(House of Representatives - May 18, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 86 (Thursday, May 18, 2017)]
[Pages H4325-H4331]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                              {time}  1230
                              ACT OF 2017

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on 
Rules, I call up House Resolution 324 and ask for its immediate 
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 324

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 1039) to 
     amend section 3606 of title 18, United States Code, to grant 
     probation officers authority to arrest hostile third parties 
     who obstruct or impede a probation officer in the performance 
     of official duties. All points of order against consideration 
     of the bill are waived. The bill shall be considered as read. 
     All points of order against provisions in the bill are 
     waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered 
     on the bill and on any amendment thereto to final passage 
     without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate 
     equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking 
     minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary; (2) the 
     amendment printed in the report of the Committee on Rules 
     accompanying this resolution, if offered by the Member 
     designated in the report, which shall be in order without 
     intervention of any point of order, shall be considered as 
     read, shall be separately debatable for the time specified in 
     the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent 
     and an opponent, and shall not be subject to a demand for a 
     division of the question; and (3) one motion to recommit with 
     or without instructions.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 
1 hour.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, 
I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. 
Polis), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During 
consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose 
of debate only.

                             General Leave

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and 
to include extraneous materials on House Resolution 324, currently 
under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Georgia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to bring this rule 
forward on behalf of the Committee on Rules today. The rule provides 
for the consideration of H.R. 1039, the Probation Officer Protection 
Act. The rule provides for 1 hour of debate equally divided between the 
chairman and ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary. The rule 
also provides for a motion to recommit and makes in order an amendment 
by Congresswoman Jackson Lee of Texas.
  On Tuesday, the Committee on Rules had the opportunity to hear from 
my fellow Committee on the Judiciary members: Mr. Ratcliffe, Mr. 
Cicilline, and Ms. Jackson Lee.
  H.R. 1039 was marked up by the Committee on the Judiciary on May 3 
and favorably reported by the committee without amendment.
  Mr. Speaker, it is fitting that we debate this rule and the 
underlying bill this week during National Police Week. As the son of a 
Georgia State Trooper, it is an honor to come before this House to help 
advance legislation that protects the men and women of law enforcement. 
The dangers our law enforcement officers face are real, and I know too 
well the fear that a loved one might not come home after leaving for a 
routine shift. This week we had the opportunity to recognize those who 
make our communities safer, and we are humbled to advance the policies 
that support their efforts, and we honor their sacrifice.
  Mr. Speaker, allow me to point out that the sponsor of the underlying 
bill we are discussing, the Probation Officer Protection Act, is a 
former law enforcement officer himself. My friend Dave Reichert from 
Washington State is Sheriff Reichert also, who led the task force 
responsible for solving the case of the infamous Green River serial 
killer. Along with him, I serve on the Policing Strategies Working 
Group, and I commend him for his work on the underlying legislation and 
his tireless advocacy on behalf of the heroes who wear the badge.
  The Probation Officer Protection Act is a commonsense, yet modest, 
expansion of the Federal probation officers' existing arrest authority. 
Under current law, 18 U.S. Code section 111, it is a crime for a person 
to forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere 
with any Federal official in the performance of his or her official 
duties. While the Federal officials described by this statute include 
probation officers, probation officers are limited in their ability to 
take affirmative actions in order to protect themselves when they face 
these threats not from the offender but from third parties.
  Mr. Speaker, while probation officers can make arrests of those under 
their supervision, the first party, such as a parolee or individual 
serving a term of probation or supervised release, the law does not 
allow probation officers to take action to protect themselves should a 
third party impede or assault them.
  In fact, if a third party, such as a family member or friend of a 
parolee, threatens or attacks a probation officer, that officer's only 
recourse is to retreat and call for local law enforcement.

[[Page H4326]]

  Think about that, Mr. Speaker. I want to read that again.
  If a third party, such as a family member or friend of a parolee, 
threatens or attacks a probation officer, that officer's only recourse 
is to retreat and call for local law enforcement.
  Because the law has failed to equip probation officers with the 
authority to arrest an aggressive third party, probation officers have 
limited recourse when their safety is uncertain. Mr. Speaker, this is 
unacceptable and even defies reason. When probation officers find 
themselves in a dangerous situation involving third parties, they are 
at the mercy of happenstance. Perhaps, in urban areas, other law 
enforcement agents may be in proximity and able to respond. Perhaps, at 
times, the brave men and women who oversee offenders on release may 
have access to the backup they need once a third party threat has been 
established. But I will tell you this, in these certain areas that may 
happen. But it is possible, though, that without the authority to 
deescalate or manage a dangerous situation without the necessary 
authority to arrest threatening third parties, probation officers will 
remain unnecessarily vulnerable to attacks, violence, or even death.
  In rural areas, like my district in northeast Georgia, a probation 
officer's restricted authority to arrest could pose an even greater 
risk to their well-being. Local law enforcement agencies in rural areas 
are often smaller and more separated from backup by distance. This 
means that probation officers who call for help could be subject to 
longer response times in the very moment they need the assistance the 
  Considering these facts, Mr. Speaker, it is reasonable to make a 
narrow, yet important, adjustment to current law in order to ensure 
that the probation officers have third-party arrest authority when they 
are forcibly threatened by that third party. Simply put, probation 
officers enter dangerous situations for the benefit of our communities 
and should be able to effectively protect themselves and others.
  The Probation Officer Protection Act would address this flaw in 
current law by providing necessary recourse for probation officers. 
Under the terms of the bill, probation officers would have the 
authority to arrest hostile third parties who forcibly assault, resist, 
or otherwise impede a probation officer as they are carrying out their 
sworn duties.

