(House of Representatives - February 26, 2019)

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[Pages H2112-H2119]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee 
on Rules, I call up House Resolution 144 and ask for its immediate 
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 144

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order to consider in the House the joint resolution (H.J. 
     Res. 46) relating to a national emergency declared by the 
     President on February 15, 2019. All points of order against 
     consideration of the joint resolution are waived. The joint 
     resolution shall be considered as read. All points of order 
     against provisions in the joint resolution are waived. The 
     previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint 
     resolution and on any amendment thereto to final passage 
     without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate 
     equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking 
     minority member of the Committee on Transportation and 
     Infrastructure; and (2) one motion to recommit.
       Sec. 2.  The provisions of section 202 of the National 
     Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622) shall not apply during the 
     remainder of the One Hundred Sixteenth Congress to a joint 
     resolution terminating the national emergency declared by the 
     President on February 15, 2019.

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

                             General Leave

  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members be given 5 legislative days to revise and extend their 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the Rules 
Committee met and reported a rule, House Resolution 144, providing for 
consideration of H.J. Res. 46, relating to a national emergency 
declared by the President on February 15, 2019.
  The rule provides for consideration of the legislation under a closed 
rule. The rule provides 1 hour of debate equally divided and controlled 
by the chair and ranking member of the Committee on Transportation and 
  Additionally, the rule provides that the provisions of section 202 of 
the National Emergencies Act shall not apply during the remainder of 
the 116th Congress to a joint resolution terminating the national 
emergency declared by the President on February 15, 2019. This 
provision was included to avoid privileged legislative action on 
redundant resolutions.
  Mr. Speaker, today we must stand up for democracy; we must stand up 
for the rule of law; and, most importantly, we must stand up for the 
United States Constitution, the Constitution that we took an oath to 
defend when we were sworn into office.
  Mr. Speaker, the Constitution we swore to defend granted Congress the 
power of the purse. That means Congress decides how we spend the 
American people's hard-earned money.
  Congress spoke when we passed, and President Trump signed, a spending 
bill that granted him $1.4 billion for fencing along the border. Now 
President Trump is acting like a dictator by ignoring Congress and 
declaring a national emergency. As a result, billions of taxpayer 
dollars would be taken from high-priority military construction 
projects that ensure our troops have the essential training, readiness, 
and quality of life necessary to keep the American people safe.
  Mr. Speaker, as a former member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I 
have visited countries where the rule of law takes a backseat to the 
whims of their Presidents. Just look at Venezuela, where Nicolas Maduro 
has removed every single obstacle to his power.
  When he objected to the rulings of the judges, he ended their terms 
early and replaced them with his political allies. When the 
democratically elected congress didn't agree with him, he created a new 
congress filled with his supporters.
  Last year, he even banned prominent opposition leaders from running 
into the Presidential election. He has demonized the press and even 
took CNN en Espanol off the air. Last night, he detained one of 
America's journalists, Jorge Ramos, of Univision.
  Fighting with judges, manipulating elections, attacking the press. 
Mr. Speaker, does any of this sound familiar?
  Now you have a situation where food is so scarce that the average 
Venezuelan has lost 24 pounds in the last year and more than 3 million 
have fled the country. The Maduro presidency, now that is a true 
national emergency for the people of Venezuela.

[[Page H2113]]

  The collapse of democratic institutions is also happening in 
Nicaragua and Guatemala. The President of Guatemala and his allies in 
congress are taking the country down the same path, removing every 
check on their power. They have expelled the international prosecutors 
who dared to investigate them.
  And just as Guatemala's Government has tried to undermine and 
delegitimize the police and prosecutors who are investigating, 
President Trump has called Robert Mueller's investigation a ``witch 
hunt'' and denigrated the brave men and women of the FBI.
  Mr. Speaker, we cannot allow this President--or any President, 
Republican or Democrat--to take us down the same path as Venezuela, 
Guatemala, and Nicaragua, all to build a wasteful and ineffective wall 
along our southern border.
  These women and children coming from Central America do not represent 
a national emergency. That is why 58 former national security 
officials, both Republicans and Democrats, issued a statement saying 
there is ``no factual basis'' for the President's emergency.
  Our call to duty today is to protect, to defend our Constitution. We 
will vote, and we will see how many in this body have that same respect 
for the rule of law.

