LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 6
(House of Representatives - January 10, 2020)

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                          LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM

  (Mr. SCALISE asked and was given permission to address the House for 
1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I rise for the purpose of inquiring of the 
majority leader the schedule for the week to come, and I yield to the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer).
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the House will meet at noon for morning-hour 
debate and 2 p.m. for legislative business, with votes postponed until 
6:30 p.m.
  On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will meet at 10 a.m. for morning-
hour debate and noon for legislative business.
  On Thursday, the House will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business, 
with last votes of the week expected no later than 3 p.m.
  We will consider several bills under suspension of the rules. The 
complete list of suspensions will be announced by the close of business 
  The House will consider H.R. 1230, the Protect Older Workers Against 
Discrimination Act. This bill ensures that victims of age 
discrimination in the workplace can enforce their rights so that older 
Americans are able to strengthen our economy by continuing to 
contribute their talents to the workforce, a proposition that I 
personally believe is very important.
  In addition, the House will consider H.J. Res. 76, a Congressional 
Review Act resolution of disapproval of the Department of Education's 
borrower defense to repayment rule that leaves student loan borrowers 
who were defrauded by their educational institutions with little or no 
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the majority leader going

[[Page H165]]

through those bills. There were a few bills that the Speaker had 
referenced earlier this week that would also be considered. 
Congresswoman Lee's resolution to repeal the 2002 AUMF, and there was 
also some legislation by Congressman Khanna that would eliminate the 
ability for the administration to use certain funds related to Iran.
  I wanted to ask if those two bills were going to be part of that 
package for next week, and I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HOYER. That is a possibility, but they have not yet been 
  Mr. SCALISE. As it relates to the War Powers Act, obviously, we had a 
heated debate on the floor yesterday.
  We have had a robust debate for years in this House on whether or not 
to modify and make changes to the 2002 AUMF. It has been a constant 
  There has been a lack of an ability to form consensus, clearly, on 
both sides. I know the gentleman is aware there are a number of Members 
on our side who have brought up this issue before, as well as Members 
on your side.
  Yesterday, we were literally in the middle of a crisis. We had just 
taken out one of the worst and most brutal terrorists that we have 
seen, in Soleimani. I haven't seen a lot of disagreement that he was a 
brutal terrorist. The Obama administration designated him as the head 
of a terrorist organization, and he was in violation of international 
law that prohibited him from being in Iraq.
  In the time of crisis, instead of having a conversation separate from 
that on actual changes to the AUMF, if that is where my friend's 
majority would like to go--clearly, again, on our side, there were 
people who were interested in having that debate. It was disappointing 
that, instead, we went into what turned out to be more of an effort to 
take a cheap shot at the administration by bringing a resolution that 
had absolutely no effect of law.
  If the AUMF is going to be changed, it has to be an act of Congress. 
I know the gentleman is aware of that. On our side, we are aware of 
that, too. Instead of trying to engage in that kind of conversation, 
debate, and negotiation, it was just a resolution that everyone 
recognizes would not have made any changes to the AUMF.
  Why, during this time that we are in right now, was that the path to 
go, as opposed to trying to have a sincere debate on whether or not 
real changes to the AUMF should take place?
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his question.
  As to the issue of authorizations of military force consistent with 
the War Powers Act and consistent with the Constitution of the United 
States, which sets forth clearly that it is the Congress and only the 
Congress that can declare war, we believed and still believe it was 
necessary to move as quickly as possible to clarify that the 
expectation of the Congress of the United States is that it would be 
included in any conversation, discussion, and debate with reference to 
whether or not we ought to take an act of war.
  Without getting into the complexities, I would call your attention to 
an extraordinarily good article that was in today's paper by Jim Webb, 
the former Secretary of the Navy and a Navy Cross awardee who fought in 
Vietnam and who served in the United States Senate, with reference to 
whether or not legally the action that was taken by the President was 

