tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN February 29, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EST
mr. speaker, in 2005, l.e.d. lighting was in its infancy stage. l.e.d. lamps were not on the market then, nor were they available in 2010 when congress amended the definition of external power supply. -- power supply in the energy independence act of 2007. however, in just over a decade, mr. speaker, l.e.d. and other high efficiency lighting items have become widely available. these lights provide significant energy efficiency, cost savings to consumers when compared with traditional light bulbs.
l.e.d. has been swept up in the energy conservation standards for external power supplies ecause they are powered by lighting drivers that have similarities to the kind of charges that congress directed d.o.e. to set standards for. now, mr. speaker, one might ask if these l.e.d.'s are so efficient, how is it that their drivers cannot meet the energy conservation standards for external power supply? well, this is simply because in order to comply with the power ds an external supply must be tested when disconnected from the object it
is powering. for example, mr. speaker, a laptop power supply will have to be tested when ds disconnected from the laptop. l.e.d. drivers are not designed to operate when disconnected from l.e.d.'s, and so they cannot be tested in the same way as other external power supply. so that means even though they are very energy efficient, they cannot comply with the standards. the same is true of a new generation of energy efficiency ceiling fans. mr. speaker, to be sure, this legislation still holds these devices to accountable to energy conservation standards.
d.o.e.'s akes authority to prescribe separate energy conservation standards and .e.d. drivers explicit ceiling fans with motors will still be required to meet d.o.e.'s energy conservation standards for ceiling fans. so mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to vote yes on the bill before us and i ask unanimous consent that my colleague, ms. degette, be recognized to manage the remaining time for our side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. without objection. ms. degette: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i'll reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: we have no other speakers other than myself. i'll make a few brief comments but i would reserve our time
right now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentlewoman from colorado is recognized. ms. degette: mr. speaker, i'll recognize myself for as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. degette: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i want to add my thanks to those of my colleague, mrs. ellmers. i want to also thank chairman upton, ranking member pallone. i want to thank chairman whitfield and ranking member rush and ms. matsui, mr. pompeo, mr. dent and mrs. capps, all for supporting this important measure. this bill updates the d.o.e.'s energy conservation standards to keep up with innovations that have taken place over the last decade in household and commercial lighting. while the latest lighting may look similar on the exterior, it actually runs on new and exciting technology. and frankly, as you've heard from the other speakers, we need to update our regulatory scheme to keep these innovations going.
specifically, when the energy and commerce wrote the energy policy and conservation act of 2005, it directed the department of energy to develop a conservation standard for external power supply products. because of the inadvertently broad definition, we created for external power supplies, emerging l.e.d. drivers were swept up into a standard that, as you've heard so eloquently from the other speakers, just doesn't make any sense. that means that although l.e.d. drivers are highlien energy-efficient, they can't -- highly energy-efficient, they can't meet the standards and their ability to compete in the lighting market is now an open question. now, this might seem like a technicality, but in the real world this bill is vitally important. just last week, for example, general electric and jpmorgan chase rang the closing bell at the new york stock exchange to
announce a deal for the world's largest single order installation of l.e.d. lighting. g.e. will install l.e.d. lighting at 5,000 jpmorgan chase branches this year, which will cut the bank's lighting bill in half. but unless we pass this bill quickly, the new lighting at jpmorgan chase locations technically won't meet basic efficiency standards, and it's uveragent we pass this bill now and -- urgent we pass this bill now and we pass it quickly through the other body because these new efficiency standards are going into effect, and while everybody agrees l.e.d. lighting is important, we're still coming up against the letter of the law. and so that's why i want to thank everybody on both sides of the aisle for realizing how incredibly important this is. by passing the e.p.s. improvement act of 2016 we'll let the l.e.d. lighting revolution continue, we'll help
lower energy prices for every american business and household and we'll continue our goal of more and more efficient energy. with that, mr. speaker, i would -- if my friend across the aisle still has no speakers, i'd yield three minutes to the gentlelady from california, mrs. capps. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. mrs. capps: i thank my colleague for yielding and, mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 4444. this overdue legislation is critically important to ensure that the innovation and kwlementation of -- implementation of l.e.d. technologies continue. our nation has made great strides to affordable clean energy. to continue this momentum, we must do all we can to embrace and support technologies that strive to improve energy efficiency. in so doing, we must support efforts toward greater energy efficiency by supporting technologies that use fewer resources for the same or better results.
this allows us to balance our energy consumption with the need to protect the global environment. and that is exactly what this bill does. when it comes to the lighting sector, l.e.d. technologies are at the forefront of meeting the efficiency demand. this technology is drastically reducing the energy required to provide light in both residential and industrial settings throughout the country and around the world. and while the reach of this technology is amazingly broad, l.e.d.'s are incredibly important to my district as well. there's a long history of research and developing and innovating l. d. technologies into -- l.e.d. technologies along the central coast of california. the university of california-santa barbara, continues to lead the way on research in light emitting diodes, or l.e.d.'s, as we know this. dr. nakamora who was aworded
the -- awarded the nobel prize on l.e.d.'s. and there is a facility in my district where they are continuing to develop cutting edge applications for l.e.d.'s. this promising technology is really a game changer. in fact, the institute for energy efficiency at u.c.-santa barbara have worked for nonprofit reading by light, replacing dangerous kerosene lamps still used in places where electricity is not available. with solar charged l.e.d. reading lights. you know, i have one of these reading lights in my home. they're about 12 inches tall. this is unite for light. and they have two -- instead of a power chord plugging into the wall, they have two little solar panels at the base. and then if you set them during the sunlight during the day, then you have the ability in the evening when a child in a
third world country or some person who needs to do work or home work at night can take this little lamp, reading light and use it to further their employment, their education until we get the infrastructure in place to do that itself. so there's no doubt that l.e.d.'s are an important technology to change lighting as we know it. providing accessible and efficient source of illumination. h.r. 4444 ensures the important research and development of l.e.d. technologies, such as the activities in my district, will be able to continue and that l.e.d.'s will be able to efficiently light the world around us. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. does the gentlewoman from california reserve or -- ms. degette: having no further speakers, mr. speaker, i just would urge my colleagues to support this legislation and
yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, i want to thank all of those involved in bringing forth this legislation. we're all excited about it. it does teach each one of us a lesson, though, and that is sometimes we pass legislation and we use language a little bit too broad and the regulatory agencies take that and run and now we see them trying to regulate something that was not even in existence when the 2005 energy policy act was adopted. i don't think that many members of congress or the american people ever thought that the department of energy would be setting efficiency standards for ceiling fans, for microwave ovens, refrigerators. reminds me that dire straits song, open you all like them as well as i did but they had a song entitled "money is nothing
and the chicks are free" and they talked about moving microwave ovens, refrigerators and colored tv's and we find ourselves living in a world that is micromanaged and this is an example of that action. we understand we need regulations. i'm glad that we have a group of democrats and republicans coming together with common sense to say to the department of energy, hey, we need some balance here and with that i would urge the passage of this legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4444. 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.