                              {time}  1230

  Mr. Speaker, I urge our Republican colleagues to join us in this 
effort. It is not too late for my colleagues across the aisle to tell 
the President that this is wrong, that the Constitution that we swore 
an oath to uphold really matters.
  We stand here today to stop this power grab of our own democracy. A 
``yes'' vote will affirm our democracy. A ``no'' vote further erodes 
the trust in our democracy and, again, expands executive power.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues on which side they stand.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I want you to know it flatters both me and the 
gentlewoman from California that you have made it your habit to be down 
here during Rules Committee time. It is good to know that you respect 
what we do upstairs as much as the members of the committee do.
  I always enjoy coming down for the Rules Committee debate, because it 
is the only debate on all of Capitol Hill where the Reading Clerk reads 
every single word of the bill that we are about to consider. 
Ordinarily, we waive that, but the rules don't let you waive it. You 
have to read the rule so folks will understand what is happening today.
  I happened to time the Reading Clerk today. I didn't put him up to 
anything special. He read as he always does. It took him 1 minute and 6 
seconds to read the resolution that is before us.
  I heard my friend from California talk about the important 
constitutional questions that are here before us today. I heard my 
friend from California equate our President to discredited despots 
around the globe and how we must stand up to prevent that behavior here 
in America. I heard my colleagues who took to the floor this morning 
for 1 minutes be sanctioned by the Chair and advised to cease engaging 
in arguments of personality and attacks against our President.
  One minute and 6 seconds it took to read the resolution before us 
today, Mr. Speaker, and that is 1 minute and 6 seconds longer than this 
resolution has been considered in total in every committee throughout 
this Capitol.
  I want to say that again. You heard my colleague talk about how 
critically important this resolution of disapproval is as it relates to 
our constitutional powers. You heard it described as a power grab 
equivalent to those of discredited despots. And we haven't talked about 
it at all in this Chamber. In committees, not one witness has 
  One minute and 6 seconds is how much we have invested in these 
nationally important matters.
  I listened, Mr. Speaker, as you cautioned Member after Member to 
cease engaging in personal attacks on the President during their 1 
minutes this morning. Mr. Speaker, I am concerned that that is exactly 
what we are doing here today.
  If you want to have a debate about Article I and Article II powers 
and how we ought to retrieve the power that has slid down Pennsylvania 
Avenue through administration after administration after 
administration, I am not just your willing partner, I am your 
enthusiastic partner and passionate advocate. But that is not the bill 
we have before us today. It is not the debate we are going to have 
  This is another in a long string of measures that have been brought 
to the floor of this House that could have been brought in a bipartisan 
way. I don't mean one Republican; I don't mean two Republicans; I mean 
the majority of Democrats and the majority of Republicans standing 
together to speak with one voice on behalf of the American people. But 
time and time again, we are missing that opportunity.
  This isn't a constitutional issue today, Mr. Speaker, though you 
would not know that, because we have not had any witnesses testify. 
This is a legislative issue before us today.
  There is, in fact, a National Emergencies Act that allows the 
President to do extraordinary things if he or she decides there is a 
national emergency. That is not unconstitutional. Congress passed the 
National Emergencies Act; the President signed the National Emergencies 
Act. Perhaps the Supreme Court one day will decide that was an 
unconstitutional delegation of power by the Congress, but the Congress 
delegated that power in the National Emergencies Act.
  The way we talk about this issue, Mr. Speaker, you would think this 
is the first time you and I have seen this in the few years we have 
been in Congress. Of course, you and I know that is nonsense.
  There are 31 other national emergency declarations in effect today--
31 other national emergency declarations. National emergency 
declarations from the Obama administration are still active today.
  If we are so concerned about Article I and Article II power grabs, 
perhaps these emergency declarations that have been on the books since 
the last administration, Congress should deal with those affirmatively 
here on the floor.
  There are national emergency declarations still in effect from the 
Bush administration. There are national emergencies still in effect 
from the Clinton administration. Mr. Speaker, there are national 
emergencies still in effect from the Carter administration. This House 
has made not a single effort to draw back that power from 1600 
Pennsylvania Avenue.
  Those are legitimate questions. Those are important questions. Those 
are things that bring us together as the people's representatives in 
this House, not bills designed just to poke a stick at a President who 
has real passion and real conviction about issues of real importance.
  Do you know what is in this resolution today, Mr. Speaker, what is in 
this disapproval resolution today, that will make a difference on the 
border in terms of ending human trafficking? Not one thing.
  Do you know what is in this resolution today that, if we come 
together to pass, will make a difference in terms of drug trafficking 
on the border? Not one thing.

  What about if we come together to pass this resolution today for the 
very serious issue of weapons trafficking across our border? Do you 
know what we will do today to fix that? Not one thing.
  Victims of sexual assault as they are being trafficked into this 
country, do you know what we are going to do to fix that today? Not one 
  Do you know how many Dreamers are going to have their hopes realized 
today with a pathway to permanency here in the United States of 
America? Not one.
  Man, we are good at bringing issues that are designed to poke each 
other in the eye. We are so good at bringing issues designed to try to 
embarrass one and boost another. But I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, 
we are not so great with actually solving real problems.
  For the first time in my congressional career just last Congress, Mr. 
Speaker, we brought a bill to the floor that would have provided 

[[Page H2114]]