  We have heard examples of probation officers making visits to those 
under supervision, only to be greeted by third parties who are wielding 
knives or baseball bats or yelling obscenities at the officers as they 
attempt to serve the larger community. In these events, probation 
officers should not be handicapped in their ability to perform their 
jobs while protecting their own safety. As we know all too well, 
situations with agitated third parties can escalate in an instant. 
Officers on site need to be equipped to deescalate dangerous situations 
for the good of the supervisee, the probation officer, and any 
  This legislation does not represent an unprecedented or large-scale 
expansion of authority for probation officers. Probation officers 
already have limited arrest authority for first-party offenders. They 
are also bound by formal search and seizure policy and arrest 
procedures. Probation officers receive training that instructs them in 
properly detaining offenders so that they will be equipped with the 
necessary skills to manage dangerous individuals in circumstances that 
might warrant it.
  Mr. Speaker, the intent behind the underlying bill is but one example 
of a larger effort behind much of the legislation we have seen on the 
floor this week. Every day, law enforcement officers put their lives on 
the line to protect us. Every day, they face dangerous situations for 
the sake of their neighbors. Law enforcement officers across the 
country bravely walk into uncertain situations prepared to protect and 
defend you and me and the people that we love.
  I believe that our Nation's law enforcement--be they local, county, 
State, or Federal agents--overwhelmingly abide by their oath to protect 
and serve. In turn, we should remember their bravery and sacrifices 
each day and thank those who risk their lives to protect us. We must 
also thank the families who kiss their loved ones good-bye each 
morning, fully aware of the risk that their service entails.
  Our men and women in blue should experience our gratitude every day, 
but this week, during Police Week, it is right for us to take the extra 
care to commemorate those who have fallen and to honor those who are 
  As thousands of law enforcement professionals visit our Nation's 
Capital this week, I encourage all of my colleagues to thank them for 
their service. Also, I ask that all of my colleagues in this body look 
at this commonsense piece of legislation and show their support by 
voting ``yes.''
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I 
thank the gentleman for yielding me the customary 30 minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule and the underlying 
bill, H.R. 1039, but first and foremost, I want to make sure that we 
recognize and honor the work and sacrifice that our police and first 
responders do each and every day.
  This week is National Police Week and, frankly, it is an opportunity 
to honor every week, but in particular this week, those who run toward 
the gunfire, those who run toward the building on fire every day.
  In my own district in Colorado, I hear so many countless stories of 
heroic acts and going above and beyond the call of duty by those on the 
front lines of keeping us safe. In one example in Colorado, Officer 
Ross Maynard responded to a domestic violence situation. The victim's 
former boyfriend had broken a living room window in the middle of 
January, leaving the victim and her young daughter exposed to our 
record cold temperatures. Maynard went above and beyond his duty and 
covered the window to keep out the elements. He vacuumed the shattered 
glass from the floor when he found out the victim didn't have a vacuum 
so that the child didn't receive cuts from the glass.
  In example of heroism, dispatcher Sara Demgen calmly helped a man 
deliver his son when his wife went into labor and they realized they 
wouldn't be able to make it to the hospital.
  It is individuals like these who we should celebrate and support 
through our work here in Congress. Unfortunately, the legislation we 
are considering today doesn't make anyone safer, and if we passed it, 
it would bring about a constitutionally dubious process that could 
interfere with the important work of law enforcement professionals.
  Part of the reason this is problematic legislation is because the 
process this legislation followed--like a lot of stuff that we have to 
vote on--was not transparent and was not regular order. There was no 
hearing on this bill. Even if we look back at last year's version of 
the bill, there was no hearing on that one, either.
  Then we look at the rule that we are debating now. Mr. Speaker, a 
rule means what is the process for amending this bill. What we have 
here is a shutting down of that process, where they didn't provide an 
open rule. They allowed only one amendment as part of this bill that 
had been offered. There was no opportunity on the floor, through what 
is called an open rule, for Democrats or Republicans to offer good 
ideas to improve this legislation.
  Of the six amendments that were submitted that the Committee on Rules 
considered yesterday, five of them were killed by the Committee on 
Rules and not even allowed to be voted on or debated by the House of 
Representatives. Now, the number of times I have had to come to this 
floor and argue against a closed rule or a structured rule is 
exhausting, and it is contrary to Speaker Ryan's promise that he made 
for the world to hear that he would bring us back to regular order and 
give everybody input on legislation that we consider in what is 
supposed to be the people's House.
  This rule, yet again, is not open. It rules five of the six 
amendments out of order. The confidence and the trust in the House of 
Representatives, it is hard to imagine how it could even sink much 
lower, but it is restrictive processes and rules like this where 
neither Republicans or Democrats are allowed to even offer amendments 
or debate amendments to improve the legislation

[[Page H4327]]

that have led to the record level of distrust in this body.

