaking up. the beauty of hillary's plan is that she really listened to what i and others said and said, listen, it's not -- i'm not going to come up with a federal program that duplicates the good work that vermont and new hampshire and other states are doing.
instead, you send me your plan and, assuming that it's real and it's making progress, i'll send you 80 cents on the dollar for every concurrent program that you're funding. and that's our big problem as governors. whether it's the governor here in new hampshire or me in vermont. we're scraping pennies together to fight this battle. so what hillary's saying, is states innovate, states get it right, those states that are making a difference will get 0 cent on the dollar -- 80 cents on the dollar, federal match, for all of the above, including prevention, which is what you're talking about. that's what's been lacking from washington, d.c. questioner: [inaudible] mr. shumlin: me too. questioner: [inaudible] mr. shumlin: absolutely. what she's saying is she'll support 80-20 our recovery program. comprehensive program. from a to z, soup to nuts. and she gets that it's all part of a comprehensive answer that we've got to work on together.
so it will not be a top-down from washington, this is my plan, this is how you'll do it. she's saying, i'm seeing incredible work states are doing and some that aren't doing anything. i'm going to have a program where governors learn from other state, see what's working and we'll match it 80-20 as soon as the program is in place. questioner: i understand but our state is not investing $1 in peer recovery services. that's really good. but for the person on the ground, for the recovery community organization on the ground receiving no state funds and no federal dollars, without a way to access that, i'm not seeing candidates that give the private community a way to help . that's what my question continues to be. as i go through this unaffiliated, undecided process and vet out candidates. i'm still not hearing the answers i need from my peer community. mr. shumlin: what i would say to your peer community is, you're just warming up on this one in new hampshire, as you
know. i think it's impressive that the governor and others are pulling together a bipartisan group in the legislature to really take this one on. i do think that vermont is ahead of you in many ways. particularly in areas you're talking about. but what hillary, what secretary clinton is saying is, listen, it's got to be all five. it's got to be prevention, treatment, recovery, in other words, you can't just say we're going to take a slice of the pie, we need a comprehensive plan, states need to come up with it, if it's real, i will fund it 80-20. and these are the guidelines by which you have to hit and recoveries -- recovery's a big part of it. it would allow new hampshire to have the resources to do what they should be doing. let's be honest about this. this state, you know, is tight on resources. you got no income tax. you got no sales tax. i recommend you adopt both. [laughter] what else are you wondering? listen, i just want to -- yes?
questioner: hi. my name's richard. we don't know for sure that it's a disease, we think it's sin as a church. [applause] we also think that -- we're looking for a candidate that doesn't want to kick god out of our country. people should come to our jesus, not to drugs. for rest and peace. mr. shumlin: thank you for that, for your opinion. i have to tell you, i don't think there's anyone in america who would say, we don't need to tap everything that we can as we deal with this crisis. and, you know, there are a lot of folks who, as you know, we have many church-based support groups, treatment programs, churches have been an extraordinary resource for a.a. and drugs and alcohol annan, all those programs --
unanimous, all those programs. there's no question they have a really important role to play. everyone's going to decide individually about their faith. but all i can tell you is, no question that we need everybody involved in helping us to solve this problem. you make a good point. what else are you wondering? i understand you have another candidate. i'm not running for president. i just want you to know. [laughter] this is my promise. i never will. but i do want to say, just as i close up, that, you know, new hampshire is obviously incredibly important state in terms of the presidential selection process. i can't remember in my lifetime having a democratic candidate for president, i know you're not all democrats, but on our ide, that has more brain , more ore experience
compassion, more heart and more willingness and capability to bring people together to solve problems than hillary clinton. so thanks for all that you're doing and we'll keep on it. you're for ted cruz -- ok, fair enough. i'm not here to argue with you. i'm glad that you're here for ted. but if you change your mind, vote for hillary. thank you so much. for having me. [applause] jessica: thank you very much. we have a number of partners that have come together to work on this issue nationwide in d.c. on policy issues. and then here with our new hampshire forums. i'd like to introduce you and welcome to the stage a very important partner today, our
at , pastor eric davis here emanuel baptist. we've been so grateful to work together, to sort of bring all of our stake holdsers and our experts and these key organizations to have this forum today. and also sort of to reiterate that this does not work without us all at the same table. that includes both our faith-based partners, faith-based treatment, our clinicians, our secular treatment, there is room for everyone to engage, to make sure that we're looking at this holistically. and that is such an important this.f how we look at [applause] this is about being inclusive with every single stakeholder and person engaged. and we're so grateful for pastor davis and his work and the great work that this church in hosting us today, all of us in the house of worship. if you give us a few minutes of your time. [applause] mr. davis: thank you, jessica. i want to thank you all for
coming out here this afternoon while we wait for ted. a few remarks that i would like to make. first of all, jessica's an amazing individual. and the addiction policy forum is just a fantastic organization. and i completely agree with her that we need to bring all of these organizations together and give everyone a chance to reach people, to help them find recovery. as a pastor, obviously i lean toward the faith-based program. but i also understand this, that there is a physical component to addiction, that sometimes you need to move beyond just the faith-based program. my daughter has cerebral palsy. i prayed that god would heal her. he chose not to. she developed mental illness two years ago, almost three years ago, a mental illness
called psychosis. i prayed that god would heal her. he chose not to. he chose to lead us to psychologists and psychiatrists in town who administered medication and she is back to her happy-go-lucky, sarcastic, 24-year-old know-it-all self. and so, we do want to recognize that there are different avenues and there are different venues. i favor the venue of faith. but i believe that faith can cooperate with medicine. [applause] i also believe that faith can cooperate with counseling. i want to start really quickly, i told her i had very few remarks, so my church will probably laugh at this, this is going to be three hours here. you're in a church. this is not a political rally. i know some people are craky -- cranky about that. but we do not endorse any
single candidate for the president of the united states. i still haven't made up my mind, i'm from new hampshire. i'll make my mind up on tuesday. anyway. luke chapter four, you're in a church, maybe you're not familiar with luke. he wrote one of the gospel accounts of jesus. in luke, chapter four, he wrote this, it's a quote of isiah. and jesus is speaking, he says, the spirit of the lord is upon me because he's anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he's sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. my friends, there is nothing more oppressing than addiction. there is nothing more oppressing than addiction. and so one of the things that really fires my heart, and when i spoke with jessica, we talked about this, is putting a face
