Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
July 14, 2017
115th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 163, No. 119 — Daily Edition
Entire Issue (PDF)
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Daily Digest Section (PDF)
Friday, July 14, 2017
The Senate was not in session and stands adjourned until 3 p.m., on Monday, July 17, 2017.
No committee meetings were held.
House of Representatives
Reports Filed: Reports were filed today as follows:
H.R. 1422, to amend the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 to require that certain buildings and personal property be covered by flood insurance, and for other purposes, with an amendment (H. Rept. 115–220);
H.R. 2565, to require the use of replacement cost value in determining the premium rates for flood insurance coverage under the National Flood Insurance Act, and for other purposes, with an amendment (H. Rept. 115–221); and
Speaker: Read a letter from the Speaker wherein he appointed Representative Simpson to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018: The House passed H.R. 2810, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the Department of Defense and for military construction, and to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, by a recorded vote of 344 ayes to 81 noes, Roll No. 378. Consideration began Wednesday, July 12th.
Rejected the Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM) motion to recommit the bill to the Committee on Armed Services with instructions to report the same back to the House forthwith with an amendment, by a recorded vote of 190 ayes to 235 noes, Roll No. 377.
Agreed to amend the title so as to read: ``To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.''.
Thornberry en bloc amendment No. 3 consisting of the following amendments printed in H. Rept. 115–217: DesJarlais (No. 16) that requires National Nuclear Security Administration to provide Congress with a list of unfunded requirements; Plaskett (No. 49) that converts the Overseas Housing Allowance to Basic Housing Allowance for the US Virgin Islands; Bera (No. 54) that requires a report from the Defense Department on its activities and priorities with respect to infectious disease; Kuster (No. 55) that allows DoD to support VA in their adoption of an Electronic Health Record System and to require DoD and VA to jointly submit annual reports to Congress on their progress in developing a fully interoperable health record; Jackson Lee (No. 56) that calls for increased collaboration with NIH to combat Triple Negative Breast Cancer; Soto (No. 57) that encourages the transition of military medical professionals into employment with the Veterans Health Administration upon discharge or separation from the Armed Forces; Conaway (No. 58) that repeals subsection 190(f) of title 10, United States Code, to ensure a consistent approach is used to determine when qualified private auditors should conduct incurred cost audits for Department of Defense contracts; Pittenger (No. 59) that prohibits DOD from contracting with telecom firms found by ODNI to be complicit with DPRK cyberattacks; DeSantis (No. 60) that requires an assessment on procurement from Chinese companies providing support to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and authorizes the Secretary of Defense to terminate contracts based on a determination informed by the assessment; Velazquez (No. 61) that adds the threshold for construction contracts that must be bonded under the Miller Act as an exclusion, since increasing this threshold exposes more small construction businesses to loss of payment protection on federal construction projects; Murphy (FL) (No. 62) that authorizes Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, established pursuant to the Procurement Technical Assistance Program administered by the Defense Logistics Agency, to assist eligible small business owners in pursuing opportunities during all phases of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which enable small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has the potential for commercialization; Fitzpatrick (No. 63) that directs the Secretary of Defense to raise the priority of completing DOD Directive 2310.07E in order to clarify processes and efficiencies in recovering the remains of heroes missing in action, via the POW/MIA Accounting Agency; Soto (No. 64) that requires the Secretary of Defense to brief the House Armed Services Committee on a strategy to ensure that there is sufficient expertise, oversight, and policy direction on developmental test and evaluation within the Office of the Secretary of Defense after the completion of the reorganization of such Office required under section 901 of Public Law 114–328; Schiff (No. 65) that expresses a sense of Congress that in the interest of justice and efficiency, military judges should provide victims of terrorism and their families the opportunity to provide recorded testimony; Schiff (No. 66) that allows military judges to use video conferencing to improve efficiencies of military commissions; Schiff (No. 67) that requires proceedings for military commissions to be publicly available on the internet; Kildee (No. 68) that requires the Administration to articulate projected casualties and costs associated with the deployments of members of the Armed Force to Afghanistan as well as the objectives of said deployments and a timeline to achieve these objectives; Delaney (No. 69) that limits funds that support the closure of a bio-safety level 4 lab until the federal agencies who rely on the lab have certified to Congress that the closure will not negatively affect biodefense capabilities; Comstock (No. 70) that strikes language regarding the elimination of the STARBASE Report, and adds the STARBASE Report to the list of `Preservation of Certain Additional Reports'; and Carbajal (No. 71) that strikes language that would remove a National Guard Youth Challenge Report;
