PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 2810, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018, AND PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 23, GAINING RESPONSIBILITY ON WATER ACT OF 2017
(House of Representatives - July 12, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 117 (Wednesday, July 12, 2017)]
[Pages H5444-H5454]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




      PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 2810, NATIONAL DEFENSE 
AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018, AND PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION 
        OF H.R. 23, GAINING RESPONSIBILITY ON WATER ACT OF 2017

  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I 
call up House Resolution 431 and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 431

       Resolved, That at any time after adoption of this 
     resolution the Speaker may, 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. 2810) to authorize appropriations for fiscal 
     year 2018 for military activities of the Department of 
     Defense and for military construction, to prescribe military 
     personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other 
     purposes. The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed 
     with. All points of order against consideration of the bill 
     are waived. General debate shall be confined to the bill and 
     shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by 
     the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on 
     Armed Services. After general debate the bill shall be 
     considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. In lieu 
     of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by 
     the Committee on Armed Services now printed in the bill, an 
     amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the 
     text of Rules Committee Print 115-23, modified by the 
     amendment printed in part A of the report of the Committee on 
     Rules accompanying this resolution, shall be considered as 
     adopted in the House and in the Committee of the Whole. The 
     bill, as amended, shall be considered as the original bill 
     for the purpose of further amendment under the five-minute 
     rule and shall be considered as read. All points of order 
     against provisions in the bill, as amended, are waived.
       Sec. 2. (a) No further amendment to the bill, as amended, 
     shall be in order except those printed in part B of the 
     report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution 
     and amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this 
     resolution.
       (b) Each further amendment printed in part B of the report 
     of the Committee on Rules shall be considered only in the 
     order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member 
     designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall 
     be debatable for the time specified in the report equally 
     divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, 
     shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject 
     to a demand for division of the question in the House or in 
     the Committee of the Whole.
       (c) All points of order against the further amendments 
     printed in part B of the report of the Committee on Rules or 
     amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution 
     are waived.
       Sec. 3.  It shall be in order at any time for the chair of 
     the Committee on Armed Services or his designee to offer 
     amendments en bloc consisting of amendments printed in part B 
     of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this 
     resolution not earlier disposed of. Amendments en bloc 
     offered pursuant to this section shall be considered as read, 
     shall be debatable for 20 minutes equally divided and 
     controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the 
     Committee on Armed Services or their designees,

[[Page H5445]]

     shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject 
     to a demand for division of the question in the House or in 
     the Committee of the Whole.
       Sec. 4.  At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for 
     amendment pursuant to this resolution, the Committee of the 
     Whole shall rise without motion. No further consideration of 
     the bill shall be in order except pursuant to a subsequent 
     order of the House.
       Sec. 5.  At any time after adoption of this resolution the 
     Speaker may, 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. 
     23) to provide drought relief in the State of California, 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 and 
     controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the 
     Committee on Natural Resources. After general debate the bill 
     shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. 
     It shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the 
     purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment 
     in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules 
     Committee Print 115-24. That amendment in the nature of a 
     substitute shall be considered as read. All points of order 
     against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are 
     waived. No amendment to that amendment in the nature of a 
     substitute shall be in order except those printed in part C 
     of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this 
     resolution. Each such amendment may be offered only in the 
     order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member 
     designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall 
     be debatable for the time specified in the report equally 
     divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, 
     shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject 
     to a demand for division of the question in the House or in 
     the Committee of the Whole. All points of order against such 
     amendments 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. Any Member may demand a separate vote in the House 
     on any amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole to the 
     bill or to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made 
     in order as original text. The previous question shall be 
     considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to 
     final passage without intervening motion except one motion to 
     recommit with or without instructions.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. MacArthur). The gentleman from Alabama 
is recognized for 1 hour.

                              {time}  1230

  Mr. BYRNE. 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. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 
5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Alabama?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 431 provides for full 
consideration, including making six amendments in order to H.R. 23, the 
Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, and allows us to begin 
consideration of H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2018.
  H.R. 23 is legislation necessary to deal with the severe water supply 
crisis facing California and other Western States. The region has 
experienced the worst drought in over 1,000 years, and many Western 
communities have been very negatively impacted.
  This commonsense legislation fixes the broken regulatory system that 
is only exacerbating the impact of the drought conditions. The current 
regulatory system is overly complex and inconsistent. Making matters 
worse, various court decisions have only further complicated efforts to 
resolve these issues.
  For example, this bill will help bring California's water 
infrastructure into the 21st century. The current water storage and 
delivery system is designed to serve approximately 22 million people, 
but the State currently has 37 million residents.
  The bill is not only important to people in California. In fact, 
around half of our Nation's fruits and vegetables come from California. 
Every American could be hit in the pocketbook at the grocery store or 
checkout line if the California drought is allowed to continue.
  Through this legislation, we can help expand water infrastructure and 
allow for greater water conveyance while ensuring environmental and 
water rights protections. Passing H.R. 23 will directly help address 
the drought crisis and benefit families, farms, the environment, and 
the American economy.
  The rule also allows us to begin consideration of the National 
Defense Authorization Act. The bill provides for general debate and 
makes in order 88 amendments, including 41 minority amendments and 20 
bipartisan amendments. Another rule is expected tomorrow to provide for 
consideration of additional amendments.
  This open process actually started in the Armed Services Committee on 
which I serve. At the committee level, 275 amendments were offered, and 
231 amendments were adopted during our committee markup last month.
  I have said this many times on this floor, but it is worth saying 
again: there is no greater responsibility of the Federal Government 
than to provide for the safety and security of the American people. 
This year's NDAA does just that by reforming, repairing, and rebuilding 
the United States military.
  The bill addresses the realities of the dangerous threat environment 
facing our Nation and ensures our troops and their families have the 
necessary resources and benefits.
  Over the last decade, we have cut our military at an alarming rate. 
As the threats rack up, we have planes that can't fly, ships that can't 
sail, and soldiers who can't deploy. We must reverse this readiness 
crisis.
  Thankfully, there is bipartisan support for boosting our Nation's 
military. In fact, this bill passed out of the Armed Services Committee 
by a vote of 60-1, continuing a strong bipartisan tradition of passing 
NDAAs.
  I want to briefly highlight just a few of the positive provisions of 
this legislation.
  The bill increases total military spending by 10 percent to rebuild 
the military from the current readiness crisis. This includes 
increasing the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and 
Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard.
  Given the serious threat posed by North Korea, the bill boosts 
missile defense programs, including adding an additional $2.5 billion 
above the President's budget request.
  The bill also authorizes the construction of 13 new Navy ships, 
including three more littoral combat ships, as we work to grow toward a 
355-ship fleet. It funds a 2.4 percent pay raise for our troops and 
extends special pay and bonuses for servicemembers.
  Importantly, the bill continues to advance Chairman Thornberry's 
priority of reforming and strengthening the military's acquisition 
process to make it more effective and efficient.
  Given the evolving threats related to cyber, the bill improves the 
oversight of cyber operations.
  The bill also helps set policy for the U.S. military relating to 
Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Russia, Africa, and the Asian 
Pacific region.
  All told, this bill achieves important priorities of reforming, 
repairing, and rebuilding our military.
  Each and every day, more than 2 million men and women put on the 
uniform of the United States and serve our country. As we have seen by 
two recent tragedies, the Marine plane crash in Mississippi and the USS 
Fitzgerald collision off the coast of Japan, these individuals put 
their lives on the line in order to protect the freedoms we all hold 
dear. They deserve the resources necessary to fulfill their mission and 
the benefits worthy of those who sacrifice so much.
  So I am hopeful we can continue to move forward in a bipartisan 
manner to pass this NDAA, to support our troops, and to fulfill our 
constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support House Resolution 431 and 
the underlying bills, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the 
customary 30 minutes, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule for providing debate on 
the National Defense Authorization Act, often called the NDAA, and also 
the