                              {time}  1130

  Let me say something, Mr. Speaker. I would hope this debate--and I 
said this yesterday during the course of the debate--would not descend 
into demagoguery.
  I was very disappointed with a remark that was made by one of the 
Republican Members of this House when he said, they are ``in love with 
terrorists,'' referring to the Democrats, presumably, who were 
proponents of assuring that the War Powers Act would be honored by the 
President and with the constitutional requirement that we are the ones, 
and only ones, who declare war. Not one of us loves terrorists.
  He went on to say: ``We see that they mourn Soleimani more than they 
mourn our Gold Star families.''
  Now, that is interesting from, frankly, a member of a party whose 
President criticized very, very sharply and directly a Gold Star 
family, the Khans. It is ironic coming from a party whose President--
our President, but of the Republican Party--said he didn't respect John 
McCain, one of America's great war heroes, who showed such courage.
  So my point to the gentleman is that I would hope--Proverbs 19:5 says 
this: ``A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies 
will not escape.''
  I would hope the gentleman that uttered these comments would 
apologize to every Member of this side of the aisle. The gentleman 
correctly, just now, I thought, made a very calm and correct statement 
with respect to that we ought to have a substantive debate.
  I have criticized this Congress, others have criticized this 
Congress, from both sides of the aisle, for not, over the last 30 
years, passing Authorizations for Use of Military Force. The last one 
we did, of course, was in 2001 and 2002.
  The gentleman asked whether those bills may come to the floor. We 
voted on them, as you know, previously. Those amendments passed. They 
were in the National Defense Authorization Act to directly address the 
issue of authorization of military forces and the expenditures of funds 
in military action. Nobody laments the loss of Mr. Soleimani, who did, 
in fact, not only plan, but execute and fund terrorist actions that 
resulted in the loss of American life.
  Having said that does not absolve us from the responsibility for 
policies which are akin to or are acts of war. Without going further 
into that, let me refer to what we did yesterday, and let me read from 
this War Powers Act, Mr. Speaker.
  Congressional Action, paragraph (c): ``Concurrent resolution for 
removal by President of United States Armed Forces.
  ``Notwithstanding subsection (b), at any time that United States 
Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United 
States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of war or 
specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the 
President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution.''
  That is what we passed yesterday. Many Republicans, Mr. Speaker, 
said, well, this is an act that has no consequence. I would hope that 
none of us believes that the expression of opinion by the Congress of 
the United States by majority vote in each House has no consequence. If 
that is the case, we are in a bad time in our democracy.
  So, what we did yesterday was consistent with section (c) of section 
1544 regarding congressional action, and it is exactly what we did 
  It will go to the Senate. It will have, as we understand from the 
Parliamentarians in the Senate, privileged status, meaning that the 
Senate will have to consider that, and also meaning that it can be 
passed or defeated by a majority vote.
  This is a serious time. Taking the kind of military action we took 
was a serious step. Many of us were not very pleased with the lack of 
substantive information that we received at the briefing this week. 
Obviously, many Members of the United States Senate were not pleased as 
  So I would say to my friend, Mr. Speaker, it is important that this 
body, confronted with one of its most important and serious and 
consequential decisions--that is, the declaration of war and military 
action against another nation--that it be debated seriously without 
pejoratives being projected at either side, without invective similar 
to the one that I just read, and without the aspersions that somehow, 
if you believe the Constitution of the United States requires the 
Congress to act before we can take actions of war, that somehow that 
implies that you are in bed with or temporizing about or favorable to 
those who commit terror.
  That is a McCarthy tactic. It is highly offense. And, if said on this 
floor, would be subject to the words being taken down and the Member 
not being allowed to speak again on this floor during that day.
  Mr. Speaker, let me, in closing on this response, simply say to the 
Republican whip that I agree with his premise that we ought to have a 
careful, adult, substantive discussion about policies that may plunge 
this Nation into war. That is our duty. That is what our citizens 
expect of us.

[[Page H166]]

  I think we had that yesterday. Strike that. I think in some instances 
we had a serious discussion, but in some instances there was too much 
invective that we were giving aid and comfort to terrorists.
  That is a slippery slope if we cannot discuss what posture the United 
States ought to be in and exercise our constitutional duties to decide 
whether this Nation ought to go to war with a foreign country, with 
another nation. Hopefully, we can have that in the future, because it 
is one of the most consequential debates that this body ever has.
  Mr. Speaker, I will tell the gentleman, again, that we may be taking 
up additional legislation consistent with the War Powers Act. I believe 
the Senate, hopefully, will, next week or--at the latest, I think they 
have 15 days or 10 days to consider it and put it on the Senate floor 
for a vote so that we can transmit to the President of the United 
States Congress' view on how carefully we ought to approach these 

  Very frankly--I will say, sadly--there is much sentiment on this side 
of the aisle that the Commander in Chief does not address these issues 
carefully and thoughtfully and in concert with his advisers and the 
advisers in the Congress of the United States. We had no consultation. 
We didn't even have a notice, much less consultation of this action.
  No one, I would close with, laments the loss of a life who has 
sponsored, funded, and advocated terrorism. But this is not about him. 
It is about us. It is about our Constitution. It is about our 
responsibility. It is about how these decisions ought to be made.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, to start with, the comment that the 
gentleman referenced on the floor yesterday, I will read from a 
statement from the gentleman who made that comment yesterday: ``Let me 
be clear: I do not believe Democrats are in love with terrorists, and I 
apologize for what I said earlier this week.''
  So the gentleman has apologized for that statement.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that, and I thank the gentleman 
for calling that to my attention.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I point that out and that that not be used 
for any kind of justification for the other disagreements and issues 
and concerns we had with what happened on the floor yesterday.
  Frankly, there were statements made on the gentleman's side as well 
that I think ought to be addressed, apologized for.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman would call my attention to 
those statements and the speakers of those, I would be happy to oblige 
and talk to them.
  I really do believe, Mr. Speaker, this issue should be handled in the 
most responsible and respectful way possible, because it is one of the 
most serious, if not the most serious, issues with which we will deal. 
And we ought to deal with one another based upon the intellectual 
arguments, the constitutional premises, and the law, not on 
personalities or assertions of malintent.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman.
  First of all, to start with, it is the President's not just 
authority, but it is the President's responsibility under the 
Constitution as our Commander in Chief to keep this country safe. 
President Trump has made it very clear that he is going to protect this 
country from terrorists or people who want to do us harm domestically 
or abroad.
  In the case of Soleimani, there was a redline issued a long time ago.
  I know, in the past, previous administrations have issued redlines 
and then let those lines be blown through without taking any action, 
and I would argue that makes our country less safe when people don't 
think we are going to back up our words with actions as not just the 
greatest military force in the world, but the greatest defender of 
freedom throughout the world, anyone who seeks freedom, including 
people in Iran who seek freedom today from this oppressive regime.
  They have one place they can look to, and that is the United States 
of America. That is what makes us such a great nation is that we don't 
shed our blood to conquer more land; we shed our blood to keep people 
safe, not just here in America, but to provide freedom all around the 
world to anyone who seeks it.
  The fact that President Trump maintained a redline that was crossed 
is something we all should applaud.
  And I would say this. You can go back to when President Obama was in 
office and Osama bin Laden had been the number one target of this 
country since the September 11 attacks, and President Obama made the 
decision. It was his call to take out bin Laden when they thought--they 
weren't positive, but they thought--they might have a real intelligence 
understanding of where he was. And the President made that call.
  We had a lot of disagreements with President Obama during that time 
on policy, but we applauded that decision. We united behind that 
decision because it was the right thing to do to take out a terrorist 
who had been a major threat to our country.
  By the same token, I understand that your side has a lot of 
differences with the President. I just wish in a time like that, when 
everyone acknowledges how brutal a terrorist he was and he crossed a 
redline--he was in Iraq plotting to kill more Americans. We don't have 
to wonder if he was going to do it, because he has a decades-long 
history of killing Americans. The blood of hundreds of our men and 
women in uniform were on his hands, and no one disputes it.
  And so he is taken out by a call that I think is the right call by 
our President to take him out in Iraq, which the 2002 AUMF gives him 
the authority to do, the Constitution gives him the authority do.
  Again, if there are some that didn't want the President to have that 
legal authority, that debate should happen here under the guise of 
changing the law, but the law gives the President that authority. 
Congress gave that authority to the President in 2002. I wasn't here. I 
know the gentleman was. It was heavily debated.

