tv U.S. House of Representatives Morning Hour CSPAN February 24, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EST
host: we have to leave it there. thank you for your time. appreciate it. "the fight to vote" is the book. the house is about the gavel and for the morning legislative session. live coverage on c-span. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. february 24, 2016. i hereby appoint the honorable john j. duncan jr. to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2016, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate wreck niggets between the parties with each party limited to one
hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez. for five minutes. you may be seated. i'm utierrez: mr. speaker, not here to give a political speech. this is not the right venue for that, but i would like to share some observations i have about visiting nevada last week. the first observation is that among a broad and diverse segment of voters, there is a great deal of excitement about the political process. it almost doesn't matter which candidate people prefer, or even which party, there's so much enthusiasm to participate. in nevada, the forum of participation is a caucus and requires a greater time commitment than punching a ballot. i witnessed thousands of people who were taking hours away from this jobs, at their own
expense, to participate in that process. you can't come away from that kind of activity and not be inspired that americans are taking their right to vote, their opinions about who should be the next nominee of their party or the next president, very seriously. it was really remarkable. so, there were some people i spoke with who could not afford to take hours away from their jobs. some because they couldn't get permission and others because they simply could not afford to give a couple hours of wages, clock out to vote. even when it means not having your vote count. las vegas, where i was, was a 24-7 working sit and for many, saturday is the busiest day of the weeks, especially for tips. this election year as we travel around our districts or campaign in other states, i hope my colleagues in both parties will really examine how local governments and states are facilitating or disfraverage -- disenfranchising american citizens who are eligible to vote n navy neff, participation in a caucus, at a set time of day with serves almost as a poll tax. voters have to weigh the power
of their vote against dollars that would not be in nir pockets if they exercise to vote f you can vote, you should. we should make sure the laws of our nation and communities encourage rather than discourage the participation of every citizen. another observation i made over the weekend was the diversity of the american electorate. women and men, straight and gay, u.s. born and naturalized, old and young, working class, retired, students, military, executives, nevada put on a display of how much progress our nation has made in a few decades. i saw the energy and the determination of young voters, new voters, newly 18, newly citizens, newly engaged in the political process. everywhere i have traveled, including the high schools in my district in illinois, i see 17 and 18-year-olds, latinos anxious to participate and they are motivated to register and vote and inspired by their candidates and their parties. today, tomorrow, and every day
for decades about 2,000 u.s.-born latino citizens of the united states will turn 18 and be eligible to vote every day 2,000 of them turn 18. they are eager to get involved. there is a similar energy in the people i meet who are applying for citizenship. there are over eight million immigrants with green cards who are eligible to apply for citizenship right now and with fee waivers for those with limited funds, many of them can apply for free. and they are planning in droves. this saturday i'll be at a workshop in denver, colorado, for people learning about the process an applying for citizenship. a coalition of groups led by the national partnership for new americans, but also encompassing a range of labor unions and advocacy groups, large and small across 30 states, have invited me to participate in this nonpartisan activity to promote civic engagement and citizenship in immigrant communities across this country. their goal is to help one million eligible immigrants
become citizens so they can vote in primaries and general election this year. and make sure they are at america's table. in communities like denver and chicago, there is a hunger for citizenship despite all the barriers, despite the cost, and despite the anti-immigrant tone coming from our tvs and candidates. in fact, it is the immigrant tone that people tell me over and over is what is motivating them to apply. study for the test and bert their english. it is that energy that gives me great confidence in our nation. and in the direction our nation is heading this year. immigrants are a part of a growing american coalition of working class voters -- -- voters. women, straight people, lgbt, environmentalists, latinos, arab shans, black, white, old, and young, muslim and christians, jewish and agnostic, they are coming together and mobilizing.
together even as some politicians push them away and try to divide us with suspicions of our fellow americans, together their diversity and dedication to democracy a beautiful thing. to witness. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from alabama, mr. brooks, for five minutes. . brooks: mr. speaker, nonpartisan congressional budget office data reveals that america's financial condition has taken a sharp ugly turn for the worse. america's estimated 2016 deficit is $105 billion worse than 2015's already dangerous $439 billion deficit. america's debt has blown through the $19 trillion mark and is projected to blow through the $29 trillion mark in a decade. america's comptroller general
and c.b.o. warned that america's financial path is quote, unsustainable, end quote, meaning america face as debilitating insolvency unless we get our financial house in order. mr. speaker, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. in that vain, america must learn from greece, a country betrayed by decades of financially irresponsible leadership. in the past five years, greece has preetedly failed to meet its debt obligations and subsciesed on three bailouts from the european union. the result? the greek economy is in a shambles. greece has a 52% labor participation rate, 10 points worse than here in america. greece's unemployment rate was recently 25%, approximating america's worst unemployment rate in the great depression. worst yet, greek's under the ge of 25 suffer from a 48%
unemployment rate. financial irresponsibility ultimately forces draconian austerity spending cuts. greece has cut public health care spending from 6.8% of g.d.p. in 2010 to roughly 5% today. thereby risking greek lives. cancer screening has been cut. h.i.v., tuberculosis, and malaria rates have surged as fewer greeks receive proper treatment. the public pensions, greek elderly citizens rely on for survival, have been cut an average of almost 50% since 2010 and are again on the chopping block. greek tax rates are exploding. income taxes on farmers have doubled from 13% to 26%. self-employed professionals and farmers say proposed social security and income tax increases will combine to consume as much as 75% of their incomes. greece as banking system is on
the brink. in the summer of 2015, pre-european bailout, the greek government froze citizen bank accounts, limiting cash withdrawals from a.t.m.'s to $67 per day. greeks could not even access their own money. post bailout and as greeks began fearing their savings accounts would be confiscated to pay for government debt as occurred in nearby cyprus, yet another insolvent country, greeks withdrew cash from banks. the run on banks caused the greek government toint convenient and limit the right of greek citizens to withdraw their own money. which caused citizens to cut deposits into greek banks which undermine the greek banking system, which dried up the available of loans for new business needed to create jobs in a rebounding economy. violent demonstrations are resulting. for example, on february 4, 2016, athens, greece abc news reported, quote, riot police have used tear gas in clashes
with protesters during a mass rally in at-thens as greeks demonstrated against government pension reforms needed to meet demands of international creditors, end quote. mr. speaker, there is an old adage that ignorance is bliss. don't know about that, but i do know that ignorance is dangerous. in 2009, greece spent 3.2% of g.d.p. on its national defense. five years later, greek defense spending was cut to 2.3% of g.d.p., a 28% cut. now, perhaps the world would not suffer from greek defense spending cuts, but what would be the effect on world peace if america's defense spending suffered a similar fate? mr. speaker, time is running out. washington must balance the budget before america's debt burden spirals out of control. before it is too late to prevent the debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy that awaits us. i pray the american people will
be good stewards of our republic in 2016 and elect washington officials who both understand threat posed by deficits and debt, and have the backbone to fix it. quite frankly, mr. speaker, america's future depends on it. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. last night, frontline on pbs had a compelling documentary on the opioid and heroin epidemic. we are now seeing politicians diving in. governors across the country sounding the alarm. it's being featured by presidential candidates in both parties. president obama's budget has some very good suggestions, highlighting tools to reduce drug overuse -- overdose, evidence-based prevention programs, prescription drug monitoring, and prescription
takeback events. there are a variety of things that are going in the right direction. yet, it's a little frustrating for me that the simplest, cheapest, safest solution to help these troubled people is not embraced. medical marijuana. actually, the public is largely there. for the
last 20 years, the tide has been building for medical marijuana, even as the crisis on opioids slowly started to take hold. it began with voters in california, 1996, in oregon, two years later. now 23 states have legalized medical marijuana, and 2/3 of americans live in states where at least some form of medical marijuana is approved. there is a reason for it. an analysis of 79 studies in the journal of american medical association found solid evidence that medical marijuana is effective in treating
chronic pain. there is no evidence of serious side effects among medical marijuana users who are actually less likely to drink or take other painkillers. and those states with medical marijuana actually have fewer overdose deaths. isn't this worth exploring? especially when there is evidence that medical marijuana dispenseries are associated with a significant decrease in substance abuse admissions and reduction in opioid overdose deaths. recently we have even had former nfl players come out and describe how they used medical marijuana to self-medicate rather than being shot up with painkillers by team doctors and being perfect scroibd opioid pills. what's perhaps most frustrating for me is the wrong-headed approach that prohibits veteran administrator doctors from even talking to their patients about medical marijuana in the states where it's legal.
