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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  February 9, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

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made automatically by law each year and the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of certain service-connected disabled veterans. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham, and the gentleman from california, mr. takano, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend th asei amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. abraham: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 677, as amended. 677 contains many important provisions that would help our nation's veterans, including rovisions to provide an annual
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cola, cost of living allowance, for veterans benefits, expedite the processing of veterans claims and appeals, expand the official documentation accepted by the secretary of defense to grant veteran status to benefits to world war ii marines, designate certain cities as american world war ii of es and express a sense congress hong american veterans disabled for life. i want to recognize the hard work of the members whose proposals have been incorporated into h.r. 677, as amended. i particularly want to thank my colleagues on the veterans' affairs committee, chairman miller, ranking member brown, ms. titus, dr. ruiz, mr. walz and mr. o'rourke. in addition, i want to acknowledge the contributions of representatives johnson,
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butterfield, latta, frank. h.r. 677, as amended, incorporates legislation that chairman miller introduced which would expand the eligibility for a medallion provided by v.a. for private headstones that have been identified the deceased as a veteran. these medallions may be attached to privately purchased headstones to veterans in and would be endescribed veteran at the top and the branch at the bottom. the medallions have proven to be very popular with many families choosing to have the medallion to honor the service of their loved one. unfortunately current law only authorizes medallions for veterans who died before november 1, 1990. during the disability assistance and memorial affairs subcommittee hearing, v.a. testified that it has been forced to deny 91% of
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applications for me dal -- medallions because the requests were made by families of veterans who died before november 1, 1990. h.r. 677, as amended, would allow the v.a. to provide these medallions to individuals who served in the armed forces fter april 6, 1917, which is a day the united states entered world war i. the reason that the proposal limits eligibility to those who served april 6, 1917, is due to the possibility that attaching a medallion to an older headstone may cause damage. there are also concerns that placed medallions on antique headstones in cemeteries may alter those cemeteries. h.r. 677 would protect historic gravestones in antique sem tears but recognizes the
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importance of the honor and sacrifice of those who have served our nation in the armed forces. these medallions ensure that veterans who are buried in private cemeteries and whose graves are marked by privately purchased headstones can easily be distinguished. i hope that when people visit these cemeteries and see that these medallions, they take a few moments to we all owe our freedom to our nation's veterans. these patriotic heroes deserve nothing less. this bill also includes the text of h.r. 1575, a bill that was introduced by ranking member brown, to extend a pilot program on counseling in retreat settings for women veterans who are newly separated from service. this pilot was originally authorized in 2010 and pilot participants have reported unanimously positive experience and a significant improvement
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in well-being, stress and a positive coping skills following their participation in the retreats. i am grateful to the ranking member for sponsoring this provision in recognition of the good work being done in this pilot program and the need to ensure that the women and the veterans continue to have access to it. there are many provisions in h.r. 677, as amended, that will help improve services for veterans and their families, but i want to focus my remarks on the section that i am proud to have authored. first, the bill would have authorized an automatic annual cola for beneficiaries who receive v.a. disability compensation. although congress generally approves cola legislation every year, veterans have to wait until congress actually acts, and this could be very stressful for the veterans and their families who depend on their payments to make ends
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meet. our nation's heroes do not have to wait to know whether they're going to be able to pay their bills or not. h.r. 677, as amended, would ensure that our nation's veterans automatically receive the same annual cola as social security recipients. this critical provision will help our nation's veterans better plan for their financial future, and i urge all members to support it. second, this legislation would help make it more convenient for veterans to schedule disability examinations by extending the temporary authorization that allows the v.a. to use contract physicians to conduct disability examinations until 2017. veterans in rural areas, like the fifth district in which i represent, may have to traveled long distances to see a v.a. examiner for a disability examination. my proposal would make it easier to schedule disability
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examinations by preventing the v.a. to contract with any physician with a current unrestricted license to conduct these examinations in the united states. additionally, 677, as amended, would require the v.a. to provide congress with regular types of claims veterans file. this information will help better inform -- to reform the v.a. and ensure they receive timely, accurately decisions. section 4 of h.r. 677, as amended, would express the sense of congress that the v.a. should develop a designated forum for an increased rate in claim or a reopening of a claim that does not require a resubmittal previously submitted to the department. i am grateful to the ranking member for sponsoring this provision and recognition of the good work being done in this pilot and need to ensure it is passed. i urge my colleagues to support
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the legislation, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: i would like to express my appreciation to all the members on our committee who have worked to address these issues in a bipartisan manner, and i hope, and i truly hope we can stay focus on what is truly important here, which is helping veterans. this bill extends a pilot counseling program for women veterans separating from the coping with ptsd and other combat-related stress issues. these specialized programs are helping women transition from the military and start the next phase of their lives. i'd also like to highlight an important piece of this legislation that was originally introduced by my friend and colleague, mr. o'rourke, the
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express appeals act. as highlighted by my friend and colleague, representative titus and other members of the committee and even the v.a. secretary just two weeks ago, the appeals process is in crisis. we are -- we in the house have heard the cry for help and we have responded. after passing this bill, we will wait for our friends in the senate to take action. we encourage them to remember our veterans suffer for our inaction. this action provides a critical and widely supported alternative appeals process. i applaud representatives o'rourke and cook, chairman miller, the v.a., the board of iava s, v.f.w., p.b.a., and emoa in working together for almost two years to reach broad consensus on an alternative path forward. the express appeals act,
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similar to the v.a.'s fully developed claim, offers veterans an alternative option to do more of the work on their own with the promise of an expedited decision from the board of veterans appeals. my friend and colleague, representative ruiz's bill, h.r. 2691, the veterans survivors claims processing and automation act of 2015, is also included in this legislation. this provision would automate claims for the surviving family members of veterans. i truly believe how we treat our veterans plays a major role in who is willing to fight our wars and defend our nation. thank you, mr. speaker, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i now recognize mr. costello for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. costello: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to support h.r. 677, the american heroes cola
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act. there are a lot of very excellent provisions to this bill, not the least of which is the automatic cola adjustment, but i actually want to speak to a part of this bill that deals with the claims processing. the legislation offered by my colleague, mr. abraham, would set out to improve the claims processing experience for our veterans through several steps, and i want to highlight them. first, it would require the v.a. to accept medical evidence from medical professionals in the community to support veterans disability claims. second, it would establish a commission to independently evaluate the v.a.'s disability claims and appealed claims backlog. and last, it would develop an alternative program to determine appeals for disability claims more quickly. each of these steps offers solutions to the current backlog. this bill is a smart, proactive, bipartisan bill that will help reduce the daunting piles of paperwork and delays that many veterans continue to face. i'm very proud to be in support
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of this bill. it's another step in doing our best to reduce the claims backlog. i thank mr. abraham for his leadership, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. abraham: meesh, once again, i encourage -- mr. speaker, once again, i encourage members to support h.r. 677, as amended, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california. mr. takano: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. butterfield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for three minutes. mr. butterfield: let me first thank you, mr. takano, for yielding time this afternoon and thank all of you for your advocacy on this bill. this is a very, very important piece of legislation for our veterans. mr. speaker, we're running out of time to finally recognize the critical contributions of a forgotten but critical segment of brave men and women who served our country during world war ii. and because we are running out
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of time, i urge my colleagues to pass h.r. 677, which contains provisions from my bill, h.r. 1288, that would create a pathway for these forgotten individuals to finally be recognized for their service to our country. i'm referring to an overlooked segment of the world war ii merchant marines, known as coast-wise merchant seamen. these men and women, mr. speaker, served the vital role of transporting raw materials and supplies between our domestic military installations and production facilities during the war. their jobs, their jobs were absolutely essential to the war effort. to this day, many of these mariners have never been recognized for their service. largely at no fault of their own but rather because of decisions made by the federal government. it has been virtually impossible for many of these mariners to obtain the required documents needed to prove their world war ii service due to government orders that either
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had these documents destroyed or never kept them at all. even today, government inaction and delay on transferring the surviving documents to the national archives and records administration makes searching for and obtaining the required documents practically impossible. as each day passes, this issue grows more acute due to the advanced age of these mariners. we must make it possible for these great americans to receive their due recognition while we still have chance. more importantly, we have to do this now while these mariners still have the chance to know their sacrifices were not in vain and their nation and government are appreciative of their service. mr. speaker, these mariners are national treasures, and we are here today because of their sacrifices. they deserve, each of them, to be recognized for their service and i ask my colleagues to join me in this effort by voting yes on this bill. i want to thank chairman miller, ranking member brown, subcommittee chairman abraham and ranking member titus for
