PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H. RES. 676, AUTHORIZATION TO INITIATE LITIGATION FOR ACTIONS BY THE PRESIDENT; PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 935, REDUCING REGULATORY BURDENS ACT OF 2013; AND...
(House of Representatives - July 30, 2014)

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[Pages H7058-H7070]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H. RES. 676, AUTHORIZATION TO INITIATE 
LITIGATION FOR ACTIONS BY THE PRESIDENT; PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF 
 H.R. 935, REDUCING REGULATORY BURDENS ACT OF 2013; AND PROVIDING FOR 
PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PERIOD FROM AUGUST 1, 2014, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 5, 
                                  2014

  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I 
call up House Resolution 694 and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 694

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order without intervention of any point of order to 
     consider in the House the resolution (H. Res. 676) providing 
     for authority to initiate litigation for actions by the 
     President or other executive branch officials inconsistent 
     with their duties under the Constitution of the United 
     States. The amendment recommended by the Committee on Rules 
     now printed in the resolution shall be considered as adopted. 
     The resolution, as amended, shall be considered as read. The 
     previous question shall be considered as ordered on the 
     resolution, as amended, to adoption without intervening

[[Page H7059]]

     motion or demand for division of the question except one hour 
     of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and 
     ranking minority member of the Committee on Rules.
       Sec. 2.  Upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 935) to 
     amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act 
     and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify 
     Congressional intent regarding the regulation of the use of 
     pesticides in or near navigable waters, and for other 
     purposes. All points of order against consideration of the 
     bill are waived. The bill shall be considered as read. All 
     points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. 
     The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the 
     bill and on any amendment thereto to final passage without 
     intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate equally 
     divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
     member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; 
     and (2) one motion to recommit.
       Sec. 3.  On any legislative day during the period from 
     August 1, 2014, through September 5, 2014,--
        (a) the Journal of the proceedings of the previous day 
     shall be considered as approved; and
       (b) the Chair may at any time declare the House adjourned 
     to meet at a date and time, within the limits of clause 4, 
     section 5, article I of the Constitution, to be announced by 
     the Chair in declaring the adjournment.
       Sec. 4.  The Speaker may appoint Members to perform the 
     duties of the Chair for the duration of the period addressed 
     by section 3 of this resolution as though under clause 8(a) 
     of rule I.
       Sec. 5.  Each day during the period addressed by section 3 
     of this resolution shall not constitute a calendar day for 
     purposes of section 7 of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 
     1546).
       Sec. 6.  Each day during the period addressed by section 3 
     of this resolution shall not constitute a legislative day for 
     purposes of clause 7 of rule XIII.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 
1 hour.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the 
customary 30 minutes to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Slaughter), 
the ranking member, pending which I yield myself such time as I may 
consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is 
for the purpose of debate only.


                             General Leave

  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that Members have 5 
legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, H. Res. 964 provides for consideration of 
H.R. 935, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013.
  On Monday, the House had a full and thorough debate on H.R. 935. 
While the bill did not gain the two-thirds majority necessary to pass 
by suspension, it did receive 253 bipartisan votes.

                              {time}  1245

  It is important we pass this bill in order to reduce the regulatory 
burden that has been placed on the nearly 365,000 pesticide users, and 
this rule allows us to do that.
  The rule also allows the House to consider H. Res. 676.
  This resolution will allow the Speaker to initiate litigation for 
actions by the President--or other executive branch officials--
inconsistent with their duties under the Constitution.
  The fact that we have to sue the President simply to ensure that he 
is working within the constraints of the Constitution, to me, Mr. 
Speaker, is troubling, but that is the situation we are facing.
  While there have always been disagreements between the legislative 
and executive branches about how expansive the President's authority 
is, the Constitution is explicit that Congress writes the laws and the 
President's role is to ``take care'' that those laws are faithfully 
executed. No President may have both powers.
  Our Founding Fathers understood the danger of having a President who 
not only enforced the laws, but made them. An executive with those 
powers would easily infringe on citizens' liberty. Our Founders saw 
this firsthand. That is why they were fleeing to come to this country 
and form this country. They knew the Executive would try to exceed the 
power afforded under the Constitution, even when it is occupied by 
someone who previously taught the limits the Constitution puts on 
Presidential power. That is why they were so careful in delegating 
among the three branches.
  This system of checks and balances has served America so well for so 
long. Now, I am sorry for the civics lesson, but it is clear that some 
on the other side of the aisle have temporarily lost sight of how 
important these checks and balances are to the functioning of this 
House and to the legislative branch in general.
  But that wasn't always the case. When Representative Conyers, for 
instance, was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he remarked:

       We are coequal branch of government, and if our system of 
     checks and balances is going to operate, it is imperative 
     that we understand how the executive branch is enforcing or 
     ignoring the bills that are signed into law.

  Representative Nadler, for his part, cautioned:

       And I hope that anyone who thinks that inquiring into the 
     excesses of the executive branch and into what appears to be 
     a concentrated effort in every different aspect of law to 
     destroy the power of the Congress and the judiciary and to 
     limit our power to protect the liberties of the American 
     people against encroachments by the Executive are a waste of 
     time, I hope they will rethink what they are doing here.

  Mr. Speaker, I read these quotes to illustrate the concern of the 
executive branch overstepping its authority isn't confined to just one 
party or one President. This is a legislative versus executive issue; 
it is not a Democrat versus Republican issue. And, to be frank, the 
legislative branch has been on the losing end of this for quite some 
time.
  But my point is that we shouldn't be so callous or shortsighted as to 
not defend our article I powers simply because the President in 
question happens to belong to one party.
  If we don't take action now, what stops future Presidents--Republican 
or Democrat--from eroding our powers further? Congress, itself, has 
shown little opposition to the harm it has done to the separation of 
powers over the years. That is why it is critical that we take action 
now. This should be a cause that the legislative branch can unite 
around, not divide over.
  Instead, we have Members of Congress standing in applause when the 
President says he will bypass Congress to enact his agenda. Mr. 
Speaker, half of this body stood up in applause. It should be done in 
defiance. Here we have Members of Congress cheering for the President 
for basically saying he is going to eliminate their purpose here.
  This isn't the first President whose actions have raised the alarms 
of an overreaching executive, and it is clear if we do nothing, it will 
not be the last.
  I urge my colleagues to defend our role in government, and to stop 
the assault on the separation of powers.
  Let's finally say to the Executive: ``Enough is enough.'' Let's 
finally say: ``Support the Constitution, support the separation of 
powers, and support this rule.''
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume, and I thank my good friend from Florida for yielding me the 
customary 30 minutes.
  Today, we are taking up the very serious issue of the 
constitutionality of separation of powers, but the rule also covers the 
deregulation of pesticides. I think that should be noted here as well, 
because one is as ridiculous as the other.
  This is a ridiculous lawsuit of one House of Congress seeking to sue 
the President for not implementing a law they have tried everything to 
kill.
  The majority has wasted time, money, and energy on legislative 
proposals designed to distract us from the real problems of the United 
States.
  Instead of tackling climate change, ensuring that college is 
affordable, and modernizing our crumbling infrastructure, the majority 
wants to sue the President for doing his job. The record is clear. This 
has been judged the most recalcitrant and useless Congress in history.
  This lawsuit will be a monumental waste of time, energy, and funds. 
This is a political maneuver timed to peak as Americans go to the polls 
in November for the midterm elections. This lawsuit is a drumbeat 
pushing Members of the Republican Party to impeachment.
  Last week in the Rules Committee, Democrats attempted to amend this 
resolution. In the pursuit of transparency and accountability, we 
offered

[[Page H7060]]

several amendments that addressed the cost of this lawsuit.
  The majority in the Rules Committee voted down every amendment that 
the minority offered. With this closed rule, we have set a new record, 
by the way, for the most closed rules in a single Congress. On the 
committee level, on the House floor, and in the minds of our citizens, 
this is a closed process, a partisan maneuver, and nothing but a 
political messaging opportunity.
  This lawsuit is a gimmick, which even legal scholars of the 
majority's own party say will fail, including the conservative writer 
and former Justice Department official Andrew C. McCarthy. He wrote 
about this lawsuit and said it is:

       A classic case of assuming the pose of meaningful action 
     while in reality doing nothing.

  Democrats in the House and the American people could not agree more.
  The House minority has three main concerns about this lawsuit: first, 
the cost; second, the partisan nature; and third, the lack of legal 
standing and the implications for our constitutional separation of 
powers.
  First, the cost. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which 
not a single Republican voted for, the majority has mounted a Herculean 
effort trying to repeal, dismantle, and discredit it. It seems 
that they will spare no expense attempting to take health care away 
from millions of Americans.