for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4583, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4583, a bill to promote a twifert energy and manufacturing work force -- 21st century energy and manufacturing work force. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from kentucky, mr. whitfield, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. rush, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to evise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials in the record on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, i'm also pleased that we are
considering today h.r. 4583, a bill to promote a 21st century energy and manufacturing work force. introduced by my colleague, mr. rush of illinois and mr. hudson of north carolina. this bill takes important steps to help make training for energy and manufacturing jobs available to women and minorities as well as veterans and out-of-work coal miners. and i want to give a special word of thanks to mr. rush because he was working on this legislation and mr. hudson. they tried to get it included in the energy act that we passed a few weeks ago and it didn't quite work out, but i'm delighted that we're able to move this bill by itself. and i want to thank mr. rush and i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from illinois is
recognized. mr. rush: thank you, mr. speaker. for eaker, i ask permission to speak and use as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rush: mr. speaker, let me egin my -- by commending chairman upton, chairman whitfield, ranking member pallone and the committee staff for working with my office to bring the 21st century work force legislation to the house floor today. . i would also publicly acknowledge the leadership of my colleague, mr. hudson of north carolina, and his staff who played an instrumental role in helping us to get to this very point. the good faith talks held
between my office, the majority and the minority committee aff, and mr. hudson's office have resulted in this bipartisan jobs bill that will go a long way in helping to get our nation's economy back on rack and working for everyone. mr. speaker, this work force bill before us provides an example of how congress should function, how congress should work on behalf of the american people. here we have bipartisan members of the energy and commerce ommittee who represent various constituencies, from diverse
regions of the country, and who come with different political persuasions. however, mr. speaker, it must be well noted that we were able to put aside our differences and focus our efforts on bringing forth a jobs bill that will benefit all of our nation's communities and help lift up the entire american economy. exactly what does this bill do, mr. speaker? well, this bill directs the secretary of energy to ioritize the training of under-represented groups, , luding minorities, women
veterans, as well as displaced and unemployed energy and manufacturing workers, in order to increase the number of skilled candidates trained to work in these same related fields. mr. speaker, this bill would strengthen and more importantly gage d.o.e.'s programs and national laboratories in order to carry out the department's work force development initiative. at includes the minority's energy initiative that was established two years ago with my encouragement under ecretary moniz's leadership. there will be a clearinghouse
of information and resources on training and work force development programs, for energy and manufacturing related jobs, state by state, region by region, all across our nation. mr. speaker, this bill would help increase outreach to minority-serving institutions, wealth of at the existing resources at d.o.e. are made available to these worthy establishments. it would also provide additional outreach to displaced and unemployed energy and manufacturing workers, with the objective of improving the opportunities for these candidates to find employment.
this legislation, mr. speaker, will help to develop a skilled at r force, trained to work a wide array of sections, including renewables, energy efficiency, oil and gas, coal, nuclear, utility, pipelines, lternative fuels, as well as energy and advanced anufacturing industries. mr. speaker, one of the challenges that i have heard far too many times from my nstituents are individuals participating in training ograms that in many cases do not always lead to actually
finding a job. with that in mind, mr. speaker, this bill will help industry, help schools and help community-based work force development organizations to identify candidates for enrollment and training and apprenticeship programs, with the objective of ensuring that the skills learned are immediately transferable to good-paying jobs, good-paying careers within the energy and manufacturing sectors. regionally, nationally and, indeed, all across this globe. mr. speaker, as you well know, as all members in this house energy and
manufacturing industries are two of the most critical and fastest growing sectors, both domestically as well as internationally. the potential of these two sectors can help bolster the american economy and are also vital to a growing number of people seeking middle class status all across the developing world. it is important, mr. speaker, , at we equip our citizens those who need jobs, those who are out of work, we equip our citizens with the skills needed and necessary to meet this growing demand so that we can tap into these tremendous opportunities and this very
bill before us today will accomplish that goal. and why is the 21st century work force bill so very necessary? well, mr. speaker, just last ek my office had yet another visiting delegation, meeting this time with an energy company in the great state of north carolina whose representative informed me that right now, today, as we stand here in this great chamber, today they have over 1,000 jobs -- job openings that they cannot fill because they cannot nd enough qualified, skilled workers.
the 21st century work force bill will address that difficulty and be a solution to that and many other similar problems. all across our country. in fact, mr. speaker, my office has been holding many of these same types of meetings over the past four years, with a variety of different energy and manufacturing industries. that are indeed facing this very same predicament. at a time when african-american and latino unemployment rates are still too high, when coal workers throughout appalachia and beyond are finding themselves without work, when too many female heads of households cannot find adequate
employment to take care of their families, when veterans return home from defending our nation, still cannot find a job, it's a travesty and a shame that either employers still cannot find the trained workers they need. mr. speaker, this is a commonsense jobs bill that will help to match up, train, equal -- trained, qualified canned -- match up trained, qualified candidates with good-paying jobs and careers that will fit them, their families, and help lift up their communities, help strengthen the energy and manufacturing industries, and will bolster the entire american economy as a whole.
whther you're a student pursuing your engineering gree, or a single mother taking classes at your neighborhood community college, this bill seeks to provide additional opportunity to all those individuals who are out there looking to better themselves and improve the situation, the financial situation, for their families. mr. speaker, when this bill provisions and its are implemented, it would help out of work coal miners retool and retrain for the jobs of the 21st century. this bill will also help returning veterans use their
skills, use their talents, to find employment and provide a dignified future for their families. want speaker, again, i to thank my distinguished colleague from the great state of kentucky -- from michigan, mr. -- chairman upton, my friend from the great state of kentucky, chairman whitfield, ranking member pallone, my friend from north carolina, mr. hudson, and all my colleagues on the energy and commerce committee, as well as those who are on the education and work force committee, who hped bring us to this point today, where we bring forward this bill today. with this focus not only on underserved communities such as
minorities, women and veterans, but also on displaced and unemployed coal miners and out of work energy workers and other places. i can assure you, mr. speaker, when this bill ultimately becomes law, it will go a long way in helping not only communities that look like the one i'm representing on the uth side of chicago, but every, every, every community and every, every, every district throughout this nation. mr. speaker, with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. wit wit mr. speaker, i'd -- mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. we have no other speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. rush: mr. speaker, with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, i would like to reiterate once again that there were a lot of people involved in bringing this legislation to the floor. it would not have happened except for the persistence and commitment of mr. rush of illinois, so i want to thank him again. i also want to say that every member of congress comes to thisloor and we talk about regulations and the impact they have on creating jobs. we talk about uncertainty in tax pimm:s. we talk about the ability of -- in tax policies. we talk about the ability of america to be competitive in the workplace. but men and women out there in the country like coal miners who are losing jobs because of policies of this administration , veterans who have extensive leadership sills but can't find good jobs, minorities who are not trained in the right
way, this legislation goes a long way in providing the training that people need to find a good job. so i would urge all the members to support this legislation and i want to thank everyone who worked for it and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky yields back. theuestion is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 4583. those in favor say aye. hose opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the firmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair will clarify that 83 was passed, as amended.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4401, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4401, a bill to authorize the secretary of homeland security to provide countering violent extremism training to department of homeland security representatives at state and local fusion cente, and for ther purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from georgia, mr.
loudermilk, and the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. keating, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. loudermilk: thank you, mr speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore without objection. mr. loudermilk: again, thank you, mr. speaker. just three short years ago, a group of domestic terrorists were plotting attacks in my hometown in northwest georgia. federal law enforcement was informed that these terrorists were trying to obtain pipe bombs and other improvised explosive devices. once detonated these could destroyed property, potentially taken innocent human life. because the imminent threat our federal drug task force had to move quickly to intercept the suspects before they could carry out such attacks. with such a short time to react to such a volatile situation, logic would suggest that they would enlist the assistance of
the local sheriff's office. considering the raid was to take place in the parking lot of a busy shopping center, adjacent to a hospital, having local law enforcement assistance was clearly justified. however, there was one problem. the sheriff didn't have the proper security clearance so he was not authorized to be briefed on the details of the case. to stop these would-be terrorists, the f.b.i. had to move quickly and couldn't wait for a waiver to bef a sheriff or to enlist his assistance. this bureaucratic hurdle put the f.b.i., our local law enforcement and the community at greater risk. unfortunately, mr. speaker, this scenario plays out way too often throughout the nation. while our f.b.i. and homeland secity agents are doing an exemplaryob countering terrorist activities, their resources are being retched thin. with the threat of terrorism on the rise, we must find a way to provide these agents with additional resources. this iwhy i've introduced h.r. 4401, the alert act.
