Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
April 5, 2017
115th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 163, No. 59 — Daily Edition
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Daily Digest Section (PDF)
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Senate continued in the session that began on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. See next volume of the Congressional Record.
U.S. MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY
Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies concluded a hearing to examine protecting our midshipmen, focusing on preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, after receiving testimony from Joel Szabat, Executive Director, Maritime Administration, and Calvin Scovel, III, Inspector General, both of the Department of Transportation; and Rear Admiral James Helis, Superintendent, United States Merchant Marine Academy.
INTELLIGENCE PROGRAMS AND THREAT ASSESSMENT
Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Department of Defense concluded a closed hearing to examine intelligence programs and threat assessment, after receiving testimony from Mike Pompeo, Director, Central Intelligence Agency; and Admiral Michael S. Rogers, Director, National Security Agency.
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs: Subcommittee on Economic Policy concluded a hearing to examine the current state of retirement security in the United States, after receiving testimony from former Senator Kent Conrad, Bipartisan Policy Center's Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings, Bismarck, North Dakota; and Walter Russell Mead, Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C.
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Committee ordered favorably reported the following business items:
S. 763, to improve surface and maritime transportation security, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute;
S. 61, to remove the sunset provision of section 203 of Public Law 105–384 and for other purposes;
S. 701, to improve the competitiveness of United States manufacturing by designating and supporting manufacturing communities; with an amendment in the nature of a substitute;
S. 756, to reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Act to promote international action to reduce marine debris;
S. 770, to require the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology to disseminate resources to help reduce small business cybersecurity risks, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute; and
The nomination of Jeffrey A. Rosen, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of Transportation.
Committee on Environment and Public Works: Committee ordered favorably reported the following business items:
S. 518, to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to provide for technical assistance for small treatment works, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute;
S. 692, to provide for integrated plan permits, to establish an Office of the Municipal Ombudsman, to promote green infrastructure, and to require the revision of financial capability guidance, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute;
S. 675, to amend and reauthorize certain provisions relating to Long Island Sound restoration and stewardship; and
An original bill entitled, ``Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act''.
Committee on Foreign Relations: Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy concluded a hearing to examine a progress report on conflict minerals, after receiving testimony from Rick Goss, Information Technology Industry Council, Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and Arvind Ganesan, Human Rights Watch, all of Washington, D.C.
BORDER SECURITY AND PUBLIC SAFETY
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Committee concluded a hearing to examine improving border security and public safety, after receiving testimony from John F. Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security.
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the nomination of Scott Gottlieb, of Connecticut, to be Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Department of Health and Human Services, after the nominee, who was introduced by Senator Murphy, testified and answered questions in his own behalf.
House of Representatives
Report Filed: A report was filed today as follows:
Speaker: Read a letter from the Speaker wherein he appointed Representative Webster (FL) to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
Recess: The House recessed at 10:49 a.m. and reconvened at 12 noon.
Supporting America's Innovators Act of 2017--Rule for Consideration: The House agreed to H. Res. 242, providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1219) to amend the Investment Company Act of 1940 to expand the investor limitation for qualifying venture capital funds under an exemption from the definition of an investment company, by a recorded vote of 240 ayes to 181 noes, Roll No. 218, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 231 yeas to 182 nays, Roll No. 217.
Pages H2708–15, H2720–22
Suspensions: The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measures:
Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act of 2017: H.R. 1667, amended, to amend title 11 of the United States Code in order to facilitate the resolution of an insolvent financial institution in bankruptcy; and
Amending Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to modify the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program: S. 544, to amend Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to modify the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program.
Question of Privilege: Representative Jeffries rose to a question of the privileges of the House and submitted a resolution. The Chair ruled that the resolution did not present a question of the privileges of the House. Subsequently, Representative Jeffries appealed the ruling of the chair and Representative Foxx moved to table the appeal. Agreed to the motion to table the appeal of the ruling of the Chair by a yea-and-nay vote of 228 yeas to 185 nays with 2 answering ``present'', Roll No. 219.
Self-Insurance Protection Act: The House passed H.R. 1304, to amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Public Health Service Act, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from the definition of health insurance coverage certain medical stop-loss insurance obtained by certain plan sponsors of group health plans, by a yea-and-nay vote of 400 yeas to 16 nays, Roll No. 220.
Pages H2726–29, H2731–32
Pursuant to the Rule, the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on Education and the Workforce now printed in the bill shall be considered as adopted.
Meeting Hour: Agreed by unanimous consent that when the House adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow, April 6.
House Democracy Partnership--Appointment: Read a letter from Representative Pelosi, Minority Leader, in which she appointed the following Members to the House Democracy Partnership: Representative Price (NC), Ranking Member; Representatives Ellison, Davis (CA), Moore, Titus, Roybal-Allard, Connolly, Ted Lieu (CA), and Torres.
Congressional-Executive Commission on the People's Republic of China--Appointment: The Chair announced the Speaker's appointment of the following Member on the part of the House to the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People's Republic of China: Representative Ted Lieu (CA).
