Amendment Text: H.Amdt.179 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (07/13/2017)

This Amendment appears on page H5793 in the following article from the Congressional Record.

[Pages H5790-H5801]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




        NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 440 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, 
H.R. 2810.
  Will the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Thompson) kindly resume the 
chair.

[[Page H5791]]

  


                              {time}  1533


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the further consideration of 
the bill (H.R. 2810) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 
for military activities of the Department of Defense and for military 
construction, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal 
year, and for other purposes, with Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania in the 
chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose earlier today, 
amendment No. 14 printed in part B of House Report 115-212 offered by 
the gentleman from California (Mr. McClintock) had been disposed of.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 440, no further amendment to the bill, 
as amended, shall be in order except those printed in House Report 115-
217 and amendments en bloc described in section 3.
  Each further amendment printed in the report shall be considered only 
in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member 
designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be 
debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and 
controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to 
amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the 
question.
  It shall be in order at any time for the chair of the Committee on 
Armed Services or his designee to offer amendments en bloc consisting 
of amendments printed in the report not earlier disposed of. Amendments 
en bloc shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 20 minutes 
equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member 
of the Committee on Armed Services or their designees, shall not be 
subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division 
of the question.


                Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Garamendi

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 
printed in House Report 115-217.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Strike section 123.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 440, the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Garamendi) and a Member opposed each will control 
5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chair, this amendment facilitates the construction of badly 
needed icebreakers. The United States does not have any heavy 
icebreakers that are available all year round. We only have one, and 
that is used in the Antarctic and, therefore, unavailable in the summer 
in the north.
  Joining me on this amendment is the ranking member and others from 
the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the 
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
  We need icebreakers; in fact, we need six icebreakers. We need to 
build the first one immediately and get it underway.
  Language in the underlying bill provides a mechanism for us to fund 
that icebreaker using the authorities of the Department of the Navy, 
specifically, one of their sections. This amendment clarifies the 
language and makes it clear that the Navy can act as the fiscal agent 
to carry out the icebreaker task. It does not require in any way that 
the Navy shipbuilding account be used in any way to pay for the 
icebreaker. The money for the icebreaker will have to come from other 
sources. But it makes it clear that the Navy can expend money as a 
fiscal agent using the special account that was designated, that has 
been in existence for some time.
  I can go into great length about why we need icebreakers, but the 
very short story is that Russia has over 40 icebreakers, probably 
closer to 50, many of them heavy icebreakers capable of operating in 
very thick ice in the Arctic. The United States really has none. We 
have some light icebreakers, but they will not suffice during the 
Arctic spring and winter. Therefore, we have to get with it.
  We do know that in the future--well, today and this year, this 
summer--the Northwest Passage will be open for shipping, and the East 
Passage, which is along the Russian coast, is also open.
  So the Arctic is a navigable ocean. The U.S. Navy cannot operate 
there without an icebreaker. We cannot conduct civil and maritime as 
well as military exercises without a heavy icebreaker. This allows us 
to do that.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WITTMAN. Mr. Chair, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. WITTMAN. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment to 
strike a critical provision of this year's NDAA.
  I do share my colleague's concern for the current state of our U.S. 
Coast Guard icebreaker fleet. I do believe there are ways that we can 
address that issue, but I disagree with his proposed solution.
  To be clear, the National Defense Authorization Act authorizes funds 
for the Department of Defense. The U.S. Coast Guard falls under the 
Department of Homeland Security.
  This amendment seeks to take millions of dollars away from the Navy 
in the long term and shift it to the Coast Guard for their 
expenditures. Make no mistake about it: if this amendment passes, there 
is no stopping the Department of Homeland Security or any other agency 
from poaching enormous sums of our Defense Department budget in the 
future. Today it is Coast Guard icebreakers, and next year it may be 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research and survey 
vessels. The possibilities are endless; unfortunately, the funds are 
not.
  Mr. Chair, I would urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this 
amendment to ensure that our Navy and Department of Defense funds are 
used only by the Navy and the Department of Defense.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Larsen).
  Mr. LARSEN of Washington. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of the 
Garamendi-Hunter amendment because I know how important a strong 
icebreaker fleet is to national security.
  The committee recognizes this reality, as elsewhere in the bill we 
give the DOD some important authorities to support icebreaker 
procurement. However, this section 123 prohibits DOD funding for 
icebreaker procurement. This amendment strikes this provision because 
flexibility will be essential to funding new icebreakers.
  Coast Guard shipbuilding budgets are insufficient for icebreaker 
procurement absent radical cuts elsewhere. As co-chair of the Arctic 
Working Group, I know that the United States needs icebreakers. These 
ships protect economic interests in the region, and they defend our 
sovereignty.
  As the Arctic becomes increasingly navigable, the importance of 
icebreakers will only grow, and I urge my colleagues to support the 
Garamendi-Hunter amendment.
  Mr. WITTMAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Nebraska (Mr. Bacon), my friend and colleague.
  Mr. BACON. Mr. Chair, I rise today in respectful opposition to this 
amendment.
  No one can dispute America's need for icebreakers. These capital 
ships are indispensable tools to ensure the safe and rapid movement of 
commerce in Arctic waters. I commend my colleagues for their strong 
advocacy for these ships and share their belief that we need them.
  However, the responsibility and accountability for constructing and 
operating America's icebreakers must rest solely where the Congress has 
assigned it: the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast 
Guard.
  The question we are debating today is not whether we need 
icebreakers, but how to appropriate the funds and who should build 
them. As important as icebreakers are, they are not warships, and we 
must not allow funding legitimately appropriated for our combat

[[Page H5792]]

fleet to be diverted for nondefense needs.
  While I acknowledge the temptation to raid defense accounts for a 
worthy cause, we must be mindful of how deep in the hole we are with 
our air, land, sea, space, and cyber forces. We need to keep our eye on 
the ball in rebuilding our military's readiness and our modernization.
  Mr. Chair, I urge a vote ``no'' against this amendment.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Chair, may I ask how much time I have remaining.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California has 1\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Chair, just a couple of things.
  First of all, there is a thing called the National Sealift Fund, 
which has been in existence for a long time, and it has been used to 
build non-Navy ships. That is exactly what we intend to do here is to 
use the National Sealift Fund, not the Navy shipbuilding fund.
  Secondly, you may notice or you may want to know that the U.S. Coast 
Guard is, in fact, a defense as well as a civilian vessel; it has both 
obligations.
  We also need to understand that we are not stealing money from the 
Navy. This is simply a mechanism in which the Navy acts as a fiscal 
agent to carry out the task.
  The Coast Guard is not well suited to build ships of this type. We 
are looking for the most efficient and effective way to carry out the 
task, and the use of the National Sealift Fund, together with the U.S. 
Navy as the fiscal agent, is the best way to accomplish that.
  I would end by simply saying the U.S. Navy is toothless, useless in 
the Arctic unless it has an icebreaker. So if you care about the Arctic 
Ocean and the role of the U.S. Navy in carrying out our national 
defense functions in the Arctic, then you must help us find a way to 
build the icebreakers.
  We will do so without, in any way, taking funds away from the U.S. 
Navy shipbuilding. Indeed, it would be up to the appropriators to 
appropriate money quite hopefully from the Department of Homeland 
Security for this purpose, putting the money into this National Sealift 
Fund so that it can then be used to build the icebreaker, with the Navy 
acting as the fiscal agent.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WITTMAN. Mr. Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Ohio 
(Mr. Turner), my friend and colleague.
  Mr. TURNER. Mr. Chairman, I join with Chairman Wittman in expressing 
opposition to this amendment.
  As he has indicated, the Navy has no indication that they have a 
military requirement for icebreakers. Right now we are trying to 
reverse the effects of sequestration. We are fighting against budget 
cuts. When you use money for something other than what it was intended 
for, it is a budget cut, and that is what this would be. No one is 
talking about raising the top line of the overall defense budget, but 
they are talking about using the funds otherwise for something that is 
not defense.
  I want to join with everyone who is speaking on this issue of the 
importance of the Coast Guard and certainly its impact and certainly 
the issues of icebreaking, but shipbuilding for the Navy and for our 
military should be concentrated on our military. Certainly the funds 
that we are appropriating to the Department of Defense should remain in 
the Department of Defense, and, therefore, I rise with Chairman Wittman 
in support of the opposition.