[[Page H5446]]

Gaining Responsibility on Water Act. First let me address that act.
  They tried to create an acronym called the GROW Act, Gaining 
Responsibility on Water, trying to make it seem like it actually might 
help things grow, when it actually picks winners and losers in water--
and the losers are the environment, the State of California, and many 
others.
  There are also a lot of problems around the process for the GROW Act. 
It bypassed hearings and markups. In fact, up until this bill was 
published on the Rules Committee website, only lobbyists and a few 
Republicans even knew what many of the provisions in this bill were. 
This kind of backroom dealmaking is one of the reasons the general 
public holds Congress in such low esteem.
  There is an immense amount of opposition to this legislation, 
including from conservation groups, fishing groups, Native American 
Tribes, and the State of California.
  Mr. Speaker, I have several letters that I include in the Record in 
regard to opposition to H.R. 23. One of the letters is signed by groups 
ranging from the American Bird Conservancy to the Animal Welfare 
Institute, to the Humane Society and a number of others, discussing how 
this bill would dramatically weaken protections for salmon, birds, and 
other fish and wildlife.
  Another letter that I include in the Record is from a former 
colleague of ours, now the attorney general of the State of California, 
Xavier Becerra, and, finally, a letter from the Governor of California 
as well.

                         Please Oppose H.R. 23

                                                    July 11, 2017.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the undersigned 
     organizations, we write to urge you to oppose H.R. 23 
     (Valadao, R-CA). This bill would dramatically weaken 
     protections for salmon, migratory birds, and other fish and 
     wildlife in California's Bay-Delta watershed and would 
     threaten thousands of fishing jobs in California and Oregon 
     that depend on the health of these species. In addition to 
     gutting critical federal environmental protections in 
     California, H.R. 23 also preempts a wide range of state 
     environmental laws and would prevent the State of California 
     from protecting and managing its own water and wildlife 
     resources. In addition to these provisions focused on 
     California, the bill also includes titles that would reduce 
     public and environmental reviews of new dams and water 
     infrastructure across the Western states. Both the Obama 
     Administration and the State of California opposed similar 
     legislation in recent years, including opposition to H.R. 
     3964 (Valadao, R-CA) and H.R. 5781 (Valadao, R-CA) in 2014, 
     and H.R. 2898 (Valadao, R-CA) in 2015.
       California has just emerged from a devastating drought, and 
     the state is taking proactive steps to protect cities, farms, 
     and the environment from future dry spells. However, several 
     provisions in H.R. 23 would undermine California's efforts by 
     permanently preempting critical state laws that protect 
     salmon and other native fisheries and the jobs they support. 
     In addition, this legislation would effectively repeal and 
     preempt state and federal laws and a binding settlement 
     agreement that require restoration of the San Joaquin River 
     and its native salmon runs, instead permanently drying up 60 
     miles of California's second longest river. H.R. 23 not only 
     preempts state law as applied to federal water projects in 
     California, but it also preempts the application of state 
     laws to the State Water Project and virtually all water 
     rights holders in California's Bay-Delta watershed. This 
     extensive preemption of state law in H.R. 23 is contrary to 
     over a hundred years of Reclamation law and would set a 
     dangerous precedent for other Western states.
       H.R. 23 would also override the Endangered Species Act, 
     increasing the risk that winter-run Chinook salmon and other 
     native fish species are driven extinct. Further, H.R. 23 
     could devastate wildlife refuges that provide habitat for 
     millions of birds that migrate along the Pacific Flyway by 
     undermining the refuges' water rights and threatening 
     critically important funding sources. H.R. 23 would also 
     eviscerate the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act, 
     eliminating instream flows to benefit salmon and funding for 
     habitat restoration projects, which help to mitigate the 
     adverse effects of the Central Valley Project. The impacts 
     from these provisions would reverberate along the entire West 
     Coast, affecting fishing jobs and related industries in 
     Oregon and Washington that depend on salmon from California's 
     Central Valley and threatening populations of waterfowl and 
     shorebirds that migrate to and from Alaska and Canada each 
     year.
       In addition to these provisions focused on gutting 
     environmental protections in California, H.R. 23 also 
     includes several titles that would weaken the public's right 
     to know and environmental protection across the western 
     United States. For instance, the bill's dam permitting 
     provisions would give the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 
     unprecedented control over the environmental review process 
     and could undermine the ability of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
     Service and N.O.A.A. Fisheries to share expertise and inform 
     the development of major infrastructure investments. These 
     provisions would make it difficult, if not impossible, for 
     responsible agencies to meaningfully analyze proposed 
     projects and could limit the public's ability to weigh in on 
     infrastructure that could affect communities for decades.
       H.R. 23 has not been the subject of a single committee 
     hearing to receive public input from the State of California, 
     hunting organizations, sport and commercial fishermen, 
     tribes, or conservation groups, even though the bill could 
     greatly interfere with state water rights and cripple the 
     ability of state and federal agencies to manage limited water 
     resources for all beneficial uses. Last year Congress passed 
     legislation addressing California's water operations in the 
     Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016 
     (P.L. 114-322). H.R. 23 would undermine that legislation, 
     which supporters claim requires that state and federal water 
     projects are operated in compliance with state law and the 
     Endangered Species Act.
       H.R. 23 also threatens thousands of fishing jobs in 
     California, Oregon, and beyond that depend on healthy salmon 
     runs from the Bay-Delta. The closure of the salmon fishery in 
     2008 and 2009 resulted in thousands of lost jobs in these 
     states. The livelihoods and recreational interests of salmon 
     fishermen, Delta farmers, fishing guides, tackle shops, bird 
     watchers, waterfowl hunters, and communities across 
     California and along the West Coast depend on the 
     environmental protections that H.R. 23 would eliminate.
       For these reasons, we respectfully urge you to oppose H.R. 
     23. Thank you for your attention.
           Sincerely,
       American Bird Conservancy,
       American Rivers,
       Animal Welfare Institute,
       Audubon California,
       Center for Biological Diversity,
       Center for Food Safety,
       Defenders of Wildlife,
       Earthjustice,
       Endangered Species Coalition,
       Environmental Protection Information Center,
       Friends of the River,
       Humane Society Legislative Fund,
       International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island 
     Institute,
       Klamath Forest Alliance,
       League of Conservation Voters,
       Natural Resources Defense Council,
       San Juan Citizens Alliance,
       Sierra Club,
       The Bay Institute,
       Turtle Island Restoration Network,
       Western Nebraska Resources Council,
       Western Watersheds Project,
       WildEarth Guardians.
                                  ____

                                              State of California,


                               Office of the Attorney General,

                                    Sacramento, CA, July 11, 2017.
     Re H.R. 23 (Valadao).
     Hon. Paul Ryan,
     Speaker of the House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     House Minority Leader,
     House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