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working with me and my staff on this had issue and including provisions of my bill in the base text. i want to thank the committee staff for all of their hard work. i'm appreciative of their efforts. this has been a true team effort and we are now one step closer to finally doing the right thing. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. takano: at this time, mr. speaker, i'd yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from florida, ms. frankel. the speaker pro tempore: ok. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for two minutes. . three minutes. ms. frankel: thank you for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 677 which contains a resolution that honors american veterans, disabled for life. i thank my friend from florida, chairman jeff miller, for co-sponsoring this resolution
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with me and getting it to pass. as a mother of a united states marine veteran, i want to first start by thanking all our veterans who have served us. thankfully for my family, my son returned from two wars. sadly, there are many who leaving the battlefield does not mark the end of a conflict for them or their family. jeff is one of those people. i'm proud to say he is a constituent, one of my heroes. on his 18th birthday, unlike many young men of his generation, he volunteered for the army to go to the vietnam war and it would be brutal. his tour in into 1967, jeff's tank hit a mine as shrapnel exploded into his eyes blinding him. the doctors were able to recover
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his vision and soon after he was back on the battlefield. en on august 0, 1967, jeff's tank -- 30, 1967, jeff's tank hit a grenade trapping him inside, engulfed his body in flames. he spent five months in burn units around the world. he left the army with an honorable discharge and he was not to be deterred. he got married, he raised children and started a small business. the thing is, mr. speaker, the injuries he suffered during his service left him disabled for life and to this day, jeff is under heavy medication for ptsd. he bears the scars of duty that reminds us of what he and many others gave in serving us. now this resolution recognizes on october 5 is the anniversary
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of the dedication of the veterans disabled for life memorial, a magnificent memorial that sits just steps away from the capitol. on one of its -- it reads a quote from dwight d. eisenhower. each of you bears upon his body the permanent honorable scars of dangerous service, service rendered in order for our great nation may live to be according to the expressed will of its citizens. in honor of jeff and so many others. let's pass this act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. takano: i would like to speak about a provision in this bill. included here is language included a pilot program run by the department of veterans affairs which provides counseling and support in retreat settings for newly returned women veterans.
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a report showed that this limited two-year limited pilot program produced positive measurable results in helping returning women veterans in depression, sleep disturbances and isolation, many having been violated as service connected or severe ptsd. in surveys, participants have consistently reported experiencing a marked decrease in stress symptoms and increase in coping skills including how to better develop support systems and access available resources at the v.a. and in their communities as they re-enter civilian life. post-9/11 women veterans are brought together in groups of 20 in outdoor settings. these veterans, most of whom who are coping with ptsd as a result participated a,
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in trust-building exercises and worked with counselors and sikecoling call educators to build peer support. resolution training were offered on an as-needed basis. i urge support of this provision and the underlying legislation and i would yield to the majority for any concluding remarks he may have. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields. does the gentleman from louisiana seek unanimous consent to reclaim the balance of his time? mr. abraham: i continue to urge support of this. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 677 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? mr. abraham: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 32 4 as amended. the clerk: h.r. 3234 a bill to amend title 38 united states code to establish within the department of veterans affairs an office of failing medical center recovery and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham, and the gentleman from california, mr. takano each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. mr. abraham: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to add extraneous material on h.r. 3234 as amended.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. abraham: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. abraham: i rise in support of h.r. 3234 as amended, the department of veterans affairs,. the bill would require the v.a. to use metrics to determine semi-annually which v.a. medical centers are performing saturday torle and which are underperforming. v.a. would be required to send a team to the facility within 30 days to establish a remediation plan and provide immediate help. the v.a. would be required to send regular reports to congress on which facilities are underperforming and which actions have been taken to improve their performance. in addition, the bill would require the v.a. inspector general to prioritize investigations related to underperforming medical centers in the office of accountability
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review to prioritize investigations of whistleblower retaliation relating to underperforming medical centers. this bill would also include a provision to strengthen training for undergraduate nurses on veterans' unique issues, needs and benefits. h.r. 3234 as amended is sponsored by congresswoman mort that roby from alabama. -- martha roby and i'm grateful for her leadership in introducing this legislation. i yield two minutes to mrs. roby. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from alabama is recognized for two minutes. mrs. roby: mr. speaker, i rise to ask my colleagues to support h.r. 3234, the v.a. medical center recovery act. this bill puts the responsibility for identifying and improving the worst performing v.a. medical centers squarely on the secretary of
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veterans affairs requiring him to deploy teams of experts. the bill would for the first time require the v.a. to publish key metrics on the federal register and would require the secretary to report to congress any medical centers determined to be failing. some of my colleagues might wonder why such a bill is necessary given the v.a. reform law we passed more than a year ago. that was a good bill but wasn't a silver bullet. many problems still exist in the v.a. and it is our responsibility to address them. mr. speaker, the central alabama v.a. in my district became known as one of the worst in the country. my staff and i worked with whistleblowers and the press to uncover major instances of misconduct, negligence and mismanagement inside the central alabama v.a. and and nation leading 57% of employees
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reported that managers instructed them to change appointment times to hide long waits. more than 1,000 patient x-rays went missing for months and even years. a doctor was caught twice falsifying more than 1,200 patient records but given a satisfactory review. an employee took a recovering veteran to a crack house, bought him drugs, paid for prostitutes all to extort his benefit. when caught, the employee wasn't fired not until a year later after our office exposed it publicly. in the wake of these exposures, the central alabama v.a. director became the first v.a. senior manager fired under the new law. but even after leadership changes data showed that the central alabama's v.a. -- would you yield three more minutes? mr. abraham: i yield three
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minutes. mrs. roby: after the leadership changes data showed that the v.a.'s two medical centers were ranked the worst -- the worst and the second worst in the nation in delays inpatient care. by any measure the central alabama v.a. was the definition of a failing v.a. system. we had a severe problem and it required immediate attention. mr. speaker, getting the attention of the top v.a. leaders proved difficult. once our problems left the front page, there wasn't a lot of follow-up. my veterans in alabama were subject to some of the worst health care service in the country and no one wanted to take responsibility. mr. speaker, i began to think maybe we were because we were depending on a broken bureaucracy and maybe because we were asking v.a. leaders rather than requiring them to intervene. i decided it was time we change that. in july, i filed this
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legislation and began working with the veterans affairs committee to get a hearing and a vote. i don't sit on the v.a. committee, so i want to thank the chairman, jeff miller, and all the members of the committee for being receptive in working with me on this bill. i also want to thank all the committee staff for their hard work. there is no question this bill represents a major step forward and the foundation to build upon. it should be noted that almost two years after the scandal first broke, we are making progress in central alabama at the v.a. staffing is up, wait times are down. we are building a community veterans' health network that can be an example for the entire nation. we have a long way to go. and i'm truly optimistic about the future. but, mr. speaker, it shouldn't have taken this long and shouldn't have taken a member of congress breathing down the next of top v.a. officials to get the attention that our veterans deserve. you know, sometimes i wonder
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what would have happened if our courageous whistleblowers hadn't stepped up or reporters didn't think it was a story. at about the manipulated records and crack house had haven't come out, would our veterans in central alabama still be subject to the worst health care in the country? would we even know? i don't want what happened in central alabama to happen again anywhere. is bill helps to ensure that requiring key v.a. metrics be published for everyone to see and making sure that the officials at the very top cannot hide behind the layers of bureaucracy when it comes to several failing centers. -- severely failing centers. i ask my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: this legislation, h.r. 3234 as amended, is designed to establish criteria for the he valuation and improvement of v.a. medical centers. the bill requires the v.a. to create key health care metrics to measure whether each medical center is satisfactory or underperforming. the metrics will be bublished on the v.a. website and will be subject to a team being sent to the facility to create a remediation plan and bring them up to standards. the v.a. will issue quarterly reports on the underperforming facilities and their progress on the following remediation plan. additionally, the bill seeks to require the v.a. to enter into partnerships with recognized schools of nursing to provide undergraduate nursing students enrolled in such stools with standardized training. the bill lists the 11 areas of
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training, including ptsd and military sexual trauma. mr. speaker, this bill addresses issues the committee has expressed concerns in the past and pi support its passage. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. abraham: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. takano: do you have any further speakers? mr. abraham: i do not. mr. takano: i urge the passage of h.r. 3234 as amended and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from louisiana. encourage all members to support h.r. 3234 as amended and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3234 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is