                              {time}  1145

  But ultimately, that law was passed, and that law is still on the 
books today. If there is a desire to change the law, that debate should 
happen, not through a resolution in the middle of this conflict, where 
missiles are being fired back and forth, but where we can actually talk 
about changing the law in a responsible way that focuses on the longer-
term objective; not just to try to undermine the President in the 
middle of him acting out his duties as Commander in Chief under the 
Constitution and under all legal authority.
  There are Obama administration officials, multiple Obama 
administration officials who, just in the last few days, very publicly 
said that President Trump had the full legal authority to take the 
action he did.
  Now, we can debate whether or not you think he should have done it. I 
think he should have. I am glad that Soleimani is no longer on this 
planet plotting to kill more Americans, which is what he was doing 
illegally in Iraq. And that, ultimately, is something that we can 
  But a lot of us felt it was inappropriate to be bringing a 
resolution, not to change the War Powers Act, not to have this serious 
discussion about whether or not the 2002 AUMF should still be in place 
as it was; but to just take a cheap political shot at the President in 
the middle of this.
  There was a Presidential candidate just yesterday, Democrat 
Presidential Candidate, a major candidate for President, who said 
innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle 
of an unnecessary and unwarranted military tit-for-tat.
  So, in essence, equating the killing of one of the most brutal 
terrorists, who killed hundreds of Americans, and plotting to kill 
more, equating that to Iran shooting down an airplane and another 176 
people dead because of Iran's actions, the two of those are not on the 
same level.
  Those kinds of comments are unnecessary as well. I am not sure what 
is unwarranted about taking out Soleimani, if that is what he is 
suggesting, and others have suggested it too.
  So, again, we can have that disagreement. But the legislation was not 
only untimely, but it wouldn't even achieve the purpose that many on 
both sides of the aisle would like to see, and that is a real 
discussion about whether the War Powers Act operates properly.

[[Page H167]]