  Not only did they shut down the government to deny Americans health 
care, it took from this economy $24 billion to pay for that shutdown. 
In addition, with over 50 votes on the House floor to undermine the 
Affordable Care Act, the majority has spent more than $79 million on 
that voting effort.
  When the minority of the Rules Committee requested from the majority 
the proximate costs of this lawsuit, we got a response that read: ``A 
lawsuit is a small price to pay.''
  Cost is not a hypothetical question, because there are real 
consequences for our country.
  The minority and the American people still would like to know how 
much will this cost and where will the money come from. We asked 
directly through letters and by offering amendments to the resolution, 
and we have gotten no clear answers.
  What cuts will come from what programs that Americans depend on to 
pay for this ridiculous lawsuit? The majority will spend money on more 
than 13 hearings, 50 briefings, 25,000 pages of documents produced, and 
allocated $3.3 million for a Select Committee on Benghazi. All that 
money for Benghazi, but they won't give us a concrete answer on where 
the funds will originate to pay for the lawsuit.
  In a similar lawsuit, when Republicans defended the discriminatory 
Defense of Marriage Act, they paid their lawyers $520 an hour. I choke 
over that figure. At that rate, we would have paid over $1 million a 
year for a 40-hour workweek. If we are spending that kind of money, we 
ought to do it out in the open, and that amendment was defeated on 
party lines.
  The majority does not intend to make this lawsuit anything but 
another opportunity to attack the President, which leads me to our 
second concern: its partisan nature.
  As I said, no Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act. After 
strenuous efforts to take health care away from millions of Americans, 
the majority plans to file a lawsuit that, if successful, would result 
in the faster implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The 
inconsistency is breathtaking. Let me reiterate that. After not a 
single vote for health care, with over 50 votes to kill it, they are 
suing the President of the United States because he did not implement 
it faster. I don't know if anybody can make sense out of that, but all 
this effort to derail a law that is working. Just 2 days ago, The 
Washington Post reported in an article, titled ``Medicare finances 
improve partly due to ACA, hospital expenses, trustee report says,'' 
that the Affordable Care Act has extended the life of Medicare by 4 
years because of the savings, and that will only get better.
  I would like to insert this article from The Washington Post dated 
July 28, 2014, into the Record.

               [From the Washington Post, July 28, 2014]

Medicare Finances Improve Partly Due to ACA, Hospital Expenses, Trustee 
  Report Says--Outlook for Social Security, However, Remains the Same

                           (By Amy Goldstein)

       Medicare's financial stability has been strengthened by the 
     Affordable Care Act and other forces that have been subduing 
     health-care spending, according to a new official forecast 
     that says the fund covering the program's hospital costs will 
     remain solvent until 2030--four years later than expected a 
     year ago.
       The annual report, issued Monday by trustees overseeing the 
     government's two largest entitlement programs, found little 
     change overall in the finances of Social Security. The 
     trustees warned, however, that the part of Social Security 
     that pays monthly benefits to people with disabilities is 
     especially fragile and, without changes, will start to run 
     short of money for benefit checks in 2016.
       Taken together, the findings provide a nuanced portrait of 
     the fiscal future of these two programs, which act as 
     cornerstones of social insurance--and a buffer against 
     poverty--for older people and other vulnerable Americans. The 
     trustees welcomed the improved financial prospects for 
     Medicare but acknowledged that the underlying reasons are not 
     yet entirely understood. At the same time, they exhorted 
     Congress to take steps to prevent both programs from 
     collapsing in the long term.
       ``Neither Medicare nor Social Security can sustain 
     projected long-run program costs,'' the trustees said in a 
     message accompanying their reports.
       For the past few decades, Democrats and Republicans have 
     fretted about the unsustainability of the Medicare and Social 
     Security programs. They have appointed high-level 
     commissions, proposed legislation and tried to stoke public 
     fears that benefits might not be available for their 
     parents--or themselves. But Congress has not restructured 
     either program to withstand long-term fiscal pressures, and 
     the issue has been absent lately from the agendas of both 
     parties.
       At a news briefing Monday, Cabinet secretaries and two 
     public trustees reiterated the call for Congress to act. 
     ``[We] must make manageable changes now, so we do not have to 
     make drastic changes later,'' Treasury Secretary Jack Lew 
     said.
       ``It is getting very late in the game'' to find a 
     bipartisan consensus, said the trustees' only Republican, 
     Charles P. Blahous III, who worked on Social Security and 
     other economic issues as an aide to President George W. Bush. 
     ``A solution much further delayed is a solution much less 
     likely to occur.''
       Both programs are being strained by the nation's 
     demographics. As more baby boomers reach retirement age, 
     people 65 and older are making up an increasing percentage of 
     the country's population, with proportionally fewer working-
     age Americans chipping in payroll taxes.
       Medicare's finances are facing other pressures, too, 
     including from scientific advances that lead to new treatment 
     and therapies, the report said.
       The trustees' forecast said that the trust fund that pays 
     for hospital care--Medicare Part A--has been strengthened 
     significantly, with the date when it is predicted to start 
     running short of money extended by 14 years since the 
     Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010. The report also 
     predicted that the insurance premiums that older Americans 
     pay for the portion of Medicare that covers doctors' visits 
     and other outpatient care would probably remain the same for 
     a third year in a row.
       Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell 
     said that it is impossible so far to gauge how much of that 
     trust fund's improved fiscal health was due to the health-
     care law as opposed to other changes in the health-care 
     system that are slowing cost increases. She said both had a 
     role. The ACA, for instance, is slowing payments to Medicare 
     Advantage, the part of the program in which older Americans 
     join private health plans, while other provisions focus on 
     curbing hospital readmissions.
       The report said that spending on hospital stays last year 
     was less than expected, although trustees noted that analysts 
     have not determined whether this trend reflected broad 
     economic trends or stemmed from specific changes in the 
     practice of medical care.
       If Medicare is unchanged by 2030, the year it is projected 
     to become insolvent, it would then be able to pay 85 percent 
     of its beneficiaries' hospital bills, a proportion that would 
     slip to 75 percent by 2047, the forecast said.
       For Social Security, the trustees predicted that the 
     program's two separate trust funds will, combined, have 
     enough money to pay all the retirement and disability 
     benefits it owes until 2033, the same time horizon as in the 
     last two annual forecasts. They forecast that Social Security 
     will be able to afford checks for retirees and workers' 
     survivors until 2034--nearly two decades longer than the part 
     of the program that pays disability benefits.
       Social Security's expenditures last year exceeded its 
     income from payroll taxes, as it has each year since 2010, 
     the report says, although interest so far is making up the 
     difference.
       This year, President Obama backed away from an idea he 
     broached in his budget last year to save money for Social 
     Security by changing the basis on which inflation is 
     calculated for the program. But his 2015 budget proposal 
     reprises the idea of charging more for care under Medicare to 
     older Americans who are relatively well-off--an idea that 
     Congress has not touched this year.

[[Page H7061]]

       In calculating Medicare's future finances, the trustees for 
     the first time acknowledged that Congress has each year 
     overridden scheduled reductions in Medicare doctors' fees--
     cuts that, if adopted, would lower payments for doctors' 
     services by 21 percent in 2015. In the latest report, the 
     trustees assumed that such cuts would continue to be waived.
       The trustees noted that their new forecast was released 49 
     years to the week that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 
     law that enacted Medicare, a major component of the Great 
     Society programs of the mid-1960s. Social Security was a 
     response to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
       Last year, Medicare insured 52 million Americans, including 
     43.5 million age 65 and older and nearly 9 million younger 
     people with disabilities. Social Security last year provided 
     benefits to 41 million retired workers and their families, 6 
     million survivors of workers who died, and 11 million 
     working-age people with disabilities.

  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, a recent poll from the Commonwealth Fund 
found 77 percent of people were pleased with their new coverage. 
Republicans themselves have a 74 percent satisfaction rate with the new 
plan that they have bought.
  The House majority is going to spend unknown millions of dollars 
coming from somewhere to stymie a law their own party Members support.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to insert this article from Talking Points 
Memo, citing a survey from July 10, 2014, entitled: ``Survey: Most 
Republicans Who Bought ObamaCare Coverage Like Their Plans,'' into the 
Record.

           [From Talking Points Memo Livewire, July 10, 2014]

Survey: Most Republicans Who Bought Obamacare Coverage Like Their Plans

                            (By Dylan Scott)

       About three-quarters of Republicans who obtained health 
     insurance under Obamacare are satisfied with their coverage, 
     according to a survey published Thursday by the Commonwealth 
     Fund.
       The survey found that 74 percent of Republicans said they 
     were very or somewhat satisfied with their new coverage. 
     Overall, 78 percent of Americans said they were satisfied: 73 
     percent of those enrolled in a private plan and 84 percent of 
     those enrolled in Medicaid.
       There was a minimal difference between the previously 
     uninsured and the previously insured: 79 percent of the 
     former were satisfied and 77 percent of the latter were, 
     according to the survey by the group, which is generally 
     supportive of Obamacare.
       Those surveyed also reported being better off: 58 percent 
     said that they were better off now than they were before, 
     while 9 percent said they were worse off. And 81 percent said 
     that they were optimistic that their new coverage would help 
     them get the health care they need.
       Some of the survey's broader findings, on the overall drop 
     in the number of uninsured and the percentage of Obamacare 
     enrollees who were previously uninsured, generally fell 
     within other findings. It found that the uninsured rate for 
     adults under 65 fell from 20 percent to 15 percent since 
     Obamacare enrollment began. It also found that 63 percent of 
     Obamacare enrollees had been previously uninsured.
       The survey, conducted from April 9 to June 2, covered 4,425 
     U.S. adults.

  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, it is also obvious to the American people 
that this is a political stunt. A recent poll, commissioned by CNN, 
shows 57 percent of us oppose this lawsuit. That is right: the majority 
of this country recognizes it for what it is: a political scheme. They 
recognize that there is no basis for this lawsuit.
  And our third concern is the legitimacy of standing, in the legal 
sense, as well as the constitutional principles that the Supreme Court 
has said limit the kind of disputes that a court can consider.
  Perhaps the best authority for the inadequacy of the majority's claim 
to standing is one of the majority's own witnesses at our Rules 
hearing, the Florida International University College of Law professor, 
Elizabeth Price Foley. Professor Foley wrote in a February article:

       When a President delays or exempts people from a law--so-
     called benevolent suspensions--who has standing to sue him? 
     Generally, no one. Benevolent suspensions of law don't, by 
     definition, create a sufficiently concrete injury for 
     standing.
       That's why, when President Obama delayed various provisions 
     of ObamaCare, his actions cannot be challenged in court. 
     Congress probably can't sue the President, either.