  In a moment, I will look forward to discussing the bill itself, but I 
just wanted to take this occasion in particular to celebrate our law 
enforcement professionals on National Police Week and every week.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, again, I appreciate my colleague 
pointing out certain things. Again, I think pointing out the complete 
story there would also be helpful, and that is that the amendments 
spoken of that were not made in order, following the rules of the 
House, the Jefferson's Manual, and all were not germane. The one 
amendment that was offered was made in order for this bill. The others 
were not germane. If they want to be brought up in a separate bill or 
separate order or find a bill that is actually germane to it, then that 
is a different issue, but not in this one.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, it seems that with each passing day, we learn 
more about the tangled web of conflicts of interest and secret meetings 
with Russians in and around the Trump campaign and Trump 
administration. Last week, President Trump fired FBI Director James 
Comey while he was overseeing the FBI's investigation into possible 
collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian Government, 
after reportedly asking Director Comey personally to drop the 
investigation into former National Security Advisor Flynn's ties to 
Russia. This week, we also learned that President Trump revealed highly 
classified information provided by an ally to Russian officials.
  Without President Trump's tax returns, we have no way of knowing if 
he himself has financial ties or is financially beholden to Russia or 
Russian interests, as news reports have suggested. The American people 
deserve to know whether or not President Trump has conflicts of 
interest, financial interests, or business dealings with Russia or 
other foreign governments. It is imperative that we, as the people's 
representatives, hold the executive branch fully accountable.
  Mr. Speaker, when we defeat the previous question, I will offer an 
amendment to the rule to bring up Representative Eshoo's bill, H.R. 
305, which would require Presidents and major party nominees for the 
Presidency to release their tax returns.
  If the President truly has nothing to hide, including business 
dealings or being economically beholden to Russia, he should freely 
release his tax returns to reassure the American people that they can 
have confidence that he is not acting out of conflict of interest but, 
rather, in our interest as a nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my 
amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately 
prior to the vote on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Colorado?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, to discuss our important proposal, I yield 5 
minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from California (Ms. Eshoo).
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule and the underlying 
bill, and I urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question so that 
the House can vote on my bipartisan legislation, the Presidential Tax 
Transparency Act.
  Mr. Speaker, in the last week, the President fired the FBI Director 
who was investigating him. We then learned that the President also 
pressured the Director to end his investigation of Michael Flynn's 
Russia entanglements. These revelations, added to so many others, make 
it abundantly clear that we must have disclosure of the President's tax 
returns in order to fully understand his connections to Russia. The 
Presidential Tax Transparency Act would require this disclosure for the 
current President, all future Presidents, and Presidential nominees.

                              {time}  1245

  This practice has never been required by law. But if there were ever 
a time for Congress to codify this bipartisan disclosure tradition, now 
is the time.
  The President's behavior has raised questions since before the 
election about what connections or exposure he may have to Russian 
officials. After the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA concluded that Russia 
did, in fact, interfere in our national elections; after several of the 
President's associates and staff lied about meetings with Russian 
officials during the campaign and transition; and after the FBI opened 
an investigation into these Russia contacts, the President still 
welcomed top Russian diplomats into the Oval Office for a closed-door 
meeting last week.
  Holding the meeting itself raised many questions. But in the meeting, 
the President revealed highly classified, code-word information to the 
Russians. I believe that this is unprecedented. No President in the 
history of our country has ever done such a thing.
  And on May 16, The New York Times reported that the President pressed 
the former FBI Director Jim Comey to end his investigation of Michael 
Flynn's ties to Russia before he fired him. This all begs the question: 
Why is the President so eager to please the Russians?
  The appointment of former FBI Director Mueller, a highly 
distinguished public servant, as special counsel is most welcome. But I 
believe that Congress can act today to provide public disclosure of the 
President's tax returns, which would provide an immediate and important 
window into the President's potential Russian entanglements, and answer 
the critical questions of: To whom does he owe money? And who is the 
President doing business with? What are those entities?
  We know there are 564 of them. The American people deserve to know. 
Only with full disclosure will we know the true sources of the 
President's income, the holders of his debt, and the extent of any 
business ties to Russia and other foreign countries.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill is a highly serious, bipartisan--I want to 
stress that--bipartisan effort to exercise Congress' constitutional 
duty to serve as a check and balance on the executive branch as a 
coequal branch of government.
  As the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on 
May 14:

       Our institutions are under attack, both externally . . . 
     and internally.