       Dear House Speaker Ryan and House Minority Leader Pelosi: I 
     am writing to express my opposition to H.R. 23, the Gaining 
     Responsibility on Water Act of 2017. This legislation would 
     exempt California from the long-standing principle that 
     Congress should defer to the individual states in the 
     management of their water resources. While H.R. 23 purports 
     to affirm state authority to regulate the waters within their 
     borders as to other western states, the legislation singles 
     out California by abrogating California water resource law 
     and effectively federalizing the State's water resource 
     management to the injury of the State's fish and wildlife 
     resources.
       Like its predecessors H.R. 1873 and H.R. 3964, H.R. 23 
     would transgress state sovereignty in at least three 
     important respects. First, the legislation would mandate that 
     the federal Central Valley Project (CVP) and the California 
     State Water Project (SWP), the largest water projects in the 
     State, operate to outdated water quality standards for the 
     Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta developed over twenty-two years 
     ago, and would preclude state authorities from altering such 
     standards notwithstanding the cumulative scientific evidence 
     that these standards are insufficient to protect the State's 
     fisheries. Second, the legislation would prohibit the 
     California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and 
     the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) from 
     exercising their state law duties to protect fishery 
     resources and public trust values, not only as to CVP and SWP 
     operations, but as to all water right holders in California. 
     Third, the legislation would overturn settled principles of 
     cooperative federalism by materially altering the San Joaquin 
     River Restoration Settlement Act, an act that implements a 
     settlement reached by the United States, several 
     environmental organizations, and local water users resolving 
     a dispute over application of state fishery law to federal 
     facilities on the San Joaquin River. California supported the 
     compromise settlement and the implementing legislation and is 
     a partner in the San Joaquin River Restoration Program.
       These proposed constraints on California's ability to 
     manage its natural resources conflict with historic 
     principles of western

[[Page H5447]]

     water law. In California v. United States (1978) 438 U.S. 
     645, 654, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed California's 
     ability to impose state law terms and conditions on federal 
     reclamation projects, and declared that, ``[t]he history of 
     the relationship between the Federal government and the 
     States in the reclamation of the arid lands of the Western 
     States is both long and involved, but through it runs the 
     consistent thread of purposeful and continued deference to 
     state water law by Congress.''
       California law grants the SWRCB the continuing authority to 
     review and reconsider all water rights for the purpose of 
     determining whether their exercise would violate the 
     reasonable use requirement of the Article X, Section 2 of the 
     California constitution and California's common law doctrine 
     of the public trust. According to the California Supreme 
     Court, ``[t]he state has an affirmative duty to take the 
     public trust into account in the planning and allocation of 
     water resources, and to protect public trust uses whenever 
     feasible.'' (National Audubon Society v. Superior Court 
     (1983) 33 Ca1.3d 319, 446.) The California Legislature has 
     adopted these principles as ``the foundation of state water 
     management policy.'' (Cal. Wat. Code, 85023.) H.R. 23 would 
     abrogate California's ability to apply its water resource 
     laws while purporting to maintain and protect the ability of 
     other western states to manage their water resources. H.R. 23 
     provides no explanation as to why California should be 
     subject to such disparate treatment as to its sovereign 
     authority to manage its natural resources.
       In addition, H.R. 23 takes these steps in violation of 
     settled constitutional principles of state sovereignty. 
     Relying upon separation of powers principles set forth in the 
     Tenth Amendment and elsewhere in the U.S. Constitution, the 
     U.S. Supreme Court in New York v. United States has held that 
     ``even where Congress has the authority under the 
     Constitution to pass laws requiring or prohibiting certain 
     acts, it lacks the power directly to compel the States to 
     require or prohibit those acts.'' (New York v. United States 
     (1992) 505 U.S. 144, 166-167.) In Printz v. United States, 
     the U.S. Supreme Court expanded its ruling in New York and 
     held that ``[t]oday we hold that Congress cannot circumvent 
     that prohibition by conscripting the States' officers 
     directly.'' (Printz v. United States (1997) 521 U.S. 898, 
     935.)
       By compelling the SWP, a state-funded and managed water 
     project, to operate based upon congressionally-mandated Delta 
     water quality standards, rather than allowing California to 
     develop standards that reflect the most recent scientific 
     information regarding the Delta, H.R. 23 is ``requiring'' a 
     state agency to comply with a federal policy. By preventing 
     the SWRCB, the DFW, and other state agencies from taking 
     actions to protect fishery and other public trust values, 
     H.R. 23 is ``prohibiting'' the State from enforcing state 
     law. These provisions of H.R. 23 violate settled state 
     sovereignty principles. Congressional passage of H.R. 23 
     would have, in effect, unconstitutionally ``dragooned'' state 
     agencies and state officials ``into administering federal 
     law.'' (Printz, supra, 521 U.S. at p. 928.)
       I urge you to oppose H.R. 23. Congress cannot justify the 
     legislation's disparate treatment of California's sovereign 
     authority to manage its natural resources and cannot compel 
     California to act as its regional agent to enforce 
     congressional policy. I ask that you affirm the long-standing 
     congressional tradition of cooperative federalism and dual 
     sovereignty in water and reject H.R. 23's attempt to 
     federalize water resource management in the California.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Xavier Becerra,
     Attorney General.
                                  ____



                                       Office of the Governor,

                                                    July 10, 2017.
     Hon. Paul Ryan,
     Speaker, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Ryan: I write to oppose H.R. 23, the ``Gaining 
     Responsibility on Water Act of 2017.''
       Water defines the west and for over a century Congress and 
     the courts have consistently recognized that state law 
     determines how water is developed and used. Western states 
     have successfully resisted any attempted intrusion into this 
     essential attribute of their sovereignty, including in the 
     operation or construction of water projects involving the 
     federal government. This bill overrides California water law, 
     ignoring our state's prerogative to oversee our waters. 
     Commandeering our laws for purposes defined in Washington is 
     not right.
       It is also not smart. California is the sixth-largest 
     economy in the world, and its future depends on the wise and 
     equitable use of its water. Making decisions requires 
     listening to and balancing among the needs of California's 
     nearly 40 million residents and taking into consideration 
     economics, biodiversity and wildlife resources. All of this 
     is best done at the state and local level--not in a polarized 
     political climate 3,000 miles away.
       Undermining state law is especially unwise today as 
     California, with input from all stakeholders, is poised to 
     make its boldest water infrastructure investments in decades: 
     funding surface storage, updating an antiquated delta water 
     conveyance, and adopting water-use efficiency targets.
       I ask you to respect California's rights and shelve this 
     bill.
           Sincerely,
                                              Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, the only winners under this bill are actually 
a few large agricultural producers who will take all the water, leaving 
none for many others. This bill is a water grab, plain and simple. The 
so-called GROW Act provides no new water, but it takes the existing 
water and gives it to those with the best lobbyists here in Washington.
  Instead of this highly partisan bill, we should be taking steps to 
actually grow the water supply for everybody, with water recycling, 
with water conservation, water efficiency, many other nonideological, 
nonpartisan fixes, water infrastructure that can actually help deliver 
water to small farmers, protect our environment, and, yes, our 
legitimate agricultural producers as well.
  Unfortunately, instead, we are stuck with this so-called GROW Act, 
which jeopardizes fishing jobs, preempts State conservation laws, 
overrides the Endangered Species Act for salmon and wildlife, weakens 
critical safeguards under the NEPA process, and undermines water 
rights. In doing so, this bill would permanently destroy California's 
rivers, Bay-Delta Estuary, needed fisheries, and the thousands of jobs 
that depend on those natural resources.
  This bill is not a balanced protection. It picks winners and losers 
and hands over water rights to those who are present for the backroom 
deals in Washington.
  Let's go back to the drawing board. I come from the State of 
Colorado, and we know how important water is. Let's find a way to find 
a bipartisan path to grow the water supply across the Western United 
States.