  If the majority's own witness doesn't think that Congress has 
standing, what judge will?
  Finally, one of the most dangerous possible consequences of this 
lawsuit would be an unprecedented transfer of powers from the 
legislative to the judicial branch.
  This concern for maintaining the separation of powers as it was 
written into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers is exactly why 
courts have established what is called the ``political question 
doctrine.''
  It says that courts should stay out of fights between the other two 
branches of the Federal Government and should defer to the other 
branches when the Constitution says the matter to be resolved is the 
responsibility of the President or the Congress. That couldn't be 
clearer, Mr. Speaker.

                              {time}  1300

  The mismanagement of our Nation's funds is deplorable, the partisan 
nature of the stunt is a abundantly clear, and our constitutional 
balance of powers is in jeopardy. I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' 
on the closed rule which, yet again, distorts the legislative process 
and stifles debate even on the most important issues.
  Mr. Speaker, we will ask the House to defeat the previous question. 
If we defeat the previous question, I will offer an amendment to bring 
up four bills: first, the Bring Jobs Home Act; second, the Paycheck 
Fairness Act, which pays women equal to men for the same job; third, a 
bill to increase the minimum wage to $10.10; and finally, the Students 
Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which makes it easier for young people 
to pay their college loans.
  These are the priorities of the American people, and I urge my 
colleagues to vote ``no'' on the previous question and align themselves 
with those priorities instead of this lawsuit, which is surely a waste 
of time, money, and resources.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my 
amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately 
prior to the vote on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Mrs. Miller), chairman of the House Administration Committee.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the rule and the underlying 
resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, the ultimate law of our great Nation is not just the 
important work that we undertake here in the House. Above all else, it 
is the Constitution that we all swear to preserve, protect, and defend. 
Above everything, it is the Constitution.
  The first words of the Constitution, article I, section 1, are the 
following:

       All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a 
     Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a 
     Senate and a House of Representatives.

  It doesn't just say ``some.'' It says all legislative powers are 
vested in the Congress of the United States. No other entity of our 
Federal Government has the power to write law, not the executive branch 
or the judicial branch--only Congress.
  Article I, section 7 states the following:

       Every bill which shall have passed the House of 
     Representatives and the Senate shall, before it becomes a 
     law, be presented to the President of the United States; if 
     he approves, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return 
     it.

  So if he approves, it shall become law. If not, he vetoes the law and 
sends it back to Congress. Nowhere is the President given the authority 
to rewrite the law on his own.
  Article II, section 3 places the following responsibilities with the 
President:

       He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

  Mr. Speaker, this resolution asks the third branch of government, the 
judicial branch, to solve problems arising from the President's failure 
to faithfully execute the law and, specifically, aspects of the 
Affordable Care Act, as he is required in article II, section 3 and to 
have exercised power expressly given to Congress to write the law under 
article I.
  Mr. Speaker, the Founders, in their genius, put in place this system 
of checks and balances for a very, very important purpose, which is to 
make certain that no one person could both impose and then enforce the 
law--because that type of action amounts to

[[Page H7062]]

tyranny, Mr. Speaker. In short, we have no king in this Nation. In 
America, we have a President. We do not have a king.
  Mr. Speaker, as a representative of the people of the 10th District 
of Michigan and someone who is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend 
the Constitution, I believe strongly that I have a responsibility to 
support this resolution, so that the courts can affirm that legislative 
power is vested in this House--the people's House--and not in the White 
House.
  As the chairman of the Committee on House Administration, I will have 
the responsibility to verify that any contracts with those who will 
litigate this case comport with the rules of the House. That is a 
responsibility I take very, very seriously.
  As such, many on the minority side have asked how much this will 
cost. My answer is that we don't know yet because no contracts have 
been negotiated. We don't know how long such litigation will take to 
conclude, but the questions I would ask are: What price do you put on 
the adherence to the rule of law? What price do you place on the 
continuation of our system of checks and balances? What price do you 
put on the Constitution of the United States? My answer to each is: 
priceless, Mr. Speaker.
  I am certain that this process will move forward with due diligence, 
will be conducted within the rules of this House, and it is my firm 
hope that in the end the courts will uphold the constitutional 
principles that are the bedrock upon which our great Nation has been 
built.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern), my colleague on the 
Committee on Rules.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, it is important that we remember why we 
are here today. We are here today not because of the majority's 
commitment to the rule of law, but because of politics. We are here 
because the Republican leadership of this House is trying desperately 
to placate the far rightwing of their base.
  They are trying to placate a vocal and organized faction that refuses 
to accept the fact that the American people elected Barack Obama twice 
as President of the United States. They are birthers and Tea Partiers 
and minutemen militia members and supporters of nullification, but here 
is the problem: they will never, ever, ever be satisfied.
  Listen to this finding from a poll taken just this month: 41 percent 
of Republicans surveyed believe that President Obama is not really an 
American citizen. That is percent. That is the base of the modern-day 
Republican Party, and it is ugly. If you are really concerned about the 
balance of power between the executive branch and the Congress, there 
are ways to address it.
  Just last week, I worked with the Republican and Democratic 
leadership of the House and of the Foreign Affairs Committee to 
reaffirm the proper role of Congress in matters of war and peace. I 
brought a resolution to the floor under the rules of the House, and it 
passed by a vote of 370-40. That is the way we should do our work 
around here, not this nonsense about lawsuits.
  It is the same with the Affordable Care Act. I know my Republican 
friends are devastated that the bill they hate so much is actually 
working. Millions of people who didn't have health insurance are now 
covered. Millions of people can now get preventive care. Millions of 
young adults can now stay on their family's insurance plan.
  Being a woman is no longer considered a preexisting condition. 
Insurance companies can no longer discriminate against the sick, and as 
we learned just yesterday, the Affordable Care Act has already helped 
to extend the life of the Medicare trust fund by 4 years.
  The entire Republican majority in this House was built on opposition 
to the Affordable Care Act, and yet it stands. The fact that it stands 
makes the Republican leadership do desperate and irrational things. It 
makes them vote to repeal the ACA over 50 times. It makes them decide 
it is somehow a great idea to sue the President for the way he is 
implementing the law.
  It saddens me to see how low a once great party--the party of Abraham 
Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt--has sunk. Instead of addressing the real 
and pressing needs of our country--passing an immigration reform bill, 
raising the minimum wage, passing a long-term highway bill--they have 
been reduced to government shutdowns and lawsuits and partisan stunts 
and gimmicks.
  This is show business at its worst. Enough of this stupidity. I say 
to my Republican friends: Do your job, do the people's work, this is 
shameful.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
North Carolina, Dr. Foxx, my distinguished colleague on the Rules 
Committee.
  Ms. FOXX. I thank my friend from Florida for yielding, and I want to 
commend my colleague from Michigan, Congresswoman Miller, for 
explaining our motivation on this resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the rule, in support of the 
underlying resolution, and in support of this effort to restore every 
branch of this government to its proper constitutional bounds.
  This is not about politics. If there were a Republican President 
doing the same thing, I would feel just as strongly. This is about the 
Constitution.
  Our Constitution was drafted deliberately to ensure that the greatest 
power in our government resided closely with the people. That is why 
the portion dealing with Congress was placed first.
  In article I, the Framers placed the ultimate power of creating and 
changing laws with the Congress, and they particularly empowered the 
House of Representatives, the people's House.
  Every 2 years, Members of this House face the voters, and our actions 
in this body are judged. No other member of this government must submit 
to the people more regularly.
  For too long, this body, under the leadership of both Democrats and 
Republicans, has ceded parts of our constitutional authority to the 
executive branch and the agencies that are, at best, remotely 
accountable to voters. It is time for that to stop. Today, we take a 
step to make it stop.
  This lawsuit is about actions--the actions of an administration that 
has claimed more power than it has been given, even when we have 
already given it more authority than we should have.
  I bear no animus to this President, but I strongly disagree with many 
of his policies, his stated priorities, and, ultimately, his actions. 
This lawsuit is not entered into lightly. It is not our first response, 
but rather, it is our last resort.
  I will vote ``yes'' on this rule and this resolution, not for 
electoral gain, but rather to preserve our Constitution and the 
separation of powers enshrined therein.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. 
Butterfield).
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to bring up 
H.R. 1010, the minimum wage increase, to jump-start the middle class, 
instead of this partisan lawsuit attacking President Obama.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair would advise that all time has 
been yielded for the purpose of debate only.
  Does the gentleman from Florida yield for the purpose of the 
unanimous consent request?
  Mr. NUGENT. I do not, Mr. Speaker. I want to reiterate my earlier 
announcement that all time is yielded for the purpose of debate only, 
and we are not yielding for other purposes.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Florida does not yield. 
Therefore, the unanimous consent request cannot be entertained.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Speaker.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman is recognized for a 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Speaker, hasn't it been the tradition of this 
House that the Speaker yields to Members who want to make unanimous 
consent requests during the course of debate?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. On the pending resolution, all time has been 
yielded for the purpose of debate only.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone).

[[Page H7063]]

  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to bring up H.R. 
4582, the Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, to jump-start the 
middle class, instead of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Hahn).
  Ms. HAHN. Mr. Speaker, I also ask unanimous consent to bring up H.R. 
377, the Paycheck Fairness Act, to jump-start our middle class, instead 
of this partisan lawsuit attacking our President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Rahall).
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to bring up H.R. 
1010, the minimum wage increase, in order to jump-start the middle 
class, instead of this partisan lawsuit.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Matsui).
  Ms. MATSUI. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to bring up H.R. 
377, the Paycheck Fairness Act, to jump-start the middle class, instead 
of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.