to addiction. it's putting a face to the people that are in the shadows. and i appreciated the governor's remarks about that, removing the stigma. we seem to want to marginalize people that are different than we are. that struggle with different things than we do. i hroughout this process hope we'll humanize the victims. we'll hear from a dad whose daughter died tragically from her addiction. folks, these are family members. i have a 14-year-old daughter going to a school, which i almost told where you it was, but i'm not going to tell where you she goes to school. but she goes to public high school. heroin is in public high schools. i was talking to gentlemen's carks i said, you know, as a dad, as dads, what are we mostly worried about? we're mostly worried about our
teenage girls getting pregnant from some rotten teenage boy. i agree with that. i think that's why we need more guns. and shovels. i'm just saying. just saying. [laughter] and property. hovels, guns and property. yes, ma'am? >> so, sorry to interrupt. would jane join me? we just need to move your vehicle briefly. thank you, ma'am, so sorry to interrupt. mr. davis: where's jane? everybody watch jane now. [laughter] that's like the worst thing ever. now she's got to get up and walk out in front of all you people. so let's get all eyes up front. don't look at jane. look over here. ok. all right. we worried about our teenage daughters getting pregnant but
reality is, we need to realize there are some other very serious issues that our kids face today. that issue of addiction is one of them. i drive my daughter to the bus stop and we spend about 15 minutes together before school. and the other day i realized, she's 14 years old and i have not spent very much time warning her about drug addiction. i've heard it said that it only takes one hit of heroin to make an addict for life. it's that dangerous. it's that dangerous. and so we need a comprehensive approach. we need prevention. which jessica's going to talk about, this awesome website that she's starting, this awesome foundation to help parents get tools in their hands, to protect their kids. beyond that, i want to warn us again not to marginalize the addicted. because here's the reality. we are all broken people. everyone in this room, i hate to inform you, but we're all
broken people. the bible even says that. that we're all wounded. we all have some bend towards something. a perversion of something that god has given us that is good. i want you to think about it. how many of you could lose 20 pounds today? that's probably because you're addicted to food. you're going to look down on this person that's addicted to heroin. listen, i like steak just as much as the next guy. but it's nowhere near as addicting as heroin. but i want to lose 20 pounds. and i haven't yet. but we look down on the person that perhaps when they were a kid took a shot of heroin and we say, why can't you break that addiction? what's wrong with you? well, what's wrong with you, chubby? [laughter] what's wrong with you? you can't quit smoking? what's wrong with you? sex addict? what's wrong with you, person
that's always in a relationship, that harms you and others around you? we are all broken people. and this is why jesus christ came. we talk about sin. this fellow over here. he said, let's call sin sin. i agree. sin is sin. what i don't agree with and what i think people misunderstand is this, that when god calls something sin, it's not just about a moral failing. when god declares something a sin, it's because he loves his creation so much that when they get involved in something that harms them, he calls that sin. you follow what i'm saying? god's moral law, if you will, s not there to kill our joy or to keep us away from enjoying things that are good. his rules are there to protect us from harming ourselves. so maybe if we start to think
of sin more than just breaking the rules, you start to think of sin as not doing things that harm ourselves and others, we might realize what this cross is all about. jesus christ is about compassion and a love for the person that is broken and wounded and that's the heroin addict and that's the person that's stuck in a bad relationship and so that's why christ came. he came to die for our sins and to pay the penalty. but not just that. he came to rise from the dead, to give us hope. his death took away the penalty and the wrath of god. but his life gives us hope so that when we in the faith community, when we pray to jesus, we know that we're not praying to a dead god or an empty alter -- altar. we're praying to a god that hears our prayers and can come and have it -- havoc our lives. i would encourage you not to dismiss the faith-based community. but faith-based community, i want to encourage you not to
dismiss the medical community as well. let's work together. let's support each other. so i want to you consider that. we're all broken people. we all have bends toward things that are harmful to ourselves. and these good things, they can be used well or they can be used poorly. so our addiction problem, i look at it this way, it's three-fold. it's a physical problem. when we fall into an addiction, really, an addiction of any kind, as i've studied it out, and the chemicals that are released in the brain, sometimes they're released by an addiction, sometimes they're released by a behavior, but they lock into ourselves a pattern that is incredibly difficult to break. so it's physical. i also look at addiction as emotional. it's an emotional addiction, it's an emotional problem that sometimes may require some deep and professional counseling. i'm a pastor. i do counseling. but i find one of my greatest
strength is this. knowing when i don't know, so there are many times where i'll be in counseling with someone and i will say this, we need to stop. you've gone beyond my expertise. i need to bring you in connection with someone else that can take to you the next step. but it's also this. it's a spiritual problem. and we have a great spiritual problem in our nation today. it seems as though god is being pushed out into the corners and we're trying to marginalize god and spiritual things. my friends, whether you believe in jesus, whether you believe in allah, whomever you may believe in or not believe in, we are spiritual beings. and we need to nourish that spirit as well. thank you for your time. i appreciate you coming out here today and hope that you will not leave this place unimpacted by the things that you hear. again, it's not about voting for someone.
this is not a political rally. this is a rallying cry to look at our daughters and to look at our sons and our brothers, our fathers and our mothers, and recognize that these people that are struggling have the very same value to their life as you do. and my republican friends, and my pro-life friends, those of that you are anti-abortion, listen, the life of that addict is just as valuable as the life of that unborn child. and we need to start taking that very seriously. jessica. [applause] ms. nickel: thank you so much, pastor davis. we're so lucky to have you as a partner, as we continue these discussions and our efforts to bring all sectors together to work on this as a team and not leave anyone out and away from
this table. i'm not sure if our next speaker is here yet, so i'm hoping someone will flag me down when we're ready for the next portion. oh, he is here. great. hi, paul. nice to see you too. we are very grateful and lucky to have paul here with us today. he's an experienced entrepreneur, strategic business consultant, licensed florida real estate professional and a land developer. he founded and built companies including an original blockbuster franchise, he sold a company in new hampshire, and the naturalized and clean shower product line sold to color objection. he received marketing awards for clean shower, including two from the american marketing association and a top 100
marketers award from the advertising age. mr. porter earned a b.a. in management science from duke university and an m.b.a. from harvard. he's also a volunteer founder of camp cruz and we are so grateful that he's here today with us. [applause] mr. porter: that all sounded really great. ut is chief bartlett here? hey, chief. in pull thing -- in putting this deal together, all that sounded great. the chief said, i lived in florida and new hampshire and when i called him up and put this together, he said, you know, i used to be an undercover drug agent in manchester. were you living here in the 19 0s? conscious 1980's? i think i know you.