                              {time}  1545

  Mr. Chair, in closing, I want to say that--going to Admiral 
Richardson's words--Admiral Richardson clearly states that the mission 
of icebreaking is a Coast Guard mission. There is not a disagreement 
there, but the disagreement is using resources that are within the 
Defense budget in order to do that.
  If you are going to put the responsibility for building icebreakers 
and maintaining and operating them with the Coast Guard, yet you are 
going to put the money in the Department of Defense budget where there 
is no control, there is no oversight, that is a catastrophe waiting to 
happen.
  If this is going to happen, it should happen within the Department of 
Homeland Security's budget or there needs to be a debate about where, 
ultimately, the Coast Guard needs to be located. But to put money in 
one area of the budget and expect that it is going to be managed 
properly and applied properly with someplace where there is not even 
jurisdiction, I think is problematic.
  Again, it is clear where the missions are. It is clear where the 
responsibility lies between the Homeland Security Department, the Coast 
Guard, the Navy, and the Department of Defense.
  I want to make sure we are building more cutters and icebreakers, and 
if we are going to do that, let's make sure we do it in the proper way. 
I think there are ways to construct language to make that happen, but 
this is not the way to do it.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Garamendi).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from California 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mr. Buck

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 
printed in House Report 115-217.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 85, after line 24, insert the following:

     SEC. 316. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY USE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 
                   DEFENSE.

       (a) Cost Competitiveness Requirement.--
       (1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law, the Secretary of Defense shall not purchase alternative 
     energy unless such energy is equivalent to conventional 
     energy in terms of cost and capabilities.
       (2) Cost calculation.--The cost of each energy source 
     described in paragraph (1) shall be calculated on a pre-tax 
     basis in terms of life-cycle cost. Such calculation shall 
     take into account--
       (A) all associated Federal grants, subsidies and tax 
     incentives applied from the point of production to 
     consumption;
       (B) fixed and variable operations and maintenance costs; 
     and
       (C) in the case of fuel, fully burdened costs, including 
     all associated transportation and security from the point of 
     purchase to delivery to the end user.
       (3) Research exemption.--Nothing in this Act is intended to 
     prohibit alternative energy research by the Department.
       (b) Prohibition on Renewable Energy Mandates.--None of the 
     funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise 
     made available for fiscal year 2018 for the Department of 
     Defense shall be used to carry out any provision of law that 
     requires the Department of Defense to consume renewable 
     energy, unless such energy meets the requirements of 
     subsection (a).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 440, the gentleman 
from Colorado (Mr. Buck) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Colorado.
  Mr. BUCK. I thank Chairman Thornberry for the opportunity to speak 
about my amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 
Year 2018.
  Our military is the greatest fighting force in the world. I applaud 
the Department of Defense's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. 
However, with our limited resources, we must ensure that these 
resources are being put to use in the best possible way.
  Every penny spent by the Department of Defense must be used to 
advance our military's mission and support our troops. Incorporating 
higher cost fuel sources into the Department's energy acquisition 
process is money lost to repair planes, buy ammunition, and defeat the 
enemy.
  Moreover, Congress must ensure that we are being good stewards of the 
American people's money. With our debt soaring towards $20 trillion, it 
is irresponsible to ask American families to subsidize with their tax 
dollars fuel sources that have not yet been proven cost-effective.
  Of course, the Department of Defense would still be allowed to 
research alternative sources of energy. My amendment ensures that the 
Department of

[[Page H5793]]

Defense can conduct research on alternative fuels to ensure these 
energy sources can be cost-competitive in the future.
  My commonsense amendment is simple. It provides a framework for 
ensuring the Department of Defense is engaging in responsible energy 
acquisition practices. It prohibits renewable energy mandates placed on 
the Department of Defense and ensures that every unit of energy our 
military purchases is the most cost-effective option available while 
still maintaining the ability to research new sources of energy.
  Mr. Chair, I urge my colleagues to support my amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Rhode Island is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, this amendment is a blatant attack on the use of 
alternative energy by the Department of Defense. So we have existing 
contracts right now for renewable energy, both liquid fuels and 
electricity, at the Department of Defense, and this amendment seeks to 
really pump the brakes on those policies and bury them in a web of 
unnecessary requirements.
  So requiring procurement managers to track all Federal subsidies and 
tax credits would be a burden to the government, and requiring 
suppliers to provide such information would be onerous, expensive, and 
may, in fact, actually drive them away. Also, this will result in less 
competition for contracts, and higher costs for the Department of 
Defense. Ultimately, it is going to result in higher costs to the 
taxpayer.
  So most alarmingly, this amendment does not include any waivers for 
times of emergency when a retail, time-sensitive purchase of readily 
available alternative fuels might be imperative to completing the 
mission, even if it is at a price point higher than the usual market 
cost.
  Mr. Chairman, it also does not provide consideration for renewable 
energy projects for military installations that, although they might 
not reduce costs, do have other quantifiable benefits that increase 
combat effectiveness or enhance mission resiliency.
  This amendment is also redundant. For bulk purchases, of which the 
DOD has many, current law already prohibits the Department from an 
alternative fuel purchase unless fully burdened cost is cost-
competitive with traditional fuels.
  Burying suppliers in these requirements is an unnecessary compliance 
burden and could disincentivize some suppliers from doing business with 
the DOD.
  Finally, this amendment is opposed by the Department of Defense.
  Mr. Chair, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment, and 
I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Peters).
  Mr. PETERS. Mr. Chairman, I am opposed to this amendment, which would 
unnecessarily tie the hands of our military as it seeks to diversify 
its energy supply.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  July 13, 2017, on page H5793, the following appeared: Mr. 
PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, I am
  
  The online version has been corrected to read: Mr. PETERS. Mr. 
Chairman, I am


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  The Pentagon is pursuing alternative energy not because they are some 
kind of tree hugger, but because the diversity of energy options 
improves mission capabilities and saves lives.
  Just because the price of oil is low today doesn't mean it won't 
spike tomorrow and force military leaders to divert resources away from 
mission priorities. In some cases, this has meant turning ships around 
and cutting their voyages short because of budgeting issues around 
fuel.
  This is of particular concern as we continue the fight against ISIS 
while pivoting towards the Pacific. The Pacific Ocean has an area of 64 
million miles. It includes hotspots like the South China Sea and North 
Korea, whose recent aggression threatens the region and our security.
  As we ask our military leaders to respond to threats at a moment's 
notice, they need the flexibility that comes with alternative energy 
sources. But you don't need to just hear that from me. That is the 
position of General Mattis at the Department of Defense, who opposes 
this amendment.
  My colleagues on the other side are going to say that this is merely 
about choosing the most cost-effective option, but this amendment would 
place an undue burden on DOD procurement managers to track all 
subsidies and credits for fuel. It doesn't include a waiver for 
national security considerations or increasing combat effectiveness, 
and it would inhibit innovations that increase readiness and save 
lives.
  A 21st century military with the capability to counter new and 
dynamic threats cannot be powered solely by the energy sources of 
yesterday. I encourage my colleagues to join me in opposing this 
amendment.