  Frankly, there are many scholars who suggest the War Powers Act may 
be unconstitutional. We have never challenged it in the courts. On a 
number of fronts there were times when President Obama took action, 
many times, using drone strikes, using other attacks, where he never 
notified us.
  I surely wasn't notified in advance of the Bin Laden killing. I am 
not sure if the gentleman from Maryland was notified by President Obama 
in advance of the Bin Laden killing, and I am okay with that. I don't 
think the President needed to get permission. He notified us 
afterwards, which is what the law requires, by the way. The law does 
require notification after.
  I think it would be irresponsible to require the President to notify 
Congress prior to the taking out of a terrorist every time they are 
trying to take out a terrorist.
  Again, President Obama used that authority multiple times to take out 
terrorists without prior notification of Congress, but clearly meeting 
other legal requirements along the way. If those legal requirements 
should be changed, let's have that debate.
  I haven't seen that legislation come forward. Maybe the gentleman is 
going to bring the legislation to the floor next week that would repeal 
the AUMF. I think that would be an unwise move to do, but let's have 
that debate, if that is where the majority wants to go. But yesterday 
wasn't that debate because it wasn't a change of law.
  A 1983 U.S. Supreme Court decision made it clear that measures do not 
have the force of law unless they are formally presented to the 
President; and we all know that that, even if it were to pass the 
Senate, which I doubt highly it would, it doesn't go to the President. 
It doesn't change the law.
  So typically, when we have conflicts like this, Congress comes 
together behind our Commander in Chief to stand up for America against 
terrorists. A lot of us felt that that wasn't the case yesterday, it 
was disappointing.
  Again, the gentleman from Georgia made his comments apologizing for 
that comment he made, but in the broader context of what happened 
yesterday, it was just disappointing that, instead of having a sincere 
debate about whether the 2002 AUMF should stay in place as is or be 
changed, which is a longer negotiation; that resolution just took a 
swipe at the President and tried to limit his ability. I mean, 
literally language that says directing the President to do certain 
things is disingenuous when the resolution doesn't have the effect of 
  You can't direct the President to do something. You can't call him on 
the phone and say I direct you to do something. You could pass a law to 
direct him to do something, but that is not what happened yesterday, 
and that is the point and the concern.
  Again, as the gentleman knows, there is strong interest on both sides 
to revisit, maybe to keep it in place. But the 2002 AUMF has been a 
topic of conversation for a long time and will continue to be one.
  But if there is going to be a sincere effort to change it and a 
desire to change it, then it ought to happen through the proper course 
of legislation, and that wasn't what happened yesterday.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his comments.
  Simply to focus on the Record and to make clear the Record, the 2002 
Authorization for Use of Military Force to which the gentleman refers 
authorizes the use of force: One, to defend against Iraq, not Iran; and 
two, to enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding 
  For counsel or the administration to argue that the 2002 
Authorization for Use of Military Force authorized the action that was 
taken, I think, is incorrect. That is what they do argue. It hasn't 
been resolved by a court, but I believe, and I think many on my side of 
the aisle and, frankly, I think many scholars around the country have 
opined, that the 2002 authorization did not authorize that particular 
  Again, no one laments the loss of Soleimani. Everybody agrees that he 
sponsored, paid for and ordered committed acts of terrorism. And we 
will continue to believe that the Congress needs to speak.
  Whether or not a court would hold that the section that I just read 
with reference to the President would have to take action in the event 
that the Senate and the House adopt the concurrent resolution that we 
passed yesterday, and that is now at the Senate and under the War 
Powers Act will have to be considered by the Senate, and will be 
subject to a majority vote, not a 60-vote threshold for passage.
  I would hope that if Congress did that, that the President would 
certainly take that into consideration and consult with the Congress on 
any further action that he might take; unless, of course, and as the 
War Powers Act authorizes, the President can and should, and the 
military can and should take any actions necessary to defend itself in 
the face of imminent threat and/or actual threat.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, finally, to talk about where we are on the 
impeachment resolution that was passed last year, at the end of last 
year by the House. Ultimately, it is typically an administrative duty 
to send papers over to the Senate if legislation passes, obviously 
impeachment managers would then need to be named.
  There is breaking news that the Speaker is announcing that she has 
asked Chairman Nadler to be prepared to bring impeachment managers to 
the floor next week. I am not sure if that is ongoing, or if that is 
something that had already been in the works.
  But does the gentleman expect that legislation to come to the floor 
next week? And does that mean that the papers either have been 
transmitted to the Senate or would be transmitted to the Senate within 
the next few days?
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, in answer to the gentleman's question, the 
expectation is that we will have, consistent with the letter just sent 
to all of our Members, and instructions to Mr. Nadler, or suggestions 
to Mr. Nadler, we do expect there to be legislation on the floor next 
week with reference to what we call supplemental legislation for the 
appointment of managers, the funding of the effort. And we expect the 
papers will be sent sometime soon.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, of course we have been seeing a chorus of 
Democrat Senators in the recent days expressing concern that the papers 
should be sent over. Obviously, on our side, we felt that there was no 
case, there was no crime, and it was clear I think in so many areas of 
  But ultimately, if the House passes legislation, any legislation, 
whether the Speaker voted for it or against it, it is not some power of 
the Speaker, exclusively and dictatorially, to hold onto that if the 
Speaker doesn't want to send it to the Senate. Ultimately, for the 
ability to function as a legislative body, if the House passes 
legislation, it goes to the Senate so that the Senate can take it up 
and do whatever they are going to do with it.
  But this idea that one person out of 435 can make a decision that 
even if the House passes legislation and the motion to reconsider is 
tabled, then it goes to the Senate.
  Hopefully, that is resolved by next week and that charade ends, and 
we finally get true justice where it is disposed of, which I think 
everybody acknowledges that will happen once it goes over to the 
  But let us get back to the business of doing the people's work. And 
hopefully, we can then get to some of the broader bipartisan 
legislation that has been in the works for a long time to address real 
issues like lowering drug prices, like securing our border, like so 
many other things that Republicans and Democrats actually in the middle 
of all of this are working on together to try to accomplish.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  As the gentleman knows, of course, we have 275 bipartisan bills which 
have been sent from the House to the Senate involving very, very 
serious issues, dealing with the environment, dealing with wages, and 
dealing with jobs, dealing with making our communities safer, dealing 
with violence against women, dealing with equal pay for equal work, 
which was something that John Kennedy signed in 1963, but is, today, 
not a reality, unfortunately. So there are many issues I could name. 
Obviously, a lot more, because there

[[Page H168]]

are 275 and we sent over 400 bills to the Senate and they sit untended.
  Why? Because the Senate has been confirming judges.
  Why? So they can put in judges that agree with their positions. That 
is the irony of a party that was so intent, in my political life, in 
making sure that judges acted only on the law. What philosophical 
imprimatur has to be given to judicial appointments nowadays? And by a 
majority leader who refused a President of the United States who 
submitted a nominee, Mr. Garland, for 11 months.
  It is inconceivable to me that any Founding Father thought, for 11 
months--now, it has a been a few days since we passed impeachment that 
we have sent those papers up.
  For 11 months, a President of the United States, pursuant to his 
constitutional authority and responsibility, sent a nominee to the 
United States Senate; 11 months before the election. And the majority 
leader said, tough. We are not going to consider it. We are not going 
to allow the committee to consider it. We are not going to allow it to 
be reported out to the floor and there is going to be no vote on it.

