Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
September 26, 2017
115th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 163, No. 154 — Daily Edition
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Secretary of Education Waiver Authority: Senate passed S. 1866, to provide the Secretary of Education with waiver authority for the reallocation rules and authority to extend the deadline by which funds have to be reallocated in the campus-based aid programs under the Higher Education Act of 1965 due to Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria, to provide equitable services to children and teachers in private schools.
RAISE Family Caregivers Act: Senate passed S. 1028, to provide for the establishment and maintenance of a Family Caregiving Strategy, after agreeing to the following amendments proposed thereto:
Cornyn (for Collins) Amendment No. 1101, in the nature of a substitute.
Cornyn (for Collins) Amendment No. 1102, to amend the title.
Humanitarian Crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen: Senate agreed to S. Res. 114, expressing the sense of the Senate on humanitarian crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen, after withdrawing the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, and agreeing to the following amendment proposed thereto:
Cornyn (for Lee) Amendment No. 1103, to recognize that charities, non-profit organizations, religious organizations, and businesses of the United States have an important role in addressing humanitarian crises.
APEC Business Travel Cards Reauthorization Act: Senate passed S. 504, to permanently authorize the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card Program, after agreeing to the following amendment proposed thereto:
Cornyn (for Hirono) Amendment No. 1104, in the nature of a substitute.
Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act: Senate passed S. 1057, to amend the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 to address harmful algal blooms, after agreeing to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, and the following amendment proposed thereto:
Cornyn (for Lee) Amendment No. 1105, relating to hypoxia or harmful algal bloom of national significance.
Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act: Senate passed S. 870, to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to implement Medicare payment policies designed to improve management of chronic disease, streamline care coordination, and improve quality outcomes without adding to the deficit, after agreeing to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute.
National Defense Authorization Act--Agreement: Senate continued consideration of the motion to proceed to consideration of S. 1519, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year.
Pages S6097–S6108, S6108–21, S6122–27
A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the motion to proceed to consideration of bill at approximately 10 a.m., on Wednesday, September 27, 2017.
A motion was entered to close further debate on the nomination, and, in accordance with the provisions of Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a vote on cloture will occur on Thursday, September 28, 2017.
Prior to the consideration of this nomination, Senate took the following action:
Senate agreed to the motion to proceed to Executive Session to consider the nomination.
Pai Nomination--Cloture: Senate began consideration of the nomination of Ajit Varadaraj Pai, of Kansas, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission.
A motion was entered to close further debate on the nomination, and, in accordance with the provisions of Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a vote on cloture will occur upon disposition of the nomination of Ralph R. Erickson, of North Dakota, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit.
Prior to the consideration of this nomination, Senate took the following action:
Senate agreed to the motion to proceed to Legislative Session.
Senate agreed to the motion to proceed to Executive Session to consider the nomination.
Messages from the House:
Executive Reports of Committees:
Statements on Introduced Bills/Resolutions:
Authorities for Committees to Meet:
Adjournment: Senate convened at 10 a.m. and adjourned at 7:08 p.m., until 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. (For Senate's program, see the remarks of the Acting Majority Leader in today's Record on page S6153.)
Committee on Armed Services: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the nomination of General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., USMC, for reappointment to the grade of general and reappointment to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after the nominee testified and answered questions in his own behalf.
Committee on Armed Services: Committee ordered favorably reported 3,196 nominations in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs: Committee concluded an oversight hearing to examine the Securities and Exchange Commission, after receiving testimony from Jay Clayton, Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission.
FTC STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVES
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security concluded a hearing to examine Federal Trade Commission stakeholder perspectives, focusing on reform proposals to improve fairness, innovation, and consumer welfare, after receiving testimony from William MacLeod, Kelley Drye and Warren LLP, Lydia Parnes, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati PC, Jessica Rich, Consumer Reports, and Berin Szoka, TechFreedom, all of Washington, D.C.
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the nominations of Bruce J. Walker, of New York, to be an Assistant Secretary (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability), and Steven E. Winberg, of Pennsylvania, to be an Assistant Secretary (Fossil Energy), both of the Department of Energy, after the nominees testified and answered questions in their own behalf.
Committee on Foreign Relations: Committee ordered favorably reported the nominations of Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., of Utah, to be Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Justin Hicks Siberell, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, and A. Wess Mitchell, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary (European and Eurasian Affairs), all of the Department of State, and J. Steven Dowd, of Florida, to be United States Director of the African Development Bank.