  I want to thank all of the cosponsors of this bill and, most 
especially, the Republicans who have had the courage to do so. It takes 
courage to have courage. Now is the time to stand up and demonstrate 
courage so that the American people will have confidence--confidence in 
what takes place here and to answer the questions that are left 
  So by defeating the previous question today and voting to approve the 
Presidential Tax Transparency Act, Congress can create a pathway to the 
facts, and then the truth, that the American people have a right to 
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Mrs. Demings), the former Orlando police chief, and my good 
  Mrs. DEMINGS. Mr. Speaker, I have taken three oaths in my lifetime. 
The first oath I took was in 1984, as a police officer, when I was 
sworn in at the Orlando Police Department. The second oath I took when 
I was sworn in as the chief of police. And the third when I became a 
Member of the 115th Congress.
  Although different positions, each oath stated that I would protect 
and defend the Constitution of the United States. Mr. Speaker, I want 
you to know that I have taken each oath very seriously.
  I know former FBI Director James Comey understood the enormity of the 
oath he took to uphold the Constitution to seek the truth, regardless 
of outside influences or political circumstances. His loyalty is to the 
United States Constitution.
  The American people should have faith that no one--that includes the 
President, the U.S. Attorney General, and the Deputy U.S. Attorney 
General--should be able to interfere with the proper functioning of the 
FBI or its work with local and State law enforcement agencies. It is 
the responsibility of Congress to ensure that all our law enforcement 
and intelligence agencies are able to fulfill their mission: to protect 
and defend the United States and enforce criminal laws as appropriate.

[[Page H4328]]

  I filed an amendment with the Rules Committee that would prohibit the 
removal of the FBI Director, except for inefficiency, neglect of duty, 
or malfeasance in office.
  Mr. Speaker, this amendment would insulate the FBI's mission from 
political influences and agendas. Unfortunately, it appears that the 
Republican leadership doesn't think that this is a good idea, or simply 
does not want to have this debate.
  The rule reported from the Rules Committee prevents me from offering 
this important amendment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
  Mrs. DEMINGS. Mr. Speaker, if the FBI Director is abiding by the oath 
he took, then he should not be removed.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I would just like to remind 
everyone, as we have discussed here and we hear impassioned arguments 
for amendments that were not germane, find proper places to put 
amendments, and find bills that you want to write. That is all fair. 
That is in our rule book. But remember, the only germane amendment was 
made in order. I repeat, the only germane amendment was made in order.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  As the gentleman knows, we grant necessary waivers for amendments all 
the time. It is a very routine thing. So to argue it is not germane, 
the Rules Committee can grant the necessary waivers for any of these 
amendments. And, frankly, these amendments are more germane to what the 
American people care about than the underlying bill.

