FINANCIAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 109
(House of Representatives - July 07, 2016)

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[Pages H4523-H4536]
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   FINANCIAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2017

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 794 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, 
H.R. 5485.
  Will the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Collins) kindly resume the 
chair.

[[Page H4524]]

  


                              {time}  1756


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the further consideration of 
the bill (H.R. 5485) making appropriations for financial services and 
general government for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017, and 
for other purposes, with Mr. Collins of Georgia (Acting Chair) in the 
chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose earlier today, 
amendment No. 38 printed in House report 114-639, offered by the 
gentleman from Iowa (Mr. King) had been disposed of.


                 Amendment No. 40 Offered by Mr. Messer

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 40 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to 
     commence any administrative adjudication or civil action 
     under section 1053 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act 
     of 2010 more than 3 years after the date of discovery of the 
     violation to which the adjudication or action relates.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from Indiana (Mr. Messer) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Indiana.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank my colleague, the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Crenshaw), for his great work on this important bill.
  Mr. Chairman, the amendment I am offering today is a simple and 
modest proposal. It ensures that the CFPB follows the statute of 
limitations established by Dodd-Frank during agency administrative 
proceedings.
  This amendment is a response to the CFPB blatantly ignoring the 
express statute of limitations in Dodd-Frank and the Real Estate 
Settlement Procedures Act, otherwise known as RESPA.

                              {time}  1800

  In January of 2014, CFPB launched an administrative proceeding 
against the PHH Corporation alleging a violation of RESPA. In the case, 
CFPB Director Richard Cordray claimed the express 3-year statute of 
limitations within Dodd-Frank did not apply to the CFPB's 
administrative proceedings process--deliberately ignoring the law.
  Using this unprecedented rationale, the CFPB retroactively imposed 
fines of $109 million against PHH Corporation for alleged violations 
dating back to 1995, meaning that the CFPB imposed fines for alleged 
violations that occurred 19 years after the statute of limitations had 
expired--again, 19 years past the express statute of limitations.
  These fines are illegal under Dodd-Frank, and they deny 
businessowners basic liability protections guaranteed to them under the 
statute of limitations. Without those protections, the CFPB could 
threaten litigation forever, handcuffing businesses' ability to create 
jobs in perpetuity.
  You can't just make it up. This is lawless behavior and it is 
dangerous for the rule of law.
  My amendment is very simple. It prohibits the CFPB from using any 
funds to take administrative actions past the express 3-year statute of 
limitations in Dodd-Frank.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support the amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, this amendment prohibits funds from the CFPB to 
commence any administrative adjudication or civil action beyond the 3-
year statute of limitation in Dodd-Frank.
  In doing so, it would limit the board's ability to bring enforcement 
action against wrongdoers. This represents a free pass for bad actors 
who have swindled borrowers on a host of practices and products under 
the Bureau's jurisdiction--credit cards, student loans, mortgages, auto 
loans, debt collection practices, and payday loans, just to name a few.
  Title X of Dodd-Frank does provide a 3-year statute of limitations 
for claims being brought by the Bureau under that title. However, the 
Bureau has argued in court that the statute of limitations does not 
govern claims brought under the enumerated consumer protection laws 
transferred to the Bureau--laws like the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 
the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and 
the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
  While some of these enumerated statutes have their own statutes of 
limitations, others do not. The board has argued in court that, even 
under those laws that do have statutes of limitation, they do not apply 
to the Bureau, but instead only apply to private litigation.
  Of the enumerated laws that do not have statutes of limitation, the 
Bureau has argued in court that no statute of limitation applies.
  When it comes to administrative law judge proceedings, rather than 
those brought in court, the Bureau also contends the statute of 
limitation does not apply.
  In the final analysis, this is currently being adjudicated by the 
Bureau and defendants in the courts. It would be premature and 
disruptive for Congress to step in with this amendment, which tilts the 
playing field in court toward the side of special interests.
  Moreover, both the House and Senate authorizing committees of 
jurisdiction have not even considered this issue during hearings or 
markups. At the very least, it would be premature to adopt this 
amendment, which significantly alters existing law and throws into flux 
cases pending before the courts, without any regard for regular order.
  Finally, this amendment creates uncertainty and complications as to 
how our regulatory agencies can enforce the law.
  The Wall Street Reform Act transferred enforcement authority to the 
Bureau for a host of consumer protection statutes. Yet banking and 
other market regulators have retained authority on a number of those 
laws, thereby creating two sets of standards: one for banking and 
market regulators, where the statute of limitations would still be 
being interpreted by the courts, and one for our lead consumer 
regulator, the Bureau. This will only serve to confuse the industry.
  That is the main reason why I oppose the amendment and urge a ``no'' 
vote.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire how much time I have 
remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Indiana has 2\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Crenshaw), the chairman.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I rise to support this amendment. It is 
common sense. We all believe in regulation, but we believe in 
reasonable regulation. What the gentleman is trying to do is just kind 
of curtail some of this regulatory overreach.
  When this agency was set up, it was outside the appropriations 
process. They get a check from the Federal Reserve for $600 million 
with no strings attached. Nobody asks anything. In our underlying bill, 
we put them under the appropriations process. We say: You ought not 
just have a single director. Have a five-member commission like a lot 
of these regulatory agencies. So it is a good amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, what I would ask the gentleman to do is to consider the 
fact that this is being still dealt with in the courts, and this is not 
the right time for us--or any time--to get involved before the court 
has decided. That is one of the problems that we have on many of these 
issues, that we get involved and we try to get our will, our

[[Page H4525]]

way on an issue, before the courts have decided what to do with it.
  This is a big issue for them to decide, and I would hope that we can 
see our way to letting those decisions be made before we set a tone 
that kind of sways what the final outcome might be, and that is not the 
right thing to do.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chairman, I respect the gentleman's position. I would 
just submit that the express language of Dodd-Frank says what we should 
do here. It creates a 3-year statute of limitations for the CFPB, and 
the CFPB is ignoring the rule of law and ignoring that express 
language. All this amendment does is say that the CFPB cannot use 
dollars to violate the express letter of the law. I urge my colleagues 
for their support.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, there are other parts 
covered by the Bureau that have their own statute of limitations. That 
is why these questions are being asked. While the gentleman is correct 
that Dodd-Frank says 3 years, in other areas it is not 3 years. It is 
being settled, and we should stay out of it until then.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MESSER. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Messer).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Indiana will 
be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 41 Offered by Mr. Palmer

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 41 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. PALMER. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act 
     (including title IV and title VIII) may be used to carry out 
     the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 
     2014 (D.C. Law 20-261) or to implement any rule or regulation 
     promulgated to carry out such Act.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from Alabama (Mr. Palmer) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Alabama.
  Mr. PALMER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like, first of all, to thank the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Crenshaw) for his work on this bill.
  My amendment would prohibit funds from being used to implement the 
District of Columbia's Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment 
Act of 2014, or RHNDA.
  The Declaration of Independence declares that: ``We hold these truths 
to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are 
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among 
these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.''
  These founding principles remain true today. The reason life was 
included by our Founders as the first principle is because without life 
there is no liberty; it is a prerequisite for liberty. Without life, 
there is no pursuit of happiness. In fact, it is self-evident, without 
life, there isn't even a discussion about any rights.
  Liberty encompasses social and political freedoms, and the tenets 
associated with liberty were those used in drafting the First Amendment 
to the Constitution. With life and liberty, you can pursue happiness. 
Take away either and the pursuit becomes difficult or impossible.
  My amendment protects all three, but I will focus my comments on 
liberty as it relates to the free exercise of religion clause in the 
First Amendment.
  The First Amendment states in part that: ``Congress shall make no law 
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free 
exercise thereof.'' Without my amendment, some employers in the 
District of Columbia would not only be prohibited from exercising their 
religion, but would be forced to embrace the beliefs of the 13 members 
of the D.C. Council.
  The District of Columbia allows abortions until the moment of birth, 
but a number of employers in the District of Columbia believe in the 
sanctity of life and protecting it. In fact, many organizations in 
D.C.--such as March for Life, Americans United for Life, and the 
National Right to Life Committee--exist solely to protect life. The 
Constitution provides them the right to exercise those beliefs, just 
like it does those who oppose it.
  That is why when the District of Columbia passed the Reproductive 
Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, former Mayor Vincent 
Gray expressed concerns about the law. In December 2014, Gray wrote a 
letter to the D.C. Council about RHNDA, describing it as ``legally 
problematic'' and saying: ``. . . the bill raises serious concerns 
under the Constitution and under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act 
of 1993. Religious organizations, religiously affiliated organizations, 
religiously driven for-profit entities, and political organizations may 
have strong First Amendment and RFRA grounds for challenging the law's 
applicability to them.''
  Employers who oppose abortions and paying for them as part of a 
compensation package have every right to exercise their freedom not to 
do so, and those who want to receive abortions or have them paid for 
have every right to seek employment from someone willing to do so. That 
is how freedom works. It does not work with one group imposing its 
version of freedom on the other, which is what this District law 
currently provides for.
  In its 2012 opinion in the case of Hosanna Tabor v. EEOC, the Supreme 
Court unanimously affirmed the right of religious organizations to hire 
employees that support the mission of the organization where their 
employees are responsible for carrying out its mission. The opinion 
says: ``The interest of society in the enforcement of employment 
discrimination statuses is undoubtedly important. But so too is the 
interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, 
teach their faith, and carry out their mission.''
  Would you require PETA to hire someone that comes to an interview in 
a fur coat? Would you require Planned Parenthood to hire a nun or 
anyone adamantly opposed to abortion? Neither of these situations makes 
sense, nor does requiring a pro-life organization to hire someone who 
explicitly contradicts their moral conscience or religious beliefs. The 
Supreme Court agrees.
  My amendment would restore religious freedom to employers inside the 
District of Columbia. Those who want to have abortions do not have to 
work for employers who oppose them. They have life and the liberty to 
pursue their own interests with another employer.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to vote ``yes'' on this amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to the amendment. This 
amendment would, once again, overreach into the District of Columbia's 
local affairs by prohibiting funds for D.C.'s local law, the 
Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014.
  The D.C. law this amendment would vacate prohibits discrimination 
based on reproductive health decisions. This amendment would allow 
workplace discrimination if the employer disagrees with the employee's 
use of contraception, in vitro fertilization, and even perhaps a 
medically necessary abortion.
  D.C. is attempting to protect workers from losing their jobs because 
their supervisors may or may not agree with their personal decisions. 
This amendment offered today would strip those protections from D.C. 
workers.