  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chairman, I don't believe that asking the Department of 
Defense to make a cost-effective decision in any purchase is an 
unnecessary burden.
  Mr. Chair, I disagree with my colleagues, and I reserve the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chairman, as I said, I believe this amendment would 
significantly hinder the Department of Defense's ability to procure 
energy, and I urge its defeat. As I stated previously, this amendment 
is opposed by the Department of Defense.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chairman, the United States military is the greatest 
fighting force in the world. Our troops need to be focused on the 
mission at hand and have every tool at their disposal to complete that 
mission.
  My amendment ensures that we practice fiscal discipline in the 
Department of Defense's energy acquisition process by ensuring that we 
are buying the most cost-effective source of energy.
  I thank the chairman. I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Buck).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Colorado 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment No. 4 Offered by Mr. Perry

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 4 
printed in House Report 115-217.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Strike section 336.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 440, the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Perry) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman of the committee for 
his hard work and his defense of those who wear the uniform and take on 
that tough task. In these tough and troubling times, especially in 
financial austerity, he stood up and let everybody know how the 
military, in actual dollars over the last 8 years, has been cut 
significantly, and the impact on our national security.
  In that vein, my goal with this amendment is to prioritize those 
limited defense resources on efforts that pose an immediate and direct 
threat to our national security.
  This amendment would strike section 336 of the NDAA, which strikes 
the requirement for the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on the 
vulnerability to military installations and combatant commander 
requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years.
  I am not here to debate climate change, whether it is real or it is 
not, how it is created, how we fix it, and all that stuff. That is for 
another day. My point is that this shouldn't be the priority of 
combatant commanders in our military. The United States military is 
currently operating in a very complex threat environment in which our 
country must be ready to face our adversaries.
  Our country is facing direct threats from a myriad of sources, 
including Islamic extremists: ISIS, al-Qaida, the

[[Page H5794]]

Taliban, Abu Sayyaf. The alphabet soup of names in that regard is 
continuous and unrelenting: North Korea, China, Iran, Russia, even in 
space.
  Over the past 8 years, our military strength and readiness has 
suffered as a result of the underfunding and neglect from the previous 
administration that are in support of sequestration. Through the NDAA, 
we simply must prioritize, decide what is most important and be for 
that, and let our warfighters know where we stand.
  These things must strengthen the rebuilding of our Armed Forces and 
resolve their focus on what they need to pay attention to. Literally 
litanies of other Federal agencies deal with environmental issues, 
including climate change. This Federal mandate detracts from the 
essential mission of the Department of Defense, which is to secure our 
Nation from enemies, and is best left to the agencies that are better 
suited to deal with these issues.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chair, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Rhode Island is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chair, I yield myself 1\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. Chair, this amendment would strike a provision that we have 
already thoroughly debated and approved in a bipartisan fashion within 
the Armed Services Committee. Section 336 acknowledges what Secretary 
Mattis has already said and what we already know: that a changing 
climate will affect our military's readiness and alter the threat 
landscape for years to come, and that we must study these impacts to 
prepare for them.
  I cannot see the harm in gathering information and doing an 
assessment. We already see the strategic implications of new sea lanes 
being cut in the melting Arctic, where countries are seeking an 
economic advantage. As we speak, along our coasts, rising seas are 
affecting our naval installations, including at Naval Station Norfolk, 
the home of the Atlantic Fleet.
  The report required in section 336 is not about causes of climate 
change, nor do we discuss specific emissions, targets, or green energy 
goals. Instead, my section of the Armed Service Committee is very 
factual. We focus squarely on the readiness of our Armed Forces to 
combat the coming and existing climate threat, starting with a study of 
the 10 most vulnerable bases in each service, and a report on how a 
changing climate will affect combatant commanders' strategic battle 
plans.

                              {time}  1600

  As Secretary Mattis has said, ``the effects of a changing climate--
such as increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, 
desertification, among others--impact our security situation.''
  Mr. Chairman, we need to support our leaders in the military and 
intelligence communities in addressing these concerns, so I urge defeat 
of this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire how much time is remaining.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania has 2\1/2\ minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from Rhode Island has 3\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
New York (Ms. Stefanik), who is my good friend and the chair of the 
Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities of the House Armed 
Services Committee.
  Ms. STEFANIK. Mr. Chairman, today I rise in opposition to Mr. Perry's 
amendment which would strike language that requires the Department of 
Defense to compile a report on the vulnerabilities of military 
installations and combatant commander requirements resulting from 
climate change. As we heard earlier today, this language passed by 
voice vote on a bipartisan basis during our markup in committee.
  Increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, 
desertification, increases in natural disasters, damage to existing 
infrastructure, and other effects of climate change are drivers of 
geopolitical instability and degrade the security of the United States.
  We would be remiss in our efforts to protect our national security if 
we do not fully account for the risk climate change poses to our bases, 
our readiness, and to the fulfillment of our Armed Forces mission.
  This is about a report. Let's get the information. This is why I 
believe we have bipartisan support within the committee. We must 
incorporate environmental factors in our threat assessments and 
contingency planning to ensure the long-term operational viability of 
our missions and the safety of our men and women in uniform.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen).
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this Perry amendment which will 
strip vital language regarding the impact of Department of Defense 
activities associated with climate change.
  The Defense Department does so many vital things for the safety and 
security of the United States and the American people. We all owe the 
brave men and women who wear the Nation's uniform a debt of gratitude 
that we can never truly repay. However, we must be cognizant of all the 
impacts that DOD activities have across the globe.
  The Defense Department has such a large footprint, and the amount of 
military construction and other activity that it undertakes year round 
impacts our environment. How could it not?
  We are talking about possible implications such as contributions to 
sea level rise--which is particularly important to my constituents in 
south Florida--that it would be irresponsible for us to ignore.
  I have a Coast Guard base in my district, Coast Guard Miami Beach, 
located right there on the water in Miami Beach, and we know the impact 
of sea level rise in that area.
  So as a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, I urge my colleagues 
to oppose this Perry amendment. We have got to be clear-eyed, Mr. 
Chairman, about every possible impact of our military activities, and 
that includes the impact that we place on our environment.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Peters).
  Mr. PETERS. Mr. Chairman, last year the Pentagon released a directive 
stating that the Department of Defense must be able to adapt to climate 
change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military.
  General Mattis--now Secretary Mattis--during his Senate confirmation 
said: ``Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world 
where our troops are operating today.'' Bases in the region I represent 
in San Diego--which is home to the largest concentration of military 
forces in the world--are already facing challenges from sea level rise, 
drought, and reliable energy sources.
  For years, the most decorated military leaders in our country have 
been telling us that climate change is a national security threat. 
Congress cannot afford to make this debate about politics or ideology.
  We don't have to agree on what causes climate change. We only have to 
agree with our military leaders that the effects of climate change are 
altering the security environment and the threats we face.
  Mr. Chairman, I oppose this reckless amendment and ask my colleagues 
to do the same.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, how much time remains?
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Collins of Georgia). The gentleman from 
Pennsylvania has 2\1/2\ minutes remaining. The gentleman from Rhode 
Island has 30 seconds remaining.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chairman, as we noted in our committee markup, 
there would be nothing controversial about studying this threat and 
being prepared to mitigate the risks. In fact, that is our 
responsibility.
  The support for this climate resiliency language was truly bipartisan 
in

[[Page H5795]]

committee, and I hope we will send a strong message of support to the 
servicemen and -women who will have to lead with the effects of climate 
change by opposing this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me the Secretary of Defense 
doesn't need Congress to tell him what the threats are. He knows what 
the threats are.