that's ironic because the v.a. has its own veterans' health crisis because their patients are dying from prescription overdoses at rates twice the national average. opioid prescriptions by v.a. octors have surged 270% over the last 12 years. they are prescribing significantly more opioids to patients with ptsd and depression than other veterans, even though those are the most at risk of overdose and suicide. nearly one million veterans who receive treatment for pain continue to consume those pills beyond 90 days. it's clear that most veterans would probably be better off if we more fully utilized medical marijuana to treat conditions of pain, depression, and ptsd. at the very least, we ought to allow the veterans
administration doctors to work with their patients on this matter. that's why i will again be introducing my amendment that would make it clear that v.a. doctors in states where it's legal can work with their patients on medical marijuana. . since i first watched this legislation, i have saw growing support on the floor of the house. there's been interest in the senate and veterans' combrupes are aware of this discrimination and the veteran administration's sorry record when it comes to helping our veterans with these chronic conditions by using conventional painkillers that lead to addiction and death. medical marijuana appears safer, effective and a low-cost way to deal with chronic pain. nobody dies from an overdose of medical marijuana. let's add this to our discussion, promote more effective research and let v.a.
doctors meet with their patients to talk about this as an alternative. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, for five minutes. mr. speaker, n: as the author of legislation that awarded the congressional gold medal to the women air force service pilots, better known as the wasps, i rise in strong support of this bill, h.r. 4336, the women air force service pilots arlington restoration act, presented by my great friend and colleague, congresswoman martha mcsally. this legislation seeks to restore eligibility to these brave women pioneers for burial
at arlington national cemetery with full military honors. the wasps were the first women in u.s. history to fly our military aircraft during world war ii, a great time of global conflict, these courageous women volunteered to fly noncombat missions so that every available male pilot could be deployed in combat. the wasps served our nation without hesitation and with no expectation of recognition or praise. more than 25,000 women applied for the program but only 1,074 selected women earned their wings. between the years 1942 to 1944, the wasps logged more than 60 million miles with the exception of direct combat missions, the wasps flew the same aircraft as male pilots. and although they took the
litary oath, they were not recognized for military personnel. their contributions went unrecognized for many decades. it wasn't until 1977 when congress granted them veteran status. and then in 2002, the arlington national cemetery decided to allow the wasp, among others listed as active duty designees, to receive benefits consistent with the status that they had so rightfully earned. unfortunately, last year the department of the army rescinded this decision and ruled that the wasps were ineligible for burial at that site, citing a lack of space. this is simply unacceptable, mr. speaker. these women deserve to be treated honorably and our military branch should allocate the necessary space to
accommodate these courageous women who sacrifice so much for our country -- sacrificed so much for our country. we cannot consider these women inyou will jeble. these honorable women answered -- ineligible. these honorable women answered the call. their rights at arlington national must be restored. we have to do this for the present and future generations to come. today, women in our military fly every type of aircraft, from the f-15 to the space shuttle, and i know this because my daughter-in-law, lindsey nelson lehtonen, have flown combat missions both in iraq and afghanistan for the marines. this opportunities was afforded to lindsey thanks to the service of the women air force service pilots. they were the trailblazers. they set the stage for women in
the military, and i have been fortunate enough to personally meet some of these heroic women. as pictured in this poster, i presented the south florida wasp ruth schaefer and francis sergeant with copies of the bill i introduced and passed in congress with the help of susan davis and which was signed by the president that honored the invaluable contributions to these heroic female pilots. we had the celebration at the wings over miami museum, something to learn about veterans and aviators, including our proud wasps. throughout my years in congress, i also had the pleasure of meeting other south florida wasps, including shirley cruz, pictured here, helen wyatt snap. and although francis and helen are no longer with us, they still live in our hearts and in our minds. and they are embedded in the rich history of our great
nation. mr. speaker, we need to do what's right for our valiant patriotic women and their wonderful families. the house veterans' affairs committee will bring up congresswoman mcsally's bill tomorrow, thursday, during a markup, and i encourage all of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support and pass this important and necessary bill so that we can continue to honor these women pioneers. these women must receive the recognition that they are due. we must give them back the right that they earned to be buried at arlington. thank you very much to these brave patriots. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. costello, for five minutes. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of efforts to re-authorize child nutrition programs.
last year the house and senate worked together in a bipartisan fashion to re-authorize our elementary and secondary education programs, and i rise today to urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to carry forward that momentum to complete a much-needed review and renewal of federal child nutrition programs. in doing so, mr. speaker, i would urge my colleagues to employ similar goals and objectives. simplify, streamline and empower state and local education agencies when re-authorizing these programs. in particular, this approach can benefit our students and families by finding a path forward to simplify and streamline existing federal nutrition meal requirements without sacrificing the beneficial dietary value that school meals bring to students' daily lives. much like we empowered our teachers to establish the curriculum and standards to best teach students they know so well, we likewise should empower those who know what our
students will eat. making sure our children are able to enjoy healthy, nutritious meals. likewise, we will continue efforts to ensure our existing federal nutrition programs are providing adequate and appropriate training to school professionals as well as the resources necessary to improve and enhance our school meal delivery system. mr. speaker, this opportunity will allow us to strengthen existing programs that strive to get nutritious meals to children year-round at early ages. existing programs like the summer food service programs can be enhanced and made more efficient to ensure they effectively reach those children who are most in need of quality healthy meals. and we can collaborate with head start after school and early childhood programs to better engage them in existing federal programs that offer nutritious meals to young children most in need. we have a strong infrastructure in place to provide children and families with quality healthy meals, and we have an
excellent opportunity to improve these programs. i respectfully call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work together to accomplish this effort before another school year comes to a close. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the leveraging and energizing america's apprenticeship program, legislation i've co-sponsored. in the midst of a slow economic recovery one of the issues plaguing both our work force and our job creators is a persistent mismatch of employer needs and employee skills. right now 10 million unemployed americans are seeking work while four million jobs remain unfulfilled. fortunately, this problem can be solved with a bipartisan commitment to commonsense work force development initiatives. as demonstrated by the leveraging and energizing america's apprenticeship bill. by promoting apprenticeship programs, this legislation creates opportunities for highly motivated workers to earn a salary while gaining the
skills they need to succeed in high-demand fields. i am proud to say that employers in my congressional district in southeastern pennsylvania have already recognized the value of apprenticeship programs by making hundreds of these opportunities available to those looking to build their job training and skills. i commend congressman rodney davis for his efforts on this legislation, and i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support it. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of re-authorizing the older americans act, the older americans act provides social and nutritional support to members of our senior population and their caregivers. enacted in 1965, this legislation has improved health outcomes, independence and quality of life by offering meal delivery, respite care and other essential services to the most vulnerable members of our population. re-authorization of this legislation gives congress an opportunity to modernize multipurpose senior centers, improve falls prevention and chronic disease self-management
training, strengthen laws to combat abuse, neglect and exploitation and support our local area agencies on aging. will work with my colleagues on legislation passed by the senate last year. it will not only help protect seniors throughout my district and across the u.s. but ensure our existing federal support programs are appropriately tailored to meet the present-day needs of our senior citizens. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: mr. speaker, i have been coming to the floor for weeks and months to complain about the waste of money and life in afghanistan. in the last couple of weeks, i had an opportunity to read two articles.