[[Page H4526]]

  In addition to being bad policy, this amendment goes around the law 
which states that Congress has 30 days to review bills passed by the 
D.C. Council. The 30 days are up, and the Republican-controlled 
Congress did not legally stop these laws from going into effect. The 
House passed a resolution disapproving the D.C. bill on reproductive 
health, and the Republican-controlled Senate did not.
  The Congress had time to act on these issues, and it failed to do so. 
D.C. residents should not be subject to endless efforts to overturn its 
laws. It continues to be part of what I always complain about, this 
desire that we have on the other side to tell the District of Columbia 
what to do.

                              {time}  1815

  In this case, there was actually protection for the Congress if the 
Congress had acted within 30 days. But it didn't, and now we want to, 
in this bill, get around that lack of action by putting in new action 
to overturn their law.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALMER. Mr. Chairman, obviously, Article I, section 8, clause 17 
of the Constitution states that Congress shall have power ``to exercise 
exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District.''
  Moving aside the jurisdictional issue, I take exception to my 
colleague's point that it is acceptable to infringe on the religious 
liberties of certain people, those who actually believe in protecting 
life. If those who don't believe in protecting life want to find 
employment, let them find employment at like-minded organizations.
  The D.C. government should not be able to compel pro-life 
organizations to hire pro-abortion employees. That is exactly what the 
Religious Freedom Restoration Act was in place to protect, as Mayor 
Gray pointed out in his letter to the D.C. Council. I can't say that I 
always agree with the Mayor, but his serious concerns were, and remain 
to be, completely valid.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, very carefully let me say that there are 
many instances where people have disagreements, but the law prevails. 
Not every employer agrees with everything that the employee does and 
vice versa, but if there is a law in place, then the law prevails. Here 
there is a law in place, number one.
  Number two, we should continue to try not to meddle in the District 
of Columbia's issues.
  Number three, I repeat, we had a period, a legal period for us to 
act--some would say a constitutional period for us to act--and we 
didn't act. Now we want to get around that by using this bill 
improperly to undo what the people in the District of Columbia, through 
their representatives, found to be correct for them, just like other 
States, other communities throughout this country, maybe communities 
even in the gentleman's and many of the gentlemen and gentlewomen on 
the other side's districts.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chair, I strongly oppose this amendment. The 
amendment prohibits the District of Columbia from using its local 
funds, consisting of local taxes and fees, to enforce a local 
nondiscrimination law, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination 
Amendment Act, giving employers license, in the name of religion, to 
discriminate against employees, their spouses and their dependents 
based on their private, constitutionally protected reproductive health 
decisions. Contrary to the sponsor's claim, the D.C. law does not 
require employers to provide insurance coverage for reproductive health 
decisions. The law states expressly: ``This section shall not be 
construed to require an employer to provide insurance coverage related 
to a reproductive health decision.''
  The amendment permits employers to fire a woman for having an 
abortion due to rape, or to decline to hire a woman for using in vitro 
fertilization, or to fire a man for using condoms, or to reduce the 
salary of a parent for buying birth control for his or her child.
  The D.C. law is valid under both the U.S. Constitution and federal 
law. Indeed, the law has been in effect for more than a year, and there 
appear to have been no lawsuits challenging it.
  Under the U.S. Constitution, laws may limit religious exercise if 
they are neutral, generally applicable and rationally related to a 
legitimate governmental interest. The D.C. law applies to all 
employers, does not target religion and promotes workplace equality. 
Under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which applies to 
D.C., laws may substantially burden religious exercise if they further 
a compelling governmental interest in the least restrictive means. D.C. 
has a compelling interest in eliminating discrimination, and the D.C. 
law is the least restrictive means to do so.
  The D.C. law protects religious liberty. The law is subject to 
constitutional and statutory exceptions to non-discrimination laws. The 
Constitution's narrow ministerial exception allows religious 
organizations to make employment decisions for ministers and 
ministerial employees for any reason whatsoever. D.C. law permits 
religious and political organizations to make employment decisions 
based on religion and political views. Under the D.C. law, employees 
must be willing to carry out employers' missions and directives.
  I urge Members to vote NO on this amendment in order to protect 
employees' reproductive health decisions, workplace equality and D.C.'s 
right to self-government.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Palmer).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Alabama will 
be postponed.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Chair understands that amendment No. 42 will 
not be offered.


                 Amendment No. 43 Offered by Mr. Mullin

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 43 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. MULLIN. Mr. Chairman, as the designee of the gentleman from 
Kansas (Mr. Pompeo), I offer amendment No. 43.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the 
     proposed rule entitled ``Voluntary Remedial Actions and 
     Guidelines for Voluntary Recall Notices'' published by the 
     Consumer Product Safety Commission in the Federal Register on 
     November 21, 2013 (78 Fed. Reg. 69793).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from Oklahoma (Mr. Mullin) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. MULLIN. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would prohibit funds for the 
voluntary recall proposed rule at the Consumer Product Safety 
Commission and prevent them from moving forward with a rule that would 
cripple the highly successful voluntary recall program currently in 
place.
  Congress has expressed significant concerns over this proposed rule. 
Two years ago, the House approved this amendment, and Congress has 
repeatedly made it clear to the CPSC that it would cease in its quest 
to make unnecessary changes to a recall system that has worked well 
over the past 40 years. This system--one based on a successful 
partnership between businesses and the Commission--has helped ensure 
that consumer products sold in the U.S. are the safest in the world.
  Congressional intent has been expressed in House-passed legislation, 
report language, letters from lawmakers, and oversight hearings. 
However, the Commission has failed to withdraw the proposed rule and 
has continued to indicate in its operating plan that it will move 
forward.
  The CPSC does not even have the statutory authority to issue the 
rule. The CPSC has presented absolutely no evidence supporting its 
proposal, and all but one comment submitted expressed serious concerns 
over how the proposed rule would actually delay recalls and harm the 
effectiveness of our recall program.
  The Commission unilaterally seeks to transform the voluntary recall 
process into a legal negotiation equivalent to a settlement agreement. 
The proposed changes would require companies seeking to implement a 
recall to hire an attorney, dragging out the process and creating a 
financial burden for small businesses.
  The CPSC's proposed rule on voluntary recalls would slow down a 
process meant to be conducted with speed

[[Page H4527]]

and without red tape. Consumers would ultimately be more at risk as 
recalls are delayed. This proposed rule would make it more difficult to 
remove defective products from the marketplace.
  Mr. Chairman, passage of this amendment would remind the Commission 
that its mission is to protect the public against unreasonable risks of 
injury associated with consumer products in an efficient and reasonable 
manner. The proposed rule to significantly alter the voluntary recall 
process is contrary to that mission.
  I urge Members to adopt this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. I rise in opposition to this amendment. It would 
prohibit the CPSC from taking action on the proposed rule on voluntary 
recall actions and voluntary recall notices.
  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in 2013. There has 
been no further official rulemaking action taken on it since then, so 
this amendment is not necessary.
  For that reason, I oppose the amendment, and I urge my colleagues to 
do so as well.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MULLIN. Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support this 
amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Mullin).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oklahoma 
will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 44 Offered by Mr. Posey