                              {time}  1315

  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Chu).
  Ms. CHU. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up H.R. 4582, the Students 
Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, to jump-start the middle class, instead 
of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from Massachusetts (Ms. Clark).
  Ms. CLARK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up H.R. 377, 
the Paycheck Fairness Act, to jump-start the middle class, instead of 
this partisan lawsuit attacking the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Deutch).
  Mr. DEUTCH. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up H.R. 851, the Bring Jobs 
Home Act, to jump-start the middle class, instead of this partisan 
lawsuit against the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Eshoo).
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up the Students Emergency 
Loan Refinancing Act, H.R. 4582, to strengthen the middle class, 
instead of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Nolan).
  Mr. NOLAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up H.R. 1010, the minimum 
wage bill, to give America a pay raise and to jump-start the middle 
class, instead of this partisan attack on the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren).
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to consider H.R. 4582, the Students 
Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would help the middle class, 
instead of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the 
gentlewoman's unanimous consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from Maryland (Ms. Edwards).
  Ms. EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up H.R. 1010. America 
deserves a raise by raising the minimum wage, which will jump-start the 
middle class, instead of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President 
of the United States.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Roybal-
Allard).
  Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up H.R. 851, the 
Bring Jobs Home Act, to jump-start the middle class, instead of this 
partisan lawsuit attacking the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Crowley).
  Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up H.R. 377, the Paycheck 
Fairness Act, to jump-start the middle class, instead of this 
unprecedented, partisan lawsuit against our President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up--and I am pleading 
to bring up--H.R. 377, the Paycheck Fairness Act, to jump-start the 
middle class, instead of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President 
of the United States of America.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I am pleased to yield to the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. 
DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up the Paycheck Fairness 
Act--for men and women, same job, same pay--to jump-start this middle 
class, instead of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President of the 
United States.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the unanimous 
consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Davis).
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up H.R. 851, 
the Bring Jobs Home Act, to jump-start the middle class, instead of 
this partisan lawsuit, which we don't need, attacking the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the 
gentlewoman's unanimous consent request cannot be entertained.

[[Page H7064]]

  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky).
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up the Paycheck Fairness 
Act and a minimum wage increase, which would jump-start the middle 
class, instead of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the 
gentlewoman's unanimous consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Al Green).
  Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring up H.R. 1010, a 
minimum wage increase, to jump-start the middle class, instead of the 
partisan lawsuit attacking the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the 
United States of America.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the 
gentleman's unanimous consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the 
minority whip.
  Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  I rise to bring up H.R. 851, the Bring Jobs Home Act. Surely, Mr. 
Speaker, the gentleman from Florida would want to yield time for that--
to jump-start the middle class--instead of this partisan, pointless 
lawsuit attacking the President of the United States.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded time for that purpose. Therefore, the 
unanimous consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of a unanimous consent 
request, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Kildee).
  Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to immediately bring up H.R. 377, the 
Paycheck Fairness Act, which would jump-start the middle class, instead 
of this partisan lawsuit attacking the President of the United States.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair understands that the gentleman 
from Florida has not yielded for that purpose. Therefore, the 
gentleman's unanimous consent request cannot be entertained.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Butterfield).
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose the resolution authorizing the Speaker 
to bring a legislative branch lawsuit against the President.
  Never before in the history of the Congress has there been 
institutional litigation between two coequal branches of government--
never.
  Don't my Republican friends understand that the House's acting alone 
cannot by itself enforce a legislative enactment? It must be bicameral.
  This resolution will establish a precedent unknown in our 
jurisprudence. It is an abuse of power. It will threaten the separation 
of powers principle and the checks and balances that we have long 
cherished in this country.
  Do you want the judiciary to become the arbiter of disputes between 
Congress and the President? Our branches are coequal.
  Do you really want to cede to the courts the authority to resolve 
disputes between the branches?
  Would you want the President to sue the House for missing a budget 
deadline? Where does it end?
  How do you plan to pay for this litigation? This resolution would 
give the Speaker a blank check to pay legal costs and expert costs, 
which would add to the deficit.
  I call on House Republicans to talk to objective legal scholars, to 
read the literature and court decisions, to protect the integrity of 
our Federal system, and to reject this dangerous legislation.
  This is a very sad day in the House. I know what you are doing, and 
the American people know what you are doing. You are using this 
legislation in your constant effort to discredit President Obama. Every 
day that President Obama has occupied the Oval Office, you have 
attacked him. You have attacked his ideas, and you have attacked those 
who surround him and his Cabinet. You are denying the American people a 
functioning government.
  I sincerely believe that you are trying to set the stage for a 
despicable impeachment proceeding should you hold the majority in the 
House and gain the majority in the Senate. Shame on you, House 
Republicans. Shame on you.
  I ask my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this rule and on final passage.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to direct their remarks 
to the Chair.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
South Carolina (Mr. Rice).
  Mr. RICE of South Carolina. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, the only people I hear talking about impeachment in this 
Chamber are the Democrats. The Democrats must want the President 
impeached as far as I can tell.
  My favorite piece of art in this Capitol Building is a picture in the 
rotunda of a group of our forefathers, who gathered together because 
they could no longer bear living under a monarchy, and they decided 
that they would fight for freedom. They signed the Declaration of 
Independence, knowing full well that they were signing their own death 
warrants if they were caught and tried for treason.
  Our forefathers fought a Revolution against the greatest military 
power on Earth in order to escape the bonds of a monarchy. At the end 
of the bloody Revolution, the last thing they wanted was another king. 
They wanted freedom. To protect that precious freedom, they designed a 
government where power rested with the people based on the separation 
of powers.
  The legislative branch makes the laws. The President enforces the 
laws. President Obama has decided that he cannot be bothered with the 
separation of powers. He has bragged that, if Congress will not accept 
his priorities, he has a pen and a phone, and he will make the law. He 
may have a pen, but the people have the Constitution. Our forefathers 
recognized that one man who can both make the law and enforce the law 
is not a President--he is a king.
  Thomas Jefferson once said that freedom does not disappear all at 
once; it is eroded imperceptibly day by day.
  The prosperity of our great country sprang from our freedom. Our form 
of government, set forth in the Constitution by our forefathers, has 
protected that very fragile freedom for 200 years.
  My friends across the aisle worry about the price of a lawsuit to 
protect our freedom. Our forefathers paid dearly for that freedom. Many 
paid everything. Our freedom is in peril. We cannot stand by and watch 
the President shred our Constitution.
  I stand in support of House Resolution 676.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds to respond to 
the fact that only Democrats are speaking of impeachment.
  Just today, The Hill newspaper announced that a most respected and 
admired member of the Republican Conference said of the lawsuit, 
spearheaded by John Boehner:

       Theater is a show. Why not impeach instead of wasting $1 
     million to $2 million of the taxpayers' money? If you are 
     serious about that, use what the Founders of the Constitution 
     gave us.

  He was referring to impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased now to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Jeffries).
  Mr. JEFFRIES. I thank the distinguished gentlewoman from the Empire 
State for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, this lawsuit is nothing more than a waste of time and a 
coverup with respect to the House Republicans' failure to effectively 
govern.
  You have failed to create jobs. You have failed to increase the 
minimum wage. You have failed to deal with our broken immigration 
system.

                              {time}  1330

  You have failed to extend unemployment insurance for the millions of 
Americans who have been left on the battlefield of the Great Recession. 
You have failed to deal with our crippling transportation and 
infrastructure system.

[[Page H7065]]