for our Dreamers and that would have provided solutions on our border 
for human trafficking, for weapons trafficking, and for drug 
trafficking. You know how many Democratic votes we got on that bill, 
Mr. Speaker? Not one.
  Now, to be fair, it wasn't one bill; it was two bills. Folks said, 
hey, if this one is not the right one, let's bring another one. Maybe 
this is going to bring people together.
  Do you know how many votes we got on the second bill, Mr. Speaker, 
from the other side of the aisle? Not one. The only bills that have 
come to the floor to provide a pathway for Dreamers in my 8 years in 
Congress, and we got not one vote from the other side the aisle.
  Is that because the other side of the aisle doesn't believe in those 
solutions? No, that is not why. It is because the other side of the 
aisle, in its wisdom, deemed that to be a resolution not designed to 
support the Dreamers, but designed to divide. I disagree with that 
conclusion, but that is the conclusion that was made. Thus, the only 
opportunity in a decade we have had to support Dreamers, not one 
Democrat stood up and said yes.
  I call that a failed opportunity, and I am not interested in figuring 
out who is to blame for that failed opportunity.
  This is a failed opportunity today, too, Mr. Speaker. Sadly, it is 
another in a series of failed opportunities here in 2019.
  I believe my colleagues are going to see through the divisiveness of 
this resolution, through the charade of constitutionalism right down to 
the very core of partisanism that underlies this resolution.
  But just remember, 1 minute and 6 seconds, Mr. Speaker. Before I took 
to the microphone today, 1 minute and 6 seconds from the Reading Clerk 
is all the time this new Congress has dedicated to an issue that you 
are going to hear from my colleagues again and again is one of critical 
national importance, international importance, constitutional 
importance. How can those things be true?
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time 
as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I can think of many other things that we could be 
talking about that truly, truly, truly call out and scream out for a 
national emergency.
  Homelessness in our communities: Thousands of people in our 
communities sleep on a street, under a bridge, children sleeping in 
vehicles every single night.
  I think about the opioid epidemic, and how many of our families are 
simply immune to the issues around drug abuse and how addiction 
overcomes them?
  I think about last year around Christmastime when 800,000 of our 
Federal workers were going without a paycheck and went without a 
paycheck for 35 days. Yet my colleagues on the other side of the aisle 
could not find 1 minute and 6 seconds to give them a paycheck, to open 
up the Federal Government, to do their duty.
  Instead, in the Rules Committee, we took up an emergency order on 
labeling of cheese curds. They found that to be more important than the 
lives and the families of 800,000 Federal workers.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. 
Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, let me thank the gentlewoman from 
California for her astuteness, and, certainly, the manager of this 
legislation, and our friends on the other side of the aisle.
  Mr. Speaker, I simply want to try to craft the importance of H.J. 
Res. 46 that we will ultimately be debating today. As an original 
cosponsor, I was quick to try to bring order and to recognize the 
importance of the Constitution.
  Clearly, the statute might be interpreted to be used in a reckless 
manner. But it is precise in that it deals with the necessity of 
building military construction and other matters in the course of war 
that are an emergency.
  It might even cover rising gun violence, the fact that we have more 
guns in the United States than we have citizens.
  It might be that if there was a pending war on the southern border, 
one might determine that that is the case.
  It might be that, in 2001, the first sense of terrorism came when an 
individual crossed the northern border to attack the United States. If 
that had continued with throngs of terrorists coming across the 
northern border, the President then might have declared a national 
  But we do not have that, Mr. Speaker. What we have is a person's 
  We understand that the apprehensions at the southern border have 
actually gone down. The combined 521,000 apprehensions for border and 
Customs agents for fiscal year 2018 was 32,288 apprehensions fewer.
  Those who are coming across the border in the last 6 to 8 months are 
coming across as mothers and children fleeing the catastrophe of 
bloodshed in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. These are people 
desperate for help. They are coming through legal ports of entry.
  How do I know that? I have stood and watched them come. I have spoken 
to a mother whose baby was 45 days old. She had birthed on her road 
here, not because she just wanted a vacation, but because they had 
committed to decapitating her if she did not leave town immediately, 
meaning leave one of the countries. It was my plea that got her to be 
able to go to a hospital. I held little Roger in my hands, who is 9 
months old. He had been separated at the border from his family.
  These are the issues that are being addressed at the border. There is 
no catastrophe.
  Let me be very clear, as my friends always cite illegal immigration, 
I want to make sure that any criminal, no matter who they are, who does 
any injury to anyone in the United States, count me as standing on the 
side of bringing that person to justice. But that is not what is 
happening at the border.

                              {time}  1245

  Therefore, I would ask the administration to attend themselves to the 
Constitution, to recognize the difficulty or the wrongness of 
distorting the purposes of the United States Congress, the House, that 
has the purse strings by calling it a national emergency. My God, if we 
were to have one, would this Nation even understand how to implement it 
because they are hearing it being declared in a very foolish way?
  I conclude by simply saying that 58 people in national security, Mr. 
Speaker--58 of them--have indicated this is wrongheaded and jeopardizes 
our national security.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to vote for the resolution that I 
have cosponsored, H.J. Res. 46.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to yield 3 minutes 
to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Brooks).
  Mr. BROOKS of Alabama. Mr. Speaker, in fiscal year 2018, more than 
2,000 illegal aliens were apprehended by Federal agents for homicides 
committed on American soil. Worse yet, roughly 31,000 Americans die 
each year from heroin and cocaine overdoses, 90 percent of which floods 
across America's porous southern border. Hence, we can expect at least 
33,000 dead Americans each year until America secures our porous 
southern border.
  For perspective, the 9/11 terrorist attacks killed roughly 3,000 
people. In response, America invaded Iraq and Afghanistan at a cost of 
trillions of dollars and, roughly, 7,000 lost military personnel lives.
  Saving Americans should be a bipartisan issue, yet here we are. 
Republicans seek to prevent another 33,000 dead Americans this year, 
while partisan Democrats seek to embarrass and stop President Trump 
from securing America's porous southern border and saving American 
  For emphasis, no national emergency in history has been prompted by 
more dead Americans than President Trump's national emergency 
declaration. As such, I support President Trump's national emergency 
declaration and will vote accordingly.
  Mr. Speaker, how many dead Americans does it take for open border 
advocates to support border security? How much American blood must be 
on guilty hands before Congress recognizes the national emergency we 
face at America's southern border? America's military protects the 
borders of, and lives in, South Korea, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, many 
other countries, and Europe.