                              {time}  1245

  Let me address the other bill that is contained in this rule, the 
NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act. For 56 straight years, the 
United States Congress has come together to craft policies and 
recommendations for the United States Armed Forces and to put those 
policies into law under the authorizing statute for our military. 
Without question, this bill is one of the most consequential and 
important items that Congress undertakes each year.
  Personally, I have found objections to policies, and I have been a 
fan of other policies contained in these bills while I have been in 
Congress. And I want to commend the work of my colleagues, Democratic 
and Republican, who serve on the Armed Services Committee for their 
important work on this legislation so important for our national 
security.
  Many of my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee have served or 
do serve in our military. Members of the committee are dedicated public 
servants, they are experts in their field, they travel and learn and 
hear from experts, and they set aside many of their political 
differences to do what it takes to keep America safe and secure, 
something that Republicans, Democrats, Independents are all committed 
to. We need to make sure that we give our military the tools they need 
to safely carry out the tasks that the Commander in Chief and elected 
officials ask them to undertake.
  I commend the committee for putting forth a bill that takes 
constructive steps in filling military readiness gaps, requiring 
strategies from the administration and the Department of Defense with 
regard to contingencies in several countries, and acknowledging and 
planning for the real climate change threat that is posed to our 
national security.
  Yet the work of the NDAA is not limited to members of the Armed 
Services Committee. The Members of this body as a whole, Democrats and 
Republicans who don't serve on that committee, have submitted over 400 
amendments to do what each one of us believes would, in some way, 
improve this bill and strengthen our national security.
  But the work of NDAA continues, and before this week is over, I 
expect to see the Rules Committee make in order an even greater number 
of these amendments. We took the first step in this rule by making a 
few dozen amendments in order, and we will continue that work in Rules 
Committee this afternoon as we thoughtfully go

[[Page H5448]]

through the 400 amendments so a representative number of those from my 
Democratic and Republican colleagues who don't have the opportunity to 
serve on the Armed Services Committee can present those ideas for 
consideration by the full House.
  But for all the hard work that the Armed Services Committee has done, 
what we have before us this week is essentially an argument that needs 
to be solved by the Budget Committee and can't, frankly, be solved by 
the authorizing committee.
  What we are doing is we are having a very strange debate in this 
body. We are having effectively a budget debate within the defense 
bill. We are discussing authorization levels, when we know that the 
real discussion and battle over tradeoffs will be around the funding 
levels, not so much the authorization levels.
  One of the tricks that we worry about is by blatantly disregarding 
the proper use of the overseas contingency fund and by deliberately 
flouting limitations set by the Budget Control Act, this Armed Services 
authorization bill has been completely overtaken by the debate on the 
Federal budget.
  So this week we see a debate about the inability to pass a budget, 
adhere to a budget, and balance our budget, and, rather, we are 
operating kind of in this lala world of, if we had all the money in the 
world, here is what we would do, but as my Democratic and Republican 
friends know, we live in a world of tradeoffs, and we as Democrats and 
Republicans will need to decide what those tradeoffs are. That is not 
being done in this bill, and, in fact, it is one week less that we have 
to have those important discussions about how to actually secure 
America and protect our country.
  If the debate over armed services wasn't such a serious topic, I 
would, frankly, give the Republicans kudos for building such an 
elaborate and complex budget scheme. It is very clever, more so than 
the traditional overseas contingency gimmicks that have been presented 
within recent years. It took me a little while to even understand what 
this budget gimmick was, and I am going to now seek to explain it.
  The Defense spending budget is capped at $549 billion by the Budget 
Control Act of 2011. $549 billion is the maximum that would be spent on 
defense. This bill authorizes $621 billion as its discretionary base 
budget authority. That means that the bill we are debating today goes 
$70 billion in spending above the spending caps that Congress agreed 
on. That is all deficit spending. That means Congress will increase the 
deficit by $70 billion under this bill, but it gets worse.
  The United States has been embroiled in conflict abroad since 2001, 
and many administrations, Democratic and Republican, have requested 
another pot of money that we call the overseas contingency fund. These 
funds, as the name indicates, are supposed to be used for paying costs 
that are incurred due to U.S. engagement in contingency operations, not 
baseline operations. And they are exempt, rightfully so, from the 
budget caps, because we never wanted to constrain our ability to 
provide funding for an unforeseen contingency situation that becomes a 
necessity for our national security.
  This year, however, the bill provides for $74 billion for this 
overseas contingency fund, a full $10 billion above what was even 
requested by the President.
  Now, a reminder, the Republicans haven't actually produced a budget 
this year, so we can't exactly make a comparison between the 
President's budget and the Republican majority's budget. I think one of 
the reasons they might be afraid to is they will show substantially 
increased deficits with these tax-and-spend Republican policies that 
have come to typify the Republican approach to grow our government with 
every new spending bill.

  What the NDAA does is it takes this overseas contingency account, 
which is often called the slush fund for the Pentagon, it adds $10 
billion to that fund, but instead of paying for future contingencies, 
that will pay for baseline operations. Some of that $10 billion goes to 
the unfunded priorities of the Pentagon, things it couldn't quite fit 
in the $621 billion, which already increases Federal spending by $70 
billion.
  So it is just throwing money, Federal money, your taxpayer money, Mr. 
Speaker, hand-over-fist, without a plan, indebting future generations 
for spending money today. The Pentagon gets more big ticket items they 
want.
  And, likewise, it is hard to argue with funds being allocated to 
operations and maintenance. We are all for maintenance, we are all for 
readiness, but we are all for understanding the tradeoffs that we have. 
We cannot simply continue to spend irresponsibly, indebting future 
generations.
  At some level, Mr. Speaker, and I think this kind of throwing 
additional money well above and beyond the budget caps reaches that 
level, we make our Nation less secure rather than more secure by making 
us economically beholden to foreign nations and indebting future 
generations of Americans.
  Congress has set limits on how much we can spend on defense versus 
nondefense. So when we run out of money under this NDAA plan, either we 
are going to be forced to spend more, which is what you and I can 
predict what will happen, of course that is what is going to happen, or 
they are somehow going to find the money elsewhere, which I can pretty 
much assure you, Mr. Speaker, is not going to happen. That is a 
prediction that I am giving you.
  And not having seen a budget, by the way, this is, we think, why 
Republicans haven't come up with a budget, because they know they can't 
make enough devastating cuts to possibly pay for this military 
increase, and they certainly don't want to put their name to paper on 
those cuts. And we all know what is going to happen. They won't make 
those cuts, spending will go up, debt will go up. I mean, that is what 
we know will happen. We have been here before, seen that movie.
  Now, again, theoretically, Draconian cuts can be made to schools and 
Head Start and NASA and medical research, money fighting the opioid 
epidemic, homeland security, police. Yeah, theoretically they can 
devastate everything inside of our country, leaving a hollowed-out 
core, a well protected hollowed-out core, but I know Republicans aren't 
cruel enough to do that. Instead, they are going to kick the can down 
the road and indebt future generations and make our country less secure 
by borrowing money from China and Saudi Arabia to fund today's 
military, making us economically beholden to the very foreign powers 
that represent a real geopolitical threat to American interests.
  That is why budgets matter, that is why these budget gimmicks that 
are being used through the overseas contingency fund matter, and that 
is why we need to have a budget debate, not a fake budget debate in the 
context of a national defense debate, which is what is being done here 
today.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the gentleman referred to what this would do to the 
budget. I would point out to the gentleman, and I think I did this in 
committee yesterday, that if this is passed, it will only be 16.8 
percent of total Federal outlays, which means the single most important 
thing that we do here in government only gets less than 20 percent of 
the money that we are going to spend. So I don't think it is asking too 
much of ourselves, as the people responsible for providing for the 
defense of America, that we spend 16.8 percent of all the Federal money 
we are going to spend next year on making the American people safe and 
secure.
  He spoke about tradeoffs. Let me tell you one tradeoff I don't think 
any of us should be willing to make, and that is trading off the safety 
and security of the American people for trying to keep some other 
overspending in some other part of the budget going.
  We need to focus today, and in this bill, on what it takes to 
authorize the defense and the safety and security of the American 
people, and I believe this bill does that, as did all but one of my 
colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee.
  So I believe that we have struck the appropriate balance here that 
does all that. Yes, we have got some budget things we need to take care 
of. That is for later. For today, we are going to focus on defending 
the American people.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Austin