  Mr. Speaker, your majority has failed to do what is in the best 
interest of the American people, and so, to cover up the mess, you are 
taking us on a joyride through the article III court system. It is an 
effort that will crash and burn. Yet, nonetheless, you are willing to 
waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money in order to make a down 
payment on impeachment.
  Instead of engaging in responsible legislative action, the majority 
has chosen to act up and to act out in order to satisfy the thirst of 
the blame Barack Obama caucus.
  Shame on you, Mr. Speaker. It is time to get back to the business of 
the American people.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to direct their remarks 
to the Chair.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Welch).
  Mr. WELCH. Mr. Speaker, I have been kind of scratching my head as to 
why it is we are filing this lawsuit. Why is it that the independent 
House, the Speaker of the House, second in line for the Presidency, 
instead of passing a bill, is filing a lawsuit? I think I have kind of 
figured it out. The power of the majority is being used in a way to 
make that power useless and impotent.
  They can pass any laws they want in this House. They can repeal any 
laws they want in this House, in fact, have repealed health care 55 
times. But once it goes across this hall into the Senate, it dies. It 
is not taken up. If it were taken up, it would never be signed by the 
President.
  I have got another idea. Instead of filing a lawsuit, let's do our 
job. We have got some disagreements. We think--and I think the American 
people believe, and I know the President agrees--we should raise the 
minimum wage. You don't. Let's work it out.
  We believe--and the President believes, the American people believe--
we need comprehensive immigration reform. Let's take it up and have a 
vote.
  We believe it is time for equal pay for equal work.
  What are we afraid of? Why don't we take it up?
  Is the judge going to help us decide this, or should we have an out-
of-court settlement, which, in our case, would mean we actually have a 
discussion, a discussion that includes the members of the Republican 
Party who have different points of view, as opposed to simply the 
narrowest views from the most gerrymandered of districts. It means we 
talk to Democrats on the House side of the floor. It means we work with 
our counterparts in the Senate. It means we do our job.
  So, Mr. Speaker, you have got a job to do that can't be done by a 
judge. You have got a job to do that won't be resolved in a court of 
law. It will be resolved here in the United States House of 
Representatives. And the fact that we disagree and the fact that the 
issues between us are difficult and contentious is no excuse for us to 
not do our job.
  The Republicans represent a lot of Americans, but the Democrats 
represent at least half of America. And never in the history of this 
country have we made progress by refusing to legislate.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair would remind all Members of an 
essential rule of decorum in the House. Under clause 1 of rule XVII, 
Members are to direct their remarks to the Chair and not to other 
Members in the second person.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Maryland (Ms. Edwards).
  Ms. EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, just when we think the level of dysfunction 
by the Republican majority in this House can't get any worse, no, they 
surprise us and find a way to prove us wrong. They are going to cap off 
7 months, Mr. Speaker, of the worst do-nothing Congress in this 
Nation's history, and Republicans have now decided to chart a dangerous 
and unprecedented path by suing the President of the United States. The 
American people have to hear this. Suing the President of the United 
States, Mr. Speaker. And for what? Because the President is doing his 
job?
  So when House Republicans are not doing their jobs, they choose to 
sue the President of the United States. And the American people do see 
this for exactly what it is.
  So we move from one political stunt to the next, Mr. Speaker, from 
shutting down the government--that is what Republicans did--to a 
lawsuit, and then onward to impeachment. This do-nothing Congress, Mr. 
Speaker, suing the President of the United States.
  We should be working to make college more affordable, to enact 
comprehensive immigration reform, equal pay for equal work, raise the 
minimum wage, renew unemployment benefits, improve the Nation's 
infrastructure. And instead, House Republicans are suing the President.
  I thought this was a fringe element, Mr. Speaker, of the House 
Republican majority, but it is not. It is the majority. But somehow, 
Republicans in the House of Representatives--you know what? We get it. 
The Republicans in the House don't like the President. They don't like 
the President, Mr. Speaker. But they are suing the President of the 
United States.
  Shame, shame, shame.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the previous 
question because defeating it will allow an amendment that provides for 
consideration of legislation that will, in fact, create jobs, grow the 
economy, support small businesses, ensure equal pay, and alleviate the 
financial burdens on working families today.
  There are so many things we can and should be doing right now to spur 
the economy for the American people. We need to help workers. We need 
to help them find opportunities. We need to achieve higher pay for 
their hard work.
  Instead of considering those many bills, this Republican majority 
continues to waste this institution's time by pushing a partisan 
lawsuit against the President. This is the first time in history that a 
branch of Congress has tried to sue a President. My God, what a legacy 
you leave.
  Americans are tired of partisan dysfunction. They want to see us 
working to solve their problems, and defeating that previous question 
will allow us to have a vote today on something very important to 
American families, and that is equal pay for equal work.
  Women in America face overwhelming financial challenges. They are 
more likely to be poor, make minimum wage, go bankrupt, less likely to 
have retirement security. Women still only make 77 cents, on average, 
for every dollar made by men. That is $11,000 lost wages every single 
year, and over the course of a career, that adds up to $434,000 lost.
  I have introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in every Congress since 
2007. It passed the House twice with bipartisan support. It would 
ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
  A famous American once said, and I quote: ``Mind you, I believe in 
marriage and children and home, but I'm not one of the kind that think 
that God made women to do nothing but to sit at home in the ashes and 
tend to babies. He made her to be as good as man, and he made her 
better too . . . If a woman can do the same work that a man can do and 
do it just as well, she should have the same pay.''
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. I yield the gentlewoman another 30 seconds.
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, that was Buffalo Bill Cody, and he said 
that in 1898, 116 years ago.
  Women, Mr. Speaker, are tired of waiting.
  Let us not waste our time on the partisan lawsuit against the 
President. Let us defeat the previous question and today give women a 
vote on equal pay for equal work.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

[[Page H7066]]

  I will place into the Record an exchange of letters between myself 
and Chairman Sessions and between Ranking Member Brady and Chairwoman 
Miller of the House Administration Committee. This exchange of letters 
catalogs our repeated requests for an estimate of the projected cost of 
this partisan enterprise and the identification of accounts that will 
be cut to pay for it. As you will note, the responses to our letter 
provide no information about the cost estimate and no indication from 
where the funds will come.

                                         House of Representatives,


                            Committee on House Administration,

                                    Washington, DC, July 14, 2014.
     Hon. John A. Boehner,
     Speaker of the House, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Boehner: Within the draft resolution to 
     initiate a lawsuit against the President, we learned that you 
     intend to seek authorization to ``employ the services of 
     outside counsel and other experts.'' Such authority clearly 
     falls under the jurisdiction of the Committee on House 
     Administration, and as such, I am writing to express my 
     expectation that Republicans will be open and transparent 
     about the use of taxpayer money in pursuing this highly 
     dubious and partisan lawsuit.
       As evidenced by House Republicans' conduct in the $2.3 
     million failed effort to defend the discriminatory and 
     unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, 
     strong bipartisan oversight is clearly necessary in any plan 
     to hire outside counsel. The Republican majority must not be 
     permitted to use taxpayer dollars as a slush fund to award a 
     no-bid contract to high-priced, politically connected 
     Republican lawyers without any transparency or accountability 
     to the House or the American people.
       Our opposition to the deeply partisan basis of your lawsuit 
     in no way diminishes the need for normal oversight of the 
     terms of any contract signed by Republican Leadership 
     obligating the House to pay millions of dollars to private 
     attorneys. Therefore, I expect you will honor regular order 
     through my committee, even with this highly irregular 
     lawsuit.
       The American people deserve to know how and where their tax 
     dollars are being spent, and House Administration Committee 
     Democrats insist on regular consultation and transparency in 
     the selection criteria and process, cost, and lobbying 
     connections of any counsel or experts hired in the name of 
     the House.
           Sincerely,

                                                 Robert Brady,

                                                   Ranking Member,
     Committee on House Administration.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                            Committee on House Administration,

                                    Washington, DC, July 15, 2014.
     Hon. Robert A. Brady,
     Cannon House Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Ranking Member Brady, I write in response to your July 
     14th letter to the Speaker of United States House of 
     Representatives expressing concerns about the draft 
     resolution to initiate lawsuit against the President. As 
     always, the Committee, and Republicans, will be open and 
     transparent about the use of taxpayer money. I will, however, 
     note that there is no higher use of taxpayer funds than 
     protecting and defending the United States Constitution which 
     both you and I took an oath to uphold and defend.
       All appropriate and applicable procurement procedures will 
     be followed in the award of any contract for outside counsel 
     for a lawsuit. Regardless of your partisan political feelings 
     on the lawsuit, I am sure that you would agree that the 
     United States House of Representatives, as an institution, 
     deserves full and zealous advocacy in the defense of its 
     prerogatives as a co-equal branch of our government and in 
     defense of the Constitution.
       Rest assured that I will not unilaterally ignore or rewrite 
     laws passed by Congress.
           Sincerely,

                                            Candice S. Miller,

                                            Chairman, Committee on
     House Administration.
                                  ____

                                               Committee on Rules,


                                     House of Representatives,

                                    Washington, DC, July 17, 2014.
     Hon. Pete Sessions,
     Chairman, House Committee on Rules,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman, We understand that the Committee on 
     Rules will meet in the coming weeks to consider amendments to 
     the proposed resolution authorizing the Speaker of the House 
     to sue the President of the United States.
       Before that meeting is scheduled, the Members of our 
     Committee must have the answers to two important questions:
       1) What is the anticipated cost of the lawsuit against the 
     President?
       The draft resolution places no limit on the amount of 
     taxpayer funds the Speaker may dedicate to his lawsuit 
     against the President. The American people have a right to 
     know--before the House votes to initiate such a lawsuit--how 
     much money will be allocated to this exercise.
       We do not expect you to provide a detailed budget for the 
     lawsuit, and we understand that unforeseen variables will 
     influence the ultimate cost. But there is no reason to assume 
     that the House of Representatives cannot do what every 
     American family must do--use its best judgment to estimate 
     future expenditures. The President's Office of Management and 
     Budget must provide such estimates every day. We do not see 
     why the House of Representatives should be exempt from the 
     ordinary budget discipline of estimating the cost of its own 
     activities. We request that you provide to the Committee, in 
     advance of our markup, your best estimate of the anticipated 
     cost of the lawsuit to the American taxpayers.
       2) Which accounts will be cut in order to pay for the 
     lawsuit against the President?
       The draft resolution authorizes the Speaker to hire outside 
     lawyers to assist him in his suit against the President. Yet 
     the resolution does not provide any new resources. Therefore, 
     funding for the lawsuit must be transferred from other 
     Legislative Branch accounts.
       Before the Members of the House cast their vote on this 
     resolution, they should know which of their legitimate 
     legislative activities will be curtailed in order to divert 
     funds to this entirely partisan enterprise. We request that 
     you provide the Committee, before the markup, your best 
     estimate of the legislative branch accounts that will be 
     reduced to cover the anticipated cost of the lawsuit.
       We have learned in too many cases what happens when the 
     House fails to disclose the anticipated cost of such 
     activities in advance. The American public only learned, 
     after the fact, that the House had wasted $2.3 million on its 
     misguided intervention in the Defense of Marriage Act 
     litigation. Another example is the resolution to launch yet 
     another investigation of the Benghazi matter. When the Rules 
     Committee considered this partisan legislation, we asked 
     repeatedly--and in vain--for a cost estimate. We learned 
     after the vote that the House plans to spend as much as $3.3 
     million on this duplicative and wasteful effort this year 
     alone--more than the budgets of the House Committee on 
     Veterans Affairs and the House Committee on Ethics.
       Mr. Chairman, it is essential that the anticipated cost of 
     the Speaker's lawsuit against our President be disclosed to 
     the American people before we vote on the resolution 
     authorizing it We are making this request so far in advance 
     because we want to ensure there is ample time to make the 
     assessments necessary for a fully informed estimate. No 
     meeting should be scheduled on the draft resolution until the 
     answers to these questions have been made public.
           Sincerely,
     Louise M. Slaughter,
       Ranking Member.
     James P. McGovern,
       Member of Congress.
     Alcee L. Hastings,
       Member of Congress.
     Jared Polis,
       Member of Congress.
                                  ____