the first is titled "this is how the pentagon wasted $17 illion in afghanistan," by emily layman. and i'd like to quote a couple of examples of pentagon waste that she describes in her article. the pentagon spent $8 billion for a failed drug war, despite a 14-year effort in afghanistan which now leads the world in heroin production. the pentagon also spent $486 billion for useless aircraft. speaking of planes, 20 planes could not be flown, and most were sold for scrap. legislators like senator john mccain and senator james lankford are fed up with the lack of accountability and spending. senator mccain and lankford have joined me in bringing to
the public's attention the lack of accountability in afghanistan. it is astounding to say the least. mr. speaker, last month the inspector general for afghan reconstruction testified before the senate armed services committee about a recent report he wrote on the waste in afghanistan. in that report he exposed that the pentagon paid $6 million to buy nine male italian goats. the reason he bought the goats from italy was because they are blond in color, to send to western afghanistan, to set up boost the try to cashmere industry there in afghanistan. now, the pentagon doesn't even know where the combotes are, and the sad -- goats are, and the sad thing is, as he said to the senate, we don't know where the goats are. they might have been eaten.
$6 million. mr. speaker, american people can do a lot with $6 million, i can assure you, and they wouldn't spend it for nine goats, i assure you. the report that he made reference to is titled "report cites wasted pentagon money in afghanistan." mr. speaker, the waste goes on and on and on, and yet we in the house every year will send more and more money to afghanistan. we've already been there 14 years. we're going to be there another eight years because president obama signed an agreement with one year. o be there that's 22 years. and then we have general campbell, who's leaving afghanistan. he's been the leader in afghanistan to say that we need more years to train the afghans
to have a security force. i guess we're going to be there 30 years. i'll be dead and gone, for sure. but what a waste of life and money in afghanistan. it's time for this congress to meet its responsibility and put pressure on the administration and stop funding afghanistan. . mr. speaker, i have a poster here, and the reason i bring this poster to the store, it is a sad tragedy of war. there's a wife, there's a little girl, the husband, the daddy, is in a casket, flag draped. the reason i bring this to the floor, i have signed over 11,000 letters to families and extended families who died in afghanistan and iraq. last sunday i signed one letter , an army sergeant who died in afghanistan. and, mr. speaker, i thought how sad, how sad it is for that family.
just so sad. it doesn't have to happen. we need to debate, bringing our troops home from afghanistan, and we need to debate stop funding the war in afghanistan. mr. speaker, i will say before closing, i want to remind the house, this is the longest war in the history of america. and i don't know who said it, but they said it right. afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. i know there's going to be a head stone that says that the empire known as america spent so much blood and money in afghanistan that it is financially broke. we are $19.1 trillion in debt right now. let's bring our troops out of afghanistan. let them fight the civil war themselves and decide what they want for afghanistan. and with that, mr. speaker, i ask god to please bless our men and women in uniform, to bless the families of our men and women in uniform, and god please continue to bless
america. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. jolly, for five minutes. mr. jolly: thank you. i'd like to thank my colleague from north carolina for those comments. mr. speaker, i rise today to talk about an important congressional forum initiative that i have introduced in this body. i have had the opportunity to study congress from virtually every angle. graduated from college as a young intern who drove up here having never been north of tennessee. and as my predecessor had said, i shared it, never thought i'd meet a member of congress, much less have the great opportunity and honor to be one. and then through virtually every staff role over the past 15 or 20 years i have had a chance to study this body. but there are a few experiences now as a sitting member of congress that i simply cannot accept. and one of them, the most pressing one, is the amount of
time that members of congress are expected, or in some cases directed, to spend raising money. we all know it. every member of congress understands it. you arrive with great expectations only to learn the obligation to spend time raising money. and there is a quiet anger among many members about that. it is not comfortable to talk about, frankly. this is one of the more uncomfortable speeches i will ever give in the well of this house. but we must. because when does this become the expectation? you see, this is an orientation slide for freshmen members of congress that was produced by one of the two major parties in this country a few years back suggesting that as a member of congress your first responsibility is four hours a day, not in your office, but across the street in a call suite asking people for money. another one to two hours a day networking raising money. and only two hours a day doing your job.
members of congress might have a quiet anger, but the american people have a loud anger when they understand we are not accomplishing things here because we are spending too much time raising money. let's turn that anger into resolve and change this body and change washington forever. former members of congress are happy to talk about this. retiring members who write confessions saying they spent 4,it00 hours raising money. former majority leaders of the other body now writing a back lamenting how much time they spent raising money. a colleague of ours leaving this house calling fundraising the main business of congress. what do they all have in common? they are all retiring or retired. why don't we do something about it as sitting members of congress? why don't we fix this now when we have the opportunity instead of lamenting it when we are gone? it's why i have introduced what i call the stop act. and it's very simple. it is three or four pages every member of this body can read it before they vote on it. it simply prohibits direct
solicitation of a campaign contribution by a sitting member of congress. state legislators in the state of florida and across the country are often prohibited from directly soliciting. 30 states where judges are leekted, they are prohibited from directly soliciting contributions. i want to say thank you to my colleagues who have co-sponsored this. in just over three weeks we have six co-sponsor, mr. nolan of minnesota, mr. jones of north carolina, messrs. duffy and ribble of wisconsin, and mr. micah and mr. new gent from my state of florida. the message is very simple on this. it says to congress, get back to work. let's do our job. the job we are elected to do. you see, we will never solve border security and imgration reform. we will never balance the budget. we will never address national security and foreign policy. we will never address tax reform if we have a part-time congress and a full-time world. in any other profession if you spend 20 to 30 hours a week doing a job other than you are hired to do, you would be fired. but in washington we accept this as the political culture.