  Mrs. Demings' amendment that states that the Director of the FBI may 
only be removed for inefficiency or neglect of duty or misuse of 
office, what could be more germane to the concerns of the American 
people than that? All it would have taken was granting necessary 
waivers, as the Rules Committee does regularly on a number of bills 
when it suits their interests.
  Another amendment from Representative Kennedy was rejected to 
reinstate the authority to appoint independent counsel for purposes of 
an independent investigation.
  One from Representative Lawrence was rejected to reinstate the 
authority for independent counsel.
  Representative Lieu had an amendment to reinstate the authority for 
independent counsel to investigate and was not allowed.
  Representative Moulton had one.
  So all of those amendments, even though they are more germane than 
any of the other items of what the American people care about, were, 
nevertheless, not granted the necessary waivers to be included in this 
  The bill we are considering under this bill is highly problematic. 
It, frankly, serves to hurt the very people it purports to protect.
  I know we all value the safety of our first responders and the safety 
of our communities. This bill would hurt the relationship police have 
with communities without any need. It is truly a solution in search of 
a problem.
  This legislation would give Federal probation officers authority to 
arrest third parties, not the person that they are working with on 
probation, the ability to arrest them without a warrant.
  When referring to third parties, that means people who are not under 
the authority of the police officer. It could mean a mother of someone 
on probation, a roommate, somebody who shares a house, and somebody 
doesn't want the probation officer to come into their room because the 
probation officer doesn't have a warrant, even if the parolee is in a 
different room.
  We need to remember that an individual, of course, gives up some of 
their rights, including their Fourth Amendment rights, as a condition 
of probation. But not everybody who comes into contact with that person 
also should be required to give up their Fourth Amendment rights. The 
mother in this example has not given up those constitutional rights, 
which read: ``The right of the people to be secure in their persons, 
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and 
seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon 
probable cause. . . .''
  And simply being a roommate or a family member of somebody who is on 
probation should not mean you lose your constitutional rights as an 
American citizen.
  If in this example the mother doesn't want the probation officer to 
enter her room, she has that right, unlike the parolee. But this bill 
would change the dynamics and allow the probation officer to say she 
was interfering and arrest her, something that likely violates her 
Fourth Amendment protections and would be overturned by the courts.
  This would make family and friends of individuals entering probation 
from prison scared of allowing the person on probation to live in their 
homes. This could lead to increased recidivism and increased crime. It 
will create a huge hindrance to the probation system and the goal of 
successfully encouraging people to reenter society and avoid breaking 
the law.
  If people don't have a family member or friend to live with, 
successful reentry becomes harder and almost impossible. We need to 
remember that probation officers are part of the judicial branch, but 
police are members of the executive branch. Not only does this 
legislation complicate that, but it is a violation of separation of 
  When an individual is granted probation, as a condition of that 
probation they give up certain rights, and that is understandable, and 
under the authority and supervision of the judicial branch in doing so. 
Third parties have not made that agreement with the judicial branch. 
They are not their jurisdiction. They are not adjudicated by the 
judicial branch. And probation officers should not have the authority 
to arrest them without a warrant provided by an officer of the peace.
  However, even if we don't care about the constitutional rights of 
citizens, which I certainly hope we care about, we should care about 
the fact that this bill would reduce the safety of our probation 
officers. This legislation creates a very unsafe situation for our 
probation officers who are not trained in law enforcement.
  On average, a Federal probation officer completes six weeks of 
training. That is compared to 21 weeks of training and 3 weeks of field 
for a police officer. That is simply not the same level of training.
  With the disparity, doesn't it make sense for probation officers to 
use the assistance of police when they actually do need to arrest an 
uncooperative third party or serve a warrant based on probable cause?
  With additional police powers come more likelihood people could be 
put in harm's way, and that is the opposite of what we want for someone 
who doesn't have the proper training.
  I also want to talk about why the bill is so bad. In many ways, I 
asked myself the question: What problem are we trying to solve? Even if 
we look at the associations that are pushing for this legislation, the 
data just doesn't show that there is a need or that this would be a 
productive step towards either keeping our communities safer--and this 
bill would also put the lives of our probation officers at risk.
  In a letter earlier this year, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers 
Association stated that ``formal arrests by probation officers are 
rare.'' And 2015 data shows that, of the 987 searches conducted, only 
30 uncooperative third parties, and even less arrests.
  With so few incidents, it is, frankly, better for probation officers 
to call or use the assistance of well-trained police officers, if 
needed. That is the answer.
  The proponents of this bill claim they have brought the bill forward 
at the request of our first responders. But the request was not even 
close to unanimous.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter signed by officers, 
chiefs of police, probation officers, and other first responders in 
opposition to the bill.

                                                     May 16, 2017.
       Dear Member of Congress:  We are current or retired law 
     enforcement officers concerned about public safety, 
     constitutional policing practices, and building trust between 
     law enforcement and the communities we serve. In light of 
     Police Week, some Members of Congress have sponsored bills 
     that would increase incarceration rates, enhance penalties 
     for certain crimes, and, ultimately, weaken relationships 
     between communities and police departments.

[[Page H4329]]

