(House of Representatives - June 11, 2019)

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[Pages H4411-H4423]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 431, I call 
up the resolution (H. Res. 430) authorizing the Committee on the 
Judiciary to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce 
certain subpoenas and for other purposes, and ask for its immediate 
  The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 431, the 
amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on 
Rules, printed in the resolution, is adopted, and the resolution, as 
amended, is considered read.
  The text of the resolution, as amended, is as follows:

                              H. Res. 430

       That the chair of the Committee on the Judiciary of the 
     House of Representatives is authorized, on behalf of such 
     Committee, to initiate or intervene in any judicial 
     proceeding before a Federal court--
       (1) to seek declaratory judgments and any and all ancillary 
     relief, including injunctive relief, affirming the duty of--
       (A) William P. Barr, Attorney General, to comply with the 
     subpoena that is the subject of the resolution accompanying 
     House Report 116-105; and
       (B) Donald F. McGahn, II, former White House Counsel, to 
     comply with the subpoena issued to him on April 22, 2019; and
       (2) to petition for disclosure of information regarding any 
     matters identified in or relating to the subpoenas referred 
     to in paragraph (1) or any accompanying report, pursuant to 
     Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e), including Rule 
     6(e)(3)(E) (providing that the court may authorize disclosure 
     of a grand-jury matter ``preliminarily to... a judicial 
       Resolved,  That the chair of each standing and permanent 
     select committee, when authorized by the Bipartisan Legal 
     Advisory Group, retains the ability to initiate or intervene 
     in any judicial proceeding before a Federal court on behalf 
     of such committee, to seek declaratory judgments and any and 
     all ancillary relief, including injunctive relief, affirming 
     the duty of the recipient of any subpoena duly issued by that 
     committee to comply with that subpoena. Consistent with the 
     Congressional Record statement on January 3, 2019, by the 
     chair of the Committee on Rules regarding the civil 
     enforcement of subpoenas pursuant to clause 8(b) of rule II, 
     a vote of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to authorize 
     litigation and to articulate the institutional position of 
     the House in that litigation is the equivalent of a vote of 
     the full House of Representatives.
       Resolved,  That in connection with any judicial proceeding 
     brought under the first or second resolving clauses, the 
     chair of any standing or permanent select committee 
     exercising authority thereunder has any and all necessary 
     authority under Article I of the Constitution.
       Resolved,  That the chair of any standing or permanent 
     select committee exercising authority described in the first 
     or second resolving clause shall notify the House of 
     Representatives, with respect to the commencement of any 
     judicial proceeding thereunder.
       Resolved,  That the Office of General Counsel of the House 
     of Representatives shall, with the authorization of the 
     Speaker, represent any standing or permanent select committee 
     in any judicial proceeding initiated or intervened in 
     pursuant to the authority described in the first or second 
     resolving clause.
       Resolved,  That the Office of General Counsel of the House 
     of Representatives is authorized to retain private counsel, 
     either for pay or pro bono, to assist in the representation 
     of any standing or permanent select committee in any judicial 
     proceeding initiated or intervened in pursuant to the 
     authority described in the first or second resolving clause.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The resolution, as amended, shall be 
debatable for 1 hour, equally divided and controlled by the chair and 
ranking minority member of the Committee on Rules.
  The gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern) and the gentlewoman 
from Arizona (Mrs. Lesko) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Massachusetts.

                             General Leave

  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
insert extraneous material on H. Res. 430.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Massachusetts?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a dark time. This Congress is being tested--in 
this case, not by a foreign adversary but by our own President, a 
President who is undertaking a relentless campaign of obstruction and 
  We have never seen anything like this. Never before, Mr. Speaker, has 
a President from either party so flagrantly ignored Congress' 
constitutional oversight authority and our Nation's separation of 
  You don't have to take my word for it. President Trump has declared, 
``We are fighting all the subpoenas,'' and, ``I don't want people 
testifying.'' These words make Richard Nixon look like an Eagle Scout.
  His Attorney General, William Barr, is apparently more than willing 
to follow the President's command. He has refused to release the full, 
unredacted Mueller report and any underlying evidence until a 
compromise was finally reached yesterday. That is after the Judiciary 
Committee had already voted to hold him in contempt of Congress. 
Apparently, the Attorney General went from being America's lawyer to 
being the defense counsel for the President of the United States.
  I hope the Justice Department acts in good faith on this new 
agreement. These are documents that Congress needs to see in response 
to Special Counsel Mueller's findings. But if they do not, and if the 
Attorney General holds back key information, then all options need to 
be on the table, including enforcing these subpoenas. That is in 
addition to the fact that some documents and testimony we deserve to 
obtain could very well fall outside the bounds of this agreement.
  The Mueller report is just the tip of the iceberg. The President is 
using every trick in the book, including false claims of executive 
privilege, absolute immunity, and lack of legitimate legislative 
purpose, all to obstruct legitimate inquiries into matters that impact 
Americans' daily lives. This includes the President's attack on 
affordable healthcare coverage for millions of Americans, including 
those with preexisting conditions; his family separation policy that 
has torn apart vulnerable immigrant families; his misappropriation of 
military funds for his offensive border wall; and his decision to roll 
back landmark civil rights protections.
  This is exactly the sort of concentrated power in the hands of the 
few that the Founders intentionally prevented through the creation of 
the three separate but coequal branches of government, each branch with 
unique powers and responsibilities and each branch expected to act as a 
check on the power of the others.
  But the President is trying to take this balance of power and 
centralize it

[[Page H4412]]

in one place, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He is acting as though the law 
applies to every American but himself.
  The President's strategy here is clear. Tweet by tweet, quote by 
quote, he has laid it bare for all of us to see.
  The question is whether this Congress will have the courage to take a 
stand against it and whether we will confront it for what it is, an 
attack on the very notion of Congress as a coequal branch of 
government. I can't speak for my friends on the other side of the 
aisle, but this Democratic majority will not allow this President to 
turn a blind eye to the rule of law.
  That is why I introduced this measure, H. Res. 430. It is a civil 
enforcement resolution that will strengthen our hand in court as 
Congress tries to get the documents this administration is currently 
trying to hide, so we can uncover the truth and follow the facts, 
wherever they may lead.
  The first part of this resolution follows past precedent used by 
Democratic and Republican majorities, this time to allow the Judiciary 
Committee to go to court to enforce subpoenas issued to the Attorney 
General and former White House General Counsel Don McGahn.
  The second part reaffirms key language in House rules, making clear 
that every committee chair retains the ability to go to Federal court 
to seek civil enforcement of their subpoenas when authorized by the 
Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group. That includes those already issued, as 
well as any future subpoenas.
  I know some of my colleagues on the other side will be quick to claim 
this resolution is unprecedented. To them, I would ask this: What is 
the precedent for an administration refusing to comply with any 
congressional oversight--no documents, no information, nothing? There 
isn't one.
  We have never seen anything like this before, so we need an 
appropriate response like this because of this administration's 
constant obstruction.
  I am proud that my fellow committee chairs quickly joined in 
cosponsoring this resolution, including Oversight and Reform Committee 
Chairman Cummings, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Engel, Judiciary 
Committee Chairman Nadler, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neal, 
Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff, and Financial Services 
Committee Chairwoman Waters.
  I urge all of my colleagues to join us. This deserves support from 
both sides of the aisle.
  I know the silence from some of my Republican friends to what this 
President is doing has been deafening, but this moment demands you 
finally speak up and say enough is enough. This resolution is not 
about politics or partisanship. It is about defending the rule of law 
and the very notion of separation of powers.

  The challenge here is so great that if we don't stand up to President 
Trump today, then we risk losing the power to stand up to any President 
in the future.
  I strongly urge my colleagues: Let's make clear that the law still 
matters, even in Donald Trump's America. We can do that by voting 
``yes'' on this resolution and making clear that no one is above the 
law, not even the President of the United States.
  Let's do right by the American people. Let's restore the dignity of 
this institution. Let's pass this resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition of H. Res. 430.
  It is disappointing that we are here again debating a measure that 
will have absolutely no impact on the lives of our constituents. 
Instead of fixing pressing issues like the security and humanitarian 
crisis at our southern border, the Democrats continue their focus on 
influencing the 2020 election at taxpayer expense. Americans are tired 
of this witch hunt.
  For nearly 2 years, Democrats claimed that the President colluded 
with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 Presidential election. After 
22 months, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 warrants, 40 FBI agents, and spending 
$35 million, Special Counsel Mueller concluded there was no collusion 
between President Trump and Russia and did not charge him with 
  Yet, my Democratic colleagues continue to attempt to undermine the 
President of the United States because, all I can think of is, they 
haven't accepted the fact that he won the election. It is clear to me 
that the Democrats are trying to influence the 2020 Presidential 
election at taxpayer expense.
  Americans have real problems that we can and should be tackling 
instead. In May, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended a jaw-dropping 
133,000 people at our southern border. That is only the people they 
caught. Yet, we are here debating subpoenas targeting the President, 
probably because it will provide Democrats free airtime.
  This unprecedented resolution should not even be on the House floor 
today. It has never been done before in the entire history of the 
United States.
  The House has only sued for documents twice before. In both cases, 
the individuals in question were first found in contempt of Congress at 
both the committee level and by the full House. This has not happened 
  On top of that, the relevant subpoenas seek material that includes 
grand jury materials that, by law, cannot be made public. The Democrats 
are asking Attorney General Barr to violate the law.
  When my colleagues and I tried to improve this resolution, the 
Democrats blocked us at every turn.
  I offered an amendment that would let the American people know how 
much money this resolution would cost taxpayers. Democrats blocked it. 
Republicans offered amendments to prevent taxpayer money from going to 
lobbyists, to disclose contracts with lawyers, and to disclose where 
this taxpayer money was coming from to fund this witch hunt. Democrats 
blocked each and every one.
  One amendment in particular highlights the partisan political, media-
grabbing motives of this resolution. Republicans offered an amendment 
requiring the Judiciary Committee chairman to certify that he made a 
good faith effort to negotiate with the Attorney General, but the 
Democrats blocked that amendment, too.
  The Attorney General has been transparent, and the Department of 
Justice has attempted numerous accommodations, including just yesterday 
when the Department of Justice agreed to let members of the committee 
view an unredacted report excluding grand jury material, which, by law, 
cannot be released.