Discharge Petition: Representative Eshoo presented to the clerk a motion to discharge the Committees on Ways and Means and Oversight and Government Reform from the consideration of H.R. 305, to amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to require the disclosure of certain tax returns by Presidents and certain candidates for the office of the President, and for other purposes (Discharge Petition No. 1).
Adjournment: The House met at 10 a.m. and adjourned at 6:28 p.m.
AGRICULTURE AND TAX REFORM: OPPORTUNITIES FOR RURAL AMERICA
Committee on Agriculture: Full Committee held a hearing entitled ``Agriculture and Tax Reform: Opportunities for Rural America''. Testimony was heard from James M. Williamson, Economist, Economic Research Service, Department of Agriculture; and public witnesses.
FEDERAL RESPONSE TO THE OPIOID ABUSE CRISIS
Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies held a hearing entitled ``Federal Response to the Opioid Abuse Crisis''. Testimony was heard from Barbara Cimaglio, Deputy Commissioner, Vermont Department of Health; and public witnesses.
CONSEQUENCES TO THE MILITARY OF A CONTINUING RESOLUTION
Committee on Armed Services: Full Committee held a hearing entitled ``Consequences to the Military of a Continuing Resolution''. Testimony was heard from General David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force; General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; General Robert B. Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps; and Admiral John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy.
THE CURRENT STATE OF THE U.S. MARINE CORPS
Committee on Armed Services: Subcommittee on Readiness held a hearing entitled ``The Current State of the U.S. Marine Corps''. Testimony was heard from the following officials from U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters: Lieutenant General Ronald L. Bailey, Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations; Lieutenant General Michael G. Dana, Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics; and William E. Taylor, Assistant Deputy Commandant for Aviation.
Committee on Education and the Workforce: Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on H.R. 1180, the ``Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
FACILITATING THE 21ST CENTURY WIRELESS ECONOMY
Committee on Energy and Commerce: Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing entitled ``Facilitating the 21st Century Wireless Economy''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
THE 2016 SEMI-ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION
Committee on Financial Services: Full Committee held a hearing entitled ``The 2016 Semi-Annual Reports of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection''. Testimony was heard from Richard Cordray, Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
TURKEY'S DEMOCRACY UNDER CHALLENGE
Committee on Foreign Affairs: Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats held a hearing entitled ``Turkey's Democracy Under Challenge''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
Committee on Homeland Security: Full Committee held a markup on H. Res. 235, directing the Secretary of Homeland Security to transmit certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to the Department of Homeland Security's research, integration, and analysis activities relating to Russian Government interference in the elections for Federal office held in 2016. H. Res. 235 was ordered reported, without amendment.
Committee on the Judiciary: Full Committee held a markup on H.R. 1842, the ``Strengthening Children's Safety Act of 2017''; H.R. 1862, the ``Global Child Protection Act of 2017''; and H.R. 659, the ``Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules Act of 2017''. H.R. 1842, H.R. 1862, and H.R. 659 were ordered reported, without amendment.
Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on H.R. 1731, the ``Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More Act of 2017''. Testimony was heard from Representative Rogers of Alabama and public witnesses.
Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing on H.R. 218, the ``King Cove Road Land Exchange Act''; H.R. 497, the ``Santa Ana River Wash Plan Land Exchange Act''; H.R. 1157, to clarify the United States interest in certain submerged lands in the area of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, and for other purposes; and H.R. 1728, to modify the boundaries of the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, and for other purposes. Testimony was heard from Representatives Young of Alaska; Simpson; Keating; Cook; and Aguilar; Seth T. Taylor, Selectman, Chatham, Massachusetts; and public witnesses.
OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY'S RESPONSE TO THE BATON ROUGE FLOOD DISASTER: PART II
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Full Committee held a hearing entitled ``Oversight of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Response to the Baton Rouge Flood Disaster: Part II''. Testimony was heard from John Bel Edwards, Governor, Louisiana; Robert J. Fenton, Jr., Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency; Mark Harrell, Emergency Coordinator, Livingston Parish, Louisiana; and a public witness.
IMPROVING THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE AT NATIONAL PARKS
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy and Environment held a hearing entitled ``Improving the Visitor Experience at National Parks''. Testimony was heard from Glenn Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture; Linda Lanterman, Director, Division of State Parks, Kansas; and public witnesses.
ASSESSING THE IRAN DEAL
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Subcommittee on National Security held a hearing entitled ``Assessing the Iran Deal''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
TAKING CARE OF SMALL BUSINESS: WORKING TOGETHER FOR A BETTER SBA
Committee on Small Business: Full Committee held a hearing entitled ``Taking Care of Small Business: Working Together for a Better SBA''. Testimony was heard from Linda McMahon, Administrator, Small Business Administration.