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 44 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. POSEY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement, administer, enforce, or codify into 
     regulation, the guidance relating to ``Commission Guidance 
     Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change'', affecting 
     parts 211, 231, and 249 of title 17, Code of Federal 
     Regulations (as described in Commission Release Nos. 33-9106; 
     34-61469; FR-82).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Posey) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. POSEY. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would prohibit the Securities 
and Exchange Commission from using funds under this act to pursue a 
political agenda on climate change and, instead, return its focus to 
their three-part mission: to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, 
and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation.
  My amendment relates to the SEC's 2010 interpretive guidance for 
companies to disclose the impact that global climate change may have on 
their businesses.
  My amendment is necessary and timely, given the SEC's recent 
regulation S-K Concept Release that suggests the SEC is moving toward 
further action on this issue. It is even more important, in light of a 
campaign by several States' attorneys general, to impede the First 
Amendment rights of those who dare question the accuracy of climate 
change science.
  More and more, we have seen the Federal securities laws and 
disclosure system abused for political purposes--from the median pay 
ratio disclosure requirement of Dodd-Frank to conflict minerals, to 
climate change. These politically motivated and mandated disclosures 
are not about protecting investors, they are about shaming companies, 
or at least attempting to shame companies, into adopting their agenda.
  It is a waste of resources for the companies, for their shareholders, 
and for the SEC. Publicly traded companies are already required to 
disclose all material information. Having companies disclose 
information on immaterial issues, like the climate, is highly 
speculative and dubious at best.
  Regardless of how you feel about climate change policy, securities 
law is not the place for it. We already have agencies in place to help 
protect our environment. The SEC's job is to protect investors, and 
that means making sure they have material information to make sound 
investments.
  The SEC's guidance is also at odds with the FAST Act of 2015--
legislation the President signed--and that requires the SEC to 
simplify, not make more complex, the current disclosure regime by June 
1, a deadline which the SEC has already missed. Clearly, there are 
better, more pressing, uses for the SEC's finite resources.
  I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment and 
refocus the SEC on their core mission.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I am not trying to be funny here, but I am 
trying to figure out what political climate issues are. Maybe it is 
Democrats manipulate the weather so it only hurts certain people. I 
don't know what it means.
  Mr. Chairman, indeed, this amendment would prevent the SEC from 
enforcing or codifying into law its 2010 interpretive guidance to 
public companies intended to provide greater transparency to investors 
on the material risks--and opportunities--of those companies to climate 
change.
  This guidance was put forth after nearly 100 investors, representing 
$7 trillion in wealth management, specifically petitioned the SEC for 
this clarity.
  Additionally, the guidance doesn't create new climate change 
regulatory frameworks or mandates. Instead, it simply provides clarity 
on what companies should view as a ``material'' risk or opportunity 
that ought to be disclosed to investors.
  Given that Hurricane Sandy caused $70 billion in damage, it is 
difficult to say that climate change doesn't have an impact on 
business, unless you deny the existence of climate change in the first 
place.
  Democrats support efforts by the SEC to modernize public company 
disclosures so that investors are appropriately apprised of the 
material risks, including the risks of climate change.
  H.R. 4792, for example, represents a bicameral effort by Democrats to 
encourage the SEC to do more, not less, to ensure investors are aware 
of climate change risks like the effect of carbon costs on oil and gas 
companies.
  This amendment always runs counter to a recent decision by the SEC to 
require ExxonMobil to allow a shareholder proposal from the New York 
State Common Fund and the Church of England to come up for a vote on 
this issue. That proposal would require ExxonMobil to disclose to 
shareholders how climate change may impact their profits.
  Indeed, shareholders are increasingly craving this information. Since 
the beginning of 2016, eight shareholder proposals have gone to a vote 
at oil and gas and utility companies requesting increased disclosure of 
their plans to mitigate the impact from climate change on their 
operations. Average support for the proposal was 31 percent, but at 
Occidental Petroleum, nearly a majority of shareholders voted in favor. 
In comparison, in 2015, climate change-related proposals received an 
average of 17.5 percent support, with the highest support of 36.3 
percent at Marathon Oil Corporation.
  If the SEC guidance on this was stronger, and if the SEC enforced 
this mandate, these shareholder proposals, which go further than 
voluntary disclosures, would not be necessary.
  As the impacts of climate change continue to be felt by individuals 
and businesses alike, shareholders will demand more information about 
the risks associated with their investments. The SEC should do more, 
not less, to clarify to companies the material risks they must disclose 
to their shareholders and owners.
  I urge opposition to this amendment.

[[Page H4528]]

  I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1830

  Mr. POSEY. Mr. Chair, I apologize if I wasn't clear.
  This amendment does not stop companies from mentioning bona fide 
weather and environmental risks in their disclosures. If a company 
wants to weigh in on climate change, nothing in this amendment would 
prevent it from volunteering that information; but the reality is that 
companies are already required to disclose all material information.
  We shouldn't allow the disclosure system to continue to be used as a 
tool for special interests. Instead of forcing agendas on companies, 
the SEC should be focused on protecting investors, maintaining fair, 
orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation. The 
SEC let Bernard Madoff run free for 10 years--a decade--while he 
evaporated $70 billion worth of people's life savings and hard-earned 
money. They were asleep at the switch. They were busy doing something 
else like this. Their job is to protect investors, and that is the 
intent of this amendment.
  I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I have been in public office for 42 years, 43 
years, and only once in those years in the New York State Assembly and 
in Congress did an agency come before me and say: ``We don't want any 
more money. We have enough.'' That was the SEC in the old days, under 
another administration. They didn't want any more money, and I was 
shocked. No agency ever does that. Then, when Wall Street fell apart, 
we found out why. They didn't want any more money because they didn't 
want to enforce anything.
  The gentleman is right in that Madoff got away with a lot of stuff; 
but now, when we have an SEC that looks at things differently--that 
says that we should ask questions, that we should, for instance, tell 
shareholders what they are doing to mitigate the problems that they may 
face as shareholders--we want to stop them. We can't have it both ways.
  I agree with the gentleman in that Madoff and people like him got 
away with things, but not because this SEC, in these modern times, was 
looking the other way. It was because it was during a period of time 
when they didn't care, when they didn't enforce anything. A lot of 
people didn't enforce anything. I will give you an example which is 
related.
  To my understanding, not a single person from Wall Street went to 
prison. I don't know if that is possible anywhere else.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman from New York has 
expired.
  Mr. POSEY. Mr. Chair, may I inquire as to how much time I have left.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida has 1 minute remaining.
  Mr. POSEY. Mr. Chair, with regard to the new SEC and the old SEC, I 
have been here a little less than 8 years, but I heard the new SEC 
Secretary say, well, there is really nothing to worry about and that 
half of the 38 employees who were culpable in allowing Madoff to run 
free are no longer with the agency. She couldn't tell us what happened 
to them, if they were with another Federal agency or if they retired on 
the public dime. That is just like saying a pedophile changed 
neighborhoods--problem solved.
  The fact is that we need to have the SEC focus on protecting 
investors. That is their main course. That is what they are supposed to 
do, and that is what the public expects them to do. That is what this 
amendment will allow them to do.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Posey).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida will 
be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 45 Offered by Mr. Roskam

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 45 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. _.  None of the funds made available to the Department 
     of Treasury by this Act may be used to issue a license 
     pursuant to any Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) memo 
     regarding Section 5.1.1 of Annex II to the Joint 
     Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015 (JCPOA), 
     including the January 16, 2016, OFAC memo titled, ``Statement 
     of Licensing Policy For Activities Related to the Export Or 
     Re-Export to Iran of Commercial Passenger Aircraft and 
     Related Parts and Services'' and any other OFAC memo of the 
     same substance.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Roskam) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, we have an opportunity to do a good thing, and 
the good thing is this: to prohibit the Iranian regime from getting a 
product that is fungible militarily. One begins to ask oneself: What 
can that be, and how could the Congress be involved in that? It is very 
simple.
  There is a large American company, which is the Boeing Company, that 
is now seeking to do a deal, and the deal that they are seeking to do 
is to sell billions of dollars' worth of planes to the Iranians.
  Now, the Iranian regime--let's stipulate that everybody agrees--is 
the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. When I say 
``everybody,'' I mean everybody. Capitol Hill agrees; the 
administration agrees; the President says that is true; the Secretary 
of State says that is true. Yet they are on the verge of getting 
something that can be used for a military purpose. What is that? That 
is a Boeing plane.
  This is a tweet from May of this year when the Boeing Company tweeted 
this: ``These airplanes don't retire. They're getting another 20 years 
of life. See how. #freighters.''
  That is exactly it. Boeing, in a moment of candor, overdisclosed one 
of the interesting things--and they are really attractive things--about 
their products. Why? Their products can be used as freighters. Their 
products can be used to transfer things on behalf of the Iranian 
Revolutionary Guard Corps, whom everybody acknowledges has been 
complicit in terror.
  This amendment is very simple, and it is very clear. It says that the 
Treasury Department cannot use money that is appropriated to license 
this deal.
  I urge its passage.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the gentleman's 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, if you listen to the last comment by the 
gentleman, for whom I have a lot of respect, this is really not about 
this particular situation. It is about the Iran deal. Anything to make 
it look bad--to make the agreement look bad, to make any future work on 
it look bad, to make any future vote on it look bad--some folks will 
do.
  What he says is not to allow any dollars to be appropriated by this 
committee to help in any way, shape, or form, or to get involved with 
the Iran deal. That is a situation we see a lot of on this committee, 
and it shouldn't be. It doesn't belong here. It belongs in another 
committee.
  If you are opposed to what the President has proposed--with what the 
President is trying to do and with what many of us believe is correct--
then we should work on that but not necessarily work on trying to cut 
funding and say that this particular part cannot be done and that that 
particular part cannot be done. It simply speaks to a larger issue, and 
I think we should be fair and honest with ourselves and say: I oppose 
this whole deal. I oppose this proposal. I oppose all of this, and I am 
simply trying to get at it in another way.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.