                                               Committee on Rules,


                                     House of Representatives,

                                    Washington, DC, July 23, 2014.
     Hon. Louise Slaughter,
     Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Rules, Longworth House 
         Office Building, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Alcee L. Hastings,
     Rayburn House Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. James McGovern,
     Cannon House Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Jared Polis,
     Longworth House Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mrs. Slaughter and Messrs. McGovern, Hastings, and 
     Polis: Thank you for your letter dated July 17, 2014, 
     outlining your questions regarding H. Res. 676, which 
     authorizes House litigation. Specifically, you asked to be 
     provided with information regarding the anticipated cost of a 
     lawsuit against the President as well as which accounts would 
     supply such funding. As demonstrated by our nearly five hour 
     hearing last week, it is my intent to conduct this process in 
     a thoughtful and transparent process.
       In regard to your first question, it is too early in the 
     process to calculate an exact dollar amount that will be 
     spent on all elements of the litigation process. H. Res. 676 
     authorizes the Speaker to initiate litigation and authorizes 
     the Office of General Counsel to retain outside counsel or 
     experts, if needed. The resolution does not require either 
     action, nor does it authorize or appropriate any new funding. 
     Decisions regarding legal action and whether to retain 
     outside experts would occur after passage of H. Res. 676.
       However, in the Defense of Marriage Act litigation 
     referenced in your letter, the House of Representatives 
     defended that law in court in close to two-dozen cases across 
     the country. After consultation with the interested parties, 
     I fully expect potential legal action brought under this 
     resolution to be far narrower in scope than that case, which 
     suggests that total litigation costs should be lower as well.
       It is also important to note that I anticipate that all 
     contracts surrounding any litigation authorized by this 
     resolution will go through the approval process previously 
     used by the House Administration Committee for Office of 
     General Counsel initiated contracts. Funds spent on outside 
     counsel have been and would continue to be included in the 
     quarterly Statements of Disbursements, which are publically 
     available.

[[Page H7067]]

       I can more clearly answer your second question. I do not 
     anticipate that any new funds would need to be appropriated 
     in this fiscal year. Funds spent on such litigation would 
     come from the account of the Office of General Counsel, which 
     falls under House accounts. If those previously existing 
     funds were found to be insufficient, the appropriate House 
     officers, in coordination with the Appropriations Committee, 
     could then transfer funds from other House accounts with 
     anticipated savings.
       While I am confident that any use of taxpayer money will go 
     through an open and transparent process, we must ensure that 
     the House of Representatives has the flexibility necessary to 
     hire the most qualified experts available to defend the 
     Constitution. A lawsuit against the President for failing to 
     fulfill his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law 
     is a small price to pay for defending the separation of 
     powers and the American people.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Pete Sessions,
     Chairman, House Committee on Rules.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                            Committee on House Administration,

                                    Washington, DC, July 29, 2014.
     Hon. Pete Sessions,
     Chairman, The Committee on Rules,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: Yesterday the Committee on Rules filed a 
     report to accompany the resolution (H. Res. 676) authorizing 
     the Speaker, on behalf of the House, to initiate or intervene 
     in certain litigation against the President of the United 
     States or other federal officials. The Committee on House 
     Administration (CHA) received an additional referral of the 
     resolution due to its implications for the operations of the 
     House, especially the potentially enormous depletion of 
     appropriations intended for other purposes.
       As you know, a number of provisions in this resolution--
     particularly those concerning the hiring of outside counsel 
     and consultants, and the spending of money on their hiring--
     are in the jurisdiction of the Committee on House 
     Administration, where I serve as Ranking Minority Member. Our 
     Committee has held no hearings, meetings or markups of this 
     resolution.
       Yesterday, with the concurrence of our chairman, 
     Representative Miller of Michigan, the Speaker discharged the 
     House Administration Committee from further consideration of 
     the resolution. This occurred despite the fact that all three 
     House Administration Democrats last week formally invoked the 
     extraordinary Rule XI procedure calling for a special 
     committee meeting to consider the legislation. So we now 
     confront a situation in which CHA, the ``money committee'' on 
     this subject due to our jurisdiction over House accounts and 
     officers, will not be heard.
       I also now that the Speaker has not provided this Committee 
     with a good-faith estimate of how much this lawsuit or 
     lawsuits could cost taxpayers.
       In my view, this mad rush to confront the President in 
     court represents yet another ill-conceived, ill-considered 
     action pursued merely for political purposes. It will cost 
     the American people millions and inevitably deplete the 
     legislative resources otherwise available to support the work 
     of all Members of this House. In light of the haste we have 
     already witnessed in this process, I urge you to allow 
     consideration of amendments on the floor, and also to permit 
     a motion to recommit with or without instructions so that we 
     may either have the opportunity to return H. Res. 676 to the 
     House Administration Committee for substantive review or 
     offer instructions proposing changes relevant to our 
     Committee's concerns.
           Respectfully,

                                              Robert A. Brady,

                                                   Ranking Member,
     Committee on House Administration.
                                  ____

                                               Committee on Rules,


                                     House of Representatives,

                                    Washington, DC, July 30, 2014.
     Hon. Robert A. Brady,
     Ranking Minority Member, Committee on House Administration, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Brady: Thank you for your letter dated July 29, 
     2014, discussing your concerns with provisions in H. Res. 676 
     that fall under the jurisdiction of the Committee on House 
     Administration, and requests regarding floor consideration of 
     the measure. Unfortunately, my office did not receive your 
     letter until roughly 15 minutes before the start of the Rules 
     Committee meeting to provide for floor consideration of the 
     resolution.
       The provision that you specifically reference authorizes 
     the Speaker to initiate litigation and authorizes the Office 
     of General Counsel to retain outside counsel or experts, if 
     needed. The resolution does not require either action, nor 
     does it authorize or appropriate any new funding. As I stated 
     in my letter dated July 23, 2014 to the minority members of 
     the Rules Committee, I do not anticipate that any new funds 
     would need to be appropriated for this fiscal year. It should 
     also be recognized that this is a limited, targeted measure 
     that seeks to address an important constitutional issue.
       You also expressed concerns with the process, but the 
     Committee on House Administration was discharged from further 
     consideration of the measure pursuant to an agreement between 
     Chairman Miller and myself, which has been the standard 
     practice used by both Democratic and Republican majorities. 
     Our exchange of letters can be found in the committee report 
     accompanying H. Res. 676.
       While I appreciate your requests for specific elements in 
     the rule, I feel that the Committee adopted an appropriate 
     rule for consideration of this important measure. H. Res. 676 
     is a critical first step in an effort to defend the 
     Constitution and compel the President to faithfully execute 
     the laws passed by Congress.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Pete Sessions,
                               Chairman, House Committee on Rules.

  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, if people are supposed to think that this 
is really a genuine concern by the House of Representatives and not a 
partisan gimmick, then why didn't the majority consult with Democrats 
or the Senate beforehand and say: We want to do this on behalf of 
Congress. Will you talk with us about participating?
  That idea of joint participation is long gone from here, and I regret 
to say that.
  But that didn't happen. It was cooked up in some meeting where we 
probably discussed how to win back the Senate, or whether to impeach 
the President, or how the campaign fundraising is going and so forth.
  You are not fooling anyone. This is about politics and the elections, 
and you know it and I know it and, polling shows it, all the people in 
the country know it.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. 
Pelosi).
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congresswoman Slaughter, our ranking 
member on the Rules Committee, for the time and also, more importantly, 
for her great leadership in so many ways. In so many ways, it has been 
about her advocacy for the priorities of the American people.
  So today we have on the floor of the House legislation that is a 
serious matter about suing the President of the United States instead 
of doing the people's business, which is what Ms. Slaughter and others 
have advocated for, whether it is bringing good-paying jobs home, 
creating jobs by building the infrastructure of America, reducing the 
cost of higher education for families, investing in our children, 
raising the minimum wage, passing legislation to have equal pay for 
equal work, everything that would increase the financial stability of 
America's families. Instead, we are wasting the taxpayers' time and 
money on the floor of the House on a matter that is serious but is a 
waste of time.
  There are those who have said that this initiative to sue the 
President of the United States is about a step toward impeachment. 
Others who say, no, it is instead of impeachment.
  I told the Speaker that I had a similar situation years ago--not 
similar in terms of the subject, because I think there is no basis for 
this and no standing in this House on the subject of suing the 
President, but similar in that there were calls by some to impeach 
President Bush when we took the majority and people were very unhappy 
about the Iraq war and the false claims made to draw the American 
people into support of that war effort, which proved to be untrue. It 
wasn't about people in your caucus clamoring for suing the President. 
It was about hundreds of thousands of people in the streets objecting 
to the war in Iraq and the false basis on which we went in.
  But when I became Speaker, and people clamored for the impeachment of 
the President, I said what I advised the Speaker to say right now: 
Impeachment is off the table. If this isn't about impeachment, that 
simple sentence will be a clear one: Impeachment is off the table.
  Why hasn't the Speaker said that? Why are there those in your caucus 
who won't deny that that is a possible end in sight for this ill-fated 
legislation that you bring to the floor?
  We are going to adjourn tomorrow for 5 weeks, leaving unfinished 
business here. We need to solve problems for the American people, to 
create opportunities for them, but that kind of legislation is nowhere 
in sight, whether it is job creation, reducing the cost of higher 
education, equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, some of 
which I already mentioned.
  We have precious few hours remaining to act on the priorities of the 
American people and finish the ``can't wait'' business before the 
Congress. So much needs to be done: the humanitarian situation at the 
border, which

[[Page H7068]]

provides an opportunity for us to do the right thing; the highway trust 
fund, to deal with it appropriately and give it the proper amount of 
time instead of rushing it through. But once again, Republicans are 
putting the special interests and the howls of impeachment-hungry 
extremists before the needs of the Nation.