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passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2915, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. a bill to h.r. 2915, amend title 38, united states code, to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to identify mental health care and suicide prevention programs and metrics that are effective in treating women veterans as part of the evaluation of such programs by secretary. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham, and the gentleman from california, mr. takano, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and add ir remarks extraneous material on h.r. 2915, as amended.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. abraham: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 2915, as amended, the female veteran suicide prevention act. this bill would amend the clay hunt suicide prevention for american veterans, or the save act, by directing the department of veterans affairs to ensure that the independent third-party evaluation of mental healed and suicide prevention programs required in the act identifies programs and metrics that are effective in treating women veterans. women are important and increasingly segment of our active duty and veteran populations and moving forward we must ensure that v.a. takes a unique need of women veterans into account when conducting program reviews and evaluations. this is particularly important for the mental health and
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suicide prevention programs given that recent research has shown that female veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women and are five times more likely to commit suicide than male veterans. h.r. 2915, as amended, would also require the v.a. to establish and disseminate standards and procedures to ensure that a veteran who has participated in a classified mission or served in a sensitive unit while in the armed forces may access v.a. mental health care in a manner that fully acome dates his or er obligation, not to disclose classified information. serious concerns have been raised by the mental health care that v.a. provides following the suicide death of sergeant daniel summers in 2013. sergeant summers served on a
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number of classified missions ngified missions during his time in the military. when he separated from service and sought v.a. care, he was enrolled in group therapy sessions despite his fears of being unable to participate comfortably in group sessions due to his fears that he may inadvertently share classified information. had v.a. been more responsive to sergeant sommers' concerns and provided treatment that was sensitive to his concerns, he may be with us today. h.r. 2915, as amended, is sponsored by congresswoman julia brownley of california, the ranking member of the subcommittee on health, and incorporates provisions sponsored by congresswoman krysten sinema of arizona. i'm grateful to both of them for their work. i urge all of my colleagues to support h.r. 2915, as amended, and with that i reserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: i rise today in support of h.r. 2915, a bill to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to identify mental health care and suicide prevention programs that are effective in treating women veterans as part of the evaluation of such programs by the secretary. my friend and ranking member of the health subcommittee, ms. julia brownley, was integral to identifying the issues affecting women sue sides, and i commend her leadership -- suicides, and i commend her leadership for bringing this to our attention. congress has long recognized the unacceptable rates of suicide among our nation's veterans. most recently, congress passed the clay hunt suicide prevention for american veterans act, public law 114-2, which requires an independent third party to evaluate v.a. mental health care and suicide
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prevention programs. v.a. recent suicide data report was released in february, 2013. that report found that 18 to 22 veterans per day commit suicide. in a follow-up report, the v.a. found an increase in the suicide rate among female veterans who use the v.a. ealth care system. this echos research that female veterans commit suicide nearly six times the rate of other women and veteran women are five times more likely to be successful committing suicide than male veterans. this bill will amend the clay hunt suicide prevention for american veterans act to include within the independent third party evaluation specific metrics applicable to women and to identify the v.a. mental health care and suicide
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prevention programs that are most effective and -- for and have the highest satisfaction rates among women veterans. additionally, this legislation includes a provential that my friend, representative krysten sinema, from arizona, has been working on for years. this section requires the v.a. to establish and publish standards and procedures to ensure that a woman who participated in a classified mission or served in a sensitive unit while in the armed forces may access v.a. mental health care without improperly disclosing classified information. this provision would also require the v.a. to find alternative methods of mental health treatment for veterans who need to access care without being put in a position where they may reveal information that should not be disclosed. mr. speaker, i reserve the
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balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i have no additional speakers, so once again, i encourage all members to support h.r. 2915, as amended, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield five minutes to the gentlewoman from california, ms. brownley. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for five minutes. ms. brownley: thank you, mr. speaker. and first, i'd like to thank chairman miller and ranking member brown for their help in moving the female veteran suicide prevention act forward. i'd also like to recognize my colleague from arizona whose bill honoring the memory of her constituent, army veteran sergeant daniel somers, has been included. mr. speaker, as you know the women veteran population is more than two million and growing quickly. but our understanding of the
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experience of women in the military and women veterans is not keeping pace with this rapidly changing demographic. we agree that one of the most pressing and immediate issues we must address as members of congress is the tragic epidemic of suicide among all of our veterans. last year, congress passed the clay hunt save act, which required the v.a. to conduct annual evaluations of its suicide prevention and mental health programs. i am confident that the clay hunt bill will save lives. but recently researchers analyzed data from 23 states, and the suicide repository or more than 170,000 suicides over a 10-year period. these researchers found data suggesting that female veteran suicides follows very different patterns than male veteran
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suicide. the statistics are extremely startling. suicide among women veterans increase by an astounding 40% from 2000 to 2010. the suicide rate among veteran women is nearly six times higher than among nonveteran women. for women ages 18 to 29, the risk of suicide is even higher at nearly 12 times the rate of nonveteran women. we don't know whether the reasons are related to the high rate of military sexual assault, gender-specific experiences on the battlefield or factors that distinguish different -- differing personal backgrounds which is exactly the point. without looking more close low at the root causes, we cannot -- closely at the root causes we can't find better solutions. last year "the los angeles times" wrote about this
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describing the heartbreaking medic sarah. she was discharged early from her deployment because of a back injury sustained in iraq. suffering from posttraumatic stress and experiencing physical pain from her injury, sarah was not able to live by herself and moved in with her grandmother. sarah was trying to get her life back on track and was attending commount college. although sarah was receiving , at the tment for ptsd very young age of 24 she tragically took her life. her family has been utterly destroyed by their loss. while so very distressing, the v.a. was unable to help sarah, so we must honor sarah's memory and the memory of other women veterans who we so tragically
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lost to suicide to do our best to better understand the underlying and lead causes that have female veterans to take their lives. i introduced the female suicide prevention act to do just that, by building upon and improving upon the clay hunt save act. my bill will help identify the mental health and suicide prevention programs that are more effective for male or female veterans. my bill will require the v.a. to report to congress annually on the results of this analysis. and finally, my bill will require that v.a.'s evaluation of its suicide prevention programs include specific performance metrics for women veterans. the female veteran suicide prevention act passed the house veterans' affairs committee proudly with bipartisan support. it is also supported by the service women's action network, the american legion, the
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military order of the purple heart, disabled american veterans, iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, veterans of foreign wars, paralyzed veterans of america and the vietnam veterans of america. mr. speaker, this bill will give us more tools in the toolbox to help save the lives of men and women who have bravely served our country with great honor and distinction. one human life unnecessarily lost is one life too many. i thank my colleagues on the committee for making the female veteran suicide prevention act a priority and i urge all of my colleagues to join me in voting yes to this important legislation and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: again, i wish to thank my colleagues, ms. brownley and ms. sinema, for bringing the issues surrounding the prevention of female suicide -- of suicides in our
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military to our attention and to urge passage of this very important bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2915, as amended. hose in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and ass h.r. 3262. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3262, a bill to provide for the conveyance of land of the illiana health care system of the department of veterans affairs in danville, llinois. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham, and the gentleman from california, mr. takano, each will control 20 minutes.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. mr. abraham: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and add their remarks and extraneous material on h.r. 3262. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. abraham: i rise in support of h.r. 3262. the bill authorizes the department of veterans affairs to convey property on the illiana health care system in danville, illinois to the danville area community college. it would allow the v.a. to dispose of a vacant building which it has no use and costly to maintain. it would allow the department to traighten their property line, shortening the amount to require the safety of the medical center campus. h.r. 3262 is sponsored by
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congressman shimkus and i thank him for his leadership and advancing this legislation. i urge all my colleagues to support h.r. 3262. and with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. takano: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takano: h.r. 3262 authorizes the v.a. to convey to the danville area community college what is known as building number 48, which is part of the v.a. illiana health care system. the college will convey back to the v.a. certain lands near the blilleding. we do not have any issues with the legislation and we urge its passage. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. abraham: i now would recognize mr. shimkus for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes.