[[Page H4529]]

  

  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, the gentleman has conflated a number of 
issues, so let me explain and try to bring some clarity to this.
  There is, really, a false notion and a false narrative, which is to 
collapse the JCPOA--that is the nuclear deal--and the activity around 
Iran and the ability to sell. So what am I saying? The Iranians, under 
the JCPOA, are entitled to civilian aircraft, but it is to use for 
civilian purposes.
  Boeing, by their own admission, Mr. Chair, says this: ``Building on 
success: Boeing's commercial jetliners make an ideal platform for a 
variety of military derivative aircraft.'' Mr. Chair, this is Boeing's 
language from their own promotional materials.
  How about this? This is according to Boeing: ``Good news. 
Modifications can take 3 months to 2 years. It all depends on how much 
militarization they want to do.''
  Don't you see the point, Mr. Chair? Don't you see the point? To give 
these types of planes to the Iranian regime, which is still the world's 
largest state sponsor of terror, is to give them a product that can be 
used for a military purpose. We are not talking about baby formula. We 
are not talking about licorice. We are not talking about sandals, for 
crying out loud. We are talking about aircraft that can be used.
  What can fit in a Boeing 747? This can fit in. It can fit 100 Shahab 
ballistic missiles or 15,000 rocket-propelled grenades or 25,000 AK-47 
assault rifles.
  Let's not do this. Adopt this amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, may I inquire as to the time remaining.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Illinois has 2 minutes 
remaining, and the gentleman from New York has 3\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, let me point out one other piece of 
literature. Again, this comes from the Boeing Company. This is from 
their Frontiers Magazine: ``Military derivatives front and center.'' 
This is a continuing problem.
  Look, this is in stark contrast, Mr. Chair, for a company like 
Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin has said they are not going to do 
business with the Iranians. God bless Lockheed Martin. They could be 
assembling helicopters--they could be doing all kinds of things--but 
they recognize that they ought not to be complicit in this adventure.
  It is also interesting to me to say that, a couple of minutes ago, my 
friend, the gentleman from New York, was echoing a criticism from the 
U.S. Chamber. The U.S. Chamber said this: ``Congress should avoid 
intervening in commercial contract agreements in instances such as 
these where national security matters are not involved.''
  Okay. It is wrong on two counts. Number one, it is an assertion that 
this is a commercial deal. I am asserting that it is military, and that 
is true by definition. It is true by Boeing's own admission. Secondly, 
when do we defer to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for military and 
national security advice?
  This is a good amendment. It is targeted. It is thoughtful. I urge 
its passage.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, in closing, it is interesting that he singles 
out this particular situation, because, if we were to look at every 
place to which we send any kind of armament that, maybe, some people 
would disagree with sending it to, we may not be selling anything to 
anyone throughout the world because there are plenty of people who 
oppose just about everything. I mean, we probably would only be sending 
stuff to the British and to no one else, perhaps, and everybody else 
would be in trouble. So that is not such a strong argument.
  The thing is that, if we start nitpicking--and I am not saying the 
gentleman is--this piece and that piece and that piece, then we could 
find so much that we can't send to Iran, and we will have no 
relationship at all. The whole purpose of what we are trying to do here 
is to establish some sort of understanding of who they are and an 
understanding of what their behavior is, but to still hope that, 
through conversation, though diplomacy, through other means, we can 
reach agreements that are good for us, good for them, and good for the 
world and world peace.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROSKAM. I thank the gentleman for acknowledging that we are not 
nitpicking.
  Mr. Chair, let me just say this. Look, let's set aside every other 
country in the world. Let's come together, and let's agree on one 
thing. As for the world's largest state sponsor of terror that has been 
involved and complicit in killing thousands of Americans--the number 
one of the hit parade of evil regimes that are projecting terror and 
malevolence--let's agree not to give them more capacity.
  I urge the passage of this amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Roskam).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 46 Offered by Mr. Roskam

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 46 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to authorize a transaction by a U.S. financial 
     institution (as defined under section 561.309 of title 31, 
     Code of Federal Regulations) that is ordinarily incident to 
     the export or re-export of a commercial passenger aircraft to 
     the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Roskam) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois.

                              {time}  1845

  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chairman, similar theme, this is a limitation 
amendment that would prohibit the administration from being involved in 
expediting the financing for the Boeing sale to Iran.
  I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Sherman).
  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Chair, the last amendment dealt with the actual sale 
of the planes. The Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA, does provide that we 
should license those planes if we are sure they are going to be used 
for civilian purposes. So there is, at least, some argument about what 
Iran is supposed to get under the JCPOA.
  This amendment deals with whether we finance airplanes, whether they 
are made by Boeing or Airbus or anybody else, and exactly what we are 
going to let our banks finance.
  This amendment has nothing to do with the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear 
deal. Nothing in that agreement promises, hints, or even discusses the 
possibility that we would go so far as to lend money to one of the 
state sponsors of terrorism.
  I know there is concern: Do we want to boycott everybody in the 
world? There are only three countries that are state sponsors of 
terrorism, and two of them--Syrian and Sudan--no bank would lend money 
to. So this is one country that we have to deal with that is a state 
sponsor of terrorism that might borrow money.
  Why shouldn't we allow it?
  First, because we shouldn't allow our banks to endanger their 
depositors' money with loans to Iran.
  Second, because we don't want major banks lobbying this Congress and 
saying: ``Oh, my God, you have got to be nice to the Iranians or we 
won't get paid back and we might fail and then you will have to bail us 
out.'' We don't need Wall Street to become a lobbyist for Iran.
  Finally, because when it comes to fairness under the Iran deal, some 
say the Iranians have violated it. Some say they are barely technically 
complying. But everyone agrees they are not overperforming, they are 
not erring in the direction of being consistent with the overall 
purposes of the deal. There is no reason we should massively 
overperform and provide financing we didn't even hint that we might do.
  Finally, keep in mind what we would be financing if we finance these 
planes.

[[Page H4530]]