                              {time}  1430

  But even as the Attorney General has attempted to work with the 
Committee on the Judiciary, Chairman Nadler has moved at unprecedented 
speed, moving from a demand for an unredacted report to subpoena to 
this resolution in a matter of mere weeks. From the Democrats' actions 
and prior statements, it is difficult not to view the purpose of this 
resolution and this debate as anything but political.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Waters), the distinguished chairwoman of the Financial 
Services Committee.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. McGovern) for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I strongly support H. Res. 430, which authorizes 
litigation to compel Attorney General Barr to provide key evidence 
underlying the Mueller report and the unredacted report itself, 
authorizes a civil suit to compel Don McGahn to provide the Committee 
on the Judiciary with documents and testimony, and, prospectively, 
allows committee chairs to bring civil actions on behalf of their 
committees to enforce their subpoenas without a subsequent full House 
vote when authorized by the bipartisan legal advisory group.
  H. Res. 430 is key to ensuring that Congress is able to efficiently 
exercise its constitutional responsibilities in light of the 
unprecedented stonewalling by the Trump administration and a President 
who has openly said such things as: ``We're fighting all the 
subpoenas,'' and, ``I don't want people testifying.''
  Who does he think he is? A dictator?
  The committees have requested information that we are 

[[Page H4413]]

entitled to, as a coequal branch of government, and that we need to 
fulfill our legislative and oversight responsibilities. In the 
Financial Services Committee, for example, we have subpoenaed documents 
from financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank and Capital One, 
as part of our investigation into the integrity of the United States 
financial system, bank safety and loan practices, and anti-money 
laundering policies, including as they apply to and involve the 
accounts of President Trump and family members. So, ladies and 
gentlemen, in another display of stonewalling, President Trump sued to 
prevent the banks from complying with the committee's valid subpoenas.
  I will continue to support efforts to ensure that our critical 
oversight is not impeded.
  Who does he think he is?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are again reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield 7 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Collins), ranking member of the Committee on the 
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to 
H. Res. 430, a resolution authorizing the Committee on the Judiciary to 
initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce certain 
subpoenas, and for other purposes.
  This resolution is an assault on this body's constitutional oversight 
authorities. By proceeding in this unprecedented manner, the House is 
putting the judicial branch in an unfortunate position.
  Never before has the House authorized the general counsel to sue 
without first exhausting all our constitutional remedies to gain 
compliance with our oversight demands. Proceeding in this manner risks 
weakening our ability to carry out our oversight responsibilities.
  On May 8, the Committee on the Judiciary voted 24-16 to hold Attorney 
General Barr in criminal contempt of Congress. The committee did not 
pursue contempt against Donald McGahn. Mr. McGahn's case is unique, and 
I will address it in more detail later.
  Contrary to press reports, Mr. Speaker, we are not acting today on 
the contempt citation reported by the Committee on the Judiciary. We 
are authorizing the House to sue the Attorney General, Mr. McGahn, and 
any other official or private citizen any committee chair deems 
contemptuous in the future.
  This is a novel, untested, and risky proposition. I will give it to 
you this way, Mr. Speaker: The majority is definitely audacious in 
their request.
  The media and the Democrats routinely rail against the President 
being quick to sue. Well, Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what the 
majority is doing. Having rushed to contempt, we are now bypassing that 
remedy altogether and going straight to court.
  Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley recently wrote, Democrats' 
litigation strategy ``is clearly driven more by political than legal 
  This is the problem I have, Mr. Speaker: These tactics weaken the 
House, aggrandize the executive branch, and cede decisionmaking to the 
judicial branch.
  This is a problem. The majority can mess up oversight however they 
want to. The majority can rush to judgment whenever they want to.
  My chairman has subpoenaed most everything that moves, and it seems 
other committees are wanting to as well. But here is the problem: When 
you are rushing to this and you are taking it on grounds that are not 
legally sound--and which, by the way, at this same hearing where Mr. 
Turley was, all three of the Democrat witnesses also agreed that the 
subpoena of the Attorney General was not legal in the sense that it was 
asking him to do something illegal.
  The other issue here is, when you practice proper oversight, we are 
getting documents on election results, we are also getting documents on 
immigration and others from this administration. Where the rub has come 
is in overbroad illegal subpoenas from these committees.
  Now, they may want to screw it up now for their purposes, but I don't 
want it in the future, going forward, where this House's oversight 
ability has been tampered by a rush to judgment. Let's think about this 
institution more than our next headline.
  This is a problem because it is uncertain here, Mr. Speaker, the 
House will even be granted standing in court since we have declined to 
exercise all of our constitutional remedies, namely, contempt, in its 
many forms.

  This is not the only impediment facing Democrats. At every turn, as 
we have discussed in our minority views to the committee's contempt 
report, the majority refused to engage with DOJ in the requisite 
negotiations and accommodation processes.
  During our markup of the contempt resolution, the chairman made 
several damaging admissions--this is the chairman of the Committee on 
the Judiciary:
  First, he conceded the Attorney General cannot lawfully comply with 
his subpoena demanding grand jury material.
  Second, he stated the subpoena was the beginning of a dialogue. I am 
not sure what first-year law student will believe that a subpoena is 
the beginning of a dialogue.
  Third, he admitted the subpoena was intentionally broad to give the 
committee clout in court.
  Again, I am not sure which Black's Law Dictionary we are looking up 
under ``subpoena,'' but that is not part of it.
  All along, the goal has been to get to court, not to get information 
and conduct legitimate oversight of Russian interference or secure our 
elections. If Democrats were interested in these good government 
issues, they would have accepted DOJ's offer to review the nearly 
unredacted Mueller report.
  Today, Mr. Speaker, the chairman, even, has not done so. The goal is 
to clearly haul the administration into court in an attempt to pacify a 
base rabid for impeachment.
  When Congress exercises its oversight powers, it must take advantage 
of every offer of information from the other branch. It is disingenuous 
to decline the free information Democrats so strongly claim to want. It 
shows the majority does not want the information; they want a fight.
  In addition to the subpoena being overly broad and requiring the 
Attorney General to violate the law to comply, the chairman failed to 
establish a valid legislative purpose for his demands. There are other 
avenues the chairman could seek to get the information he wants. 
Congress could pass a law granting itself an exemption to grand jury 
secrecy rules, but the majority has not brought that up.
  The most alarming aspect of this action, however, is the 
unprecedented speed--a mere 44 days passed between the chairman's first 
request to the Attorney General and the date the committee held him in 
contempt. In stark contrast, 464 days passed from the date that 
Chairman Issa requested information from Attorney General Holder on 
Fast and Furious and the date the Committee on Oversight and Reform 
held him in contempt, 138 days for Harriet Miers and the date the 
committee held her in contempt.
  The action the majority is authorizing today against Don McGahn, 
however, Mr. Speaker, is far more egregious for many reasons. Mr. 
McGahn is not the custodian of the documents the committee and the 
chairman demand. The White House is. Yet we are smearing a private 
citizen's reputation and dragging him into court--at taxpayer expense--
in an effort to redo the Mueller investigation because the majority and 
the media didn't like the outcome.
  Democrats again have failed to lay a foundation for any action 
against Mr. McGahn. Chairman Nadler has never formally objected to the 
President's protective assertion of executive privilege or other common 
law privileges asserted by Mr. McGahn.
  Under Supreme Court precedent, the chairman must take this important 
procedural step to pursue further actions against a witness. The 
witness should be given a clear-cut choice between compliance and 
noncompliance, between answering the question and risking prosecution 
for contempt. Here, the witness is being hauled into court without 
proper notice.
  Evidence of this glaring error is in the Record. On May 31, Chairman 
Nadler wrote Mr. McGahn's counsel and stated he did not agree with the 
White House or Mr. McGahn and offered to

[[Page H4414]]

continue negotiating, but the chairman also gave Mr. McGahn a deadline 
of June 7--this past Friday--to respond. Meanwhile, the Rules Committee 
noticed a markup of this resolution on June 6, one day before the 
  I think we are seeing the pattern here. This is a revealing error. 
But errors occur when you are pushing action through at light speed and 
ceding your power to the judicial branch. A court will decide whether 
the House has standing, whether the case is right, and whether the 
Congress is entitled to the information outside of an impeachment 
  As also has been said, the propositions are a gamble. Here, Mr. 
Speaker, we are gambling with the power of a coequal branch. This 
approach is untested and can do significant harm to Congress' Article I 
  Lastly, Mr. Speaker, I must make mention, the authorization of the 
general counsel to seek pro bono legal services circumvents the House 
ethics rules.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, those rules provide an exception 
for Members to bring civil action challenging the lawfulness of an 
action of a Federal agency or an action of a Federal official taken in 
an official capacity provided that the action concerns a matter of 
public interest rather than a matter that is personal in nature.
  This resolution contravenes ethics rules by giving the general 
counsel the authority, in Mr. McGahn's case, to solicit a gift: pro 
bono level services. I am not sure that was the majority's intent, but 
the inconsistencies result when Democrats aim to rush resolutions 
through the House outside of regular order.
  Mr. Speaker, the majority may wish to change the rules. This majority 
may wish to get to the finish line quicker. The majority may wish to 
circumvent everything that is present in this House--and we have seen a 
lot of it over the past 5\1/2\ months--but I wish they would take into 
account that they may not be the majority forever, hopefully, and if 
they mess up oversight of a coequal branch, it is on their hands.