the amplifying local efforts to root out terrorism act paves the way for federal government to enhance state and local law enforcement involvemt in fighting the war on terrorism. by providing the ols and training needed to combat terrorism on multiple levels, this act will provide more efficient, cooperation and coordination with state and local officials. lal law enforcement is crucial to our security, and they are too often overlooked as a valuable asset in fighting against terrori. through this legislation, the department of homeland security will be authorized to train state and local law enforcement in the best methods used in combating evolving terrorist threats. proper security clearances are also vital for our local law enforcement officials so they may asst with countering terror activity as well as receiving notification of pending threats in their local jurisdictions. the bill requires the department to keep congress apprised of the number of security clearances issued to
state and local law enforcement so we can assess whether further congressional action is needed. because fighting terrorism is not a singular effort of the federal gernment, the alert act provides increased community awareness of ooing threats. dicalization is also a car and present danger to americans. the number of cases of homegrown terrism is growing nationwide. since september 11, 2001, there have been 139 homegrown jihadist plots. commuty involvement in countering violent extremism has proven to be fective. as more than 75% of u.s. foreign fighter arrests have involved tips from local sources such as community members, relatives or fends. this bill will provide even more resources to root out terrorists before they can act. as we are moving into a new era of terrorismhat directly threatenour own communities, we mus re-evaluate how we meet the current threat. today, everyone has a part to play in protecting against terrorism. the neighborext door and the
local pice officer. while this legislation will not in itself end the threat of terrorism against our nation, it will allow for the better use of valuable resources already within our communities. i urge all members to joi me in supporting this bill and i reserve theance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. rokita: thank you, mr. speaker. -- mr. keating: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 41, the alifying local efforts to root out terror act, or the alert act of 2016. and i yield myself such time as i may consume. e speaker pro tempore: the gentlem is recognized. mr. keating: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this is the latest in a series of efforts by this congress and in particular homeland surity committee in a bipartisan manner to rk to thwart terrorist threats in our country. mr. speaker, we work continuously to look back at the9/11 commsion recommendations and make sure that we'r fulfilling all the
ars of trouble that were identified by that commission where we can make ourselves more secure from terrorist threats. we also worked very hard as a committee looking at the boston marathon bombing. and we worked in that and we found out that information sharing was not as great as it should be. in fact, it was one of the things that could have prevented that from occurring. recall in committee, i think the police commissioner of boston, testified before the committee and being asked -- did you know the information that federal law enforcement officials had and his answer was no and then he was asked, would it have been helpful for you to know that, and he said, of course. and yet that information wasn't available and we've worked in the committee to make sure that information is shared at the local, the regional, county, the state level as well as the federal law enforcement agency communities. and we've worked together
successfully with groups like the joint terrorism task force, to make sure that information is shared on a daily basis, on a weekly basis and in a policy sense even on a monthly basis looking back, making sure that we have a seamless system. and mr. speaker, we had an initiative that i joined with my colleague from georgia on as well as four other members of this house where we traveled to look at the issue of foreign terrorist fighters and the threat to our country resulting from their actions. sadly in the united states, there are over 200 people that have been identified as leaving this country to fight for isil in syria, in iraq. yet, we went through not only the middle east but through europe with our allies there to see what threats were there in terms of using those countries as portals into the united states, making sure that not
only the 200-plus people from the u.s., if they came back we would be able to deal with their threats but also the threats imposed by other countries coming to the u.s. we found that in is tan balance -- istanbul, for instance, at the airport there, there are 61 million flights in that airport alone. that is probably 11 times roughly, the whole population of my state of massachusetts. think of that. going out. and we found out there wasn't security measures in place there that we take for granted in our own country. we also worked hard with our allies in europe so that they would do the basics and have passenger name records there so that we could trade information, find out who is boreding these planes -- boarding these planes and we're glad to report that the european union has worked on that. they're working on areas with
the exterior borders that we talked about them in our trip. we've also been successful as a congress to work on the visa waiver country issue, to make sure those areas where people are coming back and have traveled to syria, iraq, so we make sure they're vetted the way they should be vetted. but we also realize not only do we have to fight this war on multiple fronts, we know that back home that the threat of domestic violent extremists remains the number one threat, according to every expert. and we know from the work that we've done collectively that we could do more on that front in preventing it. we were told about fusion centers, which are tremendous assets to our security at the local, state or federal level where we work together gathering, compiling information on a real-time basis. yet, those fusion centers and
the employees there wanted to do more and they were telling us how they could do more if they were given more training, more coordination, more information to deal with at the local and state level. it would create a great multiplier effect with the front line law enforcement people that would make our country safer. and along those lines, the gentleman from georgia put in legislation that i'm proud to be a lead sponsor on to make sure that the department of homeland security is there authorizing and providing these resources through the fusion centers to our state and local counterparts. and i think that translating that not only is information to stop and coordinate activities reacting to terrorist activities but working at the root causes, sharing information they can use and apply at the root level to prevent that kind of activity.
put those people closer to the community in a position where they can do more, and to me that's one of the important things we can do as a congress, to make sure that work is being done. so this is a very important bill. it's a bill that i think once again we're seeing the role of congress in making sure that things don't fall between the cracks in terms of our national security, things that make sure the resources there for our local and state counterparts -- are there for our local and state counterparts and i favor this bill because i think it's one of the areas we found most amplification. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. loudermilk: mr. speaker, i now yield foif minutes to the distinguished gentleman from washington, mr. reichert -- five minutes to the
distinguished gentleman from washington, mr. reichert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for five minutes. mr. reichert: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for his hard work on this legislation, along with mr. keating. i, after listening to both of you speak on this legislation, i'm really happy that you get it, that you understand it and this is a great piece of legislation that we're about to enact. i can speak from some experience, mr. speaker. i appreciate that mr. loudermilk has asked me to speak this evening on this bill. i was in law enforcement for 33 years. started out in a patrol car and went through various stages of assignments, and finally became the sheriff in king county, which is seattle, washington. some of the things the gentlemen spoke about is i've been there, done that and know
the frustration. i know there are sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and police officers rejoicing in this bill. it will relieve some much frustration and also provide some much-needed relief in creating that partnership between federal and local law enforcement agencies. so i'm a strong supporter of the alert act. you know, today terrorism is not something that's in foreign countries. it's not somewhere outside of the united states. it's not outside our borders. it's right here. it's right here in washington, d.c. it's right here in seattle, washington, as i said, where i come from. and our sheriff's deputies and police officers have worked with federal agencies over these past few years, especially since 2001, following up hundreds and thousands of leads every day
that the public, of course, is not aware of, of possible threats, terrorism threats to our local communities. i've had the opportunity to work with almost every federal agency, law enforcement agency that you can think of since left in 2005 to come here. i had great experiences and not so great experiences and especially relates to the sharing of information and it relates back to the inadequacyy of our training and our -- inadequacy of our training and our ability to connect to the federal agencies to really form a true partnership and a true bond and a true trust. if we can't as federal and local agencies trust each other to share that information -- and i know part of the effort here in the alert act is to build that trust and to have the same training and the same information so we can protect the citizens of this country, that's our job and that's what
this law is designed to do. . but we also need the partnership, the trust of our communities. because as we go out and investigate these leads and into igate these tips possible terrorism attacks, we are interviewing people that live in our communities. they need to trust us, they need to respect not only us here in congress but they need to respect our law enforcement agencies across the country. and most of all, our law enforcement agencies need to respect them. and that's when we'll have that trust, where we can share information and truly come together. because the cops can't protect this country alone. the community cannot protect this country alone. it can't protect their neighborhoods alone. let alone our country. but we've given more and more responsibility to our local
officers and they're being spread thin and i think that's why, ladies and gentlemen, and mr. speaker, that's why we are divided today. cops and community are divided. we don't have that interaction any longer and that trust that we built over many, many years, it's now beginning to erode. and i think that this bill goes a long way in building that trust and relateship between the federal agencies and local agencies, providing that training. and most of all, what i appreciate about this legislation, is that you've called attention to the fact that local law enforcement is key and absolutely vital, absolutely critical in directing -- in protecting this country. and that we are asking them to participate in the defense of our homeland. and not just only that, but at the same time answer those emergency calls.