SECURITY ASSISTANCE AND FOREIGN POLICY
Committee on Foreign Relations: Committee concluded a hearing to examine managing security assistance to support foreign policy, after receiving testimony from Tina S. Kaidanow, Acting Assistant Secretary of State; and Todd Harvey, Acting Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Plans and Capabilities, and Lieutenant General Charles W. Hooper, USA, Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, both of the Department of Defense.
SPECIAL COUNSELS AND THE SEPARATION OF POWERS
Committee on the Judiciary: Committee concluded a to examine special counsels and the separation of powers, including S. 1735, to limit the removal of a special counsel, and S. 1741, to ensure independent investigations by allowing judicial review of the removal of a special counsel, after receiving testimony from Akhil Reed Amar, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Eric A. Posner, University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois; Stephen I. Vladeck, University of Texas School of Law, Austin; and John F. Duffy, University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville.
Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee met in closed session to receive a briefing on certain intelligence matters from officials of the intelligence community.
House of Representatives
Reports Filed: Reports were filed today as follows:
H.R. 3229, to protect the safety of judges by extending the authority of the Judicial Conference to redact sensitive information contained in their financial disclosure reports, and for other purposes (H. Rept. 115–332); and
H. Res. 538, providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3823) to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, to provide disaster tax relief, and for other purposes, and providing for consideration of motions to suspend the rules (H. Rept. 115–333).
Speaker: Read a letter from the Speaker wherein he appointed Representative Brat to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
Recess: The House recessed at 11:08 a.m. and reconvened at 12 noon.
Guest Chaplain: The prayer was offered by the Guest Chaplain, Rev. William Lynn Nash, Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church, Mangham, Louisiana.
Motion to Fix Next Convening Time: Agreed by voice vote to the Burgess motion that when the House adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 3 p.m. tomorrow, September 27.
Recess: The House recessed at 2:51 p.m. and reconvened at 3:14 p.m.
Increasing Opportunity through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act: The House passed H.R. 2824, to amend title V of the Social Security Act to extend the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, by a recorded vote of 214 ayes to 209 noes, Roll No. 537.
Pages H7506–14, H7514–17
Rejected the DelBene motion to recommit the bill to the Committee on Ways and Means with instructions to report the same back to the House forthwith with an amendment, by a recorded vote of 191 ayes to 232 noes, Roll No. 536.
Pursuant to the Rule, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 115–33 shall be considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule, in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on Ways and Means now printed in the bill.
Smith (NE) amendment (No. 1 printed in H. Rept. 115–331) that allows states to take into account staffing, community resource, and other requirements when determining how to operate at least one home visiting model in communities in need of services;
Murphy (FL) amendment (No. 4 printed in H. Rept. 115–331) that requires HRSA, to the extent it continues to allocate Home Visiting funding to states and territories based in whole or in part on the relative share of families with young children living at or below the federal poverty line in each state and territory, to utilize the most accurate federal data available for each jurisdiction.
Pascrell amendment (No. 2 printed in H. Rept. 115–331) that sought to maintain MIECHV's current focus of funding evidence-based home visiting programs that strengthen families to make kids healthier, safer, and more ready to learn when they start school by striking the provision in the bill that would add ``increasing employment and earnings'' to the program's measured outcomes (by a recorded vote of 191 ayes to 231 noes, Roll No. 535).
Pages H7512–13, H7514–15
H. Res. 533, the rule providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2824) was agreed to by a recorded vote of 230 ayes to 190 noes, Roll No. 533, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 230 yeas to 189 nays, Roll No. 532.
Pages H7499–H7503, H7504–05
Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission--Appointment: The Chair announced the Speaker's appointment of the following individual on the part of the House to the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission: Mr. Matt Salmon of Mesa, Arizona.
Senate Message: Message received from the Senate by the Clerk and subsequently presented to the House today appears on page H7499.
Quorum Calls--Votes: Two yea-and-nay votes and four recorded votes developed during the proceedings of today and appear on pages H7504, H7504–05. H7505–06, H7515, H7516–17, and H7517. There were no quorum calls.
Adjournment: The House met at 10 a.m. and adjourned at 6:01 p.m.