  I can tell you as a person who has been privileged for over 30 years 
to wear the Nation's uniform--the Army, the military's uniform--and as 
a person who was privileged to lead troops in combat in the Middle 
East, I didn't need Congress to tell me who the enemy is or was. We 
know that. We also don't need Congress to tell us to report the issues 
that we might have in defending the Nation to the Congress or to the 
Commander.
  We know our duty, and we will do our duty. If we have issues that 
need to be reported--whether it is sea level rise or the enemy has a 
new weapon or we can't feed our troops or what have you--we will report 
it, and we will resolve it. We don't need people in Washington, D.C., 
telling us how to run the war. That is our job. That is the military's 
job.
  This amendment simply says that we ought to prioritize that. We ought 
to let them prioritize that. We ought to let combatant commanders--we 
ought to let the men and women who wear the uniform and defend our 
country focus on the enemy. If the enemy, indeed, is climate change, 
then they will focus on that as well, and they will submit information 
so that we can make decisions.
  The point is, should somebody--should all of us in this uniform in 
Washington, D.C.--be telling the fine men and women in uniform across 
the globe defending our country that we know better? That is exactly 
what I am trying to avoid here.
  Little by little, drip by drip, we have watched our Nation's and 
military's focus eroded--this and that. Believe me. I have filled out 
the reports. As an officer, I have filled out a whole bunch of reports 
on a regular basis that have nothing to do with completing the mission 
of securing our Nation and defeating the enemy--nothing to do with it. 
This is just one in the long line of them.
  My only goal is to send this to where it needs to be--the agencies 
best adapted to deal with it and take it out of the agencies that 
shouldn't be dealing with it and should be dealing with securing our 
Nation and fighting the enemy.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask my colleagues to support the amendment, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CURBELO of Florida. Mr. Chair, Naval Air Station Key West 
provides key training and support for the nation's military operations 
and readiness. The base trains fighter pilots from all branches and is 
home to the Joint Interagency Task Force South, which combats illicit 
narcotics.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  July 13, 2017, on page H5795, the following appeared: Mr. 
CURBELO. Mr, Chair, Naval Air Station
  
  The online version has been corrected to read: Mr. CURBELO of 
Florida. Mr. Chair, Naval Air Station


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  However, most of the land in the Florida Keys lies at elevations 3 
feet or less above sea level, making the Naval station extremely 
vulnerable to sea-level rise. But this threat is not unique to that 
station; many of our bases across the, country and around the globe are 
susceptible to the effects of climate change.
  Recognition of this threat, and prudent planning for these 
contingencies, are vital to our military bases and maintaining the 
national security interests of the United States abroad.
  I congratulate the gentleman from Rhode Island, and the Committee, 
for recognizing this and including language in the underlying bill 
asking the Pentagon to report on the vulnerabilities posed by climate 
change so we can responsibly identify and implement adaptive measures. 
This includes an honest discussion of the realities of our changing 
environment.
  As co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus, I urge all my colleagues 
to reject the Perry Amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Perry).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment No. 5 Offered by Mr. Gosar

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 5 
printed in House Report 115-217.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Insert after section 344 the following:

     SEC. 345. DETERMINATION OF PREVAILING WAGE UNDER THE DAVIS-
                   BACON ACT.

       For purposes of this Act, any determination of the 
     prevailing wage conducted under section 3142(b) of title 40, 
     United States Code (commonly known as the Davis-Bacon Act) 
     shall be conducted by the Secretary of Labor acting through 
     the Bureau of Labor Statistics using surveys carried out by 
     the Bureau that use proper random statistical sampling 
     techniques.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 440, the gentleman 
from Arizona (Mr. Gosar) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Arizona.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer a commonsense 
amendment with the intent of accurately and transparently determining 
the prevailing wage for Department of Defense contracts. My amendment 
would require the calculation of wages for contractors and all defense 
projects to be based on actual statistics calculated by the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics, or BLS, as opposed to the current process which 
determines these rates based on fundamentally flawed surveys within the 
Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, or the DOL.
  This amendment is needed. A 2008 Department of Labor Inspector 
General report found that ``one or more errors existed in 100 percent 
of the wage reports.'' The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 
upwards of $13 billion could be wasted over 10 years if Davis-Bacon is 
left unreformed. As stewards of the public treasury, we have an 
obligation to spend taxpayer money wisely. This amendment addresses 
that very need.
  Additionally, this amendment doesn't remove funds from the Defense 
budget. The money this amendment saves--potentially in the billions of 
dollars--will be kept within the Department of Defense budget to be 
used for other important defense priorities. In a fiscal environment 
where every dollar counts, this amendment presents a welcome 
opportunity to make our defense dollars go further.
  This amendment isn't an attempt to repeal Davis-Bacon. It is about 
competition, equality, accuracy, and transparency for everyone. It 
simply asks that wage determinations for Department of Defense 
contracts be made with statistically sampled information from the 
Bureau of Labor Statistics so that we are able to spend Federal dollars 
in a more efficient manner and support more jobs. The BLS has proven 
time and time again that they are the only agency capable of accurately 
determining these wages.
  A fair wage for a fair job is fair to the American taxpayer. Again, I 
thank the chairman and ranking member for their continued work on the 
committee.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NORCROSS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. NORCROSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I come here today to speak in opposition to the 
amendment, one that would hurt the local economy, devalue workers' pay, 
and take a very important tool out of the toolbox for both Republicans, 
Democrats, and Americans.
  Almost 100 years ago, two Republican Congressmen, James Davis and 
Robert Bacon, realized there was a problem with Federal contracts. 
Those contracts were unfair to the local economies. So in 1931, 
Congress unanimously approved Davis-Bacon prevailing wage. It ensures 
that construction workers are paid the same as construction workers in 
that local community.
  The prevailing wage is based on surveys of local wages and benefits, 
not whether there is a union or not. It keeps the community vibrant, 
and it takes into account those things that happened in that local 
community. So when you hear the term ``if it ain't

[[Page H5796]]

broke don't fix it,'' this is a classic example.
  They are trying to talk about surveys and methodologies. Quite 
frankly, this system has worked for over 80 years. They are talking 
about technicalities, but the fact of the matter is this is about 
cutting wages in your local community. Why would you ever want to go 
back and say, I want to hurt the people I represent? But apparently 
that seems to be what we are doing.
  So we want to make sure that local workers are paid a fair wage. The 
system has worked fine for so many years and makes sure that those men 
and women who work hard each and every day are properly compensated.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NORCROSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
West Virginia (Mr. McKinley).
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Chairman, I thank Mr. Norcross, my co-chairman of 
the Congressional Building Trades Caucus, to be able to discuss this.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in opposition to this amendment offered by 
my friend from Arizona. His amendment would change dramatically the 
methodology used to determine wage rates paid to construction workers 
across America.
  While this proposal may appear to be reasonable at first blush, it 
would dramatically depart from the current practice and would result in 
massive pay cuts for working families.
  Unlike the current system, the methodology would not take into 
consideration the total value of all wages and benefits into account. 
It excludes the cost of pensions, healthcare, and, vitally, training 
that we need to have.
  So what we are trying to say, Mr. Chairman, is the full benefit must 
be considered, and it is not in this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, as someone who began in the construction industry in 
1965, 52 years--after 52 years in this business, I understand how the 
Davis-Bacon Act works and how it works across the country.
  So let's not forget, these wage protections are not just for union 
workers but for all construction workers. It ensures that the local 
workers can make a fair living on projects in their community. This 
amendment, unfortunately--as well intended as it might be--would 
undermine that. I urge a ``no'' vote.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is not anti-Davis-Bacon. Let 
me give you some fun facts. In some cities, the Wage and Hour 
Division's calculated wages are 75 percent higher than the actual 
prevailing wage. In other areas throughout the country, they are below 
minimum wage and only 33 percent of the actual prevailing wage. What is 
fair is fair.
  When you start looking at the figures that are used for calculation, 
they haven't been updated in many cases since 1970. Give me a break. 
This isn't about Davis-Bacon, this is about crony capitalism. This is 
about a vestige of the Jim Crow era.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1615