  So, yes, there has been some delay, because in that context and in 
the context of the majority leader working hand-in-glove with the 
defendant, or the respondent, however you want to call it, in a civil 
case, criminal case, hand-in-glove.
  By his own admission he was not going to do anything that the 
President didn't want him to do. It is like the prosecutor saying--or 
the juror saying, I am not going to do anything that the defendant 
doesn't want me to do.
  So, yes, we have been very concerned, and are concerned to this day. 
An honest trial--and that is what is the responsibility of the United 
States Senate. An honest trial tries to elicit from both sides all of 
the relevant evidence.
  We are concerned that it appears that the Senate, certainly at this 
juncture has made no decision to receive all the relevant evidence. We 
think that is inconsistent with their responsibilities under the Senate 
rules and to the American people. We lament that fact and we have been 
trying to get from the Senate what are the rules?
  Mr. Speaker, the other side talked a lot about process, about how 
they needed to have this avenue, that avenue, and the other. That is 
all we were asking because this is the trial, not the time when you 
have, essentially, a grand jury deciding whether or not there is 
probable cause that the President of the United States has abused his 

                              {time}  1200

  That is especially what our role is, as an analogy to a criminal 
case. But there was no expression from the Senate that a normal process 
to determine the truth of the allegation was going to be pursued in the 
United States Senate.
  The Speaker simply wanted to have that assurance. We have not gotten 
it. The American people have not gotten it.
  What has happened since we passed that resolution? A number of people 
have come forward. Mr. Bolton, in particular, said that he will 
testify. Other people have been identified as having relevant, 
pertinent, firsthand knowledge, not hearsay, firsthand knowledge of the 
allegations that are included in the Articles of Impeachment I and II.
  I am hopeful that, in fact, the Senate, both Republicans and 
Democrats, will come to an agreement that all the fact witnesses will 
raise their hand to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
  The Senate is going to raise their hand under Senate rules and say 
they swear to be impartial in consideration of the evidence, yet they 
will not allow the evidence, apparently, at this point in time at 
least, to be elucidated. I am hopeful that changes.
  I expect, as I said earlier, Mr. Speaker, to the Republican whip, 
that those papers will be transferred in the near term. I don't know 
specifically when but in the near term to the Senate.
  I am hopeful the American people will get what they deserve from the 
United States Senate serving as essentially jurors and will be sworn in 
as such by the Chief Justice, not by the Vice President presiding over 
the Senate but the Chief Justice presiding over a quasi-legal, quasi-
political process.
  I will tell my friend that a letter has been sent. I do expect 
legislation to be considered next week, which is necessary to proceed 
with the process. I hope the process proceeds, Mr. Speaker, in a 
judicial, fair way that allows all the evidence on both sides, from the 
President's side and the House's side, which will carry the argument 
justifying the Articles of Impeachment and the finding of fact that 
those articles are, in fact, worthy of having the President of the 
United States removed for abuse of power.
  That is the issue. It ought to be argued fairly on both sides, and 
the evidence ought to be adduced on both sides.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the gentleman talks 
about fairness in the trial. It is quite rich of the Speaker to call 
for fairness in the Senate when she denied fairness in the House.
  You can look at House rules that require the minority gets a day of 
hearings on impeachment, and that rule was thrown out the window.
  The gentleman said an honest trial tries to elicit all the evidence. 
Of course, we had multiple witnesses we wanted to bring forward that 
were denied. Clearly, all the evidence didn't get out.
  I guess, by definition, it was not an honest trial in the House. I am 
confident they will have an honest and fair trial in the Senate. In 
fact, there are negotiations to make sure it will be fair.
  By the way, I want to make this point because when the impeachment 
proceedings were moving forward with President Nixon, it was a 
Democratic Congress that negotiated with the Nixon administration, with 
the Nixon White House, to determine a fair set of rules, and the House 
adopted those rules. That was a Democratic conference.
  Then, fast forward to the Clinton impeachment where you had a 
Democratic President and a Republican House. The House negotiated with 
the White House to come up with fair rules. Ultimately, they adopted 
the Nixon standard because everybody agreed that was a fair process.
  Whether or not you like the outcome is one thing, but it was a fair 
process. That never happened here. This House didn't make an effort to 
try to negotiate a fair set of rules with us in the minority or with 
the White House.
  Again, House rules actually require a minority day of hearings, and 
that was broken and not allowed. We didn't get that minority day of 
hearings. We requested it multiple times to try to get some fairness to 
elicit facts from all sides, but we weren't given that opportunity.
  The Senate now has a case that was sent over to them. By a lot of 
estimates, it is an inadequate case, and it is a weak case. I think the 
majority must acknowledge that, which is why they are holding the 
papers and hoping for more things, which is what this was all about 
  It seems like every week we would hear more rumors that, next week, 
the big witness is going to come out and everything is going to be 
exposed, and then that witness would testify under oath that, no, they 
didn't see a crime. But don't worry, next week, there is going to be 
another one.
  This will go on forever. It is like a Groundhog Day of impeachment. 
At some point, I would hope the majority says enough is enough, that 
they will actually let the people of this country decide, which they 
will. It is going to be the people of the country that decide the 
President at the end of this year in the election.
  This President, obviously, has a very strong case to make with what 
he has done to get this economy back on track, to rebuild this 
military, to protect America, to secure our border, and all the other 
things that he will have a case to make to the people.
  Of course, the gentleman is going to have a nominee who is going to 
make their case, however far left that case will be. We will see 
through the primaries. But the people will, ultimately, make that 
  Our job should be to focus on doing the work of the American people, 
and hopefully, that happens. The Senate is going to have their 
opportunity. I am confident they are going to have a fair