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed. Most of the country 
is either in an internal exile or is fleeing the country. Bodies wash 
up on the beaches of Greek islands from people who risk their lives to 
escape an Assad regime that is kept in power by the thugs, the money, 
and the weapons carried to Damascus by Iran.
  We don't have to finance this terrorism. We're not obligated to do 
so, even if we are going to be in the strictest compliance with the 
JCPOA. We shouldn't expose our banks to that risk.
  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, this amendment has the same purpose as the 
amendment we just debated, that is, to undermine the Iran agreement and 
penalize American manufacturing companies.
  We have already gone over this, but it is worth repeating. The JCPOA 
closed the four pathways through which Iran could get to a nuclear 
weapon in less than a year. We do not gain anything by putting 
limitations on the United States' ability to engage or monitor Iran's 
compliance with the agreement.
  My objection to this amendment is the same objection I had to the 
last amendment: I see no need to proactively cut off domestic 
industry's access to a large market and, at the same time, undermine 
the commitment under the agreement regarding the exportation of 
commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran.
  The financial mechanism for any transaction regarding U.S.-
manufactured commercial aircraft has not yet been determined. Once the 
contracts are completed, Iran Air will decide how it wants to finance 
its purchases. Like the discussion on the gentleman's last amendment, 
all payment matters will be done in full compliance with U.S. 
sanctions.
  I understand that there is concern amongst some that the financing of 
any arrangement would be done through the Export-Import Bank of the 
United States. I would just note here that the Export-Import Bank of 
the U.S. is prohibited from providing financing to any Iranian airline. 
We should not be dictating the finance mechanisms for the purchase of 
American-made commercial aircraft, consistent with an international 
agreement and U.S. law and policy.
  Mr. Chairman, I am afraid I have repeated myself. So let me just say 
this: The amendment harms U.S. manufacturing jobs and ensures that U.S. 
companies will be locked out of a large aerospace market which is 
expected to grow for decades to come.
  Under this agreement, Iran is being subjected to the most 
comprehensive, intrusive inspection regime ever negotiated to monitor a 
nuclear program. If Iran tries to cheat, if they try to build a bomb 
covertly, we will catch them.
  The President has repeatedly said that he will continue to take 
aggressive steps to counter any activities in violation of existing 
sanctions. There is no reason to believe that the next President will 
not do the same.
  I strongly oppose this harmful amendment and encourage my colleagues 
to oppose it as well.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Quickly, there is the nuclear deal over here. There is Iran, the 
terrorism regime, over here. What we are focusing on is the latter, the 
terrorism regime.
  This is a map. This is a map that was put together by the Foundation 
for the Defense of Democracies. It shows flights.
  A few weeks ago, an Airbus A300 aircraft belonging to Iran Air, which 
historically has been on the terrorist watch list by the way, took off 
from an airfield in southwestern Iran. The commercial jet left Abadan, 
a logistical hub for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and left 
for Syria. This is not a regularly scheduled flight. There is nobody 
with a straight face that can say these were tourists, this was 
commercial travel. Complete nonsense. This is illicit behavior.
  Let me show you one other slide. This is from yesterday, Mr. Chair. 
Iran's air force flew a Boeing 747 from Tehran to Damascus yesterday, 
and this is the documentation of it. Iran systemically uses commercial 
aircraft to spread death, destruction, and mayhem; and we can do 
something about it.
  So divorce in your mind, Mr. Chairman, the notion of the nuclear deal 
that the gentleman from New York was speaking about. It is completely 
separate. This is our ability to stop an iconic American company that 
has basically said: ``Well, look, somebody else is doing it.''
  Let me ask you one question in closing, Mr. Chairman. When does 
history ever treat well the entity that said: ``I did this terrible 
thing because somebody else did it too''?
  I urge the adoption of this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York has 2 minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This is about the Iran deal, and you could paint it any way you want. 
Anyone can say what they want about it, but it is about a deal that 
people would like to destroy. And so any opportunity we find, we do it.
  The charts that you showed are very good. The charts that the 
gentleman showed, Mr. Chair, are very good, are very strong, with a lot 
of information. But I am wondering, aren't those charts being shown to 
our military? Aren't those charts, in fact, being seen by our 
government? Isn't our President aware of whatever the gentleman claims?
  He makes it sound like it is a secret that somehow folks on the other 
side found out. Whatever is happening, if something is happening, our 
government, our military will react to it.
  He says to separate the Iran deal from what is going on. Well, 
separate the military from this President that the other side doesn't 
like. The military very carefully looks at this and advises the 
President. So, if something was going on that was out of order within 
the deal, they would tell him immediately. I know that, and I am 
confident of that.
  This, I repeat, is just one of the many ways that we will see, not 
only tonight and have seen today, but on many other bills and for as 
long as we can, to see if we can undo the Iran deal, just the same way 
some people are trying to undo some other deals that were put together 
recently by this President.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Roskam).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 47 Offered by Mr. Sanford

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 47 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. _.  None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used to administer or enforce part 515 of title 31, Code 
     of Federal Regulations (the Cuban Assets Control Regulations) 
     or section 910(b) of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export 
     Enhancement Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7209(b)) with respect to 
     any travel or travel-related transaction. The limitation 
     described in this section shall not apply in the case of the 
     administration of a tax or tariff.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from South Carolina (Mr. Sanford) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from South Carolina.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, I want to be clear that in just a few 
moments, I am going to be withdrawing my amendment.
  Before I do so, I just want to say a couple of things because this 
amendment was a very simple and straightforward amendment that did 
nothing more than allow Americans to travel to Cuba, which is to say 
this amendment ultimately was about American liberty.
  We just heard a long conversation about Iran, and yet, as an 
American,

[[Page H4531]]

you can travel to Iran. You could travel to Syria. You could travel to 
North Korea. There is no prohibition for any other place on the globe, 
except for one, and that is Cuba. And that may have made sense 50 years 
ago.
  The reality of today is that it does not make sense today. And so 
this has ultimately been about American liberty. It has been about the 
bundle of rights that come with liberty. The Supreme Court has said 
that as real as the food that we eat or the clothes that we wear or the 
books that we read, the ability to choose where you come and go, where 
you travel to, is an American liberty.
  So Jefferson said 200 years ago that the normal course of things was 
for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield. And I think it 
is very, very important wherein we run into policies that have outlived 
their usefulness, that may have made sense 50 years, that don't make 
sense today, that we push back against them. That is what this 
amendment was about and, again, affording people the true American way, 
which is to travel as they choose, not as government sees.
  Two, it is about bringing change. I signed on to the original Helms-
Burton language. The definition of insanity is continuing the same 
process and expecting a different result. We have tried this approach 
for 50 years. We have the longest-serving dictatorship in the world in 
the form of the Castro brothers in Cuba. And it would seem to me, if it 
hadn't worked in 50 years, might we not trying something different?
  It was Ronald Reagan that encouraged engagement. In fact, that has 
been the policy of this country. So I don't like what goes on in Russia 
or in China or in Vietnam, but we allow Americans to travel there, 
believing that that personal diplomacy is part of changing those 
places.
  Finally, this is about government regulation. It is interesting that 
we are at the eve of real connections, real flights going down to Cuba. 
But we will have to sign affidavits. We will have to store records for 
5 years. We will be subject to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in 
penalties if we fill out a form wrong. And so this is also about easing 
government regulation.
  So, in my closing, I would just like to say a couple of thoughts. I 
want to thank Kevin Cramer, Tom Emmer, Rick Crawford, Ted Poe, Jim 
McGovern, Kathy Castor, Barbara Lee, and about 130 other Members of 
this House who signed on to this bill. I want to thank Senators Jeff 
Flake, Jerry Moran, Mike Enzi, and others over on the Senate side.
  I want to thank the U.S. Chamber, who is going to key vote this vote 
tonight, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Washington 
Office of Latin America, Engage Cuba, the Farm Bureau, the Americans 
for Tax Reform, and a long list of others who said that this is 
something that makes sense.
  Finally, I want to say, there is real momentum. As I just mentioned, 
just today U.S. transportation is outlining eight airlines that will be 
able to travel to Cuba. Last night, I think there was something of a 
deal struck between ag interests and the ability to export product or a 
deal that will be formed in exporting product to Cuba. I think that 
makes sense.
  Given the fact that the Speaker is working against this amendment, I 
see the handwriting on the wall. I think it best to withdraw, so that 
is exactly what I am going to do.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from South Carolina.
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIR. The amendment is withdrawn.
  The Chair understands that amendment No. 49 will not be offered.


                 Amendment No. 50 Offered by Mr. Carney

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 50 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chairman, as the designee of the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Delaney), I offer amendment No. 50.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. ___.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used by the Administrator of the Small Business 
     Administration to remove any area from the list of areas 
     considered to be HUBZones, until such area has been 
     designated as a redesignated area by the Administrator for at 
     least 7 years (as such terms are defined under section 3(p) 
     of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(p)).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from Delaware (Mr. Carney) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Delaware.
  Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chair, I rise tonight to offer this amendment on 
behalf of my colleague and good friend, Congressman John Delaney of 
Maryland. Unfortunately, Mr. Delaney couldn't be with us this evening. 
His father passed away a few days ago, and he is at the funeral in 
north Jersey tonight. He did ask me to make sure that this amendment 
was given consideration as a part of this legislation.

                              {time}  1900

  Mr. Chairman, the Delaney amendment is a simple reform to the Small 
Business Administration's HUBZone program to give affected communities 
additional time to respond to the potential loss of their HUBZone 
status. The Committee on Small Business has expressed a desire to 
reform the program more broadly, but there are more than 2,000 HUBZones 
that are affected by this right now, so we can't wait to see if such a 
provision is enacted as part of those reforms. Our communities and the 
economies in those areas need help now.
  The SBA's HUBZone program was created in 1997. It was designed to 
encourage economic growth in historically underutilized areas, areas 
that have often struggled with poverty and a lack of opportunity. Small 
businesses in SBA HUBZones receive contracting assistance and a pricing 
preference for Federal contracts.
  For the last two decades, this program has enjoyed bipartisan 
support. It benefits communities in both rural and urban areas. Right 
now the Census Bureau works with the SBA to update the locations of 
Federal HUBZones and, in some cases, to remove an area's HUBZone 
status. Many small businesses and communities that lose their HUBZone 
status, including in Mr. Delaney's district in Garrett County, 
Maryland, believe that the process is just too abrupt, there is not 
enough time for these small businesses and the communities they support 
to adjust.
  The short redesignation process also inhibits long-term investment in 
these communities, which is badly needed. This does not give local 
lawmakers in those areas enough time to adjust to potentially large job 
losses that would negatively impact those communities. The Delaney 
amendment extends the redesignation process, giving underserved areas 
additional time to respond to the loss of their HUBZone status. This is 
good for small businesses that are using the HUBZone program; this is 
good for the employees who work for those businesses; and it is good 
for the communities that are benefiting from these additional local 
jobs.
  Mr. Chairman, on behalf of my friend and colleague, Congressman 
Delaney, I urge support of this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I claim time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Jody B. Hice of Georgia). The gentleman from 
Florida is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Chabot), the chairman of the Committee on Small Business.
  Mr. CHABOT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, the House Committee on Small Business, which I chair, 
has oversight responsibility of the HUBZone program. Our committee has 
not yet had the opportunity to hold hearings on the program to uncover 
ways it can properly be improved. It wouldn't be prudent to extend or 
expand the program until the committee has had the opportunity to 
perform its due diligence.
  I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner with our ranking 
member, Ms. Velazquez, and others to hold hearings and develop 
legislation to update and reform and improve the