  Mr. NORCROSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Kildee).
  Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Chairman, I align myself with the remarks of my 
friend, Mr. Norcross, and that of my friend, Mr. McKinley.
  There is bipartisan opposition to this amendment because we know what 
it would do. You can talk about it any way you want to talk about it, 
but the net effect is reduced wages for workers in the communities we 
represent.
  I come from Flint, Michigan. I represent folks who play by the rules 
and have the right, after working in a trade, to get compensation that 
is equal to the quality of the work that they deliver. If we don't 
support that, all we are going to do is continue this race to the 
bottom.
  We all talk about the fact that wages have not kept up. Here is yet 
another effort that will undermine the ability of American workers who 
work hard every single day to be able to have a decent wage, take care 
of their families, put their kids through school, and set something 
aside for retirement. This is the American Dream. Back in the 1930s, 
this is why this legislation was first put in place. This amendment 
would undermine that promise.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge a ``no'' vote.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chair, may I ask how much time I have remaining.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Arizona has 2\1/2\ minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from New Jersey has 1 minute remaining.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NORCROSS. Mr. Chairman, I want to just bring this back home.
  Why in the world would you ever want to cut the wages of the men and 
women you represent? This is about fairness, leveling the playing 
field. It works, and we want to continue it.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, once again, this is not anti-Davis-Bacon. We 
want to make it an issue like that, but the statistics speak for 
themselves.
  The Federal Government is willing to pay the wages for our 
hardworking contractors on what they deserve, but as stewards of the 
taxpayer dollar, we must insist that these wages are accurate, fair, 
and transparent.
  The inspector general has stated there are fundamental problems with 
the current methodology. We owe it to the American taxpayer and the 
contractors themselves to make sure funds are based upon accuracy and 
wages are being paid fairly.
  The opposition claims to be fighting in favor of Davis-Bacon, but if 
they really cared about its longevity and effectiveness, they would 
support this amendment and improve and strengthen it.
  The opposition also believes this amendment is an attack on the 
American worker. Tell that to my contractors who have been put out of 
business with the military in south Arizona. Please tell them that when 
they couldn't calculate the Davis-Bacon application and were put out of 
business by the Department of Labor.
  That couldn't be further from the truth. This provides certainty and 
clarity to the wages of hardworking tradesmen and women across the 
country who perform services for the government.
  We as a body should be for fiscal responsibility and for proper 
worker compensation. This amendment is an opportunity to act exactly on 
this. I urge my colleagues to support this good-governance and 
commonsense approach.
  I ask my colleagues: Do you support transparency and accuracy? 
Support my amendment.
  Do you support the responsible use of taxpayer dollars? Support my 
amendment.
  Do you support workers and fair compensation? Then support my 
amendment.
  Do you support a fair wage for the hardworking contractors of the 
DOD? Support my amendment.
  Anything stays safe in the military budget. This is military-
specific.
  Mr. Chairman, I thank the chair and the ranking member for their 
help, and I urge everybody to vote ``yes'' for this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. NORCROSS. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona will 
be postponed.


       Amendment No. 6 Offered by Mr. Thomas J. Rooney of Florida

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 6 
printed in House Report 115-217.
  Mr. THOMAS J. ROONEY of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at 
the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Strike section 541 (page 146, beginning line 20), relating 
     to prohibition on release of military service academy 
     graduates to participate in professional athletics.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 440, the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Thomas J. Rooney) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.

[[Page H5797]]

  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. THOMAS J. ROONEY of Florida. Mr. Chairman, on April 29, Secretary 
Mattis issued guidance requiring graduates of the Air Force Academy, 
West Point, and the Naval Academy to compete 2 years of active 
commissioned service before they can seek permission to pursue a 
professional sports career while at the same time fulfilling their 
service obligation.
  Traditionally, the service Secretaries may exercise discretion over 
whether or not to permit the very few academy graduates with the 
exceptional athletic talent to jointly serve either in the reserves, in 
Active Duty, or a combination of both, and be part of a professional 
sports team.
  My amendment supports the flexibility and the discretion that has 
always been built into the Secretary of Defense's discretion to 
determine on a case-by-case basis how to deal with his own personnel.
  Section 541 of this year's NDAA replaces Secretary Mattis guidance 
with a far more stringent, one-size-fits-all policy that allows for no 
exceptions, without explanation.
  No one is saying that graduates should not fulfill their service 
requirement. No one is saying that graduates shouldn't pay for their 
education.
  Section 541 is a significant departure from the policy which allows 
the Secretary of Defense and the military branches discretion, and more 
specifically, today, it handcuffs our own Secretary Mattis from 
implementing the policy as he sees fit, just like Secretaries of the 
past have always done.
  Section 541 stipulates that academy graduates must fulfill, without 
exception, 5 years on Active Duty before they are able to request 
release to pursue an athletic career. This policy is overrigid and will 
make it nearly impossible for graduates of our service academies to 
pursue any professional athletic career.
  Denying student athletes on a Secretary-approved, case-by-case basis 
the opportunity to pursue a professional athletic career in conjunction 
with their military service is a mistake. The possibility, no matter 
how remote, of going pro is a powerful recruiting tool that can attract 
exceptional, diverse high school athletes to attend and excel in our 
service academies.
  Very few college athletes are talented enough to play professionally. 
I played college football and I ended up here. Most high school 
athletes dream and believe that they can go pro. The truth is, most 
won't. But to kill that dream before a student chooses a college also 
ruins the chance of the academies from recruiting top athletes.
  Why does this matter? Because striking section 541 will maintain 
Secretary Mattis' policy, which was created to ensure that preserving 
the option for our academy athletes, we do so in a way that maintains 
the readiness and lethality of our military services. But it is also 
about morale at the academies.
  I taught at West Point. I serve on their board today. I served on the 
Navy board before. I can tell you that if section 541 is retained, we 
lose out on the boost in morale afforded to the academies with 
competitive athletic departments and the recruitment benefit of the 
soldier athletes' exposure with professional sports teams and their 
fans.
  If section 541 is retained, we will be sending a message that if you 
are a highly talented high school athlete and you also want to go to 
the Naval Academy, West Point, or the Air Force Academy, you need to 
give up any possibility of athletic aspirations after school.
  We will be doing ourselves a disservice by not recruiting the 
absolute best and brightest individuals who could be so versatile 
enough to be professional athletes and also serve their Nation 
honorably.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COFFMAN. Mr. Chairman, I claim time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Colorado is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. COFFMAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 2 minutes.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong opposition to the gentleman from 
Florida's amendment. This amendment strikes section 541 of the 2018 
National Defense Authorization Act, which ensures that graduates from 
military service academies fulfill their military service commitments, 
without exception, before participating in professional sports. Current 
policy allows a cadet or midshipman to be released from their 5-year 
Active Duty service to participate in professional sports just 24 
months after graduating from a military service academy.
  As chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee and a Marine Corps 
combat veteran, I believe that the service academies exist to develop 
future officers to lead, enhance readiness, and increase the 
effectiveness of the Armed Forces.
  This is not an issue of recruiting qualified and motivated 
applicants. Each year, my district office receives far more 
applications from talented and qualified students who wish to serve 
their country than we can accommodate. For example, there were 17,000 
applications for 1,100 slots last year at the Naval Academy. All of our 
military service academies have similar numbers of applicants.
  We are a country still very much engaged in hostilities around the 
world, and we need these officers leading our troops and defending the 
country, not playing professional sports.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to support the provision in the 
overwhelming bipartisan HASC-passed FY 2018 National Defense 
Authorization Act and oppose Representative Rooney's amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. THOMAS J. ROONEY of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as 
she may consume to the gentlewoman from Florida (Mrs. Murphy).
  Mrs. MURPHY of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I am proud to co-lead this 
bipartisan amendment. It would strike section 541 of the bill, a 
provision that would make it nearly impossible for graduates of the 
military service academies to play professional football, basketball, 
or any other sport.