  That is what the vote for ``yes'' is on this resolution. That is why 
a Member of this body should vote ``no'' for the integrity of this 
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, let me just assure the gentleman from 
Georgia that there is nothing novel about this legislation. It is not 
novel because everything in this bill goes to the Bipartisan Legal 
Advisory Group, and that has been the case in the past.
  What is novel, however, is a President of the United States who says 
``ignore subpoenas'' and ``we will not cooperate'' and tells people not 
to testify. That is not only novel, it is shocking.
  Mr. Speaker, I would just say to my friends on the other side: You 
are going to have a choice today to either vote for this resolution and 
stand up for this institution and support the rule of law, or you are 
going to vote in a way that is going to be complicit with this 
President's obstruction and disrespect for this institution and 
disrespect for the rule of law. I urge you to vote with us.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Cummings), the distinguished chairman of the Committee on 
Oversight and Reform.
  Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this 
  Mr. Speaker, the Trump administration is engaged in one of the most 
unprecedented coverups since Watergate, and it is not just about 
Russia. It is so much broader than that. This coverup spans across 
numerous investigations, and it extends from the White House to 
multiple Federal agencies of government to completely separate outside 
  The administration officials now question the fundamental basis of 
Congress to conduct oversight. They object to committee rules and 
precedence that have been in place for decades under both Republican 
and Democratic leaders, and they make baseless legal arguments to avoid 
producing documents and testimony. The Trump administration is 
challenging the very constitutionality of congressional oversight, and 
it is happening in broad daylight.
  Several weeks ago, President Trump vowed, ``We're fighting all the 
subpoenas.'' Since then, he has refused to work on legislative 
priorities such as infrastructure until Congress halts oversight and 
investigations of his administration. He wants us to forgo our 
responsibility under the Constitution as a condition of passing laws to 
help our constituents and his constituents.
  The President's arguments are baseless. He suggests that all 
subpoenas that Congress puts out are partisan and somehow related to 
the Russia probe, but that is simply not correct. In the Oversight and 
Reform Committee, we have issued eight subpoenas: six of them are 
bipartisan and none of them are about Russia. They involve issues like 
the census, immigrant children being locked in cages and separated from 
their families, and the President's finances.

                              {time}  1445

  This entire year, the White House has not produced one document to 
the Oversight and Reform Committee. Let me say that again: In all of 
our investigations, the White House has not produced one single shred 
of paper in response to our requests.
  The hurricanes in Puerto Rico, the White House has produced nothing. 
Security clearance abuses, the White House has produced nothing. 
Efforts to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, the White House 
has produced nothing. Hush-money payments, the White House has produced 
not a thing. Even on issues like spending taxpayer dollars to pay for 
private jets, the White House has produced absolutely nothing.
  Over and over again, it does not matter what the topic is, the 
tactics are the same. This begs the question: What are we covering up?
  Tomorrow, our committee will vote on whether to hold the Attorney 
General and the Secretary of Commerce in contempt of Congress for 
refusing to produce documents relating to the Census. Again, these 
subpoenas are bipartisan, and this issue has nothing to do with Russia. 
Yet, the Trump administration has delayed, stonewalled, obstructed, and 
challenged the authority of the Congress on even those questions.
  I support today's resolution because it makes clear that in addition 
to seeking criminal contempt on the House floor, committees may seek 
authority to enforce their subpoenas directly in civil court actions. 
Nobody is above the law.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Maryland.
  Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Speaker, nobody is above the law, not even the 
President of the United States.
  Today's resolution reaffirms that Congress has the independent 
authority under the Constitution to investigate waste, fraud, abuse, 
and wrongdoing so that we can pass laws that are effective and 
efficient on behalf of all of our constituents.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Before proceeding, Members are again 
reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the 
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Biggs), my friend.
  Mr. BIGGS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding. I 
oppose this resolution.
  The subpoena for Attorney General Barr is unenforceable on its face. 
It demands the full and unredacted Mueller report, including grand jury 
material that the Attorney General cannot lawfully disclose, and the 
Democrats know this.
  In a hearing last month, Chairman Nadler admitted that Attorney 
General Barr could not lawfully release grand jury material. He 
therefore admitted that the Attorney General could not lawfully comply 
with the subpoena.
  Instead, the chairman suggested that the subpoena is a starting point 
in negotiations. Rarely have I heard that term used with regard to a 
subpoena. In fact, I never heard it before that time.

[[Page H4415]]

  In the Judiciary Committee's hearing on executive privilege last 
month, one of the majority's own witnesses testified that ``one of the 
categories of information presently sought by the committee appears so 
broad as to put the executive branch officials to a nearly impossible 
task. . . . The committee cannot in good faith expect compliance; 
accordingly, the burden is on the committee to substantially narrow 
this aspect of its request.''
  My friends talk about the rule of law, but the Democrats have 
admitted in a hearing in the Judiciary Committee that the subpoena was 
overly broad and that objects of the subpoena that are prohibited from 
disclosure, such as 6(e) material, were not subject to the subpoena. 
But they didn't fix their subpoena. They didn't issue a new subpoena. 
They didn't amend the subpoena. They just attempted to amend their 
contempt citation.
  The defendant's confusion over what is subject to a subpoena is 
adequate evidence that the subpoena itself is legally deficient as 
being confusing and overly broad. A court will not be able to read the 
collective minds of our Democratic colleagues and will not expect such 
clairvoyance from the Attorney General nor from the former White House 
  The administration is currently negotiating in good faith. We see 
that an agreement was reached just yesterday. The same Democrat, when 
discussing the assertion of executive privilege by the administration, 
stated, ``These developments do not, however, relieve the committee of 
its obligation to continue to negotiate.''
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 15 seconds to the 
gentleman from Arizona.
  Mr. BIGGS. Mr. Speaker, just as the subpoena is overly broad and, 
quite frankly, unprecedented, as well as legally deficient, this 
resolution is also overly broad and unique in the annals of American 
  When the chairwoman from California referred to the President of the 
United States as a dictator, her language was rancorous and 
unparliamentary, but it seems to have been filled with projection, as 
this resolution provides unique authorities.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to yield 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi), the distinguished Speaker of 
the House.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
thank him for giving us this opportunity to protect and defend the 
Constitution of the United States, which is our oath of office.
  Let me salute the chairs of the committees of jurisdiction who have 
led us down this path of great respect for law, precedent, and the oath 
we take: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congressman Cummings, Congressman 
Nadler, Congressman Richard Neal, and Congressman Eliot Engel, all of 
whom have been fighting the fight and gathering the facts to protect 
and defend our Constitution.

