(House of Representatives - February 14, 2013)

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[Pages H537-H541]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                       PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS MESSAGE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2013, the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Ellison) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. ELLISON. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. Speaker, my name is Congressman Keith Ellison, and I would like 
to open up by talking about the progressive message. The progressive 
message is the message articulated by the Progressive Caucus, and the 
Progressive Caucus is that organization within this body, within this 
Congress, that is here to unapologetically say that all Americans 
should have the right to go to the doctor and get basic health care in 
this richest country in the history of the world. All Americans should 
have civil and equal rights and be treated fairly based on whatever 
color, whatever their sexual preference might be, whatever nation they 
might be from.
  We're the ones who say let's have comprehensive immigration reform 
with a path towards citizenship, and let's absolutely pass the DREAM 
Act. The Progressive Caucus is that caucus that boldly and 
unapologetically says Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are great 
programs; and we need to protect them not only for today's seniors but 
for tomorrow's seniors, too.
  I would like to start out, Mr. Speaker, by talking a little bit, as I 
talk about the progressive message, starting out with just a few 
observations about the State of the Union speech. I personally thought 
the State of the Union speech was awesome. I thought President Obama 
was great, and I was really proud of President Obama as he delivered 
that State of the Union speech in this very Chamber.
  This Chamber was full of dignitaries from all over the world--
ambassadors, Senators, the United States Supreme Court. And in front of 
them, in front of the American people, President Obama specifically 
identified 24 Americans who joined Members of Congress as their guests. 
And these folks who President Obama identified were victims of gun 
violence. I was so proud to see President Obama specifically give these 
folks encouragement to keep on speaking out, continue to tell their 
story so that we can arrive at a place where the U.S. Congress will be 
on their side to bring forth sensible, sane gun violence prevention.
  You know, President Obama's wife, our First Lady, Michelle Obama, had 
seated next to her her own guest, parents of young Hadiya Pendleton 
whose life was taken away from her. She was shot down in Chicago. But 
only a few weeks before, she had been performing for her country at the 
President's inauguration.
  And so whether it was ordinary Members of Congress who just brought 
different people, or it was the President or the First Lady, the people 
who can speak most eloquently about the need for sane, sensible gun 
violence reform were here, Mr. Speaker. They were here and were present 
in this gallery so they could be a witness and a presence on the need.
  And what did President Obama say? He said give us a vote. He said 
give us a vote. Now, I say to the Republican House majority: Why are 
you afraid of a vote? Let's have a vote. Let's count who is for sane, 
sensible gun violence prevention and who is not; who is for closing 
loopholes that allow people to escape background checks; and who's for 
filling up background checks and making sure that anybody who gets a 
firearm, an instrument that is dangerous by any account, at least we 
know that this person is sane and legally qualified to have one. Let's 
see. Let's have a vote. I don't think that anyone should be afraid of 
the vote, because if you are proud to say, no, we don't want any 
background checks, then stand up and say that. Be on Mr. LaPierre's 
side of the NRA. But if you believe we need to make sure that guns stay 
out of the wrong hands, that's a vote that the American people should 
have, and I was so proud that the President made that clear.
  I personally think that the President was right in saying give us a 
vote when it comes to things like high-capacity magazines. You know, 
these high-capacity magazines, designed for the military, don't have 
any place on our streets. And the people who want to stand up and 
defend them, let them defend them. Let them defend them right here on 
the floor if they have the audacity to do so. And let us talk about 
millions of Americans, over the course of years, who have been 
tragically injured and hurt with bad gun policy.
  Let us talk about the victims in Aurora who were shot by somebody 
with a high-capacity clip. Let us talk about people who were victims in 
Milwaukee. Let us give the message about the folks who were shot down 
in Tucson by somebody with a high-capacity clip.
  The fact is that the President said give us a vote, and I agree 100 
percent. We need a vote on these sane, sensible gun reforms.
  I'm going to leave this topic now, Mr. Speaker; but I do want to just 
make mention of my own guest. My own guest was a young man named Sami 
Rahamin. Sami, 17 years old, a brilliant young man, but really just a 
regular teenager, he happened to be on a bus going to Madison, 
Wisconsin, when he saw a message come across his phone which said there 
was a shooting in what he knew was his neighborhood.
  He texted back to his father and said: Dad, be careful because 
there's supposedly a shooting in the neighborhood. But the text never 
came back because one of the victims of that shooting was Sami's dad.