many will say, the issue's dark money, the issue is transparency. fine, we can have a campaign finance debate, but that's not what this is about. this is a congressional reform. i will close with this, mr. speaker. each one of us made a promise to roughly 700,000 people in the community from which we come and we represent. we made a promise to do our job. not to ask them for money. we took an oath. we each took an oath. swearing to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states, but the last line of our oath says will i well and faithfully discharge the duties of this office on which i am about to enter. friends, we are not well and faithfully discharging the duties of this body when we are spending 20 hours a week asking people for money and not doing our job. we are not discharging our duties of the office when fundraising is the main business when we have members missing votes to raise money. when the most important question sometimes among colleagues is not what legislation are you working on
but how much money have you raised? we are not well and faithfully executing the duties of this house when we are not doing our job. i stand here not to judge my colleagues. i stand here to try to change the system. let's restore credibility to this house. let's honor the greatness of this body with greatness of integrity, greatness of commitment, greatness of resolve. let's recognize the great calling of this body and even greater calling of this nation. let's stand together today and change washington forever. friends, colleagues, i urge you while you are here, before retiring and lamenting the amount of time you spend raising money, co-sponsor the stop act. join me in this effort to change washington. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair will receive a mefpblgt the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the president of the united states. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: mr. secretary. the secretary: i'm directed by
the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mooney, for five minutes. mr. mooney: thank you, mr. speaker. there are few places in our country that have both strong historical significance and scenic beauty. harper's ferry, is perhaps the greatest example of both. harper's ferry, west virginia, was founded in 1734 by robert harper who purchased the land for 50 guineas, or around $262. over the next 282 years, this quaint town was the backdrop for some of the most important events in american history. from the earliest settlement of this great nation, through the founding of the railroads, the beginning of the meriwether-lewis adventure, with clark outwest, john
brown's raid, numerous civil war battles and skirmishes, and beginning of the civil rights movement, harper's ferry has stood the test of time and watched our american history unfold. as for the scenic beauty, none have described it better than one of our nation's great founders, president thomas jefferson. after visiting harper's ferry on october 25, 1783, the author of the declaration of independence said he viewed "the passage of the potomac river through the blue ridge as perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature. " let me tell you, this picture does not do the town justice. harper's ferry is a national treasure that has been enjoyed by mfls families for centrist. this past july, however, this quaint town of only 283 residents was struck by a large fire that swept through the
downtown business district and destroyed 10 businesses, which is 30% of the commercial district, and two apartments. even before the embers from the fire cooled, members of the community had begun to take action and began making plans to rebuild. the town council merchants association, and community at large stepped up to take care of the people who were displaced by the fire. jobs and housing were found for everyone who needed them. and space was offered for businesses that were able to immediately reopen. the harper's ferry historical town foundation established a fund to collect and distribute money to help displaced residents. business owners, and employees meet their most immediate needs. over the past several months, in addition to support the fund received from people who live in the eastern panhandle of west virginia, thousands of visitors from across the country and some from abroad have contributed to this fund. the president of west virginia
university, dr. g. gordon ghee brought a team to harper's ferry to help the town and town council establish plan. this plan enabled property owners to rebuild and restore their buildings, to develop a marketing plan, and provide engineering and archaeological services to prevent the demolition of their historical treasures. the superintendent of the harper's ferry national historic park stepped forward with meeting spaces, security service, and additional personnel to protect town residents and visitors from the fragile burned out spaces. the jefferson county commission provided in kind in financial support to reimburse the town for the unanticipated expenses of fighting a fire and providing for safety in the middle of harper's ferry's busiest part of the tourist season. local, state, and federal officials were a constant and reassuring presence for the town. the town council and historic landmarks and planning
commissions have worked together to streamline processes and enable property owners to quickly move ahead with the restoration of the burned buildings. this past monday i personally visited harper's ferry in jefferson county, where i live with my wife and three children, to see the progress that is being made to repair the structures. the mayor, greg vonn, was kind enough to show me around the damaged buildings and introduce me to those who were impacted by the fire. i can't tell you how encouraging it was to see how the town has come together to rebuild after the fire. harper's ferry is no stranger to disaster. war, fire, floods this is a town that endures. today, mr. speaker, harper's ferry is still open for business, still thriving, style still an elegant journey into the formerive years of our nation. i -- formative years of our nation. i invite you to visit.
thank you, i yield back the alance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. old, for five minutes. mr. dold: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to discuss a problem that is near and dear to my heart. cheaper than cigarettes and more accessible than alcohol, heroin has become a plague on communities all across our country. heroin takes a life every three days in the chicago suburbs. unfortunately, a similarly deadly trend is taking place all over our nation. although heroin is not often considered a serious suburban problem, statistics show the epidemic is quickly growing. nearly 1/4 of the people who try heroin become addicted. and heroin deaths have literally quadrupled in the united states in less than a decade. but the statistics don't even
begin to tell the whole story. as a co-chair of the suburban anti-heroin task force in the state of illinois, i have seen firsthand the deadly impact of these drugs. but i still can't even begin to fathom the pain of losing one of my children to a drug overdose. i can't imagine what families throughout the country have been put through because of this terrible drug. but there is hope. thanks to the great work of the lake county opioid initiative, live for locally, and many other organizations in the 10th congressional district, we have already had tremendous success saving lives with an overdose reversal aid called nyoxone. it helps restore breathing that has been stopped by an overdose. first responders in lake county, illinois, have now saved over 56 lives in just a little over one year. that's 56 families who won't have to experience the same type of unbearable pain as
those who have lost a loved one. with increased access to world health organization predicts it could save an additional 20,000 lives each and every year. that's why i introduced a new bipartisan piece of legislation this week with congresswoman katherine clark. our bill, locally's law, will help states increase access to naloxone, named in memory of stevenson high school graduate, alex, who sadly passed away seven years ago from a drug overdose. . alex played sports at stevenson high school. he did well at school. he cared about his friends, he cared about his family, but during his sophomore year of college he began being hospitalized for what was a mysterious illness. unknown to his family and to the doctors, alex had an addiction to prescription drugs and was being hospitalized for his withdrawal. he would stay in the hospital
until he received his fix, leave the hospital and repeat the cycle again and again. he continued this pattern until he died of an overdose a few days after his final exams. the primary purpose, mr. speaker, of this bill is to help fund state programs that allow pharmacists to distribute naloxone without a prescription, so that we can prevent the repeat of alex ace story. many states use -- alex's story. many states let law enforcement officers to carry and use naloxone, just like the success we've seen in lake blet. and the police officers in -- seen in lake county. and the police officers in lake county are asked to use it. they could respond within five minutes. and refuse to sit idly by and watch these people die of an overdose. loly's law is an example of
what is possible when we set aside partisanship and get to work for the people that we represent. lolly's law will bring alex's story to the united states congress, here, amplified the life-saving benefits of live for lolly's hard work and the work that they did to pass a similar piece of legislation in the illinois state legislature. it is my hope that through this bipartisan bill, alex's lasting legacy will include helping countless people get a second chance at recovery and saving their families from unbearable heartbreak. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan initiative and join us in the fight against heroin and prescription drug abuse. together we can truly save lives. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today.
dealing with bills dealing with allowing federal officers and employees to carry pepper spray at medium and high-security prisons. also bills on expanding the korean war memorial and national historical sites in georgia, among others. members will also begin debate on a measure dealing with fraudulent lawsuits and will complete that tomorrow. and later in the week a sportsman, hunting and fishing bill. live coverage here on c-span at noon eastern when they return. meanwhile, jeh johnson testifies on capitol hill about the d.h.s. 2017 budget. he'll be testifying before designate appropriations subcommittee. then set to begin at 2:15 eastern. you can follow that over on c-span3. >> book tv has 48 hours of
nonfiction books and authors every weekend on c-span2. here are some of the programs to watch for this weekend. saturday at 7:30 p.m. eastern, david randall of the national association of scholars talks about some of the books incoming college freshmen are asked to read before the first day of class. on sunday night at 9:00 on "after words" former n.s.a. and i.a. director michael hayden has a book "playing to the edge, american intelligence in the age of terror." he's interviewed by james woolsey, former c.i.a. director in the clinton administration. >> metadata is outside the envelope for electronic communication and as you said, american law enforcement traditionally has been able to look at the outside of the envelope. the supreme court decided that the fact of your phone call, who you called, when, for how long also was essentially the outside of the envelope.
>> watch book tv all weekend every weekend on c-span2. television for serious readers. >> "the hill" reports this morning apple will argue in legal filings this week that congress should decide where they should comply with the f.b.i. and unlock the encrypted iphone. the associated press report said they defied a court order directing the firm to help authorities unlock the iphone used by one of the san bernardino shooters in the terror attack which left 14 people dead. the f.b.i. wants apple to create software that would disable a fail-safe feature that wipes the iphone memory after an incorrect password has been entered 10 times in a row. you can read more about that at thehill.com. and back to the road to the white house. we take you to south carolina next where last week donald trump won the primary there and he won the caucuses last night in nevada. 100% reporting donald trump with nearly 46% of the vote in
nevada. marco rubio with 23.9% and ted cruz with 21.4%. this was an event from yesterday in columbia, south carolina. hillary clinton held a forum on gun violence and police practices. several mothers that lost children along with former representative gabrielle giffords and her husband mark kelly. again, it's from columbia, south carolina, their democratic primary is coming up aturday. [cheers and applause] >> let the church say amen. let me ask a question before i start. are there any grateful people in the house? just put your hands together and give god a hallelujah, praise this house. come on, let's celebrate. open your mouth. put your hands together.