POWERING AMERICA: TECHNOLOGY'S ROLE IN EMPOWERING CONSUMERS
Committee on Energy And Commerce: Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing entitled ``Powering America: Technology's Role in Empowering Consumers''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE REDESIGN
Committee on Foreign Affairs: Full Committee held a hearing entitled ``The Department of State Redesign''. Testimony was heard from John J. Sullivan, Deputy Secretary, Department of State.
RAISING THE STANDARD: DHS'S EFFORTS TO IMPROVE AVIATION SECURITY AROUND THE GLOBE
Committee on Homeland Security: Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security held a hearing entitled ``Raising the Standard: DHS's Efforts to Improve Aviation Security Around the Globe''. Testimony was heard from Craig Lynes, Director of Global Compliance, Office of Global Strategies, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security; Todd C. Owen, Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security; and Jennifer Grover, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, Government Accountability Office.
DHS FINANCIAL SYSTEMS: WILL MODERNIZATION EVER BE ACHIEVED
Committee on Homeland Security: Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency held a hearing entitled ``DHS Financial Systems: Will Modernization Ever Be Achieved''. Testimony was heard from Chip Fulghum, Deputy Under Secretary for Management, Department of Homeland Security; Michele Singer, Director, Interior Business Center, Department of the Interior; Elizabeth Angerman, Executive Director, Unified Shared Services Management, Office of Government-wide Policy, General Services Administration; and Asif Khan, Director, Financial Management and Assurance, Government Accountability Office.
TRANSFORMING GPO FOR THE 21ST CENTURY AND BEYOND: PART 3--FEDERAL DEPOSITORY LIBRARY PROGRAM
Committee on House Administration: Full Committee held a hearing entitled ``Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond: Part 3--Federal Depository Library Program''. Testimony was heard from Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress; Laurie Hall, Acting Superintendent of Documents, Government Publishing Office; Stephen Parks, State Librarian, Mississippi; and public witnesses.
Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans held a hearing on H.R. 200, the ``Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act''; H.R. 2023, the ``Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017''; H.R. 3588, the ``RED SNAPPER Act''; and legislation to amend and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and for other purposes. Testimony was heard from Jonathan Mitchell, Mayor, New Bedford, Massachusetts; Chris Blankenship, Commissioner, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama; Chris Oliver, Director, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Department of Commerce; and public witnesses.
Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs held a hearing on H.R. 3535, the ``Ruffey Rancheria Restoration Act of 2017''; H.R. 3650, the ``Lumbee Recognition Act''; and H.R. 3744, the ``Tribal Recognition Act of 2017''. Testimony was heard from Representative Pittenger; John Tahsuda, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior; and public witnesses.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMISSION ON EVIDENCE-BASED POLICYMAKING
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Full Committee held a hearing entitled ``Recommendations of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking''. Testimony was heard from the following Commission on Evidence Based Policy Making officials: Katharine G. Abraham, Chair; Ron Haskins, Co-Chair; Robert Shea, Commissioner; and Latanya Sweeney, Commissioner.
EXAMINING AMERICA'S NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT AND STORAGE
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment held a hearing entitled ``Examining America's Nuclear Waste Management and Storage''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
DISASTER TAX RELIEF AND AIRPORT AND AIRWAY EXTENSION ACT
Committee on Rules: Full Committee held a hearing on H.R. 3823, the ``Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act''. The Committee granted, by record vote of 7–3, a closed rule for H.R. 3823. The rule provides one hour of debate with 40 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Ways and Means, and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Financial Services. The rule waives all points of order against consideration of the bill and provides that the bill shall not be subject to a question of consideration. The rule provides that the amendment printed in the Rules Committee report shall be considered as adopted and the bill, as amended, shall be considered as read. The rule waives all points of order against provisions in the bill, as amended. The rule provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions. In section 2, the rule provides that it shall be in order at any time on the legislative day of September 28, 2017, for the Speaker to entertain motions that the House suspend the rules and that the Speaker or his designee shall consult with the Minority Leader or her designee on the designation of any matter for consideration pursuant to this section.