[[Page H538]]

  Ruvin Rahamin was an immigrant to the United States. He came to the 
United States in search of the American Dream, but he died the American 
nightmare because a person who is mentally unsound, mentally unstable, 
easy access to the most dangerous weapons came to a work site and shot 
down five people, including Ruvin who was an awesome guy, a wonderful 
constituent of mine. He's missed. But because of his son carrying on 
the legacy, he will never be forgotten because Sami is telling the 
story about how much we need sane, sensible gun prevention measures.
  So enough about the gun issue. The State of the Union speech was 
awesome for another reason, which I definitely want to make note of, 
and that is the fact that he went right to the very heart of what I 
believe is the defining issue of our time, and that is income and 
wealth equality in our country. Our country, this is the land of 
opportunity. And we know that some people are rich and some people are 
middle class and some people are poor. We believe we're a country that 
can provide a ladder up for anybody who wants to work hard. And for 
those people who are too sick to work or too aged to work or too young 
to work, we believe in the social safety net to take care of them.

                              {time}  1650

  We believe in income and economic mobility in America. And yet the 
President put his finger right on it when he talked about how we've 
seen people making $14,000 a year working full time; but because they 
are paid so little, they are still in poverty.
  I was so proud the President made this point. It's a point that needs 
to be made. There are people working in restaurants, people who are 
cleaning up, people in our hospitals, people who are doing the really 
tough jobs. I'm talking about the jobs where you've got to take a 
shower after you get off work, not take a shower going to work, you've 
got to take one when you're done with your day's work because you've 
been working hard, you've been building things, you've been maybe 
cleaning up things, you've been lifting people, you've been doing the 
hard work. And many of these folks are scraping by on really low wages. 
The President clearly has a heart for these folks and wants to see them 
come up. And I was glad the President was able to do that.
  Mr. Speaker, you should know that over the past 30 years income for 
the average American has stayed flat, while the richest 1 percent of 
Americans have seen their income more than triple. This has not 
happened by accident. It has been a set of policies put in place 
through the Tax Code, through trade policy, through the loss of 
manufacturing, and a number of things.
  There's been a number of policies that have gotten us to this place, 
but there's been one philosophy, and the philosophy is simply this: if 
we give a lot of money to the richest Americans, maybe they will take 
their excess wealth and put that into plant and equipment and hire 
  This is known as supply-side economics. We don't want to have any 
regulations on them. They can do what they want with the water, they 
can do what they want with the meat, they can do what they want with 
the air. No regulations or against regulations. We don't want to tax 
them. They don't have to pay for our roads, our bridges, our schools; 
they don't have to do anything like that. They get to keep all this 
money. And it's all under the assumption that they will take this money 
that they amass and put it into plant and equipment and hire people.
  Well, this philosophy has proven to have failed; this philosophy has 
caused income inequality in America. And the President correctly said 
that we have got to do something to create more economic viability for 
the poor and middle class in America. I was so happy to see him do it.
  Mr. Speaker, you should know, the President didn't say this, but it's 
absolutely true, that the wealth of the richest 1 percent is over 225 
times larger than the average household, higher than it has ever been, 
higher than it has ever been.
  Mr. Speaker, we look back at the Gilded Age and we think, oh, boy, 
wasn't income inequality bad way back then. Well, it's worse now. We've 
got to do something about it, and our President knows that. I am very 
pleased to see that. And the President, while he gave a message of 
economic hope and understanding to the working and middle classes of 
our country, the politician who gave the alternative, Mr. Marco Rubio, 
when he wasn't getting glasses of water in the middle of his speech, he 
just really articulated the same old thing: money for the rich, less 
for everybody else.
  Mr. Speaker, we cannot continue to give tax breaks to millionaires 
and billionaires while cutting investments that the middle class relies 
on, while cutting programs that help local governments keep on police, 
keep on teachers, keep on people who fix our roads and firefighters. We 
cannot cut the Federal workforce, as is about to happen--I'll talk 
about sequester in a little while--and we cannot make these economic 
decisions and hope to have a strong economy.
  We've got to invest in our roads, our bridges, our grids, our 
electrical power grids in transit to move people around quickly. We've 
got to make these investments. We've got to invest in research; we've 
got to invest in our schools. This is what's going to make America a 
strong country. This is what's going to put more people to work. More 
people paying taxes means we're going to have more taxes, and that will 
help us lower the deficit.
  The Republicans have it all wrong. They think that by slashing the 
Federal Government, then that's going to make our economy better. All 
it's going to do is create a situation where you've got more people out 
of work, fewer people paying taxes, fewer people putting in tax 
revenue, and then the deficit will go up.
  I'm going talk about the sequester in a moment; but I just want to 
say, as I highlight a few things about the State of the Union speech, 
how important I thought the President's remarks were.
  Let me turn for a moment--another thing about the State of the Union 
speech--Mr. Speaker, on the issue of Social Security, Medicare and 
Medicaid. First of all, I want to encourage people to not refer to 
these programs as entitlements. I don't even like doing it myself right 