[[Page H2115]]

  I thank President Trump, as Commander in Chief, for understanding 
that America, and Americans, deserve no less protection.
  Mr. Speaker, let me conclude by noting that dead Americans, Americans 
killed by illegal aliens as a consequence of porous borders, had 
dreams, too. We, as a Congress, should remember and honor those dreams 
and act accordingly and protect this national emergency to protect 
American lives by securing our porous southern border.
  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, we can talk about the scary people from our southern 
border. I am not that scary looking, am I? I think not. The fact is 
that the number one trading partner for California and Texas is Mexico, 
a friendly country. For Central America, we are standing up for our 
responsibility to uphold democracy in the Northern Triangle, to address 
the root cause of migration. That is where our focus should be.
  Do we need an immigration reform package that brings 11 million 
people out of the shadows? Absolutely. These are the 11 million people 
who our agricultural partners depend on to deliver fresh food to our 
table. But we are not doing that here. What we are doing here, what the 
President has chosen to do, is political theater, political theater for 
  In essence, a vote against this resolution means a vote against the 
families of the military people who are depending on us to provide 
infrastructure, schools for their children to learn, and quality 
  Do Democrats think and believe that fortifying our borders is 
important? Absolutely. We have committed billions of dollars to ensure 
that we stop the narcotrafficking that happens at our ports of entry. 
That is where it is happening.
  We need to work together on these issues, not relinquish our 
responsibilities, our legislative responsibility, and the power of the 
purse that we hold.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Burgess), a member of the Rules Committee.
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I came to the floor to urge Members to vote against this 
ill-advised resolution to disallow the President's declaration for 
emergency funding on the border.
  In 2006, I was in Congress, and Congress voted for the Secure Fence 
Act. With the Secure Fence Act, under President Bush, 400 miles of 
border fence was built. Under President Obama, an additional little 
over 100 miles was built. Now President Trump has asked for a little 
over 200 miles to be built to provide security for America.
  Now, is it a national emergency? I will tell you, I had as my guest 
to the State of the Union someone who is referred to as an angel dad. 
This is an individual who went and put on the uniform and fought for 
his country in Iraq. While he was there, unfortunately, his wife got 
ill and died, and he came home. Now he is a single dad, and he is 
taking care of his only child, a daughter. That daughter, 
unfortunately, was hit by a car on the street that was driven by 
someone who did not have legal status to be in this country.
  Several months later, Chris came to me and said: Congressman, I did 
my job. I put on the uniform. I went and defended my country. Mr. 
Congressman, I did my job, and if you had been doing yours, my daughter 
would be here today.
  President Trump has taken that mantle very seriously. It is his goal, 
it is his requirement, to defend our country at the southern border, 
and the President will do just that.

  If you read the history of emergency declarations in the past, you 
will find a number of them. Some, perhaps, you might agree with; some, 
perhaps, you might disagree with. But since the founding of our 
country, it has been recognized that it has been the purview under 
Article II powers for the President of the United States to be able to 
exercise that emergency declaration. It was codified in the 1970s in a 
law that is now the one that brings this forward today, that brings 
forward this resolution of disapproval.
  If you don't like the law that allows the President to declare an 
emergency, change the law. You are the majority. You control the Rules 
Committee. Change the law.
  What is interesting about this is, last night, in the Rules 
Committee, when we considered Mr. Castro's resolution, we didn't 
consider it. We didn't have a single witness. Mr. Castro, I felt like 
sending Capitol Police out to find him. There was no one there to 
testify in favor of his resolution. The Rules Committee seemed 
perfectly agreeable to accepting this without any debate whatsoever.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge Members to vote against this ill-advised motion 
to disallow the President's declaration of an emergency. Allow the 
President to do the job he was elected to do and secure the southern 
  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, political theater, political 
posturing for 2020, that is what we are hearing.
  This is the law. This is the Rules Committee moving forward a piece 
of legislation that will prevent the President from calling a bogus 
national emergency, from stealing money from our troops, from taking 
from those who don't have and those who are giving everything that they 
have to protect our Nation. Political posturing for 2020.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, if we defeat the previous question, I will offer an 
amendment to the rule to bring up the text of H.R. 962, the Born-Alive 
Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my 
amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately 
prior to the vote on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Georgia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, if we pass the resolution, as my friends on 
the other side of the aisle have presented it, we will save not one 
single life. If we defeat the previous question and move on to H.R. 
962, we will, in fact, save lives.
  Mr. Speaker, to speak to that issue, I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. Wagner), my friend and a great leader 
in our conference.
  Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, if we, indeed, defeat the previous question, we will 
allow consideration of H.R. 962, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors 
Protection Act.
  I introduced this legislation because the Constitution clearly states 
that all persons born in this country are entitled to life, liberty, 
and equal protection under the law. The Constitution does not put age 
limits on those who are entitled to life.
  I am horrified, Mr. Speaker, that many in the United States Senate, 
many Democrats, flagrantly violated the United States Constitution last 
night and voted down the Born-Alive Act, embracing, in fact, 
  Pro-abortion politicians used to say life begins at birth. Now it is 
more unclear than ever when they believe that life actually begins or 
whether they even believe that living and breathing human beings should 
be protected under the law.
  I would like to commend three Democrats, in fact--Senators Bob Casey, 
Joe Manchin, and Doug Jones--who defended the basic rights of newborn 
children and voted for my legislation last evening in the United States 
  I introduced this legislation because it is just common sense. I am 
shocked that there are prominent American legislators who believe in 
denying babies lifesaving medical care when they are born.
  As a mother, a grandmother, a legislator, and an advocate who came to 
Congress to serve as a voice for the voiceless, I believe that life 
begins at conception and that it is wrong to kill a child no matter how 
many weeks old he or she may be. But I am grieved to find that I now 
must defend something that I never thought we would have to fight for: 
lifesaving care for babies born alive.