it's time to celebrate. amen, amen. men. again, we welcome you to our services on tonight. we are thankful that every one were able goat in and without the rain preventing you. amen. we're looking forward to a great time. there is a spirit of excitement that's in the air and we're looking forward. amen. bow as we me as we get ready to get started. god our father, god of our solid tears, we thank you for allowing us to see another day. this is the day the lord has made and we rejoice and be glad in it. not only have you brought us from a mighty long way, you continue to keep us every day. we come now with an attitude, a gratitude to just to say thank you. to say look where you brought us from. we come now from the manifestation and movement of our spirit. have your way in our place onto tonight as we come with a spirit of celebration. our testimony, there was nobody
about you, lord. we give your name all the praise and all the glory because your words are to be praised. in your precious name of the one who was able to turn into opportunity. in the name of the one who was able to turn our burdens into blessings. in the aim of the one who was able to turn our sorrows into joy. in the name of the one who was able to turn our midnight to a bright daylight. in the name of the one who will wipe tears away from our eyes. in the name of the one who will keep us in care and the precious prolific name of christ we pray. men. tonight we ask you to meet our panelists we have to be with us tonight. first of all, we have ms. gabby iffords. r. mark kelly, ms. fulton, ms.
carr. lucy mcbeth and mariah amilton. now it gives me a great pleasure, a distinct privilege and a supreme honor to introduce the one whose service has been her mantra all of her life. she has been an outstanding public servant all of our life. she served well as president of her senior class at wesleyan college. she served well in the academic halls of harvard university which she received her law degree and she did not yield to the wall street temptation but
went to work for the children defense fund. while she helped those who was helpless, was the voice for the helpless and she's always served well. she served well as the first lady of arkansas. served well while she was in the white house. served well as a senator. served well as a secretary. served well as a mother. served well as a grandmother. her mantra is that she's always served well. there were defining moments in her life that will define her passion for service. those who define her moments she watched her mother at an early age struggling, have to take a job cleaning house to help support the family. she learned to have compassion for single working mothers because she saw what her mother was able to do. then in 1968, she heard the late reverend dr. martin luther king to give her a speech and that speech give her power to do more for social service.
he said everybody can be great because anybody can serve. you don't need a college degree in order to serve. you don't need for your -- to agree in order to serve. you just need to have a heart full of grace. oh, my brothers and sisters, a heart full of grace. and when you have full of grace and you have love in your heart as well. i present to you one who has served well. because she has served well she serves with a period and not with a comma. a period ends but a comma knows power. she served well in the past. she served well in the present and she will serve well in the future as our next president of these united states of america. hillary rodham clinton.
ms. clinton: good evening. thank you all so much and pastor, thank you for welcoming us here to central baptist church. i am deeply honored to be with you and to have so many members of your church with us this evening, both here in the sanctuary and in the fellowship hall where i hope they can hear our voices. i want to recognize a few people. you will be introduced to these extraordinary people behind me in just a moment, and i believe you're in for such a blessing when you hear from each and every one of them. so let me thank them for being here and i'm going to acknowledge each of them in a minute. thank you. [applause] i want to recognize and
acknowledge congressman jim clyburn and -- chorse cheers -- [cheers and applause] and mrs. emily clyburn, both of whom are with us this evening. i also want to acknowledge someone who i first met here in south carolina in columbia a long time ago when i came as a young lawyer for the children's defense fund to investigate the deplorable situation of young people, young teenagers being held in adult prisons and huell who rney herb is with us and his wife linda. i want to thank them for coming. attorney biofuel was the
attorney who -- attorney bewell was the attorney who lent me his car at the time, a stick shift, that i drove around the state sort of bucking and moving back and forth as i went from place to place to interview people, to gather information for the lawsuit that the children's defense fund eventually filed with the attorney being involved in that. tonight we're going to talk bout two very important issues . they intersect. they are distinct but they have grave consequences, not just for the people sitting here with me but for all americans. you will hear from women who . ve lost their children
the mothers of the movement who has suffered as no mother ever should. you will meet sabrina fulton whose son, trayvon martin, was followed and shot in the housing development where his father lived because he went out to buy a package of skittles four years ago this week. you will meet lucy, whose teenage son was with some friends playing music as every teen ager i have known does. he was killed because the music was too loud. and three mothers who lost children to incidents with the police. maria hamilton whose son was shot and killed by police in
ilwaukee, wisconsin. geneva reveal whose daughter, sandra bland, died in police custody in texas. and gwen carr, whose son, eric garner, was choked to death after being stopped by police for selling cigarettes on the streets. that's too many deaths. too many young lives cut short. too many questions still unanswered. something is very wrong. -- wrong when we have these incidents where kids can get arrested for petty crimes and lose their lives. something's wrong when african-americans are three times as likely to be denied a
mortgage as white people are. when the median wealth for black families is just a tiny fraction of the median wealth of white families. and something is terribly wrong when african-american men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men convicted of the same offenses. there's something really terribly wrong when little children in flint, michigan, are poisoned by the water they drink and bathe in because their government wanted to save money. [applause] my friend, we need real justice and accountability across america. we need to face the reality of systemic racism and we need to the barriers the barriers in
our economy and society that hold people back and disproportionately hold back african-americans. we need to be building ladders of opportunity in the place of those barriers. and we need to rebuild trust in our justice system. for the mothers here and for mothers everywhere we know that tragedy experienced a that the vast majority of us never will. what i am so grateful for is how they are turning their grief into resolve. they have been traveling across south carolina the last few days, but they have been traveling across america to ask for the kind of real change that we need. now, there are many state and city officials who are already working to do this. they are having police involved
shootings and in custody deaths handled by independent authorities. i support these efforts. today i'm announcing that we will provide federal resources to support this state and locally driven approach. [applause] tackling and ending systemic racism requires contributions from all of us. white americans, we need to do a better job of listening when african-americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers they face every day. we need to recognize our privilege and practice humility rather than assume that our experiences are everyone's experiences. i also believe that if we work
together to make major new investments in communities that have been left behind and guarantee justice and dignity to every american, that will benefit all of us. i really applaud congressman clyburn's plan as to how better distribute federal funds so that those communities that have been left out and left behind over so many years can have a bert chance to lift themselves up. [applause] secretary clinton our problem with violence goes far beyond the terrible cases where the police are involved. that's why i'm deeply honored to have former congresswoman, gabby giffords, and her usband, mark kelly, with us.
[applause] secretary clinton: the epidemic of gun violence stalking our land is another barrier holding us back. 33,000 americans every year are killed by gun violence. many more are wounded. as gabby was. gun violence is by far the leading cause of death for young african-american men. more than the next nine causes combined. just the other night in kalamazoo, michigan, six people were killed at random. and none of us can forget the nine faithful people murdered
at bible study in mother emanuel church in charleston. this isn't just an urban problem as some like to say. it's a problem for our entire country. gabby giffords was shot while meeting with her constituents in the parking lot of a shopping mall. she was doing her job. six people died that day, including a 9-year-old girl who was so excited because she was going to meet her congresswoman. and she was standing in line to do just that. i'm very grateful that gabby and mark have been taking on the gun lobby tirelessly, fighting for commonsense reforms. we should all join them in this effort -- [applause]
secretary clinton: we need comprehensive background checks. we need to keep more guns out of the wrong hands. we need to close what's called the charleston loophole and let the killer there get a gun even though he should have been barred. we need to revoke the special immunity gun dealers and manufacturers have today. thanks to a vote by the congress. [applause] secretary clinton: they should be held accountable for their products just like any other company. we need to crack down on straw purchasing and make it a federal crime. and for goodness sakes, we should bar people on the no-fly terrorist, the terrorist fly list from buying guns in the united states. [applause] p secretary clinton: i know politics are hard. i'm well aware of that.