[[Page H169]]

trial. I wish that would have been the case here in the House.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

  First of all, the Constitution does not provide for a trial in the 
House of Representatives, period.
  However, Mr. Speaker, the minority continues to make the analogy of 
what is done in the House: impeachment, analogous to an indictment, 
making a charge and determining that there is probable cause.
  Secondly, in the Nixon administration, there was a Democratic 
Congress, and there was discussion back and forth. Guess what? The 
President's witnesses came forward.
  What happened in this case? The President said nobody can testify to 
the Congress. I believe that was obstruction of justice, but that is 
for the Senate to decide--certainly, obstruction of the Congress.
  In the Clinton administration, the same thing happened. Witnesses 
came forward, including, I believe, the Chief of Staff of the White 
House. So it was a very different situation.
  In addition, in both the Nixon and Clinton administrations, the 
minority shoves aside the fact that there were special prosecutors that 
had depositions of all the witnesses and were available in the United 
States Senate at the time of the trial. So the Senate had full 
  Thirdly, the gentleman does not either remember or assert, Mr. 
Speaker, that the Judiciary Committee said to the White House counsel 
that you can participate. There is time for you to come down. There is 
time for you to call witnesses. There is time for you to make your 
case. Mr. Cipollone, the White House counsel, notified the committee 
they were not interested. Why were they not interested? Because, in my 
opinion, their expectation is they were going to go to the Senate and 
have the case dismissed without any evidence being adduced.
  Mr. Speaker, I think that is unfortunate, but those are the facts. 
That is what happened. If you make a further analogy of the grand jury, 
the defendant plays no role in the grand jury, none, zero, zip, no 
counsel, no witnesses in the room. The jury decides if there is 
probable cause to believe that X committed an offense worthy of going 
forward. That is what happens. There is no participation.
  There was participation here. The President had opportunities here. 
All the Republicans participated and could cross-examine the witnesses 
that did, in fact, come forward in the Judiciary Committee, Oversight 
and Reform Committee, Intel Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, and 
Financial Services Committee.
  I would hope that would happen in the Senate. If you want to know the 
truth, Mr. Speaker, that is what ought to happen.
  If it is just presenting information that is not relevant in this 
trial, i.e., ``I did a good job on the economy. I did a good job on 
foreign policy. I did a good job on protecting our borders.'' That is 
the President's argument in a political sense. I understand that. But 
that is not legally relevant information as to whether or not he abused 
his power in particular in the phone call with the Ukrainians in which 
he withheld money appropriated by the Congress of the United States to 
help protect an ally, Ukraine, against incursion by Mr. Putin. I am 
sure Mr. Putin was very pleased that that money did not go to President 
Zelensky and the Ukrainian forces.
  We think that was an abuse of power. My friend the Republican whip 
thinks it was not. I get that. That is what makes the world go around, 
differences of opinion.
  It is now in the Senate. That is where a trial is provided for in the 
Congress. That is where witnesses should be provided. That is where 
both sides ought to be able to make their arguments before the jury, 
the United States Senate. Then and only then should the United States 
Senate make a determination whether or not the allegations had merit 
and warrant the consequences.
  I tell my friend, when you make these analogies of what happened here 
in the House, it is done. The whip may think it is bad, Mr. Speaker. 
The whip may think it wasn't done correctly. But the proof in the 
pudding will be: Is he urging the Senate to do what everybody in 
America thinks of as a trial? That is what the Senate under the 
Constitution is: the trier of the facts and law, presided over by the 
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  I would hope the gentleman would be urging as strenuously in the 
Senate, where trial and proper procedures should be followed, as they 
did here in the House.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, clearly, as the gentleman knows, it is the 
Senate's job to try the House's case. If the House failed to make its 
case, that is the House's fault. To suggest that the Senate needs to 
mop up the mess that was done here because there was not fairness, 
because both sides didn't get the opportunity, if one side wants to 
say, ``I have a case to make. I am going make my case, but I am not 
going to let them make theirs, and I am not going to let them call 
their witnesses,'' and we had a long list of witnesses we wanted to 
call that we were denied.

  You are in the majority. You get to make the rules. If that is what 
you want to call fair, you can, but it is not.
  The Senate has it, but it was all done according to the majority out 
of urgency. That is the word we heard over and over again. If the 
gentleman wanted to have other people come to testify, the President 
and every President exerts executive privilege, so if the standard is a 
President exerting executive privilege equates to obstruction of 
Congress, then you would have to retroactively go back and impeach 
every President, including George Washington.
  Exerting executive privilege is not an obstruction of Congress. 
Congress can have a disagreement with the President. We have surely had 
disagreements with previous Presidents exerting executive privilege 
when we were in the majority. You fight those out in the courts. The 
gentleman is well aware of that. Maybe the courts will say yes, and 
maybe the courts will say no, but that attempt wasn't made. Why? 
Because according to your own leader, Speaker Pelosi, ``urgent''; 
Chairman Schiff, ``The timing is driven by the urgency''; Chairman 
Nadler, ``The threat is urgent.'' They rammed it through, and other 
facts and other witnesses that they didn't want, they discarded.
  The actual rule of the House, clause 2(j)(1) of rule XI requires--not 
allows but requires--the minority to have a day of hearing. That was 
denied because there was urgency. They didn't want all the facts to get 
out. They were concerned about urgency.
  Lo and behold, it passes, and all of a sudden, what happened to the 
urgency? The Speaker says we are going to hold the papers. You had 
Democratic Senators: I think it is time to send the impeachment to the 
Senate. Let Mitch McConnell be responsible for the fairness of the 
trial. He ultimately is.
  Other Senators said very similar things. At some point in time, if it 
was urgent and then it happened, and then you don't send it over 
because now all of a sudden you realize it is a weak case and you are 
hoping something else pops up, you are hoping maybe the Senate can do 
the things that weren't done here because it was an urgency, it was 
expediency, appeasing a political base.