and i'm going to mention, if you'll allow me a moment, swer those emergency calls that officer ashley did on her first day as a sheriff's deputy. and died. that's what we're talking about here. life and death. service to our community. protecting this country. and i thank you, gentlemen, for your hard work and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from georgia reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i have no further speakers and am prepared to close if the gentleman's prepared to close. >> mr. speaker, i have no further speakers. if the gentleman from massachusetts is ready to close, i'd do so after he -- i'll do so after he. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is
recognized. mr. keating: i yield such time as i may consume in my closing. i thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. keating: i thank the gentleman from georgia for his leadership on this. too, as the gentleman from washington stated, i was a district attorney for 12 years had my own attached state police force, worked with local law enforcement, and understand just what he was talking about. in terms of the need to communicate, work together could he he'sively, share information -- cohesively, share information, and we're all safer when that occurs. i started my day this morning in boston. we met at the federal reserve. and the we that met was something that perhaps you wouldn't have seen a few years ago, that we see today because of the efforts of congress and homeland security committee, the gentleman from georgia, myself working together across the aisle, making sure these
things happen. it was a meeting on surface transportation threats and rrorist threats and we had the f.b.i., the head of the a.t.f., we had our regional t.s.a. head there, we had state officials, local officials, local police, regional police, we had authorities like the transportation authorities, all present in the room. filling up the room. working together, sharing information. yet we know we have to do a better job in making sure that occurs going forward. many of the things we worked on in the committee, some of those agencies made procedural changes. they adopted new priorities that they hadn't had before. what this legislation does that we did with reporting to congress on the information on foreign terrorist fighters from our europe allies, as well as
working -- making sure that joint terrorism task force was sharing information, we're making sure going forward that's going to continue to be done. because oftentimes, unfortunately, we react to a major crisis, respond, provide the resources, and then after a period of time our attention wanes and we're not constantly making sure that's being done. this legislation will make sure that's being done going forward . and it makes sure that these groups are reporting back to congress on a regular basis, so that we're in a position to know that it continues to go forward all the time. because as our attention and ur resources and our defensiveness might wane, the threats of terrorists will always be there, unfortunately, in the world we share.
so, this will make sure that the reporting back to congress occurs as well. and i'm pleased to say that congress has an integral role in this. and we've crossed a very divided line, unfortunately, that we live in today from a partisan standpoint, and we've worked together time and time again because if we can't work together on issues of our national security, what can we work together on? so i want to thank my colleague from georgia, mr. loudermilk, i want to thank the chairman of the committee, mr. mccaul, the ranking member, mr. thompson, and all the committee members on their efforts going forward. this alert act will keep us safer. not just tomorrow but in the decades ahead. and with that i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized to close debate from the majority. mr. loudermilk: thank you, mr. speaker. let me give a heartfelt thanks to my colleagues across the aisle, especially my colleague from massachusetts, mr. keating, who had mentioned that we spent quite a good amount of time together traveling in the middle east and europe looking at terrorism. there was a time in our nation's history when our focus on terrorism was isolated to areas overseas. but no longer. terrorism is in our neighborhoods, it's in our communities. as you heard here today, from massachusetts to georgia to washington state, there are no geographical boundaries, even within the united states on terrorism. -- united states, on terrorism. and while this bill will not end terrorism, it will give the critical tools to those who know their communities best. the local law enforcement officer who is on the beat every day knows his community better than anyone. when something isn't just right, he's the first one to
notice it. and it's critical that we provide them the training, the security clearances, and the tools that they need to become a force multiplier for our federal agents who are operating on very limited resources today. in fact, they are stretched very thin. again, i thank all of those in support of this legislation, of all that i've worked on. i believe that this is one of the most important in securing our nation's -- our nation so our children will have a nation that's free, safe and full of opportunity. i again urge my colleagues to support h.r. 4401 and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia has yielded back the balance of his time. all time having now expired, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 4401, 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. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass house resolution 148 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house res. -- resolution 148, he'slusion calling on the government of iran to fulfill their promises of assistance in the case of robert levinson, the longest held united states civilian in our nation's history. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida, ms.
ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, sir. first i'd like to thank chairman royce and ranking member engel for their leadership in bringing attention to the plight of bob levinson and guiding this legislation through our foreign affairs committee and on to the house floor today. two weeks ago we passed this resolution out of the middle east and north africa subcommittee which i chair, alongside ranking member ted deutch, my friend from florida. we were joined by bob's wife, christine, and their son, dan, as well as bob's sister-in-law, susie. it was truly heart-wrenching, mr. speaker, to see christine,
dan and susie again, and to see how much they've missed bob and how much they worry about his well-being and his fate. all they want is bob's safe and immediate return. but unfortunately the iranian regime's continued failure to honor its commitment and promises to assist in bob's case and to help bring him home have left them without a father, without a husband, without a friend for nearly 3,300 days. in fact, next week will mark the ninth anniversary of bob's disappearance from iranian territory. i can't even begin to imagine what the family has had to endure for these past nine years. all of the birthdays, all of the hoiles, the anniversaries, all of the momentous family occasions that never really felt whole because bob was unable to share them with his
family. no family should ever have to go through that ordeal. and the u.s. and the iranian governments can and should do more to ensure bob's immediate return. that's why this resolution before us today, mr. speaker, is so important. not just for bob and the levinson family, but for all american citizens who may one day be in a similar situation. our constituents and the american people need to know that their representatives and their government will make the safety and security of u.s. citizens a top priority. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the resolution and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i want to thank my good friend and partner, congresswoman ros-lehtinen,
along with congresswoman wasserman schultz and congressman diaz-balart, for introducing this resolution with me and for their commitment to raising awareness of bob levinson's case and always, always pushing for bob's return. i want to thank chairman royce and ranking member engel for helping to swiftly move this resolution to the floor as we prepare to mark the anniversary of bob levinson's disappearance. i want to thank senator nelson for spear heading a similar resolution which passed the senate earlier this month. i also would like to thank all of my colleagues who have co-sponsored this resolution. passing this resolution today is particularly significant. this saturday, march 5, 2016, members of bob's community in my district in south florida will come together for a rally in support of the levinson family, calling for bob's immediate turn. just four days later, on march 9, we will mark the ninth anniversary of bob's
disappearance from iran. when we received word in january that our government negotiated for the release of four americans in prisoned in iran, we welcomed -- in prison in iran, we welcomed the news. these were americans who were wrongfully held and this move made very clear that the united states does not forget about its own people. . the people were reunited with their families. our colleagues, congressman kildee, huffman and labrador, have been tireless, tireless advocates for the release of their constituents. and i am so pleased that each of them has returned to the united states for their families, mr. speaker, the nightmare is over. unfortunately the nightmare continues for my constituents, the levinson family. . bob is now the longest held hostage in american history. he missed nine birth-days with
his children, anniversaries, wedding, births of three of his four grandchildren and so many other happy occasions that should had been celebrated together as a family. this is a family who for nine years has never given up of bringing home their husband, their father and bringing him home. we were so fortunate to be joined by bob's wife, christine, and his eldest son, dan, when we passed this resolution in committee some weeks ago. we had the opportunity to tell them directly that this congress will not forget about bob. and by passing this resolution today, this house of representatives will now tell the world that we will never forget about bob. bob levinson dedicated his life to serving this country, first as d.e.a. and over 20 years as an f.b.i. agent. bob is the patriot who loves this country dearly, and now, now, mr. speaker, it is time for this country to come through for bob. over the years, the levinson
family have received proof of life in the form of pictures and video. and we're grateful that throughout the nuclear negotiations with iran, secretary kerry and others raised bob's case at every single meeting and we've been told the deal to release other americans opened new consultation on bob's case. but we cannot wait. whatever information iran has about bob needs to be provided now so that bob can be brought home. this resolution before us today calls on iran to follow through on its repeated promises of assisting the united states in locating bob. the resolution rules calls on our government and those of our partners and allies to continue to press iran about information on bob at every opportunity. president obama and secretary kerry has talked about securing bob's release and secretary kerry reiterated that in the house just last month and president obama has stated in
january when referencing bob's case, he said, we will not rest until their family is whole again. for anyone who's watching this debate today, i encourage you to share this information about bob levinson, to tweet about b levinson, to use the #whataboutbob. for those in south florida, i encourage you to support the levinson family this saturday in coral springs. we must keep talking about bob. we must raise the level of awareness about bob's case. our government and the government of our friends and allies must continue to work tirelessly to find bob and to bring him home and iran must know the newly elected parliament in iran must know that we will never rest until bob is home. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance
of his time. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'd like to yield five minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith who is the chairman of the foreign affairs committee on africa, global health, global human rights and international organization. mr. smith: thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, is recognized for five minutes. mr. smith: again, i thank our distinguished chairlady, chairwoman of the subcommittee, chairwoman emeritus of the full committee, ileana ros-lehtinen, for her leadership on this issue and, of course, ted deutch, who authored this very, very important resolution. i also want to thank ed royce and eleliot engel for quickly bringing this -- eliot engel for quickly bringing this to the floor in anticipation of bob levinson's being held by the iranians. almost nine years ago the levinson family wrote in part on helpboblevinson.com and i quote in part. they said if you pray for bob, we thank you. if you frequently follow the news stories and blogs about bob's situation, we thank you.