[[Page H5449]]

Scott), my colleague on the Armed Services Committee.
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the 
gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Byrne) for his work on the National Defense 
Authorization Act.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask my fellow Members to support the 
fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
  After nearly 13 hours of debate, my colleagues and I on the Armed 
Services Committee, we came together, we passed the legislation to 
provide critical resources and reforms for our Nation's military to 
undertake the 21st century threats that our country and the world 
faces.
  Part of facing these challenges is ensuring that our military 
personnel are able to combat the dangerous and illegal actions of 
transnational criminal organizations, particularly those close to home 
in the SOUTHCOM region.
  Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman who spoke earlier about the 
opioid epidemic. I would just remind my fellow Americans that over 
5,000 Americans die every month from drug overdoses.
  Just a few months ago, I, along with the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Veasey), had the opportunity to visit with the Joint Interagency Task 
Force South and SOUTHCOM's headquarters in Florida to hear and see 
firsthand the challenges that migrant and drug interdiction within the 
Caribbean region pose on homeland and national security.

  Included in the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act 
is a provision that I authored aimed at addressing the threat these 
transnational criminal organizations pose on our country and seeking to 
find new ways to support SOUTHCOM in their continuing efforts to tackle 
those threats head-on.
  To all of the members of the SOUTHCOM team, I want to thank you for 
the important work that you do in securing our coastlines, supporting 
our national security, and protecting your fellow Americans.
  To my colleagues, I urge your support in passage of the fiscal year 
2018 NDAA to keep the U.S. military the best and most prepared fighting 
force in the world.
  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Gallego), a distinguished member of the Armed Services 
Committee.
  Mr. GALLEGO. Mr. Speaker, this rule is a travesty. If we vote to 
approve it, an amendment unanimously supported by the Armed Services 
Committee--unanimously, all Democrats and all Republicans would 
compromise language--to prevent President Trump from using our 
military's money to build his border wall will suddenly vanish. It is a 
legislative magic trick, a sneaky gimmick designed to disguise their 
actions.
  Once again, Speaker Ryan and the House Republicans are doing 
President Trump's dirty work. They want to make sure that Trump can 
build his wall, but they are also desperate to avoid a clean up-or-down 
vote on this issue. They are hiding from the American voters.
  They didn't have the courage to oppose my amendment in committee or 
even on the House floor. They passed this rule late at night with 
hardly anyone watching, in typical Republican fashion.
  Republicans are resorting to deceptive legislative tactics to do 
Trump's bidding just for his small, fragile ego.
  Mr. Speaker, this self-executing rule, if it comes to fruition, is 
going to attempt to slip one past Congress and the American people.
  Just 6 months into this administration, it is already abundantly 
clear that Mexico won't pay for Trump's stupid, dumb border wall. We 
must not allow precious resources to be robbed from our troops simply 
to score political points for Trump's ego.
  Mr. Speaker, with Mexico refusing to entertain this absurd policy and 
without a direct appropriation from Congress, President Trump is going 
to get desperate. His administration will inevitably seek to pull money 
from other sources to make good on his promise to build this wall, 
including from the Defense budget.
  That is why my amendment was so crucial. It would simply ensure that 
DOD resources aren't siphoned off for a pointless wall that we don't 
need and cannot afford. It was supported by Democrats and Republicans 
alike, the ranking member and the chairman.
  As a Member of Congress, we have a sacred responsibility to ensure 
that money meant to address real national security challenges isn't 
diverted to combat imaginary ones that the President has created.

                              {time}  1300

  As a Marine Corps veteran, I believe it would be an insult to our 
members of the military if their resources were reallocated to build a 
wall that we don't need, that won't bring us more security, when we 
have tens of thousands of military members that are currently still on 
food stamps while serving this country.
  Mr. Speaker, make no mistake: a vote for this rule is a vote to build 
the wall and take precious resources from the Department of Defense 
budget. Please vote ``no.''
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments of my colleague from Arizona.
  This was not done in the middle of the night in secrecy. This was 
done in full committee with cameras watching us, and done early in the 
evening with full debate, so I disagree with him about that.
  Let's talk about the wall for a second.
  I support President Trump and what he is trying to do with the wall. 
I hope we get to a point where we can deal with that.
  This is a defense authorization bill. This is not a wall 
authorization bill. The wall is already authorized. We don't need an 
authorization bill for the wall. It is already there. The next step for 
us to take for the wall is an appropriations bill, and this is not an 
appropriations bill.
  So what the Rules Committee has done is made it clear that we are not 
going to deal with the wall one way or the other in the National 
Defense Authorization Act. That is not the proper place for it. That is 
not the proper place to be spending money for it. There is another part 
of our budget, another law for us to deal with there.
  So I hope that we all will understand that what we have done is made 
it clear there is nothing in this bill--nothing--about a wall, nor 
should there be anything in this bill about a wall, because that is for 
another committee, another bill, another time, and another place.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from Wyoming (Ms. 
Cheney), our newest member of the Armed Services Committee and the 
Rules Committee.
  Ms. CHENEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank very much my colleague from both the 
Rules Committee and the Armed Services Committee, Mr. Byrne, for his 
work on this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to support both of 
these underlying bills, and I want to speak particularly about the 
National Defense Authorization Act.
  We are, today, living in a world where we face a more complex array 
of threats than at any time in the last 70 years. The obligation that 
we have to our men and women in uniform, to make sure that we provide 
them with the resources that they need to defend this Nation, is a more 
solemn obligation than any other we have.
  There are many things that we were elected to do when we came to 
Washington, and we have done many of those things in this Congress. We 
have been a historically productive Congress in the months that we have 
been here. We have passed repeal and replace of healthcare reform, we 
have passed the repeal bill for Dodd-Frank, we have begun our important 
work on immigration reform, and we have done tremendous work on 
regulatory reform to lift the burden of the massive overreach of the 
Obama years. But there is nothing that we do that is more important 
than providing the resources for our men and women in uniform. This 
bill is a very important first step in that direction.

[[Page H5450]]

  I want to mention a couple of things that this bill does in 
particular.
  In the aftermath of the ICBM test, the first successful North Korean 
ICBM test, one of the most important challenges we face as a nation is 
ensuring that we have provided for the defense of this Nation with 
respect to missile defense. This bill adds $2.5 billion above the 
administration's request for missile defense. It focuses on including 
additional interceptors for existing systems, as well as research for 
new technologies.
  Total missile defense is still below the funding levels during the 
Bush administration. This bill is a very important first step, but, Mr. 
Speaker, we have got to do much more.