but sometimes the hard things are the most important things to keep trying to do. we can't go on like this. president obama has said we need to make it a voting issue, and i agree completely. [applause] secretary clinton: please join me in welcoming, again, these remarkable people who are taking this journey on behalf of all of us. [applause] secretary clinton: our panelists to have a chance to talk to you personally and
you guys because i changed my hairstyle. let me just start off by saying the reason why we are here, number one, the mothers of the movement, the mothers on a mission, is because secretary clinton supported us and we have to stand and support her. cheers and applause] >> we each have a personal story and we each have a reason why we feel the way that we do about secretary clinton and that's because we met her, i don't want to look, because it's going to make me tear up, we had the opportunity to sit with her, to meet with her, and when we met with her, she walked in as a secretary, she
lked in as a political figure. she walked in as a presidential candidate. but she walked out as a compassionate mother, as a compassionate grandmother, as a compassionate wife. [applause] >> because there was no way in the world that she was going to be able to sit in a room with 12 different families and each one of us had a tragic story about our son or daughters that had been murdered as a result of senseless gun violence. the meeting took a whole other turn because we poured out our hearts. where no other candidate would listen to us, ms. clinton did. [applause] >> nobody reached out to us.
nobody listened to us. nobody said black lives matter. until this brave and powerful woman stood up for us. [applause] >> i was never into politics, but now i am. and one of the reasons is because of her. because i feel that if she can stand up against all the men that she has to go up against, i can, too. cheers and applause] >> and so a lot of you have seen and heard about what happened with my 17-year-old son, trayvon martin. trayvon was 17 years old. he had just turned 17.
he was minding his own business. he was not committing any crime. he was on the telephone with a young lady from miami. this person decided to pursue trayvon, to follow trayvon, and to murder trayvon. trayvon was clearly profiled. the media wanted us to believe it was about the hoody. -- hoodie. but you guys know that everybody wears their hoodie. it does not matter if you're black, white, purple, green. if you're african-american, if you're asian. if you're hispanic. you wear that hoodie. our young ladies and our young men wear those hoodies. so what was it about trayvon? it was about the color of his skin. and we have to come to terms with that because only when we come to terms with that will we come up with a solution about hy it continues to happen.
[applause] >> so very simply i'll say that it was secretary clinton that stood up for us. it was secretary clinton that met with us. that listened to us. no one took notes for her. she took notes herself. [applause] >> she knew about all the families that were in the room because her research team did their homework. but she heard a lot more than she probably anticipated. and we poured out our heart to her because that's our passion right now. that's our passion for the rest of our lives. these stories as you call them, these tragedies for us, they never go away. i think about my son day in and day out. i live with this day in and day out. these mothers live with this day in and day out. and we have an opportunity to
have someone that's going to stand up for us as african-americans, for us as women, i say my vote goes to hillary clinton. [cheers and applause] >> hi. i am maria hamilton. the story was not in the mainframe, it did not get the national attention. he was demonized, he was just a thought to the milwaukee bliss department, to the judicial system there.
nd dontrey was 31. he was a young man that had a future bigger than life. he talked about bringing duffel bags of money home and taking are of his family. he wanted to do a digital license plate and was in the process of getting it done. his life was stripped from him because of race -- racism in milwaukee, miss -- wisconsin. the justice that i'm fighting for with this mother, it's across the board. it's our baby's education. it is their lives. it is where they live.
it is the churches they go to. we want them to live. am fighting for life. he was shot 14 times, he had 21 bullets holes in his body because a starbuck's manager said he was sitting too close to their stand in a public park. road daylight, not bothering anybody, not asking for anything. the outfit that he had on, the , but he it, jordan ill seen him as a homeless black man that was disturbing
starbuck's from making money. so she called the police three times to have him removed out of the park. they came out on both occasions. talked to donetre, spoke to her. the second time they came out the told her it was a citizen, he was not doing anything wrong, they were not going to make him leave. he called the beat cop that she was familiar with. he had been a beat cut in the area. they had his personal cell phone number, they had his captain number. he missed the first message but hen he got it, he instructed dispatch to reopen the situation after it had been closed not knowing the police officers had already been there. he opened it and went to the park and struck him eight times with a baton.
it was not considered a weapon because the police had it. once dontre felt as though he had to stop this man from beeth him and retrieve the baton, it became a weapon. and his life was taken. there has been no account -- accountability. he passed away april 30, 2014. me and my family took to the streets. ent to city hall, the police did 80% of the investigation. seven days before done it is tre was murdered, scott walker, our government, actually signed a bill stating that two outside entities were supposed to investigate.
a police involved shooting. that did not happen. they did all the interviews of he 60 witnesses. there was no footage of video. christopher manning said he was hit in the head. when we went to the das office and saw the pictures, there was no bruises, no scars. he took pictures right afterward. there were no signs of a truggle. but he, brown skin, he had 12 bruises on his body. and they say self-defense. hristopher manning was fired by his chief for breaking his civil rights and for illegal
patdown. there was a policy. he was not indicted on a local level. he was not indicted on a state level. he was not indicted on a federal level. i waited 22 months to get losure and go forward. hillary clinton came to milwaukee to talk with the ollege students. i had the opportunity, me and my next oldest son to speak with her and i broke down on her shoulder. -- i owe her a cleaning ill. but she allowed it. at first i was kind of embarrassed, but then she told
me i'm a mother and a grandmother. nd i feel your pain. her and her staffers have been contacting me and my family to see how i was doing, how everything was going with the ase. when it was final, they called me and told me, maria, what can we do? it was not high-profile. i am not here just to be on camera. i'm here because our babies are dying, the police is not being held accountable, there is laws and stipulations and legislation that protects them. they get out of their cars with heir guns. the police in the united states right now, mentality is, i need
to get home safe. after my shift. they are not concerned with the people they engage with doing their shift and when we start making them respect us as human beings in the urban area by coming together, standing up and opening your eyes and saying things with your eyes wide open. we can get the accountability that we need. and we can love and cherish and raise our families as well. thank you. [applause] >> first i want to give my complete thanks to secretary clinton for allowing us to travel on her behalf around the country, specifically here in
south carolina, to tell you our stories and to tell you why it's so important first and foremost to vote, but specifically to vote on her ehalf. [applause] my name is lucy mcbeth. the mother of the man who was shot in jacksonville, florida, on november 23, 2012, what's called black friday. jordan and his friends were really excited about shopping and that is all they were doing on november 23, 2012, shopping, going from one mall to the next, and in the time they stopped to get chewing gum because my son said you guys we're going to the next mall, we are going to pick up girls, we need to pick up chewing gum because our breath stinks, typical for teenage boys.
teenage boys. also what is typical is that they are playing loud music. booming music. and so in that 3 1/2 minutes' time the boys stopped to get chewing gum and the driver of the car goes into the convenience store to get chewing gum and cigarettes, a man, michael dunne, 47-year-old white software developer, pulls next to the boys in the parking lot, and within those 3 1/2 minutes, he begins the argument and in particular with my son about the volume of the music. because he was emboldened by the state of florida and this expense of law that is all over the country. based on that law, being emboldened and its implicit bias. and his racist attitudes. towards young men of color, he racially profiled the boys, considered that they were thugs and gangbangers. he shot 10 rounds into the car.