  I serve on the Board of Visitors at West Point, and I believe section 
541 will be detrimental to recruitment and morale at the service 
academies, could undermine efforts to bridge the military-civilian 
divide through the use of sports ambassadors, and could compromise the 
effectiveness of our officer corps.
  If our amendment is successful, the policy governing the 
circumstances under which graduates can play professional sports will 
be the guidance issued by Secretary Mattis earlier this year. Pursuant 
to Secretary Mattis' guidance, an academy graduate must complete 2 
years of active commissioned service before he or she can seek approval 
to pursue a professional sports opportunity.
  Section 541 goes far beyond this existing guidance, requiring a 
graduate to serve 5 years on Active Duty before pursuing a professional 
sports opportunity. This is the functional equivalent of prohibiting a 
graduate from playing professional sports altogether.
  Section 541 applies retroactively to current academy student 
athletes, not just prospectively to future athletes, which strikes me 
as unfair. Moreover, it removes the flexibility and discretion built 
into Secretary Mattis' guidance, replacing it with a one-size-fits-all 
policy that allows for no exceptions. Before Congress takes such 
drastic action, we should carefully weigh the arguments for and against 
such action. That process has not taken place.
  I ask my colleagues to support this amendment and to allow Secretary 
Mattis' guidance to remain in effect until such time as we can examine 
this issue more fully.
  Mr. THOMAS J. ROONEY of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. COFFMAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Speier).
  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Chair, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chair, I am truly impressed by my colleague, Mr. Rooney, on any 
number of issues. This is not one of them.
  This is absurd. It is absolutely absurd. We have military academies 
to train the next leaders of this country. We are not running a 
training camp for the National Football League.
  If you want to serve as a leader of the military, then you go to one 
of the

[[Page H5798]]

military academies. If you decide you want to have a pro football 
career, then pay back the $500,000 that the taxpayers of this country 
have paid for each and every one of these students.
  In the Rules Committee yesterday, Mr. Rooney listed three names of 
examples of academy graduates continuing in professional sports after 
graduation. All of the names he mentioned--Roger Staubach, David 
Robinson, and Alejandro Villanueva--served on Active Duty for at least 
2 years.
  The model for how this should work is like Villanueva, who served his 
5-year commitment, deployed three times to Afghanistan, received a 
Bronze Star for valor, and then pursued a professional football career.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. COFFMAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield the gentlewoman from California an 
additional 30 seconds.

                              {time}  1630

  Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Chair, I will just say that going pro, as Mr. Rooney 
has said, is not the goal of our military academies. If we are 
concerned about morale because we want to make sure they can go out on 
the football field and have great games against the Army and the Navy, 
fine. If in the end you want to go pro, then pay back the money and go 
pro. Otherwise, you are taking a very important slot from any number of 
talented young men and women who want to be trained and then serve as 
the leaders of our military.
  Mr. COFFMAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Arizona (Ms. McSally), my friend and colleague.
  Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition. As the only Air 
Force Academy graduate in Congress, we train these cadets to become 
officers and leaders and warfighters for our military. We are not 
training them to become pro athletes, just like my colleague said here.
  And you want to talk about morale?
  Having been there, there is nothing worse than watching somebody try 
to get out of their commitment to go play pro sports, for the rest of 
the cadets that are there ready to lead America into battle.
  I strongly support the underlying bill. We are at a time of military 
crisis and readiness crisis right now. We do not release people to go 
fly for the airlines or go start their own business or go be an 
entrepreneur or go to a high-tech company and then just say: Oh, just 
pay it back.
  There are so many people that are trying to get into these academies 
so they can wear the uniform and lead America into battle.
  So this is about warfighting, not about becoming a linebacker. So 
let's please--I am urging my colleagues to vote down this amendment and 
to support the underlying bill.
  Mr. COFFMAN. Mr. Chairman, I think that if Roger Staubach played for 
the Dallas Cowboys, graduated from the United States Naval Academy, 
served his entire Active-Duty commitment of 5 years before he went to 
play professional sports, this does not eliminate somebody from playing 
professional sports.
  The fact is that we are a nation at war, and it is very competitive 
to get into these academies, and they ought to fulfill their 5-year 
obligation. If they want to play professional sports, there are lots of 
schools they can go to outside of our service academies.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Thomas J. Rooney).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. THOMAS J. ROONEY of Florida. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida will 
be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 7 Offered by Mr. Keating

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 7 
printed in House Report 115-217.
  Mr. KEATING. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

         At the end of subtitle C of title VII, add the following 
     new section:

     SEC. 725. TICK-BORNE DISEASES.

         Using funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or 
     otherwise made available for fiscal year 2018 for the Defense 
     Health program, the Secretary of Defense may authorize grants 
     to medical researchers and universities to support testing 
     ticks for the purpose of improving the detection and 
     diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 440, the gentleman 
from Massachusetts (Mr. Keating) and a Member opposed each will control 
5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KEATING. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer an amendment that would 
authorize the Secretary of Defense to make existing funds available 
from the Defense Health Program for collaboration with medical 
researchers and universities to address the growing number of tick-
borne diseases through research and testing.
  The Army Public Health Center has operated a basic tick testing 
program for nearly 30 years. Through this program, military personnel 
can assess tick identification services through military healthcare 
facilities at no charge.
  However, the tests provided by this program are limited to only six 
tick-borne diseases, whereas the Centers for Disease Control and the 
Department of Defense have now identified 16 of these tick-borne 
diseases, some of which can be fatal.
  According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 30,000 cases of 
Lyme disease are reported each year. However, additional CDC research 
reveals the actual number of diagnoses could be as high as 300,000. 
And, alarmingly, nearly 20 percent of the people surveyed in areas with 
high incidence of Lyme disease were unaware that the disease was even a 
risk.
  This issue is of particular concern in my region. According to the 
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, my district includes the 
counties with the five highest rates of Lyme disease in the 
Commonwealth, including Barnstable County, home of Joint Base Cape Cod.
  However, my region is not alone on this issue. Ticks carrying 
dangerous diseases can be found in all corners of the continental 
United States, from Massachusetts in the north to Texas in the south, 
from Pennsylvania in the east to California in the west. Our 
servicemembers are especially vulnerable as they frequently are exposed 
to heavily tick-infested areas.
  For example, Powassan. The Powassan virus is a serious tick-borne 
illness known to cause encephalitis, meningitis, and even death. 
Multiple cases of Powassan have already been reported in Massachusetts 
this year, yet the DOD tick testing program does not even include a 
test for Powassan in their regimen.
  Mr. Chair, I realize there is a concern that amendments to this 
legislation might lead to a Defense Health Program pushed beyond its 
capacity. That is not the case here. The military tick testing program 
already exists. This amendment would necessarily help the Department of 
Defense modernize the existing program to meet new challenges in the 
field of tick-borne diseases.
  Indeed, the DOD's own website informs us that emerging tick-borne 
diseases are being discovered all the time and that yearly cases of 
known tick-borne diseases have been increasing steadily for years. We 
are fortunate to have experts already working to combat the rise in 
tick-borne disease.
  My amendment would facilitate collaboration among these experts in 
DOD to test more tick samples for more diseases, meet the growing needs 
of our military, and ultimately lead to better healthcare outcomes.
  Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague from Pennsylvania, Mr. Thompson, 
for joining me as a cosponsor in this amendment. Pennsylvania is among 
the States in the mid-Atlantic region experiencing drastic increases in 
the incidence of tick-borne illnesses.
  And the hope is our efforts today on the floor and by the Secretary 
of Defense in the next fiscal year will help save lives.
  Also, I thank Chairman Thornberry for his work on this important 
legislation as well.