[[Page H4532]]

HUBZone program. I would therefore urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on 
this amendment, but I invite them all to share their ideas as we work 
through regular order in the committee process. That way we can be sure 
to take the action that best serves American small businesses and this 
country.
  Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the gentleman for his 
willingness to work in a bipartisan way with the Committee on Small 
Business--in particular, my colleague Ms. Velazquez--on this issue and 
the reforms therein.
  Mr. Delaney, I know, would like to see an extension, which is why he 
has offered this amendment, so that the affected communities have some 
time to react to the phaseout, potential phaseout of the HUBZones in 
their areas. I would again urge support of Mr. Delaney's amendment to 
extend the HUBZone redesignation period.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
New York (Ms. Velazquez).
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment. Over the years, 
the Committee on Small Business has seen the HUBZone program move 
further and further away from its goal, and this amendment would only 
amplify this problem. Allowing a massive expansion of the program, as 
has been proposed, would greatly reduce the efficacy of the program by 
steering contracts away from active economically distressed areas.
  The amendment will also dilute the competition in HUBZone contracting 
opportunities as well as in the free and open marketplace. In some 
cases, agencies will even be required to pay up to 10 percent more for 
goods and services to companies that would otherwise not qualify for 
the program. The chairman and I are committed to working on the HUBZone 
program.
  The committee plans on conducting a hearing in the fall, and I am 
working on a comprehensive reform bill. We will welcome Mr. Delaney's 
participation as we look further into how we can improve this program, 
while ensuring that contracts are awarded to those areas that need them 
most.
  However, I cannot, in good conscience, support the inclusion of this 
provision. It has not been vetted by the committee of jurisdiction, and 
there is not any evidence that this amendment will further the mission 
of the HUBZone program of supporting economically disadvantaged areas. 
I therefore ask my fellow Members to vote ``no'' on this amendment.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, let me close by saying that we know there 
is some concern about redesignating the HUBZones, but we have listened, 
and I think it is best that we wait and let the authorizing committees 
of jurisdiction work through this issue; and so, therefore, I urge a 
``no'' vote.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Delaware (Mr. Carney).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Delaware 
will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 51 Offered by Mr. Zeldin

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 51 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chairman, as the designee of the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. DeSantis), I offer amendment No. 51.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. _.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to pay final judgments, awards, compromise 
     settlements, or interest and costs specified in the judgments 
     to Iran using amounts appropriated under section 1304 of 
     title 31, United States Code, or interest from amounts 
     appropriated under such section.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Zeldin) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. ZELDIN. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, earlier this year, the Treasury Department transferred 
$1.7 billion to Iran's Central Bank to resolve a long-running financial 
dispute regarding Iran's arms purchases before the revolution of 1979.
  The agreement involved the return of $400 million in Iranian funds 
that the United States seized after the revolution plus an additional 
$1.3 billion in interest. This financial transaction was carried out 
through the Department of the Treasury Judgment Fund, a permanent, 
indefinite appropriation that was created by Congress in 1956 to pay 
judgments entered against the United States.
  While the U.S. Department of the Treasury claims that the Islamic 
Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC, remains sanctioned under our current 
sanctions regime, an associate fellow at the Foundation for Defense of 
Democracies, Saeed Ghasseminejad, recently noted that Iran's Guardian 
Council approved the government's 2017 budget that instructed Iran's 
Central Bank to transfer that $1.7 billion to Iran's military 
establishment, which includes the IRGC.
  According to administration officials, outstanding legal claims 
against the United States by Iran remain, meaning that future payments 
could be made as a result of any resulting settlement.
  It is unacceptable for additional U.S. taxpayer dollars to flow into 
the hands of the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, and that 
is why this amendment is needed. It prohibits funds from being used to 
pay final judgments, awards, compromise settlements, or interests and 
costs specified in the judgments to Iran using amounts appropriated 
under section 1304 of title 31, United States Code, or interest from 
amounts appropriated under such section.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would put the United States 
in breach of its international legal obligations. It would also lead 
other countries to question U.S. integrity and reliability in entering 
into settlements and dispute resolution clauses in a wide range of 
treaties that directly affect our international economic interests, 
including treaties designed to protect U.S. investors abroad.
  Under the 1981 Algiers Accords, awards of the Iran-U.S. Claims 
Tribunal are final and binding and enforceable in the courts around the 
country. If the U.S. does not pay, Iran will attempt to enforce the 
awards against U.S. assets around the world, which are significant. 
Even if not successful, Iran could tie up U.S. assets in litigation for 
years.
  In almost every administration, the United States has entered into 
settlements with Iran, including especially with respect to claims at 
the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal. Settling certain cases with Iran is key 
to the U.S. ability to avoiding far greater liability where we believe 
the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal is likely to award a far larger award 
against the United States.
  The U.S. has settled certain cases or parts of cases in the past for 
this reason, including most recently the settlement in January 
involving the Iran FMS Trust Fund. In cases where the administration 
does not believe we have serious exposure, it litigates vigorously.
  In sum, this amendment would put the United States in breach of its 
international obligation, expose U.S. assets abroad to needless 
attachment litigation, and remove our ability to assess U.S. litigation 
risk regarding claims against the United States and prevent the United 
States from making important settlement decisions that are in the U.S. 
taxpayers' interest.
  For that reason, for trying not to expose our country to those 
problems, I urge opposition to the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

[[Page H4533]]

  

  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chairman, I ask my colleagues to support this 
amendment offered by Mr. DeSantis of Florida, which has been part of a 
very effective effort on behalf of Mr. DeSantis advocating for a more 
effective foreign policy, especially in light of a deal entered into 
approximately 1 year ago with Iran that is not in our best interests.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, in closing, the gentleman just proved to 
me what we already know, and that is that this is about feelings about 
the deal that we arranged some time ago. It is also an attempt to 
embarrass the people who put the deal together, embarrass our 
President, whatever the issue may be; but this one is a dangerous one, 
because this one exposes the United States to various situations 
throughout the world that we should not be caught up in.
  We have a reputation about paying our debts, about keeping to our 
treaties, about keeping to our arrangements, even with people we may 
not be crazy about. If that is what the idea is and that is what the 
deal is, we should live up to it, and this amendment goes against that. 
I still oppose the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Zeldin).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 52 Offered by Mr. Zeldin

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 52 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chairman, as the designee of the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. DeSantis), I offer amendment No. 52.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. _.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used by the Secretary of the Treasury to modify 
     regulations that prohibit, or impose strict conditions on, 
     the opening or maintaining in the United States of a 
     correspondent account or a payable-through account by a 
     foreign financial institution that the Secretary finds 
     knowingly engages in any activity described in subparagraphs 
     (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) of section 104(c)(2) of the 
     Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment 
     Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-195; 22 U.S.C. 8513(c)(2)).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Zeldin) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chairman, I present this amendment on behalf of Mr. 
DeSantis of Florida.
  Section 401 of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and 
Divestment Act of 2010 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to 
prescribe regulations to prohibit, or impose strict conditions on, the 
opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account 
or payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that the 
Secretary finds knowingly engages in Iran's illicit activities.