  The oath of office that we take is why we are on the floor today, to 
hold Attorney General of the United States Barr and former White House 
Counsel McGahn in civil contempt for their refusal to comply with 
Congress' subpoenas. We must follow the facts and uncover the truth for 
the American people.
  At the birth of our democracy, amid war and revolution, Thomas Paine 
said the times have found us. We are here today because the times have 
found us. While we do not place ourselves in the same category of 
greatness as our Founders, we do recognize the urgency of the threat to 
our Nation that we face today.
  This body has a solemn duty, Mr. Speaker, to protect and defend our 
democracy, honoring the oath we take and the Constitution that is the 
foundation of our freedom. That Constitution begins with our beautiful 
preamble, ``We the People.''
  Immediately following those words of the preamble is Article I, 
establishing a Congress in which ``all legislative Powers herein 
granted are vested.''
  The Founders conferred upon the first branch responsibilities that 
are sweeping in scope. We set an agenda. We hold the power of the 
purse. We write the laws that all of us are bound by, including the 
President of the United States and those who surround him.
  Fundamental to those responsibilities is oversight of the executive 
branch and all the areas essential to the well-being of the American 
  Oversight is our institutional duty, to ensure against the abuse of 
power, protect the rule of law, and expose the truth for the people who 
are ``the only legitimate fountain of power,'' in the words of James 
  To conduct that oversight, the Congress is both constitutionally 
obligated and legally entitled to access and review materials from the 
executive branch, which it can subpoena.
  Yet, the President and the administration have shown an unprecedented 
and unjustifiable refusal to furnish Congress with that information. 
President Trump himself has said, ``We're fighting all the subpoenas,'' 
and, ``I don't want people testifying,'' and, ``No do-overs.''
  His administration has employed every tool it can find to obstruct 
legitimate committee oversight, everything from witness intimidation to 
blanket stonewalling to spurious claims of executive privilege, 
absolute immunity, and lack of legislative purpose.
  This obstruction violates decades of established legal precedent. 
Throughout our history, the courts have made absolutely clear that the 
House has the authority to follow the facts to uncover the truth for 
the American people and that ``the power of the Congress to conduct 
investigations is inherent in the legislative process.''
  Our oversight responsibility continues to be resoundingly affirmed in 
the courts again and again. Last month, the U.S. District Court for the 
District of Columbia ruled in the Mazars court decision that ``there 
can be little doubt that Congress' interest in the accuracy of the 
President's financial disclosures falls within the legislative 
  That same week, the judge ruled in the Deutsche Bank case that 
Congress' ``subpoenas are all in service of facially legitimate 
investigative purposes.''
  The administration's obstruction not only violates long-established 
precedent, but it also endangers our very democracy. We need answers on 
the many questions left unanswered by the Mueller report, which made 
clear that the Russians waged an all-out attack on our democracy, and 
the Mueller report documented 11 instances of obstruction from the 
White House itself.
  This is a grave threat to our democracy, but the President calls it a 
``hoax'' and refuses to protect our democracy. Why is that? We take an 
oath to protect our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and 
domestic. What the White House and the administration are doing is a 
danger and a threat to our democracy.
  At the same time, the administration's campaign of stonewalling 
extends far beyond the Mueller report. The administration is obscuring 
the truth behind its disastrous policy decisions, from attacking 
Affordable Care Act coverage for millions of Americans, including those 
with preexisting conditions, taking it to court to overturn it while 
saying to the American people that it supports preexisting conditions 
coverage; to tearing apart vulnerable immigrant families at the border; 
to stealing military funds for an ineffective, wasteful border wall; to 
rolling back key civil rights protections for women, LGBTQ Americans, 
and people of color. The list goes on and on.
  In court, they also tried to defend their abuse of power when it 
comes to the Census, which the Constitution is very clear about, that 
every 10 years the people of the country will be enumerated. They want 
to put a citizenship phrase in there to put a chilling effect on our 
getting an accurate count.
  The well-being of the American people and the integrity of our 
democracy are imperiled by this brazen behavior. Senator McConnell 
declares ``case closed,'' enabling this campaign of blanket, 
unprecedented obstruction.
  We see the obstruction in this House to trying to uphold our 
proceedings, but we have the votes to proceed. The United States Senate 
has a responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution, but they 
are ignoring that. As Members of Congress, we have a responsibility to 
honor our oath of office

[[Page H4416]]

and strengthen the institution in which we serve for the people.
  We have a responsibility under the vision of our Founders and the 
text of the Constitution to ensure that the truth is known. No one is 
above the law. Everyone will be held accountable, including the 
President of the United States.
  The people's House will continue to fight to make the truth known for 
the American people and will defend Congress' role under Article I.

  I urge a strong bipartisan vote for this resolution to hold Attorney 
General Barr and former White House Counsel McGahn in civil contempt 
for their refusal to comply with Congress' subpoenas and to honor the 
oath of office that they take.
  I urge an ``aye'' vote.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. McClintock).
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, there is a reason for the abusive 
rhetoric from the left. For 2\1/2\ years, they peddled a monstrous lie 
that Donald Trump is colluding with a hostile foreign government. They 
concocted it with a phony dossier commissioned by the Clinton campaign 
and promoted by the highest officials in the FBI, our intelligence 
agencies, and the Justice Department, first in a failed attempt to 
interfere with the 2016 Presidential election and then to undermine the 
constitutionally elected President of the United States.
  Now, despite spending $25 million on an outrageously biased team of 
partisan zealots assembled by Mr. Mueller, which initially included the 
now-infamous Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and using some of the most 
abusive prosecutorial tactics ever employed in this country, they could 
find no evidence to support the lie.

                              {time}  1500

  So what to do?
  They had to think up another lie and think it up quick. So now we 
hear cries of obstruction and coverup. Good luck with that.
  Coverup of a crime that never happened?
  Obstruction, by turning over every document Mueller requested and 
even waiving executive privilege to allow the White House counsel to 
  Now, Mr. Speaker, you compare that to Hillary Clinton's willful 
destruction of 30,000 emails under subpoena and you get a sense of the 
double standard involved here.
  This is a desperate scavenger hunt to salvage their false narrative, 
and their time and the Nation's patience is running out. The other shoe 
is about to drop. Broad investigations are now well underway and will 
soon reveal how this lie was perpetrated and promoted. Two governments 
interfered in our elections, the Russians through ham-handed 
propaganda, and the Obama administration by turning the most terrifying 
powers entrusted to our government against our political process.
  The reckoning is coming. As Longfellow said:

       The wheels of the gods grind slow, but they grind 
     exceedingly fine.

  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Cohen).
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, this is an opportunity for Congress to 
reassert itself as an equal branch of government. The fact that it is 
supposed to be three equal branches of government is not totally 
  When we came up with the Constitution, we decided that we didn't want 
to have an autocratic king rule us. That is why we had a revolution. 
When the men met to write our Constitution, they made Congress Article 
I. There was a reason they made Congress Article I, because the 
Congress represents the people. It is not a king, it is not an 
autocrat, and it is not a despot. It is the Representatives of the 
people who make the laws. We are supposed to really be the embodiment--
and we are the embodiment--of the American people.
  This President has thumbed his nose at the Representatives of the 
people by not complying with lawful requests for documentation and 
lawful requests for testimony for Congress to do its constitutionally 
delegated purpose of oversight of the executive branch and laws that 
are necessary for the betterment of this Nation.
  This is about time Congress did act. I am proud of Congress for 
bringing these bills, and I am shocked at the opposition for not 
wanting the people's House--their House, their legislative body--to 
stand up for future Congresses as well as this Congress for the 
rightful power that it deserves to do oversight and perform its 
functions with the best possible witnesses and testimony and materials 
that could aid it in its efforts.
  I support the contempt citations. I condemn the parties that have 
thumbed their noses at us, subpoena under law, they are supposed to 
arrive with documentation and appear to testify. If they object, they 
can object there and then, not just disregard Congresses' subpoenas 
that are lawful.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Woodall).
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend on the Rules Committee 
for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the debate intently. I don't 
disagree with much of what my friend from Tennessee had to say. It is a 
bad habit that both parties have gotten into over the decades of my 
lifetime putting party above Article in terms of judicial oversight, 
executive branch oversight, and even our responsibilities here, such as 
declaring war.
  But what you have not heard here today, Mr. Speaker, and what you 
will not hear is why the passage of this resolution advantages us in 
any way. There is not one piece of information that the Speaker of our 
House--our Speaker--just came and asked for that we are not empowered 
to request today.
  The difference, Mr. Speaker, is if we pass this resolution, rather 
than the House requesting this information--as has historically been 
true--we would begin to request information one committee chairman at a 
  Does that advantage us in Article I, going to court one committee 
chairman at a time, or are we advantaged when the Speaker speaks on 
behalf of us all?
  I don't know the answer, Mr. Speaker. I am not a legal scholar, and 
in the Rules Committee where we had original jurisdiction on this, we 
did not call any legal scholars to help us answer that question. In the 
Judiciary Committee they did not call any legal scholars to help to 
answer this question.
  Mr. Speaker, I tell you there is not a Member of this institution on 
either side of the aisle who cares more about Article I and our 
exerting the responsibilities the Constitution gives to us and our 
constituents expect us to do than I do. Perhaps there is someone in 
here who cares as much, but there is no one who cares more.
  Are we disadvantaging the institution for life by taking what has 
traditionally been the responsibility of our Speaker to do on behalf of 
all of us and putting it in the hands of committee chairmen?
  We don't know, and anyone who tells you that they do isn't telling 
you the truth. We are going to continue to argue about the White House 
and what they have turned over and what they didn't turn over and what 
they ought to turn over, Mr. Speaker. That is not what this bill does 
today. There is not one piece of information that is requested that we 
do not have the authority to request today. Let's not move in ways that 
disadvantage us for generations to come.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), who is the majority leader.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to follow the gentleman from 
  I have a card in my hand. This is a Member's identification. There is 
no designation of party on this card. This card designates 435 of us 
when we are at full complement as Members of the Congress, the people's 
Representatives. I urge all my colleagues to use this card in a few 
minutes on behalf of the people and on behalf of this institution.
  Mr. Speaker, when Democrats won the majority in this House, we did so 
on a promise to the American people to hold the executive department 
accountable. That is our responsibility. The Constitution gives us that 
responsibility, and we swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. That 
is what the committees have been doing, and it is what the whole House 
is doing today.