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mr. shimkus: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. without objection -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. shimkus: it does take an act of congress to transfer lands and buildings. i rise in support of this bill. it's a very simple bill that's going to benefit the v.a. there in danville and the local community with our community college. danville, illinois is a small town to home of big names, dick an dyke, speaker joe cannon. danville is home to the v.a. illiana health care system and danville area community college known as d.a.c. the president is an exceptional leader who has dedicated 45 years to higher education including the last 16 years leading d.a.c. and announced her retirement in the coming year
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and i thank her for her dedicated service and wish her the best in the future. the v.a. and d.a.c. are an excellent example of how two institutions can work in cooperation to serve our veterans. the location of the v.a. hospital adjacent to the community college campus allows our veterans to seek their medical care and help with benefits while the college provides opportunity for educational and training experiences that they can help them transition into civilian life. however, when the property lines were drawn between these two fine institutions, it wasn't a straight line. today, that has created a challenge as the v.a. explores an option of building a security fence around its building and facility and building that fence along the existing property line would be more expensive. my bill, h.r. 3262 swaps two parcels of land that both the v.a. and d.a.c. have agreed to
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creating a straight line fence. swapping these parcel is beneficial to the local community. in exchange for the land, d.a.c. will receive land with a century-old carnegie library. the v.a. has stopped using it. the building sits vacant and the v.a. pays for maintenance and utilities, it is testimony to the house veterans health subcommittee, the v.a. said it would save $98,000 over the next 10 years. they see great potential of the building. through the generosity of a donor, they will transform the library into a local treasure. swapping these parcels of land is a wind fall and maintenance f an unused building and providing a significant location
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to host a cultural location. it is a simple wind bill for all parties involved. i would like to thank everyone for support and along with the v.a. committee staff in getting the bill to the floor. join me in supporting h.r. 3262 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. takano: i would inquire if my colleague has any further speakers. mr. abraham: no, sir. mr. takano: i do urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3262. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. abraham: i encourage all members to support h.r. 3262 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3262. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is
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passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 317, h.r. 3036, a bill to go designate the national september 11 memorial located at the world trade center site as a national
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memorial and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. macarthur and the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva each will control 20 minutes. >> i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. macarthur: i was working in new york city in the fall of 2001 when terrorists tore a hole in our skyline and nearly 3,000 americans lost their lives. like many others, i lost people that i knew. and for many, they lost their dearest loved ones. their soul mate, mother, father, brother, sister, children, child, friends. all of us were moved by stories
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of heroism that followed that event. hundreds of firefighters and police and other first responders who gave their own lives to save others. and in the months that followed, i remember coming around that site every morning as i went to work because i couldn't take the tunnel anymore because it was closed and i would take the ferry from new york to new jersey and we would come around the tip of manhattan and every morning as we passed the trade center site, a hush would fall on that ferry boat. and people would ponder what happened there. and that went on as autumn went into winter and winter into spring, month after month as we watched that tragic site. n september 11, 2011, 10 years
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later, the world trade center memorial opened and it was reeakt erected those to remember those who fell, to honor the bravery of those who risked their lives to save others and above all to remember the power of our free nation to overcome evil with good. it stands as a reminder to every generation that we must never forget and we must never falter. mr. speaker, private citizens with deep concern erected that memorial, and i applaud them for their good work. but now it is our part to preserve and protect this hallowed ground and to answer this national tragedy with national support. the 9/11 memorial at the world trade center act recognizes this site as a national memorial.
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it provides for funding for security and operations. i want to thank the many who have endorsed this bill. 82 members of this chamber have co-sponsored it. police organizations have gotten behind it, including the national association of police organizations and the fraternal order of police, veterans organizations, including the iraq and afghanistan vets of america, governor chris christie of new jersey and governor andrew cuomo of new york and most importantly, nearly a dozen family and friends support groups that were mostly impacted. private donors have done their part and they continue to, but now it is our solemn duty, i believe, to honor the fallen and to protect the living. i urge my colleagues to pass the national 9/11 memorial at the
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world trade center act, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grijalva: this bill as we know designates the 9/11 memorial at the world trade center as the national september 11 memorial and authorizes a grant program of $25 million per year for the next seven years to support the operation and maintenance of the bill. the bill was amended in markup to make the grant program available to other september 11 memorials located in the united states. money for the grant program will be subject to appropriation and come out of the overall budget of the department of interior. i want to thank and congratulate my colleague from new york, representative nadler. he has guided this bill through
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the legislative process and it's because of his hard work and advocacy that it has come this far. september 111 both rattled and united this country, like few other events in our history. we still live with the repercussions and it is a fitting tribute and solemn reminder, with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. macarthur: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. calvert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. calvert: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the national 9/11 memorial world trade center. the events of september 11 continue to stir emotions for americans when we think about that day's tragic losses. remarkable acts of bravery and stark reminders that life is precious and evil is real.
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as a nation, we have pledged, never forget. what happened on september 11 and today by passing this legislation we can put actions behind that sentment. 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of pearl harbor and the 15th affers of 9/11. just as the uss arizona provides a place for future generations to understand how and why we were attacked in 1941, the 9/11 memorial gives americans a place to understand the tragedy of that day and ongoing sacrifices of the united states armed forces. indeed, december 7 and september 11 are now two dates that will live in infamiliary. i want to thank my colleague for introducing this legislation and i want to thank everyone from the national september 11 memorial for all their hard work. i have been to the memorial and
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felt the incredibly emotional effect it has on each visitor. many of our enemies see this as a nation's strength and resolve it as a target and the memorial requires a high level of security in order to keep six million annual visitors safe. this legislation ensures that the memorial will receive the supported needs to provide a safe experience for every visitor that passes through, whether it be his holyness, pope francis, or a young child not yet born on september 11, 2001. i would like to recognize a very special person, rob o'neal, a former member of sale team 6 best known in his actions that killed osama bin laden. the 9/11 memorial has a special place in his heart and has been a strong advocate for this bill. he told me others and others that the site is important to
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him and his brothers and signify the cause for which they were fighting. t-shirt that he wore in the mission is on display at the museum along with other artifcacts. and americans have pulled together to secure our nation and rededicate ourselves to liberty and justice. so i thank mr. o'neal for his service and sacrifice. i want to convey my support for the bill and encourage all my colleagues to pass the national 9/11 memorial at the world trade center act. i would like to thank my staff for their hard work on this bill. ith that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: i yield. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you. i would be remiss if i did not extend to representative macarthur for our appreciation for your leadership and bringing this bill to this point as well.
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thank you. at this point, mr. speaker, let me yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler, for -- and thank him for his leadership and hard work in getting this bill to this point. with that i yield to mr. nadler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, more than 14 years ago two jet planes were deliberately crashed into the world trade center, killing thousands of innocent people. the third plane slammed into the peng and the fourth -- pentagon and the fourth plane was brought down by a group of corageous passengers in shanksville, pennsylvania. as i do so today, i represented ground zero, the world trade center area, on september 11, 2001. in the hours immediately after the attack, i left washington and took the last train back to my home in new york.