  What they really are is social insurance. You know how insurance 
works. You pay a premium and then when you need it, you can use it. 
Well, you get 6 percent taken out of your paycheck every week or two 
weeks or a month or however often you get paid. You're paying into 
Social Security, you're paying into Medicare, you're paying into 
  The bottom line is these social insurance programs are not some 
giveaway; they're not welfare. They are important social insurance 
programs to provide income security for people when they are aged, when 
they are too ill to work and disabled, or when their parents die and 
they need support. That's what these programs are about.
  I'm glad that we are here to talk about how we preserve these 
programs. The President mentioned it. He said he wanted to strengthen 
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for generations to come. I 
quite agree with this. He said:

       But any reform should come through protecting these 
     programs, not just cutting these programs to finance tax cuts 
     for the wealthy.

  I believe that we should not have any benefit cuts to these programs. 
We don't need to. There's plenty of places to cut, plenty of loopholes 
to close, and we can get money elsewhere. But I'm glad the President 
made mention of the program.
  I also want to mention, Mr. Speaker, that one of the places we can 
find savings for social insurance programs is we need to allow Medicare 
part D to negotiate lower drug prices. Medicare part D is a 
prescription drug benefit that the Republicans negotiated and passed in 
2003. This particular program put into law that there could be no 
negotiation of drug prices. This has made the program more expensive. 
About $158 billion would be attainable as savings if we were allowed 
  The President also said we're going to get out of Afghanistan. I 
think this is great. The President announced that we would bring 34,000 
troops home from Afghanistan by this time next year. That's fantastic. 
My own son is a member of the U.S. Military. I'm very proud of that. I 
actually don't want to see

[[Page H539]]

him deployed to Afghanistan. I want to see him in a place where he can 
defend this Nation, as he wants to do. I think that it's time for us to 
go home.
  The President didn't say we're going to abandon Afghanistan. We will 
be there diplomatically, we will be there training their soldiers, but 
sovereignty means that you protect yourself. It's time for the Afghan 
people who want to be sovereign to take responsibility for their own 
  I want to turn now to the subject of immigration. I think right now, 
and I think the President made clear, that we may be at a point, and I 
pray that we are, where comprehensive immigration reform is within the 
reach of Congress to pass.
  I'm proud to be joined by my good friend Congressman Jared Polis of 
Colorado. This is an important issue to you, Congressman, and I want to 
yield to you to share your thoughts on immigration.
  Mr. POLIS. I thank the gentleman from Minnesota.
  Mr. Speaker, it's common sense to most Americans. We have upwards of 
10, 12, 14 million people here illegally in this country. Many of them 
are members of our communities, many of their kids are Americans, go to 
school with their fellow Americans or on the football team or 
cheerleaders, are productive in every way. And yet every day our 
government through its current policies tears families apart; absolute 
heartbreaking tragedies where a mother is torn from her American 
daughter, placed in detention, frequently kicked out of this country at 
a cost to taxpayers of tens of thousands of dollars, all over a broken 