                              {time}  1915

  Under section 401(f), the Secretary of the Treasury may waive these 
prohibitions or conditions if the Secretary determines that such a 
waiver is necessary to the national interest of the United States, and 
submits to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing 
the reasons for the determination.
  However, as noted in a recent Congressional Research Service report, 
section 401 was not waived to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of 
Action, while many entities with which transactions would have 
triggered sanctions under section 401 were delisted in accordance with 
the deal.
  This delisting is unacceptable, given that the U.S. Department of the 
Treasury claims to be more than aware of the ``concerns that remain'' 
regarding Iran, ``such as transparency issues, corruption, and 
regulatory obstacles,'' as reported in a recent Free Beacon article.
  Given that the U.S. Department of the Treasury is circumventing the 
law, this amendment was introduced to prohibit funds from being used by 
the Secretary of the Treasury to modify regulations that prohibit or 
impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United 
States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a 
foreign financial institution that the Secretary finds knowingly 
engages in any activity described in section 401(c)(2) of the 
Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 
2010.
  I would encourage my colleagues in this Chamber to support this 
amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, it is the same thing. I am repeating myself 
over and over again. That is redundant. Anyway, it is just the same 
thing. It is that we are not happy with the Iran deal and want to try 
to find any way possible to undo it.
  There is enough support all around to at least try to reach a new day 
with the Government of Iran and try to find a way to have a better 
understanding. You know, I am a big supporter of this situation, and 
people have asked: Why?
  Simply because I have seen, I have been a Member of Congress during 
wartime, I have been alive during wartime, I have been alive during 
peacetime, both as a Member of Congress and out of Congress. I would 
rather give peace a chance. The Iran deal allows for that situation.
  Secondly, the Iran deal closed many of the pathways that Iran had to 
building a bomb within a year. And those are still there.
  The President, trust me--do I know this for a fact? Am I in the room 
there in the oval office? No--if there is one item the President does 
not want to fail, it is on this one. So there are people looking at 
this on a daily basis. Any chart we come up with, any photograph we 
come up with, they have it at the White House, I assure you, and they 
are dealing with this on a daily basis.
  So I understand the gentleman from New York, my colleague, has this 
amendment representing someone else, but he believes in it, and I 
respect him for that, but I think we should give this an opportunity to 
work. And if it doesn't work, the very people who supported it, I 
assure you, will be the first ones criticizing it and making sure that 
it gets undone or is done away with. But this needs a chance to work, 
and it is the best we can do. It is the responsibility we have to bring 
peace to future generations.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chair, I thank Mr. DeSantis for bringing this 
important amendment as we strive to hold Iran accountable.
  There are many other bad activities Iran has been involved in 
directly impacting the United States, our allies in the Middle East, 
and around the rest of the world. So I do commend the gentleman from 
Florida for bringing this amendment. I would ask all of my colleagues 
to vote for it this evening.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Zeldin).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 54 Offered by Mr. Yarmuth

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 54 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. YARMUTH. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used in contravention of section 317 of the Communications 
     Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 317).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from Kentucky (Mr. Yarmuth) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.
  Mr. YARMUTH. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer an amendment with Ms. 
Eshoo,

[[Page H4534]]

Mr. Lujan, and Mr. Welch that will make it easier for the American 
people to figure out who is trying to influence their votes through 
campaign ads.
  In today's political reality of nonstop campaigning, our system 
continues to fail the American people by allowing special interests and 
shadow groups to flood our airwaves with anonymous ads, with no true 
disclosure whatsoever.
  Section 317 of the Communications Act of 1934 requires broadcasters 
to disclose the true identity of political ad sponsors on air during 
the ad. The FCC currently relies on an outdated 1979 staff 
interpretation of this law that does not account for the dramatic 
changes in our campaign system that have taken place over the last 6 
years. This has resulted in a major loophole in which special interests 
and wealthy donors can anonymously spend limitless sums of money to 
influence the outcomes of our elections.
  To be honest, when an ad disclaimer says, ``Paid for by Americans for 
Kittens and Puppies,'' or ``Paid for by Americans for a Brighter 
Tomorrow,'' that really doesn't help the American voter understand who 
may be behind those ads. This is not what Congress intended. Despite 
having the authority to do so, the FCC has yet to take action to close 
this loophole.
  In January, 168 Members joined Ms. Eshoo and me in sending a letter 
to the FCC to unmask secret sponsors of political ads. They have yet to 
act. It is my hope that our amendment, which simply states that none of 
the funds may be used in contravention of section 317, will send a 
strong message to the FCC that it is time to uphold the original 
congressional intent.
  But this is not just congressional intent; it is also the intent of 
the Supreme Court. In the widely discussed Citizens United decision--
something that I certainly don't support--Justice Kennedy, writing for 
the majority, said:

       The First Amendment protects political speech; and 
     disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the 
     speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This 
     transparency enables the electorate to make informed 
     decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and 
     messages.

  He also wrote:

       There was evidence in the record that independent groups 
     were running election-related advertisements while hiding 
     behind dubious and misleading names.

  In the McCutcheon decision, which basically said that anybody can 
give unlimited sums to Federal elections, Chief Justice Roberts wrote:

       Disclosure of contributions minimizes the potential for 
     abuse of the campaign finance system. Disclosure requirements 
     are, in part, justified based on a governmental interest in 
     providing the electorate with information about the sources 
     of election-related spending.

  So what we are hearing here is not just congressional intent, but 
also the recognition by the Supreme Court that disclosure is an 
important part of guaranteeing transparency in our electoral process.
  We all know that dark money has flooded our politics, weakened 
accountability in government, and made it harder for voters to develop 
a true opinion of the individuals to Congress to represent them. This 
amendment will help change that and, hopefully, restore a minimum level 
of honesty in our electoral system.
  I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I have been looking at this amendment and 
what it says is that none of the funds made available by this act may 
be used in contravention of section 317 of the Communications Act. This 
says that you can't do anything against what the law says. I guess that 
is another way of saying you have got to do what the law says. We call 
that a double negative.
  It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I guess it is a good 
opportunity for my good friend to stand up and talk about Citizens 
United and make his points, which I find interesting, and I am willing 
to listen some more.
  I want to urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this somewhat 
superfluous amendment that maybe would prevent the FCC from actually 
doing its job. That is my observation. And I respect my good friend a 
great deal. I am just curious as to why he filed this amendment, other 
than to talk a little bit about what he has been talking about.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. YARMUTH. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the comments of my good 
friend from Florida. I understand that this amendment has no legal 
impact in terms of forcing the FCC to do what it is statutorily 
required to do. It is just a prod. It is a way to say to them: We 
expect you to do your job.
  We are in the middle of a very, very contentious political season in 
which hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent anonymously to 
influence voters' opinions and their votes. And we think that it is 
time for the FCC to act.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, which will help 
ensure that the public knows exactly who is trying to influence their 
vote during elections.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I hope the FCC got the urge.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Yarmuth).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. YARMUTH. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Kentucky 
will be postponed.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Chair understands that amendment No. 55 will 
not be offered.
  The Chair understands that amendment No. 57 will not be offered.


        Amendment No. 58 Offered by Mr. Jenkins of West Virginia

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 58 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. JENKINS of West Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at 
the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 34, line 6, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $2,000,000)''.
       Page 37, line 21, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $2,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from West Virginia (Mr. Jenkins) and a Member opposed each will control 
5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from West Virginia.
  Mr. JENKINS of West Virginia. Mr. Chairman, one of the most effective 
tools in fighting the drug crisis is the High Intensity Drug 
Trafficking Areas program. It is also known as HIDTA.
  This program works at Federal, State, and local levels, bringing 
together law enforcement to stop drug trafficking in our communities. 
In my district, the funding is to provide necessary resources to local 
police departments and county sheriffs' offices to help facilitate 
efforts to stop drug trafficking. It teams up with local law 
enforcement, the FBI, and the DEA to get drugs off our streets and lock 
up traffickers.
  The police chief in my hometown of Huntington, West Virginia, says 
HIDTA is critical to the success of their counterdrug mission. They 
rely on HIDTA funding to support training and operational activities.
  The amendment I offer today is straightforward and completely offset. 
It will increase funding for the HIDTA program by $2 million. The 
increase will go a long way in ensuring our sheriff and police 
departments can continue making strides in combating the drug crisis.
  I want to thank Chairman Crenshaw and the committee for their 
tireless efforts to fund programs making a difference in our 
communities. His work on this bill and continued support of HIDTA are 
truly making a difference in combating the drug epidemic.

                              {time}  1930

  Mr. Chairman, while I have only served on the Appropriations 
Committee for 2 years, it has been a pleasure working with my colleague 
from Florida, Mr. Crenshaw.