[[Page H4417]]

  Now, the previous speaker said we have the right to ask for any 
information. That is accurate. What he did not then say is we have 
asked, and we have been refused. Not only have we been refused in the 
particular, we have been refused in the general because the President 
of the United States has directed his people not to give us any 
information and not to respond to any subpoenas, whatever the rationale 
may be.
  Because he believes the House of Representatives is not acting 
  Mr. Speaker, you imagine anybody who doesn't want to give us 
information would say, I am not going to give it to you because you are 
not asking properly?
  Of course, that is what they do; and the House, on behalf of the 
American people, would be unable to perform its constitutional duty. 
This is not political. It is constitutional. It is about separation of 
powers. It is about responsibility. It is about accountability.
  The House is exercising its responsibility to uncover all the facts 
and discover the truth on behalf of the American people. We represent, 
each us, about 750,000 people. We are not asking on our own behalf. We 
are asking for the people, so that the people have the information they 
need in a democracy to make the decisions that they are called upon to 
make in a very solemn exercise we call voting.
  Attorney General Barr and former White House Counsel McGahn have both 
refused to respond to subpoenas to testify before the House, and the 
Attorney General refuses to allow Congress to see the full and 
unredacted report by the special counsel, Mr. Mueller. You can see 
entire pages blacked out, Mr. Speaker.
  The Attorney General's efforts to prejudge the conclusions of that 
report before it is released, as he did, and his public 
mischaracterization of its conclusions are, in my opinion, evidence of 
the contempt with which he refuses to answer questions and respond to 
subpoenas. It seems contemptuous as well of the basic principles of the 
rule of law and checks and balances.
  The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's 
efforts to interfere in our elections and subvert our democracy.
  Mr. Speaker, you didn't have to listen too closely to Bob Mueller to 
understand that he believed that there was much more to be found or to 
miss the fact that he said to Congress: Do your duty and make sure the 
American people know the facts.
  The American people deserve to know whether the President or anyone 
in his administration or inner circle of confidants were involved and 
tried to cover it up.
  Now we have been accused of doing awful things, but I remember 
watching conventions where they said, ``lock her up, lock her up.'' 
Flynn--General Flynn--who was the National Security Advisor said: 
``Lock her up.''
  Well, the fact is they locked him up, and many others who were 
associated who lied about their involvement with the Russian Government 
and, yes, with other foreign countries. So there is reason for the 
Congress to want to get to the bottom of this serious invasion of our 
election process.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand 
up for our Constitution and vote for this resolution. I thank the 
chairman of the Rules Committee, Mr. McGovern. I thank Chairman Nadler, 
Chairman Schiff, Chairman Cummings, Chairman Neal, Chairman Engel, and 
Chairwoman Waters, all who have jurisdiction over various facets of the 
information that is needed, and I thank the members of their committees 
for their hard work to conduct necessary oversight on behalf of the 
American people.
  Mr. Speaker, that is what this vote is about. I presented that card. 
It has no party designation on it. It just has a designation of us--
each of us--as Representatives of the people. Let us make sure that 
today we vote for the people and stand up for our Constitution, for 
this House, and for the rule of law.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Chabot), who is my fellow Judiciary Committee member.
  Mr. CHABOT. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding, Mr. Speaker, and I 
rise in opposition to this resolution.
  It seems to allow Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to go to 
essentially whatever court they want to get a court order to get 
whatever documents they want--even grand jury documents and those that 
relate to our national security--all because they don't want, or are 
afraid to, really, hold Attorney General Barr or former White House 
Counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress, just as they are afraid to 
institute impeachment proceedings against President Trump or accept the 
fact that the Mueller investigation found that there was no collusion 
and Attorney General Barr found no obstruction.
  They just can't get it through their heads that that is the case, and 
they don't want to focus on the real issue threatening our democracy 
which is that Russia actually attempted to interfere in our national 
elections back in 2016 while Barack Obama--not Donald Trump--was 
President, and the Obama administration did absolutely nothing about 
  They really don't seem too concerned that the Russians or another 
foreign entity might attempt to do so again in 2020. That is what they 
ought to be using their oversight powers--very powerful things the 
power that the majority has--they ought to be using it about that, not 
this charade.

                              {time}  1515

  How many documents have the Democrats requested that relate to 
Russian interference in our elections? None. How many hearings? Zip. 
How many Obama-administration officials and others connected to 
Russia's efforts have they subpoenaed to testify before the Judiciary 
Committee? Zero.
  By continuing with this fake impeachment, the Democrats are doing the 
American public a disservice. My Democratic colleagues ought to be 
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, let me correct the Record in response to 
the gentleman of Ohio. The Russians didn't attempt to interfere in our 
election; they did interfere in our election.
  And, if my friends read the Mueller report, they would realize they 
interfered in the election to help Donald Trump get elected.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Nadler), the distinguished chair of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, when a congressional committee issues a subpoena, 
compliance is not optional. We expect witnesses to testify when 
summoned. We expect the administration to comply with subpoenas and to 
provide us with the materials we require to do our jobs.
  Of course, there may be differences between the Congress and the 
executive branch as to what information can be produced on a timely 
basis. When those differences arise, we are required to seek a 
reasonable accommodation.
  We first requested access to the full Mueller report and the 
underlying evidence on February 22. After refusing for almost 4 months, 
the Department of Justice, in the last few days, has finally agreed to 
permit us to view the special counsel's most important files.
  We are hopeful this will provide us with key evidence regarding 
allegations of obstruction of justice and other misconduct.
  Given this potential breakthrough, we will hold the criminal contempt 
process for Attorney General Barr in abeyance for now.
  But President Trump has blocked other key witnesses from testifying 
before the Judiciary Committee, including his former White House 
counsel Don McGahn, whose account of the President's actions was 
featured in the Mueller report.
  The President has claimed absolute immunity for critical witnesses to 
prevent them from even showing up. He has invoked executive privilege 
to prevent us from seeing documents that stopped being privileged long 
ago, if they were ever privileged to begin with.
  He has done the same in response to Congress' important work 
unrelated to the Mueller report, and he has ordered the agencies not to 
cooperate with even our most basic oversight requests.
  This unprecedented stonewalling by the administration is completely 
unacceptable. The committees have a constitutional responsibility to 
conduct oversight, to make recommendations to the House as necessary, 
and to craft

[[Page H4418]]

legislation that will curb the abuse of power on full display in the 
Trump administration.
  This is why it is important that the Judiciary Committee be able to 
act in such matters using all of our Article I powers, as contemplated 
in this resolution and described in both the Rules Committee report and 
the House Judiciary Committee's contempt report.
  Now, I heard what the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Woodall) said a few 
minutes ago, and he is exactly right. This resolution gives committee 
chairs the power, with the approval of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory 
Group, to go to court on behalf of the House to enforce our subpoenas.
  This has not been done before, but neither have we ever seen blanket 
stonewalling by the administration of all information requests by the 
House. We have never faced such blanket stonewalling.
  The President himself said--and they have been as good as their 
word--they will oppose all of our subpoenas.
  We must go to court to enforce the subpoenas without a separate floor 
vote each time if we are going to enforce our subpoenas and reject the 
arrogant assumption of power by the administration and denigration of 
the power of the House and of the Congress.
  We cannot afford to waste all the floor time every single time the 
administration rejects one of our subpoenas, which is every time we 
issue a subpoena.
  That is why we must pass this resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this resolution so that 
we can get into court and break the stonewall without delay.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. McCarthy), our Republican leader.
  Mr. McCARTHY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, Special Counsel Mueller officially ended his 
investigation several weeks ago. His office is closed. Because of 
Attorney General Barr, his report is public.
  And his findings are very clear: No collusion and no obstruction. 
This is the bottom line of the Mueller report.
  But, Mr. Speaker, Democrats refuse to accept it. Mr. Speaker, even 
the chairman of the committee refuses to go read the portion that he is 
allowed to read, only six lines. He refuses to read it, but he wants to 
come here today.
  They continue to believe their worst conspiracy theories about the 
President, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
  Mr. Speaker, it is even reported in newspapers that, in the campaign 
to become chairman of the Judiciary Committee, one said he campaigned 
for the position because he would be the best with impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, even on the floor of this House, there were more than 60 
Members on the other side of the aisle who voted for impeachment before 
the Mueller report was ever presented to the public.