three of the rounds he shot into the car, ba list ticks show that he was aiming for my child, for jordan, and three of those bullets that he shot into the car actually did kill jordan instantly. the other seven bullets he continued to shoot at the boys as they were trying to get out of harms way. he tracked them as if he were a policeman, tracking them as they moved out of the parking lot. i truly believe that what gave him carte blanche, so to speak and the ability to shoot to kill, ask questions later, shoot first, ask questions later, what gave him the authority is the expansive gun culture and the radical gun laws that we have here in our country. and because the gun laws have become so extremely radical we
see this proportionately in our community of color that people are acting out their implicit biases and racism through gun violence towards our communities. it is known that statistically that 30 times more a black man will be gunned down more than white men. 30 times more, a black woman will be gunned down through gun violence than a white woman. and black men will particularly live one year less in this country because they died by un violence. they will live one year less than a white male. i have had the great and profound privilege to stand on the podium with president obama as he gave his executive orders in this country toward gun violence prevention. and being able to stand on that
podium with him, i could only think what my father would think. my father was branch president of the naacp and served on the executive word. -- board. i know he would roll over in his grave if he knew that his grandson died by systemic racism, acted out by gun violence. the same things he had been fighting for for the last 30 or 40 years. in the civil rights movement, i now have to fight on his ehalf. [applause] i have been watching secretary linton for many, many years. i have watched her as first lady in this country. i have watched her as senator clinton and i have watched her
as secretary of state. i have watched her bring allies back to the fold, back to the fray, countries that had long been forgotten about and she has done a good thing. [applause] i have no doubt in my mind that she will execute the executive orders of president obama. have no doubt in my mind that she will make sure that instituted background checks for all gun sales in this country. i have no doubt that she will make sure that any individuals in this country that are selling high volumes of guns that consider themselves in the business of selling guns and their gun dealers, i have no doubt she will make sure that they are fully and duly icensed.
i have no doubt that she will make sure that we begin to eradicate the black market selling of guns, the number, high numbers of black market guns that are infiltrating our cities, and most of those guns are the ones that are being used against communities of color. i have no doubt that she will make sure that she's keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals, the mentally ill, and definitely making sure that she is putting into place commonsense measures in our existing gun law. she is not against the second amendment rights for people to bear arms. make no mistake about that. but she understands that with the second amendment rights that people have to have commonsense measures put in place. [applause]
basically, i know that she will execute gun -- i don't say gun control because it's not about controlling your gun, but gun violence prevention basically to save us from ourselves. i do know that she will make gun dealers and gun manufacturers accountable for the numbers of guns and the immunity that they have in this country towards what is happening in the gun culture. so i stand here before you, sit here before you to say i have no doubt that she is the candidate of choice. i have no doubt. i have no doubt that she cares about what is happening in our communities and the nation at large. i have no doubt that she is the candidate that will protect and serve the constituents that have placed her in office.
i have no doubt that if my father were standing here with me today he would say, well done because you're making the ight choice. [applause] >> good evening, everyone. iving honor to god who was first in my life, i am here today to endorse this wonderful woman. just like my fellow mothers said before me, we have a personal experience with her. we did not have to go looking for her.
she came to us. ok? ot one of the presidential candidates even considered us. and secretary clinton, she reached out to me several times before the meeting. and -- in chicago. her staff, they constantly called me and told me anything that i would need to call them and they would see what they could do. at first i was saying why are they calling me, no one else reached out like that. no other official had reached out like that. you know how you get leery sometimes because what's going on?
but all in all, there was no catch. she was just genuinely oncerned about me. she has proved that time and time again, even after the meeting in chicago. he had -- she had follow-up etters, telephone calls. it wasn't like this was an exploitation of us mothers. because as you listen to the other mothers you know we cannot be exploited. all right? you have all seen the tape. my son, eric garner, died on july 17, 2014, by the hands of police and five other police officers.
let's not leave them out. there were five other officers. as my son laid on the ground dying saying i can't breathe. 11 times he said i cannot read. but the disconcerned officers, they chose to take his life. and to add insult to injury, there was no indictment. we had a full video showing that my son's rights, his civil rights, equal rights, and human ights were violated. but we did not get an indictment. where is the justice? what kind of world do we live in? that day, i will never forget as long as i live. i have to get to see the whole
tape, the full video but from what i have seen it plays over and over in my head. it is like a reoccurring nightmare. in fact it is worse than a nightmare. because i never wake up. at first i could do nothing but ake to my bed. i dew point want to get up anymore. they had killed my son, my firstborn or no reason. he was not armed. he was not committing any crime that day. he had just broken up a fight. he was targeted and i say to if eric gardner was a white man in the suburbs standing on the corner selling cigarettes it would not have gone down like hat.
but because of some very -- my family were there for me from beginning to end. some good people. i have the national action network, i had the justice committee, i had a lot of people that came afterwards and gave me the strength to get out the bed. it was the lord. he talked to me. an told me are you going to lay there and die like your son or are you going to get up and uplift his name? and i thought about it. i thought about there is so many other young men and women just like me that is faceless and nameless. i said to myself, my case was
very high-profile. every american has uttered the name eric gardner. so now i have to be the voice of the voiceless. because we cannot take this anymore. we have to get up and do something about it. we cannot stay in our comfort zone anymore. we have to step out of the box. i never thought i would be up here. i never thought i would be an activist. i never thought that i would be in front of you making this statement. ut it is what it is. so i say to you today, i had to turn my sorrow into a trategy. my mourning into a movement. i took my pain and us mothers,
we empower each other. my son's death would not be in vain and i will walk, speak, rally, do whatever it takes until my voice is heard and until justice is served. [applause] that is why i ask all of you to vote. and to pick the right candidate. and i think the right candidate is secretary clinton. she is the one for us. he will stand with us, she will be with us and try to change policies. and again i endorse her because she endorsed us first. all right. thank you. wow.
>> and now see why we call her mama gwen. i am the mother of sandra bland. or those of you who do not know, it has been more than a tough road. it has been more than an extra ordinary journey. i often tell people that to sit among these mothers and to know what pain really is. you come across people and people don't know what to say to you. when you talk about in 2015 getting a phone call that your daughter is found hanging in a jail cell from a five foot something partition. not only does that not add up, something is wrong with that. she was unlawfully arrested while she was down in texas on a job interview.
she did get the job. she was going to be a student ambassador at her old alma mater, prairie view a&m. sandy was extremely smart. sandy was a young lady who just said, listen. i know my rights and i'm not going to allow you to put your foot on my neck because i know what you're not supposed be doing. so when she was unlawfully stopped and arrested. there was no -- for the entire world to see, the tape was put out and there was that bystanders tape, thank god for that that we were able to hear because there is never any audio on these tapes that seem to come out from the other side. but thank god for that voido that showed the whole world -- video that showed the whole world that you can be doing
absolutely nothing because she was pulled over because she was targeted and the officer sped up behind her so she's pulling over to let him over. she is now arrested, pulled over for a failure to signal. she ultimately after the stop became and there was a shift in the stop, she was charged with assault on officer. the family never saw any assault on the officer. i do not know if any one saw an assault on officer but because of what she was charged with, she was put in jail where she should have never been. and it was indicated that she should be placed separate and apart because of the violent nature. sandy was merely minding her wn business. and the officer could not take it. he had an ego situation going on that day.