[laughter] so all that sounded really good. but what it was was someone trying to willfully get anyway -- their way through life. as any recovering alcoholic or addict will tell you, if they've read their 12-step program carefully, we never quite finish anything. and we get tight at all the wrong times. i used to do that. i started out, i was born in massachusetts, not far from here, in the certain -- central part of massachusetts. i went in the hospital when i was 5. and when i came out of the knew i was going to have a hard time today. most my family was gone. our store was gone. our home was gone. we got wiped out in a flood. luckily my mother had taken my siblings out, but i lost my dad and my grandparents and my
unclele and we didn't have a home anymore. when he a grocery store, it was gone. we were behind a dam that broke. those were -- i think stuff like that, i've come to realize that i've been able to get myself away from crack cocaine for about nine years now. [applause] i had a very hard struggle with that. for about 25 years of my life. all these -- a lot of these things she ticked off, i was, you know, an irregular but constant user and i would mess up my life and never finish anything, as the big book said. when your family gets -- i don't know how my mother did it. we ended up moving to florida. my grandfather had built a home in florida and she took us away from all my dad's relatives and
everybody and just wanted to escape. i don't know how she didn't become an alcoholic and didn't become a drug addict. i don't know how she did that. she's still alive, god bless her, at 94. she had lost everything she ever knew in her life. she grew up in a small town in massachusetts, like you know up here. 2,000 people, 3,000 people. they were the grocery store for the town. but 15 minutes after she walked out of her horse, every piece of silver wear, every picture, every -- you know, they found her mom eight miles away two weeks later. because her diamond ring caught the sunlight in the mud. i've come to believe in the last nine years from being heavily involved in going to meetings and everything, that people get damaged a lot when hey're children.
i call it abandonment issues. i don't think it matters whether it's orphanage or molestation or -- and i think that it does something that allows the, you know, i've come to believe in recovery because my recovery's all about spiritual recovery. my recovery's all about exactly the way bill w. wrote about it in his group, about what i have to do to stay sober every day. is that i have to have a relationship with god. and that i work very, very hard to have that relationship. the big book says that i can stay sober, subject to the maintenance of -- on a daily basis, subject to the maintenance of my spiritual condition. i had been a master of the universe.
i was 32 years old and i was a master of the universe, just ask me, i would have told you. and i went to a meeting with a couple lawyers in boston on the top floor of one of the conference rooms in 60 state street and it was 1982 and they laid out some white poudr powder i'd never seen before. i grew up in the drug generation. i never became addicted to anything. i northed -- i snorted this stuff and i think it was the first time in my life i must have ever felt good. because i was instantly addicted to cocaine. and it ruined my life. within a number of months after that happening, i got involved with -- i was all of a sudden now hanging around with all the wrong people. before that happened, you know, i was very close to senators and governors and lieutenant governors, treasurers of campaigns on state-wide basis. i was in the white house at 26. i'd coached basketball at duke
by the time i was 23. i had all these different things that i had done that people would work a lifetime for. and i never appreciated them because part of having the damage that occurs to people that go through these abandonment issues is you live a life in low self-esteem. and you cover it up with a false ego. and it makes it very hard to relate to people. and people can't relate to you. one of the characteristics, you tend to have friendships with the opposite sex. well, you're supposed to have friends with members of the same-sex. but people that are in the program of recovery, before they recovered, they traditionally had always had relationships with members of the opposite sex. they couldn't get along with members of their own sex. and this is this spiritual disease that the big book talks about.
and it is that. i recognize in getting sober that, you know, i know it's luke 11: 17, a house divided against itself cannot stand. and essentially, when you get sober, you cast a denal out as luke says. nd that demon is searching for food and drink, finding none, it comes back to inhabit its old haunts. finding them swept in clean -- and clean, it brings back seven deemness stronger than itself. so -- demons stronger than itself. so if you believe as i have come to believe through this program of recovery that we're -- if you -- that we're the battlefield, those of us that are damaged goods are the battlefield, because the devil did not want to lose me. so he wants to send seven
demons stronger than the last one to come get me. so i have to be very vigilant. but, the beauty of it, and i'll use this event as just one example, is that i have become so vigilant that i've learned how to, you know, and it's not a fake word. i've learned how to practice faith. i was really good at practicing basketball. i was really good at practicing the piano and practicing drums. i never thought about practicing faith. it's just like anything else. you've got to get better at it. when you get better at it, you get rewards of what that means. the big book tells me in step 11 that i will learn to have a sixth sense that will guide me, if i can stay in the present. so, now, imagine this. i was a master of the universe at one -- universe, at one time i was worth, on paper, $11 million or $12 million. i was , january, 2007,
homeless, pennyless, foodless, clotheless, everything-less. and some guy came over and picked me up in the middle of the night, he was a short patrol guy at the mayport naval base. i guess he must have had a room for rent advertised and i knew i had to get out of this place where i was and just had to get out and this angel picked me up in the middle of the night. and the next day i had nothing to do, i only had to close -- had the clothes on my back. that's all i had. and i had nothing else. i was, what the word is, what the two words are, it's called inexre henceably demoralized. -- incomprehensibley demorblized. so i was -- demoralized. so i was sitting on a bus stop, some young lady said, i'm going
to a meeting, you need to go to one, i think. and she gave me a bus fair. i went with her to the meeting and i sort of never left for about seven or nine months. i really, really didn't leave. i was afraid to leave. about the third day i was there, somebody spoke at a saturday night meeting and something came over me and i had what they call a spiritual experience, for the first time since i could remember i didn't eel alone anymore. and i began to read the big book and very quickly i realized there was a certain five-word sentence in the big book of a.a. it was the only choice in the
entire first 164 pages of the big book. and it said, god either is or isn't. i had done the isn't. how did that work out for me? 1982 or 1983 of eing arrested for, as i told you, i started hanging around with the wrong people, and i ended up in some kind of reverse drug sting. i wasn't even in the state when it occurred but i'd been around these people and gotten a few ounces of pot and i was the guy that made the news and i was such a master of the universe that when they got me three days later, they did a joke about me on "saturday night live." now, tell me, when you're really, really depressed that your whole life you just saw go down the toilet and you're at home really, really redepressed and you're watching "saturday night live" to pick you up and hey're doing a joke about you. i got arrested for cocaine, trying to buy crack, and for,