       The idea that ``law and order'' has declined in the 
     previous decade does a disservice to the law enforcement 
     officers who have taken oaths to protect and serve their 
     local communities. Those officers deserve programs and 
     policies that fund critical training, enhance important 
     policing skills that improve officer and public safety, and 
     offer technical assistance and operational support. We are 
     deeply troubled by recent legislative and executive actions 
     that support this divisive ``law and order'' rhetoric and 
     that chip away at our hard-fought efforts to sustain long-
     term trust between our communities and law enforcement 
       As officers who have handled high-profile incidents and 
     routine investigations, we know that keys to success are 
     strong leadership and morale, officer training and 
     accountability, and community trust and engagement. Below, we 
     offer several recommendations based upon these principles.
       Programs that support mental health services for officers. 
     A number of law enforcement agencies are increasingly 
     recognizing the importance of regular mental health checks, 
     crisis hotlines, peer mentoring programs, and other mental 
     health services to alleviate the stress and trauma that 
     officers face.
       Policies and programs for de-escalation and crisis 
     intervention training. As a result of such training, law 
     enforcement agencies learn to apply strategies that reduce 
     the likelihood of force-related incidents. De-escalation 
     training is essential to reducing the number of violent 
     confrontations between law enforcement and communities, as 
     well as increasing methods for age appropriate responses when 
     interacting with youth to improve their safety and well-being 
     in communities. These trainings promote best practices and, 
     as a result, reduce the risk of injury to police officers and 
     members of the community.
       Policies that promote crisis intervention training 
     incorporating the services of mental health professionals. 
     Such professionals can assist officers in identifying and 
     responding to a person impacted by mental illness, an 
     intoxicating substance, or emotional distress. The public 
     safety benefits resulting from this training are well-
     documented and broadly supported by policing and public 
     safety experts.
       Programs that assist officers with understanding the 
     effects of systemic trauma and better deal with the aftermath 
     of trauma. Trauma sensitivity or trauma informed training can 
     help officers identify individuals showing signs of trauma 
     related behaviors, which may include: aggression; difficulty 
     processing information; impulsiveness; heightened fight, 
     flight, or freeze response; and hypersensitivity to noise or 
     physical contact. Training can help law enforcement avoid 
     interpreting such behaviors as requiring more aggression or 
     use of force and, instead, guide officers to respond in a 
     more informed and appropriate manner.
       Policies and programs that incorporate implicit bias 
     training into police training at all levels. Implicit bias 
     training helps police officers mitigate racial bias during 
     community interactions, encourage respectful encounters, and 
     promote constitutional policing with the goal of building 
     trust with communities.
       Programs that collect data on deaths and use-of-force 
     incidents by law enforcement. Specifically, we encourage you 
     to support the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Use-
     of-Force Data Collection Program, which expands the Uniform 
     Crime Report Program to include use of force incidents by law 
     enforcement resulting in serious bodily injury. The Death in 
     Custody Reporting Act, which was signed into law in 2014, 
     must also be properly implemented.
       Support the Collaborative Reform Initiative of the U.S. 
     Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented 
     Policing Services. The Collaborative Reform Initiative is a 
     valuable program that offers technical assistance and 
     operational support to local police departments to improve 
     policing practices, transparency, professionalism, 
     accountability, community inclusion, and procedural fairness. 
     The Collaborative Reform Initiative enables police 
     departments--which participate on a voluntary basis--to 
     sustain longterm, significant reforms in a manner that 
     improves trust between police and communities and meets the 
     public safety goals of residents. The work of DOJ's Civil 
     Rights Division around policing must also be supported and 
       During Police Week, we urge you to prioritize federal 
     programs, funding, and legislation that support the above 
     polices, rather than legislation that would undercut 
     partnerships with our local communities. We invite you to 
     reach out to us about the above priorities and ask that you 
     support legislation and funding that champion these important 
       Hassan Aden, Police Chief (Ret.), Greenville (NC) Police 
     Department; Chief James Abbott, West Orange (NJ) Police 
     Department; Officer Nick Bucci (Ret.), New Jersey State 
     Police; Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton, Washtenaw County (MI) 
     Sherriff's Office; Captain James Davidsaver (Ret.), Lincoln 
     (NE) Police Department; Deputy Chief Stephen Downing (Ret.), 
     Los Angeles Police Department; Former Probation/Parole 
     Officer and Corrections Counselor Shelley Fox-Loken, Oregon; 
     Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), Baltimore and Maryland State 
     Police Department; Officer Brian Gaughan (Ret.), Davenport, 
     Iowa and Chicago; Lieutenant Commander Diane Goldstein 
     (Ret.), Redondo Beach Police Department.
       Ron Hampton, Community Relations Officer, D.C. Metropolitan 
     Police Department (Ret.); Blacks in Law Enforcement of 
     America; Officer Karen Hawke (Ret.), Massachusetts State 
     Police; Former Federal Corrections Officer Regina Hufnagel, 
     Boston, Massachusetts; Commissioner Terence Inch (Ret.), 
     Hellam Township (PA) Police Department; Senior Patrol Officer 
     Tim Johnson (Ret.), Madison (OH) Township Police Department; 
     Commissioner George Kain, Ph.D, Ridgefield (CT) Board of 
     Police Commissioners; Analyst Richard Kennedy (Ret.), Central 
     Intelligence Agency; Chief Larry Kirk (Ret.), Old Monroe (MO) 
     Police Department; Former Special Agent David Long, U.S. 
     Department of Labor; Former Detective and Deputy Sheriff Nick 
     Morrow, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
       Lieutenant Joanne Naughton (Ret.), New York Police 
     Department; Chief Norm Stamper (Ret.), Seattle (WA) Police 
     Department; Special Agent Ray Strack (Ret.), Department of 
     Homeland Security, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Former Police 
     Officer Silvestre Tanenbaum, Carrollton (TX) Police 
     Department; Sergeant Carl Tennenbaum (Ret.), San Francisco 
     Police Department; Former Detention Officer and Deputy 
     Marshal Jason Thomas, Prowers County, Colorado; Detective 
     James Trainum (Ret.), Washington Metropolitan Police 
     Department; Deputy Sheriff Darren Ullmann, Cowlitz County 
     (OR) Sheriff's Office; Federal Probation Officer LeRoy 
     Washington (Ret.), Hawaii; Officer Jack Wilborn (Ret.), 
     Glendale (AZ) Police Department; Detective Howard Wooldridge 
     (Ret.), Michigan.