                              {time}  1700

  Now it's important to educate people about the difference. We do have 
a group of people that are in detention that are called criminal 
aliens. These are people who are here illegally and committed crimes. 
It could be robbery. Maybe they're in a gang or dealing drugs. There's 
no disagreement among liberals and conservatives and people of all ilks 
that, of course, there needs to be detentions where appropriate and 
where there are criminal penalties in place and, of course, there 
should be expulsions from the country in that regard. In fact, many of 
us argue that by sweeping up many of the people whose only violation is 
a civil violation, who otherwise have been following our laws, in that 
sweep we are actually limiting our enforcement ability to go after real 
criminals who are causing harm in our community.
  That happens in two ways. One, through the limited law enforcement 
resources. When we divert those resources to taking mothers away from 
daughters, fathers away from sons who are productive members of 
society, when we divert the resources to that, it means they're going 
off of some other beat. It means they're going off of keeping our 
streets safe. It means they're going away from looking at white collar 
crime and other areas that need to be investigated in these fiscally 
restrained times with limited budgets.
  The second reason is it builds an atmosphere of distrust in our 
immigrant communities. How much unreported crime occurs because, in 
many cases, the victims of those crimes could be spouses that are 
abused, it could be people that are robbed or ripped off by 
unscrupulous scam artists and are frequently afraid to report that 
crime because they are afraid that the very same agency that they're 
supposed to trust to report that crime to could in fact be in league 
with another government agency that wants to deport them. And that's 
the problem with 287(g) and some of the other information-sharing 
  For community policing to work, it's critical to have the trust and 
support of the community. And by the way, if these criminals go 
unprosecuted in our community and unpenalized for taking advantage of 
somebody, and that is not being reported, their next victim very well 
could be an American. Their next victim very well could be your family. 
It could be my family. And that's why we all have an interest in 
community policing, in law enforcement, as well as public health, to 
make sure that people are inoculated and treated early for diseases, 
regardless of their status.
  Now the solution is not to have this large population here illegally. 
Whenever we're talking about this enforcement, it's tough. There's no 
right answer. The right answer is comprehensive immigration reform. 
Let's find a way where the people that we need here to have critical 
jobs in our economy, that have families, that are in our community, 
that have kids that are American and going to school and doing well 
every day, have a way and paperwork to show that they can be here.
  Now that doesn't mean in comprehensive immigration reform that 
anybody gets citizenship. And I want to be clear about this, because 
frequently this false specter of somehow granting citizenship to 11 
million people is raised. Comprehensive immigration reform in any 
version doesn't give citizenship to anybody. Not one person, not a 
thousand people, not a million people. Zero people. In fact, under all 
the versions that are being talked about of comprehensive immigration 
reform, anybody who's here illegally would have to get right with the 
law and would go to the back of the line with regard to applying for 
citizenship some day, if they're eligible. To be eligible, they'll have 
to follow the laws of our country for many years. They'll have to learn 
English. They'll have to take a test.
  Yes, some day it's possible that some immigrants will become 
citizens. It's also possible and likely that many will choose never to. 
They might work here for a number of years and return to another 
country. And that's fine. But it's critical that there is at least the 
ability to get right with the law. It's very frustrating when people 
say, Why don't they get in line today? Because it's a nonexistent line. 
Comprehensive immigration reform will create the line that people will 
then get into and create an immigration system that is in touch with 
reality in this country, in touch with a pro-growth agenda, in touch 
with an agenda that will make our country prosperous, that will conform 
our treatment of our neighbors to our values as Americans, the same 
values that extended a welcome to my ancestors and yours when they came 
to these shores and helped their, in my case, grandchildren and great 
grandchildren serve in this great body.
  So, too, we need to assure that our values are represented in our 
immigration system. And whether one is on the left or the right, it is 
clear that today's disaster of an immigration system is not reflective 
of our value as Americans--our value as Americans not to tear families 
apart, our values as Americans to ensure that if you work hard and you 
play by the rules, you can get ahead in this country. You can succeed 
in this country. The value of encouraging civic participation is 
absolutely critical.