you know, parking ticket in san francisco, actually, it's easier to get a ticket for solicitation than to get a speeding ticket in florida. that's san francisco, i guess. so i got a parking ticket or something in san francisco for solicitation. i've gone through all the terrible things that drug addicts go through, that behavior that we have. so, here i am. trying to get sober, totally lost and out of it and i can tell you this. god gave me an immense amount of talent and i misused it and misused it and misused it. all of a sudden you're standing with nothing and you've lost everything and you're nowhere and you know that if you start thinking about everything that you did, you'd want to kill yourself, and if you started thinking about how bleak your future looked, because there was absolutely no way anybody would even let me work anymore or anything, you'd want to kill
yourself. so i realized that -- i read a book called "the present." and the gift of the present. you know, jesus commands us to stay in the present. i learned that if i prayed all day long, if i prayed unceasingly, i didn't think about stuff because i couldn't pray and think at the same time and i couldn't pray and have fear at the same time and i couldn't pray and regret my life at the same time and i just started to do this stuff where when i stayed in the present, i started to actually get intuition. i'd get on the right bus at the right time. i stopped being woeful. i just allowed my life to go wherever it took me. and because i went so deep into the woods, it took a long time for me to come out of them. there wasn't a lot of opportunity and i did finally get hired by a real estate
agent, a very big firm, that used to represent me, and now i'm working for them, but i was blessed to get it and i've been able to -- it took a long time, like, i had an angel that took care of me for a number of years and tried to help me get back on my feet, but god didn't want me to get back on my feet until he knew i was humbled enough. i wasn't easy to hum many. -- humble. it took 25 years to go to the bottom and have nothing and be so humbled that i had nowhere to go but to find him. i'm so blessed that i did. putting this conference together turned out a miracle that jessica showed up. the pastors would tell you this whole thing fell apart on saturday. don't worry, god's got it taken care of. i'm writing the preachers, it's ok. god will fix t gi to church
sunday, ok, god, what do you want us to do? had a call with both pathsors at 10:30 monday morning, and jessica calls me and says we'd love to put on this event. so that was just -- that was just a blessing. when i was getting sober i had no money or anything and as long as i kept doing the right thing, people in my aa club would come and give me five bucks, three bucks, for whatever reason the salvation army major at the a.r.c., adult rehab center, used to allow me to come into his place and have dinner and lunch. which was miles away from where i lived, but i would ride the bus or my bicycle or something -- by the way, three months sober the most important day of my life, my entire life, was somebody letting me use the bicycle. that's how i learned to be blessed. that was the most happiest moment of my life. three months of walking and
somebody let me borrow their bicycle. oh, my god, i thought i was off to the races. that's how much i had to fall in order to rise again. about 18 months ago -- i don't know if senator cruz is ready to come in or not. i haven't been texted that yet. all right. then i'll quickly move ahead. about 18 months ago i was very blessed -- i started praying about how can i not leave my daughters, this country that i don't recognize? i said, god, if you could just allow me to use the talent you you gave me that i have destroyed over and over again. that i didn't use properly. that i didn't use to your benefit. let me have one shot. let me help my kids so i can look them in the eye and say i tried.
and somewhere in march, i turned on the tv and senator ted cruz was on tv announcing for the president of the united states and i picked up the phone and called a guy i knew as an againance, a guy named rick tyler, i knew rick to be a godly man and a humble man and i knew if i called rick he would tell me what i should do. he said, paul, i'm already here. but there's a fundraiser tomorrow. i got on a plane, bought rick a at the time, i went and met senator cruz, his wife, all the people around him. let me hey have -- they have let me in to help them. they have welcomed me despite
e love stumble and fall. and hopefully we have seen people pick themselves up again and turn around. this topic, drug and alcohol addiction, is a epidemic in this country. it's destroying lives. it's destroying lives nationwide . in the year 2014 there were 47 .055 drug overdose deaths nearly 50,000 people no longer with us because of drugs. that's more people that were
killed than were killed in car accidents. you think about on the news you see a terrible accident on the freeway, you think about the people that lost their lives, u mourn for those, even more were killed in drug overdoses, every one of which could have been and should have been prevented. in new hampshire in particular is reeling from this plague. new hampshire in particular is . eing the ravages of heroin new hampshire in 2015 had roughly 400 drug overdose deaths. that was a 17% increase from 2014, and 2014 represented a 73% ncrease from 2013. but that doesn't bring it as
real as the rather stunning stat that 48% of the people in new hampshire personally know someone who has abused heroin. one in two people in this state personally know someone abusing heroin and actually adults under 35, it's 60%. nearly 2/p of -- 2/3 of adults under 35 personally know someone who has abecaused heroin over the last -- abused heroin over the last five years. it's stunning and it's heartbreaking and it's something that is destroying lives. d i will say on this topic that's something i know something about in my family as well. and i'll share two stories, two stories of addiction.
one that ended well and one that did not. my older sister, miriam, was 9 years older than i am. she was my father's daughter from his first marriage. and when she was a little girl er parents divorced. i grew up with miriam. she would live with us during the summer. she lived with her mom during the year. she'd live with me. and my other half sister during the summertime. as her baby brother she would -- i would play with her. she would let me pull on her hair. pull on her hair nonstop. she was a beautiful, beautiful woman. she was very smart. she was very charming. paul talked about the consequences of abandonment, the consequences of a family breaking up.
miriam her whole life was angry. she never forgave my dad for divorcing her mother. her whole life she was-- she had a rage. she was angry at the world. she was angry at god. and she struggled her whole life with drug and alcohol abuse. as a teenager she partied hard. i remember as a little kid she would steal money from me. i would save money from my allowance, she would steal money rom me to go out and use it to uy alcohol, buy drugs. who nded up marrying a man had been in and out of prison.
who ended up mistreating her pretty significantly. she had a son, my nephew, joey, and then pretty soon miriam was a single mom. she was in a car accident and had a back injury. and she got addicted to painkillers. and the painkillers spiraled down from there. she herself went to jail. tended to be petty offenses, things like shoplifting. i remember talking to her when she was in jail, your older sister, with her crying how hard it was, how horrible the people in there were to her. i remember when i was in my late 0's miriam took a serious turn
for the worst. she had gotten out of jail and she had gotten with a guy there who was a more serious drug addict than she. and they were living at a crackhouse. i remember my dad flew up from texas. she was up in philadelphia. my father and i drove up. i was in d.c. at the time. my father and i drove up. to try to get my sister out of the crackhouse. i remember my dad and me both taking our watchings and rings and wallets and leaving them behind because we were driving to a crackhouse. we didn't know what was going to happen there if we were going to be robbed or shot or what was going to happen. and i remember pulling miriam out of there and we took her to a denny's not too far away. the two of us sat down with her for four or five hours.