  We also, in this bill, begin the process of providing the necessary 
additional resources and top line to begin to rebuild. We have not had 
a defense budget, Mr. Speaker, since 2011 that was based upon the 
Pentagon being able to assess the threats and telling us what we need 
to do to be able to defend against those threats.
  We have now, because we are living under the Budget Control Act, had 
a Defense Department, instead, that has been obligated to fund at 
levels that are arbitrary and to cut at levels that are arbitrary. No 
nation can responsibly live under that system.
  The next thing we have got to do is repeal the Budget Control Act. We 
have got to recognize that we have a huge and growing debt crisis, a 
huge fiscal crisis, but that crisis is not being driven by our defense 
budget. The Budget Control Act has been ineffective at getting at what 
we need to do in terms of reducing the debt. Instead, it has gutted our 
defense.
  We are in a world today where the North Koreans, the Iranians, the 
Russians, the Chinese, ISIS, and al-Qaida are all continuing to make 
strides against us, Mr. Speaker.
  One of the things that I am often asked as a new Member of this body 
is what has surprised me most in my time in Congress. I came to this 
body, Mr. Speaker, as somebody who has spent a lot of time focused on 
national security and defense issues, as someone who spent a large part 
of her career really invested in and studying and learning these 
issues, and I thought, Mr. Speaker, that I was relatively well informed 
about these issues.
  I have been stunned, Mr. Speaker, as a member of the House Armed 
Services Committee, briefing after briefing after briefing, at the 
extent to which we have fallen so far behind. And I think it is 
critically important for my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, and for the 
American people to understand the extent to which our adversaries are, 
today, fielding and developing capabilities and systems against which 
we cannot, may not be able to defend.
  Mr. Speaker, in closing, I want to read something that Ronald Reagan 
said back in 1982 on an issue when they were having similar issues and 
debates and discussions about defense spending. He said: ``Now, I 
realize that many well-meaning people deplore the expenditure of huge 
sums of money for military purposes at a time of economic hardship. 
Similar voices were heard in the 1930s, when economic conditions were 
far worse than anything we're experiencing today. But the result of 
heeding those voices then was a disastrous military imbalance that 
tempted the forces of tyranny and evil and plunged the world into a 
ruinous war. . . . We must never repeat that experience.''
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to remember that weakness is 
provocative, that it is when we are strong that we are most able to 
protect ourselves and to defend ourselves, and we must learn the 
lessons of the past. Passing this rule and passing the underlying 
legislation, this National Defense Authorization Act, is the first step 
in that direction.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote in the affirmative and to 
ensure that we do everything we can to defend our Nation and to make 
sure that we defend freedom for the next generation.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. McNerney).
  Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, we are here with H.R. 23 again discussing attempts to 
override State and Federal environmental law. The House and Senate 
negotiated additional pumping flexibility in last year's WIIN Act. This 
group has stated for years that they just want a little additional 
flexibility in environmental law, which actually means weakening or 
eliminating environmental law. They ignore the damage this would cause 
to California's delta region, its families, and its farmers.
  We heard last year that governments are set up for the benefit of the 
people, but this means all of the people, not just a few people at the 
expense of others.
  The person nominated to Deputy Secretary at the Department of the 
Interior worked for Westlands Water District just last December. He 
would make decisions to pump more water to Westlands, the Nation's 
largest water district--a clear conflict of interest, and a clear 
threat to farmers and residents in the delta.
  This is also a clear example of what is wrong with H.R. 23. It will 
negate environmental protections; it will hurt one region to benefit 
another; and it allows corruption to seep into the Federal Government.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge Members to oppose H.R. 23 for these reasons.
  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, in April, President Trump and congressional Republicans 
rolled back the FCC's rule to protect Americans' personal information 
and their internet browsing history. By doing so, they effectively sold 
personal privacy to the highest corporate bidder.
  Today is Net Neutrality Day of Action, protesting the FCC's proposal 
to end equal access to online content, which would destroy the internet 
as we know it. What better day to also protect the future of our 
privacy by undoing the Republicans' reckless rollback that placed cable 
profits above our privacy and consumer protections.
  Mr. Speaker, if we defeat the previous question, I will offer an 
amendment to the rule to bring up Representative Rosen's Restoring 
American Privacy Act, H.R. 1868. This bill will restore Americans' 
privacy protections and tell internet service providers they can't sell 
their customers' personal information without the knowledge and consent 
of the customers.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the 
amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately 
prior to the vote on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Schweikert). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Colorado?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, to discuss our proposal, I yield 5 minutes to 
the gentlewoman from Nevada (Ms. Rosen).
  Ms. ROSEN. Mr. Speaker, if today's vote on the previous question 
fails, instead of voting on a partisan bill that rolls back key 
environmental laws, overturns State law, and ignores real solutions to 
our water supply shortages in the West, we will have the opportunity to 
vote on my bill, H.R. 1868, the Restoring American Privacy Act of 2017.
  This bipartisan legislation will reverse the President's decision to 
assign a disastrous resolution allowing internet providers to sell 
their customers' personal information without their acknowledge or 
without their consent.
  As a former computer programmer and someone who has firsthand 
experience writing code, I can tell you that the first step towards 
protecting vulnerable and sensitive data is to make sure it remains 
private.
  S.J. Res. 34, which now, unfortunately, is the law, prevents vital 
online protections for millions of Americans nationwide from taking 
effect later this year. The resolution, signed by the President, 
negating FCC broadband consumer privacy rules is not only wrong and a 
blatant violation of privacy, but it jeopardizes Americans' personal 
data and puts them at risk of hacking.
  The October 2016 rule was the only rule that required internet 
service providers to obtain consumers' permission before selling their 
private internet browsing history and other sensitive information, 
including geolocation and amp usage.
  I am simply shocked that most of my colleagues across the aisle voted 
for a

[[Page H5451]]

measure that violates Americans' privacy by selling our most intimate 
and personal information, all without our consent.
  Repealing the FCC rule with S.J. Res. 34 now allows broadband 
providers to turn private personal information over to the highest 
bidder--or anybody they want, including the government--without a 
warrant and without ever telling you.
  That is right. Without this rule that President Trump and most 
Republicans in Congress blocked, internet service providers don't need 
to ask for permission to collect and share sensitive personal 
information. Even worse, the passage of this resolution also told 
providers they no longer have to use reasonable measures to protect 
consumers' personal data.
  This is absolutely unacceptable. We are living in a time where 
identity theft and internet hacking have become the new norm. Shortly 
after President Trump and Republicans repealed these consumer 
protections, we experienced a massive ransomware attack that caused 
major damage to businesses and companies around the world. No American 
wants their most personal information to be up for grabs.
  By using the Congressional Review Act to eliminate this rule, the FCC 
is now prevented from publishing rules that are substantially the same 
absent additional legislation, establishing a dangerous precedent for 
private citizens.
  Americans should have the right to decide how their internet 
providers use their personal information, especially since many people 
can't choose their own broadband provider.
  What my bill does, Mr. Speaker, is simple. H.R. 1868 makes it clear 
that the American people's browsing histories are not for sale; the 
American people's personal information is not for sale; the American 
people's financial information is not for sale; and the American 
people's location data is not for sale.
  It is a very simple concept, one that I hope my colleagues across the 
aisle will recognize and support. The American people don't want the 
legislation that was signed into law this last spring. In overwhelming 
numbers, they are calling Congress and letting it be known they want to 
keep their private information private.
  I am proud to stand up for the American people, and I hope you take 
up the Restoring American Privacy Act of 2017 for consideration. This 
is commonsense, bipartisan legislation that will reverse a misguided 
resolution by saying, once and for all, that ISPs cannot sell 
customers' personal information without their knowledge and without 
their permission. This bill says that your privacy is not for sale, 
period.