Thornberry en bloc amendment No. 4 consisting of the following amendments printed in H. Rept. 115–217: Gottheimer (No. 72) that strikes the language that eliminates an annual report to Congress on support to law enforcement agencies conducting counter-terrorism activities; Fitzpatrick (No. 73) that directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study on the related health effects of exposure to PFOS/ PFOA at military installations; Boyle (No. 74) that expresses the sense of Congress that it is in the national security interest of the Department of Defense to assist Ukraine to improve its cybersecurity capabilities; Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX) (No. 75) that requires the Secretary of the Army to construct a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the three astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 spacecraft fire; Wilson (SC) (No. 76) that requires the President to submit a comprehensive, interagency strategy for countering violent extremist groups that pose a threat to the United States or its interests; Thornberry (No. 77) that requires a comprehensive report on defense industrial base vulnerabilities and the concentration of purchases; also creates a database of certain transactions and purchases involving foreign persons; Moulton (No. 78) that establishes Congressional Charter to enable Spirit of America to assist the Department of Defense to utilize donated assistance to meet needs and support of U.S. missions abroad; Connolly (No. 79) that directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct a review of existing DoD policy on DoD civilian employee air travel to and from Afghanistan in order to explore commercial or alternative air travel for DoD civilian employees; Davidson (No. 80) that requires collaboration between FAA and DOD on unmanned aircraft systems research and development of standards and policies; Rohrabacher (No. 81) that adds a stipulation requiring that, prior to the disbursement of certain funds, the Secretary of Defense certify to Congress that Pakistan is not using its military or any funds or equipment provided by the United States to persecute minority groups seeking political or religious freedom; Poe (TX) (No. 82) that adds an additional certification criteria required for waiving coalition support funds to Pakistan; the new addition requires the Secretary of Defense to certify Pakistan is not providing military, financial, or logistical support to specially designated global terrorists operating in Afghanistan or Pakistan; Moore (No. 83) that requires the U.S. strategy on Syria to identify State Department and Defense Department funding by year to implement it, to identify the legal authority for U.S. forces in Syria to accomplish military objectives; requires a separate assessment of how the humanitarian situation in Syria affects the achievement of U.S. goals, including how the U.S. intends to respond to the humanitarian crisis including aiding Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons; Nolan (No. 84) that prohibits the use of funds authorized by this Act to be made available to deploy members of the Armed Forces to participate in the ongoing civil war in Yemen; Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM) (No. 85) that requires the Secretary of the Air Force to brief the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on efforts to increase diversity in the civilian workforce; Gallego (No. 86) that requires reporting on deployments of U.S. forces to Syria; Lamborn (No. 87) that requires a report from the President, along with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the Director of National Intelligence, regarding the use by the Government of Iran of commercial aircraft and related services for illicit activities; Nolan (No. 88) that prohibits funding from the Counter-ISIS Train & Equip Fund to recipients that the Secretary of Defense has reported as having previously misused provided training or equipment; Engel (No. 89) that requires a report to Congress on the defense and security relationship between Serbia and the Russian Federation; Cheney (No. 90) that requires a report from the President on options available in response to a failure by Russia to achieve reductions required by the New START Treaty by February 5th, 2018; and Walker (No. 91) that requires DoD to submit a report to Congress on bilateral ports of call with Taiwan;
Thornberry en bloc amendment No. 5 consisting of the following amendments printed in H. Rept. 115–217: Engel (No. 92) that requires notification to Congress when changes are made to previously reported legal or policy frameworks guiding national security operations; Ted Lieu (CA) (No. 93) that requires a report from the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State on the extent to which Saudi Arabia is abiding by its commitments in Yemen, including adherence to the U.S.-provided No Strike List and improving its targeting capabilities to avoid civilians; Crowley (No. 94) that expresses the sense of Congress that respect for human rights should be part of United States policy; Gallagher (No. 95) that requires an assessment of U.S. security and defense implications of China's expanding global access; Yoho (No. 96) that normalizes the transfer of defense articles and defense services to Taiwan; Duncan (SC) (No. 97) that establishes a Sense of Congress that the security, stability, and prosperity of the Western Hemisphere region are vital to U.S. national interests; the U.S. should ensure an appropriate forward presence in the region and build partner capacity; DOD should commit additional assets and increase investments to the region; and DOD should engage the region by strengthening relations to address shared challenges; Bishop (MI) (No. 98) that expresses the Sense of Congress that the President should call on NATO allies to fulfill their mutual defense commitments, should call on NATO allies to secure national and regional security interests, and should recognize NATO allies who are achieving those objectives; Kelly (PA) (No. 99) that prohibits funds from being used to implement the UN Arms Trade Treaty unless the Senate approves a resolution of ratification for the Treaty and implementing legislation for the Treaty has been enacted into