trying to pull her back. but she wouldn't listen. she kept going on and on, she was angry. she said, daddy missed my swim eet when i was in high school. and i remember telling her, miriam, you've got a son. a sixth grader, joey, he needs you. but she didn't want to listen. she wasn't prepared to change the path she was on. and she wouldn't change. so i ended up, i had just started at a law firm. i was a brand new lawyer. i had a ton of student loans, but i ended up taking a $20,000 cash advance on a credit card and using that money to put my
nephew in a boarding school. valley forge military academy. which took him in. and it was actually a wonderful environment for my nephew. having some structure, having some order, having some discipline. having some basic stability in his life. and by the end of that year in school, miriam had come back some. she was out of the crackhouse. she was not -- she was still struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, but it was not as bad as it had been. she was able to care for joey again. miriam a few years ago died of an overdose.
joey, her son, found her in her bed. the coroner ruled it accidental. we'll never know. we just got the call one day hat miriam was gone. these tragedies are happening in human lives all over this country. it's the human journey. it's not an easy one. it's fraught with peril and sometimes people make decisions bound and determined to destroy hemselves. you wonder, could i have done more? was there a way to pull her back? was there a way to change the path she was on? those are questions you never
fully answer. now, there are other journeys that have happier endings. journeys like the one paul bravely described. for me, that journey was my father's journey. which occurred when i was a little boy. my father was a drunk. that's one of the reasons his first family broke up. and when i was 3, my dad left us. he was not a christian. my mother was not a christian. we were living at the time up in calgary. and my dad left us. he went down to texas. decided he didn't want to be married and he didn't want to be a dad to his son anymore.
and when he was down in houston, he was down there for several months, my mom was a single mom raising me, and a friend invited my father to a bible study. and for whatever reason my dad came to the bible study. and he remembers at the end they were taking prayer requests and they were praying, and he was struck that everyone there had challenges that, indeed, one of the women there described how her son would beat her to get money to buy drugs. and yet what struck my father in that bible study is that the people sitting there had what the scripture calls a peace that passes understanding. he couldn't understand t it made no sense to him. but he knew he wanted it.
he knew he didn't have it and he knew he wanted it. so left that bible study, and that night as he was leaving the folks hosting it gave him a little familiarlet called the four spiritual laws. i suspect a number of you have read the four spiritual laws. they suggested, just read this. and come back next week. and he did. and he came back. when he came in, they asked him, did you read the little pamphlet? he said yeah, but it can't be that simple. that's too easy. it can't be that simple. so he kept asking questions. the folks hosting the bible study were fairly new christians. they said, i'll tell you what, tomorrow our pastor is coming over to the house. would you be willing to come by and ask him the questions? he said sure.
so the next day he went by the house, about 7:00, and my dad spent four hours arguing with the pastor. look, he was young, he was brilliant, he was an atheist, he was convinced he knew everything. and he argued and argued and argued with the pastor. finally about 11:00 at night my dad said, all right, what about the man in tibet? who's never heard of jesus, what about him? ,nd the pastor's name was galen and brother wily very wisely didn't take that bait. if he had, he probably would have been there another two or three hours arguing with my dad. instead, he said rafael, i don't know about the man in tibet. i don't know. but you have heard of jesus. what's your excuse?
and that ended up hitting my dad like a ton of bricks. and he dropped to his knees right then, gave his life to jesus. that was april 15, 1975. the next sunday, my father was baptized at the church. and he drove to the airport, he bought a ticket, and he flew back to my mother and me. and it turned his life around. my father hadn't had a drink in 40 years. [applause] senator cruz: every one of us who has dealt with these demons or has dealt with loved ones
grabbling these demons -- grappling these demons, every one of us understands these are personal journeys. there's no uniform solution that fixes it all. it's certainly not going to be washington, d.c. that steps in and solves these problems. friend and o be family, churches, charities, loved ones, treatment centers. people working to help those who are struggling overcome their addiction. drug addiction is a disease. alcohol addiction is a disease. it is a vicious disease. there are so many, there are so many here that are working in the field of helping people get that monkey off their back.
helping people overcome that addiction. faith and a relationship with god can be a powerful, powerful element. of turning it around. that's why the church plays such an important role. if you look at the history of we wereout 80 years ago facing an epidemic in alcoholism. and doctors are given up. alcoholics were sometimes put in asylums to die. and actually the northeast was a battleground for this devastating disease. the founders of a.a. were from the neighboring state of vermont. when they formed a.a. there were
no government grants and there were no nonprofits working to help alcoholics. and the program was so successful at the time that wealthy donors offered to write checks to underwrite a.a. but a.a. turned down the money. so as not to corrupt the organization. and to this day a.a. takes no money from outside enterprises or sources. instead it's self-supporting through its members' contributions. and a program of person helping person to find god, a god of their understanding and rely upon that higher power to guide heir life, and to protect them as the program still works today. those programs are what we need more and more of. helping people get back on their
feet, free them from addiction. not everyone is going to be helped. but each of us on the ground can make a real difference. i will note there's a second thing that can make a real difference. which is securing the borders. if you look at what's happening right now on our borders, it is an absolute disgrace. listen, i represent the state of texas. we've got roughly 1,200 miles of border with mexico. i would invite anyone to come down to the border, see for yourself what's going on there. the border is utterly unsecured. i would invite you to do as i have to meet with farmers and ranchers there who will show you photographs of dead body after dead body after dead body of
women and children abandoned to die in the desert. local farmers for whom it has become, sadly, a recurring experience to just encounter dead bodies of people being trafficked in, abused and abandoned by the coyotes and left to die. and it is the very same cartels that are trafficking in human beings, that are physically abusing these human beings, selling god's creatures into sexual slavery. it is these very same cartels that are the drug cartels. that are bringing heroin, el chappo. sean penn seems to think he's a sex iy hero.
so grat tide to who wrood for glorifying vicious killers. what a cute and chic thing to celebrate. someone who murders and destroys ives for a living. el chappo's organization brings vast numbers, vast quantities of drugs into this contry. vast quantities of heroin. heroin confiscations at the border have increased from about 2,100 kilos 2008 to in 2012. when the border's not secure, that's what happens. you have drugs flooding into this country. and you have people in new hampshire and elsewhere that sometimes they start with prescription painkillers, but those become harder and harder to get and they are more expensive and it's cheaper and
easier to go with heroin. you're seeing the heroin usage umbers just explode. if we want to turn around the drug crisis, we have got to finally and permanently secure the border. i'll tell you we know how do this. we are told by the media over and over again this problem can't be solved. you can't secure the border. how many times have you heard a reporter say, if you build a 10-foot wall, they'll bring an 11-foot ladder? interestingly enough, reporters think they are very clever when they make this point. well, if you want to see how walls work, i invite anyone -- come to israel. tabling a look at their wall -- take a look at their wall. when you have terrorists crossing over from gaza,
suddenly a wall works. when you've got incentive to actually make it work. that's why i have laid out a very, very detailed immigration plan. it's 11 pages, single spaced, chapter and verse. it's easy for someone to talk about we are going to fix this problem. but specifics somehow occur a lot less frequently. do you know right now it is existing federal law that mandates building over 700 miles of reinforced fencing on the southern border? you know how much of that fencing this administration has allowed to be built? 36 miles. you pick up the federal statutes, you pick up the iseral law you say this wall mandatory. and yet the administration refuses to comply with it. we need to solve this problem.