if you have spread the word about his story and continue to do so, we thank you. we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. please continue to pray for bob. we would love to have him home for father's day. that was may 25, 2007. that, mr. speaker, was almost nine years ago. in a letter to dad also in may of 2007, bob levinson's children wrote, and i quote, dad, your seven children love and miss you very much. we're writing you this letter in the hopes you will be able to read it wherever you are and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers every minute of every day. the seven children continue, as you know, mom is our rock. she has encouraged us to take each day, one day at a time while we are sure it will come to no surprise to you, she has amazing strength and has been an inspiration to all seven of us. we are looking forward to you're welcome home party. it cannot seem to come soon
enough. we pray for you every day and look forward to having you come home to us safe and sound. the seven levinson children continued, dad, you are the best dad anyone could ever ask for and we love and miss you more than words can say. we are so proud of you and the world now knows what we have known all along, what an intelligent, kind and gentle man you are. again, that letter was from bob's kids posted almost nine years ago. despite the emotional pain, christy, jose wife, and the entire family -- his wife, and the entire family pressed for bob's freedom. no one in america's history, as mr. deutch pointed out a moment ago, has been held hostage longer than bob levinson. his ordeal and the agony and the heartbreak of his family must end. the reports that most of the americans held by iran were released, but no freedom or even information about levinson
, the family was indeed crushed . a response the family wrote, we are happy for the other families, but once again, bob levinson has been left behind. we are devastated, they said. devastated, yes, but absolutely committed to the return of their husband, father, grandfather, relative and friend. both the administration and congress must not rest until this good, decent and honorable american is returned to his family, friends and a grateful nation. so, again, thank you, ted deutch, for sponsoring h.res. 148, so all of us can express our deepest concern for bob levinson and press as never before for his return. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm prepared to close.
i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized to close debate for the minority. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, mr. smith, for your powerful words and for sharing the very powerful and very moving words of bob's family. would just ask my colleagues levinson bout the amily as if they were your own and to use the opportunity that we have here today to send what is the most powerful message that this house can send, these days especially, and that's a message of unity. mr. speaker, with this resolution today, we have an
opportunity to recognize that when a proud american has been missing from his family, has been missing from his community our family g from and from our community and our ountry, our country is missing bob levinson. it is our country that will be made whole when bob is returned , and i urge my colleagues in the strongest way that i can to stand together with me, with bob's family and on behalf of every person in this great country in moving this resolution forward and continuing to work tirelessly to bring bob home. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back the balance of his time.
the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: and i thank my good friend, mr. deutch, for his eloquent proposals time and time again in our committee and on the house floor and in every public gathering on behalf of bob levinson's family and i'm sure that the levinson family feels a great sense of relief that they have such a tireless advocate by their side. and i would hope that the administration would continue to press the iranian regime to do more to assist with the bob levinson case and it needs to continue to raise the issue with the iranian regime at the highest level and at every opportunity. as mr. deutch pointed out, the community in south florida will be rallying in support of bob and his family this coming saturday, march 5. it will be held at the center for the arts in coral springs at 2:00 in the afternoon, and
what a powerful message it would send to the family were the house to adopt this resolution without dissent. it will also send a strong message to the iranian regime that we will not relent until bob is home with his family and that iran has honored its commitments and its promises. i want to commend, again, my good friend and south florida colleague, ted deutch, for authoring this resolution and i'm honored to be his republican lead. i've worked alongside ted for so many years in support of bob and his family. bob is a south florida resident, as you heard, is a constituent of mr. deutch's district, and as i said, the levinson family is so fortunate to have such a wonderful representative because ted has shown unwavering commitment to the family, for bob and his fight to be reunited with his loving family. i could only say that we all support ted in his mission.
we support the levinson family. we will continue to work with mr. deutch in this effort. and i urge my colleagues to strongly support this measure, support bob and the levinson family in this one more anniversary of being in captivity or who knows where. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: all time on this resolution having now been yielded back, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the house resolution 148, as amended. all those in favor will say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. barletta: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1471, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1471, a bill to re-authorize the programs and activities of the federal emergency management agency. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta, and the gentleman from indiana, mr. carson, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 1471, as amended, and i submit for the record the exchange of letters of the committee on homeland security
and the committee on judiciary. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. barletta: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, let me begin by thanking chairman shuster for his tremendous support and leadership on this bill. a few members of congress have had a greater impact on reforming our disaster programs since hurricane katrina than chairman shuster. this bill represents another important step in that effort, and i greatly appreciate the chairman's help. i also want to thank ranking member defazio and ranking member carson for their bipartisan support of the bill. the fema disaster assistance reform act has two primary goals. to help save lives and to save taxpayer money. the bill helps save lives by fixing a long-standing problem that hinders the deployment of critical search and rescue teams between states. these reforms will help ensure our constituents receive the
help they need when disaster strikes. additionally, this bill helps save money by improving the cost-effectiveness of fema's existing disaster assistance programs. for example, there are provisions that will speed up reconstruction and lower administrative costs. the bill also saves money by encouraging smart recovery practices and mitigation to lower the costs of the next disaster. . and the bill commissions a comprehensive review of the growing disaster related losses the nation has experienced over the last decades. experts estimate that over $1 trillion of disaster losses have occurred since 1980. fema alone has spent almost $200 billion on over 1,300 major presidential disaster declarations since 1989.
these numbers are going up and we should try to find ways to bring those costs down over time. it has been over 20 years since we've had a comprehensive look at disaster spending. it's time for a big picture assessment of what is driving these costs and to review if we, as a nation, are response -- responding in the most popet and cost effective way. right after i became a member of congress, my district was hit hard by hurricane irene and trorm lee. i saw homes destroyed, lives and livelihoods upset. disaster relief is critical at times like these and people need help to rebuild their lives and rebuild their communities. but as i witnessed the recovery, i was amazed that folks were rebuilding back in the very same place, in the very same way. leaving themselves just as vulnerable to the next storm. we have to be compassionate and
responsive to our sit zepps but we also have a duty to be a good steward of the taxpayer dollars. i am committed to establishing this study to see if we can tackle these tough issues and find solutions that are driven by facts and data. rather than the emotion that inevitably follows a disaster. these reforms are one of my top priorities this congress. at the end of the day, the purpose of this bill is to ensure help will be there when disaster strikes and our constituents need that help the most. thank you and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such ime as he may consume.
mr. carson: i rise in support of the fema disaster assistance reform act of 2015 as amended, which contains several provisions important to state and local governments and emergency managers. i want to acknowledge chairman barletta and my good friend, ranking member defazio. in my opinion, the most important aspect of this bill is that it clarifies compensation and liability issues for urban search and rescue team members. these members provide critical services and put themselves in harm's way to help others involved in a disaster. indianapolis, my city, our own urban search and rescue team which consists of firefighters, paramedics, civilians and others, responded to hurricane sandy. they did so despite the uncertainties that they would be covered for any injuries. these protections, mr. speaker, are long overdue and team
members can now rest assures that they will be taken care of when activated for federal service if they are injured. another important provision grows out of individual states and local governments need to know if they can rely on fema's decisions and reimbursement amounts. local governments make major decisions during the disaster recovery phase in reliance on fema's initial approval. there comes a time, mr. speaker, when fema should not be able to reverse its initial decisions or award amounts. statute of limitations protections for individuals -- for individual, state and local governments will provide peace of mind and certainty needed to go forward with recovery process. climate change, mr. speaker, is causing more extreme weather patterns, so in order for taos become more resilient, we must encourage more local governments and communities to undertake mitigation measures.