  So this is a unique opportunity, a unique moment. It's a bipartisan 
approach, as it has to be. This is not a Democratic issue or a 
Republican issue. Immigration reform is an American issue, as it always 
has been a Nation of immigrants, a Nation of laws. And we can conform 
those two together so that we can fulfill our destiny in a way that 
honors the rule of law and honors the role of immigrants in creating 
our great country.
  Mr. ELLISON. I do appreciate the gentleman from Colorado. Congressman 
Polis, you have been on the mark on this thing ever since you stepped 
into this body, and there are literally I think millions of people who 
appreciate your advocacy. I just want to mention a few points and then, 
of course, invite you to dive back in.
  The President does have a proposal on immigration reform. It's 
reasonable. It's a commonsense starting point. Republicans and 
Democrats need to find a way, as Congressman Polis just said. But it is 
a clear path toward a legal status for thousands who are already in the 
U.S. working and paying taxes. It's a process for family reunification. 
It's a workable employment verification system with penalties for 
employers who knowingly hire people who are not in status. It is a 
reasonable enforcement.
  But I just want to say this, and I want to invite Congressman Polis 
to react. We've put about $18 billion into border issues so far. One of 
the real things about comprehensive immigration reform is, we hear 
people talk about the border, the border, the border. Well, President 
Obama has done tons on the border--for some of us, too

[[Page H540]]

much--but the border issue is not the problem. The real problem is the 
other part.
  I yield to the gentleman from Colorado to see if you have any 
thoughts about this matter.
  Mr. POLIS. Another thing that's important for Americans to understand 
about how 11 million people got here without paperwork and how this 
continues to occur is that more than half of the population that lives 
and works here illegally didn't sneak across a border. They came here 
legally. They came here as a tourist, they came with a visa. They 
stayed illegally and worked illegally. So, again, even if you had 100 
percent security at the border--and, by the way, that's certainly a 
valid goal--but you're never going to have 100 percent. But even if you 
had 100 percent, you would still have a large flow of people to this 
country illegally because it's not that hard to get a tourism visa, to 
get a student visa, to get some other type of documentation for travel 
that allows you to be here for a month or 3 months and then to outstay 
that and work here illegally.
  So no matter what you do on the border--and, by the way, I think 
absolutely as part of comprehensive immigration reform there will be 
more border security--but no matter what you do on the border, you 
don't address the issue without having a comprehensive approach that 
deals with those already here, that deals with the immigration laws 
going forward so we don't wind up in this same situation again in 10 or 
20 years, to make sure that our immigration laws reflect the real needs 
of our country, the needs of the private sector, the needs of the 
workforce in terms of making sure we have enough people in the service 
industry. Whether it's to pick crops in the field, whether it's to 
staff our high-tech companies with programmers, we need to have an 
America-centric approach to immigration. And while border enforcement 
can certainly be a part of that, no matter how much you have, it 
doesn't even come close to addressing the issue of immigration in this 
country. And that's why, as the President indicated in his speech and 
in his call, as others from both sides of the aisle have indicated, 
it's critical for America to take on the issue of immigration reform 
and pass a comprehensive solution.
  Mr. ELLISON. Thank you, Congressman. I'm going to wrap up in about 5 
minutes or so. But I just want to hit a few things that need to be 
touched on. One is that the Progressive Caucus is very concerned about 
this looming sequestration. Now folks out there this evening, Mr. 
Speaker, might think, sequestration, what is that? Is that like when 
you go on jury duty or something? No. Sequestration is what we're 
calling some really dramatic cuts to Federal spending that are coming 
up in about 2 weeks.