  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, as they state, in part, in the letter: ``We 
are deeply troubled by recent legislative and executive actions that 
support this divisive `law and order' rhetoric and that chip away at 
our hard-fought efforts to sustain long-term trust between our 
communities and law enforcement agencies.''
  This letter is signed by many current and former police chiefs, 
sheriffs, and other law enforcement officials.
  In the letter that I included in the Record, which will now appear 
for the world to see, law enforcement professionals say that instead of 
pushing forward with this bill that we are being asked to consider 
under a closed and restrictive rule, we should focus on mental health 
and trauma services for officers to support them, programs and policies 
for de-escalation and crises intervention training, better staffing for 
our police agencies and probation officers, programs and policies that 
incorporate implicit bias training into police training and probation 
office training, and community-oriented policing. These are the types 
of policies that Democrats, and myself, would love to put forward 
during National Police Week to support our law enforcement 
professionals and to keep our communities safe.
  Why aren't we focusing on those kinds of ideas, rather than a 
solution in search of a problem?
  It is National Police Week, and we should be supporting legislation 
that protects and supports our police, not create a greater schism 
between our community and police through an unconstitutional bill that 
puts the lives of our probation officers at risk, and will likely 
increase recidivism among those on probation.

                              {time}  1300

  We can do better. That is why I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on 
this rule and to vote ``no'' on the underlying legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the time, and I appreciate the debate 
today. Also, I feel, in just a little bit of ways, I am sort of Alice 
in Wonderland here; what is up is down and what is down is up. I am not 
sure how you take this bill to, number one, say that probation officers 
would be any more in danger.
  I would also, Mr. Speaker, like to include in the Record another 
letter that is from the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association in 
support of what is going on here.

                                           Federal Law Enforcement

                                          Officers Association

                                     Cabin John, MD, May 17, 2017.
     Hon. Paul Ryan,
     Speaker of the House, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Speaker and Leader Pelosi: I am writing on behalf 
     of the nearly 27,000 members of the Federal Law Enforcement 
     Officers Association to advise you of our

[[Page H4330]]

     strong support for H.R. 1039, the ``Probation Officer 
     Protection Act,'' and to express our appreciation for the 
     Congress's consideration of this important officer safety 
     measure during National Police Week. FLEOA opposes the 
     amendment that will be offered on the floor to sunset the 
     authority provided by the bill, as you cannot put a stopwatch 
     on critical law enforcement officer protection measures such 
     as H.R. 1039.
       The ``Probation Officer Protection Act'' is a critical 
     officer safety measure. At a time when U.S. Probation 
     Officers have seen their workloads increase due to changes in 
     sentencing policy and are being asked to ``do more with the 
     same,'' ensuring that they have the means to protect 
     themselves when placed in harm's way is paramount. H.R. 1039 
     will fully authorize a U.S. Probation Officer to arrest any 
     third party who violates 18 USC 111. This statute has been on 
     the books since the 1940s and makes it a crime for any person 
     to forcibly assault, resist, intimidate, or interfere with 
     any federal officer in the performance of their official 
     duties. Current law, however, only allows Probation Officers 
     to make arrests of individuals on probation or under 
     supervised release who violate 18 USC 111. This authority 
     does not extend to ``third parties,'' which could include a 
     former associate of the offender or an unidentified member of 
     the community. In many instances third parties are well aware 
     that a federal officer's authority is limited to individuals 
     on supervision, and when a third party does impede or assault 
     a U.S. Probation Officer, the Officer's only recourse is to 
     retreat and call for local law enforcement. While in major 
     cities local law enforcement may respond depending on 
     availability, the same is not true for U.S. Probation 
     Officers who work in rural communities where response by 
     local law enforcement may be a single officer or none. This 
     places Probation Officers at even greater risk, particularly 
     in those situations where retreat is not even a reasonably 
     safe alternative.
       During the forthcoming debate on this bill, there will 
     undoubtedly be those who go to great lengths to demean U.S. 
     Probation Officers as something less than ``real'' law 
     enforcement officers or to diminish the hazards that they 
     face. Some may also raise inchoate objections about the 
     constitutionality of H.R. 1039. For example, you will hear 
     that Congress cannot extend Executive Branch police powers to 
     the Judicial Branch, despite the fact that it was Congress 
     that established the U.S. Supreme Court Police that resides 
     directly across the street from the U.S. Capitol. Not only 
     are such statements factually inaccurate, they display a 
     basic lack of understanding about those who serve our nation 
     as U.S. Probation Officers and the purposes behind the 
     ``Probation Officer Protection Act.''
       Make no mistake: U.S. Probation Officers are fully trained 
     federal law enforcement officers. They attend basic training 
     at the National Training Academy at the Federal Law 
     Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, SC, and receive 
     ongoing in-service training throughout the year. Their 
     training covers everything from firearms regulation and 
     safety and defensive tactics to handcuffing, the use of 
     force, de-escalation training, and reality-based scenario 
     training. It may be difficult for some to acknowledge, but 
     there is an inherent risk to the work U.S. Probation Officers 
     do--a risk that often outweighs that of traditional law 
     enforcement. They do not enter into sterile offices, but 
     often into environments that are uncertain. They are required 
     to have frequent and regular contacts in the home and 
     community and knowingly come into daily contact with 
     individuals who have a history of violence, mental health 
     issues, problems with authority, and troubles with substance 
     abuse. U.S. Probation Officers are not able to anticipate 
     what is going to occur during all contacts. There are and 
     have been occasions when U.S. Probation Officers are 
     threatened and/or attacked by third parties and they need the 
     ability to take an affirmative step to protect themselves.
       U.S. Probation Officers are a unique profession. They have 
     a knowledge base in law and human behavior, and a mix of 
     skills in investigation, communication, and analysis. They 
     strive to make our communities safer, to make a positive 
     difference in the lives of those they serve, and promote 
     fairness in process and excellence in service. But as the 
     volume of approved searches they must conduct has markedly 
     increased over the past year due to changes in sentencing 
     policy, the absence of any authority to restrain or direct 
     the movements of third parties places U.S. Probation Officers 
     at a greater and unnecessary risk of physical harm. H.R. 1039 
     provides a modest expansion of U.S. Probation Officers' 
     existing arrest authority to cover only violations of 18 USC 
     111. It does not in any way provide them ``peace officer'' 
     status or grant them the same general arrest authority that 
     state-level probation officers enjoy in many jurisdictions. 
     Granting U.S. Probation Officers the authority to arrest 
     third parties would not change who they are and what they are 
     seeking. Nor will it interfere with or otherwise diminish 
     U.S. Probation Officers' use of the de-escalation techniques 
     that are the hallmark of their profession. It would simply 
     afford them another tool, another avenue, if ever needed.
       In the end, this legislation will enhance officer safety 
     while also protecting probationers and third parties by 
     preventing obstruction from escalating to actual violence. 
     Thank you in advance for your consideration of this 
     legislation and for helping U.S. Probation Officers do their 
     job more safely by passing H.R. 1039, the ``Probation Officer 
     Protection Act.''
                                                 Nathan R. Catura,
                                               National President.