some community mace forego mitigation actions because they o not have the capacity to administer the fuvends, ensuring that local governments will be reimbursed for local government management costs should help us maintain more resilient communities. finally, mr. speaker, our subcommittee has embark on discussions related to the trends and causes of rising disaster costs and losses. in furtherance of this discussion, the bill requires fema's national advisory council to study the issue and make rend meckations to congress and address causes and trends. specifically, the bill requires the council to examine mechanisms and incentives to promote mitt fwation and make recommendations regarding the same. the last few years, mr. speaker, i've introduced a bill to re-authorize the disaster mitigation program and you know, mr. speaker, mitigation saves
taxpayer funds over the long haul. i look forward to any recommendations from the national advisory council on how we can strengthen this available and very effective program. i want to thank chairman barletta again and ranking member defazio for their leadership on this very important measure and as an original co-sponsor of this measure, mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to join us in supporting h.r. 1471. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. barletta: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois who knows very well how important these disaster programs are when disasters have struck his state in illinois, i yield three minutes to the gentleman illinois, mr. davis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. davis: mr. speaker, fema's
disaster declaration process is broken. you don't need to look any further than the state of illinois to see how their aid program is failing the hardworking programs of this country. it simply doesn't put families on equal playing field. harrs by rurg was denied assistance after tornadoes while missouri and kentucky received it. recently, towns like girlfriend and washington in central illinois were denied public assistance as well. fema currently takes into account several factors when determining the need for public and individual assistance. however, there are currently -- there currently is no standard to determine which factor is more important than another which leads to highly subjective and uncertain processes that leave states and communities in limbo for weeks as their application is considered. by working with this committee and this subcommittee that chairman barletta chairs, we were able to include language that was based on a bill that i introduced with many of my colleagues that requires the administrator of fema, when
making recommendations to the president, regarding a major declaration, give greater weight and consideration to localized impact. consideration of this legislation is timely for my home state of illinois. just days ago, illinois governor bruce rauner submitted a request to president obama asking him to declare a major disaster for illinois following the extensive holiday flooding we saw about the new year. much of this damage happened in my home county of christian county, where four people tragically lost their lives after encountering floodwaters. sadly two of the deceased were from my hometown of taylorville no amount of resources can compensate for the loss of human life when disaster strikes, yet these communities need to rebuild. prelim nation damage assessments determine that communities in illinois experience $15 million in damages. unfortunately that doesn't meet fema's $18.1 million threshold.
mr. speaker, it's not right that states like illinois, where a significant portion of the population is concentrated in a single area, can be denied disaster relief because of an arbitrary formula developed by bureaucrats in concrete buildings here in washington, d.c. that's what make this is bill and my provision so important, it levels the playing field and tells rural america that when disaster strikes, we're going to look out for you too. mr. speaker, i come from rural america. i know these people. these are not the type of people who expect help, who expect washington to solve their problems, but we as members of congress and as americans have an only fwation to commit that we will be there for them when they need us and that we won't let arbitrary formulas prevent that help from being delivered. we need this bill, we need these reforms. it will make a difference. thank you again to chairman barletta, chairman shuster and the ranking members. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from indiana is recognized.
mr. carson: i yield as much time as he may consume to my good friend and ranking member -- mr. defazio of oregon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. defazio: i thank the gentleman for his work on this bill as i do the subcommittee chair and full committee chairman. this is a bill very much in the tradition of the transportation committee, where in fact we have come together and put together a bipartisan proposal to re-authorize the federal emergency management agency. critical agency, as you've heard from some of the previous speakers. in particular, in the west, you know, we have some issues regarding wildfires. we had the worst wildfire season on record last year, 10 million acres burned, half the forezest service budget went to fighting these filed wires -- wildfires and the perversity of that is
when the -- when astounding amounts of money like that are required from the forest service, they have to reduce other budgets, including preventive activities including fuel reduction and other activities that would prevent future fires system of we're on this endless cycle. that should end. unfortunately, this bill doesn't end that. i hope that happens later in the congress. pending in lation both the house and senate that we've come close to moving that would deal with declaring that catastrophic fires are disasters just like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc. but in this bill we did make some progress. it makes state and private lands eligible for hazard mitigation assistance after wildfires, it's a commonsense solution to save on future disaster costs and losses. the bill also encourages states to direct the funds to the areas that experience the wildfire. i thank our colleague, congressman ruiz, from
california, for his extraordinary leadership on this issue. you have a fire, particularly in california and elsewhere, you have potential for catastrophic mud slides, future catastrophes, putting the public at risk. and hazard mitigation assistance on wildfires, on state and private lands, encouraging wildfire mitigation, such as reducing hazards, fuels, receding ground cover will help cover the future cost of disasters. further, there's other legislation in other provisions in this legislation that deal with the potential for catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. the cascadia zone off the coast of oregon has generated at least 12 major great earthquakes, magnitude eight to nine. yet we are woefully prepared in terms of any sorts of early
detection. we have just begun the rudiments with some federal assistance of land-based early detection system. we need an ocean-based early detection system such as the japanese have deployed. early warning of the quake and tsunamis will save many lives on the coast of oregon, washington, northern california. it will also save tremendous amount os nerms of -- in terms of infrastructure in the inland and more distant areas who would have ample warning to shut down transit systems, get people off bridges, stop elevators in high rise buildings and otherwise accommodate the public in preventing more loss of life and also more catastrophic problems. again, japan is far, far ahead of us. they can and have stopped their high speed rail trains when they have distant warning of a coming tremor, even though tremors move quickly through the earth,
there's enough time to slow or stop trains. they have had time to evacuate the coastal areas, although unfortunately in the last quake, and now they're taking care of this, when they re-estimated the size of the tsunami they found out communications were down. now they moved to a cellular based network to notify people the tsunami is coming and get them to high ground system of we can and should do a lot more there and this bill opens the door to those sorts of programs here in the united states of america. and finally, it gives assurances, well two more point the state and will call governments will be reimbursed up to a certain amount for costs encurred during disaster recovery. this will encourage local governments to undertake new mitigation projects that are both a good deal for the federal government and for taxpayers. mitigation saves $3 to $4 for every $1 invested. finally, we have a power play by a minor federal agency
attempting to make fema become the national land use planning agency of the united states, trying to force fema to deny flood insurance to states that don't follow the directories of the national marine fishery service. this is not authorized by law. and they are way out of line. unfortunately i talked to the woman who is head of that agency and she disagrees and her regional representative is hell bent to become the land use planning agency for oregon, though of course oregon has comprehensive land use planning unlike his home state of washington which was not subjected to these dramatic changes in law. so we're making it clear that that is not the authority of fema in this bill. that is a reasonable position, it's a bipartisan position. i thank my colleague for his help and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle for their help and yield back the
balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. . mr. barletta: i yield to mrs. hartzler who was important in adding very important language that strengthened this bill, we yield three minutes to the gentlewoman, mrs. hartzler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri is recognized for three minutes. mrs. hartzler: thank you. mr. speaker, in august of 2013, the southern portion of my district experienced a major disaster involving heavy flooding, which devastated infrastructure and caused significant hardship to many of my constituents. unfortunately the federal recovery efforts to this devastated region added insult to injury. local officials dealt with multiple teams completing and conducting duplicative site visits due to lost paperwork, inconsistent messages between various survey and evaluation teams and unnecessarily long delays in recovery and reimbursement. such a response to any disaster is unacceptable and change is
necessary. last year i introduced a bill to address the shortcomings of the fema response to the 2013 flooding in my district to ensure future disaster recoveries in missouri and elsewhere are as painless and efficient as possible. my bill, which is included in this reform package, requires fema to create an action plan to address inconsistent guidance, inappropriate record keeping procedures and overall mixed assistance to local officials. additionally, it directs fema to issue a forward-looking report to identify new technologies that further aid the disaster work force and partnering with private nonprofits as well as state and local governments in the wake of a disaster or emergency. fema processes need to be streamlined and consistent in order to help those recovering from a disaster feel supported and assured the relief will come in a timely, efficient manner. i rise today in full for of
h.r. 1471, the fema disaster assistance reform act, making sure federal agencies have the proper oversight and resources they need is an important function to the u.s. congress and this three-year re-authorization is a shining example of a bipartisan, commonsense effort to make the people get the help and assistance they so desperately need in times of crisis. i want to thank the sponsor of this bill, mr. barletta, and the ranking member for including my language in the fema reform package, and i encourage my colleagues to vote for h.r. 1471. mr. speaker, i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. carson: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentlelady and my good friend from florida, a member of the committee, madam frankel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. frankel: thank you. and i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 14 1, the fema disaster assistance reform act, and i thank the chairman and
ranking members for their fine work. the bill constains a bipartisan provision on which i had the honor of working with my friend and colleague from florida, congressman dan webster. as floridians, we know hurricanes. in 2004, 2005, charlie, francis, jean, wilma and katrina tore through our state leaving families stranded, property damaged, trees crashed to the ground, they ripped the powerlines, blocking flooded streets, water systems were compromised. our local governments did miraculous jobs cleaning debris from public waste, fixing brokean infrastructure and getting life back to normal. it takes a lot to get this done. when hurricanes strike, communities are ravaged and so are their budgets. so i want to thank fema for the funding assistance it provided florida at a time of great stress and need.