as a mother i say to any officer and to anyone who is here to serve and protect, make sure that is what you're doing and you're not isolating and neglecting. that is what i say to you. because i know for fact if your boss says my guy was wrong, you're wrong. at the same time because of the way our justice system works , seven months later the gentleman has now been indicted on a perjury charge. ok? but he is still being paid. he is still on payroll. regardless of the fact that they said the termination is in progress. as a parent you say how long is the process, how long is a -- we don't know? it could take a year, months, we do not know. he was dead wrong but guess what? you do not get any justice
right now. because he needs a fair trial. so i say to you as a mother these mothers have talked about the time of separation that we had to have from the world. we are grieving, we had to grieve in the open. so when you did not see me at first i was actually in a season. there are five seasons, summer, fall, winter, and spring and the season of shut up and sit own. i was in that season when you didn't see me. i was literally in the house. i know what you're talking about. the blinds were closed, darkness everywhere. all you could do was cry. and you would have thought that myself, cornell west, and don king had the same barber. there was no way i could step out of the house at that time
and tell the story because what you would have heard would not have been what should have come out. so i say to you we sit here today in what i called a mess for a long time because i'm very angry and i'm still angry. do not let the suit full you. do not let the smile for you. don't let the peace fool you. i'm very angry. but i'm not angry enough to write, i'm angry enough to vote for this lady. cheers and applause] and i'll tell you why, just as a mom and i'm looking at my sister. these are some bad sisters right here. i'm telling you. i say i am honored to be a stage with them. what i used to call a mess has turned into a ministry. then i got a chance to meet these marvelous mothers. now we are in the mothers of
the movement. i am grateful for the opportunity. but secretary clinton, i met her at the congressional black caucus. congresswoman sheila jackson lee, who has been awesome from day one, day one, she had somebody call my family and say, hey, we are not taking this from day one. so she introduced me to secretary clinton at the c.b.c. and secretary clinton, you know, i'm going, ok. oh, god. this is the secretary, oh, geez. i go and we are introduced. and she was just as calm and smooth. she held my hand and looked right in my face and she said, what is it -- what do you want? what do you want out of this situation? we are in a room full of people. this is the secretary. i'm so excited she didn't even know it, but i'm trying to be cool. so i said, i want justice for
my daughter. and justice is something different for each of us. i am sure. but nonetheless, justice means that it's time for just us to start getting justice. that's really what it means, ok. after that, she came and she met with us. you want to talk about just someone who walked in? she needed no introduction. we all knew who she was. she walked in, being who she is. sat with us. knew every story. didn't rush us. allowed us to say everything we needed to say. asked us what we would like to see done. and told us, know, you guys would be really strong as a unit. so we are thinking, ok, secretary, we hear you. but we really -- we heard her, but each of us had our thing going on. and when i tell you today i could go in my dining room, take my shoes off, and say, secretary, come on over and have a seat, and she would be
at home. that is the type of intimate feeling that i felt sitting in that room with her. there were no airs. there was no -- she didn't allow the media in, which was awesome. so there is no exploitation here. ok. i am sick and tired of hearing that. i am a little over 50, i got to tell you, there was no exploitation here. there are no payments being made. 78 -- there are no secret emails about this. [laughter] > right. i'm just saying, i'm just saying, i'm just saying, please understand that she followed up. she told all of us before she left that room, hey, she was already late running for the next function she had to go to, but she didn't -- we took our photos. she was just very genuine. you cannot fake compassion.
you cannot fake genuine. you cannot fake the fact that you care. i don't care if it's in a nine-month of a window of an election. you can't fake that. she has proven that. when people say to me, why hillary? i say, why not? and i don't -- i don't think that there is a better, more qualified individual to get the job done. so as we sit here, yes, we are her cheerleaders, absolutely. no, we are not being coerced. you cannot take our personal interaction and turn it into a public lie because we are telling you this is what has happened for us. so when i say to you that i made the decision to support secretary clinton, it is because she is also mom, grandma, but she has so many other titles that she proved
herself in. so i don't have to go back and tell you what she's done. check it out on the internet. [applause] honestly. and to be able to sit here and endorse her, it is an honor. it is an honor. so i will tell all of you before we get out of here today, we are serious when we tell you, you do not have an option not to vote. you don't. ok. there is no option. all right. you have no time and no right to complain if you don't get out to vote. ok. if you are tired, if you are angry, get angry enough to get to the polls. take someone with you. if you know that there are a group of teens hanging on the corner, go get those teens and make sure they are registered
to vote. and let them know why this is important. we are going to have a situation if we stay home. we are going to have a situation if we don't vote for this woman. hey, that's where my vote is going! ok. but let's not be misunderstood. i would not be out here, far from chicago, ok, wasting -- hey, hey. wasting time if it wasn't important for us. so we are running from place to place to place because this is serious. it is critical. we have nine months to put her in. she's the new baby. when you're pregnant, you are expecting your baby. that's the baby right there. [applause] >> let's take this nine months and let's deliver this baby. let's turn what's been a long history into her story.
[applause] mr. kelly: hello, everybody. i am not a mother. but i will tell you a story anyway. it was about five years ago that gabby was meeting with her constituents in a supermarket, safeway grocery store. gabby was the kind of representative that tried to govern from the middle to try to reach across the aisle to get things done on behalf of her constituents and the american people. and she and her constituents were met that day in the parking lot by a young man with a gun who was clearly mentally ill and should not be in possession of that firearm.
he shot gabby first, giving her serious traumatic brain injury. murdered six others, including, as secretary clinton mentioned, a 9-year-old girl, who had very high-minded ideas about service and democracy and wanted to meet gabby. and she was next in line and they never met. gabby was in the hospital for six months. i was commander of the space shuttle at the time while she was in the hospital i did my final space flight of space shuttle endeavor. about six months after being injured, gabby got tout of the hospital, she resigned from congress about six months after that. that following summer is when the shooting in aurora happened 58 12 people died, injured in about 30 seconds. about twice as long as what happened in tucson. that was when gabby and i first started to think about this issue a little differently. how did we get to this point as
a nation where we have 15 to 20 times the death rate from gun violence of any other industrialized country? how did we get to the point where something like 80%, 85% of all children who die from gun violence in the developed world die here in the united states? it's complicated. there isn't one thing. there isn't one sing the thing that we could change that would result -- single thing that we could change that would result in some us not being here object the stage tonight. it is a very complicated and complex issue. it is incredibly political. it is incredibly driven by money and politics. [applause] mr. kelly: and it's driven by a very powerful, corporate interest who is very, very good at what they do. and the result has been that we currently have a congress that is in the grip of the gun lobby. and it's not only congress.
it is state legislators. it is governors. city councils, mayors. often also happens to be the president of the united states. not currently. [applause] mr. kelly: but it has been in the past. i think what all of us need to recognize is that elections matter. [applause] so gabby and i took a look at all the candidates running for president. i think as we all know there are a lot of them. there are less every single day, which is good. but there are a lot of them. and we looked at the records on this issue. and it is very clear, it doesn't take long to figure this out, that there is only one candidate that has the record and the experience to
stand up to a very powerful corporate interest. [applause] so that's why gabby and i are here today to encourage all of you to get out and vote. it's so important. it is the most important thing, i think, any single individual does. especially in a presidential election year. we know -- obviously everybody in here would not be here tonight if they were not going to vote for secretary clinton. cheers and applause] mr. kelly: so it's more important than that is you get your friends get out and vote. find the one, find the friend you you think is going to vote for somebody else and change their mind. now, gabby has thought a lot about this issue as well. nd it is -- she takes this
stuff very seriously. she served in congress for 2 1/2 terms, before that she was a state senator. she was a state legislator. she cares about this issue. she's also a gun owner and i'm a gun owner. we are supporters of the second amendment. the same time there are things we can do to keep guns out of the hand of criminals. people who are dangerously mentally ill, domestic abusers. [applause] mr. kelly: there is a lot we can do. there is a lot you can do. and there is a lot a president clinton can do. [applause] mr. kelly: gabby will tell you why that is so very important. representative giffords: hello. outh carolina.
great to be here today. i'm here to talk to you about hillary clinton. illary is tough. she is courageous. she will fight to make our amilies safer. in the white house she will stand up to the gun lobby. that's why i'm voting for hillary. cheers and applause] >> we'll break away at this moment let you know you can see this event online. all of our road to the white house coverage at c-span.org.
we are leaving as the u.s. house begins its legislative work this afternoon on a bill dealing with allowing federal officer and employees to carry pepper spray at medium and high security prisons. also bills expanding the korean war memorial. a national historic science in georgia among others. starting debate on a measure dealing with fraudulent lawsuits. live coverage of the house on c-span. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, bishop perry thompson, freedom chapel international christian center, washington, d.c.,. >> let us pray. emmanuel, the god of creation, presence and power, we honor you the true and only wise god as christ and lord and decree and declare your principles and patterns to be the common thread through these walls and this august assembly