                              {time}  1345

  The lawsuit is only the latest proof of House Republicans' contempt 
and disregard for the priorities of the American people. It is yet 
another Republican effort to pander to the most radical rightwing 
voters at taxpayers' expense: $2.3 million spent defending DOMA, a 
doomed case; more than $3 million on the select committee to exploit 
Benghazi--by the way, something that had been investigated again and 
again at the very admission of leaders on the Republican side. Why are 
we doing this? And then this, which we don't have a pricetag on that 
they will reveal to us.
  Again, why would you sue somebody unless you want to prove something? 
And why would you go down that path unless you wanted to do something 
about it?
  But the fact is, Republicans in Congress have no standing in this 
suit. Most constitutional scholars have admitted or do admit that. Even 
the Republicans' expert witnesses have in the past said you don't have 
standing on it.
  Middle class families don't have time for a Republican partisan 
grudge match with the President. They know that this is a funny thing 
because--well, funny in the one strange interpretation of the word 
``funny.'' But a couple of weeks ago on the steps of the Capitol, House 
Democrats were there to launch our middle class jump-start about some 
of the issues I raised--job creation here in the U.S., affordability of 
college, early childhood education, all of those things, equal pay for 
equal work, raise the minimum wage. We were doing that on the steps of 
the Capitol. And in the Capitol buildings, the Republicans were 
launching their lawsuit against the President. What could be more 
different in terms of addressing the needs of the American people?
  We made the point that this was all happening on the same day. But 
the fact is, that difference of focusing on progress and job creation 
and process and do nothing is what we live through here every single 
day. And today is another one of those days on the floor of the House.
  So let us recognize what this is. Serious, serious, on a path to 
nowhere, or maybe, amongst some of your ranks, a path to impeachment. 
But if we just want to talk about the lawsuit, it behooves the Speaker 
of the House to say, Impeachment is off the table. I hope we can hear 
that soon, and then we will see what the merits of this case are. It 
has no standing. It has no merits. It has a political basis. And let 
the American people judge it for what it is.
  If you don't want to hear people use the word ``impeachment,'' as 
your people have done, then tell them, Impeachment is off the table. 
That is what I had to do. That is what this Speaker should do.
  Mr. NUGENT. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell).
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the managers of this legislation.
  Unemployment. The deficit. Outsourcing. Higher education. 
Immigration. Tax reform. Gun control. Medicare. Social Security. 
Transportation. A continuing resolution. Ukraine, Syria, Nigeria, 
Libya, Israel, Gaza, Iran.
  Instead of talking about any one of these, what are we spending one 
of the last 14 scheduled voting days before the election to discuss? We 
are talking about suing the President for implementing a policy that 
the majority supports. Go figure. What a colossal waste of time. What a 
colossal waste of taxpayer money.
  We know why the majority is focusing on this instead of trying to 
solve the country's problems. It is because they have no solutions. We 
haven't heard any, unless you are keeping them in a secret black box.
  Their only goal is to indulge the partisan impulses within your own 
party, 57 percent of whom want to impeach President Obama. The House of 
Representatives is apparently taking its marching orders from Sarah 
Palin. Good for us.
  The fact of the matter is that the American people are tired of the 
relentless partisanship that has led the Congress to having a lower 
approval rating than head lice.
  Our constituents want us to solve problems. That is one of the 
reasons we get paid. Our colleagues in the Senate today are voting on 
legislation I put forward to end tax breaks. We can't even get a 
hearing on this side of the building. These are commonsense solutions.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. I yield the gentleman an additional 20 seconds.
  Mr. PASCRELL. I want to conclude by reading something, Mr. Speaker. 
And if you don't know where this came from, that is part of the 
problem:

     Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
     Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught 
           us,
     Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
     Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
     Let us march on till victory is won.

  Your problem is, most of you don't even know where it came from.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair again would remind all Members of 
the House of an essential rule of decorum in the House. Under clause 1 
of rule XVII, Members are to direct their remarks to the Chair and not 
to others in the second person.
  Mr. NUGENT. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time to 
ask: Why did the majority shut off all amendments to this resolution? 
And more importantly, why have they even blocked a traditional motion 
to recommit? That is something that we generally always give to the 
minority on both sides of the aisle, a motion to recommit.
  Now, I think the reason is--you know, being somewhat cynical, and I 
will admit to that after what we have been through here--but the cynic 
would say that they don't want us to have a motion to recommit because 
our side might bring up a motion, which it would be our privilege to 
do, that might put the Republican Members on record on impeachment. 
Now, I don't know that. We got no answer as to why we were not given 
the privilege of a motion to recommit.
  But there is one thing we do know. We know that this lawsuit is going 
to cost unknown millions and will be an unconscionable waste. We know 
that that cost is going to come out of programs that have already 
suffered grievous cuts over the last few years and on which people 
oftentimes depend for their very lives.
  We know that it is pretty partisan because the Democrats were never 
consulted at any point on this issue, and we know that it is flawed 
because experts have told us that there is no way in the world that the 
House of Representatives has any standing on this issue and that a good 
Federal judge will send it back to us almost immediately.
  We know it is a distraction, and we know that what it distracts us 
from are the serious, serious issues that all of us hear about every 
day from our own constituencies.
  Do you think anybody ever calls me up and says: Why don't we impeach 
the President or go after the President because it is raining today and 
it surely is his fault? No, we don't hear that.
  I hear about, I am having a hard time getting a new job. I need help 
to pay for my child's education. I hear a lot of times, my daughter's 
unemployment benefits have run out. She is facing eviction. I don't 
know what I am going to do. I hear from people who talk about the 
children who have come to this country--many of them unaccompanied, by 
themselves--in an absolute inhumane wave of human suffering that we 
need to pay some attention to.
  I know that out there today, we have had floods in my part of the 
country in upstate New York that have devastated entire water projects 
and sewer projects, and something needs to be done. But we won't do 
that.
  So, Mr. Speaker, I am going to urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' to 
defeat the previous question and please vote ``no'' on the rule. This 
is one of the

[[Page H7069]]

most important issues that we have ever faced during our time in 
Congress.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot here today. A lot of it, 
I don't know exactly where they are coming from. But we have heard a 
lot of things today.
  Democrats would like to believe--or would like the American people to 
believe, or go to that narrative--that Congress hasn't done its job. 
Well, you have to remember that the House of Representatives is one-
half of that. The Senate is the other half.
  Now, if you think about it, we have sent 40 jobs bills over to the 
Senate, where they are gathering dust on Leader Reid's desk. We have 
passed seven of the appropriations bills here in the House. The Senate, 
zero. We have passed important tax legislation to ensure our economy 
continues to grow and that companies continue to hire.
  We will be voting today on a veterans package to help our veterans. 
And tomorrow, for the second time, we are going to consider a bill as 
it relates to the highway trust fund.
  So perhaps the Republicans in the House are getting the job done with 
support of Members on the other side of the aisle. How many bipartisan 
bills are sitting there in the Senate just languishing away because 
there is a decision made just not to move anything forward from the 
House? That is unfortunate because that hurts the American people.
  Mr. Speaker, we hear a lot of things that are supposedly what we want 
to do. But here is what I believe we are trying to do today. It is 
about defense of the Constitution. It is pure and simple. It is about 
the protection that is given by the Constitution to the two houses of 
the legislative branch and to the President of the United States and 
the executive branch and to the judiciary, and that separation of 
powers is within the Constitution. That is what we are fighting for.
  Forget about all this other stuff that has been thrown up as a 
smokescreen. We are fighting to defend the Constitution.
  And people say, well, you know, it could cost money. Well, thank 
goodness. Thank God that our Founding Fathers didn't say, well, you 
know what? It is a reach too far. It will cost too much. It could cost 
our lives. They didn't make that decision. What they said was, it is 
important for the future of this country that we live by the 
Constitution, that we design a Constitution that will endure into the 
future.
  And, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to you that this Constitution has 
endured and has provided the guidance for this country to move forward 
every day. It is not by happenstance. It is by the fact that we are 
supposed to live by and defend the Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, when I was a deputy sheriff, if we just said, You know 
what, I don't agree with the free speech portion of the Constitution, 
we would have stopped free speech. I had to defend people, stand there 
and put my body in front of people who were opposed to what the people 
behind me were saying that was repugnant to us and to most Americans. 
But I had to put my safety at risk for their free speech. And you know, 
I could have said, You know what, I don't agree with that. That is just 
part of the Constitution. Let's not worry about free speech. But we 
didn't do that. We didn't rewrite the law. We didn't rewrite it.
  You know, yesterday or the day before--I am not sure which day it 
was--but in the Rules Committee, we heard an impassioned description 
from the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Webster), who was the speaker of 
the house in Florida, who was sued by the Governor in regards to the 
implementation of law. And guess what? That body won.
  And thank goodness that the house won in the Supreme Court of Florida 
and that they just didn't say, You know what, you don't have standing. 
So forget about that.
  A lot of people are trying to presuppose what the Supreme Court is 
going to say or do. I would suggest to you that I am willing to go 
along with whatever the Supreme Court says. Now, I may not like it. But 
I am willing to go along with it because I do believe they are the 
ultimate arbitrators as to what is constitutional and what isn't.