  At its core, H. Res. 430 is just a desperate attempt to relitigate 
the Mueller investigation. That is why I urge my colleagues to oppose 
this resolution.
  It does not strengthen Congress' oversight powers, contrary to what 
you may hear from the other side, Mr. Speaker. Fundamentally, it is an 
impeachment effort in everything but name.
  Mr. Speaker, just look at the unnecessary contempt citation against 
Attorney General Barr. Less than a month after Barr received the 
Mueller report, Mr. Speaker, Chairman Nadler issued a subpoena that 
would have required the Attorney General of the United States of 
America to break the law.
  That is not my opinion. Let's be very clear whose words those are: 
Jonathan Turley's. Mr. Speaker, probably everybody in this body not 
only knows who Jonathan Turley is; he has, probably, the utmost 
respect. He is one of the most respected legal scholars in this 
  Now, he told the committee, Mr. Speaker:

       You have to tie your request carefully to your authority to 
     demand information . . . if Bill Barr had actually complied 
     with the subpoena as written, he would have violated Federal 

  If he would have complied, he would have violated Federal law.
  Mr. Speaker, that is why we are here. Not only, Mr. Speaker, does the 
chairman of that committee ask the attorney general to break the law or 
he will try to hold him in contempt; he won't even go read the report.
  On May 8, only a few weeks after the first subpoena was issued, House 
Judiciary Democrats voted to hold A. G. Barr, the Attorney General of 
the United States, in contempt.
  Why would they vote to hold him in contempt? Because they were so 
angry that the Attorney General wouldn't break the law. They wanted him 
to break the law; then he won't be held in contempt.
  In a May 24 letter to the Attorney General, Chairman Nadler offered, 
for the first time, to negotiate and narrow the scope of his subpoena 
request. Then, you know what? He changed his mind.
  Yesterday, the Department of Justice reached an agreement with the 
Judiciary Committee to turn over documents related to the Mueller 
  Now, if the public is watching, this just looks so disorganized. You 
wonder, from that committee, Mr. Speaker, wouldn't they know better 
than to ask the Attorney General to break the law?
  Mr. Speaker, wouldn't you know that, when you get to this point in a 
career, you wouldn't be so upset that someone just doesn't do exactly 
what you want--and you ask them to break the law--that you would vote 
to hold them in contempt and force your side of the aisle just to vote 
that way.
  That is not how it has happened in this body before. If the public 
wants to see a good example of congressional oversight, then let's look 
at something that is comparable: the House's contempt vote against 
Attorney General Holder in 2012.
  The House Committee on Oversight and Reform took two important 
actions before suing in Federal court. First, it negotiated with 
Attorney General Holder in good faith for 15 months--not a few days. It 
never asked him to break the law either.
  After narrowing the scope of its original subpoena, and only after 
extensive back-and-forth negotiations failed, did it vote to hold him 
in contempt.
  Second, it got the full House to vote on it and approve--you know 
what--a bipartisan contempt.
  Now, I am not sure why the Committee on the Judiciary, Mr. Speaker, 
would not know this, but I did a little research because I was here 
during that time. You know why they didn't realize it was the best way 
to do it and it was bipartisan? Because, Mr. Speaker, a lot of them 
stormed outside of the Chamber.
  Yep. You heard me right. Even though 17 Democrats voted in favor of 
the criminal contempt resolution against Holder and 21 voted to enforce 
civil citation, a number of them stormed outside and protested, took 
their ball and ran home. Mr. Speaker, I guess, to the public, it looked 
like they had just thrown another fit.
  Now, that is pretty significant. As many of you remember, it was 
contentious. I remember, Mr. Speaker, watching then-Minority Leader 
Pelosi, Minority Whip Hoyer, and Congressman Nadler lead 100 Democrats 
off the House floor to protest the vote.
  Mr. Speaker, you won't see that on our side. We believe in the rule 
of law. Mr. Speaker, we would have done the exact same thing the 
Attorney General did, that Jonathan Turley said, that you would have 
had to break the law to try to appease somebody's own personal 
  The idea, Mr. Speaker, that someone would run for a position to say 
that they would be best to impeach somebody and even vote to impeach 
without even having a report and then, when you get a report and you 
could go down and read just those six lines that you want to complain 
about, but you won't--the same person, Mr. Speaker, that would run 
outside and say: I got elected to Congress, but I am going to pout and 
I am going to go outside.
  Mr. Speaker, that may be the same person that would want to bring 
this to the floor today.
  But what is so different about today than all the others? Well, we 
are doing something we have never done before. We are doing something 
that is going to take the power away of every Member in this body and 
give it to a select few.

[[Page H4419]]

  Mr. Speaker, if this vote passes today, Members of this body are 
going to say: Don't bring it here and let me represent my own people 
and vote about going to court. Let's just give it, really, to three 
people. Let's give it to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, 
and to the majority whip. Because that is what BLAG is.
  I know the courts are going to sit there and say that is not what 
Congress is supposed to do. Congress has never done that before. But, 
you know what? If this new majority thinks all they want to do is make 
an attorney general break the law, I guess they could break every rule, 
every history, every point of representation there is inside this body.

  Did we wonder if this would happen? Do we wonder why you wouldn't 
take the months, as they have shown in the time before, and actually 
come to a bipartisan conclusion?
  I think the plan was already written. I don't know if people can talk 
about the word ``patient'' because, Mr. Speaker, I remember Congressman 
Hank Johnson of the Rules Committee--this is the Speaker's committee, 
so everybody understands correctly, that is just appointed by the 
Speaker on the majority side--said, Mr. Speaker: ``Donald Trump will 
stand for reelection again in a very short period of time, and we don't 
have 400 days to wait. . . .''
  So, don't care about the rule of law. Don't care about asking him to 
break the law. Just break every historical trend and try to take the 
power away from millions of Americans and from the Members of Congress 
who represent them here.
  I didn't know today would come. Mr. Speaker, I didn't know if someone 
would go this far.
  I didn't know, just because someone, Mr. Speaker, despises somebody 
else, that an election didn't turn out the way of the desire--Mr. 
Speaker, I have been on losing sides before, but I would never think I 
would break the law just because of losing an election.
  I would never think of asking somebody in as high an office as the 
Attorney General of the United States of America to not give due 
process, to come to the floor and strip the power of 430 Members and 
put it in a select few.
  Mr. Speaker, I have to be honest. I don't put anything past what this 
new desire is about.

                              {time}  1530

  Mr. Speaker, Democrats say we are in a constitutional crisis, and 
they are right, but not because of Attorney General Barr. The 
constitutional crisis is this: When Democrats can't win, they change 
the rules.
  I just heard it on the floor, Mr. Speaker, that, yes, from the other 
side of the aisle, said this has never been done before, and, yes, this 
is nothing this House has ever desired to do. But it is also no way to 
  The American people deserve a majority that is serious about coming 
up with solutions, not subpoenas. There are plenty of important 
challenges that we can be working on to solve.
  Just yesterday, Mr. Speaker, I opened The New York Times. It is not a 
paper that I think I always agree with, but it had an editorial not for 
the first time, but for the second time, and it was talking about the 
crisis on the border.
  As I read this editorial, I found myself agreeing with it greatly. 
When I read it, it talked about the border, talked about Washington 
needing to stop dithering and do something about it.
  I looked and wondered what committee would be most responsible for 
this challenge? Lo and behold, it was the Judiciary. So I turned it on 
in hopes that I would see a hearing, maybe I would even see a markup.
  No, Mr. Speaker, who did I see? I saw John Dean. John Dean, who 
pleaded guilty in Watergate. The same individual who has put more than 
900 tweets out against the President, many before any Mueller report 
came forth. He was the expert witness--the same individual who is paid 
by CNN, the same individual who said the Presidency of George Bush was 
worse than Watergate.
  I guess this new majority will go to no end. It doesn't matter if the 
facts don't go where they want; just change the rules.
  I wonder, all these new freshman Democrats, Mr. Speaker, when they 
swore in to uphold the Constitution, does that mean trying to make the 
Attorney General break the law? Does that mean giving their power away 
to a select few?
  There is a crisis on the border. The New York Times knows it. The 
country of Mexico knows it. I think almost everybody in America knows 
it except, Mr. Speaker, I guess, this majority.
  The committee of responsibility is more concerned about bringing 
somebody in who pleaded guilty in Watergate, who makes their money off, 
Mr. Speaker, writing books claiming every Republican President there is 
is worse than Watergate and then asking the Attorney General to break 
the law.
  That is not a legacy I would be proud of. It is not a legacy I would 
want to be a part of.
  But, Mr. Speaker, I will say on this floor: I will vote against 
taking the power away, even the power away from people on the other 
side of the aisle. I won't lead a protest, and I won't go outside, and 
I won't take my ball, and I won't run home. I believe in the rule of 
  Mr. Speaker, I had the responsibility and the opportunity to go read 
the redacted portions of the Mueller report, just as some on the other 
side of the aisle could. It is just six lines. Not that I think it was 
just my responsibility, but as an elected official I thought it was a 
responsibility, so I went. But, Mr. Speaker, the people leading this 
today, they have not. They think they know better.
  I don't know if they know better, but one thing I do know: They are 
changing the rules of the House simply because they cannot win. That is 
not the American way.
  Those are the reasons why we stand up. Those are the things that 
America unites behind, the rule of law. This will not be a day that is 
proud. This will not be a day that, when they look back in history, the 
individuals who vote for this will talk about.
  It is one when they get asked the question later in life, Mr. 
Speaker, is there something they regret, they will regret that emotion 
overtook them. They will regret their own personal dislike drove them.
  I am not sure if they are proud of the day when they storm out of the 
building, even though there is a bipartisan vote here. But I guess that 
same emotion, the same, Mr. Speaker, lack of ability to actually look 
at the rule of law and work toward something instead of just changing 
the rules because you can't have your way, that is what today is about.
  The worst part of it all is removing the power of individual Members 
and putting in a select three. But then again, Mr. Speaker, when you 
study history and forms of government, that is what socialism is all 
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  The distinguished minority leader began by saying that the Mueller 
report makes it clear that there was no collusion and no obstruction. 
Maybe that is what you would conclude if you just read Barr's summary 
which tried to cover up what the Mueller report said, but I would urge 
the distinguished minority leader to read the report. I am happy to 
lend him my bifocals if he has trouble reading it.
  But the report doesn't say that. It doesn't say no collusion. And on 
the issue of obstruction of justice, it says: If we were convinced that 
he, the President, did not commit a crime, we would have said so.
  That is what the report says. And I would remind my colleagues that 
obstruction of justice is a crime.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Ted Lieu).
  Mr. TED LIEU of California. Mr. Speaker, the issue today is very 
simple. It is simply about the right of the American people and 
Congress to get information. That is it.
  All this resolution does is allow us to enforce congressional 
subpoenas. These are documents and witnesses we want, and it allows us 
to go to Federal court to enforce it. That is all this resolution does.
  Why are Republicans so scared of this resolution? Because they know 
we are going to win in court. We have won three times against the Trump 