now fema is asking some of our cities and counties to pay back money they were given for disaster relief projects that were approved more than 10 years ago. so here's the thing. there's no question that fema should do responsible audits of its relief payments to make sure that money was used properly, but unless there is fraud, the process should not be an endless journey into federal bureaucracy. our local governments, unlike the federal government, have to balance their budgets. they can't afford to wait five, 10 and infinite number of years for fema to do its assessment, especially when millions of dollars are at stake. simply said, the current practice unfairly stymies our local governments' ability to plan their future budgets. this legislation will make sure that the process is more
balanced, giving fema adequate time to review its grant payments while allowing for financial security to local governments. i urge my colleagues to support this very good legislation. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlewoman has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, i wish to yield three minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves, who spent a lot of time and worked very hard to make this bill better. i yield three minutes to mr. graves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for three minutes. mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, the reality is the gentleman from indiana noted earlier is that we're going to have disasters and we're going to spend funds responding to those disasters. the problem with the united states disaster management is backwards. it's entirely reactive. rather than making areas more resilient, making our ecosystem more resilient and economy more resilient, we're dead set of
coming after and spending more dollars. the ranking member referenced a few figures a while ago. he referenced a figure of c.b.o. study indicated for every $1 we invest in the right type of hazard mitigation we save $3 in distance disaster response cost. fema did another study. i think, mr. speaker, with the right criteria you actually even save more. now, we're challenging the nation -- we're challenged as a nation right now because the agency that is responsible for making our community more resilient is the u.s. army corps of engineers, mr. speaker, which is unfortunately stuck on stupid. what we've seen over the last several years, rather than trying to fix that, we've seen other agencies come up granting agencies. we've seen fema. we've seen in the president's budget the department of interior and then h.u.d. rather than fixing the problem, we're putting more granting agencies out there. it's creating an approach that's not coordinated, an approach that is going to result in more taxpayers' funds
being spent on the wrong projects, the wrong priorities rather than being proactive. this bill addresses that, mr. speaker. this bill actually includes a provision that has fema begin developing a coordinated proactive approach to have we mitigate or reduce vulnerabilities from disasters. my own state of louisiana in the last several years, we've seen extraordinary disasters. whether it's hurricane katrina and rita in 2005, hurricanes gus to have and ike in -- gustav and ike in 2008. we had the oil spill in 2011. in hurricane 2012 we had hurricane isaac. in 2010 -- in 2011 and again this year we saw record high water on the mississippi river system causing flooding. we're going to spend dollars. we got to spend them in the right places. this bill does a number of things that are important. number one, it eliminates bureaucracy and helps to streamline the process of getting dollars on the ground to some of our important impacted areas. we've seen where this bill comes in that actually changes
criteria where severely impacted local communities, like in louisiana where we just saw st. john parish, ascension parish, livingson parish, st. james parish, experience impacts from tornados. those areas qualify for federal -- could potentially qualify because of severely impacts in some of these limited areas. most importantly, mr. speaker, i want to thank the ranking member and the chairman for working with us on a provision that prevents fema from being able to move the goal post on this, being able to come in and change conditions after a grant is made that could result in homeowners having to pay back absurd amounts of money whenever they follow the criteria, they followed their commitments whenever they entered into these grant agreements. mr. speaker, this bill goes a long way. i want to continue working with the leaders of these bill on duplication of efforts. i'll say it again, mr. speaker. we're going to spend the one way or another and we need to spend it in a principaled manner. i yield back . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from indiana is
recognized. in carson: mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time having now expired on this bill, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1471, as amended. those in favor will 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.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. weber: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4084, the nuclear energy innovation capabilities act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4084, a bill to enable civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private and public institutions and to expand theoretical and practical knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry, and materials science. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. weber, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. beyer, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas. i yield : mr. speaker, myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time. mr. weber: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 4084, the nuclear energy innovation capabilities act, and i want to thank ranking member johnson
and chairman smith for co-sponsoring this important legislation and for their leadership in advocating for nuclear energy research and development. i am grateful for the opportunity to work with my fellow texans to guide research at will keep america safe, globally competitive and support nuclear innovation. i also want to thank my colleagues on the science committee who co-sponsored h.r. 4084. mr. speaker, the science committee has spent over a year examining u.s. nuclear energy policy in preparing for this legislation. we've been holding hearings on supercomputing, advanced nurke technology, the nuclear regulatory commission and the d.o.e. energy innovation hubs. witnesses from the national labs, from universities and the private sector have all testified in support of the various reforms and policies
outlined in this bill. we took our time developing this legislation by working together and listening to all the relevant stakeholders. we have developed broad bipartisan and bicameral support for this bill. we've worked with our colleagues in the senate to develop companion legislation as well. last month, an amendment with the text of this legislation passed, mr. speaker, with historic overwhelming support in the senate. for the first time in many years, the nuclear energy innovation capabilities act will provide updated statutory direction to the department of energy's nuclear research activities to ensure that fundamental research is prioritized and that precious resources are not wasted. this bill requires d.o.e. to leverage its supercomputing
infrastructure and to use modeling and simulation capabilities to develop dvanced fusion reactors. the bill creates a clear timeline and parameters for d.o.e. to complete a research reactor. a research reactor is a crucial part of ensuring materials and nuclear fuels, r&d can take place in our united states of america. this type of research requires access to fast neutrons, which unfortunately are currently only available for civilian research in russia, mr. speaker. while modeling and simulation can ack set rail r&d, nuclear -- accelerate r&d, nuclear must be through a physical source. under section 6 of h.r. 4084 will provide the united states capability. al
this legislation directs d.o.e. to construct and operate reactor prototypes at d.o.e. national labs. nuclear reactors are expensive and highly regulated. designing a first of a kind reactor requires a blend of creative freedom for engineers designs while ensuring safety during the process. d.o.e. sites, particularly the d.o.e. national labs, can provide a unique environment that safely allows for this kind of creative testing and development for advanced nuclear technology without a burdensome regulatory process which slows progress to a crawl. d.o.e. has fundamental authority to enter these partnerships but won't have confidence to act without direction from congress provided in this legislation, mr. speaker. america must maintain our nuclear capabilities and continue to develop cutting edge
technology right here at home. without the direction provided in this bill, we will continue to fall further and further behind, losing the ability to develop innovative nuclear technology and be left importing reactor designs from overseas. today, we have the best nuclear engineers and manufacturing capacity in the world right here at home. we can't put that expertise at risk, mr. speaker. even more importantly this bill will maintain america's capability to influence security and proliferation standards around the world. as more developing nations look to nuclear energy to grow their economies. as a member of the foreign affairs committee, i am constantly reminded of the need for american leadership in a dangerous world. h.r. 4084 reaffirms the united states' commitment to safely advance nuclear technology. i encourage my colleagues to
support this bill, mr. speaker, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia, mr. beyer is recognized. mr. beyer: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. beyer: i rise in strong support of h.r. 4084, the nuclear energy campaignabilities act. currently the -- capabilities act. currently nuclear power is the single largest carbon-free power source in the country. however, our current nuclear fleet is growing older. many of our plants are decades old and rely on nuclear technology that is even older. there have been substantial efforts in the past decade to move away toward constructing facilities with more modern designs, however, these erts have had mixed results. there have been construction