                              {time}  1215

  There was no crime. Every other impeachment started with a crime, not 
the hope of a crime. You can listen to a phone call and suggest 
  Interestingly, I never saw any attempt to impeach President Obama 
because he didn't give that aid to Ukraine. If the aid was so important 
that it was impeachable not to give it, Obama didn't give it. We didn't 
try to impeach him. It was bad foreign policy that he didn't provide 
Javelin missiles to Ukraine. It wasn't impeachable.
  But President Trump did give the aid, President Trump did sell the 
Javelin missiles to help Ukraine stand up to Putin.
  President Obama didn't help Ukraine stand up to Putin. If that is who 
you are most concerned about, then maybe the impeachment would have 
been in the other direction.
  But, again, that was bad foreign policy that President Obama didn't 
give Ukraine the tools that they asked for and were denied by the Obama 
administration, but it wasn't impeachable.

[[Page H170]]

  Here you might have a disagreement with President Trump's foreign 
policy. You might have a disagreement that he did sell the Javelin 
missiles, maybe you agreed with it. But ultimately the President did 
send that aid. There was no investigation and he sent the aid. But 
impeach him for it anyway because you disagree with other things. I 
think that became very clear.
  At some point, if it is focused on personality, I think that is what 
people are most fed up with.
  If there were facts, then both sides would have been able to present 
all of the evidence, both sides would have been able to call all of the 
  If the majority had confidence in their case, they would have said, 
Okay. You can call your witnesses, because our witnesses are better. We 
have higher confidence in our case. But that didn't happen.
  We were denied what the rules of the House requires: a minority day 
of hearing. We wanted it, we asked for it, the rules required it, but 
they blew through it, they threw that away.
  That is not fairness. But the Senate will conduct a fair trial based 
on a weak case. If the case was stronger, regardless, the Senate's job 
is to try the case that was made in the House, whether it was a strong 
or a weak case, and that ought to happen. Justice is being denied every 
day it is not.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman, I don't know what analogy he 
is using to process, but what he just said would effectively say, if 
the witnesses weren't called and presented in the grand jury, then the 
defense attorney can't call them, then the prosecutor can't call them.
  That is absolutely untrue. I could use a harsher word of how lacking 
in substance I think that representation is.
  The Senate is now trying the case. The grand jury has sent the case 
over there strong enough to have a significant majority of the House 
vote for it, by the way, in a partisan sense, not a single Republican. 
Well, there was a single Republican. As a matter of fact, there are 
three or four who have talked to me privately--I will not mention their 
names--but they didn't vote, as they talked to me.
  But the fact of the matter is, what the gentleman's proposition is is 
that if you didn't call the witnesses in the House, then you can't call 
them in the Senate.
  Now, the reason for that is because they don't want the witnesses 
called, which is why the President told them, Don't testify in the 
  They were asked to testify. And what happened when we asked them to 
testify? No, you have to have a subpoena.
  What happened when we had subpoenas when we talked to Mr. McGahn? He 
went to court. And when he lost, he appealed, and they were going to 
appeal to the Supreme Court. That takes forever.
  The fact of the matter is there was certainly, from our perspective, 
overwhelming evidence, not that he withheld money, but the reason he 
withheld money.
  Obviously in the cases cited by the minority whip, Congress had not 
appropriated and directed that money to be sent to Ukraine. And, in 
fact, President Obama gave significant aid. He didn't give them 
missiles, but he gave significant aid and assistance to the Ukrainians. 
But the fact of the matter is, we didn't direct him to send the money.
  We directed this President to send the money. Why? As we have done 
before on Russian sanctions very early on with Mr. McCarthy and I 
cosponsoring legislation which directed the President to impose the 
sanctions on Russia because we weren't confident that he would do so on 
his own.
  But the analogy that the gentleman continues to make as a 
rationalization for why the Senate does not appear to be going to have 
a fair, open trial-like, as the Constitution requires, with swearing to 
be impartial, meaning they want to get at the facts and make a judgment 
on the facts, he has not, Mr. Speaker, explained why he is not 
recommending the same fairness that he wanted to have here.
  He wasn't in charge. He says he didn't get it. I get that. But they 
are in charge over there. And I would urge the minority whip to urge 
the majority leader to have a trial as we would expect to have a trial 
if either of us were under indictment. We would expect to be able to 
call witnesses, and we would understand that the prosecution would call 
such witnesses as they believe necessary and are relevant to the case.
  That is a very important phrase I want to emphasize, ``relevant to 
the case,'' because so many of the witnesses, like the whistleblower, 
who is protected by our laws that we have passed from being exposed to 
adverse actions, and the President says, Bring us the whistleblower. 
The Republicans say, Bring us the whistleblower. The whistleblower 
doesn't have any knowledge to testify on. They are correct: it was 
  He heard from somebody that the guy down the street committed a 
crime. I didn't see it. He told me. So what do I do? I call up the 
police and say, Joe Doe told me a crime is being committed down the 
street. You better go see.