[[Page H4420]]

  But why do we even have to go to court to do this? Because the Trump 
administration is engaging in unprecedented obstruction. And it is not 
just about the Mueller report; it is about all areas.
  So, for example, right now, the Trump administration is suing to 
eliminate healthcare coverage for people with preexisting conditions. 
We want to know more about that. We can't get it. We want to know about 
a lot of areas that we cannot get, so we want to go to Federal court to 
get this enforced.
  What are Republicans doing? They are making stuff up. They are saying 
somehow we are asking the Attorney General to do things that will make 
him violate the law. That is wrong, wrong, wrong.
  I am just going to end with this simple example.
  The Attorney General of the United States gave the Republican ranking 
member of the Judiciary Committee the right to see their unredacted 
Mueller report. Was that illegal? No. But I can't see it.
  That is wrong. There is no basis for that. We are simply going to go 
to Federal court. We are going to litigate it, and we are going to win.
  All this resolution does is it allows us to enforce congressional 
subpoenas in Federal court. It is about not allowing the Trump 
administration to cover things up.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Gohmert).
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, this is about harassing the President, and 
it is about delaying the inevitable.
  I would have hoped that my friends across the aisle, especially in 
the Judiciary Committee that had concerns in 2005 and 2006 about the 
overreach that was possible through the FISA procedures, would have 
seen that there was no collusion, that the Russians did try, but nobody 
with the Trump campaign bought.
  So we are left with the fact that the real collusion here was between 
the Clinton campaign, with Fusion GPS hiring a foreign agent, 
Christopher Steele, who talked to people he now admits could well have 
been agents of Vladimir Putin, who gave false information about Trump, 
the candidate, that was used in a dossier that was used to manipulate 
the FISA court into giving a warrant to start spying on the Trump 
campaign. That is what this was about.
  And what people are calling obstruction of justice is exactly what 
you have when you have somebody falsely accused of colluding, 
conspiring with the Russians, and he knows he didn't do that, and he 
sees his family being harassed, and everybody that worked with the 
campaign that can be pushed and shoved and blackmailed, as happened, 
and bankrupted, you want to bring it to an end. You want to see justice 
  But instead of my friends in Judiciary coming together with us who 
have been concerned about the abuses of the FISA system so that it 
doesn't happen to other Americans, instead, they come with this 
resolution to push the matter down the road a little further to the 
2020 election.
  It has got to stop. Let's stop now.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I think it is appropriate to correct a 
number of statements that have been made on the floor.
  First of all, this is not the end. Director Mueller made this the 
beginning. When he concluded the report, he left a very large direction 
to the United States Congress. He recognized that he could not follow 
up because of policies at the DOJ regarding indictment in the process 
of the administration.
  So the Congress, in its due diligence, took the responsibility not to 
target anyone, but to simply uphold the rule of law. In upholding the 
rule of law, we had an empty seat by Attorney General Barr, an empty 
seat by Mr. McGahn, an empty seat by Ms. Hicks, Ms. Donaldson, and we 
hope not an empty seat of the author of the report.
  So all this resolution does is authorize the committee to seek civil 
enforcement of its subpoenas against Attorney General Barr, requiring 
him to provide Congress with the key evidence underlying the Mueller 
report as well as the unredacted report itself, and former White House 
Counsel Donald F. McGahn, requiring him to provide documents and appear 
for testimony.
  He is not covered by executive privilege. In fact, executive 
privilege does not cover--his duty is to the White House Office of the 
General Counsel, or the White House counsel's office, not to the 
individual officeholder, the President. He has personal lawyers.
  And we didn't break the law. 6(e), which is grand jury materials, our 
committee diligently said let's work with the Department of Justice, go 
to court, and decide what we can see.
  We are simply following this little book that many have died for, and 
that is the Constitution of the United States, and those words in the 
Declaration of Independence that said we all are created equal, with 
certain unalienable rights of life and liberty and the pursuit of 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentlewoman from Texas an 
additional 1 minute.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. The American people would not want a Congress that 
turned its back on, frankly, the rule of law.
  For those of us who had the special privilege of going to Normandy 
this past week, we got a great sense of pride, of the courage of 
Americans, the bravery of those young men, and all I could think of is 
how important it is to all of us to adhere to those wonderful 
  So, again, there is no targeting here. This is not a way to do policy 
or legislation. We can fight that battle on the floor of the House.
  But if you read those volumes and end it in the last pages of Volume 
2, you know that Director Mueller asked us to finish the task of 
looking into elements that he did not or could not and the underlying 
  Let me also say, as we do that, we do it forthrightly because, in 
2020, we want to make sure that every American has the right to vote 
and every American is not undermined by a foreign operative interfering 
and taking the election away from you.
  I support the resolution. We must stand for the rule of law.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Res. 430, authorizing the 
Committee on the Judiciary to initiate or intervene in judicial 
proceedings to enforce certain subpoenas and for other purposes.
  It is an honor to serve in this body.
  We are the successors and heirs to an august freedom earned centuries 
ago, expanded for successive groups and defended through the blood, 
sweat and tears of the nation's fighting forces.
  It is this debt that took me to the beaches of Normandy to pay my 
respects on the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
  We are heirs to this legacy, and we are heirs to this ingenious 
system of separation of powers.
  The system they laid down presumes equality of power among the 
  As custodians of Article I, we have a duty to ensure the rigors of 
the Constitution are upheld.
  This includes that when the Second Branch, Article II, flouts the 
investigative prerogatives of the Congress, there must be recourse and 
  As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I have to say 
that it is regrettable that we are here.
  This is because a hallmark of our constitutional republic is that no 
person is above the law.
  Congressional oversight has been the tradition going back to the 
first years of our republic.
  And the congressional prerogative of oversight has been a tool in the 
Article I arsenal as a way of asserting our power and protecting 
against the worst excesses of an executive.
  This comports with the founding of our government, which sought to 
prevent the concentration of power in an autocratic executive, which 
was anathema to the Founders.
  Which is why the events of the last many months have been so 
  The decision by this executive to flout all lawfully authorized 
subpoenas has been unprecedented.
  This dispute between the political branches should work itself out, 
but because of this presidential obstinacy, we are in this predicament, 
which is why we must pass this H. Res 430, Authorizing Subpoena 
Enforcement Litigation.
  This Resolution, H. Res. 430, builds on the House Judiciary 
Committee's contempt finding against Attorney General Barr.

[[Page H4421]]