[[Page H4535]]

  Again, thanks to the chairman, Chairman Crenshaw, and I ask for 
support for my amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Jenkins).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 68 Offered by Mr. Gallego

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 68 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mr. GALLEGO. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title) insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made 
     available in this Act may be used to revise any policy or 
     directive relating to hiring preferences for veterans.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentleman 
from Arizona (Mr. Gallego) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Arizona.
  Mr. GALLEGO. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank, first, my colleagues, 
Congresswoman Kirkpatrick and Congressmen Takano and Aguilar, for 
helping me with this amendment. We strongly believe that veterans who 
served our Nation in uniform deserve the chance to serve our Nation in 
the Federal Government.
  Unfortunately, a provision slipped unseen into this 1,700-page 
document, the Senate defense authorization bill, severely undermines 
these policies that have been helping veterans get jobs with the 
Federal Government. Specifically, it will prevent veterans from 
benefiting from the preference system if they are already employed by 
the Federal Government.
  Mr. Chairman, this misguided provision was never the subject of a 
public hearing, it was never the subject of a public debate, it was 
never the subject of a roll call vote, and it was never voted on in the 
committee or on the Senate floor. I am willing to bet the vast majority 
of my colleagues in the Senate do not know that this provision is in 
the National Defense Authorization Act.
  America's veterans deserve better. We deserve the chance to proudly 
and publicly make our case for veterans preference, a system which has 
done so much to help courageous Americans returning from war to find 
good jobs so they can provide for their families. That is why I am 
offering this amendment. I want to give the Members of this body the 
chance to go on record in support of our Nation's veterans.
  Mr. Chairman, this issue is deeply personal to me. After I got back 
from Iraq, I saw my friends and fellow veterans struggle to find 
employment and to get on with their lives. I personally witnessed the 
physical and emotional toll that joblessness can take on a veteran's 
life and on their families.
  Simply put, the Senate language is a step in the wrong direction. 
After years of painful progress in combating economic distress and 
homelessness among our veterans, now is not the time to dilute a system 
that is working, that has been proven highly successful in promoting 
veteran employment.
  The American people recognize that we owe an immense debt of 
gratitude to the brave men and women that have served our country. Many 
of them left civilian jobs, left their lives behind for months, or even 
years, to risk their lives to defend our Nation.
  The veterans preference system helps create a fair playing field for 
veterans by compensating them for the time they spent fighting overseas 
instead of working in government or the private sector.
  Instead of getting master's degrees, veterans were going door to door 
looking for insurgents. While other civilians were building their 
resume in civilian jobs, our men and women in uniform put in time away 
from their family, in dangerous situations, with little monetary 
compensation.
  Veterans are not asking for a handout. We have earned this preference 
through the blood, sweat, and tears we have given this country.
  Mr. Chairman, this provision sends the wrong message to our troops. 
It establishes the wrong policy for our government and for our country 
and sets the wrong precedent for our future.
  On behalf of America's veterans, I urge every Member of this House to 
support this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman for his 
amendment. I did not have as illustrious a military career as he had, 
but in the sixties I was proud to serve our country.
  There is something that troubles me a lot, and I have to say it. 
There is always so much talk about our veterans, our veterans, our 
veterans, and yet, at the same time, people cut the Veterans Health 
Administration. At the same time, they try to take away preferences 
that they have gotten and they have earned the hard way.
  When we think of veterans, we shouldn't only think of that picture we 
always see of the person in uniform and so on. There is also the 
veteran in a wheelchair. There are the young kids that come here and 
greet us Monday nights sometimes, with a missing limb and so on.
  So, to me, I am either a contradiction or I am the way a lot of 
people should be. I will have to be really forced into voting for 
Congress to declare war. Given a choice, I don't want any war.
  But coming back from that war, I have become a big-spending liberal 
when it comes to veterans. Give them whatever they want. Give them 
whatever they need. Give them whatever they deserve. And I mean that 
sincerely.
  So this, to me, is an important amendment that the gentleman brings 
up. This, to me, is one that sticks to our comments that we care about 
the veterans. If we start chipping away at the benefits that veterans 
get, the day will come when we treat veterans just like any other 
Federal agency and cut away all their benefits and all the support that 
they need from us.
  So I strongly support this amendment, and I hope that everybody else 
will do the same.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GALLEGO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gallego).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. GALLEGO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona will 
be postponed.


               Amendment No. 70 Offered by Mrs. Hartzler

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 70 
printed in House Report 114-639.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. ___.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection for a 
     contract for consumer awareness and engagement tools and 
     resources communication.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 794, the gentlewoman 
from Missouri (Mrs. Hartzler) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Missouri.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an amendment that 
would limit the CFPB's ability to unilaterally enter into fiscally 
irresponsible contracts for the purpose of advertising.
  The CFPB has shown itself to be irresponsible with their spending and 
politically motivated with their choice of advertising firms. In fiscal 
year 2016, the CFPB has so far spent $15.3 million on Internet ads 
which have achieved questionable results. The CFPB is devoting a 
greater portion of its budget to advertising than nearly every other 
Federal agency.

[[Page H4536]]

  Moreover, nearly all the CFPB's advertising dollars, including a 
$12.5 million contract signed in February of this year, are going to a 
single advertising firm that just happened to be used by the 
Presidential campaigns of President Barack Obama and former Secretary 
of State Hillary Clinton. This is reckless, out-of-control government 
spending at its worst, and it reeks of cronyism.
  Congress must act to rein in this abusive waste of taxpayer funds and 
stop the agency from throwing away money. We need to end this misuse of 
tax dollars by passing my amendment. And I thank the Rules Committee 
for making my amendment in order.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Crenshaw).
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding, and 
I want to thank her for bringing this before the body tonight, and urge 
its adoption.
  This underlying bill talks about the CFPB, the Consumer Financial 
Protection Bureau. We have talked about it a lot tonight. One of the 
things the underlying bill does is it puts it under the appropriations 
process, and this is a pretty good example of why they ought to be 
under the appropriations process.
  Most other agencies in the Federal Government are. They come to 
Congress, and they say: This is what we plan our spending on and here 
is how much we would like. But they are not accountable to anybody. So 
we are just trying to bring some transparency.
  But this is the classic example of why they ought to be under the 
appropriations process. If they would walk in and say, ``We just want 
to spend $15 million of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on advertising,'' 
we might ask them questions about that.
  So it is a good amendment, and I urge its adoption.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. I thank the Chairman. I really appreciate his support.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, this is an ambiguous and punitive 
amendment which could prevent the Bureau from making seniors, 
servicemembers, and students aware of predatory financial practices, 
interrupt the Bureau's ability to work with consumer advocates and the 
financial services industry on consumer education, and keep American 
consumers in the dark about the only agency designed specifically to 
protect their interests.
  For every dollar spent on financial education, $25 is spent on 
financial marketing. You can see that for yourself by searching for a 
``car loan'' or ``credit card offer'' on Google, or looking through the 
junk you get in your mailbox every week. In fact, marketing of these 
products has become so pervasive, Google recently banned advertising 
for payday loans on the basis they were harmful to Google's own 
customers.
  The Bureau has developed a number of tools that we should all be 
helping to make Americans more aware of, including a great set of 
resources on home ownership and mortgages called ``Know Before You 
Owe,'' as well as an online tool that arms consumers with the 
information they need to identify the most competitively priced loans 
in the marketplace.
  The Bureau has used Internet advertising, as well as TV advertising, 
through GSA-approved contractors that offer advertising management 
services to get the word out about these important resources that help 
consumers plan for their financial futures and save their hard-earned 
money.
  While Republicans claim to support transparency and competition in 
markets, they want to shut down the Bureau's efforts to educate 
consumers on how to get the best deals on financial services and avoid 
debt traps.
  At the same time, Republican allies have spent millions of dollars on 
Internet and television for a smear campaign cynically named ``Protect 
America's consumers,'' which has falsified quotes from Members of 
Congress and misrepresented Bureau activities to discourage taxpayers 
from taking advantage of the Bureau's services.
  One Sunlight Foundation analysis found that this bogus group spent 
$58,000 just on television advertisements smearing the Bureau. What 
real consumer nonprofits have that kind of money to throw around? Not 
anyone that I know.
  Fortunately, none of the Republican attacks have been able to keep 
the Bureau from returning $11.4 billion to consumers, or from providing 
financial advice to more than 12 million unique visitors to their Web 
site.
  We would, however, like to thank the Republicans for giving the 
Bureau some free advertising for those who are watching the debate. 
Make sure you visit consumerfinance.gov for more information on 
mortgages, student loans, credit cards, and banking accounts. And that 
is consumerfinance.gov, just in case anyone missed it.
  I urge opposition to the amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chairman, I would just thank the gentleman for 
giving some free advertising there to the agency and proving my point: 
that we don't need to spend over $15 million of taxpayer money on this. 
All these services are available already online. Consumers can find 
this information.
  This is about fiscal responsibility and accountability. We weren't 
even aware that the CFPB was spending this amount of money. As the 
chairman mentioned, there is no accountability for the agency. So 
Congress didn't know until a newspaper article did an investigation on 
it. That is how we became aware that this agency has spent 2.5 percent 
of its budget this year on ads, the second-highest level among all 
Federal departments and comparable regulatory agencies for this year to 
date.
  So this is egregious. There is no accountability. It is not needed. 
So I would urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1945

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chairman, I encourage all my colleagues to support 
this commonsense measure to save the taxpayer dollar and to curb 
irresponsible spending. More thorough oversight of the CFPB is 
necessary, and I believe this is a step in the right direction.
  So I thank the chairman for his support.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. Hartzler).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Missouri 
will be postponed.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Collins of Georgia) having assumed the chair, Mr. Jody B. Hice of 
Georgia, Acting Chair of the Committee of the Whole House on the state 
of the Union, reported that that Committee, having had under 
consideration the bill (H.R. 5485) making appropriations for financial 
services and general government for the fiscal year ending September 
30, 2017, and for other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.

                          ____________________