[[Page H5799]]

  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to join me in support of this 
amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I might 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I have tremendous respect for the gentleman from 
Massachusetts. He is exactly right, the Department of Defense Medical 
Research Program is already spending money on tick-borne diseases. I 
believe it is about $5 million this year. It was about $5 million last 
year. And as I understand the gentleman's amendment, he would expand 
the number of diseases that they can research.
  I rise to claim the time in opposition, however, to express concern 
about the direction of this program.
  Mr. Chairman, I have a chart that indicates the tremendous growth of 
dollars going into this congressionally directed medical research 
program. It has increased tremendously in recent years, and I would 
like to take just a few moments to read some of the diseases that it is 
researching: ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, autism, bone marrow failure, 
breast cancer, leukemia, muscular dystrophy, epilepsies, food 
allergies, lung cancer, multiple sclerosis. There is a couple here that 
I can't pronounce, so I won't read. Osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, 
Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer, Peer-Reviewed Orthopaedic, prostate 
cancer, spinal cord injuries, of course, tick-borne disease, tubular 
sclerosis, and the list goes on.
  And let me just say I certainly support Chairman Tom Cole's attempts 
to increase funding for NIH and other sorts of medical research through 
the NIH. What I am concerned about is that, increasingly, DOD dollars 
are being spent to research diseases that have a tangential, at best, 
connection with the Department of Defense and our military. And what 
happens is it is taking dollars away from the sorts of injuries and 
diseases that our military does confront. This is a trend that is 
getting worse each year.
  So I don't necessarily oppose the gentleman's amendment. As he points 
out, there is research going on here, but it is a trend I do think we 
have to be cautious about.
  And for that reason, I want to at least raise a warning flag about 
the trend to add to the amount of money and the number of diseases 
which we are looking to the Department of Defense to help research 
diseases which are not related, necessarily, to key functions of the 
Department of Defense.
  So I appreciate the gentleman letting me express that concern, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KEATING. Mr. Chairman, in my earlier remarks, I did associate 
myself with the chairman's concern that the Department of Defense, the 
Defense Health Program could be pushed beyond its capacity. It is very 
important to recognize what he recognized, because if it gets pushed 
too far, it can't accomplish the things that it is working to really 
address.
  In this instance, as he mentioned, I believe I did distinguish the 
fact that this is nearly a three-decade program, and what we are doing 
here is making sure its mission is modernized so it is dealing with 
what is happening in the healthcare field within that area of tick-
borne illnesses.
  So I do appreciate the comments of the chairman, and I think it is 
wise to point that out. I do hope my colleague supports this amendment, 
because I have been able to distinguish that from this trend.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Keating).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 8 
printed in House Report 115-217.
  It is now in order to consider amendment No. 9 printed in House 
Report 115-217.


               Amendment No. 10 Offered by Mrs. Hartzler

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 10 
printed in House Report 115-217.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of subtitle A of title VII, add the following 
     new section:

     SEC. 704. PROHIBITION OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MEDICAL 
                   TREATMENT RELATED TO GENDER TRANSITION.

       Funds available to the Department of Defense may not be 
     used to provide medical treatment (other than mental health 
     treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled 
     to medical care under chapter 55 of title 10, United States 
     Code.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 440, the gentlewoman 
from Missouri (Mrs. Hartzler) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Missouri.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chair, today, North Korea is plotting the next 
ballistic missile test, Russia is threatening the NATO alliance, ISIS 
is spreading evil, and China continues their expansion in the South 
China Sea in defiance of the international community.
  Our military has never been in such high demand, yet our readiness to 
confront these threats is at a dismal level. We must confront these 
challenges by ensuring our defense dollars maximize the military's 
readiness and lethality.
  That is why I am offering an amendment to advance these goals by 
prohibiting taxpayer dollars from funding gender reassignment surgeries 
and related hormone therapy treatment for members of the military and 
their dependants.
  There are many problems with this policy, but funding transition 
surgeries with tax dollars is especially problematic because the 
surgery is very costly. Surgical recovery time decreases deployability 
of our soldiers, and there is lack of medical consensus on the 
effectiveness of gender transition treatments.
  Funding transition surgeries means diverting money from other defense 
priorities. Surgical costs alone can top $1.3 billion over the next 10 
years. These resources could fund 13 F-35 aircraft to fight near peer 
adversaries like China and Russia; 14 F-18 Super Hornets to fight ISIS; 
or 8 KC-46 tankers needed for long-range strike missions to North 
Korea.
  Our spending priorities must match our threat mitigation priorities. 
We must have soldiers who can deploy if called upon.
  Military members undergoing transition surgery are nondeployable for 
up to 267 days. Similarly, regular hormone treatments renders 
individuals nondeployable into the future. It makes no sense to create 
soldiers who are unable to fight and win our Nation's wars, and it is 
unfair to nontransitioned individuals who must leave their families and 
deploy in their place.
  For all these reasons, Mr. Chair, I offer this amendment as a 
responsible member of the House Armed Services Committee who has 
studied the threats and heard from each servicemember about the need 
for increased funding and readiness.

                              {time}  1645

  Prohibiting funding for transition surgery is the right policy for 
our military, our budget, and it is the right policy for the American 
taxpayer.
  I ask my colleagues to support this amendment, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Chair, I claim the time in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Chair, I yield myself 1 minute.
  Mr. Chair, this amendment goes backwards in an area where we have 
gone forward. This amendment takes us in the wrong direction. For 
years, we have had people serving in the military who are openly gay, 
lesbian, and transgender, and they have served, and served this country 
well.
  For a lot of years, we did not allow them to do so openly. We finally 
repealed that for lesbians and gays, and now, just last year, we had 
the Department of Defense say we are going to do the same thing for 
transgender. So the people who have been fighting and protecting our 
country will be allowed to do so openly. It does not harm readiness at 
all. These people have served in

[[Page H5800]]

the military, served it honorably, and served it well.
  As far as the costs, the military pays for people who have 
addictions, who have alcoholism, who smoke. They pay for a lot of 
things that are contained within the military.
  This amendment would target one specific group, and very unfairly. 
And most unfairly, it wouldn't just, first of all, target transgender 
surgery, it would target some of the hormone drugs, which cost, like, 
$100 a year, cost absolutely virtually nothing to the military.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Chair, I yield myself an additional 30 
seconds.
  Most importantly, this wouldn't just impact transgender people who 
are serving, it would impact their children. If you are serving in the 
military and you happen to have a child who is transgender, you would 
now be cut off from this military service. All these other things, 
alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking, all manner of different problems 
would be served, but transgender people would be targeted to not be 
allowed to provide healthcare for their children.
  This isn't going to help readiness. This is a social agenda that has 
no business being in the Defense bill. We didn't have it in committee, 
we shouldn't have it here on the floor.
  Let's focus on the threats that Mrs. Hartzler talked about, not make 
this into a social agenda based on the ignorance of what transgender 
truly is.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chair, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  First of all, this does not preclude service by the transgendered. 
This simply says that we are not going to have taxpayers pay for this 
surgery.
  This is different than somebody going in and having a cold, because 
this is a major surgery that requires a medical diagnosis that is going 
to render someone nondeployable. Just the recovery from the surgery 
alone is 287 days, and then the ongoing treatment precludes them from 
certain abilities to serve overseas.
  So we need to take a look at all of this and make sure that we are 
addressing the threats, and we are spending every dollar that we can to 
go after the threats.
  Mr. Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Perry), Army National Guard Brigadier.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chair, I thank Mrs. Hartzler, my good friend, for 
offering this amendment.
  Mr. Chair, we are $20 trillion in debt. Taxpayers, by my figures, are 
projected to pay $3.7 billion over the next 10 years for sex 
reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for those in the military who 
wish to transition from one sex to another. The total cost includes the 
manpower lost while the individual transitions, which can take up to a 
year or longer, depending on complications.
  Sex reassignment patients also require specialized medicine following 
the procedure. And I find that interesting, in the face of the fact I 
just had a young gentleman come to my office who wants to serve, but he 
can't serve, because he has got a peanut allergy. Right? He can't go 
downrange, because we can't have the medicine downrange, and that 
doesn't cost the taxpayers anything, but we are going to spend $3.7 
billion over the next 10 years on sex reassignment surgery as opposed 
to buying aircraft and body armor and the things that warfighters need 
to be successful in defending the Nation.
  It is really just a priority issue. With limited defense resources 
and the current state of our Armed Forces, we must prioritize 
increasing our strength and readiness.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Chair, there is no study whatsoever that 
shows this is going to cost $3.7 billion. And this amendment is not 
just about transgender surgery, it is about any treatment. Let's keep 
that in mind.
  Mr. Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. 
Pelosi), the distinguished minority leader.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Chair, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
thank him for his extraordinary leadership as our ranking member on the 
Armed Services Committee. I thank him for his leadership in trying to 
help define what our security mission is so that we have the resources 
that are necessary to honor our oath of office to protect and defend.
  Mr. Chair, I thank Mr. Thornberry as well for his leadership in the 
defense of our country. The bipartisanship in defending our country is 
something that we value, and any interference with that is unfortunate.
  It takes a special kind of person, my colleagues, who steps forward 
to serve in the U.S. military. They are men and women of courage, of 
strength, and of patriotism, who shoulder the burden of defending 
our liberties so that the rest of us can live in security and freedom.