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i'll never forget the moment i first saw where the ravaged skyline of lower manhattan from the train windows. normally going in the train between philadelphia and new york i would look to see the first glimpse i could catch of the twin towers. now you could see was not the twin towers but long, tall, billoing clouds of smoke going -- billoing clouds of smoke going straight up and down the jersey shore. the twin towers had been replaced by the brutal glow of raging fires and black billowing smoke. the train that left at 10:00 arrived at 6:00 p.m. they were looking for bombs. coming out of penn station at 6:00 was like a scene from the movie "on the beach," for those who remember that movie. nothing was moving. the city at 33rd street and eighth avenue, seemed
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completely empty. no people, no cars, no buses, nothing moving as if it were completely depopulated. when i went down to the -- i had to call a friend to come pick me up to get home. when i went down to the world trade center the next morning, the scene was absolutely horrible. fire, smoke, debris, twisted metal, human remains, total devastation. and yet even then there were signs of hope. firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians, ironworkers, construction workers of all types rushed to ground zero from around the country to offer their hope. comfort flooded from all 50 states. the american people determined to get new york back on its feet. the attack may have occurred in my district but it was an attack on our nation as a whole and we all recognize that. in the years since the attacks, america has acted as a nation to help rebuild new york and support the responders, survivors and families of the
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victims. last year, congress re-authorized the james 9/11 health and compensation act to provide health care and support the 33,000 responders and survivors who now live in all 50 states and 429 congressional districts. by passing a permanent health program and re-authorization the victims compensation fund, congress provided peace of mind for tens of thousands of brave americans. in addition to making our responders and survivors whole, congress invested billions of dollars to help rebuild lower manhattan. one world trade center now fills the hole left in our skyline when the towers fell and businesses shut after the attack are reopened and are thriving. in was once the towers now stands a comprehensive museum, dedicated to sharing the stories of 9/11 and the bravery of those who risked to protect their fellow americans that day and the days following. and in place of the smoking hole that congressman macarthur saw day after day in manhattan
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now have a some berg memorial. it's a site -- sombering memorial. it's a site to renew our premise to never forget the events of that day. it is a national memorial for a national tragedy. that is why i'm pleased to co-sponsor the legislation introduced by my colleague from new jersey, to provide federal recognition and support for the memorial. this legislation will help ensure the memorial continues to provide a sacred and inspiring spot for generations to come. i appreciate the bipartisan support of the members of the natural resources committee and the house leadership in bringing the bill to the floor today. i look forward to working with my colleagues on the house appropriations committee every year to ensure that the national 9/11 memorial receives appropriate levels of funding. also work with my colleagues to maintain open communications with the
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department of the interior to ensure the money is spent wisely and achieves our shared goal of ensuring the memorial remains a spot of peace to millions of americans every day. i ask my colleagues to support this bill and provide the recognition this memorial deserves. i thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. >> i want to recognize representative nadler and thank him for this support in this process. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. donovan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. donovan: mr. speaker, this september 11 -- 15 years ago this september 11, our country suffered the most deadly attack since its birth. terrorists chose the twin towers because they stood proud and they stood tall. they stood as symbols of the raw power of a people free to pursue their dreams, to live their values and to practice nair faith. when the towers fell, they took
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americans -- practice their faith. when the towers fell, they took americans from every corner of the nation. when the president spoke through a bullhorn consoling a broken nation, he spoke to every man, woman and child in our united states suffering and saddened by an unimaginable act of hate. heroes from all over the country came to lower manhattan to sift through the rubble and pick up the pieces. it was a site of national tragedy, a site of national heroism and it must also be a site of a national memorial. it's only fitting that the 9/11 memorial receive proper funding, just like every other national memorial. it's sacred ground and must be maintained accordingly. also, annual security costs runs into the millions of dollars as the site remains a type -- top terrorist target. mr. speaker, terrorists may
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have attacked our country at three locations that day, but they also attacked the spirit inside all of us. i encourage every member of this body to vote for this legislation and to visit the 9/11 memorial and museum to see what myself and representative nadler see every day. thank you for this opportunity to speak. thank you, representative macarthur, for introducing this legislation, and thank you, again and always, to the heroes of that faithful day. i yield the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you. and let me yield at this point, mr. speaker, all the time that the gentleman may consume, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, to speak on the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pascrell: thank you, mr. ranking member, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 3036,
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the national 9/11 memorial at the world trade center act. it was introduced by my friends, congressman tom macarthur, and jerry nadler. two sent nationals of mericans' liberty and freedom. president bush traveled to the site with democrats and republicans. i had never seen in my other effort e no close to it of how we were united. we accomplished so much when we were united. and we learned to respect each other even more. on that day, our lives, our country and the world changed forever.
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and in the aftermath, americans came together for a common rpose, to rescue, to rebuild nd remember those we lost. friends, neighbors, many of hem, they were from all faiths , all persuasions. this memorial and the museum at the world trade center were constructed that we never forget those brothers and sisters, children and parents, colleagues, we called them that at the time and yet the further we get from 9/11 we very seldom refer to sisters and brothers except for our relatives. and our brave first responders that perished during one of the
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darkest moments in our nation's history. ensuring this memorial site will be here for years to come will give millions of people around the world the opportunity to pay tribute to find lost, and we inspiration in how our nation recovered. as a proud supporter of our national park service, i know they will make sure the site remains a sacred place of healing and of hope as a national memorial. as a result, mr. speaker, i urge swipt passage of h.r. 3036, to -- swift passage of h.r. 3036, to honor the memories of those we lost, to ensure future generations could learn about that tragic day. i thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized.
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mr. macarthur: could i inquire how much time we have remaining, please? the speaker pro tempore: 11 1/2 minutes. mr. macarthur: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from new york, ms. stefanik. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. stefanik: mr. speaker, i 3406. support of h.r. i'd like to thank my colleague, mr. macarthur, for his work on this incredibly important issue. 15 years ago on september 11, every american remembers where they were when this horrifying news broke of these terrorist attacks. mr. speaker, as the youngest member currently serving in congress, i was in high school english class when the horrible news was shared with my classmates from our teacher. i remember my schoolmates crying who couldn't get a hold of their older siblings, of their aunts and their cousins who worked in the world trade centers.
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on that horrifying day where terrorists attacked our nation, we also saw true acts of heroism. as the workers of the world trade center were running out to escape, our first responders were running up the stairs to save their fellow americans. strangers helped fellow strangers escape the buildings. new yorkers helped others walk miles home to get to their families. new yorkers will never forget the horrifying attacks. this nation will never forget these horrifying attacks. the 9/11 memorial is truly hallowed ground, and i urge all of my colleagues to vote yes on this legislation. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you. and we have no further speakers, and i just want to say that i urge passage of this
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legislation. this legislation, this 9/11 national memorial, no matter what corner of this great nation of ours are from, we have a shared legacy here. that shared legacy is about sacrifice, heroism and indeed loss as well. we have a shared future in this memorial, about determination, resilience and the very nature of this nation to be hopeful and to look forward and to one another, we have a shared responsibility. . this memorial will remind us of that, keep that thought very much alive in all of us. and again let me congratulate er of the the response legislation, mr. nadler, mr. macarthur, for their final work and for bringing this before us today and with that i yield
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back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i appreciate the remarks of my colleagues. events like 9/11 and the world that it has brought us into demands that we come together. mr. macarthur: and i'm glad that we've done that on this bill. we've come together to honor the fallen, to protect the living, and i urge my colleagues to join in making this the voice of this chamber as we vote. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 3036. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. as amended. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. mr. macarthur: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested.