                              {time}  1315

  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I appreciate the gentlewoman's comments and concerns about protecting 
all of our privacy on the internet. I think we all should be about 
that. But instead of having a misguided and unauthorized regulatory 
action that left vast gaps in this system, we should have a 
comprehensive bill to deal with it. That bill is not before the House 
today.
  What is before the House today in this rule are two bills: one that 
deals with the drought in the West, which is very important; and the 
second is provide for the safety and security of the American people. 
So that is what we are here today about.
  I appreciate her concerns about that. I join with her, and I hope 
that we have a bill on this floor that comprehensively deals with the 
issues that she brought up, but now is not the time, these are not the 
bills, and this is not the rule to deal with it.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Vermont (Mr. Welch).
  Mr. WELCH. Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to acknowledge the good 
work of Chairman Thornberry and Ranking Member Smith in the Armed 
Services Committee. As my colleague from Alabama said, there is nothing 
more important than having a secure national defense to protect the 
American people.
  But this bill does have problems. Many of them are not created by the 
Armed Services Committee. They are created by us in Congress.
  It has been catastrophic for us to have the millstone of the Budget 
Control Act that is limiting the ability of Congress to make decisions 
about where to spend more or where to spend less, and two things are 
happening as a result of that.
  Number one, we abdicate our responsibility. In some places we should 
be spending more, but in many other places we should be spending less.
  The second thing, Mr. Speaker, is that we put in straitjackets our 
managers at the Pentagon and in other programs because we micromanage 
where they must spend money. If we are going to give them a challenge--
the budget cap right now is $549 billion; this bill suggests that we 
spend close to $700 billion--we have got to give them managerial 
flexibility and stability.
  The Budget Control Act is the ``Budget Paralysis Act.'' That is on 
all of us here in Congress.
  Now, a second thing, this bill, in that context, where we are going 
to blow through that cap but do nothing about our ability to make 
decisions on the taxes and spending, means that this gets cut totally 
out of domestic spending. In my view, General Mattis' view is that is 
bad for national defense.
  We plus-up the Defense budget, but we take a hatchet to the State 
Department budget, not something that you can address in the Armed 
Services bill, I understand. But the effect of it, as General Mattis 
said: We have to buy more bullets.
  So this is a symptom of the problem that we have got to face 
squarely.
  The other issue in this bill is that it hasn't given us a policy of 
what is our exit strategy in Afghanistan.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Vermont.
  Mr. WELCH. What is our policy?
  We are sleepwalking into an escalation. That has failed us before. We 
have to have that debate now.
  Where is the money coming from?
  $150 billion is just going to magically appear. No discussion about 
that.
  And this bill does not acknowledge the absolute vital importance of 
domestic and diplomatic programs to our national security.
  I applaud the committee and the chairman and the ranking member for 
some very good work they did. I criticize us in Congress for putting 
the straitjacket on them so they can't do the job right.
  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I strongly agree with my colleague from Vermont's remarks regarding 
the Budget Control Act. It was passed for a good intention, but it has 
worked out quite differently from what people thought it was going to 
accomplish.
  It is time for us to take responsibility, as the gentleman from 
Vermont said, and to do what we are supposed to do to make the priority 
decisions about what is important for America and what is not. 
Providing for the safety and security of the people of America, that is 
important. And if we have to make cuts in other parts of our budget to 
make sure we are doing that, first and foremost, I am happy to do it.
  The gentleman is absolutely right about micromanagement. We have been 
micromanaging the people that we charge with defending America with how 
they are going to carry out combat responsibilities, particularly in 
the Middle East. President Trump, I think, quite rightly, has delegated 
many of those decisions down to Secretary Mattis so that our combatant 
commanders can make the decisions they have got to make as and when 
they need to make them.
  I understand what he is saying about the State Department budget, 
something that we all should be concerned about. The appropriate time 
to talk about that is when the appropriations bill for the State 
Department is here, not when we are talking about the National Defense 
Authorization Act.
  Finally, with regard to Afghanistan, which if I may make a little bit 
broader and talk about the Middle East in general, it is time for a new 
AUMF. The AUMFs that were passed in this Congress over 15 years ago 
were for a different time, with different circumstances altogether. And 
I do sense

[[Page H5452]]

a bipartisan urging for us to do that, but this is not the right time 
for us to do it on this particular piece of legislation.
  I hope that at a future time the Foreign Affairs Committee, that has 
appropriate jurisdiction over that issue, will come forward with an 
AUMF that we can all discuss because we are now not just in Afghanistan 
and Iraq, we are in Syria, we are in Yemen, we are in Libya, we are in 
Somalia, where we have had some past history that is not so good.

  We all--everybody, not just from the Armed Services Committee--need 
to understand these threats to our country and what we are going to do 
about them, have a strategy with a clear endgame, which we need and we 
haven't had for the last several years.
  Then we should authorize it because only Congress has the power to 
declare war. We should authorize it. And by authorizing it, we not only 
take responsibility, but we communicate to our friends and our foes 
alike, and to those servicemen and -women who put themselves at risk 
out there that we are behind it. We, as the Representatives of the 
American people, are behind it. So I hope that we can do that, but it 
won't be in this particular bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman's remarks, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This bill has several other policies I want to address. For one, it 
ties our participation in the critical New START with Russia to a 
separate Europe-focused treaty that Russia is not in compliance with.
  The New START is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between our Nation 
and Russia, and we should not remove ourselves from that, from an 
agreement that allows us to inspect and gather information about 
Russia's nuclear facilities.
  In addition, this rule, if adopted, would fail to extend the Special 
Survivor Indemnity Allowance, causing it to expire in May of 2018. The 
Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance is a program that was originally 
created in the NDAA, and goes a long way to helping to mitigate the 
problems that recipients of the Defense Department's Survivor Benefit 
Plan face.
  There are other provisions of this bill which I object to in their 
current form but are going to be debated through amendments very likely 
over the course of the next week. For instance, the bill currently 
prevents the transfer of any detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention 
facility. This detention facility that is extralegal should be closed, 
not repopulated, and we certainly will have that debate this week.
  This bill, unfortunately, also authorizes far too many funds and 
continues to overfund our nuclear weapons activities, costing taxpayers 
hundreds of billions of dollars, in fact, as much as $1 trillion over 
the next 30 years, for a stockpile of weapons that, even if 
substantially cut, would be enough to end life on the planet.
  I testified before the Appropriations Subcommittee with regard to 
this matter and argued how can we possibly go before the taxpayers back 
home and say we need to overfund our nuclear arsenal to destroy the 
world seven times instead of five, or five times instead of three.
  One would think that ending life on the planet once would be more 
than enough, and it is hard to argue from taxpayers that they should, 
in fact, pay for this planet's destruction multiple times.
  We also continue to use force in our ongoing operations in Iraq, 
Syria, and elsewhere. I join my colleagues from the other side of the 
aisle in calling for an updated Authorization for Use of Military 
Force. To date, Congress has taken zero meaningful actions toward 
achieving that, yet we hear on this floor regularly from my friend from 
Alabama and others that Republicans and Democrats need to do that, 
especially before we put another soldier in harm's way.
  That is the role of this body, and it is time to stop avoiding the 
task of writing an Authorization for Use of Military Force. Have that 
debate and make it happen.
  These are the types of questions we should be debating, but instead 
we are continuing to avoid those and plunging our Nation deeper into 
debt without a real budget plan.
  Instead of focusing on real questions about how to improve our 
defense, the general debate on this bill will largely focus on budget 
tricks. This debate on this budget should happen on the floor, in the 
Budget Committee, in a budget passed by this body.
  One of the amendments I offered with my colleague, Ms. Lee, that we 
will be debating, would cut 1 percent of the money authorized in that 
bill. That would help. It would be a starting point. It would still be 
a spending level above the budget caps, but at least 1 percent in the 
record, reckless deficits from this Republican spending bill.
  At some point we have to make decisions about tradeoffs, about the 
directions of our budgets, our entitlements, our discretionary, our 
revenues, our defense, and our nondefense. We can't resign ourselves to 
plunging future generations into further debt.
  My amendment with Ms. Lee is a small, first step taking a stand 
against unsustainable budget levels that make our Nation less secure 
rather than more secure. It is the wrong way to do things. It is the 
wrong time to have this debate. I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on 
this rule so we can go back to the starting board and discuss the items 
that my Republican colleagues agree are important in terms of the use 
of the Authorization for Use of Military Force, ending the budget 
gimmicks, and figuring out how to balance the budget, rather than 
plunge our Nation deeper into debt.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no,'' and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  If I may make sure that we are all clear about where we are on the 
START; the START runs through 2021. That is 4 years from now. What the 
bill says is that if we find that Russia is in violation of the INF 
Treaty--and there is some indication that that is true--that we 
wouldn't extend it beyond 2021. But that is 4 years from now.