we need to build the wall. we need to trim the border patrol. -- triple the border patrol. when you talk with law enforcement on the ground, when you talk with law enforcement in south texas, they consistently say boots on the ground are the most important piece. we need to increase fourfold the fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft so that you use technology if there is an attempted incursion, if you happen to see someone carrying an 11-foot ladder. then the technology directs the boots on the ground, we have someone attempting to cross at this point. he'll be easy to spot, he's the guy with the 11-foot ladder. we can use the tools to solve this. an important thing to understand, it's not that we look the know how, it's that we lack the political will. t's that as a political matter
the democratic party does not want to solve this problem. as a political matter, far too any republicans don't, either. sadly, stopping the drug traffic because theirized policy view instead is to open the borders to illegal immigration. on the democratic side i think an awful lot of folks view the people coming across as new voters. new democratic voters. there's a politically correct term now for illegal aliens, it's called undocumented democrats. but it's not complicated why these politicians are saying more and more and more because we think we stay in power if we bring as many of them in and
make them citizens, then they vote for us. but what if anything more cynical is all of the republicans who listen to the u.s. chamber of commerce, who listen to wall street, who listen to the lobbyists in washington, all of whom view illegal immigration as cheap labor. they think it's fabulous, cheap labor, drive down wages. what could be better? but it's that political commitment that results in our not securing the border and not stopping the flow of drugs into this country. it that political commitment is wrong. it is number one, not standing up for the working men and women of this country. it is resulting in economic stagnation. it is resulting in wages. median wages today are the same as they were in 1996. 20 years with no increase in median wages. you want to understand why the
american middle class is furious with washington it? with politicians of both parties , it's because the policies of washington keep undermining the american middle class. but if you want to stop the drug traffic, you've got to have an administration committed to we will secure the border. just today the head of the border patrol union testified to congress that this administration ordered the border patrol to stand down. tand down. don't hold illegal aliens. if you apprehend them, release them. and don't track them. once you release them, you're not allowed to track them. i'll tell you, i visited with
border patrol agents. you want to talk about law enforcement with low morale? they are out there risking their lives. i talked to border patrol agents where they describe the drug cartels firing .50 caliber rifles at them. they are risking their lives fighting vicious criminals and their political supervisors don't let them do their job. what lunacy is this? where we are not only not securing our borders, we are actively preventing law enforcement from securing the borders. it makes no sense. so the focus of this gathering today is focusing on drug addiction and alcohol addiction. it's focusing on the human toll, the human consequences.
that all of us one way or another have been touched by. i will say the solution to this is going to come at the state and local level. it's going to come from the church. it's going to come from charities. it's going to come from friends and family and loved ones stepping forward and saying, we are here for you. we'll be on this journey with you. but it's also going to come from a federal government that actually does its job and secures the border. i will tell you this, if i'm leekted president -- elected president, you have my solemn commitment we will secure the borders. [applause] senator cruz: and we will end
this plague of rampant drugs flooding into this country and destroying lives all across this nation. thank you. [applause] jessica: thank you so much, senator cruz, for being with us today at our forum. so grateful you participated and took the time to share your policy thoughts on addiction as well. we actually are inviting senator cruz to stay with us for a round table discussion on these important issues. we have some of our most important stakeholders and experts with us, folks from new hampshire as well as nationwide for this discussion. so i'd like to invite them to
the stage right now and we'll do a previous introduction and so grateful that senator cruz has agreed to be a part of our round table discussion to learn from each of our stakeholders. first i'd like to introduce and invite chief peter bartlett from manchester, undercover narcotics ficer, hooksett chief of police, 24 years of law enforcement experience. so grateful he can be here today. we have becky vaughn, vice president for -- of addiction for the national council of behavioral health. she's an accomplished advocate. my go-to treatment expert. she has extensive background addiction services as well as implemation of parity. prior to the council, she was c.e.o. of the state association of addiction services and president and c.e.o. of the fwafment council on substance abuse. also doug griffin.
doug is a u.s. coast guard veteran, current member of the board of directors for the merrimac substance abuse project. vice president of project recovery as well, by is a newly formed nonprofit organization in new hampshire whose goal is to open the silver house for women. doug is a well informed advocate for those suffering with addiction as well as addiction detox treatment and recovery process. it is his goal to ensure any person that wishes to walk the path of recovery will be treated care-i fairly and respectfully. thank you for being here with us, doug. so grateful to have you at our second forum in new hampshire. i'd also like to invite paul porter, who you heard from earlier. amazing account and testimony about his recovery. and benjamin burks is a bible college graduate and previously worked as an assistant pastor and senior pastor and staff evangelist. he's been in ministry since
1984. of acurrently the minister faith-based program for crids struggling with crippling habits and addictions. i'd also like to invite holly. holly is the director of recovery support services for new hampshire. she's recently opened the first recovery community center in new hampshire. a person long-term recoverer herself. she advocates for them and tries to educate the public. holly previously served as director of rhode island communities for addiction recovery efforts and manager of the anchor recovery community centers in rhode island. welcome. also our second forum in new hampshire. she was here in january with us. i'd like to welcome marshal taylor -- marcia taylor. she's preeze of a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing teen substance abuse and helping families addicted by
addiction. in addition to her leadership, she leads the medicine abuse project, communications and education campaign aimed at reducing teen prescription drug and over-the-counter cough medicine abuse by half a million. previously she served as senior advisor for drug policy and research for the senate judiciary committee on climate and drugs and the democratic staff director of the senate caucus on international narcotics control working for then senator joe biden. i'd also like to welcome senator cruz to join us. for our panel. we are so excited. we are going to have brief remarks from all of our stakeholders and our panelists followed by a little bit of "q&a." >> thank you so much for taking the time for us.