[[Page H2116]]

  In response to radical legislators who are promoting not just late-
term abortions but infanticide, it is essential that we come together 
to protect children.

                              {time}  1300

  So today, I am here to ask--no, Mr. Speaker, I am here to implore--my 
colleagues to right the wrong that the Senate has committed and defeat 
the previous question, and at least allow the debate to support H.R. 
962, the Born-Alive Act here in the people's House.
  Mr. Speaker, this should not be a partisan issue. Congress must never 
stop fighting to ensure that every single newborn baby in the United 
States of America receives lifesaving care, no matter their sex or 
their race or ethnicity or whether or not they are wanted and cuddled 
and wrapped into that first warm hug that they deserve.
  The Born-Alive Act is the simplest vote any of us can take: Do you 
support babies receiving lifesaving care after they are born, or would 
you deny these innocent children that care and allow them to be left to 
die and be discarded?
  This is bipartisan legislation, Mr. Speaker. Last year, six of my 
Democratic colleagues joined me in voting for the Born-Alive Act.
  I hope that we will bring this bill to the floor for debate so that 
many more of my colleagues can go on the record and vote to stand with 
America's mothers and children.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question.
  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lee).
  Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, let me thank the gentlewoman for 
yielding and, also, for her tremendous leadership on the House Rules 
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the rule and 
Congressman Castro's resolution to stop President Trump's fake, so-
called national emergency at the border.
  Let me be clear: This emergency declaration is a blatant attempt to 
subvert the Constitution and get around Congress' sole power of the 
purse. Let me remind you also, that this is a democracy, not a 
dictatorship. We have three branches of government, not one, and 
Congress has the power of the purse strings.
  Also, let's make one thing clear: There is no emergency at the 
border. The only crisis at the border is the humanitarian crisis that 
the President created himself through his hateful family separation 
  And instead of protecting our national security, this President is 
doing just the opposite: He is stealing money from military 
construction projects to try to build an unauthorized wall.
  As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I can tell you that we 
will not allow this President to circumvent our authority at any cost. 
I am proud to cosponsor this resolution to put a strong check on this 
President and terminate his ability to declare this fake national 
  I call on my Republican colleagues and the Senate to vote ``yes'' on 
this rule and ``yes'' on this resolution. It is past time to stand up 
for the Constitution and to stand up for our immigrant communities and 
to stand up for our three branches of government.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President and to refrain from 
wearing communicative badges while under recognition.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole), an appropriator and ranking member 
of the Rules Committee.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Woodall), my good friend, for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Born-Alive Abortion 
Survivors Protection Act. If we defeat the previous question, we will 
bring up the text of this important piece of legislation to defend 
  Frankly, Mr. Speaker, I am mystified as to why the majority is loath 
to actually make this vote. Indeed, they have been doing backflips to 
avoid allowing the House to actually go on record on this important 
  This bill is a commonsense approach to protecting our Nation's most 
vulnerable. It amends the Federal Criminal Code simply to require that 
any doctor present when a child is born alive following an abortion or 
attempted abortion must provide the child with the same degree of care 
as he or she would provide any other child. The bill also requires that 
any such child is immediately admitted to a hospital.
  Mr. Speaker, as we have seen in recent weeks, many people in elected 
positions do not appear to appreciate the need to provide for 
protections for our most vulnerable Americans newly born, but it is 
clear that current law fails to provide adequate protections for 
newborns who survive an abortion attempt. This bill draws a sorely 
needed bright line of protection around abortion survivors and requires 
that they be given the same level of care as any other premature 

  As stewards of the law of this country, Mr. Speaker, protecting the 
most vulnerable, including the unborn, should be one of Congress' basic 
  Since entering Congress, I have made the protection of life one of my 
highest priorities. I believe that all Members should have that same 
priority. Today, we can take a step toward making this a reality by 
defeating the previous question and bringing up the Born-Alive 
Survivors Protection Act for a vote.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge opposition to the previous question.
  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. Cicilline).
  Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding, and 
I rise in strong support of the rule and resolution to rescind the 
President's unnecessary and unconstitutional national emergency 
  Mr. Speaker, having visited the southern border multiple times in the 
past year, including just last month when I met with Customs and Border 
Patrol officials, I can say without any question that there is no 
emergency at the border.
  We as a nation face serious challenges in reforming our immigration 
system and stemming the flow of illegal drugs into our country. 
However, a border wall will do nothing to address these challenges.
  Research consistently shows that the vast majority of illegal drugs 
coming to this country through the border are smuggled through legal 
ports of entry, and most illegal immigration is as a result of people 
overstaying their visas.
  All this declaration will do is divert $6.7 billion away from 
critical military construction projects and drug interdiction 
operations, hampering our Nation's military readiness and making it 
more difficult to address real challenges. These are funds that would 
be better used on projects to improve and build new military family 
housing or make improvements to National Guard and Reserve facilities 
throughout our country.
  Mr. Speaker, we should not be spending a single day wasting time on 
this ridiculous, misguided executive order from the President. There is 
no emergency at the border. Illegal border crossings are at a 40-year 
low. The President's own intelligence community, when they did their 
worldwide threat assessment, testified and didn't mention the southern 
border--and certainly did not identify it as an emergency.
  Instead of wasting time on this, we should be getting back to the 
work of driving down prescription drug prices, focusing on rebuilding 
the infrastructure of our country, and passing H.R. 1 to get government 
working again for the people of this country and not the special 
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to approve the rule, vote for the 
resolution, and end the President's unconstitutional, excessive use of 
power attempting to circumvent the will of the American people.
  The American people decide through their elected Members of Congress 
how their tax money will be spent. The President is attempting to throw 
the Constitution away, circumventing that process, and we cannot permit 
that to happen.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Reed), a member of the class of 2010.