difficulties, regulatory hurdles and financial difficulties all of which delayed the development of new nuclear construction in america. the three mile island, chernobyl and fukushima accidents have highlighted the necessity of making sure our nuclear fleet runs as safely as possible and this has led to much of the cost and difficulty in building new plants. i think the answer to these problems can be found in innovate i new nuclear technologies. the department of energy and many countries in private sector are working on new forms of nuclear energy generation that hold the promise of much more effective and much safer nuclear generation stations. some of these technologies also address the extremely important issue of the radioactive waste streams that plague our current generation of nuclear plants. h.r. 4084 takes several positive steps to help spur this innovation, deliver these promising nuclear technologies to market. i also want to highlight one
additional reason to support h.r. 4084. as the world makes commitments to move toward lower carbon future, as evidenced by the paris climate agreement, it presents an opportunity to american industry to supply low carbon power platforms like nuclear power. this bill will keep our country on the forefront of nuclear power technology and it's my hope that it will empower american industry to be the suppliers of the next generation of nuclear plants throughout the entire world. mr. speaker, i'd like to thank congressman weber for sponsoring this legislation and thank science committee chairman smith and ranking member johnson for bringing this bill to the floor in such a bipartisan manner. thank you, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. weber: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the gentleman's find -- kind remarks. at this time i yield three minutes to the jilt from georgia, mr. loudermilk. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for
three minutes. mr. loudermilk: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my colleague from texas, mr. weber, for his leadership on this important issue and for allowing me a few moments to speak on it. h.r. 4084 is a critical piece of legislation that will improve our nation's knew leer energy research and foster the generation of our -- the development of the next generation of nuclear reactors. throughout our history the u.s. has led the world in developing new nuclear technologies and this bill provide the tools to help us continue this into the future. one of the many important provisions of this bill is that it directs the department of energy through its national laboratories to develop new nuclear reactor concepts by partnering with the private sector. with the national pop ligs of 320 million and grow, we must be aggress i in our pursuit of new nuclear breakthroughs in order to power our nation's future. as a member of congress from georgia, i understand the challenges of providing power to a rapidly growing population. georgia's population is expected
to increase by almost two million over the next 10 years and without clean, affordable, reliable nuclear power this task of bringing electricity to these new residents would be daunting. the united states has not added any nuclear power generation for over 30 years. however, today, new power units are being built at plant foge until georgia. these nuclear power generators will add the capacity to power one million homes and businesses once they are completed. after visiting plant fogle last year, i'm confident these new generators will reassure the country that nuclear power is safe, secure, and reliable and will encourage the pursuit of future nuclear technology breakthroughs. this bill is vital to the future of our nation because it enables the private sector to utilize the research tools and research at the d.o.e. national labs so scientists and engineers in the private sector can assist in the development of new nuclear technologies. nuclear power generation that is clean, sustainable, and safe is
what will power america's homes and businesses for years to come. i urge my colleagues to support his bill and i yield back. mr. weber: i thank the gentleman for his comments and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from virginia. mr. beyer: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from texas have additional speakers? mr. weber: i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. knight. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one inute. mr. knight: i rise today in support of h.r. 4084, the nuclear energy innovation capabilities act as i am a co-sponsor. some of us believe a nuclear energy policy is important to the state of california, which is hope to private companies and universities pursuing advanced nuclear technologies.
i'm proud to support this legislation because it would provide capabilities for our technology innovators to develop new reactors that yield amazing benefits to society through increased resistance for proliferation, minimizing waste and perhaps even consuming existing waste stockpiles. possibilities are endless when we allow our engineers to create a fleet, and tack they will world's challenges. this is no different for nuclear energy. this is important because in my district we have recently seen the issues that can arise when an area is dependent on a single energy source. california is home to many of the companies seeking to partner with d.o.e. and benefit from our nation's unparalleled supercomputer capabilities. leveraging the department's assets will help our demest exindustry, capture a significant share of a multibillion dollar industry. i'd like to submit let -- letters of support from tri-alpha, a california based fusion company, and u-power, a
california-based fission reactor company. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. without objection, the letters will be included in the record. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. beyer: i have no further requests for time and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. weber: how much time do we have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 12 minutes remaining. mr. weber: 12 minutes. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 4084, the bill now under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so order. mr. weber: mr. speaker, h.r. 4084 is vital to ensuring america's leadership in nuclear innovation. by harnessing the expertise of our nation's national labs, some
of which we heard about today, its universities and entrepreneur the private sector can take the lead in developing groundbreaking advanced nuclear technology. i especially want to thank my colleagues on the science committee, of course ranking member johnson, those who have also co-sponsored the bill, including danny pinskey, barry loudermilk, barbara comstock, paul tonko, jim bridenstine, brian babin, dana rohrabacher, steve knight, bill posey, frank lucas, randy neugebauer, the gentleman from virginia for your kind remarks. i also want to thank the dozens and dozens of researchers and stake holders who came in and provided feedback as we developed this legislation. mr. speaker, i also ask unanimous consent to place into the record the statement of chairman lamar smith, chairman of the science committee, on
h.r. 4084. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, that statement will be included in the record. mr. weber: finally, i would like to place in the record a letter exchange between the science committee and energy and commerce committee on h.r. 4084. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, ordered. mr. weber: mr. speaker, i urge adoption of this commonsense, bipartisan legislation, i appreciate my colleague's help and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time having expired on this bill, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4084 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 passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass s. 1172, the edward "ted" kauffman and michael levitt presidential transitions improvements act of 2015. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the titetholve bill. the clerk: senate 1172, an act to improve the process of presidential transition. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from georgia, mr. hice, and the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. kelly, each will control 20 minutes this chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. hice: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i
may consume and ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is now recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. hice: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of s. 1172, the edward "ted" kauffman and michael levitt presidential transitions improvements act of 015, introduced by senator come mas carper of delaware. presidential the transitions action of 2010, s. 117 improves the process of presidential transition by mandating several processes -- processes that have been effective in past presidential transillingses. it promotes early planning and supports communication by codifying the working groups put in place for the 2010 transition, which was one of the smoothest in our nation's
history. s. 1172 directs the white house to establish a transition council, it requires the general services administration to designate a federal transition coordinator, and it ensures agencies designate staff to manage their internal transition activities needed to support the process of transitioning from one presidential administration to another. the bill requires that the transition teams be in place no later than six months before election day and it authorizes g.s.a. to provide services for the incoming administration up to six months after inauguration. s. 1172 also requires a report to congress on national security threats related to terrorism and border security during a transition. the bill further requires the office of personnel management to provide quarterly reports to
congress detailing requests by agencies to appoint political appointees and former political appointees to nonpolitical civil service positions. mr. speaker, s. 1172 will help ensure the incoming president has the information necessary to oversee our complex government. together, these commonsense steps will support future presidents as they prepare to govern immediately after inauguration. regardless of party, key management actions must be taken during transitions to support the smooth operation of government. mr. speaker, this bill was also referred to the committee on homeland security and we deeply appreciate their cooperation in getting this bill to the floor. i ask unanimous consent to enter our letter exchange with the committee on homeland security into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, that will be