FAST ACT IMPLEMENTATION: STATE AND LOCAL PERSPECTIVES
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: Subcommittee on Highways and Transit held a hearing entitled ``FAST Act Implementation: State and Local Perspectives''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
Committee on Veterans' Affairs: Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a hearing on H.R. 105, the ``Protect Veterans from Financial Fraud Act of 2017''; H.R. 299, the ``Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017''; H.R. 1328, the ``American Heroes COLA Act of 2017''; H.R. 1329, the ``Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017''; H.R. 1390, to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay costs relating to the transportation of certain deceased veterans to veterans' cemeteries owned by a State or tribal organization; H.R. 1564, the ``VA Beneficiary Travel Act of 2017''; and a draft bill entitled ``Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act of 2017''. Testimony was heard from Representatives Bost; Brownley of California; Banks of Indiana; Bergman; and Valadao; Beth Murphy, Director, Compensation Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs; and public witnesses.
DECLINE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY IN THE U.S.
Joint Economic Committee: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the decline of economic opportunity in the United States, focusing on causes and consequences, after receiving testimony from Timothy Kane, Hoover Institution JP Conte Fellow on Immigration Studies, Stanford, California; and John W. Lettieri, Economic Innovation Group, and Jared Bernstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, both of Washington, D.C.
Committee on Armed Services: to hold hearings to examine United States Southern Command and United States Northern Command, 9:30 a.m., SD–G50.
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security, to hold hearings to examine FAA reauthorization, focusing on perspectives on rural air service and the general aviation community, 10 a.m., SR–253.
Committee on Finance: business meeting to consider the nomination of Robert Lighthizer, of Florida, to be United States Trade Representative, with the rank of Ambassador, 9:30 a.m., SD–215.
Full Committee, to hold hearings to examine the 2017 tax filing season, focusing on Internal Revenue Service operations and the taxpayer experience, 10 a.m., SD–215.
Committee on Foreign Relations: business meeting to consider an original resolution entitled, ``Condemning the Assad Regime for its Continued Use of Chemical Weapons Against the Syrian People'', Time to be announced, S–216, Capitol.
Select Committee on Intelligence: to receive a closed briefing on certain intelligence matters, 2 p.m., SH–219.
Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, hearing entitled ``Evaluating the Defense Contract Auditing Process'', 9 a.m., 2212 Rayburn.
Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, hearing entitled ``Examination of the Federal Financial Regulatory System and Opportunities for Reform'', 9:15 a.m., 2128 Rayburn.
Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, hearing entitled ``Enforcement is Not Optional: The Goldman Act to Return Abducted American Children'', 12 p.m., 2172 Rayburn.
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Government Operations, hearing entitled ``The Best and Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government'', 10 a.m., 2154 Rayburn.
Committee on Small Business, Full Committee, hearing entitled ``Scam Spotting: Can the IRS Effectively Protect Small Business Information?'', 10 a.m., 2360 Rayburn.
Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health, markup on H.R. 91, the ``Building Supportive Networks for Women Veterans Act''; H.R. 95, the ``Veterans' Access to Child Care Act''; H.R. 467, the ``VA Scheduling Accountability Act''; H.R. 907, the ``Newborn Care Improvement Act''; H.R. 918, the ``Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act''; H.R. 1005, to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the provision of adult day health care services for veterans; H.R. 1162, the ``No Hero Left Untreated Act''; H.R. 1545, the ``VA Prescription Data Accountability Act 2017''; H.R. 1662, to amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit smoking in any facility of the Veterans Health Administration, and for other purposes; and H.R. 1848, the ``Veterans Affairs Medical Scribe Pilot Act of 2017'', 8 a.m., 334 Cannon.
Joint Committee on the Library: organizational business to consider committee rules for the 115th Congress, 10 a.m., SC–4, Capitol.
Joint Committee on Printing: organizational business meeting to consider committee rules for the 115th Congress, 10:10 a.m., SC–4, Capitol.
Program for Thursday: Senate will continue consideration of the nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination.
Program for Thursday: Consideration of H.R. 1219--Supporting America's Innovators Act of 2017.
Barragán, Nanette Diaz, Calif., E454
Butterfield, G.K., N.C., E462
Capuano, Michael E., Mass., E463
Clay, Wm. Lacy, Mo., E453
Clyburn, James E., S.C., E463
Dingell, Debbie, Mich., E464
Dunn, Neal P., Fla., E459
Gohmert, Louie, Tex., E455
Graves, Sam, Mo., E464
Hoyer, Steny H., Md., E459
Johnson, Eddie Bernice, Tex., E460
Larson, John B., Conn., E461
Lofgren, Zoe, Calif., E453
Matsui, Doris O., Calif., E459
McCollum, Betty, Minn., E465
Moore, Gwen, Wisc., E460
Quigley, Mike, Ill., E458
Reed, Tom, N.Y., E458
Royce, Edward R., Calif., E456
Schiff, Adam B., Calif., E455
Scott, Austin, Ga., E461
Shimkus, John, Ill., E458
Smith, Christopher H., N.J., E464
Thornberry, Mac, Tex., E455
Visclosky, Peter J., Ind., E453
Walorski, Jackie, Ind., E461
Wittman, Robert J., Va., E454