                              {time}  1710

  And now you're thinking, How did we end up here? Here is what 
  In August 2011, the Republicans had taken the majority in that 
session, the first session of the 112th Congress, in January, and they 
started out with an agenda to dramatically reduce the size of 
government. They started out with something called Cut, Cap and 
Balance, and they wanted to cut all kinds of programs. They never 
wanted to touch defense, but they wanted to cut the Federal Government. 
I'm talking about Head Start, Women Infants, and Children nutrition, 
programs that help support State and local governments, for police, 
fire, all kinds of stuff like that, they wanted to cut. And they wanted 
to cut big-time. They wanted to cut Social Security, Medicare, and 
  And so they came forward with this proposal. Now, they knew they 
couldn't get it past the Senate, but they said, Oh, the debt ceiling. 
The debt ceiling, we can use that as a lever to make the Democrats give 
us significant cuts to the Federal budget.
  So what they did, in August 2011, they said that we're going to 
allow--we're not going to raise the debt ceiling. We're going to allow 
the Federal Government to default on previously acquired obligations of 
the United States--so not pay our bills that we already acquired and 
risk our triple A credit rating--if you do not impose dramatic cuts.
  And so what the President did is said, Okay, we're going to give you 
some cuts up front and we'll set up something called the 
supercommittee. Three Democrats from the House, three Republicans from 
the House, three Republicans from the Senate, three Democrats from the 
Senate, we'll call that the supercommittee, and they are going to work 
out a compromise and give us an up-or-down vote on some more cuts. But 
if they don't, then we're going to have this thing called the sequester 
and there will be across-the-board cuts in a dramatic and really 
imposing way.
  The sequester is what we're facing now because the supercommittee 
failed. Now, the supercommittee didn't just fail. What we didn't know 
is that when the Republicans, both House and Senate, appointed their 
members of the supercommittee, all of them had signed a promise to a 
man named Grover Norquist never to raise any taxes. And so what 
happened is that they got on this supercommittee and refused to 
negotiate. Democrats said, We'll do some cuts, but we need some 
revenue. We need to raise some taxes and close some loopholes.
  Republicans said, No way, and Democrats said, Well, wait a minute. So 
you want it all cuts and no raising taxes. They said, That's right, 
we're not going to negotiate with you on this.
  And so the supercommittee failed in its work. When it failed in its 
work, that meant that we were going to deal with sequester, and that's 
where we are now.
  Sequester is going to impose automatic, arbitrary cuts that could lay 
off, according to the Congressional Budget Office, up to about 750,000 
people. There are going to be cuts in domestic spending and cuts to 
military spending. Some of us think that military cuts are warranted. 
Others of us are absolutely concerned about the people who are going to 
be affected by these domestic cuts.
  Let me wrap up. I just want to say that I am concerned that several 
Republicans seem real cavalier about sequester, and you should look at 
the list. The Progressive Caucus' solution is to repeal sequester. What 
we would propose to do with our legislation is to say 50 percent cuts, 
50 percent revenue. We already cut $1.7 trillion in revenue, and then 
last New Year's Eve we got some money in the door through raising taxes 
and now we need to balance to 50-50. This is what we call the Balancing 
  Our bill would bring it to balance by raising money through closing 
loopholes, carried interest, jets and yachts, stuff like that. Oh, 
yeah, you didn't know they could write off their jets and their yachts? 
Oh, yeah, they can. And then put about $300 billion into jobs.
  Let me wrap up by saying the Balancing Act, you can go online and 
look it up. It's a great program. We urge you to support it. In the 
last 1 second, if I may--I've promised my friend 20 minutes and I'm 
messing up right now.
  On February 22, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the 
Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder case. This threatens to take away 
serious voting rights. I'm going to be talking about this, because 
democracy must prevail. We have not reached the point where everybody 
has a fair vote in this country. I don't have the time to elaborate on 
it now, but please be aware that this Shelby County v. Holder is a 
critical issue. The Supreme Court is going to take it up on the 27th of 
February. We need to be aware of that if we want to believe that you 
ought to be able to cast a fair vote in America.
  With that, I am going to yield to the gentleman from Colorado. Thank 
you very much, Congressman.
  Mr. POLIS. I thank the gentleman from Minnesota.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Does the gentleman yield back his time?
  Mr. POLIS. The gentleman from Minnesota yielded to me.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Colorado is recognized.
  Mr. POLIS. I would like to ask the Speaker how much time remains.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Minnesota has 25 minutes 
  Mr. POLIS. And the gentleman has yielded his time.
  Mr. ELLISON. With the understanding that the gentleman will get the 
balance of the time remaining of

[[Page H541]]

my hour, then I will yield the floor back.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Does the gentleman yield back his time?
  Mr. ELLISON. I have a parliamentary inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his inquiry.
  Mr. ELLISON. My inquiry is, if I yield back, does the gentleman from 
Colorado get the balance of the time I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Colorado may serve as the 
designee of the minority leader for the remainder of the hour.
  Mr. ELLISON. And further inquiry, are there 25 minutes left?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The minority hour has 24 minutes remaining.
  Mr. ELLISON. In that case, I yield back the balance of my time.