[[Page H2117]]


  Mr. REED. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Woodall) for yielding.
  I rise today, Mr. Speaker, in support of the underlying rule, but 
also in opposition to the action that is being proposed by my 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
  But I will join them in one sentiment: I do believe there is an 
emergency crisis at the border. I do believe that the President, given 
the years and decades of delegation of authority from Congress to the 
President's Office, has the authority to take the action that he is 
taking in regards to this proposed issue at the border.
  But where I agree with my colleagues on the other side is that the 
Presidential authority is something that we need to take into 
consideration and reform going forward.
  It should not be because it is President Trump; it should not be 
because it was President Obama; but each and every time the executive 
branch uses its authority and reaches into areas that go beyond the 
constitutional limits of that office, we should stand together as 
Members of Congress to assert our authority.
  That is why, Mr. Speaker, there is a bipartisan group of us working 
over the last few weeks, and we intend to drop a resolution sometime 
soon, that will amend the National Emergencies Act to make it clear 
that, when there is a national emergency declared in this country, that 
we speak as one nation, one body here in Congress with the President.
  We have to affirmatively take a vote here in Congress, go on record, 
and not hide any longer as Members of Congress. We should be held 
accountable by putting our voting cards in that box to stand before the 
American people.
  When a national emergency is declared by the President, we have to 
vote whether or not, guaranteed vote, to see if that is something we 
agree with the President on. That is a fundamental reform that will 
reestablish Article I of the Constitution.
  And to my colleagues who are up today: Where were you when President 
Obama overreached in his executive office?
  So I ask you to remember those days and stand with us who are looking 
to take on the root cause of this problem and reestablish the 
congressional authority that rightfully is contained under the 
  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Velazquez).

  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the rule and the underlying 
  We should be absolutely clear: There is no crisis at our border. In 
fact, apprehensions of illegal border crossings are at a 40-year low. 
This is a fake emergency being used as a pretext for Donald Trump to 
build a monument to hate on our southern border.
  But this is more than that. This administration's actions would do 
violence to our Constitution, undermine our separation of powers, and 
set a terrible precedent for the future. Every single Member of 
Congress, regardless of party, needs to stand up and make their voice 
  To all my Republican colleagues who so frequently extolled the 
Constitution's virtues, I say to you: Make your voice heard today. Now 
is the chance to show your true colors, to defend Article I, and to 
stand up for Congress' constitutionally vested powers of the purse.
  Vote ``yes'' on the rule; vote ``yes'' on the resolution; stand up 
for the Constitution; and reject this illegal power grab by this 
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, you just heard an impassioned plea from my friends on 
the other side of the aisle about the important constitutional 
questions that are before us today, about how the President's emergency 
declaration violated those sacred constitutional principles.
  Candidly, I don't know if my colleagues are right or not because we 
have not had one legal expert come to talk about the National 
Emergencies Act. Most of us were not in Congress when it passed several 
decades ago, but it is a delegation of authority from Congress to the 