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I think what is interesting here 
is I can't really, frankly, understand sort of the shade, I guess, or 
the dismissiveness that is being thrown on probation officers and their 
lack of training, which is 6 weeks plus 40 hours additional, which is 
subject to their job.
  The evidence that was presented here, the example of the person not 
wanting a search, many times a probation officer will come with a 
search warrant that will allow them to search anywhere. But even in the 
case of the lady who did not want her room searched, the bill 
specifically says forcible impeding, which is already discussed and 
talked about in law.
  Also, any officer who witnesses a crime or is being attacked does not 
have to have a warrant to make an arrest. So, I mean, it is really 
interesting to me why we are discussing a bill and doing so in such a 
way for which there are actual instances where this takes place.
  My friend said, well, it only happens a very few times. My question 
for this, as a son of a State trooper, if his name was Leonard Collins 
and he was actually going to do this, I would say that one matters, 
even if it is the only one--lives of these probation officers, one.
  So why we are doing this, I am not really sure. Why we would oppose 
this, I am not really sure.
  You can make stretched arguments here, but when a probation officer 
goes in and, in the words of the bill, is forcibly intimidated, 
impeded, attacked, they can arrest the person there who they have 
already had training in how to arrest. I am not sure, Mr. Speaker, how 
you can make a good argument about that. You can try.
  There will be debate here in just a few minutes, which this rule 
gives, because I would encourage voting ``no'' on the previous question 
and voting ``yes'' on this rule.
  But there is also another issue that I do want to address. In this 
majority, since this majority has been in control, there has never been 
a waiver for germaneness on a floor amendment. Germaneness matters. So, 
again, find the proper place.
  As we go forward, as we look, at least in my time here, this is one 
of the simple, straightforward issues. You are protecting and giving a 
chance for those probation officers who encounter something that most 
in this body now, in our current jobs, maybe in previous, have not had 
to face.
  So the question for me today is simply this. It makes sense as a 
commonsense update. Support it. It enables them to carry out their job, 
protecting themselves.
  The underlying bill simply provides additional resources for 
probation officers to protect themselves while, at the same time, 
freeing up the demands of other law enforcement officers in the area. 
When we understand the commitment that they make, I do not understand 
making legal sidestep arguments of hypotheticals that may or may not 
exist to say we should not give them another tool in their toolbox.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Polis is as follows:

            An Amendment to H. Res. 324 Offered by Mr. Polis

       At the end of the resolution, add the following new 
       Sec 2. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution the 
     Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare 
     the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on 
     the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 
     305) to amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to require 
     the disclosure of certain tax returns by Presidents and 
     certain candidates for the office of the President, and for 
     other purposes. The first reading of the bill shall be 
     dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of 
     the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to the 
     bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided among and 
     controlled by the respective chairs and ranking minority 
     members of the Committees on Ways and Means and Oversight and 
     Government Reform. After general debate the bill shall be 
     considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. All 
     points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. At 
     the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the 
     Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with 
     such amendments as may have been adopted. The previous 
     question shall be considered as ordered

[[Page H4331]]

     on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without 
     intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or 
     without instructions. If the Committee of the Whole rises and 
     reports that it has come to no resolution on the bill, then 
     on the next legislative day the House shall, immediately 
     after the third daily order of business under clause 1 of 
     rule XIV, resolve into the Committee of the Whole for further 
     consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 3. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 305.

        The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means

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

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