                              {time}  1400

  It is amazing that this document that we are talking about, that 
there is a question about it, that there is a question about the 
separation of powers.
  I would like to read a quote from then-Senator Barack Obama:

       We have got a government that was designed by the Founders 
     with checks and balances. You don't want a President that is 
     too powerful, a Congress that is too powerful, or a Court 
     that is too powerful. Everybody has got their own role. 
     Congress' job is to pass legislation.
       The President can veto it or sign it, but what George Bush 
     has been doing as part of his effort to accumulate more power 
     in the Presidency, he has been saying, well, I can basically 
     change what Congress passed by attaching a letter that says I 
     don't agree with this part or that, I'm going to choose to 
     interpret it this way or that way.
       It is not part of his power, but it is part of the whole 
     theory of George Bush that he can make laws as he goes along. 
     I disagree with that.

  Once again, quoting then-Senator Obama, Senator Obama says:

       I taught the Constitution for 10 years. I believe in the 
     Constitution, and I will obey the Constitution of the United 
     States.

  Now, I don't know what happened on the trip from the Capitol down to 
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, how that changed, but I guess the Presidency 
can change your view of the world. It may not be an accurate view of 
the world, but it can change it.
  I think what then-Senator Obama said rang true then and rings true 
today. It is about the separation of power, and let me tell you 
something, my friends on the other side of the aisle should be standing 
there with us because, for too long, this House has now become 
irrelevant. Congress in general is becoming irrelevant.
  When I got elected just over 4 years ago, I came up here with a 
purpose. I came up here with a belief in the Constitution and that 
there is separation of powers between the executive branch, the 
legislative branch, and the judicial branch, but now, I hate to say it, 
in my 4 years, I have become disenchanted with the fact that this House 
for way too long has just had a ``cooperate and graduate'' kind of 
attitude, and I don't think we should do that.
  That is why, today, the buck stops here. We have got to make a stand 
in regards to is the Constitution relevant, is this House relevant. If 
not, we should just all go home. There is no reason to be here.
  I have three sons that serve their country and that have put their 
lives on the line for this country, not by their own choice--I mean, 
they serve their country at their choice--but when they go off into 
war, it is at the direction of the President.
  It is a direction to protect this country, and they do so willingly. 
They raised their hand to say they are going to support and defend the 
Constitution. I raised it as a police officer outside of Chicago, I 
raised it as a deputy sheriff, I raised it as sheriff, and I raised it 
here when I got sworn in as a Member of this body.
  I take that seriously, and I take it seriously when anybody thinks 
they can trample on the Constitution. I take it seriously when anybody 
thinks that they are above where we need to be.
  This legislation is about empowering the Speaker of the House, if he 
so deems it, to sue the President. I happen to agree with that. Mr. 
Speaker, we can talk all day--at least I could--in regards to why it is 
important that this House protect its prerogative in regards to passing 
legislation and reminding the executive branch as to what their duties 
are.
  Mr. Speaker, this isn't about Democrats and Republicans. Let me tell 
you something, I wasn't here before this. I got here 4 years ago. I 
don't care if it is a Republican or Democrat or Independent or 
whatever. I believe in this institution. I believe in the Constitution 
of this country, and I believe we should do everything in our power to 
defend it no matter who is trying to usurp it.
  So I encourage my colleagues for the last time to support this rule, 
to support this institution, and to support this Constitution. It is 
about are we really serious about the checks and balances that our 
Founding Fathers so rightfully created.
  The material previously referred to by Ms. Slaughter is as follows:

[[Page H7070]]

   An Amendment to H. Res. 694 Offered by Mrs. Slaughter of New York

       Strike all after the resolved clause and insert:
       That immediately upon adoption of this resolution the 
     Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare 
     the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on 
     the state of the Union for consideration of the Bring Jobs 
     Home Act (H.R. 851). The first reading of the bill shall be 
     dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of 
     the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to the 
     bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and 
     controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the 
     Committee on Ways and Means. After general debate the bill 
     shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. 
     All points of order against provisions in the bill are 
     waived. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for 
     amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the 
     House with such amendments as may have been adopted. The 
     previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill 
     and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening 
     motion except one motion to recommit with or without 
     instructions. If the Committee of the Whole rises and reports 
     that it has come to no resolution on the bill, then on the 
     next legislative day the House shall, immediately after the 
     third daily order of business under clause 1 of rule XIV, 
     resolve into the Committee of the Whole for further 
     consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 2. Immediately upon disposition of H.R. 851, the 
     Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare 
     the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on 
     the state of the Union for consideration of the Paycheck 
     Fairness Act (H.R. 377). The first reading of the bill shall 
     be dispensed with. All points of order against consideration 
     of the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to 
     the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and 
     controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the 
     Committee on Education and the Workforce. After general 
     debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 
     five-minute rule. All points of order against provisions in 
     the bill are waived. At the conclusion of consideration of 
     the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report 
     the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been 
     adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered 
     on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without 
     intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or 
     without instructions. If the Committee of the Whole rises and 
     reports that it has come to no resolution on the bill, then 
     on the next legislative day the House shall, immediately 
     after the third daily order of business under clause 1 of 
     rule XIV, resolve into the Committee of the Whole for further 
     consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 3. Immediately upon disposition of H.R. 377 the 
     Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare 
     the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on 
     the state of the Union for consideration of the Fair Minimum 
     Wage Act of 2013 (H.R. 1010). The first reading of the bill 
     shall be dispensed with. All points of order against 
     consideration of the bill are waived. General debate shall be 
     confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally 
     divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
     member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. After 
     general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment 
     under the five-minute rule. All points of order against 
     provisions in the bill are waived. At the conclusion of 
     consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall 
     rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as 
     may have been adopted. The previous question shall be 
     considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to 
     final passage without intervening motion except one motion to 
     recommit with or without instructions. If the Committee of 
     the Whole rises and reports that it has come to no resolution 
     on the bill, then on the next legislative day the House 
     shall, immediately after the third daily order of business 
     under clause 1 of rule XIV, resolve into the Committee of the 
     Whole for further consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 4. Immediately upon disposition of H.R. 1010 the 
     Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare 
     the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on 
     the state of the Union for consideration of the Bank on 
     Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (H.R. 4582). The 
     first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points 
     of order against consideration of the bill are waived. 
     General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not 
     exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair 
     and ranking minority member of the Committee on Education and 
     the Workforce. After general debate the bill shall be 
     considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. All 
     points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. At 
     the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the 
     Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with 
     such amendments as may have been adopted. The previous 
     question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and 
     amendments thereto to final passage without intervening 
     motion except one motion to recommit with or without 
     instructions. If the Committee of the Whole rises and reports 
     that it has come to no resolution on the bill, then on the 
     next legislative day the House shall, immediately after the 
     third daily order of business under clause 1 of rule XIV, 
     resolve into the Committee of the Whole for further 
     consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 5. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 851, H.R. 377, H.R. 1010, or H.R. 4582.
                                  ____


        The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means

       This vote, the vote on whether to order the previous 
     question on a special rule, is not merely a procedural vote. 
     A vote against ordering the previous question is a vote 
     against the Republican majority agenda and a vote to allow 
     the Democratic minority to offer an alternative plan. It is a 
     vote about what the House should be debating.
       Mr. Clarence Cannon's Precedents of the House of 
     Representatives (VI, 308-311), describes the vote on the 
     previous question on the rule as ``a motion to direct or 
     control the consideration of the subject before the House 
     being made by the Member in charge.'' To defeat the previous 
     question is to give the opposition a chance to decide the 
     subject before the House. Cannon cites the Speaker's ruling 
     of January 13, 1920, to the effect that ``the refusal of the 
     House to sustain the demand for the previous question passes 
     the control of the resolution to the opposition'' in order to 
     offer an amendment. On March 15, 1909, a member of the 
     majority party offered a rule resolution. The House defeated 
     the previous question and a member of the opposition rose to 
     a parliamentary inquiry, asking who was entitled to 
     recognition. Speaker Joseph G. Cannon (R-Illinois) said: 
     ``The previous question having been refused, the gentleman 
     from New York, Mr. Fitzgerald, who had asked the gentleman to 
     yield to him for an amendment, is entitled to the first 
     recognition.''
       The Republican majority may say ``the vote on the previous 
     question is simply a vote on whether to proceed to an 
     immediate vote on adopting the resolution . . . [and] has no 
     substantive legislative or policy implications whatsoever.'' 
     But that is not what they have always said. Listen to the 
     Republican Leadership Manual on the Legislative Process in 
     the United States House of Representatives, (6th edition, 
     page 135). Here's how the Republicans describe the previous 
     question vote in their own manual: ``Although it is generally 
     not possible to amend the rule because the majority Member 
     controlling the time will not yield for the purpose of 
     offering an amendment, the same result may be achieved by 
     voting down the previous question on the rule . . . When the 
     motion for the previous question is defeated, control of the 
     time passes to the Member who led the opposition to ordering 
     the previous question. That Member, because he then controls 
     the time, may offer an amendment to the rule, or yield for 
     the purpose of amendment.''
       In Deschler's Procedure in the U.S. House of 
     Representatives, the subchapter titled ``Amending Special 
     Rules'' states: ``a refusal to order the previous question on 
     such a rule [a special rule reported from the Committee on 
     Rules] opens the resolution to amendment and further 
     debate.'' (Chapter 21, section 21.2) Section 21.3 continues: 
     ``Upon rejection of the motion for the previous question on a 
     resolution reported from the Committee on Rules, control 
     shifts to the Member leading the opposition to the previous 
     question, who may offer a proper amendment or motion and who 
     controls the time for debate thereon.''
       Clearly, the vote on the previous question on a rule does 
     have substantive policy implications. It is one of the only 
     available tools for those who oppose the Republican 
     majority's agenda and allows those with alternative views the 
     opportunity to offer an alternative plan.

  Mr. NUGENT. With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time, and I move the previous question on the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on ordering the previous 
question.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, on that, I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

                          ____________________