                              {time}  1315

  You just heard my friend from New York come to the well and say, 
listen, we have been working in a bipartisan way to offer a bill to 
rein in those authorities. I think that is important work. I think that 
is work that we ought to all be able to agree on. We should be doing 
that work first.
  I told you earlier, Mr. Speaker, the sum total of all of the time 
this institution has spent working on these important constitutional 
questions is the 1 minute and 6 seconds our Reading Clerk Josef spent 
reading us the resolution today.
  We will vote on this rule today. We will vote on the underlying 
disapproval today, having never had the committees of jurisdiction hold 
even a single hearing.
  Now, lest you think there is just no time in the calendar, this 
resolution is referred to the Transportation Committee on which I sit. 
In fact, I had to leave a Transportation Committee hearing in order to 
come up here to do the rule today.
  We are working on the Green New Deal in the Transportation Committee 
today. We are working on electric vehicles and how to reduce carbon 
emissions across the country. Now, I am not saying that is not 
important work, but I have not heard one of my colleagues talk about 
the dearth of electric vehicles and how that is threatening the future 
of our land.
  I have heard my colleagues talk about this important constitutional 
question that this disapproval brings before us, and, yet, there was 
not one hearing on it.
  Now, lest you think, Mr. Speaker, that if we deal with this today, we 
won't deal with it again. No. We are going to have some hearings on 
this resolution. When? Later in the week after it passes.
  Now, I don't know if that is a pattern that we are going to get into. 
I hope that it is not. Having had no hearings and no witnesses testify 
on this issue, we are going to have an Appropriation Subcommittee 
hearing later this week to talk about exactly these issues, where the 
money is coming from, what the impact of that is, and whether or not it 
is wise.
  We are going to have a hearing later this week in the Judiciary 
Committee talking about the National Emergencies Act, and whether or 
not it permits this kind of activity, and what kind of changes ought to 
be made.
  This resolution will have already been considered. This vote will 
have already been taken, but we will eventually get around to having 
thoughtful conversation about this.
  Mr. Speaker, I close where I began. There is more that unites us as 
Americans than divides us. And even in politics, there is more that 
unites this institution than divides us. Making sure that 1600 
Pennsylvania Avenue only is exercising those authorities delegated to 
it by either the Constitution or this Congress, is a shared value.
  But if you listen to the debate here on the floor, from the Speaker's 
chair, you had to caution our colleagues against engaging in attacks of 
personality against the President. We heard debate, not of thoughtful 
constitutional principles, but of hateful administration policies.
  Mr. Speaker, I will tell my friends, I don't believe those words, 
those actions, or those efforts are going to bring us one bit closer to 
the shared values that we have in this institution.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to reject the rule today and vote 
against the previous question so that we can bring up a bill that will 
save lives. This bill will save not one life; will prevent not one drug 
trafficker from coming into the country; will protect not one migrant 
family. It will do nothing, Mr. Speaker, to solve real problems that 
face this country.
  If we defeat the previous question, we can at least take a 
commonsense step toward doing exactly that. Vote ``no'' on this rule, 
vote ``no'' on the previous question, and let's commit ourselves to 
finding a way to come together.
  If you believe there is more that divides us than unites us, these 
first 45 days of this session have been just perfect for you. But if 
you believe, as I do, that we can do better, let today be the end of 
the partisan attacks. Let today be the end of bringing bills to the 
floor designed to make a point instead of make a difference, and let's 
make tomorrow better.

[[Page H2118]]