  So what does that mean?
  This is a shot across the bow to Russia. We are telling Russia: If 
you continue to violate the INF Treaty, we are not going to extend with 
you on START.
  This is telling them: We are not going to let you get away with this.
  And I would think, at this point, after all that we have heard, we 
would want to stand up to Russia, and this is a very vital way to do 
that.
  Secondly, about the GTMO issue that he brought up, there are two 
amendments made in order by this rule for us to discuss GTMO, and I 
believe we are going to have that debate tonight. Now, I don't agree 
with the amendments, but we made them in order so we can have that 
debate on this floor.
  So we are going to debate GTMO. My prediction is that we are going to 
defeat both of those amendments, but the people on the other side of 
the aisle have been given a great opportunity to make their argument 
that we shouldn't do that.
  Nukes. Why are we trying to modernize our nuclear force?
  Because our adversaries are modernizing theirs, and if we don't, we 
are not doing the proper thing to protect the people of the United 
States.
  And then the gentleman talks about the budget bills. Now, there is a 
budget bill coming. Now, the budget bill is for the next fiscal year, 
October 1, 2017. That is several weeks from now. We have got time to 
pass a budget for next fiscal year.
  But the way we have everything set up here, we try to move these 
defense bills about this time of year so that we can do what we have 
got to do to make sure we have communicated to the military what they 
are going to have to do their jobs.
  If I may walk briefly around the world to remind us about where we 
are. Kim Jong-un has continued to test missiles throughout last year 
and this year, and he is getting better. And what he seeks is not just 
to strike South Korea or Japan, he wants to strike America. That is why 
you have an ICBM if you are in North Korea.
  We need to step up to the plate and do more in missile defense and 
more in other things to make sure we are doing everything we can to 
protect America from an attack from North Korea.
  China wants to take control of the South China Sea and the East China 
Sea. What does that mean to us for America?

[[Page H5453]]

  Forty percent of the trade in the world moves through those two 
oceans. The greatest population center in the world is right there. It 
is where we want to do more business, where people there want to do 
more business with us; and not having a robust military presence there 
means we cede that part of the world to China.
  I guess we could pull back to where we were on December 6, 1941, when 
we didn't have a presence in Guam and Japan and South Korea and 
Singapore. Or we could take the understanding from what happened that 
terrible day on December 7, 1941, that we have to be thinking now for 
the challenge to us then and, by making those preparations and making 
sure we have the defense in place, we keep December 7, 1941, from 
happening again.
  Then we have our good friends in Russia, as they push not only into 
Eastern Europe, but now into the Middle East. It used to be we thought 
that Russia was kind of off the table; you know, the Soviet Union 
collapsed; didn't have to worry about Russia anymore.
  Russia is back. They are back in many different military ways, in 
their navy, in their missiles, and what they are doing with their armed 
forces, including the little green men in Ukraine. We need to take that 
threat seriously, as we haven't had to take it for years.
  And then there is the Middle East. We know what is happening today in 
Mosul and in Raqqa. Perhaps ISIS is being pushed out of those places, 
but it is not disappearing. It is not going away as a threat, any more 
than al-Qaida has gone away as a threat. We still have terrorist groups 
like them and others who seek to do harm to the American people, 
whether it is over there or over here, and we have to provide for the 
defense against that.
  Then there is Iran; Iran that, because of an ill-considered agreement 
reached with them by the Obama administration, now is on a path to get 
an ICBM of its own, which it doesn't need to strike Israel. It needs an 
ICBM to strike us.

                              {time}  1330

  Then they get as close as they want to under that agreement that we 
reached with them. Right up to the edge of violation, where they 
perfect their nuclear technology, they decide in a short period of time 
to violate it, put a nuclear weapon on one of those ICBMs and threaten 
us directly.
  That and a host of other threats are what we are talking about in 
this bill. We have never faced such a complex set of threats since the 
end of World War II. It is not my word. It is the word of countless 
experts who have come before our committee.
  We have to do this. The American people expect us to do this. Like 
many other people in this body, I do tele-townhalls. At my last two 
tele-townhalls, I have asked this open-ended question: What is the most 
important issue to you?
  We give them a broad range of issues to pick from: healthcare, tax 
reform, you name it. The number one issue in those two tele-townhalls, 
by far, for the people in my district was national security. They see 
what is happening in North Korea. They see what is happening in the 
Middle East. They know what Russia is up to. They are worried about 
China, and they want to know what we are doing.
  This bill that this rule provides for does what we need to do to 
protect the American people. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate everything that 
I have heard today from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle 
because I know people on both sides of the aisle care a great deal 
about these issues.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support House Resolution 431 and 
the underlying bill.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Polis is as follows:

            An Amendment to H. Res. 431 Offered by Mr. Polis

       At the end of the resolution, add the following new 
     sections:
       Sec. 6. 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. 
     1868) to provide that providers of broadband Internet access 
     service shall be subject to the privacy rules adopted by the 
     Federal Communications Commission on October 27, 2016. The 
     first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points 
     of order against consideration of the bill are waived. 
     General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not 
     exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair 
     and ranking minority member of the Committee on Energy and 
     Commerce. After general debate the bill shall be considered 
     for amendment under the five-minute rule. All points of order 
     against provisions in the bill are waived. At the conclusion 
     of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee 
     shall rise and report the bill to the House with such 
     amendments as may have been adopted. The previous question 
     shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments 
     thereto to final passage without intervening motion except 
     one motion to recommit with or without instructions. If the 
     Committee of the Whole rises and reports that it has come to 
     no resolution on the bill, then on the next legislative day 
     the House shall, immediately after the third daily order of 
     business under clause 1 of rule XIV, resolve into the 
     Committee of the Whole for further consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 7. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 1868.
                                  ____


        The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means

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

  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I 
move the previous question on the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Jody B. Hice of Georgia). The question 
is on ordering the previous question.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  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.

[[Page H5454]]

  

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