BUILDING A 21ST CENTURY INFRASTRUCTURE FOR AMERICA: WATER STAKEHOLDERS' PERSPECTIVES
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment held a hearing entitled ``Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Water Stakeholders' Perspectives''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
Committee on Veterans' Affairs: Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on H.R. 93, to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for increased access to Department of Veterans Affairs medical care for women veterans; H.R. 501, the ``VA Transparency Enhancement Act of 2017''; H.R. 1063, the ``Veteran Prescription Continuity Act''; H.R. 1066, the ``VA Management Alignment Act of 2017''; H.R. 1943, the ``Restoring Maximum Mobility to Our Nation's Veterans Act of 2017''; H.R. 1972, the ``VA Billing Accountability Act''; H.R. 2147, the ``Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act of 2017''; H.R. 2225, the ``Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act''; H.R. 2327, the ``PAWS Act of 2017''; and legislation on the VA's Health Professionals Educational Assistance Program. Testimony was heard from Representatives Dingell, O'Rourke, Kilmer, King of Iowa, Smucker, Coffman, Stivers, DeSantis, and Rutherford; Harold Kudler, M.D., Acting Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Patient Care Services, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs; and public witnesses.
No joint committee meetings were held.
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: to hold hearings to examine the nominations of Ann Marie Buerkle, of New York, to be Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Howard R. Elliott, of Indiana, to be Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Department of Transportation, and Walter G. Copan, of Colorado, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, 10:30 a.m., SR–253.
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: Subcommittee on National Parks, to hold hearings to examine encouraging the next generation to visit National Parks, 2 p.m., SD–366.
Committee on Environment and Public Works: to hold hearings to examine forest management to mitigate wildfires, focusing on legislative solutions, 10 a.m., SD–406.
Committee on Foreign Relations: to hold hearings to examine the nominations of Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick, of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and Daniel J. Kritenbrink, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, both of the Department of State, 10:45 a.m., SD–419.
Full Committee, to hold hearings to examine the nominations of Richard Duke Buchan III, of Florida, to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to Andorra, Richard Grenell, of California, to be Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, Edward T. McMullen, Jr., of South Carolina, to be Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Principality of Liechtenstein, Jamie McCourt, of California, to be Ambassador to the French Republic, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Principality of Monaco, and Peter Hoekstra, of Michigan, to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, all of the Department of State, 2:15 p.m., SD–419.
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: to hold hearings to examine threats to the homeland, 10 a.m., SD–342.
Committee on Indian Affairs: to hold an oversight hearing to examine the Government Accountability Office reports on human trafficking of Native Americans in the United States, 2:30 p.m., SD–628.
Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship: to hold hearings to examine the Small Business Administration's response to the 2017 hurricanes, 3 p.m., SR–428A.
Committee on Veterans' Affairs: to hold hearings to examine preventing veteran suicide, 10 a.m., SR–418.
Select Committee on Intelligence: to hold closed hearings to examine certain intelligence matters, 2:30 p.m., SH–219.
Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, hearing entitled ``The Army's Tactical Network Modernization Strategy'', 2 p.m., 2212 Rayburn.
Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, hearing entitled ``Overview of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program'', 3 p.m., 2128 Rayburn.
Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, hearing entitled ``Rwanda: Democracy Thwarted'', 3 p.m., 2200 Rayburn.
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, hearing entitled ``Burma's Brutal Campaign Against the Rohingya'', 2:30 p.m., 2172 Rayburn.
Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, hearing entitled ``Exploring Solutions to Reduce Risks of Catastrophic Wildfire and Improve Resiliency of National Forests'', 3 p.m., 1334 Longworth.
Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, hearing entitled ``How to Improve Access to GI Bill Approved Apprenticeship Programs and How these Programs Benefit Veterans'', 3 p.m., 334 Cannon.
Program for Wednesday: Senate will continue consideration of the motion to proceed to consideration of S. 1519, National Defense Authorization Act.
Program for Wednesday: Consideration of measures under suspension of the Rules.
Blunt Rochester, Lisa, Del., E1270
Brady, Robert A., Pa., E1268
Comstock, Barbara, Va., E1269
Costello, Ryan A., Pa., E1267
Courtney, Joe, Conn., E1272
Esty, Elizabeth H., Conn., E1269
Granger, Kay, Tex., E1271
Green, Gene, Tex., E1271
Hoyer, Steny H., Md., E1270
Kaptur, Marcy, Ohio, E1267
Lipinski, Daniel, Ill., E1271
Lofgren, Zoe, Calif., E1272
Shimkus, John, Ill., E1270
Thompson, Mike, Calif., E1268
Tiberi, Patrick J., Ohio, E1267
Torres, Norma J., Calif., E1272
Veasey, Marc A., Tex., E1271