law; Engel (No. 100) that requires the Secretary of Defense to designate an existing Department of Defense employee as responsible for coordinating the Department's existing obligations to protect cultural heritage; Soto (No. 101) that requires the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Energy, and the Secretary of State to jointly submit to Congress a report on spacebased nuclear detection; Fitzpatrick (No. 102) that directs the Secretary of Defense to define ``deterrence'' in a cyber operations landscape, and assess how this definition affects the overall cyber operations strategy in the Department of Defense; Franks (No. 103) that updates some of the balance of funds to the Israeli Missile Defense would enable the Israelis to spend funding authorized in the bill on procurement and RDTE; Lamborn (No. 104) that requires Initial Operational Capability of a boost phase ballistic missile defense capability by Dec. 31, 2020; Young (AK) (No. 105) that promotes an integrated, layered ballistic missile defense system incorporating THAAD, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, Aegis Ashore, and Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems, as well as authorizing additional GBIs, and accelerating the completion of the EIS for an interceptor site on the East Coast and in the Midwest of the U.S. Missile Defense Testing; Hunter (No. 106) that amends section 1696 by striking an exception to 10 U.S.C. 2377 and adding a certification requirement; and Rogers (AL) (No. 107) that amends the bill for construction of the previously authorized AEGIS Ashore Missile Defense Complex at Redzikowo Base, Poland, the Secretary of the Navy may construct a 6,180 square meter multipurpose facility, for the purposes of providing additional berthing space on board the installation;
Thornberry en bloc amendment No. 6 consisting of the following amendments printed in H. Rept. 115–217: Simpson (No. 108) that authorizes the Secretary of the Air Force to convey to the City of Mountain Home, Idaho approximately 4.25 miles of railroad spur near the Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho for economic development; Bishop (UT) (No. 109) that removes certain deed restrictions and reversions associated with conveyance of property of former Defense Depot Ogden, Utah; Bustos (No. 110) that requires the Secretary of Defense to certify that there is not suitable space in an existing military installation before they buy or lease space valued at over $750k annually; Brat (No. 111) that creates a process for foreign governments to petition DOD to return surplus property to that government; savings are available for readiness programs; Rice (SC) (No. 112) that would require the Secretary of Defense to issue modifications to all relevant construction and facilities specifications to ensure that machine-room less elevators are not prohibited in buildings and facilities throughout the Department of Defense; the Secretary shall promulgate interim standards making these specification changes not later than 180 days after enactment, and final standards not later than 1 year after enactment; Ben Ray Luján (NM) (No. 113) that requires the Administrator for Nuclear Security to report on the recommended alternative for the recapitalization of plutonium science and production capabilities; requires certification by the Department of Defense that the recommended alternative is acceptable; and requires the Government Accountability Office to review the analysis of alternatives; Larsen (WA) (No. 114) that requires development of a plan for verification and monitoring relating to the potential proliferation of nuclear weapons and their components, and fissile material; Carbajal (No. 115) that requires the Secretary of Energy in consultation with the Department of State to develop a plan to further minimize the use of highly-enriched uranium for medical isotopes; Hunter (No. 116) that provides additional resources for the Coast Guard's retirement account; the amendment also exposes foreign owners and operators of oil production facilities to liability for cleanup costs and damages from oil spills that threaten or cause damage in the United States; Moulton (No. 117) that requires a comprehensive political and military strategy for U.S. involvement in Syria and enumerates specific reporting requirements due within 90 days of enactment; Langevin (No. 118) that requires a report regarding the mission continuity of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center; Comstock (No. 119) that expresses the sense of Congress stating that the federal government should ensure that in its actions it does not unduly or artificially distort competition in the market for new commercial satellite servicing activities; Davidson (No. 120) that prohibits use of funds for military operations in Yemen outside of the scope of the 2001 AUMF; and Marino (No. 121) that requires a report to be made by the Secretary of Defense to the congressional defense committees on the procurement of tungsten and tungsten powders;
Lamborn amendment (No. 15 printed in H. Rept. 115–217) that was debated on July 13th that normalizes the operational test and evaluation process for the ballistic missile defense system by conforming the condition for proceeding beyond low-rate initial production in line with all other major defense acquisition programs (by a recorded vote of 235 ayes to 189 noes, Roll No. 373);
Byrne amendment (No. 17 printed in H. Rept. 115–217) that classifies a vessel being repaired or dismantled to be a ``recreational vessel'' if the vessel shares elements of design and construction of traditional recreational vessels and is not normally engaged in a military or commercial undertaking when operating (by a recorded vote of 244 ayes to 181 noes, Roll No. 374);
McGovern amendment (No. 43 printed in H. Rept. 115–217) that requires the Secretary of Defense to design and produce a military service medal to honor retired and former members of the Armed Forces who are radiation-exposed veterans (Atomic Veterans) (by a recorded vote of 424 ayes with none voting ``no'', Roll No. 376).