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all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. macarthur: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 890 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 318, h.r. 890, a bill to correct the boundaries of the john h. chafee coastal barrier resources system, unit p-16. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. macarthur, and the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the
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gentleman from new jersey. mr. macarthur: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. macarthur: mr. speaker, i yield to myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. macarthur: mr. speaker, this bipartisan bill corrects coastal barrier resources system boundary errors in collier county, florida. the u.s. fish and wildlife service, which administers the coastal barrier resources system program, has acknowledged the need to correct these errors and has since remapped the area. the agency sent the new maps to the congress, which has the sole authority to change the boundaries and codify the correct maps in this case. this is what the bill as amended achieves and i urge its adoption and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. the coastal barrier resource act requires the identification of hazardous areas of the atlantic and gulf coasts and makes federal subsidies off limits to people who choose to develop these lands. particularly in this time of rising sea levels, and increased storm surge brought on by global warming, cbra is critical to protecting american taxpayers and sensitive coastal ecosystems. h.r. 950 would adjust the boundaries of -- 890 would adjust the boundaries of several systems in florida. these changes have been carefully mapped out by fish and wildlife service and reflect improvements in technology that have allowed us to show with great accuracy which parcels of land do and do not constitute coastal barrier resources under the law. as a result, numerous properties that were originally included by mistake will be removed and other properties that have been identified as at risk will be included.
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these changes to cbrs are protective of private property rights, the environment and the taxpayers. and i urge support of this bipartisan legislation and, mr. speaker, having no other members to address this legislation on my side, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. macarthur: mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. clawson. the chair: the gentleman -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. clawson: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate this opportunity to present h.r. 890, which adopts new coastal barrier resource system maps for the
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southern part of my district, florida 19, in southwest collier county, florida. and a special thanks to my for helping me push this through. and their support. i urge support of the passage. on a personal note, it has been my life long concern for the environment and involvement in water quality issues in my hometown of bonita springs, florida, that let me to congress on an unknowing path, really. so introducing this bill to me today is really special and personal. and a special note of thankses to those that helped -- thanks to those that helped so many folks, particularly bob and jack, for your perseverance, perseverance paid off. and thank you to cherie for our abiding inspiration and to
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yodi. the cbrs was created by congress with the 1982 coastal barrier resource act. this initiative preserves the ecological integrity of coastal areas while still protecting private property rights. and this serves as an important barrier against wind, tidal forces caused by coastal storms, and reduces further development in sensitive areas. in other words, it creates a perpetual protected area for our wonderful gulf wildlife. these new maps have passed public review, o.m.b. review, and have been released by the u.s. fish and wildlife service, s you mentioned. this is the southern part of my district. the new maps correct errors
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from 40 years ago which seriously hurt some 1,600 of our constituents and hurt their access to flood insurance, home mortgages and refinancing. these new maps also add 17,000 acres in perpetuityy to cbrs -- pert fought to to cbrs -- perpetuity to cbrs, right here, between naples and marco island and also a little bit south. the island that you see right here, just south of naples, and the cape are part of the pristine picturesque 10,000 island chain 20 miles south of naples. these newly preserved areas highlighted on these charts cover five geographical units, part of over 40,000 now continuous acres that will be permanently protected.
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this is government doing something right for all stakeholders and for all the generations that will follow us. h.r. 890, protecting 15 miles of natural coastal barriers, is sound economics, a piece of what needs to be done toward growing southwest florida's multibillion-dollar private and commercial real estate values, and south florida's tourism industry, which brings in over five million visitors to my district and it also employs one out of every five people in the local work force. i am proud to report that this bill will create the largest grouping of cb -- c.b.r. units nationwide, protecting our unique florida everglades and ecosystem, aquatic plants and animals and other wildlife and also protecting private properties from storms and floods. the island right here, just
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south of naples, is one of the largest, if not the largest, sea turtle nesting area in florida and in the united states. and depending on the time of year, these are the nests that we see throughout our district on the beach. also in this area we see lots of the beautiful spoon bill that you can't find in too many different places. the florida everglades are a natural treasure, home to wildlife and plants that are unique in our nation, fish, reptiles and insects. it is our duty to protect these species. this bill will have a permanent positive impact on preserving this fragile ecological area and quality of life. three years ago i waded into the gulf of mexico with my
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folks. they urged me to get involved in local politics hoping that i uld have just a small impact and a small positive difference in the health of the waters of southwest florida. my mom is dwon now but she -- gone now but she always hoped that a moment like this would come. 30 more seconds and i'll close. mr. macarthur: i yield the gentleman such time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. clawson: and so this is a moment that we can accomplish something positive for our constituents, positive for our economy, positive for our waters of south florida. i am very appreciative to have a small role and i acknowledge that we have so much more to do to conserve the beauty of southwest florida for generations to come. i appreciate it, mr. chairman. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. macarthur: mr. speaker, i have no other speakers and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 890 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended.
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for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the ruse and pass h.r. 3894. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 394, a bill to amend title 10, united states code, to require the prop notification of child protective services by military and civilian personnel of the department of defense required by law to report suspected s -- instances of child abuse and neglect. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from new york, and the gentlewoman from -- hawaii will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york. steph curry mr. speaker, i ask -- ms. stefanik: mr. speaker, i
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ask that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and insert aterial into the bill. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 3894, a law which would require military and department of defense civilian personnel working on a military installation to report instances of child abuse and neglect to state child protective services, in addition to their designated department of defense point of contact. our nation is he is -- is extremely proud of our military service members and the sacrifices they endure to protect our national security. members of our military's active duty, reserve component and the national guard knit the blanket of freedom to keep us safe from those that wish to do us harm. and standing beside our nation's brave service members are the spouses and children who bear constant challenges and maintain resiliency
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throughout the continuous moves and the strained deployments incurred on families. there are approximately two million children with one or both parents who serve in the u.s. military. and the support role these children fulfill is beyond significant and should be commended. our nation's military dependents face greater academic challenges and emotional stress due to relocation and attending multiple schools. it is difficult enough growing up and enduring adolescents without having to move every couple of years, face new surroundings, make new friends, and all the while having a mother or father serving our nation in harm's way. military children must rely on their loved ones, family, friends and their parents, to get through the struggles that only a military household can understand. . however, it is when those individuals, those adults who the children trust the most hurt them in any way. it's inexcusable.
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our children are truly our nation's future and anyone who abuses or neglects a child is appalling and must be held accountable. that is why i stand here today in support of h.r. 3894, an imperative piece of legislation which would require a childcare provider located on a d.o.d. installation to report any signs of child abuse or neglect directly to child protective services and the provider's chain of command. not only does this bill reverse the reporting procedures, but it requires those individuals who work with those children on an installation receive the necessary training to recognize child abuse as well as fully understand the reporting requirements. friend, ms. gabbard, and i ask my colleagues to support this important bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentlelady from hawaii is recognized. ms. gabbard: mr. speaker, i
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yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. gabbard: mr. speaker, in talea year-old williams, was beat to death by her own father who was tationed at scowfield barracks in hawaii. she suffered months and months abuse from her mother and stepfather which eventually led to her death. why didn't someone do something? why was this allowed to occur? why didn't someone take action to stop this horrific abuse that was visible to so many who knew talia? there were multiple reports that were made to military officials, but when it came right down to it, nothing was done to take talia out of harm's way. i'm rising today to ask my colleagues to support my bill, talia's law, because after 10 years, the same gaps that failed to protect talia,
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emain unchanged. in fact, over the past decade, there have been over over 20,000 reports of abuse and neglect in the military homes. whether it's doctors, psychologists, social workers, teachers or other professionals who work closely with children, they're required to report any suspected case of child abuse and neglect directly to that state's child protective services. but the military's reporting requirements do not require that direct reporting to state authorities. report s of talia's never reached the hawaii child protective services. instead they stayed within the army chain of command. there were people around talia who had good intentions and who were gravely concerned about the abuse they were seeing, but the fact remains talia was never removed from this abusive environment.