chief, did you want to start us off and give us a little bit of a sense of what you're seeing here in hookis the ett, new hampshire? >> i'm the chief of police here in hooksett. i thank you for inviting me here. it's a very important topic. we have been hearing a lot about it. i'd like to give a little perspective of the local law enforcement. although hooksett is a small community here in new hampshire, we are not immune from this plague. peter: what we are seeing on the frontlines in a small community such as hooksett is families that are being destroyed by overdose and addiction. in 2015, the fire and rescue used narcan 31 times. we responded to a drug overdose deaths in the last two years just under 10. those are astounding numbers for
a small community in new hampshire. as paul indicated during his remarks, i worked undercore narcotics when i was a young officer working for the sitive manchester back in the late 1980's and early 1909's when crack cocaine was first on the scene and it was flooding into the state. a lot of things that i saw back then i'm seeing today. repeat themselves over and over again. one of the things that i didn't see back then was i never saw law enforcement partner with recovery and treatment such that we are trying to do today. that's one of the things that we know as law enforcement, we can't arrest our way out of this. we can't keep putting people in jail without helping them and giving them some sort of avenue to get better. we all understand that. that's sort of what we are seeing on the frontline today. it's important for us in law enforcement to know that we've got the partners in the
community so we can do our job and that we can help these people get better so it doesn't keep preeting it self over and over again. the last thing i want to do, and i have done this so many times, is knock on someone's door in the middle of the night and tell them their loved one is dead from an overdose. it's a terrible feeling on my side of law enforcement, it's a terrible feeling to see that grief happen live in front of you. it's terrible to know that those people are leaving behind children and families and friends that cared deeply about them and they couldn't stop it. i think that's some of the things that law enforcement is looking for is to be able to continue to do our jobs. one of the things that i would like to see and that we are working very hard with in partnering with our federal partners, with the d.e.a., the f.b.i., the state attorney generals drug task force, anybody who is peddling this poison to our communities, i
would like to see penalties that are appropriate for that. when we have drug dealers. the money that's utilized that these drug dealers make for take thatforts now to away from us because we can use that in the drug forfeiture fund to fight that battle with these funds. i would like to see that continue. i'm fearful that i'm not going to have those funds available. bigger communities aren't going to have those funds. that's some of the things we are seeing on the local level in law enforcement. hopefully that we can as this moves on, we can partner together and make this a success. thank you. [applause] jessica: as pastor davis mentioned earlier and i wholeheartedly agree, the face of this, the sort of not losing sight that this is our loved ones, our moms and sisters, and our families that we are sort of
talking about at the end of the day. we are so delighted to have doug with us who has from a family member's perspective a shared impact on his own family. can you give us a few words. doug: i'd like to put a pretty face on this problem if i could. my daughter, we lost her in late 2014. all of last year i spent going around telling people what it was like, what the signs of addiction were, and the things she had done to our family, the devastation. but this year i'm speaking about recovery and about the things that are being done to change this. to erasing the stigma. making changes. i'm a member of the kingston alliance club as was courtney. she was a charter member. we are having our first ever golf tournament this year and dough nathe the proceeds of that golf tournament for substance abuse, recovery services, and education. that's a giant step for somebody like the lions.
1.3 million lions in the world. i would like to challenge all the lions to pitch in and to contribute to this cause because although we are known for sight and hearing, this is a vital thing that's happening in our country. we need to help save these kids. we are losing a whole generation. 129 people a day are dying from overdose. also our church, we have pastor aaron who had a service for our church the third sunday of every month for addicts and their families. now we are averaging about 60 people a month that come in. there is no stigma in our church. we have active users. we have people in recovery. we have folks that have lost their families. it's a real grassroots effort. other churches are coming and seeing what it's about. it's a great service. we have project recovery, which is planning to open up the women's sober house. we are very active. we have people like holly and eric who is doing great things
for our state. because the government can't provide enough money to get us out of this jam, we need corporate america to step up. need the people to step up. we need the grassroots efforts to continue. after next tuesday when all the big guys go away, nothing personal, we still need to keep this fight up. we really do. thank you very much. [applause] jessica: we also have holly. give us an update on where we stand and the things we should be advancing. holly: first of all i'm thankful that we have a faith-based community that is taking steps to try to understand better that this is really just a human issue. and that god loves shall. -- everybody. so everybody is worthy of
forgiveness and second chances. that's the way my god taught me. ok. so i'm glad about that. i think that you happen to say something that hits my brain that i got to ask you about, you say the government's not going to do this. and from my perspective, where i am, in new hampshire today, we haven't seen government funds from our center. we haven't seen state funds yet from our center perspective. we are really a collaboration of diversity to try and harness this. we have family members who have survived a loved one. we have people in recovery. we have people seeking recovery. we have the faith-based community. we have the -- all of these people. chief willard in the town it's about building healthy community.
we understand that. in that presence we still need medical intervention. we still need to get people medical intervention. and i don't -- we didn't see a way. we did kind of try and get entrepreneurial and ask businesses to step up to the plate so that we could still provide these services. why isn't the government stepping up to these things? there have been great businesses to show up to the fight and say, yeah, we want to offer recovery services to our employees as well. as we know, most of the people that meet the criteria for substance abuse disorder are working, right. and they are in their families and doing their thing and they don't reach out for help. the faith-based community is largely there for the people that will walkthrough that door, but there's other doors to walkthrough. how are you going to get government to support those
health initiatives in conjunction with the community efforts and the peer movement? senator cruz: there is no doubt that there is a role for government and an important role for government. i'm supporting legislation right now in the senate that would direct funds to drug treatment and rehabilitation. that's important to do. the point i was make something it's not going to be the government that solves this. that it is going to take people on the ground connecting directly one person at a time, churches and charities. and people have to make personal transformations. holly: agreed. senator cruz: i very much agree we have to have resources directed on the medical side as well. absolutely. holly: glad to hear you say that. >> you used the words medical intervention. what's missing today that was always there in a.a. was when somebody was in an asylum, the doctor would call up the people
he knew were in a.a. and bring them in when that person was in the right state of mind to hear someone else's story and connect with them. paul: the same thing with hospitals. and i know there's some legislation in front of the new hampshire assembly. the state legislature right now. one of the things that concerns me is that legislation's all going to be written so only, quote, professionals, what they call counselors, which you know there are going to be people that have titles and getting paid by agencies and that the regular people that have done this for 80 years are going to get excluded out of that and that's extremely concerning to me. because those -- i know that i went to the first baptist church of jacksonville and i was asked to give my testimony there and a woman came up to me and said my son's in jail. will you go talk to him? he got out of jail. his mother -- i saw his mother lately, which was three years later, says he's never used it
again because i knew from reading the big book, i knew how to talk to that person. holly: i'll agree with you, paul. we definitely need to use peers in everything we do. because they have the expertise and the survival skills, quite frankly. but for the tradition of the big book, we want to be respectful of that, and we also need to get people with this experience back to work. without violating the traditions . so recovery coaches are a way to do that. we are now working to get into hospitals to bring people who have lived experience into hospitals. give them work. give that hope. it's pretty great program. i would i vite you to come down and take a look. i do agree. peers are part of the solution. jackie: becky, becky vaughn with the national council for behavior health. becky: thanks. senator cruz, thank you.