  We owe these heroes an immense debt, a solemn responsibility to do 
everything we can to defend those who are risking and giving their 
lives for the United States of America.
  The Defense bill before us today should be about honoring that 
responsibility, protecting those who protect our national security; 
instead, here we are considering a Republican amendment purpose-built 
to attack the health and dignity of thousands of men and women serving 
with honor and courage today.
  Make no mistake, the effect and the intent of this unjust and mean-
spirited amendment is to ban patriotic Americans from serving our 
country. It is designed to drum transgender servicemembers out of the 
military.
  Instead of protecting the men and women who risk their lives to 
defend our freedoms, they are fighting to rip away the healthcare of 
thousands of brave servicemembers.
  The integration of openly transgender servicemembers into our Armed 
Forces is the unfinished work of the bipartisan--and I commend our 
colleagues--efforts to repeal the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell 
policy.
  I call upon my Republican colleagues that you immediately withdraw 
this cruel, discriminatory, and appalling amendment.
  If not, I call upon all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to 
defeat this amendment, prevent this assault on transgender 
servicemembers, and get us back to the subject at hand, which is the 
defense of our country, which the distinguished chairman, Mr. 
Thornberry, and ranking member have served this Congress and our 
country so well in doing.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chair, I yield myself 15 seconds.
  Mr. Chair, I just want to point out that this amendment doesn't 
address any of the full healthcare that every soldier is entitled to; 
it just says that in this particular instance, we are not going to pay 
for the gender reassignment surgeries and related hormone treatment. 
And there is a high cost for it, there is a reason for doing it, and 
that is why we are addressing that today.
  Mr. Chair, how much time do I have left?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman has 45 seconds remaining.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chair, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Hunter).
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Chair, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me time.
  Mr. Chair, I appreciate the minority leader's words. I did three 
tours as a U.S. marine.
  This is the silliest opposition to this amendment that I have ever 
heard. You are joining the U.S. military. Choose what gender you are 
before you join. We are not saying that transgender people can't serve, 
but if you are going to take the big step of serving in the U.S. 
military, figure out whether you are a man or a woman before you join 
up.
  We are not stopping transgender people from joining. We are saying 
taxpayers in this country right now are not going to foot the bill for 
it.
  This is a silly thing. It is time to put this to bed. I support the 
gentlewoman's amendment. Let's Make America Great Again.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Chair, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Sean Patrick Maloney).
  Mr. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY of New York. Mr. Chair, I would note to my 
colleague from California that perhaps the members of their family are 
supposed to decide on all their future medical care, because this 
relates to their healthcare, and not just to the servicemembers'.

[[Page H5801]]

  Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to the Hartzler amendment. No 
one in the Pentagon has called for this. In fact, we know right now 
Secretary of Defense Mattis is running a review of this issue. He does 
not need to be micromanaged by Members of this body to advance their 
own agenda.
  Until last night, all of us had worked in good faith across the aisle 
to keep this important Defense bill free from political booby traps and 
land mines, but if you are feeling deja vu, well, don't worry, because 
I am, too. You may remember that I stood here last year and fought 
against a similar amendment, again to the Defense bill. That amendment 
would have allowed Federal contractors to fire LGBT workers under the 
pretense of religious observance.
  I told you then that my dad was a disabled veteran, that he taught me 
to support and honor the military, but also to speak the truth and know 
the difference between right and wrong.
  I told you that I had never voted against the Defense bill, and I 
never imagined I would. And then, after a lot of twists and turns, 43 
of our Republican colleagues joined with us to vote down that 
discriminatory amendment, and I want to publicly thank them for their 
courage.
  Well, here we go again. The Hartzler amendment would single out and 
rob a small group of military servicemembers and their families of 
their healthcare merely because these folks or members of their family 
experience gender a little differently.
  Mr. Chair, it is that simple. We are talking about Americans who 
right now are risking their lives to keep us safe, and we should not 
undermine their military service.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Chair, I yield the balance of my time to 
the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the distinguished minority 
whip.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chair, this amendment is not about defense, this 
amendment is about politics, and I congratulate Chairman Thornberry for 
urging that this amendment not be added to the bill in committee.
  We ought to defeat this amendment. It has one purpose, and one 
purpose only: to politically denigrate some of our fellow citizens, to 
treat them less equally than we would want to be treated.
  Let us not do that. Let us not sink to that level. We are better than 
that. We are representative of all of the people.
  Reject this amendment. Get on with the defense of this country and 
its values.
  Mr. Chair, I rise in very strong opposition to this amendment.
  It is discriminatory.
  It is disparaging to our military--to all our men and women in 
uniform.
  And it hinders our armed forces from carrying out their mission of 
keeping our country safe.
  It is appalling that the Rules Committee would even make this 
amendment in order, the first ever to come to this floor that directly 
takes away the rights of transgender Americans.
  For those transgender Americans currently serving, it would deny them 
health care services open to other service-members.
  For those thinking of enlisting, it would be a powerful deterrent, 
keeping talented, driven, and dedicated men and women from serving.
  I hope my colleagues in both parties who are ashamed that this 
amendment has reached the floor will join me in voting to defeat it.
  Mr. SMITH OF Washington. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chair, this is about addressing Korea, Russia, 
ISIS. We need every defense dollar to go to meeting those threats, not 
anything else, and we need to make sure our troops are ready and can be 
deployed.
  Mr. Chair, I ask my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the Hartzler 
Amendment.
  Transgender individuals are part of the fabric of America and have 
always been part of our military, whether we have historically 
acknowledged them or not. Selectively denying healthcare to trans 
servicemembers, which is available to other members of the military, 
only serves to alienate, undermine, disrespect and ultimately harm 
those serving our country.
  This amendment is a shameful and targeted attempt to enact a 
conservative agenda that singles out transgender individuals. It 
circumvents, our military's doctors and uses the denial of healthcare 
to force currently serving, and future transgender members of our armed 
services from their posts entirely.
  Transition related care is considered medically necessary by nearly 
every major medical association. It should not need to be said that 
when a military physician determines that hormones, surgery or other 
transition related care is necessary, we must treat it as we would any 
other medical care. Anything less is an abdication of our duty to 
provide healthcare to those who have chosen to serve our country.
  Using finances to tie the hands of our military's medical 
professionals to target transgender individuals demonstrates an 
appalling lack of respect for our servicemembers, their doctors and the 
democratic ideals of equality our country was founded on. I urge my 
colleagues to support our servicemembers by opposing this amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. Hartzler).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Missouri 
will be postponed.
  Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Chair, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Perry) having assumed the chair, Mr. Collins of Georgia, Acting Chair 
of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported 
that that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 
2810) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military 
activities of the Department of Defense and for military construction, 
to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for 
other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.

                          ____________________