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to close this gap and fix this problem, talia's law requires the same protections that exist for any other child, whether they're in a military household or not. this bill requires immediate and direct reporting to state child protective services in cases of suspected abuse and neglect. i recently spoke to talia's mother, tasha, who knows that this bill will not bring talia back. it cannot right the wrongs that failed to protect talia. but what she does know and what she does hope is that the passage of this bill will take an important step forward in helping to better protect the thousands of other children in military families who may be facing the same situation. and get them the care and the services that they deserve. so, mr. speaker, i strongly urge my colleagues to honor
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alia and all of our children in military families and 389 4. and i want to thank ms. stefanik for her work on this bill, for championing talia's law, to help those who are facing challenges and who deserve better than to have this kind of abuse. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. stefanik: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. ms. stefanik: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the entlelady -- ms. gabbard: mr. speaker, i would like to recognize mark takai, who is the gentleman representing hawaii's first congressional district.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. takai: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. and aloha. today i rise in favor of a bill my friend and colleague tulsi gabbard and i have introduced, h.r. 3894, talia's law gets its name from a 5-year-old girl named talia williams who was beaten to death at the hands of r father, an army soldier, stationed at schofield barracks in hawaii. we're so thankful for the sacrifices of our service men and service women, for the sacrifices our service men and women make to protect our freedoms but we also have the duty to protect the most vulnerable among us, our children. in hawaii we call them our kaki. as a father myself, i'm proud to stand up for talia's law, which would require promped reporting of possible awould you says, not only to a
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military supervisor but also prompt reporting of possible abuse and neglect to the state's child protective services. it would strengthen reporting requirements for these allegations and make sure they're properly investigated. i hope as we deliberate this bill, we also draw attention to the fact that congress can come together and should come together to provide better access to resources for those in uniform suffering from wounds that may not be visible to the eyes. i ask for the consideration of this bill and its urgent passage. these children are kaki and all the victims of abuse cannot way. mahalo. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. ms. gabbard: mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. e question is will the house
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suspend the rules and pass the ill h.r. 3894. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 6:30 p.m. today.
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of course, tonight c-span's c-span's e white house road to the white house coverage getting under way at 8:00. the new hampshire primary, the first in the nation, our coverage getting under way at 8:00 with wmur tv simultaneous cast. we'll have the results and speeches, plus your phone call, facebook comments and tweets. all of that campaign 2016 comblg starting at 8:00 here on c-span. back in the nation's capitol, -- capital, the foe cass with us on the budget today. president obama sent a $4 trillion budget to congress seeking $19 billion for a broad cybersecurity initiative. white house budget director outlined the president's 2017 budget request today it. includes plans to increase clean energy, funding new transportation systems and investments to cure cancer. this briefing begins with remarks from press secretary
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josh ernest. mr. earnest: good afternoon, everybody. [inaudible] obviously today's the day that many of you have been waiting for a long, long time. the president has released his fiscal year 2017 budget. and we're going to have some presentations here to start before we get to your questions. there's one point that i wanted to make before i turn it over to sean here. and it's simply this. budgets are important because they enumerate priorities. when you is something that's that this detailed, there's no fudging. it becomes quite clear when you look at the numbers what you
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believe rates. and that's the importance of this exercise. i readily acknowledge, as i have on many occasions, that there's some priorities that we have that are deeply held that republicans in congress do not share. and there will be differences of opinion about the priorities that are laid out in here. however, there are a number of areas where there should be bipartisan agreement. there are a number of priorities that are reflected in this budget that are priorities that are held by republicans according to what they say. one good example of that is cybersecurity. there is a robust proposal in here that many of you have already reported on that includes a stepped-up investment in protecting the country, in protecting government systems from cyberattacks and cyberintrusions. that's an important piece of business. it's critical to our national security. it's certainly critical to our economy. that's all the more reason it's unfortunate that republicans on
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the budget committee won't even have a conversation with us about it. and here's the thing i guarantee you. i guarantee you that at some point over the next year, we're all going to file into the briefing room and i will walk in and find many of you on the edge of your seats eager to ask the white house about the latest cyberintrusion. it may be the government agency, it may be at a private sectorer company, that is well known, it may even be a media organization. and when you do, i will discuss the efforts that we have made over the first seven years of this presidency to strengthen our cyberdefenses. i will certainly make detailed notes of the significant investments that we are proposing to enhance our nation's cybersecurity. and you can be certain that i will point out that when we put forth this proposal, republicans on the budget committee refused to even discuss it.
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and i think you, rightfully, and the american people, rightfully, will have lots of questions about the republicans' commitment to confronting this issue that is critical to both our nation's economy and our national security. so with that, let me turn it over to sean for a more detailed overview of what is included in the budget and then we'll start taking some questions from all of you. >> thanks. also thank you to jason, cecilia and jeff for joining today. i think as we begin this discussion of the budget, it's useful to just take a moment and take stock of our economic and fiscal progress. mr. donovan: under the president's leadership we've turned our economy around and created 14 million jobs. our unemployment rate is below 5% for the first time in almost eight years. nearly 18 million people have gained health coverage as the affordable care act hases taken effect. and we've dramatically cut our deficits by almost 3/4 and set
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our nation on a more sustainable fiscal path. it's important to take stock of our progress, but this budget is not about looking back. it is about looking forward. it's about choosing investments, as josh has said, that not only make us stronger today, but enable us to make progress toward the kind of country that we aspire to be. the president is absolutely committed to using every minute of his last year to make such progress, to deliver for the american people, and in particular, to address many of the challenges he highlighted in the state of the union. the budget is a path toward meeting those challenges. it accelerates the pace of innovation, to tackle climate change, find new treatments and cures for cancer and other diseases, transform our infrastructure and grow our economy. it makes investments to give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and economic security. including investments in education, job training, support for working families and modernization of our benefit structure to reflect our evolving economy.
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cecilia and jeff are going to say more about those areas in just a moment. and it advances our national security and global leadership with increased funding for our effort to destroy isil, as you just heard, more than 1/3 increase in cybersecurity across the federal government, and a range of other investments to protect the american people and advance development and democracy around the world. the budget shows that these investments in growth, opportunity and security are compatible with putting the nation's finances on a strong and sustainable path. it makes critical investments in our domestic and national security priorities while adhering to the bipartisan budget agreement that was signed into law last fall. as you may recall, that fully paid for agreement allowed us to avoid harmful sequestration cuts. the second time that congress came together on a bipartisan basis to avoid sequestration. and provided dollar for dollar funding increases for both defense and nondefense
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priorities for 2016 and 2017. the budget also puts forward paid for mandatory investments that are critical to building durable economic growth and maintaining america's edge as the leader in innovation and cutting-edge science, support jobs and economic growth, and expand opportunity. the budget finishes the jobs started by the past two bipartisan agreements and prevents the return of harmful sequestration funding levels in 2018 and beyond. it replaces those savings by closing tax loopholes and with smart spending reforms. and it also drives down deficits, keeping them below 3% of g.d.p. through the entire 10-year period and it maintains our fiscal progress through $2.9 trillion in smart savings from health care, immigration, tax reforms and other proposals. $375 billion in health savings over time and build on
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the affordable care act, with further incentives to improve quality and control health care cost growth. and critically important, those proposals in the budget would extend the life of medicare for ore than 15 years. it also contains $955 billion of revenue from curbing inefficient tax breaks for the wealthy and closing loopholes for high-income householded. it also includes immigration reform along the lines of the 2013 bipartisan bill, which the administration supported, which would reduce the deficit by about $170 billion over the first 10 years and by almost $1 trillion over two decades. as a result of all these changes, the budget stabilizes federal debt as a share of the economy and then puts it on a declining path through 2025. a key measure of fiscal progress. lastly, let me just build on
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something that josh said before i turned it over to jason. i want to take a moment at that talk about the importance of this budget as we move forward with the debate this year. it's attempting to adopt the conventional wisdom that a president's final budget isn't relevant. but i think the conventional wisdom is wrong. with many final-year budgets you either see an administration dramatically chim its sales and dial back on ambition, or you see a budget that is solely a vision document with little that's relevant to the debate. this budget falls in neither of those camps. the budget office -- offers a range of proposals where there's bipartisan support for taking action. josh talked about cybersecurity. but to name a few others, there's a significant bipartisan interest in investing in cancer research, ensuring that everyone struggling with opioid addiction can get treatment, and expanding tax credits that support work and reduce poverty to workers without kids. in other cases, we may not get bipartisan support. but the president isn't going to shy away from proposing solutions that are both good for our economy and address
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major challenges that we face. those proposals may not be enacted this year, but they lay the groundwork for reaching solutions in the long run. the bottom line is that in the final year, in a season full of political distractions, the president and the administration remain focused on meeting our greatest challenges and delivering for the american people. we will spend every day of this last year doing just that, with this budget as our road map. with that i'll turn it over to jason who's going to discuss look and budget assumptions. >> thank you. as sean mentioned, the u.s. economy continued to strengthen in the last year. as the unemployment rate fell below 5% in the face of significant global headwinds that have weighed on the economy. mr. furman: looking ahead, the administration expects that the economy will grow at an average rate of 2.5% over the next three years.