  The resolution authorizes the Committee to seek civil enforcement of 
its subpoenas against: (i) Attorney General Barr requiring him to 
provide Congress with the key evidence underlying the Mueller Report as 
well as the unredacted report itself; and (ii) former White House 
Counsel Donald F. McGahn, II requiring him to provide documents and 
appear for testimony.
  The resolution further affirms that all committee chairs, when 
authorized by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, retain the ability 
to seek civil enforcement of their own subpoenas.
  The resolution adds that when committees proceed to court, they have 
any and all necessary authority under Article I of the Constitution, 
ensuring that they have the maximum range of legal authority available 
to them.
  For example, on other key issues--such as the Department of Justice 
defying a subpoena to produce counter-intelligence documents relating 
to Russia's interference with the 2016 election, or the Commerce 
Department defying a subpoena to produce documents relating to the 
addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census--the committees 
can enforce these subpoenas without a floor vote.
  This resolution ensures the House can conduct meaningful oversight on 
issues critical to Americans' lives while continuing to deliver on 
pocketbook issues.
  The President's disregard for congressional oversight allows the 
Administration to cover-up his many disastrous policy decisions such 
as: attacking affordable healthcare coverage for millions of Americans 
including those with pre-existing conditions, tearing apart vulnerable 
immigrant families, misappropriating military funds for his ill-
conceived border wall, and rolling back landmark civil rights 
protections for minorities.
  The information subpoenaed by various congressional committees, 
including documents and testimony, is information to which Congress is 
constitutionally entitled and that past Administrations have routinely 
  President Trump has prevented fact witnesses referenced in the 
Mueller Report from testifying or providing documents to Congress.
  This is despite the fact that the Report detailed the Russian 
government's sustained attacks on our elections; over 170 contacts 
between President Trump's campaign and associates and agents of the 
Russian government; as well as numerous efforts by President Trump to 
impede or thwart House investigations scrutinizing his own conduct and 
that of his Administration.
  In keeping with the President's sweeping public refusal to comply 
with congressional subpoenas, the White House and the Administration 
are fighting to keep the truth from the American people.
  This resolution ensures we can conduct oversight on issues that are 
critical to Americans' lives while continuing to deliver on pocketbook 
  The information subpoenaed by various congressional committees, 
including documents and testimony, is information Congress is 
constitutionally entitled to and which past Administrations have 
routinely provided.
  Congress not only is constitutionally entitled to the underlying 
evidence in the Special Counsel's Report and key fact witness 
testimony, it requires this information so that it can fulfill its 
legislative, oversight, and other constitutional responsibilities.
  This resolution follows past precedent used by Democratic and 
Republican Majorities while reinforcing an important principle in the 
House Rules.
  This Administration's disregard for the legislative and judicial 
branches has reached a tipping point.
  Despite representing a coequal branch of government, this 
Administration is flagrantly disregarding the role Congress and the 
Judiciary must play in our democratic system.
  Mr. Speaker, the foregoing has been the basis for this Resolution.
  It was my hope that this was not needed.
  But the President has proven me wrong, which is why this Resolution 
is needed.
  I urge passage of the Resolution.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Cline), a fellow Judiciary Committee member.
  Mr. CLINE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding time, 
and I want to recognize the gentlewoman from Texas for her remarks 
because, as a fellow member of the Judiciary Committee, we all stand 
for the rule of law. I, too, carry a Constitution with me.
  The Constitution explicitly creates a system that is representative 
of the people, where the people are elected by their constituents to 
come up here and represent their views in Congress and vote for them. 
It is not to come up here and to hand off control, to hand their vote 
to the majority leader, to the Speaker, and to the majority whip and 
let them vote for them and for the people of their district whether or 
not to go to court.
  The votes to enforce subpoenas, the votes to hold in contempt should 
be votes of the Representatives of the people. That is why this 
resolution today is such a travesty.

                              {time}  1545

  Mr. Speaker, I have only been a Member of this body for a few months, 
and I was proud to be named a member of the Judiciary Committee, but 
unfortunately, the circus that I have witnessed over the last few 
months is shocking, as the Democratic majority tries to find some 
reason, any reason, to impeach this President now that the Mueller 
investigation has wrapped up with no crimes found.
  If they want to go back and repeat the last 2 years of the 
investigation, the millions of dollars, the hundreds of subpoenas, they 
are certainly entitled to do that, but I would argue it would be a 
waste of time for the American taxpayer and the American people.
  Mr. Speaker, we had a hearing earlier today on the 9/11 Victim 
Compensation Fund, and the chairman did a masterful job of arguing in 
favor of that legislation, of which I am a cosponsor. It is bipartisan 
legislation. It is going to be marked up tomorrow. That is the way that 
this Judiciary Committee should operate.
  Instead, we have hearings with empty chairs for the Attorney General, 
we have a hearing with an empty chair for the White House counsel.
  Finally, yesterday we had a hearing with people in the seats, but 
they were all MSNBC and CNN commentators.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a travesty of justice. I would urge my 
colleagues to defeat this resolution.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the Committee on the Judiciary is one of the most 
venerable in the House of Representatives, and I am honored to have 
been selected to join its ranks.
  It has jurisdiction over intellectual property, during a time of 
exponential scientific breakthroughs. It has jurisdiction over election 
interference, during a time when we are concerned about Russians 
interfering with our election. It has jurisdiction over immigration 
issues, during a time of an unprecedented security and humanitarian 
crisis on our southern border.
  I am disappointed to see how the Democratic majority has chosen to 
waste this authority. I am disappointed to see that it has chosen to 
ignore its responsibilities to the American people in favor of sound 
bites and photo ops.
  Instead of legislating, the Democratic majority prefers posing with 
buckets of fried chicken for the national media in crude attempts to 
undermine our President and his administration.
  It is time to move on and tackle the real issues that Americans care 
  The American people elected us, they elected me, to Congress to get 
things done. Let us secure the border. Let us improve healthcare. Let 
us improve education.
  Let us stop this political theater that happens meeting after meeting 
and hearing after hearing in multiple committees in what I believe is a 
blatant attempt to influence the 2020 presidential election using 
taxpayer resources.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I have no further speakers. I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time I have left and 
how much time the other side has left?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman has 1 minute remaining.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am going to use my 1 minute to actually refute these 
blatant allegations and fantasies, I believe, by my fellow Democrats, 
and that is how somehow the President and the Department of Justice has 
been stonewalling them.
  Let me go over the timelines really quick.
  On March 22, the Attorney General immediately notified the chairmen 
and the ranking members of the House and Senate Committees on Judiciary 
that they had received the confidential report from the special 

[[Page H4422]]

  The next day, the Attorney General informed Congress of the special 
counsel's principal conclusions.
  March 29, he updated the Congress on what could be done and what 
redactions had to be made.
  Then on April 18, less than a month after receiving it, the Attorney 
General made the redacted confidential report available to Congress and 
the entire public.
  The same day, the Attorney General released the confidential report 
and made the minimally-redacted version of the confidential report 
available for review.
  Mr. Speaker, I would urge a ``no'' vote on this resolution, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the remainder of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, my friends on the other side have responded to this 
legislation with the same old same old.
  They are circling the wagons around this President and his team. They 
are deliberately turning a blind eye to the corruption, to the 
deception, to the illegality that has surrounded this White House.
  But let me remind them all of why we are here today. We are here 
because the American people elected each of us to write laws and to 
ensure those who execute them are accountable.
  We all took an oath when we were sworn in to uphold and defend the 
Constitution. That is our job.
  None of us were sent here to play defense for the President of the 
United States.
  There are some things that are more important than politics, and I 
hope that even in this day and age, there are still some things that 
are more sacred than partisanship, like the rule of law and the 
separation of powers.
  I mean, each of us took the same oath. We now have a choice whether 
or not to uphold it.
  The choice should be a simple one: to stand up to President Trump and 
to defend the Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, I remember when many of my Republican friends ran for 
office claiming to be constitutional conservatives. Well, this is their 
chance to back up their campaign slogan with their vote.

  We have a President that publicly states: ``We're fighting all the 

       And I don't want people to testify.

  Those are his words. Those are the words of the President, not some 
mob boss.
  As we heard from the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee, 
Chairman Cummings, the White House hasn't turned over a single 
document, a single piece of paper that his committee has requested to 
do their oversight work, not one piece of paper.
  At the core of this resolution is Congress getting the appropriate 
documents, so we can do the appropriate oversight. That is part of the 
  How can anybody be against that? To be against that is to be part of 
the coverup, is to be complicit with the obstruction that this White 
House demonstrates each and every day.
  Mr. Speaker, I remind my colleagues that history will judge how we 
react to this moment. So I urge all of my colleagues, do not let this 
moment pass us by. Vote ``yes'' on this resolution, and let's hold the 
President accountable.
  Nobody is above the law in the United States of America, not even the 
President of the United States.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are again reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 431, the previous question is ordered on 
the resolution, as amended.
  The question is on agreeing to the resolution.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XX, this 15-
minute vote on adoption of the resolution will be followed by a 5-
minute vote on the motion to suspend the rules and pass H.R. 2609.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 229, 
nays 191, not voting 13, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 247]


     Bishop (GA)
     Blunt Rochester
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brown (MD)
     Brownley (CA)
     Carson (IN)
     Casten (IL)
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Cox (CA)
     Davids (KS)
     Davis, Danny K.
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Garcia (IL)
     Garcia (TX)
     Gonzalez (TX)
     Green (TX)
     Harder (CA)
     Higgins (NY)
     Hill (CA)
     Horn, Kendra S.
     Jackson Lee
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson (TX)
     Kelly (IL)
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawson (FL)
     Lee (CA)
     Lee (NV)
     Levin (CA)
     Levin (MI)
     Lieu, Ted
     Maloney, Carolyn B.
     Maloney, Sean
     Price (NC)
     Rice (NY)
     Rose (NY)
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Sewell (AL)
     Smith (WA)
     Swalwell (CA)
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Torres (CA)
     Torres Small (NM)
     Van Drew
     Wasserman Schultz
     Watson Coleman
     Wilson (FL)


     Bishop (UT)
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (NY)
     Davidson (OH)
     Davis, Rodney
     Foxx (NC)
     Gonzalez (OH)
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Hern, Kevin
     Hice (GA)
     Higgins (LA)
     Hill (AR)
     Hurd (TX)
     Johnson (LA)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson (SD)
     Joyce (OH)
     Joyce (PA)
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (NY)
     Kustoff (TN)
     Mooney (WV)
     Rice (SC)
     Rodgers (WA)
     Roe, David P.
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rooney (FL)
     Rose, John W.
     Scott, Austin
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Thompson (PA)
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wilson (SC)

[[Page H4423]]


                             NOT VOTING--13

     Davis (CA)
     Green (TN)
     Herrera Beutler
     King (IA)
     Kuster (NH)

                              {time}  1623

  Mr. ZELDIN and Mr. ADERHOLT changed their vote from ``yea'' to 
  So the resolution was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.