  So I emphasize, Mr. Speaker, hopefully in closing, that we have 
passed--Republicans all voted ``no,'' I get that. But the House of 
Representatives believed by a majority vote that we had made a case for 
probable cause. And under those circumstances, the Constitution says 
the Senate will then try that case to determine whether or not, in 
fact, the probable cause was accurate.
  All we are asking is that it be done in a fair, open, and complete 
manner. Because there was no Special Prosecutor, there was no way to 
compel some of those witnesses who refused to come testify, who now, 
John Bolton being the specific example, are saying, Yes, I will 
  Personally, I don't believe that the Senate majority leader wants 
John Bolton to testify, but he clearly has firsthand knowledge, not the 
whistleblower, not somebody told me, but firsthand knowledge. By the 
way, when he heard about it, apparently he called it a drug deal.
  So I hope, Mr. Speaker, that the whip will urge the Senate to do what 
he wanted done here, or perhaps take the position, they are wrong means 
we can be wrong. Maybe two wrongs will make a right. That is not the 
way we usually think of it, but I am hopeful that not only will the 
minority whip, the Republican whip do that, I hope the minority leader 
will do that. It would be good for the country.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman wants to talk about how 
the process works, I have made it clear. The gentleman is in the 
majority. They get to make the rules however they want.
  But to say, as the gentleman said earlier, an honest trial tries to 
elicit all of the evidence, no one can make the argument that all of 
the evidence was presented.
  Again, we called and asked for multiple witnesses and were denied. We 
were denied the ability to have the witnesses we asked for.
  Now, they are in the majority. They said no, and they were able to 
roll over that because they had the votes. But don't say it was fair. 
Don't say it was an honest trial, when by their own definition, all of 
the facts in evidence have to come out.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield for just one second 
so I can clarify?
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, we did not have a trial. The Constitution 
does not require a trial. We are not the trial forum. The Senate is the 
trial forum.
  Certainly the gentleman has watched enough television trials, maybe 
been in trials for all I know, I am a lawyer, so obviously I have been 
in trials. That is the place where you call witnesses. That is where 
the defendant has the right.
  He has no right in the grand jury to call witnesses. He has no right 
in the grand jury to be there. He has no right to have his lawyer in 
the grand jury room.
  Now, we afforded the President of the United States that right, and 
he rejected it. His lawyer sent a letter to Mr. Nadler and said, Thank 
you, but no thanks. We are not going to play.
  So, Mr. Speaker, in my view, the minority leader, minority whip 
continues to conflate the responsibility we had here in the House and 
the responsibility the Senate has.
  The Senate is the trier of facts, not the House. The House is the 
determinant of whether there is probable

[[Page H171]]

cause, and we did that and it is over in the Senate, and it is their 
responsibility and duty.
  They lift their hands to swear they will be impartial, to get all the 
relevant evidence--relevant evidence, relevant evidence--not just some 
fishing expedition on either side, the prosecution or defense.
  And with that, I hope we can end this debate, because it will be 
endless if we do not, simply because we are not going to agree, Mr. 
  We have, obviously, very different perceptions as to what the duty of 
the House was and very different perceptions that if we thought what we 
did in the House was wrong, we ought to repeat it in the Senate.
  I think the papers will be going to the Senate. The Senate will 
decide what it is going to do. I hope the Senators comport themselves 
as the Founders and the people would expect.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, let's be clear. Probable cause is not the 
standard in the Constitution.
  To remove a sitting President, the Constitution is very specific: 
treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, not probable 
cause. That would be in the Constitution if that is what the Framers 
intended for impeachment to be used for, but that is not what 
impeachment is to be used for.
  There were witnesses called, multiple witnesses.
  There were tryouts, by the way, in secret that Chairman Schiff had 
prior to asking the President at the last minute, after all of this 
innuendo and you would hear leaks and leaks and this is going to 
happen, and then they would have a secret hearing where witnesses were 
sworn in, but none of us could find out what was happening in those 
secret hearings.

  And as we talked to Members that were there, all of the leaks and 
innuendos turned out to be disproven. We couldn't find that out, 
because the chairman closed those hearings to the public, closed those 
hearings to most Members of Congress.
  But ultimately the Senate's job is to try the case that was made in 
the House, weak or strong. And clearly it was weak, because the urgency 
that was talked about, it would already be going on if it was a strong 
case. But even if it is a weak case, it is not the Senate's job to mop 
up that mess.
  It is the Senate's job to go and hear the case that was made in the 
House with one side presenting their witnesses.
  And, again, the majority got to have that opportunity. We didn't have 
the opportunity to present witnesses we wanted to bring forward. And 
there were witnesses. They were sworn in. I don't know if you would 
call them something different, but that is what they were. They were 
there to present facts.
  Many gave innuendo, but when asked under oath, Can you name the 
  Was there bribery?
  But let the Senate do their job, and hopefully they get that next 
week. I would encourage that the House get that done next week. It 
should have been done a while back.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman if he has anything else.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I have nothing else at this time.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.