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this forecast finalized this past november to give agencies time to prepare their budget forecasts is line line with forecasts from the congressional budget office, the blue chip consensus of private sector economists and the international monetary fund. starting in 2019, the budget assumes a g.d.p. growth rate of 2.3% annually. the g.d.p. forecast reflects continued growth in consumer spending, which grew at a solid pace over the last year, reflecting the savings from the recent drop of energy prices, the ongoing improvement in household finances, and increased consumer sentiment. 6. moreover, both residential investment and r&d grew strongly in 2015, with r&d reaching its highest level as a share of the economy on record. and both have continued room for growth in 2016. thanks to the budget agreement at the end of last year, fiscal policy has shifted to a
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moderately accommodative stance , as compared to the fiscal drag that had been faced in previous years. the same time our economy will continue to face significant headwinds on a number of dimensions, as foreign demand continues to slow, the oil industry continues to adjust to lower prices, and the societied -- associated transmission of these events through recent financial market developments. the other notable change in the forecast is a reduction in projected interest rates with a 10-year treasury note expected to eventually settle at 4.2%. this projection is slightly more conservative than the c.b.o. and blue chip interest rate projection. these lower expected interest rates also have important implications for broader macroeconomic and fiscal questions. overall, some of our assumptions are more conservative than the assumptions made by the c.b.o. some are more optimistic. but they average out to a very similar outlook for the 10-year
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baseline deficit. with that, let me turn it over to jeff. >> i just want to do a minute or two on innovation which is a corner stone of the president's budget. in fact, innovation has been at the center of the job recovery. you see this in manufacturing, for example, where there's been a revitalization in advanced manufacturing and investments in innovation and manufacturing have helped create 900,000 manufacturing jobs just over the last six years. mr. zients: you also see it in clean energy. we kick-started a transformation in how the u.s. produces energy, with solar energy production up 30-fold since 2008, and this has supported good job growth of good jobs in the solar industry, in fact association lar jobs are growing at 12 times faster than the economy. all of this is consistent with the u.s. is number one in the world in innovation, but it's a hypercompetitive marketplace. the global competition is
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intense. china and other countries are investing heavily in research development -- and development and they're doing everything they can to eat into our lead. so we need to accelerate the tastes of innovation, to build the economy of the future and continue to create high-quality jobs. that's exactly what the president's budget does. it proposes investments that will ensure the u.s. continues to set pace and technology, in innovation. let me just highlight three areas very quickly. the first is a 21st century clean transportation system. it's a bold plan that's proposed to increase investments in surface transportation overall by 50%. including transformative investments in rail and transit. it also supports, importantly supports the development of breakthrough technologies like autonomous vehicles. upgrading our infrastructure helps builds move goods faster to market and this proposal is fully paid for by a $10 a
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barrel fee on oil, paid for by oil companies. it would support hundreds of thousands of good american jobs and help the environment by reducing carbon pollution. more broadly, the president's budget doubles clean energy research and development, it costs $7.7 billion investment in early stage r yabds d, on clean -- r&d, on clean energy, that's a 20% increase. this will keep us at the van guard of the clean energy revolution. final innovation initiative i'll mention is cancer. the president's budget invests more than $750 million in the vice president's cancer moon shot. this builds on progress that we made in last year's budget or the current year's budget to invest about $200 million new money in cancer research. at n.i.h. and to bring together the private sector and the federal government to push the frontier of data and technologies with
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the goal of doubling the rate of progress in cancer treatment and research. so the president's budget sets out a clear plan to enhance america's position as the number one country in the world in innovation, by investing in what we do best. building the next must-have made in america product, making the next clean energy breakthrough, and finding the next life saving cure. with that, let me hand it over to cecilia. >> thank you. as you heard the president express in the state of the union address last month, one of the key challenges as a nation is to make sure we're finding a way to give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and economic security. -- munoz: our exceptiveness this budget makes particular investments in accomplishing those goal, in particular by supporting education and training opportunities, supporting workers and their families, providing access to health care and other investments to ensure that
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we're all able to contribute to our maximum capacity in our country's economic growth. so this includes continuing investments in the educational system from the earliest years all the way through higher education. expansions in high quality early childhood education, cutting taxes for families that are paying for child care, building out the most effective head start programs, including very importantly making sure that students in head start can attend for a full day and for a full year. and investing in pre-k for all 4-year-olds in the country. the president's budget also includes funding for his new computer science for all initiative which is a $4 billion investment to states and another $100 million that would go directly to districts to create access to computer science, education at all levels from pre-k all the way through high school. in addition to that, the budget includes significant new investments in the pell grant program and these are aimed in particular at helping students
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in the pell program complete their educations, so there are incentives to help students who are taking a full credit load of 15 credits and then for students who are doing that also incentives to allow them to use pell grants for an additional semester, so it would allow them to use the pell program year-round. what this does is essentially helps folks in the pell program complete on time, which is important to reducing the overall cost of a college education. the president's budget also calls for $2.5 billion in new tax incentives to encourage employers to play a more active role in the educational and training process, so these are -- this is a proposed community college partnership tax credit which builds on our work to increase access to skills and to make sure that the skills education that's happening ot our community colleges and technical schools is aimed at the kinds of jobs which are becoming available in this growing economy. there are also, as you heard jeff and josh say, very important investments in
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health. you heard jeff talk about cancer. there are investments in mental health and opioids and combating the zika virus. important investments in child nutrition, in particular electronic benefits to kids in the school meal program, so that we can continue their access to food and meals over the summer. as well as using medicaid data to help with the enrollment process for kids in the school breakfast and lunch program. they help facilitate their enrollment and making sure we're feeding kids adequately. what this all adds up to is a focus on opportunity, on economic security and really making sure we're investing in the full potential of all americans. with that, let me turn it back to josh. mr. earnest: great. ok. let's open it up for questions. who wants to go first? right in the front. reporter: you mentioned a couple areas -- mr. earnest: wait for the mike there. introduce yourself. reporter: sure. matt with "politico." you mentioned a couple areas where you see opportunity for
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bipartisan agreement, the eitc, cybersecurity. i'm wondering if based on the reactions you heard this morning from the republicans, and based on the fact that we're in an election year, what gives the president hope that there's going to be any movement on these priorities and not simply a c.r. pushing it to who ever is inaugurated next january? >> i'll take a first stab at this. mr. earnest: i think there are two things that come to mind. the first is, there's a lot of pessimism at the beginning of last year about whether or not this administration would be able to make progress on a range of priorities that we identified. considering that republicans had just enjoyed a significant victory in the midterm elections, that increased their majority in the house of representatives and gave them the majority in the senate for the first time in a while, that pessimism was well founded. but through some perseverance and a willingness on the part of some republicans to try to find common ground, we made progress on a whole range of things that nobody would have
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previously considered possible. we got a five-year transportation bill done, we reformed the no child left behind bill to make sure that we're not overtesting our students, we got a budget agreement thanks to the good work of a lot of people signature on this stage right now, not me, that allowed us to ensure that we would not abide by sequester caps, that would undermine our ability to invest in economic and national security priorities. . we got the debt limit extended without significant drama or delay. we got i.m.f. reform, something we had long sought. we got a re-authorization of the export-import bank. most of those were things republicans were strongly opposed to. at least they said they were strongly opposed to them. but yet we were able to work aggressively and find common ground with republicans. none of the bills i just described were perfect but they did all reflect compromises

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