Tenney amendment (No. 122 printed in H. Rept. 115–217) that sought to reinstate the Berry Amendment's longstanding domestic sourcing requirement for stainless steel flatware and provides for a one year phase-in period; and
Franks amendment (No. 13 printed in H. Rept. 115–217) that was debated on July 13th that sought to require the Secretary of Defense to conduct strategic assessments of the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine to support extremist or terrorist messaging and justification (by a recorded vote of 208 ayes to 217 noes, Roll No. 372).
Agreed that the Clerk be authorized to make technical and conforming changes to reflect the actions of the House.
Meeting Hour: Agreed by unanimous consent that when the House adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 12 noon on Monday, July 17th for Morning Hour debate.
Adjournment: The House met at 9 a.m. and adjourned at 2:01 p.m.
A REVIEW OF FIXED INCOME MARKET STRUCTURE
Committee on Financial Services: Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment held a hearing entitled ``A Review of Fixed Income Market Structure''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
THE TRAGIC CASE OF LIU XIAOBO
Committee on Foreign Affairs: Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing entitled ``The Tragic Case of Liu Xiaobo''. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.
Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing on H.R. 873, the ``Global War on Terrorism War Memorial Act''; H.R. 1547, the ``Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act''; H.R. 2582, the ``Confirming State Land Grants for Education Act''; and H.R. 3115, the ``Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2017''. Testimony was heard from Representatives Nolan, Moulton, Love, McSally, and Gallagher; Tim Spisak, Acting Assistant Director for Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management, Department of the Interior; Michael Ortega, City Manager, Tucson, AZ; John W. Andrews, Chief Legal Counsel, Associate Director, Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, Salt Lake City, Utah; and a public witness.
SOCIAL SECURITY'S SOLVENCY CHALLENGE: STATUS OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUNDS
Committee on Ways and Means: Subcommittee on Social Security held a hearing entitled ``Social Security's Solvency Challenge: Status of the Social Security Trust Funds''. Testimony was heard from Stephen C. Goss, Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration.
No joint committee meetings were held.
No meetings/hearings scheduled.
Committee on Appropriations, Full Committee, markup on Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, FY 2018, 7 p.m., 2359 Rayburn.
Committee on Rules, Full Committee, hearing on H.R. 806, the ``Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017'', 5 p.m., H–313 Capitol.
Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Full Committee, hearing on H.R. 3218, the ``Harry W. Colmery Veteran Educational Assistance Act of 2017'', 7:30 p.m., 334 Cannon.
Program for Monday: Senate will resume consideration of the nomination of Patrick M. Shanahan, of Washington, to be Deputy Secretary of Defense, and vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination at 5:30 p.m.
Program for Monday: To be announced.
Aderholt, Robert B., Ala., E994
Barletta, Lou, Pa., E992
Beatty, Joyce, Ohio, E990
Brat, Dave, Va., E990
Brooks, Mo, Ala., E990
Carbajal, Salud O., Calif., E992
Cicilline, David N., R.I., E991
Comstock, Barbara, Va., E991
Correa, J. Luis, Calif., E992
Gonzalez, Vicente, Tex., E996
Grijalva, Raúl M., Ariz., E993
Gutiérrez, Luis V., Ill., E995
Hudson, Richard, N.C., E992
LaHood, Darin, Ill., E994
Lieu, Ted, Calif., E994
McCollum, Betty, Minn., E993
Norton, Eleanor Holmes, The District of Columbia, E995
Panetta, Jimmy, Calif., E997
Quigley, Mike, Ill., E988
Sherman, Brad, Calif., E996
Thornberry, Mac, Tex., E989
Visclosky, Peter J., Ind., E997
Wasserman Schultz, Debbie, Fla., E995