  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. TORRES of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of 
my time.
  Mr. Speaker, fact-checking the President is not an attack against the 
President. The facts matter. As a matter of fact, the President himself 
at his press conference said: ``I didn't need to do this, but I'd 
rather do it much faster.''
  What does he mean by that? Last year, Republicans gave him $25 
billion if they read the bill, but I actually brought it to their 
attention on the floor that the bill actually read $75 billion that 
they were allocating for a border wall. The facts didn't matter then 
for one side of the aisle.
  The President himself said it. ``I didn't need to do this, but I'd 
rather do it much faster.'' That is not an emergency. I was a 911 
emergency dispatcher for 17.5 years. I can cite many examples of what 
an emergency is. Building a wall much faster is not an emergency. That 
is political theater. That is political posturing for 2020.
  Where is the President stealing this money from? Certainly, he is not 
getting it from Mexico as he promised. Mexico said ``no.'' The 
President is stealing $2.5 billion that Congress approved to combat 
illegal drug activities around the world.
  I know that my colleagues believe that fighting international drug 
organizations is important. I know this because I traveled with 
Republicans and Democrats to the jungles in South America. We talked 
about eradication of narcotrafficking.
  What about the $3.6 billion that the President is stealing from 
military construction? A study earlier this year found that 16 percent 
of military families had a positive view of their base housing. That 
means 55 percent had a negative one.
  Many families reported unsafe conditions, including lead-based paint, 
rampant mold, exposed asbestos, faulty electrical wiring, vermin 
infestations, and gas leaks. Is that not an emergency? Is that not 
worthy of the bipartisan vote that we took to allocate that money so 
that they can make those fixes?
  I know my Republican colleagues support military families. I know 
that because I have traveled with them to Afghanistan. I have traveled 
with them to other countries. I know that this is wrong. This so-called 
national emergency is wrong, and I know my colleagues know that this is 
wrong too. This is undemocratic. This puts us at the cusp of a 
constitutional crisis.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the previous question 
and the rule.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of our Constitution and in 
defense of our republic and urge all members to join me in voting for 
H.J. Res. 46, which terminates the phony declaration of emergency 
issued by the President on February 15, 2019.
  The reason this resolution is before us today is because of the 
petulant intransigence of a single person, the current President of the 
United States.
  As a senior member of the Committee on the Judiciary and the 
Committee on Homeland Security, I have visited the southern border on 
numerous occasions in recent weeks and months and can state confidently 
that there is no national emergency or national security crisis that 
justifies the President's reckless and unconstitutional decision or 
compels the Congress to abdicate its responsibilities under Article I 
to check and balance the Executive Branch.
  The President is only pursuing this tactic of declaring a national 
emergency after realizing that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was absolutely 
correct when she informed him that he did not have the support in 
Congress to require the taxpayers to pay for his broken promise that 
``Mexico would pay for the wall, 100 percent!''
  In fact, according to the latest Marist Poll, the most recent polling 
data available, Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the President's 
national emergency declaration by a 61 percent-36 percent margin.
  The President's decision is opposed by both men and women in every 
region of the country, by every income group and education category.
  National security experts across the political spectrum are unanimous 
in their assessment that the situation on the southern border does not 
constitute a national emergency, an assessment echoed by leading former 
Republican senators and Members of Congress.
  They understand that after failing to convince the American people or 
Congress to pay for his ineffective, wasteful, and immoral multibillion 
dollar concrete wall, the President has now embarked on a course of 
conduct that is deeply corrosive of the constitutional system of checks 
and balances wisely established by the Framers and which has served 
this nation and the world so well for nearly 250 years.
  Having failed miserably to achieve his objective in the 
constitutional legislative process, the President is trying a desperate 
11th hour end-run around Congress with an unlawful emergency 
declaration that contravenes the will of the American people and 
negates the awesome power of the purse vested exclusively in the 
Congress of the United States.
  The Congress will not tolerate this.
  Despite being repeatedly admonished and in the face of overwhelming 
evidence to the contrary, the President continues to propagate false 
information regarding the state of our southern border.
  Mr. Speaker, these are the facts.
  Net migration from Mexico is now zero or slightly below (more people 
leaving than coming) because of a growing Mexican economy, an aging 
population and dropping fertility rates that have led to a dramatic 
decrease in unauthorized migration from Mexico.
  Migrant apprehensions continue to be near an all-time low with only a 
slight increase from 2017.
  The combined 521,090 apprehensions for Border Patrol and Customs 
agents in fiscal year 2018 were 32,288 apprehensions fewer than the 
553,378 apprehensions in 2016.
  To put this in perspective, on average, each of the 19,437 Border 
Patrol agents nationwide apprehended a total of only 19 migrants in 
2018, which amounts to fewer than 2 apprehensions per month.
  In the last few years, an increased proportion of apprehensions are 
parents seeking to protect their children from the violence and extreme 
poverty in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
  But even with more Central Americans arriving to our southern border 
seeking protection, total apprehension rates are still at their lowest 
since the 1970s.
  The absence of a massive wall on the southern border will not solve 
the drug smuggling problem because, as all law enforcement experts 
agree, the major source of drugs coming into the United States are 
smuggled through legal ports of entry.
  The southern border region is home to about 15 million people living 
in border counties in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
  These communities, which include cities such as San Diego, Douglas, 
Las Cruces, and El Paso, are among the safest in the country.
  Congress has devoted more U.S. taxpayer dollars to immigration 
enforcement agencies (more than $21 billion now) than all other 
enforcement agencies combined, including the FBI, DEA, ATF, US 
Marshals, and Secret Service.
  The bulk of this money goes to U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP), with a budget of $14.4 billion in fiscal year 2018 and more than 
59,000 personnel.
  CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, and more 
than 85 percent of the agency's Border Patrol agents (i.e., 16,605 of 
19,437) are concentrated on the southern border.
  Expanded deployment of the military to the border to include active-
duty troops could cost between $200 and $300 million in addition to the 
estimated $182 million for the earlier deployment by the President of 
National Guard to the border.
  Mr. Speaker, having been soundly defeated legislatively by Congress, 
a co-equal branch of government, the President wants to finance border 
wall vanity project by diverting funds that the Congress has 
appropriated for disaster recovery and military construction.
  The funds the President wants to steal were appropriated by Congress 
to help Americans devastated by natural disasters, like Hurricanes 
Harvey, Irma and Maria, or for other purposes like military 
  Congress did not, has not, and will not, approve of any diversion of 
these funds to construct a border wall that the President repeatedly 
and derisively boasted that Mexico would pay for.
  In fact, the President has admitted he ``didn't have to do this,'' 
but has opted to do so because ``I want to see it built faster.''
  Mr. Speaker, just yesterday a bipartisan group of nearly 60 national 
security officials including former secretaries of state, defense 
secretaries, CIA directors, and ambassadors to the UN issued a 
statement declaring that ``there is no factual basis'' justifying the 
President's emergency declaration.
  Instead of protecting our national security, the President's 
declaration makes America less safe.
  The President is stealing billions from high-priority military 
construction projects that ensure our troops have the essential 
training, readiness and quality of life necessary to keep the American 
people safe, directly undermining America's national security.
  The President's declaration clearly violates the Congress's exclusive 
power of the purse,

[[Page H2119]]

and, if unchecked, would fundamentally alter the balance of powers, 
violating our Founders' vision for America.
  Opposing the President's reckless and anti-American decision 
transcends partisan politics and partisanship; it is about patriotism, 
constitutional fidelity, and putting country first.
  That is why nearly two dozen distinguished former Republican Members 
of Congress are urging Republicans in Congress to vote for H.J.R. 46 
and uphold ``the authority of the first branch of government to resist 
efforts to surrender'' our constitutional powers to an overreaching 
  To quote Thomas Paine's Common Sense: ``In absolute governments, the 
King is law; so in free countries, the law ought to be King.''
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all members to uphold the rule of law and the 
Constitution, and reject the President's power grab; I urge a 
resounding YES vote on H.J. Res. 46.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Woodall is as follows:

       At the end of the resolution, add the following:
       Sec. 3. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution, the 
     House shall proceed to the consideration in the House of the 
     bill (H.R. 962) to amend title 18, United States Code, to 
     prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise 
     the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives 
     an abortion or attempted abortion. All points of order 
     against consideration of the bill are waived. The bill shall 
     be considered as read. All points of order against provisions 
     in the bill are waived. The previous question shall be 
     considered as ordered on the bill and on any amendment 
     thereto to final passage without intervening motion except: 
     (1) one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the 
     chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on the 
     Judiciary; and (2) one motion to recommit.
       Sec. 4. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 962.

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