this is often seems to be a really difficult issue. so i appreciate you wanting to put a focus on it as well as everybody else here. and let me thank those of you who are working in the field and working with people. it sometimes is a very thankless job. i know many of you are here. i have worked with many of the providers here in new hampshire. you guys do a great job in a very tough environment. but in many ways this has got very simple solutions. we have come so far in terms of research and knowledge just like other chronic diseases and we know so much more than bill w. and dr. bob knew when they got things started for people way back. and that is what the good news is. we now know that this is a brain disease. that it can be prevented. that there are appropriate treatments that can be used to help people. and that when people are in a situation to manage that
disease, we can support them so that they can sustain that recovery. and that to me is what is so important like other chronic diseases, we have the brain science. like cancer, we now have assessment tools that we can figure out exactly what is going on, what level of care, what treatment modality will be the best. like hypertension, we now have great medication to help people who need that sort of help in terms of their own disease. there are some great things to help people. we know even like diabetes that some people do get well on their own. they do learn to manage this on their own. but for those who don't, we have evidence-based treatment modalities that can help that person get to a point where they can manage this chronic disease. to me, that's the good news of what has come out of the research in the last 20 years. the fact that we know so much
more in terms of being able to help people. we are not putting them into asylums because we don't understand what's going on. we are actually giving hope. but at the same time when we seem to be able to mobilize and respond to other serious medical crisis, look at the ebola reaction, everybody remembers how many people died from ebola? not very many compared to what's going on with this. so we do know that government has the capacity to mobilize all the stakeholders. you're absolutely right. not just government but everybody, to address something that is truly an incredible crisis. if we decide that this is the medical issue that it is, why would jess yake and i continue to be frustrated -- jessica and i continue to be frustrated it's not being addressed? to me that is the big issue. we know what to do. we have the tools what to do.
so the issue is, are we going to do it? and we look to our leaders to make sure that that's going to happen. to me that's where we are and what we need to be focused on. making use of great research. making use of all that we know so that we can help the people, families, and communities that need our help. [applause] jessica: speaking of preventing this disease in the first place, marcia from partnership for drug free kids. marcia: thanks for organizing this and bringing us here today. thank you, senator cruz, for bringing us here. we are a national organization that aims to reduce adolescent substance abuse by supporting parents and engaging with teens. we know that addiction is a family disease. it's not only the person who is struggling, it's the entire family who is affected by this. but unlike other diseases, there aren't the support structures in place for families as they are
trying to help their child recover. as they are trying to help their child get into the treatment we know works, as becky was saying. we also know that 90% of addiction starts in the teenage years. so we need to do a better job of preventing this disease as we are supporting parents who are grappling with this in their own families. prevention is one of those issues that it's sort of like eating your vegetables. people kind of dismiss it and say they'll get to it at another point. but it's critical. and it's the heart of everything. over the past decade federal funding for our prevention programs nationally have been cut nearly in half. including the programs that meet kids where they spend most of their time, in school and consuming media. so those of us in the prevention field are kind of nighting this with one arm tied behind our back because we don't have the resources we need to make sure we are getting to teens.
we are reaching them to let them know that this behavior is dangerous, that it's not a rite of passage, it's a big deal. at the same time at the partnership we are trying to help parents find help for their kids. we provide them with resources online that translate to best science into really tangible, actionable tips and tools. one of the big frustrations that parents have, and a lot of parents that we deal with have lost a child or who have a child who is struggling and having a pardon time getting help for them, one of the issues they are angry about is the medical system has failed them. and it doesn't take their problems seriously. insurance companies aren't covering this treatment the way they are legally obligated to do. and it's a giant problem and it needs to be addressed. unless we are preventing it, giving families the tools they need to help their kids intervene and making sure that there's coverage and there's an
adequate response from the medical community, we are not treating this like the disease that it is. if you compare it to another public health problem like heart disease, we realize that heart disease is not just about triple bypass surgery and helping someone when they are in the worst possible moment of crisis. it's really about exercise, healthy eating, making sure every time you go to the doctor they are screening, listening to your heartbeat and checking your blood pressure and making sure they are on top of it. i think we really need to do a better job of really apreaching this from a comprehensive -- in a comprehensive way if we are going to make a difference and stem the tide. [applause] jackie: thank you, marcia. talk about the importance of making sure we have all the key players. we have becky recovery, peer support, and the importance of having our faith-based treatment providers be a part of this discussion at the table. we are so glad ben could join us
today. ben: thank you so much for inviting us here. thank you, senator cruz, for being here as well. thank you very much. our industry was started 20 years ago this april in a difficult place called rockford illinois, northwest of chicago. and the start about a man who grew up in a good church, went to the christian school, graduated. i tell you after he graduated met some bad things, began to do bad things. i guarantee you that story can be repeated in this area. he said the drinking got harder, the drugging got hearter, smoking got harder, doping got harder. cost of his life, 10 years in the world. he tried the secular programs. they didn't work for him. and he had a car accident, nearly took his life. and the lady that lived in that neighborhood. was the only person that lived in that area called 9-1-1 and saved his life. took him to the hospital. and they'll begin to work on
him. had he a desire in that hospital. i need to go back to church. surely somebody can help me. he told his mom on sunday morning when he got out three weeks later, mom, ail geg to church with you. long pony tail, earrings, he walked into the back of that church. that church head deacon came up and said welcome home, steve. that's what every church ought to do. they put their arms around that he's man and he recovered, not in recovery, he's recovered. got absolutely transformed his life. they put that material into a curriculum much like bill wilson did years ago. and this is the new cutting thing on the block. we've got 1,044 churches now across this country that run the r.u. program. 50,000 people come to the r.u. program on a weekly basis, and
they are finding recovery that lasts. that recovery is not in a what, it's in a who. is name is jesus christ. we had to figure out this book right here was not a self-help book. this is a got help book. and this is -- get people back to. we also have a residential home in rockford, illinois. i just got the statistic today because this problem of heroin is not just here. we have a men's home, 42 men in our home stayed, 17 are there because of heroin addiction. . we have 28 ladies in our lady's home and there are eight that are there because of heroin. 17 men because of heroin, eight ladies because of heroin. we have local chapters filled with people and i could give you tms from now until two or three days from o